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Non GAA Discussion => General discussion => Topic started by: Evil Genius on April 07, 2021, 03:23:10 PM

Title: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 07, 2021, 03:23:10 PM
Reading through some of the other threads on here (SF gone away, Voting in Border Poll, SDLP, Leo V etc), I am reminded of the witty aphorism usually attributed to Brendan Behan, that whenever Nationalists meet, the first item on the Agenda is always "The Split"  :D

But for all the amusement to be derived from seeing 40 Shades of Green cutting stripes out of each other, what is more pertinent is that not one of you seem to get the point, which is this.

Frankly, it doesn't matter one jot how many times eg SF demand a Border Poll; or some Southern politician announces a 'road map' to Unification; or how detached Westminster is from NI; or how much pressure comes from Washington or Brussels (or anywhere else, for that matter).

For since the GFA, the Constitutional future of NI is solely in the hands of the people of NI and no-one else. Further, it is only a majority who will ever decide, whether to stay within the UK, or join a UI. All else is bluster and flannel.

And for the people to be entitled to a Referendum, then it will require the SoS for NI to be of the opinion that there may exist a majority for Unity amongst the electorate.

Which means he/she has to look first to how that electorate might vote. Basically speaking, there are two pointers.

The first is to look at voting patterns in recent elections. And as eminent psephologist Prof. Brendan O'Leary pointed out at a SF Fund Raising event in NYC no less(!) a while back, ever since the turn of the century, the "Nationalist" vote in NI, as measured by SF, SDLP and various minor parties, has plateaued at around 42-43%. Moreover, O'Leary opined that he couldn't see that changing in the foreseeable future.

Now it is fair to say that the "Unionist" vote (DUP, UUP, TUV etc) is not any higher. But if Nationalism is to get over the line, it has to muster the bulk of the "Others" (Alliance, Greens, Independents etc) to their cause. Yet if you look at their votes, they are overwhelmingly drawn from Unionist-leaning areas (East Belfast, North Down etc). Therefore in the event of a Referendum, one might expect those of them who did bother to vote, to be Unionist.

Of course, that whole  vote-counting exercise is arguably a misleading one, for a number of reasons. First, people vote in elections (esp local) for individual candidates for a variety of reasons - the candidate may have a personal following; there may be a local issue which skews the vote; custom and habit; or tactical considerations ("keep Themmuns out"). Consequently a vote for a given party may not exactly reflect an individual's preference in a border poll.

And that's only those who actually bother to vote! Many, of course, never go near the voting booth, either because they're disaffected by the political process; or feel they have better things to do; or because they realise that in a heavy Unionist or Nationalist area, their individual vote won't make the slightest bit of difference.

However, as eg Brexit or the last Scottish Referendum showed, in a binary poll like we're talking about, individual votes do make a difference, meaning that many "non-voters" may be tempted to turn out this time.

So if we should be very suspicious of past elections as a guide to which way a Border Poll might go, where do we look? The answer has to be Opinion Polls. Now I know that how the question is asked can often determine the answer which is received etc, and that not all such opinion polls are entirely consistent. Nonetheless, the clear consensus basically since the GFA is that a clear majority (i.e. well over 50% +1) would vote to remain.

Why should this be? Basically because Referenda are at least as much about Identity as they are about the usual political and socio-economic factors which determine elections. And the whole point is Brexit notwithstanding, many in the Nationalist community are broadly satisfied that their Irish identity is now tolerably well recognised and protected, meaning that they are more likely to be concerned about Pensions, NHS, government jobs, DLA etc in such a vote, meaning that many will abstain, or even vote to remain - who needs the disruption, uncertainty, even chaos which might ensue from a UI vote?

Whereas Unionists look at this very differently. Namely, the only way they can preserve their own Identity is by voting to remain in the UK. For at its simplest, if there is no Union, there can be no Unionists, and if they're no longer in the UK, they can no longer be British.

And no amount of assurances of a post-UI state being a "warm house for Unionists" will persuade them to take a chance on it, why should they? It is still remembered that in 1921, the Unionist/Protestant population of the Free State was just over 10%, half a century later it was what demographers deem "statistically insignificant" i.e. under 2 1/2 per cent. (At the same time, the Nationalist/Catholic population in NI was going the other way).

Therefore even if Nationalism can maximise its own traditional vote (highly unlikely imo), it still has no hope of achieving a 50%+ majority, so long as the broader Unionist vote holds up and turns out (highly likely imo).

Which is where the paradox comes in. For every time Nationalism (esp SF) stokes up the temperature* on this issue in order to maximise their own vote, it only causes the Unionist vote to stiffen round the flag.

Which ultimately means that if Nationalism is to woo the persuadeable Unionist voters whom they need, it won't be by castigating them or telling them where they're wrong, mere honeyed words won't be enough. They will also need to demonstrate good faith behind their words, by contributing to good government at Stormont etc, at least while NI is in the UK.

Yet if they do contribute sincerely  and consistently to making NI work to demonstrate their bona fides, that will only make Nationalist waverers less likely to vote for change, while Unionists will conclude that with NI now working better, why should they vote against it?

Above all, the more successful SF is in the Republic, the more determined Unionists will be to vote to remain in the UK, since there is no way on earth that they (including me!) will ever trust our future to a UI political system which could ultimately be dominated by Shinners like the Gerrys Adams and Kelly, none whatever.





* - You know, Barry McElduff and Kingsmills, the Bobby Storey funeral, or Martina Anderson's latest "Brits Out!" outburst etc.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Milltown Row2 on April 07, 2021, 03:34:29 PM
I wonder who'll be up first to tackle that  ::)
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Rossfan on April 07, 2021, 03:34:40 PM
How come people from England, Scotland*, Wales can be British wherever they live in the World but 6 Cos. Unionists can only be British if the 6 Cos. is ruled by Westminster?

* Hopefully not for too long more.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: trailer on April 07, 2021, 03:49:04 PM
Reading through some of the other threads on here (SF gone away, Voting in Border Poll, SDLP, Leo V etc), I am reminded of the witty aphorism usually attributed to Brendan Behan, that whenever Nationalists meet, the first item on the Agenda is always "The Split"  :D

But for all the amusement to be derived from seeing 40 Shades of Green cutting stripes out of each other, what is more pertinent is that not one of you seem to get the point, which is this.

Frankly, it doesn't matter one jot how many times eg SF demand a Border Poll; or some Southern politician announces a 'road map' to Unification; or how detached Westminster is from NI; or how much pressure comes from Washington or Brussels (or anywhere else, for that matter).

For since the GFA, the Constitutional future of NI is solely in the hands of the people of NI and no-one else. Further, it is only a majority who will ever decide, whether to stay within the UK, or join a UI. All else is bluster and flannel.

And for the people to be entitled to a Referendum, then it will require the SoS for NI to be of the opinion that there may exist a majority for Unity amongst the electorate.

Which means you have to look first to how that electorate might vote. Basically speaking, there are two pointers.

The first is to look at voting patterns in recent elections. And as eminent psephologist Prof. Brendan O'Leary pointed out at a SF Fund Raising event in NYC no less(!) a while back, ever since the turn of the century, the "Nationalist" vote in NI, as measured by SF, SDLP and various minor parties, has plateaued at around 42-43%. Moreover, O'Leary opined that he couldn't see that changing in the foreseeable future.

Now it is fair to say that the "Unionist" vote (DUP, UUP, TUV etc) is not any higher. But if Nationalism is to get over the line, it has to muster the bulk of the "Others" (Alliance, Greens, Independents etc) to their cause. Yet if you look at their votes, they are overwhelmingly drawn from Unionist-leaning areas (East Belfast, North Down etc). Therefore in the event of a Referendum, one might expect those of them who did bother to vote, to be Unionist.

Of course, that whole  vote-counting exercise is arguably a misleading one, for a number of reasons. First, people vote in elections (esp local) for individual candidates for a variety of reasons - the candidate may have a personal following; there may be a local issue which skews the vote; custom and habit; or tactical considerations ("keep Themmuns out"). Consequently a vote for a given party may not exactly reflect an individual's preference in a border poll.

And that's only those who actually bother to vote! Many, of course, never go near the voting booth, either because they're disaffected by the political process; or feel they have better things to do; or because they realise that in a heavy Unionist or Nationalist area, their individual vote won't make the slightest bit of difference.

However, as eg Brexit or the last Scottish Referendum showed, in a binary poll like we're talking about, individual votes do make a difference, meaning that many "non-voters" may be tempted to turn out this time.

So if we should be very suspicious of past elections as a guide to which way a Border Poll might go, where do we look? The answer has to be Opinion Polls. Now I know that how the question is asked can often determine the answer which is received etc, and that not all such opinion polls are entirely consistent. Nonetheless, the clear consensus basically since the GFA is that a clear majority (i.e. well over 50% +1) would vote to remain.

Why should this be? Basically because Referenda are at least as much about Identity as they are about the usual political and socio-economic factors which determine elections. And the whole point is Brexit notwithstanding, many in the Nationalist community are broadly satisfied that their Irish identity is now tolerably well recognised and protected, meaning that they are more likely to be concerned about Pensions, NHS, government jobs, DLA etc in such a vote, meaning that many will abstain, or even vote to remain - who needs the disruption, uncertainty, even chaos which might ensue from a UI vote?

Whereas Unionists look at this very differently. Namely, the only way they can preserve their own Identity is by voting to remain in the UK. For at its simplest, if there is no Union, there can be no Unionists, and if they're no longer in the UK, they can no longer be British.

And no amount of assurances of a post-UI state being a "warm house for Unionists" will persuade them to take a chance on it, why should they? It is still remembered that in 1921, the Unionist/Protestant population of the Free State was just over 10%, half a century later it was what demographers deem "statistically insignificant" i.e. under 2 1/2 per cent. (At the same time, the Nationalist/Catholic population in NI was going the other way).

Therefore even if Nationalism can maximise its own traditional vote (highly unlikely imo), it still has no hope of achieving a 50%+ majority, so long as the broader Unionist vote holds up and turns out (highly likely imo).

Which is where the paradox comes in. For every time Nationalism (esp SF) stokes up the temperature* on this issue in order to maximise their own vote, it only causes the Unionist vote to stiffen round the flag.

Which ultimately means that if Nationalism is to woo the persuadeable Unionist voters whom they need, it won't be by castigating them or telling them where they're wrong, in fact mere honeyed words be enough. They will also need to demonstrate their good faith behind the words, by contributing to good government at Stormont etc, at least while NI is in the UK.

Yet if they do contribute sincerely  and consistently to making NI work to demonstrate their bona fides, that will only make Nationalist waverers less likely to vote for change, while Unionists will conclude that with NI now working better, why should they vote it?

Above all, the more successful SF is in the Republic, the more determined Unionists will be to vote to remain in the UK, since there is no way on earth that they (including me!) will ever trust our future to a UI political system which could ultimately be dominated by Shinners like the Gerrys Adams and Kelly, none whatever.





* - You know, Barry McElduff and Kingsmills, the Bobby Storey funeral, or Martina Anderson's latest "Brits Out!" outburst etc.

Some interesting points. A few things to note. There was a time when the ordinary 5/8ths Nationalist had about as much interest in a UI as they had about flying to the Moon, but a few key things changed that. The crocodile remark and Unionist intransigence around all things Irish, Brexit and it's pretty clear that the DUP are trying to run NI on their own and there is little cross party co-operation in the Executive. Many Nationalists who were happy with the status quo, like myself, see no long term future in NI. The ROI is a far more open and progressive society than the North. Young people will want to be part of that, part of the EU. Young people see nothing to fear in the ROI. Indeed they see nothing only upside. If jobs and opportunities dry up, then so will love for NI.

The numbers are changing and while they certainly aren't there yet it would be foolish, especially for Unionism not to be thinking about the what if. Burying your head in the sand and hoping something won't happen is a pretty terrible idea. But I understand that for a Unionist there is no potential upside. You're a Unionist and if NI stops being part of the Union then Unionism dies.

Some things to watch out for.
SF will be the largest party in the next Dail, there is no doubt about that.
Scotland will vote to leave the UK.

Unionism and Unionist leaders need to wake up.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 07, 2021, 03:52:10 PM
How come people from England, Scotland*, Wales can be British wherever they live in the World but 6 Cos. Unionists can only be British if the 6 Cos. is ruled by Westminster?
It is not Brits from Eng/Scot/Wales who choose (emphasise) to live outside the UK who count, since they can always go back to their home in the UK anytime they choose.

Whereas those Briti from NI would not have a UK home to revert to (i.e. "home" being in the 6 counties) in the event of a UI.

Neither should they have to travel to England, Scotland or Wales in order to do so.

In any case, your question is entirely irrelevant, since those people would not get to vote, just the same as Eng/Wales/NI didn't get to vote eg in the Scottish referendum.

So try sticking to the point of my post if you please - it took me long enough to compose it!
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: armaghniac on April 07, 2021, 03:54:46 PM
Whereas those Briti from NI would not have a UK home to revert to (i.e. "home" being in the 6 counties) in the event of a UI.

Britain is still there, and if someone is British and has problems integrating elsewhere then going there seems a good plan.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: general_lee on April 07, 2021, 04:00:37 PM
I wonder who'll be up first to tackle that  ::)
Always a good sign when Unionists go to such lengths to tell us how unlikely reunification is! Despite a compelling argument, the post can’t be properly addressed until the 2021 census results are published and after the next election.

One thing for sure is that Unionism is in complete disarray. The future of the union is far from certain.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Milltown Row2 on April 07, 2021, 04:03:02 PM
Whereas those Briti from NI would not have a UK home to revert to (i.e. "home" being in the 6 counties) in the event of a UI.

Britain is still there, and if someone is British and has problems integrating elsewhere then going there seems a good plan.

Well Arlene is going to do that, and I'm sure some southern protestants moved up north from the border counties at the time
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 07, 2021, 04:04:50 PM
Some interesting points. A few things to note. There was a time when the ordinary 5/8ths Nationalist had about as much interest in a UI as they had about flying to the Moon, but a few key things changed that. The crocodile remark and Unionist intransigence around all things Irish, Brexit and it's pretty clear that the DUP are trying to run NI on their own and there is little cross party co-operation in the Executive. Many Nationalists who were happy with the status quo, like myself, see no long term future in NI. The ROI is a far more open and progressive society than the North. Young people will want to be part of that, part of the EU. Young people see nothing to fear in the ROI. Indeed they see nothing only upside. If jobs and opportunities dry up, then so will love for NI.
You may be correct in  your analysis of Nationalist voting trends in NI, but you still miss my point that even if maximised, 43% or thereabouts is not enough i.e. Nationalism needs to persuade a section of the Unionist vote to change their mind (identity).

And I see no sign of their being caqpable of doing that - quite the reverse, in fact.

The numbers are changing and while they certainly aren't there yet it would be foolish, especially for Unionism not to be thinking about the what if. Burying your head in the sand and hoping something won't happen is a pretty terrible idea. But I understand that for a Unionist there is no potential upside. You're a Unionist and if NI stops being part of the Union then Unionism dies.
Where is your evidence that "the numbers [in NI] are changing"?

Some things to watch out for.
SF will be the largest party in the next Dail, there is no doubt about that.
Scotland will vote to leave the UK.
Should SF be the biggest party in the Dail next time, then that will only stiffen Unionist resolve, not weaken it.

And should Scotland vote to leave (still not certain), that might encourage Nationalists in NI, but it isn't likely to persuade NI's Unionists to change, why should it?

Unionism and Unionist leaders need to wake up.
That may well be true.

But if your complete failure to address my point is anything to go by, so do Nationalists!
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 07, 2021, 04:14:49 PM
Whereas those Briti from NI would not have a UK home to revert to (i.e. "home" being in the 6 counties) in the event of a UI.

Britain is still there, and if someone is British and has problems integrating elsewhere then going there seems a good plan.
So "Brits Out!" it is then!
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/unionists-slam-anderson-for-her-brits-out-message-at-sinn-fein-rally-38377482.html (https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/unionists-slam-anderson-for-her-brits-out-message-at-sinn-fein-rally-38377482.html)

Anyhow, if you don't like living in the UK, why don't you clear off south of the border, too?

