If people don’t know how a united Ireland will affect them, they will vote No…

Like Pete, in today’s Irish News Brian Feeney was less than impressed with Gerry Adams’s speech to his party activists at Gulladuff. In fact he points out that for all the grandstanding about near dates for a referendum on unification, there is no plan:

You can’t just have a question asking: “Do youse want a united Ireland?” Would it be a unitary state, a federal state, a confederal state? Would the northern assembly remain as a subordinate administration to the Dail similar to its present relationship to Westminster, something de Valera advocated in 1966, or be abolished?

In the case of Scotland we already know the preferred question Alex Salmond wants in his 2014 referendum and we know what Scottish independence entails because he has spelt it out. As a party leader Adams has a duty to spell it out. What exactly does Sinn Fein want? People have to know how they will be affected.

If they don’t, they’ll vote No.

There’s another important question Adams and others like Martin McGuinness dodge. As former military men, though Adams of course doesn’t know he was in the IRA, they will be aware that if you have an objective you need a plan to achieve it.

The truth is that not only do Sinn Fein not know how a united Ireland would be structure, they have not got a plan to achieve it. They haven’t got a notion what to do next. They’re beginning to sound like Fianna Fail in the fifties and sixties.

Constantly repeating 32 county republic become known as verbal republicanism, a substitute for any political action. The sort of fare Adams dished up in Gulladuff is Sinn Fein’s 21st-century version.

It’s nearly 30 years since the New Ireland Forum produced a set of blueprints for constitutional change. John Hume had to present his preferred option to the forum. What’s Gerry Adams’s preferred option?

  • London_Irish

    I seem to recall previous southern Sinn Féin manifestos calling on the previous Fianna Fáil government to bring forward a Green Paper regarding the unification of Ireland – I’m sure they won’t be holding their breath on a Fine Gael government getting round to one…

    One only has to flick through the Sinn Féin manifesto from the Dáil election last year to see that even Sinn Féin realise the aspirations and the short-to-medium (-probably long term as well) priorities for most people is consolidating and fixing the 26 counties, with a united Ireland remaining a pipe dream brought up every so often to please the old guard.

    Sinn Féin will be hesitant to openly discuss their vision of a united Ireland, as I’m sure they’re aware that in its infancy, regional autonomy for what is currently Northern Ireland will have to remain, if only to avoid anarchy on the streets. This is not Éire Nua per se, as it won’t be on a true provincial basis – why on earth would the people of Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan want Stormont to start dictating to them on anything; nor is it likely that Connacht, Leinster and Munster will see any merit in devolving power to provinces that have no true collective political identity.

    In my own opinion, should a border poll be successful in seeking to the reunification of Ireland – devolution at Stormont would remain (subordinate to the Oireachtas, of course), for as long as it takes to deconstruct the sovereign governing institutions in Dublin, and reconstruct then in a way that is acceptable to unionist representatives. I’m sure the dominant unionist party of the day will wish to see some form of veto in their territory, perhaps similar to the 1999-2011 provisions in Wales, where secondary legislation can tweak bills to suit their specific circumstances.

    For all their talk of a ‘New Ireland’, Sinn Féin know that in a united Ireland the concessions will be huge – flag, anthem, the status of the Irish language etc, all the visible and evocative trappings of nationalism, and are unlikely therefore to advertise a willingness to concede on such significant issues.

  • weidm7

    There shouldn’t be any border poll until such a time when nationalism and unionism stop being ethnoreligious tribes and start being personal opinions, when a significant percentage of prodestants vote willingly to unite with their fellow Irishman in the south, there should be no talk of it now, instead, cross-denominational schools and community centres should be everyone’s focus.

    If a UI were to happen however, there must be repartition, there is absolutely no justification in condemning nationalists in Fermanagh,Tyrone, South Armagh and Derry City to further Stormont rule if they choose to leave said jurisdiction. Concessions will be made on the flag, anthem and constitution, in the south, they’re already talking about reforming the constitution and taking out the sexist, Catholic parts, which will likely be more palatable to unionist concerns. I can’t imagine what flag would be acceptable to both sides however. If the unionists become a minority in NI before a United Ireland, then I could see them being steamrolled over and most things staying the same, which would not be a good thing.

