“So, what was British policy?”

John mentioned, in passing, Alex Kane’s column in today’s Irish News.  But, in reaching for his hyperbolical conclusion, he missed the more interesting part of the article.  From Alex Kane in the Irish News.

As far back as 1972 the Heath government introduced the concept of power-sharing, the ‘Irish dimension’ and the constitutional guarantee: and from that moment it seemed inevitable that any deal they would agree to (and hope that the Irish would underwrite with them) would be a deal that combined those three key elements.  In other words, from almost the beginning – and certainly from that moment when the Stormont parliament was prorogued in March 1972 – successive British governments pursued an inclusive policy, a policy that would put all voices and vehicles at the heart of any new government.

I suspect that if the British had chosen to beat down the IRA in the 1970s they could probably have done so.  But to what end?  The organisation would almost certainly have re-emerged further down the line, forcing the British to impose yet another ‘security solution’.  What they seemed to want was a political/constitutional solution, one that would safeguard nationalists from one-party unionist rule, while ensuring that Northern Ireland would remain within the United Kingdom until such times as a majority voted otherwise.  In which case it was going to be a very long, very drawn out struggle until the point was reached at which unionists/nationalists/loyalists/republicans (and the assorted paramilitary groups) realised that compromise, negotiation and agreement were the only viable options left to them.

That point was finally reached about 20 years ago – following incidents like the Shankill bombing and Greysteel – when almost everyone accepted that there had to be another way of doing business here.  What we have today, therefore, is the manifestation of a policy, a British policy no less, which has been floating around for almost 40 years.  The constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom remains (and will continue to remain when Scotland rejects independence next year) as, bit by bit, the various parties to the quarrel here were brought round to accepting the reality and inevitability of that policy.

The problem, of course, is that the policy isn’t the policy of the unionists and republicans at all, which explains why they have so much difficulty in implementing it.  The bedrock irony is that the various sides here have been quietly manipulated into colluding with each other to shore up an agreement which none of them actually wants.

Indeed.  Although, I would point out that such an objective was never inevitable.  But then, nothing is…

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  • Rory Carr

    At the time when Stormont was prorogued and Whitelaw became SoS, I named what I believed the to be British policy (one derived from the old saw, “Softly, softly catchee monkey) as, “Sell the Prods down the river with the minimum of fuss.”

    Nothing since has served to make me revise that determination.

  • Mick Fealty

    I’d recommend Cillian McGrattan Rory: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/sluggerotoole-21/detail/0230238912

    He’s thorough going on how compromise was abandoned back in July 1971 when the SDLP walked out of old Stormont. From then on the solution was out of local hands.

    It was in effect, at least in the first place, a military affair between the British and physical force republicans. Containment was the first and last tactic.

    Only in that infamous murder triangle do I sense they went for controlled aggression. The longer the ‘war’ went on the more targeted and ruthless they got.

    South Derry, North Armagh and East Tyrone saw a highly controlled form of collusion between ‘turned’ armed republicans and the British state that took out real assets.

    Alleged British agent Scap was also given a free hand in the ‘nutting squad’ by both the IRA and British Military Intelligence to do what he liked.

    Pat Finucane it seems was brutally assassinated by loyalist proxies working in the interests of the British state at this time too.

    It seems to me that these events, in aggregate, could be interpreted as British military forces telling SF and the IRA which way they should go in future.

    Alex’s point that nationalist and unionist leaderships lost primary control over the timing and the shape of the ultimate solution is relatively sound.

    This is where we all start: ie, from the morally compromised position of not being the authors of our own futures.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Mick

    I never got the impression that the British Security forces had a clue what they was going to do next. Each new area commander would come in and try and make their mark and end up thinking lets let sleeping dogs lie. Though the welsh regiments would come in quite and get out twice as quiet.

    For all the blind, cripple and dead the only thing that really hurt the “British government” was big bombs in the stock exchange $907 million was the cost of one.

  • “In other words, from almost the beginning – and certainly from that moment when the Stormont parliament was prorogued in March 1972 – successive British governments pursued an inclusive policy, a policy that would put all voices and vehicles at the heart of any new government.”

    In the lead-up to 1998 and in its aftermath the side-deals with paramilitaries done by Blair and Ahern hollowed out the centre-ground. Did Alex mention these deals?

  • Mick Fealty

    Not even the Downing Street mortars achieved that much McS… But seriously, Canary Wharf was one bomb in the middle of a break in negotiations which coincided with the transition between one UK govt and the next.

