Alastair Campbell and Jonathan Powell are wrong, the DUP poses *no threat* to peace.

The DUP-Tory deal can be called many things.  But please, less of this deafening hysteria about threats to peace, threats to the process, threats to the Good Friday Agreement, the end of the world as we know it?

Yes, London and Dublin have somewhat vaguely defined ‘honest broker’ roles, particularly during negotiation processes. So, the case for an independent talks chairman might be strengthened. Knock yourselves out.


Are Sinn Fein going to permanently rule themselves out of entering an Irish government? Could an Irish government with Gerry and Co in it ever be impartial on the north?

Will Fianna Fail abandon whatever tentative plans they may have to contest elections north of the border? How they could they be an honest broker if they are challenging talks participants for votes?

What about all the peace process negotiations Tony Blair did when the SDLP were big time players? This is the same SDLP that is Labour’s sister party. Clear bias. Shame on you, Tone.

What about the failed attempts by Gordon Brown to strike a deal with the DUP in 2010, the last time there was a hung parliament? We all knew Labour were at it, Brown cosying up to Robbo like nobody’s business.

Was that a threat to peace and the Good Friday Agreement? Now the ghosts of Labour past – Jonathan Powell and, God help us, Shaun Woodward – are denouncing the Tories for doing the same thing.

And if the Tories aren’t ever allowed to say nice things about the union, must the Dublin Government stay equally shtum on Irish unity? Might make a border poll campaign a bit flat.

Besides, for those of you who simply hadn’t noticed, the Conservatives were not the first to seek DUP support for Government…

  • Granni Trixie

    Tend to agree with you except in this case Mick is having to carry the can.

  • Granni Trixie

    That’s part of the tease.

  • Granni Trixie

    Agree. Given the low level we have reached in NI politically, The only way is up? Which does not apply to the Conservatives.

  • Granni Trixie

    A really key point.

  • Trevor Lindsay

    The fact that Brown tried to get a deal with the DUP is irrelevant. Jeremy Corbyn is a socialist. Blair and Brown were quite happy to ditch Labour principles and become pseudo Tories in order to gain and keep themselves in power. Labour lost power because they no longer represented working class people. Corbyn’s success is due to his life long commitment to the people. So, what Brown did is irrelevant. Brown was unprincipled; Corbyn isn’t.

  • Granni Trixie

    Symptomatic of an internal party culture in need of reform?

  • Granni Trixie

    And possibly to Vivienne Westwood who sells broaches like that – for the designer an ironic statement, I’m sure.

  • the Moor

    if you like. Me, am not convinced the DUP is reformable.

  • runnymede

    I think you are thinking about Charles II, who did sign the Covenant.

  • runnymede

    They aren’t valid in my view.

  • runnymede

    Sure that’s why so many of them went over the top and died in 1916-17. Get a grip.

    If my government was considering removing my citizenship and forcing me to take one of a neighbouring foreign country I doubt I would be very happy about it either. People all over the UK would get very ‘contractarian’ if under the kinds of threats Ulster prods have been.

  • murdockp

    Northern Ireland do we have Protestant Atheists or Catholic Atheists or are they just Atheists?

    Both sides must have a few of these.

  • runnymede

    Not long before all the old stuff involving the DUP which has been dragged up in recent days, was it?

  • runnymede

    Woodward is more infamous than famous I think.

  • runnymede

    So your statement is therefore demonstrably false as ‘the political world’ can never be somehow distinct from what people vote for, can it?

  • the Moor

    What do you mean ‘tease’? The alias is demonstrably that of the Slugger editor. Despite invitations to comment he hasn’t done so and isn’t denying ownership of the pro-DUP diatribes. No tease in that. Full exposure

  • the Moor

    In your mind I’m sure that it is.

  • Neonlights

    I don’t forget that actually. Of course some crimes were not deemed important enough, for whatever reason. We all remember the fellow beaten to death during a punishment beating – was this okay because the lads just got a bit carried away? Then there are all the in-house executions – are they just restorative justice? Not sure. Nonetheless, so many years later, money is being handed out to pacify these people, did anyone want this to be the case at the time of the GFA? I severely doubt it. It’s time it stopped. It is time those who support the continuation of this are stopped (via the ballot box).

