Is This What A United Ireland Would Be?

[Originally posted on my own site, but I thought given the…interest shown yesterday in my status as pro union, that the sluggerverse might get a kick out of this…]

 

I regularly wonder what “a united ireland” would be. Many people call for it, but would the reality be what they expected? Very few people indeed are alive today that remember a united ireland… and the world of 2014 is far removed from the world of 1916…So what would happen? Is this as dystopian as it first appears?

 

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The year is 2038 and Northern Ireland, as it was known to you and I, is a very different place indeed. The political campaign on behalf of the nationalist parties at Stormont escalated their reunification rhetoric prior to 2020, with Sinn Fein even taking up its seats at Westminster for 2 years immediately prior to the collapse of the union. Some political commentators saw this as grandstanding in front of their british adversaries, conveying the message “We are here now…and we’re getting what we want.”

The rise to dominance of Sinn Fein was brought about by the Great Unionist Schism of 2016, where constant in-fighting and scandals had ripped apart the old guard of the Democratic Unionist Party, leaving a wake of political devastation in its path. Alternative Unionist parties fought like rabid dogs to poach those left untouched from the self-destruction of the DUP. The TUV and the UUP leaders, Jim Allister & Mike Nesbitt famously coming to blows on the now defunct TV channel “BBC Northern Ireland,” with host Stephen Nolan infamously having his collar bone broken by a chair thrown by Allister. Eventually the dust settled and where half a dozen unionist parties once were, now stood over 30. Every corner of the land had a self appointed “local community leader” forming a political party with the vainglorious boast of being “The Populist Successor to the DUP”. Central parties too began to swell, with NI22 & NI24 coming in late to polls with the aim of sweeping up undecided votes. With the electoral commission faced with the challenge of having an election ballot with over 45 separate parties represented in most areas, the eventually bowed to public pressure (and physical paper-size constraints) by moving to electronic voting. The result was a rampant victory for the nationalist parties of Sinn Fein & SDLP; even in typically staunch unionist areas such as East Belfast, with so many parties standing candidates, the electorate turnout was just under 30,000 but due to the volume of candidates, a return of 819 was enough to elect SF Niall Ó Donnghaile as MLA on the first count.

Post 2019 election, the assembly was made up thusly:

  • Sinn Fein (57)
  • Social Democratic & Labour Party-SDLP- (19)
  • Alliance (5)
  • NI Conservative (4)
  • Green (3)
  • Progressive Unionist Party –PUP- (2)
  • Downpatrick Unionist Party-DpUP- (1)
  • Antrim & Londonderry Unionist Alliance-ALUA-(1)
  • Political Orange Order Party-POOP-(1)
  • Orange Order Party of Antrim – OOPA-(1)
  • NI22 – (1)
  • NI24- (1)
  • Protestant Coalition-(1)
  • Progressive Unionist Voice-PUV– (1)
  • Fraternal Apprentice Boys Union-FABU– (1)
  • Independents – (9)

This left the path clear for a swift referendum on the nation status of northern Ireland. After a clean 6 month campaign for SF/SDLP where very little had to be done to persuade the people of Northern Ireland that change was necessary, mostly due to the constant physical attacks amongst political leaders on the unionist side, with NI24 deputy leader Jamie Bryson being charged and sentenced to 7 years for a Tonya Harding style attack on the sole NI23 party member, Dawn Purvis. The unionist electorate was seemingly embarrassed to identify themselves as unionist and so turnout was low amongst traditionally loyalist communities, whereas nationalist areas showed higher than 85% turnout across the province. The die had been cast and the roulette wheel of Northern Ireland had landed on “EIRE,” Ireland was to be whole again.

