The End of (Westminster) Nationalism

The Tory Chief Whip was in Belfast this weekend to meet the DUP leadership. It is believed that they were discussing all options for co-operation at Westminster, from coalition to confidence and supply .

The outcome is the outline of a Confidence and Supply arrangement.

“Who are the DUP?” is being googled on laptops across Britain. The former Chancellor George Osbourne’s Evening Standard newspaper published a cartoon of a large dour Orangeman with Theresa May tucked into his breast pocket.If the DUP agree an arrangement with the Tories they should expect even more scrutiny of their current actions as well as their past. Already the endorsement from loyalist groups before the election is being heavily frowned upon .

The DUP will think carefully about their next move. Too often in politics today we have seen actions that have sparked off a totally unintentional reaction and Arlene Foster knows this only too well. The arrangement with the Tories could last 5 years or it could last 5 months so bypassing the Stormont negotiating table on issues such as parades or a military covenant could prove successful or it could provoke a significant political response from nationalism.

Ben Lowry in the Newsletter is right to say that whilst this is a political opportunity for the DUP it also is a difficulty for them.

Already we have seen high expectations expressed by Orangemen in Portadown.

There has been a reawakening in nationalism. Again they turned out to the polling stations in their droves  but this time the unionist vote was significantly up as well coalescing behind the DUP. However despite the unionist surge this is the first time that Unionism has fallen below 50% of the total vote at a Westminster election in the north.

Moving forward the DUP will (of course) put the union first. They will want to re-establish the Assembly and try to bed things down again at home to try and ensure that the re-awakened nationalist voter goes back into a slumber. A recent Lucidtalk poll shows that some 40% of Catholics see Irish Unity as being a top issue for them. This significant figure is undoubtedly a consequence of Brexit and the collapse of the institutions in Belfast.

The DUP will also need to motivate the unionist and loyalist working classes to get back into the habit of going to the polling station. According to Allison Morris in today’s Irish News loyalists claim to have been given an assurance that an amnesty will be introduced as part of any legacy deal.

Of course these two desired outcomes are likely to clash. A statute of limitations on prosecutions affecting cases such as Bloody Sunday or Ballymurphy, especially if it is imposed by the Tories and the DUP without any cross-community agreement, will cause uproar. Similarly a military covenant that gives any preferential treatment to ex-British Army personnel in an area such as housing will hit a raw nerve with nationalists whose parents and grandparents were overlooked for family homes because of their religion.

I imagine that the DUP shopping list will be mainly economic not social in a Confidence and Supply arrangement. Their social policy and relationships with loyalists have quickly become embarrassing for the Tories and I am sure Jeremy Corbyn will be quietly smiling in the knowledge that the Tories are now being questioned by journalists about UDA endorsements and Ulster Resistance.

The ‘Irish Unionists’ (as christened by the Editor of the Evening Standard) are not the only group within the 328 that will have a shopping list. The 13 Scottish Tories and Ruth Davidson want to see an ‘open’ Brexit. When asked to explain Davidson says that

“It is about making sure that we increase freedoms rather than increase barriers.”

There are a variety of views on Brexit within the Conservative party. The DUP have another vision of what Brexit should look like on this island. Unless there is some cross-party consensus with the opposition an election may soon present as a better option than a Brexit gridlock.

Whenever the Westminster parliament does reconvene it will be the first time in half a century that there won’t be a nationalist sitting on the green benches. The SDLP made abstentionism an issue in this election and it did not work to their advantage. After laying siege to it for decades Sinn Féin even breached the SDLP walls in Derry taking the seat that once belonged to John Hume.

There is a clear message coming from nationalists. They see their economic interests at risk because of Brexit. Their identity and valued connection to the rest of the island is under threat. They look to Dublin moreso than London already so Sinn Féin’s position on not taking seats in England isn’t hard to accept.

