Terrorist attacks in Paris

There have been what appears to be a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris.   At least 40 people are reported to have been killed.  There have been shootings at, at least, two bars or restaurants, including a Cambodian restaurant, and there have been explosions reported near the Stade de France where the French national football side were playing Germany.  An unfolding hostage situation is also reported at a concert at the Bataclan arts centre where a number of gunmen may be involved and 60-100 people may be being held.  The BBC live reporting is here.  The Guardian is also live-blogging events.

Adds  French President Francois Hollande has declared a state of emergency and closed the French borders.

Update At least 129 people were killed in Paris last night, 80 at the Bataclan concert, 352 injured, 99 critically, in terrorist attacks that have been claimed by the Islamic State militant group. [updated figures]

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  • Anglo-Irish

    Your last paragraph would place you and I extremely close in viewpoints.

    Whilst I have never been an activist for any political party – as my views of politicians in general are somewhat cynical – I have also voted Labour and Lib Dem in the past, but never Conservative.

    i also believe that we are all equal, which precludes me from being a monarchist

    However, where we would possibly tend to disagree is that I believe that any minority ethnicity which seeks to impose it’s wishes over those of the native people of a country is wrong to do so.

    They should accept the democratically expressed will of the majority as to the governance of the country.

    NI is not a country, it is a gerrymandered region of Ireland and exists despite the wishes of the Irish people.

    It’s days are numbered and I believe that that is a good thing..

  • Anglo-Irish

    Who exactly are you talking about?

    Presumably the ‘Loyalists’ as every single one of those descriptions fits them perfectly.

    But no, not another country just an undemocratically aquired ( and deeply regretted ) part of someone elses country.

  • Cosmo

    why don’t you just cut the crxp, and threaten to bomb or shoot me into feeling United with you ! you know it’s for my own good!

  • Anglo-Irish

    What in the name of God are you on about you complete clown?

    I can only assume that you’re drinking and that explains your incoherent ramblings.

  • Cosmo

    ah so, now I am accused by you of being “delusional , needing help”, incoherent or “drinking” – Hmmm… Pot … black ?

  • Anglo-Irish

    No, you’re delusional because you posted that ‘ a United Ireland was ending up a conceptional caliphate ‘ which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to anyone capable of rational thought.

    You’re incoherent because you posted ‘ why don’t you cut the crxp (sic) and threaten to bomb or shoot me’.

    If you post stuff such as that how do you expect people to react?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I’m not much of a monarchist either.

    However, I wouldn’t see people of British loyalties in Northern Ireland as anything other than natives of Northern Ireland. I don’t want them to impose their view, just have the same rights as anyone else. We are as indigenous to Northern Ireland as any nationalist is.

    I’m a supporter of taking more refugees into the UK and comfortable with continuing to welcome people from all over the world to live here and contribute and become British citizens. So it would be bizarre to me if a group of British people in the UK with as deep ancestral roots in the UK’s territory as anyone were somehow shoved out for not being British enough. It’s just an absurd idea.

    ‘British’ is whatever British people – people who live in the UK and want to identify with their country in some way – are. It is changing all the time. There is no template and there is no limit. I love that we as a nation, at our best, open our door to all types of humanity. It wasn’t always the case and imperial Britain isn’t anything to be nostalgic about – but modern multi-cultural Britain I truly love. Anyone in Northern Ireland who wants to be part of that, is part of that.

    I am sorry that messes up the united Ireland dream – but it’s not done to mess you up, it’s just what most people in Northern Ireland want for the place. And you have to allow them to make that choice.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Not trying to be pedantic, just factual but the NI PUL community is not ‘ as indigenous to Northern Ireland as any nationalist is ‘.

    Indigenous means being original natives of a particular place, and 350 years does not equate to over 10,000 years.

    Having said which, I would totally support the PUL communities right to ‘have a say’ if it wasn’t for their obvious rejection of any apparent real emotional connection to the area.

    The insistence of being referred to by the name of a separate country does not lend itself to sympathy when trying to claim rights in NI.

    The ROI is a multi cultural country also and has been for some years now, there is nothing to fear for the PUL community that is prepared to accept the inevitable.

    Nothing messes up any UI dream, it is going to happen in the fullness of time, and anyone who can’t see that is deluding themselves.

    Demographics, history and the complete nonsense that is the continued existence of the anomaly that is NI will guarantee it.