 

The process took just over 2 years, as was set out in the Letterkenny accord between PM Johnson of Anglo-Wales & Taoiseach Bruton of Ireland. With Johnson more interested in maintaining the twin-nation-state of England & Wales and seeming like he couldn’t wash his hands of The Northern Ireland Problem quickly enough. On October 18th 2021, the “70mph” signpost just south of Newry on the northbound carriageway fell in a lavish ceremony, with U2 playing a selection of their greatest hits on a stage erected over the central reservation.

Many unionists seemed willing to remain in their part of Ireland for the time being and see what the reality of that would bring. Some however, were not content. The plethora of parties who had stood in the 2019 election had now no representation in the Dail until the next Irish General Election took place 2 years later, and they looked within themselves to find a plan. Ironically, the campaign that was to follow was mostly modelled on the nationalist campaign throughout the troubles across NI & Britain. It began with the “Second Northern Ireland Civil Rights Movement” to raise awareness of the issues facing these groups, some of whom had formed ad hoc alliance depending as much on geography and ability as on their political symbiosis. They took their guerrilla campaign to the irish heartland. Motivated by what they saw as “second-class citizen treatement”, the casualties were many in the first number of weeks, with very few perpetrators being apprehended by the Gardai, unlike in the previous irish/british terrorist campaign, the bulk of the activity was not based around border areas, it was in towns like Dunleer, Glenbrook, Kilkenny, Mullingar, Roscrea. With the  worst atrocity in the opening stages being The Gaeltacht Massacre in Co. Mayo, members of the Reformed Red Hand Commando approached residents in the street and asked “Cá bhfuil an leithreas?”, or “Where’s the Toilet” in Gaelic, and used as a Shibboleth, all those who answered in Gaelic were shot in cold blood. This was the entire population of the village.

 

The campaign wore on, Cork & Limerick were regularly attacked, any symbol of the Irish Government was considered an appropriate target by the New UVF and the Real LVF. Sympathisers in Scotland were quick to offer support to their Northern Irish cousins, some believing that Ulsters future lay in an Ulster-Scots alliance rather than depending upon the larger nations to the south, with arms once again flowing across the Irish Sea into the port of Larne. Within 5 years casualties were over 200,000, far outstripping the worst of the NI Troubles #1. Troubles #2 was proving to be a step too far all those concerned. The Irish government had gone through much upheaval of its own, with nobody expecting that this would be the consequence of a united Ireland. Politicians struggled to justify to their constituencies that this was the right path to take, despite decades of rhetoric promoting this as the right future for all.

 

After a young farmer from Saintfield, Co. Down had stolen a fixed wing plane from Newtownards Airfield and flew it straight into the Dail in a kamikaze attack in protest of farming subsidies being 40% less in Counties Down & Antrim, the United Nations peacekeepers stepped in to help reduce the rising death toll. Even these could not completely stop the violence, eventually when the USA offered attached statehood to the Republic of Ireland on the condition that Northern Ireland secedes and becomes a nation-state on its own, with a wall constructed along the border and a permanently manned military battalion guarding all border crossings. It took the Dail just 1hour and 20minutes to decide to accept, there was no offer of a referendum (something that would later cost 4 members of Fine Gael their jobs) for the general public. In legislation akin to that of a quickie las vegas marriage, by the end of the month, Ireland was the 53rd state and Northern Ireland was reduced to a pseudo-palestine existence, having grown fat on the proceeds of handouts from both of its former state patrons, the economy collapsed and even Scotland refused to intervene for fear of angering the USA as they were viewed to be next in line for attached statehood.

 

By 2032 Northern Ireland had been co-opted by the European Presidential Committee as the prime candidate for a continental open prison. Those loyalist and nationalists left within the 6 counties had no political say in the matter as they were regarded as a “failed state,” and no world body was willing to intervene and try to separate those who had blood on their hands from the “6 county sovereignty campaign” and those who did not. Northern Ireland, was gone.

 

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So, I think whenever the referendum does come around, I’ll tick “Britain”

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  • kalista63

    The obvious question is, is the DFS sale still on!

