Where Gerry Adams Walks, Unionism Fears To Tread

I’ve written before what my views as a “small u” unionist (or as I prefer, a “big picture unionist) are on Sinn Fein, and to be honest, the approach I take as a voter is the same for SF as it is for all the parties, there is 1 party I find much more comfort in voting for, because they are more often than not aligned with my stance on issues, but beyond that…it’s purely a “who will serve us best.”

I don’t look at what a party will or will not do if and when a border question arises, that is a question for then, not for now. There are a surplus of people across communities who can’t look past this schism, maybe they make up the majority, maybe they don’t… but ultimately we have one thing in common, wanting the best for ourselves, our friends & family, our communities (however wide of a net you wish to throw over that word…).

When Gerry Adams spoke at the 2015 Ard Fheis about unionism, about people like me, he said:

Republicans have to listen and pay heed to constructive criticism of our alternative. The Unionist parties say they are against Irish unity but will support measures that are to the mutual advantage of both sections of our people.

That’s welcome and sensible. We have to build and hold them to that. Politics in both parts of this island is in flux. Many people now realise that that it makes no sense to have two economies, two education systems, two health systems, two tax codes, two currencies on one small island. The sense of one island, one Ireland can work for everyone.

I believe we need a national conversation on all of this. A conversation about the future.

I believe all genuine progressive social and political forces across this island, including unionists and working class loyalists, should develop a common platform for political progress.

A new Citizens’ Charter, encapsulating fundamental principles could take us towards a citizen-centred, rights-based society. It could be a new departure in Irish politics. Ní neart go cur le chéile.

The people of this island, whether urban or rural, from whatever background or tradition, share a common history and our futures are bound together.

We need reminded again and again that our flag is Orange. I’ll say it again, our flag is orange. Orange as well as green. Orange is part of what we are. That is our potential. And our challenge. To unite Orange and Green in equality and mutual respect.

 

To embrace the opinion of unionism as leader of Sinn Fein should send a serious warning message to Messrs Robinson & Nesbitt. The strength in divisive politics has always been in polarizing the argument, we hear so much about a parties core voters, Billy Orange from the Cregagh Rd may not be swayed by words of outreach from Adams, but there are those who will be. Is the same outreach coming from the unionist side?

This weekend marked the 600th day since the Twaddell Avenue camp was set up in protest to the Orange Lodges not being permitted to parade down a particular street. Our 2 main unionist party leaders have limited choices here, they can either support the right of the lodges to parade, and alienate any nationalists who believe this is the wrong decision…or they can support the nationalist residents with the principle of “an englishmans irishmans home is his castle”, there isn’t a plan C, much like the border poll issue, you’re either with us or you’re against us. The Orange Lodges represent that core vote for each party, Robinson & Nesbitt are fearful of reaching out to any nationalist cause for fear of alienating their supporters…of course the voters don’t have a great deal of option on where else to mark their X, but the TUV or another upstart would further divide the unionist encampment. Whereas Adams, McGuinness et al. can reach across the divide all day long, trying to persuade unionist voters that the green side isn’t necessarily the dark side…what a wonderful position to be in, and how frustrating it must be for DUP/UUP.

I don’t doubt that within those parties there are many voices all wanting to do the same, to embrace nationalists and show them that there is a place for them in Northern Ireland & UK, the problem there is as much voter perception as it is time, nationalists have found it hard going to find a place for themselves in this union for some considerable time now, so debates on the irish language, on dual language street signs, on flags, it’s all been done before, it’s recycling rhetoric for the sake of it… whereas Sinn Fein can talk about a united ireland (both for unionists and nationalists) like it’s some sort of Shangri-La, where points win prizes & taxes don’t matter, I don’t imagine Gerry Adams pictures a utopian society a lá Logans Run (with less state mandated euthanisia) where unionist children in replica Linfield shirts play cross code football with little republican children in their Kilkenny colours… but there is no cost to him saying this.

