In Leinster House yesterday

 

I attended an interesting report-launch yesterday. It was in Leinster House, where a cross-party group produced a report on “an All-Island Economy”.

If you’re first reaction was to wince at the title, that was mine too. The compound word they’re avoiding is, of course, All-Ireland; but while in former times I’d probably have been critical of such tip-toeing around unionist sensitivities, I think that was probably a wise enough title. As the painter Robert Ballagh has pointed out, there are some words we have which are trigger words, banishing all hope of rational thought or discussion, and “All-Ireland” seems to be one of them. So let’s hope this report gets rational consideration.

You’ll get some idea of its contents and importance from the 10-minute video of Peadar Tóibín that I took. He was the Rapporteur of the group ( which is another way of saying he did most of the work) and that’s Marcella Corcoran Kennedy of Fine Gael seated besidehim – she was the Committee Chair. The report itself (which you can read online) has probably dozens of discussion points, but I asked what seemed to me the most crucial question: what was the main obstacle – apart from the border – to the establishment of an All-Island economy?

There were several answers. One is, of course, that some unionist politicians express fear that a united economy, north and south, might be a precursor of a politically united Ireland (oops, I’ve done it again – politically united island?) and so resist what the report shows clearly is economic sense. A second reason, I was surprised (but shouldn’t have been) to learn was that existing bodies north and south are fearful of merger or working too closely together because that might mean they lose their present power-base. I find that entirely credible. I saw it in action when the Ulster Polytechnic merged with the New University of Ulster: the amount of animosity and scurrying around to protect out-moded boundaries was a sight to behold).

A third reason cited was the difference in currencies north and south, with this acting a s a brake on business development.

Finally, as Peadar Tóibín conceded, the development of an all-island economy, which would patently be in the interests of both parts of Ireland, is fairly low on the agenda of both governments. This is truly scandalous. As the report shows again and again, co-ordinated economic planning and execution in a whole range of areas would most certainly provide financial benefit on both sides of the border; but because politicians are more intent on serving their separate jurisdictions, they don’t bother to raise their eyes and consider actions which would mean greater wealth and enhanced life-opportunities for everyone on the island. OK , in Ireland. Satisfied?

Here’s a ten-minute excerpt from Peadar Tóibín’s speech

103 Responses to In Leinster House yesterday

  1. neill January 29, 2016 at 12:03 pm #

    Jude we are part of the UK not an all island economy why don’t you face up to the facts?

    • Jim.hunter January 29, 2016 at 3:13 pm #

      Neil.you.are.a.bitter.and.angry.man.

      • Ryan January 29, 2016 at 8:56 pm #

        Neill.Is.A.VERY.angry.and.bitter.man.Jim.

        Lets.Just.Have.Patience.With.Him.

        • neill January 30, 2016 at 1:24 pm #

          I am only angry with people who support terrorist groups and who should know better.

    • Ryan January 29, 2016 at 8:40 pm #

      Neill, yes we are part of the UK…..for now. But Unionists have already voted for agreements where they accept that a United Ireland is a legitimate aspiration and that they will accept it if it ever occurs. No where, in any agreement, does it say that Republicans will give up their pursuit of Irish Unity and that’s exactly what Republicans like Sinn Fein are doing: Pursuing a United Ireland.

      We live in a democracy Neill, Republicans are allowed to pursue a United Ireland, why don’t you face up to the facts?

      • Am Ghobsmacht January 31, 2016 at 7:36 pm #

        In this instance I don’t see where Neil hasn’t faced up to facts, if anything he reiterated them (the terrorist-supporting but notwithstanding…)

    • Colmán February 2, 2016 at 5:43 pm #

      I think you said the opposite thing to me about a month ago Neill. Why have you changed your mind since? Did you ever noticed how the main motorway in the North seems to go in the wrong direction? Could this be used as a symbol of Unionist economic policy?

  2. billy January 29, 2016 at 12:13 pm #

    maybe its low on the governments agenda because they dont know if we are staying in europe or not.

  3. Séamus Ó Néill January 29, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

    What are these unionist sensitivities you’re alluding to….quintessential oxymoron there…..anyhow an all-island economy is feasible and in my opinion indispensable as a precursor to an new all-Ireland….with that foundation established ,and operational ,the indisputable economic benefits may well be a deciding factor in future voting patterns. Some progress has already been made in health ( although both systems are groaning and creaking from gratuitous bureaucracy and a right-wing onslaught )…another no-brained initially …roads and rail …( the roads here are almost medieval ). However even the proposal of closer co-operation ,I think , would induce severe apoplexy in our 17th century flat-earthers but at some stage they MUST accept democracy.

    • Am Ghobsmacht January 31, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

      Seamus

      What you say makes sense, however, with regards to the extolling the virtues of a UI in terms of efficiency, duplication of services etc I will remain unconvinced until the main re-unification party in the north puts its money where its mouth is, it’s fine to bleat on about saving money and efficiency but then give places like Magherafelt 9 or 10 schools:

      “We in SF believe in reducing duplication of public services…”

      “Cool, any chance you could merge a few schools then, save a bit of money?”

      “We in SF believe in reducing duplication of public services…”

      “Fine, but if you merged some schools, sold the unnecessary surplus assets and reduced the number of principals and vice principals you could save a packet and reduce the duplication of public services!”

      “We in SF believe in reducing duplication of public services…”

      “I’m away to the pub….”

      Nice thoughts Seamus but despite the talking there’s very little walking.

    • Colmán February 3, 2016 at 7:01 pm #

      A Shéamais, a chara, although I realise that you are using the ‘flat earth anology’ in order imply that unionists are old fashioned in their outlook it may be worth noting that it is doubtful that any society from the times of the ancient Greeks onwards and probably before that believed that the earth was flat. This is merely a myth propagated by modern man in order to make our ancestors look foolish.

  4. BYC January 29, 2016 at 3:01 pm #

    I don’t know how you listen to that piece and then blame the unionists for the lack of north south development. The Shinner said himself that the road from Belfast going south was a hell of a lot better, for a hell of a long time, that the road from Dublin going north. Is the prod kicking just a knee-jerk thing you can’t help.

    And who is that’s been attacking the north-south railway, grid-integrators and other infrastructure all this time (and just this week!). Not unionists.

    Other than that, good presentation, sensible idea.

    • Jude Collins January 29, 2016 at 3:24 pm #

      I’m not sure if you’re talkin’ to me, BYC, but I’ll assume you are. I don’t blame unionists for the lack of N-S development. Not solely. Many certainly are – witness neill’s response, for example. You’re right about the roads in the south being v bad for decades. But they’re not now, so maybe we should focus on present situation. I don’t know what to make of your’prod-kicking’ remark. I try to avoid references to religion, especially when the issue is political, not religious. And yes, you’re right – dissident republicans have attacked the N-S railway. Finally, I’m kinda perplexed that you’ve been kicking the piece – and me – and then you end with saying “Other than that, good presentation, sensible idea.” Shades of ‘Apart from that, Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?’

      • BYC January 29, 2016 at 3:47 pm #

        I was talking to you Jude and your partner in crime Séamus. Specifically;

        “some unionist politicians express fear that a united economy”

        and Séamus’

        “What are these unionist sensitivities you’re alluding to….quintessential oxymoron there”

        I don’t think these are helpful or even relevant remarks so I was scolding you for your naughtiness. It’s a distraction from a very worthwhile debate.

        Did you see that Peadar mentioned the importance of aligning school qualifications to integrate the tertiary education sector. I see also that there are discussions or plans to increase the school leaving age in the south and that the new Social Democrats party have suggested that the baptismal certificates be removed from acceptable selection criteria for southern schools. And you’ve been talking this week about the 11+.

        Newton Emerson put this on his site this week and I think I agree with him.

        http://www.thedetail.tv/articles/gcses-are-a-pointless-obstruction-let-s-just-get-rid-of-them

        Lets have a North-South commission on 14-18 years education next. That’d help knit us together.

        • Jude Collins January 29, 2016 at 4:52 pm #

          Thanks, BYC – that’s helpful, even if you have scolded me. The island thing irritates me too, but All-Ireland is a trigger for a section of our people to go ballistic. Why get people’s backs up before you start? I think the education area is one that really should be looked at – why such radically different systems? Can they learn from each other, combine the best? Have they EVEN TRIED? I’ll read N Emerson holding my nose, to borrow a phrase. His views on education kinda tapered with me when he announced that he knew what was going on in schools because he’d been into his old school and the head had taken him round. FFS….