Abstentionism has won this battle within nationalism as convincingly as when Sinn
Féin defeated the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) in 1918. Ironically one of the only seats the IPP won that year was in South Down.

The loss of 3 Westminster seats, offices, staff and funding will hit the SDLP hard and I’d imagine they can ill afford another Assembly election. However the DUP will be more tempted to head to another election in the Autumn on the back of the Westminster result which could well deliver 30+ seats at Stormont. The only way that the SDLP’s 12 MLAs can arrest their slide is by cashing their chips in and joining with a party from the south. Colum Eastwood is right to say that they may have to consider a future that involves the “unprecedented or the uncomfortable” but it may already be too late for that.

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  • the Moor

    A tendency I’m calling Theresa’s tin ear …

  • Nevin

    That would be the Emmanuel Macron who got sidelined when he showed some compassion for Greece’s plight, according to Yanis Varoufakis:

    Varoufakis writes that when he had resigned from the government, Macron told him that Merkel had sidelined him, after he commented on the agreement with Greece that it was a modern version of the Treaty of Versailles. “Merkel heard this comment and, according to Emmanuel, she ordered Hollande to keep Macron out of the Greek negotiations,” Varoufakis writes in his book.

  • the Moor

    Good man Varoufakis. If only he’d succeeded to PM-ship rather than the invertebrate Tsipras. Angela is a realpolitik politician. Macron wasn’t president at the time and for domestic reasons she has to be nasty to the Greeks.

  • Nevin

    The smaller beasts certainly felt the squeeze in the DUP-SF tussle. The SDLP’s old stager Declan O’Loan limped home in last place behind Alliance’s relatively new face, Patricia O’Lynn.

  • Nevin

    Angela also showed Ireland no mercy so it’ll be interesting to see how she manipulates the Brussels mandarins in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

  • runnymede

    You are the one banking on futures with all your determinist chat about ‘trajectories of history’.

  • William Kinmont

    It’s probably DUPs only hope left of “beating” SF denying them the United Ireland they want . At some point I guess they might wake up to this and realise the roll and advantages it will give them.

  • 1729torus

    They couldn’t have known about the snap election.

  • Jake Mac Siacais

    Sprite, We can make suppositions about independents and alliance but to include them willy nilly with the Unionist bloc just won’t hold. Unionism has clearly thrown in its lot with the Paileyites and I think that a crying shame. It is a self-perpetuating and downward spiral which will leave us cntinuing to look out over SeannUiNeill’s ‘endless, dreary vista of Unionist short termism’ really the alternative, the only alternative is ‘A shared Ireland which they can help to shape, which will be better than an inevitably reunited Ireland which still hasn’t managed to lance the sectarian boil.’.
    Brexit and the long overdue final end of empire, which it will hasten will leave all of us on this Island with a huge choice. Unionism needs to step up to the plate. Perhaps the DUP’s delusional sense of resurgence and their deal with May and the Tories will be a salutory lesson. In six months or so we will all be in a very different ball game.

  • the Moor

    True. German banks were especially beastly in picking on poor little inadequate Brian Cowan … Must admit I’ve mixed feelings about brexit. Clearly the prospect of recession and declining GDP is worrisome. Then again, the vicarious pleasure of a British bloody nose is always appealing!

  • murdockp

    “There is a clear message coming from nationalists. They see their economic interests at risk because of Brexit. Their identity and valued connection to the rest of the island is under threat. They look to Dublin moreso than London already so Sinn Féin’s position on not taking seats in England isn’t hard to accept”

    It is hard to accept when they keep taking and demanding Westminster handouts and spent £13bn more per annum that what we collect in tax.

  • Sprite

    it immediately provides access to work and live in any EU member state – isn’t that what the freedom of movement issue within Brexit is all about? unionists in the north who would think that was important have that guaranteed already under the GFA. If/when the UK leaves all they need is a passport with a harp on the front, they don’t need a UI

  • the Moor

    The SDLP are a busted flush. Mostly due to their own hubris. Sad though it it to see the party of John Hume come to this.

