Hearts and Minds returns tonight

Back for its autumn run Hearts and Minds interviews the two candidates for the Ulster Unionist Party leadership Tom Elliot and Basil McCrea will tell us where they hope to take the party. The party makes its decision next week.

And with a UK Bill of rights on the cards the director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarty explains why there’s a need for a Northern Ireland version.

  • wild turkey

    … they could also ask if there is any need for Shami Chakrabarti.

  • sammymehaffey

    and I +have my doubts about the Taxpayers Alliance. How do you vote for they I wonder????

  • mopphead

    “we ask”
    ?????

  • alan56

    Nothing brilliant from either candidate. Most notable thing is that Elliot has become a better TV performer… and he needed to.

  • slug

    Interesting to see the two contenders on the telly.

  • joeCanuck

    Bah; they still don’t allow us to see these programs outside of the UK. All the more annoying since we used to get them.

  • Shami Chakrabarty is alright, genuine, even though she seems to live on another planet. The other two can fight it out amongst themselves.

    NI bill of right, oh well, just as long as it is identical in every way to the laws in the south…

  • Nunoftheabove

    why is that joecanuck, overseas licensing rights crap or what’s the reason for it ? Darned frustrating though, as you say.

  • joeCanuck

    Yes, Nunoftheabove, something like that.

  • wild turkey

    Pip

    it is not that shami lives on another planet. i mean afterall, who am i to say?

    my problem with shami is not her planetary orbit, but her aspiration and presentation to be a sun and star who would embrace us in her inelegant orbit. she demands worship, but does not enlighten.

    words like sun, shine and ass come to mind, but for now, lets not go there. hope you are well.

    respect and affection

  • WT

    Shami appears to be an idealist determined to inflict her aspirations upon the rest of us. Since her vision is harmless and may occasionally do some good I see no harm there.

    Take care

  • Seymour Major

    Shami Chakrabarty did not explain why there’s a need for a Northern Ireland version. All she said was that local adjustments for Human Rights could be justified but what goes into them was a matter for debate within Northern Ireland.

    I dont agree with her at all. Human Rights should not have anything to do with geography. Human rights are about the rights of Human beings. Can anybody think of a right which should be unique to Northern Ireland which should not apply in the rest of the UK?

    In relation to the proposed UK bill of rights, there is only one right that have heard of, which is proposed, which is not in the convention of human rights. That is the right to a trial by jury for more serious crimes. Of course, there are strong arguments against jury trials as well as in favour.

  • slug

    I suppose the argument for example might be that there are cultural and religious differences that raise different issues than in GB.

    I like Shami a lot.

  • slug

    I wouldn’t go that far but she does appear to be sincere and that’s something these days.

  • joeCanuck

    Not an argument at all. Seymour is right. If it is truly a human right, as in the United Nations Declaration, geography plays no part.

  • joe

    There are all sorts of special rules in the north that is why I said: “as long as it is identical in every way to the laws in the south”

  • joeCanuck

    Pippakin,
    I understand the dynamics and don’t have a real problem with differing “rules” in different regions; that’s why we have local assemblies.
    But, human rights are human rights. There should be no difference between different parts of the State, indeed between States. Just use the UN Declaration.

  • joe

    Not sure, I may be wrong, but I think it is the European version that applies here. Its this creative ambiguity (lie) of Tony Blair that’s the problem in the north.

    Shami Chakrabati is the spokesperson for Liberty, occasionally a bit grating and superior but always well intentioned.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The opening comment by Thompson implied that Elliott refused to appear in the same interview as his opponent. That’s plain old running scared. If the guy is afraid to debate his own opponent in a leadership election how can he debate the case with his political opponents ?

    Bad move there.

  • slug

    Well its pretty common that the person who thinks he/she is ahead rarely takes risks like that, I guess.

  • joeCanuck

    For serious crimes in Canada, there is a right of a defendant to opt for a Trial by a Judge only or by a Judge and Jury. Being convicted by the latter attracts a longer sentence if found quilty, I understand. Can be a bit of a gamble. Some think that you are more likely to be acquitted by a Judge, others disagree and think it depends on the charge. I don’t know, never having been given the choice.

