David Ford and remembering the Easter Rising

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Centenary commemorations aren’t compulsory – you don’t have to go to them except you want to. That is, if you’re a private citizen (or subject). If you’re a politician, it begins to get a bit more complicated.

Then you have to think: where do my loyalties lie?  Am I the representative of all of the people in my constituency, regardless of whether they voted for me or not?  Most politicians would say they represent all the people (Ian Paisley used to make a big thing about how many Catholics came to him for help and how much he helped them, so proving he wasn’t a bigot). But politicians have to balance that urgent desire to represent the interests of everyone (they all have that, don’t they?) against the interests of their party. If Ian Paisley had attended a republican commemoration in his constituency, he might have been rather less popular with the people who elected him.

And if you’re a Minister, it’s the same thing only more emphatically so. The matter came up when Arlene Foster, the First Minister, made it clear she wasn’t going to attend any Easter Rising commemoration – and then back-pedalled a bit and said she might attend a study-of-the-Easter-Rising sort of day.

And now our Justice Minister is in the commemoration spotlight. He has made it clear he isn’t going to be attending any Easter Rising commemoration. You could argue that as an individual, he’s perfectly entitled to attend or not attend – he chooses. But he’s also a politician, so we’re back to the balance between being a Justice Minister for all of the people in this state against the fact that he’s the leader of the Alliance Party. Now, the Alliance Party isn’t into this whole orange/green thing, right? Not into the whole constitutional question, right? Um, wrong.

The fact is, by default, the Alliance Party is a unionist party. That is, they have no desire to change the constitutional position of the six counties. They like things just fine as they are. Which means, then, that they’re not going to support or attend commemorations that run counter to that unionist agenda. David Ford might be the Justice Minister for everyone, but he’s the leader of the Alliance Party and the welfare of that party is what Mr Ford is consulting when he announces that he’s not attending an Easter Rising commemoration.

But he’s added a coda, and an ill-advised coda at that. He says that violent dissident republicans claim a lineage that runs from the Easter Rising to their actions today, and so to attend would be to give credibility to these violent republicans, and he’s not going to do that. Except you just have, David.

If that’s your professed reason for non-attendance, you’re accepting the argument of violent dissident republicans that they are the true heirs of Easter 1916, not Sinn Féin or other republicans.  That’s a very silly sort of propaganda weapon to have handed to a violent grouping.  You’d have been better coming clean, and said  you were staying away because the Alliance Party doesn’t want constitutional change. That would have been nearer the truth and avoided giving a leg-up to a small but lethal grouping.

 

81 Responses to David Ford and remembering the Easter Rising

  1. MT March 26, 2016 at 6:06 pm #

    Surely the fact that he’s the Justice Minister is even more reason for him *not* to attend.

    As for the dissidents, they *are* the inheritors of 1916. Pearse et al were the dissidents of their day.

    • TheHist March 26, 2016 at 7:38 pm #

      David Ford carefully and manipulatively misconstrued the invitation – he was not asked to go and “celebrate” the Rising, but this was his choice of words, perhaps to justify his refusal to attend. Pretty clear the Irish government, through their revisionist and sanitising agenda, will not be celebrating the Rising – Ford obviously setting the Alliance Party stall out for forthcoming elections to try and tap into soft or disillusioned unionist voters.

      MT, in your use of the word “dissident” – so the people who supported Pearse and the ideals of the Rising in the aftermath – they are dissidents too?
      The 497,107 (46.9%) people who voted SF in 1918 were dissidents, as they endorsed the ideals Pearse and the other leaders of 1916 stood for?

      • MT March 26, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

        “MT, in your use of the word “dissident” – so the people who supported Pearse and the ideals of the Rising in the aftermath – they are dissidents too?
        The 497,107 (46.9%) people who voted SF in 1918 were dissidents, as they endorsed the ideals Pearse and the other leaders of 1916 stood for?”

        Pearse et al were a minority opposed to the popular mainstream political consensus and prepared to use violence to pursue their goal. Same as the dizzies today.

        • TheHist March 26, 2016 at 11:16 pm #

          MT, you have just conveniently ignored the questions posed – in the aftermath of the Rising, were those who supported the ideals of the Rising, dissidents? Were those voted for national self determination, the ideal of 1916, dissidents?

          It was pretty clear by 1916 the “popular mainstream political consensus” was in decline as the continuation of the War was proving unpopular, there was a decrease in recruitment, Redmond’s Home Rule project was jepordised and his own reputation was being questioned.

          So if your basing your argument on minorities, MT, Unionism in the same instance were a minority opposed to “the popular mainstream political consensus” across the island, who were also wiling to “use violence to pursue their goal.” So would you define Unionists as dissidents? Carson a dissident? Craig?

          • Patrick March 27, 2016 at 9:41 am #

            Methinks poor MT is stumped for a logical response to your well made points and questions. Come on MT, have the courtesy to at least respond to a post asking questions of you.

          • MT March 27, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

            “MT, you have just conveniently ignored the questions posed – in the aftermath of the Rising, were those who supported the ideals of the Rising, dissidents? Were those voted for national self determination, the ideal of 1916, dissidents?”

            Eh? I already excluded the 1919-21 period from the definition of dissident. Didn’t you read what I wrote?

            “It was pretty clear by 1916 the “popular mainstream political consensus” was in decline as the continuation of the War was proving unpopular, there was a decrease in recruitment, Redmond’s Home Rule project was jepordised and his own reputation was being questioned.”

            It wasn’t clear at all.

            “So if your basing your argument on minorities, MT, Unionism in the same instance were a minority opposed to “the popular mainstream political consensus” across the island, who were also wiling to “use violence to pursue their goal.” So would you define Unionists as dissidents? Carson a dissident? Craig?”

            Unionism wasn’t concerned with the island, only with Ulster. Far from being a dissident, Carson was the leader of Unionism.

          • TheHist March 27, 2016 at 3:45 pm #

            MT, where do I start with your reply:

            “Eh? I already excluded the 1919-21 period from the definition of dissident. Didn’t you read what I wrote?”

            When did I mention the 1919-21 period, MT? Why are you referring to it? Did you not read my post?

            The aftermath of the Rising didn’t start in 1919. The aftermath of the Rising began in May 1916 – the sea change in public opinion. From then on, support for the ideals of the Rising resonated and gained support amongst the Irish people. The evidence – The mass welcoming of rebels from British prisons in December 1916 right through to June 1917. The growth of the SF party. The by election victories of SF in 1917/1918 – During 1917, Count Plunkett in North Roscommon, Joseph McGuinness in South Longford, Éamon de Valera in East Clare and W. T. Cosgrave in Kilkenny City all emerged victories – all linked to the Rising. In 1918 Sinn Féin victories, Patrick McCartan in Tullamore in April and Arthur Griffith in East Cavan in June, further illustrate So all these supporters – dissidents?