  • Oggins

    Well last week you claimed a majority of 80-100 for the Tories. Thank God we didn’t listen to you

  • Granni Trixie

    I have different take on the puzzle, see above. But in the words of Frozen, let it go?

  • hollandia

    Because it was actually TNT. And people don’t like to look stupid by putting out false news.

  • DaptoDogs

    Three Quinn children in Garvaghy Road burnt in their beds in 1998 too

  • Nevin

    I think you’ll find it’s not unusual for the posts from new bloggers to appear initially under Mick’s name and be renamed later. Perhaps the contributor has been a DUP special adviser?

  • the Moor

    There isn’t any puzzle. You suggesting some kind of photoshop fit up? If you want to refuse to believe incontrovertible evidence, that’s fine, of course. An act of touching faith in the editor on your part.

  • the Moor

    An Italian speaking DUP adviser. That should narrow the field. Then again, in words normally attributed to Sigmund Fraud: ‘Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar’. You’ve suspended your usual scepticism on this score. Interesting.

  • Nevin

    Not just Italian but with Mafia tendencies – or our homegrown Rafia and Lafia organised crime syndicates.

  • Granni Trixie

    No, sure hasn’t Mick binned me from time to time.
    However, I can see the rationale behind interventions to bring a broader perspective to the Slugger table, be it Mick or whoever.

  • grumpy oul man

    We have catholic atheists and protestant atheists, trust me i’m a atheist and despite my protestations am regarded as a catholic by most people.

  • grumpy oul man

    “Are Sinn Fein going to permanently rule themselves out of entering an Irish government…../….Will Fianna Fail abandon whatever tentative plans they may have to contest elections north of the border?”
    are any of these events happening?
    this is just a revision of a very old unionist argument.
    Lets get our retaliation in first boys!
    Justifying the breaking of a international agreement because somebody else might break it at some unspecified time is to say the least a dubious logic.
    but it is a change from ” I’m doing this because Themmuns done it first” to ” I’m doing this because Themmuns might do it sometime in the future”.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I am enjoying their discomfort and the fact they will be squirming around like this for months with no prospect of sorting themselves out

  • Neonlights

    I still remember listening to the whataboutery for that on Talkback – even the plumber who called around was spouting the same line. Word gets around as they say, so do lies….

  • Roger

    Ask an English taxpayer…suspect he or she or it would agree with me.

  • Roger

    You’ve caught me out. I’m not up to speed on what old stuff has been raked up.

  • Reader

    Surely the obvious inference is that the article is by someone who doesn’t have editing access to the site, and the article was therefore entered by a site admin (e.g. Mick) in the first instance before being re-labelled.

  • Paddy Reilly

    Yes, as I said I forget the details. It was, I recall now, Charles Stuart the younger, before he was summonsed to the throne, who attempted to recover his father’s throne by this extreme method.

  • Paddy Reilly

    In my school of historiography the Home Rule bill is an irrelevance. Chairman Mao he say political power proceeds from the barrel of a gun.

  • lizmcneill

    And Portadown LOL hinting heavily that marching should be high on the DUP agenda. Just what we needed in NI!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Bless you Runnymede, at my great age I’m probably a bit closer to the 1916-17 business than you may be. My grandfather led the 107th Trench Mortar battery both years, and was captured in March 1918 in an exposed position, having been left to hold up the Great German advance at Saint- Quentin so tahtothers could cross the Saint-Quentin canal to safety. He always most proudly thought of himself as an Irishman as did those of his fellow officers and rankers whom I met as a child in the 1950s. This new “Ulster Loyalty” thing is a very recent arrival on the scene, and does not reflect the realities for that generation in any significant way. You are projecting your own ideas backwards onto people with quite different concerns and identities.

    Those I met still recognised the wishes of the 10th and 16th Irish Divisions for what would have been a very mild form of Home Rule and were shocked at the manner in which veterans of these units were treated in Belfast during the early 1920s when the Specials acting in their name were involved in supporting riots against there fellow ex-service men, supporters of the IPP in Belfast, the survivors of the 3000 West Belfast men from the falls who had joined the Connaught Rangers in 1914. I met three men who had joined the “Specials” themselves, only to resign when they found some of the units filled with UVF men who had stayed at home and not served in the division, along with kids who had been too young and now were looking for a scrap with “themuns”, all now bullying the Catholic community and even engaging in murder, as in the MacMahon murders and the assaults of ex-service Catholic men at Arnon Street. No, you will not tell me that the men of 1914-18 from our community who had grown up as Unionist Irishmen would be the supporters of this brutalised polity of today which insults their memory by associating them with all of the crude self-interest which has occurred since partition.

