Right Side Up: Republicansim from the Centre-Right

I muse about republicanism a lot on this site. How a possible Yes campaign might be constructed and the economic arguments for unity are something that really intrigues me.

The two leading parties in Irish nationalism are Sinn Fein and the SDLP. Both proclaim (I note this does not always happen in practice) centre-left economic values of a strong state with provision of many social services and high public spending.

In essence the sort of economic environment that exists presently in Northern Ireland should be something under the leftist model that republicans aspire too. We have high levels of spending, two-thirds of our economic output is from the government and around one third of our work force in the public sector. Not to mention, the various private sector companies who depend on public sector contracts to keep afloat. We are one of the last bastions of a state run economy in Europe.

This is where I have to declare that within the pantheon of republicanism I come at things from a centre-right perspective when it comes to economics. The values of pro-business, sound money and balanced budgets are things that I believe we need to ensure the economy thrives. We then must use this wealth to ensure that the vulnerable in society are provided a safety net beyond which none can fall, but robust enough to ensure that all can rise.

I admit my perspective is not a majority view, at a time of austerity in the South and impending cuts in the North, I am not counting on this to become popular anytime soon either.

But I feel that this centre-left approach that tends to be taken by most is just completely counterproductive when it comes to making a credible case for unity and an ultimately for the need to change our economic union.

Northern Ireland currently runs a deficit of around £7-10 billion, depending on who you listen to. We have had countless reports telling us that we need to rebalance our economy in favour of private sector led growth.

And my question is republicans are where in framing this debate?

The answer is nowhere. Too busy toying with the politics of subsidies and higher spending we are simply reinforcing Northern Ireland’s dependence on the British Treasury and the inability of the Irish state to fund our public services.

When you look at the Irish economy it does well in exports, FDI, business start-ups and income levels. Yet, very little is often said about the successes of the economy in South and how under independence the Irish Republic has moved from the back garden of Britain to being one of the best performing economies in Europe, notwithstanding some of the problems over the last few years.

Nor do we hear anything about the dramatic improvement in Irish bond yields over the past year. Markets are regaining confidence in Ireland once again, but let’s keep that on the down low for the moment, heaven forbid we shatter the Zimbabwesque narrative.

All of this is important; I am not saying that Irish unity is a one way bet. But the centre-left narrative within which it is framed denies republicans the chance to claim victory in some important economic debates. Corporation Tax is a perfect example of this.

The constant emphasis on the need for bigger government, simply begs the question from an apathetic public of “why would we change, when we have it already?”

There is room within electoral republican politics for centre-right views and they should be expressed more confidently and the successes of the Irish economy should be talked up more loudly.

Like all of these pieces, I write this to start a debate rather than to provide a definite path forward, but adopting a centre-right platform in some key areas could help republicanism erase the stain of economic illiteracy that has plagued it for so long and perhaps capture some apathetic voters with a new agenda.

A republican vision of an Ireland where the liberty of the individual to conduct themselves in whatever way they see fit, the fraternity that comes from an emphasis on family and community, no matter what shape that comes in and the equality of opportunity that we will strive to ensure that those want to achieve, can do so.

Liberty, fraternity and equality, republicanism from the centre-right is an idea whose time may not be here at the moment, but let’s hope that it can forge an important part of the debate going forward into the future.

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  • aber1991

    I suspect that, if you were to scratch the skin of most members of Sinn Fein, underneath and just below the surface, you would find a much stronger allegiance to the British Welfare State than to the ideals of Easter 1916. Please forgive me for being cynical.

  • Ernekid

    David’s brand of ‘Republicanism’ Fianna Fáil couldn’t give a fiddlers about the North or anything else aside from lining their own pockets.

  • Michael Goodman

    David why are Liberty , Fraternity, and equality necessarily centre-right ideas? And why after all we have gone through economically over the past few years, North and South should we give precedence to failed right wing economics? Forgive me for stating the obvious but the governments who have been responsible for the catastrophe of the past 7-8 years have been Implementing right-wing eeconomic policies. Including I might add those in the south who were very vociferous about Sinn Feins economic illiteracy, by the way haven’t heard much about that recently, I wonder why? Perhaps you are right and we should include a discussion of rightwing economics, but only as a warning to those with short memories about the consequences of following them.