  • Freaked-out-Unionist

    someone other than Adams needs to enunciate a/the plan.
    simple facts are unionists don’t trust him and neither do southerners.
    Like a pain in the ass, we have to put up with him and his ramblings.
    unionists like me would vote for a UI, just to shut him up 😉

  • seamus60

    Maybe Powell hasn`t got round to writing all that explanation stuff for Gerry and Martin yet.
    Imagine the scatter if some one were to push them on it.
    Gerry going straight back into victim mode as his natural defence.

  • seamus60

    Gulladuff now appears to be Gerrys little safe haven where he gets well sheltered from awkward questions.

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    ”If the unionists become a minority in NI before a United Ireland, then I could see them being steamrolled over and most things staying the same, which would not be a good thing.”

    I think Weidm7 has it spot on here. SFs behaviour in past decades indicates nothing other than contempt for Unionism and all other forms of Nationalism. Their utopian vision is most likely a one party state.

  • tacapall

    “I think Weidm7 has it spot on here. SFs behaviour in past decades indicates nothing other than contempt for Unionism and all other forms of Nationalism. Their utopian vision is most likely a one party state.”

    Unlike Unionists in the old Stormont then Gerry.

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    ”Unlike Unionists in the old Stormont then Gerry.”

    You got me Tacapall — today’s SF is exactly like old Unionism, with the added bonus of 1700 recent murders by their military wing and a neat little cocktail of control freakery, selective memory and long discredited far left politics. Really does make you wonder why they aren’t selling their UI vision better.

  • Framer

    There are no 34 counties in Ireland. Will the 26-county state be renamed?
    I note six into 34 still won’t go.

  • Greenflag

    The above is just more SF bashing . Truth is that no political party on the ‘nationalist/republican ‘side either North or South has any ‘plan’ for any prospective UI . In any event it will be up to a future Irish Government and a future NI Government of the time to decide . Nobody has any idea what economic or social conditions will be like in 10 years time much less 20 and it’s pointless making plans for World War 4 when the results for World War 3 haven’t yet been declared .

    SF ‘talk ‘ about a UI more than others because that is their main raison d’etre and they know just as every other political party in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic does is that there will be no moves to planning a UI until such time as the demographics tilt to a ‘nationalist ‘voting ‘ majority or near majority or until it’s too late .

    Northern Ireland is not East Germany nor is it a Belgium in waiting . And a transition period to a UI is probable over a decade or so with both governments guaranteeing the ‘peace’.

    More important is the question of economic policy whether by SF or the DUP or the Tories or Labour . They are ALL in discredited mode right now and Fitch and Moody’s have put the UK on ‘negative outlook ‘ warning to ensure that Mr Osborne hesitates not an iota as he slashes and cuts the people of Britain into further emisseration. 🙁

  • Obelisk

    In regards to the lack of a plan, it is impossible to develop one without a dialogue with Unionism. Otherwise you’ll just have Irish Nationalists talking amongst themselves which will lead to the following.

    a.) They will be attacked as kite-flying fantasists by Unionist politicians, wasting time indulging their pet project instead of concentrating on reality. The Life and Times survey and the recent survey done by Queen’s will be brought up.

    b.) Any plan Irish Nationalists come up with themselves will be instantly rejected because it has had no Unionist input and will therefore stand no chance of becoming reality anyways.

    In such circumstances, the stating of the aspiration itself has to be sufficient. The only way I believe we will ever get a concrete plan is if politicians from the Unionists side say ‘Ok, there may be a United Ireland in the future and we’d like to sit down and discuss what would happen IF it came about’.

    My own personal preference would be that Stormont would remain as a devolved body sub-ordinate to Dublin, as today it is sub-ordinate to Westminster. However, the area under its jurisdiction would be reduced, with Nationalist majority areas being subsumed into the Unitary state governed from Dublin (Belfast would be a stickler).

