“sympathy is not the same as unequivocal support”

Pete has noted coverage of ESRC Northern Ireland 2010 Westminster Election Survey.

The report came with shock and awe coverage:

Newsletter: ALARMING new figures show that 14 per cent of nationalists sympathise with dissident republican terrorists.

UTV: The survey by the University of Liverpool shows that 14% of the nationalist community have some “sympathy for the reasons” why groups like the Real IRA, the Continuity IRA and Óglaigh na hÉireann continue their campaign of violence.

BBC: Fourteen per cent of nationalists sympathise with dissident republicans, new research claims.

As yet, we have no link to full report or raw statistics.

However the survey itself shows the question asked was:

And thinking about why some Republican groups (such as the Real IRA and Continuity IRA and often called „dissident republicans‟) continue to use violence, would you say that you have any sympathy with the reasons for the violence – even if you don‟t condone the violence itself?

Within the 14% of nationalists having sympathy for the reasons behind violence (understanding it) you have an unquantified number of people that don’t condone the violence.

14% of nationalist don’t sympathise with republican dissident violence – despite the media spin.

They may sympathise with the beliefs that result in it though. Very different things.

ADDS: Further from the Newsletter:

12.9 per cent of nationalists claimed to ‘strongly like’ or ‘like’ Republican Sinn Fein

7.5 per cent of nationalists strongly liked or liked 32 County Sovereignty Movement

On face value for anyone with any experience of nationalist/republican communities that is just ridiculous. It may indicate a level of discontent it certainly isn’t a barmometer of support.

RSF on nearly 8% overall – are they having a laugh?

, , , ,

  • Séamus Rua

    I do not support RSF in any way but I have sympathy with their anti-Free State views.

    I am disloyal to the state but do not support any armed action againist it.

    The research is a gross simplification and is open to media abuse – what it was designed to do.

  • barnshee

    The leopards do not change their spots

  • alan56

    This survey has been hyped beyond all sense. ‘Some sympathy for the reasons’ is not the same as some sympathy for the actions. Mischief making me thinks.

  • Mark McGregor

    Seamus,

    I sympathise with some views of many dissenting groups. I stop sympathising when it comes to the use of violence.

    I’d have answered the question in the affirmative.

    I don’t agree this ‘is open to media abuse’ – it has been abused by the media.

  • White Horse

    Very true, Mark.

  • John East Belfast

    I am sure a poll of young muslims after the London bus/tube bombings yielded higher % ?

    I am sure you could find equally high figures of racism, homophobia and other forms of hatred and intolerance.

    Every society has its barbarians at the gate and it is only the rule of law and the scarifices of those who defend it – along with the general decency of most people – that stops them gaining an upper hand.

  • pippakin

    Yes it has been abused by the media but is anyone surprised? the north without the conflict is just like anywhere else in Ireland, really not that special,

  • JAH

    So 86% were opposed to the loons, but of course we concentrate on a minority group of idiots. Otherwise the poll was a complete and utter waste of time. Which it was.

    Let’s put this in perspective: most nationalists don’t support the dissidents.But that’s not headline grabbing is it. Nor alarming.

  • White Horse

    It doesn’t sell newspapers.

  • another

    ‘They’re Celtic supporters with guns,’ says a senior republican. ‘They don’t know any rebel songs, only Celtic songs’

    Sorry, what was their cause again ….?

  • joeCanuck

    Agree totally. 86% should be the figure that we concentrate on.
    And as Mark points out, the number who would support violence amongst the 14% is not quantified.
    People should not get their knickers in a twist although J.Allister will be putting out an alarmist post very soon.

  • joeCanuck

    The reported question, if true, was obviously designed to be mischievous. They could have asked two separate questions.

  • Mark McGregor

    Added above:

    “12.9 per cent of nationalists claimed to ‘strongly like’ or ‘like’ Republican Sinn Fein

    7.5 per cent of nationalists strongly liked or liked 32 County Sovereignty Movement”

    On face value for anyone with any experience of nationalist/republican communities that is just ridiculous. It may indicate a level of discontent it certainly isn’t a barmometer of support.

    RSF on nearly 8% overall – are they having a laugh?

