Sunday 28 February 2010

Hillsborough deadlines

The transfer of policing and justice (P+J) is as usual stuck in a perpetual limbo. This weekend’s DUP excuse for delaying it is (almost) laughable. Nigel Dodds says that:

“… his party would not be able to proceed with the devolution of justice if it does not get Ulster Unionist backing”.
In other words, Dodds wants unionism to speak with one voice on the issue, despite his own party’s commitments. But then again, Dodds seems pretty desperate for unionist unity these days – perhaps in order to save his own North Belfast seat?

Nonetheless, aside from P+J there are a few other issues to consider. The Hillsborough agreement had a few other deadlines, including the important one of parading – i.e. Orange Order marches. The ‘agreed outcomes’ of the SF-DUP working group are, as yet unpublished, but work should already have started on drafting a Bill to put them into force. No doubt they will leak before long.

There is also the Working Group chaired by Junior Ministers Kelly and Newton and involving all of the Parties in the Executive which is overseeing an exercise of trawling for and identifying all Executive papers and decisions which are still pending. This Working Group is supposed to “provide a report to the Executive detailing the level of progress made on each outstanding matter” and making “recommendations on whether and how progress could be made on any and all outstanding matters” by the end of February. That is today – where is this report?

Lastly – but not ‘leastly’ – there is the crucial issue of identifying and identifying all matters contained within the St Andrews Agreement “which have not been faithfully implemented or actioned”. “The First Minister and deputy First Minister will provide a report to the Executive by the end of February detailing the level of progress made on each outstanding matter”. That also is due today, so where is the report?

It seems that the Hillsborough deadlines are largely not being met, and those that appear to be met are clouded in secrecy. Is Hillsborough going to be just another failed agreement along Northern Ireland’s long political road? Is Northern Ireland ever going to show that it is not a ‘failed political entity’?

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Northern Ireland was not a failed political entity. It's current problems developed out of the thirty years it was subjected to mass murder and widespread destruction by those within it who aspired to a united independent Ireland and were prepared to do anything to achieve their goal, despite two thirds of those living in NI being opposed to that goal. One wonders what state The ROI would be in if 10 000 people had been slaughtered (same as in NI per rata) and it's cities and towns blown into the middle of next week?

thedissenter said...

There is a lot of talk about whether or not there is confidence in the Agreement at Hillsborough. Describing the Hillsborough Agreement as Snake Oil is not a comment as to whether or not agreement should have taken place, but rather the absence of any substantial agreement to support: http://www.thedissenter.co.uk/2010/02/snake-oil/ despite the hype. It should not be a surprise that we know so little at this point.

hoboroad said...

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/dup-choice-for-iris-robinsonrsquos-seat-linked-to-exprisoner-14703055.html

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 22.26

The last 30 years is only the latest stage in the history of Ireland, a lot of water went under the bridge before that.

Partition was imposed on Ireland by the British in the early 20s and unionism had its chance then to accomodate those culturally Irish caught behind a fabricated border.

Unionist politicans and leaders totally failed to work with those caught on the wrong side (cold house and all that) but their most significant failure was the land grab. They maximised the area taken and without thinking about it, set the scene for what was to unfold later and sets nationalism up to where we are today.

The British government at the time allowed the orange card to be played and turned a blind eye to the goings on thereafter in the North. I sure the present political establishment in Britain bitterly regrets that now.

Unionism made hay as long as the sun was high in the sky until the sixties came along and the civil rights movement forced the British into action.

Bombs and bullets were used in the South too. Including the Dublin and Monaghan bombings which was one of the worst in terms of numbers killed.

I am sure you know this but outsiders may not so I have to rubbish your analysis to counter the false and untrue propaganda which you and your type trot out constantly.

MPG .....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"Partition was imposed on Ireland by the British in the early 20s and unionism had its chance then to accomodate those culturally Irish caught behind a fabricated border."

The UK State did not want partition initially, it wanted to impose home rule on Ireland as a whole. It was the reluctant recognition by The UK State that there were effectively two peoples on the island of Ireland that led to partition. The alternative would have been war.

"Unionist politicans and leaders totally failed to work with those caught on the wrong side (cold house and all that) but their most significant failure was the land grab. They maximised the area taken and without thinking about it, set the scene for what was to unfold later and sets nationalism up to where we are today."

Both The Irish Free State and Northern Ireland were born in bloodshed. In the north this took the form of communal violence which claimed many lives following partition. This set the scene for an atmosphere of suspicion and bad feeling between the two communities. This was added to by IRA campaigns in every decade following partition. The ROI did not help by constantly raising the hopes of Northern Nationalists and fanning Unionist fears. It's also worth baring in mind that these were primitive times with a 'winner takes all' mentality existing on both sides of the border. Yes, there was anti-Nationalist discrimination in The North, as Unionist held most of the power, just as there existed a more subtle 'cold house' against Unionists in The South. The civil rights movement was a reaction to Unionist discrimination in The North, but Republicans have admitted since that they tried to use it to obtain Irish Unity. It was difficult for Unionists to distinguish the civil rights agenda from the Republican agenda. Did the level of discrimination that existed merit all the death and suffering that followed? I'd say no. In any case The IRA always said they were fighting for Irish unity and independence not civil rights - although SF have slightly blended the two issues to suit their current position.

I agree that the Nationalist majority was uncomfortably high from the start and in itself this led to problems - but didn't The Irish government 'sell' the border adjustments for debt relief?

paul said...

but didn't The Irish government 'sell' the border adjustments for debt relief?

cannot be serious, in 1919 there was a vote, sein fein won 75 seats, with a clear mandate for a united Ireland.
the Brits said no and went on to make another shocking cock-up, just sixty odd years after a pretty big recession, yeah big downturn in the economy. Britain managed to avoid it though.
imagine a twenty odd percent drop in GDP these days, nevermind though for us we only lost twenty odd percent of the population,
no point in crying though we lost more than that not long before.
ever in a catholic area in the seventies, beds in every room in the gaffe, twenty to a house in a country were our ancestors have lived for 20:000 years.

Paddy Canuck said...

"Northern Ireland was not a failed political entity."

Northern Ireland was a failed political entity at its inception when it was conceived of, and put into practice as, a jurisdiction that politically, socially, and economically disenfranchised a third of its population by definition. In the long run, no such political entity could have long endured in the Western world in the 20th century. It failed by design.

