So what’s the formula for a referendum, Owen?

Jamie Smyth the new (to me ) correspondent of the Financial Times has managed to win some space for an interview with Owen Paterson (£ sadly) who takes whatever wind there might have been out of  Martin McGuinness’s kite for a united Ireland referendum. Part of the draught perhaps from the Scottish referendum campaign Graham Walker has drawn attention to, as posted by Mick.

“For people in the north there is a real worry on the economic front. I think there is less interest in big constitutional issues and there is more interest in day-to-day economic issues,” he said.

Mr Paterson said he had no plans to call a referendum, saying the constitutional question was “settled, subject to the majority” view.

Reliance is placed on the Life and Times Survey on political attitudes. While I recognise an apparent inconsistency with  “real” voting  (and dwindling turnout too, mind) no one has explained to me what the survey’s statistical flaws are.

Last year, 73 per cent of respondents to an opinion poll in Northern Ireland said they wanted the region to remain a part of the UK. The Life and Times survey published in June 2011 found 52 per cent of Catholics living in Northern Ireland wanted the union to continue, compared with a third who favoured a united Ireland.

This is an academic question that should be worked on while the matter isn’t pressing. I doubt if Owen Paterson has given it a moment’s serious thought – or if he or others have, we should know about it. The 1998 act indeed kicked for touch and left the question of a referendum to the Secretary of State based on the likelihood of success. This is an impossible political mission for a British minister theoretically acting alone. You can hear the cries of bias from one side or the other depending on which major British party is in power. Leaving it to the Electoral Commission   would also constitute a very heavy burden for a fateful once and forever exercise in Irish self determination involving both governments and the people on both sides of the border that would make the Scottish referendum seem as simple as a random questionnaire. Maybe we should give some thought to the process?

 

 

 

 

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  • cynic2

    Very simple. Unless the vote is likely to be Yes there isn’t one.

    The more interesting question (so far unanswered) is why did SF insist on that provision?

  • MrPMartin

    Did you know that the EU stipulated that Montenegro’s independence referendum in 2006 should be passed by 55% of the electorate before recognition should be given?

    Also, it is also specified that the member state which secedes forfeits any rights to political and legal continuity of the federation. This means that the seceding state (in this case the Republic of Montenegro) had to apply for membership to all major international institutions, such as the United Nations and be recognized by the international community, and that the Republic of Serbia became the full successor to the state union. No state objected to recognizing a newly formed state prior to the referendum.

    [source:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montenegrin_independence_referendum,_2006%5D

    So, I think we can see uncomfortable analogues here. For Montenegro, read Scotland. For Serbia, read UK. The rump UK would be the successor state to the former UK. Scotland on the other hand, would have to reapply to all international organisatiosn it wanted to be a member off. In short, its membership of the EU would not be automatic, rather, it would need to reapply and in keeping with current rules, it would mean that Scotland would be forced to take on the Euro.

    Precedent.

  • Zig70

    Having the SS hold the power makes for a ready made bad guy. Could you plan it better?

  • Lionel Hutz

    Whats the formula?

    a census gives the picture that there might be a yes vote. Referendum is held in Northern Ireland asking if you want a united ireland – simple.

    This gives a mandate the Secretary of State the power to put in place measures to allow NI to secede from UK whilst giving both governments the mandate to talk about a new Irish constitution amendment.

    ROI votes on new constitutional amendment. Thats it

  • socaire

    Bring it on!

  • Lionel Hutz

    i was wondering if people agreed with that. Would an NI only referendum suffice in the first instance? if not and if NI voted yes and ROI voted No, the SoS would be bound still to make a United Ireland happen

  • Drumlins Rock

    A census Lionel? I didn’t see that question on the form. At the very least the total Nationalist vote would have to hit 50%, even then it is unlikely as according the L&T survey only a minority of those favour a UI. But lets be ultra conservative and say 10% of Nationalist voters would stick with the UK for now, that means a 55% vote would be needed. Currently that vote has been stuck around 42% for over a decade, can we discuss this again during the decade of Bi-centenaries?

