jump to navigation

Visions of an agreed Ireland beyond the GFA/BA… what would it look like, where would it be going?  August 16, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
trackback

 

I’m always interested in hearing what people think might work in the future in relation to this island. What would be included, or excluded, in regard to political links and connections. A unitary state or a federal or confederal structure. Representation for unionism outside of the state, or not?

Advertisements

Comments»

1. EWI - August 16, 2017

A reverse GFA seems in order, and unobjectionable. The British are free to appoint whomsoever they wish to the House of Lords, I believe(?), in order to guarantee their representation back in the fatherland.

Like

2. Geraldus Galwensis - August 16, 2017

Ulster Unionists might agree to a Federal British Isles, with the federal govt located in London and regional parliaments in Stormont, Leinster House, Holyrood and Cardiff. i.e. Eire rejoins the UK (and we paint the green post boxes red again etc)
Or we might have a 32-county Irish republic with federal structures. Here’s a link to what these structures might look like: http://federalireland.boards.net/thread/17/federal-ireland
In the early 1970s Provisional Sinn Fein, with Ruairi O Bradaigh as its President, published a document called Eire Nua suggesting a 4-province federal Ireland. We know that within half a dozen years Gerry, Martin and the northern tribe edged O Bradaigh and his ideas aside and Eire Nua became a source for footnotes in Ph.D. theses.

European federationists have dreamed of a Federal Europe, but their attempts to get a European constitution approved came a cropper in France and the Netherlands several years ago.

Like

EWI - August 16, 2017

There is no way that Ulster unionism will agree to ‘Dublin rule’ (i.e. Taigs in charge) in any way, shape or form, any more than white southern US racists would accept Barak Obama. You’re entirely missing the reality of what they’re actually about.

Liked by 1 person

Aengus Millen - August 17, 2017

And Republican’s wouldn’t accept even nominal union with the UK

Like

Geraldus Galwensis - August 17, 2017

Quite so, and RoI isn’t going to merge in a Federal Europe anytime soon. The GFA in 1998 was an agreement between republicans and unionists and the British and Irish governments to recognize and tolerate differences and get on with cooperative living.

Like

3. Pasionario - August 16, 2017

Surely some form of devolved government would persist in Belfast. I don’t see why that would also have to be the case in Cork or Connacht.

Ireland would almost certainly rejoin the Commonwealth and revise the Constitution. The status of the Irish language would be downgraded.

And here’s the big one: William V is crowned King of a re-United Ireland!

If that doesn’t placate the Unionists, then nothing will.

Like

benmadigan - August 16, 2017
4. fergal - August 16, 2017

A 32 workers’ and small farmers’ republic….anybody?!!

Liked by 1 person

5. roddy - August 16, 2017

Fintan O’Tool has declared a Northern majority for unity is no longer enough so the workers and small farmers are f—-ed again by Dublin 4 decree!

Like

makedoanmend - August 16, 2017

We’ve been told our entire lives that the majority rules. Put up with it.

Except … for nationalists. I suppose nationalists are second class citizens with regard to democracy as well.

Like

WorldbyStorm - August 16, 2017

It’s in the GFA. If a majority agree in both parts then it’s a UI. Frankly I thought O’Toole’s article was a tendentious reading of Adams etc.

Like

makedoanmend - August 16, 2017

I know you’re technically correct. I always have my doubts about these things. Probably just being paranoid, but in history fudges abound. And rebound.

Like

WorldbyStorm - August 16, 2017

Yes, I’d be the first to agree that when it comes to the crunch there’ll be no end of complaining. In a way that makes the necessity to craft an outcome that can encompass Unionists (as distinct from Unionism) all the greater.

Like

6. makedoanmend - August 16, 2017

Since so many six country residents hold Irish passports, won’t they technically still have the rights afforded by the EU such as access to the human rights court? Couldn’t these people make life very difficult for the current UK state which seems to have absolutely zero regard for its nationalist population?