I mean, "If someone is Irish and has problems integrating elsewhere then going there seems a good plan" as some sage once said...  ::)
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 07, 2021, 04:19:12 PM
I wonder who'll be up first to tackle that  ::)
Always a good sign when Unionists go to such lengths to tell us how unlikely reunification is! Despite a compelling argument, the post can’t be properly addressed until the 2021 census results are published and after the next election.
How will the 2021 Census predict how, or even whether, people will vote in a Referendum that isn't even certain to be called?

One thing for sure is that Unionism is in complete disarray. The future of the union is far from certain.
With the only other sure thing being that the greater the threat to the Union, the more Unionists will unite.

Especially if it should be SF who are being seen to threaten us (literally).

Oops, there goes that Paradox again!  ;D
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: bennydorano on April 07, 2021, 04:25:47 PM
Some interesting points. A few things to note. There was a time when the ordinary 5/8ths Nationalist had about as much interest in a UI as they had about flying to the Moon, but a few key things changed that. The crocodile remark and Unionist intransigence around all things Irish, Brexit and it's pretty clear that the DUP are trying to run NI on their own and there is little cross party co-operation in the Executive. Many Nationalists who were happy with the status quo, like myself, see no long term future in NI. The ROI is a far more open and progressive society than the North. Young people will want to be part of that, part of the EU. Young people see nothing to fear in the ROI. Indeed they see nothing only upside. If jobs and opportunities dry up, then so will love for NI.
You may be correct in  your analysis of Nationalist voting trends in NI, but you still miss my point that even if maximised, 43% or thereabouts is not enough i.e. Nationalism needs to persuade a section of the Unionist vote to change their mind (identity).

And I see no sign of their being caqpable of doing that - quite the reverse, in fact.

The numbers are changing and while they certainly aren't there yet it would be foolish, especially for Unionism not to be thinking about the what if. Burying your head in the sand and hoping something won't happen is a pretty terrible idea. But I understand that for a Unionist there is no potential upside. You're a Unionist and if NI stops being part of the Union then Unionism dies.
Where is your evidence that "the numbers [in NI] are changing"?

Some things to watch out for.
SF will be the largest party in the next Dail, there is no doubt about that.
Scotland will vote to leave the UK.
Should SF be the biggest party in the Dail next time, then that will only stiffen Unionist resolve, not weaken it.

And should Scotland vote to leave (still not certain), that might encourage Nationalists in NI, but it isn't likely to persuade NI's Unionists to change, why should it?

Unionism and Unionist leaders need to wake up.
That may well be true.

But if your complete failure to address my point is anything to go by, so do Nationalists!

Scotland leaving might not convince NI unionists the UK isn't worth it anymore but you are living in dreamland if you don't think it changes the dynamic. England is the fulcrum of the UK, Scotland is the secondary unit, Scotland has always been of intrinsic value as it always protected the English Northern flank in days of yore (& North Sea oil & gas in more recent times). NI unionism's major problem if Scotland leaves the UK is that England might decide the UK is no longer worth the bother and then the NI SOS's attitude changes overnight - it's not as tho a UK Government would throw Unionism to wolves or anything (lol).



Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: armaghniac on April 07, 2021, 04:29:21 PM
Quote
It is still remembered that in 1921, the Unionist/Protestant population of the Free State was just over 10%, half a century later it was what demographers deem "statistically insignificant" i.e. under 2 1/2 per cent. (At the same time, the Nationalist/Catholic population in NI was going the other way).

I've just seen this. EG you are going to make up facts then you will not get very far.
The Protestant proportion of the 26 counties was last over 10% in 1901. Of course it fell after 1921 as a large garrison of troops, black and tans, colonial administrators and colonial types left, their colonial project having failed. The Protestant proportion of the population never fell below 3%, and of course this has now increased so that there are now as many Protestants now as in the 1920s.
As you point out, the proportion of Catholics in NI also increased, so this has to with factors like family size more than the nature of the state.

Anyhow, if you don't like living in the UK, why don't you clear off south of the border, too?

I mean, "If someone is Irish and has problems integrating elsewhere then going there seems a good plan" as some sage once said...  ::)

We have lived in our own country all along, it is incumbent on the occupier to leave not the occupied.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 07, 2021, 04:32:51 PM
Scotland leaving might not convince NI unionists the UK isn't worth it anymore but you are living in dreamland if you don't think it changes the dynamic. England is the fulcrum of the UK, Scotland is the secondary unit, Scotland has always been of intrinsic value as it always protected the English Northern flank in days of yore (& North Sea oil & gas in more recent times).
An independent Scotland might certainly have an effect on thinking in NI, but not in the same way for everyone.

In fact, I'd imagine that the sight of Wee Nicola begging the EU for membership, having to swallow the Euro, missing out on the Barnett Formula subsidy from Westminster, while desperately trying to sell the last of the North Sea's oil to a world which is abandoning fossil fuels etc, would certainly colour NI Unionist thinking, that's for sure!

NI unionism's major problem if Scotland leaves the UK is that England might decide the UK is no longer worth the bother and then the NI SOS's attitude changes overnight - it's not as tho a UK Government would throw Unionism to wolves or anything (lol).
How many times does it have to be said? It isn't within the gift of England to determine whether NI says in the UK or leaves, it is solely for the people of NI to decide.

Or didn't you get the memo?  :D

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-belfast-agreement (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-belfast-agreement)
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: trailer on April 07, 2021, 04:33:30 PM
Some interesting points. A few things to note. There was a time when the ordinary 5/8ths Nationalist had about as much interest in a UI as they had about flying to the Moon, but a few key things changed that. The crocodile remark and Unionist intransigence around all things Irish, Brexit and it's pretty clear that the DUP are trying to run NI on their own and there is little cross party co-operation in the Executive. Many Nationalists who were happy with the status quo, like myself, see no long term future in NI. The ROI is a far more open and progressive society than the North. Young people will want to be part of that, part of the EU. Young people see nothing to fear in the ROI. Indeed they see nothing only upside. If jobs and opportunities dry up, then so will love for NI.
You may be correct in  your analysis of Nationalist voting trends in NI, but you still miss my point that even if maximised, 43% or thereabouts is not enough i.e. Nationalism needs to persuade a section of the Unionist vote to change their mind (identity).

And I see no sign of their being caqpable of doing that - quite the reverse, in fact.

The numbers are changing and while they certainly aren't there yet it would be foolish, especially for Unionism not to be thinking about the what if. Burying your head in the sand and hoping something won't happen is a pretty terrible idea. But I understand that for a Unionist there is no potential upside. You're a Unionist and if NI stops being part of the Union then Unionism dies.
Where is your evidence that "the numbers [in NI] are changing"?

Some things to watch out for.
SF will be the largest party in the next Dail, there is no doubt about that.
Scotland will vote to leave the UK.
Should SF be the biggest party in the Dail next time, then that will only stiffen Unionist resolve, not weaken it.

And should Scotland vote to leave (still not certain), that might encourage Nationalists in NI, but it isn't likely to persuade NI's Unionists to change, why should it?

Unionism and Unionist leaders need to wake up.
That may well be true.

But if your complete failure to address my point is anything to go by, so do Nationalists!

Sorry is you point that today Nats don't have the numbers? Then yes I agree with you 100% they don't. Hence only sensible parties are suggesting that the unity referendum should called way in the future when it is winnable.
Nats do have to convince not so much unionists but undecideds. Green and Alliance voters. At this moment in time we're only talking about getting that conversation off an running. It hasn't started in earnest. But it will.
Scotland is key. If it goes then what is the point of the England trying to hold onto NI? English and Welsh people look at NI unionists and they see nothing in common. Their Britishness is so far removed from what NI Unionists' Britishness is.

Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 07, 2021, 04:48:57 PM
Sorry is you point that today Nats don't have the numbers? Then yes I agree with you 100% they don't. Hence only sensible parties are suggesting that the unity referendum should called way in the future when it is winnable.
Nats do have to convince not so much unionists but undecideds. Green and Alliance voters. At this moment in time we're only talking about getting that conversation off an running. It hasn't started in earnest. But it will. .
My point is not merely that Nationalists don't currently have the numbers (which they don't), but that even if they can maximise their own vote (debateable) they're still going to have to find extra, traditionally non-Nationalist votes from somewhere.

And all the demographic evidence suggests that the great majority of "middle" voters (Alliance, Greens etc) whilst not being "Unionist" with a large "U", are nonetheless at best lukewarm when it comes to a UI, or at worst opposed.

Which gives Nationalist politicians a choice: they can revert to "normal" politcs to woo moderate Unionists, but risk losing wavering Nationalists in a more normal NI.

Or they can maximise their own traditional vote (by banging the Nationalist drum), thereby alienating even moderate Unionists.

Scotland is key. If it goes then what is the point of the England trying to hold onto NI? English and Welsh people look at NI unionists and they see nothing in common. Their Britishness is so far removed from what NI Unionists' Britishness is.
How many times?

England and Wales (or Scotland) don't have a say in the matter, since they don't have a vote!

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-belfast-agreement (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-belfast-agreement)
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: weareros on April 07, 2021, 04:49:37 PM
The problem with going by polling is the SF vote in the North has been declining, and much of that is due to conservative Catholics concerned with the liberal agenda, particularly around abortion. But when they need to come out, as they did with ousting Dodds from North Belfast, they really came out. As a result I think a United Ireland vote will be a lot higher than simply adding SF + SDLP together. They will really come out. Can’t say the same for Unionists. They needed to come out in North and South Belfast to retain their seats. They were well beaten in the end by Finucane and Hanna. Those are the trends I would look at.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: bennydorano on April 07, 2021, 04:58:40 PM
Scotland leaving might not convince NI unionists the UK isn't worth it anymore but you are living in dreamland if you don't think it changes the dynamic. England is the fulcrum of the UK, Scotland is the secondary unit, Scotland has always been of intrinsic value as it always protected the English Northern flank in days of yore (& North Sea oil & gas in more recent times).
An independent Scotland might certainly have an effect on thinking in NI, but not in the same way for everyone.

In fact, I'd imagine that the sight of Wee Nicola begging the EU for membership, having to swallow the Euro, missing out on the Barnett Formula subsidy from Westminster, while desperately trying to sell the last of the North Sea's oil to a world which is abandoning fossil fuels etc, would certainly colour NI Unionist thinking, that's for sure!

NI unionism's major problem if Scotland leaves the UK is that England might decide the UK is no longer worth the bother and then the NI SOS's attitude changes overnight - it's not as tho a UK Government would throw Unionism to wolves or anything (lol).
How many times does it have to be said? It isn't within the gift of England to determine whether NI says in the UK or leaves, it is solely for the people of NI to decide.

Or didn't you get the memo?  :D

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-belfast-agreement (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-belfast-agreement)


I don't think a UI happens without the secession of Scotland, said it many times that it's  a pipe dream. Scotland leaving is a game changer and under those circumstances I would expect people in NI to vote for a UI -  Actively assisted be the remnants of the UK/English Government.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: trailer on April 07, 2021, 04:59:13 PM
Sorry is you point that today Nats don't have the numbers? Then yes I agree with you 100% they don't. Hence only sensible parties are suggesting that the unity referendum should called way in the future when it is winnable.
Nats do have to convince not so much unionists but undecideds. Green and Alliance voters. At this moment in time we're only talking about getting that conversation off an running. It hasn't started in earnest. But it will. .
My point is not merely that Nationalists don't currently have the numbers (which they don't), but that even if they can maximise their own vote (debateable) they're still going to have to find extra, traditionally non-Nationalist votes from somewhere.

And all the demographic evidence suggests that the great majority of "middle" voters (Alliance, Greens etc) whilst not being "Unionist" with a large "U", are nonetheless at best lukewarm when it comes to a UI, or at worst opposed.

Which gives Nationalist politicians a choice: they can revert to "normal" politcs to woo moderate Unionists, but risk losing wavering Nationalists in a more normal NI.

Or they can maximise their own traditional vote (by banging the Nationalist drum), thereby alienating even moderate Unionists.

Scotland is key. If it goes then what is the point of the England trying to hold onto NI? English and Welsh people look at NI unionists and they see nothing in common. Their Britishness is so far removed from what NI Unionists' Britishness is.
How many times?

England and Wales (or Scotland) don't have a say in the matter, since they don't have a vote!

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-belfast-agreement (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-belfast-agreement)

If you're hanging the strength of the Union on Nats not mobilising then that's a thin thread on which to hope the precious union holds. The conversation is only starting but I would like to think that once people hear the argument for better prosperity, jobs, openness and far greater standard of living, then sufficient numbers will be convinced. Only a fool hopes that the when the numbers of Catholics > Protestants that equals a UI. Lots of sensible Nationalists totally understand that people need to be convinced despite the nonsense some post here.
I understand that England, Scotland and Wales have no vote, but if you think that what occurs in other countries doesn't effect the political and constitutional situation here then you haven't been paying attention.

The direction of travel is towards a UI. The conversation is starting. You even started a whole thread asking about how it can be won.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 07, 2021, 05:02:49 PM
Quote
It is still remembered that in 1921, the Unionist/Protestant population of the Free State was just over 10%, half a century later it was what demographers deem "statistically insignificant" i.e. under 2 1/2 per cent. (At the same time, the Nationalist/Catholic population in NI was going the other way).

I've just seen this. EG you are going to make up facts then you will not get very far.
The Protestant proportion of the 26 counties was last over 10% in 1901. Of course it fell after 1921 as a large garrison of troops, black and tans, colonial administrators and colonial types left, their colonial project having failed. The Protestant proportion of the population never fell below 3%, and of course this has now increased so that there are now as many Protestants now as in the 1920s.
As you point out, the proportion of Catholics in NI also increased, so this has to with factors like family size more than the nature of the state.
You can argue over tiny percentages all you like, but he fact remains that the Protestant population of the 26 declined markedly post-partition.
And even if it has now recovered to an overwhelming 4.2%(?), the overall point remains.

Anyhow, if you don't like living in the UK, why don't you clear off south of the border, too?

I mean, "If someone is Irish and has problems integrating elsewhere then going there seems a good plan" as some sage once said...  ::)

We have lived in our own country all along, it is incumbent on the occupier to leave not the occupied.
And there you have it, "the occupier".

Have the last 100 years not taught you anything?

Those Irish people in NI who consider themselves British aren't going anywhere, nor should they have to.

But hey, if banging the "Brits Out!" drum makes you happy, then fire away.

That way at least you won't be able to hear a million people telling you where to go.  ::)
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: dec on April 07, 2021, 05:04:31 PM
And for the people to be entitled to a Referendum, then it will require the SoS for NI to be of the opinion that there may exist a majority for Unity amongst the electorate.

No.

From the GFA

1. The Secretary of State may by order direct the holding of a poll for the
purposes of section 1 on a date specified in the order.
2. Subject to paragraph 3, the Secretary of State shall exercise the power
under paragraph 1 if at any time it appears likely to him that a majority of
those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to
be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland.
3. The Secretary of State shall not make an order under paragraph 1
earlier than seven years after the holding of a previous poll under this
Schedule.

If the SoS wants to direct the holding of a poll he may do so. It does not require that it appears likely to him that such a vote would suceed.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 07, 2021, 05:09:24 PM
The problem with going by polling is the SF vote in the North has been declining, and much of that is due to conservative Catholics concerned with the liberal agenda, particularly around abortion. But when they need to come out, as they did with ousting Dodds from North Belfast, they really came out. As a result I think a United Ireland vote will be a lot higher than simply adding SF + SDLP together. They will really come out. Can’t say the same for Unionists. They needed to come out in North and South Belfast to retain their seats. They were well beaten in the end by Finucane and Hanna. Those are the trends I would look at.
You can cherry pick individual constituencies in particular elections all you like, but even if going by that metric, the fact is that the overall "Nationalist" vote has plateaued for years now, and remains well below the 50%+1 required for a UI.

