Wednesday 10 February 2010

Plan B – the Anglo Irish Agreement on acid

That is what Liam Clarke reckons Plan B would be, in the event of the Institutions being brought down.
"What we can expect, if Stormont self destructs, is more "jointery" short of joint authority. That would involve a formal Irish role in the representation of nationalist interests and routine cross border consultation on all major decisions. It will be, as one diplomat told me last year, like the "Anglo Irish Agreement on acid". The DUP, who trumpeted their good relations with Fianna Fail, would be in no position to complain after they had failed to provide stable government themselves."

As so often over the past generation, unionism finds itself in a ratchet. Every development seems to involve the increasing roll-back of unionism. Every 'cunning plan' ends with unionism worse off than before. Eventually they will realise – there will be no return to the unionist utopia of yesteryear. The future will be greener, just as the population will be greener. A far more healthy policy (mentally, at least) would be to accept the reality of their situation and adjust to it.

44 comments:

nixtuff said...

I agree with your premise that Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will not remain separated forever.

I however also reject the idea that NI will leave the UK to join the ROI - as I honestly think that by the time NI is ready to switch, the EU will be so powerful, the idea of the UK and ROI being different nations till be irrelevant.

peteram79 said...

I don't quite get this — Republicans are creaming themselves at the "victories" that Scum Fein keep winning as they commit themselves more and more deeply to accepting British rule and institutions in NI. Yet, at the same time, they are looking forward to the collapse of all the Scum Fein has "achieved" on the assumption that the RoI might get some sort of unspecified bigger say in NI afairs.

So which is it? I suspect neither. Hence the conclusion, which is repeated on here like a broken record, that the unionists should simply accept their fate and agree to a UI sooner rather than later, which, based as it is on a flawed demographics argument, seems to be the only tool left in the box for how a UI could possibly be brought about. Toss in a ridiculous claim that the unionists want a return to pre-1969 conditions (err, Faulkner offered power sharing, unprompted by any outside actors and with the support of a majority in the UUP, way back in 1971) and you have a case that might fool the sort of person who believes all they read in the Andytown News to be true, but no-one else.

The most relevant part of Clark's article is thus: "The SDLP and UUP could demand changes in the efficiency of the Assembly and a formal role, with entrenched rights, for parties who voluntarily go into opposition. If they didn’t get that then they might have a case which the public would accept for pulling out of the administration". This is exciting. Once the D'Hondt principles are overruled, once it's proven beyond doubt that the GFA terms are evolutionary and not binding, it sets in motion the transition to proper democracy and the eventual end of sectarian parties such the DUP and Scum Fein.

All within a devolved but integral part of the UK, with the constitutional question consigned to the history books and the "folk tales" of loveable Grandad Marty, living out his final days on his generous British MP's pension.

Anonymous said...

"a flawed demographics argument, [which] seems to be the only tool left in the box for how a UI could possibly be brought about."

It's the only tool that's needed. Catholics already outnumber Protestants by quite a bit among the youth.

If you genuinely think the analysis is flawed I'd just ignore this blog, as you have nothing to worry about.

Ivan said...

A very good point by 'anonymous' above. Anyone *genuinely* convinced that the demographics argument is fallacious would hardly be getting his/her brain exercised by this blog to the extent of posting here.(RU reading this,Andy?)

New times, New approach said...

Nixtuff, I suspect I am a fair bit older than you because I remember that individual nations being subsumed into a powerful Europe argument when we were anticipating the 'Common Market' and again when it became the 'EEC'.
You have to look at the British psyche, deep within which is an instinctive mistrust of Johnny Foreigner. After all these years they still don't want to use the Euro, doubtless feeling that it would be the beginning of the end for Britannia, so I wouldn't hold my breath!

Peteram79, Do you not think that you are undermining an informed and in some places rational argument by referring to our second largest political party as 'scum'.
As regards your reference to the old Unionist saw of 'proper democracy'. Just think for a while. Six of Ulster's counties have not been an adjoining country to the other 26 since time immemorial. They are an ill-conceived entity based entirely on how to ensure a sizable protestant majority. Is that, do you think, how the rest of the world would understand the term 'democracy'? Fortunately the minds of its architects were also too narrow to see what the demographic consequences of the pope's dislike for contraceptives (not necessary when you're dealing with boys) would be.
If you honestly feel the demographic argument is flawed, can we have some evidence please? Aren't some of those schoolchildren going to exercise their 'democratic' right to vote in the future?

peteram79 said...