"It's current problems developed out of the thirty years it was subjected to mass murder and widespread destruction by those within it who aspired to a united independent Ireland and were prepared to do anything to achieve their goal"

People's motivations are as varied as people themselves; however, in a general sense, you have this reversed. The drive to an independent Ireland came about in the first place due to the policies of the British in general and Ulster Protestants in particular. A united Ireland was widely regarded as a vouchsafe against the policies that continued to fuel the urge after partition. Thirty years of mass murder and widespread destruction came on the heels of centuries of the same promulgated against Catholics, and the fact that Ulster Unionists demonstrated themselves unwilling to accommodate even moderate Catholics in their failed state or afford them any real measure of the equality, opportunity, or security they prized for themselves. The measures you speak of were required to bring that about. If you want proof, note that those goals have largely been achieved -- while a united Ireland HAS NOT -- and yet, nationalist paramilitaries have disarmed and violence in Northern Ireland is now so rare, infrequent, and unsupported by the average people as to have become as startling as it would be anywhere else in the Western world. If it were about a united Ireland, rather than rights, there would have been no discernible change in the level of violence in Northern Ireland in the past 15 years.

"One wonders what state The ROI would be in if 10 000 people had been slaughtered (same as in NI per rata) and it's cities and towns blown into the middle of next week?"

It's called "The United Kingdom". Such atrocities ceased when the Republic successfully extricated itself from that state.

Paddy Canuck said...

"It was the reluctant recognition by The UK State that there were effectively two peoples on the island of Ireland that led to partition. The alternative would have been war."

If this is the case then one is forced to ask why the British didn't see fit to partition off the white, "loyalists" parts of, say, Kenya, or Rhodesia, or India? Why weren't they worried about those minorities going to "war" with the majorities of those places...?

"The ROI did not help by constantly raising the hopes of Northern Nationalists and fanning Unionist fears."

And the British did by constantly making alliances with the unionists elected to Westminster and giving them carte blanche to behave across the Irish Sea as if the 19th century hadn't even arrived yet?

"It was difficult for Unionists to distinguish the civil rights agenda from the Republican agenda."

It was not. They chose to associate the issues because it excused their use of violence to maintain the status quo. Anyone who can't tell the difference between people marching for fair access to housing and jobs and the vote within a jurisdiction on the one hand, and advocating the wholesale transfer of that jurisdiction from one country to another on the other, is either too stupid or too belligerent to be entrusted with running that jurisdiction in the first place.

"didn't The Irish government 'sell' the border adjustments for debt relief?"

Ah... so when the British compromise, it's out of compassion, to prevent war. But when the Irish do it, it's simple venality. Typical.

Anonymous said...

"It was the reluctant recognition by The UK State that there were effectively two peoples on the island of Ireland that led to partition"

Ach sure wasn't that wile good of them. Are you sure though they didn't just ignore the wishes of 3/4 of the population of Ireland to secede because they had ulterior motives? To "play the orange card" as a very famous Englishman once said? (Keeping Ulstermen on board in WWI, keeping the ports for after, and so on.) Doesn't sound like "reluctant recognition" to me; it sounds like a continuation of the active support they'd given Unionists for Centuries. And, judging by recent events with the UCUNF and DUP, may well continue to do.

The list of countries left a complete shambles by withdrawing European colonists is long, why would they make an exception for the paddies?

Anonymous said...

1. Correct, Unionism destroyed Home Rule, which in its day would have kept Ireland united for a time at least. Our history would now be different, I feel, if it had succeeded.

2. Many Protestants partook and partake in the government of Ireland--in the civil service and in politics. As you say life was more "primative then but at least the Irish government tried to be impartial (see Horsemans previous blog).

3. Protestants in the South tend to be better educated, more affulent and have their (private) education subsidised to a greater degree than the rest of society.

4. Again correct, the civil rights movement was indistinguishable from republicanism for the unionists and they slegehammered both just to be sure. In other word they initally created the problem, failed to deal with it fairly and then a monster was born. Only to be replicated in equal measure on the loyalist side. The rest is history and so should the blame game.

4. No death is worth it! It is time for society on our Shared Island to move on from this, start trusting and in time normallity can ensue and democracy will prevail.

5. From my point of view, this will mean a shared future in UI just like this, my favourite, blog.
You may feel differently about the final outcome but at this stage at least its good to talk.

Fair play,

MPG .....

Anonymous said...

"but didn't The Irish government 'sell' the border adjustments for debt relief?"

Please explain?

bangordub said...

Wow, great argument lads.
Terrific stuff.
Well said all and you clearly have done your research.
Unfortunately it's where we're going that actually matters.
We all know that the North is an undemocratic entity founded on political expediency.
It follows a familiar pattern historically. Conquest, plantation, fostering of local divisions, rebellion and then partition, usually accompanied by civil war.
Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan,South Africa, India/ Pakistan etc.
Take the longer view I suggest

Anonymous said...

Paul said:

"ever in a catholic area in the seventies, beds in every room in the gaffe, twenty to a house in a country were our ancestors have lived for 20:000 years."

You should have had less children (ie, told the child molesting priests with their hatred of women where to stick their rules on contraception) then you could have had your own room. As for 20, 000 years - LOL!!!

Mack said...

"but didn't The Irish government 'sell' the border adjustments for debt relief?"

He's refering to Ireland's share of the UK national debt that was conferred to the new state upon independence.

The government of the Irish Free State, effectively bankrupted by the 1922-23 Civil War, agreed to the borders staying pretty much the same in exchange for being absolved from that debt.

paul said...

You should have had less children (ie, told the child molesting priests with their hatred of women where to stick their rules on contraception) then you could have had your own room. As for 20, 000 years - LOL!!!

always mention priests when you get ripped lad, thats how we know your beat, easy street!!!

paul said...

As for 20, 000 years - LOL!!!

look it up! father.

Anonymous said...

Paddy Canuck said:

"Northern Ireland was a failed political entity at its inception when it was conceived of, and put into practice as, a jurisdiction that politically, socially, and economically disenfranchised a third of its population by definition. In the long run, no such political entity could have long endured in the Western world in the 20th century. It failed by design."

Then I'm sure you'll agree that The Irish Free State/The ROI was also a 'failed state' from the start. It was a squalid, poverty ridden hell hole that was ruled by Catholic Priests for decades - no divorce, no contraception, politicians in thrall to The Catholic bishops, etc, etc, etc. For decades it's only export was people. It was such a cold house for Protestants that their population fell from 11% to 2% in the decades following partition. It's children were subjected to massive child abuse and child rape by Catholic Priests whilst the Catholic politicians turned a blind eye. Unmarried mothers found themselves in slave factories ran by The RC church where they were subjected to continuous hardship and abuse. If that's not a definition of a 'failed state', I don't know what is. Perhaps you should do a little research my friend. Oh, and if Northern Ireland was a such a cold house for Catholics, why did so many stay? They could have moved a few miles south into The ROI with their Catholic co-religionists after all - no one was stopping them. Isn't that the point of this blog, the growth in The Catholic population of Northern Ireland?