A lot of what Sinn Fein says about a United Ireland is tactically similar to what Lib Dems have been saying for decades… you can write policies of whimsy and delight when you are reasonably confident you won’t have to implement them. With no solid suggestion that a UI is likely in the immediate future, they can promise what they want and seem like the good guys whilst doing it. Some of it will seem like exactly that, a Green santas list of sorts, but every once in a while, they will hit on something that strikes a chord with pro-union voters like me.

When Gerry Adams talks about uniting Orange & Green in equality and mutual respect, hold that up against what Northern Irish unionist leaders say…that the Sinn Fein wish list is akin to Toilet Paper, and the infamous Curry My Yoghurt line… who looks like the bigger person? Who looks like a respectable statesman, a leader to be respected. Imagine a world where Sinn Fein invite a loyalist bands forum to their Ard Fheis or where Martin McGuinness pays his respects to the Queen? You don’t have to, it has happened. What about a world where a “blood & thunder” loyalist band is invited to play at Féile an Phobail by a local MLA? Not exactly a stretch of the imagination. What about on the other side of the wall (so to speak), could you picture Jim Wells taking a public irish language class? Could you picture Edwin Poots attending a 1916 centenery event in Dublin on behalf of the DUP? You wouldn’t get great odds on it thats for sure… This past week Peter Robinson went to an event at the Kennedy Centre in West Belfast and made a huge song and dance about merely going to that area… small steps for sure but I can’t see him taking much bigger ones.

Don’t get me wrong, and before the “HERE BE LUNDYS” shouts come out, I cannot conceive of me ever voting for a United Ireland in a referendum, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t comfortably live with a SF led assembly. The british media have built up a bogey-man persona around Gerry Adams for decades, and he so easily dispels the image by saying the right thing, talking about equality, about womens rights, about shared futures… bogey man? him? the fella saying that our neighbours are gay and we love them for who they are? Who seems more like an enemy of the people…Paul Givan and his conscience clause bill? Edwin Poots/Jim Wells and their irrational loathing of gay blood? Gregory Campbell and his Spicy/Dairy lunch snack? or Gerry Adams…?

This isn’t an outright support piece for Gerry Adams/Sinn Fein, I hope unionist parties eventually learn that if they want to keep the future of the union intact, they need to embrace the green in the same way that SF embrace the orange. I want a unionist party that condemns the atrocities of the past on both sides, that says you can walk and parade on these streets, if you handle that privilege responsibly and conscientiously then you’ll keep that privilege. I want a unionist party that says if you want your street sign to be in Irish, that’s ok. If you want to remember the members of your community that died in the process of getting to where we now are, I want a unionist party that protects that right for all, but that will condemn those who abuse it or those who encroach on others rights. I want a fair unionist party to represent Me, Billy Orange, Padraig O’Poleglass and all in between, it doesn’t exist now…maybe someday.

There are sections of Adams speech that i would greatly enjoy debating with him, the “one island, one Ireland” passages, borders are arbitrary, there is arguably as much sense in combining Northern Ireland & ROI as there is in combining Canada & USA or Spain & Portgual, but that’s ok, because that’s not what we’re talking about….yet.

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  • Gingray

    Ha ha ha, using that logic, how many did unionist get?

    Given that in an election it’s not eligible voters that matter but actual voters, how many votes do nationalist parties get, think it’s near that 40% 🙂

    It’s OK to admit you are wrong. In northern Ireland we have a direct correlation between religion and votes, do you really disagree?

  • Zeno

    I’m not wrong. You have been misled.
    The electorate is over 1.2 million
    SF get 178 thousand of those votes.
    SDLP get 95 thousand.
    That means 23% of the electorate vote for nationalist parties. There are around a quarter of a million Catholics who don’t vote for either SF/SDLP.
    Do you know what people that want to retain the Union have to do? Nothing. It is the default position since the GFA.

  • Zeno

    “You focus on the yes side, assuming that no will get all the other votes.”