    NI should never have existed in the first place, and will be remembered as one of the biggest cock ups in British post Empire policy.

    The present British government is attempting to phase out NI subsidies by 2020, in order to make the transition easier.

    In my view the UK and possibly the US will help to ease the changeover by providing monitory assistance over a period.

    On more than seven or eight occasions now I have asked on this forum for someone to give me two good reasons why it is in British interest to hold on to NI.

    Out of pity I will accept one good reason, there isn’t one and governments operate on ‘interests’ only sentimentality doesn’t get a look in and wouldn’t anyway in NI’s case given the trouble and embarrassment it’s caused.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Everyone in the world moved to where they are now from somewhere else, including people who claim Ireland as theirs and reject the descendants of later arrivals. Those later arrivals by the way, from whom most of us in Northern Ireland are descended to some degree – in many cases came from less than 100 miles away. And they were often the descendants of peoples who had travelled back and forward across the Narrow Sea for centuries, millennia even. Worth bearing in mind if you regard Ulster Protestants (and by the way, many Ulster Catholics too have forbears who came in this period) as somehow alien to the region. Where I’m from in County Antrim, for example, it’s 70 miles as the crow flies to Ayr in Scotland, Dumfries would be similar; it’s 225 miles to Cork. You need to appreciate the geography of our corner of the British Isles before you start regarding people as illegal settlers for moving a relatively short distance between two places in the same kingdom. Let alone writing off their descendants 300-400 years on. Imagine if we did what you’re asking in England, the London mayoral elections, under your principles open only to white ‘natives’ who can trace their London ancestry back 10,000 years, would be pretty odd.

    “…if it wasn’t for their obvious rejection of any apparent real emotional connection to the area.”
    Possibly the least accurate statement about Ulster Protestants I’ve ever heard. Have you ever met one of us?!?!

    “The insistence of (sic) being referred to by the name of a separate country …”
    Except the UK is not a separate country, it’s the country we live in. Our part of the world has been part of the UK since its inception in 1801. Most of us are happy to be called Northern Irish, British or both (and some are fine with Irish too, my Dad for example). “British” means “of the UK” – it does not refer only to England, Scotland and Wales. Your confusion is possibly that the main island of the country can be called “Great Britain”, but the terms British is not restricted to that island alone, it applies to the Shetlands, Anglesey, the Isle of Wight, Skye etc and it applies to NI – all parts of the UK. “UK-ish” just isn’t a word. It’s British.

    Being “British”, for those who have that identity in Northern Ireland, the term you so object to, is described in the Good Friday Agreement as the “birthright” of anyone in Northern Ireland – but not just that, it says it is our birthright “to be accepted” as British. All shades of Irish nationalism solemnly agreed to abide by that and no longer question our Britishness, in 1998. Perhaps you didn’t read that part, chose to ignore it, or you disagree with the Good Friday Agreement entirely. Whichever, you are being more extreme even than SF if you deny the Britishness of those people in Northern Ireland who feel British. And you may note, more people in NI have British as their primary identity than any other, including Irish. If you look at what people say about their identity, you may be less baffled by N Ireland being part of the UK. It’s about people.

    “I have asked on this forum for someone to give me two good reasons why it is in British interest to hold on to NI.”
    I’ll answer that next.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    “I have asked on this forum for someone to give me two good reasons why it is in British interest to hold on to NI.”

    First, your question contains a misconception: a duality between Northern Ireland and ‘British interests’, as if they are entirely separate. But Northern Ireland being inside the UK, and Westminster being our national legislature and seat of government etc, British interests include Northern Ireland’s. There is no separate political unit that is “the UK sans NI”. There could be in the future, but it doesn’t currently exist. To get there, you need the UK (including NI) to agree to cut part of itself off, NI. But I’ll rephrase it for you to make it more meaningful and perhaps reflect your real point: “Why is it in the UK national interest to maintain its current borders such that NI remains part of the country?”

    Several answers:
    1. Because that reflects the wishes of the people in NI and the UK is committed to the principle of self-determination, both at home and globally. It is the principle, ultimately, for which we resisted German occupation – because people should be able to choose their own sovereignty arrangements where they live, with as few national minorities left on the wrong side of any borders as possible.
    2. Ejecting a region of the country against the wishes of its inhabitants would be an exercise of arbitrary power, which would undermine trust in and the authority of the Westminster government more generally. If they can do that, what else will they do, many UK citizens might think.

