#Indyref: An Orangeman on the side of George Galloway

Less than a week and too close to call.  The independence referendum is upon us.  There is no getting away from the fact that the Better Together campaign has allowed the SNP & Yes Scotland to frame the debate and run with the Scotland vs The Tories line. I warned of such the very start.  It is incumbent on Better Together and other `No` groups to counter this narrative.  I understand the need to focus on the `don`t knows` but the resulting effect has been a distinct lack of passion in comparison to the Yes campaign.  There has been very little mention of Britishness and a woeful under use of  Welsh & Northern Irish politicians to broaden the No campaign.  The Yes campaign has not shied away from using Plaid Cymru or Bernadette Devlin McAliskey.  Yet the Better Together campaign has resolutely spurned anyone not from the other big three.  I was therefore glad to see interventions this week by both the First Minister of Wales and the First Minister of Northern Ireland urging Scots to stay in the Union.

Having an English father, Northern Irish mother and having been reared largely in Dumfries & Galloway in the South West of Scotland, I feel British and have a strong affinity with Scotland.  For that reason alone I don`t want Scotland to leave yet there are so many more reasons why I think Scotland should stick with the Union.

The elephant in the room during the various debates has been `independence`.  What is actually on offer is separation from the rest of the UK rather than true independence which would see Scotland with it`s own currency outside of the UK & EU. The SNP campaign has centred on the argument that `independence` would allow Scottish decision being taken in Scotland rather than Westminister.  This was contradicted at the European elections by the European Free Alliance (of which the SNP & Plaid are part) who produced a video stating that:-

“70% of our daily activities are governed by laws that originate from the EU”. – European Free Alliance

 

Last nights debate saw George Galloway nail the other major sovereignty issue.  Currency. Not often I agree with George (he has me blocked on Twitter) but on Scottish independence he is 100%.  As the Daily Record headlined “Bank of England governor says Scotland won’t be independent if it shares the pound”.  This is backed up by the Nobel prize economist Paul Krugman in the New York Times who says “the combination of political independence with a shared currency is a recipe for disaster.”

Today both Labour & UKIP will hold Pro Union events in Scotland and the Orange Order will hold a rally in Edinburgh tomorrow.  Many have argued that the likes of the Tories, UKIP & Orange Order hurt the No campaign but in reality I think it reflects that the NO campaign is very broad one.  The fact that Labour, Lib Dems, the Tories, UKIP, the Unions (GMB, Aslef, Usdaw and the Communication Workers Union), UUP, DUP, First Minister of Wales & Northern Ireland pretty much covers the entire UK political spectrum (plus the likes of JK Rowling, Eddie Izzard and Stephen Hawkings).

Last night also saw BBC Northern Ireland`s The View returned with a discussion about Scottish independence very much on the agenda. The implications for the rest of the UK, should their be a Yes vote, are profound.  Sinn Fein`s John O`Dowd used `The View` discussion on Scottish independence to push for a border poll.  Even a `No` vote will in my opinion lead to a constitutional convention and perhaps a federal UK (different proposals here (Federal Trust),  here, here (Scottish Tories) and here and here). Nigel Farage is quoted this morning as saying “I am fully in favour of a federal United Kingdom,” We need a new constitutional settlement.” whilst Nick Clegg has backed radical English devolution.

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  • Joe_Hoggs

    The “Yes” campaign were very weak during last night’s debate with the SNP deputy leader very much out of her depth when it came to the financial argument.

    As an Orangeman I’m happy for Scotland to leave the UK, they clearly don’t feel a sense of Britishness so they are better going it alone.

  • Neil

    You sound like you’re taking it personally Joe, have you not noticed that around half of people seem to feel very much British? Not a million miles away from the local sentiment, perhaps you feel given the similarity in proportions of British feeling people, that NI should be opting out too?

  • Joe_Hoggs

    I know if a UI comes about the knives will be out for Unionists to make us pay for perceived previous “sins”, to be honest many are braced for that here. In the past some had said they would move to Scotland but that no longer is an option.

  • Neil

    Nonsense. If a UI happened tomorrow Unionists would be kingmaker for the party of their choice. All they’d need to do would be find a party in the south that hates SF as much as they do. Should be pretty straightforward. Without the dreaded PoC to contend with you might actually be able to get some Unionist flavoured legislation through. Scotland would still be an option unless some kind of bitterness exists in you that would prevent you living in any country that wasn’t under the Union flag.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    I have no desire to move to Scotland, the hatred shown there for Britishness and Orangeism by many elements is disturbing.

    Sounds like a UI would be a lot of fun for Unionists, our main game is to attempt to stop SFIRA, at which we will fail because Catholics will vote for them in greater droves than ever before to ensure Unionists don’t get their way.

