115 2 mins 15 yrs

One of the BIGGEST LIES in current Northern Ireland politics is that “the constitutional position is settled.”


Both the DUP and UUP like to pretend this – and openly declare so in their election literature. But they are either fools or knaves to suggest this and here is a little light on the subject.



The SDLP is to seek a referendum on a united Ireland, the party’s election manifesto confirmed yesterday. The party pledged it will seek the plebiscite which should be timed when an Assembly and Executive are “operating stably”. And the SDLP blueprint said it would campaign “vigorously” in favour of a ‘yes’ vote.  Sinn Fein/IRA are openly in favour of the destruction of Northern Ireland so I can’t see them objecting to such a referendum.


Therefore, IF the constitutional has been settled thanks to brilliant Unionist negotiating skills (LOL) HOW COME nationalists and Republicans are preparing to run a referendum on Irish Unity???? Who is lying to whom?

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115 thoughts on “THE CONSTITUTIONAL POSITION IS SETTLED…

  1. Nationalists/Republicans will never accept any settlement which leaves the border in place as final.

  2. Personally I see the numbers stacking up for nationalists around 2020 or shortly thereafter, what peoples voting intentions are at that stage though is more difficult to predict.

  3. David,

    The reality is that Nationalists are never likely to give up their aspirations. Ever.

    Even if there is a nice fine and dandy assembly operating in NI, nationalists will still be aspiring to a different future. Its perfectly natural and perfectly predictable and was always going to be the case for NI.

    You cant create a state and encompass a large section of people who dont want to be in it and expect things to work out dandy, well not in the Irish case anyway.

  4. <Q>You cant create a state and encompass a large section of people who dont want to be in it and expect things to work out dandy, well not in the Irish case anyway.</Q>

    You argue the partition case very well Kloot!

  5. The funny thing is that if the birth rate card is played it undermines the fact that the Roman Catholic popualtion has stayed and grown in Northern Ireland instead of migrating to the Free State. Unlike the South where the protestant popualtion got offside.

    If this is the case, can things have been as bad as the Nationalist propaganda machine suggests?

    "You cant create a state and encompass a large section of people who dont want to be in it and expect things to work out dandy, well not in the Irish case anyway." – does that refer to Nationalists in NI or Unionists in a proposed United Ireland?

  6. >>You argue the partition case very well Kloot!<<

    ha ha… it works both ways mad eh..thats the reality of it.

    A NI that incorporated such a large Nationalist minority could never but have that problem. A smaller 3 county solution might have worked better, but that in itself would have led to another set of problems

    So, staring this fact straight in the face… is there any solution ?

  7. A Constitutional position is never settled if it can be changed by a vote. But I see no basis for a referendum unless a majority vote for nationalist parties. That should be the trigger.

    And if it is passed then the process of unification could begin. But it would be a process. The people of the island would have to agree a new constitution for ourselves.

    It certainly wouldn’t be a case of the south "taking over" the north.

  8. >>The funny thing is that if the birth rate card is played it undermines the fact that the Roman Catholic popualtion has stayed and grown in Northern Ireland instead of migrating to the Free State. Unlike the South where the protestant popualtion got offside.<<

    Home is always home surely

  9. <Q>So, staring this fact straight in the face… is there any solution ?</Q>

    Yes – NI remains part of the UK as the majority of it’s people want and the ROI remains an independent state – as the majority of it’s people want. Nothing to stop those in NI who want to join an Independent Irish State moving South. Sorted.

  10. <Q>Home is always home surely</Q>

    If that was the case the Prod population of the South would still be in double figures, eh what ?

  11. Kloot/Henry,

    I have no issue with the nationalist position here – I don’t agree with it but it is fully understood. MY problem is with the faux unionist position – which is a CON.

  12. <Q>It certainly wouldn’t be a case of the south "taking over" the north.</Q>

    In real terms it most certainly would.

  13. MR

    <i>In real terms it most certainly would. </i>

    Not at all. The political alliences unionism could make would give them huge power.

    On economic policy they are close to both FF and FG and could serve in government with either (that’s assuimg they don’t opt for the reserved places in government which are theirs if they want them)

    The big losers would be Sinn Fein. They would never see power again and it would be hard to see their relevance.

  14. >>If that was the case the Prod population of the South would still be in double figures, eh what ?<<

    As you know, there was a variety of reasons why the protestant population fell in the ROI. Intimidation was a factor, social exclusion, exclusion from office and just not wanting to be part of the state.

    Obviously if facing intimidation, you dont have many choices. But on the other fronts, you can stay and try influence (unlikely to have had an effect) or you can make the hard choice to up root and leave. Protestants in the ROI made the choice to leave, they were too small a minority 10% or so and were scattered too much across the ROI.

    The catholic minority is of a much larger scale. They had/have full communities. Its easier to stay in that environment.