    Some Nationalist communities would inevitably remain in the devolved region, and with it’s reduced size the community designation system at Stormont would be ended. However there really shouldn’t be any issues of discrimination if this comes to pass. The main issue would be whether normal left-right politics developed at Stormont, or whether Stormont would come under the continuous control of a single British ethnic party.

    Northern TDs from devolved region should be prevented from voting on matters that are devolved to Stormont, our own version of the West Lothian Question should be nipped in the bud.

    The north in such a scenario would therefore reflect a devolved region such as Catalonia in Spain, reflecting a distinct ethnic grouping. Safeguards would be put in for ethnic and sexual minorities (still don’t quite trust the fundamentalist strain in the DUP, see Edwin Poots), maybe as part of a bill of rights for the whole island.

    In terms of symbols I’d agree with a new anthem, but I’d prefer to keep our flag as is. In return, the ‘reduced’ North would be allowed a wide latitude in determining their own symbols and the flag of the devolved region.

    Ulster-Scots should be raised to the level of official language status.

    The North should be able to maintain strong economic and cultural links with the United Kingdom (or the Kingdoms of England and Scotland should Scotland declare independence).

    Well, that’s my vision on the matter anyway.

  • London_Irish

    Obelisk,

    Perhaps Belfast could become our very own Berlin, with regular airdrops down the Falls Road?

  • Mick Fealty

    What sparked Feeney to write so critical a piece was comparison between the local project with Salmond’s long piece in Scotland.

    That did required not dialogue, but a great of thought (and some considerable enterprise) on how to realign unionist forces with nationalist thinking.

    I agree with your dialogue point, but it’s also easy to fall into the assumption that unionists themselves somehow have the perfect answer to nationalist ambitions. Someone on the nationalist side has to build it in such a way that it can overcome some of the current blocks.

  • Obelisk

    “I agree with your dialogue point, but it’s also easy to fall into the assumption that unionists themselves somehow have the perfect answer to nationalist ambitions. Someone on the nationalist side has to build it in such a way that it can overcome some of the current blocks.”

    I have to admit I hadn’t fully considered that. I guess we Nationalists have to first accept that ANY talk of a United Ireland is going to get shot down by Unionists but that we have to talk amongst ourselves so that we know what we want and how we are going to achieve it. We have to be sure of our own position and argue consistently in favour of it.

    At the moment, I believe Sinn Fein is intellectually paralysed on this issue. They are a good community champion but their past prevents them from making any further progress up here. Not many people on the other side of the divide are willing to listen to what the current generation of leaders has to say because of their past. In pursuit of unity they’ve brought us as far as they can.

    So I guess it is up to the wider Nationalist community to begin having this debate, even if it is only in forums like this, so that we can educate and inform our politicians and an (hopefully)untainted future generation of Nationalist leaders and politicians so that when they come to have the debate, they can articulate what we believe in.

    I’d also like to point out that we have two groups to win over.

    A proportion of the Unionist community, certainly.

    But more importantly the apathetic Catholic Unicorn. We know they exist, and two surveys now seem to confirm that a large proportion of Nationalists simply don’t care anymore. Why should they care about unity? What will unity offer them that the current situation doesn’t?
    How can we reconnect them to the aspiration of Unity in a positive way?

  • Old Mortality

    Obelisk
    ‘How can we reconnect them to the aspiration of Unity in a positive way?’

    Only by guaranteeing that a unified state will sustain them in the manner to which they have become agreeably accustomed, I suspect.

  • The Raven

    “a large proportion of Nationalists simply don’t care anymore”

    Soooo…are they Nationalists any more? What are they, instead? Quislings? Or just people who have more important issues in their lives…?

  • PaddyReilly

    For all their talk of a ‘New Ireland’, Sinn Féin know that in a united Ireland the concessions will be huge – flag, anthem, the status of the Irish language etc, all the visible and evocative trappings of nationalism

    Totally not the case. Unionists are only 11% of the voting population of Ireland. If Ireland were reunited, they would become even less. It has already been pointed out that going on current trends, there may eventually be more Chinese and Poles than Protestants in Ireland. So to alter anything for the benefit of Unionists would be a gross
    dereliction of democracy.