  • Micheàl O Teamhneàn

    Whichever way this plays out, there will be a large disgruntled minority whom have become politicized by this debate which will provide either a vocal opposition within the new state or a vehicle for another referendum down the line( assuming a close result)

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Disgrunted minority and who would they be?

  • JH

    A United Ireland under a Fine Gael/DUP coalition. I’m no ardent shinner or anything but *shudder*.

  • Micheàl O Teamhneàn

    Well by definition the side that loses the referendum in Scotland will be in the minority

  • Michael Henry

    ” The yes campaign has not shied away from using Plaid Cymru or Bernadette Devlin McAliskey “- Yes- but both have already swore allegiance to the British crown so there is no problem with that pair- ( a yes vote is going the same crown direction )-

    Did the BBC tell 16 / 17 year olds in their big debate to vote no because there was to many yes votes-a disgrace to journalism if true-

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Many Unionists in Scotland have given up at present – a yes vote will kill off Unionism completely so your arguement doesn’t stand to scrutiny.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Neil, Unionism will be a minority grouping who will never get any worthwhile legislation through the Dail. They will be squeezed out by nationalism. The only way Unionism will survive in an UI is if a Devolved Administration is in place. I know the one at the minute is not working. I blame the numpties on the hill who are not trying to make it work. Whether we’re in the UK or a UI, there has to be a local Assembly. I also believe that the main parties in the South would welcome it.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    How exactly would local assembley aid Unionism in a UI? The Dail will still have the final say and they will not want to improve the “stolen six”.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “our main game is to attempt to stop SFIRA, at which we will fail because Catholics will vote for them in greater droves than ever before to ensure Unionists don’t get their way”
    Which begs the question Joe, ‘will Catholics still vote for SF IF they go ahead with the (supposed) plan to ‘get unionists”?
    Why don’t you ask a few nationalists here for starters?

  • Joe_Hoggs

    What do you mean Am Ghob?

  • Alan N/Ards

    Joe. My personal belief is that the Dail will be happy to keep us at arms length. When I say us, I mean all of us. Not just Unionists.
    It is in our (unionism) interest to have a local Administration. The thing that our unionist politicians seem to have missed, is that they have to make it work. Today, tomorrow, next year etc. It’s our future as well.

  • Biftergreenthumb

    “The only way Unionism will survive in an UI is if a Devolved Administration is in place.”
    Surely even with a devolved administration in a UI Unionism is dead. Once there is a united ireland I seriously doubt the Brits would welcome us back at any point so a poltical ideology based on a union with GB becomes completely pointless. Once we’re in a UI, no matter what form that takes, banging on about a union that no longer exists and will never exist again will have to be abandoned. Unionism can only exist as long as there is a union or the possibility of one.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Well, in a UI SF are pretty much redundant (from a constitutional POV), yet you have highlighted how (former) unionists would concentrate on ‘stopping’ SF even though given that there would in this instance be a UI it would be safe to assume that it is too late to ‘stop’ SF.

    So, that would imply that you believe that there is a secondary aspect to SF’s overall strategy and that they wouldn’t be content with a united Ireland?

    Is this the case?

    (FYI, I have heard similar notions before, from ‘resettling’ Protestants to Britain to daft mad notions involving a mass state sponsored pogrom if unionists. I hold you in too high a regard to think that you entertain such notions, so I’m curious as to what you mean)

  • Joe_Hoggs

    No I was feeding off nonsense from Neil who said that Unionists had lots to gain in a UI by trying to stop SF, I simply said that didn’t sound too enticing of a prospect and any attempts to do so would end in failure.

    I think SF as a far left socialist party do have a future beyond the consitutional question, they would just need to rebrand themselves.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Agreed, same applies to Scotland who also will not be welcomed back into the Union.

  • Morpheus

    I have said on here numerous times before that if my Protestant family, friends and colleagues felt the need to form their own Civil Rights Movement because they are being discriminated against in any way in a united Ireland then the whole concept can be shoved right now, no question.

    My wife is British now, she will still be British in a UI. My kids enjoy the best that their Irish and British cultures have to offer – that will not change in a UI.

    Personally I don’t think there is a ‘get unionists’ campaign. I think years of mistrust on both sides – well founded mistrust might I add – and steps need to be taken to gain that trust back. That’s why I would advocate Plan B with a group of people outside our local tribally elected politicians would be good for us – hell I would even hand it off to a group of Eskimos if it meant that NI can get off it’s belly and onto it’s knees

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Nationalists would have to settle some old scores in a UI, that’s a given.