    This article addresses it well

    http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/past/protestants_1861_1991.html

    Id love to see if his hopes for a reversal in the 90’s actually came through. I suspect that he was right.

    David,

    I can understand completely the point you are making. Its a falsehood to say that the constitutional position has been dealt with, it hasn’t. As it stands its open to change due to a vote swing in another direction.

  15. >>In real terms it most certainly would.<<

    Mad, it would have to be a new entity with all that goes with that…constitution, flag, emblems

    Unionism would be a force to be reckoned with in any new entity. Based on their numbers its even possible that they would be in de facto coalition government for years after as the coalition partner. Of course if they merged into one of the existing political parties they would also have a massive effect on the political position of the new state.

  16. I think the birth rate card is at best a long shot

    what is far more likely is that with the garden centre prods jealously eyeing the celtic tiger their economic loyalties will shift and as they do their national loyalties will shift as well. a percentage of the "prods" will already vote for a united Ireland and as long as the Ulster Pussycat is compared to the Celtic Tiger the obvious short comings of their trunkated autocracy will become more glaring and less appealing

    Eventually you will even see a "unionist" leader calling for a United Ireland purely for economic reasons

    For proof I give you Canada’s very own Quebec, They do not stay just out of loyalty to Canada and certainly not out of loyalty to the Queen, they stay for economic reasons. Because money changes everything

  17. Sean
    An autocracy is where political power is held by one person/political party. If the Assembly ever gets off the ground, then that clearly would not be the case in NI. Re the "Prods in the Garden Centre", well, it’s becoming increasingly crowded there and the golf-club bars- the % of people abstainibng from voting as been increasing over the last 2 decades.

    Without doing a sectarian headcount, it’s hard to determine the "community background" (now isn’t that so much of a nicer, Non-sectarian label?) of these newcomers, but if you look at all of the election figures since 2000 you get a clue.

    Despite an increase in the potential RC voting population, the total % voting for the SDLP and SF has remained constant or fallen at each election.

    Why?
    Well, again a guess. The present constitutional position which gurantees their Irishness whilst at the same time delivering them the economic benefits of remaining a part of the UK is more attractive than the social,political and economic uncertainty a UI may bring.

  18. <Q>Not at all. The political alliences unionism could make would give them huge power.</Q>

    Who mentioned unionism Henry ? I’m Talking about ROI vs NI. NI would be swamped.

    No matter what poses ROI politicians strike, they – and many if not most Southerners view Northern Nationalists with distaste and suspicion. They wouldn’t be doing either side in NI any favours.

    It’s worth looking at the re-unification of Germany – and after all Germany actually WAS one country for a while and was "partitioned" for less time than the island of Ireland.

  19. >>NI would be swamped<<

    What do you mean by swamped there mad,

    I dont personally view a UI as inevitable as a lot of people do. I do believe though that some sort of solution will need to be reached which addresses the aspirations of both communities. The only one I can think of is a British/Irish federation or sorts.

    The GFA/SAA agreements have yet to address the issue at the core of the problem. ie sizeable communities with polar aspirations.

  20. <Q>What do you mean by swamped there mad,</Q>

    I mean that NI’s interests would be secondary to the interests of the rest of the island. Regardless of the undoubtedly genuine sentiments people like you express about a new beginning, new entity etc, the reality would be that Dublin would be calling the shots.

    In this respect I’m not looking at the idea there will be a small unionist Minority facing a pan-nationalist front – we need to be face the reality – Southern people have a very jaundiced view of ALL Northerners.
    How much say did what was E Germany have after Unification?

    On the more partisan front –

    The suggestion that NI’s Unionists as a power bloc would be able to counter that is hard to justify – how much influence did a 40 odd % minority have in NI ?
    And in the aftermath of unification it’s a mighty big presumption that the unionist community would maintain any form of unity – I suspect in no time at all they would fragment into numerous factions, none of which would have sufficient clout to greatly affect 32 county politics. I don’t even think they would acheive the status of the Lib Dems in GB ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. Paul w

    I am well aware what an autocracy is and for most of the history of nI an autocracy is exactly what it is. first a UUP autocracy and now a NIO autocracy, everybody wave at King Peter Hain.

    The reasons for not voting are varied for both communities. Some do not find a party that they are capable of voting for. Some because of their upbringing and backgrounds can not stomach the idea of voting for the party that actually represents their views. after more than 80 years with out change apathy is a big problem.

    But when it comes to the border vote, its not a vote for a party its a vote for your mind and your pocket book. And you will be surprised with how much clarity your pocket book can deliver to your mind

  22. Shows how little you understand Sean.

    If it was a wallet decision the Free State would have rejoined the UK.

    Don’t judge us by your standards.

  23. Mad

    In a true democracy a minority can have a major effect in politics by becoming what amounts to the swing vote in an election. By becoming the party that is required to have a co-alition government then they become a party who is listened to and courted by the other parties.