          • BYC January 29, 2016 at 5:30 pm #

            ” he knew what was going on in schools because he’d been into his old school and the head had taken him round. FFS….”

            I did wonder how much Newton’s own experience of the Dixon Plan convinces him that an academic/vocational decision at 14 is the way to go.

  5. Brian Patterson January 29, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

    What this demonstrates is that the southern establishment is if anything MORE partitionist than the unionists.I can give numerous examples of the partitionist mentality south and west of the border. I first came across southern partitionism when I ws 16 years old and applied for membership of the Irish Youth Hostel association. I received a polite rebuff telling me that I was not eligible and that I should apply for membership of the Youth Hostel Asoociation of Northern Ireland.
    Here are furher examples of medrional partitionism.
    (i) We once had an all-Ireland system of car registrations. If you bought a car in County Dublin and brought it north it retained its -IK .(county Dublin reg. I think this was abandoned by the southern authorities in the seventies.In the eighties the DOE (NI) introduced some registration letter combinations such as ABZ, AJI etc. Peter Robinson et alia started screaming that these plates were too “Irish” looking. Coincidentally (?) and allegedly at the behest of the Gardai, the new “improved” format with (English language) county initials on registration plates, was introduced in the republic.. To placate recalcitant gaeilgeoiri the Irish version of the county name was written in bonsai letters at the top of the registration plate. (Irish speakers having better eyesight!) This change was effected without any consultation with anyone from the north. Still if you had an old vehicle which had already been registered in the north with a southern reg you could still, if you restored , MOT’,d and taxed it, retain the original southern reg. However the Revenue Commisssioners in the “Republic” wrote to the DOE in the north asking them to discontinue this pracice in the north as it was “causing confusion” (????!!!)
    (ii) .A few years ago my own teachers’ union, the INTO, commissioned an exemplar curriculum for all of Ireland which was duly produced by the executive. It was thrown out by the Southern membership.

    (iii) The official name of the southern state is now Ireland (or Eire in the “first official language”.) Increasingly politicians and the southern media make reference to “Ireland and Northern Ireland”. Recently ex-Senator Martin Mansergh (Bertie Aherne’s former “advisor” on the north ) wrote a letter wrote a letter, riddled with geographical and historical inaccuracies, to the Irish News, defending this partitionist terminology. The same gentleman is now advocating that representatives of the southern government and the northern nationalist parties should attend a commemoration ceremony to mark the centenary of the opening of the Stormont Parliament. We are supposed to commemorate, indeeed celebrate, the partition of our country and a century of political, economic and cultural discrimination. I can give you many other examples of the partitionist mentality at work but i don’t want to bore you all to death

    I despair when I hear commentators and politicians (including Sinn Fein spokespersons) refer to “the Island of Ireland”. Ireland is not an island. Rather it comprises numerous islands, with about 20,000 people resident on non-mainland islands. Say when did you last hear the expression “The Thirty two counties of Ireland”? Even from SF!

    • Perkin Warbeck January 31, 2016 at 11:05 am #

      Ah, dear Martin Mansergh. Or, as he would say himself: Mawtin Mawnsergh.

      Good to hear his name mentioned in dispatches again, BP. His mawdulated tones have fallen rather silent of late, the spawn doctor who more than most added the ‘lure’ to Fianna Fail. ‘Lure’ in this instance is an abbreviation of ‘allure’, something which notable Fianna Failures, such as C.J. Haughey’s inner rider to hounds found totally irresistible about the tally-ho tones of an English toffee-nosed toff.

      Bertie M.Ahern was another Fianna Failure from de Nort Soid of Dubalin Ciddy who found the prunes and prisms in the mawdulated mouth of a public-school old boy from The King’s School, Canterbury quite ineluctably seductive:

      -I mean, em, ould Marty had de bleedin allure of, em, a flippin’ entrepreneur of elocution, or sumptin like dat, if ya know wharr I mean, like.

      Albert Reynolds, of the much maligned Country and Western wing of FF, was blessed with at least one good ear which stood Norneverland in good stead.. He was very partial to the wise advice of the great, late and vastly underrated commentator, Nollaig O Gadhra. This could well have been the same good ear Albert had lent to Gentleman Jim Reeves in a previous career.

      As it happened, Nollaig O Gadhra, an laoch o Luimneach, hailed from the neighbouring county of Limerick, not at all distant from the ancestral Mansergh pile in South West Tipperary. Despite their proximity the difference could not have been greater than, say, a hurling caman is from a tennis racket.

      As illustrated by the following encounter one had with Mawtin, which had to do with an even nearer neighbour not at all a long way away, in Tipperary itself.

      It happened one evening in the splendidly lavish ambiance of St. Patrick’s Hall in Dublin Castle with its predominantly ascendancy paraphernalia at some Stateen Reception or other. The sort of social thingy a Thousand guests are invited to at tax payers’ expense to partake of the posh nosh, plush gush, tush push and tosh talk.

      While most of the Thousand were tax payers (nothing necessarily wrong with that) the only downside was that it was the same Thousand. Always. In a Republic, even in a soi-disant one like the Free Southern Stateen, one would have imagined the guest list would have been drawn up, Grand National (Irish, ar ndoigh) style, with a blindfold, a telephone director and a pin. Alas.

      So, on this particular Stateen Reception occasion, one found one, in a bid to stave off the inevitable boredom, indulging in a contrived spot of social and leisure excavation. Thus, one found oneself surreptitiously sidling over to the hallowed presence of Mawtin.
      -Some display by Nicky on Sunday, all the same.

      One’s opening gamble was met by the glassy stare.

      -I say, come again?

      – See where Nicky played another stormer on Sunday.

      -Nicky?

      -Nicky English.

      The ears pricked up, possibly at the sound of the surname.

      -Nicky English?

      -Nicky English. Of the Lattin-Cullen club.

      -No, doesn’t ring a bell.

      Nicky English at the time was the hurler of the year in Ireland, the star of the Tipperary team, a stalwart of the Lattin-Cullen club team whose catchment area included Chez Mansergh. On the extensive grounds of which, alas , hurling sticks were possibly more used to being used for the beating of bushes during the pheasant-shooting season.

      -Lawn tennis is my game.

      Not sure which of us beat a hastier retreat, moi or Mawtan Lawn Tennyson.

  6. Iolar January 29, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

    Many are getting worked up about the Brexit debate, but do not mention the unification of Ireland and partition, the time is not right. A cursory glance at newspapers indicates little interest in an ‘All-Island Economy’. As parish pump politics fast become the order of the day, the banking crisis fades into the background.

    What has been learned as a result of the banking inquiry? We learned that plans by the National Treasury Management Agency’s attempt to claw back 9.1 billion euro from bondholders in six guaranteed banks were rejected in no uncertain terms by the European Central Bank. We learned that the banks were not solvent. Suggestions about the need for military personnel to guard banks and ATMs were proved to be without foundation. As Michael Caine might say,

    “Not a lot of people know that.”

    If one is to believe some of the political rhetoric at present, unemployment will become a thing of the past,

    “but first you must get me elected to the Dáil…”

    Many individuals who have availed of the National Internship Training Scheme remain disillusioned and view it as a system of cheap labour. As politicians outdo each other about proposed job opportunities, there is little attention given to zero hour contracts and working terms and conditions. Employers remain unhappy about the reality of being obliged to pay a living wage.

    The debate about Irish unification with all the positive economic, political and social implications, is as important as any debate about a Brexit for those who wish to be treated as citizens as opposed to subjects.

