There is much wrangling in Norneverland about the demise of local government and the reinstatement of Direct Rule from Westminster in London. That sounds like something that London isn’t looking forward to. There is no way that they want this to happen again but it really does seem an inevitability. We’ve been here before , of course, but not under these circumstances. I don’t really think Theresa Villiers would be very good at it , given her performance up until now. We’ve never really faced Direct Rule after a period of self-governance by such a fairly well-balanced representative cross-section of everyone in these counties who is willing and able to vote .Yes we’ve had a go at it but we appear to have failed ourselves.
There is still no sense of the compromises required .Those compromises might really be an impossibility , given our collective tribal psyches.There is talk that it might take yet another generation to bleed out the hatreds that unionism cannot shake off. …to disinfect their republican rivals after daring to confont their past sins with an armed response .Sinn Fein , obviously have the same kind of problems with their unionist partners but they are willing to let it go without any such further de-compressing or cleansing.
We seem to have proven to ourselves that we can’t actually make any of this “politics”work properly.There isn’t much to show for our efforts of these past few years….only acrimony. There has been much talk about lack of trust and all the rest but I think I established already in another piece that nobody trusts anybody in politics anyway and Norneverland is quite an extreme case of untrustworthiness.We have such a long and anguished history of distrust .Unionists don’t trust Nationalists and Nationalists don’t trust Unionists. You might say …so what …what else is new? That’s politics! That is exactly why we had the Good Friday Agreement.
We basically agreed to have a go at this government lark even though we didn’t really trust each other and in fact didn’t have a lot in common. It sounded a whole lot better than killing each other, somehow.In some cases we actively hated each other to that extent .It sounds like a great, abusive marriage doesn’t it ? Well… many marriages turn out like that . Many cultures embrace the idea of an arranged marriage and simply hope that it will work .
What’s happening here is that although both parties were and are reluctant partners , one of the partners never really wanted the union to work from the very start and would much rather have absconded with their dowry and fled the marriage- bed. They made no bones about it.
The problem is that there is nowhere else to run to. You can’t pretend that practically half of the population don’t really exist. You might try a few tricks, like our friend the ostrich and stick your head in the sand , but when you pop back up and look around, the landscape and all your fears will still be there looking right back at you.Unionism is that ostrich.The marriage party in its various formats may interchange its members and call themselves a variety of differing names, but their political beliefs will remain the same. Nationalism similarly has its own agenda and no matter what it calls itself, it adheres to its own political ideal.When the dust settles not much will have changed. We’ll still be here together.
Unionism’s real agenda has been to slow down politics to a point of stasis and in doing so stymie the republican plan to grow as a an all-Ireland party….to grow as a party at all . It matters not a whit whether or not they are armed or unarmed . In fact it seems they would prefer them to be armed because in that respect they could then demonise them all the better. It would make life a lot simpler if the devil had some nice pointy horns on show all of the time. If the devil hasn’t got those horns , it now appears they’d better invent some. That is the only plan in sight .They have able help-mates south of the border helping them in this.
So will Norneverland Nationalism simply roll over and allow itself to be governed solely by Westminster or even jointly with an uncaring conservative southern Irish Republic which would prefer to contain Sinn Fein in the same bed as those Northern Unionists? Neither of these benefactors really want much to do with the Norneverlanders of any stripe anyway and really wish they weren’t there at all. When the present Executive is pulled apart it might take many years before it can be re-built which will leave another generation of young voters on the outside ,looking in. That sounds very like history attempting to repeat its mistakes only a generation later.Memories are very short.
Maybe there’s the hope by unionism that given enough time to simmer and boil, another generation of youthful and impatient nationalists will decide to arm themselves in frustration and again fight a government which wants to take away their voting rights , dreams and futures ,in all but name . That would give them back an enemy they could really understand , just like that last time in the late 1960’s. They ‘ve already proven they’re not really cut out for real politics…the art of the possible… after all. Their preference is to stall, sit on their hands and hope that it all goes away ,or failing that, rile up their collective unionist friends ,set up yet another armed wing for themselves, paid -for ,out of our collective taxes and start all over again.
