You know things are bad when Stacey Dooley comes to town…

You get the feeling they must be tripping over camera crews in loyalist areas. The recent DUP/Conservative deal has turned the eyes of the UK media towards Northern Ireland.

A steady stream of film crews has been making the trip recently. You know the format by now: lots of footage of explosions, the obligatory standing in front of a peace wall, marveling at bonfires, the arty shot at the end as flames leap into the sky.

The latest documentary is from Stacey Dooley. The Billion Pound Party has our intrepid reporter travelling to Northern Ireland to meet DUP voters. I actually quite like Stacey’s style. Her accent is grating, to say the least, but her shows are usually interesting in a tabloid kind of way.

 

I don’t know about you, but I always get a wave of despair sweeping over me when I watch these shows. Just when you think things are getting better, you watch an interview with a loyalist guy who compares the Irish flag to the flag of ISIS. Sigh…

The show had some moments of comic relief. Stacey interviewed two members of Sinn Fein youth in a storage cupboard – seriously a cupboard.

The star of the show was Ruth, the daughter of Ian Paisley Jr’s election agent. Ruth is from rural North Antrim and seems to have led a bit of a sheltered life so far. She explained how she has only been allowed to go to one concert so far (Ed Sheeran) and how her minister describes the cinema as a cesspit of iniquity. When she was describing her opposition to gay marriage you got the feeling she was going through the motions. She was a likable girl and I would love to know how she is getting on at Queen’s.

But to be fair most of the people interviewed had pretty moderate views when it came to gay marriage. Even Orange Lil (yes, that was her nickname) explained how she had a lesbian daughter and had no problem with gay marriage. The DUP have lost the battle over gay marriage even amongst their own voters. All interviewees were pretty clear that they were no fans of the DUP, but they voted for them to keep them uns out. They say every election in Northern Ireland is a border poll, but you get the feeling we are now settling into decades of cold war brinkmanship.

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  • Marcus Orr

    What makes you think I’m sure that I’m right ? I said that I believe what I desire to believe (i.e. what I want to believe)

  • Zeno

    “That is not a valid argument to allow us to deal with our past, by saying what if in the future.”
    Every action has consequences, that’s how we got where we are now. The possible consequences of all decisions need to be examined.
    Truth Commission will achieve nothing simply because a lot of people will be telling lies and others have zero credibility. Even beyond that why should we believe terrorists?
    Pensions for nearly 400 seriously injured victims are being held back because 6 of them were actually bombers who are now portraying themselves as victims. We could start with that.

  • Oggins

    Zeno,

    Going to end this here. I am trying to offer solutions for to all us to deal with legacy; to have a debate.

    In terms of the future I did identify that passing legislation would cover that. Do you actually think they would think of this if we got there? The point is just noise for the sake of it.

    You have offered no solutions or ideas, u asked for my ideas and you just boo each one. Personally because I don’t think you actually want to open your loop to consider a better environment for us all. You have your views and only will consider your views.

    If you want to have an honest discussion then please do, challenge yourself, otherwise don’t bog me down with your whataboutery. I really can’t be arsed with that.

  • Marcus Orr

    Ah, that’s nice. Articles 2 and 3 (an Irish claim on the North) between 1937 – 1998, a nice moral support for the Sinn Féin/IRA campaign. And now, when you get the chance at last to enlarge your territory after all that, the Republic gets cold feet all of a sudden….?
    I get what you’re saying: it’s the fault of the British state for all the problems in Northern Ireland, but we’ll never take on the province ourselves because…oh crap, then when any problems kick off the Irish state will get criticized. We just like looking on from the side and blaming everything on the British. All their fault….

  • Zeno

    If you think you are going to offer your ideas and no one should be able to reasonably challenge them then you are on the wrong website.
    Legacy issues to me is just smoke and mirrors. It’s an overused cliche. When you drill into it and examine why paramilitaries are pushing for it it’s obvious they are just trying to justify their actions.