Meanwhile, I prefer to look beyond such simplistic notions, since as I've argued - and no-else is addressing - Referenda are not the same as Elections - see eg the Brexit vote, where traditional working class Labour voters in the North of England ignored the Labour Remain message, and rowed in behind Johnson and Farage in their droves.

(It was all about Identity for them, too)
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: yellowcard on April 07, 2021, 05:12:59 PM
You make some very valid points in that opening post although I'm not sure that it warranted a separate thread of it's own given that there is enough discussion around these matters in other threads. Broadly speaking the vote is split 40-40-20 where the 20% is other non designated non nationalist-unionist voters. Guessing exactly how the middle of the road voters will vote is anyones guess but will be decided on by a whole multitude of factors including all of the factors you mention and the possibility of some external black swan event like Brexit or Scottish Indy.

I would like to know how do you define 'stoking up the temperature'? Is talking about a border poll considered to be stoking up the temperature? Should nationalist constantly walk on eggshells for fear of upsetting unionists - I think any open minded soft unionists would be mildly surprised at just how they are treated in a new Ireland. If any lessons are to be learned from how nationalists were treated in the north post partition then this should not be an issue.

You also state that nationalism needs to contribute to good government in Stormont to prove their credentials to Unionism. Well looking at the events of the last week with the rioting and the undermining of law and order, I think this is slightly ironic. Loyalism and unionism are doing a good enough enough job at turning away any potential FDI suitors and it certainly won't be used as a marketing tool by the NI tourist board either.

Finally, you reference the potential of Gerry Adams and Gerry Kelly being in government in the south and how this would cause you to vote to stay within the union. However the increase in the SF vote in the south has got a minimal amount to do with their UI policy but is more of a result of social issues like housing and a strike back against the perception of a political system skewed in favour of big business and cronyism. It is being led by a generation mostly under the age of 40 who know or care little for the troubles and which they can barely remember. I can understand that there is an element of the older generation who will struggle to move on from that but by the time any border poll takes place I'd hazard a guess that Gerry Adams and Gerry Kelly will be left the stage.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 07, 2021, 05:27:26 PM
If you're hanging the strength of the Union on Nats not mobilising then that's a thin thread on which to hope the precious union holds. The conversation is only starting but I would like to think that once people hear the argument for better prosperity, jobs, openness and far greater standard of living, then sufficient numbers will be convinced. Only a fool hopes that the when the numbers of Catholics > Protestants that equals a UI. Lots of sensible Nationalists totally understand that people need to be convinced despite the nonsense some post here.
I understand that England, Scotland and Wales have no vote, but if you think that what occurs in other countries doesn't effect the political and constitutional situation here then you haven't been paying attention.
How many times?

I am relying on the Unionist vote holding up, not the Nationalist vote weakening.

But now you mention it, since the only way the Nationalist vote will hold up is if Nationalist politicians bang their drum loudly enough, then conversely that will only have the effect of strengthening the Unionist vote.

While if they "play nice" with the Unionists, then the overall temperature will drop and at least some Nationalists will be happy to keep the status quo.

It's that blasted Paradox again!  ;)

The direction of travel is towards a UI.
Nationalists have been telling us that for 100 years.

The conversation is starting.
If by "conversation" you mean Nationalists talking amongst themselves about how to get it done - and for 100 years at that - then I suppose you're right.

But such a "conversation" hasn't got you any closer to where you want to go. In fact, since the GFA, it has only got further away, since that has taken the decision out of the hands of Dublin, London, Brussels, Washington and all the rest, and left it squarely in the hands of a majority in NI.

And you no closer to achieving such a majority than you've been at any time in the last quarter century.

You even started a whole thread asking about how it can be won.
No, I started a thread arguing why it is losing.

(The clue was in the title, btw)
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 07, 2021, 05:38:43 PM
And for the people to be entitled to a Referendum, then it will require the SoS for NI to be of the opinion that there may exist a majority for Unity amongst the electorate.

No.

From the GFA

1. The Secretary of State may by order direct the holding of a poll for the
purposes of section 1 on a date specified in the order.
2. Subject to paragraph 3, the Secretary of State shall exercise the power
under paragraph 1 if at any time it appears likely to him that a majority of
those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to
be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland.
3. The Secretary of State shall not make an order under paragraph 1
earlier than seven years after the holding of a previous poll under this
Schedule.

If the SoS wants to direct the holding of a poll he may do so. It does not require that it appears likely to him that such a vote would suceed.
Read it again.

Esp the bit: "... if at any time it appears likely to him that a majority of those voting etc etc etc"

There is nothing in either electoral results or opinion polls to suggest that such a majority appears "likely", so he is under no obligation to hold any poll.

And even if he tried to force one through against the available evidence, that would only cause more Unionists to want to prove him wrong.

And remember, holding a Poll is only half the battle - you need also to win it!

Which actually takes me to a point which I had considered putting forward, but didn't.

Namely, for all SF's weekly demands for a Referendum, I suspect that deep down, that is the last thing they want, since they can count votes and review opinion polls as well as any.

Indeed there is a part of me which would quite like to call their bluff!  :D
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: weareros on April 07, 2021, 05:42:21 PM
The problem with going by polling is the SF vote in the North has been declining, and much of that is due to conservative Catholics concerned with the liberal agenda, particularly around abortion. But when they need to come out, as they did with ousting Dodds from North Belfast, they really came out. As a result I think a United Ireland vote will be a lot higher than simply adding SF + SDLP together. They will really come out. Can’t say the same for Unionists. They needed to come out in North and South Belfast to retain their seats. They were well beaten in the end by Finucane and Hanna. Those are the trends I would look at.
You can cherry pick individual constituencies in particular elections all you like, but even if going by that metric, the fact is that the overall "Nationalist" vote has plateaued for years now, and remains well below the 50%+1 required for a UI.

Meanwhile, I prefer to look beyond such simplistic notions, since as I've argued - and no-else is addressing - Referenda are not the same as Elections - see eg the Brexit vote, where traditional working class Labour voters in the North of England ignored the Labour Remain message, and rowed in behind Johnson and Farage in their droves.

(It was all about Identity for them, too)

I picked those because there was a genuine battle between Unionism and Nationalism, and you could visibly see the demographic change in action. Unionists and Nationalists do not need to come out in droves in safe seats. But they will in a border poll. So there’s a very big unknown, but I also think a potential hidden nationalist surge. There’s a percentage of nationalists who are conservative and don’t necessarily have a party. The Unionists have conservative parties, and for those who want to go liberal, there’s the Alliance. Nationalists have liberal but no conservative option when it comes to party politics. So I don’t think you can determine the nationalist vote on party support.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: yellowcard on April 07, 2021, 05:55:02 PM
Election results can be slightly misguiding when it comes to predicting the outcome of a border poll.  Turnout would be at record levels for a border poll when normally 40% of the population don't engage with run of the mill elections. I do believe that there are a lot more apathetic nationalist voters than there are unionist voters and that is before you begin to factor in any foreign nationals. Personally I voted in the last Brexit referendum but I tend not to engage with other elections since the results are entirely predictable beforehand.

At the minute it would be foolhardy to predict the outcome since we don't even know what form this new state will even take. However by the time it is called, the British SOS will have already formed the opinion that it will stand at least a realistic chance of success so the resultant outcome will likely be a marginal one anyway. 
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: grounded on April 07, 2021, 06:12:12 PM
Reading through some of the other threads on here (SF gone away, Voting in Border Poll, SDLP, Leo V etc), I am reminded of the witty aphorism usually attributed to Brendan Behan, that whenever Nationalists meet, the first item on the Agenda is always "The Split"  :D

But for all the amusement to be derived from seeing 40 Shades of Green cutting stripes out of each other, what is more pertinent is that not one of you seem to get the point, which is this.

Frankly, it doesn't matter one jot how many times eg SF demand a Border Poll; or some Southern politician announces a 'road map' to Unification; or how detached Westminster is from NI; or how much pressure comes from Washington or Brussels (or anywhere else, for that matter).

For since the GFA, the Constitutional future of NI is solely in the hands of the people of NI and no-one else. Further, it is only a majority who will ever decide, whether to stay within the UK, or join a UI. All else is bluster and flannel.

And for the people to be entitled to a Referendum, then it will require the SoS for NI to be of the opinion that there may exist a majority for Unity amongst the electorate.

Which means he/she has to look first to how that electorate might vote. Basically speaking, there are two pointers.

The first is to look at voting patterns in recent elections. And as eminent psephologist Prof. Brendan O'Leary pointed out at a SF Fund Raising event in NYC no less(!) a while back, ever since the turn of the century, the "Nationalist" vote in NI, as measured by SF, SDLP and various minor parties, has plateaued at around 42-43%. Moreover, O'Leary opined that he couldn't see that changing in the foreseeable future.

Now it is fair to say that the "Unionist" vote (DUP, UUP, TUV etc) is not any higher. But if Nationalism is to get over the line, it has to muster the bulk of the "Others" (Alliance, Greens, Independents etc) to their cause. Yet if you look at their votes, they are overwhelmingly drawn from Unionist-leaning areas (East Belfast, North Down etc). Therefore in the event of a Referendum, one might expect those of them who did bother to vote, to be Unionist.

Of course, that whole  vote-counting exercise is arguably a misleading one, for a number of reasons. First, people vote in elections (esp local) for individual candidates for a variety of reasons - the candidate may have a personal following; there may be a local issue which skews the vote; custom and habit; or tactical considerations ("keep Themmuns out"). Consequently a vote for a given party may not exactly reflect an individual's preference in a border poll.

And that's only those who actually bother to vote! Many, of course, never go near the voting booth, either because they're disaffected by the political process; or feel they have better things to do; or because they realise that in a heavy Unionist or Nationalist area, their individual vote won't make the slightest bit of difference.

However, as eg Brexit or the last Scottish Referendum showed, in a binary poll like we're talking about, individual votes do make a difference, meaning that many "non-voters" may be tempted to turn out this time.

So if we should be very suspicious of past elections as a guide to which way a Border Poll might go, where do we look? The answer has to be Opinion Polls. Now I know that how the question is asked can often determine the answer which is received etc, and that not all such opinion polls are entirely consistent. Nonetheless, the clear consensus basically since the GFA is that a clear majority (i.e. well over 50% +1) would vote to remain.

Why should this be? Basically because Referenda are at least as much about Identity as they are about the usual political and socio-economic factors which determine elections. And the whole point is Brexit notwithstanding, many in the Nationalist community are broadly satisfied that their Irish identity is now tolerably well recognised and protected, meaning that they are more likely to be concerned about Pensions, NHS, government jobs, DLA etc in such a vote, meaning that many will abstain, or even vote to remain - who needs the disruption, uncertainty, even chaos which might ensue from a UI vote?

Whereas Unionists look at this very differently. Namely, the only way they can preserve their own Identity is by voting to remain in the UK. For at its simplest, if there is no Union, there can be no Unionists, and if they're no longer in the UK, they can no longer be British.

And no amount of assurances of a post-UI state being a "warm house for Unionists" will persuade them to take a chance on it, why should they? It is still remembered that in 1921, the Unionist/Protestant population of the Free State was just over 10%, half a century later it was what demographers deem "statistically insignificant" i.e. under 2 1/2 per cent. (At the same time, the Nationalist/Catholic population in NI was going the other way).

Therefore even if Nationalism can maximise its own traditional vote (highly unlikely imo), it still has no hope of achieving a 50%+ majority, so long as the broader Unionist vote holds up and turns out (highly likely imo).

Which is where the paradox comes in. For every time Nationalism (esp SF) stokes up the temperature* on this issue in order to maximise their own vote, it only causes the Unionist vote to stiffen round the flag.

Which ultimately means that if Nationalism is to woo the persuadeable Unionist voters whom they need, it won't be by castigating them or telling them where they're wrong, mere honeyed words won't be enough. They will also need to demonstrate good faith behind their words, by contributing to good government at Stormont etc, at least while NI is in the UK.

Yet if they do contribute sincerely  and consistently to making NI work to demonstrate their bona fides, that will only make Nationalist waverers less likely to vote for change, while Unionists will conclude that with NI now working better, why should they vote against it?

Above all, the more successful SF is in the Republic, the more determined Unionists will be to vote to remain in the UK, since there is no way on earth that they (including me!) will ever trust our future to a UI political system which could ultimately be dominated by Shinners like the Gerrys Adams and Kelly, none whatever.





* - You know, Barry McElduff and Kingsmills, the Bobby Storey funeral, or Martina Anderson's latest "Brits Out!" outburst etc.

Crikey, is that you Christopher? Its certainly almost the same arguments Mc Gimpey used back at that talk in the late 90's.

Your argument is well thought out but flawed in the same way Chris's was back 20 odd years ago.   

You can't predict the future. Surely if you have learnt anything from the last 10 years or so is that ANYTHING can happen.

To state the middle ground or for that matter Unionists cannot sway towards a UI is simply untrue. You cannot predict what factors might sway people. e.g. a massive economic downturn in Ni due to Brexit or Scottish independence to name 2 possible scenarios.

That northern Nationalists cannot maximise their votes in probably thee most important vote they will ever take part in is also wrong.

The debate for a United Ireland hasn't even started! 

Rather than enter the debate you've chosen to do what Chris and Unionists have done for a generations. Rubbish and ridicule the idea and bury your head in the sand.

What have Unionists done to encourage Nationalists/Republicans to stay within the Union?

You've took the line that they don't need to bother. Nationalists are quite happy with the status quo... they have too much to lose in a UI scenario... I think that is all up for debate and we haven't even begun that yet.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 07, 2021, 06:17:00 PM
You make some very valid points in that opening post although I'm not sure that it warranted a separate thread of it's own given that there is enough discussion around these matters in other threads.
I started a new thread precisely because all the other threads were ignoring the point I want to make (the Paradox)

Broadly speaking the vote is split 40-40-20 where the 20% is other non designated non nationalist-unionist voters. Guessing exactly how the middle of the road voters will vote is anyones guess but will be decided on by a whole multitude of factors including all of the factors you mention and the possibility of some external black swan event like Brexit or Scottish Indy.
I've stated why I think a majority of those middle-of-the-road voters will stick with the Union. Which along with the solid 40% Unionist vote, will be insufficient to cause the SoS to order a Referendum, never mind see the Nationalists win it.

Of course if you have evidence to the contrary, then fire away. But by "evidence" I mean things like election results and opinion polls, not some vague "Sure it's inevitable/direction of travel/one last push" musings which may suit your case, but don't reflect the facts.

I would like to know how do you define 'stoking up the temperature'? Is talking about a border poll considered to be stoking up the temperature? Should nationalist constantly walk on eggshells for fear of upsetting unionists - I think any open minded soft unionists would be mildly surprised at just how they are treated in a new Ireland. If any lessons are to be learned from how nationalists were treated in the north post partition then this should not be an issue.
Of course you may talk about it. But you also need something to say. And even should you find the right words, you cannot afford to have those words discredited and shown to be insincere by stunts like the Bobby Storey funeral, which only serve to stoke up the atmosphere.

And all that's before you get to listen to what Unionists have to say. At which point, you should be prepared to hear things that won't please you (we're back to Storey again).

You also state that nationalism needs to contribute to good government in Stormont to prove their credentials to Unionism. Well looking at the events of the last week with the rioting and the undermining of law and order, I think this is slightly ironic. Loyalism and unionism are doing a good enough enough job at turning away any potential FDI suitors and it certainly won't be used as a marketing tool by the NI tourist board either.
I'm not claiming that these "Loyalist" scumbags are any better than "Themmuns" - they're not.

Nor do I think that Unionist politicians are handling events any better than their Nationalist counterparts - they haven't.

But that's not the point. For whether it be UDA hoods rioting in Sandy Row, or Arlene blethering away in Stormont, neither is causing the general Unionist population to say: "Sod it, maybe we would be better off in a United Ireland after all", any more than SF shenanigans cause Nationalist voters to cross over the other way.

But on the basis that it will take a section of the Unionist population to change allegiance for a UI to come about, then Nationalism, esp of the Shinner variety, needs to understand just how feared and even reviled Nationalism is, in its most extreme forms at least.

