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PRISM OF PROVONOMICS!

By David Vance On January 21st, 2013

I always enjoy reading Sinn Fein/IRA’s prognostications on the economy. “Provonomics” are always worth a laugh and they always live down to expectations;

  • “A single economy for the island of Ireland would be good for prosperity, jobs and investment, Sinn Fein has claimed. Party president Gerry Adams called on the Irish and British governments to set a date for a border poll and let the people of Northern Ireland vote on a united Ireland. “Irish unity makes sense,” the Louth TD said in Dublin. “It makes political sense. It makes economic sense. It is in the best interests of the people of these islands.”

How interesting. The Republic of Ireland remains as financially bankrupt as Sinn Fein is morally bankrupt but through the unrelenting and blinkered prism of Provonomics all seems rosy.

However, I DO agree with Grizzly in but one regard. Let us HAVE a poll on whether the people of Northern Ireland wish to remain in the United Kingdom. Once they speak, and I believe tht they will deliver a resounding YES to that question; the following should happen;

1. Date of NEXT poll set for 2104.  100 years later

2. All Irish passports to be handed over.

3. All Tricolours to be banned

4. Union Flag to fly 365 days a year over ALL British government buildings.

That sounds fair to me. Yes?

58 Responses to “PRISM OF PROVONOMICS!”

  1. Date of NEXT poll set for 2104. 100 years later

    Why so long? Anyone would think you’re getting a bit jittery!

  2. David when did you start doing comedy..lol..thats a cracker..

    !) my irish passport stays

    2) we need a poll for the whole island

    3) if you don’t like it there is always the boat…:)

  3. 3. All Tricolours to be banned

    Presumably that’s the pro-liberty, small state position. :)

  4. oh amd before any rants on n ireland is british…this is a contested area on the island of ireland and britain can leave at any time :)

  5. “No selfish interest…”

    Blair was putting it mildly!

  6. Does Pete have to turn over his Irish passport?

  7. No Island wide vote David? You dislike Gerry but love gerrymandering.

  8. *For the record I am opposed to Gerry’s plan, unification would be unworkable now and given the entire history the present status is unavoidable from a practical standpoint. It ain’t perfect, but it is a compromise that really is the only choice at the moment.

  9. the present status is unavoidable from a practical standpoint

    Understandable sentiment but the GFA provides for a change in status if the majority north and south vote for it. The prospect of same is becoming more, not less, likely. Still probably some way off though.

  10. ha ha

  11. Petr- A majority in NI and a majority in the Republic. At present there is a majority in NI who wish to remain in the UK and I don’t see a substantial movement away from that in the near future.

  12. I don’t see a substantial movement away from that in the near future.

    Based on any particular data, or a hunch?

  13. “Does Pete have to turn over his Irish passport?”

    No but he wouldn’t be able to travel to a Belfast ATW Summit with it ;)

  14. There isn’t really a momentum for it at the minute petr is there? the economy is the first and last thing on peoples minds. I think sooner or later there’ll be a poll just that its not really the right time for it.

  15. This is what Gerry Adams wants for the island of Ireland. Here he is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1yJ87y7BR80

  16. Petr – Polling has shown that even a majority of Catholics in NI do not favor a unified Ireland at present.

  17. Allan — Good on him.

    Kateyo — You’re right.

  18. “Polling has shown that even a majority of Catholics in NI do not favor a unified Ireland at present.”

    Thats not right. Polling has shown how people identify themselves, ie as irish, n irish or british.. not wether or not they want unity.. no poll has been taken as to how nationalists feel about unity, the biggest pointer of that is how we vote. check the stats for ppl voting SF or SDLP..thats the only pointer as to how ppl feel on unity, if they vote for pro all ireland partys.

    Lets not mix up our polls..

  19. BTW David that bag tax… its to come in on april 8th… 5p per bag..

  20. Kateyo – There was a poll published by the Belfast Telegraph June 11, 2012 that outlines just what I wrote about. It doesn’t mean that reunification won’t happen one day, but at present it simply isn’t a viable option.

  21. Any poll taken today would be unduly influenced by current events, such as the RoI’s banking / debt crisis. A situation that hopefully will not last forever.

  22. mahons..i know the poll.. i don’t know what sample they took but no one asked me, nor anybody i know. The best indicator of how people feel on unity is how they vote. That poll and others before it has given the likes of the DUP a false sense of what ‘catholics’ want. How can a certain percent of a poll indicate how half the population feel if they all vote for pro all island parties? There are huge mandates for pro all island parties…

  23. but at present it simply isn’t a viable option.

    Gerry Adams disagrees with you..:) So far his political analysis has been quite good. Mind you I can’t see it happen, but i wouldn’t underestimate the Sinn Fein machine..