  • Marcus Orr

    James, I wouldn’t bother with that sort of thing. Since the Belfast Agreement in 1998 and our Government’s surrender to Sinn Féin / ROI / USA during that agreement, Republicans are right to say they only need to win one time. According to GFA, the border poll could be held (and won) 100 times say over 700 years by huge margins by the unionist side. Doesn’t matter. Any result in that direction is only provisional, never definitive. We simply try again for the right result (a united Ireland) in minimum 7 years time. The 1st time that 50.00000000001% vote for a united Ireland, it’s over, definitive, history. Provided the South votes also for re-unification, we become part of a united Ireland for evermore. That’s what the defeat and the surrender of our British govt. in 1998 really meant. So I wouldn’t crow about these sort of things. We as unionists ought to be spending the 15-25 years that we have left in building bridges with moderates in the South, main goal (apart from making sure everything passes off peacefully) to make sure that Sinn Féin can be blocked from getting a future majority in an all Ireland parliament. That’s about it for us I’m afraid.

  • Tochais Siorai

    You give that impression!

    If you’re not sure then you have doubts about your faith?

  • William Kinmont

    Written evidence?

  • Marcus Orr

    I think everyone does, don’t they ? The man who says he never has doubts is a liar, in my opinion…you never question your faith ?

  • William Kinmont

    I think that religion has occurred as a result of evolution. The inate desire to belong to a group or society has evolved as it gives many advantages to the species. A side effect is the suceptabilty then to want to follow religions, football teams boybands etc.

  • William Kinmont

    in any of the translations?
    Strong evidence of Christ?

  • William Kinmont

    less than in Noahs flood

  • Oggins

    There is challenging and then just hot air. You have yet to argue the point, seemingly to be form.
    My point is based on the language and attitudes of the young people in the video that is in the focus of this discussion. This is showing a legacy issue that has yet to be addressed. That is my point.

    You have yet to argue their is no legacy issue with any facts, but just more mopery. If you could argue their is no legacy issues this would be a worth while debate. All you are doing is putting up whataboutery statements.

    So please challenge, bland don’t mope.

  • Reader

    The worm!: The weans wouldn’t be going to “thon integrated school”, they’d just be going to school.
    80% of them would be going to a school where they would be in a 80% majority, and 20% of them would be going to a school where they were a 20% minority. Except near a few interfaces.

  • William Kinmont

    They moved when the Dinosaurs roamed the earth was sin involved then?

  • Marcus Orr

    Maybe, maybe not, who knows.
    That’s a really limited question, which seems to involve the belief from you that God is inside time, inside our space-time continuum, and so he is affected by things that happen after certain other things, e.g. Adam after the Dinosaurs etc.
    But I would have thought that God is outside of time actually, so I’m not yet getting the thrust of your question…

  • Zeno

    OK you tell me 3 legacy issues and how they can be solved.

  • Stephen Kelly

    Marcus great replies and I can see you are solid in your belief. But you have reinforced in me that I am right in my belief, that there is no such thing as God or an afterlife but to each his own. I do believe if Jesus appeared today preaching like he did the supposed truly religious would brush him aside. I think David Attenborough summed it all up very well.

  • William Kinmont

    that answer suggest you are making the rules up as you go along

  • Marcus Orr

    ??

  • Oggins

    Language such as used by the young loyalist in the video. ‘they are trying to wipe us out’ I think was the wording.

    How about you try that first

  • NotNowJohnny

    It’s interesting because she votes for the DUP, a DUP who just can’t wait to have Sinn Fein jointly running this place again.

  • NotNowJohnny

    I don’t recall putting that argument forward. But you’re going to remind me…..

  • Oggins

    I think I have given you one and you have yet to argue a point – knowledge of what happened for victims. Truth commission

  • Zeno

    There is an attack on loyalism by SF, Parades, Flags and now bonfires. So I can see how a young loyalist could think that.

  • Stephen Kelly

    The NHS here needs tens of millions the schools need millions the poor need millions those on zero hour contracts need millions the old people in care homes need millions. Now If you can find a load of retired experts, judges, lawyers, barristers, and the hotels and ancillary staff to give freely of their time instead of running up a bill of hundreds of millions then I will back you. If you cannot then I would please ask the British government to just please donate the estimated cost of the enquiry to the causes above. And maybe start self help groups like NA AA where people can meet and talk out their problems and hopefully come to accept them and move on, those that can. It’s just that I think the children and the youth of today also need all of the scarce resources that there are spent on them.

  • Zeno

    Do you mean a detailed description of what happened to victims murdered by terrorists?

  • Stephen Kelly

    It will cost hundreds of millions and make so many lawyers millionaires instead spend the hundreds of millions on that young loyalists environment and things like apprenticeships.