  • grumpy oul man

    And back to the Somme, many nationalists fought and died there as did cork men and Dubliners, and more from Glasgow and Yorkshire from all over Britain and Ireland,
    But the “loyal citizens of ulster did not exactly rush to get into uniform when the next war came along, as a matter of fact the “loyal Ulstermen” had a reputation for striking more oten than anywhere else in the UK.
    so to claim it as some sort of special proof of loyalty is questionable.
    we have only to look at the many times unionism has taken to the streets to defy the law of the land and to attack British police and soldiers to see that unionist loyalty in action.

    why would your citizenship be removed. nobody has suggested this except as mopery! would not be far more likely that anybody who holds British citizenship when a UI comes about will keep that citizenship and of course there Children and grandchildren can if they wish retain it!

  • murdockp

    They don’t have to, they are only interested in representing the 50%, it is down to the rest of us to change.

  • grumpy oul man

    It might be a idea to see why unionism is held in so much contempt! unless of course the fact that most people on the Island that pays your bills, are embarrassed about you or feel that your backward social beliefs have no place in a modern UK, or the ongoing links with drug dealers are a issue then i would be bothered.
    As i said they pay your Bills.

  • grumpy oul man

    I asked you before what was weaponised equality, how do you weaponise equality and to give us examples, you failed to do so then so i ask you again what, how and where.
    But id do look forward to when somebody tells the British press that the Shinners are using equality against them!
    should be fun.

  • grumpy oul man

    Uncalled for and womanplaying!

  • mac tire

    Wrong question, GOM. You should ask him how that 70-100 Tory seat majority is coming along.

  • mac tire

    So a sizable chunk of British people are OK with SF and the IRA?

    God, they must be more popular than I thought.

  • mac tire

    If you were here in December/January during RHI, you’ll understand there are many more propaganda pieces on their way.
    He’s currently trying to shoehorn SF into being responsible for the cancelling of the Queen’s Speech thingy.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    No offence to Buddhism ever intended, Cináed, so my genuine apologies. I do tend to find something slightly absurd in everything I encounter, a lingering effect of my early Zen reading, or perhaps just a character flaw, so the suggestion of Buddhism was an instinctive reaction to the complete dismissal of anything at all religious as “the enemy”. Not that I’m unaware of the absurdity within religions, mind. I actually read Christmas Humphries’ Zen Buddhism book before Suzuki’s, my grandfather had a signed copy, and had met Humphries in Theosophical circles occasionally in the 1930/40s. I later met Humphries once myself in the 1970s at his St John’s Wood home, brokered by a distant relative in the Middle Temple with Toaist interests, who knew him.

    As you will be well aware, “scholarly” is not necessarily a commendation to a Zen devotee, so Christmas’ work may not be dismissed at all on that count, and continues to be a compelling read. I’ve not entirely left that world behind. One of my dearest friends, a county medical officer over the water, who had a lifelong devotion to Zen and Tao died a few months back, but to quote from a poem of Humphries’ “When I die, who dies.”

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The core point to my mind. It is this which has the potential to trash the Belfast Agreement no matter what anyone seems to think too the contrary. Twenty years of work left to wither just to accommodate a few weeks of May not having to move house.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    We even have Protestant Pagans and Catholic Pagans. The last lot are more addicted to ritual.

  • runnymede

    Yes it would have been very nice if Ireland hadn’t seceded from the UK, I agree. And if the Shinners hadn’t stabbed the UK in the back in the midst of the war in 1916. But it did and they did.

    And btw my grandfather was an Ulsterman who served in the Great War. I’m not as remote from this as you think.

    You are missing the point with all your elegant prose though. The ‘contractarian’ stuff is very old indeed, it’s morphing into a particularly ‘Ulster’ type is a pretty natural development resulting from partition and the troubles.

    We had ‘contractarian’ ideas in England and Scotland too, and you can see these in action in the mid-17th century on a pretty grand scale. The fact we don’t see them now reflects the fact that people over here feel entirely secure about their national identity. Ulster prods don’t and having British PMs like Heath and Blair hardly helps.