NTNA

Gerry Adams, terrorist, Martin McGuiness, terrorist, Gerry Kelly, terrorist, Paul Butler, terrorist, continue ad infinitum. Just because a lot of misguided people can hold their noses and vote for these murderous scumbags, it doesn't make them any less scum. So I will continue to make reference to Scum Fein with little concern for undermining any argument.

On the demographics argument, as I've stated before, Catholic doesn't mean nationalist. i'd be surprised if, in a referendum, more than 60% of voters from the Catholic community would actually vote for the social and economic catastrophe that would be a United Ireland. People vote with their pockets.

And, as regards democracy, let's take it back to the 1918 general election (a favourite Republican topic). The majority of voters in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland voted for Unionist parties. A majority of people on the island of Ireland voted for nationalist parties. A majority of people in Northern Ireland voted for unionist parties. Which majority do you want to go with? Unsurprisingly, you want to highlight the majority of people on the island of Ireland. But why wasn't the will of the whole UK respected? Partition and Northern Ireland represented the least worst option between intractable positions. It still does and any referendum held within the next 100 years will show that it will continue to do so.

And that's the reason I add the odd comment to this blog. To try to shake up a few pre-conceived ideas that I think are wrong. If I don't, I haven't lost anything, it helps me understand some of the things the future prosperous and stable Northern Ireland is up against.

Anonymous said...

peteram79 :

In the event that the Scottish nation votes for independence, would the democratically defeated unionist minority have the right to partition Scotland and secede from Scotland - against the wishes of the majority ?

- Munsterman

hoboroad said...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/7199532/Joanne-Cash-will-stay-as-Tory-candidate-after-24-hours-of-confusion.html

New times, New approach said...

Peteram79,

Aren't you leaving out the Home Rule Act of 1914? In this the government of the UK committed themselves to a parliament in Dublin. As Yeats wrote of this commitment in 'Easter 1916', 'Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.'
The subsequent partition of the country was, with the benefit of hindsight a catastrophic attempt to assuage the planter community in the six counties who, after 300 odd years had still shown no capacity to integrate with the indigenous community (with the noble exception of the major contribution of the Ulster dissenters to the United Irishmen in 1798).
So lets not roll out the 'which majority do you want to go with' argument. Britain was already committed to Irish devolution.

As regards motivation for voting, if your logic were correct then the catholic electorate would not have moved en masse from the basically collaborationist SDLP to Sinn Féin. There's more to life than money.
I am glad though that you are looking forward to a prosperous and stable N.I. even if the major party will, as Horseman has demonstrated by in-depth analysis of population statistics, be 'scum'.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"In the event that the Scottish nation votes for independence, would the democratically defeated unionist minority have the right to partition Scotland and secede from Scotland - against the wishes of the majority ?"

If that Unionist minority is all in one region of Scotland - yes, of course they could. They could then stay with England or go independent. It would be completely up to them - it's called self determination.

And they could call the new state anything they liked. British Scotland perhaps.

Anonymous said...

"If that unionist minority is all in one region... - yes, of course they could."

Not according to the GFA.

- Munsterman

Anonymous said...

It's where people live that matters - nothing else. That is the essence of self determination. It doesn't even matter how they got there. Look at the history of Europe - borders have floated around continuously, sometimes due to conquest with ethnic cleansing/new settlement, sometimes just conquest and control of the indigenous population, sometimes conquest and control with new settlers sharing land with those who lived there previously. In Ulster, 'The Planters' had absolutely no obligation to integrate with 'The Natives', especially not at that time, when real democracy was pretty much unknown.

Can 10 million Germans return to Silesia, Pomerania and East Prussia where they had lived for a thousand years prior to WWII? Are The Germans even asking for this? NO, of course not. They've moved on.

The Irish border exists and this is 2010. Time for Irish Nationalism to sink into the mists of time.

Paddy Canuck said...