  • the Moor

    Residing in its own altered reality, the DUP pathology is demonstrably incapable of compromise or accommodation. Like the unicorn, they’re quite likely to miss the boat.

  • eamoncorbett

    I’ve been banging that drum since 1998 , I actually voted against the GFA because there was no provision for it but Nationalists who are soft on the Union need to get behind it now . It would be an ideal policy shift for the SDLP because let’s face it Sinn Fein lite hasn’t worked .
    Maybe the regular SDLP poster on this site might convey the idea to Colum Eastwood. Westminster has now been rejected by Nationalists, Brexit has been imposed without a mandate , Unionists seem to be longing for a return to the old days when certain people knew their place , the GFA is getting weaker by the month and it’s the ordinary folk as always who suffer.

  • Nevin

    The performance of the centre parties needs to be viewed in a wider context. In the case of the SDLP, the Catholic Church switched its allegiance to SF in the early 80s and Ahern and Blair shafted the SDLP (and UUP) before the ink on the 1998 Agreement was dry. Also in our constitutional tug-of-war the DUP and SF are the heavyweights; they also provide the constituency services that the electorate appreciate when confronted by a bullying or spineless civil service.

  • the Moor

    Oh please, not the ‘centre parties’ bunkum! We don’t have centre parties we have nationalist and unionsit parties of various kinds. The causes of the parallel decline of UUP and SDLP are well rehearsed. Why would a catholic nationalist any longer want a slightly nationalist party when the real thing was detoxified by the ‘peace process’.

  • eamoncorbett

    The Good Friday Agreement is responsible for much of that kind of opinion on this site with its majority of one needed for a UI . The two governments if they wished could take the constitutional issue out of politics but instead they have been enslaved to the GFA and its restrictions .

  • Nevin

    You’re inviting folk to swallow the peace process bunkum whereas appeasement process is a more apt description of the behaviour of London and Dublin. Dublin most certainly has no illusions about the less but continuing toxic nature of the Provisional Republican Movement.

  • Mark Petticrew

    21% of those sampled in the cited June LT poll stated Irish unity to be for them a top issue, whereas 17% placed the same importance upon the union. Now, whilst 79% of those sampled may not state Irish unity to be a top issue, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they, in totality, are opposed to it. As for the 17% who considered the union to be a top issue, I think it can quite go without saying that, in a future border poll, the percentage share of the vote in favour of the union would be considerably higher than that.

    Alternatively, I think it’s better to view these percentages of 21 and 17 as a reflection of those of us in the north who consider Irish unity or the maintenance of the union as issues of primary importance, as opposed to an understanding of them as concrete percentages for or against a particular side of the constitutional question.

  • William Kinmont

    All of them? Some might enjoy portraying themselves as the persecuted .

  • chrisjones2

    Yes the unionist have only 46% against 41% for nationalists on a turnout of about 67% …and of course the rest goes to Alliance

    So SF and the SDLP have secured the support of just 29% of the voting population – presumably the rest don’t give a stuff and think a plague on all your houses and wont pay the sectarian game. So as for Unionism getting real SF might better follow your advice

  • chrisjones2

    AQh the whinging and gurning and comparing this to every election back the the Land League

  • chrisjones2

    Surely too there is a place for Nationalists in a broad United Kingdom free from the restrictions of the EU and a Friendly neighbour to Ireland and other EU states.

  • chrisjones2

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  • Granni Trixie

    Ahem. Yet again : the core of APNI supporters consist of a broad church, Nationalists,including Protestant nationalists, church goers,atheists, soft unionists and ofcourse those who identify with Lib Dems and Labour and a few conservative leaning. This is the reality.

  • Granni Trixie

    Voice is the word!

  • Granni Trixie

    Why would any party? There was no appetite for pacts last week and doubt that will change even in light of outcome.
    We’ve already been there.