  • kalista63

    Within wider Europe, what is the General political ethos of the most successful societies? There’s just no place for right wing politics in the west as it isn’t and never will be again, a powerhouse of production.

    In those never had it so good days, even the least gifted of workers had access to a decent, even if tough/dangerous, job with decent affordable public housing, transport and publicly owned utilities but where are we now. Look at the poverty in the right’s nirvana, America. There are workers, workers mind, who don’t even have running water in their fekn houses, kindly delivered by the right.

  • kalista63

    Actually, isn’t this what a blog is meant to do?

  • Alan N/Ards

    What I’ve seen is a lot of people masquerading as republicans on this island. Many of them have waxed lyrical about the united Irishmen and what they (Tone, McCracken etc) stood for but have betrayed the ideals of that group of people. de Valera, McBride, Costello etc were examples of this. Mind you Adams and his cronies have been 10 times worse. Uniting catholic, protestant and dissenter as Irishmen is something that the SDLP ( in my opinion) has tried to do. Maybe they are the only true republicans. Just a thought!

  • Turgon

    I can see where Dr. McCann is coming from and I understand his wish to take on the term Republican. However, as Alan N/Ards says above the term is for many unionists (and maybe some nationalists / actual republicans in the true sense) utterly toxic. To most unionists in a Northern Ireland context it means murderers and their fellow travellers and will do for a very long time. For many: however, well meaningly the term is used, it drips with innocent blood.

  • aber1991

    Have the SDLP united Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter? Has any progress been made on that project? Is there any possibility that is will ever be achieved?

  • notimetoshine

    Great post. Realistically if the republican movement wants to progress with its aim of a referendum etc, they will have to explain how they will unify the two economies. Nationalistic ideals and emotions aside, will the republics economic and political establishment see fit to subsidise the provinces deficit and higher public spending? I can’t see it.

    I know specific examples aren’t always helpful but health plays such a large role in our public sector that it is warranted. Whatever its faults we have a free at the point of delivery, comprehensive health service and there are few if any people with historical memories of anything else in the north. So what happens with a united Ireland? Do they have two systems? Do they expand the concept of an NHS to the republic with the difficulties and expense that brings? Or do they dismantle the NHS and move to the southern model (which I think considering the cherished nature of the NHS is unlikely to be accepted by northern voters).

    Republicans still seem to be framing any united Ireland in cultural/emotional terms but realities are going to have to be faced. Either there is an institutional change in the republic and it moves towards the centre left in the way NI is currently, or some serious sacrifices will have to be made by the population of the north.

    I am from a nationalist background, and am at the moment pro union. Emotional arguments and nationalist ideology doesn’t really hold sway with me. There are many cultural nationalists like me I think. The economic questions will have to be settled and the ground work would need to be laid now by republicans to sway people like me. I can imagine it could be done, but there are hard questions to be answered and they will need to be answered soon.

    I am reminded of a quote from the mark frankland book a terrible beauty, united Ireland first, we can look at social policy later. That won’t cut the mustard anymore and republicans need to realise this.

  • aber1991

    “To most unionists in a Northern Ireland context it means murderers and their fellow travellers and will do for a very long time.”

    Probably true. Equally true, for many Catholics, the term “unionist” means Protestant tyrants, murderers, arsonists, discriminators, and sundry other bigots. That will probably remain the case for many generations.

  • Kevin Breslin

    To some Unionists it means the right wing party of their Atlantean Anglosphere “neighbours.” Yes there’s just a big ocean and Donegal of course, but culturally not too dissimilar to ours in ways.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Ecumenic centres have brought together the faiths, but the golden (or maybe orange) shamrock between Southerners, Irish nationalists, and the rest of Northern Ireland relies on a completely different kind of faith.

  • David McCann

    Red Lion,

    What you’re saying only becomes a problem if I edit or stop pro-Union posts. I have interviewed many Unionist politicians and have treated them with due courtesy and respect.