"People's motivations are as varied as people themselves; however, in a general sense, you have this reversed. The drive to an independent Ireland came about in the first place due to the policies of the British in general and Ulster Protestants in particular. A united Ireland was widely regarded as a vouchsafe against the policies that continued to fuel the urge after partition. Thirty years of mass murder and widespread destruction came on the heels of centuries of the same promulgated against Catholics, and the fact that Ulster Unionists demonstrated themselves unwilling to accommodate even moderate Catholics in their failed state or afford them any real measure of the equality, opportunity, or security they prized for themselves. The measures you speak of were required to bring that about. If you want proof, note that those goals have largely been achieved -- while a united Ireland HAS NOT -- and yet, nationalist paramilitaries have disarmed and violence in Northern Ireland is now so rare, infrequent, and unsupported by the average people as to have become as startling as it would be anywhere else in the Western world. If it were about a united Ireland, rather than rights, there would have been no discernible change in the level of violence in Northern Ireland in the past 15 years."

But that's not what SF/IRA say the fight was about (whether it actually was or not). Ask some of them and you'll find the vast majority were fighting for an independent Irish Republic and claim they still would have fought even if Catholics in Northern Ireland had been treated like kings. SF are twisting it now because The IRA lost it's fight for Irish unity.

"It's called "The United Kingdom". Such atrocities ceased when the Republic successfully extricated itself from that state."

That wasn't the point I was making. I was asking what sort of success would The ROI be today IF it had been bombed into the middle of next week for thirty years and 10 000 of it's people killed?

Anonymous said...

Paddy Canuck said:

"If this is the case then one is forced to ask why the British didn't see fit to partition off the white, "loyalists" parts of, say, Kenya, or Rhodesia, or India? Why weren't they worried about those minorities going to "war" with the majorities of those places...?"

I'm afraid to say Paddy that there were no majority 'white' areas of these countries. If there had have been the people in those areas would have been fully entitled to carve out their own new nations as self determination allows - just as Muslims did when they created Pakistan.

"It was not. They chose to associate the issues because it excused their use of violence to maintain the status quo. Anyone who can't tell the difference between people marching for fair access to housing and jobs and the vote within a jurisdiction on the one hand, and advocating the wholesale transfer of that jurisdiction from one country to another on the other, is either too stupid or too belligerent to be entrusted with running that jurisdiction in the first place."

You don't know very much about Northern Ireland do you Paddy? Militant Republicans have stated quite clearly in recent years that they used The NICRA to create instability in NI with a view to furthering their Republican goals. This being the case and given NI's history up to that point there was no surprise that Unionists responded as they did. The IRA had fought their border campaign only a few years earlier.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

paul said:

"always mention priests when you get ripped lad, thats how we know your beat, easy street!!!"

You amuse me. This site builds it's entire thesis on the fact that Catholics had many more children than Protestants (even when everything else is taken into account) and yet you can't link that fact to The Catholic Church's position on contraception. As I say, very amusing.

Paddy Canuck said...

"It was such a cold house for Protestants that their population fell from 11% to 2% in the decades following partition."

This is the only point you make in your long, bigotted litany that actually addresses the matter in Northern Ireland one-to-one: that is, a perception of prejudice against Protestants. I have no practical doubt it existed. Given the previous several centuries, how could it not? But you'd have to do a lot of work to demonstrate that it was systemic. If you purport that Presidents Hyde and Childers (among others) sponsored and signed legislation that disenfranchised Protestants in the south, or gerrymandered their districts, or kept them out of jobs, government services, or homes, then I'd like to see the evidence.

As for the fall in the percentage of Protestants, you'd have to work to demonstrate that was based on emigration. I'm more inclined to believe what's been going on there is what happened in my own family. The majority of my ancestors, right down to my great-grandparents, were Protestants. But both my grandfathers married Catholics, and the RC church didn't object so long as their children (my parents) received instruction in the Catholic faith. And so in three generations, the Protestant population of my family fell from 62.5% to 50% to 0%. Nobody moved away, no one was chased out or discriminated against. They simply intermarried, and given that that vast majority of people available for Protestants in the south to marry were Catholics from the start (89%, according to you), I expect that's the real story here: far from "a cold house" for Protestants, it was a number of rather warm ones, here and there... Sorry, Charlie.

"But that's not what SF/IRA say the fight was about (whether it actually was or not)."

Then why aren't they still fighting, as I just pointed out? I'd say the handful still trying to shoot cops or blowing up cars a couple of times are year are the only allies you have on this point; the rest are satisfied that A) their people are getting real justice now and B) there's a political mechanism in place to one day achieve a united Ireland. Clearly, the ideas and prejudices you're comfortable clinging to don't accord with the facts on the ground in Northern Ireland in the past generation.

"SF are twisting it now because The IRA lost it's fight for Irish unity."

Have they? Really? I was there last year. I see more evidence I'm crossing a border between Canadian provinces than I did moving back and forth between two supposedly different countries. If I hadn't been in the company of a 70-year-old man who could well remember where the check points used to be, there'd have been no way of knowing till we passed a gas station and the currency indicator changed that we'd changed jurisdictions at all.

So much for having "lost" the fight for Irish unity!

"That wasn't the point I was making."

I know it wasn't. But I used it as the springboard to make a larger point.

bangordub said...

Welcome back Andy!

Paddy Canuck said...

"I'm afraid to say Paddy that there were no majority 'white' areas of these countries."

That's why I asked why the British weren't worried about such people going to 'war' with the ACTUAL majorities there. There was no Protestant majority in Ireland, either, but somehow, they felt the need to carve off a chunk of that country and create a false one. Why not elsewhere? Why not a white "majority" statelet called South India? Or "Greater Salisbury"? Or "Coastal White Kenya"? Why not any of those, if there's a "Northern Ireland" created just to "prevent war"...?

"If there had have been the people in those areas would have been fully entitled to carve out their own new nations as self determination allows"

So if the ethnic Irish of Liverpool decide to turn the place, its taxes, its infrastructure, and its resources over to Leinster House, you'll cool with that? You're on the record here. Care to reconsider?

"just as Muslims did when they created Pakistan."

But Pakistan is a sovereign nation; Northern Ireland is not... it's simply a colonial holdover of the UK, not a country. Ireland, like Pakistan, is, on the other hand, a sovereign nation and nationality. Doesn't this mean the British should have withdrawn from the whole of a sovereign nation, as they did when they left Pakistan...? I don't see a British statelet called "West Pakistan" as a constituent country of the United Kingdom... do you?

