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An old old proposal… but why? September 10, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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What on earth was Jeffery Donaldson talking about when he suggested at the Kennedy Summer School in New Ross that:

…a future solution for the Republic would be to join the Commonwealth.
“The Commonwealth is no longer an exclusively British institution. It has many republics. the largest republic in the World, India, is a member. The Commonwealth offers new opportunities to deepen the relations of these two nations. Is there a place for Ireland in the Commonwealth and what does it mean? Could it be a good thing?” he asked.

Given he doesn’t appear to know what the problem is that this ‘future solution’ is tailor-made for one has to wonder.

Comments»

1. tafkaGW - September 10, 2019

Going into a ‘Commonwealth’ run by Johnson and Modi, both in full authoritarian nationalist neoliberal mode.

What’s not to like?

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2. Joe - September 10, 2019

I’ve a new proposal.
I was watching Norn Iron vs Germany on the telly last night. Windsor Park was rocking. Banners from NISCs from all over the six and beyond. I liked “Our wee country kicks with both feet”. And their wee country played more attractive and more uplifting football than the RoI team has for many a long day. And Windsor Park was rocking in a way the soulless hole that is the Aviva never does.
So my new proposal is this. When the inevitable UI finally comes to pass, we should keep the two football teams on the island. FIFA should have no problem with it – they’ve allowed four teams from the UK since forever. It would be unfair on those supporters who had such a great night in Windsor Park last night to force them to endure the living death that is the Aviva on international nights.
A devolved administration for the six in Stormont and their wee country to keep its football team. And that football team can play in the Commonwealth Cup if they want too. Job done.

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WorldbyStorm - September 10, 2019

In all honesty that’s far from the worst idea. I’d have little problem with the six counties having some sort of association with the Commonwealth etc. I don’t think it would be appropriate for the broader Republic to be a part of it.

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3. roddy - September 10, 2019

An interim 6 county parliament for say 30 years in a federal Ireland would be ok with me.Unfortunately I can’t see unionism ever giving an inch and I think my patience with what is essentially an Afrikanner mindset is wearing thin.

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EWI - September 10, 2019

Unfortunately I can’t see unionism ever giving an inch

Yes, indeed. Even at this last stage of the game, unionism is entirely unwilling to embrace equality.

It’s almost as if unionism were in actuality a thinly-disguised supremacism and therefore would self-combust if they recognised the Catholic Irish as human and with full civil and human rights.

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Daniel Rayner O'Connor - September 10, 2019

‘Its almost as if unionism were in actuality a thinly-disguised supremacism’
Are you suggesting it isn’t, EW?

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EWI - September 11, 2019

Are you suggesting it isn’t, EWI?

Very much tongue-in-cheek, Raynor.

How was the Greaves School this year?

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Daniel Rayner O'Connor - September 12, 2019

I was at only one session of the Greavesfest: that on Saturday morning on 1919. With speakers being Ruan O’Donnell and Donal Fallon and Catriona Crowe in the chair, it was quite good I did not think attendance was up to last year’s strength, but this may have been because it was Saturday morning. in the afternoon, i went to Macsiomoin memorial to discuss Racism and Housing. There could have been better coordination between the organisers of the two events.

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WorldbyStorm - September 12, 2019

Much appreciated DRO’C, was tied up last weekend and this with unavoidable stuff and couldn’t make it to either, so it’s good to get a flavour of both.

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EWI - September 12, 2019

There could have been better coordination between the organisers of the two events.

Same goes for events clashing with the ILHS as well. There’s not a massive pool of activists and such. And thanks!

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Dr. Nightdub - September 13, 2019

Was at a Universities Ireland seminar in TCD last weekend, they do one of these every year as part of the whole “Decade of Centenaries” thing. Attended as a non-academic civilian, who’s just interested in this stuff.
This year’s focus was, notionally, on 1919 although most speakers went off-topic fairly sharpish.
While the Belfast engineering strike of that year was highlighted, I’m pretty sure the word “Limerick” wasn’t mentioned even once on its own, let alone in conjunction with the word “soviet”.
Doesn’t bode well for next year’s version, where I suspect the word “pogrom” will be regarded as bad language.

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EWI - September 13, 2019

Doesn’t bode well for next year’s version, where I suspect the word “pogrom” will be regarded as bad language.

Some Irish academic events (and the strand of English academia nurtured to revise Irish history for us during the Troubles) are a hot mess. And TCD has seen some notably junk history PhDs.