    3. There are close cultural and emotional ties between NI and the rest of the country, through family connections, common wartime experience, military service, friendships etc. Not everyone has the contempt for Northern Irish people you seem to; there is much affection, even if there’s also a lot of alienation. That goes for any region that comes under the spotlight and where there’s any degree of a contested story. But for all the people who want to chuck us in the bin there are actually plenty who think, if they want to be in the UK, who are we to say that’s wrong?

    But ultimately the status of NI as part of the UK is down to its people. It’s their choice. If you want to persuade them their future is better served elsewhere, I’d suggest you start by treating them as equals and making some effort to overcome your negative feelings against them. People more scary than you have tried bullying us into a united Ireland and it really didn’t work – in fact, it made us even more determined to stay in the UK. Different approach needed (if indeed the enterprise is worth even trying at all, which I would argue not).

  • Anglo-Irish

    You are the one operating under a misconception. Northern Ireland is not Britain, never has been at any point in history.

    I asked why it is in British interest and no one can give me an answer because there isn’t one, it is in fact in Britain’s interest to rid itself of Northern Ireland and its ongoing cost and potential for future embarrassment.

    Lord Palmerston ” Nations have no such thing as permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests. ”

    Northern Ireland is no longer of interest to Britain it has stated so quite unequivocally.

    The fact that you choose to ignore what’s staring you in the face because of your personal feelings on the matter is your problem not mine.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    and yet I did give you reasons why it is in the wider UK’s interest to respect the wishes of the people of this region of it on continued UK sovereignty. There is of course no “selfish or strategic” interest apart from that, governments have been explicit about that since the late 80s and it is obvious anyway. But then it would be unacceptable if governments held onto territory or claimed territory against the wishes of the people living there, purely for the benefit of other parts of the country. So things are as they should be on that.

    The Irish Republic now accepts this principle too, somewhat belatedly, after decades of asserting some spurious right they thought they had to override the wishes of the people of Northern Ireland. There aren’t many people like you still arguing otherwise I’m afraid.

    I pointed out your cardinal error, which is to talk of ‘Britain’ – by which I think you mean the ‘Great Britain’ part of the UK – as if it exists as a separate nation state. It doesn’t. But you’re not the only one to push that “an island apart” narrative which seeks to negate the British population in N Ireland – Mary McAleese got away with doing it, amid all the celebratory hoo-ha of hosting the Queen, repeatedly in her speech that evening. I flagged it up on here at the time.

  • Anglo-Irish

    And just about everyone in the world chose to identify with the place they moved to

    .Which means that your analogy is nonsense where the real world is concerned, if people identify with the country that they live in and feel that they are part of it then they have every right to have a say in it’s governance.

    But the the PUL community don’t do that do they?

    They choose instead to continue to identify with the place they came from hundreds of years ago and use that identity as a weapon to beat their neighbours over head with.

    The PUL community have gone from a position where they held all the power, called the shots and used it to their advantage to a position where they are now reliant on those they chose to look down on for their continuance within the UK.

    If it wasn’t for the tragedy which it involved it would be quite funny.


    That report is from the Irish Times a publication which is more West Brit than Fenian.

    The report is also almost four years old and things have continued on that path.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    This isn’t even an argument worth having I’m afraid A-I. You clearly have no idea about Ulster British people if you think they do not connect with the place they live in. They are f***ing obsessed with it. I do wonder if you’ve ever set foot in the place about which you have these eccentric views? No one with experience of the place – even the most ardent Republican – would deny unionists deeply connect with Ulster. Our Britishness is rooted in Ulster, it’s not because we love Leicester or Plymouth particularly. You do need to get your head around that

  • Anglo-Irish

    Spurious right ?

    How do you explain away the result of the All Ireland 1918 election which gave a clear majority to those wanting Home Rule?

    The facts are there and yet you ignore them because they are not to your liking.

    Britain wants rid of NI, it has no reason not to want shut of an ongoing cost and ongoing international embarrassment.

    The British government is determined to reduce the NI subsidies to nil over time,

    Those people who consider themselves to be Irish and are part of the Catholic/nationalist/republican grouping will soon be – if they aren’t already – in the majority in Northern Ireland.