    Nor have I ever once stopped anybody writing in favour of the Union on this site.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I don’t feel true republicism can ever be ideology, I see it as a principle of an emergent force from the people to change. It should mean politics becoming a public affair not just being a private matter for politicians, the principle of general republicanism exists in unionist communities as much as nationalist ones. It’s the natural equilibrium of our collective networks and our collective labours.

  • Kevin Breslin

    The European social model is something centre right parties destroy at their peril. Europe’s indigenous manufacturing industries are literally based on sand (silicon based), soil (agriculture, nitrate and carbon chemistry) and water (aquaculture) as a lot of the heavy metals and fossil fuels have been harvested by war and overzealous industry. The backbone of the economy and the trade supply line are too liquidic to rely on people to hold down jobs for life with no welfare.

    Some in the far right will toy with the idea, Ukraine has two tribal right wing groups divided into personality subsets all with authoritarian ideals. When financialism fails in these countries everything else fails. Private enterprise is completely stifled by oligarch monoplolies.

  • Kevin Breslin

    The slugger blog has been filled with all kinds of speculation that doesn’t manifest. A commited and open right wing Irish republican/nationalist party in Northern Ireland is feasible.

  • Kevin Breslin

    This blog doesn’t DO anything.

  • Zeno

    Cromwell was a republican.

  • Zeno

    They aren’t really interested in a United Ireland any more. That mantra has served it’s purpose.

  • notimetoshine

    If not that then what?

  • Zeno

    You’ve heard the expression Power Corrupts and absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely……….. It’s about power, that’s all.

  • Zeno

    I think the main problem is what the word “Republican” has come to mean, rather that the actual word itself.

  • Thomas Girvan

    I think the experience In the Republic since the formation of the state is probably the template that most Protestants would consider when contemplating a future in an Irish Republic.
    The old adage, “Home Rule is Rome rule” essentially turned out to be accurate.
    The DeValera constitution was in the main, constructed subject to the approval of Archbishop McQuaid.
    The institutions of the state reflected that.
    The Nationalist parties up north have more or less given lip service to the unity of the communities since the demise of Gerry Fitt and Paddy Devlin, on the socialist side of the SDLP..
    As for Sinn Fein, with their track record enough said, save that the likelihood of a prod allying to their vision of a future together would be akin to finding the proverbial Unicorn.
    (Mind you there is a report that one exists in a Presbyterian church in Derry!)

  • aber1991

    The experience of Catholics in Northern Ireland has not been much to crow about.

  • Kevin Breslin

    An Ideological one, Manifestly not, which simply proves my point about ideological republicanism.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Fair comments NTTS I would like to see someone present a draft budget business plan for a UI. At present the ROI deficit is 5 Bill. NI deficit is 10 Bill. I just don’t see how it is going to be economically sustainable or where the money is coming from to fund it !

  • Biftergreenthumb

    “…why after all we have gone through economically over the past few years, North and South should we give precedence to failed right wing economics?”

    A good question. David McCann’s only answer seems to be that centre right politics will help promote a united Ireland.

    “…I feel that this centre-left approach that tends to be taken by most is just completely counterproductive when it comes to making a credible case for unity…” (David McCann)

    Just like Sinn Fein’s supposed leftist ideals McCann’s centre right ‘principles’ are only held insincerely as a pragmatic method of bring about a united Ireland. As with most of what passes for politics in NI his true motivation is an irrational tribalism.

  • Kevin Breslin

    If people were simply addicted to welfare why would they turn away a HSE medical card and the money from the Live Register in exchange for HC11 coverage and the money from JSA?

  • Kevin Breslin

    On the contrary, David makes it quite clear that many the benefits of the left-wing state already exist for republicanism within the partitioned state. This devil’s advocacy is hardly tribalism, and much welcome I may add from the irrational tribalism.

    Would left-wing unionists say to DUP and UUP voters that supporting Irish unity would be a good way to get the right-wing political system that they lean towards? The PUP wouldn’t say that in sarcasm or to even mock them!