  • Granni Trixie

    In “the particular circs of NI” we need addtional bits for dealing with sectarianism, a cultural flaw. .

  • Similarly cameras/reporters weren’t allowed into the internal hustings.

  • DC

    You should try and download an ip changer – which will mask your North American IP and put a UK one in instead. You should then be able to view?

  • ForkHandles

    Joe, sign up for a VPN service and then you can watch iplayer etc from other countries. you need one with servers in the UK to connect to.
    works for me in dubai.

  • Munsterview

    Joe,

    while on Canadian Law how is the female Judge involved in the sex bondage scandal weathering the storm ?

  • USA

    I feel your pain Joe.

  • joeCanuck

    Thanks, DC and Four Candles, I;m not that savy but I;ll try it.

  • joeCanuck

    She’s been reassigned to Administrative duties while her bosses try to decide what to do. It would actually take a special Act of Parliament to remove her.
    She has sympathizers and detractors. Most Canadians go along with what former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said when Justice Minister and legalized homosexuality, threesomes etc – “The State has no place in the bedrooms of the Nation” . Her sexual activites took place before she was raised to Judgeship. I think the outcome will depend on how much respect she can get from other Court officials. She would obviously have to disbar herself from certain types of cases. I’d imagine that, after a period of reflection, she’ll simply resign.

  • madraj55

    CS. Yesterday on TB, Elliot tried halfheartedly to explain this odd tactic to Wendy, but made a poor fist of it. Apparently he thinks the candidates should do their disagreeing in private and give a united front to the public, which is a bizarre idea in a leadership election within a party, but I’m sure he knows what he’s doing.

  • JOHN

    Just change proxy using google chrome. You can get your new ip address on freeproxylist.co.uk or hidemyass.com

  • Munsterview

    Pip

    so it is acceptable to hold someone in custody and isolation for a week, as they now can do in the South, subject them to all sorts of mind games and then release the without charge after what was no more than an intelligence gathering exercise ?

    And such crims back on the streets are supposed to then have respect for the rule of lay having seen first hand that the laws do not apply ?

    Do not get me wrong; as far as drug dealers are concerned my gut instinct is still ‘a hole in the head followed by a hole in the ground’ !

    There are plenty of ways the nearest legal equivalent of that could be done in that is legally correct, in keeping with human rights and that is effective!

    While we have a situation as with the political murder gangs in the North where these gangs are riddled with State informers, then then ‘running these assets’ can become an ind in itself and as their handlers wait for ‘the big one’ their assets are free to deal, intimidate, shoot and even kill.

  • MV

    Dont you go all holier than thou on me! you know full well the ‘group’ you support has some pretty negative aspects! One of its victims has just been formally buried after being left dumped in a hole for twenty odd years!

    Needs must when the devil drives laddie. Do it by democratic means or don’t do it!

  • Munsterview

    Joe,

    Thanks ! I am keeping an eye on that one !

    One of the questions arising is bias in the administration of law…….. in a family law case, a partner taking part in ‘threesomes’ or regular sexual activity outside marriage is enough to merit a separation and divorce.

    Here however is a judge to whom such practices are normal behavior and she is supposed to rule objectively on the side of a straight partner without any bias towards the other who was behaving as she did.

    This week we have seen the hot water Brian Cowen got in for allegedly being being under the influence and hung over. and hungover. In face quite a few Judges on the various court benches here operate like that as a norm, it is an open secret among those close to the court scene, yet the problem is not even acknowledged, much less attempting to deal with it!

  • Munsterview

    Granni

    All these things are but tinkering around the edges!

    The very State of Northern Ireland was set up to instutionalise sectarianism and give a small undemocratic minority a permanent majority not only over the minorities of their own four counties, but also over another two counties that had voted to join with the other twenty six in forming a new republic.

    It is necessary to keep restating these blunt, inconvenient, truths as people need to be reminded as to where all these artificial attempts to make an artificial state work are coming from and why they are necessary !

    There can be few other examples of where such a total perversion of democracy occurred as to allow four regions of an electorate who voted a certain way, were then allowed dictate terms to the other majority twenty eight regions, the political solutions that caused a civil war in the majority units that they were largely exempt from the consequences of, or who were allowed to keep the artificially created minority inside their own Statelet in tyranny for the next century.