I remember hearing an interview with Ian Paisley (it's available on YouTube, in fact) from a few years ago, I think with David Frost, where he was asked why he finally decided to play nice with nationalists and he came right out and said that it was because the British had threatened him with "Plan B". He didn't actually expand on what "Plan B" entailed, but the only thing that I could think of that was worse than the prospect of having to cooperate with nationalists in running Northern Ireland day-to-day was someone from the Home Office saying, "Here's Plan B, Doc: Leinster House gets to tell Belfast what colour underwear to put on in the morning, and Westminster rubber stamps it [the order, not the underwear]". Clark's suggestion reads a little bit like that. I'm not surprised.

Paddy Canuck said...

"Toss in a ridiculous claim that the unionists want a return to pre-1969 conditions (err, Faulkner offered power sharing, unprompted by any outside actors and with the support of a majority in the UUP, way back in 1971)"

And what happened to him... do you remember? Even I do. So on what basis is the claim "ridiculous"...?

Paddy Canuck said...

"Gerry Adams, terrorist, Martin McGuiness, terrorist, Gerry Kelly, terrorist, Paul Butler, terrorist, continue ad infinitum."

Just so you know, Pete, a lot of us out here in the wider world with no personal stake in day-to-day matters feel the same way about the RUC and British Army, ad infinitum. The only difference is, it's state-sponsored and there are no high-profile names to chuck around.

I had a lot of sympathy for the unionist cause once, before I actually understood what was going on in Northern Ireland. The long and the short is, if you want to simply mire yourself in calumnies, you're a lingering part of the very problem you're pointing fingers at. Recognize that your opponents were motivated by legitimate self-interest the same as you, and move on.

Paddy Canuck said...

"People vote with their pockets."

Oh, do they? So why didn't Ulster rush to join the ROI when the Celtic Tiger was the unbeatable wunderkind of Europe, then? Maybe there's more to identity than you purport.

Paddy Canuck said...

"A majority of people in Northern Ireland voted for unionist parties. Which majority do you want to go with? Unsurprisingly, you want to highlight the majority of people on the island of Ireland. But why wasn't the will of the whole UK respected?"

Very well, then; will you agree to let Fermanagh, South Armagh, or Derry accede to the Republic of Ireland if they return Nationalist representatives in the next election? What arbitrary limits do you place on the principle you otherwise champion?

Paddy Canuck said...

"The Irish border exists and this is 2010. Time for Irish Nationalism to sink into the mists of time."

The Irish Sea exists, regardless of the year. Perhaps, in truth, it's time for Unionism to recognize an even greater truth: those who are "British" are on the far side of that sea.

Anonymous said...

Paddy Canuck said:

"The Irish Sea exists, regardless of the year. Perhaps, in truth, it's time for Unionism to recognize an even greater truth: those who are "British" are on the far side of that sea."

What about those from Ireland or their children who live in England - are they all British and not Irish?

Paddy Canuck said...

"What about those from Ireland or their children who live in England - are they all British and not Irish?"

Good point. How many English counties are they claiming to be part of the Irish Republic and ruled by Dublin, again? I seem to have lost count...

peteram79 said...

NTNA, you are playing fast and loose with history, and I suspect you know it.

The Home Rule Bill of 1914, following the successful Ulster Resistance movement, already contained provisos exempting the north east of Ireland from any Dublin rule of they didn't want it.

As regards the failure of Planters to integrate, there were three communities in Ulster until well into the C19, Anglican, Dissenter and Roman Catolic and none of them integrated with each other. So why try to point the finger at a homogenous Protestant block that didn't exist except in the last 50 years of the 300 year period to which you refer?

Paddy Canuck, you've clearly fallen hook, line and sinker for the Gerry Adams history of Oireland. Fortunately, your ill-informed bile, while lapped up by fellow Republican travellers on the web, has no relevance as we look to move NI society forward. You will be left behind just as, in time, your mates Gerry and Martin will be

Anonymous said...

Try to stick to your own point Canuck.

Anonymous said...

pete= dreamer, one word substansiate? How are you so sure?

Horseman is presenting a picture, which he believes, through his own analysis, will prevail!

He has not said that it will happen but only that it might or will happen if certain critera fall into place. I hope so too with all my heart.

Anonymous said...

Peter,

By your logic Scottish independence shouldn't just be in the hands of Scotsmen. It should equally be in the hands of people in London, Cardiff and Belfast to decide if Scotland becomes independent?!

Why don't you go to Edinburgh and tell them that and see what response you get. Unionists in Ulster will talk any rubbish to defend partition no matter how ridiculous.