  • Cináed mac Artri

    ….. and then someone comes along with an even bigger gun.

  • Cináed mac Artri

    Can one offend Buddhism?

    As a mere plebeian I cannot match your name dropping, although the current President passed by me once in a limo and he nodded in my direction, or the car may have jolted over a bump in the road in that instant. I choose to remember the incident as a nod to me, and regard it as rightful recognition from one of the great and good for this son of Ireland.

    The quote I offer in return is intended for those too often wrapped in history, and too enamoured of the waves they believe it casts on the modern shore:

    ‘Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present.’ Buddha.


  • grumpy oul man

    I dont think i would get a answer to that either.
    But im dying to find out how equality can be used as a weapon, surely equality is a threat to somebody only when that person doesnt think other people are equal.
    The Afrikaans goverment regarded equality as a threat,
    The KKK regard equality as a threat.
    But I’m fairly sure that the people of England, Scotland and Wales would regard equality as a good thing.
    Its going to be another . get the popcorn moment, when a DUPer tries to explain that to a British journalist.
    And i really want to watch the following episodes of Mock the Week and Have i got news for you.
    The craic will be ninety!

  • DaptoDogs
  • Surveyor

    Do you have the same sort of hatred for the USA when they seceded from the UK in 1776, or indeed other countries which did the same? Why are you solely fixated on Ireland?

  • Surveyor

    Am I right in saying that Unionism polled below 50% for the first time in the recent elections? The North of Ireland’s departure IS only a matter of time.

  • Steven Denny

    I genuinely do not like Nom de Plume/Avatar type profiles… seems to be disingenuous… why hid behind a fake profile? Have the courage of conviction etc…

    Just my thoughts… Lots of Love Steven.

  • Karl

    Sinn Fein had very little to do with the easter rising

  • Granni Trixie

    As a rule I believe in transparency. However,with a Slugger type blog, I can see th see place for having pen names. For example, in some cases you may have relatives of well known people wanting to express political views on their own merit. I also think pen names are an opportunity for individuals to create a persona.
    That said, I understand your misgivings. Best wishes, Granni.

  • Old Mortality

    Yes, of course, simply everybody in the rest of the UK wonders why homosexual marriage was ever banned. I mean weren’t the DUP MPs the only ones to vote against it. If it had been put to a referendum, more than 90% would have been sure to vote in favour with an 80% turnout, just like in the RoI. But lets not be so parochial and remember with shame that NI is the only place in the EU where Harry can’t marry Harry, thanks to the DUP.

  • Paddy Reilly

    No, Chairman Mao he say atom bomb is paper tiger.

  • Barney

    No he didn’t, another person said the US was a paper tiger and Mao replied it had nuclear teeth.

  • William Kinmont

    I’m an atheist but it was a Protestant education that made me think my way to being such. Does this make me a Protestant atheist.

  • Paddy Reilly
  • Jane

    Hey, Theresa May just did so badly in an election that she went from being 20 points ahead to losing seats. How can someone that bad at campaigning write an attack line for other people, when she couldn’t even write them for herself?

  • grumpy oul man

    In the mindset of many in NI you are indeed a protestsnt atheist.
    It doesnt seem to be something we can escape.

  • grumpy oul man

    But the DUP/UDA did use a petition of concern when the majority of MLAs voted for equal marriage.
    So yep we can blame the DUP/UDA.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you for the quote Cináed. An awareness of the all pervasive significance of the past in all our lives (for good or ill) is probably why I’m not a Buddhist (unless of course compelled to convert by persecution, after all Buddhism when in power historically follows the same dreary pattern of all other faiths). Simply “a seeker…”

    As for the other, as usual you’re playing that class card rather heavily! I’m beginning to suspect you’re possibly even an Etonian, virtually the only people I know who are that emphatic about their proletarian roots and how few influential people they really know. Me, I don’t think of it so much as “Name dropping” as recognising the human being behind ideas, always an interesting experience. It’s always quite a qualification on what one simply reads! But don’t worry, I wouldn’t even begin to think any the less of you for your world view, we’re all the product of what we have experienced, i.e.: “the significance of the past.”