    This requires a strong 2 party state with the 3rd party being the swing vote. these conditions pretty much exist in the republic so that it would give the unionists a very strong influence.

    Why it failed in notehrn Ireland? Simple really northern Ireland was not a true democracy, is not a true democracy. It was a one party autocracy that felt no need to consult the minority and in doing so completely alienated them and left them with little choice but the attempted violent overthrow of a terrorist state

  24. mad the whole point to my post was that for Ireland it wasnt a wallet vote.

    For Centuries the English abused the Irish and they would have never gone back to them.

  25. Sean – you don’t have a clue about what you are talking.
    The only reason I addressed a comment to you was to point out that we are not for sale.

  26. If for no other reason than to stop discussion on such a poll should be had. It would have been better to have it pre devolution then they would have a good 7 years of getting down to real politics.

    As it is it’d still be beneficial. Have a poll, find that support for UI is between 35 and 45 % then get on with the real job.

    The SDLP may be less anti unionist than ye think guys by calling for this. A defeated poll would take the wind out of SF’s sails for a long time. Have SF calling for a poll lately?

  27. MR

    <i>It’s worth looking at the re-unification of Germany</i>

    Only long enough to eliminate it as an example. Communism destroyed the East leaving a huge economic difference to be made up. In Ireland the north is not that far behind.

    And the north would no more be swamped in a united Ireland than Munster.

    However to avoid even the hint of it I have long maintained that having Belfast as the seat of government would help a lot in balancing the new Ireland.

  28. ‘Why seven years ? The referendum can be held as often as Westminster chooses.’

    They could also make NI a protectorate of the Outer Hebrides if they wished, but what I mean (not that you don’t know) is that 7 years was the time frame put in place between polls on NI joining a UI.

  29. Don’t ya just love the clamour by the SDLP and the Provos for a poll on Anschluss.

    In one breath they claim to want stability; in the next they propose the very thing that could lead to mass instability.

    The IRA party line is particularly humorous. One line declares that the party will rigorously defend the Belfast Agreement. The next calls for one all-Ireland referendum on Anschluss – something that is not even part of that same agreement.

    Both parties demonstrate their absolute unsuitability to hold office in a part of the United Kingdom.

  30. <Q>between polls on NI joining a UI.</Q>

    what is it you guys don’t get about the Belfast agreement ? you are lifting a specific section of it out of context and trying to pretend it is binding in ALL circumstances. IF OUR politicians decided to have a poll on this issue because they wanted information they could repeat the poll whenever they like. The Seven Year thing would NOT apply.

  31. Andrew has a point. Even if the numbers changed and a majority in NI (known to some as a certain number of counties) supported unification, the ROI is in no position or inclination to control the resulting annexation, a position SF probably finds impossible to admit.

  32. Henry – How much influence do East German Politicians and East German Political Parties etc have in Nua Ghearmรกin? Is the place not run by the same crowd that ran W Germany?

  33. Andrew

    Both parties demonstrate their absolute unsuitability to hold office in a part of the United Kingdom.
    Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 07:06PM | Andrew McCann

    probably explains why they dont want to be in the united kingdom

  34. Sean

    Then let them piss off to the Republic. Northern Ireland’s position is NOT up for grabs.

  35. Henry,
    "The people of the island would have to agree a new constitution for ourselves.

    It certainly wouldn’t be a case of the south "taking over" the north."

    As the South accounts for over 70% of the population, they could simply vote to agree to the perfectly functioning constitution they already have.

  36. <Q>As the South accounts for over 70% of the population, they could simply vote to agree to the perfectly functioning constitution they already have.</Q>

    Yep.

  37. SMCGIFF

    "Have SF calling for a poll lately?"

    I assume that you mean called for a poll and the answer is yes – it’s in their manifesto.

    Kloot

    "I dont personally view a UI as inevitable as a lot of people do. I do believe though that some sort of solution will need to be reached which addresses the aspirations of both communities. The only one I can think of is a British/Irish federation or sorts".

    I largely agree with you – I do think that there will be a UI but it will be a fair way off when most of us are pushing up the daisies.

    I think there is naiviety among many Nationalists (i.e.50% +1) as to the economic complexity of a UI and how long it would take to get things in place. They also overestimate the desire of the RoI for a UI.

    I think that there is an equal amount of ill-founded confidence among Unionists. Many Unionists like to delude themselves that NI is a big issue for the UK electorate and that people on the "mainland" actually care. Having lived for many years in London and hearing the views of my many English family, friends and colleagues, I believe that this is a complete fallacy.

    Most UK people don’t understand NI and don’t care. They wouldn’t give a toss if the UK govt pulled out. I have never seen any staistical evidence that proves my view to be incorrect.

    Successive UK govts have been gradually pulling out of NI as it is a massive drain on the UK economy and, frankly, an international embarassment.