    Most of the IRA’s targets in Britain were soft and civilian before that: Birmingham, Guildford, Manchester, Warrington.

    Given what’s happened since, it is unlikely they’d have been given a second poke anywhere near the City of London.

    The British set out their stall at Sunningdale (after negotiation with the ‘RA) in 1972 and they haven’t changed much in substance since.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Mick

    ” it is unlikely they’d have been given a second poke anywhere near the City of London.”

    as you pointed out “Downing Street mortars”…..

    The London stock market for the British possesses exceptional strength it makes one think of that great Greek
    Achilles.

  • tacapall

    Correct McS the City was the achilles heel, when those who pull the government ministers strings are stopped making a profit, doors were opened to Sinn Fein and here we are.

    By the way Mick do you think Scap just had a free hand to do what he liked, or that he answered to no-one ? There was someone above him in the same unit who also was an agent for British and Irish intelligence, did they work together or were they working as individuals unknowing what each other were doing. How many innocent civilians were allowed to be murdered by these people to protect British assets within the PIRA.

    Rather than what was British government policy, as always since the state was formed it was and is, what was or is the City’s policy regarding the Irish question. The survival of the status quo in Ireland was and still is stragetically vital to the Citys interests. Ireland will always be Britains Cuba.

  • Mick Fealty

    I’m going to bed, but I think that’s all very moot Tac.

  • “What they seemed to want was a political/constitutional solution, one that would safeguard nationalists from one-party unionist rule, while ensuring that Northern Ireland would remain within the United Kingdom until such times as a majority voted otherwise. In which case it was going to be a very long, very drawn out struggle until the point was reached at which unionists/nationalists/loyalists/republicans (and the assorted paramilitary groups) realised that compromise, negotiation and agreement were the only viable options left to them.”

    @Pete,

    The problem was that both the nationalists and unionists believed in majoritarian democracy and thought that the entity that would deliver it for their side was the natural one i.e. a 32-county state versus a 6-county state. The SDLP was more far seeing and faster learners than either of the main unionist parties or the Shinners and so supported mandatory power sharing alongside Alliance and Faulkner’s UPNI.

    In Western militarys it is up to the politicians to decide on policy with the military brass allowed only to advise and execute but not decide. All the brass can do is tell the politicians that there is no military solution and that the solution must be political. Most unit commanders concentrate on preventing or minimizing casualties. Unlike with the Vietnam War, no British elections were ever decided on the basis of NI policy. With a volunteer army and relatively low casualties, most British voters couldn’t be bothered to look at realistic solutions and so just ignored the issue.

  • Pete Baker

    Aye McS et Taca,

    Sinn Féin and the provisional movement were in the box seat all the way up to the point that they took their places in Stormont and surrendered their weapons…

    Btw, how is Gerry’s World Tour for Irish Unity going?

  • tacapall

    Pete your mistaking me for somone who gives a fk about the modern day pied piper who can fool the nationalist people most of the time but not everyone, But not everyone is fooled by him or the yarn that St Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland.

    But on that point of them taking those seats can anything actually happen in the stormont government without Sinn Feins go ahead and while Sinn Fein and the nationalist population get access to posts and information denied to them in the past. Cmbarrassing revellations are coming to light that a whole section of the unionist community seemed to be unable to fathom or accet

    Of course if you have concrete poof Pete that they surrendered all their weapons I’d like to see that, any links ? Why sure did not British intelligence allow the Northern bank robbery to take place, how could the unionist accept the IRA recieving pension money lke the 10 million given to the UDA and the same to the UVF

    You kee on believing Pete you and your tribe are somhoew different not, usefull monkeys or cannon fodder like Irish termed people, you keep believing Orange orders parades and couloured flags will save the day but in realiy EU is Set to Monitor “Intolerant” Citizens and these past few years Sinn Fein has worked its electorlal advatage in ordeter to show up the intoleraces in Irelad toward the Irish peopel and its cultures and language by those who cannot accept a difference of opinion..

  • George

    Mick,
    “Not even the Downing Street mortars achieved that much McS”

    The insurance cost of the Manchester bombing in 1996 was around £700 million which in today’s money is $1.1 billion so I think the $900 million figure for the stock exchange bomb is probably pretty close to the mark.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Pete

    “Sinn Féin and the provisional movement were in the box seat all the way up to the point that they took their places in Stormont and surrendered their weapons…”

    “Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it ”

    Macbeth

    The British was in the box seat and boy did they not have a clue. They should have read Nietzsche “He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”

    “How Green Was My Valley” was what they read and they put 50 shades up on their little maps. They sent out their troops (ill-educated youth for the most part) with heads filled with stereotypes and made an unsaid command “Make it so”

  • Mc Slaggart

    Pete

    I never like Gerry but I do have a soft spot for Martin.

