The Nolan/Prime Time survey should be a wake up call for Nationalists

If you missed it last night both Patricia MacBride and Chris Donnelly featured on the joint RTE/BBC broadcast looking at issues such as a United Ireland, abortion rights and same-sex marriage.

United Ireland

To start with Irish unity and just who wants it, the survey found support for devolution strong on both sides of the border. For republicanism, it highlights the need to make devolution work and ensure that this place functions, before you contemplate any new ventures with a United Ireland. In the short term this has to be the aim and it will mean people climbing down off of grand visions and addressing some real socio-economic concerns.

UI

Good news here is that a solid majority in the South support a United Ireland, bad news is that it is still trailing in Northern Ireland by a decent margin. Where there is light at the end of the tunnel is in that 27% “Don’t know” these are people whom I would punt make decisions based on the pound in their pocket and real living concerns. Going back to my first point, Nationalism cannot hope to win over undecided, if it has not got its own economic house in order.

Moving away from voodoo economics and cooking the books to suit a narrative would be a useful start.

UI 2

And this leads me into tax…Yes it might be hard to understand from a Northern point of view but a great chunk of our Southern brethren will be weighing up the cost of taking on Northern Ireland. Pat Rabbitte put the cost at two extra Universal Social Charges a year and in Germany they had to do a Solidarity Tax to make unification fly.

Maybe republican parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly might want to use the levers of power to make the state cheaper to run? Instead of following the current course which wants increases in spending, paid for the British government with no end in sight.

UI 3

In Northern Ireland the results are the same with just 11% opting to pay more tax. All a No campaign would have to do is just mimic the Tories 1992 “Labour’s Tax Bombshell” ad and your economic credibility has taken a dent already.

UI 4

Then the religious breakdown in Northern Ireland. In line with most surveys I have read on the issue the number of Protestants supporting a United Ireland is in single digits and most Catholics opt for devolution. The message of an “inclusive United Ireland” clearly has not convinced people on the Protestant side of our community.

UI 5

Chris has already set out some challenges for Nationalists, but I would just make some observations. I noticed last night people dismissing the poll just because the findings weren’t to their liking. This same company does polls in the South and is regularly relied upon. Moreover, it is broadly in line with findings from companies like Lucid Talk and the NI Life and Times Survey.

Republicans need to instead of putting their fingers in their ears and closing their eyes, take a long hard look at these numbers. Sure it is only one poll, but let’s face it, we’ve been saying that about all the others that have been conducted over the last decade.

We need to address the scandal that despite all the high talk, we have been able to just convince 3% of our Protestant country men to support a United Ireland.

We also need to get away from policies that keep Northern Ireland uncompetitive and dearer to run. There needs to be a real drive to make the border irrelevant and utilize the devolved administration to get this place back on track.

Only when you have done that, can you even contemplate a United Ireland worthy of the name. Much was made of the focus on Arlene Foster last night on the Nolan Show, but perhaps that’s because she was one of the few politicians with anything interesting to say.

In summary, republicans path to the promised lands lies in securing and improving the Northern Ireland state, rather than attempt to just dismantle it completely.

The game has changed over the past 15 years, it’s important to change with it.

 

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  • Lord Coleraine

    The first thing that jumps out at me is the fact that a plurality of both Catholics and Protestants in the North want devolution (I fail to understand why the other 7% in NI were not consulted, but this is an issue for another day). Regardless of one’s constitutional preference, the need for devolution to work is clear and this poll confirms it. Before a United Ireland, we need a United Northern Ireland.

    A very well written post, Mr McCann.

  • “Good news here is that a solid majority in the South support a United Ireland” How so? There were four choices. One for people who don’t know/care. Of the other three one was UI and two were basically options for NI within the UK. 1% is hardly a solid majority in the South, whereas for options internal to the UK offer are 44% which even with margin of error is the majorities choice. If that 36% is regarded as a solid majority then someone needs to go lie down.

  • John O’Brien

    I don’t think this poll is any different to most previous polls. Since the 1970s, most polls have shown that some sort of power-sharing was the most favored choice for Catholics.