  • jim

    there must be a fair bit of support.whos holding the gear.safe houses gathering info ect.

  • Pigeon Toes

    It is the fundamental difference between understanding a motive and supporting.
    Entirely different Mark.
    I understand, but didn’t and never could support any of it…

  • Dixie Elliott

    Well we all see what Marty achieved through the use of violence, a fry at the Tory Party conference.

  • There are a couple of glaring problems that I can see with the survey methodology.

    For a start it is too long. The 30 minutes estimate at the start (for 95 questions) is insane. No-one would be expected to properly read 95, often multi-part, questions in that time or anything close (e.g. university students would be normally given one minute per multiple choice question in an exam). This suggests a high speed survey where respondents have not time to consider their answers (their concentration spans would also lapse considerably during such a long survey).

    I agree with the issue that the wording is incredibly leading as well, but given that they state that there will be:
    “Clustering of addresses will be used to eliminate excessive travel expenses and to provide discrete sampling points for each geographic area.”
    In the North that is going to create spikes depending on where you cluster those addresses. Nice to see the media is full of journos who know how to interrogate what’s thrown in front of them.

  • Alias

    “…would you say that you have any sympathy with the reasons for the violence – even if you don‟t condone the violence itself?”

    As “the reasons for the violence” aren’t explained in the question it is impossible to draw any meaning inference from the answers, i.e. it requires supposition about what they are actually expressing sympathy for.

    But the question is also flawed in that it is loaded to suggest that expressing sympathy for an action is the equivalent of condoning the action as it is qualified it to clarify that the former shouldn’t imply the latter when it only implies the latter because it has been duly qualified. This, I guess, was an attempt to get around the mene that was engineered by associating it loony-left Labour and maverick US political hacks that used code like “I can sympathize/understand the violence, but I don’t support it” when we all knew where they really stood.

    As for mind-reading, I’d see it as separating a political cause and the violent means used to advance it. If 84% reject the violent means and the cause then that is a fabulous achievement for British state propaganda. The paddies in NI now reject their own right to self-determination, and not just a particular means of achieving it.

  • McCarthy óg

    Violence isn’t going to create a united Ireland, but you can understand why nationalists might not be happy with the current system, (which techinally makes them a dissident).

  • Mark McGregor

    Dixie,

    I was kinda hpoing he’d do a human bomb as penance. On the beach of course, wouldn’t want to see honest wankers get hurt.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I have absolutely no hesitation in lying when faced with any opinion poll, survey or canvasser.
    Ive always assumed that theres a lot of people like me……liars.
    A pollster has no right to the Truth…..and I wont do my Jack Nicholson impression. But who exactly are “they”? University of Liverpool…..Tonge…external marker for QUB on a regular basis. Is there any pressing reason why I or anyone else should help HIS research?
    Am I supposed to care about his survey?
    Well….funny enough..I dont.

    I think my expressed opinions here on “dissidents” are well known. Useless no marks. Dangerous useless no marks.
    But Id happily express my “sympathy” for them in any survey…just to screw up the stats.
    But MMG is right…symparthy and support for violence are not the same thing……but if it makes unionists already prone to be paranoid….even more paranoid, then many republicans who dont actually support violence would certainly have no hesitation in talking up “support” in a survey.
    As Ive mentioned before its not the responsibility of nationalists and republicans to provide tea and sympathy to unionists. And vice versa.
    I do think that not enough nationalists understand the differences within dissident groups. Even I get confused by labels like RIRA and CIRA……and have to think it thru each time.
    And frankly words like “32 County Sovreignty Movement” are emotive enough to get a sympathetic response in Nationalist circles without identifying it with dissidents.

    On reflection this is the greatest problem that dissidents face. They cant break out into the nationalist/republican mainstream. Legends in their own lunchtimes, household names in their own households…….but nobody actually cares enough about them.

  • Alias

    A united Ireland has nothing to do with republicanism. Republicanism is about national self-determination and a sovereign nation-state. A united Ireland only entered the lexicon some 90 or so years ago. By paritioning the island the British state was able to place the focus on a united Ireland and take it off the actual meaning of republicanism.