  • Kevin Breslin

    Slugger should be beyond any editors having a conflict of interest and should not magic things up out of thin air.

    Said no one else ever. Or did they?

    http://www.politics.ie/forum/northern-ireland/193811-slugger-otoole-discussion-forum-ego-trip.html

  • eiregain

    Tell that to Mick Fealty. Im sure he will find it funny.

  • Kevin Breslin

    It’s also worth stating that the UK’s deficit is £900 billion.

    Compared to a bankrupt Russia unifying with a bankrupt Crimea from a bankrupt Ukraine, against an international agreement Russia and Ukraine signed on territorial borders … a bankrupt Republic of Ireland unifying with a bankrupt Northern Ireland from a bankrupt United Kingdom that does have a Principle of Consent arrangement, would seem to support the argument that the economics around unification are not a real obstacle.

    In a nutshell, a united Ireland, just like a separated Montenegro or an independent Iceland is just as affordable and sustainable enough to maintain its independence and sovereignty, the question is is the resultant state that can be created wanted by Northerners.

  • Guest

    In a nutshell, a united Ireland, just like a separated Montenegro or an independent Iceland is just as affordable and sustainable enough to maintain its independence and sovereignty, the question is is the resultant state that can be created wanted by Northerners.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I’ve heard the mantra No Surrender coming from the other side … wasn’t that about self-determination (or power as you call it) too?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Fair Points Kevin, but to gain the majority principle consent of the people of NI at a border poll that will be called once we hit a 50/50 Green/Orange Political Split I still believe someone is going to have to put up a Business Plan for UI. This is what defeated the SNP.

  • Kevin Breslin

    To be fair I didn’t see Better Together’s version of Salmond’s White Paper Document on a new Scotland within the Union other than saying business as usual would be maintained, which was still losing the public argument until they had made The Vow. So the SNP did cast doubt on the belief that you don’t need an alternative Business Plan to save the Union.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Thomas, It’s shame the SDLP have no one of the calibre of Gerry Fitt and Paddy Devlin. In fact, I believe that they stood head and shoulders above every politician of their generation (on both sides of the border). I didn’t always feel this way about them, but age and reading up about the past, changed my opinion.
    de Valera and his like were never about the unity of the people. They were not united Irishmen. They were catholic first and Irishmen second and they proudly proclaimed this. Their loyalty was to the Vatican and not the republic. They betrayed the ideals of the united Irishmen. Just like Adams and his cronies.

  • aber1991

    “there’s just a big ocean and Donegal of course, but culturally not too dissimilar to ours in ways.”

    What does that sentence mean? Are you in agreement with Turgon or are you in disagreement?

  • Reader

    If it’s just as tempting then it’s just as affordable – i.e. not at all, with the tiger and the north in their current states. Wasn’t the original post about weaning the South off high spending and weaning the North off dependency?
    I think that’s a very hard sell!

  • aber1991

    “a HSE medical card”
    “HC11 coverage”
    “money from JSA”
    What are those? I do not understand the point you are making.

  • aber1991

    “the golden (or maybe orange) shamrock between Southerners, Irish nationalists, and the rest of Northern Ireland relies on a completely different kind of faith.”

    What does that mean? Since when did shamrocks become golden?

    Are Southerners not Irish nationalists?

  • aber1991

    “It’s shame the SDLP have no one of the calibre of Gerry Fitt and Paddy Devlin. In fact, I believe that they stood head and shoulders above every politician of their generation (on both sides of the border).”

    One man’s meat is another man’s poison. I consider Gerry Fitt and Paddy Devlin a pair of scoundrels.

    As for the “ideals of the United Irishmen.” In 1798 the Presbyterians wanted an independent Ireland which would be ruled by Presbyterians – the same mentality as their fellow Presbyterians in Rhodesia when Ian Smith led them to independence. A generation after Wolfe Tone (an anti-Catholic bigot), the Presbyterians had done their sums, realised that they could not dominate an independent Ireland and so reverted to Unionism.