  • Morpheus

    I don’t think you are in a position to say that Joe. For a start the polls show a strong unionist and independence position – hell unionism is on top – and the will of the majority will be done, the way it should be. No one can take away your unionism, no one except you

  • Morpheus

    Bollix – that’s paranoia talking. I don’t know anyone who wants to give a kick when the shoe is on the other foot. Not a single person.

  • Neil

    I think you’ll find Joe that this is the nonsense:

    I know if a UI comes about the knives will be out for Unionists
    You’re just having a wee mope.

  • Alan N/Ards

    I suppose “Pro British” would be a better term. The unionists, who were left behind in the Irish Free State, totally disappeared after 1921. We can’t allow that to happen if a UI comes about.

  • Alan N/Ards

    If a UI was to come about, then the British Government has a duty of care to it’s citizens who live on this island. The possibility of resettling its citizens on the mainland has to be taken seriously. Not everyone would want it but it has to be an option.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Come on, ban a wee parade here and there for starters.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Ban a parade here, call a Unionist sectarian there and keep it going.

  • Morpheus

    Parades cannot be banned, restrictions are placed on them as per UK legislation. And we all know how to make progress on that issue – talk with the residents and behave like adults. Both are sadly lacking in some areas.

    You need to keep in mind that literally thousands of parades are tolerated all over Northern Ireland every year. Thousands. The sting is gone for the most part

  • Micheàl O Teamhneàn

    I don’t see how you could make a statement such as ‘a yes vote will kill off Unionism completely’.I support a yes vote but I don’t see how unionist sentiment would be eradicated overnight just because you say so.It is reasonable to believe that a large group of scottish people may continue to express loyalty and nostalgia for the uk in the event of a yes vote and it is not to hard to imagine this aspiration leading to the formation of a political group.I would imagine that a similar situation may occur in the event of a united ireland

  • Biftergreenthumb

    “The unionists, who were left behind in the Irish Free State, totally disappeared after 1921. We can’t allow that to happen if a UI comes about.”

    “The possibility of resettling its citizens on the mainland has to be taken seriously.”
    I think you are being a bit over dramatic here. The idea that a million people (from PUL backgrounds) would be “dissappeared” or even under theat in a UI is absurd. The ROI is modern liberal western european democracy. The lives and rights of people from PUL backgrounds would not be in any jeopardy in a UI.
    As for “resettling” I’m sure any body who hates the thought of living in UI could sell their house and buy one in Britain. Calling moving house “resettling” makes it all sound a bit sinister to me.
    “Unionism” as a political ideology would disappear as it would not be relevant in a UI but individuals who are currently unionists have nothing to fear in a UI.

  • Mark Dingwall
  • Joe_Hoggs

    It’s already being discussed on the anit Orange thread started by Lord O’Neill.

  • Alan N/Ards

    The British Government has a duty of care to its citizens. Surely the people who want to resettle on the “mainland” should be given that right. They can’t just wash their hands of its citizens.
    I never said that one million people would want to move. I also never said that they would be in jeopardy in a UI. I also meant that Unionism disappeared in The Free State after partition and not individual unionists but I think you knew what I meant.
    The bottom line is that some British citizens will expect their government to resettle them on the “mainland”. The option will have to be there in any final settlement. It will be between the British Government and individual citizens who which to move.

  • Zeno1

    It’s a good point. I was talking to a well known local Scot this morning and he said it has divided Scotland, which can’t be good.

  • Morpheus

    You really need to stop doing that Joe – you need to stop taking comments from one or two individuals and extrapolating the bits that offend you to the whole nationalist community then having a good old mope about it. If you take exception to a point then challenge it and prove them wrong, don’t resort to petty comments because in all honestly it makes you sound weak and snivelly (if that’s a word)

  • Biftergreenthumb

    “I also meant that Unionism disappeared in The Free State after partition and not individual unionists but I think you knew what I meant.”
    Apologies! I genuinely misunderstood when you wrote:
    “The unionists, who were left behind in the Irish Free State, totally disappeared after 1921. We can’t allow that to happen if a UI comes about.” I thought you meant unionist disappeared rather than unionism.
    Genuine question though: Why can’t we allow unionism to disappear in a UI? Surely unionism becomes completely meaningless in a UI. No point in people defining their political ideology by a union which doesn’t exist if you see my point. If there is ever to be a UI unionism becomes just as irrelevent as antipartitionism would.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    I know it’s only those in the Orange that are evil, but I wouldn’t trust and Prod – would you?