            This was an endorsement of the Rising. The result of the 1918 General election, as cited above, this was a further endorsement of the Rising – so for the third time in asking, were these people dissidents, as they supported what Pearse et al stood for and were committed too?

            “It wasn’t clear at all.” It was!

            “Unionism wasn’t concerned with the island, only with Ulster.”

            What? Are you for real? Historically inaccurate, MT! Unionism
            was concerned with the island! The Unionist campaign as initiated after Carson became leader of Unionism in 1910 was based on preventing Home Rule on an All-Ireland basis – this only changed Carson knew he would fail in this endeavour. Ulster was a tactic and a weapon to prevent all of the island falling under a Home Rule Government. Ulster was part of the “island” whatever way to want to look at it – it was not a separate territory or a separate jurisdiction (cite Asquith). Unionists were a minority on the island whether you accept that or not! A minority trying to dictate to the majority! As Asquith stated, “we cannot admit, and we will not admit, the right of a minority of the people, and a relatively small minority … to veto the verdict of the vast body of their countrymen.”

            “Far from being a dissident, Carson was the leader of Unionism.” What? What does that mean? So Unionists can’t be dissidents – Carson – a dissident to the aspirations of the British Government, a dissident to the aspirations of Southern Unionism and a dissident to the aspirations of the majority of people on island of Ireland …

  2. WestportSam March 26, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

    Perhaps he is waiting for the proper 100th Anniversary on 24th of April , Easter being a moveable feast ,and it might be warmer then also .
    Yeah that’s a very , [ Very big grin ] ,that you are looking at .

  3. Mark March 26, 2016 at 6:49 pm #

    Jude, the Unionism of the Alliance party is no small matter, it is part of their party constitution.
    Now, were a political party, founded, allegedly, to be cross community, really cross community why should they have an article in the governing document of their party which sets out that they will support the constitutional position here (the maintenance of oppression and subjugation for the indigenous folk left here by the Free State) until the majority agree to change it?
    I love when their, tired, members call at election time and seek support from me, they all, strenuously, deny their party unionist policy.
    Their lack of support for nationalist mayoralty in Ireland’s second city some years ago should be remembered also,as arate payer there, I do.

  4. giordanobruno March 26, 2016 at 6:53 pm #

    Jude
    Your mind reading powers are impressive. Despite what David Ford says, you know the true reasons for his staying away.
    Given our circumstances here I don’t see any reason to be judgmental if politicians feel they cannot attend certain events, especially if another representative can attend instead, as has been the case with OFMDFM in the past.
    Sinn Fein stayed away from Remembrance Sunday for long enough after all.
    Was that for honourable reasons or political calculation? No doubt your mind reading powers can enlighten us.

  5. Donal Kennedy March 26, 2016 at 7:00 pm #

    Perhaps, MT, I’m a bit dim and you could explain the gulfs separating, Protest, Dissent and Dissidence?

    Then perhaps Mr Ford or one of his fellow-travellers might explain what or whom they are
    Allied to? (Sorry to end a sentence with a preposition, but I don’t think a proposition is
    appropriate to folks I haven’t met).

    What do they sing at their rallies -“All Kinds of Everything” – or are its origins too Fenian
    for their sensibilities?

  6. Henry94 March 26, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

    MT

    I don’t see any rational basis for claiming the dissidents are the inheritors of 1916. The Good Friday Agreement is an overwhelming act of self-determiation by the Irish people and nobody taking up arms against it could possibly be called a republican in the 1916 tradition. It is not necessarily the ultimate act of self-detemination but it is unarguably a legitimate one.

    • billy March 26, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

      would tom clarke have called them traitors for killing brits.

    • MT March 26, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

      “I don’t see any rational basis for claiming the dissidents are the inheritors of 1916. The Good Friday Agreement is an overwhelming act of self-determiation by the Irish people and nobody taking up arms against it could possibly be called a republican in the 1916 tradition. It is not necessarily the ultimate act of self-detemination but it is unarguably a legitimate one.”

      The 1916 rebels took up arms against the popular will just as all “republicans” have since (with the exception of the 1919-21 period).

      By your argument neither the post-1922 IRA nor the Provos were the inheritors of 1916 either.

      • jessica March 27, 2016 at 8:35 am #

        “The 1916 rebels took up arms against the popular will just as all “republicans” have since (with the exception of the 1919-21 period).”

        Rubbish, PIRA took up arms after a prolonged period of unionist terrorism against a defenceless catholic community in which the state police forces and the british army were a part off.

        In 1916, home rule a desire by the majority had been denied for decades and the actions of a few brave men and women created the circumstances which led to the first steps towards Irelands freedom from british tyrannical rule.

        In 1998 the GFA has provided a peaceful framework to achieve the completion of british withdrawal which has the majority support of the whole of this island.

        That has changed everything.

        Only the refusal to implement that agreement could create the circumstances where armed actions should even be considered and even then only after all peaceful options had been exhausted.

        In light of the change in demographics and in the Internet age, it is extremely unlikely britain will be able to deny independence through the mechanisms that have been agreed.

        To even suggest dissidents are in some way inheriting the courage shown in 1916 is to ignore detailed reasoning within the proclamation and insulting the integrity of all those involved in 1916.

        That distinction must be made very loud and very crystal clear.

        • MT March 27, 2016 at 10:11 am #

          “Rubbish, PIRA took up arms after a prolonged period of unionist terrorism against a defenceless catholic community in which the state police forces and the british army were a part off.”

          It’s not rubbish. On the contrary, it’s true. The PIRA acted against the popular will.

          “In 1916, home rule a desire by the majority had been denied for decades and the actions of a few brave men and women created the circumstances which led to the first steps towards Irelands freedom from british tyrannical rule.”

          It hadn’t been denied. On the contrary it had been enacted. The 1916 rebels acted against the will of the people.

          “In 1998 the GFA has provided a peaceful framework to achieve the completion of british withdrawal which has the majority support of the whole of this island.”

          There was already such a peaceful framework. The GFA changed nothing in that respect.

          “That has changed everything.”

          It didn’t. What it did was give the Provos cover for their de facto surrender.

          “To even suggest dissidents are in some way inheriting the courage shown in 1916 is to ignore detailed reasoning within the proclamation and insulting the integrity of all those involved in ”

          What detailed reasoning?