    Now that folks in NI have formally renounced their former right to self-determination as members of the Irish nation, a united Ireland has the new purpose of removing that right from the Irish nation in Ireland by subjecting it to the same veto of a foreign nation and its state as has now been legitimised in NI. Self-determination means as it is stated in Article 1 of Bunreacht na hÉireann: “The Irish nation hereby affirms its inalienable, indefeasible, and sovereign right to choose its own form of Government, to determine its relations with other nations, and to develop its life, political, economic and cultural, in accordance with its own genius and traditions.”

    It doesn’t mention anything about a foreign nation having a veto over the right of the Irish nation to determine its own affairs. If your affairs are determined bya foreign nation or otherwise subject to its veto then it isn’t Self-determination. That is why a united Ireland agenda as promoted by the puppet catholic parties of the British state in NI is now an anti-nationalist agenda.

  • Dr Concitor

    The Guardian put Liverpool University politics department research expertise at 47 out of 60 in a recent league table. Very much second rate.

  • redhugh78

    Posted this in Pete’s blog before seeing this, apols.

    Since when does ‘sympathy for the reasons..’ translate in to actual support? That could be inerpreted as having sympathy for a united Ireland after all.

    The best test of support is from the actual voting polls, the most recent of which the ‘dissenters’ of any hew failed to contest, Why?
    Because they knew they would get rejected again as they did previously in 07.
    RSF’s best result was in W.Belfast, what did they get?
    Oh that’s right a massive1.5% if I recall correctly.
    Gerry Mc Geough in Fermanagh South Tyrone? A Whopping 1.8%.
    Are we seriously expected to believe that their support has rocketed? get a grip folks.

  • old school

    This poll took place immediately after the General election.
    I’d suggest, having met some, that there are a number of Sinn Fein voters who give tacit support for armed groups like the RIRA, but vote PSF for family or personal reasons.
    This was similar to rural Fianna Fail voters supporting armed actions against Crown Forces during the last bout.
    Remember it was rural FFers like Blaney, Boland etc which gave the Provos a scotchy.
    Also, I’d suggest that a lot of people who refused to answer may also be tacit supporters. People don’t tend to show their support for “illegal groups” to stangers in the street.

  • redhugh78

    Old School,

    ‘People don’t tend to show their support for “illegal groups” to stangers in the street.’

    Possible, but surely they would be more likely to show it in the privacy of a voting booth where I would refer you to my previous post.

  • joeCanuck

    Alias,
    I was with you until the last sentence and a half.

  • joeCanuck

    Yes, FJH, me too. I always lie to pollsters. Nothing else makes sense.

  • Damian O’Loan

    All of the criticism directed at the media should equally apply to the other blog on this survey here on Slugger.

    Yes, it was incredibly long. Yes, the questions were leading and the manipulation quite predictable. Yes, the presentation of the results is mediocre at best. But the team at Liverpool uni did much better work than any of the journalists you mention or Pete Baker below.

    There is an interesting article or two in this survey, but nothing that could be rushed out in a few hours. Interesting reading for some parties/organisations though.

  • old school

    I don’t. I’m haven’t registered for years.

  • old school

    I don’t. I’m haven’t registered for years.

  • Granni Trixie

    As a key factor in sustaining the IRA for such a long time was that they had the support or were at least tolerated by their own communities, in theory this was a good research idea. But I agree about the weaknesses outlined above.

  • Granni Trixie

    A further thought. Just rememberd that in “The Politics of the Legitimacy” Frank Burton showed in a participant observer study of “ANRO” (Ardoyne) that support for paramilitaries was fluid – it came and went according to changing contexts/circs. Surely this has bearing on Tonges research?

    (As it happens, I happen to know that this is a favourite book of Micks as well as mine).

  • Munsterview

    JoeC

    Any publicly funded research project do not produce results with the results of the research per se just blandly presented.

    I do not accuse the research conductors of ‘sexing up’ the results but unless they can create waves and capture media headlines, they are not advertising their presence, proving the significance of their work and providing value for funding used.

    The figures of course must stand up but if some off these figures can be presented in a credible way within the terms of reference and still allow leeway for a good public argument., then that is how they will be done.