  • RyanAdams

    “Whats the formula?

    a census gives the picture that there might be a yes vote. Referendum is held in Northern Ireland asking if you want a united ireland – simple. ”

    The census will have nothing to do with it, Unionist/Centralist/Nationalist voting patterns are much more likely to feed into whether or not there is a referendum. Not all those in the census will have a vote in a referendum for a start, nor will all those bother to vote either. Your comment implies the ‘demographic cavalry’ will come to the aid of nationalism; and with the nationalist share of the vote lower now than it was in 1998, along with the trends in electoral turnout I think that’s rather fanciful thinking.

  • AnAverageGael

    I’ve always wondered if the people in the South would want a say in such a referendum? I can only imagine that they would, why wouldn’t they; there is another Six Counties joining their ranks and which is undoubtedly, an issue for all the people of Ireland. Of course this contradicts the GFA, which in itself must have caused a lot of sleepless nights for those involved.

    On the poll, are they really representative? They always seem to bypass my contribution, or I am not paying enough attention.

  • Pete Baker

    A somewhat related post from April last year – Sinn Féin: “An all-island referendum would have precedence.”

    Like BBC NI political editor Mark Devenport I was somewhat puzzled by the Sinn Féin’s Northern Ireland Assembly election manifesto call for a ‘referendum on Irish unity‘. As Mark Devenport points out

    The Sinn Fein manifesto’s mention of a referendum on Irish unity encouraged me to revisit the Good Friday Agreement to check what it said on the matter. The Agreement says the Secretary of State can call a border poll “if at any time it appears likely to him that a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland.” Once a poll is held, another cannot be organised for at least seven years. So once they’ve finished criticising him for – in their view – not keeping to pledges on capital spending, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness will have to do their best to persuade Owen Paterson of the need for a referendum.

    Could Sinn Féin actually believe that it is “likely” that “a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland” at this point? Is this more politics of delusion?

    Apparently not. [Just another symptom of political psychosis then? – Ed]. Or constitutional illiteracy…

  • giantstairs

    Anyone at all sane would have to accept that the chances of a united Ireland vote succeeding right now are essentially zero. On a good day unionist parties, not including Alliance, still bring in >50% of the total vote. This is before we discuss the nationalist party voters who may vote for the union or the Catholic non-voters who may vote for the union, or the relative voting differential.

    The chance that the people of Northern Ireland would right now vote for a united Ireland is pretty much zero. Sinn Fein should address themselves to that fact and try to change it rather than calling for referendums that will humiliate them (under present circumstances).

  • DC

    Pete Baker, why no blog about reports of Big Ian’s heart failure?

    Slugger blogged about David Ervine being rushed to hospital.

    Deference to the DUP? PUP smaller player in NI politics so slugger cared less?

  • Pete Baker

    “Slugger blogged about David Ervine being rushed to hospital.”

    Did I, DC?

    Focus on the actual topic.

  • Lionel Hutz

    I dont think any vote asks us for our voting intentions on the constitutional issue. The census is as good an indicator as the assembly vote given that turnout is not a factor. If a census showed more from a catholic background than a protestant background then there should be a referendum.
    But a majority of nationalists in the assembly would do also.

    The question I was asking was whether my guess at the timetable would be correct there after.

    A vote in NI first. Then if there is a constitutional amendment the south vote???? I cant see any other way?

  • Pete Baker

    Lionel

    The post I pointed to notes that the 1998 Agreement states

    (ii) recognise that it is for the people of the island of Ireland alone, by agreement between the two parts respectively and without external impediment, to exercise their right of self-determination on the basis of consent, freely and concurrently given, North and South, to bring about a united Ireland, if that is their wish, accepting that this right must be achieved and exercised with and subject to the agreement and consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland; [added emphasis]

    That’s concurrently given.

  • FuturePhysicist

    So, I think we can see uncomfortable analogues here. For Montenegro, read Scotland. For Serbia, read UK. The rump UK would be the successor state to the former UK. Scotland on the other hand, would have to reapply to all international organisation it wanted to be a member off. In short, its membership of the EU would not be automatic, rather, it would need to reapply and in keeping with current rules, it would mean that Scotland would be forced to take on the Euro.

