“concepts of the renegade groups as something ‘other’ are too simplistic”

The BBC’s Jim Fitzpatrick adds his thoughts on the University of Liverpool survey noted previously.  From Jim Fitzpatrick

We also learn this week that 14% of nationalists have sympathy with the objectives of groups like the Real IRA. Again, this piece of research challenges the conventional wisdom that these people enjoy no support. It is credible work and can’t be dismissed.

But it is a bit of a jump to read the research as suggesting that 14% of nationalists “support” them, as some coverage has implied.

The question asked in the survey was: “Do you have sympathy for the reasons why some republic groups (such as the Real IRA and Continuity IRA) continue to use violence?”

This means respondents are expressing sympathy for the “reasons” and not the groups themselves – a subtle, but important distinction. In other words, it’s much easier to say “yes” to the question as framed than if it had said: “Do you sympathise with the Real IRA?” or “Do you support the Real IRA?”

What the research does tell us is that concepts of the renegade groups as something “other” are too simplistic. These people come from communities living in Northern Ireland and they enjoy a degree of sympathy that extends well into “normal” society.

Indeed.  And, “No one in this small, enclosed biosphere ever told them this project was never going to work in the first place…”

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  • “But it is a bit of a jump to read the research as suggesting that 14% of nationalists “support” them, as some coverage has implied.”

    Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary: “sympathy: the act of showing support for or approval of an idea, a cause, an organization, etc
    The seamen went on strike in sympathy with (= to show their support for) the dockers.”

  • Pete my opinion of the survey is that while well-researched ‘n’ all.

    It didn’t actually ask; “Do U agree with armed actions/resistance”? Had it done so, the results most likely have had a different outcome?

    The reality is that most Irish Nationalists in the North of Ireland have since Partition been forced to live under Unionist and British Misrule….Thus, they have a strong desire to have their Nation reunited without foreign interference.

    In spite of the GFA, a substantial section of Nationalists still view themselves as second-class citizens and feel the only real way to achieve full equality is to remove the border and Stormont etc.

    Regards the armed actions of the RIRA and CIRA, the only way to end violence is for the British Government to state that they will disengage from Ireland and allow the Irish populace as a whole decide their own future!

  • GoldenFleece

    “The reality is that most Irish Nationalists in the North of Ireland have since Partition been forced to live under Unionist and British Misrule….Thus, they have a strong desire to have their Nation reunited without foreign interference.”

    They are sick of misrule and they want to be ruled by the Dail?? lol They should be careful what they wish for.

  • “view themselves as second-class citizens”

    AER, don’t you mean unwilling citizens of the UK?

  • sammymehaffey

    I wish we could have that referendum tomorrow. You would then see that the south dosent want you so we are stuck with you!

  • pippakin

    Sympathising with the aim does not mean supporting violence, nor does it mean that those who gave their allegiance to SF etc will be changing their minds at all.

    I think most people enjoy the peace and the, more or less, open debate. Young people are being given an opportunity to learn and decide. For that we all owe Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, John Hume, David Trimble and even Ian Paisley snr. a great debt.

    Those who think change is not happening quickly enough need to look at our sad and bloody history.

  • lamhdearg

    AR “the only way to end violence is for the British Government to state that they will disengage from Ireland” this sound bite you put out is just that and no more, do you truly believe that the non irish nationalist people of ulster would just hold up there hands and say OK dublin rule it is, Two words civil war, i will not claim the non irish nats would win but “the only way to end violence” catch yourself on.

  • Alanbrooke

    AR must live somewhere in the 1920s.

    The world as moved on as has most of Ireland.

    Nearly one in 4 people in Britain are of Irish extraction, Irish people are regularly in the top echelons of politics, business and media.

    Why do Republicans only ever feel happy whhen they’re shooting their fellow countrymen ?

  • lamhdearg

    This report (even taken with a pinch of salt) gives me great hope 86% of irish nationalists do not support the aims of the dissies (a 32 county republic), i know it is i that am making a bit of a jump but as it helps me sleep at night why not. “conventional wisdom that these people enjoy no support” not course they have support there is no wisdom in saying otherwise.

  • DerTer

    I have serious doubts about the social scientific validity of the question: “Do you have sympathy for the reasons why some republic groups (such as the Real IRA and Continuity IRA) continue to use violence?” The problem is that this can be read in a number of ways. For example, what are ‘the reasons’ for dissident violence?: desire for a united Ireland; hatred of the British/unionists; oppression of Catholics, second-class citizenship, republican/nationalist ideology; continuity with past traditions; SF/IRA sell-out, etc.???

  • lamhdearg

    DerTer you could also add, Having the irish victim gene, Being bad people, Spending your childhood sitting on your uncles knee learning bollix speak sayings that you can then repeat for the rest of your sad life.