That was another great little earner , in the past , as Arthur Daly might say.
I’m sure Cameron , Villiers and Kenny have thrown their hands in the air in exasperation and behind closed doors are querying how best to deal with the messenger of all their ills …the Chief Constable who dropped them all into the shit without any evidence or even a trial.
“Who will rid us of this troublesome priest?”…… Indeed
I don’t think there’ll be much problem with the divorce –
sure the marriage has never been consummated!
As usual an incisive and entertaining offering from HMcAv. But am I the only curmudgeon who finds the term ‘Norneverland’ unfunny irritating and definitely ‘played out’?
Ta Brian but I’m afraid it will remain “Norneverland” for the forseeable future …at least until all the little Lilliputians , Mad Queens , Mad Hatters, Tweedledums and Tweedledees.Blefuscusians , Round- Enders and Pointy -Enders …escape back through that Looking Glass into the Real World .
I could also argue that I am actually writing despatches from a totally mythical place with no relation to any real place in the world. How can anyone believe that people could behave in such irrational ways as they do in a place such as Norneverland? Could it really be allowed to exist in any rational world? It can only make sense as a
Amen, could not agree more
Leaving the legitimacy of direct rule aside, should that happen ( The GFA is an international treaty ) everyone I have talked to is more than annoyed by the petulant childish behaviour of Unionism and would not mourn the demise of the institutions in their present form . I’m in total agreement with your synopsis but Unionism delaying the inevitable will only make it more unpalatable for themselves and especially for their less than savvy followers .I fail to comprehend their reasoning when we’re within a whisker of outvoting them. I understand that a Sinn Féin First Minister will be a complete anathema to them and that their interpretation of democracy is closer to fascism but they have had their day….they have proven for 50 years ,on their own , and another 20 in partnership , that they are incapable of equality ,fair-play or any semblance of operating normal politics…..everyone is scundered to the back teeth with them…..Perhaps their modus operandi is intended to promote strife or ,God forbid, engineer us towards a civil war !
I believe your last remark to be closer to the truth than anyone wishes to acknowledge……..
So Republicans are allowed to be Republican but if a Unionist wants to remain Unionist it’s akin to holding up the ‘process’? That in itself is fascist irony right there
10.15yrs of direct rule somebody was suggesting on the radio,he could have a point some of this outfit couldnt run a bath.might be better all round if it gets things working then try again if the people want,
Spot on Harry, That’s totally it, in a nutshell, our current situation in The Sick Counties
You can`t square a circle Harry, it`s as simple as that. I was always certain there would be a peace process one day, even back in the days of the armed struggle I knew (and hoped) Republicans would have to lie down with Loyalists, I knew it would be difficult, seeing how Loyalism treats Republicanism as a crime in itself and seeing how much sway the Orange still, unfortunately, has over the Protestant people. I still see children marching past, twirling their little red white and blue batons, their fathers and older brothers swaggering down the road showing their contempt for the Catholics with every exaggerated drum beat. I don`t think that will ever change, as long as Britain rules a part of Ireland it will infect the mindset with their sectarian law, don`t forget the British still forbid taigs/papists from becoming head of state, even in 2015 it is acceptable to have anti Catholic laws but totally wrong to have laws against Muslims or blacks or gays. Until THAT is confronted there will be no incentive for the Billy Boys to wise up.
I like Harry’s term Norneverland. It encapsulates the absurdity of the manufactured statelet. Pours scorn upon the crumbling edifice. Sure, half the population refer to NI as Ulster or the Province, which is every bit as unfunny and irritating. But who cares really, I suppose.
See above answer to Brian , Freddy…..
I would welcome an extended period of direct rule. After all,we are a colony and should be ruled as a colony with Viceroy etc.
Your certainly prolific Harry. ” Ireland unfree shall never be at peace “