"Militant Republicans have stated quite clearly in recent years that they used The NICRA to create instability in NI with a view to furthering their Republican goals."

A) Who?
B) What does that have to do with the legitimate grievances of the thousands who marched in earnest hopes of achieving their rights non-violently?
C) If "militant Republicans" were able to use NICRA to further their own aims, that could only have come about because they realized in advance that THE UNIONIST REACTION TO EVEN A NON-VIOLENT CHALLENGE TO THEIR ORDER WOULD BE ITSELF A VIOLENT ONE, which it was, from stones and bottles thrown outside Derry in the 60s to bullets in the streets of Derry in 1972. THAT was the real militarization of the struggle for rights in Northern Ireland, not anything the scattered and ineffectual "militant Republicans" of the mid-60s, on the climbdown from the Border War that ended in '62, might have mustered.

Paddy Canuck said...

"This site builds it's entire thesis on the fact that Catholics had many more children than Protestants... and yet you can't link that fact to The Catholic Church's position on contraception."

Might not be the whole story... I'm reminded of the scene in Monty Python's Meaning of Life where the Protestant couple sit musing over the size of Catholic families and the husband caustically observes that Catholics have to conceive a child EVERY time they have sex, to which his wife replies, "Well, WE have two children..." :D

Anonymous said...

Paddy Canuck said:

"As for the fall in the percentage of Protestants, you'd have to work to demonstrate that was based on emigration. I'm more inclined to believe what's been going on there is what happened in my own family. The majority of my ancestors, right down to my great-grandparents, were Protestants. But both my grandfathers married Catholics, and the RC church didn't object so long as their children (my parents) received instruction in the Catholic faith. And so in three generations, the Protestant population of my family fell from 62.5% to 50% to 0%. Nobody moved away, no one was chased out or discriminated against. They simply intermarried, and given that that vast majority of people available for Protestants in the south to marry were Catholics from the start (89%, according to you), I expect that's the real story here: far from "a cold house" for Protestants, it was a number of rather warm ones, here and there... Sorry, Charlie."

That's certainly part of the story and I'm glad you brought up the issue of the children of mixed marriages being brought up Catholics in Ireland. A disgrace in itself, that no modern state would tolerate.

"Then why aren't they still fighting, as I just pointed out?"

They were beat, as simple as that. They had been struggling for years to achieve Irish Unity and it's no nearer now than in 1969. They were riddled with informers and UK State agents at all levels and were finding it increasingly hard to recruit. Add to that, was the fact that SF/IRA didn't like their relatives, friends and neighbours being shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries and it's easy to see why they closed up shop.

"I'd say the handful still trying to shoot cops or blowing up cars a couple of times are year are the only allies you have on this point"

Actually Paddy, if you knew anything about Northern Ireland you'd realise that those carrying out sporadic attacks have support even amongst those who vote SF. But you're right, they'll get nowhere - exactly the same as The Provos. The cause is lost.

"the rest are satisfied that A) their people are getting real justice now"

What a laugh that is. All the civil rights demands were met by The UK State in the early seventies - do some research mate.

"and B) there's a political mechanism in place to one day achieve a united Ireland."

There always was my friend. A simple vote in Stormount would have achieved it. And before you start talking any crap about 'one man, one vote' or gerrymandering, there was 'one man, one vote' to Stormount from the start and the constituencies were fair. Again, hit the books mate, your knowledge of Ulster is very shallow to say the least.

"Have they? Really? I was there last year. I see more evidence I'm crossing a border between Canadian provinces than I did moving back and forth between two supposedly different countries."

You're a giggle mate. Both The UK and The ROI are part of The EU - people can float about where they like. Again, time to get swotting.

Anonymous said...

Paddy Canuck said:

"That's why I asked why the British weren't worried about such people going to 'war' with the ACTUAL majorities there. There was no Protestant majority in Ireland, either, but somehow, they felt the need to carve off a chunk of that country and create a false one. Why not elsewhere? Why not a white "majority" statelet called South India? Or "Greater Salisbury"? Or "Coastal White Kenya"? Why not any of those, if there's a "Northern Ireland" created just to "prevent war"...?

Well to put it bluntly my friend any people anywhere have a right to self determination providing they are in a majority in the area concerned. This would even apply in Canada - indeed I believe it does, as in Quebec.

So if the ethnic Irish of Liverpool decide to turn the place, its taxes, its infrastructure, and its resources over to Leinster House, you'll cool with that? You're on the record here. Care to reconsider?"

No, they would be entitled. Providing they had a majority in the area concerned. I can't see what you find so complicated about this principle. It's internationally accepted and is called self determination.

"But Pakistan is a sovereign nation; Northern Ireland is not... it's simply a colonial holdover of the UK, not a country. Ireland, like Pakistan, is, on the other hand, a sovereign nation and nationality. "

Pakistan didn't exist prior to partition and is now internationally recognised. AS IS NORTHERN IRELAND AS PART OF THE UK. Even The ROI now recognise Northern Ireland's status as part of The UK. They even changed their constitution accordingly.

"Doesn't this mean the British should have withdrawn from the whole of a sovereign nation, as they did when they left Pakistan...? I don't see a British statelet called "West Pakistan" as a constituent country of the United Kingdom... do you?"

No, because the six counties of Northern Ireland exercised their self determination by remaining part of The UK.

"C) If "militant Republicans" were able to use NICRA to further their own aims, that could only have come about because they realized in advance that THE UNIONIST REACTION TO EVEN A NON-VIOLENT CHALLENGE TO THEIR ORDER WOULD BE ITSELF A VIOLENT ONE"

LOL

Do your self a favour Paddy - the next time your in the emerald isle, why not take some time out to meet a good cross section of Ulster Unionists and get a more complete picture of life in 'da black north'. Call up a few Unionist parties, or Loyal Institutions, or even churches and meet with the actual majority in British Ulster. It will open your eyes I'm sure.

Paddy Canuck said...

"That's certainly part of the story and I'm glad you brought up the issue of the children of mixed marriages being brought up Catholics in Ireland. A disgrace in itself, that no modern state would tolerate."

No, actually, intermarriage is the kind of thing that modern states don't bat an eye at, so there's no need to go tramping up and down other people's streets to highlight the differences or belong to organizations that kick you out if you associate with, never mind actually marry, someone different. The Protestants of the Republic don't seem to have the same ingrained bigotry of their coreligionists in the north.

"They were beat, as simple as that."

Dublin finally gets a say in how the place you live in is governed... but REPUBLICANS were beaten, not guys like Paisley. Yeah. Sure. "Simple" is the word for that opinion, alright... :D

"They had been struggling for years to achieve Irish Unity and it's no nearer now than in 1969."