  • Granni Trixie

    Can’t see pacts being the answer to SDLP woes infact they would compound their problems.

  • Jake Mac Siacais

    Surely you mean the population eligible to vote! Not the voting population, who in election after election rarely Ming to more than 67%. And pray tell chrisjones2 if nationalists have a mere 29%, according to your reckoning what share on the same reckoning does unionism enjoy? As to those you say ‘don’t give a stuff’ well that really speaks for itself.

  • Gopher

    No but they where blind to any event that could work against them. They did not bank the result and now they have lost all leverage. What sort of eejits turn a poll about RHI, Equal Marriage and Irish Language into one on the border the day after the result. Deliver what you campaigned for! Amateur hour politics. SF have nothing to show for all those votes and hard campaigning except Durkan and Ritchies head on spikes (Special mention to Colum Eastwood for making that a hell of alot easier, how have you not resigned?) and a the DUP in the box seat.

    You think if Alliance or even UUP had of got that leverage we not have had movement on Equal Marriage and some form of Irish language legislation. SF are a party of perpetual struggle with no end product and no desire to have closure on Equal marriage or Irish language.

  • whatif1984true

    So you’ve nothing to suggest/say in other words.

  • whatif1984true

    The questions are valid but you can of course debate their accuracy and that is a matter for statisticians. None so blind as those who do not wish to see.

  • ted hagan

    And that all seems pretty pointless.

  • whatif1984true

    The sentiments of people are current today and today is the time period our politicians would be advised to work in, not the future nor the past – both of which they concentrate on.

  • ted hagan

    I heard damn all about the issues that matter, health, housing, jobs, welfare from any of the parties apart from ‘back of a cig packet’ manifestos.
    Pathetic.

  • William Kinmont

    Why does this not appeal ? Why ?

  • 1729torus

    As I said, SF were likely negotiating in good faith to get the institutions up,and more running again

    So what happens in a few years or months when there is a Labour government; and SF has eaten more of the SDLP and built up its organisation in the meantime?

    There is likely nothing left on the Unionists side; so another Assembly election would be somewhere between AE17 and GE17 in terms of results, with the Nationalist bloc doing better the longer the delay the vote before another vote is held.

  • Paddy Reilly

    With DUP on 22k, SF on 14k, UUP on 8k and SDLP on 4k, I can see no prospect of SF winning Upper Bann except in the case of a major boundary rearrangement.

  • Gopher

    Your living in a parrallel universe if you believe calling for a border poll on the strength of AE17 was negotiating in good faith.

    Yup its always tomorrow with SF

  • SeaanUiNeill

    No, runny, that’s careful and informed historical analysis. Simply lifting the soundbite “the Union now safe” off the media and crowing hubristically like those Hitler Youth demonstrating outside Spengler’s window, claiming that National Socialism had halted “The Decline of the West”, now that’s recklessly gambling with futures “a la Nick Leeson.” If Britain gets any poorer than it has since Thatcher wilfully destroyed our economic infrastructure in the interests of the Global money markets, then forget Scotland wanting out, East Anglia will be wanting out of the Union post haste, Hackney even. It will be just yourself and Teresa in the bunker with the lights flashing as the petrol generator runs out.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Which questions are valid, wi1984t? I’d imagine that generalised valuation would still require a careful scrutiny of the indicator pointers within the questions aimed at directing answers to particular results, myself. Regarding the veracity (or not) of statistics, I’ve worked in a business which had to evaluate them in a win or loose situation financially myself. take it or leave it, but my experience ensures that its very, very far from blind reaction.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Bless you Chris, you’re sleeping through the big action scene.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I still keep seeing some of them under the Fine Gael whip. That is, those who have not retired to their (new build) country mansions to contemplate into aged decrepitude the framed Covenant certificates they once inherited alongside the framed sepia photographss of Craigavon, Brookborough and the late Lord Bannside.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Asleep and amnesiac Chris? Are you varying to tell me that NI somehow has no history, or historical influence? How did you chance to avoid encountering the same reality the rest of us have grown up in?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I find it a tremendous Irony that it has taken a century of violence and counter-repression in the north to get Unionism even within shouting distance of the reasonable liberal constitutionalist positions of everyone else in 1912/14. But perhaps even more, that we can look out on this history and still hear people speak warmly of there Belfast Agreement as somehow progressive. The rest of the world has been through revolution, world war and the oh so illusory “End of History” “victory of Capitalism”, and we are still discussing the terms of an Edwardian Liberal solution for our woes.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Having pitched quite a few film proposals, and worked on many, many commercials, its all too easy to see just when those conducting polls and project market testing for a customer who is going to find bad news unwelcome, begin to perspire and tremble, and begin to wonder how to present this one. What is more important? Offering entirely accurate information that will enrage but inform the client, or hitting a point which it’s a bit wrong but retains wriggle room for the customer to feel warm and happy about things being a more closely run thing than it ever really was? The tendency of pollsters to push to the end of the lifeboat nearest the water rather than the Titanic itself is simply an aspect of this!!!!!