  • Michael

    ” 86% of irish nationalists do not support the aims of the dissies”

    Ironic in a post that contains the word simplistic, you confuse the phrase

    ‘had sympathy for the reasons why some republican groups (such as the Real and Continuity IRAs) continue to use violence’

    with the idea that Nationalists, yes, you actually called them Nationalists, not supporting the aim of a united Ireland.
    They wouldn’t really be nationalists then would they?

  • Michael

    I think you’ll find support for a united Ireland in the south has an overwhelming majority, but hey, I’m just going by polls and stuff.

    How do you think the same question would play out across the water? Last time I checked it was about 40% in favour of a united Ireland and 32% opposed.

  • lamhdearg

    michael a 32 county republic is what i wrote not a united ireland. simplistic my post is supposed to read as a little tounge in cheek but “We also learn this week that 14% of nationalists have sympathy with the OBJECTIVES of groups like the Real IRA.14% for means 86% against does it not.

  • Alias

    They covertly supported the provos as means of delivering the internal political reforms that they now celebrate. It follows then that they would covertly support other murder gangs if they believed that they could delivery other advantages for them within the British state. As they don’t believe that then they don’t support them. Simples.

  • Michael

    My apologies.
    I didn’t realise your ‘analysis’ was for your own benefit, I figured it was posted as a springboard for discussion.

  • lamhdearg

    Apology excepted.

  • Billy Ghoti

    All these mentions of a “united” Ireland, yet no one ever says what this “unity” means.

    Is it an economic and politic “united” entity within the EU? Or is it an island of people, “united” in support of, and reliance on, each other and all people living on the island? Fraternity and love of thy neighbour and all that.

    Perhaps if the population of Northern Ireland was “united”, unity of the whole island would follow painlessly and effortlessly?

  • joeCanuck

    It’s a crusade, based on ideological myths. Nation states are an abomination.

  • Anon

    Yes Joesph, lets have world government.

    Anyhoo

    Perhaps if the population of Northern Ireland was “united”, unity of the whole island would follow painlessly and effortlessly?

    Ah, the classic. If all thos enationalistrs would just learn to love Northern Ireland we’d be so happy to join the Republic. Which is so bad it’s barely even lying.

    Some barriers of trust have to be built. But political structures and power centres are real; airy fairy talk about hugging each other is not.

  • joeCanuck

    We already have a de facto world government. Its HQ is in Wall Street with a few branches in other major cities.

  • Greenflag

    Joe Canuck,

    Re Wall St HQ

    Writer David Cornwell .a.k.a John Le Carre and ex British intelligence agent would concur as per these extracts from an interview .

    ‘In The Constant Gardener, in particular, it was quite extraordinary to go to Basel, to get among the young pharmaceutical executives in a private way, promise them that I would never tell—divulge their names, and listen to them pouring out their rage against the work they were doing, at the people who were making them do it. But they were still taking the penny, and they were still doing what they were doing. They were still contributing to the invention of diseases. They were fiddling with compounds, turn them into new patents, when they actually had no greater effect than the previous patent. They were joining the lie that every new compound put on the market cost six or eight hundred million dollars, which is pretty good nonsense when you think that many of the main health life-saving drugs that go on the market have been developed, for instance, in your own federal laboratories and then sold by some strange method to the pharmaceutical company, so they didn’t do the hard work themselves very often.

    So, when we think, supposedly with pride, that many corporations have the budgets, which are larger—have budgets which are larger than the many small nations, I find that most alarming. And, of course, in our country, we’re up against the fact that huge corporations are effective here, control the super markets, whatever they do, and they pay virtually no tax. We’re back to how they launder their money, or, if it’s a more polite way of saying it, how they apply sophisticated taxation arrangements so that they don’t pay tax.

    And again from Le Carre

    The things that are done in the name of the shareholder are, to me, as terrifying as the things that are done—dare I say it—in the name of God. Montesquieu said, “There have never been so many civil wars as in the Kingdom of God.” And I begin to feel that’s true. The shareholder is the excuse for everything. And, to me—I’m not suggesting we make some sudden lurch into socialism, that isn’t the case at all. I think it’s more to do with the exercise of individual conscience.

    Le Carre on the meeja .

    I remain terrified of the capacity of the media, the capacity of spin doctors, here and abroad, particularly the United States media, to perpetuate false lies, perpetuate lies. Mussolini, I think, defined fascism as the moment when you couldn’t put a cigarette paper between political and corporate power. He assumed, when he offered that definition, that media power was already his. But I worry terribly that the absence of serious critical argument is going to produce a new kind of fanaticism, the new simplicities that are as dangerous as the ones which caused us to march against Iraq and as misunderstood.

    The full show if anyone is interested in how close the neo con nutters have driven the world to international corporate fascism is in the link below.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/10/11/exclusive_british_novelist_john_le_carr