    From a Tyrone perspective I would say Irish Unity is proceeding nicely.

  • Banjaxed

    Tac

    Did your spellchecker have as much gargle as you seem to have quaffed last night?

    Who or what is the ‘concrete poof’ you refer to? 🙂

  • Barnshee

    Policy ??

    Ever only had one ( Recommend George V`s speech a onset of NI) essentially its fuck off and sort this out yourselves.

    A Simple coherent strategy would have stopped the bombers/ murder gangs very quickly.

    1 a minimum 50 years for murder -no exceptions

    2 ALL compensation/damage/repair deducted from the block grant

    3 I consistent attitude of “If you don`t like it -fuck off and pay ALL the bills yourselves”

    A short spell of cuts in (amongst others) dole payments/public sector salaries/education/health would have worked wonders. It still would

  • Comrade Stalin

    George,

    Mick’s sentence construction sometimes makes his meaning a bit difficult to divine; I think he meant to say that attacking “legitimate” targets such as Downing St did not achieve the same effect for the IRA as attacking the stock exchange.

    It’s much more difficult to pull off an attack like that in London these days, I would expect. Moreover, technology has moved on. The stock exchange is effectively a virtual construct that exists inside a computer. Inexpensive technologies exist that allow computer software and databases that were executing in one location to resume operation, at short notice, in another physical location.

  • tacapall

    Banjaxed I laughed at that this morning myself and the best about it is I dont even drink. Its a combination of tiredness. laziness and I suppose the morphine I take, due to illness.

    Does anyone have any other proof other than certain individuals words that total PIRA decommissioning actually took place like Pete implies.

    Comrade republicans do not need to actually pull off large attacks to close down the stock exchange in London nor do they need to sacrifice life in order to cripple the hub of all money transactions around the globe.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Comrade Stalin

    The London stock market have a back up exchange in the south of England.

    If you want to damage the London stock exchange you would attack its power supply.

    If you want to destroy the London stock exchange you attack its credibility as a safe place to work.

  • aquifer

    The British people don’t really see a strong reason to be here, but they don’t like being shoved around by extremist gunmen. Quite touching and not a little dangerous. WWII was a close run thing, and their soldiers lost a lot of limbs in Afghanistan.

    English guilt at past transgressions on the island is a bit past its cash in by date. As rabid racist oppressors and death squad operators the Brits are clearly past their best. Interestingly, the IRA raincoat and pistol thing does pay a certain retro homage to Edwardian military couture.

    The British request that we ‘just get along’ is quite reasonable given the dough they pay out, even if it does sound just like the American president played by Jack Nicholson in ‘Mars Attack’

    Bring back vinyl I say.

  • sean treacy

    Mick,you mentioned south Derry earlier to make some spurious point.As someone who would have spent many years in that area I know of no incidents that would fit with your theory Perhaps you could enlighten us?

  • Comrade Stalin

    McS

    If you want to damage the London stock exchange you would attack its power supply.

    There will be more than one power source, apart from anything else to protect the organization against power outages. Any kind of major datacentre will have it’s own generator. Once again, the LSE will have several datacentres and each one will have redundant power sources.

    If you want to destroy the London stock exchange you attack its credibility as a safe place to work.

    That assumes that LSE employees all work in one building, which I’m pretty sure they don’t. But hypothetically, you can solve that problem by moving it out into the country and put a secure perimeter around it; or putting a ring of steel around the City.

  • Barnshee

    McS

    If you want to damage the London stock exchange you would attack its power supply.

    Every big organisation has a disaster recovery plan

    Backup off site (more than 1)
    Alternative premises already agreed
    Equipment suppliers on standby
    Recovery action rehearsed regularly

    The last one (admittedly some time ago) I was involved in had functions restored in 8 hours— and systems and security have been much improved since then.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Comrade Stalin

    I have already stated the London stock exchange has a back up system in the south of England.

    The city of London has a number of major electricity underground power junctions at that is what you want to blow up.