          • jessica March 27, 2016 at 6:08 pm #

            “It’s not rubbish. On the contrary, it’s true. The PIRA acted against the popular will. ”
            So are you saying unionist terrorism against non violent civil rights movement was the popular will?

  7. Barry Fennell March 26, 2016 at 7:18 pm #

    Political representatives of all persuasions have to attend these type of events. If the Queen can attend – displaying and demonstrating respect and ethical sensitivity as the head of state responsible for atrocities here then surely others can at least show some of this. Politicians cannot be selective in their attendance at state events otherwise they clearly alienate those that they say and claim to represent. Shared history?

    • Mark March 27, 2016 at 10:17 am #

      It’s curious you mention the auld ‘shared history’ Barry. I listened to the DUP councillor for Lurgan this morning speak of just this while condemning a couple of local gasúni, with the auld wolly faces commemorate the Rising.
      Why? It is commemoration of an event which set out to free our nation, all our nation, Lachinch to Lurgan, the speaking from the Free State over the past weeks has all been very, very Free State, as I’m sure we’ve all heard, none of them who rose, on the 23rd or 24th of April 1916 set out to free the 26 counties, rather, they set out to free Ireland, the shared history, and our shared future, should be what they bravely fought for, as you say.

      • MT March 27, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

        “It is commemoration of an event which set out to free our nation, all our nation, Lachinch to Lurgan, the speaking from the Free State over the past weeks has all been very, very Free State, as I’m sure we’ve all heard, none of them who rose, on the 23rd or 24th of April 1916 set out to free the 26 counties, rather, they set out to free Ireland, the shared history, and our shared future, should be what they bravely fought for, as you say.”

        By that logic you should be celebrating the murder of Adrian Ismay, since thst was an event designed to “free our nation”.

        • Mark March 27, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

          I suspect the charge will be dropped to something substantially less than murder, Adrian Ismay died from a heart attack, he was a little overweight after all so, BRD will be impossible to reach.
          Personally, I delight in the actual murder of no-one, having had two attempts on myself, but, what happened in April 1916, before, and subsequently, had a purpose, few now fail to support the actions of the once arch terrorist Nelson Mandela or David Ben Gurion however, they too fought injustice against their people, as Arafat did later, however, once, to the Brit. and US governments, these were terrorists, some day, those who fought for Ireland may be too.

          • MT March 27, 2016 at 7:21 pm #

            “I suspect the charge will be dropped to something substantially less than murder, Adrian Ismay died from a heart attack, he was a little overweight after all so, BRD will be impossible to reach.”

            That doesn’t alter the point one bit.

            “Personally, I delight in the actual murder of no-one, having had two attempts on myself, but, what happened in April 1916, before, and subsequently, had a purpose”

            So did the attack on Adrian Ismay.

      • Am Ghobsmacht March 27, 2016 at 4:14 pm #

        Mark

        Could you expand on these two quotes from your previous comments please?

        “It is commemoration of an event which set out to free our nation, all our nation, ”

        vs

        “the maintenance of oppression and subjugation for the indigenous folk left here by the Free State”

        Are ‘non-indigenous’ folk part of the nation?

        In my school there were unionists and loyalists with names like O’Neill, Kelly, Lynch, Gorman, Quinn and Donnelly, do they count as ‘indigenous’ ?

        On the other side of the fence most of my nationalist friends would have Scottish gallowglass surnames or even English surnames, are they ‘indigenous’?

        • Mark March 29, 2016 at 8:36 am #

          AM Ghobsmacht, indigenous is what people are, the names may sound otherwise but, my point was that, in 1923, the new Free State Dail abandoned those of us who were Irish to continued subjugation by the state they had sacraficed so much to rid us of

          • Am Ghobsmacht March 29, 2016 at 11:34 am #

            Thanks Mark but that only half answers my question, what about the other half?

          • jessica March 29, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

            “Are ‘non-indigenous’ folk part of the nation?”

            I would consider the indigenous population as the people who have most in common with the national identity that should be protected due to historic significance in relation to territory, language, cultural and historical distinctiveness

            During the plantation for example, most people adopted the indigenous language and cultures, perhaps adding their own aspects which over time would result in variations from other parts of the nation. The Irish language would be a good example where its differs distinctively between provinces.

            In direct answer to your question, the answer is yes.

            The indigenous national identity in Ireland is Irish and it extends the whole of this island.

            Many people come to Ireland from all of Europe and become part of the Irish nation.

            The 6 county only “northern irish” identity is not indigenous but a new identity less than 100 years old. It seeks legitimacy from imperial occupation by an alien government which has oppressed Irish nationhood and sovereignty and will be fought until it is removed, through physical force if necessary.

            The northern Ireland identity is therefore not indigenous to this island.

            If you are asking, can you be part of this new “northern irish” identity and also be part of the indigenous nation, then yes. Many people in the republic hold alternative identities (just look at the southern media) but still can claim to be part of the indigenous nation if they choose.

            Being born in the republic of Ireland does not mean you are part of the indigenous nation automatically.

            The existence of the republic of Ireland state has no control over the indigenous nation.

  8. fiosrach March 26, 2016 at 7:44 pm #

    Dissident: those who disagree or dissent. Who exactly do they disagree with? They want a united, sovereign country free from outside – especially British -interference. As they say ‘Same fight, same foe’ meaning that they are continuing to fight the same people that Irish people have fought since the English first set foot in Ireland. The same foe that the Provisional Alliance fought so tellingly from ’69 -98. The same foe that Collins, de Valera and Pearse fought in the early part of this century. So they may be many a thing but they are not dissident republicans.

    • MT March 26, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

      “Dissident: those who disagree or dissent. Who exactly do they disagree with?”

      The Provo strategy.

    • giordanobruno March 26, 2016 at 9:50 pm #

      fiosrach
      They disagree with all the people who voted for the GFA, north and south, republcian nationalist, unionist, whatever.
      So you may not like the term ‘dissident’ but it seems fairly accurate to me.

      • fiosrach March 27, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

        Nobody was asked to vote for the GFA in the 26 counties. They voted to change the constitution.

        • giordanobruno March 27, 2016 at 9:52 pm #

          fiosrach
          That is true enough, but it is generally accepted that the vote was an endorsement of the GFA as I am sure you know.
          The point is dissidents are those who disagree with the current process,which is broadly accepted by the majority on the island, including republicans.
          How can you dispute that?
          And ,by the way, they are perfectly entitled to do so, provided they are using peaceful methods, in my view.