  • mickfealty

    It had eight seats up until the last election in 2015.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I’ll even bring out the 37 year old Lagavulin for the fun.

  • the Moor

    My interest in this site is as an outlet for critique. It is of course the reader’s choice to engage or not, to be persuaded or not, to afford counter-critique or not. ‘Fair exchange is no robbery’.

    You’ll have noted the qualifying scare quotes on ‘peace process’ in my post. My pedantry is invariably aroused by the misascription of the terms of ‘normal’ social democratic political economy of left-right-centre to NI: in the former, normally, a continuum as between left and right pertains, reflecting the historical basis of division in the capitalist economy, in relation to the poles of which a centre may thus be defined as a hybrid, bearing more or less left left and right qualities (such as Macron’s new parliamentary amalgam which his presidential mandate appears to have succeeded in securing).

    For reasons to do with the unresolved status of the constitution, NI’s politics are marked out instead along ethnic lines, reflecting the elemental, zero-sum, sectarian basis of partition. In order for a centre ground to exist at all, there has to be some realistic prospect of movement or transaction across and between the parties in power in a continuum of views and interests. NI in fact has two electorates (or three, including the others, at the edges of the blocs, whose character thus is best described as marginal). Underlining this reality, elections are invariably regarded by the combatants as headcounts of respective strength of the catholic vote in relation to the unionists’ erstwhile majority. (That is, in relation to the not to be overlooked elephant in the room – future reunification.)

    The body of your response, I note, is devoted to demonstrating hostility to contemporary Irish republicanism. The peace process (for which John Hume is owed an eternal debt of gratitude) can be described as appeasement, if you wish. While I don’t object to your description, the one I prefer to characterise the historic accommodation between the British state and physical force republicanism is the constitutionalising of Sinn Fein (dating to circa 1982). Others of the commentariat disinclined to accept the provisionla movement’s disavowal of political violence in favour of gradualist objectives, prefer words like detoxify. That’s fine too.

    The two-part structure of your analysis, shared by others on this site, it seems to me, appears to be that the republican leopard hasn’t changed its spots and, second, anyone who might be minded to engage with the shinners’ cunning masquerade to conceal their true nature is at best a plausible dupe and at worst an apologist for the-worst-thing-you-can-possibly-imagine – the ‘divil himself’!

  • the Moor

    If you’re meaning Irish as opposed to English nationalists, I’d say that’d be perfectly possible under prime minister Corbyn’s administration.

  • the Moor

    My experience is of academic management, where the fashion in the past decade has been to be persecuted with one damned set of statistics and trend-charts after another.

  • hollandia

    “It is hard to accept when they keep taking and demanding Westminster handouts and spent £13bn more per annum that what we collect in tax.”