And a good start would be for SF to just accept that NI exists for the moment and for the sake of all the people, address normal socio-economic politics like a normal political party, rather than forever reverting to type with the old "Brits Out!" mantra.

Hell, even the ability to say "Northern Ireland" once in a while would be nice.

(And before anyone else comes back with a demand for reciprocal respect from Unionists etc, which itself is entirely reasonable, just remember that while all these Orange and Green, Us and Them, Whataboutery politics are going on, NI remains within the Union, as it has done for 100 years.)

Finally, you reference the potential of Gerry Adams and Gerry Kelly being in government in the south and how this would cause you to vote to stay within the union. However the increase in the SF vote in the south has got a minimal amount to do with their UI policy but is more of a result of social issues like housing and a strike back against the perception of a political system skewed in favour of big business and cronyism. It is being led by a generation mostly under the age of 40 who know or care little for the troubles and which they can barely remember. I can understand that there is an element of the older generation who will struggle to move on from that but by the time any border poll takes place I'd hazard a guess that Gerry Adams and Gerry Kelly will be left the stage.
It doesn't matter to Unionists why people in ROI vote for SF, it only matters that they do. So that if they ever get into a position of real power and influence in the Dail, then that's when Unionism reaches for the 40 foot pole.

Now I'm sorry if that offends ordinary SF voters on here and elsewhere, but whether right or wrong, you have to appreciate that even ordinary Unionists are at least as repelled by SF as eg ordinary Nationalists are by the DUP.

And the only people who can begin to change that are SF/Nationalists generally.

Otherwise the status quo in NI remains.

Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Eamonnca1 on April 07, 2021, 06:20:25 PM
Reading through some of the other threads on here (SF gone away, Voting in Border Poll, SDLP, Leo V etc), I am reminded of the witty aphorism usually attributed to Brendan Behan, that whenever Nationalists meet, the first item on the Agenda is always "The Split"  :D

But for all the amusement to be derived from seeing 40 Shades of Green cutting stripes out of each other, what is more pertinent is that not one of you seem to get the point, which is this.

Frankly, it doesn't matter one jot how many times eg SF demand a Border Poll; or some Southern politician announces a 'road map' to Unification; or how detached Westminster is from NI; or how much pressure comes from Washington or Brussels (or anywhere else, for that matter).

For since the GFA, the Constitutional future of NI is solely in the hands of the people of NI and no-one else. Further, it is only a majority who will ever decide, whether to stay within the UK, or join a UI. All else is bluster and flannel.

And for the people to be entitled to a Referendum, then it will require the SoS for NI to be of the opinion that there may exist a majority for Unity amongst the electorate.

Which means he/she has to look first to how that electorate might vote. Basically speaking, there are two pointers.

The first is to look at voting patterns in recent elections. And as eminent psephologist Prof. Brendan O'Leary pointed out at a SF Fund Raising event in NYC no less(!) a while back, ever since the turn of the century, the "Nationalist" vote in NI, as measured by SF, SDLP and various minor parties, has plateaued at around 42-43%. Moreover, O'Leary opined that he couldn't see that changing in the foreseeable future.

Now it is fair to say that the "Unionist" vote (DUP, UUP, TUV etc) is not any higher. But if Nationalism is to get over the line, it has to muster the bulk of the "Others" (Alliance, Greens, Independents etc) to their cause. Yet if you look at their votes, they are overwhelmingly drawn from Unionist-leaning areas (East Belfast, North Down etc). Therefore in the event of a Referendum, one might expect those of them who did bother to vote, to be Unionist.

Of course, that whole  vote-counting exercise is arguably a misleading one, for a number of reasons. First, people vote in elections (esp local) for individual candidates for a variety of reasons - the candidate may have a personal following; there may be a local issue which skews the vote; custom and habit; or tactical considerations ("keep Themmuns out"). Consequently a vote for a given party may not exactly reflect an individual's preference in a border poll.

And that's only those who actually bother to vote! Many, of course, never go near the voting booth, either because they're disaffected by the political process; or feel they have better things to do; or because they realise that in a heavy Unionist or Nationalist area, their individual vote won't make the slightest bit of difference.

However, as eg Brexit or the last Scottish Referendum showed, in a binary poll like we're talking about, individual votes do make a difference, meaning that many "non-voters" may be tempted to turn out this time.

So if we should be very suspicious of past elections as a guide to which way a Border Poll might go, where do we look? The answer has to be Opinion Polls. Now I know that how the question is asked can often determine the answer which is received etc, and that not all such opinion polls are entirely consistent. Nonetheless, the clear consensus basically since the GFA is that a clear majority (i.e. well over 50% +1) would vote to remain.

Why should this be? Basically because Referenda are at least as much about Identity as they are about the usual political and socio-economic factors which determine elections. And the whole point is Brexit notwithstanding, many in the Nationalist community are broadly satisfied that their Irish identity is now tolerably well recognised and protected, meaning that they are more likely to be concerned about Pensions, NHS, government jobs, DLA etc in such a vote, meaning that many will abstain, or even vote to remain - who needs the disruption, uncertainty, even chaos which might ensue from a UI vote?

Whereas Unionists look at this very differently. Namely, the only way they can preserve their own Identity is by voting to remain in the UK. For at its simplest, if there is no Union, there can be no Unionists, and if they're no longer in the UK, they can no longer be British.

And no amount of assurances of a post-UI state being a "warm house for Unionists" will persuade them to take a chance on it, why should they? It is still remembered that in 1921, the Unionist/Protestant population of the Free State was just over 10%, half a century later it was what demographers deem "statistically insignificant" i.e. under 2 1/2 per cent. (At the same time, the Nationalist/Catholic population in NI was going the other way).

Therefore even if Nationalism can maximise its own traditional vote (highly unlikely imo), it still has no hope of achieving a 50%+ majority, so long as the broader Unionist vote holds up and turns out (highly likely imo).

Which is where the paradox comes in. For every time Nationalism (esp SF) stokes up the temperature* on this issue in order to maximise their own vote, it only causes the Unionist vote to stiffen round the flag.

Which ultimately means that if Nationalism is to woo the persuadeable Unionist voters whom they need, it won't be by castigating them or telling them where they're wrong, mere honeyed words won't be enough. They will also need to demonstrate good faith behind their words, by contributing to good government at Stormont etc, at least while NI is in the UK.

Yet if they do contribute sincerely  and consistently to making NI work to demonstrate their bona fides, that will only make Nationalist waverers less likely to vote for change, while Unionists will conclude that with NI now working better, why should they vote against it?

Above all, the more successful SF is in the Republic, the more determined Unionists will be to vote to remain in the UK, since there is no way on earth that they (including me!) will ever trust our future to a UI political system which could ultimately be dominated by Shinners like the Gerrys Adams and Kelly, none whatever.





* - You know, Barry McElduff and Kingsmills, the Bobby Storey funeral, or Martina Anderson's latest "Brits Out!" outburst etc.

Interesting post. A number of points:

1 - There are nuances within nationalism, just as there are nuances within unionism. How many protestant religious denominations are there? How many loyalist paramilitary groupings are there? How many unionist parties are there? How many fraternal marching organizations are there? In all cases, it's a lot more than one!

2 - Supposed nationalist ambivalence about the constitutional position is not something unionism should take for granted. Yes, there are many nationalists who are kinda content with with the constitutional arrangement, but the almost daily rantings of Jim Allister on Nolan, continued hostility to even any mild expression of the island's indigenous culture, and the annual marching season, are pretty effective at keeping nationalists reminded that at the end of the day, the state was not set up with them in mind and that reunification of the island remains the ultimate goal. If unionism wants nationalism to become more comfortable with the union, the great service they get from the NHS is all well and good, but they might want to think about dialing the bigotry down a few notches.

3 - I've heard this "bloodless genocide" claim about southern protestants before, but anyone who has actually looked into the "plight" of southern protestants has found them doing pretty well. They're over-represented in higher paying professions, for one thing. The proportion of protestants living in the free state has decreased, but I very much doubt that it's because of anything sinister. As the census shows, the proportion of protestants living in the north has also been in a steady decline, but a lot of that is down to historically higher fertility rates among nationalists (leveling off now that they're becoming more affluent) and an increase in the number of 'others' living in the place. Also, of the people from NI who go to places like England for university, nationalists are more likely to come back than unionists.

4 - SF topping the poll in Dáil elections? I wouldn't worry too much about that. The days are gone when free-state parties of any stripe would win an outright majority. SF are still too toxic for most potential coalition partners. Yes it's hypocritical of FF/FG to support power-sharing in the north while refusing to consider SF to be fit for government in the south, but there it is. If anything, a million northern prods would be the perfect counter-balance to any potential domination of SF over politics in a reunified Ireland. A million northern prods would also have a lot more influence in an all-Ireland parliament than they have at Westminster, that's for sure.

5 - You are correct that it's in the best interests of nationalists to make NI work through better governance, but I think the SDLP are better equipped to deliver on that than SF. Thankfully they have a say in the matter thanks to the power-sharing arrangement, so we'll see how that plays out.

6 - I agree that banging on about a border poll is a bit premature. A border poll strikes me as being far down the list of things that need to happen between now and reunification. Per point 5, the economy of the north needs to be restructured so that it gets off what I call the "begging bowl economics" business model and becomes more self sufficient. And yes, that might undermine nationalist sense of urgency for a united Ireland were it to happen, but that would be countered by the constant stream of unionist bigotry in point 2 above.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 07, 2021, 06:24:13 PM
Anyhow, I'm taking a break now.

I might be tempted to come back sometime soon, but probably only if someone actually addresses head-on the Paradox which I've posited - sometime in another 100 years would be nice  ;)

(The rest of the usual stuff should be redirected to the assorted other "Themmuns and Whataboutery" threads elsewhere)
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Eamonnca1 on April 07, 2021, 06:24:28 PM
Another thing about opinion polls - you acknowledge that the result can depend on the wording of the question. The Belfast Telegraph has done plenty of push-polling in its time. I remember them asking "would you support a UI if it meant your tax bill going up?" but conveniently neglected to say what any supposed tax hike would be used to fund. They have ballot measures here in California where voters get to choose on specific taxes, but they're always accompanied by the information about what the funds are going to be used for along with arguments for and against.

Polls like those put out by the Tele are engineered to produce a pro-union result, and are best taken with a pinch of salt.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Eamonnca1 on April 07, 2021, 06:25:59 PM
Anyhow, I'm taking a break now.

I might be tempted to come back sometime soon, but probably only if someone actually addresses head-on the Paradox which I've posited - sometime in another 100 years would be nice  ;)

(The rest of the usual stuff should be redirected to the assorted other "Themmuns and Whataboutery" threads elsewhere)

See point 6 in my previous post. I'd be happy to talk about it some more.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Eamonnca1 on April 07, 2021, 06:38:29 PM
Things that may undermine the nationalist sense of urgency for reunification:


Things that bolster the nationalist sense of urgency for reunification:


So yes, there is a paradox that if nationalists make the NI state work better, it might undermine their own cause, but unionism is plenty good enough at undermining its own cause and reminding nationalists that the NI state was founded as a comfort zone for bigots, and it continues to serve this function with indecent efficiency.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: trailer on April 07, 2021, 06:48:11 PM
If you're hanging the strength of the Union on Nats not mobilising then that's a thin thread on which to hope the precious union holds. The conversation is only starting but I would like to think that once people hear the argument for better prosperity, jobs, openness and far greater standard of living, then sufficient numbers will be convinced. Only a fool hopes that the when the numbers of Catholics > Protestants that equals a UI. Lots of sensible Nationalists totally understand that people need to be convinced despite the nonsense some post here.
I understand that England, Scotland and Wales have no vote, but if you think that what occurs in other countries doesn't effect the political and constitutional situation here then you haven't been paying attention.
How many times?

I am relying on the Unionist vote holding up, not the Nationalist vote weakening.

But now you mention it, since the only way the Nationalist vote will hold up is if Nationalist politicians bang their drum loudly enough, then conversely that will only have the effect of strengthening the Unionist vote.

While if they "play nice" with the Unionists, then the overall temperature will drop and at least some Nationalists will be happy to keep the status quo.

It's that blasted Paradox again!  ;)

The direction of travel is towards a UI.
Nationalists have been telling us that for 100 years.

The conversation is starting.
If by "conversation" you mean Nationalists talking amongst themselves about how to get it done - and for 100 years at that - then I suppose you're right.

But such a "conversation" hasn't got you any closer to where you want to go. In fact, since the GFA, it has only got further away, since that has taken the decision out of the hands of Dublin, London, Brussels, Washington and all the rest, and left it squarely in the hands of a majority in NI.

And you no closer to achieving such a majority than you've been at any time in the last quarter century.

You even started a whole thread asking about how it can be won.
No, I started a thread arguing why it is losing.

(The clue was in the title, btw)

I love the way you keep saying "How many times" as if you have some sort of super answer. It's typical a little of Unionism at the moment. You appear to think it's an impossible dream. A complete burying your heads in the sand exercise.

Nationalists have only begun talking about a UI. Brexit has been a huge game changer. In 50 years when people look back and look for triggers that brought about the UI that will be a key one.

The argument isn't being lost, we haven't even made it yet.

Another thought, in most recent times when there was a hard choice to make, The EU and The UK government choose an all Ireland solution. They side-lined unionists. Unless unionists start to engage they'll be side-lined again and they be left moaning about some political solution that they didn't want.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: weareros on April 07, 2021, 06:52:52 PM
Worth noting the Tory’s have their own pollster, Lord Ashcroft.

The last time he did a poll on unity, it was in his words on a knife-edge.

https://lordashcroftpolls.com/2019/09/my-northern-ireland-survey-finds-the-union-on-a-knife-edge/
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: balladmaker on April 07, 2021, 06:59:01 PM
Worth noting the Tory’s have their own pollster, Lord Ashcroft.

The last time he did a poll on unity, it was in his words on a knife-edge.

https://lordashcroftpolls.com/2019/09/my-northern-ireland-survey-finds-the-union-on-a-knife-edge/

Well that survey shows that there's only one direction of travel for the demographics, and that's Irish reunification.  We all knew that but still nice to see it graphically all the same.  Unionism needs a leader to come out of somewhere to forge a new British identity, away from the unionist branding, for those who wish to reside in a reunified Ireland and remain British ... works ok for every other nationality on earth, why not work for NI unionists who seem to have a need to remain in the UK to feel British ... weird.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: general_lee on April 07, 2021, 07:04:46 PM
I wonder who'll be up first to tackle that  ::)
Always a good sign when Unionists go to such lengths to tell us how unlikely reunification is! Despite a compelling argument, the post can’t be properly addressed until the 2021 census results are published and after the next election.
How will the 2021 Census predict how, or even whether, people will vote in a Referendum that isn't even certain to be called?
It won’t and I haven’t suggested it would; but census data is a useful source and referencing ten year old data isn’t exactly ideal.

One thing for sure is that Unionism is in complete disarray. The future of the union is far from certain.
With the only other sure thing being that the greater the threat to the Union, the more Unionists will unite.

Especially if it should be SF who are being seen to threaten us (literally).

Oops, there goes that Paradox again!  ;D
Unionism is all over the place. The union is very much under threat, it’s as unstable as it’s ever been yet I don’t see any unionist unity  :D

The supposed ally of Unionism and current PM is more concerned  with dipping his front bar in the new intern than he is with the concerns of Ulster Unionism. GB has no economic interest in NI, no interest or kinship with the people here and no amount of tokenism in the form of feasibility studies can mask that fact.

We all know the real paradox is Unionism - you identify as British; you’re insecure about it and feel the need to express it at any and every given opportunity - yet actual British people consider you Irish.  ;D
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: ardtole on April 07, 2021, 07:10:37 PM
There are splits within unionism and within loyalism. There seems to be a serious rift between Ian Ogles family and the current uvf leafership.

From the outside looking in, its getting nasty enough on twitter, hard to know whats happening on the ground.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: trailer on April 07, 2021, 07:10:51 PM
EG's argument is that there isn't the support for a UI today so there won't be tomorrow. If that is what's holding their precious union together well God help them.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: ned on April 07, 2021, 09:36:49 PM
"In fact, I'd imagine that the sight of Wee Nicola begging the EU for membership, having to swallow the Euro, missing out on the Barnett Formula subsidy from Westminster, while desperately trying to sell the last of the North Sea's oil to a world which is abandoning fossil fuels etc, would certainly colour NI Unionist thinking, that's for sure!"