    The fact that Montenegro has adopted the Euro does not mean Scotland has to, or that Scotland has to re-apply to join the European Union. Turkish Cyprus is officially part of the Eurozone, but due to the internal politics there everyone there simply ignores it. It would be Scotland’s own choice as to which currency it can arrange to join or peg itself to.

    With regard to reapplication, I think it’s the opposite, Scotland would have to apply to leave the EU, like Greenland did.

  • RyanAdams

    “I dont think any vote asks us for our voting intentions on the constitutional issue. The census is as good an indicator as the assembly vote given that turnout is not a factor. If a census showed more from a catholic background than a protestant background then there should be a referendum.
    But a majority of nationalists in the assembly would do also.”

    Lionel you still don’t get it. You can not box people up like that based on religion. The days of ‘just wait till we out breed you’ are long gone and they probably won’t return so long as Northern Ireland is at peace. Also, if you insist on boxing people up you should have noticed that any Catholic majority is likely to be built up in the younger age brackets … Who can’t vote yet.

    Finally, your argument surrounding religion is defeated in the original article. By the NILTS, and as often as nationalist commenter on slugger jump to discredit the survey, the article will tell you its convincing Owen Paterson.

    And that’s the only person it needs to convince.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Pete,

    That is true, but reading it fully, it only requires the majority of the people in NI to vote on it. Thats an additional requirement that does not pertainto the people south of the bordee. It only requires the agreement of the ROI expressed freely. Now as it is the firm will of the Irish Nation to be re-united, then I don’t think that requires a referendum. The government would just be acting on the will of the Irish Nation.

    Also the secretary of State must follow this:

    “(2) But if the wish expressed by a majority in such a poll is that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland, the Secretary of State shall lay before Parliament such proposals to give effect to that wish as may be agreed between Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and the Government of Ireland.”

    If unification required a ‘yes’ vote either side of the border, but only achieved that in the north, we would fall between two stools. Unless the Secretary of State would decide to act against the will of people in the Uk because of the will of a foreign country, which would be ironic at least.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Ryan,

    Its not boxing up. Itjust so happens to be a pretty strong indicator. Its also not affected by constituency issues which affect turnout of one or the other side and by turnout generally.

    Owen Patterson is not relying on NILTS. He’s rightly not calling a referendum becuase there is no indicator that a result would be yes. Patterson or the SoS of the day will have to discharge his functions reasonably. Its only calling a vote after all- and there would be a good reason to call a referendum sooner rather than later. If the Tories learn anything from Scotland, it will be to let us vote before the intransigience is used to stoke up nationalism. Kick it into touch for another seven years

  • Pete Baker

    “That is true, but reading it fully, it only requires the majority of the people in NI to vote on it.”

    That is true, but “freely and concurrently given, North and South”.

    You may have missed the earlier attempt to finesse that requirement…

  • cynic2

    !a census gives the picture that there might be a yes vote”

    Lionel

    Is it not racist insulting and just plain inaccurate to assume that all Catholics will vote for a Unite Ireland?

  • Brian Walker

    We might assume (!) that referenda north and south would be needed. Unity would surely require fundamental changes to the Republic’s constitution to acquire jurisdiction in a new state whether federal or unitary to transfer rights and obligations.

    It’s interesting though that the GFA etc left it to general formulae, leaving it to another day if ever, to decide how it would actually be done.

    I would guess that the trigger woud be if/when a majority of Assembly seats were won on specific manifestos to ask for a northern referendum,

  • JR

    To be honest I see the logic for a referendum. Firstly while in a UI referendum there is a only slim chance of success for SF, with no referendum there is no chance.

    Secondly, while we have many strong indicators of opinion on a UI no-one really knows how close or wide the gap is between the pro and anti UI vote. No-one under the age of 60 has actually had a chance to vote on it.

    Thirdly, If some of the counties and the Cities of Newry and Derry vote overwhelmingly to leave the UK. God forbid if the electorate in Belfast votes to leave it will certainly reinvigorate the Nationalist cause.