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    I didn’t understand that so I put it into google translate as “Bitter -> English” did you mean “you’re posting your opinion and being lauded by people with perspective whilst alienating people who can’t see a future beyond themuns did that so they did so it is”

    Plenty of uNIONISTS agree with me. And this article hardly increases my nationalist credentials, any swiftly drafted invite to tend bar at the SF party conference will have been dropped into the recycle bin after reading this.

    You preached tolerance of all here at various comments I’ve seen of yours…yet you still can’t tolerate my viewpoint and my self identification as pro union…what a terrible world you must live in, near larne perhaps.

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    DFS are long gone,the current DFS is the Defence Force of Strabane, who whipped up a trebuchet of late and were hurling antique Nissan qashqai’s over the wall into the US national guard garrisoned at the Strabane gate.

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    Must try harder

  • Morpheus

    I’m sorry, have we started a new conversation?

  • Morpheus

    You are absolutely right – only votes cast count.

    You say that SF got fewer votes that the anti-SF parties. Tell me, what happens when you add the SF vote to the Nationalist vote and the nationalist independents vote? I’ll give you a clue: green all over the shop in that map I linked to earlier.

    I wonder how the map would look today in 2014

  • Cue Bono

    Not that I’m aware of. What are you talking about?

  • Morpheus

    It wasn’t down the barrell of a gun – as explained it was 25,000 guns which were to be aimed at British forces in order to ensure that the democratic will of the majority was subverted. Following partition Northern Ireland could have been made into a place everyone would be happy to call home – but no, the powers that be fecked that up too and here we are today.

    True enough, Ireland has had it tough over the decades but it’s not all bad http://www.prosperity.com/#!/ranking – they are doing poor in terms of some things but better than others. Judging from recent headlines they seem to be recovering rightly

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/18/ireland-economy-growth-european-union

  • Cue Bono

    The nationalists were standing on a mandate of home rule within the UK. Not indepedence. Therefore independence was granted on a flawed minority vote.

    It was granted btw for the very simple reason that the British had no requirement to keep the 26 counties.

  • Morpheus

    We were talking about electoral abuse and you went off on a tangent about murder…not sure why.

  • Cue Bono

    The only people aiming guns at British forces were Irish republicans. Usually at their backs of course. Northern Ireland had its problems because a minority of the people living there were actively trying to destroy the place.

    The south’s problems have been entirely self inflicted. I wish them well though, Bizarre as it may seem I have a hell of a lot more in common, and considerably more time for, a regular southerner than I do do for any nordie republican drone bot. I think it will be the southerners who will break that particular death cult eventually.

  • Cue Bono

    Because one side used gerrymandering to achieve its aims and the other used murder. Which do you think was worst?

  • Morpheus

    Fair enough. But SF did take 75 out of 105 seats – is your argument that despite this electoral success their voters didn’t really support their stance?

    Interesting quote from Ark:

    “It seems pretty certain that Sinn Féin would have had a majority of the votes if all the seats had been contested. In the contested seats where they won, the total valid vote was 617,262 of an electorate of 907,903 (68.0%); and SF got 414,394 votes out of 619,649 (66.9%). The 25 uncontested constituencies had a total electorate of 474,778; if we assume an identical average turnout and SF vote share, that gives 322,790 extra votes cast, 216,703 for SF and 106,087 for others. This gives SF at least 692,790 votes of a notional Ireland-wide total of 1,306,465, or at least 53.0%. The 66.9% vote share for SF in constituencies they would have won is a very conservative estimate; in nine of the contested constituencies they got over 80% of the vote and their likely vote share in the uncontested seats must be nearer that end of the scale. For their total vote share to be less than 50% (assuming the 68.0% turnout) their vote share in the 25 uncontested seats would have had to be an unrealistically low 54.7%.

  • Morpheus

    Murder is obviously worse, daft question but do you think there wasn’t sufficient murder to go around back then or was just one side involved?