Typical arrogance from an entitled Unionist.
Condescending much? Wee Nicola is a patronising and offensive term.
The longer Scotland remains part of the UK the less likely direct EU membership will be applied. However, Scotland has a special case, they voted overwhelmingly to stay in EU, and this was conceded by EU officials.
Scotland does not have to adopt the Euro, there are alternatives. Believe it or not England does not own sterling. Not that it matters now but it was the brainchild of a Scotsman.
North Sea oil is unfortunately much less of an attraction now. Just a pity we didn't have a forward thinking British government who could have managed this resource better to safeguard it's returns for future generations.
And of course the favourite statement for the lazy, arrogant unionists. What about the Barnett Formula? The Scots should count themselves lucky they have the benevolent English to rely on otherwise they'd all be eating thistles and heather and living in peat bogs or half way up a mountain with the sheep? I suggest you do proper research on that.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: grounded on April 07, 2021, 09:45:08 PM
EG's argument is that there isn't the support for a UI today so there won't be tomorrow. If that is what's holding their precious union together well God help them.

That about sums it up, which is actually quite progressive for a Unionist.

Surely someone somewhere in Unionism is going to at least contenenance the possibility of UI!
      No doubt they'll be labelled a lundy like magic Mike or Trimble but surely at some stage they'll have to face reality. You'd swear if they dont talk about it, it might dissappear all by itself.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: dec on April 07, 2021, 10:20:34 PM
Read it again.

Esp the bit: "... if at any time it appears likely to him that a majority of those voting etc etc etc"

I did read it.

Do you understand the meaning of the words may, shall and shall not which I helpfully bolded in my comment?
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Orior on April 07, 2021, 10:33:54 PM
Evil Genius wrote:
Quote
And no amount of assurances of a post-UI state being a "warm house for Unionists" will persuade them to take a chance on it, why should they? It is still remembered that in 1921, the Unionist/Protestant population of the Free State was just over 10%, half a century later it was what demographers deem "statistically insignificant" i.e. under 2 1/2 per cent. (At the same time, the Nationalist/Catholic population in NI was going the other way).

- The DUP took a chance on Brexit. How did that work out for you?
- How much money would you need to make it a warm house? £20k per annum person? £50k per annum per family?
- Would you look forward to live in a world where Orange marches are truely joyous occasions and a draw to tourists?
- You can still genuflect to the Queen - nobody is stopping you. She will still send you a letter when you reach 100
- An all-ireland soccer team could actually compete
- In Westminster, Unionist politicians are very small fish in very large pond. In the Dail, Unionist politicians would have real influence and could even partner in government
- But you're still thinking about the money, eh?



Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: seafoid on April 08, 2021, 09:46:14 AM
Evil Genius wrote:
Quote
And no amount of assurances of a post-UI state being a "warm house for Unionists" will persuade them to take a chance on it, why should they? It is still remembered that in 1921, the Unionist/Protestant population of the Free State was just over 10%, half a century later it was what demographers deem "statistically insignificant" i.e. under 2 1/2 per cent. (At the same time, the Nationalist/Catholic population in NI was going the other way).

- The DUP took a chance on Brexit. How did that work out for you?
- How much money would you need to make it a warm house? £20k per annum person? £50k per annum per family?
- Would you look forward to live in a world where Orange marches are truely joyous occasions and a draw to tourists?
- You can still genuflect to the Queen - nobody is stopping you. She will still send you a letter when you reach 100
- An all-ireland soccer team could actually compete
- In Westminster, Unionist politicians are very small fish in very large pond. In the Dail, Unionist politicians would have real influence and could even partner in government
- But you're still thinking about the money, eh?

https://youtu.be/-crgQGdpZR0
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: johnnycool on April 08, 2021, 09:55:10 AM
EG is right in so much that the middle ground is where the battle will be won and lost and if we use the surge in Alliance as a marker for that then I think the people who vote for them is more nuanced that thinking they're just disaffected unionists.

For instance Alliance poll quite well in unionist areas like mine in Strangford and the reason for this is that neither SF or the SDLP have a snowballs chance in hell of getting in. So Nationalists like me would be inclined to vote Alliance to at least break the unionist stranglehold for the Assembly and local government.
I'd hazard a guess that the same is very much the case in North Down and East Belfast.

Come a binary UI vote then there might be more "Alliance" voters for a UI than most commentators think but the decision to do so will be based on economic circumstances, health and less so in education where there's probably less disparity.
The economic impact of Brexit has yet to be felt.


Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: yellowcard on April 08, 2021, 10:22:08 AM
EG is right in so much that the middle ground is where the battle will be won and lost and if we use the surge in Alliance as a marker for that then I think the people who vote for them is more nuanced that thinking they're just disaffected unionists.

For instance Alliance poll quite well in unionist areas like mine in Strangford and the reason for this is that neither SF or the SDLP have a snowballs chance in hell of getting in. So Nationalists like me would be inclined to vote Alliance to at least break the unionist stranglehold for the Assembly and local government.
I'd hazard a guess that the same is very much the case in North Down and East Belfast.

Come a binary UI vote then there might be more "Alliance" voters for a UI than most commentators think but the decision to do so will be based on economic circumstances, health and less so in education where there's probably less disparity.
The economic impact of Brexit has yet to be felt.

I don't think anybody disputes that the middle ground is where the poll will be won or lost.

Where I disagree with him is that he seems fairly certain that the British SOS will not trigger a border poll since he believes that this middle 20% will vote to maintain the union. He doesn't know this and neither do we and whilst election results will be some indicator it doesn't tell the whole picture.

There are a whole myriad of outside factors to consider not least what the new state will look like. Other issues like economics, social issues, identity, internal governance will be critical factors and then you have the issue of how it is paid for. We haven't even seen yet how the UK economy will perform post Brexit and were it to begin thriving then it may lower the temperature on any calls for a border poll. I suspect that international and outside support will also be important factors during any border poll campaign whilst there is certainly going to be a timing issue. It is all clearly several years away but I do expect that it will take place before the end of this decade.

The debate is only just beginning and he is already trying to dismiss it as a futile exercise. Then caveats the debate by stating that he would be willing to call the bluff of nationalists in calling the border poll so that he can prove that his assertions are correct which sounds very much like a little bit of false bravado. The condescension of 'wee' Nicola Sturgeon also indicates a dismissive tone for what is a legitimate aspiration for Scottish independence even if I do think that there would be a lot more problems for Scotland post independence than for the north given that they share an island with the other components of the UK.   
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Franko on April 08, 2021, 10:36:32 AM
As always, his argument is well put forward - but it is without foundation.

It is based on a few of EG's very childish and simplistic assumptions.  It also includes his absolute favourite anecdote about nationalism and 'the split', which he likes to return to the board and pass off as fresh material, every few months.  A cursory look at the political parties standing for election in the north would quickly lead to a different conclusion in terms of which grouping is more prone to a split.

Anyway, ALL of the items in the list below must be true in order for EG's UI preventing 'Paradox Theory' to hold.


Remove any of these assumptions, the theory falls over.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Lar Naparka on April 08, 2021, 03:45:22 PM

I  have said on occasion that I like the way EG goes about presenting his arguments. A master craftsman at work. If he were an architect, he could come up with the Taj Mahal- most of the time anyway.
But not on this occasion: this is more the Tower of Pisa than the oriental masterpiece.

For starters, I disagree with what I take to be his central premise.

 ‘For since the GFA, the Constitutional future of NI is solely in the hands of the people of NI and no-one else. Further, it is only a majority who will ever decide, whether to stay within the UK, or join a UI. All else is bluster and flannel.’
There is the matter of the Republic’s consent to be factored in.

I would say that a large majority in the south would back UI- but not at any cost.
If the referendum was to be held right now, the south would  quite probably vote no.
In 7 years time and if  Taigs and Prods could agree to work out their differences like  adults, the south might decide otherwise.
You have the Shinners reverting to type and giving the GFA the stiff finger salute over the burial of Bobby Storey, an avowed paramilitary. All that was missing was the  volley of shots over his coffin.
The Prods, predictably, got their collective knickers in a twist but many down here take a more dispassionate view of what happened. It is bad enough that the Shinners are still spoiling for a fight with the oul’ enemy but the fact that there was a decidedly muted reaction for the moderate nationalist sector hasn’t gone unnoticed either.
It’s okay talking about UI as if it was only a case of sickening ‘themmuns.’
I believe the reaction might very well be ‘ Must try harder. Come back in 7 years time.’
The fact that the DUP backed Brexit and now want to reject what Boris negotiated on their behalf hasn’t gone unnoticed either.
Throw the fact that the dissent on the loyalist side has escalated to the point where there are clashes along the peace lines and EG’s paradox won’t even get a trial run.
'But if Nationalism is to get over the line, it has to muster the bulk of the "Others" (Alliance, Greens, Independents etc) to their cause. Yet if you look at their votes, they are overwhelmingly drawn from Unionist-leaning areas (East Belfast, North Down etc). Therefore in the event of a Referendum, one might expect those of them who did bother to vote, to be Unionist.'
 
One indeed might expect this but it is not a given.
Alot could depend on what type of a united Ireland would be on offer. After all, Boris and the Brits in general aren’t arsed by all the flag waving and declarations of fealty to the Crown.
There is nowt to  suppose that level-headed Unionists would always reject out of hand whatever is on offer.
The tide is going out for ‘A Protestant parliament for a Protestant people.’
It could be argued with as much validity that many Nationalist in the middle ground would probably vote yes if they were happy with what was on offer because the probability is that the Brits will offload them at the earliest possible opportunity. Like moderate Unionists,  they could opt to make the break since the odds are that sooner or later, the likelihood is that there will be a UI of some sort,
For the case EG posits, a lot of ducks would have to waddle in a straight line and they won’t keep doing so indefinitely.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: 6th sam on April 08, 2021, 08:34:29 PM

I  have said on occasion that I like the way EG goes about presenting his arguments. A master craftsman at work. If he were an architect, he could come up with the Taj Mahal- most of the time anyway.
But not on this occasion: this is more the Tower of Pisa than the oriental masterpiece.

For starters, I disagree with what I take to be his central premise.

 ‘For since the GFA, the Constitutional future of NI is solely in the hands of the people of NI and no-one else. Further, it is only a majority who will ever decide, whether to stay within the UK, or join a UI. All else is bluster and flannel.’
There is the matter of the Republic’s consent to be factored in.

I would say that a large majority in the south would back UI- but not at any cost.
If the referendum was to be held right now, the south would  quite probably vote no.
In 7 years time and if  Taigs and Prods could agree to work out their differences like  adults, the south might decide otherwise.
You have the Shinners reverting to type and giving the GFA the stiff finger salute over the burial of Bobby Storey, an avowed paramilitary. All that was missing was the  volley of shots over his coffin.
The Prods, predictably, got their collective knickers in a twist but many down here take a more dispassionate view of what happened. It is bad enough that the Shinners are still spoiling for a fight with the oul’ enemy but the fact that there was a decidedly muted reaction for the moderate nationalist sector hasn’t gone unnoticed either.
It’s okay talking about UI as if it was only a case of sickening ‘themmuns.’
I believe the reaction might very well be ‘ Must try harder. Come back in 7 years time.’
The fact that the DUP backed Brexit and now want to reject what Boris negotiated on their behalf hasn’t gone unnoticed either.
Throw the fact that the dissent on the loyalist side has escalated to the point where there are clashes along the peace lines and EG’s paradox won’t even get a trial run.


EG has a view to which he is entitled, and I respect. However I’m finding it impossible to respect your view in bold above . Genuine question , can you explain to me where you get your  “knowledge” of the North? and please try to avoid lazy stereotypes and insults.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Lar Naparka on April 08, 2021, 10:47:29 PM

I  have said on occasion that I like the way EG goes about presenting his arguments. A master craftsman at work. If he were an architect, he could come up with the Taj Mahal- most of the time anyway.
But not on this occasion: this is more the Tower of Pisa than the oriental masterpiece.

For starters, I disagree with what I take to be his central premise.

 ‘For since the GFA, the Constitutional future of NI is solely in the hands of the people of NI and no-one else. Further, it is only a majority who will ever decide, whether to stay within the UK, or join a UI. All else is bluster and flannel.’
There is the matter of the Republic’s consent to be factored in.

I would say that a large majority in the south would back UI- but not at any cost.
If the referendum was to be held right now, the south would  quite probably vote no.
In 7 years time and if  Taigs and Prods could agree to work out their differences like  adults, the south might decide otherwise.
You have the Shinners reverting to type and giving the GFA the stiff finger salute over the burial of Bobby Storey, an avowed paramilitary. All that was missing was the  volley of shots over his coffin.
The Prods, predictably, got their collective knickers in a twist but many down here take a more dispassionate view of what happened. It is bad enough that the Shinners are still spoiling for a fight with the oul’ enemy but the fact that there was a decidedly muted reaction for the moderate nationalist sector hasn’t gone unnoticed either.
It’s okay talking about UI as if it was only a case of sickening ‘themmuns.’
I believe the reaction might very well be ‘ Must try harder. Come back in 7 years time.’
The fact that the DUP backed Brexit and now want to reject what Boris negotiated on their behalf hasn’t gone unnoticed either.
Throw the fact that the dissent on the loyalist side has escalated to the point where there are clashes along the peace lines and EG’s paradox won’t even get a trial run.


EG has a view to which he is entitled, and I respect. However I’m finding it impossible to respect your view in bold above . Genuine question , can you explain to me where you get your  “knowledge” of the North? and please try to avoid lazy stereotypes and insults.
It might help if I knew WTF you are on about!
I too respect EG’s point(s) of view. I am on record as saying that he is the best debater I know of and I see no reason to change my opinion of him because of his opening post of this thread.
However, it struck me forcibly that I can’t recall a single norther poster, the great man included  who even considered that the people of the south might like to have a say in shaping the joint future of all on the island.
Why you think I will resort to stereotypes and insults is beyond me. It seems that my use of the pejorative terms, ‘Taig’ and ‘Prod’ upsets your sensibilities and I don’t understand why. Those terms are in common use, in the north at any rate and I’m sure a lot worse terms are being hurled about right now.
the Constitutional future of NI is solely in the hands of the people of NI and no-one else.
I picked on this in EG’s post and you seem to take exception to what I had to say about it.
Why?
I find it extremely offensive that on both sides of the sectarian divide, the feelings of the voters in the south are dismissed out of hand. This uis a topic EG has discussed/debated several (many?) times in the past and he apparently also sees the future of a UI as being a matter for Nationalists and Unionists to sort out between them.
THe fact that 70% of the combined total on this island are southerners and that we will inevitably be forced to dig deep into our pockets doesn't seem worthy of notice either.
Now, if there is anything I have said so far that you feel is factually incorrect, you might care to let me know.
What do you mean when you infer that I know nothing about the north? Anything I have said here can be picked up from current news media reports.
What is there to be known apart from the fact that cross-community strife has broken out once again. No one needs a degree in applied engineering to know that the old hatreds are still alive and vibrant and that if there isn’t some serious effort made to heal or at least tone down sectarian differences, only a fool could expect the people of the south to willingly take all on board where they can continue fighting to their heart’s content.
In short, a little bit of tact could go a long way and a word or two of recognition for the fact that southerners would like to think they have some right to have their op[inions listened to good be a goood idea also.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 08, 2021, 11:14:34 PM
The problem with going by polling is the SF vote in the North has been declining, and much of that is due to conservative Catholics concerned with the liberal agenda, particularly around abortion. But when they need to come out, as they did with ousting Dodds from North Belfast, they really came out. As a result I think a United Ireland vote will be a lot higher than simply adding SF + SDLP together. They will really come out. Can’t say the same for Unionists. They needed to come out in North and South Belfast to retain their seats. They were well beaten in the end by Finucane and Hanna. Those are the trends I would look at.
As we've seen eg with Brexit or the Scottish Referendum, people do not necessarily vote the same way in ordinary elections as they would in a Referendum like this one. There's no tactical voting for a start, nor do personalities or traditional party loyalties enter into it, either.

