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Replying To Báireoir:  "One of the more unusual aspects of Irish history is that there was such a sense of cultural unity, combined with complete political fragmentation, it's quite fascinating really."
It was same in other parts of Europe. It was common language that mostly brought together people into "nation states." There's actually quite a lot to be said about local autonomy. Once different regions are not fighting one another.

BarneyGrant (Dublin) - Posts: 1932 - 07/05/2023 17:53:48    2476468

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People who think that some day in the future there will be a border poll and the vote for a United Ireland will win and the unionists will just wake up the following morning and accept it are delusional.

11jm11 (Kildare) - Posts: 364 - 07/05/2023 23:07:55    2476571

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Replying To 11jm11:  "People who think that some day in the future there will be a border poll and the vote for a United Ireland will win and the unionists will just wake up the following morning and accept it are delusional."
Correct they would not accept it as they do not know the meaning of the word democracy (they invented gerrymandering ). The point you make is precisely why the Irish government should be using the current budget surpluses to build up the Irish Army to deal with such an eventuality. The Irish Government has failed to even set up a citizens assembly on Irish unity thus far. The Irish Government should also make speeches on the historical inevitability of Irish unity so that Unionists are of the trajectory of travel and that one day there will be a United Ireland. Irish unity must be the main priority of every Irish government going forward because it is simply unacceptable for part of the Irish national territory to be occupied by a foreign power.

REDANDBLACK30 (Down) - Posts: 1601 - 08/05/2023 13:11:56    2476710

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Replying To 11jm11:  "People who think that some day in the future there will be a border poll and the vote for a United Ireland will win and the unionists will just wake up the following morning and accept it are delusional."
You are right. There is no chance of a poll being held, never mind voting in favour of unity in the foreseeable future.

Anyone who thinks otherwise has both not read the GFA and the conditions for holding a poll; nor aware of the fact that the pro unity parties vote has not increased since 1998,

BarneyGrant (Dublin) - Posts: 1932 - 08/05/2023 13:49:49    2476731

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Replying To REDANDBLACK30:  "Correct they would not accept it as they do not know the meaning of the word democracy (they invented gerrymandering ). The point you make is precisely why the Irish government should be using the current budget surpluses to build up the Irish Army to deal with such an eventuality. The Irish Government has failed to even set up a citizens assembly on Irish unity thus far. The Irish Government should also make speeches on the historical inevitability of Irish unity so that Unionists are of the trajectory of travel and that one day there will be a United Ireland. Irish unity must be the main priority of every Irish government going forward because it is simply unacceptable for part of the Irish national territory to be occupied by a foreign power."
It's even more unacceptable for Irish people to administer that part of the national territory.

BarneyGrant (Dublin) - Posts: 1932 - 08/05/2023 17:31:33    2476834

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Replying To REDANDBLACK30:  "Correct they would not accept it as they do not know the meaning of the word democracy (they invented gerrymandering ). The point you make is precisely why the Irish government should be using the current budget surpluses to build up the Irish Army to deal with such an eventuality. The Irish Government has failed to even set up a citizens assembly on Irish unity thus far. The Irish Government should also make speeches on the historical inevitability of Irish unity so that Unionists are of the trajectory of travel and that one day there will be a United Ireland. Irish unity must be the main priority of every Irish government going forward because it is simply unacceptable for part of the Irish national territory to be occupied by a foreign power."
They didn't invent gerrymandering. An American politician named Elbridge Gerry signed a bill into law whilst he was governor of Massachusetts that created a heavily partisan electoral district which people noticed looked like a salamander. That is where the term comes from. That said the Unionists shamelessly employed gerrymandering most especially in Derry.

Greengrass (Louth) - Posts: 5995 - 08/05/2023 18:29:49    2476849

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Replying To 11jm11:  "People who think that some day in the future there will be a border poll and the vote for a United Ireland will win and the unionists will just wake up the following morning and accept it are delusional."
Of course they won't. Are you going to let that cow you after the centuries of hardship Ireland went through? When it comes to your own generation you shuffle off into the corner afraid of how others will react?

No way. At the end of the day any change of constitutional status will be decided on by democratic means north and south. If Unionists will not accept that then it will be for the security apparatus to deal with it. That may even mean UN forces. We in the North will be at the coalface of any backlash and we are willing to vote for unity.

Jazzyjeff (Derry) - Posts: 134 - 08/05/2023 19:35:28    2476867

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Replying To BarneyGrant:  "You are right. There is no chance of a poll being held, never mind voting in favour of unity in the foreseeable future.

