Accepting Northern Ireland is part of the UK is what nationalists signed up for…

It’s worth noting Vernon Coaker’s intervention, which is a reminder to both sets of ‘leaders’ in Northern Ireland of the basis of the Belfast Agreement back in 1998:

 “I can’t help but think that to overcome the setbacks, we almost need to establish first principles again, the sort that were enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement.

“Nationalists and republicans need to show that they accept Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom while the majority of people who live there want it to be. That’s what they signed up for.

“It doesn’t mean they have to like it, or stop working for a change to it. But they have got to respect it, and the Britishness of their neighbours who want it to continue.

“And unionists and loyalists need to show that they acknowledge that Northern Ireland is Irish too.

“It must be shared between everyone. That’s what they signed up for. It doesn’t diminish their place in the United Kingdom, or mean they have to stop supporting the Union. But they must respect the equal status and legitimacy of their neighbours’ Irishness.”

Ah, but that would require compromise in government… something which is, as yet, more conspicuous in the letter of the agreement than in the (in)actions of the power-sharing Executive…

, , , ,

  • Alan N/Ards

    Greenflag
    Does The New Ireland Forum paper have any legal standing in the South? The Federal Ireland proposal is probably the best option for a peaceful change of government ( in my humble opinion).

    What changes, if any, should be made in policing this new unified state? The changes to the flag and anthem are the easy ones and it will take a lot longer than a couple of years for people to get their heads around it. Maybe they should call another forum and get started.

  • PaddyReilly

    When Britain first acceded to Irish Independence it was agreed that there would be a special seat for Trinity College graduates in Seanad Éireann, to guarantee a voice for Protestants. This was abolished a decade later by De Valera. A bit mean, but when you think how seats were assigned in the British Upper House, democratic enough.

    During the era when Fianna Fáil was still permanently in government there was one notorious incident where the residents of one marginal were granted a magnificent new planted garden, the trees and plants from which were removed after the election by men in lorries.

    The moral is, that you should rely on your ongoing politicking skills, and not on the promises made to you in the brochure. For this reason, in South Africa the old racist pro-Apartheid party immediately joined the majority Congress Party. They could not bear to be out of power: they would rather join up with their bitterest enemies.

  • anne warren

    Some of the issues that have been raised in this thread are being explored on
    the mirror@wordpress.com.
    Do have a look for some fresh ideas about joint sovreignty/governance, joint policing and a new way of looking at integrated education. There’s some background to the land question in “No pope here, never ever ever”. I think people will also enjoy “do they knight themselves in a self-knighting ceremony” as well as various other posts on the orange order.

  • PaddyReilly

    The changes to the flag and anthem are the easy ones

    In my opinion, the word flag and any discussion of the object it denotes should be banned from any political discussion for a century.

  • anne warren

    just realised I made a stupid mistke with the link – try the mirror.wordpress.com

  • redstar2011

    redstar 2011′

    “For those banging on about the 1998 agreement- it would never get the cross community vote now. Not a chance. ”

    Any evidence to back up that claim or is it just wishful thinking .And if not the GFA then what would or could replace it without thousands of people being killed and NI being set back another 40 years ?

    In plain English whats your alternative to the GFA if any ?

    Heres plain English for you that backs up my claim- name one major Unionist party which now supports the GFA.

    UU have made it plain they are no longer happy with it and Dup never supported it. You know as well as I do that in the Unionist community it wouldn’t get a majority vote

  • Morpheus

    Redstar the most recent poll on how people would now vote on the GFA, which Slugger commented on back in May of this year, had just 11% of population voting no.

    What is your specific issue with the GFA? Too much equality being dished out? I wonder how you would feel if the GFA was implemented in its entirety instead of this bits’n’pieces approach

  • redstar2011

    Too much equality????

    I am a Republican AND a realist.

    This piece meal fudge, whilst a very nice earner for career politicians like Robbo and Mmg ( and their families) has been useless.

    The internal settlement has given s a corrupt pointless sham on the hill whilst the main problem has not been addressed.

    I know its a phrase Shinners no longer dare utter lest they upset their British masters but the British occupation which was there pre 1998 is still there.

    The pretence by SF of an acceptable deal is wearing thin in our own areas and as loyalism has shown it cannot cede equality under an internal solution then original Republican ideals of running our own country seem more relevant than ever.

  • Morpheus

    As a republican what is your issue with the people deciding what they want?

  • redstar2011

    I have no problem with the people deciding what they want as you put it.

    I do have a problem with eyes being closed to the main issue which caused the conflict and which will aways be an issue unless its addressed.

    SFs decision to abandon the ideal of removing Britain from Ireland in favour of accepting and carrying out British rule in exchange for a modicum of equality simply hasnt worked.

    It was a cowardly self serving position which has condemned even more generations to divisiveness and lack of a permanent solution.

    Whilst they are very adept at propaganda and attempting to dress up their position as some sort of step forward in an unending process their total lack of purpose and detail on how this can be achieved by their strategy is wearing thin.

    Meanwhile they continue their pretence by boycotting Westminster as they ” dont recognise British rule” but sit in Stormont implementing British rule ( cuts n all) and if they ever got round to producing legislation it would have to be passed by?- youve guessed it the Westminster they dont recognise. Pathetic and dishonest

  • Morpheus

    What is your suggestion on what should happen?

    The GFA – even though chunks have not been implemented – has brought us relative equality, relative peace and a legally enshrined obligation on the British and Irish governments to implement the will of the people. If the majority of the people in Ireland, North and South of the border, want it they can bring about a united Ireland peacefully and democratically – the way it should be.

    SF, like them or loathe them, is progressing on both sides of the border despite making some absolutely horrendous errors on the way. They could be the biggest party in Northern Ireland giving them the First Ministers position at the next NI Assembly elections and are genuine contenders to be in a coalition government at the next ROI elections. They have some excellent young talent coming through in the form of Doherty and McDonald who do not have the baggage that many of the current leadership have which is hampering progress.

    What are FF, FG or SDLP doing to advance the cause of those wanting a UI?

    56% of the population are either in favor of reunification within a generation or are still undecided even in this current economic climate and without political nationalism lifting a finger to convince anyone of anything. These are the people who need to be convinced that a UI is the way to go if it is ever going to come about.

  • redstar2011

    Dress it up as you like ( indeed SF HAVE to dress it up) but the bottom line is they not only surrendered and accepted Britsh rule but they ALSO agreed to administer it for the Britsh. In exchange for what- a modicum of equality in a part of their country still occupied by Britain!!!!!

  • Greenflag

    @ AlanN/Ards,

    “Does The New Ireland Forum paper have any legal standing in the South?”