    I honestly do not think you understand the type of people who work in the “city” they are not the type to work in an area with a ring of steel. In fact if you got them to put in a ring of steel then you will have accomplished your “terror ” job

  • tacapall

    The thing is the stock exchange and the major banks, insurance companies, global corporations, law firms the hub of all money transactions around the globe cannot leave the city to operate from premises outside the city as that would mean having to abide by British and international laws. You just have to be a flea on a dogs back and keep bitting and biting, closing them down or slowing their operations daily of course and the odd bomb would have to be found by City officers they dont have to be very large to ensure maximum attention, maximum disruption, but no lives need be sacrificed.

  • Comrade Stalin

    McSlaggart,

    The city of London has a number of major electricity underground power junctions at that is what you want to blow up.

    I’m not sure why you seem to have so much trouble understanding what I’m saying. You do know what a diesel generator is, right ? And you know that you can have a building that has several of them which kick in when your “power junctions” are disabled – right ? And even when those redundant mechanisms for one building fail you can switch to another building.

    All major financial institutions do this. I used to work for a bank in Dublin and as Barnshee says they all have a business continuity plan. The bank’s central mainframes are replicated to a number of locations around the country and are ready to assume the functions of the primary mainframe in the event of a serious incident. There were also plans drawn up about where everyone would show up for work etc, who the key personnel were, how they would be transported to where they were needed, etc etc.

    I honestly do not think you understand the type of people who work in the “city” they are not the type to work in an area with a ring of steel.

    I’d say there are few sacrifices they would not make in order to sustain their high salaries and bonuses.

    tacapall:

    The thing is the stock exchange and the major banks, insurance companies, global corporations, law firms the hub of all money transactions around the globe cannot leave the city to operate from premises outside the city as that would mean having to abide by British and international laws.

    That’s hilarious. When did the City become an independent legal jurisdiction ? It’s a local council with its own police force and little else.

    You just have to be a flea on a dogs back and keep bitting and biting, closing them down or slowing their operations daily of course and the odd bomb would have to be found by City officers they dont have to be very large to ensure maximum attention, maximum disruption, but no lives need be sacrificed.

    Given that the IRA obviously decided that it would be easier to abandon violence and try to cut a deal with the unionists, I doubt it is that easy.

  • tacapall

    “That’s hilarious. When did the City become an independent legal jurisdiction ? It’s a local council with its own police force and little else”

    Oh about 400 years ago, just after the battle of the boyne, that was the price the quislings in London had to pay Williams financial backers from Amsterdam and those others, banned from England for centuries but brought back by Cromwell who they begged and negioated with to overthrow their King, James II. Those same people who Nelson Mc Causland claimed Ulster protestants were the lost tribes of, obviously he’s read his history. They, the quislings and their backers, after they achieved victory, just like the modern day rebels of the Arab springs quickly set up the first bank of England, privately owned of course, and eventually, just like its baby, the federal reserve, began printing money and charging the peoples of Britain for the privilege of using pounds shillings and pence and who’s headquarters, along with the headquarters of the majority of central banks of the world is situated within the city of London along with the headquarters of all the major global companies from around the world all situated in that tiny square in the city of London, a tax haven for those who actually run Corporate UK. The puppet masters who pull the strings of the politicians in Westminister and those who control whats known as the Crown.

    The city has its own police force, its own laws, is not under the jurisdiction of parliament nor is the queen of England allowed to enter without the mayors permission. The city is represented in Westminister by an unelected person called the Remembrancer who sits behind the speaker. People dont vote for the mayor in the City, corporations do. The city is not unique its no different than the Vatiican city or the District of Columbia which is also not part of the good ole USA.

    Read up on a bit of history Comrade.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/oct/31/corporation-london-city-medieval

  • Mc Slaggart

    Comrade Stalin

    Backup diesel generator are not designed to operate continuously for more than a few days. Did your bank have ones installed for anything other than “mission critical” tasks?

    BTW:
    Moving to work in Deutsche Börse would not be that big a sacrifice. Frankfurt is lovely and they all speak good English.

  • Morpheus

    “The Corporation exists outside many of the laws and democratic controls which govern the rest of the United Kingdom. The City of London is the only part of Britain over which parliament has no authority. The City has exploited this remarkable position to establish itself as a kind of offshore state, a secrecy jurisdiction which controls the network of tax havens housed in the UK’s crown dependencies and overseas territories. This autonomous state within our borders is in a position to launder the ill-gotten cash of oligarchs, kleptocrats, gangsters and drug barons. It deprives the United Kingdom and other nations of their rightful tax receipts.”