Anyone who thinks otherwise has both not read the GFA and the conditions for holding a poll; nor aware of the fact that the pro unity parties vote has not increased since 1998,"
Do you follow Northern politics and have you read much of the GFA?

Jazzyjeff (Derry) - Posts: 134 - 08/05/2023 19:36:36    2476868

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Replying To Greengrass:  "They didn't invent gerrymandering. An American politician named Elbridge Gerry signed a bill into law whilst he was governor of Massachusetts that created a heavily partisan electoral district which people noticed looked like a salamander. That is where the term comes from. That said the Unionists shamelessly employed gerrymandering most especially in Derry."
I take your point but many Unionists have called for a change in the 50%+1 border poll that is in the Good Friday Agreement so that a Unionist vote counts more than a Nationalist vote. That is not democracy.

REDANDBLACK30 (Down) - Posts: 1601 - 09/05/2023 10:28:15    2476942

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Replying To BarneyGrant:  "It's even more unacceptable for Irish people to administer that part of the national territory."
That is a fair point but it is part of the Good Friday Agreement which was actually poorly negotiated on the part of Nationalism as it was not specified under what circumstances a border poll had to be called (ie based on opinion polls etc all it says if seems likely a majority is in favour how is this determined?). The Irish government also altered Articles 2 & 3 of the Irish Constitution in that agreement to appease Unionists.

REDANDBLACK30 (Down) - Posts: 1601 - 09/05/2023 10:37:31    2476948

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Replying To Jazzyjeff:  "Do you follow Northern politics and have you read much of the GFA?"
I have read it all and was involved in "northern politics" for 30 years.

The facts regarding the GFA and conditions for calling a poll; and the facts regarding the evidence that would have to be there in order to even call one, let alone that one might be passed, are also as plain as the nose on your face,

YOU may be in favour of unity - as I am and always will be an I base that on 1916 and 1918 not 1998 - but there is not nor will there ever be in the foreseeable future a majority for that within the artificially created northern state that was established not to stop a Catholic being a local governor but to deny the democratic will of the Irish people in 1918.

BarneyGrant (Dublin) - Posts: 1932 - 09/05/2023 11:15:33    2476970

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Replying To REDANDBLACK30:  "That is a fair point but it is part of the Good Friday Agreement which was actually poorly negotiated on the part of Nationalism as it was not specified under what circumstances a border poll had to be called (ie based on opinion polls etc all it says if seems likely a majority is in favour how is this determined?). The Irish government also altered Articles 2 & 3 of the Irish Constitution in that agreement to appease Unionists."
The only way the British Secretary of State could "make such a determination" is on basis of election results or opinion polls. Maybe if the Census showed a Catholic majority although that is increasingly meaningless.

Both elections and polls consistently show around 40% pro unity. They won't call a poll on that basis and if they did it would be beaten by at least 60:40 as substantial minority of SDLP voters are not in favour of unity.

It suits Sinn Féin to make a border poll the centre of their politics as they know all of the above and it compensates for them being pretty useless at all the stuff parties are supposed to do.

BarneyGrant (Dublin) - Posts: 1932 - 09/05/2023 12:16:39    2476992

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Replying To BarneyGrant:  "The only way the British Secretary of State could "make such a determination" is on basis of election results or opinion polls. Maybe if the Census showed a Catholic majority although that is increasingly meaningless.

Both elections and polls consistently show around 40% pro unity. They won't call a poll on that basis and if they did it would be beaten by at least 60:40 as substantial minority of SDLP voters are not in favour of unity.

It suits Sinn Féin to make a border poll the centre of their politics as they know all of the above and it compensates for them being pretty useless at all the stuff parties are supposed to do."
It is likely that opinion polls would be used but the British Government have refused to specify the threshold for a border poll being called. The reason there will not be a United Ireland in the short term is there are a lot of Catholic Unionists who will vote for the Union. In the medium term a vote will pass as the Nationalist population is generally younger than the Unionist population and Unionism will not have the numbers to win a poll about 10-15 years from now.

REDANDBLACK30 (Down) - Posts: 1601 - 09/05/2023 12:36:56    2477004

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Replying To BarneyGrant:  "The only way the British Secretary of State could "make such a determination" is on basis of election results or opinion polls. Maybe if the Census showed a Catholic majority although that is increasingly meaningless.