  7. paddykool January 29, 2016 at 4:37 pm #

    You have to make a leap of imagination here Neill and actually take a look and a listen to what could easily be a possible future for everyone, regardless of all our current narrow political leanings. This is about a united island and yes ..a possible united Ireland in the fullest sense of what might be best fo everyone .
    These are the kind of logical arguments which will be heard more and more as normal converse and normal politics bed in. There will come a time when it’ll not be about “prods and taigs” and all that flummery about symbols and “culture”,because for many people…and i would say that for a majority of people on the entire island, that that particular scenario is not foremost in their minds. Most don’t give a fig as long as a loaf of bread is at the right price.They are thinking about many other things beyond what appears to be the narrow focus of many in unionism currently .
    There might come a time when even unionism might wish to return to the idea of a united ireland but unlike the one they shared before partition, this one might not be hanging onto the coat- tails of the UK economy and might actually be a fairer society than anyone has experienced before .It will not be a utopia of course, but what society is?. Some might eventually be convinced by simple economics that they will feel more secure ina collaboration with their fellow islanders the length and breadth of the land, especially when it is obvious that many in the UK would rather not support us at all .It is a tiny island after all, and it might solve all that bitterness and acrimony that we all live with from year to year. That kind of bubbling violence is still holding us back.
    Like i say, somewhere along the way the ballot box could easily deliver this kind of result if the economic arguments stack up. Nationalism in the form of those with this kind of republican ideal are actually in a stronger place than they were during our past conflicts and it would appear that they intend to make the politics work to eventually deliver their dreams .It’ll not usher in the end of the world……we’ll not all become millionaires overnight either…. but it might just make life a little better for everyone.If “normal “politics continue, as opposed to the play-acting kind we have latterly experienced, it is the direction that nationalism is heading..Who knows? What will unionism’s argument be then ? Will it be violence or will it be political and economic argument ?

  8. MT January 29, 2016 at 5:57 pm #

    Maybe the South could rejoin sterling?

    • Ryan January 29, 2016 at 11:32 pm #

      Ha Ha Ha. MT.

  9. Perkin Warbeck January 29, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

    As flags were under your microscope of late, Esteemed Blogmeister, there was a certain inevitability about trade becoming a follow up topic.

    As you quite pertinently point out, the fact that the development of an All-No-Man (what’s in an ANM?) economy is low down on the agenda of the guvs on both side of the Black Sow’s Dyke, is scandalous . It borders indeed on the ultra-scandalous considering it ought to be a burning-both-ends-of- the-candleous situation. Troughs and snouts come to mind.

    And Peadar Toibin’s engaging of his brain to the micro-economics of the affrontier region was especially compelling.

    You’d wonder all the same what differentiates the UnIonists North from the Unionists South.

    As both are congenitally programmed to look east and feast their eyes upon the Happy Hunting Grounds of GB you’d worry for them, the UN and US, or U2 for short. Not least because the smoke signals rising in plumes above the highlands of the HHG are forecasting gloom, doom and vroom in the not at all distant f. The future in fact for GB aka UK looks bleak indeed for the concept of suture.

    So, could it be the UN and the US are so obsessed with their own tribal marks of office and the baubles and trinkets of power that the reservations they allegedly harbor about each other are just that?

    Forgive one, EB, if one has Injun imagery on what one is still pleased to call one’s mind (having just returned from being to see The Revenant) where trade is at the kernel of this fillum about the establishment of the Pale in the Land of the other Red Hand. Trading posts which deal in furs, beavers, piebald ponies, gunpowder by the barrel and whiskey by the bucket, that sort of thingy.

    In a, erm, light bulb (26 watt) moment, one wonders could the disparity between the Unionists N and the Unionists S be akith and akin to the disparity between a ‘wigwam’ and a ‘teepee’? As it happens the wigwam is the term favoured by the tribe in the North East who are less nomadic. The wigwam is dome-shaped and round in structure and suits a more sedentary tribe not used to moving an inch.

    The teepee, on the other hand, befits a tribe more inclined to be shifty and nomadic, not least where the taking of a political position is concerned. And such as dwell in the Great Plains and further west. The conical teepee’s more pointy-headed roof might indicate a higher intelligence, but this can be grossly misleading.

    Apart from this marked difference in terminology to do with housing (think Stormont, think Leinster House) underneath their pelts both Unionists N and Unionists S are essentially the same. They both belong to the (gulp) Tonto Tribe.

    Indeed, as the director of The Revenant is a Mexican (Alejandro G. Inarrito, which suggests Basque origins) one is reminded that tonto, more comical than conical, is the Spanish word for:

    -dumbass.

    Kemo Sabe territority, as it were, or Kemotherapy, for short. Kemo Sabe, seemilngly being ‘Faithful Friend’ in Apache. Include FF in the Unionists South.

  10. Ryan January 29, 2016 at 11:32 pm #

    “If you’re first reaction was to wince at the title, that was mine too. The compound word they’re avoiding is, of course, All-Ireland; but while in former times I’d probably have been critical of such tip-toeing around unionist sensitivities, I think that was probably a wise enough title”

    I have to disagree with you there completely Jude. This tip toeing around Unionism doesn’t work and in many ways is counter productive. I’m not being harsh nor am I taking a leaf from the Orange Order’s book and seeking to upset Unionist “sensitivities” just for the sake of upsetting their sensitivities but I believe the best way to approach Unionists is to be blunt and honest with them. Republicans are seeking a United Ireland, it doesn’t matter how, we’re seeking Irish Unity and we’re going to do it whether they like it or not.

    Some Unionists (like Neill and DUP politicians for example) are like spoiled children, exactly like spoiled children, in fact. If you keep giving in to spoiled children, if you keep pandering to them they will never change, they will never progress and nor would their attitude ever change. And that’s the problem with Unionism. So if the very words of “All Ireland” or “United Ireland” are upsetting to them and their delicate sensitivities then as my dear father would say “Tough sh*t”.

    The more its uttered in their presence the quicker Unionism will get use to it, its really that simple. Be assured, as I’m sure all Catholics don’t need told, Unionists don’t give a dam about our sensitivities when the Orange Order are trying to march by or actually march through Catholic areas in many cases with banners to dead Loyalist terrorists or inscribed with Anti-Catholic messages/tones.

    This increasing pandering from Nationalist politicians, for example, will go no where in terms of reciprocation but I think the likes of Marty McGuinness already knew that and is doing it to show who wants to go forward and who doesn’t.

  11. Séamus Ó Néill January 31, 2016 at 1:09 pm #

    I’m perplexed ,BYC, that my phrase “What are these unionist sensitivities you’re alluding to….quintessential oxymoron there” has annoyed you…..what about my sensitivities as an Irishman ? Is this not Ireland , Why should less than a 1/5 of the population hold up the progress of a nation ? Time to stop the proverbial pussy footing ….let them accept democracy (not their version of democracy with hissy fits and impending violence ) Time to join the real world…the ” 6 counties ” is an artificial entity held together by violence and the threat of violence….my language ,flag, culture etc has to take second place to the flat earth invaders…..no,no, no more

    • MT January 31, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

      In what way is NI an artificial entity?

      Isn’t every state held together by violence or the threat of it?

      “….my language ,flag, culture etc has to take second place to the flat earth invaders…..no,no, no more”

      But you’d be content for unionists’flag, culture etc to take second place in a “united Ireland”?

  12. Séamus Ó Néill February 1, 2016 at 7:57 am #

    MT, the last 32 county election held in 1918 returned a massive majority for Sinn Féin democratically endorsing a free United Ireland. The conniving Brits ably abetted by the Unionists hatched a nefarious plan to unlawfully hold on to a piece of this country…ie create an artificial entity.Nowhere did I suggest that your flag or culture etc has to take second place….if you had confidence in your position you wouldn’t need, annually ,to ram your ” culture “down our throats in an Orangefest of violent ,sectarianism and racism !

    • MT February 1, 2016 at 9:18 am #

      “MT, the last 32 county election held in 1918 returned a massive majority for Sinn Féin democratically endorsing a free United Ireland.”

      But not in the north east. Unionists won a massive majority against an all-Ireland republic there!

      “The conniving Brits ably abetted by the Unionists hatched a nefarious plan to unlawfully hold on to a piece of this country…ie create an artificial entity.”

      Eh? Self-determination is a nefarious plan? Self-determination is unlawful? Self-determination is artificial? Wow.

      “Nowhere did I suggest that your flag or culture etc has to take second place….”

      So in a “united Ireland”, the Union Flag would have equal status?

      “If you had confidence in your position you wouldn’t need, annually ,to ram your ” culture “down our throats in an Orangefest of violent ,sectarianism and racism !”

      But I don’t ram anything down anyone’s throats.

      • jessica February 1, 2016 at 10:39 am #

        “But not in the north east. Unionists won a massive majority against an all-Ireland republic there!”

        There is very little accurate in that statement MT.

        First of all, it was a British election with home rule the option, not an all-Ireland republic.
        Had unionism not objected to home rule within the UK, there would have been no conflicts.

        Second, self determination is abiding by the overall results of the election, not creating a new jurisdiction to give protestants control over a gerrymandered territory, dividing the country and creating sectarian divisions all under threat of violence.