  24. //Based on any particular data, or a hunch?//

    Petr, I’d say based on the latest official census, which shows only a minority of people in NI identifying as (island of Ireland) Irish.
    A significant number also identified as “Northern Irish”. Those votes would of course still not help a re-unification bid, and even when taken together with the Island-of-Ireland Irish (that begs an acronym), they still don’t form a majority.

    Countless other polls have shown the same result, even polls conducted at the height of the Celtic Tiger boom.

    So it looks like Northern Ireland will continue to entertain us for some time.
    Basically, the situation won’t be changed at any time in the near future by anything less than a collapse of the UK economy or the Pound or whatever.

    Although there is always the Conor-Cruise-O’Brien solution: if Sinn Fein continues to make gains in the North, perhaps becoming the largest political party, dominating the scene and obstructing the British input from LON, it could sicken Unionists into joining with the RoI just to get away from them.

  25. The best indicator of how people feel on unity is how they vote.

    Yes. Polls are often wrong ( remember the Republicans two months ago whose polls showed a solid Romney victory? ). And slight variations on the questions posed can lead to very different results. From the tiny statistical sample that they use.

  26. Noel how do you square the votes for all ireland parties with the polls? Would you not agree that if a person votes for an all island party that they want unity…?

    It’s a mess really.. People will say how they feel about something based on a particular day, as phantom says above. At the minute the whole island is so bad economically i wonder at the madness of anyone introducing the idea of a poll even. The north is as big a basket case economically as is the republic. And it’s going to get worse.

  27. Kateyo – So you are challenging the findings of the poll because you weren’t asked personally? Reminds me of Cliff Clavin’s answer “Three People who have never been in my kitchen” answer.

    How people will vote on a single issues is usually best determined by a line item poll as opposed to voting for a particular party. The All Ireland parties in the North don’t really have viable alternative competition and people vote for them with mixed reasoning. Sure, the bulk of Catholics might favor a united Ireland one day, but as something that would happen tomorrow, it simply isn’t reality. The Republic couldn’t absorb it for starters.

    Gerry Adams can disagree with me, if he is foolish enough to do so. His “machine” in the South is a nonstarter, and on issues like the economy he’s a fish out of water.

  28. What exact questions were asked?

    As any pollster will tell you, it makes all the difference.

  29. //Noel how do you square the votes for all ireland parties with the polls? Would you not agree that if a person votes for an all island party that they want unity…? //

    Not really. The two Nationalist parties have broad platforms, and people could support them on many other issues without necessarily supporting their United Ireland policy.
    Many could also support, say, the SDLP by default, if he can’t in conscience vote for one of the others.

    Generally, though, I believe that support for a UI is higher than generally shown, though still far from a majority. The latest Loyalist riots, for example, will have shown as generation that may have forgotten the Shankill Butchers what co uld happen if that British flag is lowered for good. A pragmatic person, or simply one who values his home and his life, may in his heart support a UI but still not vote for it at the present time because of the risk of mayhem.

    Traditional Republicanism believed that overcoming sectarian divisions is a means to achieve an independent Ireland. But I think that for contemporary generations of Republicans overcoming sectarian divisions should be an end in itself. More unfortunate than the physical partition of our country are the partititions between communities and in people’s minds. Whether they can best be removed in a NI or a UI context (and there is plenty of evidence to suggest the latter would be more likely) is a moot point at the moment.

    But whatever, to finish let me quote the great words of Jemmy Hope (nomen est omen indeed), Belfast protestant, weaver, Socialist, revolutionary and United Irishman:

    “Hope for success, under all circumstances — have your heart. You may live to see Ireland what she ought to be; but, whether or not, let us live and die in this faith.”

  30. ie

    ” Do you support universal health care for Americans “
    or


    ” Do you support a federal government takeover of the private health care industry “

    These two questions would get wildly different responses, even though in the minds of some, they are asking the same thing.

    There are many variables in how questions are asked, who asks them, the context of when the question is asked ( are others present ? ) the quality of the sampling, etc.

    Its not quibbling – we have a very recent example of where leading Republican and GOP friendly pollsters got it completely wrong. They were too emotionally invested in the matter and they made mistakes. As others will make mistakes.

  31. David

    Better him talking his brand of baloney than murdering people. I have no doubts about his capability past present and future to do both.

  32. Phantom

    It is very important to get the question right. Also I don’t think referendums are valid unless there are only two options and that they are polar opposites with no logical neutral option.

  33. It is especially difficult since political parties and other actors intentionally try to manipulate the question to make themselves look reasonable and to make their opponent look ridiculous.

    In the example I give, the Obamaites called the legislation ” The Affordable Health Care Act “. So, anyone who opposes it is in favor of Unaffordable Health Care.

    While their adversaries do the same thing from the other side.

    Does this impact polls? Oh yes.