(And I will note that not all Irish passport holders from the six counties are nationalists. The Scottish Executive grants EU citizens reimbursement of tuition fees for third level education but they had to add provisos because many six county residents of a non-nationalist persuasion used Irish passports to prove their EU identity.)

Like

7. Joe - August 16, 2017

“There is no way that Ulster unionism will agree to ‘Dublin rule’ (i.e. Taigs in charge) in any way, shape or form.”

I agree pretty much 100%. So the ‘agreed Ireland’ in the title of this thread is not attainable.
And if some kind of United Ireland without agreement is what happens, then it won’t be a vision, it’ll be a nightmare.

Like

WorldbyStorm - August 16, 2017

That’s far too pessimistic I think Joe.

If there is a vote in both parts and it is for a UI then there will have to be an agreed Ireland because it will require people – even those who have voted against, to have some buy-in to it. And it will require acquiescence on the part of those who voted against it.

That’s not unattainable. Let’s put this the other way. We have a perfect example not twenty years ago of how this can work.

Despite the GFA in some respects putting Republicanism on hold ultimately sufficient Republicans were willing not merely to move away from armed struggle but towards a position of tacit or open acceptance of the GFA as a structure which they might not like, might even politically campaign against, but which they would accept as the overall structure.

That sort of acquiescence is crucial (and that’s what is meant in a sense by ‘agreed’ in the first part) but ‘agreed’ is more broadly about constructing structures that will give representation to those who still want links to the east should a vote be for a UI.

No one is arguing that every Unionist would magically lose their unionism and indeed that’s precisely why I (for one) would argue that some elements of the union would needs persist into the future.

But there’s a further thought. Unionism itself has changed. In the 1910s it was unthinkable that it would not be an all-island Unionism. Then it was unthinkable that it not be an Ulster 9 county Unionism. The reality of a Union of six counties (that ironically shared some features with HR) was equally unthinkable. Then a Unionism not thirty years ago that refused the very concept of power sharing right into the 1990s. Unthinkable! Then a Unionism that would accept power sharing but not with SF! Unthinkable! And here we are today, far from perfection but not at the apocalypse either with a Unionism that is sharing power in government with Republicans. There’s precious few absolutes in history.

Like

Aengus Millen - August 17, 2017

I agree with this you saw the young woman formerly of the PUP saying after the assembly election earlier this year that Unionists had to come up with their terms should a UI ever come about. I won’t pretend this is in any sense a widespread view but it shows that the post troubles generation takes a more pragmatic view of these issues. Will their be holdouts? inevitably but to use a comparison they would hate I think these holdouts will be less like the IRA of the troubles in the north and more like the fainéant IRA in the free state of the 30’s-60’s. I also agree with the person above who was basically saying that once Republican’s get a United Ireland they will be willing to compromise on a lot of other things.

Like

benmadigan - August 16, 2017

No it won’t – Loyalists will settle down, particularly if Dr Leo Varadkar introduces a “free at point of care” NHS in Ireland.
Immediately.
He knows it makes sense!

Or else the EU will provide enough money/inward investment to encourage them to settle down – if they are loyal to the half-crown rather than the crown!

Or else they will leave – if they are loyal to the crown rather than the half-crown – as many camp followers of the UK administration did when the 26 Cos achieved independence-

Civil servants, soldiers, policemen, their wives and families all left to serve in England or its colonies.Their choice at the time.

Maybe loyalists’ choice in the near future

Like

WorldbyStorm - August 16, 2017

I’d worry about a UI of whatever stripe that couldn’t accommodate all who wanted to stay and encourage those whose first response was to leave to think again. Again it’s about creating structures that can represent people in addition to the UI aspect.

Pasionario raises some very interesting real-world questions. How to accommodate Irish in this as a language. I’d hate to impose it on people who didn’t want it, and I love Irish and use it on a sometimes daily basis (badly admittedly). The Commonwealth would be a lot to stomach personally but I can see a justification. Etcetera.