  • Zorin001

    I try to take people as they come The worm, and I recognise how important religious faith is to many so when it comes to areas around social issues and religion I do try and be even handed, though I have my views and I will stand by them.

    I’m actually quite interested in Religions in general and how faith and doctrine develops over time. There are times when I have envied those who have a genuine faith in a God, of whatever creed; it must be comforting but it’s just not in my nature to work on faith alone.

    I don’t classify myself as an atheist anymore as it seems arrogant to me to assume that there is no “God”, but if one exists I think it’s probably so unknowable that there may not be a structured way to “know” it, if you catch my drift?

    That could probably be more coherent but I’m about to go out so trying to be concise.

  • Oggins

    ….and that’s why I am not going to go further… Pointless.

  • William Kinmont

    you cant justify anything by citing rules or phenomena that are beyond mans understanding. That is the realm of fantasy you can make it up you can say its possible but it comes back to being no more true or less made up than my newsreaders sombrero. Perhaps my Fiona Bruce keeps an invisible mouse under her hat which controlled the techtonic plates in the time of dinosaurs.

  • Devil Éire

    The big bang just means that the Universe isn’t eternal…

    If strong evidence for inflationary theory is found, how will you deal with a cosmological context that does not dovetail with the Christian worldview? Will you alter your views on Christianity or simply shuffle your God of the Gaps into a slightly less comfortable position?

  • The worm!

    Think about it!

  • The worm!

    It was interesting to hear Archbishop Welby describing how he had doubts, for me it marked him as a remarkably honest man.

    But then sadly his words were pounced upon by certain sections of the media and a myriad of “Archbishop of Canterbury doubts existence of God” headlines ensued.

    Talk about walking a tightrope!

  • William Kinmont

    evidence?

  • Oggins

    Completely agree on NHS and funding. Rather than focus on paying one for the other, I would prefer if we actually supported the NHS, instead of the underfunding that has been happening for years.

    It doesn’t justify not doing one thing because of the government funding isn’t supporting another.

  • Oggins

    You can do all that but still doesn’t deal with the thought patterns of nationalists and loyalists in working class areas

  • Oggins

    Your pointless sir. Goodbye

  • The worm!

    There aren’t that many atheists, but there are a lot of agnostics, most likely including yourself.

    You will never get definitive proof either way, you have to find your faith within yourself, “seek and ye shall find”.

    It’s actually incredibly simple, I fear sometimes that the religious “organisations” (for want of a better word), over-complicate things and actually discourage people rather than encouraging them to try and find that which is within us.

  • William Kinmont

    See my Fiona Bruce theory above it id written.

  • William Kinmont

    There is plenty of evidence that neolithic and other pre christiam societies worked lived and traded in an organised fashion.For this to occur moral rules and sense of right and wrong must have existed. The fragility of human babies and children would suggest that love also existed in pre Judeo Christian times. I dont think i have stolen my morals from christians anymore than they stole christmas from pagans.

  • William Kinmont

    Dont be trying to imagine what colour the sombrero is though, thats forbidden

  • Zeno

    Suit yourself. I wait with interest to see if anyone else engages you.

  • Oggins

    They did, The Worm and I had a good discussion. Read the thread.

  • Zorin001

    I agree with you post 100%

    It’s been nice to find some common ground with posters with whom I’m usually on the other side of the debate. Hopefully it can happen more often.

  • William Kinmont

    Robert Jastrow said it it must be true?

  • Zeno

    All schools are open to Catholics and Protestants and all other religions. Integration is available in all of them but It is the Parents who choose where the kids go.

  • William Kinmont

    If they had job prospects and better life opertunities I think it would

  • Oggins

    There is no doubting it wouldn’t, alongside integrated education, a maturity on narrative and an understanding and learning of each other culture.

  • William Kinmont

    Any word on this evidence

  • Just a few points on the crimes against science I saw while skimming this thread:

    1) There is no evidence for a global flood. Further, there is plenty of evidence one never happened, from multiple sources and fields.

    2) Discovery of evidence supporting the Big Bang cost nothing, as it was an accident. The hypothesis had been in circulation for decades when Penzias and Wilson stumbled upon the cosmic microwave background while trying to repurpose old equipment. They won the Nobel prize for Physics in 1971.

    3) Seismic plates don’t have a function, as that implies a design. They are a natural result of a planet with molten crust, somewhat solid crust and rotating about its axis.