    And still as slugger can show, the old arrogance is there unchanged and unchanging. The ‘one eight’ tail still continues to wag the ‘seven eights’ dog……… and is allowed do it !

    Even when a few see the light and attempt some sort of alliance with the victimized minority, laudable as their intent may be, they continue to languish at the bottom of the polls as quite simply the……… ‘excluding the other sort from power the best way possible, and frustrating the exercise of whatever political power they have’………. still best sums up the only common political goals of the artificial majority!

  • Munsterview

    Pip
    “…..There are plenty of ways the nearest legal equivalent of that could be done in that is legally correct, in keeping with human rights and that is effective!…….”

    Did I not advocate legal solutions only ?

  • MV

    Read through some of your own comments…

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall at internal UUP debates. Especially ones where they debate whether not it is, for example, appropriate to vote for a Catholic Mayor in Newtownabbey.

  • slug

    How interesting.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The very State of Northern Ireland was set up to instutionalise sectarianism and give a small undemocratic minority a permanent majority not only over the minorities of their own four counties, but also over another two counties that had voted to join with the other twenty six in forming a new republic.

    No shit ?

  • Munsterview

    Slug

    “…….How interesting…….”

    Agreed, delighted to share it with you !

    Comrade Stalin

    “…….No shit ?…….”

    No shit man……. this was really what happened ! However do not beat yourself up for not knowing.

    I have found the same general knowledge deficit in this regard ‘across the water’ but having explained to my English friends as to how the situation came about, your surprised reaction is quite restrained compared to some of the outbursts of amazed expletives that I have encountered !

    Some of it has also been quite profane; I must say that I was a little taken aback that protestants could talk like that about fellow prods……even if they are in a foreign country

    What can I say Comrade…. the old left injunction applies….. If you do not know, learn, if you do know teach!

    You just keep on reading slugger and learning, I in turn will try to continue teaching !

  • Comrade Stalin

    You’re a decent soul, Munsterview. Without you I’d never have found out about partition or the background to it. I really appreciate you taking the time out to share your expertise.

  • MV

    A fireside view, almost avuncular! Looking at history as a whole and not just this island would you say the founding of the north was that different to, say Belgium? Most borders, those that are not actually defined by a bloody great sea or ocean are, one way or another, ‘man made’, usually as a result of years of conflict, which are, with the exception of Kashmir and Tibet almost over. If it were up to your way of thinking there would be no Scotland or Wales, that they both exist says there are other, democratic, ways of winning the peace.

  • Comrade Stalin

    A fireside view, almost avuncular!

    That’s overly charitable. Sadly, it’s typical of the kinds of American we attract to internet discussions on Irish politics (not all of them I might add). They read a couple of books, listen to a few Wolfe Tones LPs, purchase the Bobby Sands commemorative T-Shirt and then vomit it all back up at us as if it’s an original view we’ve never heard before. The fact that MV up there repeats this tired old bile about all the crimes laid at the door of partition, the Brits and the Prods as though it is an original perspective that few people are enlightened upon smacks of arrogance and condescension.

    Discussions about partition is a waste of time. There is no right answer, and it distracts us from the work of trying to unite our communities under our common, yet disparate, heritage.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I so agree! Digging up past hurts always works both ways. It is long past time we moved on and worked peacefully for the things we want.

  • Munsterview

    Comrade Stalin 19 September 2010 at 3:03 pm

    “………You’re a decent soul, Munsterview. Without you I’d never have found out about partition or the background to it. I really appreciate you taking the time out to share your expertise…..”

    You are most welcome !

    As Bernadette Devlin once said you are a 17th, century society being dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th century ! In as much as I have been able to make a modest contribution to that end, I am delighted to do so.

    It now seems from your post that we can move on from partition : I may find time in the near future to dwell briefly on the fact that the Twenty Six Counties left the Commonwealth and declared a Republic.

    I do not want to over tax you, never the less it would help prior to that if you had verified these things for yourself.