  • Drumlins Rock

    JR, if you want just an opinion, then have an opinion poll, a very robust one should give you a tollerance of + or – 5% at worst, as for the Newry, Derry, Belfast question, or repartition, it has never been taken seriously, and the counties no longer legally exist.

    Regarding votes north and south, Cyprus was an interesting example where the Turkish North resisted reunification for decades, yet in 2004 they voted for it only to have the Greek South reject the proposal, which then died, so never take anything for granted.

  • JR

    DR,

    I have to disagree on the opinion poll. We all know how subtle location is in the north. In Kilkeel for example you are likely to get a 60% swing depending on which side of the road you are on. In lurgan your support for a UI will be directly proportional to how far along the street you are. Any of us could get any result we desired to within 5% just by choosing where to put the pollsters.

    Also, I didn’t mention re-partition.

  • Red Lion

    Despite whats in the GFA i still dont think that a simple referendum yes vote in the ROI and NI means A simple United Ireland.

    Dublin craps itself at the prospect, and wants to retain a tangible and real British dimension to sovereignty to reasure unionists and as an insurance policy against the costs of running NI (not to mention should violence kick off again).

    Yes votes only starts off another round of negotiations as to how the GFA agreeement can be rejigged with more of an irish flavour, but certainly not kicking out London., negotiations as to then how the ‘United Ireland’ looks like but witha great degree of flexibility in the defination of ‘United Itreland’ ie retaining a significant London dimension.

    You might then have another referndum north and south to ratify these new propsals and amendments to constitutions.

    Time has proven that simple majority rule in NI doesnt work and it is a flaw of the GFA to endorse 50+1 and the concept of majority rule. 50+1 in reality will just be a machanism for setting off further negotiations

    Time has proven that simple majority

  • Neil

    One has to worry that the NILT survey might be used as any basis for guaging support for a united Ireland. I don’t know quite how they do it, but they always seem to ask a recognisably and obviously biased sample. As fleetingly alluded to above, NILT survey has SF support at 11%. Yet only a few months previously SF polled 27%. That’s pretty much 150% out, which is a massive error margin.

    Time has proven that simple majority rule in NI doesnt work and it is a flaw of the GFA to endorse 50+1 and the concept of majority rule.

    Nonsense! It’s proven precisely the opposite. 50% + 1 has and is keeping us in the UK as accepted in the GFA. What’s your suggestion? 50% + 1 ’til Unionists lose, then move the goalposts?

    No harm if you think Republicans will accept that (and bearing in mind we have no legal obligation to accept anything other than 50% + 1) then you’re living in cloud cuckoo land.

  • Coll Ciotach

    At the end of the day there will only be one poll that matters as far as determining the likelihood of a referendum being favourable to a UI. That poll is an election to the Assembly. You can have as many surveys as you like – they count for nothing in terms of determining the outcome of a border poll.

    Not that a nationalist majority in Stormont necessarily means a majority voting for an UI either, but it is an indicator nothing else.

    There is a rather charming vista, for me, opening up in the event of a nationalist majority in Stormont without a border poll.

    What happens if there is a greening of the north electorally and then following that culturally. Will the unionists become strangers in their own land?

  • All presuming the South actually wants the North!?

  • FuturePhysicist

    All presuming the South actually wants the North!?

    It may not want it but it may take it, a bit like the larger island to the “East” is doing in some sense. The referenda may be that the North can opt to leave the Union in which it could remain a pseudo independent state for the highest bidding buyer. We would have to see who wants it then.

  • RyanAdams

    Neil

    ‘obviously biased’

    Have you ever considered the possibility that some SF supporters could be lying to the survey, possibly because of fear of what people might think?

    In my own opinion, and I’m sure some may agree, Its one thing to privately cast an ‘x’ or ‘1’ beside an unapologetic ex-convict or a party which endorses them, its another to put your name to it either via face to face interview or on paper if someone will see it.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The Northern Ireland Act is quite clear (as Pete has pointed out) :

    “Subject to [the 7 year rule], the Secretary of State shall exercise the power [to hold a border poll] if at any time it appears likely to him that a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland.”

