• -
  • irishtimes.com - Posted: January 26, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

    Thinking the Unthinkable

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    It would be a smart move for the DUP and UUP to present a united front to the Northern Ireland electorate. Will someone explain to me why the nationalist side cannot do the same?

    I suspect nobody who reads this Blog is interested in Northern Ireland but if things get out of hand then Northern Ireland will be interested in you. A renewal of the Troubles would have implications on this side of the Border.

    Once again, talk of unionist MPs supporting one side or the other at Westminster is in the air. The heretical thought strikes me that nationalists and republicans could play that game too. Is it time to rethink the republican policy of abstentionism? Will someone remind me what the rationale of it is? Scots nationalist MPs attend the House of Commons yet nobody thinks this makes Scottish independence less likely. In fact, most observers would agree, I suspect, that the Scots will get their independence a lot sooner than the North reunifies with the South on this island.

    • says:

      I think the fact that the conservatives have been holed up in an English country manor with the DUP may account for the skepticism on the part of some commentators as to when the policing issue will be resolved.
      I doubt they will want to move on this before the old Etonians take power once more, which they seem confident they can.
      Being exceptional close to the Scottish issue I can assure you Scotland generally has little taste for complete independence, nor will it get it any time soon, and as we Irish voted in a referendum to give up our claim to the 6 counties I doubt we would ever see that kind of reunification. Why should we want it, NI is the most subsidised, money pit there is, the Republic could not afford to take it on, and I don’t believe it should, we are all EU now, only a matter of time before the Euro crosses the border.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Because the nationalists still haven’t addressed their roots – they need to go back to before 1916 – whether they are SF or SDLP – and deal with the break that took place to create unionists where before there had been nationalists – it is a myth that Catholic and Protestant were always such enemies in that part of Ireland.

      There is also the issue about the future of the unionist community if there were ever to be an united Ireland – people from that community have to have their fears and concerns addressed in much the same way that those in the North who consider themselves nationalists seem to delude themselves that they’ll be welcomed with open arms by the rest of us – they won’t. The example of West & East Germany is worth learning.

      So when SDLP and SF comes to terms with the fact unionists have as much right to live on the island of Ireland as anyone else and will have as much right to a role in any future settlement as anyone, maybe then they can present a united front?

    • Ray D says:

      I can explain. Think SF and then Labour here in the 26 counties. They have nothing in common.

    • Betterworld Now says:

      How can it be that 1million people are homeless and starving in Haiti, yet the focus of at least two world leaders (well one-and-a-half anyway) is on ego-massaging the leaders of the two least accommodating political pimples in Europe?

      Can I suggest to the two National governments that they convene the next talks on Northern Ireland in the Haitian capital and hand the two egomaniacs responsible for the latest manufactured impasse shovels as they descend the steps of the plane.

      That way at least the taxpayers would get labour for their money – they sure as hell haven’t earned their lavish salaries and conditions so far.

      Bullies only respond to bigger bullies – what Cowen and Brown need is a big stick, not more rolling over.

      Get the pair of yez back to Westminster and Dublin today and threaten to fire the lot of them by Friday if they can’t or won’t make their own agreement.

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      Ideology possibly? if that’s not too radical an idea post Blair and the metamorphosis of party leaders into Chief Exec’s…Also the ‘canny’ Scots have managed to obtain political dominance in UK by the back door…surely familiar with the West Lothian question…?

    • says:

      Betterworld now@4

      Two half wits.
      And unfortunately they do not add up to a wit.

    • says:


      Oh don’t, please don’t bring up the West Lothian Question, we could be here forever. As a UK voter my chips are on the simple solution to that. Scottish MPs/SMP’s should not vote on issues of the internal politics of England and Wales, where Scotland intends to/has held its own vote.

      But like I say, forever, to infinity and beyond.

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      @7 It was a rhetorical question just as the original was ironic! However that does not alter the fact that the Scots have played a blinder… in Cabinet and Government…Re SF..watch this space!

    • says:

      The scot’s have indeed played a blinder, but remember what the scots are famous for, Lawyers, Bankers and Pedants.

      (oh and scenary that can actually break your heart of course)

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      I don’t believe the scenery can ‘actually’ break you heart, but take your point from what I’ve seen in tourist/commercials etc…I’ve known some excellent Scots Trades Unionists, an area in which the Scots and Irish feature prominently…
      Nothing wrong with Lawyers, even if we are one of the higher circles of Perdition…but still behind Journalists apparently…
      Are you an escapee from The Prisoner by any chance

Search Politics