I just explained in detail the myriad ways it IS closer in every de facto, if not de jure, sense, and you still insist -- without offering one bit of evidence to the contrary other than your opinion itself -- that it's not the case. ...You're not also a creationist, are you?

"All the civil rights demands were met by The UK State in the early seventies"

No, they weren't. There was still internment in the 70s, abrogation of habeas corpus in the 70s, direct rule from London in the 70s, the existence of the RUC in the 70s, chronic Catholic unemployment due to unregulated labour practices in the 70s... enough "research", dude?

"A simple vote in Stormount would have achieved it."

There was such a vote; it took place when Sinn Fein swept the election prior to partition. And the result was: PARTITION. Obviously, a clear vote was never a clear vote in Northern Ireland... not till 1998, anyway.

"and the constituencies were fair"

And the fact that Protestants in possession of businesses -- who had multiple votes and controlled the councils (that awarded housing) -- wouldn't employ Catholics in jobs that would afford them homes of their own and thus, THE VOTE THAT WAS TIED TO HEADING A HOUSEHOLD, that wasn't at all an unfair method of rigging the elections for generations, noooo. Hit the books yourself. My bullshit detector might have "Made In Canada" stamped on it, but it still works in Ulster.

"Both The UK and The ROI are part of The EU - people can float about where they like."

So, actually, you DO agree with me when I say the two parts of Ireland are increasingly similar and converging in every practical way. Yes, thank you.

Paddy Canuck said...

"Well to put it bluntly my friend any people anywhere have a right to self determination providing they are in a majority in the area concerned. This would even apply in Canada - indeed I believe it does, as in Quebec."

Yup, and the two times they've voted on it, the majority has voted for a united Canada. What song will you sing when the majority of Northern Ireland votes for a united Ireland, now that you've declared its right to do so...? Oh, let me guess... "it'll never happen!" Yeah, but that doesn't answer the tough question, does it?

I know what I'd do if Quebec voted to leave. What'll you do if NI votes to join?

"No, they would be entitled. Providing they had a majority in the area concerned."

Oh, so all we have to do, then, is what was done in 1921: simply define small enough areas to qualify an artificial geographic "majority" and, poof! The Beatles are Irish! Thanks. :) Give Macca back to the Irish... don't make them have to take him away... :)

"is now internationally recognised. AS IS NORTHERN IRELAND AS PART OF THE UK."

...for the moment. :)

"No, because the six counties of Northern Ireland exercised their self determination by remaining part of The UK."

They didn't HAVE any "self-determination" to exercise; that's the point. Northern Ireland didn't exist as a polity in any sense until it was artificially segregated from Ireland, which HAD historically and constitutionally existed as a singled governing unit. It, arguably, had self-determination to exercise, but six counties within it were just that... six counties within it. In truth, the will of an entire recognized constituent country of the UK is what ought to have been exercised. And eventually, it might be. At least it's genuinely possible now, and that's recognized internationally and by the UK and RoI as well.

"why not take some time out to meet a good cross section of Ulster Unionists... It will open your eyes I'm sure."

And what will they tell me that I don't know? That they consider themselves British? I know that. That they don't want to be part of a UI? Yeah, I know that, too. That they feel themselves victims of violence? Yes, I also know that. That they don't actually hate Catholics but consider themselves different? That's self-evident (at least the part about considering themselves different). Fair enough, but there are also parallels to each and every one of these points on the nationalist side. But go ahead... we're both here in communion on this blog, at least... tell us something from the unionist perspective we don't know. Open our eyes. I'm listening...

Anonymous said...

Paddy Canuck said:

"No, actually, intermarriage is the kind of thing that modern states don't bat an eye at"

That's a moot point. Ireland was a grossly divided society and if Protestant culture was to be sustained, then the state could have implemented laws against bringing up all children of mixed marriages Catholic. They didn't do this as they were happy to see Protestant culture die. Even completely secular schools from day one would have helped. The Free State/ROI was a grossly 'cold house' for Protestants and the number who 'disappeared' pays tribute to this.

"Dublin finally gets a say in how the place you live in is governed... but REPUBLICANS were beaten, not guys like Paisley. Yeah. Sure. "Simple" is the word for that opinion, alright... :D"

Most Nationalists would agree that PIRA were beat. Just ask some of them. They fought for a United Ireland and did not achieve it. That is the very definition of defeat. As for Dublin having a say in Ulster's affairs, what actually exists is North/South bodies accountable to Stormount where there is a Unionist veto. By the way, it cuts both ways you know - The UK through these North/South bodies now has a say in Ireland's affairs for the first time since The Republic was established.

"No, they weren't. There was still internment in the 70s, abrogation of habeas corpus in the 70s, direct rule from London in the 70s, the existence of the RUC in the 70s, chronic Catholic unemployment due to unregulated labour practices in the 70s... enough "research", dude?"

Very poor response. All those issues (except employment) applied to both Protestants and Catholics and in any case only existed due to PIRA's actions. As for employment trends, they are complex - for instance more Catholics lived in the relatively impoverished West of Ulster.

"There was such a vote; it took place when Sinn Fein swept the election prior to partition. And the result was: PARTITION. Obviously, a clear vote was never a clear vote in Northern Ireland... not till 1998, anyway."

You're a bit confused there. Stormount could have voted for a UI at anytime. It was enshrined in UK statute.

"And the fact that Protestants in possession of businesses -- who had multiple votes and controlled the councils (that awarded housing) -- wouldn't employ Catholics in jobs that would afford them homes of their own and thus, THE VOTE THAT WAS TIED TO HEADING A HOUSEHOLD, that wasn't at all an unfair method of rigging the elections for generations, noooo. Hit the books yourself. My bullshit detector might have "Made In Canada" stamped on it, but it still works in Ulster."

You're starting to make a fool of yourself mate. Elections to both Stormount and Westminster operated under 'one man, one vote' and the constituencies were fair. It's true that there was a property qualification in local elections, but this had applied in England up until just after the war as well.

As regards the discrimination issue - here's an excellent analysis of what went on, taken from the outstanding CAIN site:

http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/discrimination/whyte.htm

I'm not saying I agree with all it's analysis, but it will form a good starting point for someone like yourself who has what I call the 'Oirish-American' perspective. You're not completely ignorant, but you have a very selective view of what went on and why.

"So, actually, you DO agree with me when I say the two parts of Ireland are increasingly similar and converging in every practical way. Yes, thank you."

Paddy, the lifestyle enjoyed by most people in current day Ireland is almost indistinguishable, not only from Ulster, but from England as well. Perhaps Ireland should apply to join The Union again?

Anonymous said...