    I’m not a lawyer . It was a ‘talking shop ” /think tank on possible futures which was attended by the 4 ‘moderate ‘ nationalist parties on the island -FF, FG , Labour and the SDLP . Neither SF nor any of the Unionist parties attended although some individual unionists did .You can see who made individual submissions in this link towards the end of the item.

    http://assembly.coe.int/ASP/XRef/X2H-DW-XSL.asp?fileid=16270&lang=EN

    The Forum’s report was accepted by the Council of Europe in this summary.

    http://assembly.coe.int/ASP/XRef/X2H-DW-XSL.asp?fileid=16270&lang=EN

    “Maybe they should call another forum and get started.”

    What would be the point ? The consensus view of the 4 main nationalist parties back then has’nt changed and you could say that SF’s view is now very much the same given that the GFA includes the Forum’s view that the constitution of NI can only be changed if the majority of people in NI vote for such change .

  • Morpheus

    SF play an active role in Stormont because the people of Ireland, North and South of the border, signed up to the Good Friday Agreement which quite clearly states that Northern Ireland is part of the UK until such times as the majority vote otherwise.

    SF can stand on the sidelines and bitch or they can get in the game and do something about it. Which would you prefer?

  • redstar2011

    Morpheus my point exactly

    They signed up to a deal which was totally removed from all Republican goals ie they agreed to the occupation of this island by Britain. Of course they HAVE to stand by it now- this was the sellout they agreed to!!!!!!

  • Morpheus

    The key part of that sentence as far as you are concerned should be “…until the majority vote otherwise” so a peaceful, democratic way of achieving the goal of a united Ireland is on the table. It’s up to nationalism to convince the 30% who are currently undecided that a UI is the way to go.

    I still see no suggestions from you, what do YOU think should happen?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Redstar2011

    Sigh.

    Really?

    ” ie they agreed to the occupation of this island by Britain”

    That would imply that Carrickfergus, as in the Rock of Fergus, he of the Royal House of the Scots, is occupied.

    Crossmaglen I can understand, but other towns in NI are not so ripe for the ‘occupied’ banner. It is MOPEspeak as propagated by Irish Americans and their ilk.

    You come out with some good stuff but really, man, c’mon…

  • redstar2011

    Morpheus you appear to miss the point

    What majority?

    The majority of the part occupied? Occupations wrong plain and simple. Its a bit daft creating a false majority through occupation and then claiming the only way to end it is by a ” democratic” vote in a statelet undemocratically created.

    The British have no right to occupy here, plain and simple

  • BluesJazz

    redstar

    Yes, it’s clear the British government and its population are desperate to continue to ‘occupy’ NI due to its vast mineral reserves, dynamic economy, vibrant cultural contribution, strategic military position etc etc.

    Talk to anyone on the mainland and you can sense the desire to remain here as even more important than even health or education.

    So you have a very strong case.

  • Morpheus

    I understand your point redstar, I just really, really don’t agree with it.

    Regardless of what happened 100 years ago we are where we are and to peacefully and democratically change (or not change) what happened 100 years ago is in the hands of the people of Ireland – the way it should be. We choose our own destiny.

    The majority means that a) more people in Northern Ireland vote ‘Yes’ than ‘No’ then b) more people in ROI vote ‘Yes’ than ‘No.’ For point a) to come to fruitition nationalism needs to convince over 30% of the population of the merits of a UI. Bitchin’ about past injustices won’t do it.

    Northern Ireland has moved on and I suggest you do the same. I have plenty of family, friends and colleagues who are British, my wife being case in point, but if I thought for one single minute that they would feel to the need to form a Civil Rights Movement in a UI because of discrimination or their rights where not being upheld I for one would shove the idea of a UI right now.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Hello?!

    Redstar?!!

    “The British have no right to occupy here, plain and simple”

    Did you read my earlier post?

  • redstar2011

    Morpheus.

    If you or SF have decided to accept British rule and opt for scraps from the table so be it. ( achieving equality isnt a victory. Equality in your own country is a right)

    But please dont try and dress it up as some grand plan towards unity.

    We can all see it for what it is and the ever growing drop in those voting in Nat areas especially young Republicans shows theres little faith or belief in the middle aged has beens who are now firmly part of the establishment

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Choose your fights carefully eh?

  • Greenflag

    @ redstar2011,

    “I am a Republican AND a realist.”

    Are you sure ? The ‘realist ‘ part I’d question .It may well be a sham on the hill and eventually it may implode but as of now it’s the only sham in town and the only one acceptable to a majority of people in N and thats all that matters.I.

    The fact that Unionist parties and in particular the DUP & TUV don’t like it is immaterial . They have no alternative that I know of that would or could work in stead of the GFA that would be acceptable to that half of the population that is non unionist .

    SF as I see it are doing all they can do given the limitations of Northern Ireland’s demographics and it’s political divisions . It’s unrealistic to expect ‘Unionists ‘ to vote themselves out of the ‘Union’ as long as they have a majority of votes . Why would they or should they given current circumstances and economic conditions ? It’s not as if life for the vast majority of both communities would be much different in a UI , at least in regards to most people’s daily lives .

    As I’ve said before and will say again the ideal of a UI will probably only be achieved when nationalist and republican voters in NI outnumber and /or outpoll unionist voters in a referendum on the constitutional question . I would think that by now most Irish nationalists and republicans north and south accept that ‘reality ‘ and I would guess that most unionists and loyalists would too.

    Change is risky for physical organisms but for a species to survive, adaptation to environmental , economic or social change is a prerequisite for continued existence . Political organisations /states /parties are no different .Those who adapt- survive to change another day -those who don’t become part of the past ,

    Based on my observations SF have been doing a better job of adapting than any of their political competition in either NI or the Republic ,That is no guarantee of ultimate success for their political objective but as the man said – bacteria will still be going strong on Earth when the Sun explodes whereas we humans will have already been extinct for eons,

    Northern Ireland on the other hand and it’s eternal existential crisis may continue in another .alternate universe 😉

    It’s Friday again 🙂
    . ,

  • David Crookes

    If the UI when it comes involves a million unionists being dragged against their will into a place that they don’t want to know about (like a weak man who allows his wife to drag him into a lingerie shop on Saturday afternoon), it won’t be worth having.

    Furthermore, if it involves GB having some sort of guarantor’s role in respect of former unionists, a bit like the AIA in reverse and writ large, it won’t be worth having.

    I want to live in a grown-up country whose citizens are able to rule themselves. No intergovernmental bodies, no influential nuncios, and no special envoys.

    [And please, no input from any such fatuous thing as a ‘diaspora’. Diasporas have no part to play in the life of a new Ireland. They won’t be living in our new country, and they won’t be paying taxes to our new government, so they have as much right to participate in the equation of a new Ireland as Nordics, Greys, and Reptilians.]

    Here is the wrong way to go about building a UI. “Let’s make it as close as we can to what we have now.”