Like

benmadigan - August 16, 2017

all the alternatives I proposed encompassed “a UI of whatever stripe that could accommodate all who wanted to stay and encourage those whose first response was to leave to think again”.

“How to accommodate Irish in this as a language?”. Make it optional for University/Civil Service admission for people born in NI – and then very gradually fade out this policy over a long, long time.

I can envisage exceptions, debarments,
exclusions,reservations, special cases, etc etc lasting for as long as needed

Like

Dr. X - August 17, 2017

If you look at Pearse’s Murder Machine pamphlet, he explicitly condemns and opposes Home Rulers who wanted to impose the Irish language on the Protestant minority.

Like

EWI - August 17, 2017

So the ‘agreed Ireland’ in the title of this thread is not attainable.

Not so fast. A reverse GFA has Stormont still in place (and a federal Ireland sounds like a great idea to counter the centralisation of the past century and return local democracy).

Like

8. makedoanmend - August 16, 2017

I wonder how many Unionists, who would have laughed out loud one time at the very thought of having an Irish passport, now find good economic reasons to obtain one? There seems to be a desire by some to portray the future as a necessary dystopian feedback loop of the past. No alternatives can be envisioned.

Yes, it would be a nightmare if Ireland was reunited without 100% consent of all Unionists because we might be faced with an Ireland which could be made to work despite all the wagers of doom and gloom. The nightmare would be an Ireland where exceptionalism of any sort might be eradicated.

Like

9. The Broken Elbow - August 16, 2017

Based on my analysis that the Troubles were really a civil rights struggle that span out of control, the GFA is as good as it gets. Unless Unionists, i.e. the DUP attempt to seriously turn the clock back. As long as Catholics get a fair swig from the jug they will be content with the status quo. All the more so when this Troubles generation dies off.

Like

WorldbyStorm - August 16, 2017

That’s very possible. And I think you’re right re a civil rights struggle that spun out of control, albeit with local factors due to history and so on that gave it very specific dynamics that sustained it for a decade or two.

On a broader point again. One curious thing I’ve noticed is that – whatever about the Sunday Indo and so on – people saying they’re Republican is a lot more evident than it was say twenty years ago. Now this could be miles wide and an inch deep and if put to any serious test vanish, but I am impressed by the broad base pushback against the UK government in relation to proposals for the border etc… Again if put to the test that might be nothing. But without it being a Republican sentiment there is a sense that the past twenty years and the lack of a visible border is regarded as a positive status quo. People might be fairly sanguine about the reality of different jurisdictions but they don’t want that to be too overt.

PS Maybe that comes right back to your point about the GFA being as good as it gets. That in the South people like the GFA as the status quo too and don’t want it upset.

Like

10. The Broken Elbow - August 16, 2017

People have to be motivated to seek something as challenging as constitutional change, e.g. anger. DUP are clearly capable of generating it but are they that dumb?

Like

WorldbyStorm - August 16, 2017

True. Are they? Possibly.

Like

11. Joe - August 16, 2017

“The GFA is as good as it gets”. I agree. We currently have an ‘agreed Ireland’. The RoI, NI, UK all agreed on the GFA. It’s cool. Chillax.

Like

WorldbyStorm - August 17, 2017

Except the GFA is not fully implemented or indeed worked (the latter due to unionist unwillingness to extend the remit of cross border bodies etc). Nor is London functioning as a truly honest broker, we also have the DUP propping up a Tory govt, division between London and Dublin over the Brexit border, the UUP chastising Dublin, etc etc – seriously in the years since the GFA we’ve simply not seen such instability Joe. There’s a good argument to keep calm but these are genuine problems. Some seem insuperable without a serious rethink of approach – primarily by London.

Like

Pasionario - August 17, 2017

EU membership is a crucial plank of that “chillaxation” (shades of Dave Cam there). Brexit is the only reason we’re now discussing this. The North’s economy is in a strange enough state as it is without being forced to trade with the Republic under WTO rules (or whatever BoJo and Maybot have up their sleeves).