    If it were shown that 11% of the population of Britain was of Irish origin, would the UK then be obliged to adopt a tricolour, abolish the monarchy, change the national anthem and become a republic? Obviously not.

    Now, if the Unionists were to start negotiating now, they could secure whatever changes they wanted. But if, as anyone can see, they will never do so, then negotiations on reunification will have to wait till the six counties have a Nationalist majority. The negotiators will then be the Irish Republic on one side, and a coalition of Sinn Fein and SDLP on the other. Sinn Fein will not be arguing that more
    concessions should be made to Unionists.

    Though my own opinion is that the flag should be changed as it ludicrously overemphasises the importance of Orangeism.

  • Obelisk

    Quislings is pretty harsh Raven. I’d guess that these people are culturally and ethnically Irish, comfortable with the status quo yet I’d presume they’d be open to the idea of unity as long as the circumstances were right and it was presented correctly.

    I guess then, they really are just people who currently have more important issues in their lives.

  • Mick Fealty

    Paddy I think that demonstrates the problem with starting with the instrument first. Salmond’s social union idea is a distillation of a lot of long term thinking on the SNP’s part in order to solve a problem.

    So we might start with a few open questions… For instance, what problems was partition brought in to solve? And what way could they now be solved in the context of a 32 county Ireland?

  • Reader

    PaddyReilly: So to alter anything for the benefit of Unionists would be a gross dereliction of democracy.
    It’s actually refreshing to see this sort of openness from mainstream republicanism. Clearly, unionism is no more than an unwelcome obstacle to a uniformly nationalist state, and the proper plan is to manage unionists into a position where they can be ignored, then ignore them.
    Only two problems:
    1) I suppose you realise that plan entirely wipes out any imagined moral edge over unionism?
    2) You have ignored the clauses written into the GFA referring to the cross-community protections that would continue to apply within a possible future united Ireland.

  • Greenflag

    @ Paddy Reilly.

    ‘If it were shown that 11% of the population of Britain was of Irish origin, would the UK then be obliged to adopt a tricolour, abolish the monarchy, change the national anthem and become a republic? Obviously not.’

    I can’t recall the link but I recall reading not too long ago that some 25% of the present British population can trace an Irish (26 county only ) link to first, second and third generations i.e back to 1920’s . As there was ’emigration’ to England since the 1700’s there is probably even a higher percentage but of course there are few records for these earlier periods . And the above does not include the ‘nationalist irish ‘ from the present Northern Ireland who have been the majority of emigrants to Britain since the beginning of the industrial revolution. .

    ‘then negotiations on reunification will have to wait till the six counties have a Nationalist majority. The negotiators will then be the Irish Republic on one side, and a coalition of Sinn Fein and SDLP on the other. Sinn Fein will not be arguing that more concessions should be made to Unionists.’

    Interesting scenario but I can’t imagine any Irish government or future Republican/Nationalist coalition government in NI doing what ‘unionists ‘ did unto them back in 1920 ? we’ve moved on from that kind of thinking haven’t we ?

    On the other hand news just in from your ‘namesake ‘ in the business world has sent share prices rising for those who have always harboured a belief that as well as gold in them that hills of Tyrone there is also oil in the ‘Celtic ‘ sea .:)

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0315/providence-business.html

  • Greenflag

    error .

    ‘the above does not include the ‘nationalist irish ‘ from the present Northern Ireland who have been the majority of emigrants to Britain since the beginning of the industrial revolution..

    Should read

    the above does not include the ‘nationalist irish ‘ from the present Northern Ireland who have been the majority of emigrants to Britain from Northern Ireland since the beginning of the industrial revolution. .

  • Obelisk

    I believe partition was an attempt by the British authorities to end the Irish question by giving both nationalities on the island home rule and washing their hands of the place.

    The problem remains the same as it always has, the inability of the two nationalities to realise their aspirations in a mutual fashion. One side wants independence, the other side wants to maintain the Union.

    Where partition failed is that because there weren’t enough Unionists on enough territory to sustain a state, a great many Nationalists were included. The same situation continued only with the minority now the majority and the majority now in a minority. History really was doomed to repeat itself in this case.