    Incidently we are also in the closing first decade of the twenty first century, give that some thought, it would help in future posting exchanges if you could assimilate the information and also adjust to it.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Yeah onwards to a dishonest future based on a failure to acknowledge the truth of the past. Constructive ambiguiuty into perpetuity ain’t much of a foundation for anything worth hoping for or waiting for.

  • Munsterview

    Here we go again……… question authenticity….. get a rebuttal……and one or two more pieces towards uncovering an id. Then the man can be played instead of the ball !

    I am a bit long in the tooth now for these games. It is an insult to intelligence to think that these things can be floated beneath the levels of awareness. Sorry no takers !

    So we should all move on and forget history ?

    In some European countries it is an indictable offense to deny the Holocaust, death camps and millions killed by German State policy aided of course by several local fascist forces in occupied countries.

    Here we should forget the half million plus mainly Irish women sold into white slavery, the millions that were allowed to die in the famine while enough food to feed the dead population twice over was exported ?

    It is a measure of how much the true nature of British Imperialism in Ireland has been covered over and sidelined that African academics from Ex-Colonial countries are more informed on the slavery issue than our own academics.

  • Nunoftheabove

    It gives people time! time to see the best in each other and the best way forward, that’s worth a lot.

  • Nunoftheabove

    It’s a bit much to expect people to see the best in each other today or tomorrow when they’re both encouraged (or forced) to lie about what they think each other thought and did yesterday and why the events of the day before (if they really happened at all) played out how they did. Or didn’t, as the case may be.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Which is why time is so important, It will take time, time for truth to be told without hurting people, on all sides, more, and time to forget. It all takes time.

  • Nunoftheabove

    No Pippakin, that’s not truth I’m afraid. The truth does, sometimes needs to, hurt. Better to work through the pain now and then crack on with life, such as it will be. A society which ignores truth has no worthwhile foundation to it and this state has been shit enough since its inception to be left to putrify any further based on distsortions about how it came about, how it was, why it blew up, why it stopped blowing up and how it got to where it is now. The truth established by pain would be a better foundation for the future than any other that springs to mind.

  • Nunoftheabove

    You are right but it takes time for those so wounded to think about voting for what they have always thought of and been taught, is the opposition. Time gives people the opportunity to see clearly and to recognise that there are always two sides to everything.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Pip

    People know that there are two sides to this; the truth and the bullshit that passes for the orthodoxy now. People can handle the truth if there’s a commitment to tell it and a refusal to bend to alternatives to it.

  • Munsterview

    Pip

    The famine occurred over a century and a half ago.

    British direct involvement in Slavery was ended long before the famine.

    I have been castigated for bringing up both topics and the deaths caused.

    What do you suggest is an appropriate time period after an event to discuss it.

    Some years I am in England at the period when the end of the First WW is remembered with a few minutes silence and there is no problem discussing WW1 events in the evening.

    So for England it is a matter of ‘Lest we forget’ ……… in Ireland we must forget ?

    Nice one Pip !

  • MV

    Not a bit! It is to be remembered but it was a century ago and republicans continue to blame the todays Brits and todays protestants in the north. It is long past time to move on. Ireland cannot grow as an independent identity until it does.

  • Comrade Stalin

    There will never be consensus on the interpretation of historical events. There will always be revision, alternative views, facts omitted and later rediscovered etc etc etc. The thing that we need to acknowledge is that many of us differ on the past and are unlikely to change in that respect.

    MV:

    Here we go again……… question authenticity….. get a rebuttal……and one or two more pieces towards uncovering an id. Then the man can be played instead of the ball !

    I suppose you’re self-deluded enough that you think that your schoolboy arguments of how Irish history can be explained solely and completely by the nature of colonialism and the evil Brits and Prods actually consititutes playing the ball by some sort of definition.

    In some European countries it is an indictable offense to deny the Holocaust, death camps and millions killed by German State policy aided of course by several local fascist forces in occupied countries.

    Yeah, I’m glad you brought that up. So are you the sort of person who, when in the company of Germans, brings up the topic of WW2 and what bastards the Nazis are ? That’s the kind of boorish, arrogant and smug beard-stroking man-of-the-world attitude I’d expect from someone of your ilk.