    4) There is no evidence that human lifespans have decreased. There is plenty of evidence to show they have increased, but only in the modern age due to better nutrition, healthcare and freedom from violence.

  • William Kinmont

    i think the unanswered questions are telling too

  • robin smith

    Dooley is very well conditioned. As are the majority who elect every government. And so it goes…

  • Cillian Feore

    Nope – now don’t get me wrong I have no real interest in the Irish State taking on this problem, not because we will get criticism but because I feel the only way this will conflict between these two utterly polarised sides will be resolved is if they are actiually cut loose from both the Republic and Britain and are forced to live together without support from either. I think that that will force them to look at the ugliness in both their communities and deal with it but that could get nasty very quickly too.

    The republic is a great place to live, not always economically fair but in comparison to many parts of the world a paradise. I do not want the wrath of a cornered self righteous loyalist community let loose on a secular reasonable society pushing back all the progress that has been made here.

  • The worm!

    An outbreak of civility on a thread about religion.

    Wow! 🙂

  • The worm!

    “you cant justify anything by citing rules or phenomena that are beyond mans understanding.”

    Stephen Hawking can and that makes him a genius apparently.

    Yet Christians are widely regarded as being foolish.

    Try figuring that one out!

  • The worm!

    “I do believe if Jesus appeared today preaching like he did the supposed truly religious would brush him aside.”

    Not a valid point.

    You might as well say that if someone tried to invent the car nowadays, health and safety would ban them.

    He will not return and do what he did 2,000 odd years ago, so anyone doing now what he did then, in all probability SHOULD be brushed aside.

  • Tochais Siorai

    You mean do I question athiesm?

    Yes. Occasionally, I’m an agnostic.

  • Marcus Orr

    No, you’re missing my point. It’s strange but I’ve noticed that nearly all atheists miss this point every time it’s made, right up to the celebrity atheists like Richard Dawkins if his discussion in the book “The God Delusion” is anything to go by.

    I am not saying that we somehow needed Christianity to know the difference between right and wrong (as if all those pre-Christian peoples in neolithic times needed some guy with a beard and a stone tablet with commandments written on it to at last understand that morality exists). Same thing with long lost tribes in Polynesia today, they all know the moral code, but they’ve never heard of that Moses chap.
    In the Bible it states that God has written His law on the hearts of all men – see Romans 2 verses 11-16 for reference if interested.

    Therefore, all humans know the difference between right and wrong because we have been created as moral animals (or man is created in the image of God if you want it Biblically).
    So we are not talking about “stealing” in that sense, because everyone knows morality, what it is. What I am asking you is which worldview makes sense of the fact that there is objective morality (the difference between right and wrong) in this world ? That it exists at all ? If you want to claim this, you’ve got to have a “foundation” for it. There is no foundation for objective morality in a humanist-atheist-materialistic worldview. There are only atoms, molecules, materials, evolution survival of the fittest, nature red in claw and tooth. There is no grounding whatsoever in your own worldview for the idea that we should be moral, as a unselfish means unto itself.
    I can ground morals in my worldview. Every time you criticise the Old Testament for being immoral you have to borrow from my worldview to even start to make the criticism.

  • Zeno

    Mayfair?

  • William Kinmont

    The concept evolved due to the advantages it have the species, religion is actually a side effect. Sometimes good sometimes harmful but a side effect . The disadvantages of this side effect always low enough not to limit its evolution possibly until now when man has the means for mass destruction at hand.

  • William Kinmont

    Already have its not that difficult a conclusion to reach.

  • Marcus Orr

    If you say that morality comes from evolution, then it is not objective morality (something that anyone should recognise regardless of their culture or background). You are talking about subjective morality. E.g. 10’000 years ago it made sense for tribes that wanted to survive in the African havanna to bash the brains in of all male children of the lesser tribe they conquered and to rape their women senseless to have numerous children from them. That way they survived, propagated, and multiplied and were successful on the earth. They had survival value. That was a jolly good morality coming from evolution. Who are you to oppose that type of morality and to say that isn’t good ? Where does the outside standard come in ? Who introduced that “outside standard” ?
    You cannot get an “ought” from an “is”. You cannot get, ever, to some form of prescriptive morality (I ought to do this unselfishly even if it doesn’t have particularly good survival value for me personally) from the brute facts of nature.
    I’m sorry but for morality evolution is not the magic wand which you take it to be.

