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General Politics => International General Discussion => Topic started by: politicus on April 09, 2012, 09:38:52 am



Title: United Ireland?
Post by: politicus on April 09, 2012, 09:38:52 am
Is there any credible path to a unification of Ireland and Northern Ireland in the next 20 years? Either as a federation or (more likely) as a confederation. I think that an independent Scotland might change the position of some NI protestants - especially in the younger generation. Northern Ireland is already an odd component in the British state, and it would be even odder and more marginal in an amputated British/ English-Welsh state.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on April 09, 2012, 09:41:31 am
No. Nobody here wants it.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: tpfkaw on April 09, 2012, 09:52:56 am
The birth rate of Catholics in NI is much higher than that of Protestants, and they should be a majority in 20-30 years if present trends continue.  Of course, if a majority ever supports joining Ireland, the UK government will presumably become massive hypocrites and partition NI.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Oakvale on April 09, 2012, 12:30:05 pm
No. Nobody here wants it.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: True Federalist on April 09, 2012, 12:41:17 pm
The chances of a united independent Ireland twenty years from now are about as good as those of a restored United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in the same time frame.  Not absolutely impossible, but so improbable as to not be worth worrying about.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: politicus on April 09, 2012, 12:50:51 pm
The chances of a united independent Ireland twenty years from now are about as good as those of a restored United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in the same time frame.  Not absolutely impossible, but so improbable as to not be worth worrying about.
Well, at restored UK of GB and Ireland is absolutely impossible, so that's a false comparison.
A prerequisite for my question is the possibility of an independent Scotland (chances 30-40% IMO) and the dynamic it would unleash regarding the future of the UK.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Tender Branson on April 09, 2012, 12:54:18 pm
About as likely as South Tyrol re-joining Austria.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: tpfkaw on April 09, 2012, 01:10:17 pm
If I'm recalling correctly, a recent survey in NI showed that 55% of primary school pupils are Catholic and 40% Protestant.  The unionists in NI are headed to demographic apocalypse in the medium term, should present voting habits persist.  That's why you've seen recent moderation on the part of the unionists (Peter Robinson gave a speech [in Dublin!] in which he stated that unionists will have to start reaching out to Catholics, and Jonathan Bell spoke at the Fine Gael party conference, while the UUP just elected their first non-Orange Order leader).

Of course, there never will be a fully united Ireland in any scenario; like I said, a nationalist majority in NI would merely mean partition.  Of course, even if the present demographic trends continue, that won't be happening for 50 years or so, unless the nats get momentum from other parts of the UK breaking off.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on April 09, 2012, 01:13:18 pm
I would like to just point out that while nobody from Northern Ireland has posted in this thread (or, as far as I know, on this forum, ever) the two people from the Republic have made an interesting point that everybody else has ignored. Though I'm not sure it is literally true, there is obviously a lot of truth to it.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: tpfkaw on April 09, 2012, 01:18:11 pm
I figure it's like the West Germany/East Germany or South Korea/North Korea thing - they might not really want to in the strictly practical sense, but they would feel obligated to anyway.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on April 09, 2012, 01:22:19 pm
I do agree it's somewhat unlikely West Germans would still have *wanted* reunification if a longish period of democratic rule in the East and some kind of Good Friday equivalent had gone beforehand.
As it was, the Right wanted it and the Left didn't know what it was wanting (and showed noticeably reduced turnout in the 1990 elections as a result; including the bobo kinds of leftie that always vote).


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: LastVoter on April 09, 2012, 02:04:40 pm
What about secularization, does that play a role at all?


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Trounce-'em Theresa on April 09, 2012, 02:56:10 pm
What about secularization, does that play a role at all?

I personally don't see why it would, or at least not a particularly large one.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: politicus on April 09, 2012, 03:01:16 pm
I figure it's like the West Germany/East Germany or South Korea/North Korea thing - they might not really want to in the strictly practical sense, but they would feel obligated to anyway.
I agree. Its mostly up to NI. If there is a change in opinion up there, it'll be hard for the republic to say no.
Also both FF and FG support unification in principle.



Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on April 09, 2012, 04:17:56 pm
What about secularization, does that play a role at all?

No; that would require two factors to be true: 1) that religion in itself is the cause of conflict in the NI and will disappear once the religious divide will disappear (whatever that means) and 2) that NI (especially Protestant NI) is secularizing rapidly. But neither of these are the case. As it happens, there was some quite significant secularization of NI society in the 1950s and 1960s and look where that ended up...