        If you still believe that is self determination then I see no point in any further discussion.

        Unionism needs brought back into reality of how much death and suffering it has caused over the centuries never mind in the recent conflict.

        Blaming everything on republicans is not acceptable.

        It just proves unionism is unrepentant bigotry from a bygone era.

        • MT February 1, 2016 at 10:52 am #

          “There is very little accurate in that statement MT.”

          On the contrary, it is entirely accurate.

          “First of all, it was a British election with home rule the option, not an all-Ireland republic.”

          Eh? Sinn Féin’s policy was for an all-Ireland republic. They stood on that ticket.

          “Second, self determination is abiding by the overall results of the election, not creating a new jurisdiction to give protestants control over a gerrymandered territory, dividing the country and creating sectarian divisions all under threat of violence.”

          By that logic, self-determination for Ireland should have been determined by the overall results of the UK election rather than by the people living there. That is a strange view, but also contrary to the principles of democratic self-determination.

          • jessica February 1, 2016 at 12:12 pm #

            “By that logic, self-determination for Ireland should have been determined by the overall results of the UK election rather than by the people living there. That is a strange view, but also contrary to the principles of democratic self-determination”

            The UK is not and was never a single country. Ireland as in the whole island was and still is a single country. The UK is an agreement of the union of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Each of those nations is entitled to exercise national self-determination of that agreement.

            We have seen what happens when communities are allowed to break away to form their own territories within a country, the sectarian divisions that arise.

            That division and the damage is has inflicted on this islands people still needs to be and must be undone.

          • MT February 1, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

            “The UK is not and was never a single country. Ireland as in the whole island was and still is a single country. The UK is an agreement of the union of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Each of those nations is entitled to exercise national self-determination of that agreement.”

            You never mentioned “countries”. You said the overall election result was what mattered. Are you now retracting this?

            Of course the UK was and is a country.

            And all peoples have the right to self-determinations, not just those of whom you approve.

          • Jude Collins February 1, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

            The UK most decidedly is not a country. It is composed of three countries and an afterthought…

          • MT February 1, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

            Really? What’s your definition of a country and do you have an authoritative reliable and independent source to back up what you say? You must do if it is as obvious as you suggest.

          • Jude Collins February 1, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

            (i)Is Scotland a country? (ii) Is Wales a country? (iii) Is England a country? If the answer in each case is Yes, are they like the three Persons in the Holy Trinity, three Persons and one God, three countries but one…um (stumbles off into the night).

          • MT February 1, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

            You’ve no definition, then, nor any authority to support your claim that the UK isn’t a country?

          • Jude Collins February 1, 2016 at 1:44 pm #

            Try answering my three questions first, MT

          • MT February 1, 2016 at 1:44 pm #

            Certainly.

            Once you’ve answered mine.

          • Jude Collins February 1, 2016 at 4:33 pm #

            How odd that you would declare the UK a country and not know what a country is. Oh well. My dictionary tells me that a a country is a nation with its own government, occupying a particular territory; and it may be an independent sovereign state or that is occupied by another state. Over to you, MT.

          • MT February 1, 2016 at 5:06 pm #

            So by your dictionary definition, the UK is a country, then, since it is an independent sovereign state! And arguably also by the first definition, depending on one’s understanding of ‘nation’.

            And I note you weren’t able to provide an authority to support your claim that the UK isn’t a country.

            In answer to your question, yes of course I consider England, Scotland and Wales to bs countries.

          • Jude Collins February 1, 2016 at 6:16 pm #

            Then 3= 1 – right, MT? 1984 revisited…

          • MT February 1, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

            Could you rephrase the question. I don’t understand it.

            But glad you’ve provided a definition under which the UK is a country.

          • jessica February 2, 2016 at 7:38 am #

            “In answer to your question, yes of course I consider England, Scotland and Wales to bs countries.”

            Would you support partition in Scotland, after all, I am sure at least half the country had independence majorities?

            Do you believe self determination means abiding by the results of a referendum or is dividing the country to match the referendum results acceptable, especially under threat of violence, bearing in mind demographics change?

            Also bear in mind when answering that Ireland was once a country within the UK that voted democratically with a 50%+1 majority for parties supporting independence for the whole island.

            I am certain you are not suggesting Ireland was not one country in 1918.

            If self determination is not accepting results within a country, but changing a countries boundaries to suit the results, who decides the boundaries given there will be new minorities who supported the majority outcome of their country having democracy denied to them and being disenfranchised in their own country just to suit a minority?

            Is that democracy in action to you MT?

          • MT February 2, 2016 at 10:27 am #

            “Why would I support partition in Scotland when nobody living there wants it?”

            “Do you believe self determination means abiding by the results of a referendum or is dividing the country to match the referendum results acceptable, especially under threat of violence, bearing in mind demographics change?”

            Self-determination means facilitating the democratically expressed wishes of the people. If a referendum shows one people in one geographical area want to become separate from a larger area, then why would you not facilitate those wishes?

            “If self determination is not accepting results within a country, but changing a countries boundaries to suit the results, who decides the boundaries given there will be new minorities who supported the majority outcome of their country having democracy denied to them and being disenfranchised in their own country just to suit a minority?”

            The representatives of the people should negotiate the boundaries, or failing that an independent authority, with the aim of facilitating the wishes of the greatest number of people while ensuring effective government, administration and security is practicable.

          • jessica February 2, 2016 at 11:35 am #

            “Self-determination means facilitating the democratically expressed wishes of the people. If a referendum shows one people in one geographical area want to become separate from a larger area, then why would you not facilitate those wishes?”

            Exactly MT, in 1918, a majority in Ireland supported becoming separate from the UK.

            Why were those wishes not facilitated?

          • MT February 2, 2016 at 3:36 pm #

            You didn’t answer the question. If a referendum shows one people in one geographical area want to become separate from a larger area, then why would you not facilitate those wishes?

          • jessica February 2, 2016 at 7:33 pm #

            “You didn’t answer the question. If a referendum shows one people in one geographical area want to become separate from a larger area, then why would you not facilitate those wishes?”

            If you are talking about a referendum of a whole country, where all of the people have a voice in the referendum either via direct vote or through parents or guardians and all of the facts have been made available in an easy to understand way, then those wishes should be facilitated.

            If you are breaking up the reerendum results into smaller geographical areas, then the conditions have been changed and you are going to divide people within those smaller areas between those who would be happy with the new arrangements and those who are not.

            Why should you not do this??

            When it is likely to cause sectarian division within the people of that gerrymandered geographical area that could result in misrule or even lead to conflict.
            When it isn’t economically viable and will result in a minnow state requiring permanent propping up from another state or face bankruptcy and lead to economic hardship for the people.
            When it will only be to the long term cultural and social detriment of its people.

            Or what about quite simply because it is a dumb thing to do?

            You do realise you are out on a limb here, no unionist would come on and back you up with this nonsense you are coming out with MT?

          • MT February 2, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

            “You didn’t answer the question. If a referendum shows one people in one geographical area want to become separate from a larger area, then why would you not facilitate those wishes?”

            “If you are talking about a referendum of a whole country, where all of the people have a voice in the referendum either via direct vote or through parents or guardians and all of the facts have been made available in an easy to understand way, then those wishes should be facilitated.”

            So, if you agree such reasons should be facilitated, why do you oppose Northern Ireland being separate from the rest of Ireland as per the wishes of moat people living there?

            “If you are breaking up the reerendum results into smaller geographical areas, then the conditions have been changed and you are going to divide people within those smaller areas between those who would be happy with the new arrangements and those who are not. Why should you not do this??”

            I don’t understand what you’re trying to ask.

            “When it is likely to cause sectarian division within the people of that gerrymandered geographical area that could result in misrule or even lead to conflict.”

            By that reasoning you’d oppose a “united Ireland”.

            “When it isn’t economically viable and will result in a minnow state requiring permanent propping up from another state or face bankruptcy and lead to economic hardship for the people.”

            It’s a matter for the people living there to determine whether or not economic conditions supprort or otherwise a decision to assert self-determination. By your argument few African countries ought to have been allowed self-determination. Your imperialist mindset revealed again.

            “When it will only be to the long term cultural and social detriment of its people.”

            Again a matter for the people’s own judgement. Not for an imperialist superior to determine.

            “Or what about quite simply because it is a dumb thing to do?”

            That’s a matter for the people.