    Bluntly, re-unification might at least help us towards reconciliation because it would mark the demise of one of the two political options, Unionism. It is a real fact that Nationalism, in the form of the pursuit of a United Ireland, can go through peaks and troughs in terms of political support, but in a trough those who believe in unity can always console themselves that the future they could recover. Unionism doesn’t have that luxury. Like Israel they must always win, because one defeat and it is over. There will be no option in a United Ireland to throw the border back up and reapply for membership of the UK.

    Longer term, it would also mark the termination of Nationalism in it’s current form, as with unification secured a political realignment of some description within the Nationalist community is inevitable.

    For both the former Unionists and the former Nationalists, this could take the form of traditional left-right voting patterns asserting themselves. Or regionalism could take hold, with a strong Catholic Northern Party representing the interests of the former Nationalist Community, and a strong Protestant Northern Party representing the interests of the British community.

    All of this is just speculation of course. But the short version is, partition was intended to resolve the tension between the two Irelands by giving one Dominion status outside the UK and one Home Rule status within the UK . That failed.
    Reunification, by finally ending one of the two competing political ideologies, would ultimately remove the poltical tension and go some way towards the removal of the inter-communal tensions.

  • Greenflag

    ‘what problems was partition brought in to solve? ‘

    In the context of post 1918 , WWI and the War of Indepenedence the probability of a major civil war between North and South . Partition could not be avoided at the time and even now ‘repartition ‘ is not entirely discounted even if it has become less of a possibility . Partition left behind more problems than it resolved and imo probably delayed the development of more tolerant attitudes between the religions and traditions on the island and of course between Britain and Ireland .

    ‘And what way could they now be solved in the context of a 32 county Ireland?’

    They won’t be . They will be ‘transcended ‘ politically -fudged over -accommodated – an ‘Irish ‘solution if you will . Those ‘unionists ‘who see the writing on the wall will accommodate those who won’t -won’t . What they will do will be their business . We can just hope it won’t be ‘violent ‘ but if it is then the Irish State and the British State have to be prepared for that eventuality .

  • HeinzGuderian

    I’ve said this before,and I will say it again…….

    A Notion Once Again !!

    By the by,I would love to see where Salmond has spelt out the detail for a Independent Scotland ??

  • PaddyReilly

    this sort of openness from mainstream republicanism.

    I am not mainstream republican. I don’t know that I’m even republican: I am primarily a democrat, so in cases where the demos clearly wants a republic, I am in favour of it.

    Clearly, unionism is no more than an unwelcome obstacle to a uniformly nationalist state, and the proper plan is to manage unionists into a position where they can be ignored, then ignore them.

    Sounds good to me. We take our lead from Great Britain, which is not planning to keep the Irish as a separate political and ethnic entity for generation after generation. The London Borough of Brent did introduce some books in Irish into its libraries. As far as I could tell, no-one read them but me, and I didn’t read many. The London Irish Centre did get some state funding: then it lost it and became a pub. This is the sort of thing that a United Ireland could do for the Orangey lot: a few library books and cultural centres. Nothing constitutional.

    However I should point out that the Irish Republic is far from having the uniform nationalistic ethos that you imagine: it is part of the modern world: cultural links to British football, boybands, television, etc are more important than Siamsa and dancing at crossroads at Lúnasa, etc.

    You have ignored the clauses written into the GFA referring to the cross-community protections that would continue to apply within a possible future united Ireland.

    A common misapprehension. The GFA draws its power from the fact that it was voted into existence by the electorate of 1998. Because we suspect that the voters of 2012 are of much of the same opinion, we do not bother to renegotiate it. But if at some future time it becomes
    apparent that a majority of the voters of Northern Ireland favour reunification, then a new constitution will come into effect. We are ruled by the living, not the dead. Equally, if the Catholics of NI see the error of their ways and convert en masse to Protestantism, and SF & SDLP are totally wiped out by DUP etc, then it will be possible to revert to pre-GFA conditions. But of course this is something that
    only happens in fables and Newsletter sponsored opinion polls.

    that plan entirely wipes out any imagined moral edge over unionism?