  • Biftergreenthumb

    “Surely the people who want to resettle on the “mainland” should be given that right. They can’t just wash their hands of its citizens.”
    Yes of couse they’ll be able to move house. If there is ever a UI anyone living in NI that wants to sell their house and move to Britian will surely be allowed to do just that. But other than saying “Of course you can do that” I doubt there’s much need for the UK government to be involved. Using the term “resettle” makes it sound like some epic undertaking. My cousin recently sold her house in Bangor and moved to London. She didn’t call it “resettling to the mainland” and she didn’t require government to assist her in her “right” to do so.

  • Neil

    On one hand the DUP with their small number of MPs can play kingmaker in Westminster (possibly anyway), then one would think when Unionism moves from representing 1/60 of the UK population in government to 1/10 of the representation of the Irish population in government they could easily cut a wee deal with FF or FG. I believe both parties would much prefer to deal with Unionists than SF. And it even looks nice and progressive. Of course I’d agree to almost any precondition for unification, that’s the way I’m wired so whatever people like yourself require to make it happen, I’m good with.

  • Morpheus

    There you go again, mope mope, mope oh-woe-is-me.

    Snivelly.

    As you know I am married to a Protestant, I have Protestant family, I am have Protestant friends, I have Protestant colleagues. As I am sure you have Catholic family, friends and colleagues…in a tiny country like Northern Ireland – and trust me, it is absolutely miniscule – most of us do!

    Just because a person takes issue with the OO it does not mean they have an issue with Protestants, the OO are a small subset. Just because you have a problem with The Shinners doesn’t mean you have a problem with Catholics – the Shinners are just a tiny subset. You need to start separating them out.

  • carl marks

    Why would anybody bother getting the knives out, Joe don’t worry Nationalists learnt form the old NI that getting the knives out on a minority is a bloody stupid thing to do, look what happened here!
    When a UI comes about it will be a new beginning not a replay of old mistakes.
    tell me Joe where do these ideas come from, they are simply not true because we differ in our aspirations and have history doesn’t mean that we are going to punish the collective unionist community come a UI.
    I want my children and grandchildren to grow up in peace without the youth i had in North Belfast i am not alone in this and victimization of the unionist population after a UI would more or less garaunatee that peace is not what they would get.

  • carl marks

    Nonsense Joe, in one thread you claim that nationalist think protestants are all evil (does that include me in a mixed marriage) then in the next you state that Nationalist are vengeful creatures just waiting the right time to punish!
    come up with some actual proof beyond this bloody paranoia.
    Now tell us how its a given!

  • carl marks

    By the time a UI comes about the whole parades thing will be settled, and in 20 years time the OO will be a shadow of what it is now, already membership is dropping and as recruitment falls and time takes it toll on it elderly members then it will wither on the vine.

  • Alan N/Ards

    The British citizens who will be living in this UI won’t stop being British citizens. Their loyalty, or sense of belonging will not disappear overnight or indeed if ever.

    I have no doubt a new political party will be formed to represent these people. The British Party or something along those lines is a possibility.

    I personally believe that the future of the British people who remain in a UI is best served by a local Assembly. I voted for the GFA and by doing so I accepted the possibility that a UI could happen. I also voted yes because of the Assembly. The people of the ROI also voted for the GFA. If the Government in the Dail renege on the GFA they haven’t a hope in securing a genuine UI.

  • carl marks

    well Joe all i can say from reading your posts that unionism better change a few chants try these new ones because it seems to have given up,

    We Surrender,
    and
    We Were The People!

    now excuse me mate i am off to Google “Gas Chambers” have a good mope!

  • Alan N/Ards

    Your cousin was leaving one part of the UK for another part. If a UI comes about British citizens in NI will longer be part of the UK. That’s a big difference. British citizens and taxpayers should have the right to be “relocated” to GB if they wish. Is “relocated” a better word?

  • Ulidian Realist

    No, the immutable right of self-determination for the distinct Ulster-British people in their own homeland (not England, Scotland or Wales) needs to be taken seriously.

  • Ulidian Realist

    The “sin” of daring to breathe and demand a right to self-determination like any other people.

  • Ulidian Realist

    I blame the naive people who thought that such a farcical system would EVER work in the first place, and those who keep repeating the propaganda that “peace” was due to anything else than the might of British military and intelligence in demoralising and crushing the insurrection.

  • Hugh_Anthony

    Dear oh dear, that takes me back to before I left Belfast in the mid-sixties. Protestant friends would often use the argument that “you would do to us what we’ve done to you”. Guilt complex much? Or wee tim’rous beasties?

  • Biftergreenthumb

    “I have no doubt a new political party will be formed to represent these
    people. The British Party or something along those lines is a
    possibility.”

    Ya never know i suppose. but i’d hope that if there ever is a united ireland the sharp divison between PUL and CNR would slowly start to disappear as people stop worrying about national identity and start voting on practical/pragmatic issues. No matter how orange and loyal the current generation may be future generations of people from PUL backgrounds raised in a UI would start to see themselves as Irish just as our irish protestant ancestors did.