At best 3 counties should have been partitioned.

Paddy Canuck said...

"Try to stick to your own point Canuck."

It IS precisely my point. The "Irish" of England might identify with Ireland, and might even hold its citizenship... but they don't presume to hold parts of other countries and their inhabitants hostage to that identity simply because they've crossed the Irish Sea. If you don't understand the difference, then you'll happily concede Liverpool at least ought to be run by Dublin. If you think that's objectionable... THEN YOU GET MY POINT EXACTLY. And thank you for helping me put a fine point on it.

Paddy Canuck said...

Pete...

"Paddy Canuck, you've clearly fallen hook, line and sinker for the Gerry Adams history of Oireland."

So, what, there wasn't interment without trial, there wasn't discrimination against Catholics in terms of jobs and housing, there weren't Paisleyite riots simply because someone had an Irish flag in the window, there weren't unarmed young people shot dead in the streets in 1972 just for opposing the status quo, places like Derry didn't disenfranchise majority Catholic populations by means of gerrymandering that was unopposed by a Westminster unwilling to uphold the finer points of the British constitution in Northern Ireland for generations, there aren't to this day riots every summer when belligerent ignoramuses parade ancient symbols of bigotry and triumphalism into neighbourhoods they KNOW don't welcome it...? All that is the mere invention of the Shinners to pull the wool over the eyes of the "Gaels of America" to suck money out of them as they sing the auld songs and weep into green beer? Sorry, pal, I don't buy it. I think we both know better.

Paddy Canuck said...

"At best 3 counties should have been partitioned."

I think you mean "at worst". At best, NONE should have been.

Anonymous said...

Gimme you, Paddy Canuck!

peteram79 said...

To the first anonymous, I've said it before and I'll say it again, a vote for the SDLP in an election where the constitutional question is not up for grabs is not the same as a vote for an All-Ireland. Neither even, I suspect, is that even the case for the moderate end of the Scum Fein voting block.

I can give concrete examples of the sorts of people from the "Catholic community" (for want of a better definition) who would at least abstain in a referendum - the comfortable Catholic upper middle classes, young professionals with families, the vast majority of Catholic NICS staff worried about their jobs, anyone who stops to consider the impact that unification would have on their pockets and their quality of life.

There simply isn't this distinction in the "Protestant community". Over 99pc would vote no to a United Ireland and turnout rates would be through the roof.

And if you can't see the realism in that scenario, then I'm afraid you are the dreamer. Those who wish for a UI, as they are obviously entitled to do, need to start trying to persuade those unconvinced that it would be a good idea. They're doing a fairly poor job so far.

To the second anonymous, while self-determination is obviously a good thing in theory, what I was getting at was where you draw the line. If you go back to the early 20s, the majority of the UK would have wanted the whole of Ireland to remain part of the UK, part of their cherished Empire. The majority of Ireland as an island wanted independence, the majority of what became NI wanted Ireland as a whole to be part of the UK too. So which majority do you go with? As it was, they came up with a solution that was least worst for all sides, but no side got what they wanted. The GFA, which was clearly ratified both in NI and RoI, sets the terms of self-determination for N|I as being up to the people of NI. So it doesn't matter if you personally think Ireland should never have been partitioned, the people of Ireland as whole recognise it and leave it open for NI to choose. It is self-determination for NI and, for as lng as we both live I expect, NI will choose to be part of the UK. That's democracy for you.

Paddy Canuck, you do realise that unionists could compile a list equally as long with their grievances against the Republican movement? You understand? It's not just Brits and Prods bad, poor downtrodden Cafflcks beaten down but courageously resisting the oppressor by randonly murdering innocent men, women and chldren all over the shop, you get that right?

Paddy Canuck said...

"Paddy Canuck, you do realise that unionists could compile a list equally as long with their grievances against the Republican movement?"

No, Pete, they could not, because they have never been in the same position as the Catholic minority in Northern Ireland; neither in that statelet nor in the whole of Ireland previously. They can at best complain of the violent blowback that has periodically resulted, over the centuries, from the policies they've entrenched and supported. Whites in South Africa had "grievances" against the ANC. But it's not the same thing as having suffered the shitty end of the Apartheid stick... nor the shitty end of the "Protestant parliament for a Protestant people" stick that saw only one major piece of Catholic-initiated legislation, the Protection of Birds Act, 1954, passed in the history of statelet before direct rule, and not a single Catholic minister in all that time.