    An independent "Ulster" is just laughable and can only be seriously considered by people living in a dream world.

    Integration is also a laughable suggestion as it is the last thing that the UK govt wants.

    I believe that, as the Nationalist population grows and, equally importantly, the RoI invest millions into cross-border projects, the two entities will inevitably draw closer. I don’t think there will be a massive jump to a UI or total British withdrawal. I think it’s more likely that there will be a gradual move towards the "British/Irish federation of sorts" that you mention.

    For anyone to suggest that the constitutional position of NI is settled for good is a joke. In a democracy, how can any constitutional question be settled permanently?

    I think that Nationalists must be realistic and accept that there will not be a UI in the foreseeable future.

    However, Unionists who say that there will never be a UI are simply foolish. Which of us can say what will happen next week, let alone 20, 30 or 50 years down the line?

  38. Billy

    The Roman Catholic population has grown. That doesn’t mean the ‘nationalist’ population will do likewise.

    As far as Unionists are concerned, the position within the UK is settled. There is no ‘free for all’, only a desire by the government(s) for stability – a prospect that would be completely shattered by the advent of Anschluss.

    I once saw a mural on a Shankill wall that said ‘unionists would never accept a united Ireland.’ The more I read comments from arrogant separatists, the more I sincerely believe they will keep to that pledge – whatever it takes!

  39. >>I once saw a mural on a Shankill wall that said<<

    The UVF is always good for a snappy slogan, Andrew.
    I’m sure you were equally impressed by the British imported AF47’s the men on the mural were brandishing.

  40. Andrew

    "The Roman Catholic population has grown. That doesn’t mean the ‘nationalist’ population will do likewise. "

    Agreed and maybe those who say that a lot of Catholics won’t vote for a united Ireland are right. That is all legitimate speculation.

    But if nationalists win a majority for the end of the union then that is that. Game over.

    Muttering threats of violence out of the side of your mouth from Yorkshire is a bit pathetic.

  41. 42%-41% lead for nationalist parties over unionists in this mornings poll in the Belfast Telegraph.

  42. "Muttering threats of violence out of the side of your mouth from Yorkshire is a bit pathetic."

    Henry,

    There are always dark, terrorist mutterings when a UI is mentioned. I wouldn’t worry about it.

    Back to David’s original point – I think this thread points towards him being correct; many people do not accept that the constitutional position is settled.

  43. As the government of the republic builds the infrastructure into the west of northern Ireland and it becomes far cheaper, easier and more pleasurable to travel to the republic instead of Belfast there will be the slow but inevitable drain of loyalties south. The west is already compromised chiefly of nationalists so many might not consider this a concern, however as the west becomes more economically viable due to trade with the republic this part of the 6 counties will see a larger part of the population map and will result in atleast the repartition of the 6 counties and more than likely the desired United Ireland outcome.

    The only possible way that the unionist majority of Ulster will be able to remain is for it to become a tax haven like the Isle of Man. Since the exchequer will not want another tax haven the english will unilateraly cede dominion to the republic

    since the next arguement will be that the english can not act unilaterally in ceding this territory because the "people" (meaning unionists) won’t allow it, I say when have the english ever cared about what the people of Ireland want? they will do as they have always done! which is whatever they want with out care for what the whining classes want

  44. Billy

    ‘I assume that you mean called for a poll and the answer is yes – it’s in their manifesto.’

    Yes – I was impressed at how quickly SF shoehorned that into their manifesto after I posted my comment! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  45. "I once saw a mural on a Shankill wall that said ‘unionists would never accept a united Ireland.’ The more I read comments from arrogant separatists, the more I sincerely believe they will keep to that pledge – whatever it takes!"

    Tacit admission by Andrew McCann that Unionism does in fact support the use of illegal violence,(some people call it terrorism),for political purposes?

  46. Once a majority of the population in the North vote for a UI (and it is endorsed by the ROI, which I believe will happen although support will not be unanimous), unionsits will then call for repartition, saying they will be a minority population denied rights in a UI.

    Who’s to say the British won’t back them up on this? Why do nationalists automatically think that the UK government won’t backtrack on these pledges, like they have on many other ones?

    With a Gibralter-like territory covering two/three counties in the North-East of Ireland heavily fortified and backed up by the British army, what is the recently expanded ROI going to go? Invade? Not likely.

    A united Ireland brings up many questions for those south of the border that few people have even thought about. There’s the obvious security threat, a potential financial drain unless the Northern economy improves (providing the ROI economy stays stable) and issues of flags, anthems, language status, rewriting the history books etc to beat the band. Are we going to have to have Ulster-Scots on signposts in Kerry? Will a compromised official national identity be stretched to such a transparency that it becomes meaningless?

    Why not repartition now?