Quote
I figure it's like the West Germany/East Germany or South Korea/North Korea thing - they might not really want to in the strictly practical sense, but they would feel obligated to anyway.

No; NI isn't like anywhere really, but it is more like India-Pakistan than either of those two examples. Partition was not, unlike the above two but like India-Pakistan, solely the creation of outside powers where borders were arbitrarily* drawn in any areas were division had existed beforehand. Rather in Ireland the cause of partition were the divisions that existed inside the country which continued to exist to this day....

* - (Which isn't to say the borders of Ireland and India-Pakistan are not arbitrary. They are in large part, of course, but the division itself was not)

Quote
If I'm recalling correctly, a recent survey in NI showed that 55% of primary school pupils are Catholic and 40% Protestant.  The unionists in NI are headed to demographic apocalypse in the medium term, should present voting habits persist.  That's why you've seen recent moderation on the part of the unionists (Peter Robinson gave a speech [in Dublin!] in which he stated that unionists will have to start reaching out to Catholics, and Jonathan Bell spoke at the Fine Gael party conference, while the UUP just elected their first non-Orange Order leader).

Of course, there never will be a fully united Ireland in any scenario; like I said, a nationalist majority in NI would merely mean partition.  Of course, even if the present demographic trends continue, that won't be happening for 50 years or so, unless the nats get momentum from other parts of the UK breaking off.

No, what will mean is that the Stormont government will have a nationalist majority and nothing else. Now, I suspect that this is something that wouldn't actually trouble people in London or Dublin much* but it certainly would in East Belfast and The Antrim Jesus belt.

* (as opposed to say, actual talk of unification, which would and, in all honesty, would trouble Dublin more than it would London)

As it happens, there is no actual evidence that even a majority of NI catholics would support unification if it came to a referendum.

Quote
I would like to just point out that while nobody from Northern Ireland has posted in this thread (or, as far as I know, on this forum, ever) the two people from the Republic have made an interesting point that everybody else has ignored. Though I'm not sure it is literally true, there is obviously a lot of truth to it.

Iain Paisley is perhaps the most successful unionist of all time - he convinced so many (southern) Irish people that we simply didn't want to unify with the North if it involved (and it would) unifying with the likes of Iain Paisley.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: True Federalist on April 09, 2012, 06:39:16 pm
The chances of a united independent Ireland twenty years from now are about as good as those of a restored United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in the same time frame.  Not absolutely impossible, but so improbable as to not be worth worrying about.
Well, at restored UK of GB and Ireland is absolutely impossible, so that's a false comparison.
A prerequisite for my question is the possibility of an independent Scotland (chances 30-40% IMO) and the dynamic it would unleash regarding the future of the UK.


A prerequisite for either scenario to happen so soon is (Southern) Ireland rejoining the Commonwealth.  A restored UKGBI would also require not merely the implosion of the Euro Zone, but also of the EU, but if that unlikely scenario were to happen, Ireland rejoining the Commnwealth would have a much better chance of occurring, and reunification with Britain would have an extremely slender chance of happening, albeit with Southern Ireland retaining a devolved government and quite possibly under a different name, such as the Isles of the North Atlantic or the Federated Republic of Ireland and Great Britain.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on April 09, 2012, 07:04:16 pm
As it happens, there is no actual evidence that even a majority of NI catholics would support unification if it came to a referendum.

What evidence there is points pretty firmly in the other direction, actually.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: ObserverIE on April 10, 2012, 06:12:38 am
No. Nobody here wants it.

Not perhaps among the demographic who would regularly post to international political forums. I wouldn't necessarily project from there onto the population at large.

As politicus says, the motivation, if it comes, will come from Northern Ireland. That requires a majority wanting reunion, and while that may come closer with demographic change, there are two dampeners from the point of northern nationalists:

i) the state of the economy/society in the south (not currently looking good),
ii) worry about how the "law-abiding" current majority would react to being outvoted in a democratic election.

(I wouldn't pay much heed to the likes of the Northern Ireland Life and Times surveys; given their massively skewed results when it comes to political party support, it's clear that they measure the opinions that people feel comfortable expressing to total strangers in a society where "whatever you say, say nothing" is still a wise course of action.)