That creates a real possibilty of a United Ireland being in the best interests of Unionists.

But that won’t be enough so we’d all have to bend over backwards to accommodate Unionist concerns when it comes to symbols and cultural identity. We’d have to create a new state rather than pull off an “Anschluss” (I can hear that word coming out of Sammy Wilson’s mouth already).

Having a British King of a United Ireland would be such an emphatic gesture that a lot of other things would fall into place.

It works for Canada and Australia so why not us? The British monarchy makes me wretch, but it’s a concession worth making.

Like

Aengus Millen - August 17, 2017

Well and while Sinn Fein has given up violence there was acknowledgment at the time that for them the GFA was only a stop gap measure and that a United Ireland was their goal.

Like

WorldbyStorm - August 17, 2017

Agreed Aengus.

Pasionario, hmmm a British king of a UI. Hmmmm. That might be a bridge too far but could it be that there was a dual citizenship aspect on offer and in the North there was a residual ceremonial role for the Royal family post ending partition…ie the monarch took on something akin to a governor general role at Hillsborough with no executive authority or input but held garden parties etc. Would that go far enough?

Like

Aengus Millen - August 17, 2017

I mean in the short term this will be a problem but I think any residual loyalty to the royal family would die out eventually. There were unionists in the south before the 20’s and they are pretty much entirely assimilated these days

Like

Rudolph II - August 17, 2017

My impression is that the Tories and DUP are happy enough to see the end of the Belfast agreement as a result of out being used as a cynical bargaining chip in the Brexit negotiations.

Collateral damage? Misery enjoys company.

Like

12. Joe - August 17, 2017

Stung by the charge of pessimism I offer the following simple reforms to ameliorate the plight of unionists wary of being part of an ‘agreed’ Ireland.
1. Remove the Angelus from RTÉ
2. Make Irish an optional school subject
3. Amend the history curriculum in schools to allow for a unionist take on Irish history
4. Remove Catholic church control of schools and health facilities
5. Establish a part-time Special Reserve Force of An Garda Síochána/The Civic Guard. The N Specials for short. To assist the Guards to keep the peace in places that might get a bit hot in the summer months
6. Establish a new regiment in Óglaigh na hÉireann/The Irish Defence Forces. Call it Reisimint Cosanta Uladh. To assist the civil power if ever opponents of an agreed Ireland started an armed campaign of sectarian assassination/war of liberation to achieve their goals.

But seriously lads. Unionists will never accept or agree to a United Ireland – no matter what the economic context, no matter if it’s in their material interest or not – because they are British and unionist. Just like nationalists (and I include myself in that) will never agree to the reintegration of Ireland into the UK – because they are Irish and nationalist.

Like

WorldbyStorm - August 17, 2017

So if there wasa 60/40 vote in favour of a UI in the north in twenty five years you’re saying that unionists would not accept that? Aren’t you merging unionism as a political/identity view with the concept of an unwillingness on their part to accept a democratic vote under the terms of the GFA, an agreement they themselves signed up to. No one is arguing that a unionist would have to become a nationalist indeed this thread is explicitly about examining the parameters if what might be possible in order to assist unionism accept or tolerate a UI and retain as many tangible aspects of their identity as possible in that UI. But why is unionism different to nationalists in the north who have since partition had to tolerate that partition and British sovereignty?

Like

Joe - August 17, 2017

There won’t be a vote in the north in favour of a UI – not in 25 years time, not in a hundred years time.
If I’m wrong and there was a vote, say 60-40, for a UI, the unionists might be forced into a UI but they won’t agree to it. Like the nationalists in the north were forced to remain in the UK but didn’t agree to it. They didn’t tolerate partition, they engaged in a sectarian murder campaign/war of liberation against it. The unionists forced into a UI would do likewise.