    I would hope that a party just for PULs would not form. Identity politics is what’s wrong with this place.

    In response to your other post about “resettling” do you think that the British government have a duty of care and therefore an obligation to “resettle”or “relocate” No voting Scots? If there is ever a united ireland i think people that want to move to GB will be in the same boat as No voting Scots. they will be able to move but there will be no need for any kind of government assistance. It will be a personal decison and one for the individual to sort out. Who ever wants to do it will be allowed and that’ll be that. Just like if i want to move to ROI now i could without any resistance or assistance.

  • Reader

    Bittergreenthumb: If there is ever to be a UI unionism becomes just as irrelevent as antipartitionism would.
    Not comparing like with like – instead, surely Unionism would be as irrelevant in a UI as Nationalism was in NI?
    Or are you assuming that the unionist identity is not really real? (something to do with false consciousness?)

  • Alan N/Ards

    Bgt, Apologies for not replying sooner to your comments.
    The GFA has given us the right to be British, Irish or both. That can’t and shouldn’t be reneged on by the Irish Government in the event of a UI. Our “Protestant ancestors” living in the Free State after partition, didn’t have that right. So for our tradition to survive and indeed flourish in a UI, we will need a Unionist/British party to represent us. Thankfully, The GFA which was voted for by the majority of people on the island, allows us to have a local Assembly and this will help secure our future.
    Regarding my resettlement/relocation comments, I would just like to say that I have no desire to leave NI. But I do believe that help should given be to those who for whatever reason feel they cannot stay in NI. Many would not want or afford to live in the Euro zone. Many would struggle to live in a UI as the cost of living is so much higher in the South and the average wage is so much lower in NI. For us to leave and move to GB means we have to sell our home. Unlike Scotland, we mainly live in areas divided by religion and nationality and this halves the number of potential buyers. That is why I say our Government has a duty of care to its citizens.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Apologies Joe. This is for Bittergreenthumb.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Hi Bgt, I made the silly mistake of replying to Joe instead of you. Must find the reading specs. Look forward to your reply

  • Biftergreenthumb

    Reader, I mean ‘unionism’ as a constitutional position will become irrelevant in a UI. If/when there is a UI I assume (maybe i’m wrong here) that there will be no option for rejoining the UK at a future date (I doubt any of the main parties in the UK would want us back). Unionism thought of as the position that ‘NI should be part of the UK’ becomes a pointless position to hold if this isn’t realistic option.

    However, I suppose it’s reasonable to speculate that in circumstance where unionism as a constitutional position becomes irrelevant there would probably be a knock on effect to unionism as an identity position. I’d imagine that in a UI future generations of people from protestant backgrounds would increasingly see themselves as Scots Irish, or Ulster Scots or Irish Protestants or even just Irish (national identity terms) rather than Unionist or Loyalist (political/constitutional terms).

    I’m not saying that Unionist identity isn’t real. But I am saying that being an Irish protestant/Ulster scot/scotch irish or whatever isn’t the same thing as being Unionist. And while a separate protestant identity can/will be maintained in an UI I doubt it will be called Unionist or loyalist.

    I personally think that to conflate Irish protestants/Ulster scots/scotch irish with Unionism/loyalism/organism is to greatly simplify irish protestant history and to do a disservice to their ancestors. As everyone knows many irish protestants (especially Presbyterians) prior to partition were United Irish Men. Just as in recent years ROI has come to terms with and come to honour the fact that many Irish men fought and died in the British Army so too Irish protestants/Ulster scots/scotch irish will start to recover their republican past.

  • Biftergreenthumb

    Hi Alan

    “The GFA has given us the right to be British, Irish or both. That can’t and shouldn’t be reneged on by the Irish Government in the event of a UI.”

    I assume that the GFA would be superseded by the new constitutional arrangements if a UI is ever voted for. I have no idea if people in NI who want to keep British or dual citizenship will be allowed to do so if they remain in NI. But I would imagine that keeping British citizenship will be a matter for the British government to decide on rather than the Irish government.

    “Our “Protestant ancestors” living in the Free State after partition, didn’t have that right. So for our tradition to survive and indeed flourish in a UI, we will need a Unionist/British party to represent us.”