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Runny, Ireland did not set out to succeed from the UK, Home Rule was an even less powerful form of devolution than we now have here, and it was the Unionist recourse to the threat of violence when defeated by constitutionalist methods which set in motion the separatist issue in Ireland. The report on the 1916 Easter Rising by the UK Govt ( issued just before July 1916) clearly puts the blame on Unionism’s inceptive role.

    Thank you fro bringing up your own family links to the Great war, it makes a difference to me. I often hear people comment who have no links and are coming from text only, but the human contact makes all the difference.

    You’re still wrong however in suggesting that Ireland is that foreign a country. This is a very modern thing, a product of the troubles. earlier generations took their Irishness for granted, having grown up in it, and that’s the atmosphere I’ve myself inherited, even with my Unionist relatives. I’ve aired this quote a few times on Slugger but its still making a point.

    It has long been recognised that our little polity geographically is placed in an Irish context, which is why the free movement /no borders in the Island makes such a difference, as recognised even by the DUP. The north has always been simply too small to function on its own, and even seemingly attracts a cycle of steady economic decline by its futile attempts to break out of this. Even Lord Craigavon himself said to the local Civil Service mandarin G.C. Duggan in 1937 “Duggan, you know that in this island we cannot live always separated from one another. We are too small to be apart, for the border to be there for all time.” To my mind only WWII delayed the natural disintegration of NI before the recent troubles.

    Economically a re-unified Ireland is inevitable, and is well i hand already without anyone seemingly noticing. And it will not make the kind of difference you seem to think to the culture which defines us, as it is culture, not politics which we live and breathe in. Just as Cork is different from Dublin, or the Scottish Isles from Edinburgh, so our local cultural identity will continue to flourish in its own way in an irish frame just as it has in a politically British frame. Any meaningful difference from Irishness you can pinpoint here culturally can be set alongside similar differences to the sort of Britishness found everywhere over the water, believe me. Are our people really all that “British” culturally beyond the simple label “British”? What they are is “northern”, wait for it,….. “Irish.”

  • Granni Trixie

    I don’t know about behind the scenes relationships between the SDLP And Labour but I do know that some Labour MPs held/ hold a more ‘green’ than orange analysis about the Ni problem. Kevin McNamara for instance worked closely with CAJ.

  • runnymede

    The ‘too small to function’ argument is a red herring as it has always been, given that NI remained in a large state (the UK) with access to (at the time) imperial markets and (now) global markets.

    The state that looked economically ‘unviable’ was the Free State, hugely dependent on UK trade and yet taking a hostile posture against it. That looked even more the case once the Free State started on an inward-looking economic policy, preventing free trade with the north (yes, remember who first put those border posts up).

    And the Free State/Republic duly performed incredibly badly economically for 50 years until shifting back to more open economic policies. Just think how much higher Irish living standards might have been in say 1980 had the split not occurred. I’d venture a guess at 20-30%.

    The north’s more recent economic decline is pretty clearly the result of the troubles plus the decline of heavy industry – something mirrored in other parts of the UK. But there is nothing inevitable about it continuing if clever policies are pursued – just as the south’s baleful performance in the 1920s-1970s wasn’t ‘inevitable’, nor the subsequent revival.

    On Irish identity – yes lots of pre-partition unionists considered themselves Irish and British, with no contradiction between the two. I’m sad we have (largely) lost that.

    But I think to suggest there wasn’t also a distinctive Ulster identity before partition is greatly over-egging it. That identity has doubtless been sharpened by partition and the terminology has shifted – people might have had that identity before but perhaps not vocalised in the same way.

    Moreover, the specific form Irish nationalism took from 1916 onwards – an extreme form of gaelic catholic exceptionalism – hardened the cultural division. That may have ‘gone’ now but I don’t think you can turn the clock back and just pretend the previous century didn’t happen.

  • Paul Hagan

    Labour HQ still try to use this excuse as a means to prevent it’s branches in NI from standing. So if it is skewered here let it be so also across the board.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    You’re noting the wring part. It was the fact that Craigavon recognised the contingent nature of partition I was pointing out.