  34. “So you are challenging the findings of the poll because you weren’t asked personally”

    did i say that? no, but in such a small place with the amount of pollls conducted you’d think someone within my sphere of reference at least would have been asked to participate…

    “How people will vote on a single issues is usually best determined by a line item poll as opposed to voting for a particular party.”

    oh dear… and the last time you were in the north for an election was when..

    you see when voting here you know exactly what you are voting for, not single issues, since when did they matter here, not bread and butter issues, can’t remember when any party put out their stall on that since this phase of troubles started at least. NO an election in the north is on the constitutional issue, shall we call it a pissing competition. Yes, that is what we have, pissing competitions. So please do tell us how that means people do not want unity until one day in the future. Every four years they do it again and again, and whether or not the time is right, if a poll on the border happens the tribes will come out and do their duty and make no mistake.

    “Gerry Adams can disagree with me, if he is foolish enough to do so”
    this is why in the last twenty odd years he’s never lost an election and you have won how many? I didn’t think he’d get into louth but he did…

    “His “machine” in the South is a nonstarter, and on issues like the economy he’s a fish out of water.”

    Is that so? right then micheal martin has nothing to worry about then has he? Since adams party has been above FF in polls that you so like, and is recognised as a major voice in oppositon in government..

    Gerry doesn’t do economy but theres a very good spokesperson from donegall who does.. and his name is pearse doherty

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearse_Doherty

    happy reading..

  35. [Rhetorical if you wish] Question for unionists: If a border poll at some future date doesn’t go your way, you’ll accept the results right? Because you’re democrats?

  36. Noel good quote.

  37. Would you not agree that if a person votes for an all island party that they want unity…?

    How many people vote on the sovereignty issue as opposed to economic, social or identity?

  38. 1. Date of NEXT poll set for 2104. 100 years later
    2. All Irish passports to be handed over.
    3. All Tricolours to be banned
    4. Union Flag to fly 365 days a year over ALL British government buildings.
    That sounds fair to me. Yes?

    If only we could persuade the British to let David run the Yes campaign we might have a sporting chance.

  39. SF and SDLP are small “u” unionist parties. Judge them by what they do not by what they say. They are employed by Northern Ireland and the UK. That is why polls on unity and voting for SF or SDLP are not a contradiction.

  40. NewYorker, the fact that Nigel Farage works for and is paid by the European Parliament doesn’t make him pro-EU.

  41. ‘1. Date of NEXT poll set for 2104. 100 years later.’

    Umm, surely that’s only 90 years, presuming you mean that a referendum be held in 2014? Remind me to check my figures the next time we two do business, David ;) Also – sorry, but you don’t get to re-write the GFA, so you don’t get to decide when elections or referendums are held.

    ‘2. All Irish passports to be handed over.’

    And then what? March their holders off to the border, where their passports are handed back? Or would you suggest forcing them all – under pain of…something – to apply for British passports? You fiend, Vance! Mandatory passport applications! You’ll be forcing people to pay UK taxes next! Maybe, you should also make them hand over their GAA shirts, and make them wear Northern Ireland football shirts too!

    ‘3. All Tricolours to be banned.’

    What, everywhere? That might annoy some people, like, you know, people living in Ireland. Oh, ok – people living in the Republic of Ireland! As well as Irish people, and descendants of Irish people all around the world. Or did you mean banning the Tricolour in NI just? ‘Cos it’s already banned from St. Patrick’s day parades and events around the north (I know, I know – it sounds like I made that up. But it’s actually true.), and it doesn’t fly over any government or council buildings anywhere in NI, so banning it here would be like saying you can’t do something, even if the thing you’re not allowed to do is something you don’t do anyway. You may as well ban stabbing yourself in the eye with a fork.

    ‘4. Union Flag to fly 365 days a year over ALL British government buildings.’

    The best and easiest way to achieve this might be to designate lamposts and kerbstones in certain areas to be British government property. You might also include a clause, stating that the flag must remain, permanently, until such a time as outside forces – ie wind, rain, urinating dogs, pollution, Loyalist paramilitary one-up-manship with their own flags etc. – render it to be a tattered rag or smudged, dirty kerbstones. This will ensure that other members of the United Kingdom see clearly the respect that some people have for their flag. Also, all flags should be replaced on a regular basis (once every year should do it), to celebrate the 12th of July. These flags could be put up a bit early – June should be ok, so that the bandsmen have nice, clean flappy flags to march past in June, but have the added comfort of having bedraggled, half-torn flags to march past in July, in the safe knowledge that those self same flags (albeit in tatters) will still be there the following year.

  42. Farage is a shameless hypocrite. Not only does he grab every euro he can, he knows the UK will not be leaving the EU. Same goes for SF and SDLP. They are both selling pie in the sky while knowing there is no pie on the sky but stuffing their pockets while you are gazing skyward.