    It’s an obvious question, but why then are you so vexed about hanging on to the place? All parties in the North want a higher subvention. SF are not alone in that.

  • the Moor

    Have already suggested/said it: don’t place your faith in methodologically dubious surveys

  • the Moor

    the Alliance party is a liberal unionist party. One expects a degree of permissivenes in a middle class organization. Anomalies of membership notwithstanding however, the party organize only within the six counties of NI and with reference to westminster, which they regard as their sovereign political arena. In this way, the party operates on a partitionist premise.

  • murdockp

    What vexes me is the display put on by SF hanging pictures of James Connolly, Pearse et al from lampposts celebrating the almost ‘purity’ of republicanism, creating a virgin state, they even chose the most pure of flowers, the lily to demonstrate this to their followers when the truth is they have no plans what so ever to stand alone as a republic the way the likes of Cuba did.

    They still demand their Westminster cash. The hypocrisy does frustrate me, it really does.

    Can you imagine SF putting in their manifesto that the new unified Ireland will pay its own way based on the amounts of taxation generated by the island as an entity? I would respect them more if they took this approach.

  • hollandia

    I see no evidence whatsoever that the Catholic Church switched it’s allegiance to SF in the early 80s. In fact at this time – Post Cardinal Ó Fíach, Cardinal Cathal Daly was one of SF’s most vehement oppontents. Not that there was ever an allegiance to the SDLP either, or indeed nationalism in general.

    As for Blair and Ahern shafting the UUP and SDLP – nonsense. Both parties failed to update both their message, and their personnel – aged leaders post GFA in people like Reg Empey and Alaisdair McDonnell, who whilst I’m sure are both decent guys, could not be in anyway described as awe inspiring.

    Your last sentence, is however correct. Both DUP and SF recognise the value of putting the work in on the ground, and have reaped the rewards, allowing both parties to move slowly toward the centre ground, and to allow people to vote for them whilst holding their noses, who otherwise would not vote for them.

  • the Moor

    And how do you factor in the possibility/likelihood of changing attitudes, perspectives and dispositions over time?

  • hollandia

    “They still demand their Westminster cash. The hypocrisy does frustrate me, it really does.

    Can you imagine SF putting in their manifesto that the new unified Ireland will pay its own way based on the amounts of taxation generated by the island as an entity? I would respect them more if they took this approach.”

    We don’t live in an ideal world. And, let’s be honest, this place has suffered from underinvestment, for far too long, like most of the UK regions in fact. As a result, we are way behind the ROI – a position which would have been unthinkable thirty years ago. The Irish govt recently commissioned a study which also indicated that Westminster should continue to part fund NI (in diminishing returns for 20-30 years post reunification) – is it also your contention that FG and FF are not republicans, because they didn’t go down the Cuba route? Or is it the old case of because SF say something, it must be bad/wrong/hypocritical.

    Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    A world, Academia that is, I’m peripherally familiar with also. My wife is an anthropologist (try seriously using it outside of the groves of learning in this country) and I have many, many good friends active in the academic world, especially in my own field of history. The endless fad throughout our institutions of learning for management meetings (emulating those big private sector companies) and endless form filling is the very stuff of my breakfast conversations over black coffee.

  • the Moor

    Maybe so, but they either (as a result of reality-checking their failed attempts to demonise SF in the minds of the catholic community and fabricate a mythic middle ground) accede to their position as the smaller of two nationalist parties and the inferences arising therefrom, or they’re toast.

  • the Moor

    the rituals of morning coffee, the Guardian Quick crossword, and companionable breakfast time: essential grounding. Speaking of which …

  • murdockp

    FF & FG built the republic what ever way you look at it, I never made a statement about them.

    I cannot accept the lack of investment argument.

    I think you have to look at where the Westminster cash went, they could have chosen investment but they didn’t. 210,000 on DLA, benefits for all and an inefficient, bloated civil service is what they chose. One in five of the working population now registered as disabled? Hardly JFK what can you do for your country stuff…..draw benefits…how patriotic…

    I want a united Ireland, but not with SF controlling the purse strings. FF/FG would do a far better job.