Paddy Canuck said:

"Yup, and the two times they've voted on it, the majority has voted for a united Canada. What song will you sing when the majority of Northern Ireland votes for a united Ireland, now that you've declared its right to do so...? Oh, let me guess... "it'll never happen!" Yeah, but that doesn't answer the tough question, does it?"

In that event I'd support re-partition. The same principle of self-determination would still apply, only in a smaller land mass.

"They didn't HAVE any "self-determination" to exercise; that's the point."

No, I'm afraid you've completely missed the point. If tomorrow The Kurds in Iraq voted to secede there would me no way of stopping them. Where do you think Eritrea came from? According to you, all states and their borders are set in stone and can never be changed - in which case where did The Irish Republic come from?

"Northern Ireland didn't exist as a polity in any sense until it was artificially segregated from Ireland"

There was nothing artificial about it. Ask the current Irish Government which state NI belongs to without any international dispute.

"hich HAD historically and constitutionally existed as a singled governing unit."

Only under British rule.

Horseman said...

Anonymous,

Sorry to butt in here, but I have a certain knowledge of mixed marriage in the south, which perhaps you might care to hear.

Firstly, Protestantism is a religion, not a culture. Most Prods in the south had/have the same culture as the rest of the population (you surely don't think all Catholics spend their days jigging around and drinking poitin, do you?).

Secondly, as Paddy Canuck has correctly pointed out, the incidence of intermarriage is evidence of just how warm the south is/was for Prods.

Thirdly, only a bigot actually cares what religion their kids are brought up in. If the wife/hubby is Catholic, why would you object to the kids being Catholic? Same goes the other way, of course. But given the proximity of Catholic schools etc, in the absence of bigotry, raising the kids as Catholic made practical sense.

Fourthly, 'Prod' culture has not died. On the contrary, it is dominant in the south. You actually admit that yourself at the end of your post, when you say "the lifestyle enjoyed by most people in current day Ireland is almost indistinguishable, not only from Ulster [sic], but from England as well".

PC is totally correct when he says that modern countries don't give a damn about your religion. That is the way it is in the south. Pity the north remains so backward in this respect.

Paddy Canuck said...

"Ireland was a grossly divided society and if Protestant culture was to be sustained, then the state could have implemented laws against bringing up all children of mixed marriages Catholic."

So let me see if I've got this right. You're upset because the Free State didn't pass anti-Catholic apartheid laws that would have prevented Protestants from marrying whom they pleased and deciding for themselves what kind of families they were willing to raise... have I understood you correctly? Jesus, as if the RoI doesn't wear enough shit from you people over not allowing divorce all those years... now this. Bad Republic, letting people be free and decide for themselves! Bad!!

"The Free State/ROI was a grossly 'cold house' for Protestants and the number who 'disappeared' pays tribute to this."

Moron, that was THEIR CHOICE. The Gardi didn't kick in doors late at night, tie Proddies down and stack nude Colleens atop them till they disavowed the Order or something... these folks met people in a largely-Catholic community and FELL IN LOVE. Is that the kind of thing you'd expect to happen in a free society?

"Most Nationalists would agree that PIRA were beat. Just ask some of them."

Okay. Fellahs, what do you think? Has the Good Friday Agreement been the final validation of croppies lie down, or what?

"in any case only existed due to PIRA's actions"

Then why do you claim they also applied to Protestants? Lot of them in the 'RA, were there...?

"Stormount could have voted for a UI at anytime. It was enshrined in UK statute."

Oh, I don't doubt it was... I'm sure the suggestion hangs pregnant in every act since 1921, wink wink, nudge nudge, Billy. That's why the trick was always making sure to keep Pat away from the voting box as much as possible once the north was torn away.

"here's an excellent analysis of what went on, taken from the outstanding CAIN site"

Yeah, already been directed there; read it, analyzed the stats, then came back here and asked Pete why they show a third of the population of Northern Ireland were only alotted about a quarter of the homes.

"Perhaps Ireland should apply to join The Union again?"

Why don't we hold the two votes and see which one passes first, hmm?

Paddy Canuck said...

"In that event I'd support re-partition. The same principle of self-determination would still apply, only in a smaller land mass."

Uh huh. So smaller and smaller "majorities" have to be cooked up, do they? I don't see that in the Good Friday Agreement anywhere. I think what I see is, when the majority of NI votes to accede to a united Ireland, it all goes. Same as the vote to stay didn't cut the nationalist west loose, did it? You can't claim the will of Northern Ireland on the one hand when it suits you, and then squeal for the rights of, what, Antrim? Shankill Road? on the other when it doesn't. Otherwise, what the hell have Derry, South Armagh, and most of Fermanagh and Tyrone been doing in the UK for the last 90 years?

"Where do you think Eritrea came from?"

Where do you think East Germany went?

"Only under British rule."

All the more responsibility they had to respect that polity, having designated it themselves.

Anonymous said...

Horseman said:

"Firstly, Protestantism is a religion, not a culture."

Religion is often a key component of culture - ask any Muslim (or Jew for that matter). Your site exists because The RC religion's rules influenced to a great degree how many children RC families had in the past. Perhaps one section of a community having much larger families than another has no cultural impact? Absurd.

"Most Prods in the south had/have the same culture as the rest of the population (you surely don't think all Catholics spend their days jigging around and drinking poitin, do you?)."

The culture in The ROI has radically coalesced with that found in the The UK only relatively recently. There was absolutely no comparison with Irish culture in say the sixties with that found in say England at that time. Until perhaps the seventies (or even eighties), The ROI was ruled by the edicts of politicians in thrall to The RC Church. Perhaps this has changed and will continue to change - only time will tell. It is certainly changing in NI where RCs are having much smaller families than previously. Which is just one reason why Irish Unity will remain a dream.

"Secondly, as Paddy Canuck has correctly pointed out, the incidence of intermarriage is evidence of just how warm the south is/was for Prods."

It was not inter-marriage that presented any problems, but the edict of The RC Church that all children resulting would be brought up RC. It was this that contributed to the decline of The Protestant population. Protestants were distributed throughout Ireland and as such had little choice but to marry RC's. The Catholic partner had to insist on a Catholic marriage, or he/she would not be married in the eyes of his/her church. In order to do this a promise had to be made to bring up all children RC.

"Thirdly, only a bigot actually cares what religion their kids are brought up in. If the wife/hubby is Catholic, why would you object to the kids being Catholic? Same goes the other way, of course."

Except it never happened the other way did it? See reasons above.

"But given the proximity of Catholic schools etc, in the absence of bigotry, raising the kids as Catholic made practical sense."

Absolutely irrelevant - see above. If the 'not so free state' had been serious about the unity of 'The Irish' there would have been no RC schools - only secular state schools. At least this would have given all those children of mixed marriages a chance to make their own mind up.