Leave well enough alone. The GFA is working, people are currently broadly at peace. Northern nationalists are wary about abandoning the protections of British social democracy for a utopian UI. Don’t rock the boat, we could all be drownded.

Like

WorldbyStorm - August 17, 2017

A couple of thoughts, firstly I’m unsure at your certainty there would be no pro UI poll in the next quarter century or more, what is your analysis in regard to that?

Secondly the large majority of nationalists were not involved in armed insurrection and armed insurrection broke out sporadically. Arguably in the 90 odd years since partition a third or somewhat less of that saw sustained paramilitary campaigns of any substance despite the repressive nature of Stormont. So I’m unconvinced violence is a necessary consequence of a UI that is genuinely open to compromise and expression if political and cultural identity and representation and achieved with Democratic legitimacy through the ballot box particularly in the North.

Of course the GFA was a solution allowing representation, a breathing space and possibly one that would persist for many many years to come, and if it wasn’t for that small vote last year in Britain we wouldn’t be having this discussion bit as Pasionario notes above EU membership was a crucial plank of the GFA and Brexit is the only reason we are discussing this – and the very structures the GFA allowed for ‘invisible border’ and all are vanishing before our eyes. In other words however much you and I would like the GFA to continue as is it us the British who could not leave well enough alone and now we are rightly up the creek. In that context all bets are off and it makes sense for nationalism and republicanism to think through potential future outcomes and how to arrive e at them.

Like

EWI - August 17, 2017

Arguably in the 90 odd years since partition a third or somewhat less of that saw sustained paramilitary campaigns of any substance despite the repressive nature of Stormont. So I’m unconvinced violence is a necessary consequence of a UI that is genuinely open to compromise and expression if political and cultural identity and representation and achieved with Democratic legitimacy through the ballot box particularly in the North.

Loyalism literally couldn’t organise the proverbial piss-up without British intelligence and/or the RUC directing the show. I think the Garda Drug Squad would be the answer to that lot, frankly.

Like

benmadigan - August 17, 2017

“an agreement they themselves signed up to”

AFAIK – the DUP never signed up to the GFA/Belfast Agreement.

The UUP did – and has al but been washed up and left to hang dry of votes

Like

WorldbyStorm - August 17, 2017

True in respect of the GFA/BA but the DUP did sign up to St Andrews which essentially was the totality of the GFA.

Like

13. roddy - August 17, 2017

I predict (although at my age I may never see it),that a tipping point will be reached where unionism reaches the status of an irretrievable minority position and the Northern state as we know it will be consigned to the dustbin of history in a very short period of time thereafter.I’m talking 2 or 3 decades .The Northern state was illegitimate from day one,its boundaries a complete gerrymander (for all the unionist shite about “ulster”,they had to abandon a third of it to create their supremacist state).Bernadette Devlin put it well on an English TV programme years ago when she said imagine the uproar if an attempt was made in South africa to create a gerrymandered Afrikanner state.Their beloved orange state is concentrated in about a third of its actual landmass and if they think they or the likes of O’Tool are going to hold the rest of us to ransom in perpetuity’they have another think coming.Unionism has no friends anywhere outside of the English far right and free state revisionists and should not be pandered to apart from ensuring their civil rights and ensuring they are not discriminated against.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - August 17, 2017

But we, as Republicans have a responsibility to see that a UI doesn’t replicate the errors and wrongs of Stormont. Because if it did then Joes pessimism would be well founded.

Like

Joe - August 17, 2017

Ah here. That repeated pessimism accusation stings even more.
You ask on what basis I make my argument that the people of NI won’t vote for UI in the next hundred years. The answer is I know it in my waters, which is the kind of answer that will confirm unionist fears that a UI would be a nightmare of popish and pagan superstition.
Nah but seriously. The ‘war’ of 1970 to c1997 was a disaster for any hope of a change of mindset among unionists. All those dead people, all those maimed mentally and physically. Unionists won’t forget that. So they’ll be pretty much 100% in voting against a UI. Add in the minority of nationalists who won’t want to take the leap away from a country with a decent social welfare and health system and the other benefits of British democracy – and you’ve got a majority vote for the status quo every time. Plus the numbers are stuck now as in the Unionist/Nationalist population breakdown in the North. This is what happens when women get rights over their bodies and when the populace in general gets a bit wealthier. So the outbreeding argument falls too.
So the next hundred years will be about making the GFA work, parity of esteem for both communities in the North. And peace.