Your analysis of any referendum on a united Ireland is, for the moment, likely correct. However, it's no stretch to state that this current period is, really, Northern Ireland's last shot at surviving as such into the future. The British have already signed off on acceding to the wishes of the majority. If the Protestants of Northern Ireland allow themselves to be stampeded into the corrals of parties who really do believe if they all stick together they can turn the clock back to 1970 or even 1960, they're going to waste that last chance. Their children already go away for educations and don't come back. Demographically, the numbers of those who would be driven into nationalist camps by their actions grow day by day. They need to be reaching out, not reaching back. If they retreat into fear and hatred and try to disestablish what's been achieved, they may, for a time, have their way. But that time will be brief, and they will bring about by their own actions the very thing they fear the most. That's clear.

"It's not just Brits and Prods bad, poor downtrodden Cafflcks beaten down but courageously resisting the oppressor by randonly murdering innocent men, women and chldren all over the shop, you get that right?"

I do understand that's it's more complicated than that in the fine points. But if you're looking for a succinct overview of the history of Northern Ireland over the past 50 years or so, you've nicely summed it up yourself, and few in the world outside the Unionists of Northern Ireland would take strenuous issue with it in terms of the broad strokes.

Paddy Canuck said...

"If you go back to the early 20s, the majority of the UK would have wanted the whole of Ireland to remain part of the UK, part of their cherished Empire."

Indeed. It's not as if they just said, "Off you go, then, Paddy." As I recall, legislation notwithstanding, bringing it about actually took a little something called the Anglo-Irish War. Some lessons are hard to learn. A generation later, Winston Churchill blew a whole lot of balloon juice about the rights of nations to self-determination, but he sure clamped the valves on that down tight when it came to India expecting the same things that England had fought for for itself.

"So which majority do you go with?"

Yeah, you've asked that question before, but you haven't answered it when the localized majority happens to be in Derry, Fermanagh, South Armagh, etc. Why can't they choose for themselves, as well?

peteram79 said...

PC, we're finally getting a bit of sense out of you, good man.

Studies of the Stormont regime at a council level have shown that, in areas where there was a Catholic majority and hence Catolic control of the council, the discrimination suffered by minority Protestants was on average significantly worsae than suffered by minority Catholics when the situation was reversed. So that's where your "poor Cafflicks were always on the receiving end from their nasty Prod overlords" argument falls down. Both sides were guilty of extreme prejudice when they had the reins of power. The only seriouscharge that really sticks against the Stormont regime was gerrymandering so that they controlled more searts of power than if things had been done more equitably. But there is nothing on either side of the border to suggest that a Catholic majority would not have exactly the same thing had they had the chance. Remember also that unionism was and remains the majority creed in NI, which is where the lazy comparison withminority rule Afrikaaners falls apart.

I'm glad you realise that my reading of the demographic situation is accurate, rather than most of the deluded souls on this blog. I further agree that unionism needs to do more to make moderate Catholics more comfortable with their economic unionism and I sincerely hope the NF is a step in the right direction. However, I don't think the situation is likely to change any time in the future or that unionism is living on borrowed time. I also fail to see any Unionist politicians seriously advocating a return to one-party Unionist rule, they simply and understandably would prefer to share power with nationalists that aren't terrorist scum. hopefully this wil be possible in a few years time.

I'm also glad that you agree that the IRA campaign consisted of "randonly murdering innocent men, women and chldren all over the shop". It's good to know that North Americans can now condemn terror of all types, not just when it's directed against them by those of a more dusky hue.

As for the majority question, both states in Ireland, NI and the RoI, agreed in the GFA that it's up to the majority in NI to decide where NI as a whole stands constitutionally. That's why counties with a Catholic majority don't get their own individual self-determination, because, err, a vast majority of all the people on this island made a decision. It's called democracy.

Paddy Canuck said...

"Studies of the Stormont regime at a council level"

Like...?

"So that's where your "poor Cafflicks were always on the receiving end from their nasty Prod overlords" argument falls down."