    If there comes a times when a Catholic majority in Northern Ireland seems imminent, it is likely that the Presbyterians will revert to republicanism knowing that in a United Ireland, the people of what is now Eire will pander to the Prods. That is what Conor Cruise O’Brien was suggesting in his final book.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Irish unity relies on three different non-identical kinds of politics on an organic structure – in unionism, nationalism and post-independence/post-separation politics in Ireland- as having some potential shamrock-like political ambitions that is to the benefit of all three leaves rather than each leaf in separation. It might be the case shamrock might not actually be green it could be orange, but it’s up to these leaves and everything else in the shamrock to decide.

  • Kevin Breslin

    There’s a welfare state in the Republic too, in some cases it’s more generous than Northern Ireland, in some cases it is not.

  • Biftergreenthumb

    “On the contrary, David makes it quite clear that many the benefits of the left-wing state already exist for republicanism within the partitioned state. This devil’s advocacy is hardly tribalism, and much welcome I may add from the irrational tribalism.”

    I agree with you that David has pointed out that left leaning republicans should be content with aspects of the welfare state in NI. But he has done this because he thinks that by adopting right wing economic policies similar to those of the South, Northern republicanism can more consistently argue for a United Ireland.

    Michael Goodman’s question, to which my post was a response, was “…why after all we have gone through economically over the past few years, North and South should we give precedence to failed right wing economics?” My point was that David has given no reason why we should other than he thinks it is a better strategy for bringing about a United Ireland. He does not discuss the merits, nor provide arguments, for the advantages of right wing economic policies in and of themselves. He only discusses them in terms of how it would benefit republicanism to adopt them. Based on this article then his neo-liberalism is motivated by his desire for a UI i.e. irrational tribal nationalistic identity nonsense.

    “Would left-wing unionists say to DUP and UUP voters that supporting Irish unity would be a good way to get the right-wing political system that they lean towards? The PUP wouldn’t say that in sarcasm or to even mock them!”

    You are probably correct. But the DUP, UUP, PUP and all the rest of the tribal unionist parties are only concerned with how ‘unionist’ they appear. I doubt many of their voters vote for them because of their economic policies. The PUP may be able to score a few points amongst flegger types by saying to the DUP “Your economic policies have more in common with Down South than with the good old British Welfare State!” but real issues such as the economy will always take a back seat in the minds of tribal unionists concerned as they are only with symbolic/tribal/identity/cultural issues. It would therefore be a pointless gambit.

  • Zeno

    I think the word itself has become tainted locally and is now assumed to mean something else, other than “government in which the political authority comes from the people.”

  • Kevin Breslin

    Semantics don’t matter, you could call it anything from civic nationalism to community-led politics it could still be tarnished by the wrong crowds.

  • Zeno

    That’s true, but in theory at least, we are no longer ruled by a monarchy and political authority, we are told is coming from the people, because you are allowed to vote.
    The problem arises because the monarchy have been replaced by a political elite who have convinced enough of the voters that they live in a democracy.

  • Kevin Breslin

    David has claimed that the main drivers of Republic of Ireland’s success is due to its political independence and its private enterprise:

    There is nothing tribal in that argument that Northern Ireland could replicate that success by imitating the Republic and indeed the rest of the United Kingdom on private enterprise whether the Assembly becomes more fiscal independent or not. You could disagree with it, but it’s not something tribal.

    In terms of the political independence issue, the question is as always do you trust 6 million people living on your island to use their resources wisely, or 1.5 million local residents of Northern Ireland and 60 million residents of the island of Britain to do a better job using the resources of the united regions?

    To me it seemed Dr McCann did not go into much detail about the second more constitutional matter and focused more on the economic one.

  • Zeno

    Of course. It’s the other side of the same coin. Get them chanting the mantras and you will get their votes. Unionist Politicians and the Orange Order are not protecting their people from an all Ireland State. If anything they are doing more damage to the union that anyone. SF are a hindrance to a United Ireland. If they sincerely wanted one they would disband.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Just saying that to some people (and ergo some unionists) Republican politics means the American GOP, not the likes of Neil Blaney, Pat “The Cope”, the Dohertys from the Shinners or even Bríd Rodgers they get next door in Donegal. Both the DUP and UUP are pro-Atlantean (Britain, Ireland, North America, NATO) parties, while Sinn Féin, the SDLP and Alliance are more pro-European.