Like

WorldbyStorm - August 17, 2017

Ah I’d support your pessimism in some instances! But just on demographics there’s no sign of the increasing ‘Nationalist’ population faltering and tbh I suspect just as in the RoI contraception is not unknown to NI woman and hasn’t been for many decades. Moreover the reality of a unionist fall to 48% and broad agreement amongst demographers this dynamic will continue into the foreseeable (look at respective numbers of kids in school etc by identity) does suggest profound xhanges ahead. Add to that brexeit which looks like seriously impoverishing the UK and given time.. No doubt the conflict altered perceptions though I wouldn’t be starry eyed about the pre 69 dispensation, unionism has hardly faced up to it’s own repressions and wrongs, and moreover unionism is split…and I can’t see alliance with its close on 10% going to the barricades, can you? Of course some will prefer a status quo but in a post Brecit situation with potentially hinterlands across the border cut off a hard border in place etc…

No I’m not convinced and you don’t address the reality if what Brexit is doing to the GFA.look at the dynamic makedoandmend describes below, a situation of destabilisation of attitudes developed in the twenty years since the GFA. One has to be concerned by that.

Like

gendjinn - August 17, 2017

“…apart from ensuring their civil rights and ensuring they are not discriminated against.”

Joe covered that. If you haven’t read up on Settler Colonist psychology – there is no good faith negotiating with Unionism. The DUP are denying they signed onto the SAA fer chrissakes.

Ask your parents about the 70s constitutional amendment – what Unionism was whinging about for decades before the amendment and their reaction right after it passed. This is what you are dealing with.

If upon winning a border poll people start negotiating with political Unionism you will end up with bad faith actors who will wreck as much carnage on anthem, flag, emblems and constitution and then when you’ve done all they’ve asked they will slam the door in your face and tell you it is not good enough.

The best chance at a peaceful, egalitarian UI is to make it clear to Unionists that they should negotiate now for a UI while they have leverage, because after we win a border poll it will be the 26 absorbing the 6 without any changes. Because frankly, we will not be doing to Unionism what they did to Catholics. And everyone here knows it despite the pearl clutching by Unionism and its allies.

Like

makedoanmend - August 17, 2017

Roddy, I don’t know about your prognosis for the future (it’s a good as anyone else’s), but I do fear that there is a genuine underestimation by many people of how nationalists (generalist term) view the GFA and their relation to both the Republic and the UK in terms of the EU and the agreement’s provisions. Whilst I have no illusions of the total disregard (bordering on contempt) of the Tories for nationalist opinion and rights, and we can count on outright hostility from Foster et. al., there often seems to be a dire complacency and lack of basic understanding of nationalist viewpoints from the South also. It’s understandable to a point. Many people have hectic lives and want to play property market. The North, as far as they are concerned, is settled. (Sort of like it was settled in the 1920s.)

On the other hand, there is an undercurrent that rather reminds me of white US liberals who to would sort of like to end racism in the US but don’t want to explore the structures of racism too closely or really experience the everyday problems of those who are affected. Gets far too uncomfortable for them. Too messy. Might have to air out the cupboards of their own experiences.

(These comments, naturally, don’t refer on the posters on cedar lounge since, more often than not, most posters have a better grasp of the political nuts and bolts than I do.)

Speaking with a cousin just a while back from the six counties, and thoroughly a-political person, she expressed extreme apprehension about the border issue specifically. She spends half her life in Donegal and has gotten used to her freedom of movement and the ease of common identity anywhere in Ireland that she travels. She does not want to lose this and completely distrusts the entire UK establishment to maintain any sort of sensible equilibrium.