    No, thanks. Let us hope for bold, energetic, and resourceful people to arise on both sides of the border. Let us not require them to have a minimum age of sixty or seventy. Some of them, perhaps even one of them, may be able to sell a genial UI project to most of us.

    Let us ignore any dictatorial Sunday-paper intellectuals who tell us about the new Ireland, without putting their beliefs before the electorate in a democratic manner, that ‘it will have to be this,’ or ‘it will have to be that.’ A people is sovereign. A people is not a nuisance to be managed by clever bureaucratic theoreticians. The UI when it comes will work well if it is generated and energized by ordinary people.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Yes, David, I too understood the idea of democracy as “a grown-up country whose citizens are able to rule themselves” rather than a demand for guarantees that nothing can ever change.

    I think a lot of this began in the run up to the GFA and at that time the “two” governments and their advisors were discussing many of the ideas that the philosopher Richard Kearney employed in writing “Post-Nationalist Ireland” (1996).

    Check the book out, ( one for £0.01p on Amazon) perhaps it will explain why “A people is sovereign” is still such an issue for most of these ‘enlightened” people who are essaying how to govern us “Globally”. I remember Kearney talking about “exorcising the demon of Sovereignty” often at the time.

    “A people is not a nuisance to be managed by clever bureaucratic theoreticians” might also be rather strong meat for those habituated to believing that votes give them a mandate to manage just about everything without further scrutiny.

  • Alan N/Ards

    David

    Who will be paying for this agreed Ireland? I would guarantee that GB will be expected to help financially for quite a while. The British citizen’s living in this agreed Ireland will demand that GB cover their backs for as long as it takes. You need to get real. The bitterness and mistrust of the troubles will take a long time to go away.

  • Morpheus

    We, the people of Ireland, will be paying for it Alan. We will see what we have and what we don’t have and cut our cloth accordingly.

  • David Crookes

    Many thanks for that sober question, Alan. I don’t know what the answer is. It is unthinkable that 30% of the inhabitants of a UI should be subvened for a generation or more by citizens of another state. And I detest the idea that the wealthy American diaspora either will or should give us all lots of money. Any proponent of a healthy UI has to be an opponent of intravenous feeding.

    It will need an all-round change of heart if a UI is to work. Our hearts will have to move away from big houses with big oil-tanks and enormous mortgages, big cars, holidays in Disneyland, and the expensive bureaucratic empire that has made education into a perfect hell. Instead of asking whether a UI will keep us in the style to which we have become accustomed, we need to get renounce a lot of of the style to which we have become accustomed. Everyone in the West is going to have to do the same thing sooner or later.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    laochra, teacht amach a imirt ….

    (OK, I admit, that was a google-job, my Scottish-Gaelic skills ain’t so smart)

    Any way, redstar, the ‘occupation’; I’m intrigued, please present your case.

  • David Crookes

    Is fheàrr Gàidhlig bhriste na Gàidhlig sa chiste.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Alan N/Ards: “You need to get real. The bitterness and mistrust of the troubles will take a long time to go away.”

    I’d recommend you look at Rosselini’s 1948 “Germania anno zero” before crying up how long it may take for us to get over the bitterness and mistrust of the Troubles. You can get a copy on Amazon at £8.96 at the moment. Sometimes things get so bad that there is no room for such things. Its a pity that it takes really terrible extremes to make people understand that there are more important things than scoring political points.

    And David’s reply describing the necessary stripping down from material comfort any future Ireland will have to carry out is all important. We cannot continue to push a wee begging bowl in front of indifferent Westminister administrations forever. That world ended in 2007, even if it won’t admit it yet, like the headless chicken it is.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    DC

    You got me on that one:

    I put it through google an it was gibberish.

    By my own simple mind I decoded some sort of tale where you state that you are a scottish man but…

    BTW: Why s Redstar not explaining why Carrickfergus is occupied?!

  • David Crookes

    Never thought a well-known proverb wud gub ye, AG.

    Broken Gaelic is better than dead Gaelic.

    You can tell it’s Friday afternoon. The boys are getting boisterous.

  • Alan N/Ards

    David
    The new agreed Ireland that some people want, will have to lower its living standards to stand on its own two feet. I don’t doubt that for one minute. The question is how much of a drop will the ordinary man/woman accept? Will this new Ireland be able to run a NHS for the whole island? The questions need to asked and answered. I read Garrett Fitzgeralds auto biography “Just Garrett” recently and he was adamant that financial aid from GB was necessary for a UI to survive.

  • David Crookes

    Alan, the hard sense that you’re talking should be welcomed by everyone who looks forward to a UI, and especially by romantic boys like me. So thanks. Let’s talk in terms of temporary financial incubation. It is more than likely that GB will support ‘a permanent solution of the Irish question’ for at least a generation. It is even possible that the EC and the USA will assist GB in the provision of that support. But I’m with Morpheus here in principle. In the end, we have to renounce every species of begging-bowl.

    What will it take to keep the health service and the education system of NI at their present levels? I don’t know. But you could make a big saving in the education budget almost at once by following a simple programme.

    Admit that the quality of education has gone down as the number of associated theoreticians has gone up. Abolish the education departments of our universities. Allow graduates to go straight into teaching, as they did in the old days. Abolish the utterly useless Teachers’ Council, dismiss all the educational advisers, either abolish or castrate the inspectorate, run the school year strictly from September to June, abolish form-filling, target-setting, coursework, consultation nights, pupil-free days, and every kind of in-service course that takes teachers away from their schools.

    That bit of common-sense action could be a model for other areas of life. Stop making everyone’s life hell with fatuous documentation. Tell the human rights industry and the tapewormocracy of lawyers that they are finished. We have tied ourselves up in a mad and hellish world in which we tell ourselves that yes, our lives are hell, but there’s nothing we can do about it. That is stupid. If enough people decide that they are not going to be tormented uselessly any longer, that’ll be the end of it.

    I keep coming back to the idea that a people is sovereign.

  • Greenflag

    It would be in the interest of the UK for a UI to survive -ROI is after all Britain’s second or third biggest export market but I agree generally with David Crookes point re intravenous feeding but there would have to be an adjustment period of perhaps 5 to 10 years .

    A UI will not be sold in a prospectus that offers lower living standards for all . As to David’s comment

    “everyone in the West is going to have to do the same thing sooner or later

    Thats a whole other story and a much more important one for a lot of people everywhere in the West not just in Ireland -In some respects given it’s overall demographics Ireland is slightly better placed to deal with some of the issues .

    For the UI/NI saga -patience is the virtue said he who has been described as deficient in same 😉

    I guess patience is heavy in wait and in the context of NI there’ll be a lot of that i.e wait .

    .