    I have no idea how moral edges work and what benefits they bring. The objectionable feature of Unionism is that it demands the right to secede within borders of its own creation (for Unionists), and denies this right for Nationalists. The trouble is there aren’t enough Unionists to make a go of partition, but there are enough to attempt
    it. This is only objectionable to the world in general because it leads to civic unrest within the Unionist controlled area and explosions in countries that matter (i.e. England). For this reason H.M.’s government decided to sponsor a régime in NI which contained sufficient cross-community protections to restore a semblance of order. What happens after reunification is not a concern of H.M.’s
    government, provided it does not lead to a refugee problem or expropriations, on the Zimbabwean model.

    The founding principle of the Common Market, subsequently European Union, is that there must be free movement of labour, as this is the foundation of prosperity. The eventual effect of free movement of labour on Northern Ireland will be to diminish its separateness, from
    Nationalist Ireland and Catholic majority Europe, and change it into something more homogenous. If you have a problem with this, then you must take it up with your own government.

  • Pete Baker

    I am primarily a democrat, so in cases where the demos clearly wants a republic, I am in favour of it.

    You have a fundamental misunderstanding of democracy.

    Unless you meant to say that you just jump on whatever the popular bandwagon of the moment appears to be…

    Which, of course, you didn’t.

    But we’ll wait for that “inevitable” border poll…

  • Reader

    PaddyReilly: so in cases where the demos clearly wants a republic, I am in favour of it.
    So, no republic for Bangor, then.

  • Mick Fealty

    Paddy,

    Sounds like that verbal Republicanism Feeney was taking about. If you have an objective you need a plan to achieve it. What’s the plan?

  • ranger1640

    Adams has never set out any other vision for a united Ireland other than a united Ireland, administrated from Dublin. He has made no mention of a subordinate Stormont ever, as far as I can see. He talks of convincing Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter. So his vision of a united Ireland seems to be a single administration in Dublin.

    This then begs the question. Has anyone asked what would Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, think if there was a united Ireland? A united Ireland that would be presented as a Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams united Ireland.

    Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, I suspect would determine that Sinn Fein are likely to be the largest party in a united Ireland.

    Even if they are not the largest party, I suspect Fianna Fail and Fine Gael will conclude that Sinn Fein will claim that they have fought the British for over 80 years, and they will demand a seat in any united Ireland government. With the possible threat of another Irish civil war???

    So who should be most concerned about a united Ireland, should it be the Irish political parties, the Irish wealthy, the Irish middle classed or the Irish poor? I suspect all sections of Irish society should be concerned, that’s who?

    After all there will be a price to pay for this new united Ireland, and the new oil found of the cost of Cork won’t pay for it.

  • PaddyReilly

    So, no republic for Bangor, then.

    The question of how to cope with a population whose opinion varies from town to town and street to street is a difficult one. Newry in the South of County Down wants a republic; Bangor in the North of the same county wants a monarchy. Which gets which? The answer lies in the GFA, which rules that the whole of the six counties are to be taken as a single unit. So until reunification, Newry Republicans will have to put up with Bertha’s face on their stamps and coins; after reunification, Bangor Unionists will be faced with the Euro. Oh well, at least it’s not animal money from animal Ireland.

  • ayeYerMa

    Paddy Reilly, the self determination of the Ulster British people is never going to disappear (an ethnicity with a recorded precedent of such a right). If attitudes like yours become prevalent it will no doubt be fought for again if necessary. The 6 counties at present is the current manefestation of that right. The GFA is merely an agreement between the United Kingdom and Irish Republic as they are currently constituted, and the right to self determination of the Ulster British will always take precedent over it in international law. A majority in the 6 counties in favour of joining the Irish Republic will merely mean that the self-determination of the Ulster British is no longer represented by the 6 counties. You simply are not going to subjugate, bully and deny a million people of such a right, and attempting to do so will go to the UN.