And even if you insist on taking ordinary elections into account, the total "Nationalist" vote, no matter where it is cast, has plateaued around 42-43% for years now.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 08, 2021, 11:21:58 PM
I do believe that there are a lot more apathetic nationalist voters than there are unionist voters and that is before you begin to factor in any foreign nationals.
Do you have any evidence for that?

As for Foreign Nationals, how many will bother to vote, or even be eligible?

As for those who can, they have chosen to settle in a part of the UK. Do they want the hassle of finding themselves in a third, different country, about which they may not know a great deal?

Besides which, those of them who are in government or public sector jobs (eg NHS) or whose livelihood depends indirectly on same, would surely be more likely to stick with what they have.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: yellowcard on April 08, 2021, 11:52:18 PM
I do believe that there are a lot more apathetic nationalist voters than there are unionist voters and that is before you begin to factor in any foreign nationals.
Do you have any evidence for that?

As for Foreign Nationals, how many will bother to vote, or even be eligible?

As for those who can, they have chosen to settle in a part of the UK. Do they want the hassle of finding themselves in a third, different country, about which they may not know a great deal?

Besides which, those of them who are in government or public sector jobs (eg NHS) or whose livelihood depends indirectly on same, would surely be more likely to stick with what they have.

In relation to the number of apathetic nationalists in comparison to unionists, I don’t have any evidence but I never suggested I had. Similar to your assertion that you’re confident that the ‘middle 20’ would veer towards the union. The reality is that you don’t know any more than I do despite your original assertion. It is not evidence based. However unless the current demographic trend reverses which I can’t see, it is certainly not going to improve in unionisms favour.

The foreign nationals, again I don’t have the answer but in a close contest they will have at least some impact on the result. You would expect them to vote broadly in line with their peers in whatever community they find themselves integrated into.

Since Brexit I would expect fewer EU nationals coming to work in the north and perhaps you are right in relation to some of those people wanting to remain part of the UK. But the reality is that we just don’t know and Brandon Lewis or whoever is SoS doesn’t know either. So whilst you can argue that there is no reasonable basis for him to call the poll, I can counter that argument by saying that there is no basis for him not to call the poll.

However if unionism continues to be led by hard elements of loyalism as we’ve seen in recent days and weeks I’m pretty sure that will not win them any friends both internationally and more importantly with that middle section of non aligned voters.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 09, 2021, 12:01:46 AM
Crikey, is that you Christopher? Its certainly almost the same arguments Mc Gimpey used back at that talk in the late 90's.

Your argument is well thought out but flawed in the same way Chris's was back 20 odd years ago.   

You can't predict the future. Surely if you have learnt anything from the last 10 years or so is that ANYTHING can happen.

To state the middle ground or for that matter Unionists cannot sway towards a UI is simply untrue. You cannot predict what factors might sway people. e.g. a massive economic downturn in Ni due to Brexit or Scottish independence to name 2 possible scenarios.

That northern Nationalists cannot maximise their votes in probably thee most important vote they will ever take part in is also wrong.
No, I can't predict the future.

But I was talking about the present. And the way things look to me, I don't see there even being a Referendum called, never mind a majority UI vote being achieved.

Meaning that for that to change, someone has to change the dynamic. Unionism does want or need to change it, so it is up to Nationalism.

Specifically, it needs to persuade a section of the Unionist population to cease being Unionists.

And I see nothing in Nationalist politics which is coming remotely close to achieving that. In fact if anything, it is going in the opposite direction, as SF gathers ever more of the Nationalist vote in NI, while making big gains in ROI.

Now you may have a benign view of SF and give them a hearing when they say they want to accommodate Unionists fairly in any future UI etc. But even moderate Unionists think "No way", when they see eg a former IRA bomber, Martina "Brits Out"" Anderson,  being appointed as SF's "Outreach Officer"!  ::)

I mean, how would you take it if eg the DUP nominated Gregory Campbell to "reach out" to Nationalism?

(Rhetorical question, I think I know the answer  ;))

The debate for a United Ireland hasn't even started! 

Rather than enter the debate you've chosen to do what Chris and Unionists have done for a generations. Rubbish and ridicule the idea and bury your head in the sand.

What have Unionists done to encourage Nationalists/Republicans to stay within the Union?

You've took the line that they don't need to bother. Nationalists are quite happy with the status quo... they have too much to lose in a UI scenario... I think that is all up for debate and we haven't even begun that yet.
Where have you been all this time?

The debate over a United Ireland (in the NI context, that is) started with Partition, when the NI state was originally intended to be temporary, and Nationalists looked longingly beyond that.

It continued during the 2nd World War, when the IRA cosied up to the Nazi's in the hope that that nice Mr. Hitler would sort out a UI for them.

It continued during the Border Campaign of 1956-62, when they thought they'd just bomb us into a UI.

And 1966 - that was another good one: the 50th Anniversary of the Rising was sure to be the date.

Then we had The Troubles, when Martin McGuinness assured us all that: "At the end of the day, it will be the cutting edge of the IRA which will win Freedom"

Finally we got to the GFA, or more accurately the St.Andrews Agreement, when SF assured their supporters that their negotiations had left a UI virtually within sight.

In other words, Nationalists have done fcuk-all but talk about/plan for a UI for the last 100 years, the problem being that they've been talking amongst themselves (alone  ;)), with nothing conciliatory or persuasive to say to Unionism.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Eamonnca1 on April 09, 2021, 12:23:55 AM


In other words, Nationalists have done fcuk-all but talk about/plan for a UI for the last 100 years, the problem being that they've been talking amongst themselves (alone  ;)), with nothing conciliatory or persuasive to say to Unionism.

People like John Hume and Gerry Adams said plenty in the way of conciliation to unionism over the years. It's hardly their fault if unionists can't hear it.  Latest example: The Claire Byrne show.

Leo varadkar: Any united Ireland will have to respect the British identity of the unionists.

Mary Lou McDonald: Any united Ireland will have to respect the British identity of the unionists.

Micheál Martin: Any united Ireland will have to respect the British identity of the unionists.

Gregory Campbell: "Haha ha! You just don't get it, do you?! We're British!"

There are none so deaf as those who will not hear.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: yellowcard on April 09, 2021, 12:27:57 AM
Yours is a confidence not often displayed by political unionism and it’s certainly not evident from what we hear from media journalists on the airwaves and in written publications like the Newsletter and Belfast Telegrsph.

All we ever seem to hear is constant negativity and a distillation of fear. Listening to Jim Allister, Jamie Bryson & others ramping up the rhetoric about how the Protocol had placed us in a waiting room for a United Ireland. Even Gregory Campbell stated that he thought a border poll was coming at some point on Claire Byrne live 2 weeks ago.

I’m just interested to know if more moderate voices within unionism like yourself who may get drowned out, are much more comfortable about the prospect of a border poll and their place within the union. If people of your ilk could get their voice heard perhaps your people would be better served rather than seeing every little compromise as some sort of defeat. If that was the case we might not be witnessing the disgraceful scenes we’ve witnessed on the streets over the last week. Unionism does a very poor job at selling everything as a defeat to its own people and as a result appears to be constantly put on the defensive.

Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: 6th sam on April 09, 2021, 12:31:12 AM

I  have said on occasion that I like the way EG goes about presenting his arguments. A master craftsman at work. If he were an architect, he could come up with the Taj Mahal- most of the time anyway.
But not on this occasion: this is more the Tower of Pisa than the oriental masterpiece.

For starters, I disagree with what I take to be his central premise.

 ‘For since the GFA, the Constitutional future of NI is solely in the hands of the people of NI and no-one else. Further, it is only a majority who will ever decide, whether to stay within the UK, or join a UI. All else is bluster and flannel.’
There is the matter of the Republic’s consent to be factored in.

I would say that a large majority in the south would back UI- but not at any cost.
If the referendum was to be held right now, the south would  quite probably vote no.
In 7 years time and if  Taigs and Prods could agree to work out their differences like  adults, the south might decide otherwise.
You have the Shinners reverting to type and giving the GFA the stiff finger salute over the burial of Bobby Storey, an avowed paramilitary. All that was missing was the  volley of shots over his coffin.
The Prods, predictably, got their collective knickers in a twist but many down here take a more dispassionate view of what happened. It is bad enough that the Shinners are still spoiling for a fight with the oul’ enemy but the fact that there was a decidedly muted reaction for the moderate nationalist sector hasn’t gone unnoticed either.
It’s okay talking about UI as if it was only a case of sickening ‘themmuns.’
I believe the reaction might very well be ‘ Must try harder. Come back in 7 years time.’
The fact that the DUP backed Brexit and now want to reject what Boris negotiated on their behalf hasn’t gone unnoticed either.
Throw the fact that the dissent on the loyalist side has escalated to the point where there are clashes along the peace lines and EG’s paradox won’t even get a trial run.


EG has a view to which he is entitled, and I respect. However I’m finding it impossible to respect your view in bold above . Genuine question , can you explain to me where you get your  “knowledge” of the North? and please try to avoid lazy stereotypes and insults.
It might help if I knew WTF you are on about!
I too respect EG’s point(s) of view. I am on record as saying that he is the best debater I know of and I see no reason to change my opinion of him because of his opening post of this thread.
However, it struck me forcibly that I can’t recall a single norther poster, the great man included  who even considered that the people of the south might like to have a say in shaping the joint future of all on the island.
Why you think I will resort to stereotypes and insults is beyond me. It seems that my use of the pejorative terms, ‘Taig’ and ‘Prod’ upsets your sensibilities and I don’t understand why. Those terms are in common use, in the north at any rate and I’m sure a lot worse terms are being hurled about right now.
the Constitutional future of NI is solely in the hands of the people of NI and no-one else.
I picked on this in EG’s post and you seem to take exception to what I had to say about it.
Why?
I find it extremely offensive that on both sides of the sectarian divide, the feelings of the voters in the south are dismissed out of hand. This uis a topic EG has discussed/debated several (many?) times in the past and he apparently also sees the future of a UI as being a matter for Nationalists and Unionists to sort out between them.
THe fact that 70% of the combined total on this island are southerners and that we will inevitably be forced to dig deep into our pockets doesn't seem worthy of notice either.
Now, if there is anything I have said so far that you feel is factually incorrect, you might care to let me know.
What do you mean when you infer that I know nothing about the north? Anything I have said here can be picked up from current news media reports.
What is there to be known apart from the fact that cross-community strife has broken out once again. No one needs a degree in applied engineering to know that the old hatreds are still alive and vibrant and that if there isn’t some serious effort made to heal or at least tone down sectarian differences, only a fool could expect the people of the south to willingly take all on board where they can continue fighting to their heart’s content.
In short, a little bit of tact could go a long way and a word or two of recognition for the fact that southerners would like to think they have some right to have their op[inions listened to good be a goood idea also.

Apologies I quoted this bit in bold in error: “ the Constitutional future of NI is solely in the hands of the people of NI and no-one else” , In quoting your original post .  It was actually only the bold bit relating to Prods , taigs that I was alluding to. Hard to get this quoting right🤦🏻‍♂️.
As a Mayo man I would have presumed you would try to understand the underdog a bit better.
The majority of the population of ireland as a whole backed the first Dáil. The result was that 26 counties managed to secure freedom from BritAin. Your freedom was basically attained through republicanism across the 32 counties but “republicans” in the 6 counties were cut loose from the 26 and left to fend for themselves. Some 100 years later you are trying to tell me that we should just continue to suck it up, coz I’m alright jack? And by the way “republicans” in the 6 should also behave “like adults “ and cowtow to unionists , including our first minister who is a solicitor that thinks bus burners aren’t the “real law breakers”. You should be ashamed of yourself as a Mayoman who I suspect is a follower of the self-proclaimed “Republican Party”.

On the subject of “taigs and prods” behaving “like adults” are you aware for example in that in the area I live in  ?~85% “nationalist/republican” there has been power sharing for nearly 50 years with the chair of the council rotating between n/r and unionist. We all work and are friends with people with unionist background . The problem here is that the leadership of the 6 counties remains in the hands of the supremacist DUP who are blocking progress. SF have a history that many find it hard to see beyond (understandably) but it hasn’t helped the situation here when at times SF seem to be the only ones calling out the DUP, and then others present it as a DUP/SF issue.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Eamonnca1 on April 09, 2021, 12:34:26 AM
Yours is a confidence not often displayed by political unionism and it’s certainly not evident from what we hear from media journalists on the airwaves and in written publications like the Newsletter and Belfast Telegrsph.

All we ever seem to hear is constant negativity and a distillation of fear. Listening to Jim Allister, Jamie Bryson & others ramping up the rhetoric about how the Protocol had placed us in a waiting room for a United Ireland. Even Gregory Campbell stated that he thought a border poll was coming at some point on Claire Byrne live 2 weeks ago.

I’m just interested to know if more moderate voices within unionism like yourself who may get drowned out, are much more comfortable about the prospect of a border poll and their place within the union. If people of your ilk could get their voice heard perhaps your people would be better served rather than seeing every little compromise as some sort of defeat. If that was the case we might not be witnessing the disgraceful scenes we’ve witnessed on the streets over the last week. Unionism does a very poor job at selling everything as a defeat to its own people and as a result appears to be constantly put on the defensive.

I remember reading the minutes of a Craigavon Borough Council meeting in the 1990s when they were giving off about being forced to open leisure centres on a Sunday. Some gulpin unionist councilor (I think it was Ruth Allen) said "It'll turn our British style Sunday into an Irish style Sunday!* It's another step down the road to a united Ireland!"

* I'm not sure if they even have the same kind of municipal leisure centres in the south, and I'm quite sure municipal leisures centres in Britain were open of a Sunday back then. There are multiple levels on which you could get a good laugh at thon.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: 6th sam on April 09, 2021, 12:38:37 AM
Yours is a confidence not often displayed by political unionism and it’s certainly not evident from what we hear from media journalists on the airwaves and in written publications like the Newsletter and Belfast Telegrsph.

All we ever seem to hear is constant negativity and a distillation of fear. Listening to Jim Allister, Jamie Bryson & others ramping up the rhetoric about how the Protocol had placed us in a waiting room for a United Ireland. Even Gregory Campbell stated that he thought a border poll was coming at some point on Claire Byrne live 2 weeks ago.

I’m just interested to know if more moderate voices within unionism like yourself who may get drowned out, are much more comfortable about the prospect of a border poll and their place within the union. If people of your ilk could get their voice heard perhaps your people would be better served rather than seeing every little compromise as some sort of defeat. If that was the case we might not be witnessing the disgraceful scenes we’ve witnessed on the streets over the last week. Unionism does a very poor job at selling everything as a defeat to its own people and as a result appears to be constantly put on the defensive.

A fair summary of unionism don’t you think EG.  unionism has a reasonable argument, but the antagonism, lack of generosity and anti-Irishness of the DUP means that you have few allies and little influence outside your own community.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 09, 2021, 12:39:45 AM
Interesting post. A number of points:

1 - There are nuances within nationalism, just as there are nuances within unionism. How many protestant religious denominations are there? How many loyalist paramilitary groupings are there? How many unionist parties are there? How many fraternal marching organizations are there? In all cases, it's a lot more than one!
Of course there are.

But just about the only thing which unites "Unionists" is that they all identify as British, in one way or another. (The clue is in the name)

Meaning that whatever their other differences, I firmly believe that they would all coalesce around a simple "No" (a favoured word  ;)) if asked whether they want to be in a UI.

2 - Supposed nationalist ambivalence about the constitutional position is not something unionism should take for granted. Yes, there are many nationalists who are kinda content with with the constitutional arrangement, but the almost daily rantings of Jim Allister on Nolan, continued hostility to even any mild expression of the island's indigenous culture, and the annual marching season, are pretty effective at keeping nationalists reminded that at the end of the day, the state was not set up with them in mind and that reunification of the island remains the ultimate goal. If unionism wants nationalism to become more comfortable with the union, the great service they get from the NHS is all well and good, but they might want to think about dialing the bigotry down a few notches.
True.