  • Greenflag

    @ Morpheus :

    ” We will see what we have and what we don’t have and cut our cloth accordingly.”

    And in that respect the example of the previous FF administration and the irresponsibility and financial lunacy of our top banksters , public officials and the negligent ‘mandarins ‘ I’m sure the Irish people will want to know the numbers before they vote . They won;t want to have to bail out the banksters /government again,

  • Alan N/Ards

    David
    I’m not being offensive to yourself an others who would like to see an agreed Ireland but why the silence from your political leaders. In Garrett Fitzgerald’s auto biography he wrote about the New Irish Forum. He said that John Hume didn’t want any involvement of Unionist’s at the forum. He wanted it to be a nationalist only body. Fitzgerald more or less told him to catch himself on. If they are serious about an agreement on the way forward then start telling us what they think could unite the people.

  • David Crookes

    Agree altogether, Alan: thanks for making the point.

    It may be that what will become the biggest political party in a new Ireland does not yet exist.

  • Greenflag

    There was involvement of Unionists at the Forum just not as political parties. See my link above to wiki , Neither was SF invited being considered at the time beyond the “moderate nationalist pale ‘. Unionist parties would’nt attend on principle anyway as they were still in deepest NO territory to any form of power sharing in Northern Ireland much less discussing the island’s potential political future with moderate Irish nationalist parties from both sides of the border.

    As I said several times there will be no serious discussion on any future Ireland until such time as the current NI State is on the gurney on life support outside the operating theatre.

    The scenario I can see down the line is that nationalists will achieve a small voting majority and the political future on NI will become even more uncertain and it will no longer be possible to pretend that the State has a longer term existence ahead of it . In that context a referendum will take place and while there will be a small majority for a UI this will be achieved by probably a high abstention rate among many unionists who while they won’t be enamoured of any UI will also not be enamoured of continuing political instability ; uncertainty and lack of investment in NI . Loyalists and die hard Unionists will of course vote No as per usual .

    Thereafter the stage will be set for all party talks on a future Constitution probably chaired by an American or EU Chairman assisted by both British & Irish Governments . Three months should be enough after which the solution will be put to the people North and South . During the interim the British Army , Irish Defence Forces and PSNI and Garda will maintain law and order .

    This could happen in 3years , 5 years or 20 years or never. The ‘never ‘ possibility will depend primarily on the number of those who from an Irish nationalist background decide they would rather remain as British subjects and the number of Unionist non voters who may have come to believe that the ‘game ‘ is no longer worth the candle .

    Thats how I see the situation unfolding .Any major black swans in the interim such as a collapse of the Assemblly etc or a World War or another major financial meltdown (can’t be discounted ) and of course anything can happen sooner or we could be in for something completely different .

  • FuturePhysicist

    “It doesn’t mean they have to like it, or stop working for a change to it. But they have got to respect it”

    I think while it’s wise to respect ones neighbours, it can never be really obligated, and that applies in both cases, in either state’s liberal democracy your rights, even identity rights are not dependent on respect.

  • Greenflag

    @ David Crookes ,

    “It may be that what will become the biggest political party in a new Ireland does not yet exist.”

    Indeed as its Friday I’ll hazard a guess the NIPP (New Ireland People’s Party ) A centre left party made up of large numbers of former FF, FG , SDLP. UUP and AP . Opposing them will be on the left -Irish Labour plus SF plus the Socialist Party plus NI Labour party supporters , On the right of centre will be the DUP plus a large section off FG and some of the old support from the now extinct Progressive Democrats .

    But that above is just one possibility

    ,

  • David Crookes

    Many thanks, Greenflag.

    As soon as unionism becomes unable to supply the FM, everything will move into UI-is-coming mode.

    I have wondered in recent months whether the DUP may do badly in the next assembly election, for two reasons.

    One: the substantial flags-and-marches brigade, which has little affection for the DUP, may give its votes either to the PUP, or to Captain Hook and his friends.

    Two: people who have been offended by the DUP’s support for lawless violence will either vote for other parties, or not vote at all.

    There will be unprecedented symbolical significance about the failure of unionism to supply a FM. That failure will be milked for all it’s worth (and why shouldn’t it be?) by those who want to end the union.

    Of course on the day most unionists may go into the polling booths and vote viscerally for more of the same.

  • Greenflag

    @ David Crookes ,

    “As soon as unionism becomes unable to supply the FM, everything will move into UI-is-coming mode”

    That could be a trigger. However given the possibility of an SF FM, those unionists who would never vote for the DUP may vote for ‘safety ‘ .Thats much more likely than say SDLP voters voting SF just to get a ‘nationalist /republican FM ‘ .Would it be enough ? I don’t know .

    Thats why I made the point above earlier that it will probably require a small nationalist /republican voter majority before the patient on the gurney sits up and takes note of the new surroundings ,

    All the above conjecturing is presaged by the fact of the Assembly’s limited powers and largely symbolic importance -not that symbolism is unimportant or can’t be a deal breaker or indeed a deal winner , But they will all have to sit at the table at some point and play with the cards they’ve got and not with the ones they used to have and that will apply just as much to northern nationalists and republicans as to unionists and loyalists .

    As of now it seems to me that too many of the Assembly politicians are playing with the cards they used to have -only problem being they are losing hands or so it seems to me at this time.

  • Alan N/Ards

    David

    The only thing that will decide the jurisdiction of Northern Ireland is a referendum. It doesn’t matter who is First Minister if a referendum is called. It will be decided on votes that are cast. As simple as that.

  • David Crookes

    Agreed, Alan. Only a majority vote for UI in a referendum will sound three blasts of the whistle to end the game that is called NI. But the fact of a non-Unionist FM, if it ever becomes a fact, will persuade many unionists that the union has entered injury time.

    In 1985, having created the biggest political rally in the history of NI, our unionist MPs all resigned their seats so as to create a de facto referendum on the AIA. In comparison with the 1973 referendum vote, the result that they got was pathetic. The memory of that result should make people cautious about putting money on a big 1973 Mark II vote.

    A 58%-42% vote in favour of the union might put the issue to bed for thirty years or more. A 53%-47% vote would not. I think I know my own folk. A lot of them will stand in the cold and listen to all the speeches at a big monster rally, but on the truly important day a lot of them can’t be bothered to vote. Maybe because they’re fed up with the same old school dinners.

    Whether or not the old school dinners were ever true, they aren’t true any more. If Home Rule comes in 2020, we can guarantee that it won’t be Rome Rule.

    Some day soon ordinary working people on my side of the fence may decide that they want to exercise real political power. If at the same time they realize that there is no power and no dignity about being the Permanent Mad Unwanted Relation in the British Attic, they may not vote obediently for Same Old School Dinners when the visionless old orange-apron dinner-ladies demand that they do so.

