Chuckle Brothers reunite to warn local unionists over Scottish intervention

The once dynamic duo of Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness appear to have briefly shared the same script through their complimentary calls for local politicians to butt out of the Scottish Independence debate. In his Newsletter column last week, Ian Paisley said  the Scots “probably would greatly appreciate it if we left them alone to make their own decision.”

Speaking at Stormont today, McGuinness said:

“This is an issue which could be used to create divisions in this house or even in our Executive or even between the First Minister and myself.

“I think all of us should resist the temptation to be drawn into something that will be decided elsewhere.

“We have our own duties and responsibilities, we have our own agreements stretching back to 1998, the St. Andrews Agreement, the Hillsborough Agreements and I think we abide by the agreements we have made and get on with our duties and responsibilites.

“What happens elsewhere has to be a matter primarily for the people concerned and my attitude to it is we would be best advised to stay clear of it.

Not for the first time, the message from the founder and former leader of the DUP has directly contradicted the advice of his successor (remember Icarus), who recently declared that local unionists must not sit “idly by” and watch Scotland chart a path to independence.

Robinson’s call came after former UUP senior figure, Lord Kilclooney (John Taylor), suggested that the Scots should consider repartition in the event of the democratic vote going against unionists (now where have we heard that before…)whilst the current UUP Leader, Tom Elliott, confirmed his successful completion of his course in megaphone diplomacy by provoking a cross-border row following his attempts to warn the Scots about the perils of independence. Whack fol the diddle eh, Tom?

Meanwhile, here’s Alan Bissett’s wonderful take on the case for Scottish Independence.

  • andnowwhat

    Every time I see Elliot debate the issue, he seems to be in a blind panic.

  • pacman

    “Every time I see Elliot debate any issue, he seems to be in a blind panic.”

    Corrected that for you.

  • Mick Fealty

    “I think all of us should resist the temptation to be drawn into something that will be decided elsewhere.”

    Didn’t stop Martin running for Prez? The problem is not that unionists from NI should not get involved. It’s that they should go to the party with something decent to offer.

  • JoeBryce

    This is a properly respectful, neighbourly stance, and it is heartening to see the 2 traditions speak with a single voice. I think devo max is going to happen and that the more autonomous Scotland will want a close sisterly relationship with Belfast and Dublin. Why not a constitutional convention across the Isles? Perhaps, in such circumstances, the northern entity will find it has one single interest, not a communally polarised one. Back to the 1880’s perhaps, with a chance of getting it right this time.

  • ‘Scots should consider repartition in the event of the democratic vote going against unionists’
    Kilclooney has stripped away all pretence of unionists as democrats with this statement and has exposed the Unionists in their true colours. I can’t believe he was so open about it. Well the cat is out of the bag now.

  • I can see from here the double standard of NI unionists in the campaign. While claiming that Scotland shouldn’t have sole right to secede because the rest of the UK is affected, they would, in a referendum on NI that the English shouldn’t have a vote since they know how that would go.

  • ayeYerMa

    Madraij, I don’t see any Unionist from Ulster calling for a vote in Scotland. A straight in or out question will be decided in Scotland alone (and there is nothing wrong with providing points of argument from here to aid that decision), but if there is any of this “devo max” fudging then it is totally our business as this affects the consitution of the UK as balance and fairness is required as a whole for stability.

    PS: when the question concerned is specifically on changing the democratic sovereignty, then there is nothing “undemocratic” about adjusting a boundary.

  • cynic2

    Why would SF not offer fraternal support to the Nats?

    It couldn’t be that it might contrast a political process that might deliver independence with 35 years of murder that ended in failure and the acceptance of much less. Best not to let the voters dwell on that, eh Marty

  • TC Luby

    Geraldine McNamara PRO of Republican Sinn Fein said Martin McGuinness has shown his true colours today when he said” Northern Irish politicians should avoid getting involved in the debate over independence for Scotland and that the debate should not be allowed to cause division in the region”

    Why is Martin afraid to debate Scottish independence, Geraldine asks? Is it because it will show up very clearly how his own party have given up the cause of Irish independence and sold out the ideals of those who fought for Irish freedom.

    Geraldine said that while the Scottish people are looking at ways of breaking the connection with England, Martin McGuinness and the Provisional party have, since 1986 gone down the road of copper fastening England’s hold on the occupied six counties.

    They now uphold British rule in Ireland and are crown ministers in Stormont, and encourage Irish people to join the PSNI/RUC. He is willing to meet his Queen Elizabeth 2nd and do whatever it takes to oppress Republicans who oppose British rule in Ireland and will not sell out Ireland’s cause like he did.

    Speaking about the Scottish independence debate Martin said “This is an issue which could be used to create divisions in this house (Stormont) or even in our Executive or even between the First Minister and myself.

    “What happens elsewhere has to be a matter primarily for the people concerned and my attitude to it is we would be best advised to stay clear of it,” he said.

    Geraldine said, many people with Scottish connections fought for Ireland’s freedom not least James Connolly who gave his life in 1916. Now as we fast approach the centenary of his death, Ireland still remains under the British yoke.

    Martin McGuinness shows clearly that his loyalty is to the British government and not those who seek Irish or Scottish independence.

  • JR

    Mick,

    “Didn’t stop Martin running for Prez?”

    For all your political insight you have a fundimental misunderstanding of the Irish nationalist.

  • dwatch

    “Why would SF not offer fraternal support to the Nats?”