    In UI constitutional unionism will have lost the argument because (I assume) rejoining the union will not be an option. Therefore constitutional unionist politics become irrelevant and so a political party based on this issue would be pointless. It’s important to keep in mind that being an Irish protestant/Ulster Scot/Scotch Irish person isn’t the same as being a unionist/loyalist and therefore Irish Protestant/Ulster Scot/Scotch Irish culture isn’t the same as unionism or loyalism. With Unionism ceasing to be a meaningful political position in a UI I guess that future generations of Irish protestant/Ulster Scot/Scotch Irish people will stop identifying themselves as Unionist, Loyalists or even as British and start to identify as Irish protestant, Ulster Scot, Scotch Irish or simply Irish. Under such conditions I don’t think that a post-unionist political party would need to be set up simply to support Irish protestant/Ulster Scot/Scotch Irish culture. Chinese, Pakistani or Afro-Caribbean people in the UK are able to live their lives and maintain their traditions without a political party specifically to represent their ethnicity and culture. The orange order from what I understand hold marches all over the ROI over the 12th without any hassle or resistance from the Irish authorities. So I doubt that even orange culture would be under threat.

    Regarding your comments on the financial difficulties of moving to GB after a UI I can only say I may be wrong but I doubt there would be any financial assistance from the UK government. I think their attitude would be “You democratically decide to join a UI it’s therefore up to you to deal with the consequences.” But you never know!

  • Alan N/Ards

    Bgt, You may be right about financial help for British citizens wishing to move to GB if a UI happens. Who knows. Time will tell.
    I do believe though that you are wrong about citizenship. The GFA clearly states in Article 1(vi) that the two Goverments “recognise the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they so choose, and accordingly confirm that their right to hold both British and Irish citizenship is accepted by both Governments and would not be affected by any future change in the status of Northern Ireland.”
    You’re right in saying that the Union is over if there is a UI. But that doesn’t mean the end of the British people on the island of Ireland. Far from it. It doesn’t mean that they will stop calling themselves Northern Irish and British. It doesn’t mean the of Union flags being displayed on lampposts(alas). I would also say that the British Embassy could be a very busy place for quite a while.
    I would love to know how the ordinary person will manage to live in a UI. The cost of living in the south is so much greater than here. Who will make up the shortfall in the average wage?

  • Biftergreenthumb

    Alan

    “their right to hold both British and Irish citizenship is accepted by both Governments and would not be affected by any future change in the status of Northern Ireland.”

    Well I can’t argue with that!

    “…that doesn’t mean the end of the British people on the island of Ireland. Far from it. It doesn’t mean that they will stop calling themselves Northern Irish and British.”

    Obviously nobody knows what will happen in the future but my prediction would be that in the short term you are probably right. A lot of people from PUL backgrounds will continue to identify themselves as British. But identity isn’t a fixed thing and in the long term i predict future generations of people from PUL backgrounds will stop seeing themselves as British. That doesn’t mean an end to a separate identity though. I think people here will think of themselves as Irish protestants, or Scotch Irish or Ulster Scots and probably a lot will just call themselves Irish. Or if we are able to keep the assembly people will probably still identify as Northern Irish. But I still think even then ‘British’ as someone’s primary national identity will start to disappear (especially if Scotland vote ‘yes’ and Britain ceases to be a single political entity).

    “I would love to know how the ordinary person will manage to live in a UI. The cost of living in the south is so much greater than here. Who will make up the shortfall in the average wage?”

    The truth of the matter is I have no idea. I’m not even sure if this is an issue. I imagine there would be in the short term a bit of financial disruption as the two economies are brought together and we change to the euro but in the mid to long term surely the cost of living and the average wage would become similar over the whole island?

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Morpheus my friend, I hope your day is going well.

    The problem I have with people who take issue with the Orange is that they have a habit of deciding that Orange members are unfit to hold certain jobs in society. There are more than a few examples of Orangemen being overlooked for promotion, hence the reason why many of us keep stum about our membership.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Neil, I’d be interested in hearing your rationale to this.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Do you not think that there is a possibility that a UI could rejuvenate the OO? I wouldn’t be too confident of it disappearing. In fact, a UI could actually be the best thing for it.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    The independance threat in Scotland has resulted in an upsurge of membership there and Saturday’s successful parade can only aid this matter. You could have a point.

  • carl marks

    two questions Joe,
    1/ got any hard facts for this claimed upsurge in membership?
    2/ what changed, just a few days ago you were telling us the OO (and unionism) was finished in Scotland and Saturdays march was a last hurrah.
    but glad to see your cheered up a bit, the moping was so boring.

  • carl marks

    It may allow it to get rid of its sectarian baggage in some strange way, but it would have to have the will to dump the bigots and hangers on! if and when a UI comes about the north will have changed and groups who cant change will go the way of the dinosaurs.
    unfortunately the OO doesn’t seem to feel the need to change and seems to think its present behavior is acceptable! not a good recipe for its continued survival in a Ireland of equals.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Feedback from a few that were at the parade.