          • jessica February 2, 2016 at 9:56 pm #

            “So, if you agree such reasons should be facilitated, why do you oppose Northern Ireland being separate from the rest of Ireland as per the wishes of moat people living there?”

            There have been two referendums in the past 100 years MT.

            The first in 1918 was an overwhelming majority for all of Ireland to leave the UK.
            Democracy then was thwarted by the threat of unionist violence leading to many years of conflict and loss of life.

            The next was the GFA which was not a constitutional choice but an agreement to resolve the joint territorial claim issue and to create circumstances where the conflict could be ended for good while guaranteeing unification would only happen democratically by referendum and when a majority wish it, Britain will work with the Irish state to ensure it happens.

            Northern Ireland is not now and never will be a country.

            It will always be part of Ireland and when the demographics are right it will no longer be part of the UK. That is unavoidable and only a matter of when not if.

            “By that reasoning you’d oppose a “united Ireland”.”

            MT, unionists are considered paddies in England and throughout the UK. Ireland is your friend. Open your eyes. Your culture is not shared throughout the UK and to be honest would most definitely not be tolerated.

            I can live with you burning my flag if that’s what you feel you need to do. There is no other people on this planet unionists could create an agreed state with, who else would have you?

            “It’s a matter for the people living there to determine whether or not economic conditions supprort or otherwise a decision to assert self-determination. By your argument few African countries ought to have been allowed self-determination. Your imperialist mindset revealed again.”

            Africa learned its brutality from imperial nations such as England MT.

            As for economy, we are costing the English tax payer 10 billion per year to maintain partition and denying the southern state the opportunity to double its tourism intake in a short period and to build a unified economy which effects people on both sides of the ulster border.

            This is not only an issue for 6 counties while that is the case and it never will be.
            It is equally a matter for the 9 counties of ulster who are all impacted by the border, especially if Britain leaves the EU resulting in a security border which it will.

            “Again a matter for the people’s own judgement. Not for an imperialist superior to determine. ”

            Britain is the only imperial power in Ireland, lets work together and remove it.

            “That’s a matter for the people.”

            I am all for an informed referendum now.

            Lets put it to the people as you say.

          • MT February 3, 2016 at 9:30 am #

            The 1918 “referendum” showed a people in a geographic area wanted to be separate from a larger area. You agreed there was no reason why not to facilitate those wishes. Are you now flip-flopping?

            It seems you base your views on sectarianism, as it’s certainly not on logic. Self-determination is acceptable for nationalists but not unionists.

            “Africa learned its brutality from imperial nations such as England MT.”

            Regardless, you still have an imperial mindset that would deny them self-determination based on your decision (not theirs) about their economic prospects. Shame on you.

          • jessica February 3, 2016 at 12:44 pm #

            MT, I don’t think you have the faintest notion what you are talking about, you have basically no understanding of the true history of this island or the fundamentals of democracy.

            Regardless, what is done is done. Democracy was denied for decades leading to the 1918 overwhelming vote for independence which was thwarted by threat of violence from unionism leading to conflicts which unionism has still not acknowledged its part in.

            Self determination was denied then but was later guaranteed in principal by the GFA. The next step will be the fulfilment of that agreement by allowing all of the people on this island the opportunity to fulfil that self determination.

            The sooner the better.

          • MT February 3, 2016 at 2:55 pm #

            “MT, I don’t think you have the faintest notion what you are talking about, you have basically no understanding of the true history of this island or the fundamentals of democracy.”

            On the contrary, I have a first class understanding of both. Ironically, given what you have said, you do not, and your sectarian and imperialist mindset is deeply concerning.

          • Jude Collins February 3, 2016 at 7:14 pm #

            “I have a first class understanding of both” – nothing like self-knowledge, MT. Maith thú!

          • jessica February 3, 2016 at 8:02 pm #

            “On the contrary, I have a first class understanding of both. Ironically, given what you have said, you do not, and your sectarian and imperialist mindset is deeply concerning.”

            You are certainly in a class of your own MT.

            I do try to understand your point of view, but just to be clear.

            Are you saying that by seeking Irish unification, it is the south seeking to colonise the north hence imperialist and by ignoring the wishes of unionists who oppose this, it is also sectarian?

          • MT February 3, 2016 at 11:36 pm #

            Eh? I’m saying you have an imperialist mindset because you believe that those in authority are better able to make decisions about peoples’ future than peoples themselves; and secration because you respect the rights of nationalists but deny those same rights to unionists, just because you don’t like them. Haven’t you read what I said?

          • jessica February 4, 2016 at 10:12 am #

            “Eh? I’m saying you have an imperialist mindset because you believe that those in authority are better able to make decisions about peoples’ future than peoples themselves; and secration because you respect the rights of nationalists but deny those same rights to unionists, just because you don’t like them. Haven’t you read what I said?”

            What you are saying doesn’t make any sense and no one could agree with, even among your own community.

            I am trying to decipher into some form of intelligent meaningful argument.

            Ireland is a single country with a single population with divided aspirations resulting in partial independence and dual state rule, dual economies, administrations etc…

            It was the denial of self determination that led to the those divisions in the north and created the definitions unionists and nationalists in the first place.

            You cannot seriously be trying to ignore that and treating northern Ireland as a separate country in its own right and expect the non unionist majority on the island to just go along with this? It is not a separate country and having its own jurisdiction through English military occupation does not make it one.

            Self determination cannot be broken down into sub groupings to suit minorities who want fascist style controls.

            Partition is wrong and that has to be the starting point when talking about rights.

          • MT February 4, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

            “What you are saying doesn’t make any sense and no one could agree with, even among your own community.”

            Of course it makes sense. You believe that self-determination should be denied to those peoples in relation to whom it is deemed they would be economically better off remaining part of a larger jurisdiction. You don’t believe it is for the people themselves to make that judgement. That is an imperialist mindset.

            “It was the denial of self determination that led to the those divisions in the north and created the definitions unionists and nationalists in the first place.”

            Eh? Divisions already existed. Partition reflected that. Partition facilitated self-determination by both nationalists and unionists.

            “Self determination cannot be broken down into sub groupings”

            All peoples have the right to self-determination. Not just those whom you like.

            “Partition is wrong and that has to be the starting point when talking about rights”

            By that logic you must believe that the partition of the British Isles was wrong.

          • jessica February 4, 2016 at 4:28 pm #

            “By that logic you must believe that the partition of the British Isles was wrong.”

            Either you are referring to plate tectonics and the irish sea which divides the british isles or you are too far gone to ever see Ireland for the beautiful country that it is in its own right.

            Whatever MT, you are brainwashed beyond all logical comprehension so I am going to have to give up on you im afraid.

          • MT February 4, 2016 at 6:52 pm #

            “Either you are referring to plate tectonics and the irish sea which divides the british isles or you are too far gone to ever see Ireland for the beautiful country that it is in its own right.”

            So you’re only against land partition? You think land boundaries are bad but water boundaries are good? That’s a strange position. Could you explain it?

            “Whatever MT, you are brainwashed beyond all logical comprehension so I am going to have to give up on you im afraid.”

            Ironically it seems that you are brainwashed as you maintain your position in the face of all reason.

          • jessica February 4, 2016 at 8:23 pm #

            “So you’re only against land partition? You think land boundaries are bad but water boundaries are good? That’s a strange position. Could you explain it?”

            Oh I am all for water boundaries, a really big one around a small island just for unionists to live on your own terms away from the rest of the world.

            Wouldn’t that be so nice.

            You could divide up into different groups and demand to march into each others parts of the island.

          • MT February 4, 2016 at 11:45 pm #

            But your against land boundaries?

          • jessica February 5, 2016 at 9:43 am #

            “But your against land boundaries?”

            I am against a dividing land boundary being put in an existing country just to suit a minority to give them unlawful control as is the case with northern Ireland.

            Towns, villages and communities were destroyed with armed security posts along the border. Only a sick individual could support such activity.

            Were you in favour of keeping the Berlin wall may I ask?

            You are entitled to your opinions MT, no I don’t agree with them and I imagine many people in all communities here would not agree with yours.

            I doubt I could change your opinion so we should agree to differ.

          • MT February 5, 2016 at 8:34 pm #

            “I am against a dividing land boundary being put in an existing country just to suit a minority to give them unlawful control as is the case with northern Ireland.”