    Good question cynic2,
    would it not be because Scottish Nats have nothing in common with Irish Nats/Reps. Unlike SF who hate the Monarchy and HM Armed Forces: the SNP still want the Monarch of England to also be Monarch of Scotland and still want to have branches of HM Armed Forces to continue to be based in Scotland.

  • grandimarkey

    ayeYerMa

    but if there is any of this “devo max” fudging then it is totally our business as this affects the consitution of the UK as balance and fairness is required as a whole for stability.

    But the Union isn’t fair. Northern Ireland is a drain on the Union, receiving heavy subsidies and contributing little.
    Scotland is a NET contributor to the Union and as such would like a larger slice of the pie. Seems perfectly reasonable.

  • andnowwhat

    Grandmalarkey

    Now, there is an issue,how safe would NI’s position in the Cameron vision of the United Kingdom of London, Kent and Sussex should he get a seconx term?

    I don’t think that bucket load of fracked gas in Arlene’s backyard ia enough to keep NI in Dave’s vision of a self sustaning nation.

  • Reader

    Cynic2: Why would SF not offer fraternal support to the Nats?
    Well, you can see the logic that’s taking shape here. Separatists think that unionists shouldn’t interfere in another part of the same country. Whereas separatists think that separatists should pile in to help a separatist movement in a foreign country.
    Even so, it’s probably wise for SF not to get too chummy with the SNP.

  • Neil

    All depends on how you view the terms ‘same country’ and ‘foreign country’ as well you know. Personally I’d have recommended getting as many of the most vocal Unionists over there as possible for the simple reason that it would help the SNP.

  • Reader

    Neil: All depends on how you view the terms ‘same country’ and ‘foreign country’ as well you know.
    Well, you can adjust the definitions along the scale as much as you wish, but it would be a very strange definition that made Irish republicans *less* foreign in Scotland than Northern Ireland Unionists.
    I would agree that there are politicians on both sides that don’t realise that they could best help their cause by shutting up, occasionally. The FM and DFM seem to be a bit of an exception – surprisingly enough.

  • Mick Fealty

    JR,

    It was meant as a goose/gander aside. I’m not particularly impressed with unionist pleas that Irish nationalists should become less active in issues that directly concern them, but it doesn’t read any better the other way round.

  • Neil

    Well, you can adjust the definitions along the scale as much as you wish, but it would be a very strange definition that made Irish republicans *less* foreign in Scotland than Northern Ireland Unionists.

    True that, though hopefully our nationalist reps realise that any intervention from them is likely to illicit as contrary a reaction from the Scots as any Unionist intervention. Both sides here should have the self awareness to realise that people from beyond these shores view us as maniacs and aren’t clamouring for any advice we might have.

  • Dec

    But if Unionists didn’t get involved we’d be deprived of gems such as John Taylor’s ‘partition’ masterplan and other potential delights: Tom Elliott labelling SNP voters as ‘scum’, and David McNarry…well, just opening his big ill-informed gub.

  • Graham

    “…the SNP still want the Monarch of England to also be Monarch of Scotland and still want to have branches of HM Armed Forces to continue to be based in Scotland.”

    As someone fierecely critical of the SNP’s ridiculously servile attitude towards the monarchy, I’d suggest that there’s room for nuance in your first half. Your second lost me altogether – Scottish Defence was spalttered across the weekend’s media.

    I’ve often howled lonely at the moon that in the only meaningful debate I can recall on the subject of the monarchy, Scotland was the only part of the so-called UK in favour of abolition. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/monarchy-should-go-says-a-third-of-tv-poll-1282117.html. No-one makes a song and dance about it but if you’re asking…

    But the SNP is an ultra pragma-political machine today. Anything and everything that stands in the way of Independence shall be slain without mercy. The consensus is that the head of state issue is a divisive distraction that can be dealt with post-independence. I disagree. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1975_Australian_constitutional_crisis

  • Alan N/Ards

    madraj55

    There you go then. John Taylor has spoken, so that makes every unionist a non democrat. Wise up!

  • JR

    I think there could be a danger of both Nationalists and Unionists within Northern Ireland tying too much to the Scottish Independence referendum. While a vote for Independence in Scotland is useful to the Nationalist cause will not in itself deliver our Shangri-La United Ireland. Likewise a vote against is not it’s death nail.

    Whichever way the referendum in Scotland goes the constitutional status of Northern Ireland will still the preference of 50% plus one. If Unionists and Nationalists here get too involved in the debate in Scotland it will just further polarize their positions regardless of who wins over there.

    Mick, I see what you were saying now. It went over my head this morning.

  • JH

    There’s still a massive opportunity for a group of people with ideas and charisma to get the ball rolling on a campaign towards something like federalism here in the event of a yes vote in Scotland. Something that could cement the existence of the six county state while partially fulfilling the aspiration towards reunification.

    Presumably any agreement between the UK and Ireland would cease to exist when the UK ceases to exist, and so that would leave our constitutional status on shaky ground and in the hands of others. People here might like to make compromises to have that choice in their own hands.

    Unfortunately I can’t really think of one politician with the charisma and lack of baggage to make it a goer!

  • maggiedoot

    Not one politician have charisma- they are all a pick of halfwits trying to rewrite history -with the help of the Brits -see what cover ups are in there all sides -buttering each other up makes me laugh at them up in the sick house stormont.

  • Stu DeNimm

    >hey would, in a referendum on NI that the English shouldn’t have a vote >since they know how that would go.

    Madraj, are you arguing by analogy that the GFA should have provided a vote to people in Britain in any future NI constitutional referendum? We all know how that would go, too; they’d be glad to get rid of NI. But why is it relevant?