Both elections and polls consistently show around 40% pro unity. They won't call a poll on that basis and if they did it would be beaten by at least 60:40 as substantial minority of SDLP voters are not in favour of unity.

It suits Sinn Féin to make a border poll the centre of their politics as they know all of the above and it compensates for them being pretty useless at all the stuff parties are supposed to do."
Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have shown themselves to be pretty useless at looking after many Irish citizens with the scrapping of the eviction ban and independents have propped up the Irish Government after that shameful decision so Sinn Fein could hardly do any worse.

REDANDBLACK30 (Down) - Posts: 1601 - 09/05/2023 12:42:22    2477006

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Replying To REDANDBLACK30:  "Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have shown themselves to be pretty useless at looking after many Irish citizens with the scrapping of the eviction ban and independents have propped up the Irish Government after that shameful decision so Sinn Fein could hardly do any worse."
They are all the same to me. Don't and won't vote for any of them. Not being worse is not a great way to sell anything!

BarneyGrant (Dublin) - Posts: 1932 - 09/05/2023 13:43:49    2477027

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Replying To REDANDBLACK30:  "Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have shown themselves to be pretty useless at looking after many Irish citizens with the scrapping of the eviction ban and independents have propped up the Irish Government after that shameful decision so Sinn Fein could hardly do any worse."
Agreed, but they have to earn the right to form a government. Everyone's an expert when it comes to politics though. A bit like COVID times when we had so many health and pandemic experts online. At least use your vote to try voting the others before start pointing out what politicians are doing wrong with no point on what are better alternatives. Better still get inbolved in local politics, maybe progress to national level. But it's hard work, the online experts don't know that. Way too much heed paid in politics and other things to social media. And way too many social media accounts pointing out the obviiys when things go wrong but no clue how to fix things and sure they can always set up a new account to whinge even more. The ballot box on election day is what counts. Could be any mix in Leinster House, depends on the mood of the electorate at that time.

GreenandRed (Mayo) - Posts: 7185 - 09/05/2023 15:02:57    2477046

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Replying To GreenandRed:  "Agreed, but they have to earn the right to form a government. Everyone's an expert when it comes to politics though. A bit like COVID times when we had so many health and pandemic experts online. At least use your vote to try voting the others before start pointing out what politicians are doing wrong with no point on what are better alternatives. Better still get inbolved in local politics, maybe progress to national level. But it's hard work, the online experts don't know that. Way too much heed paid in politics and other things to social media. And way too many social media accounts pointing out the obviiys when things go wrong but no clue how to fix things and sure they can always set up a new account to whinge even more. The ballot box on election day is what counts. Could be any mix in Leinster House, depends on the mood of the electorate at that time."
Yeah opposition is definitely easier than being in government as you do not have to make the difficult decisions. Sinn Fein have to earn the right to form a government as you say and with the current polling numbers they may get their chance. Lifting the eviction ban was a disgrace but in fairness the budget surplus is a major positive as the North is facing even more Tory cuts and public services are being decimated.

REDANDBLACK30 (Down) - Posts: 1601 - 09/05/2023 15:35:33    2477056

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Replying To REDANDBLACK30:  "Yeah opposition is definitely easier than being in government as you do not have to make the difficult decisions. Sinn Fein have to earn the right to form a government as you say and with the current polling numbers they may get their chance. Lifting the eviction ban was a disgrace but in fairness the budget surplus is a major positive as the North is facing even more Tory cuts and public services are being decimated."
The eviction ban was stopping swathes of small landlords from touching the rental market.
The blanket eviction ban was never the answer and was an emergency measure brought in during Covid.
It was rightly removed.

It does however need to be replaced with more suitable mechanism for protecting tenants and landlords alike.


(I should point out, in the interest of balance, I am neither a landlord or tenant)


As the above poster pointed out, it's a lot easier to preach politics on here. Much harder to be in politics. And very difficult to take a decision in the best interests of the country when the main opposition party is knowingly pandering to those who don't understand the situation fully.

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts: 4825 - 09/05/2023 15:59:33    2477070

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Replying To Young_gael:  "I think that is a great post with a lot of food for thought. I agree by the way, that unification of the island is now a practical inevitability - but it isnt a certainty either. Also the shape it might take might not paint the picture many nationalists wish for. Time will tell. I for one believe the longer we wait, the more "Irish" a new state would be. It also, paradoxically, will depend on just how much the British government want rid - they could speed up or slow down the process hugely, everything right now points to the former.