    Regarding the rest, I’ve pointed out in some detail on other postings how partition destroyed the growing wealth of Edwardian Ireland for both parts of the Island. This would have continued to grow and flourish under Home Rule. The great irony is that those Unionist grandees acting to save a little corporation tax for themselves and their businesses destroyed their very own wealth base too. Also, as I’ve said above, the “split” between Ireland and Britain was created by Unionism, not by constitutionalist nationalism which wanted to retain strong and fraternal links with Britain and the Empire. It was Unionism’s discrediting of Constitutionalism which opened the door for that separatism which flourished after 1914. Seperatism was a negligible force in 1910 before Unionism’s recourse to arms, no matter what later history transpired. Don’t forget that even the separatists recognised this fact and praised Unionism (in 1914) for giving them the opportunity to grow. “The North Began…”

  • babyface finlayson


  • T.E.Lawrence
  • MainlandUlsterman

    Indeed – I think we have a lot of lapsed Catholics and lapsed Protestants (and of people saying ‘no religion’ in censuses, evidence suggests the completely non-religious person of ‘Protestant’ cultural background predominates in that group).

    In N Ireland ‘Protestant’ and ‘Catholic’ labels are of course markers of ethnicity, not necessarily actual religious observance or belief. You don’t necessarily stop being part of the ethnic group if you don’t do the religious side of things – there are so many others way in which a person is part of the group. So I think of myself as an Ulster Protestant although my family were all atheists, I am atheist, was never once taken to church and generally found church stuff more than a bit ‘other’. When I say Ulster Protestant I mean it in a cultural sense, based on self-observation of who and what has influenced me, who else’s sense of self and of identity is most like mine and whose is most different from mine. Those place me firmly in the group despite my atheism.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    McNamara was very green. One of the smartest things Blair did on N Ireland was to replace him – it signalled that Labour was serious about being an honest broker, even though his successors were often also somewhat nationalist leaning (esp Mowlam and Hain). But of course Mowlam was largely sidelined when the GFA talks came to the crunch for that reason. I fear Brokenshire is a problem the other way – he has obvious unionist sympathies and doesn’t keep himself above the fray enough for the role. I hate to agree with SF on anything but I do think Brokenshire should be replaced.

  • the Moor

    Odd kind of squaring of contradictions going on in the mindset of our north Down Iitalian correspondent don’t you think: apologism and minimizing of the significance of anti-catholic, anti-modern prejudices on the part of an unreformed sectarian party of belligerent orangeism and the union allied with utter hostility to post-physical force Irish republicanism which has embraced (for strategic reasons) gradualist objectives. The former receive no meaningful criticism at all for their excesses while the latter are regarded as unforgiveable, ‘beyond the pale’, no matter what they do.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Luckily for us all Charles did not feel bound to offs later support for something he was compelled to subscribe to under duress, when he eventually came into his own again. The Covenanters of the Scottish Revolution and the Restoration period can be readily compared to our current experience of ISIS. Both employed a Theocratic model to justify their own power, and both were addicted to violent solutions to suppress any opposition, making free use of “The Maiden” for judicial murder.

  • Cináed mac Artri

    Did Chairman Mao really speak like Yoda? (Past tense btw, just to bring you up to speed he’s dead)

    Or is that merely a written version of the racist mimicry of Chinese diction when speaking English?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    You are comparing chalk with cheese, or cherries with moth balls here Cináed. The IPP carried far greater weight politically with ten times more of MPs than our own little band of DUP, and in a situation where their alliance with Gladstone’s party was a well established reality. Unlike the run up to our current crisis, those electing a LIberal Government in late 1910 were well aware that IPP co-operation would occur and that a Home Rule Bill would be policy, as it had been for almost thirty years. With the curtailment of the veto of the Lords this bill finally had become a legislative certainty. And most importantly the IPP were not a divisive “one confession” party, but an all Ireland party with a sizeable portion of Protestant Liberals in their ranks.

  • Cináed mac Artri

    The name dropping was a cheap shot, I apologise for it.

    That being said, surely you must see how you open yourself to teasing? Your argument that it serves in “recognising the human being behind the ideas” rings hollow.

    I mean there is no personal ‘anchor’ holding your anecdotes to reality. By choosing to remain anonymous, a position I’ve (obviously) no problem with, any value that you may think your stories add to support the arguments you take is doubtful.

    As an historian, one who oftens cites evidence and primary sources, you must recognise that a poster who relies on unverifiable facts would be challenged, indeed I think you may have challenged others in the past on those very terms.