    Here we should forget the half million plus mainly Irish women sold into white slavery, the millions that were allowed to die in the famine while enough food to feed the dead population twice over was exported ?

    There you go again with your half-baked rubbish. If you would only read a half decent history book rather than deriving all your knowledge of history from rebel songs you might have a clue about the topic above.

    I could do with a laugh here so maybe you could tell me how you think the famine should have been avoided. When you’re doing so, recall that neither Das Kapital nor the Communist Manifesto hadn’t been published when the famine began, and the idea that governments were supposed to help people was still a novel one. Governments didn’t consider it their job to feed people, and that the deaths of the starving was just the free market correcting the economy.

    BTW did it ever occur to you to ask how so many Irish were able to fund their passage to the USA and other locations overseas ? That’s a subject that hasn’t been covered by Sinead O’Connor so probably not. I suppose you reckon the people who sailed those boats full of people over there did it out of the goodness of their hearts.

  • Framer

    Munsterview

    Name me one state that was not carved out to produce a self governing area with a certain majority in charge.

    That’s why states come into existence, like Eritrea or East Timor most recently, or is it God’s work?

  • Munsterview

    Pip,

    In the recent past one of my childrens generation, a historian in his mid twenties advised in the ‘Wind That Shakes The Barley’ which was one of the first films that came any close to ecamining the issues of the 1916…… 1923 conflict.

    All during the Low Intensity War period, ( otherwise known as the troubles) there was not one historian of note on this Island prepared to examine the war in the context of a continuing failed Colonial struggle. In the early seventies it was easier get a factual account of what was happening in the Six Counties from Radio Mosco than RTE.

    Blame on to-days protestants in the North?

    Pip, republicans can find enough issues so far from this year alone to justify opposition to the Nothern state without having to resort to previous, the troubles or to history.

    This is why I continue to question what you really know of the Nortern Nationalist or Republican communities and their attidutes.

  • MV

    Oh no, I know the history and I know republicanism, which is how I know a lot of it looks like ‘any excuse will do’.

    Everything is leading toward a UI except to those who will not see.

    Dont question what I may or may not know about republicanism. Know that I have nothing but contempt for murderers or their apologists.

  • Munsterview

    Framer

    Are you not putting the horse before the cart on this one ?

    On a democratic election twenty eight counties voted for a republic.

    Four counties voted to retain the old system and stay in the Union

    The proposition for the peoples of Ireland to become a republic and leave the union was carried by 87% or a proportion of 7 : 1

    As mandates go they do not come much clearer than that.

    Britain who had just fought a war supposedly on the rights of ‘gallant little Belgium and other small nations, ignored that mandate and went to war against Ireland.

    The four counties were vociferous in their right to opt out of the thirty two counties.

    The four counties then immediately denied the same opt out rights of two adjacent counties by insisting on appending these onto its four county sectarian statelet.

    That is historical fact and reality.

    Any real discussion on these facts immediately throws the absurdity of the creation of the northern statelet.

    It was founded on bully boy tactics, maintained by bully boy tactics, failed because of bully boy tactics against the Bogside and unarmed civil rights marchers. Now in Wilson and Cambell we have more of the same in bully boy tactics in the Assembly where Nationalists and Republicans daily have their landguage, culture and politics ridiculed and denegrated.

    The old attitudes are still there, unchanged and unchangeable.

    What has changed however is the realization that if physical force outside certain limits is used against republicans, then republicans in the words of the late Maura Drum ‘ will take the provence apart stone by stone’ rather than accept second class citizenship ever again.

    The guarantors of the GFA, The republic of Ireland, Britain, The EU and the US accept that reality and so do most unionists.

    That inconvenient truth is what results in whatever equality is there for nationalists / republicans, not any intrinsic intent in the current unionist majority to grant these rights to republicans as of right per se.

    Finally may I point out the irony here, a justification for the foundation of Northern Ireland of where 13% of the electorate could ignore the wishes of the 87% majority, is the same principle that by that same logic, the dissidents could claim when operating inside the current framework.