But just as eg Jim Allister et al fire up Nationalists, so does eg Gerry Kelly fire up Unionists. Meaning that if the dial got turned up to 11 in any pre-Referendum campaign, as it surely would, then Unionists will all turn out to vote "No" (there's that word again!).

And as Prof. O'Leary prophesised, there aren't enough Nationalists currently in NI to make a majority, at least as things stand.

3 - I've heard this "bloodless genocide" claim about southern protestants before, but anyone who has actually looked into the "plight" of southern protestants has found them doing pretty well. They're over-represented in higher paying professions, for one thing. The proportion of protestants living in the free state has decreased, but I very much doubt that it's because of anything sinister. As the census shows, the proportion of protestants living in the north has also been in a steady decline, but a lot of that is down to historically higher fertility rates among nationalists (leveling off now that they're becoming more affluent) and an increase in the number of 'others' living in the place. Also, of the people from NI who go to places like England for university, nationalists are more likely to come back than unionists.
Such Southern Protestants as remain in ROI are doubtless doing well - isn't that why they remained? But it's the ones who didn't stay, because they saw nothing down for them, who bear most heavily on Unionist thinking.

And in any case, a few thousand CofI types in cushy parts of Dublin or Cork these days have no resonance with eg your average working class NI Prod in East Belfast.

4 - SF topping the poll in Dáil elections? I wouldn't worry too much about that. The days are gone when free-state parties of any stripe would win an outright majority. SF are still too toxic for most potential coalition partners. Yes it's hypocritical of FF/FG to support power-sharing in the north while refusing to consider SF to be fit for government in the south, but there it is. If anything, a million northern prods would be the perfect counter-balance to any potential domination of SF over politics in a reunified Ireland. A million northern prods would also have a lot more influence in an all-Ireland parliament than they have at Westminster, that's for sure.

SF don't have to actually form the government, or even hold the balance of power. The thought that they might some day is quite enough for even the most moderate Unionist to back away. Rapidly.

While Unionists aren't interested in holding the balance in the Dáil and not just because it would be neither guaranteed or for ever - we're not interested in the Dáil full stop.

In truth, Nationalists who have warm feelings for a UI and Irishness etc, need to realise that Unionists have no such warm feelings, even if it would leave them materially better off.

And if that's hard to take in, just ask yourself this: "Could I ever imagine harbouring my own warm, fuzzy feelings for the UK and Britishness etc?"

5 - You are correct that it's in the best interests of nationalists to make NI work through better governance, but I think the SDLP are better equipped to deliver on that than SF. Thankfully they have a say in the matter thanks to the power-sharing arrangement, so we'll see how that plays out.

The SDLP is a busted flush and has been since the days of Hume and Mallon etc.

There is no sign of a major revival that I can see, at least, while I doubt many Unionists give them too much thought either way.

6 - I agree that banging on about a border poll is a bit premature. A border poll strikes me as being far down the list of things that need to happen between now and reunification. Per point 5, the economy of the north needs to be restructured so that it gets off what I call the "begging bowl economics" business model and becomes more self sufficient. And yes, that might undermine nationalist sense of urgency for a united Ireland were it to happen, but that would be countered by the constant stream of unionist bigotry in point 2 above.
If you are saying that talk of a border poll needs to be "parked" while other matters are sorted, then that suits Unionists just fine. (Why wouldn't it?)

But you need to have a word with your fellow Nationalists to agree to it first.

Good Luck with  that!  ;)
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Eamonnca1 on April 09, 2021, 12:41:48 AM
Yours is a confidence not often displayed by political unionism and it’s certainly not evident from what we hear from media journalists on the airwaves and in written publications like the Newsletter and Belfast Telegrsph.

All we ever seem to hear is constant negativity and a distillation of fear. Listening to Jim Allister, Jamie Bryson & others ramping up the rhetoric about how the Protocol had placed us in a waiting room for a United Ireland. Even Gregory Campbell stated that he thought a border poll was coming at some point on Claire Byrne live 2 weeks ago.

I’m just interested to know if more moderate voices within unionism like yourself who may get drowned out, are much more comfortable about the prospect of a border poll and their place within the union. If people of your ilk could get their voice heard perhaps your people would be better served rather than seeing every little compromise as some sort of defeat. If that was the case we might not be witnessing the disgraceful scenes we’ve witnessed on the streets over the last week. Unionism does a very poor job at selling everything as a defeat to its own people and as a result appears to be constantly put on the defensive.

A fair summary of unionism don’t you think EG.  unionism has a reasonable argument, but the antagonism, lack of generosity and anti-Irishness, means that you have few allies and little influence outside your own community.

I would suggest that unionism's argument would be a lot more reasonable if it didn't give off the odor of spite and sectarian supremacy in every move it makes. As an ideology it belongs in the same family of political ideas as South African apartheid, the American confederacy, and Israeli abuse of the Palestinians.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 09, 2021, 12:46:03 AM
So yes, there is a paradox that if nationalists make the NI state work better, it might undermine their own cause, but unionism is plenty good enough at undermining its own cause and reminding nationalists that the NI state was founded as a comfort zone for bigots, and it continues to serve this function with indecent efficiency.
Nationalism's problem isn't that Unionists wind them (Nationalists) up. Indeed it's not a problem for a lot of Unionists either, but I digress!  :)

Rather, Nationalism's problem is that they wind Unionists up - rather well in many cases. Whereas if Nationalists are to win any Border Poll, they need to find a way to appeal to Unionists (or enough of them to gain a majority).

And sorry to break the news, but voting in droves for SF ain't gonna do that, any more than Unionists voting in droves for the DUP charms Nationalists.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Eamonnca1 on April 09, 2021, 12:56:08 AM
So we seem to be in agreement about a few things. Unionism is undermined by the extremists in unionism who help to motivate nationalists to push harder for a UI.

Nationalism is undermined by SF who wind unionists up by ... being SF, and dealing with the baggage they have.

There was an interesting call to LBC today, I think, from a young fella talking about the Bobby Story funeral. They were saying that if your neighbour across the street broke some Covid regulations and got away with it, you'd be a bit pissed off but not enough to start a riot. However what poisons things in NI is the idea that "themmuns got away with it." It's the depth of the divisions that drives people to make mountains out of what would be considered molehills in any other country.

Bilingual signage? Already exists in Scotland, Wales and Cornwall and nobody seems to pass any remarks. Try to get it established in NI? "Nope, that'd be a win for the fenians. We have to block it, or if we can't then sure we'll make up some sort of language of our own (we could try basing it on the Ballymena accent, hey) to divert some of the funding from Irish."

Official events to commemorate WWI? Easy enough to do in Britain. In NI? Forget about getting cross-party support for it. "We will not tolerate tributes to the British army after what they did to our country! Grrr!"
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Evil Genius on April 09, 2021, 01:04:11 AM
I love the way you keep saying "How many times" as if you have some sort of super answer. It's typical a little of Unionism at the moment. You appear to think it's an impossible dream. A complete burying your heads in the sand exercise.

Nationalists have only begun talking about a UI. Brexit has been a huge game changer. In 50 years when people look back and look for triggers that brought about the UI that will be a key one.

The argument isn't being lost, we haven't even made it yet.
It's a question actually, but no matter.

And I'm not saying a UI is "impossible". I'm merely saying that the prospect genuinely doesn't frighten me, now or in the foreseeable future, for the reasons I'm trying to outline.

As for Nationalists "only having begun talking about a UI", where have you been for the last 100 years? I don't know when this Board started, but I'd hazard a guess that it wasn't too long before someone* posted a "United Ireland" thread, the first of many.

* - Fearon?  ;)

Another thought, in most recent times when there was a hard choice to make, The EU and The UK government choose an all Ireland solution. They side-lined unionists. Unless unionists start to engage they'll be side-lined again and they be left moaning about some political solution that they didn't want.
The NI Protocol may not give Unionists the Union they want. But neither does it give Nationalists the UI they want, the latter being as further away as ever.

As for being "side-lined", fact is, it is not for Brussels or Westminster (Dublin either) to determine whether or when there may be a UI.

Under the terms of the GFA (remember that?) such a decision ultimately lies with the people of NI, where Unionism will have a veto so long as they retain a majority.

And where Nationalism will have to engage in some new thinking if it is to gain a majority, not least how to solve the Paradox which I outlined in the opening to this thread.

So I'll leave that with you guys, if I may, while I take another break from single-handedly trying to "sail round Ireland"!  ;)
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Eamonnca1 on April 09, 2021, 01:10:26 AM
Interesting post. A number of points:

1 - There are nuances within nationalism, just as there are nuances within unionism. How many protestant religious denominations are there? How many loyalist paramilitary groupings are there? How many unionist parties are there? How many fraternal marching organizations are there? In all cases, it's a lot more than one!
Of course there are.

But just about the only thing which unites "Unionists" is that they all identify as British, in one way or another. (The clue is in the name)

Meaning that whatever their other differences, I firmly believe that they would all coalesce around a simple "No" (a favoured word  ;)) if asked whether they want to be in a UI.
Well the same would happen for nationalism, that's what happens in a referrendum.

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2 - Supposed nationalist ambivalence about the constitutional position is not something unionism should take for granted. Yes, there are many nationalists who are kinda content with with the constitutional arrangement, but the almost daily rantings of Jim Allister on Nolan, continued hostility to even any mild expression of the island's indigenous culture, and the annual marching season, are pretty effective at keeping nationalists reminded that at the end of the day, the state was not set up with them in mind and that reunification of the island remains the ultimate goal. If unionism wants nationalism to become more comfortable with the union, the great service they get from the NHS is all well and good, but they might want to think about dialing the bigotry down a few notches.
True.

But just as eg Jim Allister et al fire up Nationalists, so does eg Gerry Kelly fire up Unionists. Meaning that if the dial got turned up to 11 in any pre-Referendum campaign, as it surely would, then Unionists will all turn out to vote "No" (there's that word again!).

And as Prof. O'Leary prophesised, there aren't enough Nationalists currently in NI to make a majority, at least as things stand.
I agree that unionists have not cornered the market on winding up the other side.

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3 - I've heard this "bloodless genocide" claim about southern protestants before, but anyone who has actually looked into the "plight" of southern protestants has found them doing pretty well. They're over-represented in higher paying professions, for one thing. The proportion of protestants living in the free state has decreased, but I very much doubt that it's because of anything sinister. As the census shows, the proportion of protestants living in the north has also been in a steady decline, but a lot of that is down to historically higher fertility rates among nationalists (leveling off now that they're becoming more affluent) and an increase in the number of 'others' living in the place. Also, of the people from NI who go to places like England for university, nationalists are more likely to come back than unionists.
Such Southern Protestants as remain in ROI are doubtless doing well - isn't that why they remained? But it's the ones who didn't stay, because they saw nothing down for them, who bear most heavily on Unionist thinking.

And in any case, a few thousand CofI types in cushy parts of Dublin or Cork these days have no resonance with eg your average working class NI Prod in East Belfast.
The ones that remained simply got outnumbered by a faster-growing catholic population. And let's not forget, a new state had popped into existence just up the road in which protestants could get first dibs on jobs and public housing. That's quite an incentive to leave the south for working class prods, wouldn't you say? That said, I have my doubts that there was a biblical mass exodus.

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4 - SF topping the poll in Dáil elections? I wouldn't worry too much about that. The days are gone when free-state parties of any stripe would win an outright majority. SF are still too toxic for most potential coalition partners. Yes it's hypocritical of FF/FG to support power-sharing in the north while refusing to consider SF to be fit for government in the south, but there it is. If anything, a million northern prods would be the perfect counter-balance to any potential domination of SF over politics in a reunified Ireland. A million northern prods would also have a lot more influence in an all-Ireland parliament than they have at Westminster, that's for sure.

SF don't have to actually form the government, or even hold the balance of power. The thought that they might some day is quite enough for even the most moderate Unionist to back away. Rapidly.

While Unionists aren't interested in holding the balance in the Dáil and not just because it would be neither guaranteed or for ever - we're not interested in the Dáil full stop.

In truth, Nationalists who have warm feelings for a UI and Irishness etc, need to realise that Unionists have no such warm feelings, even if it would leave them materially better off.

And if that's hard to take in, just ask yourself this: "Could I ever imagine harbouring my own warm, fuzzy feelings for the UK and Britishness etc?"

Absolutely not, for the same reasons that you cite for why it's so hard to convert a unionist into a nationalist. This is about identity politics. People vote on this issue based on emotions and feelings, not on facts about GDP per capita. This is why I've always said that the Irish identity has to be more accessible and less threatening to northern Protestants, which is why I'm one of the people who supports reform on such issues as flag protocols and club naming conventions in the GAA. Get the prods playing hurling first, never mind a border poll.

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5 - You are correct that it's in the best interests of nationalists to make NI work through better governance, but I think the SDLP are better equipped to deliver on that than SF. Thankfully they have a say in the matter thanks to the power-sharing arrangement, so we'll see how that plays out.

The SDLP is a busted flush and has been since the days of Hume and Mallon etc.

There is no sign of a major revival that I can see, at least, while I doubt many Unionists give them too much thought either way.
Colum Eastwood and Nicola Mallon have good potential. They're competent people, but they're struggling to make their voices heard in the current environment. Hume and Mallon were like saints compared to Adams and McGuinness when the provos were in full flight, and since the majority of nationalists have always opposed violence (contrary to the popular belief among unionists) the SDLP were strong during the Troubles. Take the provos out of action and SF are now a lot more respectable. That makes the SDLP's job harder, but occasional gaffes like the Storey funeral are helpful to them.

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6 - I agree that banging on about a border poll is a bit premature. A border poll strikes me as being far down the list of things that need to happen between now and reunification. Per point 5, the economy of the north needs to be restructured so that it gets off what I call the "begging bowl economics" business model and becomes more self sufficient. And yes, that might undermine nationalist sense of urgency for a united Ireland were it to happen, but that would be countered by the constant stream of unionist bigotry in point 2 above.
If you are saying that talk of a border poll needs to be "parked" while other matters are sorted, then that suits Unionists just fine. (Why wouldn't it?)
Yes. It suits unionists, and it also suits nationalists in that it would give them space to build their case. (I was listening to a lecture by Sean Farren today about the zero-sum thinking that infects political thinking in NI, BTW.)

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But you need to have a word with your fellow Nationalists to agree to it first.
Believe me, I've been trying! If your boys would tone the rhetoric down a bit it would help me to get my message through!

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Good Luck with  that!  ;)
Thanks.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Orior on April 09, 2021, 08:53:05 AM


In other words, Nationalists have done fcuk-all but talk about/plan for a UI for the last 100 years, the problem being that they've been talking amongst themselves (alone  ;)), with nothing conciliatory or persuasive to say to Unionism.

People like John Hume and Gerry Adams said plenty in the way of conciliation to unionism over the years. It's hardly their fault if unionists can't hear it.  Latest example: The Claire Byrne show.

Leo varadkar: Any united Ireland will have to respect the British identity of the unionists.

Mary Lou McDonald: Any united Ireland will have to respect the British identity of the unionists.

Micheál Martin: Any united Ireland will have to respect the British identity of the unionists.

Gregory Campbell: "Haha ha! You just don't get it, do you?! We're British!"

There are none so deaf as those who will not hear.

Exactly.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: imtommygunn on April 09, 2021, 08:58:03 AM
Until Brexit a united Ireland was some far away dream. It isn't so much any more.

Agreed though that there needs to be more thinking on the nationalist side on the front of inclusivity.

Also IMO SF can't deliver a united Ireland. It needs to be someone else. At present they don't exist. Nationalism here is crying out for a party, not SF, to grab this by the scruff of the neck.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: tiempo on April 09, 2021, 09:14:21 AM
Until Brexit a united Ireland was some far away dream. It isn't so much any more.

Agreed though that there needs to be more thinking on the nationalist side on the front of inclusivity.