    Although its too narrow, the tax questions is interesting in terms of the economics of a United Ireland. For Northern Ireland, it’s quite notable that the difference between those who wanted to see a United Ireland in their lifetime and those who wanted a United Ireland if they paid less tax was quite small. In other words, Unionists still do not want a United Ireland, even if they were financially better off.

    Maybe if there was a credible plan for re-unification, as opposed to no plan and only a ‘debate’, this would change.

    But the Celtic Tiger did not convince Unionists that re-unification was desirable. Nor did the South’s economic crisis in the 1950s and the benefits of the UK Welfare State north of the border convince the South that independence was a mistake.

  • JohnTheOptimist

    These results are a disaster for nationalism in N. Ireland. No getting away from it. Only 13% want a United Ireland in the short-to-medium term (say 10-20 years). This at a time when the economy of the Republic is surging ahead, leaving that of N. Ireland far behind, and when the Republic has surpassed N. Ireland in health (life expectancy now almost 1 year higher in the Republic), education (the Republic miles ahead in the last PISA tests), and a host of other areas. It also comes at a time when, partly influenced by the higher economic growth and greater social progress being seen in the Republic, nationalism in Scotland is on a roll and has every prospect of achieving its goal of an independent Scotland before the decade is out. But, in N. Ireland nationalism is in the doldrums. If there was a referendum next week, it would result in a humiliating defeat for the nationalist cause.

    The question must be asked. Why?

    The answer can be found in the general uselessness of the two ‘nationalist’ parties in N. Ireland. The reality is that they are not nationalist at all. One exists to promote social democracy, not nationalism – the type of social democracy that is being rejected throughout Europe, not least in the UK itself last May. The other exists to promote revolutionary marxism, a lunatic ideology, which is of strictly limited appeal to people in both parts of the island, and in pursuit of which goal it continually seeks to portray the Republic as hell on earth. No wonder nobody in N. Ireland wishes to join it.

    What is needed is for the two so-called nationalist parties in N. Ireland to disband and be replaced by an SNP-type party and a Nicola Sturgeon-type leader. One which eschews all violence and sectarianism and is capable of articulating the increasingly-strong case for independence from London and eventual reunification of the island by reference to current economic and social development, while highlighting the enhanced prospects for that development that will result from exiting the Union and joining with the rest of the island.

  • peepoday

    People know what side their bread is buttered on.The united Kingdom provides the best standard of living, and the Republic cannot afford to keep us.Lets see sinn feinn spin this one in their favour.

  • babyface finlayson

    I think that refers to the ‘in your lifetime’ question where the figure in favour of a UI was 66%

  • Surveyor

    Almost a thousand jobs gone yesterday and more austerity cuts to come from the Tories. Meanwhile the people who do have jobs are paid the lowest wages in the UK. Yes we truly are living in the land of milk and honey.

  • barnshee

    Perhaps those churning out 5+ sprogs per generation might pause and reflect on the

    1 Burdens they are imposing on resources
    2 The massive additions created in the worker pool which allows employers to pay low wages

  • Croiteir

    Again I fundamentally disagree – the logic is flawed. It is not up to us to make the north work. The best driver is for the south to continue with its continuing rise economically. Then unionists will have the incentive to vote for a reunited Ireland., It is up to unionism to make the north work to keep us in it.

  • Croiteir

    Of course the republic can afford it. The country is one of the best performing in the EU. You may as well say it cannot afford Connaught. The Human Development Index the UN measurement of the standard of life, has, on its latest figures, shown the republic as having an index of 11 as against the Uk at 14.

  • Croiteir

    Maybe the rest may ponder on the problems of Germany, Italy, UK and more extremely China caused by having low fertility rates.

  • willieric

    Broken record here……..the typical northerner has no interest in a UI. And the typical southerner has little interest in the aggressive nationalism of SF. The northern nationalist parties attract a minority of votes even in a lack lustre poll. SF has 29 MLA’s out of 108, the SDLP has 14.
    The unionists care more about independence than profit margins otherwise they would have been flooding south during the Celtic tiger years.
    The religion thing is no help as the good NI grammar schools are all integrated virtually 50/50 and the well heeled middle class kids are content and comfortable with each other every which way. In truth the latter phenomenon is not new.
    The NI middle class was largely unaffected by the excesses of the past 50 years.