  43. I see the DUP now support a border poll – and think they are ever so clever to “call SF’s bluff” as a UI will not be voted for.

    D’oh!

    The Shinners have out-manoeuvred them again. Of course the border poll will be lost. SF know that and don’t care. The SF spin will be along the following lines

    – despite the Republic’s economy being banjaxed, around 25%-30% (probably) still voted for unity. Therefore, at the lowest ebb of pro-unity sentiment, it still gets 25%-30%. It can only get higher as the Republic’s economy stabilises and so the border poll should be held every 5 years…

  44. Fine comment, MR!

  45. 25-30%? Try under 15%. How many centuries until over 50%? Keep eating that pie in the sky!

  46. //25-30%? //

    This is a very reasonable estimate IMO. One of the factors forgotten by people who scratch their head in wonder at SF’s strong election results on the one hand and the low Nationalist showing in border polls on the other is the highly efficient SF election machine.

    This is turned on for every election, but of course it’s away being refueled when surveys are taken.

    In the case of a UI referendum, that machine would, however, come out with a vengence. SF would mobilise every Nationalist vote that can walk, and the result would be somewhere between the SF vote share (27 pc) and the total SF/SDLP vote (41 pc).

  47. Plus, a call like this from the DUP will only lose them votes. Some people on the fleg pages on Facebook are already calling them traitors for even suggesting it.

    It’s a win/win for SF.

  48. Noel,

    Agreed.

    Seimi,

    Good point. The no surrender brigade don’t get the DUP’s “call my bluff” game at all…or maybe they are cleverer than we give them credit for?

    Nah. Can’t be. They just don’t get it.

  49. One may wish for a United Ireland, and one day I think it is possible. But surely even those who do would acknowledge the difficulty (and to me the present impossibility) of that happening. The Republic couldn’t absorb the cost, especially with the angst that would ensue.

  50. While not disagreeing with mahons’ last statement, I suspect that there would be many in England / a British govt who would be quite happy to donate generously to a one time unity fund, to put the sore tooth and endless nonsense behind them for good.

  51. So 25-30% will exchange the NHS, council services, etc., for the land of bank bailouts, ripoffs and horse burgers? I doubt the lunatic fringe is larger than 15%.

    Even if it got 25-30% how long would it take to get over 50% considering current demographics – 50, 100, 200 years?

    The UK will not abandon NI if there is a majority that want to remain in the UK, no matter what a pain they think the place is.

    There should be a poll to clear the air of this issue once and for all. It has been a major impediment to progress in NI and an excuse for some to hide behind lest anyone notice they are not up to their jobs.

  52. I honestly don’t think most nationalists mind the fact that N.I. is part of the UK. It was the localised ‘cold house for nationalists’ they didn’t like.

    Increasingly N.I. is not like that anymore and the issue of Sovereignty isn’t a real bread and butter one. It is not as if the differences over each border is like North and South Korea. I think N.I for the foreseeable future will remain part of the UK and no serious attempt will be made or will succeed in ending that status.

  53. //Even if it got 25-30% how long would it take to get over 50% //

    That’s a different question. I was responding to your suggestion that it would be much lower.

    I also think it’s a bad idea overall. On the face of it, it may look good for SF.
    There would, however, be a risk of really nasty stuff starting up again when that referendum day looms; serious rioting and even sectarian murder. Much of the recent progress could be lost. If that happened, SF would rightly get some of the blame.

  54. As hopefully all know, even in the very bad days, the border was a fluid one. Even then, you could just drive across at many points, without speaking to anyone.

    Many people, including my relatives, live on one side of the border, work on the other, and visit and shop as they see fit on either side. There is family on both sides of it.

    It’s not a big deal – it is like the border between NJ and NY – no border at all in many ways.

  55. Noel

    I think when the great majority of people weigh up the benefits and costs to their individual lives, they will not vote for a UI. Also people tend not to vote for something that is not going to happen for a very long time, if ever. As I said, I think 15% would be the limit of approval. You don’t think it is a good idea, but would you vote for a UI?

    Phantom

    It is not like NY and NJ in that they are different countries. Your physical address generally determines where and what you pay tax, what health system you belong to, what schools your children can attend, etc. For example, you can walk across the border but you will probably not be covered on health service if you are on the wrong side of the border from your actual residence. Such factors are quite important when considering which country you want to belong to.

  56. Of course.

    But not everyone here has been there.

    I just point out that the R of I / NI border is much more relaxed now than even the US / Canada border, which itself is pretty relaxed.

  57. Of course.

    But not everyone here has been there.

    I just point out that the R of I / NI border is much more relaxed now than even the US / Canada border, which itself is pretty relaxed.

  58. //You don’t think it is a good idea, but would you vote for a UI?//

    Yes.

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