  • David Crookes

    Thanks, Greenflag. Yes. Many unionist politicians are playing with an old pack of Happy Families cards from the 1950s. I don’t want these boneheads negotiating on my behalf if and when the ‘deluge’ comes. They have encouraged the unionist electorate to drive around merrily with no spare tyre in the boot. ‘There will NEVER be a puncture,’ they have told their voters. ‘Never, never, never.’

    Get out of your prams, you losers. You shouldn’t be worrying about keeping your jobs on the high speed gravy-train. You should be laying track for the next generation.

  • Son of Strongbow

    It does seem to me that those advocating the UI Golden Future Time are mostly concerned with convincing themselves that it’s in the bag.

    If it is all done and dusted why the constant worrying at it? As a unionist looking on your ‘confidence’ does come across as so much fretting that your nag ‘Tricolour’ won’t make the finish line.

    As to the “many” unionists living in the “1950s”. Well I suppose in their favour they are a few decades on from the murderous dreams of 1916.

  • David Crookes

    Thanks, SoS. We don’t believe in a UI paradise-on-earth, we feel no ‘confidence’ about the future, and we’re not trying to convince ourselves of anything. We have a project. That is all. It isn’t in the bag. It isn’t done and dusted. We don’t all see the tricolour as the flag of a new Ireland.

    AND WE AREN’T THE ONES WHO ARE ‘CONSTANTLY WORRYING’. WE AREN’T THE ONES WHO ARE ‘FRETTING’. The people who have troubled our country over the last year with their obsessional flags and marches are the real worriers and fretters.

    I don’t know what ‘the murderous dreams of 1916’ are or were. 1916 was long ago. Not long ago one of our contemporaneous murderous dreamers tried to burn a policewoman to death. But that attempt at murder must be adjudged pardonable, because (as we were often told) ‘the people were angry.’

    Many of us want to live in a civilized country where traders can trade, drivers can drive, walkers can walk, and people can visit their relatives in hospital WITHOUT HINDRANCE FROM LAWLESS THUGS. We have been forced to conclude that we’re never going to get that sort of country if the present ‘union’ continues. Is it wrong for us to contemplate something better?

  • Greenflag

    SOS ,

    The only golden future is in your imagination .

    Theres no UI Golden Future just as theres no UK Golden Future -They are /would be just states where the biggest problem for both in the next decade or two will be how to prevent the middle classes from being wiped out, the working class from being further impoverished , and how to hold together our hard won rights as democracies while a tiny minority of gangsters , banksters and looters and corrupt politicians prey on whatever they can get their hands on via crime and fraud and getting it to the Isle of Mann ,. Jersey or the Cayman Island etc

    Britain & Ireland and other western states will need to get a grip on these off shore tax evaders . If they don’t then the tax burden will continue to fall on those who can least afford it and eventually democracy will be undermined as people will finally get the message that their politicians are naked emperors and then you’ll have your totalitarian take over by the extreme right or left .

    Unless of course you want to live in a Victorian style era where 5% have everything and 95 % of the population are either domestic servants or slave 16 hours a day , 7 days a week to put bread into their children’s mouths ?

    Sure even a bollix like yourself would’nt want that or am I wrong ;?

  • Greenflag

    SOS , Apologies that should have been

    Sure even a bollix like yourself would’nt want that or am I wrong 😉 ?

    On a lighter note heres how Mother Merkel (Mutti ) handles her flaggers even while celebrating victory ,The fun starts at 1 min 10 secs in .And you don’t have to understand German to get the point . It’s not often you see CDU/CSU politicians in football supporter mode -but Mutti keeps her cool as always .

    http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek#/beitrag/video/1994724/heute-show-vom-27092013

    This election result is probably more important for the people of these islands than most of us would imagine .

  • David Crookes

    Die Merkel ist nicht amusiert. Should have got her to sort out the #flegs enthusiasts.

    Amen to what you say about the banksters, Greenflag.

    Nearly into October and I’ve been reading Somerset Maugham out in the sun. Great day all round, with not a ‘grey mist’ in sight.

  • Greenflag

    Good for you David winter will be long enough.

    BTW -Merkel is not known as Mutti (mother ) for nothing . They joke they have to bring her a new sacrificial ‘victim ‘ every 4 years (i.e a new coalition partner ) so she can destroy them . So far she’s put away the SPD (Social Democrats ) in her first Government and now the FDP .in her second . It seems possible coalition partners are somewhat reluctant to get into bed with her this time 😉 . British Liberal Democrats and Irish Labour take note

  • FDM

    In terms of the fleggers I saw an interesting spectacle the other day.

    I was driving through St. Cyr and noticed that the French had put German tricolours above the war memorial. Clearly this was in recognition that it takes two to tango in war and that the Germans lost a lot of people too in WWI and WWII.

    Our local politicians should take note. Our local fleggers should take a red face but they won’t.

  • Greenflag

    “the Germans lost a lot of people too in WWI and WWII.”

    Approx 7 million total in both and the French 3 million . No wonder Kanzler Mutti Merkel whose maternal grandfather was Polish and they also lost several million people views uber flag waving with a skeptical eye .

    “Our local politicians should take note.”

    Indeed -40 years ago would have good and might have avoided a lot of crap .

    “Our local fleggers should take a red face but they won’t”

    True -Paranoia and defeatism feed on each other alas .

    .

  • David Crookes

    Terence O’Neill was shot down as a serving soldier over occupied Holland during World War II, and sheltered from the invaders by a Catholic family. He used to go back and visit that family in later life. It’s saddening to realize that he was called a traitor and a Lundy by a number of gentlemen who could have fought in World War II, but chose not to. So much easier to wave a flag.

    “Might have avoided a lot of –?” I wonder. Maybe a lot of dark malignant energies have had to burn themselves out on both sides. Of course they are not yet completely burned out. We may have seen off the fascism of Hitler and Mussolini, but we still have to see off the fascism of those who would stop a man visiting his terminally ill wife in hospital, and those who try to burn a policewoman alive in her car, and those who have recently murdered soldiers, and those who have booby-trap-bombed a policeman’s car.

    Before a UI can be born and flourish, the civilized majority of its citizens-to-be must defeat lawlessness and gangsterism on both sides of the NI fence, and in parts of the RoI. That is not a pious sentence. It needs to be part of the manifesto of any group that expects people to vote for a UI.

    Things are not all bad. Many so-called ‘dissident’ crimes have been nipped in the bid. On my side of the fence, the day when enough people in loyalist areas get sick of gangsterism, and starting informing on particular gangsters, will be the day when the whole stinking edifice of ‘Protestant’ paramiltarism begins to crumble. I don’t presume to tell people on the other side of the border how to deal with the serious crime problem that affects cities in the RoI, but that problem will have to be solved.