If there was a majority in favour of reunion in the north, I wouldn't expect there to be any significant opposition in the south (the occasional bobo excepted). But I don't expect it to happen any time soon.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: The Mikado on April 11, 2012, 04:36:25 pm
If that happened, it seems to me no one would be sadder than Gerry Adams.  Sinn Fein would lose it's entire reason to exist in a unified Ireland.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: ObserverIE on April 11, 2012, 05:50:03 pm
If that happened, it seems to me no one would be sadder than Gerry Adams.  Sinn Fein would lose it's entire reason to exist in a unified Ireland.

I wouldn't be sure of that. The ANC, Indian Congress Party, KMT, etc. are still around.

At the moment, there's a gigantic hole in the centre ground of politics in the south where Fianna Fáil used to be. Fine Gael have the right to themselves (at least until Merkozynomics works its magic and the country goes even more tits-up than it is already), while to the left, Labour look to be returning themselves to single figures, and the other rivals for that swathe of territory are either an uneasy alliance of two mutually-suspicious Trotskyite sectlets or a gaggle of rural populist independents. Sinn Féin are trying to reposition themselves to take advantage of that.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on April 12, 2012, 08:03:12 pm
Well, I am a "Bobo" so I don't speak for - and can't claim to speak for - the man in Ballyheerin but I don't see much sentiment in favour of unification going around around the country. Rather I think the border has become far too well-entrenched for it to change without some form of upheaval in the way we consider "Irishness" taking place. The recent incident when Armagh GAA players were referred to as "British bastards" being a particular demonstration of that.

I'd agree though if a majority in the north was in favour of unification, it would happen. But I don't really see that happening....


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: ObserverIE on April 12, 2012, 08:57:15 pm
Well, I am a "Bobo" so I don't speak for - and can't claim to speak for - the man in Ballyheerin but I don't see much sentiment in favour of unification going around around the country.

I think the best description for it is "desirable in the abstract but not at all urgent at the moment".

Quote
Rather I think the border has become far too well-entrenched for it to change without some form of upheaval in the way we consider "Irishness" taking place. The recent incident when Armagh GAA players were referred to as "British bastards" being a particular demonstration of that.

I wouldn't necessarily take too much from the Queen's County football team's taste in sledging; the hysterical treatment meted out to Derrytresk after the Junior club football semi-final was more serious in my judgement.

Partitionism is there in the south and it has been for as long as I can remember; it still didn't stop McAleese being elected President in 1997.

The change, if it ever comes, will come from north of the border and may come when people least expect it.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on April 12, 2012, 08:58:44 pm
^^^^
Don't disagree with any of that.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: afleitch on April 13, 2012, 06:15:20 am
As it happens, there is no actual evidence that even a majority of NI catholics would support unification if it came to a referendum.

What evidence there is points pretty firmly in the other direction, actually.

It's a myriad really. The problem is that Northern Irish and Irish identity is interchangable. The two political outcomes are a result of a divergence in opinion as to Ireland's future. Catholics certainly don't feel 'British.' In comparison Catholics in Scotland do tend to identify strongly Scottish over 'British' but are traditionally 'unionist' (but not 'Unionist') as remaining in the UK was preferrable to the alternative of independence. For most of the last century Scottish independence would have manifested itself as a Presbyterian non-secular hegemony; a Northern Ireland Mark II. Of course, Scotland has rapidly secularised (it could be argued more so than England and Wales)

While re-unification has romantic appeal to some Catholics in Northern Ireland, the suspension of Home Rule and the introduction of an army presence was initially welcomed as a protection against political Orangism. Even during the 'Troubles' it was more welcomed than perhaps many Catholics would care to admit (and always preferable to the police)


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: ObserverIE on April 13, 2012, 10:49:26 am
While re-unification has romantic appeal to some Catholics in Northern Ireland, the suspension of Home Rule and the introduction of an army presence was initially welcomed as a protection against political Orangism. Even during the 'Troubles' it was more welcomed than perhaps many Catholics would care to admit (and always preferable to the police)

I wouldn't over-egg the pudding; the welcome wore out very quickly after the Falls curfew and the introduction of internment. It also depended on the regiment; a lot of Scottish regiments had a bad reputation for dealing with Catholic civilians and the UDR (officially part of the British Army) a worse one.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: politicus on April 13, 2012, 12:12:03 pm
My main reason for asking the question in this thread was, that I think a possible Scottish secession from the UK could open up the NI situation in a new way and make a NI/I confederation seem like the logical option to more people.
 
How do you think an independent Scotland would affect the attitudes in NI and the rest of UK?