          • jessica March 28, 2016 at 9:44 am #

            “The point is dissidents are those who disagree with the current process,which is broadly accepted by the majority on the island, including republicans.
            How can you dispute that?
            And ,by the way, they are perfectly entitled to do so, provided they are using peaceful methods, in my view.”

            The current process was started by republicans, and has survived because of republicans who remain the most ardent supporters of building bridges and supporting reconciliation.

            You are on the side of detractors who choose to remain in conflict mode, who seek to pursue retribution and who prioritise vilification over reconciliation for their own agendas.

            You are one of those whose opinions do not acknowledge that we are a post conflict society and that peace building requires tolerance on both sides and that requires acceptance that some things will not sit easy but should be accepted as they are important to one side or the other, examples include burning flags and emblems on bonfires or naming parks after people the people within the community of the park hold in high regard.

            Dissidents seem to want the peace process to fail, you and your ilk are giving them the hope and expectation that it will.

          • giordanobruno March 28, 2016 at 8:36 pm #

            jessia
            Are you addressing that to me?
            I am certainly not on the side of any dissident group, if that is what you are now suggesting.
            I am simply saying they are entitled to their views and to oppose the GFA by peaceful means if that is their wish.
            You have a cheek accusing me of vilification when you vilify Unionists, Alliance, SDLP, parties in the South, and anyone that disagrees with you frequently and at length.
            Burning flags and naming children’s parks after violent men are not part of a healthy society,which is why I want to see an end to such things.

          • jessica March 28, 2016 at 10:15 pm #

            “You have a cheek accusing me of vilification when you vilify Unionists, Alliance, SDLP, parties in the South, and anyone that disagrees with you frequently and at length.”

            Yeah yeah if you mean pointing out it was unionism that started the conflict in the first place in response to it was PIRA who caused all of the problems, then I am only stating facts. Until you get past that constant crap thats as far as we go.

            “Burning flags and naming children’s parks after violent men are not part of a healthy society,which is why I want to see an end to such things.”

            You may not have noticed, but we are not living in a healthy society and we never will be without healing and tolerance.
            People have to stop burning flags in their own good time and people can name parks as they see fit, what you or I think about it doesn’t matter to them.

            If we had a healthy society then neither would be a problem, in the mean time, we don’t need people like you or I making them into problems.

          • jessica March 29, 2016 at 9:19 am #

            “I am certainly not on the side of any dissident group, if that is what you are now suggesting.”

            It is not only dissidents or whatever they want to be called who want the peace process to fail.
            Many unionists would like a return to conflict, so the British army can go back in and do the job properly, eradicating republicanism once and for all.

            Some republicans believe physical force and constant failure to deal with it will grind them down just as it did in Iraq where public opinion over the cost of the conflict wore thin.

            Some people refuse to accept the truth of what happened and just want all of those involved who have turned to peace now to just go away and for everything to fall into place as a nice little healthy society where those bad people are shunned and the political elite assume control on their terms only, where their views of what happened are imposed on the rest of us plebs for what they consider to be the greater good.

            This is the category I would say you fall into gio, and I think it is the most despicable of the lot.

    • jessica March 26, 2016 at 11:49 pm #

      “They want a united, sovereign country free from outside – especially British -interference. ”
      When did dissidents say this?

      “As they say ‘Same fight, same foe’ meaning that they are continuing to fight the same people that Irish people have fought since the English first set foot in Ireland. ”

      Bullshit.
      It was never the same fight. Earlier risings were protestant led and each had their own reasons and aims.
      The struggle is now in the final stages and must be through peaceful means only as determined by the people of Ireland in the GFA.
      How the hell can you unify a country and merge two disparate economies through conflict?

      “So they may be many a thing but they are not dissident republicans.”

      I wouldn’t even say they were republicans. They are just dissidents and dickheads and should fuck off.

      • fiosrach March 27, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

        As Judge Judy would say, jessica, put on your listening ears. Why do you call them ‘dissidents’? Call them terrorists or fundamentalists or extremists if you want but they have not given up their republican principles. No Dáil. No Stormont. No British interference. You talk about the final stage of the struggle. The struggle for what? Interesting that all the uprisings etc fir the past 800 years have been protestant led and were not at all anti british. Produce your degree in Irish history LOL.

        • jessica March 27, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

          “Why do you call them ‘dissidents’? Call them terrorists or fundamentalists or extremists if you want but they have not given up their republican principles.”

          Who are you trying to kid fiosrach?

          They are a bunch of hoods and misfits who never had any principles to begin with, republican or otherwise.
          They cannot be talked to, I have tried over 10 years ago now and all they had then was regurgitated crap from the past, It was like being in a time warp.

          Now 10 years later whatever new recruits they are not continuing from anything. They are wannabes and will do more damage than they can even understand.
          Dissidents are the last glimmer of hope for unionism.

          “You talk about the final stage of the struggle. The struggle for what?”

          The struggle to finally remove British rule from Ireland and achieve full independence for all of the people of Ireland.

          That involves reconciliation with the south and whether you like it or not an improved relationship with Britain who are our biggest trade partner and who host millions of Irish citizens in their own nation.

          Perhaps it is time you got your head out of the history books on the past and focussed on the here and now, the history of the future which is what others are doing.

          • fiosrach March 27, 2016 at 10:51 pm #

            Still can’t get it through to you, jessica. No matter what anybody’s opinion of the non Sinn Féin republicans may be, no matter how low they sink, they are not dissident.

          • jessica March 28, 2016 at 8:59 am #

            Ok, I suppose in a pedantic sense I can accept what you are saying fiosrach.

            But the majority of republicans do accept Sinn Feins peace strategy, it makes sense and is the only feasible strategy I am aware off.

            The biggest threat to Irish unity is no longer from unionists or the British army. The conflict has changed tactic and they have not been able to adapt.

            I am not even sure we are talking about the same people.

            I am talking about the hard line elements who would more quickly fight other republicans when they don’t like what you say.
            Who have never defended their community from anything but their community needs defending from them.

            It is hard to take them seriously when they and their children are abusing pensioners, drinking and throwing stones at pensioners homes.

            When their members are often seen talking and laughing with the PSNI patrols.

            Whose membership is so infiltrated with British informants and agents that they are basically on the British state payroll.

            To be fair I am unsure what their aims are.

            Are you able to articulate their point of view fiosrach?

            Perhaps if I understood them more I might accept what you are saying.

  9. michael c March 26, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

    Aye they are many a thing alright. I think their activities in Dublin sum them up perfectly.

  10. Joe Canning March 26, 2016 at 11:36 pm #

    I know Jude scrutinises every all replies. David is REDACTED, full stop and needs an operation to stop his REDACTED, Hamilton can’t afford it. It’s all the Republic’s fault.