    WTF???

  • Brian Walker

    Interesting to read how people who weren’t adults or even born in the early 1970s see the early period – I assume that includes Alex Kane.

    Up to about 1974-5 there would have been an unspoken assumption that although the paramilitaries were dictating the shape of events they were still outside the solution. This view was held I think by all sides not so much as a principled position but a fact of political life.

    The tragic failure of 1974 power sharing plus the coda of the Convention of 1975 saw a rapid loss of confidence in any purely “political” solution, even though the “ constitutional” parties had shown they were not irreconcilable, if only you could wave the paramilitaries away.

    This certainly was the view held by successive British governments until about 1985. They then decided – in my view correctly – that the balance had to be tilted against unionism and in favour of an intergovernmental approach, to add to a “military” though increasingly “Ulsterised” strategy in the streets.

    The problem for historians is that the state papers make the policy searches read better than they actually were. Most of was improvised and lacked application and consistency for year and years; another tragedy.

    And no Alex. Even 22,000 soldiers and 10,000 part- and full- time police officers could not have imposed a military solution, unless a General Sisi had been in charge.

    The third tragedy is that the whole process didn’t happened faster. There was always something else to cause a distraction. Northern Ireland was important but not quite important enough, until 1994-97 when an intergovernmental strategy began to gel at long last and after exhaustion had set in.

    The parties, by now including the paramilitaries, could never have done it on their own.

    Perhaps they still can’t?

  • Greenflag

    @ BW

    Good post above @ 4 November 2013 at 8:39 pm. Some points .

    “There was always something else to cause a distraction”

    Whether 1912 /1914 /1969 / 1974 etc there will always be other more important distractions .

    ” Northern Ireland was important but not quite important enough,”

    True then and even truer now and also true in 1920 and before .

    ‘ until 1994-97 when an intergovernmental strategy began to gel at long last and after exhaustion had set in.’

    How can one become exhausted doing nothing ? Molyneaux’s generation long quest for direct integration proved fruitless then as it would now .

    “The parties, by now including the paramilitaries, could never have done it on their own.”

    Very true . And yet some resented the fact of outside intervention to assist the process of ‘normalisation ” ?

    Perhaps they still can’t?

    And never will I’d add . The constitutional basis simply doesn’t exist . Call it the result of history or bad luck or misgovernance by earlier politicians . At this stage all that matters is that it continues to limp along until the contradictions inherent in the NI State’s become obvious to the point at which it will implode .It will be the job of outsiders to pick up the pieces and start again .

    Wish it were otherwise but can’t see it . Hardly any point in blaming the local politicians either .

    I

  • Brian Walker

    Greenflag, Hopelessly pessimistic. The “ exhaustion” I referred to was with “the long war.” “The constitutional basis” is most certainly “there”. I think you mean the political will, which is work in progress.

    The problem with so much comment it that most of it is opinion not analysis, too narrow to deal with complexities. Minds were made up long ago, so there.

    Alex Kane is an interesting commentator who reflects unionism’s confusion well. For instance:

    “The bedrock irony is that the various sides here have been quietly manipulated into colluding with each other to shore up an agreement which none of them actually wants.”

    We sort of know what he means – that power sharing is rational but not the dream. And that’s the problem. For me power sharing is the dream as well as the reality, a muddy truce along the battle lines of the past which is drawing on the reconciliation of the two traditions and governments gradually to bring reconciliation in the community. I grant you that much of it is top-down, a phrase which is frowned upon. But if we call it leadership, it becomes more desirable.

    It was the working class who inflicted and suffered most. It will take them longer to heal.

  • Barnshee

    “the contradictions inherent in the NI State’s become obvious to the point at which it will implode .It will be the job of outsiders to pick up the pieces and start again”
    No way- any “costs” of “implosions” will be deducted from the block grant The taxpayer (SE branch) has had enough. NI will be reduced to running around bare arse,d homeless uneducated (LOL) on dirt tracks for roads with pay as you medical treatment if necessary.
    In the words of the song Gypsy Rose and I don`t give a fuck

  • Greenflag

    @ BW

    ‘It was the working class who inflicted and suffered most. It will take them longer to heal.”

    Indeed -those who have least are destined to suffer most . Not just an NI phenomenon as we see today around the globe where the poorest are getting it in the neck to pay for the reckless greed and irresponsibility of the few at the top of the financial and political pyramids .