    I think the parade was a lot more successful that many imagined and it got a lot of good coverage.

  • carl marks

    no hard facts then Joe, I would have thought that the OO would come out loud if its membership increased because of the referendum would be evidence of a strong no voice, people voting with their feet so to speak,

  • carl marks

    tell your friends to go see a lawyer, all discrimination is very wrong, now Joe i have to ask again do you have any proof?
    with all the lawyers and barristers in the OO or supporting it and with the oath that OO members take to protect the protestant faith it is very surprising that we don’t see any cases in front of the courts.
    and Joe which Jobs do people think that OO members are unfit to hold?
    some facts Joe or i am afraid that we will have to put that last post down to mopery,

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Isn’t the police a key example, membership has to be declared and I also believe members cannot parade.

    There is also huge issues for COI ministers and this has been mentioned ample times.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    We’ll only know for sure when the returns are done in October Carl – there’s a little inside information for you. 😉

  • carl marks

    Joe we will know the result of the vote when the returns come in Joe but your claim as to increased membership of the OO in Scotland will like so many of your other claims remain unproven!
    there’s a little inside information for you. 😉

  • carl marks

    Oh dear membership of the OO has to be declared for the police,but its not a bar to joining so therefore not a case of

    “Orange members are unfit to hold certain jobs”

    bit of proof on the not allowed to parade thing!

    Now the huge issues for COI ministers, i laughed out loud at that one.
    The COI is a religious organisation (the clue in in the name) now most of its members think the OO is not the sort of group it wants to be involved in , it does not believe that the antics of the OO displays a Christian ethos (that at least is how i understand it perhaps a member of the COI could enlighten us) since the OO reserves the right to refuse membership to those who it believes are not worthy of it so it would seem that the COI is doing the same thing.
    Now any proof of real discrimination Joe?

  • Alan N/Ards

    Hi Carl, I’m not a big fan of the OO and of the damage it has done to the reformed faith. I have said that a number of times. But I believe that you are wrong in believing the OO will disappear in a UI. It has survived in the ROI (border counties) since partition, albeit with small numbers. Those lodges could benefit from a UI with border Orangemen from NI joining up with them and boosting their numbers.
    The OO parades has thousands of spectators every year and I believe those spectators will swell the ranks of the order. If the OO was clever enough, they could become the unifying force for NI Protestants if a UI was to ever happen. If you add in the hundreds of bands it could mean a bright future for the OO. You are right in saying that it needs to drop the sectarian nonsense and show us that it is a Christian organisation. If it did, I might consider joining myself if a UI came about. Just don’t tell my wife!
    As far as an Ireland of equals go, It seems that there a few people in Donegal who don’t want it. Thankfully they are in the minority.

  • carl marks

    Alan, my reasoning for the demise of the OO is simple; membership is falling and its existing members are not getting any younger, it is becoming increasingly irrelevant to the youth who are moving away from them and us thinking, the old message of the Papish plot and Lundy’s no longer carries the power it once did.

    Alan I don’t quite know what type of a UI we will have but as I said before it will be a time for a new start not a repeat of the old mistakes, I can see we (nationalists) have a long way to go in persuading Unionists/protestants that a UI is no threat to them.

    I know I speak for most of my community in that as I have said before I want a UI which treats all its people with respect, it is not in my interest or the interests of anybody else on this island to repeat the mistakes that were made in the past on both sides of the border.

    I would not and could not support a UI that discriminated against my own family and I believe this to be the stand of most nationalists north and south.

    By the time a UI comes about Nationalism will have changed and so will Unionism we will both have moved away from the sectarian headcount and we will have overcome the mistrust that exists between our two communities otherwise a UI will not work.

    There will always be “bitter enders” who will refuse to change on both side and the siege mentality is their comfort zone, Alan I do not mean to be offensive as I know you are not a bitter ender, your post show a willingness to debate and listen but I must ask; are you sure that your belief that you might be tempted to join the OO is not a circling of the wagons and a reflex of the siege mentality.