  47. Niall

    Why don’t we think the english will back up another repartioned smaller state? Because they are tired of throwing good money after bad which is precisely why they are in negotiations with the republic on a final price tag

  48. Wishful thinking, Sean. They have bolstered up the NI State since 1921 and reneged on repartition then, and have spent considerable expense and the loss of many soldiers protecting it in the past 35 years. Only 20 years ago Thatcher said it was as ‘British’ as Finchley. They can afford to support it, even for sentimental reasons, and especially an exclusively unionist enclave where the threat of terrorism is reduced.

    Nationalists never seem to learn lessons from history, still optimistic as ever, despite numerous sellouts from British administrations in the past.

    The English/mainland British might not give two hoots about NI now, but when a UI is presented to them as a sellout of their British brethren in Ulster you can be certain they will get interested very quick. After all, they don’t have much of an empire to defend any more so they’re a bit precious about it.

    They didn’t goot a hoot about the imperial system till the EU tried to impose metric on them. Many elements in British society will campaign for a repartitioned settlement then, saying we can’t let British folk be forced into another jurisdiction against their will, and unionists will call for this too.

    Madradin Ruad,
    Are you telling me there won’t be ethnic cleansing when the poll results are in and you’re all of a sudden British no more?

  49. Madradin,
    "with ethnic cleansing ?
    No thanks."

    I assume you live west of the Bann and would be one of those who would have to leave the UK. Therefore I’m not surprised you are against re-partition. But there are many who see it as the best long-term solution, most notably unionists east of the Bann.

    Niall,
    of course the UK can afford to keep Northern Ireland. The only question is whether it is in their interests.

    The Great British people can be equally persuaded of the merits of getting rid of any presence in Ireland or keeping a small part.

  50. Nial

    you are correct they HAVE spent billions of pounds and thousands of lives the point being is they no longer appear willing to continue. Everything they have done in the last twenty years has been to get northern Ireland off the provincial dole. but since you cant stand up they seem willing to lay down. and one way or the other they are intent on cutting you lose from the exchequer

  51. Niall the other wee bit about the mainland caring…. dream on if its going to cost them money out of their pockets then say good bye

    I am Canadian and all to familiar with the concept

  52. Nothing coming from the side of my mouth. I say it openly.

    I sincerely hope that, if Anschluss ever did come about (and it’s a massive ‘if’), the repercussions for the entire island in terms of economic degredation, mass societal instability, political catharsis, a flight of international corporations, ad infinitum would reach a new crescendo.

  53. So, Andrew, if Unionism ever loses the fight, your spite and Schadenfreude would be such that you’d prefer to see all Irish people, including Unionists, destitute than happy.

    Sort of like Hitler in April 1945.

  54. But Andrew, we’d all have to emigrate over to old Blighty again. You could set up a B&B.

  55. Cunningham

    I’d like to see the entire nationalist population of the island wish they’d never even heard of the concept of ‘Irish unity’ let alone sought to achieve it.

    Destitute, miserable, worthless, the list goes on. It would be such a richly deserved outcome.

  56. <em>you are correct they HAVE spent billions of pounds and thousands of lives the point being is they no longer appear willing to continue</em>

    So we fionally see the light and join the rest of that Irish family, our kids skipping together in the liberated 4th field etc etc.

    But our financial problems, our economic structural weaknesses…they’re not going away y’know the day we sign up for the UI.

    And those nice people in the ROI (10th of the population of the UK) per capita will have to pay just that slightest bit more (call it an Orange Tax if you like) than our friends on the mainland have been to keep us in the manner to which we’ve become accustomed. That’s awfully nice of them.

    You <Q>have</q> asked them about this have you…

  57. >>I’d like to see the entire nationalist population of the island wish they’d never even heard of the concept of ‘Irish unity’ let alone sought to achieve it.<<

    I don’t how to respond to that post to be honest Andrew. It doesn’t show you in a good light, but i’m sure that doesn’t worry you. You deliberately used the term Nationalist instead of republican.

    There is nothing at all wrong with an aspiration for Irish unity. Most unionists themselves will admit and accept that.

    To wish what you have wished on a people, including those you purport to support is not very Christian like and pretty uncalled for.

  58. Lads,

    Partition was wrong the first time; it would be wrong again.

    The same issues would apply.

  59. Kloot

    Well that’s where you and I fundamentally disagree. I think there is everything wrong with the aspiration for a ‘united Ireland’. If my opinion differs from a number of Unionists, so be it. It is, and will remain, my opinion.

    However, as I firmly believe the prospect is not even on the radar screen, I don’t utter that opinion with any form of anger.

  60. >>I think there is everything wrong with the aspiration for a ‘united Ireland’.<<

    Theres nothing wrong with that either. Its the bit where you wished the island would practically collapse that I have a problem with.

    Maybe its just me. I dont have the same anger in me for anything bar the worst evils in society, and nationalism just is not in anyway evil.

    What are the particular reasons that you believe it to be wrong for Nationalists to aspire for unity ?