            Ah, the old reactionary, imperialist mindset again. No new boundaries to be drawn, no self-determination to be allowed, existing countries to be maintained at all costs regardless of the wishes of the people. Is there a point in time after which existing countries were not to be divided? 1920? It would be some map of the world now if you had got your way.

            What is the “unlawful control” that you mention?

            “Towns, villages and communities were destroyed with armed security posts along the border. Only a sick individual could support such activity”

            Are you a utopian internationalist? One world country?.No borders? You’re a dreamer.

            “Were you in favour of keeping the Berlin wall may I ask?”

            No. Because unlike you I support the wishes of the people and the people didn’t want a border there. Like in NI, where the people didnt want a border with the rest of the UK. Though they did reluctantly accept the right of the people in the South to impose such a border.

          • jessica February 6, 2016 at 10:49 am #

            “No. Because unlike you I support the wishes of the people and the people didn’t want a border there. Like in NI, where the people didnt want a border with the rest of the UK. Though they did reluctantly accept the right of the people in the South to impose such a border.”

            But the vast majority did want a border with the rest of the UK if you want to put it that way.
            Home rule had been constantly sought for decades and when it wasn’t granted, the people overwhelmingly voted for independence in the 1918 election.

            England did not want to put a border in Ireland, the majority of the people of Ireland didn’t, a unionist minority mutinied against home rule to show they would fight Britain if they allowed democratic rule in Ireland as it had a catholic majority and it was threat of civil war by unionists that forced the introduction of the border.

            I have never heard anyone say it was the Irish Catholics wanted the border and unionists who reluctantly accepted it.

            I don’t deny that you certainly appear to believe this narrative but it is not factual and frankly absurd.

          • MT February 6, 2016 at 11:37 am #

            “But the vast majority did want a border with the rest of the UK if you want to put it that way.”

            Indeed. And one was created.

            “England did not want to put a border in Ireland, the majority of the people of Ireland didn’t, a unionist minority mutinied against home rule to show they would fight Britain if they allowed democratic rule in Ireland as it had a catholic majority and it was threat of civil war by unionists that forced the introduction of the border.”

            England did not want to put a border between Ireland and Great Britain, the majority of the people of the British Isles didn’t, a nationalist minority mutinied against a unitary UK to show they would fight Britain if they allowed democratic rule in the UK as it bad a Protestant majority and it was threat of civil war by nationalists that forces the introduction of the border within the British Isles.

            “i have never heard anyone say it was the Irish Catholics wanted the border and unionists who reluctantly accepted it.”

            So Irish nationalists wanted to remain in a unitary UK? They didn’t want a border? I’ve never heard anyone say that.

          • jessica February 1, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

            “And all peoples have the right to self-determinations, not just those of whom you approve.”

            So you would support a referendum for the 6 counties to leave the UK now and would you honour the result?

          • MT February 1, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

            There’s already provision for a referendum. If people want one, that’s fantastic. It wouldn’t be up to me to “honour” the result: I’m not a sovereign government. It would be up to the UK Government and, depending on the outcome, the Southern Irish Government to honour the result.

          • jessica February 1, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

            “There’s already provision for a referendum. If people want one, that’s fantastic. It wouldn’t be up to me to “honour” the result: I’m not a sovereign government. It would be up to the UK Government and, depending on the outcome, the Southern Irish Government to honour the result.”

            I didn’t ask if you would implement it. By honouring it, I mean would it meet your unique point of view towards self determination or would you seek to continue with partition based on smaller regional statistics?

            I am asking you, for your opinion MT.

          • MT February 1, 2016 at 5:02 pm #

            I didn’t ask if you would implement it. By honouring it, I mean would it meet your unique point of view towards self determination or would you seek to continue with partition based on smaller regional statistics?

            I am asking you, for your opinion MT.

            But I don’t have a unique point of view towards self -determination.

            If you’re asking would I respect the outcome of a referendum yes of course I would. Would you?

          • jessica February 1, 2016 at 7:40 pm #

            “If you’re asking would I respect the outcome of a referendum yes of course I would. Would you?”

            Then you are in fact saying if a 50% + 1 majority support leaving the UK, it should be democratically respected, therefore it is also undemocratic for a unionist minority sub grouping to declare a gerrymandered sub territory giving them an unfair majority.

            I am sure you would also agree that this would be even more undemocratic and appalling if it was implemented under the threat of civil war.

            So how was 1918 any different?

          • MT February 1, 2016 at 8:27 pm #

            “Then you are in fact saying if a 50% + 1 majority support leaving the UK, it should be democratically respected, therefore it is also undemocratic for a unionist minority sub grouping to declare a gerrymandered sub territory giving them an unfair majority.”

            Eh?

            “I am sure you would also agree that this would be even more undemocratic and appalling if it was implemented under the threat of civil war.”

            Eh?

            “So how was 1918 any different?”

            I’ve no idea what you’re talking about, I’m afraid.

          • jessica February 2, 2016 at 9:43 am #

            “I’ve no idea what you’re talking about, I’m afraid.”

            Let me spell it out MT.

            In 1918, Ireland was a single entity i.e. one country.

            A 50%+1 majority of the country supported Sinn Fein who stood on an independence ticket.

            25% supported IPP who supported home rule within the UK.

            A 25% minority of the population mostly in Ulster threatened civil war if the home rule bill was implemented.

            Home rule was not implemented thus a 25% minority imposed their will over the majority and led to the illegal partitioning of Ireland by force of arms.

            Ulster was further partitioned to create a 70% to 30% unionist majority.

            Is this what you consider self-determination MT?

            Even if we accept your opinion of self-determination, how is this democratic?

            A minority don’t like the result, so they create a new entity where they are now a majority.

            This leaves a community who supported the majority, now being left in a new entity as a minority.

            Since this is not democratic and a new state born out of sectarian hatred and bigotry, it didn’t take a genius to figure Catholics were going to be treated poorly.

            If that is unionisms idea of democracy, unionism must be fought by all right thinking people.

          • MT February 2, 2016 at 10:40 am #

            In 1918, the British Isles was a single entity i.e. one country.

            A 5% minority of the population mostly in southern Ireland supported Irish independence and threatened civil war if they didn’t get it.

            Irish independence was eventually granted after a violent campaign thus a 5% minority imposed their will over the majority and led to the illegal partitioning of the British Isles by force of arms.

            The British Isles was further partitioned to create a 90% to 10% nationaliist majority.

            Is this what you consider self-determination Jessica?

            Even if we accept your opinion of self-determination, how is this democratic?

            A minority don’t like the result, so they create a new entity where they are now a majority.

            This leaves a community who supported the majority, now being left in a new entity as a minority.

            Since this is not democratic and a new state born out of sectarian hatred and bigotry, it didn’t take a genius to figure Protestants were going to be treated poorly.

            If that is nationalism’s idea of democracy, nationaliism must be fought by all right thinking people.

    • MT February 1, 2016 at 5:22 pm #

      Seamus, you neve explained how self-determination was unlawful.

  13. Séamus Ó Néill February 1, 2016 at 11:23 am #

    MT ,seemingly by your logic, If Doire or Béal Feirste or whatever were to opt out of this pathetic engineered statelet , that would be grand ….democracy in action.Would you accept the result of a referendum ,held in Britain , concerning the continuing financing of this place….billions to reassure Unionism of their special status….would you accept the results of an all-Ireland referendum as encompassed by the Belfast agreement…We will regain control of our country and you are welcome to be part of it….to have a valuable input or not …..that choice is yours but we’re not waiting around to coax you…..

    • MT February 1, 2016 at 11:45 am #

      “MT ,seemingly by your logic, If Doire or Béal Feirste or whatever were to opt out of this pathetic engineered statelet , that would be grand ….democracy in action.”

      First, it’s not my logic but the logic of democratic self-determination.

      Second, yes, of course Derry city, or at least most of it, should have been included in the Southern state.

      Third, if the people of Derry voted in favour of repartition and that were agreed, of course I’d accept it.

  14. Séamus Ó Néill February 1, 2016 at 1:52 pm #

    You believe in self-determination MT, but on your convoluted terms……Ireland is a single entity and as such cannot be divided to give a small belligerent, antisocial minority an advantage over the rest of the population. I am confident in my nationality……are you…… What is your nationality?

    • MT February 1, 2016 at 4:59 pm #

      “You believe in self-determination MT, but on your convoluted terms……”

      No, I believe in self-determination on the same terms for all peoples; not just those whom I like.