"Fourthly, 'Prod' culture has not died. On the contrary, it is dominant in the south. You actually admit that yourself at the end of your post, when you say "the lifestyle enjoyed by most people in current day Ireland is almost indistinguishable, not only from Ulster [sic], but from England as well".

That's not a 'Prod' culture - that's an Anglo-American culture. But even so, why then doesn't The ROI apply to rejoin The UK? Given the fact it's people's have identical cultures?

"PC is totally correct when he says that modern countries don't give a damn about your religion. That is the way it is in the south. Pity the north remains so backward in this respect."

Oh, very generous of 'The South'. Religion doesn't matter, but it just so happens all 'The Prods' have just about disappeared.

LOL

Horseman said...

Anonymous,

I don't know how well you know the south, or what age you are, but your idea of what the south was like in the past is wrong. Either you're being political or you just absorbed too much anti-southern propaganda.

As for your 'edicts', I know (maybe you do too?) children of southern mixed marriages who were brought up as Prods - one family I knew divided the kids 50/50 (luckily there were an even number!)(this happened 50 years ago, btw).

I suppose you are aware that there are religious schools in England too? It isn't a uniquely Irish thing.

Your last point is strange - because states share a lot of liberal western values they should unite, is that it? I resume, then, that you are a fervnt Eurofederalist? No? How did I guess.

Paddy Canuck said...

"It was not inter-marriage that presented any problems, but the edict of The RC Church that all children resulting would be brought up RC."

That's got nothing to do with the government of the Republic of Ireland or any other government. It's not in their scope to legislate the policies of any particular church. The same rule applied when my Protestant grandfathers married my Catholic grandmothers here in Canada; that's why both my parents are Catholic. What, is that Dublin's fault somehow too?

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, PC and Horseman.

Croppie dont lie down.

Its great to see this b/s which I have been listening to for over 30 years being met head on and ripped to shreads and those propagating it are exposed as for what they are: anti-Irish bigots who cannot see beyond the end of their noses.

MPG .....

Paddy Canuck said...

"why then doesn't The ROI apply to rejoin The UK?"

Two answers to this. The first is facetious, but... have you looked the the UK's deficit spending as a percentage of GDP lately? Makes the Yanks go "WHOA...!" You're supposed to get OFF the Titanic, not climb aboard. :)

The actual reply is that you'd have to be phenomenally stupid and/or ignorant of Irish history over the past several centuries to moot this suggestion. Ireland is demonstrably not a part of Great Britain... but the same is obviously not true of "Northern" Ireland vis-a-vis Ireland. And if one is there and believes oneself to be British and in no way Irish, well... Britain is that big island over there... --->

Anonymous said...

Horseman said:

"I don't know how well you know the south, or what age you are, but your idea of what the south was like in the past is wrong. Either you're being political or you just absorbed too much anti-southern propaganda."

It's all in the public domain Horseman. The reality is that there were too few Protestants in The South to kick up a fuss (and almost none now). In The North there was a very large Catholic minority that could organise against any perceived injustices. The IRA hijacked their campaign and violence exploded - hence the world's spotlight was turned on Ulster's faults (real or imagined), unlike in Ireland. But it's all out there for those who care to look.

"As for your 'edicts', I know (maybe you do too?) children of southern mixed marriages who were brought up as Prods - one family I knew divided the kids 50/50 (luckily there were an even number!)(this happened 50 years ago, btw)."

Yes, this did happen, but not often enough. Perhaps you could produce a graph showing what percentage of children from mixed marriages in Ireland were brought up Protestants say from partition to the current day?

"I suppose you are aware that there are religious schools in England too? It isn't a uniquely Irish thing."

Yes, but the vast majority of schools in England were secular, certainly following the war.

"Your last point is strange - because states share a lot of liberal western values they should unite, is that it? I resume, then, that you are a fervnt Eurofederalist? No? How did I guess."

The point I'm making is, that according to you, Ireland and Ulster are pretty alike and religion is irrelevant, therefore they should unite. You could say the same about The UK and The ROI. As for Europe, they all speak different languages, so hardly the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Paddy Canuck said:

"That's got nothing to do with the government of the Republic of Ireland or any other government. It's not in their scope to legislate the policies of any particular church."

What are you talking about? If a church had sacrifices of children every Sunday, the Irish state would soon intervene (I presume). Even as we speak, The UK state is talking about forcing clergy to carry out gay civil marriages against the wishes of the church. The Irish State didn't want to intervene, because it's politicians were virtual slaves to The Irish Bishops and in fact it suited the politicians to see The Protestant population fall.

Anonymous said...

MPG said:

"Its great to see this b/s which I have been listening to for over 30 years being met head on and ripped to shreads and those propagating it are exposed as for what they are: anti-Irish bigots who cannot see beyond the end of their noses."

The only thing being exposed MPG is the cess pit that was Ireland. Open your eyes.

Anonymous said...

Paddy Canuck said:

"why then doesn't The ROI apply to rejoin The UK?

Two answers to this. The first is facetious, but... have you looked the the UK's deficit spending as a percentage of GDP lately? Makes the Yanks go "WHOA...!" You're supposed to get OFF the Titanic, not climb aboard. :)"

You're a character Paddy! Have you seen The American figures on debt? As for Ireland, it's in with The PIGS! (look it up mate - or ask Horseman).

"The actual reply is that you'd have to be phenomenally stupid and/or ignorant of Irish history over the past several centuries to moot this suggestion. Ireland is demonstrably not a part of Great Britain... but the same is obviously not true of "Northern" Ireland vis-a-vis Ireland."

It is because I say it is? LOL

"And if one is there and believes oneself to be British and in no way Irish, well... Britain is that big island over there... --->"

I presume that also applies to all those who see themselves as Irish living on The UK mainland? I think it's safe to say there's plenty on the mainland who'd like to see the back of there arses!

Horseman said...

Anonymous (4 March 2010 12:33),

There are still a lot of Prods in the south - 161,291 in 2006 - and their number is increasing.

I don't know if there are any stats on what propportion of mixed-marriage kids are brought up as Catholic. I'd say its more than half - just as in the north, btw.

Um, of course 'Ulster' and 'Ireland' are alike, because Ulster is part of Ireland! I presume you meant the north and the south? You should be more precise in your use of names.

And what is your point about languages? You come across as a frightened monoglot.

Paddy Canuck said...

"Yes, this did happen, but not often enough. Perhaps you could produce a graph showing what percentage of children from mixed marriages in Ireland were brought up Protestants"

What on EARTH could that possibly have to do with the question of systemic discrimination in the Republic? Individual parents decide what, if any, religious instruction their children will get, not Leinster House. The Republic isn't a "cold house" for Protestants; it's a place where being Protestant clearly isn't the overarching concern of people who happen to be Protestant. Whose fault is that? Is it even a fault?