  • Marcus Orr

    “Unionist vote in Wee Six is now at 46.07%”
    49,22% to be precise – I think you may have forgotten to count Lady Hermon, the TUV and the conservatives.
    For the rest, I am rather of your opinion.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Perhaps the most elegant and accurate analysis of our condition that I’ve ever encountered on Slugger, the Moor. Thank you for teasing the crack in the window open sufficiently for the dirt encrusted pane to entirely fall out. I particularly enjoy the many ways that descriptive phrase “the constitutionalising of Sinn Fein” may be differently understood from any number of possible angles.

  • hollandia

    “FF & FG built the republic what ever way you look at it, I never made a statement about them.”

    You didn’t have to the implications are there for all to see. Are FF not a republican party, because they went for a bailout to George Osbourne, after they crashed the economy of the south?

    Your assertion that FF/FG would do a far better job doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, on any level. Given the high levels of personal debt, negative equity and austerity, caused by FF and cheerled by FG.

  • Marcus Orr

    “4 devolved provincial assemblies ”
    To be honest, the island is way too small to have lots of regional provincial assemblies set up.

  • the Moor

    If it aids a workable accommodation of difference and satisfies the importance of regional attachments in Ireland, why not? Small price to pay for an agreed, post-nationalist Ireland.

  • the Moor

    That’s kind and generous, thanks. ‘Multiaccentuality’ is the term coined by Soviet-era philologist Valentin Volosinhov in ‘Marxism and the Philosophy of Language’. Best wishes.

  • Marcus Orr

    It’s not so much regional attachments within Ireland which are the problem, but rather the natural attachment and allegiance that the British Irish feel towards GB.
    The sort of workable accommodation to get an agreed post-nationalist Ireland (from my unionist perspective) would therefore be nothing to do with whether we had a regional assembly or not – the Dail would be fine in my opinion. But I would expect certain things which are very probably non-starters from an Irish Nationalist (and ROI) perspective, such as:
    – a new flag
    – a new national anthem
    – changes in the constitutional to reflect the unionist population and their heritage
    – a new Ireland becoming part of the Commonwealth (!)
    Most of these points are probably accursed from an Irish republican perspective, I realise that.
    For me personally the most important point is to be outside the EU superstate, to be a true independent nation able to pass our own laws, not being a region of Brussels. I would personally sign for a united Ireland tomorrow if that was on the cards. But it isn’t, so….

  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    Don’t worry, I’ll buy you another bottle – I live just across the way.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Every praise where its truly due! You are raising the level of intelligent argument daily. As you know my own approach to language and layering draws heavily on post-modernism (and post-postmodernism, etc) but thank you for the Volosinhov hint………

  • whatif1984true

    So the questions were framed so as to be unsuitable/unreliable? Some results are so strong that to deny that the direction they point is blindness. I wonder at what level of a percentage you would agree that a result was worthy of consideration or do you just reject all polls?

  • Skibo

    Of course there is. The problem is that you thought Brexit was the UK leaving the EU when it will actually be the EU kicking the UK out. As for the broad UK, it will more likely be a broad GB federation.

  • Skibo

    Not sure how Chris is working out his figures. 46% of 67% is 30.8% of the total vote possible. 41% would be equivalent of 27.5%.
    In the end it doesn’t matter as you can only count votes cast.
    Also the largest vote cast in the North, I believe was for the GFA when only 81% of the possible electorate voted.

  • Skibo

    I would like to see how you came up with 58%. I thought it was just below 50%.

  • Skibo

    The odd thing is her cabinet is 1/3 hard Brexit, 2/3 remain. I would have assumed that the result of this election will actually soften the UK attitude to Brexit.

  • Skibo

    How many others put Brexit as ONE as Brexit can be nullified by reunification.