    David Vance loves big R – Republicanism but will attack little r republicanism as he likes the Monarch, the Kingdom, the Empire and not being associated with the IRA.

  • Thomas Girvan

    It sure hasn’t. It wasn’t much better for the Prods either.
    It is such a shame that politics wasn’t given a chance 40 years ago.
    Who knows how things could have worked out.

  • John Collins

    Thomas, during Devs lifetime there were two Protestant Presidents in the South (I don’t expect to see a Catholic Queen in Britain anytime soon). There was also a Jewish Lord Mayor in Dublin, and later in Cork, as well as a Presbyterian mayor of Limerick. During those years there was never a Catholic Mayor in either Belfast or Derry, a city which had a Catholic majority. I agree Ne Tere was a gross injustice to the Protestant population, but applied to Catholics in the North as well as the South

  • Thomas Girvan

    Yes there were some Protestants who were prominent in the political history of Ireland.
    So what?

  • John Collins

    Tom
    De Valera and his fellow irregulars were seriously condemned (and I think they were actually excommunicated) at the time of the Civil War. Yet ten years later he was elected leader of the country. How does that sit with your ‘Home Rule was Rome Rule’ argument. Practically every RC Bishop in the country condemned the excesses of the Fenians, United Irishmen, Land Leaguers,and the IRA and yet all those organisations thrived in Catholic communities in the island.In fact since they were first subsidised by the British Governmentin 1795 the RC Church has generally sided with the Establishment and many of their flock have been slow to agree with them.

  • Thomas Girvan

    It is only very recently that divorce was permitted. Similarly contraception and as for abortion, just remember the incident last year when a woman died after being prevented from having an abortion.
    You don’t have to go back to 1798 to see the influence of the RC church, just have a look at the scandals that have rocked the R.o.I. due to the unfettered abuses that were allowed to occur in Church run educational and welfare institutions.
    It is only in recent times that the people have started to see the true nature of the dominance of the Catholic Church and how they regarded civil law to be subservient to Canon law. .
    The people are getting their eyes opened and it is not nice what they are seeing.

  • aber1991

    “It sure hasn’t. It wasn’t much better for the Prods either.”
    I disagree. The Prods in Northern Ireland during the period 1921 to 1990 were one of the most privileged tribes anywhere in the world. Not as privileged as White South Africans but with few if any rivals for the status as second most privileged tribe.

  • aber1991

    “I agree Ne Tere was a gross injustice to the Protestant population,”

    WHY was it a “gross injustice” to the Protestant population? Were Protestants being dragged, kicking and screaming, to the altars of Catholic churches to be married to Catholics? The Catholic clergy were not making themselves hoarse trying to persuade their people to have sex with Protestants. Indeed, they often preached the doctrine “marry your own sort”.

    If Protestants are so concerned about the Ne Temere decree, why the clamour from so many Protestants for integrated education? That would lead to increased teenage miscegenation with Catholics and would increase the incidence of mixed marriage. Protestant pressure for integrated education is not consistent with their supposed concerns about the Ne Temere decree.

  • aber1991

    Home rule was not Rome rule. Home rule was democratic rule and politicians, aware of the ballot box, played to the gallery. Politicians will be politicians. Stormont rule was Presbyterian rule for the same reason. That is why we had municipal leisure facilities closed on Sundays. And, in some localities, still have.

  • aber1991

    IS abortion freely available in Northern Ireland? Abortion in Eire is illegal because of a 19th law made by the Parliament of the UK which at the time rules the whole of Ireland. Was that Rome rule?

    There have been quite a number of Protestant scandals in Northern Ireland. That Presbyterian Mutual comes immediately to mind. And two Presbyterian clergymen were ministers in Northern Ireland governments, Corkey in Education and Moore in Agriculture.

    As for educational and welfare institutions. Was the Kincora House scandal the result of Rome Rule. Or that sex abuse scandal at Bangor Grammar school?