    It will come down to a matter of economics in the end as all things tend to.

    Without NI being supported by the British taxpayer – as at present – it may well make sense to join an all island economy.

    There is nothing for the protestant community to fear in a UI there is over 800 years of history entwining the two countries together and whilst it may have been a little Love/Hate from time to time we will remain friends.

  • MainlandUlsterman
  • Anglo-Irish

    I have set foot in it and didn’t much like it.

    I visit Ireland every year to visit my family and have just returned from a family wedding.

    Over the years my wife and I have stayed over in 16 different counties, several of them on numerous occasions.

    We have visited virtually every county in the ROI and I used to live in Ireland and attended two schools there..

    A few years ago we spent a night in Glasgow and then caught the Troon to Larne ferry.

    We drove around the Antrim coast, had coffee on the way and lunch in Derry.

    Originally we intended to stay overnight in NI but the place felt alien to us so we stayed in Donegal instead.

    Too many flags, too many people aggressively marking their territory like bad tempered tomcats.

    The most Un-British place in these islands.

    As for your claim that unionists connect with Ulster, they are in a part of Ulster and they are in Ireland, how do they connect with the actual country?

    And no matter what you tell yourself you are not British, that fact is made perfectly clear to all but the self deluding on the British passport.

    Tell me is someone born in NI of Irish ancestry who considers themselves Irish also British?

    If yes, how? If no, then how do you get to be British?

    My head is fine, I am not the one unable to face facts and accept reality.

  • Anglo-Irish

    When circumstances change peoples opinions change.

    What will be the attitude when the British taxpayer is no longer prepared to support your lifestyle?

    What will be the attitude when the current economic recovery in the ROI makes it more attractive to join with them?



    Given the collusion and deaths of innocent Catholics which state authorities were responsible for how many people when asked about their views were prepared to go on record as to any nationalist sympathies they have?

    A combination of demographics, economics, Ireland’s willingness to reunite and Britain’s wish to disengage will eventually bring it about.

    93 years or for that matter 123 years in the history of a nation which has existed for thousands of years is but a footnote in history.

    Now that ‘parity of esteem ‘ exists, together with a democratic voting system and the majority becoming increasingly those who regard themselves as Irish it is simply a matter of time.

    Thirty years is my guess but maybe slightly sooner or later.

    You do know how referendums work don’t you MU?

    They keep having them until the authorities get the result they want, and Britain wants rid.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    but Irish voters don’t want to pay for us either – only 30 per cent want unity if it costs them anything. So that, as most things, goes both ways.

    English, Scottish, Welsh or Rep of I wishes are neither here nor there – NI’s status will only change based on NI’s wishes.

    A lot of persuading to do. And Aesop’s fable of the Sun and the Wind is probably apt when it comes to that. It’s the Sun that makes the traveller take his jacket off, not the Wind; he holds it closer when the Wind blows at him. I’m not sure from your posts that nationalism, with its historic antipathy to my tribe, is particularly equipped for the task. Certainly not having much success so far.

  • Anglo-Irish

    ‘Your tribe’ are entirely responsible for any antipathy shown toward them.

    By their behavour toward their nationalist neighbours following partition and their refusal to integrate within the country over centuries they have shown a contempt for the land and its people which deserves no sympathy.

    The fact that they cannot accept that they are Irish and wish to describe themselves by using the name of a country that their ancestors left centuries before speaks volumes as to their view of the Irish.

    For them to expect to be treat with respect despite this attitude is ridiculous.

    The Irish national flag was designed specifically in order to hold out the hand of friendship to the unionist people and unionist culture.

    Green to represent Nationalists Orange to represent Unionists and White to represent peace between both communities.

    How has that symbol of friendship and rapprochement been received by unionists?

    Spat on, burned and vilified together with effigies of their spiritual leader whilst protestant children of both genders dance around the bonfires with KAT painted on their faces.

    Unionists are used to having it all their own way and are having enormous difficulty in accepting that things have changed, changed utterly and nothing will ever be the same again.

    You’re right about one thing though, ‘ NI’s status will only change based on NI’s wishes’.

    The problem for Unionism is that NI’s wishes are no longer the sole prerogative of Unionists, and will very shortly become under the control of people who are happy to call themselves Irish.

    Perhaps it’s time for unionists to start to play nice, or is it too late for that?


    Interesting article, food for thought.