    • Jude Collins March 27, 2016 at 8:42 am #

      Sorry, Joe – I’m afraid I do scrutinise as best I can in time allowable. You’re entitled to your opinion, but you need to support insults, not just deliver them.

  11. Sherdy March 26, 2016 at 11:42 pm #

    My justice minister says he will not join the 1916 commemorations because he cannot support violence.
    But yet he has no problems supporting the British war commemorations of two world wars every November – wars which claimed over 30 million lives.
    There was quite a bit of murder and violence there!

    • MT March 27, 2016 at 10:14 am #

      “My justice minister says he will not join the 1916 commemorations because he cannot support violence.
      But yet he has no problems supporting the British war commemorations of two world wars every November – wars which claimed over 30 million lives.
      There was quite a bit of murder and violence there!”

      Taking part in remembrance doesn’t involve supporting murder, or even necessarily violence.

      • jessica March 27, 2016 at 6:06 pm #

        “Taking part in remembrance doesn’t involve supporting murder, or even necessarily violence.”

        There was no support for murder or violence in Dublin today.
        It was a great day and I am very proud to have been there.
        Hopefully there will be a realisation of what the Irish people in the north have to contend with though.

  12. Michael Monaghan March 26, 2016 at 11:55 pm #

    No surprise we all know where the Alliance party loyalty lies … They are a Unionist party with a SMALL “u” .. They represent 7-8% off the “sit on the fence people” and won’t get any more votes than that… The Alliance party can’t, couldn’t and will never make a difference… They appeal only to the middle class small Unionist grouping that can’t bring themselves to vote for the DUP or UU.

  13. Ryan March 27, 2016 at 12:17 am #

    “Ireland unfree shall never be at peace” – Patrick Pearse at the funeral of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa.

    Its been 18 years since the Good Friday Agreement has been signed. More peace walls have went up instead of down. The attitude of Unionism hasn’t changed one iota and in many ways has got worse. Integrated Housing is as far away today as it was in 1998. Nothing has changed. That re-enforces what Republicans have been saying since 1922, that the statelet that is Northern Ireland is a complete and utter failure, that is plainly obvious. It was obvious to British Prime Minister Harold Wilson in the 1970’s and its just as obvious today.

    As time goes on I’ve come to realize that Patrick Pearses prediction may be true, there never shall be a genuine peace here while Ireland is unfree. The Good Friday Agreement is nothing more than a sticking plaster. I think it was Gerry Adams that said some years ago that we don’t have peace, we just have a cessation of violence.

    How can we build a genuine peace when we have the leader of what is considered the most “moderate” party in the North refusing to respect the traditions of the soon to be majority community? Think about that, this is the most “moderate” party here reacting, not counting the extremists within the likes of the DUP/UUP. I will be honest I was genuinely surprised by David Ford. Even many Alliance councillors in Belfast are refusing to follow his lead and are attending a dinner in commemoration of the Easter Rising with President Higgins in Belfast City Hall. Of course the DUP is boycotting the dinner and the UUP has yet to decide.

    Unionists still foolishly think Republicans and Catholics are irrelevant. They think that the status quo is sustainable. The Gregory Campbell’s and Arlene Fosters don’t realize their antics prove many dissident republican arguments to be accurate. Unionists don’t want to share power with Catholics. Even Sinn Fein say the same, Sinn Fein say Unionists are in Govt because they have to be, not because they want to be. Now even David Ford, the “moderate”, has played his part and backed up the dissident republican argument.

    I have debated hundreds of different dissident republicans on twitter over the past 5 years and I must admit over the past few months it has been genuinely difficult to combat their arguments. They ripped my argument that we should “talk, talk and talk some more to political Unionism” to shreds to the point I’m even having second thoughts. Am I thinking of violence? No, that’s counter productive but seeing that this power sharing arrangement is gaining nothing and changing nothing Joint Rule has been the conclusion me and many other SF voters have considered the best alternative to the current joke we have.

    It wasn’t any failure of Sinn Fein that has me and many, many others thinking this way, its Unionism. Just the way Edward Carson brought the gun into Irish politics and created the UVF. It lead to the creation of the Irish volunteers. Just like so many people were lead away from the likes of the SDLP and supported/joined Republican paramilitaries due to the brutal reception the peaceful Civil Rights Movement got from Unionism and the introduction of internment (again, at the demand of Unionism), not to mention all the murders committed by Loyalists and the British Army, like Bloody Sunday. The trend is happening again. Unionism is causing many young republicans to listen to dissidents. Now I repeat and I’m making this crystal clear, I’m not endorsing violence of dissidents or anyone else. I can only speak for myself, I’m seeing that Sinn Fein’s/SDLP’s outreach to Unionism isn’t working, it isn’t being reciprocated. That’s not the fault of Sinn Fein, its Unionisms. That’s why I’m being swayed to the opinion of ditching the current Stormont set up and supporting Joint Rule between Dublin and London.

    I will say this though, I have chatted to young republicans who this time 2-3 years ago were firmly behind Sinn Fein’s strategy. Now? Many have abandoned it and a minority have gone now to sympathize with dissident republicans. David Ford has helped that sympathy to increase in some ways. Its lead many republicans, seeing their tradition/culture disrespected, to look again at dissidents and wonder if they really ARE the inheritors of the Men/women of 1916…..

    The only people who can stop this trend of support I’ve witnessed for dissidents isn’t Sinn Fein or SDLP or Alliance, its political Unionism. If Unionism accepts the hand of friendship, if they reciprocate, if they acknowledge every side has its own narrative of the past, etc that would go a long way to helping to combat the violence of dissident republicans and stopping their support, showing that the current peaceful politics of Sinn Fein does work, that things can change and that we have all moved on from the “Protestant Parliament for a Protestant People”……

    • Eolach March 27, 2016 at 11:01 am #

      Ryan , Unionism is uncooperative , obstructive and violent by nature but I don’t think they’re stupid ( with one or two very notable exceptions ) so what are they playing at ? Remember their reaction when the agreement was signed….was it Merry Molyneaux who said it was a bad day for Unionism ?Unionism can only survive in a climate of violence ,sectarianism , racism and hatred…….when was the last time ( or first for that matter ) that you heard a unionist issue a positive statement….examine the statements from Unionist contributors on this blog , always negative and unpleasant ……never constructive or favourable. I firmly believe that they want violence again on a large scale , they want insurrection and repression….I believe they want a re-drawn border where they can retreat into maybe three counties….definitely Antrim and Down and they will then be happy in their own little apartheid statelet…..they are definitely not ready to leave the 17th century!