    The entire reason for instability over the last century is nothing to do with there not being enough Unionists (Northern Ireland having consistently over a 2/3 supermajority in favour of its existence, from before its foundation, right up to the present day). Rather, it has been a failure of British security policy to uphold the 1921 Irish two-state peace treaty. Instead the British government was prepared to turn a blind eye to decades and decades of insurgency (much of that from those south of the border*, all too keen for self-determination for one ethnicity but not the other) leaving the local government from birth (a birth of local home rule that Unionists did not want in the first place) to have to rely on auxiliary police as the only form of defence. British defence policy finally perked up in the 1970s and actually started acting in the interests of the defence of British Citizens, though this was akin to closing the stable door after the horse had bolted. Frankly, the only reason we have peace today is because the sovereign British defence forces and intelligence agencies actually bothered to act in a manner to quell Republican insurgency.

  • ayeYerMa

    * Interesting also, that most of the endless undemocratic delusions of Irish Republicanism on sites like this and others seem to come from south of the border. Frankly guys, Northern Ireland is none of your business and the more you post the more preposterous your desires to “unite” with us appear.

  • PaddyReilly

    You simply are not going to subjugate, bully and deny a million people of such a right, and attempting to do so will go to the UN.

    Some points here. The total Unionist vote is currently around 300,000 on a good turnout. It has never been a million. The Sinn Féin vote in Ireland is greater than the total Unionist vote: it may even be greater in Ulster, or possibly Ulster plus Co Louth.

    Democratic decisions can only be decided in favour of the larger party. If the Nationalist party in the 6 county area becomes the larger one, then it is the Nationalist agenda that must be adopted. This reduces the Unionist volk in significance to something like the London Irish. There may well be 300,000 registered Irish voters in London, but this does not make them a separate nation for administrative purposes. Apparently though they are numerous enough to sack Boris and bring back Ken, if they put their mind to it.

    The UN does not arbitrate in internal disputes. Former colonial masters, such as the Whites in South Africa, are universally condemned to have to put up with the dictates of the local majority.

  • ayeYerMa

    PaddyReilly, the size of the ethnically British population in Ulster is not the same as the votes cast for “Unionist” political parties (and given that there is little threat to the Union there is little point in explicit “Unionist” parties anyway) – confusing the two is a common mistake of many political commentators.

    South Africa is not comparible. The whites in South Africa were always the minority. Northern Ireland, OTOH, was created specifically as the maximum contiguous territory which would represent a super-majority of ethnically Ulster British people under the self-determination concept. Self-determination is primarily determined by ethnicities of PEOPLE, not fixed areas of land – a concept Irish Nationalism repeatedly fails to understand. Northern Ireland is also NOT a colony and, 12 miles from the mainland, has experienced the intermingling of peoples from throughout the British archipelago for millennia.

  • Mick Fealty

    Paddy,

    You’re going down your usual route… you have all the right numbers but in all the wrong places… Now, the problem with talking about how useless unionism is is that it doesn’t address the problem how of this united Ireland you are planning to punish them with?

  • Greenflag

    ‘Frankly guys, Northern Ireland is none of your business ‘

    It is unfortunately . There happens to be a land frontier for a start and large numbers of the same ethnic /cultural group live on either side of it. Even closer than the 12 miles from Britain ‘argument ‘ mentioned above . If the house next door happens to be burning to the ground it is your business too -fire spreads quickly .So to say NI is none of the Republic’s business is a nonsense and vice versa . Britain also has an interest in Ireland and vice versa given the amount of trade and long historical and familial links between both islands . The GFA recognises this simple fact of life .

    As for ‘desire ‘ to unite with NI being preposterous there is no ‘desire ‘ for the vast majority of nationalists just as there is no desire on the part of a majority of Englishmen to be ‘united ‘ with Northern Ireland . It just happens to be the current political accommodation . If ‘nationalists ‘in NI become a voting majority and that is the route i.e UI they wish to take they will be supported by the vast majority of their fellow countrymen .

    As to any ‘plan ‘ ? As Paddy Reilly makes very clear above

    ‘ But if, as anyone can see, they (unionists ) will never do so, then negotiations on reunification will have to wait till the six counties have a Nationalist majority.’

    A UI is not a guaranteed outcome anyway -neither is a continuation of the union . Scotland may leave and NI may leave . In the meantime we all have to live with ‘uncertainty ‘ apart from death and taxes .

  • Mick Fealty

    This is junior school stuff GF/Paddy:

    “….negotiations on reunification will have to wait till the six counties have a Nationalist majority.”

    It is the sort of thing you say when the teacher asks you for your homework and you haven’t got the wit/neck to think up a decent excuse.

    Again to point back at the headline; if you haven’t got a clear proposition (or you are not working towards one) then people will say no (causing unnecessarily collateral damage to the cause)…

  • Greenflag

    ‘This is junior school stuff l

    Indeed it is but even junior schoolers know that the vast majority of ‘unionists ‘ don’t want any UI under any circumstances or until such time as they are forced by weight of numbers to stop ignoring the elephant in the room .

    Ipso facto the ‘junior school kids ‘ most of them i.e the 85% who devote no more than 30 minutes a year to matters political or constitutional are not fussed about any UI prospective or otherwise.

    As for the ‘politicians ‘ SF or otherwise . Well they’ll cross that bridge after they burn it as always and ditto on the Unionist side of the equation . The majority of the people on both sides of the border and on both sides in NI are more concerned about ‘symbols ; ‘bands ‘ and ‘marches ‘ than they are about s UI or any imminent threat to the current union.

    To be blunt it’s a bit like the Modh Coinniolach as Des Bishop explains :

    ‘a thing that might happen depending on the conditions at the time which might or might not be any time soo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfLuFHdUG6k

    Or to be terse presently irrelevant . Its not an excuse it’s just the way the ‘problem ‘ if you want to call it that is perceived . In any event it won’t stop Martin McGuinness from shaking hands with Queenie .

  • PaddyReilly

    If you have an objective you need a plan to achieve it. What’s the plan?

    No, I don’t have a plan. The dog ate my homework.

    Imagine that your 96 year old grandfather is owner of Six Acres farm. Should you formulate a plan to wrest control of said property from him? Should you lie in wait for him down a boreen with a shotgun? I think that would be counter-productive. No, you should let nature take its course. Patience is a great virtue. Also, if the Good Lord chooses to allow the man to live to 108 and fell you with a coronary next year, well that is the way of the world.

    But I do think that you should know something of agriculture just in case some old man leaves you a farm. Or at least have some kind of business plan for the eventuality.

    By English standards the Unionist majority in Northern Ireland is so marginal that its demise at the next election would be totally guaranteed. For there to be 2 Nationalist MEPs out of 3 in 2014, it only needs 12,169 people to change their minds. That is 12,169 spread over 18 constituencies: 676 per constituency.

    But Northern Ireland is not England. No one ever changes their mind: there are no floating voters. Nor do voters gradually fall out of love with the status quo in the way that English ones do. The only way to speed this process up would involve transfers of population. This is considered to be unethical. It might also cause the other side to do the same, and so would be counter-effective.

    Now I realise that you, Mick Fealty, are a fan of polititians. You believe that what they are doing is significant and effective. A question we would differ on is, when Labour won the 1997 Election, was it because the British public, after 20 years of rule by the Conservative Party, were desperate to see the back of them at any cost, or was it because of Tony Blair’s effective marketing of New Labour? I sense that I will always emphasize the former cause, and you the latter. When the time is right maybe it might be apposite to find some fresh faced young politico to go round mouthing some empty slogan like “New Deal”, “New Alliance” , “Moving forward together” and credit the Uniting of Ireland to his masterful campaign, but really it will be down to the patience of hundreds of thousands of people who decided not to move away and brought up their children.

    So no, I don’t have any plan to cause the Nationalist vote to rise by an average of 676 per constituency. But I believe that one day it will. Maybe though the old ****er will live to be 124 like Mme Calment, I cannot say. But once it does rise to this level, that is the time to start the rhetoric. Because then you have the requisite cards in your hand.

  • Greenflag

    Well said paddy reilly just one qualification

    ‘ really it will be down to the patience of hundreds of thousands of people ‘

    I’d say millions on both sides of the Irish sea and further afield.

    ‘First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they fight you . Then you win . 😉