    Basically, the Secretary of State can only hold a referendum if there is a possibility that a majority would vote for reunification. I don’t see how that statement could hold true in the absence of an election result where the majority voted for nationalist parties.

    The NILTS is clearly irrelevant. The Census is a bit more of a grey area especially as it asks people to identify their nationality. I am sure that a judicial review would occur of the SoS failed to grant a referendum following a census where >50% self-identified as Irish, although it is very hard to say would the outcome should or would be, there are unionists (and Protestants) who self-identify as Irish.

    There would be a fairly serious constitutional crisis if there were a referendum supporting reunification in NI while opposing it in the south. I’d say that is a scenario which is remote, but not impossible especially given that we are a few decades into the future. That is, in my view, why the business of reconciliation is the most important thing for everyone – so that people move forward in partnership and find a way to live together peacefully irrespective of what the constitutional setup is.

  • Red Lion

    Neil , all im saying is that it is an omission of the GFA agreement not to give detailed consideration as to what happens in the event of 50 + 1 in a referendum who are pro united ireland.

    A problem is that republicans have been let off the hook by not being pressed to explain what a united ireland looks like – noone from the dublin government through all shades of nationalism has explained it. If 50 + 1 for a UI occurs there is a vaccuum because it is very vague as to what happens next.

    And in the absence of detailed prearrangements this gives unionism , if its sharp enough, substantial room to negotiate as best a defintion of ‘United Ireland’ as it can. Dublin (shitting themselves as to the expense and potential for instability) should be in accomadating mode, and i would expect good will from moderate nationalism North and South – a whole new set of rules/accomodating friends to possibly outmanouvre the republican dogmatic ideal (and it is only an ideal) of its inflexible Brits Out UI. Republicans aren’t the only players in the game.

    And what if 50+1 for a UI occurs?? – rip up the GFA and all the powersharing institutions inherent in it – causing major instability? Dont think Dublin will want to do that. And i think its likely Dublin will be content to have a practical London dimension to promote reassurance from unionism, and contribute to costs – all unionisms opportunity in the event of a simple 50+1 pro UI vote. Such a vote will in reality usher in major , painstaking negotians, as to what a very flexible definition of a UI would look like.

    We’re getting away ahead of ourselves of course, many hurdles to go through before such a pro-UI referendum might succeed. But Unionism at the same time should be privately and quietly thinking through a plan b of how to react if a simple refendum vote doesnt go its way – all is not lost, and simple private contact and understanding with the dublin gov years in advance of any vote might be worthwhile.

    Even though theres no mechanism for it as you say, simple majority rule politics doesnt work for NI, and some sort of Joint Authority, however weighted between Dublin, Belfast and London, is the most likely formula for stability. This idea, (although not now called joint authority merely north/south cooperation) along with powersharing are the central planks of the GFA and these prized concepts i think will not be thrown out

  • I think that, if we ever get there, a double referendum is inevitable. Article 3.1 of the Irish constitution says that “a united Ireland shall be brought about only by peaceful means with the consent of a majority of the people, democratically expressed, in both jurisdictions in the island” and while that doesn’t bind the British government it does bind the Irish.

    The NILT polls clearly have problems in that the SF vote share is drastically under-reported, presumably by voters simply not telling the pollsters the truth about their voting intentions, but this sort of inaccuracy is present to an extent in all polls on party support that I have seen in Northern Ireland. The question is, is there a similar under-reporting of support for a United Ireland? We simply cannot know, absent a referendum, but as Drumlins Rock points out, support for the Union as the better alternative among those who vote for Nationalist parties need not be very high before it starts disrupting demographic triumphalism.

    I was very closely involved with the Montenegro process. One point that is often lost is that the 55% threshold originated not with the EU but with the anti-independence faction. I was never convinced personally that it was necessary to stipulate it as as a legal requirement, but ti turned out not to matter.

  • OneNI

    Nicholas raises interesting points about NILT polls. To me however the fascinating aspect of them is not the ubdoubted under reporting of SF or the apparent support for NI standing in UK but the clear and apparent TREND towards this in recent years i.e. it is not a one off but a clear discernable shift over the past five years showing support for NI remaining in UK (not to be confused with support for so called ‘unionism’ as exercised by DUP and UUP) has risen from 66ish to 75%.