  61. <Q>Madradin Ruad,
    Are you telling me there won’t be ethnic cleansing when the poll results are in and you’re all of a sudden British no more?</Q>

    The only way repartitioning could be viable is if there was massive ethn ic cleansing. That’s not on.

    p.s. we’ll always be British. It would affect those yet to be born.

  62. <Q>there are many who see it as the best long-term solution, most notably unionists east of the Bann.</Q>

    Cabn you back that assertion up ? I know there are a few vocal loonies posting on various message boards, but can you, for example, name me any person of influence in the British isles who calls for repartition?

  63. <Q>Partition was wrong the first time;</Q>

    Only in reg-land. Our forefathers were shown to have been right.

  64. >>The only way repartitioning could be viable is if there was massive ethn ic cleansing. That’s not on.<<

    Repartition would be a disaster as it would only serve as a spark to reignite the tribal divisions. It could provide an excuse for both communities to further isolate themselves.

    >>we’ll always be British. It would affect those yet to be born.<<

    Thats true.

  65. >>and nationalism just is not in anyway evil.<<

    I take that back.. Thats too broad a statement. Nationalism can of course be a force for evil.

    I meant the aspirations for Irish Unity by nationalist

  66. Kloot

    Because ‘unity’ is based on an historical faultline of the ‘entitlement’ to Irish cultural and political supremacy over the entire island – even though a significant proportion do not, and will never accept, that lust for supremacy.

    I’m sorry you have a problem with my wish that an all-island state would be a social, political and economic disaster of cataclysmic proportions. It, however, will remain my view.

  67. Picked this book up over lunch

    Lapsed Protestant, by Glen Patterson ( a very popular name in NI isnt it. )

    Anyone read it. Looks like a good read

  68. >>Because ‘unity’ is based on an historical faultline of the ‘entitlement’ to Irish cultural and political supremacy over the entire island<<

    Hmmm.

    The biggest mistake Irish nationalists make is in their denial of the Britishness of unionists in NI. Their failure to accept its legitimacy. Instead of trying to accommodate unionism, they have historically tried to ignore it or tried to tell them what is best for them. In much the same way that the Irish were continuously told from London what was best for them. Nationalists didnt like that and so there’s no reason that Unionism would like hearing the same from Nationalists.

  69. "Cabn you back that assertion up ? I know there are a few vocal loonies posting on various message boards, but can you, for example, name me any person of influence in the British isles who calls for repartition?"

    Madradin,
    obviously it is a scenario that would only come about if NI could no longer work so it isn’t something that anybody would call publicly call for per se.

    Margaret Thatcher considered it though. I would consider her a person of influence

  70. <Q>it isn’t something that anybody would call publicly call for per se.</Q>

    In other words you made it up.
    Silly bhoy.

  71. Madradin,
    hardly silly at all. If all you want to do is abuse I won’t bother.

    The leader of the British government considered it, not least I believe because she was informed that it was an option acceptable to a large number of unionists.

    Another British government under Prime Minister, Edward Heath also considered repartitioning I would assume for the same reason.

    Reverend William Beattie of the DUP actively advocated it

    The Ulster Defence Association published a paper on the viability of it.

    This was a group that had no problems mobilising 30,000 people on the streets at one time.

    Is that enough for you?

    What constitutes many unionists for you?

  72. Dear me Garfie – this is what you wrote :

    <Q>there are many who see it as the best long-term solution, most notably unionists east of the Bann.</Q>

    ARE is PRESENT Tense. Who are these current East of the Bann Unionists ? You made it up!

    ( yes it’s been looked at and rejected IN THE PAST as a doomsday plan for Civil War or as the lesser of two evils if it looked as if anschluss was about to happen )

    You might get away with inventions like that (many my backside!) in some plastic fantasy message board but you’ll get called on it here.

  73. "p.s. we’ll always be British. It would affect those yet to be born."

    Hate to break it to you, but most Protestants down south don’t see themselves as British, though their grandparents definitely did. If the union ends, so will Ulster Britishness in two or three generations. It will be a redundant term if there is no British sovereignty. After all, multiculturalism doesn’t work, as has been argued extensively on this site.

  74. Andrew as usual you use your bigotry to blind you to reason. Why would a United Ireland lead to 3rd world status for the Irish? Is it your contention that ulster is presently such a poor state that it is incapable of being self sustaining? Then why would you want it?

    just the act of repatriating northern Ireland, especially if it can be done with out violence, will lead to an increase in economic activity and investment. Even now the tourists are begining to return to northern Irelands high streets. I myself have walked the pavements of a few northern towns and find them delightful and reccomend people to go. Just not in July or August.

    But back to my point How will NI beggard ROI?

  75. <Q>Hate to break it to you, but most Protestants down south don’t see themselves as British, though their grandparents definitely did. </Q>

    What are you on about ? I wasn’t talking about protestants down South – I was talking about the people of Northern Ireland .