    Now excuse me, I must offer my support to ‘Consigliere’ before I go.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Cináed, I always offer such things “in good faith” and as anecdotal colour to brighten up the dull rancour of our lives under the joint elective tyranny of SF/DUP. I’d not expect someone sane to have some dramatic epiphany and entirely change their life trajectory on what I’m saying alone, oh no.

    But my own slightly “Post-Modern” historiography (and that of many others today, including Roy Foster, for example) uses anecdotal material and even overt “fiction” such as Mitchelbourne’s “Derry” play where they appear to fill in significant gaps in our knowledge and are loosely supported by solid evidence. Mitchelboune is an important case in point, where he has some gems of information about attitudes in what is a quite obscure situation. History is a far more sophisticated thing today than the old solid histories of the 1960s. And regarding some of the “real history” I’ve seen genuine whoppers put out as cold sober history on some very ambitious “facts” regarding the Civil Rights years by people who should know a lot better. And come on, I cannot see how meeting Christmas Humphries challenges our collective perception of reality!

    But challenge away, especially with any serious evidence which contradicts what I’m saying, after all its what I do, as you note above. At the risk of being castigated yet again as a DUP supporter (really, a few times recently) I’m delighted that Mick has found another “organised” person to argue in support of the DUP and to challenge us all to seriously question what he’s saying, (or otherwise). I (sincerely!) look forward to your comments, and will note your stated aversion to colourful anecdote which I’ll try and remember, not that it will entirely stop me from telling a good story if I have one. It’s just who I am.


    I take the point that Consignliere makes that both Campell and Powell could be wrong about the threat
    to the peace process, It is no harm to consider that Consignliere could very easily be wrong too.

  • William Kinmont

    i dont feel part if the group though it must have influenced me to some degree. i dont understand orangeism but i dont feel threatened by it either, its just something thats happening . We travelled alot of Ireland growing up so road signs in Irish are interesting not territorial markers.

  • Paddy Reilly

    你妈妈, 帝国主义反动派

  • The GFA clause upon which Consigliere appears to be relying in order to catch Sinn Féin in a bind and prospectively exclude them via their own logic from entering government in Dublin outlines that “the power of the sovereign government with jurisdiction [over Northern Ireland] shall be exercised with rigorous impartiality”:

    The southern government does not presently enjoy jurisdiction over the north. Thus, this duty of impartiality (which is clearly effective upon the British government as it is the sovereign government exercising jurisdiction at present) does not apply to the southern government, nor can it be relevant to Sinn Féin either if the party wishes to enter government in the south under present circumstances.

    When jurisdiction over the north is transferred to Dublin in the event of a successful unity referendum, perhaps then the duty of impartiality contained in this clause will transfer to the government in Dublin.

    However, wouldn’t it be a rather bizarre and surely-unintended scenario if Sinn Féin were elected the largest party in the south at some point in this future situation, thereby granting them the power to form a government, but were prevented from forming such by virtue of a reading of the terms of the GFA?

    Likewise, if the DUP, in theory, won enough seats to form a UK government by themselves under present circumstances, I’m not sure how they could legitimately be prevented from going ahead and forming a government of their own volition – in practice, that’s obviously not going to happen – but surely any responsible party from Britain with designs on forming a UK government should not be inviting coalitions or “confidence and supply” arrangements with unionist (or, indeed, nationalist) parties from the north of Ireland to aid their governmental ambitions if they’ll be obliged to remain rigorously impartial in their dealings with the region once they become the government. The possibility of neutrality is necessarily compromised by such a blatant conflict of interest.

    It is also worth noting that the Irish government is perfectly entitled to take an official pro-unity position, considering the GFA recognises that “it is for the people of the island of Ireland alone, by agreement between the two parts respectively and without external impediment, to exercise their right of self-determination on the basis of consent, freely and concurrently given, North and South, to bring about a united Ireland”.

    As the British government is a party external to the people of the island of Ireland, this aforementioned clause obliges the British government to refrain from imposing any impediment to unity. Arguably, pushing an anti-unity position or launching an anti-unity campaign would be to contravene this clause.

  • zil

    What do you mean “English taxpayer”? The real English are in western France. Must be true. You claim antihellenic Slavs living in ancient Paeonia are “Macedonians” after all.