Also IMO SF can't deliver a united Ireland. It needs to be someone else. At present they don't exist. Nationalism here is crying out for a party, not SF, to grab this by the scruff of the neck.

Scotland style Hibernia party? Its just not gonna happen. If Luke Ming can go from being evicted to elected then SF can play a major role in the formation of a UI, or should they be cut out of the process? As it stands the only party campaigning for a border poll is the biggest party on the island. Biggest party on the island = there must be a fair amount of support for it and for them to lead the way. And as SF consistently say, it doesn't belong to them, it has to be collaborative.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: imtommygunn on April 09, 2021, 09:32:25 AM
I didn’t say they should be cut out. I just don’t see how they can drive it at all. I am not anti sf but as this board is illustrative of there will just be people who will never be on board with them at all - that’s from both sides.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Rossfan on April 09, 2021, 09:37:34 AM
It would help if SF ( and others too but we're talking SF) would put out their suggested blueprint  the new All Ireland entity.

PS when I suggested this before one of their spokesmen on this Board said they couldn't because FF and FG would criticise it  ::)
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: tiempo on April 09, 2021, 09:47:31 AM
They're the only party on the island with UI in their manifesto and they're the biggest party on the island, they're driving it at present and inviting collaboration, which the establishment in both states are roundly ignoring.

Unionists don't want it by definition, which is fine, equally as legitimate as Nationalists wanting it.

FF/FG in the south don't want it as they know it breaks the hegemony and puts them on the back foot, it would require them to deal with the 6 counties which they have no notion of doing.

SDLP while in serious decline are wedded to FF which puts them in no mans land.

Its kinda SF or nothing presently until others step up. I'd say the Tories would be more willing than anyone the way things are going.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Armagh18 on April 09, 2021, 09:53:46 AM
They're the only party on the island with UI in their manifesto and they're the biggest party on the island, they're driving it at present and inviting collaboration, which the establishment in both states are roundly ignoring.

Unionists don't want it by definition, which is fine, equally as legitimate as Nationalists wanting it.

FF/FG in the south don't want it as they know it breaks the hegemony and puts them on the back foot, it would require them to deal with the 6 counties which they have no notion of doing.

SDLP while in serious decline are wedded to FF which puts them in no mans land.

Its kinda SF or nothing presently until others step up. I'd say the Tories would be more willing than anyone the way things are going.
Absolutely.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Taylor on April 09, 2021, 10:18:54 AM
The majority of people on this board are of a Nationalist/catholic persuasion.

Look at the amount of posts/arguing/non acceptance etc that there is when a UI is discussed.

It will take a decade or more to convince this group of the merits of a UI.

Now add in the other group - unionists/loyalists - imagine how long it will take to convince them.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: tiempo on April 09, 2021, 10:35:49 AM
It would help if SF ( and others too but we're talking SF) would put out their suggested blueprint  the new All Ireland entity.

PS when I suggested this before one of their spokesmen on this Board said they couldn't because FF and FG would criticise it  ::)

Secure a poll, outline blueprint. Egg, chicken.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: imtommygunn on April 09, 2021, 10:45:52 AM
They're the only party on the island with UI in their manifesto and they're the biggest party on the island, they're driving it at present and inviting collaboration, which the establishment in both states are roundly ignoring.

Unionists don't want it by definition, which is fine, equally as legitimate as Nationalists wanting it.

FF/FG in the south don't want it as they know it breaks the hegemony and puts them on the back foot, it would require them to deal with the 6 counties which they have no notion of doing.

SDLP while in serious decline are wedded to FF which puts them in no mans land.

Its kinda SF or nothing presently until others step up. I'd say the Tories would be more willing than anyone the way things are going.

I agree with what you're saying but I just don't think the collaboration you speak of is ever something that SF as a party can achieve with their "baggage". Another party on the nationalist side needs to step up to the plate here. There is a massive opportunity crying out for someone like the SDLP here and they are not taking it.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Rossfan on April 09, 2021, 10:57:44 AM
https://www.sdlp.ie/new_ireland_commission
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: dublin7 on April 09, 2021, 01:55:44 PM
They're the only party on the island with UI in their manifesto and they're the biggest party on the island, they're driving it at present and inviting collaboration, which the establishment in both states are roundly ignoring.

Unionists don't want it by definition, which is fine, equally as legitimate as Nationalists wanting it.

FF/FG in the south don't want it as they know it breaks the hegemony and puts them on the back foot, it would require them to deal with the 6 counties which they have no notion of doing.

SDLP while in serious decline are wedded to FF which puts them in no mans land.

Its kinda SF or nothing presently until others step up. I'd say the Tories would be more willing than anyone the way things are going.

Why do people keep claiming FF/FG don't want a united Ireland? To be fair to them no on in the south really knows (or probably cares) if they do or not as it's not an issue at the moment. It has never been an issue come general elections and the public aren't pressuring them to focus on it.

As far as I can tell its only SF calling for this at the moment so why haven't they published their proposals, especially as they expect to be in government in the south after the next election
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Lar Naparka on April 09, 2021, 01:57:16 PM

I  have said on occasion that I like the way EG goes about presenting his arguments. A master craftsman at work. If he were an architect, he could come up with the Taj Mahal- most of the time anyway.
But not on this occasion: this is more the Tower of Pisa than the oriental masterpiece.

For starters, I disagree with what I take to be his central premise.

 ‘For since the GFA, the Constitutional future of NI is solely in the hands of the people of NI and no-one else. Further, it is only a majority who will ever decide, whether to stay within the UK, or join a UI. All else is bluster and flannel.’
There is the matter of the Republic’s consent to be factored in.

I would say that a large majority in the south would back UI- but not at any cost.
If the referendum was to be held right now, the south would  quite probably vote no.
In 7 years time and if  Taigs and Prods could agree to work out their differences like  adults, the south might decide otherwise.
You have the Shinners reverting to type and giving the GFA the stiff finger salute over the burial of Bobby Storey, an avowed paramilitary. All that was missing was the  volley of shots over his coffin.
The Prods, predictably, got their collective knickers in a twist but many down here take a more dispassionate view of what happened. It is bad enough that the Shinners are still spoiling for a fight with the oul’ enemy but the fact that there was a decidedly muted reaction for the moderate nationalist sector hasn’t gone unnoticed either.
It’s okay talking about UI as if it was only a case of sickening ‘themmuns.’
I believe the reaction might very well be ‘ Must try harder. Come back in 7 years time.’
The fact that the DUP backed Brexit and now want to reject what Boris negotiated on their behalf hasn’t gone unnoticed either.
Throw the fact that the dissent on the loyalist side has escalated to the point where there are clashes along the peace lines and EG’s paradox won’t even get a trial run.


EG has a view to which he is entitled, and I respect. However I’m finding it impossible to respect your view in bold above . Genuine question , can you explain to me where you get your  “knowledge” of the North? and please try to avoid lazy stereotypes and insults.
It might help if I knew WTF you are on about!
I too respect EG’s point(s) of view. I am on record as saying that he is the best debater I know of and I see no reason to change my opinion of him because of his opening post of this thread.
However, it struck me forcibly that I can’t recall a single norther poster, the great man included  who even considered that the people of the south might like to have a say in shaping the joint future of all on the island.
Why you think I will resort to stereotypes and insults is beyond me. It seems that my use of the pejorative terms, ‘Taig’ and ‘Prod’ upsets your sensibilities and I don’t understand why. Those terms are in common use, in the north at any rate and I’m sure a lot worse terms are being hurled about right now.
the Constitutional future of NI is solely in the hands of the people of NI and no-one else.
I picked on this in EG’s post and you seem to take exception to what I had to say about it.
Why?
I find it extremely offensive that on both sides of the sectarian divide, the feelings of the voters in the south are dismissed out of hand. This uis a topic EG has discussed/debated several (many?) times in the past and he apparently also sees the future of a UI as being a matter for Nationalists and Unionists to sort out between them.
THe fact that 70% of the combined total on this island are southerners and that we will inevitably be forced to dig deep into our pockets doesn't seem worthy of notice either.
Now, if there is anything I have said so far that you feel is factually incorrect, you might care to let me know.
What do you mean when you infer that I know nothing about the north? Anything I have said here can be picked up from current news media reports.
What is there to be known apart from the fact that cross-community strife has broken out once again. No one needs a degree in applied engineering to know that the old hatreds are still alive and vibrant and that if there isn’t some serious effort made to heal or at least tone down sectarian differences, only a fool could expect the people of the south to willingly take all on board where they can continue fighting to their heart’s content.
In short, a little bit of tact could go a long way and a word or two of recognition for the fact that southerners would like to think they have some right to have their op[inions listened to good be a goood idea also.

Apologies I quoted this bit in bold in error: “ the Constitutional future of NI is solely in the hands of the people of NI and no-one else” , In quoting your original post .  It was actually only the bold bit relating to Prods , taigs that I was alluding to. Hard to get this quoting right🤦🏻‍♂️.
As a Mayo man I would have presumed you would try to understand the underdog a bit better.
The majority of the population of ireland as a whole backed the first Dáil. The result was that 26 counties managed to secure freedom from BritAin. Your freedom was basically attained through republicanism across the 32 counties but “republicans” in the 6 counties were cut loose from the 26 and left to fend for themselves. Some 100 years later you are trying to tell me that we should just continue to suck it up, coz I’m alright jack? And by the way “republicans” in the 6 should also behave “like adults “ and cowtow to unionists , including our first minister who is a solicitor that thinks bus burners aren’t the “real law breakers”. You should be ashamed of yourself as a Mayoman who I suspect is a follower of the self-proclaimed “Republican Party”.

On the subject of “taigs and prods” behaving “like adults” are you aware for example in that in the area I live in  ?~85% “nationalist/republican” there has been power sharing for nearly 50 years with the chair of the council rotating between n/r and unionist. We all work and are friends with people with unionist background . The problem here is that the leadership of the 6 counties remains in the hands of the supremacist DUP who are blocking progress. SF have a history that many find it hard to see beyond (understandably) but it hasn’t helped the situation here when at times SF seem to be the only ones calling out the DUP, and then others present it as a DUP/SF issue.
I have to say you had me pretty confused!
Furthermore, I don’t think you can follow what I am really trying to say. I have a much greater interest in northern affairs than the average southerner and I certainly do appreciate the difficulties you and moderate nationalists have to face on an ongoing basis.
But the average person down here is hardly aware of what goes on in the north any more that someone in Finchley or Solihull could be expected to have. I am very much aware that WT Cosgrave sold you out at the 1926 Boundary Commision negotiations and accepted Stanley Baldwin’s offer to write off a few outstanding debts. Craig, Baldwin and Cosgrave shook hands and decided to shelve the report and that was that.
But the average citizen of the republic couldn’t tell the difference between Stanley Baldwin and Stanley Matthews- or give a damn either way.
To understand my personal view, you’d need to keep what I told you about the Pioneers’ excursion to Bundran many years ago.
A few lads decided to slip off to the nearest pub for a few jars, a row broke out which wasn’t terribly serious and the poor Pioneers got blamed for calling out the riot police!
The fact that ,say, 90% of those who went to the seaside were completely blameless wasn’t even considered -they were all tarred with the same brush!
For me, there is a parallel between what happened in Bundoran and what is happening in Northern Ireland now. I can understand your plight but most down here certainly do not.
Sinn Fein get all the column inches down here and the voice of moderate nationalism is not heard.
I am not sure you can understand this but most here have never heard of Colum Eastwood, let alone name the party he leads. The same can be said for every politician you have with the exception of the usual extremists such as Michelle and Arlene.
Right now, the north is getting plenty of exposure but what’s coming through is the pitched battles between rival gangs across peace lines.
I am 100% certain that moderate nationalists like you and moderate Unionists like EG completely disassociate yourselves from what’s going on but that doesn’t come across on this side of the border- well, maybe it does to a small number butcertainly not to the majority.
For most, it’s just another instance of Taigs v Prods.
(Granted very many wouldn’t have heard the term Taig but they certainly understand its meaning.)
What about EG’s paradox?
While I’d bet that every northern poster on this topic knows the ins and outs of the GFA down to the last full stop, the same can’t be said for 95% plus this side of the border.
 
Thus,  ”For since the GFA, the Constitutional future of NI is solely in the hands of the people of NI and no-one else. Further, it is only a majority who will ever decide, whether to stay within the UK, or join a UI. All else is bluster and flannel.” is perfectly in line with the provisions of the GFA, it certainly won’t come across in the same light down here if the prospect of a positive vote is likely.
Right now, I’m certain that a majority down here would have grave reservations about the prospect of the riots in northern Ireland being transferred down here.
PS I can't recalll that I said Taigs and Prods should behave like adults but that would be my porobable meaning.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: weareros on April 09, 2021, 05:58:46 PM
Not sure I buy the South’s government don’t want a UI. The best thing they can do is get what’s in their power ready and the Protocol was a huge step as it orients North’s economy towards Dublin and Europe. The Loyalists rioting are not fools, nor are those egging them on. They can see this. Storey funeral will get the headlines, but even they know they were worse with their own funerals and Rangers celebrations. What sticks in their craw is there has been a constitutional displacement even if they still vote and pay tax in UK, and that’s a big puck in the stomach. Between common electrical grid, common tourism, investments in rail, and the common agricultural policies enforced by protocol, the economic UI is in motion. Even the two ultimate losers the IFA and FAI are talking about an All-Ireland league. What could derail it is actually Biden of all people by going after our corporate tax, another recession if jobs flee the country, mass emigration again. It would be hard to see the middle ground voting for it if the South’s economy tanked. But it’s crazy to say no ones preparing. I imagine - or maybe I’ve watched too much Yes Minister - that civil servants are planning behind the scenes.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Orior on April 09, 2021, 06:00:41 PM
They're the only party on the island with UI in their manifesto and they're the biggest party on the island, they're driving it at present and inviting collaboration, which the establishment in both states are roundly ignoring.

Unionists don't want it by definition, which is fine, equally as legitimate as Nationalists wanting it.

FF/FG in the south don't want it as they know it breaks the hegemony and puts them on the back foot, it would require them to deal with the 6 counties which they have no notion of doing.

SDLP while in serious decline are wedded to FF which puts them in no mans land.

Its kinda SF or nothing presently until others step up. I'd say the Tories would be more willing than anyone the way things are going.

Why do people keep claiming FF/FG don't want a united Ireland? To be fair to them no on in the south really knows (or probably cares) if they do or not as it's not an issue at the moment. It has never been an issue come general elections and the public aren't pressuring them to focus on it.

As far as I can tell its only SF calling for this at the moment so why haven't they published their proposals, especially as they expect to be in government in the south after the next election

Could you imagine FF/FG deciding that Mayo was worth feck all, then governing over 25 counties while letting Mayo look after themselves? That is exactly what they're doing to Irish in the occupied six.
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: Rossfan on April 09, 2021, 06:05:33 PM
Of course Mayo should be forgotten about.
However Mayo people vote TDs to the in Dáil and they pay Tax to the 26 Co Revenue.
Maybe ye lads in the 6 could make an annual contribution ?
Say €500 per head?
Title: Re: A United Ireland - The Nationalist Paradox
Post by: 6th sam on April 09, 2021, 06:14:09 PM
Not sure I buy the South’s government don’t want a UI. The best thing they can do is get what’s in their power ready and the Protocol was a huge step as it orients North’s economy towards Dublin and Europe. The Loyalists rioting are not fools, nor are those egging them on. They can see this. Storey funeral will get the headlines, but even they know they were worse with their own funerals and Rangers celebrations. What sticks in their craw is there has been a constitutional displacement even if they still vote and pay tax in UK, and that’s a big puck in the stomach. Between common electrical grid, common tourism, investments in rail, and the common agricultural policies enforced by protocol, the economic UI is in motion. Even the two ultimate losers the IFA and FAI are talking about an All-Ireland league. What could derail it is actually Biden of all people by going after our corporate tax, another recession if jobs flee the country, mass emigration again. It would be hard to see the middle ground voting for it if the South’s economy tanked. But it’s crazy to say no ones preparing. I imagine - or maybe I’ve watched too much Yes Minister - that civil servants are planning behind the scenes.
Excellent post