  • Pete

    Blaming the polls for being unreliable is hilarious. Basically all the polls show similar figures.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Except for stating that Arlene is “one of the few politicians with anything interesting to say.” Although she can usually hold her own on the biggest show in the country, she appeared weak, evasive and totally predictable in her responses. Against a backdrop of refreshing flexibility on identity issues and Ireland v Ulster etc she was her usual intransigent, unempathetic and unimaginative self. But then I can never get this image out of my head https://thecinematicpackrat.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/the-child-catcher-4.jpg

  • barnshee

    Only a problem with unbalanced GDP

  • barnshee

    Yep keeping a balls of it an exporting the young Yep keep it up

  • Reader

    Croiteir: The country is one of the best performing in the EU.
    But also quite small. In order to maintain NI in the manner to which it has become accustomed, the RoI will need to supply 15 times more money per head of population than GB does.

  • Zeno

    “Of course the republic can afford it.”

    The problem with that is the rest of the Nationalists are saying the UK can’t afford it and will get out as soon as they get the chance because of the huge economic cost’s.
    But I’m curious how the ROI could afford to or even want to take on the economic burden of £10 billion a year or even half of it.

  • Croiteir

    How do you come about that figure?

  • Reader

    Population of RoI, 4 million. Population of GB, 60 million. Ratio of populations, 15.

  • Croiteir

    We can rely on the union and its proponents to do that.

  • Croiteir

    I have never said the UK can’t afford it. It patently can. It may not want to but I doubt that too.

  • Croiteir

    I see what you mean now. But the logic is flawed. You assume it will take the ROI as much as it costs the British. That is not the case.

  • Zeno

    If they can reduce the cost to £5 billion which seems unlikely, it will still cost every man woman and child at least 1500 euro a year.

  • Croiteir

    Why do you think it is unlikely?

  • Zeno

    I don’t see any way significant savings can be made.

  • TruthToPower

    As a Unionist I have no fear of a border poll. In fact I’d welcome it. I don’t see the logic of only having a referendum when we think the status quo might change. In my mind, a referendum could settle the question for generations so we can stop all this nonsense and focus on making NI become a net contributor to the UK exchequer.

    Repartition should be considered though. On a ward by ward basis, those wards who vote for UI that border the ROI can leave the UK along with adjacent wards that also vote for UI etc. No exclaves should be allowed. We will end up with such an unsaliable unionist NI that unionism as a political force would no longer have a raison d’etre so as to allow normal politics to emerge.

  • hugh mccloy

    Have SF actually damaged ui drive, with the it’s self serving brand of republicanism. Their way or no way

  • TruthToPower

    Yes. Back in the 60s most unionists described ourselves as Irish. The IRA and its arrogant and monochromatic definition of what’s a true Irishman changed all that, perhaps for good.

  • Greenflag 2

    The rich have money and property and the poor have children . If the native Prods and Papes stop having children or fewer then immigrants supply the shortfall . Capitalism demands an oversupply of labour preferably in order to reduce its cost . Basic economics .

  • Greenflag 2

    People don’t think in terms of a generation (25 ) or two generations (50 ) years . Japan probably faces the worst age imbalance over the next decade or two .

  • Greenflag 2

    Repartition might have worked 10 to 20 years ago . But its passe as a solution unless there were to be major population transfers . And then theres Belfast . Once upon a time a 66% Unionist population was considered unassailable . I don’t know where in NI today you would find unassailable unionist majorities of 80% plus but there might be a village or two in North Down . HMG would only impose another partition following a major uncivil war with thousands dead and populations fleeing . I like to believe that NI has gone beyond that possibility .

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Dr McC

    Might I suggest you and a few like minded others start a new 20 – 30 year project of ‘re-unificationism’?

    Fresh blood and faces such as yourself could start a baggage & division free approach, one that is based on economics and indeed common sense.

    I read and understood crotier’s objection to an economically viable NI but i would say this; a northern Ireland that breaks even could still be appealling to the south but it would still be seen as a pain and hassle that could go wrong at any moment by London.

