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Repeating myths in the North about Brexit July 12, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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The IT had a good piece interviewing four representatives of loyalism about Brexit and the current political chaos.
All articulate spokespeople for their community, though sadly not entirely representative of it given the dominance of the DUP, they were both flexible and oddly retrospective. For example, they confused the position of the ROI government entirely arguing that:

“There’s a feeling that 20 years of goodwill is being lost by aggressive statements by the Irish Government. That is a danger,” said Williamson. He points out the Belfast Agreement covers a million Protestants but feels the Government does not recognise the whole population the agreement protects by “making all these green statements”.
For these four men, it does not follow that because a majority (56 per cent) of people in Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU that a majority would want to stay in the EU by being in a united Ireland.

And:

“Moving the constitutional tectonic plates is very dangerous and very irresponsible,” Irvine warned. He said that “most right-thinking people” in their communities would not want a return to “the dark days of the past” but he is worried about how younger loyalists who have no memory of the Troubles might react to the constitutional position of Northern Ireland within the UK being eroded in a post-Brexit world.

But the ROI government has been studious in saying it does not think a Border Poll is appropriate in the near future or that a united Ireland should or is an option at this point. Indeed it has been exemplary in arguing only for the GFA/BA and the current status quo.

Worse again they suggest the following:

These loyalists see the repeated warnings from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney about the threat of a return to violence, the importance of the backstop provision in the Brexit deal and the risk of a hard border – all raised as part of the Government’s objections to the pro-Brexit British positions – as undermining good neighbourly relations with the Republic.

But this is to ignore who else has been making precisely that argument, that being the security forces on both sides of the Border including current and former PSNI members. And also the NI civil service, as recently as this week.

I find it depressing that we are hearing from loyalism the same incorrect tropes as put around by pro-Brexit commentators and proponents and it does offer an insight into how rapidly those tropes have been adopted and amplified.

It’s odd too some of the contradictions expressed. For example…

…he recognises there is a “sea change” among moderate nationalists and that post-Brexit they would vote in a referendum “for some sort of agreed Ireland”. While he believes there will never be a united Ireland, he is concerned about what Brexit might throw up. “The representatives of UDA, UVF and the Red Hand [paramilitary group] all signed up to decommissioning because the union was safe. You go into the whole Brexit situation, nobody knows what is going to happen.”

But… also:

He thinks it “very likely” that English and Scottish nationalism could break up the United Kingdom and is concerned about what the coming years and wider political disruption across the UK might bring.

So that would suggest that some sort of united Ireland might well be a plausible (if not inevitable) outcome, no?

Interestingly though there is this:

Williamson said Sinn Féin and others who want a Border poll in Northern Ireland on Irish unification “haven’t told people what a united Ireland even entails”. He said that, post-Brexit, other options should be considered: a Northern Ireland-Scotland confederation, Northern Ireland and Scotland going “semi-independent” or the Republic “coming within the British Isles” or rejoining the Commonwealth.

That’s a lot of options, and some are clearly non-starters. But… there may be space in there which would provide a path forward.

Comments»

1. Jim Monaghan - July 12, 2019

I read it and found is very soft focussed. No mention of provocations such as statues of the Virgin Mary to be burnt. As well as many other symbols and pictures of nationalist figures. If nationalist had say effigies of the royal family on a similar fire, there would be outrage..

Liked by 1 person

2. EWI - July 12, 2019

It’s very representative of the proud ignorance about the ROI (and wider history and relations within these islands off the European mainland). I’ve met Northern loyalists who genuinely believe that the ROI’s army is the IRA.

Liked by 1 person

Aonrud ⚘ - July 12, 2019

Whereas we all know it’s Óglaigh na hÉireann!

Liked by 1 person

3. Joe - July 12, 2019

We’re from and on totally different planets – the loyalists/unionists and us – even though we live on the same island.
This is brought home by the likes of that IT article. I suppose it’s brought home at this time of every year. And by the flags and allegiances and all.
It struck me forcefully too at the time of Willie Frazer’s death and funeral. The totally different takes that nationalists and unionists had on him and all that he and his wider family were involved in.

This “United” Ireland which may or may not happen in my lifetime, will be a sight to behold.

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WorldbyStorm - July 12, 2019

True and consider how remarkably different loyalist/unionists are from the English.

Liked by 1 person

Joe - July 12, 2019

Yep. As different as we are from the English but in different ways :). Let’s hope this United Ireland will be a great celebration of difference and diversity. If it works, we could look at expanding it to a United West European Isles. What do you think, comrades?

Liked by 1 person

Daniel Rayner O'Connor - July 12, 2019

Nice, but we should a/ broaden the territory to bring Britain back into Europe and b/ turn Europe into a confederation of workers’ republics. As yet I’m easy about the order in which this is done.