The way I see it, a UK without Scotland would have little inclination to keep subsidizing NI, or would at least' cut these transfers substantially. That would remove much of the economic incentive to stay in the union.
Quite a few Scots still feel a bond with NI Unionists/Ulster Scots while most English don't really seem to care about NI.
And NI would be geographically removed from the rest of the UK, which would be even more preoccupied with English issues and priorities than the present UK.





Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: True Federalist on April 13, 2012, 12:52:18 pm
If Scotland were to cut it's ties with England, is there any chance Northern Ireland would rather go with Scotland and would Scotland be willing to take them if they did?


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on April 13, 2012, 12:52:55 pm
If Scotland were to cut it's ties with England, is there any chance Northern Ireland would rather go with Scotland and would Scotland be willing to take them if they did?
No & no.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: ag on April 13, 2012, 08:50:14 pm
Well, this leaves one more option. Upon Scottish independence the United Kingdom gets disolved and the Kingdom of Northern Island becomes a separate member of the Commonwealth. Would that be possible? Again, conditional on Scottish independence actually prospering.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on April 13, 2012, 08:56:48 pm
Well, this leaves one more option. Upon Scottish independence the United Kingdom gets disolved and the Kingdom of Northern Island becomes a separate member of the Commonwealth. Would that be possible? Again, conditional on Scottish independence actually prospering.

No. Nobody is going to touch NI constitutional issues for a long time.. and with good reason.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: ag on April 13, 2012, 09:05:44 pm
Well, this leaves one more option. Upon Scottish independence the United Kingdom gets disolved and the Kingdom of Northern Island becomes a separate member of the Commonwealth. Would that be possible? Again, conditional on Scottish independence actually prospering.

No. Nobody is going to touch NI constitutional issues for a long time.. and with good reason.

Well, that might not be up to even the (Northern) Irish - or, for that matter, the English. If Scotland gets independence, the constitutional issues in the rest of the UK would have to be touched, wouldn't they? Even the decision to stay in the UK will not be exactly the decision to maintain status quo - it would be a very different UK.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on April 13, 2012, 09:13:19 pm
Well, this leaves one more option. Upon Scottish independence the United Kingdom gets disolved and the Kingdom of Northern Island becomes a separate member of the Commonwealth. Would that be possible? Again, conditional on Scottish independence actually prospering.

No. Nobody is going to touch NI constitutional issues for a long time.. and with good reason.

Well, that might not be up to even the (Northern) Irish - or, for that matter, the English. If Scotland gets independence, the constitutional issues in the rest of the UK would have to be touched, wouldn't they? Even the decision to stay in the UK will not be exactly the decision to maintain status quo - it would be a very different UK.

The UK will be maintained regardless - it will just be the United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. :)


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: You kip if you want to... on April 13, 2012, 09:16:17 pm
Well, this leaves one more option. Upon Scottish independence the United Kingdom gets disolved and the Kingdom of Northern Island becomes a separate member of the Commonwealth. Would that be possible? Again, conditional on Scottish independence actually prospering.

No. Nobody is going to touch NI constitutional issues for a long time.. and with good reason.

Well, that might not be up to even the (Northern) Irish - or, for that matter, the English. If Scotland gets independence, the constitutional issues in the rest of the UK would have to be touched, wouldn't they? Even the decision to stay in the UK will not be exactly the decision to maintain status quo - it would be a very different UK.

The UK will be maintained regardless - it will just be the United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. :)

On paper, yes. You'll get obvious obvious suspects screaming "If they can be independent, why the hell can't we?" (Which, if you look at Scots Independence from that standpoint, it makes the whole idea appear the bit more silly than it already is.) Don't know if anything'd come of it though.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on April 13, 2012, 09:18:24 pm
The economic situation - as well as other factors that don't need to be mentioned - will I think rule out the prospect of Welsh and NI independence in the short to medium term. I mean, despite Plaid Cymru, the actual idea of Welsh independence has never garnered that much support and I think we can rule NI independence out for the obvious reasons.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on April 13, 2012, 10:31:15 pm
the actual idea of Welsh independence has never garnered that much support

The technical term often being 'single digit'.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: The Mikado on April 13, 2012, 10:37:48 pm
The economic situation - as well as other factors that don't need to be mentioned - will I think rule out the prospect of Welsh and NI independence in the short to medium term. I mean, despite Plaid Cymru, the actual idea of Welsh independence has never garnered that much support and I think we can rule NI independence out for the obvious reasons.