    Remove the fears (perceived, religious and economic) and you’ll find a ui a more realistic goal.

    Nationalism (and indeed unionism too) is becoming a tired and bankrupt term as time goes by. ‘Reunificationism’ is hardly a sexy term but it might do for starters.

  • barnshee

    “Capitalism demands an oversupply of labour preferably in order to reduce its cost . Basic economics .”

    My point exactly –restrict the supply and “Capitalism” will have to compete -ie pay more

  • Greenflag 2

    Your point has been effectively redundant since the 1980’s . You have heard of globalisation ? There is NO shortage of labour worldwide . An extra 2 billion people have joined the market economy since the 1980’s . Capital exports jobs to countries where labour and other costs are less and opportunities in the long term greater .
    There are some niche exceptions in high tech and in some service type businesses . Your local barber or butcher is not going to move to China or elsewhere but your local tyre factory or textile manufacturer may or did so a couple of decades ago .

    The other half of the Capital v Labour equation should be obvious although not perhaps in Northern Ireland . Trade unions are not what they once were and have lost most of their bargaining power as compared to the international financial sector corporations who now effectively have usurped democracies from Dublin to London to Washington DC etc. . British or Irish or American abour ( the human part ) can’t transfer itself in a nano second to China and in any event they cannot compete with 400 million Chinese workers. Do you know anybody in NI who will work for 10 pounds a week ?

  • barnshee

    You are making my point for me

    “My point exactly –restrict the supply and “Capitalism” will have to compete -ie pay more”

    The fact that other societies have failed to grasp supply and demand and provide an apparenly endless supply of cheap labour only underlines my point.

    “Capitalism” has however to “sell” its products and here a properly organised state can ameliorate it effects -but a properly organised state– there is the rub.

    “Do you know anybody in NI who will work for 10 pounds a week ?”

    Do you know anybody who is unemployed in China,who has 5+ children and gets circa £21000 (and more) pa from the taxpayer?

  • Pasty2012

    Those figures as you suggest may well be based on the pound in pocket. But with the Southern Economy now surging on and this place not standing still but going backwards. The fact that Everyone in the North has been fed a daily flow of information on how bad life is South of the Border may well have also affected the figures along with people looking out for the pound in their pocket. However If Sinn Fein and Nationalists put more into making ALL aware of the higher living standards and that the South is actually a Good Place to live and not the 3rd World basket Unionist Politicians like to keep portraying it as, along with the Unionist Politicians getting their way and introducing the Welfare Reforms thus reducing everyone’s income and living standards here in the North then there could and may well be a big swing in about 2 years time.
    Running Polls when the Country you are suggesting we join is only coming out of economic turmoil and their effects of Austerity being on the News so much is bound to feed into the way people vote. To date there hasn’t been any Austerity in the North and it has been shielded from that but the Unionists are out to change all that and once they do the effects of that and looking at an economy that is thriving then the vote is likely to be affected in the other direction, is it not ?

  • Greenflag 2

    Where is this properly organised State ?
    China is not a democracy .
    You may be unaware of the power of the international financial sector .
    No government -not even the USA – can control these huge institutions .
    A small country like the UK or Ireland is even less able .
    It will take the combined cooperation of the major developed countries plus the new emerging economic giants -China -Brazil -India -Indonesia etc to ‘ properly organise ‘ the current financial climate which at present continues to predate on people everywhere with virtual impunity .

  • Nigel Watson

    David

    I’m a 49yo northern prod, who’s vote moves between Alliance, UUP & SDLP (although right now only Alliance offers me a possibility to vote). I’m a long time contributor to TalkBack, Nolan & letter writer. If asked to vote right now I would vote to stay in the UK, however I can see theoretical benefits to an UI (clearly the idea of a UI is not daft). I have 2 passports & typically describe myself as Irish when abroad

    I wrote a 1,000 word article in the Irish News 10 years ago (leaving my contact details) and indeed separate letters on the same topic to various SF members…I received no response at all. My article was quite simple…I’m open to the idea of a UI but please outline what that would mean in CONCRETE terms