  • john

    Self governing area with a certain majority can open a whole can of worms hence quite a bit of opposition to kososvo declaring independence.
    Whats to stop anywhere declaring a small republic – might we see some self declared islamic states in Western Europe in the next 100 years

  • john

    IMO almost certainly yes. Kosovo was a mistake. It is historically and fundamentally Serbian but because Albanians are now a majority, they are allowed to declare an independent state. Typical of T Blair and a bad mistake.

  • Munsterview

    Pip.

    “….Dont question what I may or may not know about republicanism. Know that I have nothing but contempt for murderers or their apologists……”

    May I remind you that it was what you see fit to describe as……. ‘ murderers and their apologists’………who in a series of what was described at the time as ‘outrages’ won the Land wars in the West.

    Any student of the period can find the reaction to these ‘outrages’ scattered through the pages of the times written back then also from the comfort of Sligo fireside armchairs and other such West Brit citadels of comfort, far removed from the impoverishment and police occupation tactics that the local populace had to live under.

    Then as now in the phase Erine O’Malley made famous, ‘ It is easy to sleep on another mans wound’

    I wonder which of our views the residents of the Bogside and the West Belfast etc, most relate to, yours or mine ?

  • Granni Trixie

    MV: More people than you think from WB would not identify with your views – I for one.

  • john

    I live in the Balkans and Kosovo sets a dangerous tone. There is large albanian population in FYROM – can they now just split and form their own state likewise in Thrace in Greece there is a turkish muslim majority can they now just self declare the consequences are very dangerous and thats before we even touch on the large migrant populations in UK, France etc – things are going to get very complicated and soon

  • Munsterview

    Grannie

    Thanks for the reassurance…….. I have a reputation to protect here…… would not do to be accused of being acceptable to Alliance politics, I have enough sins laid at my door !

  • MV

    As I keep telling you and others: It is long past time to move on.

    Young people die. It is almost always young people and they die for the dreams and cherished slights of the old. No more. It should be the ambition of every Irish person to ensure that our young do not die for the wounds of those long dead.

    Stop talking about the famine as though it were yesterday. It was not and as wrong as it was it was not the first famine and reaction to it was the norm for the time.

    One little error, hardly worth mentioning except it shows how easy error slips in. I am not in Sligo. I am in Mayo and there is no fire yet. In a few weeks time perhaps.

  • john

    I fear you may be right. Kosovo was a bad mistake. A precedent has been set.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Pip

    In what sense was Kosovo fundamentally Serbian at the point at which independence was declared please ? Had Blair and Clinton not intervened (as should have happened several years earlier in Bosnia), orthodox christian neo-fascists would have ethnically cleansed Kosovo and Bosnia and absorbed them into a Greater Serbia.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Kosovo is historically Serbian. It has always been Serbian. It is the home of their religion, the Serbs have a deep and necessary attachment to Kosovo. Blair and Clinton left a festering wound. Albanian immigrants largely colonising the area does not alter the fundamental fact. If all any country has to do to take over another is move in. Every western country is in serious difficulty.

  • Nunoftheabove

    “On a democratic election twenty eight counties voted for a republic”…”Four counties voted to retain the old system and stay in the Union”

    – it wasn’t a referendum on partition or any particular constitutional arrangment and I think you mean contemporaneously existing system rather than old, don’t you ?

    “As mandates go they do not come much clearer than that”

    – Yes but just that though – an electoral mandate. How well utilized or well served was that mandate would you say ?

    “Britain…went to war against Ireland”.

    – Another way to see it (athough not my view) was that they were defending the status quo; I thnk it would be more accurate to say that Irish rebels nwent to war against the (then) British state.

    “The four counties were vociferous in their right to opt out of the thirty two counties”.

    – They did not want to opt out of the 32 countiues, they wanted to remain where they were already. People forget that Carson said that he did not want to rule catholics but rather wanted to be ruled by parliament.

    “The four counties then immediately denied the same opt out rights of two adjacent counties by insisting on appending these onto its four county sectarian statelet”.
    – The north was not in a sovereign position to do any such thing as you well know; I think oddly enough you’re projecting a curiously two-nationist perspective backwards into the narrative in order to make your point on the inevitability of 32 county republic. It didn’t seem inevitable then and there’s nothing whatever inevitable about it now. I for one believe that it should have happened then but that doesn’t change the fact that it didn’t. Besides, those who still want it need to do an awful lot better than persuade us thhat it would settle a historic kistake. They need to persuade us in plain materialist terms that it would in fact be a better place – for everyone – to live in than either the north or the 26 counties.