    On a wider note I fear that many Slugger posters simply have not grasped the extent of the current financial and economic crisis affecting europe and the Republic in particular. The Republic’s per capita debt makes Greece look economically healthy the reason it is not yet as ‘newsworthy’ is that the Republic’s Govt is much more obedient (to date) than the Greeks!

    The only viable United Ireland would be within the UK.
    The first step might be for the Republic to re-link to sterling
    One wonders if the results to the following Question back in in Dec 2010

    In light of the current financial crisis, would you support Ireland leaving the Euro and re-establishing a link with the pound sterling, or not?

    Was 43% in FAVOUR of a link with sterling if faced with the option in 2012 of being forced out of the Euro might a MAJORITY support re-linking with sterling rather than recreating a free floating punt?

  • OneNI

    Sorry it was 34% of people in the Republic in favour of relinking with sterling in DEC 2010 (43% of SF voters)

  • JR

    One Ni,

    Ireland is not Greece. Because of Ireland’s disproportionally large financial service sector it holds a lot of foreign company debt. Just over 50% of Ireland’s total national debt is that of profitable foreign companies with their HQ in Ireland. More than 40% of national debt is the direct cost of the Bank Guarantee scheme including the property portfolio that is NAMA. There may or may not be a profitable return on this but there is something to show for it. Adding up non bailout related government debt, Personal debt and domestic company debt you get less than 10% of total National debt. They have demonstrated that they can and will service all their debt.

    The ROI still has a functional real economy including a strong financial services sector, a strong IT sector and a strong Pharmaceutical sector. This crisis is helping to get government spending and public sector pay under control. The Country will recover in the next few years.

    There have been cuts but people are still warm in their beds at night, they still eat well, the streets are still safe etc…

    While being anything other than a sponger is hard to grasp for many in NI the time will come when the UK turns off the money tap and we will also have to earn our keep.

  • Barnshee

    Surely the assembly could call a referendum on its own?
    let SF” put their money where their mouths are ” and call for one funded by the assembly

    Thought not

  • OneNI

    JR that’s a valient effort to wish away some of the debt. Truth is Ireland now has the highest level of household debt relative to disposable income in the developed world at 190%.
    Not one serious economic commentator in the Republic shares your optimism.

    To bring things back on thread how many people in NI would vote for a UI secure in the knowledge they are leaving one country with a per capita debt of £250,000 to join the one with over £400,000 per cpaita debt – along with all the long term consequences that will have for tax levels and public expenditure, etc?

  • Neil

    The Republic’s per capita debt makes Greece look economically healthy the reason it is not yet as ‘newsworthy’ is that the Republic’s Govt is much more obedient (to date) than the Greeks!

    Utter tripe. Have a read:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_sovereign_debt_crisis

    If you have little faith in wiki’s articles perhaps you would believe credit ratings agencies? Greece has the lowest rating on Earth. Ireland is at BBB. Or how about this from an independent London based think tank:

    http://www.publicserviceeurope.com/article/790/ireland-set-for-strong-recovery-after-bail-out

    Ireland will again become “one of Europe’s best performers” as an export-led recovery drags it from the worst banking crisis and recession in its history – according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

    The latest forecasts predict 2 per cent growth in gross domestic product this year, rising to 4 per cent by 2013. And strong exports will “gradually pull the economy out of its trough” – said the Cebr in a new report. As a result of the improved economic outlook, the cost of 10-year government bonds is expected to fall to 4 per cent by 2015. Last week yields dropped below 9 per cent for the first time since February.

    “When we said a year ago that Ireland would turn the corner in 2011, few believed us. But there is now increasing confidence, reflected in falling bond yields, that this will happen,” said Douglas McWilliams, Cebr chief executive. “With a strong export economy and a successful ‘internal devaluation’ Ireland is set to be one of Europe’s best performers.” He added that the British chancellor George Osborne could learn lessons from Ireland’s success.