  • Munsterview

    May I remind you that 87% of the Irish Electorate in 1918 were totally opposed to ‘the loons’ but the loons won because as you put it so well…… we concentrate on a minority group of idiots.

    JAH…….. when people like me try to reason with these dissidents they point out that what you have described as ‘a minority group of idiots’ was able to ignore the wishes of the majority 87% in the 1918 election and were indulged in their peevishness every day since!

    As you no doubt totally believe in the correctness of the minority ‘loons’ holding the majority to ransom in 1918, and you also probably have a fine appreciation of the minority rights to ignore the overwhelming mass of the people on this Island, all 87% in fact, please point out to me why the first ‘loons ‘ were so right and why these current ‘loons’ are so wrong.

    I will use your arguments to attempt to reason with the dissidents to try and have them see where the two situations are not compatible.

    I eagerly await your cogent and no doubt, pertinent reply!

  • Munsterview

    Silence man……… keep your speculations to your self…….. do you want to frighten the unionist horses !

  • Munsterview

    Granni,

    “…….that support for paramilitaries was fluid – it came and went according to changing contexts/circs…..”

    Yes, you are correct in your contention : there is hard core support that seldom wavers; in fact any out of the ordinary security pressure on this group is likely to consolidate their cohesion.

    The second fluid circle around this are usually those broadly sympathetic to the aims of the core group but have reservations about the organizations practices. However it is important to appreciate that even this surrounding band is also rigidly defined especially in a small place like the Six Counties.

    The line between tolerance and acceptance of the core group activity is often only apparent internally in these groups. They may be fluid but most movement is between the acceptance perimeter and the tolerance perimeter, few will move outside the tolerance perimeter to actually question or condemn.

    Then again Granni, that applies to all parties: I had a few exchanges here with a certain poster and I certainly would not have associated the attitude portrayed through the views with the Alliance. However since no one claiming to speak for Alliance contradicted or contested the posted attitudes, I now accept that this is the sorry base line for the party. ( not complaining incidently, merely observing, actually pleased to see the veil lifted a little ! )

    If a supposedly enlightened, open party like the Alliance can tolerate such views, how do you expect a semi clandestine grouping even in the second band to develop a critical faculty towards an organization that they have closer emotive connections and identification with?

    Rather than describe the support as fluid, see it as the acceptance / tolerance bands overlapping. A bad mistake that brings all the wrong headlined will contract the acceptance circle to its core while a good operation will enlarge the core acceptance perimeter into the toleration band. Few however will make a clean break because very often there is a shared group dependancy and socialization process involving families and communities at work.

    These groupings evolved over long periods in complex circumstances and as I continually point out an abusive or dismissive term, however emotively satisfying it may be for the poster to use, just throws more heat than light in the examination.

  • Granni Trixie

    MV: You base attitudes in Alliance which you do not like on some spat with someone on this site. However, you prove the point that the reality of APNI is different to the stereotypical image of whatever “Alliance types” means (a term you have yourself used I believe).

    I myself always emphasise the complex diversity in Allinace and that policies are the result of much contesting before consensus is reached. I see this as a strength. You don’t have to be a saint to be in Alliance, you just need to be honest and do your best to work out differences.

  • Anon

    And a unionist. Don’t forget that one.

  • Anon

    Colour me sceptical. Various atrocities could impact reported support, but who were the IRA men? Family and neighbours. You might think Eniskillen was deeply wrong and the IRA needs to stop, but will you shop your brother because of it?

  • sdelaneys

    “although J.Allister will be putting out an alarmist post very soon.”
    I had began to forget about him, he seems to have sank slowly into quiet mode.

  • Greenflag

    14% ‘sympathy’of the nationalist population translates as 6% of the total Ni population .Sympathy does not mean active support or being prepared to kill innocent civilians or bomb property . That 6% when reduced to ‘willing to die ‘ for nothing hard core is probably less than one tenth of one tenth of 1% or less than 100 individuals even if that .

    Can such a tiny group create ‘havoc’ and misery . Certainly . For a short time . Then the calls for the reintroduction of internment camps will begin and will be will be heard and the opposition to same will be as muted as it was in the Republic up to the GFA and the prisoner release.