    Any real discussion on these facts immediately throws the absurdity of the creation of the northern statelet.

    It was founded on bully boy tactics, maintained by bully boy tactics, failed because of bully boy tactics against the Bogside and unarmed civil rights marchers. Now in Wilson and Cambell we have more of the same in bully boy tactics in the Assembly where Nationalists and Republicans daily have their landguage, culture and politics ridiculed and denegrated.

    The old attitudes are still there, unchanged and unchangeable.

    What has changed however is the realization that if physical force outside certain limits is used against republicans, then republicans in the words of the late Maura Drum ‘ will take the provence apart stone by stone’ rather than accept second class citizenship ever again.

    The guarantors of the GFA, The republic of Ireland, Britain, The EU and the US accept that reality and so do most unionists.

    That inconvenient truth is what results in whatever equality is there for nationalists / republicans, not any intrinsic intent in the current unionist majority to grant these rights to republicans as of right per se.

    Finally may I point out the irony here, a justification for the foundation of Northern Ireland of where 13% of the electorate could ignore the wishes of the 87% majority, is the same principle that by that same logic, the dissidents could claim when operating inside the current framework.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Every situation is unique and declaring indepdence isn’t the same thing as securing intrenational recognition for it. Besides, Kosovo is a decidedly secular majority muslim state and it has gone to some lengths constitutionally to protect the rights of Serbs living within its borders. A full decleration of independence was probably a bit premature however something like independence was always going to come close to where the situation was heading, I think. At least this way the Serbs have to get used to the idea and suck hard on it if they want EU accession.

  • Nunoftheabove

    No, they have done nothing to protect the Serbs that was not forced on them by the West and enforced by the UN in order to put a civilised gloss on the shameful deal. Serbia is a Christian country and you are actually talking about their rights being preserved in what is now a Muslim country. Is there another Muslim country where Christian rights are recognised and supported. I don’t think so.

    The West had no right to, not only interfere with a sovereign country, but to actually take a large part of it and give it away! An outrageous act which will almost certainly have repercussions.

    As for whenever the usurpers chose to declare independence I consider that irrelevant.

  • Framer

    I note you were unable to name me one uncarved-out state and instead offered up the most tired, unthinking nationalist twaddle that works elsewhere but not here.

    As another points out, there was no vote on separation.

    The unit of self determination at that moment was the UK. The island of Ireland was neither sovereign nor a traditional unit of self-determination.

    If units are defined by sea water, remind me of the international conventions that legitimate that rule.

    Do they apply to Hispaniola or Timor?

  • Pip,

    I think you’ll find Albania has an excellent record on religious freedom.

    http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2007/90160.htm

  • If all any country has to do to take over another is move in. Every western country is in serious difficulty.

    Sure, Serbs may have lived there before Albanians, but why stop there? Who was there before the Serbs? And before that?

    Groups do not have human rights – individuals do. You cannot deny someone a right because of their membership of a particular group. The right to self-determination cannot be restricted because one particular group happened to be more numerous in the past than another. The logic behind your denial of Kosovan self-determination would leave the non-native-American population of the US disenfranchised. Historical wrongs cannot be visited on future generations like that.

    So yes, migration will change the character of a territory, and that may well result in states breaking up and new ones forming. Such is the history of the world. Either we ban all migration, or we find some way of managing change.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Pip

    The West not only had a right to (and Serbia was not truly sovereign at the time anyway in anything other than its own imagination), it had a moral duty to prevent fascism within Europe and the shame of the EU and UN is that it didn’t do enough earlier to face down Serbian aggression and the profound evil of its campaigns in Bosnia and in Kosovo.

    Minority rights will be maintained in Kosovo, outreach and repair is going on and it’s by no means all forced by the IC. Belgrade would do well to stop misleading Kosovo Serbs (in the same way as they did and to an extent still do with the RS Serbs) and accept the situation.