"What are you talking about? If a church had sacrifices of children every Sunday..."

What are YOU foaming about? They DON'T. One can either be Catholic, or Protestant of one or another denomination. Having to make the determination of which is hardly comparable to human sacrifice.

Every organized religion has the right to determine who is, and who is not, a communicant. Governments don't interfere in that. It's completely within the rights of the Catholic Church to say, "If you want to be married, to a non-Catholic, in the eyes of the Catholic Church, you must be married in the Catholic Church. Furthermore, you must agree to raise the children as Catholics." Now, if being seen as married in the eyes of the Catholic Church is very important to the person, then those are conditions. If not, they can either continue attending Catholic Church but not be seen as married by it, or they can change denomination. There's no torture involved, much less human sacrifice; it's a value judgement for the individuals involved to make. Where is the state's role in the matter?

Put another way: do you think the British government ought to say to the Orange Lodge, "Look, we don't care that you've defined yourself a certain way; you don't have the right to decide who your members are and on what basis they can join or be barred, so from now on, you have to let Catholics and Muslims join..."? Well, if the OO has the right to decide who its members are and what the qualifications are, then obviously, so do the various churches, no?

"Even as we speak, The UK state is talking about forcing clergy to carry out gay civil marriages against the wishes of the church."

I highly doubt that to be true.

Paddy Canuck said...

"Have you seen The American figures on debt?"

Yes, I saw a nation-by-nation comparison in The Globe and Mail a couple of days ago; that's why I commented on it. The deficit-as-percent-of-GDP figures for the UK were the ones that were truly eyeball-searing: into double digits projected for this year and onward. Just yesterday the paper reported that the UK is on the verge of a debt crisis of Greek proportions, but outside the safety net of the euro (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/britain-grapples-with-debt-of-greek-proportions/article1488285/). As far as comparisons to the States goes, I found these interesting:

"British household debt is now 170 per cent of overall annual income, compared with 130 per cent in the United States,"

and "In Europe, the average deficit is about 6 per cent of GDP and in the U.K. it's 12 per cent. It is only just beginning,"

and "the British government... has been able to finance a budget deficit of 12.5 per cent of GDP - equal to Greece's - at an interest rate more than two full percentage points lower only because the Bank of England bought the majority of the bonds it issued last year." And you wonder why the Irish wouldn't climb on board that?

"It is because I say it is? LOL"

Well, then, it won't be when the majority says it ain't... right? Sauce for goose, meet gander.

"I presume that also applies to all those who see themselves as Irish living on The UK mainland?"

Yeah, as soon as they start claiming parts of England aren't parts of England but are in fact parts of Ireland, yes, then that will apply. Till then, they're simply Irishmen living in another country they fully acknowledge is someone else's. and not part of their own.

"I think it's safe to say there's plenty on the mainland who'd like to see the back of there arses!"

Well, if they do, hopefully they'll pucker up. ...Y'know, for a big good-bye kiss, of course. Preferably on both cheeks. :)

Paddy Canuck said...

"There are still a lot of Prods in the south - 161,291 in 2006 - and their number is increasing."

I read recently that there's been an upsurge in the number of people in the Republic heading over to the Church of Ireland. I completely get this. I might have been baptized a Catholic, but if I were to become serious about going to church, I'm pretty sure I would be heading to Anglicans too. It's a much more modern church in virtually every respect, while maintaining most of the things that are beautiful and enjoyable in the Mass and the liturgy. What does it mean for the future of Ireland? One more sign there's less and less dividing the land north and south. ...Though somehow I don't expect to see many southern C of I folk tromping down the Garvaghy Road. :)

paul said...

"I think it's safe to say there's plenty on the mainland who'd like to see the back of there arses!"

sounds good send them back to ni and we'll get the border poll on the boil.

Anonymous said...

Paddy Canuck said:

""Even as we speak, The UK state is talking about forcing clergy to carry out gay civil marriages against the wishes of the church."

I highly doubt that to be true."

Then try reading the bloody UK news.

And whilst you're at it, try reading the posts on this blog more carefully - we've been discussing Ireland since partition, not since yesterday morning.

Anonymous said...

Most of them moved to England from that cess pit just to the south of British Ulster.

Paddy Canuck said...

"Then try reading the bloody UK news."

Try posting a link to it if you're purporting it to exist. I don't doubt you've read something tangential to it... I just don't think you understood it. And I'll tell you why.

The United Kingdom does not yet recognize same-sex marriages. Period. That's it. The government there recognizes CIVIL UNIONS. Churches do not preform civil unions. By definition, the state does: hence "civil". So, please, go ahead and explain to us how the British government is on the verge of forcing churches to do something IT DOES NOT EVEN PERFORM OR RECOGNIZE ITSELF. I'd just love to hear how that's possible.

See, I DO live in a country that has same-sex marriage. Full, constitutionally mandated, exactly legally equivalent same-sex marriage. But even here, even with the Constitution and the Supreme Court having said governments MUST perform fully marriages for partners of the same sex, religious organizations cannot be compelled by law to perform same-sex marriages. Only the state apparatuses of the provinces are compelled to do so (because marriage is a provincial power in Canada). So if it isn't compulsory here were we DO have same-sex marriage, not just "civil unions", how is it possible in the UK where same-sex marriage does not exist?

I'm betting you read somewhere that the British government is gearing up to recognize same-sex marriage (like Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, etc.), and you've leapt to the conclusion that this means they're going to force this on the churches. Now if I'm wrong, please quote the article (not just opinion piece, but new article) or proposed legislation that supposedly tells the churches what to do or believe. Otherwise, go read something yourself. I already have.

Anonymous said...

To Paul. If there was 20 ine every house does that tell you something. Yes, what happened to contraception. But then thats against the teaching of the Catholic Church. So therefore would it not be a better idea to have the Catholic Church to build the nationalist community thousands of 10 bedroom houses to accomodate all the breeding instead of blaming the Unionist community for the poverty. No matter what country a race may live in there is no doubt when there are too many born to each family, poverty is inevitable. And no offence intended.

Anonymous said...

Oh Yes indeed. The South is warm to prods as long as they become Catholics and their children are brought up Catholics. Your second point, only a bigot cares what religion the children are bought up in. Well what does that say for the Catholic Church then, who dont mind if a Protestant marries a Catholic as long as its in a Catholic Church and the Prod takes on the Catholic views and their children are brought up versed in the Catholic religion.
Just a wee bit of hyprocrasy there dont you think!