    Creating a UI is not a matter of undrawing a line on a map. Moments of great change give us the chance to do bold and important things that might never otherwise be done. The new Ireland must replace failed entities with harmony, urbanity, and civilizaton, . It must not preserve the failed entities behind a tinsel of fancy constitutional baubles.

    The crime-lords will have to be eliminated. So will the overpaid writers of booby-documents filled with booby-words like ‘aim’ and ‘objective’. And other matters will need to be dealt with. Our present education system reminds me of Poe’s formula — “a nearly liquid mass of loathsome — of detestable putridity.” Our treatment of the natural world around us is a squalid disgrace.

    We can make a new nation if we want. Shall we do it? Or shall we go on living in some species of the old rotten house? On both sides of the border?

    A real UI is as much about regeneration as it is about reconciliation. If there is no element of cleansing in the creation of a new Ireland, it will have no substance. An Ireland that remains in bondage to crime-lords, theoreticians, educationists and destroyers of the natural world will never be free.

  • HammerTime

    Some of the stuff written on here is hilarious. Delusion would be an understatement.

  • David Crookes

    So it is, HammerTime. It embarrasses me to read some of my last rave-party posting now. I was euphoric at the thought of getting a full-sized fry for dinner. Sorry. But what you call delusion others will call imagination. It isn’t always mad to imagine something better. In fact, real madness may involve accepting the way everything is today, and refusing to believe in the possibility of change.

    A man who thinks it’s OK to drive around the country belching out filthy black carcinogenic diesel fumes is deluded. So is a woman who thinks it’s OK for the staff in care homes to spend one hour every day filling in forms. So is anyone who thinks it’s OK for feral youths to rampage drunkenly around the streets at night.

    And so is anyone who thinks it matters a toss what flag you live under if these and other evil phenomena are accepted by most people as OK.

  • Greenflag

    @ David Crookes ,

    ” Maybe a lot of dark malignant energies have had to burn themselves out on both sides”

    Not a pleasant thought but given human history there could be some truth in that . Old Ireland by which I mean both NI & ROI up to recent times and even still, was /is not renowned for it’s transparency neither from it’s politicians or churches or banksters 🙁

    “Creating a UI is not a matter of undrawing et etc — baubles.”

    99% I’d agree . I’d ease up on the harmony and hope for just less idiotic confrontations on matters that are for individuals to decide on .

    Unfortunately under the economic neo conservative lunacies implemented on both sides of the Atlantic over the past 20 years or more ‘our real crime lords ‘ have been elevated to the apex of the financial world. Now it’s not just the drug lords , thugs and petty burglars who create havoc on our streets but the unseen movers of vast amounts of drug and mafioisi monies across borders , and back again several times a day in search of another tax avoiding abode etc .Now thats crime on a scale that dwarfs any crime that has ever existed on this island or any other . It’s apparently beyond the scope or competence of even the USA & UK and other governments to confront and eliminate .There are those who would say that that is because it’s not in their interest to do so . Meanwhile democracies suffer and decay. Just have a read in the WSJ of how one of these ‘banksters’ is trying to persuade the US Government /SEC to accept an $ 11 billion ‘fine/bribe that will wipe the slate clean and result in said gangsters not having to face possible decades long jail terms ?

    BTW there are millions of “Hammertimes ” all over the globe in places as far apart as the former USSR , East Germany and Romania and elsewhere who believed that tomorrow would be a repeat of today and nothing would change . There are many in North Korea today who are likewise ‘immune ‘ to outside events or so they assume .

    Like turkeys in the feeding lot these “hammertimes ‘ eat and exist in the sure knowledge that tomorrow will be as today until a few days before Christmas they suddenly find their world turned upside down as they are suddenly hooked to a chain drive which takes them away to where they’ll never see grain feed again .

    Keep up the vision and imagination and hope .As for writing what you later view as embarrassing -I would’nt worry . Happens to us all even GF 😉

  • David Crookes

    Thanks a lot, Greenflag. Maybe designing a new nation is like designing a new musical instrument. You have to conceive and then reject a lot of daft ideas before you ever get to the stage of cutting out a block of wood on the bandsaw.

    When the real UI debate starts, it will be good if debaters can go back to Slugger and find that a certain amount of their intellectual spadework has already been done for them.

    Dialectic is not all nonsense.

  • HeinzGuderian

    I’ll come back here in another 10 years and post this…

    A Notion Once Again.

    As an aside, I wonder what the Glorious Disappeared would make of it all, or is that a spectre to far for our nat/rep chums to contemplate ? 🙁

  • FDM

    HeinzGuderian 30 September 2013 at 1:34 pm

    “I’ll come back here in another 10 years”

    You might find the locks have changed.

  • David Crookes

    There’s no point in looking forward ten years if we propose to tie our children to corpses.

    Do we expect our children to embrace an ugly discordant future for the sublime reason that ugly discordant things happened before they were born?

    Who do we think we are? Lords of Time? Ordaining that the dog must return to the vomit of its ancestors for centuries to come?

    Better to try and fail than prophesy and mock.

  • Greenflag

    @ David Crookes ,

    Guderian or Heinzi is an ideologue -fixated in a world of no change where everything is black or white or in his case orange or green . There is no yellow or amber or blue .The one track mind remains on the same narrow gauge track .

    I think it was Heraclitus who said

    “You can’t step into the same river twice for its not the same river and you’re not the same man ”

    Heraclitus might concede that our ‘Heinzi ” here is an exception to the general rule for all humanity 😉

    As to ‘notions ‘ and or ‘nations ‘ changing heres a link to a program which is a further indication that

    The link below is for anyone interested in the story of long dead Irish nationalists and unionists who lost their lives for what they considered the greatest ’cause ‘ of their generation .

    I listened to the program in the hope of finding out which was the only county in Ireland’s 32 counties which did not have a native son who was awarded the Victoria Cross . (Great question for a pub quiz ?) A Dubliner was apparently the only man ever to win both the VC and the Iron Cross (Germany ) .

    http://www.rte.ie/radio1/doconone/radio-documentary-little-cross-of-bronze-victoria.html

    Ten years ago RTE would probably not have aired the documentary above which is just another indication of how far Ireland (ROI) has travelled in it’s political maturity and growing tolerance . Too late for too many I suppose but better late than never .

    Hopefully NI under the GFA can also ‘mature ‘beyond it’s present limitations .Heinzi alas never will . He’s the deep groove in his self made rut .His only way out is do dig an ever deeper rut . I guess you could call that a Northern Irish solution to the Northern Irish problem i.e no solution at all at all .

  • Republic of Connaught

    David Crookes:

    “Do we expect our children to embrace an ugly discordant future for the sublime reason that ugly discordant things happened before they were born? Who do we think we are? Lords of Time? Ordaining that the dog must return to the vomit of its ancestors for centuries to come? Better to try and fail than prophesy and mock.”