NI Independence is actually one of the more hilarious thoughts I've heard recently.  Move over, Moldova, the "Republic of Ulster" (minus Donegal) is here to take the role of Europe's Third World.



Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: tpfkaw on April 13, 2012, 11:02:04 pm
Well, this leaves one more option. Upon Scottish independence the United Kingdom gets disolved and the Kingdom of Northern Island becomes a separate member of the Commonwealth. Would that be possible? Again, conditional on Scottish independence actually prospering.

No. Nobody is going to touch NI constitutional issues for a long time.. and with good reason.

Well, that might not be up to even the (Northern) Irish - or, for that matter, the English. If Scotland gets independence, the constitutional issues in the rest of the UK would have to be touched, wouldn't they? Even the decision to stay in the UK will not be exactly the decision to maintain status quo - it would be a very different UK.

The UK will be maintained regardless - it will just be the United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. :)

Doesn't that require upgrading Wales to Kingdom status?  (Which would undoubtedly trigger a minor civil war between the Welsh and Daily Mail readers).


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: politicus on April 14, 2012, 05:36:13 am

The UK will be maintained regardless - it will just be the United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. :)

Quote
Doesn't that require upgrading Wales to Kingdom status?  (Which would undoubtedly trigger a minor civil war between the Welsh and Daily Mail readers).
Wales has been part of the kingdom of England since the Act of Union in 1536. But I suppose the Welsh would want to be mentioned as a separate entity if there is no Great Britain.

The economic situation - as well as other factors that don't need to be mentioned - will I think rule out the prospect of Welsh and NI independence in the short to medium term. I mean, despite Plaid Cymru, the actual idea of Welsh independence has never garnered that much support and I think we can rule NI independence out for the obvious reasons.

NI Independence is actually one of the more hilarious thoughts I've heard recently.  Move over, Moldova, the "Principality of Ulster" (minus Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan) is here to take the role of Europe's Third World.
Fixed

All in all I think Scottish secession will open up the constitutional debate in both Britain and NI, and the NI unionists will face a tough choice between being emotional and staying as a completely marginalised part of an English state that doesn't care about them and joining some form of Irish confederation where their voice actually will count.  


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on April 14, 2012, 06:21:52 am
The economic situation - as well as other factors that don't need to be mentioned - will I think rule out the prospect of Welsh and NI independence in the short to medium term. I mean, despite Plaid Cymru, the actual idea of Welsh independence has never garnered that much support and I think we can rule NI independence out for the obvious reasons.

NI Independence is actually one of the more hilarious thoughts I've heard recently.  Move over, Moldova, the "Republic of Ulster" (minus Donegal) is here to take the role of Europe's Third World.



There is no way an independent NI would become a republic except over a lot of dead bodies. Here, I would like to remind people that the only people throughout the entire violence of the 1970s and 1980s who advocated NI independence (and had some popular support) were some of the hardline "unionist" (ironic, no?) organizations who basically wanted to turn NI into an all white but sectarian based version of South Africa.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Јas on April 14, 2012, 10:57:55 am
NI Independence is actually one of the more hilarious thoughts I've heard recently.  Move over, Moldova, the "Principality of Ulster" (minus Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan) is here to take the role of Europe's Third World.
Fixed

In the British Peerage, Ulster is an Earldom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_of_Ulster), not a Principality.


All in all I think Scottish secession will open up the constitutional debate in both Britain and NI, and the NI unionists will face a tough choice between being emotional and staying as a completely marginalised part of an English state that doesn't care about them and joining some form of Irish confederation where their voice actually will count.  

That's pretty much one of Sinn Féin's arguments as is. I don't see P Robinson et al biting.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: politicus on April 14, 2012, 11:08:48 am
NI Independence is actually one of the more hilarious thoughts I've heard recently.  Move over, Moldova, the "Principality of Ulster" (minus Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan) is here to take the role of Europe's Third World.
Fixed
In the British Peerage, Ulster is an Earldom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_of_Ulster), not a Principality.

Sure. But if it were to become independent you would have to upgrade the title a bit ;)



Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Trounce-'em Theresa on April 14, 2012, 04:43:45 pm
Yeah, I mean, Gormenghast is a Kingdom ruled by Earls, and would an independent Northern Ireland really make that much more sense or be that much better off? :P


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: politicus on April 14, 2012, 05:53:29 pm
Yeah, I mean, Gormenghast is a Kingdom ruled by Earls, and would an independent Northern Ireland really make that much more sense or be that much better off? :P
You have a way of putting things in perspective :)
Nah, I think most of us can agree that an independent NI doesn't make much sense. But it could work as an entity in an Irish confederation with common fiscal policies, infrastructure, defence and foreign relations. 


