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The shape of a new Ireland… April 18, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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I love the discussions on a new Ireland in the wake of Brexit. I think it is long past time that Republicans and nationalists, and yes, leftists, engaged in working out options for the future. I think likewise ensuring that whatever the options chosen are equitable, pluralistic and willing to offer genuinely innovative means of expressing cultural and political identity is crucial.

That said, in a way it reminds me of the visions extant in the late 1960s and early to mid-1970s of the future that as a youngster roped me into a life-long love of science fiction. Yet the pessimist, or is it sceptic, in me knows from that latter experience of seeing those visions unrealised the current musings on a new Ireland are likely to be very wide of the mark as and when they move closer to being implemented.

Anyhow, here we have some suggestions as to the shape of a future Ireland. One thought I’d have is that some of these could be transitional, indeed in some instances would almost certainly have to be. And I’m dubious that a straightforward unitary state is likely to emerge soon.

Confederalism is interesting, but I wonder does it not raise as many questions as it seeks to answer, whereas a reverse GFA/BA (as ASF has argued) seems to run closer to ‘the path of least resistance’, not least because it could be sustained over many years. Sure, there are contradictions. The author of the piece notes that the closest option to that (though not identical), that being asymmetric devolution, would lead to West Lothian like issues – but given that I and some others would actually see some residual representation at Westminster, most likely in the House of Lords being retained for some time after as well as a continuing right on the part of the UK to even nominally express or represent some interests of unionism it is difficult not to feel that the contradictions are intrinsic to the context and we might as well live with them.

Comments»

1. John Goodwillie - April 18, 2019

The use here of the word “confederal” is very strange. If it has the minimum apparatus of a sovereign state it is a federal arrangement, not confederal.

I wonder if something like a citizens’ assembly could be brought in, perhaps between an initial referendum and a confirmatory one.

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Paul Culloty - April 18, 2019

My suggestion would be regional assemblies for Munster, Leinster, Dublin, Connacht and Ulster to replace county councils, with town councils restored to maintain some local input.

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GW - April 18, 2019

I like that – perhaps with a Belfast in the mix at that level as well.

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benmadigan - April 18, 2019

The powers of the major municipalities in each province could be enhanced to ensure good local governance –
There’s no need for the expenditure of local assemblies and an increased risk of augmenting corruption which, as we know, is (was?) rife in Stormont

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2. Joe - April 18, 2019

Re-shape it any way you like. There’ll still be two nations in it. Way beyond our lifetimes.

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3. GW - April 18, 2019

I welcome that fact that at least some people have learned from Brexit, in this context. That you need to be very clear about what is entailed (possibly with multiple choices) and that the process and the length of the process should be clear.

At the very least if the RoI aspires to a united Ireland it needs to be able to offer a National Health Service, free at the point of use for all, no two-tier service and paid for by aggressively progressive taxation, including that of transnational corporations.

Oh and getting the Catholic Church out of education on all levels.

I also suspect the best way to an eventual union is to get people in the north comfortable with dual sovereignty (like they already have in the context of the EU) and then move at the time-scale of a generation towards a unitary state.

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benmadigan - April 18, 2019

“getting the Catholic Church out of education on all levels” –

ROI citizens may well want the Catholic Church out of all schools but nationalists/Republicans in NI are very attached to their catholic schools –
Look at their poor attendance at State and “Integrated” Schools
Consider the excellent academic results the catholic (maintained) schools regularly achieve.

Though of course I have heard complaints about them from very diverse sources and they could do much better on many fronts.

Having said that, I think this remark serves to underline one of the fundamental differences between the 2 political entities on the island of ireland – all of which will need to be resolved in sensitive compromises as the Re-Unification procedure moves forward.

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