  • William Kinmont

    Effective though

  • Marcus Orr

    That went straight past my bat – could you expand ?

  • William Kinmont

    were communicating by email society has advanced pretty well

  • Marcus Orr

    Yes, I know, modern science – which originated in Christian societies in the reformation period because men believed the (Christian belief) that God had ordained an orderly Universe with orderly laws that could be studied, ascertained and perhaps applied to nature – has advanced our society greatly….
    But what is your point ?

  • The worm!

    And it is……………..?????

  • The worm!

    “celebrity atheists like Richard Dawkins”

    The real irony is that Dawkins ISN’T an atheist,

    …………………….because he worships himself!

    That’s a JW joke BTW, it was quite funny at the time when told by the person which it came from!

  • The worm!

    Forgive me, I missed this one.

    Pity as it seems to be the standard, “well of-course they’re all talking rubbish, what really happened is this……….” response after the debate.

    1) Yes there is. If you want to discredit it then that’s up to you. As for evidence that there wasn’t, it’s hard to know how to explain that. If you take the default as being “no flood”, then evidence must be produced to try to prove otherwise, and that is what is generally sought. However once you start to talk about proving that there was no flood, the implication is that you’re declaring the default situation to be “a flood”, and therefore accepting it as the most likely possibility. Which I assume you are not, so there’s quite a bit of contradiction in your statement.

    2) The occurrence of the Big Bang as an entirely random phenomena is totally dependant on the existence of one particle, the Higgs Boson. Without it, you might as well as well build a skyscraper out of paper and say it’ll be grand once you can find that special ingredient which gives paper the same properties as steel and concrete. That’s why the Higgs Boson is widely referred to as the “God particle”. The Hadron collider was built specifically to find the God particle. I’m sure you can find how many billions the latest costs are if you really want it.

    3) So your hands don’t have a function?, your eyes, feet, ears? As that would imply a design too and you would plainly think that you evolved. You are no different to a tectonic plate, however they came about, you also ultimately came about.

    4) Who is to say what always constituted “a year”. Besides, if you’re prepared to believe that the human body started off as an amoeba, believing any of the various possible explanations why lifespans in the bible appear to be longer really shouldn’t be much of a push!

  • 1) Shifting the burden of proof. Standard creationist fallacy.

    2) You have no idea what you’re talking about. Utter gibberish.

    3) Tectonic plates aren’t subject to natural selection.

    4) A year is a single period of the Earth orbiting the Sun. It cannot change without the Earth changing its orbit. This is basic orbital mechanics.

    Humans did not evolve from amoeba, they have a common ancestor. The fact we share the same genetic code (i.e. codons result in the same amino acids in all species) is strong evidence of that. Molecular phylogeny allows us to measure how distantly related species are.

    Age can be estimated from examining skeletal remains.

  • The worm!

    Had a very long reply typed out addressing all your points, except the Higgs which you plainly haven’t the slightest concept of at all so had to default to the intellectual high ground immediately.

    But actually there’s no point is there.

    The mixture or arrogance and derision contained in your last brief paragraph indicates what I’d be trying to deal with.

  • Andee_oneill

    Yea, but what happened to poor Onan?

  • Your most insurmountable problem is your own scientific ignorance. That’s not my problem.

    I dismissed the Higgs Boson because it is irrelevant to the discovery of inflation – Edwin Hubble’s discovery of red shift was the first clue, Penzias and Wilson’s was the clincher.

    CERN was established to research fundamental particle physics, and the only people wo refer to the Higgs as “the God particle” are sub editors looking for a catchy name or apologists who have no idea what they’re talking about.

    Go ahead and refute my other points. Or perhaps you had nothing and are just making excuses?

  • Devil Éire

    I dismissed the Higgs Boson because it is irrelevant to the discovery of inflation – Edwin Hubble’s discovery of red shift was the first clue, Penzias and Wilson’s was the clincher.

    As an aside: by “inflation” you probably mean something like “evidence for the hot, dense phase of the early universe (‘Big Bang’)”. Guth did not publish on his theory of inflation until 1981, nearly 20 years after Penzias & Wilson’s measurement. That theory awaits experimental confirmation – many groups are trying to detect the signature of the inflationary epoch in the polarization of the cosmic microwave background.