    <Q>If the union ends, so will Ulster Britishness in two or three generations.</Q>

    Erm – THAT was PRECISELY my point with

    "we’ll always be British. It would affect those yet to be born."

    "we’ll" meaning those of us presently alive, "those yet to be born" meaning future generations.

  76. Madradin,
    let me see. Two British Prime Ministers and the largest Loyalist Paramilitary terrorist organisation actively considered partition as a viable option.

    Are you saying you don’t believe there are many unionists (and not a few nationalists maybe even many) who see repartition as a long-term solution?

  77. et me see. Two British Prime Ministers and the largest Loyalist Paramilitary terrorist organisation actively considered partition as a viable option.

    in the PAST – not NOW.

    You are talking blethers.

    As for the UDA – they did not have 30,000 members in the 90s , so that’s another dishonesty from you.

    you claimed that repartition is a serious option NOW – that is nonsense Garfield.

    we can discuss the past if you like – AFTER you admit that you have no grounds to claim that many people these days consider it "the best long-term solution".

  78. MP Harold McCusker is another who advocated repartition. You heard of the the guy I assume.

    Are we at many unionists or should I continue?

  79. Sorry, Madradin. I thought you meant Britishness would affect those yet to be born. Oops!

  80. Since it is a contingency with the present chance of happening equal to the proverbial snowball in Hell, is it necessary to consider at this length?

    If and when (and as the Godfather said – that day may never come) there was a reunification, it would only be possible through an overwhelming desire of the populations of the North and South. Absent such a change of heart and minds, and you would have Baghdad west.

  81. Mahons – Garfield was caught out in a falsehood.

    Harold McCusker – RIP – DIED in 1990. That’s 17 years ago.

    Your claims were about attitudes to repartition NOW.

    <Q> there are many who see it as the best long-term solution, most notably unionists east of the Bann.</Q>

    So far he has not produced one iota of evidence to back his assertion.

  82. Madradin: Perhaps he was merely mistaken or was not conveying his point clearly (not uncommon in the limited format). A falsehood charge implies a little more than appears necessary.

  83. <Q>A falsehood charge implies a little more than appears necessary.</Q>

    Mahons – if it was a mistake it would have been met with a correction when challenged. Since the challenge he has tried to represent items from Ted Heath’s time in office, a Call by Beattie in the 70s , a misrepresentation of the UDA from the 90s, the thoughts of an MP dead 17 years and something from Mrs Thatchers years in office as backing his claim that many people NOW regard repartition etc etc .

    Hardly honest debating. It is dishonest, a falsehood , to claim that many people see it as the long-term best solution – and it’s certainly a falsehood to make the claim about many unionists east of the Bann.

  84. Mad seems to have Garfield on the point that there doesn’t appear to be any unionist leader sticking their head above the parapet and admit repartition is a consideration.

    However, everybody (mad included, though he probably wont concede as much) knows that this is something that is in the last stand arsenal of unionists as an option if the whole six counties were to go over 50% pro UI.

  85. SMcGiff – some may see it as prefferable to anschluss. but that is VERY different form his dishonest representation as factual that

    <Q> there are many who see it as the best long-term solution, most notably unionists east of the Bann.</Q>

    If he’s going to make a statement like that about the present, it wasn’t unreasonable to ask him to back it up.So far we have had lots of waffle about Past PMs and Dead MPs ( I think Wm Beattie is dead ) and a UDA document from the 90s, but nothing to support his claim

    Let’s be honest chaps – he made it up.

  86. I doubt if there are many at all, SMcGiff. It has also been ruled out by various RoI-UK agreements. Some diehard Unionists could maybe try to keep a rump out of a UI, but there’s no way they could maintain the link to Britain. And who would seriously want an independent republic of Antrim+Down?

    However, I think Andrew did suggest it for a doomsday situation on this site once..

  87. <Q>Mad seems to have Garfield on the point that there doesn’t appear to be any unionist leader sticking their head above the parapet and admit repartition is a consideration.</Q>

    Unionist leader ? Hell, are there any ordinary unionists ? Or anybody else for that matter saying what he claimed – that it’s "the best long-term solution" ?

    Sigourney Weaver awaits me – She’s a wonderful woman, (obviously a Unionist) smiting aliens ( obviously shinners ) !

  88. Madradin: Enjoy, but I hate to burst your bubble she’s a Yank (and a New Yorker by birth and design).

  89. Even a plastic strain in her genes, perhaps?

    mahons, could you be man enough to tell us honestly, if Mrs. mahons got so fed up with American cooking and dragged you back to Irl, and you landed by mistake on the wrong side of the border, who you would vote for in the NI election?

  90. "Mad seems to have Garfield on the point that there doesn’t appear to be any unionist leader sticking their head above the parapet and admit repartition is a consideration."

    Apart from two British Prime Ministers, heads of the union, of course.