    The conclusion I have long come to, is that Nationalism/Republicanism just doesn’t see a UI ever happening so why bother investing the effort into responding to me…indeed any serious response to me would cause outrage amongst the core vote. Far better to focus on “getting stuff” for northern Catholics as the main task with a some token UI related activity

    The Nolan/Priimetime show is perhaps a critical moment in politics on this island when ordinary people could see that on this topic “the King has no clothes on”…if it does it will have served a very important task

  • Jeffrey Peel

    Or the alternative, of course, is not to have any nationalist parties at all – British or Irish. Our political discourse is pitiful and our politicians useless largely because they are all nationalist (of one hue or another). Oh, and incidentally, while the SNP has won electoral support many of its economic “policies” are as bizarre as Sinn Fein’s. How the SNP has managed to maintain any credibility when they assumed that Scotland could rely on North Sea oil revenue in perpetuity is beyond me. The politics of nationalism is pointless when people clearly are bored with it. Increasingly our electorate doesn’t vote. Our politicians are uniformly ridiculed because they are mostly uni-dimensional backwoodsmen, lacking any political sophistication and with little to no business experience or understanding. I agree we need new political parties – but we need new Nationalist political parties like a hole in the head.

  • Gingray

    And no replies here either?

    I agree completely, as an Irish Republican it is quite gutting to see so little investment in the planning for what a UI could look like.

    I don’t mean what tokens they think nationalism could offer unionism, which is the fluff we here (new flag, anthemn etc) but more on how it would work, would there be a form a designation or mandatory coalition, guaranteed seats for british unionists, would the uk have any input.

    Lot of things to be discussed.

  • Gingray

    Carrick, Ards and Comber?

  • Reader

    Pasty2012: However If Sinn Fein and Nationalists put more into making ALL aware of the higher living standards and that the South is actually a Good Place to live…
    Irrelevant. You need to tell us how the North will become a Good Place to live.
    Osmosis?
    Or close down the NHS, shrink the public sector by 50% and get everyone off DLA?

  • Gingray

    “as the good NI grammar schools are all integrated virtually 50/50”

    Sorry, what?

    Very few of our good grammar schools are integrated in any way, and what we are seeing year after year is a failure on the part of the state sector to keep up with the catholic schools.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/education/exclusive-northern-ireland-schools-league-tables-catholic-grammars-lead-the-way-at-gcse-but-top-schools-failing-at-alevel-31089536.html

  • Nigel Watson

    Gingray

    I stopped contributing to political MB’s several years ago as the level of understanding of fellow Inhabitants of this island was quite amazing…the show last night rings true with my own experience of ordinary “non political” types and hopefully it will be a wake up call to everyone on this island…let’s try & live together, respecting each other and making a better place for our kids

    I know a couple of NI football fans who BADLY want to be in the same pool as ROI (if they make it) in France…NI won’t win the Euro’s, but it would be a chance for the world to see how much we had all progressed & just have a great party

  • Nigel Watson

    Misunderstanding!!!

  • Will there be a cure for cancer short-medium term. Improvements in some, but not generally. Will there be a cure in your lifetime. I’d like that to happen. And there’s more chance of that than a UI. This poll says no more than a sense of aspiration exists, sometime, somewhere at the end of the rainbow.

  • barnshee

    Where is this properly organised State ?

    see above -it don`t exist

  • willieric

    What is the definition of a good grammar school? A ‘Catholic’ grammar school would recruit pupils from a mainly catholic background and would promote Catholic ideals and mostly GAA sports and behaviour and laws. Integration with non-Catholics would be a low priority activity.
    However excellent the exam results, the non- integration flaw is fatal and damning.
    Remember that we are living in a divided and sectarian society.
    Moving on. The best NI grammar schools in the opinion of many parents are the state grammar schools of Belfast and some provincial towns which recruit from all creeds and classes and colours, and provide a wide variety of sports and activities.
    Telephone the front office of a Belfast grammar school of your choice and inquire as to the religious background of the annual intake. You shall be amazed at the result, anywhere between 25% to 50% RC.
    I give you the case of Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh. Check his cv on wiki and ask yourself how many non-Catholics he has encountered during his lifetime so far.
    I believe that many Catholics attend very good catholic schools. My support, see original comment, is for ‘good Northern Ireland Grammar Schools’

  • TruthToPower

    South Antrim, N Down and E Derry

  • TruthToPower

    Can we not have trial UI for 20 years and then have a referendum. Short term unionist pain for long term, if not eternal gain.