    BTW I’m not hopelessly pessimistic .I have some remaining faith in a Black Swan event which could alter the local dynamics but as to what that might be as with all black swans they only happen when they happen and thats without warning .

    “‘For me power sharing is the dream as well as the reality”

    I see it ‘power sharing ‘ as a necessary interlude of indeterminate length until such time as a normal democracy complete with government and real opposition can take it’s place . I can’t however see that happening ever in the current NI set up .

    The here and now ‘reality ‘ is power sharing and making it work to achieve a broader reconciliation which would make it impossible for NI ever again to descend to mindless sectarian conflict . In that sense I share your dream .

  • Greenflag

    @ George ,

    “The insurance cost of the Manchester bombing in 1996 was around £700 million which in today’s money is $1.1 billion “so I think the $900 million figure for the Canary Wharf bomb is probably pretty close to the mark.”

    George Soros took a billion pounds sterling from the British by betting against the pound sterling and accomplished this while forcing the resignation of the then Chancellor -Norman Lamont and leaving Mr Major looking like – a clown .

    No bombs were involved of course . I guess the talents Mr Soros displays are on a different plane than those of the ‘bombers ‘

  • Greenflag

    “The taxpayer (SE branch) has had enough.”

    Now that said taxpayer will face higher energy bills this coming winter up to 10% perhaps Mr Cameron will have more on his mind than NI . Don’t forget to wear another layer of clothing to keep warm like they did back in Victorian times and even pre WW2 Britain .

  • “The city is not unique its no different than the Vatiican city or the District of Columbia which is also not part of the good ole USA.”

    @tacapail,

    So the United States has as its capital a city that is not even part of it. Brilliant. Actually the District was created out of territory donated by Maryland and Virginia for that purpose.

    I guess I couldn’t know anything about NI when I’m dealing with a veritable fountain of wisdom about the world.

  • tacapall

    Tmitch if you know nothing about the history or the political landscape of your own country why would you know anything about the history or political landscape of any other country.

    http://dc.about.com/od/government/qt/DCStatehood.htm

    Is the District of Columbia a State?

    “The District of Columbia is not a state, it is a federal district. When the Constitution of the United States was adopted in 1787, what is now the District of Columbia was a part of the state of Maryland. In 1791, the District was ceded to the federal government for the purpose of becoming the nation’s capital, a district that was to be governed by Congress.

    In 1973, the District of Columbia Home Rule Act provided the city with more control of local affairs, including the election of a mayor and a 13-member city council. Residents of the District of Columbia lack full democratic representation in the U. S. Senate or the U.S. House of Representatives. Representation in Congress is limited to a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives and a shadow Senator. In recent years, District residents have been seeking Statehood to gain full voting rights. They have not yet been successful. Read more about DC Voting Rights”

    And like its tax haven counterpart, the city of London –

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomvanriper/2013/04/25/americas-richest-counties/

    “While Loudoun ranks at the top, it’s far from alone on the list of wealthiest counties that surround Washington. In fact, it’s just the beginning. The neighboring counties of Falls Church City, Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William in Virginia and Howard County in Maryland all make the cut, giving the D.C. area six of the nation’s ten wealthiest counties. All boast median household incomes between $93,000 and $117,000 annually”

  • Perhaps the Secretary of State and her civil service advisors will outline current policy at 2:30 pm today:

    Responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

    Witness(es): Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Julian King, Director General, Northern Ireland Office and Mark Larmour, Deputy Director, Security and Protection Group, Northern Ireland Office

    Location
    Room 5, Palace of Westminster

  • Greenflag

    @ tacapall ,

    Those neighbouring counties in Virginia with al those Federal Government employees helped win the Governorship for Terry McAuliffe of the Democrats over Tea Party backed Cucinelli .
    And NYC said goodbye to Bloomberg by electing the most leftist Mayor in it’s history . Perhaps the winds of change are heralding the demise of the neo con nutters at last ?

    In any event it looks like GOP have an uncivil war ahead of them as they manouevre for the 2014 mid terms . Republican moderates and Tea Party activists seem to be split almost 50 /50 . New Jersey’s Fatboy Christie seems to be their only hope of reaching out beyond their ideological limitations and even he polled 8 points behind Hilary in a prospective 2016 Presidential election in his home state .

  • There are 5 NI MPs on the 14-member Northern Ireland Affairs Committee. Sylvia Hermon and Ian Paisley participated in this afternoon’s session; Naomi Long, Alasdair McDonnell and David Simpson were absent. Civil servants, King and Larmour, acted as book-ends to the SoS; their absence would not have been missed.