    Despite Munsterview’s calls to heed the past -it’s not 1918 nor is it 1920 nor 1969 nor 1981 . The people of ALL Ireland have spoken . The dissidents do not speak for the people .They have not been elected to represent anybody . The more they ‘bomb’ or ‘kill’ the more likely they are to lose any sympathy they might presently have .

    Slugger’s blogger’s would do better to start posts on how the world did not stand up and take notice when Israel deported Nobel Peace Prize winner Betty Williams . Now had she been deported from the USA or the UK or Germany I’m sure we’d have had a blog or two on slugger .

    Are slugger’s blogger’s terrified of being accused of being anti Smithwicks ?

  • Granni Trixie

    Greenflag:A factor which makes the context different today than in the past is that for much of the troubles the misery of victims ans survivors was not vocalised. Surprisingly gov policy for them was only formulated since the mid 90s.
    Recognition has brought it home to the public the reality of the legacy of the troubles in human terms. You would like to think that this would act as a break on a new wave of potential victim makers.

    I admire MMcG for taking her Nobel duty seriously, such a contrast to say the Trimbles of this world. However I know that that I do not understand the issues but Im sure that will not deter others from commenting or trying to analyse her actions here and elsewhere.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    ah but the respondents were probably telling lies. 🙂

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Twas the other Peace Woman Mairead née Corrigan.
    But the Mid East is actually a good parallel. Take a survey on the streets of London (not Golders Green) and ask “do you have sympathy with Palestinian violence” and I suspect many (not just the usual suspects of the Left or anti semite brigade) would say that they have.
    Didnt Cherie Blair kinda get into bother for understanding why Palestinians did this kinda thing.
    I dont think anyone seriously thinks she “supports” violence.

  • Munsterview

    The short answer to that is no !

    While in the main I still support the peace process, I am also aware of what MI5 dirty tricks have done to undermine Sinn Fein credibility, expansion and to try and have various public SF representatives portrayed as powerless and incompetent such as in failing to prevent targeting of vulnerable catholic/nationalist families in deliberately created flashpoint estates.

    While I also accept that the British Prime Minister of the day is ten or a dozen removes away in executive administrative authority from the families under siege, never the less within days of taking office the PM had the real situation in Ireland spelled out to him, and as the Low Intensity War is continuing with among other things, catholic / nationalist families targeted and harassed, then the inescapable conclusion can only be that the new PM has also bought into the concept.

    Sinn fein and their supporters have chosen to oppose this Low Intensity War by political means.

    The various dissident groups hold that since this Low Intensity War has the full backing and support of the British State, supported by their Armed MI5 agents openly using force as in the organized harassment of targeted families under siege from its loyalist proxies, then republican groups too have not alone the moral right but also the imperative to oppose that situation with with armed force.

    All of these groups operate from a simple coherent fundamental proposition that is sometimes overlooked, the primary objective is to end British occupation over the two counties that rejected this occupation in a free democratic election of 1918 and over the remaining four also, A United Ireland goal is secondary to that fact.

    In an ideal situation Armed Republican Groups would have the military capacity to achieve this by Armed Force.

    They do not have that capacity so failing that their secondary goal is, as was that of the resistance in Nazi occupied Europe during WW2, to use what resources they have selectively so that British presence is routinely challenged and a return to a stable society where this presence is presented to the people of these Islands, Europe and the world as an acceptable norm, is prevented.

    As there is not a level playing field with regard to the force capacities, then the weaker side will use a methodology, strategy and tactics that will give them a leverage disproportionate to their size in regard to applied force. This in practice means asymmetrical warfare and the tactical use of regular bombing.

    Until the British PM of the day calls a halt to the current Low Intensity War and puts his dogs back into their big new kennels, then while I advocate peaceful means only as a solution to the political problems arising from the temporary continued existence of Six County Statlet interim to a unified country, while personally working within the given parameters, I will not condemn the right of any Militant Republican group to pursue their goals by armed action.

    I do however have the right to oppose tactics and strategy of such groups in circumstances where their activities and methods create an unacceptable risk to the republican and nationalist communes they claim to act for.