    In terms of religion, in fact there is some evidence that there are more Kosovo albanians converting to catholicism right now (a new prominent catholic cathedral is under construction in Pristina, the local head muslim particicpated warmly and fraternally in the opening/dedication) than there are to anything resembling anything troublingly Islamist. Religion doesn’t have a meaningful currency in Kosovo by and large in the way that sadly it continues to do in other parts of the Balkans. It’s not that long ago for example that the Christian Democrat Party in Kosovo was…majority muslim.

  • Andrew Gallagher and Nunoftheabove.

    You have both given reasons why the north is fully entitled to call itself a separate state with a separate religion, similarly if any part of France for eg is inhabited by a greater number of legal or illegal migrants those migrants can declare themselves an independent state. I can just see the French sitting still for that one. As for telling them they will give any remaining French people special consideration and laws to protect them. Oh yeah, that would work.

    Just because it was Serbia and the then Serbian govt was the enemy does not make what happened to Kosovo right.

  • Comrade Stalin

    On a democratic election twenty eight counties voted for a republic.

    Unionists see that as a gerrymander (the rest of the UK was not included in the referendum) and, accordingly, believed that they had the right to use force to defend themselves in much the same way that republicans did.

    The reality is that if a 32 county republic had gone ahead, the unionists would have used force to overthrow it. The IRA at the time was finished and would have been destroyed, and we’d have seen mass reallocation of populations, sectarian murder, etc etc. The Brits and the Irish plenipotentiaries knew this, hence the Treaty.

    That whole thing is an incredible injustice but I don’t see the point in reliving it. What’s done is done and we need to work out how best to deal with it. We can’t undo it. The unionists are never going to back off and say “you know what, you’re right, we were bastards” any more than the IRA are.

    BTW I forgot to add “the wind that shakes the barley” to the list. That fits nicely in with rebel song history.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Try and get used to the idea that we have all moved on from arguing about the injustice of partition. That doesn’t mean that we all necessarily like it, but we are where we are. That is the GFA summed up in a nutshell, and if you are singularly obsessed with respecting the outcome of Irish plebiscites you would do well to pay attention to it.

  • JOHN

    Andrew Gallagher
    I agree with pippakin that you need to consider more than just head counts within a paticular area, with that logic if we consider Northern Ireland your are supporting a repartition of the North in the not too distant future – would that really resolve any issues – no it would cause even bigger headaches and as a Nationalist make any future chance of a united ireland gone forever.

  • Pip,

    You have both given reasons why the north is fully entitled to call itself a separate state with a separate religion

    I think historical precedent, the UN charter and the GFA between them have entrenched the right of the North to self-determination, yes. Currently it has no right to independence, and while I would never advocate such a solution I think it is an oversight that the option has been denied to the people. I strongly reject any concept of a “state religion” however, and although religious belief may be a (large) factor in a national or regional identity the separation of church and state must be maintained.

    if any part of France for eg is inhabited by a greater number of legal or illegal migrants those migrants can declare themselves an independent state

    Illegal (and temporary legal) immigrants generally do not have the vote, and so would not count for the purposes of self-determination. If someone is a naturalised citizen however, then yes they have every right to be counted. The right to vote with one’s feet and leave is one of the most powerful defences against tyranny. If a minority population (whatever their genetic origin) is not integrated into society and faces discrimination, then the nuclear option of UDI must be kept available.

    Just because it was Serbia and the then Serbian govt was the enemy does not make what happened to Kosovo right.

    Nothing that happened was “right”, but I firmly believe that what did happen was the least worst option.

    John,

    Firstly, Kosovo is a well-defined jurisdiction with a long history of autonomy, and its borders were not in dispute. Any repartition of NI would involve drawing a completely new border, which is not covered by the Kosovo precedent. Secondly, you are mistaking support for the principle of self-determination for advocacy of a particular application of it. I, like the vast majority of people, strongly support the principle of consent as set forth in the Agreements. This is regardless of my personal opinion on the issue of sovereignty. Ultimately, the people will decide and I will support their decision even if I disagree with it. There is no contradiction in this position.