  • A bit of nifty footwork from the SoS to get her security advisor out of a tight spot [12 mins in]:

    Hermon: Can I just ask Mr Larmour [Deputy Director, Security and Protection Group, Northern Ireland Office], because it’s his specialism, is it the case that the UVF is recruiting more members into its ranks? Is it the case that the UVF are engaged in extortion?

    Larmour: I can’t answer those questions. I think you took evidence from the police service in Northern Ireland last week and they set out, I think, their picture. Certainly we get briefing and as a department we wouldn’t have that information and I’m not sure – directing …

    Hermon: Do you know if they are recruiting?

    Villiers: I believe there may be some indication of recruitment but there’s no indication that that recruitment would be with a view to encouraging criminal or terrorist activity.

    Hermon: That’s a very diplomatic answer.

  • Comrade Stalin

    McSlaggart,

    Backup diesel generator are not designed to operate continuously for more than a few days. Did your bank have ones installed for anything other than “mission critical” tasks?

    The generator runs until you can get your power supply reinstated. It also gives you a bit of headroom to complete any transfer of critical things to other sites (a process which is probably automated anyway). If you had read my contribution above you would have seen this.

    tacapall:

    The city has its own police force, its own laws, is not under the jurisdiction of parliament nor is the queen of England allowed to enter without the mayors permission.

    That’s hilarious. You admonish me for not reading my history and then it turns out you get your facts from an incorrect George Monbiot article.

    Think about it. If what you say was true, there would be no taxes levied in the city, the Bank of England could not have been nationalized (an Act of Parliament), the FSA/PSA could not have jurisdiction (these bodies were created by an Act of Parliament), etc. If you look on legislation.gov.uk you can see several examples of legislation made to deal with the City (for example this or this.

    This claim is ridiculous even at a most cursory glance, yet gullible you swallowed Monbiot’s rubbish whole.

  • Mc Slaggart

    CS

    “The generator runs until you can get your power supply reinstated.”

    I like your idea that you would put in extremely expensive provide primary power generators which run the business and last until the electricity supply comes back on no matter how long it takes.

    1
    “backup generators frequently run out of fuel or suffer performance problems when they operate continuously for more than a few days.”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2013/04/15/backup-generators-are-the-bad-and-ugly-of-decentralized-energy/

  • tacapall

    “That’s hilarious. You admonish me for not reading my history and then it turns out you get your facts from an incorrect George Monbiot article”

    Everyone involved in the conspiracy then Comrade –

    http://www.newstatesman.com/economy/2011/02/london-corporation-city

    The tax haven in the heart of Britain

    “There is an institution with a murky history and remarkable powers that acts like a political and financial island within our island nation state. Welcome to the Square Mile and the City of London Corporation

    On 7 October 2002, an Anglican priest, William Campbell-Taylor, and an English-Jewish academic, Maurice Glasman, came to the law lords to challenge a parliamentary bill. It was the start of an episode that anyone worried about tax avoidance – or, for that matter, about the fate of the NHS, about economic inequality, about student loans, about capital flight from Africa, about global financial deregulation or about the political might of the financial sector – ought to know about. Yet there was little media interest.

    The bill concerned the City of London Corporation, the local-government authority for the 1.2-square-mile slab of prime real estate in central London that is the City of London. The corporation is an ancient, semi-alien entity lodged inside the British nation state; a “prehistoric monster which had mysteriously survived into the modern world”, as a 19th-century would-be City reformer put it. The words remain apt today. Few people care that London has a mayor and a lord mayor – but they should: the corporation is an offshore island inside Britain, a tax haven in its own right”

    Everyones gullible at times but its those who continue to be gulliblle, people like yourself, your like those loyalists who continue to refuse to believe the truth about collusion regardless of the evidence in front of their eyes.

  • Barnshee

    “Few people care that London has a mayor and a lord mayor – but they should: the corporation is an offshore island inside Britain, a tax haven in its own right”

    Slugger continues to be infested with ahem “unprofessionals”

    Which taxes do the “city of London” Avoid ?

    Income tax ?
    Vat ?
    Corporation Tax ?

    It would seem not .- Problems with corporation tax are international added to and abetted by countries such as Luxembourg and Ireland.