  • whatif1984true

    The Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey for 2016,
    which was carried out last year and the results of which were released
    16/6/17 , suggests that support for a united Ireland amongst the Catholic community was up three percentage points, from 31% to 34%. The % of ALL was just under 20%.

    Another survey which doesn’t agree with you. Even if it is 15% out that would still only give a small minority who want a United Ireland.

  • whatif1984true

    See see survey above. Under 20% of all population want a united Ireland.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Bless you wi1984t! How does this in any way effect what I’m saying?

    “They [polls] represent assessed possibilities, not solid fact.”

    Your comment here reminds me of the hoards of Hitler Youth who crowded the street outside Oswald Spengler’s house to shout at his windows about how Hitler’s victory in late 1933″proved” that Spengler’s “Decline of the West” was a lie……..

    It may take the inevitable financial disaster of the exit from Europe to drive my fellow Protestants to vote for re-Unification in significant numbers, but I’d be reluctant to offer odds on an incressingly “pale and stale” Union surviving even a full decade. Please don’t forget that the UUP (please let me know if you’ve forgotten who they are) were the largest party at Stormont in 1998 with 28 seats. Even a bare week is a long time in politics (“dear boy”)…………..

  • whatif1984true

    You’re a geg.

  • John Collins

    hollandia
    In fairness the bail out was a loan, and was in GBs interest to give. English Banks lent money foolishly to Ireland and would go down if Ireland went down.
    William Hague also said, during the Queens visit to the South, that it was in GBs interest to help Ireland, as a healthy Irish economy was also to the benefit of the British Economy.

  • the Moor

    Although your post has a whiff of the I-told-you-so about, I’ll engage nonetheless. A few points by way of response:

    1) In the year of Trump, Bexit and Corbyn, you’re inviting me to speculate further on speculative data!
    2) Surveys of this kind are clearly not reliable indicators of present let alone future behaviour. At best they’re about as useful bookmaker’s odds.
    3) No-one I know of is expecting reunification in the very near future, rather it is matter of putting the issue on the agenda in order that the conversation towards integration commence.
    4) On the evidence of similar sorts of opinion surveys, consider the purported 20% increase in support for Labour over a 6-7 week campaign.
    5) A known methodological flaw with empirical questionaires is the unwitting bias in how the questions are framed and contextualised. Was joint-soverignty considered as an option for example or a form of sovereignty (as signalled in GFA) that acknolwedges dual identity or the British dimension of contemporary Irishness?

    Lastly, for what it’s worth, my guess is that reunification may take another 10 or more years. It could happen sooner and it may take longer. But an agreed Ireland will surely occur at some point in the medium term as all the real indicators are moving inexorably towards that terminus.

  • whatif1984true

    I respectfully read your post, thank you for replying….until the last paragraph that was a cracker. LOL.

  • the Moor

    LOL? That’d be loyal orange lodge, in your case, no? Or perhaps it should have been NLOL: nervously laughing out loud?

  • whatif1984true

    When you assume…………

  • SeaanUiNeill

    But “a geg” who has worked with market testing and polls, where real money was at stake. It certainly drives a coach and six through ones ability to be credulous!

  • hollandia

    The bail out/loan isn’t the issue. It’s where FF went, to get that bailout. It’s the implication that somehow, FF and FG are paragons of economic rectitude as opposed to a party which has never held the purse strings, when regardless of your attitude to SF, they are demonstrably not economically great. Yeah, but, FG weren’t in over when the economy tanked, I hear you say. True, but they were standing on the sidelines berating FF for not going far enough. I actually remember people being called “economic traitors” by the establishment and being told to go down the dark room, whiskey and revolver route when it was pointed out a crash was coming. I also remember the nonsense about a “soft landing”. So, I apologise, but I have to dispute your assertion that FF and FG would be better than an unknown quantity, in the strongest possible terms, on the grounds of empirical evidence.