Liked by 1 person

EWI - July 12, 2019

We’re from and on totally different planets – the loyalists/unionists and us – even though we live on the same island.

Why yes. This was, after all, the very purpose for which they were imported and planted here. Dublin two centuries ago wasn’t all that different – removing the blank cheque of colonial supremacy induces needed change.

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4. roddy - July 13, 2019

Speaking of colonial supremacy,the twelfth has passed again and I generally adopt a live and let live attitude to it.However the thing that really annoys me is the semi official blessing it gets up here.Two days public holiday ,massive benevolent TV coverage(live and “highlights”) and even fawning southern politicians being interviewed watching parades.In contrast my tradition and hundreds of thousands like me is still treated as an “outsider”,tradition,not to be touched with a forty foot pole.The centenary of 1916 for instance would never have got any recognition as a legitimate celebration belonging to a section of the population which is now on a par population wise as the orange – unionist section.

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5. Logan - July 13, 2019

What two days public holiday?

The 12th and what other day?

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6. roddy - July 13, 2019

The 13th

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Liberius - July 13, 2019

When the usual date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the ‘substitute day’ is normally the following Monday. For example in 2018, St Patrick’s Day was on Saturday 17 March, so the substitute bank holiday was Monday 19 March.

The above applies to the 12th of July as well I understand, though not this year as the 12th was a Friday.

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/bank-holidays

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7. roddy - July 13, 2019

Both the 12th and 13th are public holidays ,Monday next will be the substitute day for the 13th.

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Liberius - July 13, 2019

Holidays 2018 2019
New Year’s Day 1 January 1 January
St Patrick’s Day 17 March 17 March
Good Friday 30 March 19 April
Easter Monday 2 April 22 April
Early May Bank Holiday 7 May 06 May
Spring Bank Holiday 28 May 27 May
Battle of the Boyne / Orangemen’s Day 12 July 12 July
Summer Bank Holiday 27 August 26 August
Christmas Day 25 December 25 December
Boxing Day 26 December 26 December

All the public holidays are listed above, do you see the 13th ’cause I don’t. Roddy give up, you’re wrong, again, as always.

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8. roddy - July 13, 2019

I live here.The North closes down on the 12th and 13th.I have just been on the phone to a civil servant who confirmed to me neither he or any other civil servant will be working on mon 13 ,and never have done.I defy you to contact a govt department on 13th July.

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Liberius - July 13, 2019

The dates I quoted are from the nidirect.gov.uk website, these are the public holidays of Northern Ireland whatever your probably fictitious civil servant might say. Your inability to admit to being wrong is always hilarious incidentally.

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9. roddy - July 13, 2019

Contact any civil servant or indeed union member in the North that you know and ask them.Better still there are other northern contributors to this site who will confirm I am right.

Liked by 1 person

Liberius - July 13, 2019

How many Northern Ireland civil servants do you think random Dubliners know Roddy?

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10. roddy - July 13, 2019

Ok then contact any government dept up here on Monday and see how you get on.

Liked by 1 person

Liberius - July 13, 2019

What’s the point, I’ve already given you the list of public holiday dates, that should be an end of it, you were wrong, there is only one public holiday date. Waste your own time if you want, I’m not putting more into this than quoting the official government website.

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11. roddy - July 13, 2019

The entire civil service will be closed on Monday as it always did on 13th july .I,m sure you have contacts in the union movement who will confirm this.

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12. roddy - July 15, 2019

Today at 10 am mon july15 ,I have just phoned DVA ,county hall Coleraine to enquire about my driving licence renewal.I got an answering machine which told me “we are closed today due to a bank holiday”It seems I am not “always wrong”!

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13. Miguel - July 15, 2019

Roddy is right on this one. Today is a sort of unofficial bank holiday in the occupied northern territories. Not an official public holiday, true enough, but most businesses and public offices are closed. Bit like Good Friday down here, not a public holiday but most places are closed.

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Liberius - July 15, 2019

Fair enough, I do note that bin collections and recycling centres in Belfast and Lisburn and a few other places are operating (amongst other things), I can live with only being partly correct.

Liked by 1 person

14. Joe - July 15, 2019

We just need to be careful, us public servants, when the UI thing is being worked out. The owner class will see it as an opportunity to row back on terms and conditions.
So bottom line: No UI unless we keep Good Friday off and get July 12 and 13 too.
Thanks Roddy and Liberius for highlighting this one.

Liked by 2 people

EWI - July 15, 2019

We just need to be careful, us public servants, when the UI thing is being worked out. The owner class will see it as an opportunity to row back on terms and conditions.

I thought that was reserved for office moves, name changes and so-called ‘austerity’?

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15. roddy - July 15, 2019

Bin collections are council operated and any bin man who works today will get a day off in lieu.However all government offices are closed.

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