  • Morpheus

    Really? The guns were to resist the implementation of Home Rule, who was going to be implementing and enforcing t?

  • Cue Bono

    Even if they al supported the SF stance on independence (which is unlikely given that a lot of their support came from the conscription controversy) they would still have been in the minority. An election is not a referendum.

  • Cue Bono

    Those guns were handed over to the British government on the outbreak of war in 1914 and the people who were carrying them joined the British army, and fought very courageously for them indeed. If one event cemented the place of Northern Ireland in the UK I would say it was the attack by the Ulster Division on the 1st July 1916.

  • Cue Bono

    I think that by any calculation the IRA were responsible for the bulk of the murders. Just as they were in our lifetimes.

  • Morpheus

    I don’t remember saying that the election was a referendum, obviously there wasn’t one, but the elections do give a very real and tangible insight into the thoughts of the nation and at that time SF had considerable support taking over 70% of the seats available. Plus if all seats were contested then ARK concludes that they would have had the majority you talk about. You on the other hand are making an awful lot of assumptions about an awful lot of people.

  • Cue Bono

    It is something that I feel very strongly about. Thousands of Irish men went to fight for Britain in WW1, but the UK was split up because of the actions of a minority who sided with Germany. There was no referendum and those elections were heavily influenced by the conscription controversy. A snap shot in time which would be similar to splitting up the ROI on the basis of an election held after the water charging controversy.

  • Morpheus

    Yes they were and yes they did. British and Irish bravely fought side by side and lead the charge.

    It does not however change the purpose for which they were illegally imported in the first place.

  • Cue Bono

    The difference is that they were not used for that purpose. Casement’s guns were.

  • Morpheus

    I have to say it truly is fascinating talking like this.

  • Morpheus

    I didn’t say they were actually used for that purpose, I said they were illegally imported for that purpose.

  • Cue Bono

    I’m not sure that the import of guns at that time was actually illegal, but what is your point? It wasn’t the UVF who split Ireland from the UK and caused partition. It was the IRA.

  • Cue Bono

    Well it is nice to talk to someone from a nationalist perspective who doesn’t descend into mindless abuse when the facts start to collide. Thanks for that.

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    Just imagine….what if someone murdered a guy called Gerry Mander. All bets would be off

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    If only the IRA had realised that if they kept within +/- 10 bodies of the loyalist terrorism then maybe history would have looked on them more favourably. Hindsight is a wonderful thing

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    So “yes” then?

  • Practically_Family

    Hmm. While it certainly wouldn’t be pretty, it’s unlikely , nay, near impossible that a disenfranchised, militant, re-unionist minority could create mayhem on a scale approaching that of the PIRA campaign.

  • Practically_Family

    Maybe not. But as they’re somewhat less concerned than Britain about “punching above their weight” an Ireland with an insurgency problem might just ask the UN for support.

    One of those Reaper drones could make a right mess of an unapproved parade…

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you Tacapall for putting your finger on the key point of all revolutions. They need to be paid for, they do not happen for free. My own (Anarchist) preference, non-cooperation, even needs funds if it is to be organised as a revolutionary tool, although it can be very, very effective without central organisation as the persistence of our culture across centuries of colonialism shows.

    But yes, the all important point, that any effective resistance requires serious money! Perhaps some of the Bible Belt colleges in the US…….

    But its all pretty academic now that Cerberus Capitol Management owns us effectively, and the real “revolution” that is coming will be expressed through the putches carried out to ensure the corporative control of all real power.

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    For the record, I said Nowt about germ warfare.

  • Paddy Reilly

    A medium once explained to me how he operated his trade. It all works on the predictability (and gullability) of human beings, and using minimal information to draw likely conclusions.

    He made great use of the 1st World War, because of the universality of that experience. Everyone has a great uncle or grandfather who died or was wounded in Flanders. Otherwise he adapted himself to the audience. If he was doing a gig in Sheffield, he might mention someone who worked in the cutlery business. Sheffield specialised in cutlery, so there’s bound to be a cutlery connection somewhere.

    so without knowing me at all, you have decided my background based solely on my religion.

    Not entirely, but on the basis of your religion I can make certain guesses as to who your dead relations might be. If you were Catholic, I might pretend to receive a message from a dead nun. “She says, what did you do with my rosary beads?” Well obviously, significant numbers of Catholics are related to nuns, and 100% of nuns possess rosaries.

    Suppose I invoke a priest and there is no priest in your family. That doesn’t matter because every Catholic has a significant priest in his memory bank, who might want to contact him from beyond the grave. You’re bound to hit paydirt eventually: you just have to move on from the immediate family.

    Otherwise, one just moves on to the stock of archetypes I have already outlined: builder, publican, farmer.

    Moving to a NI Protestant audience, one would obviously invoke a minister, and with more success: Protestants have more ministers than Catholics, and they’re allowed to reproduce, so they will be more connected to the family. But keep it vague: don’t go into theological disputes, you’ll get it wrong. “There is a message for you in my Bible. I underlined the words.” Well of course: he won’t have been underlining Fanny Hill, will he? And if, amazingly, he never underlined a verse, the family will still be guessing. Perhaps the message is, don’t deface the Good Book.

    A policeman is a good one: I’m getting a message from someone called William or Sammy, I see a police cap and the letters RUC. He says, what did you do with my medals? He says, keep a hold of my gun, you may need it some day. RUC is perhaps a little too specific: say you can see the cap, but don’t know what service it is, that way you can include the Prison Service, Army, etc. The gun can stay though.

    If you haven’t got in contact yet, and you are sufficiently thrane never to admit when a nail is hit, it doesn’t really matter. They dispense these messages in halls that, if not full, are certainly never empty. If you won’t take the bait, the fish in the next seat will.

  • Barneyt

    I notice you didn’t mention the Narrow Water bridge. Did we ever get the Omeath to Warrenpoint project funded 🙂

  • Paddy Reilly

    You still fail to understand what the word caste means. They are endogamous groupings which tend to cluster in certain trades, but they are not static. In India, it may be that not a single member of a caste performs the trade that it derives its name from: the caste of potters may entirely be occupied in selling camping equipment from shops, for example.

    Closer to home, between the wars nearly all Chinese seemed to be running laundries: now, as far as I can tell, there is not a single one: they are all in the restaurant trade, with a strong emphasis, outside big cities, on take-aways. At some future time they may all be doctors and lawyers: they certainly would like to.

    Government ‘affirmative action’ may be used to combat the work of castes: the classified castes in India have been given reserved places in the Civil Service, but this has only increased antipathy to them: caste feeling remains. In NI, the quotas for PSNI recruitment may eventually mean there is absolutely no correlation between the Protestant religion and police service. But though you can take a man’s preferred job from him, you can’t take his ancestry.

  • mickfealty

    Paddy,

    Your comment…

    “Protestants in Ireland are largely a caste of policemen and jailers. They rely on the state for their living: therefore they can never be enemies of the state: their criminality consists of subverting the state from the inside, something that is very difficult to do when there is no Unionist monopoly of power.”

    Has been nominated for the most ridiculously sectarian comment of the year on Slugger, and if it makes it to the top will no doubt be getting a mention in dispatches on the 15th…

    Nominations now official open to all comers… Good luck on making it to 15th!

  • Paddy Reilly

    Yes, I knew one of these non-catering Chinese: she worked in Immigrant Rights. In her darker moments she would tell me her sad story: her father could only speak pidgin English, and ran a take-away Chinese food shop in an unpleasant and remote crime ridden suburb. (having a large, beautifully appointed restaurant in a fashionable inner-city location would have been acceptable) So for her, the reasonable present did not expunge the past. She did not currently work in the cheapo catering industry, but she was still associated with it by virtue of her father, who did. If unpleasant and unmannerly children called out “crispy fry noodle” after her, she would wince.

  • Paddy Reilly

    Yes, it was a mistake to use a technical and anthropological concept such as caste before such an unanthropological and opportunistically fractious audience.

    Caste is not the same thing as profession: it is something quite else, a sort of ancestral curse, which limits or enforces your matrimonial and professional prospects because of things done by other people who are classified with you, sometimes on the flimsiest of grounds.

  • Cue Bono

    Oh yeah. Definitely a unionist perspective from that fellow.

  • Cue Bono

    Why?

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    It was actually the scene of the remake of the bridge of the river kwai. Blown up by a publican from dundrum, fed up of all the good local craft beer being smuggled south to be sold to the middle classes

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    I find it mildly amusing, the trouble you have understanding that there is more than one perspective that a unionist can have. You and a great many like you seem to have such trouble understanding that one can be pro union and not have a chip the size of lurgan on their shoulder about the past. And that my friend is why there is no ulster scots word for progress.

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    I can’t wait to see what other awards are on offer!

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    So what you actually meant was:

    “Protestants in Ireland are cursed by their forebears to live eternally as policemen and jailers”

    Much better………….

  • Cue Bono

    Oh I have no problem with unionists having different perspectives. Of course they do. It’s just highly unusual for a unionist to have an Irish republican perspective. Like what you do.

    The Ulster Scots word for progress is progress.

  • Cue Bono

    So then you have to wonder whether the government of the ROI would prefer the current status quo, or having thousands of UN troops running around their war zone of a country.

  • Paddy Reilly

    It is probably an even bigger mistake to try explaining a concept to an audience whose powers of offence-taking are so much greater than their powers of comprehension, but nevertheless I continue to try.

    In India, some people (shall we say potters) perform an activity, say potting. Other people (Brahmins for example) object to this activity for reasons that may be reasonable or just plain potty. They therefore forbid their children to be apprenticed to potters, and to marry potters, keeping potters at a safe distance. In fact they won’t even marry potters’ 2nd cousins, or great grandsons, or Brahmins who have consorted with potters. Once you have been a potter, you are tarred as a potter, and even if you never pot again, and neither do your children, they are still regarded as a potters. After this potters and Brahmins live lives which are completely separate. In fact the potters probably make up reasons why they can’t stand Brahmins. This is caste.

    Astute observers have noticed that Northern Ireland society seems to obey similar rules. You have two groups, living cheek by jowl, who even today discourage intermarriage (Newton Emerson complains of a Portadown priest who introduced my girlfriend to every available Catholic male in a ten mile radius) and have poor community relations.

    Now if you’re looking for something comparable to caste, you need to test for potential familial breakdown. Imagine a 16 year old young man, who is proposing a) a profession and b) a spouse to his parents, family and friends. What profession and what spouse would cause the greatest ruction? My best example would be Gerry Adams’ son proposing to join HM prison service and marry a Protestant PSNI woman, but I would like to throw the field open to other people’s suggestions. Caste was a lot more certain before the GFA, of course.

    Consequently it seems to me that, historically at least, the activity most giving offence to Catholics was operating the police force and prison service of a non-Irish (perceived) occupying power, and so the Protestant part of the population could be termed the caste of police and prison-workers, naming them after the activity objected to, rather than some activity like McDonalds workers or Bank Clerks which Catholics do not object to. Of course, caste is two way, so it remains for Unionists to name the other side for the activity objected to. I think “Cheer leaders for terrorists” has already been suggested.

  • Paddy Reilly

    Protestants in Northern Ireland are to date destined by caste
    or politics to avoid practising intermarriage with Catholics to the degree that would be normal in England or even Donegal. Their take-up of the policeman option of employment is certainly encouraged by caste or familial precedent, but constrained by (what Barnshee calls) ‘draconian equality laws’.

  • Paddy Reilly

    I know. It was Barnshee.

