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No great triumph: Redmond’s Home Rule August 16, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Caught Michael McDowell’s column at the weekend in the SBP, and… difficult as it may be to believe, was pretty impressed by parts of it. In it he discusses a presentation he gave on Irish independence. He argues that ‘independence has been goof for the Republic’ despite the obvious problems. And he notes that lack of independence has not been consciously good for Scotland or Northern Ireland or Wales.

Indeed he argues that:

Arch-revisionists argue that the political separation of the Republic from Britain was an unnecessary and unjustified act of political violence that lies at the bottom of many of our woes – political, economic and social. Redmond’s Home Rule , they say, was sufficient for Irish needs.
One perusal of the Home Rule Act discredits that view. Devolved government as agreed by Redmond was no great triumph. The very limited autonomy envisaged for the parliament to be recreated in College Green could never have reversed the decline in Ireland’s economic prospects. A HR parliament in Dublin was fated to fall.

And he continues:

My point is this: even with limited devolution to Scotland, Wales and the North, the union has failed them badly. And it is hard to believe that this failure will be reversed by anything that will happen at Westminster in the short, medium or long term.

And he notes that this won’t stop unionists being unionists since it is more than ‘an economic frame of mind’. He offers the prospect of thoughts on how to achieve unity (which he is in favour of) in the near future which he is at pains to argue are different from those of SF who he suggests are ill-positioned to contribute to the debate. We’ll see.

Comments»

1. benmadigan - August 16, 2019

any chance of a copy and paste of the article, please?

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2. 1729torus - August 16, 2019

I don’t agree with the kind of apologetics you see from John Bruton and think some kind of showdown over how was charge in Ireland was inevitable, it’s worth exploring whether the country should have temporarily settled for Home Rule with hindsight. The GFA & and Anglo-Irish Treaty were both incomplete steps after all.

Both Britain and Antrim were in long term decline since the end of WW1, the War of Independence would have gone more favorably if it had been delayed until the 1930s or even after WW2.

You can come up with strong arguments against this of course (cannon fodder in colonial wars, accepting British sovereignty now would make it harder to argue agains it later). Just playing devils advocate.

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EWI - August 17, 2019

I don’t agree with the kind of apologetics you see from John Bruton and think some kind of showdown over how was charge in Ireland was inevitable, it’s worth exploring whether the country should have temporarily settled for Home Rule with hindsight.

Redmond agreed to the ‘principle’ of partition in 1914. There were to be two mirror-image sectarian states under British sovereignty: one green, the other orange.

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3. FergusD - August 16, 2019

So there are no ‘half crown unionists’ then?

Not strictly relevant but I saw a documentary about the beginnings of aircraft carriers recently, during WW1. The presenter is a rather grizzled Scottish actor who has made programs about the Clyde etc. Very pro-Empire. Anyway, one of the pilot pioneers of landing on ships was from NI. The presenter made a big deal of this and said the pilot’s family were Ulster Scot (a term never mentioned on TV in England) who had lived there for 300 years. What had that to do with aircraft carriers! Still, interesting the comment was made, sign of the times?

And apparently the U.K. is spending billions on new aircraft carriers for humanitarian missions!!

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