    What you’re saying is what any ‘normal’ person would say if they were living in an abnormal society like Northern Ireland. The harsh reality, however, is that there are too many in NI mired in the past, mired in their sectarian lifestyles and mired in a hatred of the ‘other’. Many of them don’t even realise it.

    So trying to clean out their minds and bring in modern progressive thinking is akin to cleaning out a cowshed with a baby spoon. A thankless task. Only the winds of change from outside can achieve the task.

    It was the same with the GFA. Without London, Dublin and Washington pushing the locals hard, it wouldn’t have happened.

  • David Crookes

    Thanks a lot for the link, Greenflag. Once again I find myself getting educated on Slugger. Indeed, the RoI has come a long way. I was greatly moved by the reception which was afforded to the UK’s head of state not long ago. It is untrue to say, as Mr Allister said when he was later addressing an audience in Dublin, that citizens of the RoI had been ‘fawning over our Queen’. That hideously inurbane piece of language shows you how far we still have to go in NI.

    Republic of Connaught, many thanks for your posting. You say that trying to clean out the minds of certain people is akin to cleaning out a cowshed with a baby spoon. I see it as akin to eating a bowl of clear soup with an absinthe spoon. Everything nourishing seems to trickle through the holes in a metal-hard instrument of taught hatred whose chromium plating may include a university education and a church membership.

    I’ve been trying to analyze the wide-ranging support which lawless loyalists have received from unionist politicians over the last ten months. At the back of my mind is a maybe romantic idea that nobody, and not even the politicians involved, could be that stupid.

    If it is right to see purpose in their support, what might that purpose be? To carry the following message?

    “When a majority votes for UI, we shall refuse to accept the vote, we shall demand repartition, and we shall violently resist any attempt to bring about a UI.”

    All part of a pattern: loyalists against democracy. “No, people may march along Royal Avenue only if they are unionists.”

    And so on. And so on. And so on. We hate you. We hate you. We hate you. For ever and ever and ever. God save the Queen. For God and Ulster.

    Our God, of course. Our own hateful heathen made-up little Moloch, in whose name one of our heroic number will try to burn a policewoman alive.

    Heathenism demands human sacrifice. It’s so entrenched in people’s hearts that if some slackmouthed tattooed assassin bumped off the three of us for talking as we have talked, a number of churchgoing graduates would growl approvingly in the comfort of their own homes.

  • Greenflag

    @ David Crookes ,

    Never underestimate human capacity for stupidity and even more so for political leaders -not all of course but at times you have to wonder how certain people get elected and why ?

    I’ve no idea what their message is .Some I’m sure feel the “hatred ‘ you mention others are just out for the aggro others are just . It’s scientifically proven that those who hate actually do more damage to themselves than to those they hate, and I mean that psychologically as well as physically .Body and mind are not separate organisms not even in flag waving loyalists much as one might be given to doubt on occasion .

    “It was the same with the GFA. Without London, Dublin and Washington pushing the locals hard, it wouldn’t have happened.”

    I agree with ROC on his quote above . And have no doubt that when push comes to shove it will be the same formula that will be used again whenever it becomes necessary .

  • David Crookes

    “Never underestimate human capacity for stupidity…..”

    Indeed, Greenflag. Think Tea Party.

    Peter Hain’s threat to change the nature of NI’s schools had a powerful effect on unionist thinking. What might be the effect of stopping the subvention?

    The only cards that violent loyalism has left are two revolvers to shoot off its own feet with. Attacks on the mainland are out of the question, and appear never to have been contemplated (let me say that with respect).

    It is a fact that some loyalist paramilitary leaders have established pretty good relations with Dublin. Where they have gone, ordinary working people may follow.

    The real boneheads are the expensively dressed politicians who pretend to play footsie with violent loyalism for their own short-term and personal reasons. Whatever happens, they have to hold on to their salaries. The idea that leadership may occasionally involve telling people what they don’t want to hear never occurs to them.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Think Tea Party ‘

    The words Think and Tea Party don’t belong together , The Tea Party was/is financed by those very interests which have brought the US to it’s financial knees and with the knowing and unknowing of a succession of US administrations .

    “What might be the effect of stopping the subvention?”
    Not going to happen -Can’t -If it did- probably a very uncivil war.The ‘haves ‘ who benefit from the subvention both directly and indirectly would attempt to hold what they’ve got by means fair or foul or illegal .A drop of 30% in living standards could ensue but that drop would not be shared equally among all classes . Those sections of NI society who are already at each others throats over flags , symbols, sports , languages etc ie those who can least afford such a drop would be most affected .Coming on top of health cuts and other public sector cuts as the ‘Big Society’ would have it and there is your recipe for social , economic and political chaos

    The only circumstances in which the subvention might be lost would probably involve another major international financial meltdown , bank failures , currency turmoil and instability etc of an order similar to what happened in 2008 .
    Not that that situation has been finally ‘sorted ‘ as they say .

    The current US Federal Shutdown could indeed send the USA back into recession with weakening ‘demand ‘ and it’s follow on.

    ” Whatever happens, they have to hold on to their salaries. The idea that leadership may occasionally involve telling people what they don’t want to hear never occurs to them.”

    Indeed , two million Federal employees may have to go without wages , national parks may close -and the statisticians who monitor the economy’s vital statistics have to stay at home but the Senators and Representatives in Congress will still get their salaries and their Premium gold plate health insurance and care as usual . The Irish people may suffer under the ‘austerity ‘ of the IMF and EU bailout packages but our TDS are still better paid than their British or German counterparts – It’s a ########## disgrace .

    American Congressmen and Senators are ‘considered ‘ more important and necessary for the USA than doctors or nurses or teachers or any number of people who actually work for a living instead of lying for a living 🙁

    As to political leadership -what you state is generally accepted as a fact of life for those in politics and this applies everywhere not just in North Belfast . Politicians don’t get started on a political career by telling people what they don’t want to hear . Before they reach that point they normally have to have become almost ‘undefeatable ‘ in their constituencies and circumstances have to be just right i.e they see where the future lies and a larger number of the ‘mob’ are moving in that direction also . Its at that point that ‘leadership ‘ emerges .

    There are circumstances in history where a Churchill will emerge to save the day but for the most part politicians live in waiting for circumstances to favour their politics or party . Very rarely do they get to lead the ‘mob’ and it’s mostly follow anyway . Sometimes there can be a bit of both as in the Paisley /Loyalist combination in the early troubles .

    Eventually there comes a tipping point in these situations in which the ‘mob ‘ (I use that term in the sense of a majority of the people who actually vote ) gets ahead of the politicians in thinking towards a solution and then you’ll see political leadership at breakneck speed trying to overtake the ‘mob’ to ensure their personal political survival and their interest. Those politicians who pick up the wrong signals or who mistake general noise (the flags) for the signal can get left behind .