    Can you not see any future for this place beyond “them and us” things change mate and I can see a future with just us.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Carl, I would love to see the end of Green and Orange politics. It is the only way forward for NI and the island of Ireland. The question is how do we do it? Unfortunately we still have the them and us politics. If we can’t do it now why will things change in UI?
    If a vote on a UI was in favour of it, we will have to respect that vote. It doesn’t mean that we have work it and give our allegiance to a UI. We can circle the wagons and live separate lives if we so desire. It will depend on what is on offer to make us engage with the new State. I said that I might join the OO in a Tongue and cheek way but I do believe that their ranks will be bulging in a UI as I know the “tribe” that I come from.
    If there is to be an end to tribal politics on the island then all sides will have to dismantle their parties. The ending of the Green and Orange tribes should make the Tricolour absolete. It should make the commemorations for the Battle of the Boyne, Easter uprising also absolete but I can’t imagine the Irish Government ever agreeing to scrapping the Easter commemorations. These are the hypocrites who, along with SF, go to Bodens Town every year and have paid lip service to the ideals of thee United Irishmen for decades. In fact I would say the only party that has upheld the ideals of the United Irishmen ( apart from the dopes In Newry) is the SDLP. Do they even attend Bodens Town?
    Do you believe that FF, FG, SF will be prepared to disappear themselves to secure a UI that the United Irishmen men desired? That would say a lot to the ordinary Unionists in NI who are fearful of a UI. At the end of the day, a UI will mean that Green has defeated Orange and the ball will be in your court. Will it be out with the old (Ireland) and in with a new (Ireland) or will it business as usual?

  • carl marks

    yes you are of course right on many points, we (both sides) will have to give things up that we hold dear and accept some of the things the other side holds dear which we don’t like.

    We do indeed have a long road to travel but what choice have we but to walk it. Two (or more) cultures can coexist on this island without fear and hatred.

    I myself would love the 12th to be a festival all can enjoy, for that to happen both myself and the OO will have to change.

    Bodenstown is mainly been converted to a republican event which is unfortunate since the united Irishmen would be good role models for our new Ireland and perhaps the Easter Celebrations can be changed as the 12th needs changed.

    finally i don’t like to think of a UI meaning the green has won and the orange defeated, it can only work if we make it work together and i personally am not interested in defeating anybody neither do i think many in my community are interested in that either.

  • carl marks

    Don’t know about you but me and the rest of the world will know on Friday morning not October, (there’s a little inside information for you. ;).

    Tell me Joe do you ever actually check a fact before you come out with it?

  • Alan N/Ards

    Hi Carl, I agree with you that a lot of things will have to go, on both sides, to make things work, not only in any potential agreed Ireland but also in NI at present. I only wish a lot of people would swallow their pride and try to move things forward at the present time.
    I read the SDLP’s Colum Eastwood’s article in the Tele this morning. He was referring to Scotland’s Independence poll today and asking Irish nationalism to think about how they need to reassure the British tradition that their future is safe in a UI.
    He writes ” We now need to set about the work of persuading those who identify with the Ulster-Scots and British traditions that their interests would be best served in a re-imagined, progressive and inclusive united Ireland. And more than that, we have to ensure that any discussion about a united Ireland sets out how those who may not consider as Irish nationalists will play a full role in that society.
    The SDLP has radical proposals to ensure a strong connection for those who identify as British would remain a part of our new society, just as our unshakable connection with Scotland would remain after a vote for independence.
    All of us who would campaign confidently and passionately for a Yes vote in a future border poll must now commit ourselves to ambitiously putting a detailed public case forward for what health, education, the economy and all other issues important to peoples everyday lives would look like in a united Ireland. The Scottish have done it, and it’s time we had the debate too.”
    He also wrote and I find this really important “Without firing one shot, the Scottish people have had a mature, rational and passionate debate about independence and their future.”
    I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on Colum’s article. Hopefully there are no de Valera, John Charles McQuaid and Sean McBride characters left in Irish nationalism to oppose reasonable and pragmatic politician’s like Colum.

  • carl marks

    Not a lot i can argue with there, whatever future be it in a UI or in the UK we have to ditch a lot of the old crap that we are obsessed with.

    Both sides will either have to show tolerance for the traditions of the other and displays of our own traditions will have to be sensitive to the feelings of those around us.

    and yes we (nationalists) have a great deal more to do in convincing protestants that a UI is a positive move for them and not a threat because only then is project UI feasible.

    Forcing the protestant community into a UI would be not only impossible but a very stupid thing to try.

    A start to breaking down mistrust would be electing politicians who place education/the elderly/Health etc. above tribalism.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Carl, Have you any thoughts on the lack of interest by the parties in the ROI in a UI? They did show an interest back in the 80’s with the New Ireland Forum but have been silent for a long time. Surely they should be the ones taking the lead in selling the merits of an agreed, brand spanking new Ireland. Or should it be left to the SDLP?

  • carl marks

    Well i don’t know if the SDLP will be the party to do the persuading, perhaps the SDLP/SF/DUP/UUP,etc will be replaced by newer parties taking a more left/right bent on politics (like grown up places have) i think the major parties down south haves other problems than ours to worry about and i am quite happy to keep it that way, we have to learn to sort our own house! of course they will turn up at Bodenstown and at Easter to make the right green noises.
    of course that lack of interest may change when /if SF become a major player in the Dail.