You haven't actually said where "where" is yet. You've just supposed studies out of thin air as ipse dixits that we're not supposed to question. What studies, conducted by whom to demonstrate what, and where can we see these studies? WHAT Catholic majority areas? The biggest one I'm aware of is Derry, and Derry had 14 Protestant councilors to 8 Catholics at a time when Catholics outnumbered Protestants roughly 2:1... so what regions are YOU talking about?

I do know that during the period you're talking about, the Republic -- famous among Unionists for its dwindling Protestant population (chased out? More likely intermarried, like both of my grandfathers), had Protestant presidents, whereas Northern Ireland couldn't even muster a Catholic minister of state. So where's this vast discrimination against Protestants: the lack of housing, the withheld jobs and opportunities, the naked political disenfranchisement?

"The only seriouscharge that really sticks against the Stormont regime was gerrymandering"

You wish. Gerrymandering STILL goes on in much of the United States, where parties in power have the ability to re-engineer electoral districts... but I don't see people rising in arms there for that alone. So I'd say there are more charges against Stormont that stick than just that, given all indications...

"I don't think the situation is likely to change any time in the future or that unionism is living on borrowed time."

Then you're the one who's being unrealistic. The numbers are plainly against unionism's long term survival if current trends towards the DUP and TUV exclusionism continue. Make no mistake: the Catholics of Ulster WILL, and soon, be "at home"... and if not by accommodation in Northern Ireland, then, perforce, in another arrangement. But that they will be accommodated one way or the other is inevitable. Which depends on the behaviour of Protestants on the retreat from the nadir of exclusive power.

"I also fail to see any Unionist politicians seriously advocating a return to one-party Unionist rule, they simply and understandably would prefer to share power with nationalists that aren't terrorist scum."

...Which is any nationalist at all, on the basis of what they ultimately espouse by dint of being "nationalists" in the first place. Stop being twee; it doesn't wash.

"I'm also glad that you agree that the IRA campaign consisted of "randonly murdering innocent men..."

I didn't, actually; I was quoting you for context. It's clear to me that while the activities of the various Republican paramilitaries in Ireland did result in the deaths of many hundreds of innocent, ordinary people, they also typically finely targetted military and organizational structures in a way that, on the other hand, Loyalist paramilitary groups never did: THEIR attacks were essentially nothing more than random attacks on everyday Catholics. To me, this is the difference between chaotic but directional armed resistance to an intractable political regime on the one hand, and simple Klanesque lynch mobs aimed on the other. Neither one should have had to come about, but the character of the Northern Irish state since its inception, and the refusal to reform it, made it essentially inevitable.

Paddy Canuck said...

"NI and the RoI, agreed in the GFA that it's up to the majority in NI to decide where NI as a whole stands constitutionally"

This agreement does fix the level of granularity, at least currently. And as such, it has led to a modus vivendi that provides the polity with stability. Disenfranchising areas of Ireland in 1998, as was NOT done in 1922, is for the moment a necessary evil to enable the place to develop peacefully. Nevertheless, democracy is not simply a momentary process that delivers a result carved in stone (Blarney or otherwise); it is a system of agreed mutual obligations... the cession of a right to self-determination for these areas implies an onus on the majority to bring about results that justify the suspension of those rights, and if they're not eventually forthcoming in good faith, then it will be clear the responsibilities implicit and explicit in the GFA have been abrogated by the unionist majority, and it will again be legitimate to consider other means of achieving self-determination. That, too, is called democracy.

Paddy Canuck said...

"Remember also that unionism was and remains the majority creed in NI, which is where the lazy comparison withminority rule Afrikaaners falls apart."

...And AFTER the 2011 census...?

peteram79 said...

paddyC

"where can we see these studies?"

Here you go
http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/discrimination/gudgin99.htm

The conclusion is interesting, in light of your view of "inevitable" IRA struggle:
"It is poignant but easy to agree with Patrick Shea’s conclusion after a lifetime in the Northern Ireland civil service

I am totally convinced that whatever may be said about the righting of past wrongs or the maintenance of inherited power and privilege, there has been no moral justification for violence or threat of violence for political ends in Ireland at any time in the present century."

Happy reading

peteram79 said...

Some more views on the subject here

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

Paddy Canuck said...

Pete:

According to the 1971 census on which the data was based, Catholics represented at least 38.5% of the population of Northern Ireland at the time.