    You wish, but I did say on an 85% turnover that the winning line is more than 515,500 votes. I asked where all those votes will come from on the nationalist side. It’s just mathematics.
    Around half of Catholics say they are Nationalist. The Census, the Elections and the Polls and Surveys all back that up. They vote accordingly…….. but there simply is nowhere near enough to even get a referendum never mind win one.

  • Starviking

    Ah, the old “Themmuns are in the wrong, we’re in the right” attitude.

    And you say Nationalism has changed?

  • Gingray

    Ah well. Your refusal to answer any questions is quite telling.

    Now could you clarify – you are saying all non voters are pro union. Do you speak for them all, or are you making an assumption which conveniently backs your limited view point?

    Ignoring the fact that younger people don’t vote, catholics are a majority at every age under 40, apathy with useless parties. Silly boy, I think it’s back to school for you.

    But I like your game. So you pick 85% turnout based on Scotland. Ok, done. Right then in 2010 the snp got 491,386 votes. In 2014 yes got 1,617,989. A 3 fold increase. Could happen here too, based on your logic of course.

  • Paddy Reilly

    It is true that Nationalism is a political viewpoint and Catholicism a religious one, but it is definitely the case that the presence of substantial numbers of Catholics in a particular area, in Ireland, indicates that the voting will be Nationalist, and that of Protestants, that it will be Unionist (or in the case of East Belfast, Alliance).

    Unionists who think that they are going to take West Belfast, and Nationalists Strangford, on the power of their rhetoric, are deluding themselves.

    As the only figures available are religious ones, I have to work with them.

    50% + 1 Catholic does not guarantee an immediate Nationalist victory (though neither does 50% -1 guarantee a Unionist one), but as this figure increases, so does a Nationalist victory become more and more inevitable.

  • Paddy Reilly

    As far as I can tell from the census figures, all Atheists who were brought up in a religion have been classified as belonging to that religion for census purposes, so ‘Others’ are only Hindus, Muslims etc.

  • The Spelegraph

    Deleted duplicated

  • The Spelegraph

    WhIlst I agree with much/all orc the ‘big pictutre’ Unionist sentiment, it is actually a very big ask for majority to ‘share’ power. Will republicans maintain this love of power sharing if/when they become the biggest party or will majority rule be th e order for that day?
    Also, in what way does Gerry think ‘topping and tailing’ his outreach to unionists in a language they don’t understand help?

  • Zeno

    “Now could you clarify – you are saying all non voters are pro union”

    I didn’t say that. But there is evidence that 50% of the electorate definitely don’t want a United Ireland. NILT Survey.
    14% have said they couldn’t live with it and 36% have said they wouldn’t like it.
    It should be fairly obvious that those people will vote NO. If they do, that comes to 610,000 votes. That number is absolutely certain to win on any turnout up to 99.99%.
    That is just maths.

    .

  • Gingray

    Oh Zeno, you cannot just go making things up, its poor form.

    Everyone knows NILT is a flawed poll – have a look at their past record, you will see unionist parties over estimated and nationalists, particularly SF, under estimated.

    http://www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/results/polatt.html

    So again, if we use your logic, SF and the SDLP tend to do twice as good as NILT polls indicate, so that would see us well over 50%.

  • Zeno

    I dont have the exact figures for the number of Catholics on the electoral roll but if your idea is correct there would be high correlation between the number of Catholics and the number voting Nationalist………ok? But there isn’t.
    The Nationalist vote is at 23% which means that around half of Catholics vote nationalist. But even worse than that for you is that not even all who vote Nationalist want a United Ireland.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Rhetoric of inclusivity gets blown out of the water when his deputy leader asks his main nationalist competition to stand aside in six seats.

    Not a fan of FPTP but in any election politicians should bring their A game not use shared C games to reach a broader bottom line. Pacts in my opinion are a C game overall.

  • Zeno

    Are all the Polls flawed? Are the election results flawed? Is the Census flawed?
    They would have to be to fit your argument.
    Less than 25% say they are Nationalist.
    Less than 25% vote Nationalist.
    26% said they would like a UI in 20 years.
    25% designate Irish in the Census.