Do you find these worries are expressed around the environs of Derry? Or am I just being too pessimistic as usual?

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - August 17, 2017

+1

Like

14. roddy - August 17, 2017

Her distrust of the British Establishment is widely shared.As For Joe’s ” not in a hundred years” ,I have seen council after council and parliamentary constituency after constituency fall from unionist hands ,never to return again in less than a decade.I have no doubt that within the next decade the majority of constituencies will be held by nationalists and the psycological effect will be massive.The only advantage of being under Britain at the minute is the NHS. Social welfare in the South is far higher and I fail to see what the “other benifits of British democracy ” that you allude to are. An unelected head of state (from one religion), a system of hereditary peers, MI5,MI6,nuclear weapons,an atrocious record of genocidal colonialism and going to war at the drop of a hat.

Like

makedoandmend - August 17, 2017

Thanks for the reply.

Like I said, you’re prognostication is as good any anyone else’s.

Two thoughts.

1. The UK establishment will fight tooth and nail and dirty to keep the six counties. I really think it’s an ego thing at this point in the context of leaving the EU. And, of course, the current DUP leadership is, well, what it is.

2. If your predictions about trends are correct, it really behoves a possible nationalist majority (assuming the majority wants unification of some type) to practice tolerance beyond the extreme. I know many elected officials have done this already to some extent. But the Unionist (big and small U) must be more than accommodated. (Might an absolute neutralisis of identities would be a good initiative for nationalist to pursue?) This will be no easy task given the mutual levels of mistrust. It may be impossible. What then?

I had harboured a panglossian viewpoint that normalisation over time would allow the border (as Hume used to say “of the mind”) to wither away.

But now, (excuse the language) Brexit is the mother of fuck-ups beyond all redemption. A pox on Tories for now and forever.

Like

15. roddy - August 17, 2017

I have no problem with tolerance .which I practice in my every day life As I have said before ,relations with my protestant neighbours are good.However Unionism as a political movement is overwhelmingly reactionary and whilst the protestant people should never be treated like Stormont treated us and every bit of equality legislation should be introduced to ensure this, Unionism ie DUP,UUP TUV,UKIP should never be regarded politically as anything but a totally supremacist entity.

Liked by 1 person

makedoandmend - August 17, 2017

Understand what you’re saying 100%. Of your positive relationship with neighbors of all shades and none, I have no doubt.

Rather, I’m thinking that nationalists need to start thinking outside the box (whatever that mean these days). Maybe nationalist councils can sponsor Orange marches and create exhibits which celebrate a shared history, if not some shared commonalities in culture. (Maybe this is already the case?)

After all, I would contend that, ironically given the history, the peoples of the six counties often share more in common these days with each other than maybe with either the UK or the South. Obviously the ties with the UK and South are real and not to be underestimated or ignored, but…

Maybe it’s time to try to undermine, if possible, the old exceptionalisms.

Really, Roddy, I’m only throwing out half digested thoughts here.

And good luck with the continued jack russell sales on the “mainland”.

Like

Joe - August 17, 2017

Here Roddy, what’s the name of your Jack Russell business? I’d suggest ‘Jack Russell – the dog from God knows where’. Geddit?

Like

WorldbyStorm - August 17, 2017

Could write a ballad with that title! Now for the lyrics!