    As to what would cause that tipping point in NI ?

    A number of possibilities

    1) Collapse of the NI Assembly
    2) Another international financial meltdown causing chaos for UK finances resulting in more cutbacks and subvention reduction .
    3) The UK voting to leave the EU .

    4) The Irish Republic becoming ‘ungovernable ‘ as the current Coalition falls apart and a series of elections proves unable to form a stable government

    5) Another middle Eastern war which would interrupt energy supplies and cause another recession .

    I guess this thread has ‘exhausted ‘ it’s topic 😉

  • David Crookes

    Agreed, Greenflag. Let me add Scotland leaving the UK to your list, and we’ll call it a day.

    A lot of meat in your last posting. Thanks!

  • Greenflag

    Scotland’s decision could be a factor also particularly if it’s for independence . Guess that’ll depend on how the Tories fare between now and referendum day assuming Cameron and Clegg make it that far ?

    Thanks for your comments .

    .
    .

  • David Crookes

    Indeed, Greenflag.

    The most imaginative proponents of UI are not Little Irelanders. They look forward to what the PC leader Leanne Wood calls ‘a neighbourhood of nations’. Sooner or later the UK will have to transmute, along with NI’s present unionists. Scotland could bring everything forward by twenty years.

    My blasted roof is leaking again, after undergoing expensive remedial work earlier this year, so I really shall call it a day now! The whole house was recently painted inside and recarpeted in preparation for sale. It would sicken you. Maybe by the time a UI comes we’ll have moved away from the barbarity of waterproof felted-and- tiled roofs with lead valleys that leak.

  • redstar2011

    David I will go one further for you- under a UI there will be no more rain, guaranteed ,

  • David Crookes

    Bless you, redstar, bur promise that we can still have rainbows and pots of gold…..

    I dream about a turf roof of the Icelandic species, but with a completely welded roof of half-inch-thick plastic underneath. It should last for ever.

    Of course it wouldn’t. The interdimensional reptilians always get you. St Patrick did a good job only as far as he went.

    Wonder if we could establish a UI government-in-waiting in Tenerife.

  • @ AlanN/Ards,

    “Does The New Ireland Forum paper have any legal standing in the South?”

    I’m not a lawyer . It was a ‘talking shop ” /think tank on possible futures which was attended by the 4 ‘moderate ‘ nationalist parties on the island -FF, FG , Labour and the SDLP . Neither SF nor any of the Unionist parties attended although some individual unionists did .You can see who made individual submissions in this link towards the end of the item.”

    @Alan, Greenflag,

    The answer to your question Alan is no. The four parties involved couldn’t even decide on which of the three models were acceptable. Soon after the report was issued Haughey announced that he only accepted a unitary state, not a federation/confederation or joint authority. This was easy for Haughey because he had no interest in actually implementing the findings but only in being able to claim in the next election that he was more nationalist than FG or Labour. After Thatcher’s “no, no, no” answer to a reporter’s question at a press conference, FitzGerald went ahead and negotiated the AIA with her as a consolation prize and the next best thing to joint authority. (Despite what CS claims, it wasn’t joint authority.)

    @Redstar,

    The DUP accepted the St. Andrew’s Agreement in 2006, which is just the GFA with very minor changes such as regarding the method of election of the first minister and deputy first minister. And of course the UUP at the time accepted the GFA–in fact was responsible for negotiating most of it along with the SDLP. And NI21 support the GFA.

  • Greenflag

    Whether the parties support the GFA or don’t -its the ONLY game in town . So they had better make it work if they want NI to continue to exist as a political entity .

    HMG has rejected full integration Finchley style. .It follows that the only other alternative will be some form of UI -negotiated by all the parties .

    There is always the possibility remote hopefully of a Balkanesque solution imposed from within and without with the accompanying slaughter and population transfers which would disrupt the lives of probably half or more of NI’s current population and send the economy into a death spiral with property prices skyrocketing in densely populated ‘safe ‘ areas and collapsing in vacated zones or buffer areas .

    So to conclude the GFA is a conclusion until it collapses. At that point the game is over for NI as a separate politicaal entity . So despite it’s contradictions and imperfections we should remember that a ‘conclusion’ is the place where you/they/us /them got tired of thinking .

    Expecting or hoping that the current batch of NI politicians can ‘think ‘ themselves to a new ‘agreed ” solution in the event of a GFA collapse is less realistic than waiting for Godot .

    Since 1920/1969/1974/1989/ 1998 /2013 everytime the NI politicians reach rock bottom a large number of them start to dig deeper . Now it’s Mr Haass’s turn to take away the pick and shovel from these cave diggers before they do further harm to themselves or others .

    These folks would argue (and have ) with a signpost 😉

  • Greenflag

    @ David Crookes

    ‘ promise that we can still have rainbows and pots of gold”

    You’ve never heard of the 21st century’s leprechaun’s lemma (dilemma ) ?

    “When you get to the end of the rainbow the pot of gold is gone ‘

    Stolen by the banksters , corrupt and overpaid politicians , a degenerate Catholic hierarchy , and a whole host of con men , gougers and fat arsed neer do wells and reckless property developers .

    Where the pot of gold used to be I have it on good authority or was it hearsay ? that there is now a signpost one pointing East and the other West .

    The one pointing West reads ‘Cayman Islands ” the one pointing east “Isle of Man “

  • Greenflag

    @ redstar2011,

    ” under a UI there will be no more rain, guaranteed ”

    Wall St & the City of London need people like you to help sell their latest scam) . They’ve lost some some of their best talent to non financial institutions under management of Her Majesty’s Prisons .

  • David Crookes

    My idea of a pot of gold is lots of art, music, literature, and sport-for-all, but on my own side of the fence many people are happy to pursue a sub-plebeian form of vulgar materialism. I blame Charlie Hungerford. That supposedly minor TV character has had a colossal influence in NI.

    If we had a FM who lived off his pension, dwelt in a small house, bought his clothes off the peg, drove a small car, and holidayed in Ballyhalbert, would people follow his example?

    Or would they prefer to follow the example of a proudly illiterate property developer, wearing a white dinner-jacket, and living in a big house whose decor teeters on the borderline of the bordelline?

    I’m with you 100% on the matter of the banksters and their fellow-travellers, Greenflag. Neither of us wants to live in a UI which represents one lot of corruption joined on to another lot of corrruption, with politicians getting £7500 for twenty-one hours of consultative work. (That’s a little over £357 per hour. I’m going out now to visit one of my loved ones. She is looked after by diligent and affectionate persons who earn a little over £6 per hour.)

    Sometimes I wonder if the Really Crafty Boys are using flags and marches instead of bread and circuses.