  • joeCanuck

    The other thread says that there were 95 questions in the survey. It’s amazing that they didn’t ask the blindingly obvious:
    Do you support the use of violence in N.I. to achieve political aims?

  • Munsterview

    Good One! Who says Northernrs cannot understand basic politics?

  • Granni Trixie

    Anon: Again I make the point – Alliance suits many who do not identify with what passes as “unionism” As Naomi Long said when she was elected MP “I did not ask people to vote for me as a unionist ….”. When I fill in forms I write “Irish-British” or British-Irish”.

    So resistence to easy labels is alive and well in APNI.
    And whilst I can see why APNI is labelled ‘unionist’ that just does not represent the reality.

  • Granni Trixie

    To clarify – I was referring to myself as regards filling in forms.

  • Munsterview

    Granni

    “……You base attitudes in Alliance which you do not like….”

    That contention could be a bit ambigious, in as much as it applies to Alliance as a party per se, your claim is incorrect. Alliance have many admirable and progressive people and politics.

    In as much as it applies to attidutes, yes I do not like some of what I see, and while ‘ one swallow do not a summer make’ (if this is an appropiate metaphor ) when that particular swallow regularly swoops in, has a scuttery dump and flies off twittering alliance, alliance, then annoyance and Alliance seem to have a natural association !

    I was actually taken aback to begin with that an Alliance member could carry on like a DUP street sloganiser, but then again as my Northern colleauges keep pointing out, like republicans down here all unionists up there basically come from the same gene pool!

    In my PR days I had on a number of occasions to either pull or have people pulled into line who detracted from the public image of Sinn Fein. These people were entitled to any views they wanted in a personal capacity, but if these views were expressed in a public forum by a person pubically associated with Sinn Fein then it became a party problem for image, presentation and public perception.

    I was taken aback at the attidute to begin with but that aside I was more than surprised that the party PR people could be so unmedia saavy to let something like that go as a base line for party attidute.

    You say that ‘you do not have to be a saint to be in Alliance’……. that brings to mind John Brutons remark as Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael when told that some of his Councillors were taking bribes from builders on planning issues, he said that ‘ Fine Gael was not a party of altar boys’ !

    There are Sinn Fein types, just as there are UUP and DUP and yes Alliance types also.

    As for your good self, do not worry, my perception is still positive. I would not under any circumstances expect you for example, to know anything about the ‘goat incidents’ that ‘Big Magie’ apparently became aware of only when she married in to other Unionist circles.

  • Munsterview

    Granni

    “……You base attitudes in Alliance which you do not like….”

    That contention could be a bit ambiguous, in as much as it applies to Alliance as a party per se, your claim is incorrect.

    Alliance have many admirable and progressive people and politics. I am opposed to the party politically, I will not be applying for membership anytime soon no more than you will Sinn Fein, but neither do I activly dislike Alliance or its general membership.

    In as much as it applies to attitudes, yes I do not like some of what I see, and while ‘ one swallow do not a summer make’ (if this is an appropriate metaphor ) when that particular swallow regularly swoops in, has a scuttery dump and flies off twittering alliance, alliance, then ‘annoyance’ and Alliance seem to have a natural association !

    I was actually taken aback to begin with, that an Alliance member could carry on like a DUP street sloganeer, but then again as my Northern colleagues keep pointing out, like republicans down here all unionists up there basically come from the same gene pool!

    In my PR days I had on a number of occasions to either pull or have people pulled into line who detracted from the public image of Sinn Fein. These people were entitled to any views they wanted in a personal capacity, but if these views were expressed in a public forum by a person publicly associated with Sinn Fein then it became a party problem for image, presentation and public perception.

    I was taken aback at the attitude to begin with, I have adjusted to this, but that aside I was more than surprised that the party PR people could be so unmedia savvy to let something like that go as a base line for party attitude.

    You say that…… ‘you do not have to be a saint to be in Alliance’……. that brings to mind John Brutons remark as Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael when told that some of his Councillors were taking bribes from builders on planning issues, he said that ‘ Fine Gael was not a party of altar boys’ !

    There are Sinn Fein types, just as there are UUP and DUP and yes Alliance types also.