      “Ireland is a single entity and as such cannot be divided to give a small belligerent, antisocial minority an advantage over the rest of the population.”

      Ireland isn’t a single entity. But on what basis are you saying entities cannot be divided. That is a very peculiar – and very conservative, indeed reactionary – belief. You sound like a 19th century imperialist.

      “I am confident in my nationality……are you…… What is your nationality?”

      Very confident. I am proudly British and Irish. Why do you ask?

      • jessica February 2, 2016 at 7:48 am #

        “Ireland isn’t a single entity. But on what basis are you saying entities cannot be divided. That is a very peculiar – and very conservative, indeed reactionary – belief. You sound like a 19th century imperialist. ”

        So if Muslims wanted to create their own entity within London, separate from the rest of England, this is ok to you?

        I see now why unionism doesn’t accept the rule of law, but believes bad laws should be ignored such as parades commission rulings and civil disobedience is acceptable response to bad law.

        You do realise, your comments in all of these posts is as anti-british as anything I could have made up.

        You continually prove my point MT, that unionism is nothing more than unrepentant protestant white supremacy with bigotry at its core and is a scourge not only to Ireland but the whole planet. I doubt your thinking would be welcome anywhere in modern Britain.

        • MT February 2, 2016 at 10:21 am #

          You didn’t answer the question. On what basis do you believe entities cannot be divided?

          • jessica February 2, 2016 at 11:39 am #

            “You didn’t answer the question. On what basis do you believe entities cannot be divided?”

            Where would you draw the line?

            If a majority vote for Ireland to leave the UK is thwarted because a majority of British separatists on one part want to break away, how can you justify leaving a minority disenfranchised from their country?

            By your logic, we should continue dividing up the country into smaller elements based on majority wishes.

            This would mean counties Fermanagh and Tyrone joining ROI, Belfast, Derry, South Armagh and South Down, why not townships also?

            Where do we draw the line?

            Not to mention it isn’t economically feasible and could only be sustained by indefinite hand outs from England.

            Is that what you want?

          • MT February 2, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

            So you say that “entities” cannot be divided, but you don’t know why. That’s not very convincing.

            “Where would you draw the line?”

            Obviously, where it facilitated the desires of the greatest number of people while ensuring that government, administration and security were practicable.

            “If a majority vote for Ireland to leave the UK is thwarted because a majority of British separatists on one part want to break away, how can you justify leaving a minority disenfranchised from their country?”

            Obviously because the greater wrong would be to disenfranchise an even greater number by including them in a state against their democratically-expressed will.

            How do you justify your desire to leave an even bigger minority disenfranchised from their country?

            “By your logic, we should continue dividing up the country into smaller elements based on majority wishes. This would mean counties Fermanagh and Tyrone joining ROI, Belfast, Derry, South Armagh and South Down, why not townships also?”

            Eh? My “logic” is democracy. Nobody in those places wants repartition.

          • jessica February 2, 2016 at 7:37 pm #

            “”Where would you draw the line?”
            Obviously, where it facilitated the desires of the greatest number of people while ensuring that government, administration and security were practicable. ”

            You mean like in the north here?
            Resulting in over 3000 deaths from the conflict caused by sectarian misrule?

            “Obviously because the greater wrong would be to disenfranchise an even greater number by including them in a state against their democratically-expressed will.”

            Unfortunately, that is a common flaw within democracy but it is considered even by winston churchill to be better than any alternative.

            “Eh? My “logic” is democracy. Nobody in those places wants repartition.”

            Yes they do, they want to be part of Ireland and not ruled by England as do people in every part of ireland.

            Havent you noticed???

            I don’t think you quite understand the meaning of democracy MT.

            You are in a place of your own I think.

          • MT February 3, 2016 at 8:27 pm #

            “You mean like in the north here?
            Resulting in over 3000 deaths from the conflict caused by sectarian misrule?”

            You’re conflating two different things. Sectarian rule is not the same as self-determination.

            “Unfortunately, that is a common flaw within democracy but it is considered even by winston churchill to be better than any alternative.”

            So you”re not opposed in principle to the inclusion of minorities within jurisdictions. Therefore one of your attempted arguments against Northern Ireland crumbles away.

            “”Eh? My “logic” is democracy. Nobody in those places wants repartition.”

            Yes they do”

            They do? How do you know? Why do they vote for parties opposed to repartition?

            ” they want to be part of Ireland and not ruled by England as do people in every part of ireland.”

            They are part of Ireland. Northern Ireland: the clue’s in the name.

            “I don’t think you quite understand the meaning of democracy MT.”

            On the contrary, you don’t. Your imperialist arguments prove that for sure.

          • jessica February 4, 2016 at 12:01 am #

            “You’re conflating two different things. Sectarian rule is not the same as self-determination.”

            Ireland has not yet been allowed self-determination. It has been promised in the GFA but has yet to be fulfilled.

            It has experienced Sectarian rule however.

            “So you’re not opposed in principle to the inclusion of minorities within jurisdictions. Therefore one of your attempted arguments against Northern Ireland crumbles away.”

            I am opposed to creating artificial minorities so they can be controlled.

            “They do? How do you know? Why do they vote for parties opposed to repartition? ”

            It isn’t repartition, it is re-joining the rest of our nation, to be free of English rule, there is a difference.

            “They are part of Ireland. Northern Ireland: the clue’s in the name. ”

            Exactly, it belongs to Ireland.

            “On the contrary, you don’t. Your imperialist arguments prove that for sure.”

            In what way am I imperialist?

          • MT February 4, 2016 at 10:24 am #

            “Ireland has not yet been allowed self-determination. It has been promised in the GFA but has yet to be fulfilled.”

            It has. And the two peoples’ self-determination was fulfilled.

            “I am opposed to creating artificial minorities so they can be controlled.”

            That’s great but the point remains: you’re not opposed in principle to the inclusion of minorities within jurisdictions. Therefore one of your attempted arguments against Northern Ireland crumbles away.

            “It isn’t repartition, it is re-joining the rest of our nation, to be free of English rule, there is a difference.”

            Eh? Moving south Armagh, south Down, Derry etc into the Republic wouldn’t be repartition?? You’re crazy.

            “Exactly, it belongs to Ireland.”

            So what you said makes no sense.

            “In what way am I imperialist?”

            How many times does it have to be explained? You’re imperialist because you believe that those in authority are better placed to know what’s best for the people that the people themselves.

          • jessica February 4, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

            “It has. And the two peoples’ self-determination was fulfilled.”

            What two peoples?
            Are you saying Ulster people living in Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan are a different people from those north of the border???

            “That’s great but the point remains: you’re not opposed in principle to the inclusion of minorities within jurisdictions. Therefore one of your attempted arguments against Northern Ireland crumbles away.”

            I have no idea what that means.

            My argument against northern Ireland is it was undemocratic and was nothing more than appeasement of unionist threats of civil war and has led to noting but misery ever since.

            “How many times does it have to be explained? You’re imperialist because you believe that those in authority are better placed to know what’s best for the people that the people themselves.”

            I don’t think it is me that is crazy MT.

            You certainly have a unique way of looking at things

            I would have thought those in authority, i.e. those we elect to run the country should be in a better place to know what is best for the country. It isn’t always the case as politics can be corrupt but is that not what democracy is about.

            What is your take on this Jude?

            I never thought of myself as imperialist before?

            I thought that was about one nation ruling other nations and if anything, England or British would be the only imperialist presence in Ireland.

          • MT February 4, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

            “It has. And the two peoples’ self-determination was fulfilled.”

            What two peoples?
            Are you saying Ulster people living in Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan are a different people from those north of the border???

            “That’s great but the point remains: you’re not opposed in principle to the inclusion of minorities within jurisdictions. Therefore one of your attempted arguments against Northern Ireland crumbles away.”

            I have no idea what that means.

            My argument against northern Ireland is it was undemocratic and was nothing more than appeasement of unionist threats of civil war and has led to noting but misery ever since.

            “How many times does it have to be explained? You’re imperialist because you believe that those in authority are better placed to know what’s best for the people that the people themselves.”

            I don’t think it is me that is crazy MT.

            You certainly have a unique way of looking at things

            I would have thought those in authority, i.e. those we elect to run the country should be in a better place to know what is best for the country. It isn’t always the case as politics can be corrupt but is that not what democracy is about.

            What is your take on this Jude?