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Daniel Rayner O'Connor - September 13, 2019

Actually, this year I have found that the problem for the ILHS has not been non-co-ordination but an excess of it. We have held joint sessions if the LP (well, most of our members are inevitably that party’s members) and with the Cle Club but have found that our collaborators tend to take over preventing time for discussion. It does not help having the master filibusterer, Jack O’Connor present, either.

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EWI - September 13, 2019

Actually, this year I have found that the problem for the ILHS has not been non-co-ordination but an excess of it [with the Labour Party]

I’ve regrettably missed a number of conferences this year due to family commitments. But as a member of IMPACT/Fórsa I can well understand people’s frustrations with Labour frontism and even take-overs of events.

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tafkaGW - September 11, 2019

I’d favour a continuing federal system. The interests of Connacht are not exactly aligned with those of, say, Leinster; and are unlikely to converge, barring a massive decentralisation drive.

Perhaps with some of the work that is now replicated at county level performed at the regional level.

It can’t be beyond the wit of humankind to guarantee unionists in the north sufficient cultural autonomy within a federal structure.

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4. benmadigan - September 10, 2019

Unionists are always talking about Ireland re-joining the Commonwealth as if they had been jilted. Ireland was the one that got away and they want her back!

By the time Ireland is re-united, Unionists will be in a minority – don’t think that has quite dawned on them!

PS Have no prob with NI keeping its football team and that team playing in the Commonwealth Cup if it wants to –

But never more will there be a devolved state in NI unless it contains all 9 Ulster counties and matches up with devolved states in Connaught, Munster and Leinster!

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EWI - September 11, 2019

But never more will there be a devolved state in NI unless it contains all 9 Ulster counties and matches up with devolved states in Connaught, Munster and Leinster!

A general level of federation is a great idea. Though Dublin might need to be hived off as its new own ‘region’.

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John Goodwillie - September 11, 2019

A region of Leinster minus Dublin makes no sense. A region of Leinster including Dublin would be dominated by Dublin. Regions of Munster and Leinster prevent the natural south-east region emerging. The provincial boundaries set by England in the 17th century make no more sense than the county boundaries.

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EWI - September 11, 2019

The provincial boundaries set by England in the 17th century make no more sense than the county boundaries.

The original five provinces (not four) weren’t established by England, of course. And there is natural utility in working with already-existing (and popular) geographical units, rather than making up some new Frankenstein.

A new ‘Dublin’ entity would go some way towards solving the old problem bedevilling the ‘Corpo’, of being constrained by middle-class suburbs full of people happy to work and recreate in the city but unwilling to pay towards its upkeep.

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John Goodwillie - September 11, 2019

It was the English who moved Cavan from Connacht to Ulster, Louth from Ulster to Leinster, and abolished Meath. So what are now recognised as provinces are an English creation.

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EWI - September 11, 2019

So what are now recognised as provinces are an English creation.

Still broadly what they were. The consolidation of wealth in Mídh has just shifted east to Dublin.

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5. roddy - September 10, 2019

Unionism can never more control a 6 county parliament .The last election confirmed that as they were outnumbered by SF,SDLP and “others”.But they would have more say in that set up than any other parliament and a generation to adjust to change.

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6. John Goodwillie - September 10, 2019

The Commonwealth has no powers and membership has no obligations except to turn up to a few meetings and pay a subscription. The total budget seems to be about £25m., so it would not be a heavy burden. The thing is pretty pointless in my opinion, just another set of international meetings and technical assistance, but it’s hardly necessary to make it a point of principle. The interesting question is why Jeffrey Donaldson thinks it would help with Brexit. After all, after Brexit there will be two countries both members of the Commonwealth and members of the EU: Malta and Cyprus.

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Michael Carley - September 10, 2019

Maybe he thinks it would help because it would be a way of holding on to symbols: genuine identity politics.

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EWI - September 11, 2019

The Commonwealth has no powers and membership has no obligations except to turn up to a few meetings and pay a subscription.

It does signal endorsement of imperialism, based both on its origin and its future (with an ultranationalist India becoming ever more aggressive). And Governors-General have exercised harmful political functions in Commonwealth countries even within living memory.

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John Goodwillie - September 11, 2019

With Mozambique and Rwanda as members, it’s not solely a relic of British imperialism. And surely you realise that a majority of Commonwealth members are republics without governors-general?

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EWI - September 11, 2019

With Mozambique and Rwanda as members, it’s not solely a relic of British imperialism.

You’ll note I didn’t confine it to British imperialism, and specifically mentioned the newly rightwing ultranationalist India. I’m not sure what relevance ‘Rwanda and Mozambique’ have to the ROI, one way or another.

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