    Hardly a week passes without some new sex scandal in England coming to light. Are all these the result of Rome Rule? In Eire, the Protestant run welfare institutions seem to have their fair share of skeletons in the cupboard – usually the result of under-funding.

  • aber1991

    “A commited and open right wing Irish republican/nationalist party in Northern Ireland is feasible”

    And a Catholic, right-wing, anti-Protestant party is even more feasible.

  • John Collins

    My compliments to you Sir. You are spot on

  • John Collins

    Well I suppose you are overall right in these pronouncements yet before 1908 a couple, in our locality, who were Protestant and Catholic had a large family. The man who was a Protestant rose early each Sunday morning and tackled the horse and trap for his wife and daughters to go to mass. On their return himself and the boys of the family went to the local Protestant service. This was surely a more satisfactory arrangement than compulsion from either side

  • aber1991

    When I become Pope, I will change the rules of the Catholic Church. First the leader will no longer be described as “The Pope”, he will be described as “The Ayatollah”. Having declared myself the first Catholic Ayatollah, I will denounce sex with heretics. Any Catholic who has sex with a heretic will be expelled and never reinstated.

    The arrangement whereby the sons follow the father’s religion and the daughters the mother’s religion insinuates that Protestantism is equal to Catholicism. That is contrary to Catholic teaching. The Catholic Church claims to be the one true Church and that the followers of the Protestant sects are heretics.

  • John Collins

    Tom, How did your treasured North of Ireland deal with the most notorious child abuser of them all Brendan Smyth. According to a BBC Spotlight programme he was scandalously given a suspended four year sentence. Part of any sentence of this nature is that you do not leave the Jurisdiction without permission, yet he freely went over and back to the Republic and despite been appraised of this fact the Authorities did SFA about it. So much for their concern for children. On a wider scale the manner in which Jimmy Saville was allowed to plauge vulnerable people in England says little enough about the British Governments willingness or ability to handle these cases. Recently the Rotheram cases did not show any great capacity to counter serial sex abusers either

  • Thomas Girvan

    Here’s a link to a review of David Yallop’s acclaimed book.

    The headline gives a clue what it is about.

    “Child Abuse Scandal: How the Irish Government protected the Catholic Church”
    http://churchandstate.org.uk/2013/05/child-abuse-scandal-how-the-irish-government-protected-the-catholic-church/
    You should read it, you might get your eyes opened.
    That is, if you want them opened!

  • Thomas Girvan

    So where exactly is this “North of Ireland” that I treasure?
    Stick to the topic, If you must ramble I suggest you join the Ramblers’ Association, it would get you out more!

  • John Collins

    You are not too bad at the old rambling yourself Tom. You did not have a have a single comment about the weaknesses of your own justice system which I highlighted. And don’t worry I do plenty mountain walking, but I’ll be still always back to counter your old one sided nonsence

  • John Collins

    The British state covered up for and knighted Jimmy Saville, despite concerns about his behaviour being expressed for years

  • Thomas Girvan

    He was given the Knight of St Gregory from the Pope, so he fooled him too, and he is supposed to be infallible !

    “How’s about that then?”

  • Thomas Girvan

    I didn’t know I had a justice system.
    Is it in the “North of Ireland?”, which I apparently treasure.

  • John Collins

    As a matter of fact you are wrong there. Only when he is actually preaching in matters of Faith and morals is the Pope supposed to be infallible. The Pope is not infallible when discussing medical matters or even when granting awards to people he has been assured are worthy of such awards
    Maybe it would help Tommy boy if you checked your facts every now and then.

  • aber1991

    Do you believe everything that David Yallop writes?

    I cannot see how this advances your argument that Home rule was Rome rule. Even it the Eire Government protected the Catholic Church, it does not prove that Home Rule was Rome rule. It would merely confirm what most sensible people have long known – that politicians pander to the voters. We had plenty of examples like that within Northern Ireland where Unionist government ministers pandered to the anti-Catholic prejudices of the Protestant electorate.

    One early example was the 1923 decision the make the 12th July a public holiday.