    • giordanobruno March 27, 2016 at 7:31 pm #

      Ryan
      I think you are making a bit much out of David Ford’s influence.
      He is not refusing to respect the traditions of the Nationalist community.
      He is just not attending one particular event (it was not compulsory after all!) for his own reasons and as far as I know he has not prevented any other Alliance Party members from attending.
      Sinn Fein avoided Remembrance Sunday for many years and it did not derail the peace process.

  14. Perkin Warbeck March 27, 2016 at 11:28 am #

    Pearse, the personification of the Easter Rising, Esteemed Blogmeister, provokes reactions which are fierce, to say the least.

    Wherever one is positioned on the clockface of Ireland, whether one is at Belfast (two o’clock, going forward one hour) or even at Cork (six o’clock, going forward one hour) the reaction may be positively fierce, or even, mirabile dictu/ anam an diabhail, on the negative side of fierce.

    Curiously, both Belfast and Cork are clockface cities which have the surname Ford in common, whether it be David in one case or Henry in the other, going backward. The first name essentially does not matter, just as long as it, erm, red, white and blue of tint.

    Even in the case of one as benign and transcendentally bland as David Ford of Belfast or one as divinely prickly as a porcupine such as (gulp) John A. Murphy of Cork, the negative mindset in both cases can be equally fierce .

    In the immortal phrase of the Model T for Tennyson: game, mindset and match.

    (Cork can afford to have no prominent Ford any more, with the likes of John A. to ford the gap of danger itself / an bearna baoil fein).

    You have to hand it to the John A. Murphy all the same , E. B., for being the dabbest of dab hands when it comes to Patting himself, and himself alone, on the back. With ‘to Pat’ being the operative verb.

    Now what that ‘it’ is might well be a matter of the deepest conjecture – anything from a used toilet paper which an acquaintance of one’s own once handed to a grasping concierge in a Parisienne toilette to something else indeed which might be far less appropriate.

    Even as David Ford was announcing his intention not to attend the 1916 commemoration thingy, not, the Professor Emeritus of Detritus Studies on Leeside (for it was he !)) was at it again in the august Letters to the Editor page of The Unionist Times. Just as it is customary to have seats reserved for the Aged, the Discombobulated and the Pregnant on public transport this bandwagonning page always has a seat available for the meritorious Emeritus Eminence.

    While the third category can in all probability be ruled out it is not too certain which of the other two categories applies in his case. Though one indeed might be tempted to plump for one of the remaining two, over the other. (see below, on the basement floor).

    Under the heading ‘Patrick Pearse – what’s in a name?’ the patronising Prof spreads a sliver of finely minced liver, aka, pate over the live issue of what Patrick Pearse should be actually called:

    -Padraic, Padraig, Patrick, PH ? (No, he didn’t quite get to Paddy, Paudie, (gulp) Whacker).

    (Whacker Pearse?).

    This is a continuation of his literary letter some time ago to his favourite organ of record re how exactly the location of the most celebrated ambush site in Ireland, Cork ought to be spelled:

    -Beal na mBlath or Beal na Blath?

    This is a bit like ballyragging the commonality for not being au fait with this m for mosquito-sized linguistic mystery and which The Unionist Times facilitated their favourite pricker of mythical bubbles in so ballyragging. In making it appear as if beside ‘The Missing m’ the Second Law of Thermodynamics , the Third Secret of Fatima combined with The Theory of Relativity itself were made to appear as, , erm, a relative doddle.

    -Y? (in Joe Duffy-speak).

    Possibly, even, as a metaphor of the whole Leprechaun revival pathology / zika.

    In his epistle of Easter Saturday 2016: he laid the latest m for mosquito –sized linguistic mystery to rest with this final flourish, which lands with all the finality of the controversy-stopping plop-drop of a cow-pat.

    Referring to the farewell letter from his Kilmainham cell which began with ‘Dear mother’ and ended ‘Your son, Pat’:

    -‘Pat’ was his ultimate and irreversible signature.

    So, there then, possums, that’s that about it for John A’S patrician yet patriotic ( really patriotic ) attitude to this ‘Pat’ thingy.

    To conclude with the designation under which of the three he is given the treatment preferential , seat-wise (see above).

    Consider the following:

    In 2005, John A. Murphy was chosen as Mr. Cork / Cork Person of the Year. Though nobody seems to have taken him to one side –YET !- and told him through an ear trumpet, it is a title which is ephemeral rather than permanent , like.

    Now, the average Mr. Cork has been defined as the average Mr. Kerry with a superiority complex. That being the reality, so, and with the above average Mr. Kerry never quite knowing which corner of the globe he is actually in, whenever he opens his eyes in the morning, (Is this Tokyo? Is this Tupelo?) so also, alas, would seem to be the case with the above average Mr. Cork.

    Which may go some of the way at least to explain, after all the self-patting on the back which took place on the patio of politico-historical reality, why this song might possibly be heard on Leeside:

    -Each night I ask the stars up above
    Why must I be a geriatric in love?

    PS With myself.

    • Jude Collins March 27, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

      This blessed Easter Day, PW, it is a dead heat for the yellow jersey between “he laid the latest m for mosquito –sized linguistic mystery to rest with this final flourish, which lands with all the finality of the controversy-stopping plop-drop of a cow-pat.” and “Each night I ask the stars up above/ Why must I be a geriatric in love?
      PS With myself.” Reader, I laffed my leg off…Happy Easter, Perkin. Long may your digits tickle the keyboard.

  15. Pointis March 27, 2016 at 11:45 pm #

    David Ford has the right not to attend his invite to the 1916 Easter commemoration and he had an opportunity to do so politely.

    Mr Ford didn’t do that, instead he went out of his way to make a political point probably with a forthcoming election in mind.

    Putting aside his rank hypocrisy, his contorted logic is “no matter how noble the motives for an historical action may have been, if it happens to be supported by anyone on the fringes of conventional politics then that action is thus invalid and negative as are those supporting it”.

    Applying his logic Christians are supporting violent through their acts of worship every week because after all David Koresh (of Waco fame) was inspired by Christ.

    The not so subtle message delivered in David Ford’s media announcement, and which could just as well be delivered by any disgruntled loyalist to Irish nationalists commemorating the rising was “you are all the f**king same”!

    By doing what he did, he just validated the very worst aspects of logic applied by loyalists to Catholics/ Nationalists when they applied their summary justice to the minority community throughout the worst of the troubles.

    • MT March 28, 2016 at 8:58 am #

      “Mr Ford didn’t do that, instead he went out of his way to make a political point.”