    Me sag to nationalists: right now, the U.K. is a fine place to be. We can be Irish and British and we are free to go about our business and govern ourselves too. There is something more polished about the English ruling classes though that I prefer. In ROI and even in many other egalitarian countries, the idea of ones rulers looking and sounding like me and those around me just doesn’t appeal. Not PC to say but deep down that’s why unionists are unionists. We don’t like ourselves (NI) much.

  • Gingray

    Starting figure is £4bn Zeno, what’s your problem with using facts?

  • Reader

    Gingray, it looks like about £9.5 billion to start with:
    https://www.dfpni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/dfp/Net%20Fiscal%20Balance%20Report%202012-13%20and%202013-14.pdf

    Where are you getting your figures from?

  • Gingray

    Willie
    I largely agree that our education system needs overhauled with one single integrated non religious system, but the protestant state system (check out bras board of governors) is not the answer. I am curious tho why so many commentators who talk up the state school system here never talk up learning from Catholic schools to see how they can up their academic rates.
    I get that these are not as important for you, but for many parents they are.
    I’m trying to find stats to back your 50/50 claim, and so far best I have is 20 state schools out of 500 across primary, secondary and grammar with more than 30% Catholics attending. BRA is only one in Belfast. Where are you getting your data?

  • Gingray

    http://endgameinulster.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/northern-ireland-net-fiscal-balance.html?m=1

    We could also use the office of national statistics data which suggests £690m …

    Households in NI receive £982 more on than they contribute in taxes. With 700K households in NI, the subvention is £690m.

    Personally I think it’s higher, but nowhere near the 10bn mark

  • Gingray

    Nigel
    I largely agree, and I am largely quite happy with life in northern Ireland – it’s reaching the point where being irish is not frowned upon.

    Slow change however and this place will be all the better for it. Losing the current crop of politicians will help.

    In terms of a united Ireland I think this poll shows the numbers are there should the right circumstances arise. But if it doesn’t happen, provided life is good, I’m ok with that too

  • Reader

    Sheesh – on the first screen it says that “Locally Generated Funds” are not UK government funding and the author promptly removes them from Expenditure altogether!
    But if he’s going to do that he needs to remove them from Revenue too. He might have noticed that if he had looked at the revenue side of the equation…
    Also, he waved aside “Non Identifiable Managed Expenditure” because he plans for NI not to contribute to a general RoI budget at all, and explicitly plans to walk away from (UK)defence and (UK)debt repayments. I’m fairly sure he is walking away from Welfare too, under that heading. But sure we’ll not miss that…

  • Gingray

    Reader, look at the detail, that’s incorrect.

    I’m curious tho, it’s the latest unionist tactic to big up the subvention, why? Regardless of the political situation even £4bn is not sustainable, do you agree?

    We need to pay our way.

    The argument that GB bails us out to the tune of £10bn and the roi couldn’t afford it, so have that united Ireland, is incredibly weak surely?

  • willieric

    Thank you for your reasoned comment. My experiences with BRA and MCB over recent years leads me to favour their integrated status over others, and I admit that 50% Catholics is a bit of a stretch, although there must be many grammar school parents who if challenged would be agnostic.
    Interesting how many obviously non-Protestant names crop up in grammar schools rugby and soccer cup finals’ programmes during the past decade. Some very famous names included.

  • Gingray

    Willie
    That sounds dangerously like the last bit is made up – nearly unheard of for a state grammar to do well in football in northern Ireland, it’s all rugby.
    You mention programmes, what finals are you talking about? Which cups – wide variety! I know the Belfast and district was dominated by boys model and la salle, with st malachys and st Marys not far off.