  91. Mahons – she’s an actress – she’s playing a Unionist role ๐Ÿ™‚

  92. <Q>heads of the union,</Q>

    The head of state is the Queen. Head of the union is another invention of Garfields if he is referring to the two past prime ministers who rejected repartition ๐Ÿ™‚

    keep digging Garfie!

  93. Madradin,
    I think you’ll find that parliament is sovereign and dthe Queen is the ceremonial head. Sad that even at this stage of your life you still need lectures in British democracy.

    Maybe you don’t believe in the power of parliament?

    Two British Prime Ministers drew up plans for it. You can ignore that salient fact if you want.

    The largest loyalist paramilitary group the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) drew up plans to repartition Northern Ireland.

    McCusker advocated it.

    You still haven’t answered my question as to whether you think many unionists think it may be a long-term solution?

  94. Might I remind you that it only takes an act of parliament for Northern Ireland to be repartitioned.

    The Queen’s view doesn’t come into it regardless of how many Oscars she wins.

  95. No Garfield – there is NO such post as "head of the union". Have you been drinking ?

    Further your claim was

    <Q>there are many who see it as the best long-term solution, most notably unionists east of the Bann.</Q>

    That 2 PMs many years ago considered and rejected it, so obviously even THEY didn’t consider it the best long-term solution – and that according you a few now dead MPs advocated it has NO bearing on your claim about the present.

    Some unionists might consider it as a lesser evil than anschluss – but that does not mean that ANYBODY sees it as "the best long-term solution".

    Come on Garfie – admit it, you made that up.

  96. Sean
    It was I and not Andrew who was doubting the average ROI citizen’s desire to subsidise us in the event of a UI.

    Your point was that the average citizen in the Uk was thoroughly pissed off with paying 10 billion every year to keep us up and running. I dispute that -it costs the British taxpayer something like 7 GBP per head per month, it is not a subject of great debate over the breakfast-tables of Tunbridge Wells.

    <q>Why would a United Ireland lead to 3rd world status for the Irish?</Q>

    It wouldn’t.

    My point is in the event of a UI, our economic structural weaknesses wouldn’t suddenly disappear overnight. So you would be asking the typical citizen in the ROI to pay a helluva lot extra in taxes to bring 800,000 hostile new citizens on board…

    <em>Is it your contention that ulster is presently such a poor state that it is incapable of being self sustaining?</em>

    Quite frankly, yes.

    <em>Then why would you want it?</em>

    It’s not a question of "wanting"

    The North-East of England or liverpool are probably also "run at a loss", doesn’t make them any less British.

    <em>just the act of repatriating northern Ireland, especially if it can be done with out violence, will lead to an increase in economic activity and investment.</em>

    Nationalists and Republicans have never asked for PWC or any of the big beancounting companies to carry out an independent costing analysis of the economic consequences of a UI- why not do you think?

    But maybe you’re right in the longterm, who knows?

    But, for example, in the short-term you’re going to have a lot of unemployed public-sector workers (the public-sector contributes 65% of NI’s GDP) when the UK pulls out. Not much in a UI for them economically really.

  97. I titter at separatists who baulk at my stance on mass instability and then allude to the notion of Unionists who oppose Anschluss being ‘sorted out’ with relative ease. Such hypocrisy! Especially when you consider what difficulties both the US and Allied armies are having in quelling rebellious factions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    As for the future all-island state, I sincerely hope it would be poorer than Chad and more unstable than Somalia. It would serve the republican bastards right!!

    BTW, it is not as simple as 50% + 1 as I’ve clearly stated on more than one occasion. I do wish nationalists would wake up.

  98. Sorry, the subsidy from the UK Exchequer is, of course, approx 5 billion not 10 as I said. The other figures I mentioned are correct.

  99. What would be the tools of this Unionist "mass instability" Andrew?, guns? explosives?

    If so where would such tools come from?.

  100. "Nationalists and Republicans have never asked for PWC or any of the big beancounting companies to carry out an independent costing analysis of the economic consequences of a UI- why not do you think?"

    That’s pretty obvious, Paul. For one, it would cost a lot of money to do such research for an event that we all know will not happen for a considerable amount of time. Secondly, no-one knows what shape a reunified state would take, so it could be a complete waste of money. Thirdly, no-one knows what state the northern and southern economies would be in at this unknown date.

    "But, for example, in the short-term you’re going to have a lot of unemployed public-sector workers (the public-sector contributes 65% of NI’s GDP) when the UK pulls out. Not much in a UI for them economically really."

    It would serve the lazy bastards right. The public sector in NI should be culled anyway – its size is a joke.

  101. Leaving aside the fact that you seem to be advocating violence, which would seem be a mirror image of the IRA, Andrew I’m genuinley interested in hearing your view.

    In your opinion where and what would be the source of these tools of mass unionist instability?.

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