      And rightly so. The more people who speak out about the dangerous cult of 1916 the better. He shouldn’t be cowered into silence. Hopefully after this centenary, more people will be able to green themselves intellectually from this dangerous legacy and move on.

      “Putting aside his rank hypocrisy, his contorted logic is “no matter how noble the motives for an historical action may have been, if it happens to be supported by anyone on the fringes of conventional politics then that action is thus invalid and negative as are those supporting it”.”

      But he didn’t say that. You’re creating a straw man.

      “Applying his logic Christians are supporting violent through their acts of worship every week because after all David Koresh (of Waco fame) was inspired by Christ”

      But that’s not his logic. You just made it up.

    • jessica March 28, 2016 at 9:18 am #

      I couldn’t agree more.

      The Alliance party can no longer credibly claim to be impartial on the national issue, they are clearly a british only party and their leader has revealed his true colours on their opinion of the Irish state.

  16. Pointis March 28, 2016 at 10:31 am #

    Ok MT,

    Mr Ford said that he could not attend the 1916 commemorations because the dissidents who killed Adrian Ismay claimed 1916 as theirs and therefore he could not attend this celebration of violence as it would legitimise their position.

    Which part of that am I making up?

    Even a “jelly brain” can see the flawed logic that he applies and hypocritically doesn’t apply to British military commemorations.

    • MT March 28, 2016 at 11:00 am #

      “Mr Ford said that he could not attend the 1916 commemorations because the dissidents who killed Adrian Ismay claimed 1916 as theirs and therefore he could not attend this celebration of violence as it would legitimise their position.”

      You’re deliberately missing the premise of his objection, namely that 1916 was unjust violence and to celebrate it therefore makes it easier for dissidents to legitimise their own unjust violence.

      “Even a “jelly brain” can see the flawed logic that he applies and hypocritically doesn’t apply to British military commemorations.”

      I’m sure if there were any British military commemorations the premise of which was to celebrate unjust violence or illegitimate groupings, Ford would also choose not to attend.

  17. Pointis March 29, 2016 at 8:48 am #

    That is your problem right there MT “unjust violence” the problem in a disputed jurisdiction is that that would be a disputed term!

    • MT March 29, 2016 at 6:07 pm #

      “That is your problem right there MT “unjust violence” the problem in a disputed jurisdiction is that that would be a disputed term!”

      How is it my problem?

      “Disputed jurisdiction” or otherwise is irrelevant.

      • jessica March 30, 2016 at 12:18 am #

        “How is it my problem?
        “Disputed jurisdiction” or otherwise is irrelevant.”

        You do comprehend different points of view do you not?

        What is just violence in Ireland from a British perspective, is unjust from an Irish perspective and vice versa.

        To me, killing British soldiers was just violence.

        • MT March 30, 2016 at 8:04 am #

          “What is just violence in Ireland from a British perspective, is unjust from an Irish perspective and vice versa.”

          No. Violence from any source is either just or unjust from an objective perspective.

          “To me, killing British soldiers was just violence.”

          Well, we know you’re a hypocrite and a liar, so we won’t attach too much importance to what you think.

          • jessica March 30, 2016 at 9:19 am #

            “No. Violence from any source is either just or unjust from an objective perspective. ”

            And partition was ok from an objective perspective was it?

  18. Pointis March 29, 2016 at 7:47 pm #

    Are you seriously saying you cannot see that 90% of unionists would see it as unjust and 90% of nationalists would see it as perfectly justified?

    The North is disputed in who should have jurisdiction with virtually half the inhabitants believing the entity which the British called Northern Ireland was set up mainly because of sectarian hatred of Catholicism.

    In a disputed territory, political representatives who hold office representing all of the community have a responsibility to not go out of their way to deliberately offend the other section of the community.

    Mr Ford went out of his way to imply that people who commemorate the rising were little different in their beliefs to the people who murdered Adrian Ismay. A personal view he is entitled to hold but one which is crude, simplistic, and will delight those who would most like to see the GFA derailed.

    • giordanobruno March 29, 2016 at 11:11 pm #

      Pointis
      “A personal view he is entitled to hold but one which is crude, simplistic, and will delight those who would most like to see the GFA derailed.”
      If those are his genuine views what should he do?
      Would you change your views or refrain from expressing them for fear of how others would interpret them?
      As a matter of fact I would confidently say that members of dissident groups will not change their views, methods or strategy, one iota on account of what David Ford has said.
      “Lads David Ford leader of the Alliance Party has validated our status as true heirs of the men and women of the rising”
      “Saints be praised,I was thinking of giving up. Good man David!”

      • Pointis March 30, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

        Gio,

        You are wise enough to know that the impact of David Ford’s comments will not be measured in how they effect the thinking of dissidents both unionist and nationalists but on how the ordinary bulk of unionists and nationalists perceive them.

        You will also know that the oil which keeps the democratic process ticking over here is confidence in the good faith in the other side. Some unionists and nationalists have made tremendous personal sacrifices to achieve a compromise to keep this troubled relationship of the rocks.

        In some respects I believe both nationalists and unionists would reluctantly accept that at times they may use the Aliance Party as a type of litmus test as to what would be seen as possibly a reasonable middle ground in any disputed position (possibly because they attract voters both unionist and nationalist).

        This of course has not always been the case in that unionists and loyalists directed violence towards the party after the flag dispute at the city hall, and this probably raised their esteem in Nationalist eyes.

        Nationals always viewed Aliance with suspicion because of their endorsement of the constitutional status quo including a general refusal to speak out about some of the worst abuses by the state itself.

        But both sides accepted them to behave in a middle of the road / halfway house/ independent arbiter manner to take the role of Justice minister.

        For some nationalists it may now seem that instead of imparting independent advice to the troubled couple the arbiter has in fact been shagging the partner wearing the bowler all along!

        • giordanobruno March 30, 2016 at 5:08 pm #

          Pointis
          I agree with that comment pretty much.
          I was responding to your remark that those who want the GFA to fall would be delighted by Ford’s comments.
          I still feel that the impact will be minimal.
          Ford seems like a decent enough man but he is not a major player,nor charismatic and his influence will not be felt far beyond his retirement,in my view.
          Those who support the GFA will continue to do so and those who want it to fail will not care what David Ford has to say about the rising or indeed anything else (sorry David).

          • Pointis March 30, 2016 at 9:51 pm #

            Yes Gio, my comment was not intended to give gravity to the effect on the views of dissidents per say but on the delight they would take at seeing the work of those whose task it is to convince wavering nationalists not to retreat back into the ‘them and us camps’ that bit more difficult.