  • willieric

    During April 2015 the Northern Ireland school soccer finals featured Strabane GS, Foyle College and Cambridge house among others. Grosvenor High has featured regularly
    During the 60’s and 70’s MCB, and BRA played regular football, MCB as Malone.
    Boys Model won the Ulster Schools Rugby cup final v Ballymena Academy in 1971, after victories over Coleraine Inst away and MCB in the semi-final at Pirrie Park. This squad also won that year’s Ulster 7-a-sides competition.
    For information, the Boys’ Model was a grammar school in every way but title until the early 70’s and the beginning of the insurgency. Also not only was there then, and now, a tradition of the Belfast Model School employing RC teachers of both sexes, but there were whole families of RC schoolboys enrolled, and excelling in sports.
    While not wishing to name any RC individuals, a fairly recent Methodist College St Patrick’s day rugby finalist is the son of a local journalist and RTE pundit who has long been viewed as a scourge of all, but mainly unionist, politicians.

  • Gingray

    Interesting that you refer to them as RCs. Rare for a Catholic to do so, things like that ram home the difference in tone and title.

    Not sure I agree at all about the state grammar playing football but you mentioned soccer cup finals programmes from the last decade feature non protestant names playing for state schools. Not seeing this supported anywhere online – do you have the programmes?

  • eamoncorbett

    A referendum would solve everything , yeah, how would it solve the problem of a political party in power that is trying to destroy the state that it governs and another party which only exists because of its sectarian nature . NI will remain in the UK for the foreseeable future , you’re right about that but it’s going nowhere with the present set up and neither the UK nor the Irish government seem to care much.

  • willieric

    RC is a convenient acronym and not in intended to be disrespectful. As the saying is, some of my best friends are Catholics. Cannot think of an acronym for Protestants unfortunately.
    Google….. NI schools football cup finals Ballymena 2015, for the full lists of this year’s School finalists and final scores.
    MCB is a state school.
    BTW….I have seen with my own eyes, not recently mind you, a sample of toilet paper from MCB on every sheet of which were embossed the words….’The Methodist College’. Made my day.

  • Gingray

    Less of your toilet humour, this is a political message board! 🙂

  • Pasty2012

    Most will be off DLA, the public sector is shrinking so far by 12% and will no doubt continue at a faster rate with the cuts to the block grant and the patients are on trollies for hours on end in corridors waiting to be treated. There is talk of charges for overnight stay and meals by hospitals, prescription charges are being re-introduced and all this with the massive reductions that the Welfare Reform cuts will bring to both the people on out-of-work and those on in-work benefits. Clearly when the British Government take away the money there will be no gain staying in the UK and whilst Unionists may want to stay the Nationalists will be more than ready to go. As I have said before if the survey is done a year or so after all the cuts have been introduced and people are made aware of the true facts of living under a Dublin Government then there would likely be a lot of change in those figures.

  • Reader

    SF has recently taken an interest in the argument. They must think it is better addressed than ignored. It is safe to assume that is a tactical decision, as they always ignored it before.
    Obviously, the pain that the RoI would have in maintaining the 6 counties after unification will matter more to nationalists – north and south – than to unionists; so consider it tactical on our part too.

  • Zeno

    “Most will be off DLA,”

    Do I understand you properly? You know there is just over 202 thousand here on DLA? What’s going to happen to them?

  • Roger

    Can’t agree that that’s irrelevant.
    If people in NI think IRL is less successful than NI, naturally that’s off-putting. The fact IRL is successful tells people in NI a lot. Not detail. Big picture.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Interesting points TTP.

  • Greenflag 2

    Fine now do the numbers .

  • Greenflag 2

    Fine also as long as you are comfortable with the Fenian free tunnels that will need to connect between Comber and South Antrim and Comber .)

  • babyface finlayson

    You are probably right. Jam tomorrow.
    I am just pointing out how David McCann presumably came to describe a ‘solid majority’.

  • Greenflag 2

    And never will . That doesn’t mean the State can’t do better .