Question: if, as the report states, there were 148,000 council flats, of which 45-55, 000 were occupied by Catholics; and if, as it states, they represented 26.1% of all households and 30.7% of council flats, how does this back up your, or their, suggestion that Catholics were not discriminated against? Why were two-fifths of the people in possession of a mere quarter of the homes, and less than a third of those provided by the state? Why were three-fifths entitled to over two thirds of the beneficence of the state, and a staggering three quarters of households? That is, why was it statistically roughly twice as easy for a Protestant to be a householder – with all the rights that entailed in Northern Ireland – in 1971 than it was for a Catholic?

If 4 out of 10 Catholic families lived in council flats but only 3 out of 10 Protestant families die, what was there about Northern Ireland that made it 33% more likely for a Protestant to manage to own his own home or rent something privately than it was for a Catholic? Why so many stories in the report about young Protestants able to strike out on their own, incurring the wrath of large, crowded Catholic families whose children somehow lacked similar opportunities...?

For what it's worth, I've read through the housing section of the report. If there's a section in there that talks about "Catholic-controlled" areas where Protestants took it in the neck in terms of reciprocal housing discrimination, I must have blinked and missed it. Perhaps you could quote it for us?

Paddy Canuck said...

Pete:

Patrick Shea's comments are, as you put it, "interesting" (though not necessarily for the reasons you'd intend). Are we supposed to be impressed that a comfortable civil servant, a Catholic Sir Humphrey Appleby (what a rare specimen indeed!) is opposed to violence, or attempts to overthrow the system he serves? You seem to think so. I'm less impressed. Even Sinn Fein is expected to toe that line these days.

Oddly enough, the remarks with which Shea prefaced that rather blithe, bland platitude seems to have made little or no impression on you... You might want to look at it again. It's that part that tacitly admits to "past wrongs [and] the maintenance of inherited power and privilege".

Happy reading to you too.

Paddy Canuck said...

"Some more views on the subject here"

Ah, you mean like this one, by your token Catholic-made-good, Patrick Shea?...

Patrick Shea was held for many years in the '50s at the rank of Principal Officer, and his Permanent Secretary finally told him that 'because you are a Roman Catholic you may never get any further promotion. I'm sorry' (Shea, 1981: 177). He eventually received promotion, but only several years later and after a change of department (ibid.:183).

Well, at least the guy said he was sorry. Reluctant bigotry is such a credit to a man, don't you think?

Paddy Canuck said...

"only 3 out of 10 Protestant families die"

That should be "only 3 out of 10 Protestant families did". Wow, talk about your Freudian slips. :D

peteram79 said...

So, Paddy, you've asked for the studies, I've given you the studies, which I would take to be pretty even-handed in approach, and you'vve chosen to take issue with one point and one individual to try to justify your ingrained "downtrodeden Catholics" dogma. Well done, good job.

Stormont wasn't perfect by any means but the studies provided explode the myths into which you have wholeheartedly bought. If you can't even attempt to see that, there's really no arguing with you.

Paddy Canuck said...

"and you'vve chosen to take issue with one point and one individual to try to justify your ingrained "downtrodeden Catholics" dogma. Well done, good job."

Thanks, Pete; it's called statistical analysis. It's the difference between simple reading comprehension and the synthesis of new ideas from the raw knowledge comprehension facilitates. I notice you take issue with the fact I undertook to do it, not actually with the conclusions I gleaned from doing so and presented here.

"Stormont wasn't perfect by any means but the studies provided explode the myths into which you have wholeheartedly bought."

Presented with that intent they may have been, but as I demonstrated, they don't dispel these "myths". An only slightly deeper look at the numbers, which you, of course, were unwilling to undertake, actually re-enforces the questions you hoped they'd dismiss, and I demonstrated that here. Sorry if you don't like it, or the fact that I can't be gulled by you waving a few pages in my face in the hopes they constitute enough coverage to paper over a vast wall of Irish history, but that's how it is.

Paddy Canuck said...

"So, Paddy, you've asked for the studies, I've given you the studies"

...which I asked for on the basis of your contention that Protestants were, or would have been, discriminated against in areas with Catholic majorities in Northern Ireland (like, say, Derry, or Enniskillen, where they didn't even control their own assemblies?), and neither of which demonstrates or even attempts to address your supposition.