            I think in many Nationalist eyes David has proved himself to be more of an Edsel than a Mustang!

          • Pointis March 31, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

            Gio,

            Don’t like to say I told you so but it didn’t take long for others take their lead from old Edsel!

            https://twitter.com/squinteratn/status/715553062484574208

    • jessica March 29, 2016 at 11:48 pm #

      “Mr Ford went out of his way to imply that people who commemorate the rising were little different in their beliefs to the people who murdered Adrian Ismay. A personal view he is entitled to hold but one which is crude, simplistic, and will delight those who would most like to see the GFA derailed.”

      Do you not think we are beyond that Pointis?
      The GFA is toilet paper and it is the southern state which has sold out, not Sinn Fein.

      Is it not clear what it is.

      We all know dissident republicans and loyalist groups are utterly infiltrated and run by British intelligence who are still recruiting and influencing.
      It would not surprise me in the slightest if MI5 agents or informants were involved in the murder of Adrian Ismay.

      The continued black propaganda such as the IRA army council are running Sinn Fein or the timed to perfection arrests of individuals for political advantage during elections.

      And lets face it, even the PSNI would be able to prevent fuel smuggling if their hands weren’t tied.

      The fact that people need to know where to go to buy illegal fuel and that the location doesn’t regularly change. Does no-one else find that peculiar in the slightest that it is unpolicable?

      • Pointis March 30, 2016 at 2:48 pm #

        No Jessica, I do not believe the GFA is defunct.

        The GFA or rather the mindset which allowed it to happen is made of tougher stuff and is the only show in town and everyone knows it. There are currently no realisable alternatives on the table!

        The GFA has been attacked by ultra establishment elements within the darker sections of the British security services, the more sectarian elements within the Loyalist community and the DUP, disenfranchised members of the Nationalist community, Ultra republicans and anti-social criminals, and hypocritical double standards of the Southern Political Establishment and it has withstood it all.

        The GFA maybe replaced but whatever comes in it’s place will always have the GFA as it’s DNA.

        • jessica March 30, 2016 at 7:20 pm #

          “There are currently no realisable alternatives on the table!”

          Was joint rule not the alternative to the GFA?

          • Pointis March 30, 2016 at 10:00 pm #

            Jessica, is joint rule currently on the table?

            I haven’t heard any party or grouping make any recent proposals in that direction similarly I am not aware of any grouping calling for proposals to repartition the state.

          • jessica March 31, 2016 at 7:47 am #

            “Jessica, is joint rule currently on the table?
            I haven’t heard any party or grouping make any recent proposals in that direction similarly I am not aware of any grouping calling for proposals to repartition the state.”

            Why not repartition both states to make partition more fair and representative of the people?

  19. Pointis March 31, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    Well Jessica,

    Was partition fair?

    I would contest that it was unfair, remember the people who drove it did not even want home rule with all those vestiges of Britishness still in place because of sectarianism/ home rule = Rome rule!

    If partition was unfair how could repartition be fair?

    How could nationalists who claim they were abandoned by the rest of Ireland in the 26 counties in turn do the same thing to nationalists who would remain in places like Larne, Dunloy, Ballycastle, Coleraine, Antrim etc?

    Would it be fair for those people?

    How do you think the people living in the Heights estate in Coleraine would feel about such a suggestion? Their street was invaded by a UDA mob and a catholic man murdered because a few people in the area had the audacity to put a tricolour on a pole for a football match.

    Do you think they would be feeling secure in a new mini sectarian super state where the police would be back representing the 85% of the now unionist majority population?

    • jessica March 31, 2016 at 11:58 am #

      “If partition was unfair how could repartition be fair?”

      You misunderstood. I don’t mean gerrymander, I mean form two parts of this island, northern Ireland which could be all of Ulster, 9 counties.

      If the aim is to maintain an artificial majority that can never be fair.
      6 counties is not feasible economically, but 9 could be

      • MT March 31, 2016 at 12:03 pm #

        There is no artificial majority.

        • jessica March 31, 2016 at 3:58 pm #

          “There is no artificial majority.”

          Not for much longer MT?

          • MT March 31, 2016 at 6:02 pm #

            There never was one.

  20. Pointis March 31, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

    Jessica,

    Why would people living in Monaghan, Cavan and Donegal want to leave the 26 County state?

    Why would politicians in the 26 counties agree to such an arrangement?

    Why would any unionist agree to such an arrangement which would erode their say in matters?

    Why would the British enter into an arrangement which would in all likelihood increase the size of the subventions they would have to contribute?

    In whose interest would such an arrangement be?

    • jessica March 31, 2016 at 3:55 pm #

      Pointis,

      “Why would people living in Monaghan, Cavan and Donegal want to leave the 26 County state?”

      I don’t know that they would, do you know that they wouldn’t or what difference a brexit and the likelihood of an armed border once again might make? If they want Ulster divided then so be it.

      “Why would politicians in the 26 counties agree to such an arrangement?”

      They wouldn’t, but if the people were considering such options, they may at the very least take partition a little more seriously. If we can get as far as a feasibility study and it is deemed workable, then if the people want it, there is nothing they can do about it.

      “Why would any unionist agree to such an arrangement which would erode their say in matters?”

      If there is a 50% + 1 majority in support of any solution, that is all that is required. There is no veto on such a referendum. I would not support this without a very high support across the whole community though. This could only work with 70% plus support.

      “Why would the British enter into an arrangement which would in all likelihood increase the size of the subventions they would have to contribute?
      In whose interest would such an arrangement be?”

      They wouldn’t, it would require a business case that will reduce the subvention until full independence where we leave the UK and join the EU, hopefully along with an independent Scotland. Perhaps even a new union between Scotland and Northern Ireland minus England. I do not want to live off anyone’s hand outs. We would be competing directly in tourism and for corporate jobs with the south.

      These are just options, you said the GFA was the only show in town. Any wonder if no other suggestions are considered worthy of debate.

  21. Pointis April 1, 2016 at 12:09 am #

    Jessica,

    We can debate any suggestions you like but if they don’t have any realistic backers then they have little chance of being feasible.

    The GFA is feasible and has proven to be workable at least in the short to medium term. As population dynamics change over the next 10 – 15 years there will probably be more instability as loyalists watch equality being implemented at an accelerated rate and the six counties become a politically neutral space it is at that point that I see the greatest risk of politics breaking down.

    What happens then is anybody’s guess it could actually be a rerun of the constitutional crisis of 100 years ago. Let’s hope not!

    Maybe at that point people would be more willing to look at different arrangements.