And you sum up our protestant unionist neighbours very well. They are a remnant of the age of empires. A colonial afterthought. A failed experiment. I actually feel sorry for them now, they have survived on this island for 400 years, eaked out a part of it for themselves, fought the natives from day one, only to be thrown from a height now in this new millenium by those they wish so greatly would just "want" them. Ultimately they are now politically and culturally in an advanced state of decay - some of it by their own hand. They no longer have friends of standing in British politics, no friends among the elite or the royalty, no friends among the judiciary, and no friends in America or Europe. They are locked in a horrible, political battle that they cant win, and are ultimately locked in a political death spiral that will continue to play out for another quarter century. It is very, very bleak. They need leadership and they need vision - maybe that could come from Irish people willing to extend the hand of friendship and offering them something better. Sadly, I think this game will play out for a while yet until the island formally re-unifies.

The PUL tradition have two options - the White South African option to integrate and accept a new society with optimism for their own future, or the Rhodesian option - gradual extinction through lack of vision, lack of foresight, and lack of diversity."
No leaders and unfortunately it doesn't look like that will change anytime soon. Lads on here worried about the Unionist reaction if there was a unification vote and it passed by .01% are missing the point of what is going on in the Unionist community at the moment. Accepting a SF PM, accepting that NI is different to the rest of the UK and its best interests are alignment with Ireland, will come with a heavy price for Unionism and without leadership, the consequences may not be good. Added to that, the Tories will most likely lose the next general election which will further deepen their mistrust of the UK government, leaving the Unionists believing in that there are two options open to them - leave or fight. They see no blame for themselves in what has happened and believe they have sacrificed everything. As you say they are in a political death spiral and while that may continue for some time, I fear without real leadership on their side it could get out of control in the near term.
One other point I would make on unification, the cementing of the border and the beginning of the overtly sectarian state did not happen in 1922 but rather between 1939-45. It was WW2 that allowed the sectarian views about the loyalty of the Catholic population to come into focus and from then on to be excluded from society. It allowed the Unionists to claim with justification that the UK needed them as much as they needed the UK. Perhaps now with very different changed circumstances that could finally be removed by Ireland joining NATO. There were rights and wrongs to neutrality during WW2 but that is long gone now and the current day concept of military but not political is a farce. We talk about the Unionist living in the past but would people in Ireland be prepared to join NATO and see British soldiers once again in our country? Michael D going to LN the Queens visit etc. symbols but British troops setting food again on Irish soil would show if the people of Ireland have moved on from the past. As you say are the people of Ireland willing to offer a hand.

zinny (Wexford) - Posts: 1667 - 10/05/2023 10:30:14    2477221

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Replying To zinny:  "No leaders and unfortunately it doesn't look like that will change anytime soon. Lads on here worried about the Unionist reaction if there was a unification vote and it passed by .01% are missing the point of what is going on in the Unionist community at the moment. Accepting a SF PM, accepting that NI is different to the rest of the UK and its best interests are alignment with Ireland, will come with a heavy price for Unionism and without leadership, the consequences may not be good. Added to that, the Tories will most likely lose the next general election which will further deepen their mistrust of the UK government, leaving the Unionists believing in that there are two options open to them - leave or fight. They see no blame for themselves in what has happened and believe they have sacrificed everything. As you say they are in a political death spiral and while that may continue for some time, I fear without real leadership on their side it could get out of control in the near term.
One other point I would make on unification, the cementing of the border and the beginning of the overtly sectarian state did not happen in 1922 but rather between 1939-45. It was WW2 that allowed the sectarian views about the loyalty of the Catholic population to come into focus and from then on to be excluded from society. It allowed the Unionists to claim with justification that the UK needed them as much as they needed the UK. Perhaps now with very different changed circumstances that could finally be removed by Ireland joining NATO. There were rights and wrongs to neutrality during WW2 but that is long gone now and the current day concept of military but not political is a farce. We talk about the Unionist living in the past but would people in Ireland be prepared to join NATO and see British soldiers once again in our country? Michael D going to LN the Queens visit etc. symbols but British troops setting food again on Irish soil would show if the people of Ireland have moved on from the past. As you say are the people of Ireland willing to offer a hand."
Would the cementing of the border not be more accurately described as taking place in 1925 when Cosgrave prioritised writing off Ireland's imperial war debt over pursuing territorial changes through the Boundary Commission which would have rendered the Northern statelet unviable??

REDANDBLACK30 (Down) - Posts: 1601 - 10/05/2023 11:36:22    2477256

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