  • Skibo

    Hows this for grasping at straws. In 2012 the BT ran a poll on the UI question. 7% voted for a UI in the short term, 2015 it has increased to 13%. Nearly doubled in three years.
    The most significant fact from the 2015 poll is that only 43% said they definitely did not want a UI in the long term. That’s with no actual framework of what a UI would look like.
    I expect a more planned attitude to the possibility of a UI with not only bones but flesh to be put forward in the near future. These plans should be fully costed showing how taxes would be raised and give projected increases in GDP. a proposed all island national health system, benefit system and welfare system needs to be devised.
    We can no longer look through rose coloured glasses at the possibility of a UI and show people what it could actually be.
    I don’t thing Britain can just walk away. The division of our country was done at their hands and was not a democratic decision but a sectarian head-count. If they are happy the keep paying to prop up an uneconomic region as is NI then they can pay a lower rate progressively decreasing to zero over a number of years to achieve an economic UI.

  • Zeno

    “Hows this for grasping at straws. In 2012 the BT ran a poll on the UI question. 7% voted for a UI in the short term, 2015 it has increased to 13%. Nearly doubled in three years.”

    Maybe the wrong poll but I thought that one said 3.9% wanted it immediately. I don’t remember the medium term being mentioned.
    But look if you want a United Ireland it has never been more easily achieved. Just go out and vote for any Nationalist Party. Tell the Pollsters you want it and say on the Census you are Irish only. And when asked say Yes you are a Nationalist.
    That is all it takes. But the reality is you just don’t have the numbers and there is no sign of ever having them.

  • Skibo

    No Zeno, checked it again, 7% for tomorrow and 25% in 20 years. Funny thing is some people here think 10 to 20 years is the near future. I don’t.
    I would be on for unity within the next five years and I vote for nationalist parties and try to convince anyone I speak to of the merits of a UI.
    I was born in NI and as an all knowing teenager tried to tell my Republican father that actually we were British as Britain rules us, how much of an a#hole was I. I went to University and looked on myself as Northern Irish. Later I went to work in England and met English people who maintained I was Irish and they were not British but English. I think a lot of young Nationalists go through this process.
    If we consider the increase from 7 to 13% in just 3 years then I too look confidently to 2019 euro election. If Unionism ends up with one seat will you then accept the stranglehold of Unionism on NI has weakened?
    Another point, had NI21 designated as other then Unionism parties would not have held 50% of the seats in Stormont. That’s how close it is to parity at the moment.
    I am not sure that this will happen in 2016 but I know the bounce Unionism got from the previous election is bound to bring out the Nationalist vote this time. I believe the amalgamation of councils lead to nationalist voters staying at home east of the Bann but they have more to gain in the Stormont vote and hopefully will resurrect their percentage vote.

  • Zeno

    “If Unionism ends up with one seat will you then accept the stranglehold of Unionism on NI has weakened?”

    I’m not sure what you mean. I’m explaining that the numbers aren’t there in support of UI and show no sign of appearing. But you are talking about Unionist Parties losing seats. Fair enough Nationalists need to win a lot more seats (don’t think they have increased their seats since 1998) but that is just to maybe get a referendum. The Polls need to also show demand of close to 50% if we take the Secretary of States reasons for turning down a United Ireland Poll.

    Have you a link to the Poll? This is the one I was talking about.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/poll-just-38-want-a-united-ireland-29584149.html

  • Skibo

    Zeno, Not great at links. The poll was published in 2012 by Liam Clarke 11/6/12. There is no getting away from the Nationalist apathy in the last couple of elections and the unionist vote was strengthened by their annoyance at the treatment of their flag. No mention of how our flag is treated though.
    I believe people love to vote for winners and at present the stats for a UI do look low but as the figures start to stack up and Westminster cuts dig deeper peoples attitude will change. As that vote increases the s curve will kick in and the process will escalate.
    What people need to realise that even when the decision is taken, it may take a couple of years for all to be resolved.
    I expect anyone who wants to hold their British status will be accommodated.

  • Zeno

    Maybe it’s not apathy. People before Profit have taken votes from the other parties. People like to vote for winners but they don’t like being lied to. SF’s growth in the North appears to have plateaued and the SDLP are in decline. I like to think that more and more people are starting to realise that politicians will just tell them what they want to hear to get elected.

  • Pete

    What sort of BT poll? Do you mean a non-scientific one on their website, or a scientific one done by a company such as LucidTalk?

  • Skibo

    No Pete, Belfast Telegraph Lucid talk poll also. It was carried out in 2012 just like I said. Sure you know Liam Clarke does not deal in fiction!