    Anyone working (as I did) or trading in “The City of London” will pay the VAT Income Tax and Corporation Tax THE LAW REQUIRES. If there are flaws the remedy is a legal one .Any deficiencies exist purely because the state cannot (International transfers to Ireland Luxembourg and Switzerland cost the UK Millions) or will not act

  • Barnshee

    MCS

    “backup generators frequently run out of fuel or suffer performance problems when they operate continuously for more than a few days.”

    Again sadly ignorance reigns

    Just one Example an organisation I am familiar with has a big presence across the UK. The data centres involved all

    1 Cross back up London to Liverpool and Edinburgh Edinburgh to Birmingham etc automatically and

    2 Individual backups are also kept off site

    Short of nuclear weapons usage across the UK the loss of any individual centre or indeed centres will simply produce work (and possibly staff) relocation

    Diesel generators are passe

  • Mc Slaggart

    Barnshee

    I already pointed out:

    ” London stock exchange has a back up system in the south of England.”

    Comrade Stalin is the person who is keen on “Any kind of major datacentre will have it’s own generator. ”

    Relocation would be the objective in any attack. Gunboat diplomacy!

  • Comrade Stalin

    McSlaggart, surely there are more rewarding hobbies you could be involved in than this sort of anal-retentive nitpicking on an internet discussion site. It’s really sad to watch you scoring points by selectively quoting bits and pieces out of context.

    tacapall, I’m not suggesting that the City is some sort of beacon of democracy and accountability, but you asserted that Parliament has no jurisdiction there. This is incorrect, Parliament regularly passes legislation that has effect there.

    I already pointed out examples of legislation specifically drafted to effect the City. Don’t you remember a year or so back David Cameron walking out of European talks on the basis that they would threaten the City – how could they threaten the City if Parliamentary legislation giving legal force to European decisions had no effect ? Be a man and admit you were talking bollocks.

  • Mc Slaggart

    CS

    It always makes me smile when you start playing the “person” and not the ball.

    The thread started with the assumption:

    “I suspect that if the British had chosen to beat down the IRA in the 1970s they could probably have done so. ”

    One can of course make the other argument that blowing up things important to the people in Westminster could have had the opposite effect.

  • tacapall

    Comrade you really are scrapping the barrel now reacting with insults, you show no evidence disproving what I post nor can you explain the special privileges the City state has within the borders of the UK, we are to take your word for it that its all up front and parliament has total control over all aspects and laws within the boundaries of the City I dont think you have proved that. You can believe what you want to believe I dont give a hoot its no skin off my nose but others clearly more informed and learned about the city of London and its status disagree with what you say.

    The City State of London is the world’s financial power center and the wealthiest square mile on the face of the Earth. It houses the Rothschild controlled Bank of England, Lloyds of London, the London stock exchange, all British banks, the branch offices of 385 foreign banks and 70 US banks. It has its own courts, its own laws, its own flag and its own police force. It is not part of greater London, or England, or the British Commonwealth and pays no taxes. The City State of London houses Fleet Street’s newspaper and publishing monopolies. It is also the headquarters for world wide English Freemasonry, and headquarters for the world wide money cartel known as The Crown.

    Of course all those central banks, global corporations, financial institutions and headquarters of all major media outlets around the world are all located there for no other reason other than – Perhaps you can explain.

  • “What we have today, therefore, is the manifestation of a policy, a British policy no less, which has been floating around for almost 40 years.”

    How strange! John Hume was pointing out as late as 1983 that:

    For the truth was that the British government had no policy on Northern Ireland [p83] … When the SDLP asked the British to change the basis of their policy we were accused of ‘coercion’ of the unionists [p84].

    Sunningdale in 1973 was an agreement between London, Dublin and some of the NI parties rather than a serious UK policy.

    Hume goes on:

    I also believe that the perennial British view of the problem as ‘their problem’ and not ‘ours’ is fundamentally wrong: Britain is, in fact, included in the quarrel as a central protagonist, and must be centrally involved in that solution. … London, for its part, exercises a reluctant sovereignty in Northern Ireland, while Dublin maintains a somewhat reluctant claim to that sovereignty. [p35]

    The London and Dublin’s ‘arms length’ approach continues as illustrated by the absence of London and Dublin representation in the Panel being chaired by Haass and O’Sullivan.

  • Barnshee

    TC

    “I post nor can you explain the special privileges the City state has within the borders of the UK, we are to take your word for it that its all up front and parliament has total control over all aspects and laws within the boundaries of the City I dont think you have proved that”

    What taxes do they avoid in the “city State”?
    How do they do it?
    Which laws do they ignore?