  • Paddy Reilly

    No, they’re not flawed, but your interpretation of them is.

  • Zeno

    Coming from someone who thinks all Catholics are Nationalist and want a United Ireland.
    Good one.
    Basically for you to be right an awful lot of Catholics have to be telling blatant lies when they say they are not Nationalist and are not interested in UI.

  • Paddy Reilly

    One problem we have is that there is a General Election this
    year (2015) and a Stormont one next year (2016) but Catholics only begin to outnumber Protestants at the beginning of 2017, so the 2015/2016 MPs/MLAs will be in place till 2020.

  • Gingray

    Zeno, you continue to base everything on assumptions rather than fact. In the end the only polls that matter are those on election day.

    In those we have generally around 50% unionist, 40% nationalist, 10% other. We can extrapolate the non voters whatever way we want, but its all speculation. For example, only 40% of people in Northern Ireland consider themselves British only. Thats a good 60% of people who have a form of identity which embraces not being british.

    End of the day, using your logic, the SNP have shown that a positive yes campaign can bring out a yes vote up to 3 times higher than the party vote.

    And as our original poster has noted, political unionism is stagnant and exclusive and declining, while political nationalism is inclusive and progressive. Lets put it to the vote, and see if all those people you speak for, the non voters, give you the 75% no vote you are hinting at 🙂

  • Paddy Reilly

    Again, it is your interpretation of the data which is at fault. When asked “Should there be a United Ireland” one would have to answer “no”, because having voted for the GFA one has agreed that this happy event should be deferred till the time when there is a Nationalist majority in place, and right at the moment there isn’t.

    But when there is a Nationalist majority in (the NI seats for) Westminster, the European Parliament and Stormont, then one should properly answer ‘yes’. The Catholic population has not made any contract with you that it will not change its attitude when there is a possibility of implementing this currently impossible option.

  • Neil

    If it gets to the point where Unionism has to band together under a single banner to defeat Nationalism, we will have reached a watershed moment. From the ascendency to Custer’s last stand. I’ve said it before. If Nationalism had been up against anyone other than Unionism, we could have been in trouble.

  • Zeno

    You’ve certainly convinced yourself Paddy.

    When asked “Should there be a United Ireland” one would have to answer “no”,

    That makes no sense at all. But it sounds good.

  • Zeno

    I’m just interpreting on what people do in elections and what they say in Polls, Surveys and the Census. You are ignoring all of that and projecting a result where around a quarter of a million people will suddenly become Nationalist Yes voters next December. Now which of those analysis sounds flawed?

  • Paddy Reilly

    I reserve the right to be not in favour of a poll for a UI at this moment in time, but to want it at some future, convenient date, when it can be won. Just as ordinary folk can express a preference for Conservatives today and be Labour tomorrow. The national preferences go up and down, depending on the circumstances.

  • barnshee

    “You do realise there are plenty of people in Northern Ireland who aren’t murderers? And some of them, believe it or not, are even in Sinn Fein!”

    Hmm tempting to put up a list of those (according to the courts) that are

  • Paddy Reilly

    Referenda attract twice as many voters as ordinary elections. You are confusing turnout with opinion.

    Also you have no proof that the Catholic non-voters in one election are the same as in the next. They could be taking it in turns to vote, depending on how busy any individual was on any particular day: thus the extra quarter million are already in place.

  • Reader

    Gingray: Turnout in the last election was lower in nationalist areas, plenty of ways for enough votes to be got.
    Jag explained that didn’t he? Something about education?

  • Kevin Breslin

    If Alliance or even an independent Socialist were given the nod instead of a Unionist unity candidate on the basis of pro-representation it wouldn’t change the mental machinations of Sinn Féin. Likewise the “Pro-Agreement pact” offered to the SDLP (Which Agreement? Hume-Adams?) would change nothing if Alliance or even an independent Centrist were put up with the DUP or UUP with regards to success at any price.

    I see pacts as Sinn Féin sacrificing their republicanism, DUP sacrificing the Catholic outreach they’re trying to get to save the union and the UUP sacrificing its independence of thinking, rather than being the main dissenting voice of unionism in the role the DUP owned.

    In some minds the Big “U” political Unionists of UKIP, DUP, UUP and TUV maybe the PUP too are the weakest link in the Union. The work needed to unify Ireland is not confined to a cross-border party of like-minded individuals, that failed with De Valera’s Fianna Fáil and the Original Sinn Féin before that, it’s not even down to the politicians, but as we seen in Scotland there would need to be a strong non-partisan momentum for the change, the challenge, the opportunity and for the necessary reform.

    Unions are built on partnerships and networks, not seeing any British-Northern Irish ones being offered by the unionists nor all-Ireland partnerships being offered by the nationalists when the political debate reduces to a them and us one.

  • Kevin Breslin

    That might be right, but I recall Jim Allister saying the DOE were wasting money not having Union Flags on licences, he is right, but only in the case you shut down the DVLA entirely and have the licences imported from GB … putting people on the dole even above the Tory’s forced line. Certainly capital investment in cross border infrastructure provides one means of a stimulus package. Now that only pays off if the unitary state is more attractive than the two parts separately.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Ó Cuiv and many other TD’s have put the case for Commonwealth membership and British resident in Ireland votes for the Presidency, (British people can vote in every other Irish election as EU citizens) both have been rejected. I would hope they continue the effort particularly on the latter whether it provides unity or not.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Many on unionism do find themselves on the losing side anyway. Of course Irish unity also needs nationalists in the SDLP and Sinn Féin to accept they too will have to be on the losing side, as they would not always be in the sole majority either.

  • Kevin Breslin

    “United Ireland” is British propaganda

    Okay, well tell that issue with semantics to those who praise the Reunified Irishmen.

  • Zeno

    “They could be taking it in turns to vote”

    Do you not understand how crazy that sounds?

    “the extra quarter million are already in place.

    Sure they are…….. they just don’t show up in any Polls or Surveys or Election results and they lie to the Census people. They are all hiding in a hedge waiting for the magic moment when I assume they will jump out and rust to the Polling Stations……….

  • citizen69

    So you’re saying you want a unionist party that safeguards the right of PIRAINLA etc. to publicly remember & commemorate their acts of terrorism and attempts at destroying N.I.? (More play parks perhaps? Statue at city hall?) Yeah, you’re probably on your own as a unionist with that one bud, and I consider myself liberal. I wouldn’t want that protection for loyalist terrorists, why would I want it for anybody?

  • eiregain

    accept the language. the language will be used regardless of unionism’s opinions.

    what do you see is the difference between democracy and majority rule? and how do you see a majority party holding this over the heads of the others within the GFA framework. Is it simply fear im hearing, fear of change? or do you have a genuine point to make about representation thats based on evidence about our democratic process and how it could change as a result of a Nationalist majority?

  • Jag

    You’re partly making the point for me. The United Irishmen founded in the 1790s and were *united* in their goal of kicking the Brits out of the entire island of Ireland. It had nothing to do with removing the 1922 border.

    The word “united” appears in several common contexts:

    Mary and John are united in their dislike of hip hop music.

    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

    United States

    Manchester United

    A reunified Ireland will not be a collection of states (US) or countries (UK) but will be a single jurisidiction, with four provinces and 32 counties, and a single parliament.

    “unified” has a different meaning, it’s connotes the verb “unify” with design and planning

    Unified theory of physics

    “reunified” has a different meaning still and means making whole again something that was previously broken up.

    We don’t refer to a “united Germany”, we say “reunified Germany”, we talk about the reunification of the Koreas.

    Republicans should stop using the term “united Ireland” because it’s ambiguous, do you really want two states, or countries on one island? By using “united Ireland” you’re getting into the same difficulty as you do by accepting the 1969-1998 civil war as merely “the Troubles”. If that civil war was just a brouhaha in an otherwise civilised society, then you open yourself open to the charge of terrorism, whereas in a civil war, you have rebels (FARC, Tamils, Maoists), militants (Hamas), insurgents (Afghanistan). When you normalise a civil war, that;s when you get terrorism.

  • alexbr

    You give more weight to opinion polls of less than a few thousand people than the 50% plus of the electorate who bother voting.
    If the non voters are pro union why are they not voting to keep Irish unity parties from holding more ministerial posts than they otherwise would?
    Those who don’t vote are most likely to cast a ballot the same way as family and friends. Only if non voters are unionists by a huge margin does your argument begin to make any sense.

  • alexbr

    Most Catholics, most of whom no longer practice the teachings of the church, would rather burn in hell than follow the vision of any unionist party here.
    A referendum will quickly focus peoples minds as to what is at stake.

  • alexbr

    The nationalist vote is not 23% other wise the unionist vote would be somewhere around 70%. And you know why its not don’t you?

  • alexbr

    I think your trollloling. You cant be this dense.

  • alexbr

    Love your go get attitude. Why don’t you get yourself elected.

  • alexbr

    Planet Nibiru.

  • alexbr

    Zeno “It wouldn’t matter if 80% of the parties were pro UI.”
    Give it up man.

  • alexbr

    At the current rate it would take them longer than the dinosaurs have been extinct to catch up with sectarian unionism.

  • Zeno

    I know this isn’t good news when you have been led to believe that there will be a UI some time soon.
    But it will take at least half a million votes to win a referendum and there isn’t even enough now to GET a referendum.

  • Tochais Siorai

    ‘………We live in a majority unionist juristiction yet the unionists have been tolerant enough to allow nationalists to share power with them…….’
    .
    Where does one even start to reply to that?

  • alexbr

    They once had all the power then the Brits forced them to share and they don’t like it one bit. Tough!
    The current set up is as good as its gets for unionism.
    The Brits turned the lights out and castrated unionism for good reason and they’ve learnt nothing still.

  • alexbr

    Why do you want to parade where your not welcome? I would parade ten times the distance to avoid annoying or upsetting anyone than force a parade past.
    Get to know the people you accuse of intolerance, work with them and maybe your parade will be welcomed in future.

  • alexbr

    The only criminals at camp twaddell are loyalist gangsters carrying UVF banners playing sectarian music at a frigging interface.

  • alexbr

    When a referendum does take place people will be made aware of whats at stake. Continue with the current mess of partition or stand on our own two feet and take charge of our own counrty.

  • alexbr

    Pull the other one, you support the orangemen at twaddell who celebrate loyalist murderers with banners and music.
    Are you comfortable with double murderer Billy Hutchinson speaking on behalf of camp twaddell?

  • alexbr

    Protestants and unionists were not the only ones who suffered.
    If naming playparks after republicans upsets you how do you feel naming things, such as Craigavon bridge Derry, after those who terrorised nationalists?

  • alexbr

    Them and us thats how it is. No point pretending otherwise.
    Been this way since partition and will remain until its gone.
    Us nationalists want Irish unity.
    Them unionists want to maintain Britain’s partition of Ireland.
    We live with the fallout, us and them.

  • alexbr

    Ending hundreds of years of your country being governed by English dukes and lords isnt even worth debating, Capital LOL
    What will have to happen to make it worth talking about?

  • Paddy Reilly

    Do you not understand how crazy that sounds?

    Not crazy at all if you think about it. 2009 Euros, our Keiran is in Dubai, does not vote. 2010 Westminster, our Breed is in New York, does not vote. 2011 Stormont, our Liam is in a coma, does not vote.

    European Parliament vote 2014: 636,093.
    European Parliament vote 2009: 488,891

    So were 147,202 voters hiding in a hedge?

  • Zeno

    Well good, but. there is simply not enough people interested in UI. There is no economic case. No one is trying to convince anyone that it’s a good idea. No one is calling for a referendum. Even Sinn Fein now realise that they seriously misjudged that one.
    As you said to me earlier…….. Give it up Man.

  • andrew

    Presumably by making token statements like Gerry’s above saying “the flag is orange as well as green” while not changing their core beliefs….

  • alexbr

    Zeno “Less than 25% vote Nationalist”

    Who gets the remaining 75%+ of the vote?

  • alexbr

    He thinks polls surveys and non voters are more important.
    If Teresa Villars wants a good laugh, other than twaddell, she should talk Zeno.

  • alexbr

    You cant speak for everyone. If you think living off English handouts is preferable to being masters of our own country, thats your choice.
    Ive asked you twice heres a third, if nationalists only get 25% of the vote where does the remaining 75% go?
    “Even Sinn Fein now realise that they seriously misjudged that one”
    Must have missed the memo, can you show me it?

  • citizen69

    Hmmm, who said Protestants & Unionists were the only one to suffer? Of course they weren’t. I don’t particularly remember James Craig murdering anyone, or make an attempt at it. Besides, you’ll find many equivalencies of Craig in the Republic’s streets and civil amenities . Gee I wonder if the south have any plans to erect memorials to those who detest and abhor their state? The IRA spent a lot of time blowing up British/Unionist memorials. Tell me, when is the taoiseach unveiling that plaque to commemorate those who carried out the Dublin & Monaghan bombings? Sure how could anybody be offended or upset at such a thing? Isn’t that what the Irish nationalists are looking for in a Republican party, the rights of Loyalists to publicly commemorate their own? After all, according to Belfast Barman it was all part of the process to getting to where we now are. :-

  • alexbr

    Your problem is you wish to have your cake and eat it. There was a war and we’ll never agree on the good guys bad guys argument.
    The people of Derry were never consulted did they want the bridge named after Craig because Craig and Co had the orange boot on the fenians neck in a city they gerrymandered.
    The naming of the bridge took place when the people of the city were terrorised as 2nd class citizens.
    The people that live in Newry wanted it named after Raymond McCreesh and if thats what they want in Dublin and Monaghan, the bombings, its up to them.

  • Paddy Reilly

    He is.

  • Zeno

    So the 23% who say they are Nationalist are also taking it in turns to be Nationalist. It’s the only explanation really. 23% say they are Nationalist and 23% vote Nationalist, but for some unknown reason they use a complicated rota system.
    Sounds perfectly sensible and not crazy at all……… (wink)

  • Zeno

    I don’t live of British hand outs. I have no interest in being a master of my own country. In fact I don’t care who is in charge as they are all the same.
    Nationalists get 23%
    Unionists get 28%
    Some goes to Alliance and the smaller parties and the bigger. Around 45% of us don’t vote for any of them.
    Sinn Fein were promising a United Ireland by 2016 not so long ago……… that was a small misjudgement , yes?

  • Paddy Reilly

    The 23% who say that they are Nationalist are as far as can see a figment of your imagination, or misinterpretation of some obscure opinion poll. The 23% who vote Nationalist are a statistic devised by you by turning the non-voters into Zombies who rise from the dead to vote for the Union at your behest.

  • Zeno

    “The 23% who say that they are Nationalist are as far as can see a figment of your imagination,”

    23% say they are Nationalist
    23% vote Nationalist.
    25% say they are Irish
    and the maximum number in any opinion poll who have said they would like a United Ireland (albeit in 20 years) is 26%
    You spotting any possible link there?
    28% say they are Unionist and 49% of us say they are neither……… so all those people must be lying. Eh?

  • Paddy Reilly

    Go over to the thread on Nicholas Whyte’s lecture. The identity ‘Northern Irish’ has no relevance to voting habits, and seems to be shared by Unionists and Nationalists.

    You are stringing together the Unionist total rejection of a UI with the Nationalist opposition to attempting one at the time of polling. They are not the same thing. Nationalists expect to change when the time is suitable, Unionists do not.

    Strange isn’t it that it’s always Protestants and Unionists who think they’re the experts on the Catholic Nationalist mindset?

  • Zeno

    “Strange isn’t it that it’s always Protestants and Unionists who think they’re the experts on the Catholic Nationalist mindset?”

    I wouldn’t know. I’m neither of those. I don’t care if there is or isn’t a United Ireland. I’m merely pointing out the huge gulf between what Nationalists like yourself think and the actual reality.

  • Kevin Breslin

    There’s been Catholic and Protestant segregation in Ireland since the bloody Reformation and partition was merely an effect of that. We are the final front of the European and “Christian” Wars of Religion, even the border was about sectarian apartheid and saving one group from the other. No priest, minister or preacher from any faith wishes to speak a triumph of hate.

    I don’t know what an Irish unity is, or what exactly will work. I’m a republican and believe in the power of the people to create their own unions and their own safeguards against forced unities bringing the strongest networks they can make. Networks are the real source of political power, they are far superior to political control.

    Now this ironically brings us on topic again, the SDLP knew the power of the people, it was the party that sought the referendum to put the Good Friday Agreement in operation, Sinn Féin are doing the same thing particularly in the South letting the civic politics make the difference. Social unities forge unions not political control.

    This is difficult to work “up North” but we do have some unities, relatively humanistic ones about opposition to terror, and concern about the state of our economy, but this is more partnerships within the North and across the whole island than has ever been seen since partition.

    The North has an Irish identity and a British one, with people going between these islands and being culturally immersed in the regions here. There’s always going to be some unity with Britian and some unity within Ireland and some unity with the people of the North, it’s up to the people to work out what they want to build with both. The Three strands allow people to build their own unions.

  • Whilst I agree that Unionist leaders should certainly be doing more to engage with Nationalists, I cannot accept that Sinn Fein are genuinely holding out some sort of olive branch to Unionsits. Whilst on the surface we can see Martin shaking hands with the Queen and Gerry delivering various “I have a dream” speeches, these are all just token gestures. If you look at what is going on in the background, there is an agenda for the attrition of Unionism, mainly at the local level.
    I am affronted by most of the DUP’s social policies and for the life of me can’t work out how they think it will win them any new voters. I certainly could not vote for someone wanting to have me chucked out of a restaurant for no good reason other than the owner’s supposed conscience. However, at least they act with some sort of integrity. They aren’t saying one thing trying to win the votes of moderates and then doing everything else behind the scenes. You know what you are voting for at the ballot box.

  • The Spelegraph

    I feel his (ab)use of the Irish language a tad silly and counter-productive.
    As for ‘power-sharing’ I acepr that in today’s politically immature Northern Ireland, there is a need for the protection of minorities. But, it does seem to stifle things. Nothing important gets done until some high powered political figure jets in from elsewhere to ‘help’. Endless partitions of concern etc
    I’d prefer o see a more mature NI with a majority government and more importantly an opposition. Just wondering if we’ll have to wait until St can be that majority

  • aber1991

    There is also a lot to be said for a confrontational Catholic non-nationalist party – a green DUP.

  • aber1991

    They are not sectarian enough. As for dishonest, they are no more dishonest that Alliance, DUP, UUP or Sinn Fein. Politicians will be politicians.

  • aber1991

    Catholics should not share power with anti-Catholic bigots.

  • aber1991

    In 1912, the Protestants refused to accept majority rule in Ireland. After the formation of Northern Ireland, the Protestants refused to accept majority rule in Derry, Omagh, Fermanagh and Dungannon. A tribe which has shown such contempt for the principle of majority rule has no right to enjoy majority rule.

  • aber1991

    “Meaning that republicans committed the majority of the sectarian murders”

    Stop telling lies. Sectarian murder is a Protestant speciality.

  • The Spelegraph

    And in 2015 “the Kafflicks” refused majority rule so in the future that tribe has no right to enjoy majority rule. We are condemned to a SF/DUP carve up and partitions of concern forever.

  • Corneliusxbw

    You always take the bait

  • Corneliusxbw

    You already have your queen and heritage. What’s wrong with you?

    Pay attention! We Irish have just about had enough of dummies being spat out of the pram.