Like

Michael Carley - August 17, 2017

There was a wee six counties dog, Jack Russell was his name
He was born and raised in Derry, where the gentle Foyle flows by,
He’d bite the peelers and the Brits, when they were dodging bricks,
For the darling of all Derry was the dog that hated Sticks.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - August 17, 2017

:). Brilliant

Like

Joe - August 17, 2017

The dog from God knows where
(to be recited in north Down Ulster Scots dialect)

To our townlan’ on a night o’ snow
Came a dog from God knows where
None of us bade him stay or go
Or deemed him friend or damned him foe
But he shat in the corner there

We’re a civil sort roun’ our wee place
So we threw him a bone from the dinner
He wagged his wee tail and let out a snarl
So I gave him a crust o’ me soda farl
And I said that wee runt’s a winner

We put him out in the yard wi’ our own wee mutt
But the two of them didna get on
There was snarlin’ an’ growlin’ an’ grittin’ o’ teeth
Like ye’d get when a Mick an’ a Billy would meet
At the fair in Annalong

I brought him to the vet the very next day
To find the microchip stuck in his body
The vet told me the news – I wasna happy
The dog was a Papish that come from Bellaghy
And his owner’s name was…. Roddy

Like

WorldbyStorm - August 17, 2017

Excellent, though surely winner could be Shinner!

Like

Joe - August 17, 2017

You’re right of course.

Like

yourcousin - August 18, 2017

roddy,
Do you breed ratters or do run your dogs underground?

Like

16. roddy - August 17, 2017

It was on a dreary new years day as the shades of night came down .A lorry load of Russell dogs approached old Larne town They were biting for old Irelands cause to claim their very own.And their leader was an Antrim dog,Jack Tone from Portglenone. ! (pronounced Portglenowen)!

Liked by 3 people

WorldbyStorm - August 17, 2017

Also excellent.

Like

17. Joe - August 17, 2017

Great stuff all. What a creative bunch we are :). I’m off on me holliers to Canada on Saturday. Lookin out for somewhere to watch the GAA in Toronto on Sunday morning. I heard the Orange Lodge might be the spot. I’ll bring back a full report on native vs settler; French vs British; Orange vs Green; Dublin vs Tyrone, in a few weeks time.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - August 17, 2017

Have a great holiday. Was wondering if you were already away.

Like

NollaigO - August 18, 2017

Dublin v Tyrone!
Which is the native and which is the settler?!

Like

18. roddy - August 17, 2017

Anybody I know who went to Canada were highly impressed by it.It lacks the brashness of USA and workers especially in the building industry are well unionised and have great conditions.

Like

Joe - August 17, 2017

Yep. The young lad works in a hospital in facilities management. When something breaks he calls in the people to fix it. But he doesn’t call a contractor – he calls the appropriate union and they send in a squad.

Like

yourcousin - August 17, 2017

Explain to me how the “union squad” works Joe. Because as a healthcare contractor we have been a union general contractor who uses union subcontractors. My current job which I run has all the MEP contractors as signatory, framing, rock, finishing, painting and ceiling grid done by union hands so I guess I’m at a loss as to how we’re the bad guys here.

Unless Canadian union halls run super differently than us (and having corresponded with folks from BC to Quebec I don’t think they do THAT much) the hall hires out to contractors who then go to work for clients. Now those folks may work as direct vendors for a hospital as opposed to working under GC but overall your comment just just leaves me scratching my head.

Like

Joe - August 18, 2017

Ah look, sorry yc. I’m talking through my ass (again). I know little or nothing about it. Just that my young lad takes the phone calls when something breaks in the hospital. I said to him is the place unionized. He said to me that when he gets a call – say they need a plumber – he rings the union and they send someone. (He may have that assways I don’t know).
I certainly didn’t intend to imply that the unions or anyone else involved were bad guys.
Hallelujah, I’m a bum.

Like

yourcousin - August 18, 2017

Joe,
Just trying to clarify and represent because it is a tougher environment down here for union hands, but we’re Holding the Fort so to speak.

But I do and always have worked for a contractor (as do all of us in the trades) so want to make sure we’re not getting too raw of a shake on that one by association.

Like

19. roddy - August 18, 2017

YC, I think you’re taking the Jack Russell joke a little too literally!

Like

Joe - August 18, 2017

What? You don’t breed Jack Russells and export them to the mainland? I obviously took it too literally too.

Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: