Slugger online debate: What’s eating Ardoyne (take two)…

This is partly a reminder of tomorrow’s lunch time discussion, and partly an attempt to reset the thread that from the first comment actually went on to discuss a video taken outside St Patrick’s church in Donegall Street where (depending on who’s version of the truth you choose) a marching band chose play an old American classic, or The Famine Song.

Either way, the video demonstrates just how intense the feelings are around this time of year (the ‘who’ of the video making may have been just as important as the ‘what’ he was doing). And that’s no matter how much good work gets done in between:

Anyway, back to tomorrow’s hang out discussion. The public version should start at 1pm (barring unforeseen technical hitches), though I’m likely to be online for direct participants inside G+ from about 12.30 onwards.

I’d like to keep it to 45 minutes – hour, one so that those who want to can stay the whole way through; and two on the basis that although I want to keep things informal the tighter the timeframe the more watchable it will be afterwards on YouTube…

Whilst, as noted above, the controversy over the weekend has moved to the band playing outside St Patricks Church. We can have some time for this, but I do want to keep our collective eye on Ardoyne.

The lack of resolution to the Holy Cross issue is more relevant to that community and its feelings about the Loyal Orders than bands playing ‘party songs’ when the march halts outside a Catholic Church.

I think we do have to make some decisions on this ‘pre production’ in order not to get looped into distracting whataboutery issues. And I’d like to have some broad understanding (if not ‘agreement’) on what’s in and what’s out before we set off.

There’s enough of these kinds of distractions in the ‘spun world’. And I’d like this session to try to unspin the issues as much as is possible.

If you are still unsure what a Google plus hangout is check out the Slugger Consults blog. Otherwise, register at Google Plus and make sure you ‘circle’ me at gplus.to/mickfealty.

For those in my G+ circles (making it purely public creates all manner of management issues), I’ll be in a small informal hangout this evening between 9 and 10 to take questions and start to informally begin to curate an agenda for tomorrow which will be posted on the event page here…

If you just want to watch, I plan to have a parallel thread on Slugger with a coded embed to the ‘live’ ‘on air’ stream from YouTube…

And if you are still completely confused, drop me an email to: editor@sluggerotoole.com

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  • Alias

    “Alias and the Lodger have overlooked one salient point…” – anne warren

    Repeating your errors is an ineffective means of correcting them, and adding additional errors doesn’t help either.

    You made three claims, all of which were wrong.

    Your first erroneous claim is that the “GFA/BA is an international agreement between the UK and Irish states.”

    As I pointed out to you, the GFA is an all-party agreement between the political parties of Northern Ireland which you have confused with the British Irish Agreement, which is a bilateral treaty between two states. Being an agreement, it is voluntary; and being voluntary is the actual salient point…

    Your second erroneous claim is that unionists did not agree to power-sharing arrangements.

    As I again pointed out to you, unionists were a party to the all-party talks which agreed this provision and that provision would not have come about if unionists did not agree to it and agree to place the agreed outcome of those all-party talks before the electorate in a plebiscite.

    Really, how hard can it be for you to understand that unionists agreed to power-sharing arrangements and that your claim is therefore false?

    Your third erroneous claim is that unionists had power-sharing arrangements imposed on them by the two governments under threat of legal sanction if they refused to it.

    You base this piece of pure nonsense on a claim that the GFA, which you have confused with the British Irish Agreement, has the status of criminal law in that jurisdiction. What you mean, of course, if that the treaty has such status. Again, this is a fundamental misunderstanding on your part which confuses treaty law with domestic British law and wrongly supposes that the Irish government has the power to legislative in the UK by by-passing Westminster in such bilateral agreements.

    The fact that unionists are not under any binding legal obligation to share power should have been fairly obvious to you from their refusal to share power and the failure of the two governments to arrest them or threaten this action contrary to your belief that they would. Both the UUP and the DUP adding preconditions after the GFA without, and only agreed to share power when the preconditions were met to their satisfaction. They could freely add any condition they like then just as they could freely add them now.

    Your new error is to copy-and-paste some text which refers to a thing called “The Agreement” thereby conflating the two separate agreements which have confused you. This seems to make you even more confused but I guess that is to be expected.

    To summarise: unionists agreed to power-sharing arrangements, having full power to veto them if they did not want to agree to them during the all-party talks. The GFA is not the treaty, and the treaty does not force unionists to act in any way against their will and not does it do this under threat of criminal sanction – and nor do treaties have the power to impose law.

  • Alias

    One other point: the British Irish Agreement does not cover Strand 1 matters since they are internal to the United Kingdom. Power-sharing is a Strand 1 matter. And I’ll throw in a bonus point for good measure: since the GFA is the outcome of the all-party talks and could not have occured without all-party agreement, it is utterly assinine to claim that the GFA imposes power-sharing on the unionists without their agreement. It merely imposes what was agreed.

