Independent has an NI day

I know…..but only just got round to reading the papers:
The Independent concentrates on:
a) The dissident threat:
“The scale of the problem was revealed by Jonathan Evans, the director general of MI5, who told the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee: “What was not anticipated … was the way in which the situation in Northern Ireland had deteriorated. The Service had considerably more what we would call priority, that is life-threatening, investigations in Northern Ireland than we do in the rest of Great Britain.”
In response, MI5 has increased its resources in Ulster from 13 per cent to 18 per cent. Officials say this may have to rise again if the security situation continues to deteriorate.”

b) The Economy:
“The international goodwill generated by the peace process a decade ago has been and mostly gone. The 1998 Good Friday Agreement negotiators squandered their best card, at a time when Tony Blair was prepared to concede virtually anything to get a deal. The home team – nationalist and unionist – should have demanded a cut in the province’s corporate tax rate to bring it into line with the Republic to transform its heavily dependent public-sector workforce”
c) An editorial:
“…But we should not overreact. Britain’s Special Forces reconnaissance group, which is reported to be operating in Northern Ireland, must not be drawn in to another armed confrontation. There can be no question of reviving the heavy-handed tactics that once characterised our response to republican terrorism.
The bombers would like nothing more than to see British Army patrols back on the streets on Belfast. There must be more mature, and ultimately more effective ways of responding to this brand of pseudo-nationalistic nihilism. And Sinn Fein should be at the vanguard of devising them.”

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  • mark

    check mate

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ”And Sinn Fein should be at the vanguard of devising them.”

    Why should they? What possible harm are the dissers doing to SF?

  • Greenflag

    The Independent is imo the only Britain based newspaper that’s worth reading re matters in Northern Ireland and yet even they sometimes miss out on the basics:(

    To wit from the above

    b) The Economy:

    ‘The home team – nationalist and unionist – should have demanded a cut in the province’s corporate tax rate to bring it into line with the Republic to transform its heavily dependent public-sector workforce”

    ?
    What home team ? There is no home team . There are at least two home teams and when one is playing away the other is playing at home and vice versa . The ‘teams’ mostly play only against each other.

    Given the present economic climate it’s unlikely that even a corporation tax reduction to ROI levels would ‘jump start’ NI back on the road to a less public sector dependent economy . Thats a job for a generation or two if not more- if in fact ever .

    The Independent is however on the ball when it refers to a higher unemployment rate among 18 to 24 year olds and the potential this could have for a renewal of conflict in NI and social unrest in the larger cities of the UK.

  • Driftwood

    The Independent is struggling, however its main asset is this correspondent, and this is a brilliant piece of investigative journalism which deserves widespread coverage.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-the-crimewave-that-shames-the-world-2072201.html

  • Dewi

    Yes – he is good.

  • Greenflag

    Maybe the USA/UK/EU /UN can impose trade sanctions on those countries who refuse to treat ‘honour’ killings as a murder crime ? Sad to say the estimated 20,000 honour killings are a drop in the ocean of dishonourable deaths that the region has suffered over the past decade with the latter now estimated at 500,000 .

    Fisk is imo a great jounalist as is McKittrick-Always worth a read even on NI 😉

  • IJP

    I have always been unconvinced that corporation tax reduction would be a “silver bullet”.

    However, the economy is only mentioned twice in the Agreement (effectively not at all). That was/is shocking.

    The economy has always been treated as an optional extra to the peace process. In fact, a functioning economy is fundamental to it. 2010 is as good a time to realise that as any.

  • Greenflag

    IJP ,

    ‘That was/is shocking.’

    Not at all . Absolutely par for the NI political course . From the beginning of the troubles to the present the ‘economy of NI’ has always taken the back seat to matters of much more import such as flags , parade routes, security policy , prisons , street violence etc .:( As long as HMG comes up with the revenue shortfall /subvention of 8 billion sterling a year the local politicians will not be inclined to exert themselves in the matter of economic development other than the usual soundbite and the truism that it’s a good thing like apple pie . Where and how it actually happens is not a subject that I’ve ever heard any NI politician ever debate with any conviction -understandable of course given the economic reality of being 70% public sector dependent .

    There are no silver bullets for the NI economy nor indeed for any economy not in this economic climate anyway .

    As for the economy being treated as an ‘optional extra’ during the peace process well so it was because the ‘economies ‘ North and South and the UK were at the height of the ‘boom’ . The economic future looked bright until the day that Lehman Brothers in New York brought the house down .

    I don’t know what you mean by a ‘functioning ‘ economy but it’s always easier to effect political change of the kind thats being attempted in Northern Ireland when times are good . No doubt the DUP/SF mandatory coalition face very tough choices and it would not surprise me if they ‘failed’ to hold together in the upcoming tough times which Mr Robinson sees directly ahead .

  • Driftwood

    Harold Wilson was spot on back in the 70’s,

    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/events/uwc/docs/hw25574.htm

    The people on this side of the water – British parents – have seen their sons vilified and spat upon and murdered. British taxpayers have seen the taxes they have poured out, almost without regard to cost – over £300 million a year this year with the cost of the Army operation on top of that – going into Northern Ireland. They see property destroyed by evil violence and are asked to pick up the bill for rebuilding it. Yet people who benefit from all this now viciously defy Westminster, purporting to act as though they were an elected government; people who spend their lives sponging on Westminster and British democracy and then systematically assault democratic methods. Who do these people think they are?

    Nothing new under the Ulster sun.

  • Driftwood

    Oh, extra points for naming some of the people he was specifically referring to!

  • Mrazik

    Erm…Top Dog and Deputy Top Dog an’ all the rest…?

  • Driftwood

    Quite a few others Mrazik.
    The Westminster subsidy is the economic elephant that is never mentioned. It’s just assumed that England will pay, then and now, no matter what.
    The begging bowl/cargo cult mentality is subsumed under a plethora of platitudes. NI is ‘open for business’ etc.

    The placebo assembly has only ever dealt with being a subsidised satellite. It is having the £9 billion sticking plaster being slowly peeled off. Whether the scar has healed for the patient to survive is anyone’s guess.
    The sponger mentality is still prevalent among all local parties.

  • Odie

    Lots i believe actually, i think that the Dissitants are giving Republicans a bad name, thus including the shinners..