  • Paddy Reilly

    What makes you think you know when I’m being serious and when I’m not. Am Gobsmacht very kindly said he found my statement amusing. it’s the way you tell them.

  • Robert McGantry

    The 2000AD Judge model would do rightly for a rump independent Norn Ireland statelet- boys wearing full leathers and wee orange collarettes, riding grey Fergusons converted to run on fermented spuds and cow shite.

  • Paddy Reilly

    I will have another go at explaining to you. There is a polluting activity: in India it can be potting or cutting hair, but in Northern Ireland, for some people, it is belonging to the IRA. The IRA are tapu, haram, treyf, unclean. We then introduce a simple formula such as “SF/IRA”. This means that all SF, members and voters, are affected by the uncleanness of the IRA. This is caste: your associates pollute you, even though you have never committed the act complained of.

    Those who belong to the executive caste, the makers and enforcers of anti-IRA law, will obviously not want their children to marry SF supporters. They will not hold their wedding receptions in SF owned premises, or give them favourable business contacts. And as the majority of Catholics are SF voters, and the minority who are SDLP supporters attend the same churches and schools and are often closely related to the SF supporters, they are also unclean, though perhaps to a lesser degree.

    Is this unfair? Well, it mostly affects intermarriage, and people can marry who they want. And the members of the excluded caste react by creating their own parallel universe in which the excluders are excluded because of their guilt in being policemen or jailers, or being genuinely or spuriously connected to such.

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    That’s just classic whataboutery. Did the IRA murder people? Yes. Are SF the IRA? no. Are there people in SF who are or were? Of course. But if you’re going to tar the whole party and for that matter, the whole nationalist community with the IRA/murderer brush is just cowardly. Some nationalists killed his relatives. So he preaches against a fair and equal society for all, upholding the “us” vs “Them” attitude which has got us Oh-So-Far-Up-To-Now-Hasn’t-It. Comparing Frazer as a victim to other high profile victims that are playing out in the media of late…Travers & Cahill are aggrieved, but target it specifically at those some how involved in what happened to them. Frazer just puts his inflammatory rhetoric in a proverbial blunderbuss, fires up in the air and hopes some of it lands on a nationalist. Ultimately, s**t happened to people, some of it was absolutely abhorrent. We either spend the rest of our time discussing it/debating it/dealing with it, which lets face it…is no small undertaking, it would BECOME our society. Or we look at the past and say “never again” When Frazer learns that, I’ll buy him a pint. Until then, he’s barred.

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    did you swear? I think that happened to me a couple of times when i swore…

  • Paddy Reilly

    Suppose I were to rephrase my statement “It would be hard to find a Protestant family in Northern Ireland that has not had a father, an uncle or cousins killed, wounded, shot at or intimidated by the brutal IRA, on the flimsy pretext that they were or had once been members of the police force, reserve, military or prison service”?

    Would that be acceptable? But if you look at it, would I not be saying exactly the same thing?

  • Paddy Reilly

    O.k., for father/uncle/cousins read ‘family member or friend’. We do have a lot of cousins you know.

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    I wouldn’t vote for anyone that I believed were in a terrorist organisation. I didn’t. There is probably a reasonable case that could be made that most ex members of the IRA/UVF could be suffering from PTSD for the actions they partook in…so maybe lets not single them out either…not mocking the afflicted? Either society at large needs to stick a hand on his shoulder, get him a cuppa and steer him towards a quiet corner to think about things for a while, or he has to deal with being treated like every other member of society and judged accordingly. If Frazer gets a diagnosis that states he suffers from being a bitter mad bastsausage or he is going to be called out on his bullsausage

  • Belfast Barman(ager)

    I don’t necessarily mean front line MLA etc, but I do think it would be ignorant to not believe that there are members of the party or local councillors even who were still involved in some ways. In the same way that I have no doubt there are unionist party members or local reps who are still involved with loyalist paramilitaries.