    As for your good self, do not worry, my perception is still positive. I would not under any circumstances expect you for example, to know anything about the ‘goat incidents’ that ‘Big Maggie ‘ apparently became aware of only when she married in to other Unionist circles.

  • Munsterview

    Granni,

    “…..“Irish-British” or British-Irish”……”

    Hostage to fortune given here I am afraid !

    Which do you put first when you fill out these forms ‘ Irish’ or ‘British”

  • Granni Trixie

    Its arbitory as national identity matters little to me and other aspects of identity much more. Because of the situation ‘here’ cultural and religious signifiers of identity have been exaggerted in my view and there is a lack of words to label those who do not fit neatly into the 2 blocks.

    (but surely we’ve been over this many times before?)

  • joeCanuck

    Northern Irish would make more sense since it is the UK of GB and N.I.
    When people meet me for the first time and ask if I’m Scottish (Derry accent) I say, no, Irish. The next question invariable is “North or South?”

  • Munsterview

    Ah come on, no Robinson waffel here…… Irish or British first ?

  • joeCanuck

    I remember Captain Terence O’Neill being interviewed, by Richard Dimbelby I think, a year or so after he fell from power. He was asked if he was Irish or British and he said that he didn’t know.

  • slug

    Interesting that this survey puts support for a UI at about 18%, similar to the level in the Life and Times survey despite presumably using independent survey design sampling methods

  • slug

    I generally state that I am Northern Irish when people in EU/UK ask (as these groups know about NI), but further afield I simply say I am British.

  • joeCanuck

    Slug,
    You might be surprised but many people over here, Canadians and Americans, are well aware of the differences. That’s why they always ask “North or South?”

  • JJ malloy

    “I do however have the right to oppose tactics and strategy of such groups in circumstances where their activities and methods create an unacceptable risk to the republican and nationalist communes they claim to act for.”

    That’s good to know. What about when it’s completely hopeless, futile, and self-defeating?

  • JJ malloy

    That’s why they always ask “North or South?”

    That’s not my experience when I’m in the US, particularly these days. Northern Ireland is never in the news anymore so the average guy you meet has probably forgotten about it.

  • Greenflag

    So did former US President JImmy Carter for suggesting that Israeli treatment of Plaestinians was on a par with that of the South African Apartheid regime in it’s heyday .

    Any criticism of Israel ipso facto is tantamount to being accused of anti semitism 🙁 Even some Israeli jews find themselves being accused of being anti semitic . The NI equivalent is ‘Lundy’ 🙁

    One brush of black paint covers all the spots .

  • Greenflag

    Joe canuck ,

    Any half decent survey statistician can frame questions in such a way as to come up with the desired result for the agenda of those who are paying for the ‘marketing ‘ survey ‘

    Which do you believe in ?

    a) Motherhood
    b) Apple Pie
    c ) Both

  • Greenflag

    ‘You would like to think that this would act as a break on a new wave of potential victim makers.’

    Well you would but never underestimate the capacity of humanity regardless of nation , creed or class to put in the boot big time when they believe or are persuaded to believe that they are victims of whatever . Even in genuine cases the persuasion can be become so convincing that it not only assists in dehumanising the ‘enemy’ but justifies treating the enemy in a humiliating manner when the opportunity presents itself .

    In Vienna shortly after Hitler’s Anschluss the wealthy Jewish minority formerly the patrons of arts and sciences etc etc found themselves execrated almost overnight . Wealthy Jewish women were forced to wear their ‘fur coats ‘ and made to go down on all fours to scrub the streets while the brown shirts ‘whipped ‘ them along to the merriment of passerbys on their way back from Mass 🙁

    While I do not believe the current ‘dissidents’ present much of a danger to the people of NI -I don’t and would’nt take the current ‘armistice ‘ for granted either . Both the main parties and indeed all the parties have a lot of work to do to ensure that demonisation of the other side is a threat to all sides .

    Which is one reason why I found the election of Elliot as UUP leader a disappointment .

  • Rory Carr

    She does however remain married and presumably loyal to a guy who has a huge responsibility for the indiscriminate bombing of countless defenceless civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan and, of course, in Serbia and Kossovo. With such people it is not the violence that bothers them so much as finding ways to legitimise it.