    Another was the 1931 Education Act whereby, in return for transferring their schools, to be controlled by themselves, to the State, the Protestant Churches were granted 100% State funding for those schools. Needless to say, the same offer was not made to the Catholic Church even though the Catholic bishops had indicated that they were interested.

    Another example of Unionist politicians pandering to the Protestant electorate was the 1968 Education Act whereby the Protestant Churches were given the right to appoint 50% of the voting governors of ALL State-owned primary and secondary schools. Until then, they had had that right only in respect of schools which they had owned and transferred to the State.

  • John Collins

    aber1991
    You have a great chance for it is written that ‘any man can be Pope’. Reading the above I am sure that when it is added to your CV it should swing the next Conclave. I look forward with great anticipation to your ‘Urbi et Orbi’ address. It should be a cracker.

  • aber1991

    My first address to Urbu et Orbi will be short and sweet
    “Get stuck into the heretics, infidels and heathens”.

    As a Derry gaelic football team was about to leave the dressing room to take the field to play Kerry, their manager advised “Pretend your playing Tyrone and kill the bastards”.

  • Thomas Girvan

    It is called satire/homour.
    Lighten up.
    I’ll tell you what, as Frank Carson would say “It’s a cracker!”
    Game, set and match!

  • Thomas Girvan

    State schools are for everyone they are not Protestant schools.
    FYI there are lots of Catholics who go to MCB and BRA, and that is the way it should be.
    To complain that state schools are funded 100% by the state seems illogical to me.
    If other sectors opt out then should they be entitled to full funding? Maybe so, but just because the political blocks do not want to change the status quo.
    I think it would be best if education was kept out of the hands of religious vested interests.
    To me, it is a serious disappointment that 17 years after the GFA, we still have educational apartheid.

  • John Collins

    The last resort of those who have lost the debate.

  • aber1991

    “State schools are for everyone they are not Protestant schools”

    If that is the case, why do the Protestant Churches have the statutory right to appoint 50% of the voting governors of all State primary and secondary schools – even those 3 state schools all of whose pupils are the children of Catholics?

    “I think it would be best if education was kept out of the hands of religious vested interests.”

    I think that the decisions on that matter should be left to the parents of each child. I am a liberal and so believe in parental choice.

    “we still have educational apartheid.”

    “Apartheid” is a smear word. Apartheid was the means by which the white Presbyterian minority (their colours are Orange) defended their power and privileges. Segregated education is a means by which we oppressed Catholic people of Northern Ireland restrict the extent of Presbyterian power over us.

  • Thomas Girvan

    The separate educational system we have has not served us well.
    The problem is a vicious cycle that we need to break out of.
    Our local politicians should take bold steps to help address the attitudes which are passed on from generation to generation.
    Education should be secular, if people want their kids indoctrinated they should do it outside of school hours.
    Besides which the cost of duplication of educational systems costs a fortune.
    The latest proposals from Stormont propose “shared education, where the two sets of children walk in the same school gate and then divide up to be taught separately.
    How daft is that?
    No, we need to move our younger generations away from the entrenched attitudes that should have been abandoned years ago, and continue to plague us.
    If you don’t believe me, take your blinkers off and read your own contributions to this thread.
    They illustrate that we have a mountain to climb.

  • aber1991

    I do not want to divert this thread into a debate about segregated education.

    If you really want integrated education (rather than point scoring against Catholics), do something to bring it about. Your anti-Catholic rants on this thread will hardly have helped your cause. [Many Catholics think on the lines “Tell me your company and I will know what you are.”]

    The best way for you to advance integrated education would be making the State owned schools neutral so that they could attract more Catholics. On another thread I have outlined how this could be done.

  • Thomas Girvan

    Could you let me know where these “anti-Catholic rants are”?
    It is just I don’t do rants and I am worried that I may have been hacked by a cyber criminal.

  • aber1991

    If you do not recognise your anti-Catholic rants for what they are, there can be little chance that you will mend your ways.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I did see a Rónán Mullen poster up in the Bogside during the Euros, but I guess the Shinners probably nicked it from the constituency he was contesting.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%B3n%C3%A1n_Mullen