            I never thought of myself as imperialist before?

            I thought that was about one nation ruling other nations and if anything, England or British would be the only imperialist presence in Ireland.

          • MT February 4, 2016 at 3:22 pm #

            “What two peoples?”

            The nationalist people and the unionist people.

            “Are you saying Ulster people living in Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan are a different people from those north of the border???”

            They’re different from the unionist people north of the border, yes, of course.

            “I have no idea what that means.”

            Why not? You know what a minority is? You know what inclusion means? You know what a jurisdiction is? So surely you understand what it means to say you’re not opposed in principle to the inclusion of minorities within jurisdictions? That’s your position as you wish to include a unionist minority in an all-Ireland jurisdiction. Therefore you have no argument in principle against the inclusion of other minorities in other jurisdictions, e.g. an Irish nationalist minority in the UK.

            “My argument against northern Ireland is it was undemocratic and was nothing more than appeasement of unionist threats of civil war and has led to noting but misery ever since.”

            But it wasn’t undemocratic. On the contrary it was established to facilitate the democratically expressed wishes of people living there.

            And if you believe self-determination should not be facilitated if accompanied by threats of violence, then you must believe that Irish nationalist self-determination should also have been denied, since its demands were accompanied by threats of – and actual – violence.

            “I would have thought those in authority, i.e. those we elect to run the country should be in a better place to know what is best for the country. It isn’t always the case as politics can be corrupt but is that not what democracy is about.”

            So a higher authority knows better than the people they govern. What an appalling reactionary and imperialist mindset.

          • jessica February 4, 2016 at 4:42 pm #

            “”Are you saying Ulster people living in Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan are a different people from those north of the border???”
            They’re different from the unionist people north of the border, yes, of course. ”

            In what way?

            Most people I meet are quite the same all over Ireland.

            Even yourself who totally baffles me I imagine if we met would have much in common. Our differences are really down to political opinions we have grown up with and believe rightly or wrongly.

            Truthful education and owning up by the british would do so much to heal these divisions which seem to be based on falsehoods and deliberate misconceptions.

          • jessica February 4, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

            “Eh? Divisions already existed. Partition reflected that. Partition facilitated self-determination by both nationalists and unionists. ”

            No it didnt.

            Ulster had a small electoral unionist majority, even gerrymandering it down to 6 counties still left 30% Irish to 70% British by votes.

            Bear in mind, women were not given the right to vote and outnumbered men, plus a lot more Catholics than protestants were unable to vote at the time.

            Do you still think it was fair to carve up the existing territory of ulster to give unionism a controlling majority and leave the 30% Irish who voted with the rest of the country for independence to be left to the mercy of unionist state forces?

          • MT February 4, 2016 at 6:43 pm #

            “No it didnt.”

            Yes it did.

            “Ulster had a small electoral unionist majority, even gerrymandering it down to 6 counties still left 30% Irish to 70% British by votes.”

            And?

            “plus a lot more Catholics than protestants were unable to vote at the time.”

            Eh? No they weren’t. More ignorance.

            “Do you still think it was fair to carve up the existing territory of ulster to give unionism a controlling majority and leave the 30% Irish who voted with the rest of the country for independence to be left to the mercy of unionist state forces?”

            Of course, as doing so enabled the wishes of a greater number of people to be facilitated moreso than would forcing the entire unionist people into an all-Ireland state against their will. Of course the boundaries ought to have been drawn more fairly.

          • jessica February 4, 2016 at 8:14 pm #

            “Of course, as doing so enabled the wishes of a greater number of people to be facilitated moreso than would forcing the entire unionist people into an all-Ireland state against their will. Of course the boundaries ought to have been drawn more fairly.”

            So when there is a majority in the 6 counties for independence, what are you going to do, just move to the mainland?

          • jessica February 4, 2016 at 4:52 pm #

            “”My argument against northern Ireland is it was undemocratic and was nothing more than appeasement of unionist threats of civil war and has led to noting but misery ever since.” But it wasn’t undemocratic. On the contrary it was established to facilitate the democratically expressed wishes of people living there.”

            Northern Ireland was created in 1921 under threat of unionist violence and civil war.

            When was this democratic expression of people living there, I am not aware of it?

          • MT February 4, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

            Most recently, 1918.

        • neill February 2, 2016 at 11:38 am #

          You continually prove my point MT, that unionism is nothing more than unrepentant protestant white supremacy with bigotry at its core and is a scourge not only to Ireland but the whole planet. I doubt your thinking would be welcome anywhere in modern Britain.

          Its good to see you are taking a level headed approach to Unionism Jessica.

          • jessica February 2, 2016 at 1:08 pm #

            “Its good to see you are taking a level headed approach to Unionism Jessica.”

            Lets see.

            Unionism sees things only from its point of view.
            It thwarts democracy for its selfish interests.
            It promotes sectarianism through support for openly anti catholic organisations such as the orange order.
            It sees burning flags as part of its culture.
            It sees laws restricting unionist marches with sectarian symbols into communities where those symbols are knowingly deemed insulting or intimidatory as bad law and supports graduated response and civil disobedience as a valid tools to attack such bad laws.
            It constantly ignores its own historic actions in causing the conflict and enflaming it, while constantly attributing all blame on republicans.
            Its own ideology is incoherent and explanations on this blog site are in direct opposition of modern British thinking which is far more liberal.
            Still today, it refuses to cooperate or share power equally with Catholics.

            It should be treated as the white democrats with their support for the KKK and marginalised.

            Ryan is right, appeasing unionism is like appeasing a spoiled child, it only encourages bad behaviour.

            It is time responsible leadership was rewarded and threats of violence, intimidation through marches and flag burning are consigned to history.

  15. Séamus Ó Néill February 1, 2016 at 7:57 pm #

    MT…British is not ,NOT,a nationality…..Britain is a political confederation between England,Scotland and Wales…..you don’t even come into the scenario…..you may ,if you like ,describe yourself as a citizen of the United Kingdom…..sin é….that’s it …….but alas you’re not British

    • MT February 2, 2016 at 10:31 am #

      “MT…British is not ,NOT,a nationality…..Britain is a political confederation between England,Scotland and Wales…..you don’t even come into the scenario…..you may ,if you like ,describe yourself as a citizen of the United Kingdom…..sin é….that’s it …….but alas you’re not British”

      That’s your opinion. I should imagine few would attach much importance to it.

      You don’t get to decide other people’s identities, I’m afraid.

  16. neill February 4, 2016 at 9:05 am #

    “Its good to see you are taking a level headed approach to Unionism Jessica.”

    Lets see.

    Unionism sees things only from its point of view.
    It thwarts democracy for its selfish interests.
    It promotes sectarianism through support for openly anti catholic organisations such as the orange order.
    It sees burning flags as part of its culture.
    It sees laws restricting unionist marches with sectarian symbols into communities where those symbols are knowingly deemed insulting or intimidatory as bad law and supports graduated response and civil disobedience as a valid tools to attack such bad laws.
    It constantly ignores its own historic actions in causing the conflict and enflaming it, while constantly attributing all blame on republicans.
    Its own ideology is incoherent and explanations on this blog site are in direct opposition of modern British thinking which is far more liberal.
    Still today, it refuses to cooperate or share power equally with Catholics.

    It should be treated as the white democrats with their support for the KKK and marginalised.

    Ryan is right, appeasing unionism is like appeasing a spoiled child, it only encourages bad behaviour.

    It is time responsible leadership was rewarded and threats of violence, intimidation through marches and flag burning are consigned to history.

    Change the Jewish community to Unionism and you would or should have been a contributor to Der Stürmer Jessica.

    • jessica February 4, 2016 at 9:49 am #

      “Change the Jewish community to Unionism and you would or should have been a contributor to Der Stürmer Jessica.”

      That is utter tripe neill

      • neill February 4, 2016 at 4:41 pm #

        Really Jessica read what you wrote again.

        • jessica February 4, 2016 at 8:00 pm #

          “Really Jessica read what you wrote again.”

          I would say Zionism would be similar to unionism in its treatment of Palestinians in their own lands as it follows similar fascist ideology, but you cannot tar all Jews with the same brush neill, there are many Jewish communities, Sephardi, Ashkenazi, Mizrahi etc…

          Do the Jews march the streets to rub in past war victories over their neighbours?
          Do the Jews see burning flags as part of their culture?

          Why don’t you tell me what you think the similarities are and how it justifies any of it?