  • Alias

    Last point on this (as it is off-topic): the actual legislative authority for power-sharing is the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as enacted in Westminster. The GFA itself is just an all-party agreement with no legislative status whatsoever. The treaty does not in any way remove that sovereignty from Westminster or legislate on its behalf. Therefore, any alleged mythical transgressions under the Act are a matter for the UK parliament, government, and courts, having absolutely feck all to do with the Irish government.

  • Mister_Joe

    Give it over with your impeccable analysis, Alias. There is an accepted “real” situation whereby two parties (unfortunately not the UUP and SDLP as hoped) have the power and the ability to veto anything that one party opposes that they don’t agree with. Life sucks, eh? We have laws which forbid lawbreaking; that doesn’t preclude lawbreakers.

  • andnowwhat

    Yep Fergie. That was the “orangedemocrats”, a guy/guys who promote loyalist propaganda and push lies. I think they’ve had their account closed and rightly so

  • Fergie Pie

    You can’t really whine when someone does the same to you then, can you?

  • andnowwhat

    I can be intrigued about why a video that shows a politician/christian minister/OO man greeting a known sectarian murderer/drug dealer/criminal as if he were the fruit of his own loins goes AWOL.

    It’s been used for years to show the complete nonsense regarding unionists having nothing to do with “terrorists”

  • Fergie Pie

    Yes, obviously Youtube is staffed by Californian LVF supporters……

  • andnowwhat

    Anything to say about Rev Willie Mc Crea, MP’s fawning comments at 9.27?

  • The Lodger

    andnowhat,

    You do understand the difference between making fawning comments, and actually directing terrorism and murdering people don’t you?

  • andnowwhat

    In a NI context? No!!

  • The Lodger

    andnowhat,

    It’s a fairly significant difference. I can’t really help you any further than that.

  • tacapall

    The Lodger

    “You do understand the difference between making fawning comments, and actually directing terrorism and murdering people don’t you”

    Lodger how would you define directing terrorism ?

  • The Lodger

    tapacall,

    I would define it as being an action by a senior member of a terrorist organisation who directs more junior expendable members to go out and murder people and bomb places.

  • tacapall

    I would have said, anyone who plans, alone or with others, who directly aids and controls an action or actions by others that would lead to violence, death, injury, or damage to people or property, but of course you left an opt out clause for those occasions when it needs finely defined to suit an unfortunate truth being revealed.

  • The Lodger

    Tapacall,

    Yeah basically what the top echelon of Sinn Fein did.

  • Mister_Joe

    tacapall,

    See submariner’s advice to me on the other thread.

  • The Lodger

    Mr Joe,

    Submariner is a bitter twisted Irish republican (with certain guilt issues about the fact that he served in the Royal Navy and helped sink a ship full of Argentinian catholics) so I don’t really put much store on anything he says.

  • Mister_Joe

    bitter and twisted?
    I know I shouldn’t respond but,
    Pot, kettle, black

  • The Lodger

    Mr Joe,

    Please point out any bitter and twisted comments that I have made? For all my many faults at least I have not adopted your tactic of lying.

  • Mister_Joe

    O would some Power the gift to give us
    To see ourselves as others see us!
    It would from many a blunder free us,
    And foolish notion:

    Acknowledgement to the famed Scottish Bard.

  • andnowwhat

    Lodger

    We’ve read your justification of the Holy Cross disgrace. There isn’t one

  • wee buns

    Desist Joe.

  • The Lodger

    “Lodger

    We’ve read your justification of the Holy Cross disgrace. There isn’t one”

    andnowhat,

    I would like to see where I did that please?

  • babyface finlayson

    The Lodger
    I see an Israeli flag was burnt on the bonfire on Tuesday night.
    Every bit as bad as the incident with the Polish flag at the 12th.
    I think it was condemned by Fra McCann.

  • tacapall

    I seen a lot more than that babyface on the bonfire at Divis but then its monkey see monkey do type of thing in that respect. Fra McCann did condemn it but Sinn Fein did not interfere unlike other areas like Beechmount that were put under martial law and saturated with wannabe chuckies from all over, supported by priests and the PSNI along with city council employees who fought running battles with youths to take away their bonfire material. The local priest thought he was still living in the Maureen O’Hara era when he assaulted one man who reacted by punching him back. The local residents committee is run by a local Sinn Fein overlord who depending on what side of the fence you live on will supply these heavies to sort out disputes or threaten tenants to leave the area when they are judged by him as being anti social. It seems other residents have caught on to him though and theres a rival residents group started as he doesn’t want to relinquish power. We can take it that all those areas who had bonfires on the 8th august were abandoned by Sinn Fein as being too dangerous for them to intimidate.