    Finally, here is a graphic explaining the difference in interest rates being charged to Eurozone countries.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Long-term_interest_rates_(eurozone).png

    Ireland’s is about 13% lower. This is because Ireland’s a much better bet and investors know this. However even the most staunch Unionist should be able to understand that 13% on hundreds of billions is a significant drag on any economy.

    To reiterate, this: The Republic’s per capita debt makes Greece look economically healthy the reason it is not yet as ‘newsworthy’ is that the Republic’s Govt is much more obedient (to date) than the Greeks! is total horseshit.

  • Neil

    Reposting as too many links in the first post.

    The Republic’s per capita debt makes Greece look economically healthy the reason it is not yet as ‘newsworthy’ is that the Republic’s Govt is much more obedient (to date) than the Greeks!

    Utter tripe. Have a read:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_sovereign_debt_crisis

    If you have little faith in wiki’s articles perhaps you would believe credit ratings agencies? Greece has the lowest rating on Earth. Ireland is at BBB. Or how about this from an independent London based think tank:

    http://www.publicserviceeurope.com/article/790/ireland-set-for-strong-recovery-after-bail-out

    Ireland will again become “one of Europe’s best performers” as an export-led recovery drags it from the worst banking crisis and recession in its history – according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

    The latest forecasts predict 2 per cent growth in gross domestic product this year, rising to 4 per cent by 2013. And strong exports will “gradually pull the economy out of its trough” – said the Cebr in a new report. As a result of the improved economic outlook, the cost of 10-year government bonds is expected to fall to 4 per cent by 2015. Last week yields dropped below 9 per cent for the first time since February.

    “When we said a year ago that Ireland would turn the corner in 2011, few believed us. But there is now increasing confidence, reflected in falling bond yields, that this will happen,” said Douglas McWilliams, Cebr chief executive. “With a strong export economy and a successful ‘internal devaluation’ Ireland is set to be one of Europe’s best performers.” He added that the British chancellor George Osborne could learn lessons from Ireland’s success.

    Finally Ireland’s interest on debt is about 13% lower than Greece. This is because Ireland’s a much better bet and investors know this. However even the most staunch Unionist should be able to understand that 13% on hundreds of billions is a significant drag on any economy.

    To reiterate, this: The Republic’s per capita debt makes Greece look economically healthy the reason it is not yet as ‘newsworthy’ is that the Republic’s Govt is much more obedient (to date) than the Greeks! is total horseshit.

    As an afterthought, the real elephants in the room (IMO) are a) the UK’s economy sliding down the shitter – these is no growth in the UK economy and things are getting worse not better unlike in Ireland and b) all the talk of the UK/Ireland having to afford us and snide (inaccurate) remarks about the state of the Irish economy kind of ignore the fact that NI is a total and complete basket case with a beggar’s bowl economy. People in shitty, dysfunctional glass houses should keep their stones in their pockets.

  • JR

    One NI,
    Thats great economic analysis there, why don’t we all move to bangladesh where they have only $149 national debt per capita. Poor luxemburg with $ 3,670,000 national debt per capita!

  • Republic of Connaught

    “The only viable United Ireland would be within the UK.”

    OneNI:

    Yes, with over 5 of the 6 million plus people across the 32 counties being nationalist, not unionist, and with Scotland moving slowly but surely out of the UK ….. yes I can see your point.

  • Brian Walker

    More expert analysis is badly needed about the NILT surveys. it not surprising if so many people are still reluctant to admit support for Sinn Fein after years of the peace process? This doesn’t easily square with growing nationalist confidence particularly among the young. The answer I suspect may be more complex. Drill down into political attitudes replies year after year beyond voting intentions or support, and we find healthy numbers on both sides of the divide willing to tolerate either a United Ireland or continuing Union. Political allegiances are undoubtedly weakening. . Remember too that polls take in public opinion as a whole, not just voters whose numbers have been declining (although more the unionist side than the nationalist). Might growing indifference combined with a healthy desire not to rock the constitutional boat after so many years of violent instability have swung majority opinion in favour of the status quo, even if passively? I admit this may not be the whole answer either. The NILT survey itself should address these questions in future.