  • Greenflag

    JC,

    ‘ That’s why they always ask “North or South?”’

    To which the best answer is always the East /best part / or West . Donegal folk can cause mighty confusion by stating that they are in the extreme North West of the Island and the furthest North while simultaneously they are also in the South having become expert practitioners of particle behaviour in the quantum universe 😉

    And if that doesn’t satisfy curiousity always tell people you are from Belgium or Luxembourg or Liechtenstein . IT usually works on international flights when you want to get a snooze and the person sitting besdie you is on his way to Ireland to discover his/her family roots ;(?

  • Greenflag

    ‘and he said that he didn’t know.’

    Not the brightest political spark was th’oul Captain was he ? Guards officer -all spit and polish -the captains and the kings etc .

  • pippakin

    Greenflag

    I thought it sounded sad and lost. Centuries being told Irish and British and suddenly it’s gone, like the last emperor. Nowhere is home.

  • joeCanuck

    Interesting that you say that, Greenflag. I usually reply NorthWest.

  • Granni Trixie

    If it matters to some of you, I’ll toss a coin. As for the bauld Terence, Ive long tthought he is underestimated in the history books.

  • Choop

    When I read the newsletter article this was the first thing that came to mind – that sympathy is not the same as support. Hell, I probably “sympathize” with the dissidents, meaning that I sorta understand why they do what they do. I still think they’re absolute nobs who are blowing up my province for their own selfish means.

  • joeCanuck

    JJ Malloy,
    Perhaps I mix with an older set than you, your set perhaps being too busy making money. Or perhaps mine have better memories.
    Americans are generally woefully ignorant of things outside their country. Many can’t name their two bordering countries and some think that Afghanistan is one of the two. But they do have many Irish descendants and they are fairly aware of the situation over there.

  • joeCanuck

    Doesn’t matter in the least to me, Granni. People can call themselves whatever they want and I fully understand why some call themselves British.
    As for O’Neill, he was just too decent for his times. The neanderthals in his party couldn’t wait to use the knives.

  • Munsterview

    JJ

    “……What about when it’s completely hopeless, futile, and self-defeating?…….”

    I already dealt with these aspects…..

    “……In an ideal situation Armed Republican Groups would have the military capacity to achieve this by Armed Force.

    They do not have that capacity so failing that their secondary goal is, as was that of the resistance in Nazi occupied Europe during WW2, to use what resources they have selectively so that British presence is routinely challenged and a return to a stable society where this presence is presented to the people of these Islands, Europe and the world as an acceptable norm, is prevented……….. ”

    As to your question.. What about when it’s completely hopeless, futile, and self-defeating?”

    Seen in military / political terms of their secondary objectives, most impartial observers would agree that the IRA groups still committed to armed force and waging asymmetrical warfare are having an impact.

    The very fact that a number of primary parties to the political situation want to enter into negotiations with them about their campaign proves their significance !

  • joeCanuck

    Agree. Who paid for the survey, I wonder. Alias or Munsterview might say MI5. Do we really know?

  • Hedley Lamarr

    The Alliance Party until recently had a policy of being pro-union full stop but now their policy which is rarely articulated is that they are pro-union unless the people of Northern Ireland decide otherwise.

    This doesn’t prevent party representatives saying things like they think a United Ireland makes sense and is bound to happen. (Anna Lo) – [I think on Hearts and Minds.]

    Perhaps this non-authoritarian control of personal views on the Union is the way to go for local politics?

  • Munsterview

    Soo…. they are all things to all men ( and women ). Now all is clear as to how FF took their eye off the ball in the South….. they have been infiltrating Alliance !

  • Granni Trixie

    Hedley: As an member of APNI since 1972, I can honestly say that ‘the border issue’ does not grab much attention from members. I wasnt even aware of the upps and downs of the ‘policy’ which you describe.

    Occasionally someone researching the party or ‘the middle ground’ includes a question (or so) to try to work out what members think about the border….which can make us us raise our eyebrows because we recognise that though researchers assume that ‘the border issue’ is v. significant for understanding supporters of the APNI,it is not to most of us.