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: ingemann on April 14, 2012, 06:23:12 pm
Honestly as long as EU is around North Ireland, Wales and Scotland are quite viable as independent states. While North Ireland is in the lower end of the scale of country size of EU, it would be slightly smaller than Slovenia and slightly bigger than Estonia, countries which has shown themselves to be quite viable and have done better than a lot of their bigger neighbours.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on April 15, 2012, 03:28:42 pm
Why would anyone assume that NI would be a viable state if it left the UK? It wouldn't merely be the economy which would be an issue (though, as it is, NI is an economic dependency of her Majesty's Treasury).


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Oakvale on April 15, 2012, 03:33:40 pm
An independent Northern Ireland would easily be in the running for the worst country in Europe.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: ag on April 15, 2012, 08:28:16 pm
Well, in any case, the rump UK would, for all practicaly purposes, be the Greater England, in which Wales and Northern Ireland would, at best, be "autonomous entities" of sorts. While it may be possible, the nature of the UK would change radically


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on April 15, 2012, 08:42:17 pm
Well, in any case, the rump UK would, for all practicaly purposes, be the Greater England, in which Wales and Northern Ireland would, at best, be "autonomous entities" of sorts. While it may be possible, the nature of the UK would change radically

NI already is for all intents and purposes an "autonomous entity of sorts". Of course it was even more autonomous once, between 1920 and 1973. That didn't work out well.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on April 15, 2012, 09:15:07 pm
After 1973, it was essentially a colony, wasn't it? It wasn't as though Northern Ireland had much real say over the government that ruled it.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on April 15, 2012, 09:18:25 pm
Well, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland took over the posh house that used to be home to the Governor of Northern Ireland, so...


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on April 15, 2012, 09:25:50 pm
After 1973, it was essentially a colony, wasn't it? It wasn't as though Northern Ireland had much real say over the government that ruled it.

No, after 1972 (correction, 1972) it became, at least in theory, as a totally integrated part of the UK, similiar then to Scotland and Wales pre-devolution. However, in practice, as the British Army had a significant military presence in the country by that time, things were a little more complicated...

The thing is though when direct rule was imposed it was over the wishes of the Unionist Party (in one of its "falling apart" moment) and the protestant community as a whole. It was mostly moderate Catholics (and sometimes not so moderate ones) who wanted direct rule imposed despite the fact that by that stage the British military presence was hugely unpopular (only a few months after Bloody Sunday after all).

Also, what Al said. Someone needed to look over "those bloody people".


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: politicus on April 16, 2012, 09:42:54 am
Well, in any case, the rump UK would, for all practically purposes, be the Greater England, in which Wales and Northern Ireland would, at best, be "autonomous entities" of sorts. While it may be possible, the nature of the UK would change radically
Yes, England would be even more dominant than today and have 510 out of 550 members in the House of Commons. Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones has an idea of a new upper house in this scenario where England, Wales and NI should have equal representation.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jan/13/scottish-independence-wales-northern-ireland (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jan/13/scottish-independence-wales-northern-ireland) But I doubt the English would accept.
The problem with any kind of federal structure in Britain is that England is simply too big an entity compared to the rest.
Only the Danish Realm is worse off in this respect. Greenland and the Faroes only have about 2,2 % of the total population combined making federalism ludicrous. But NI's share of the population in a "Rump-UK" would actually only be slightly higher.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: tpfkaw on April 16, 2012, 11:49:18 am
England should really be split into multiple smaller entities for devolution, but I guess that isn't a very popular idea. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_England_devolution_referendums,_2004


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on April 16, 2012, 11:50:22 am
Based off the 1979 referendum, devolution in Wales wasn't a very popular idea either.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: YL on April 17, 2012, 12:48:49 pm
England should really be split into multiple smaller entities for devolution, but I guess that isn't a very popular idea. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_England_devolution_referendums,_2004

While it's true that splitting England up for devolution isn't a simple concept, the assemblies offered in those referendums (two of which were cancelled of course) wouldn't really have had powers comparable with those of the existing devolved parliaments/assemblies, and I think this was part of the reason they were so decisively rejected.


Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on April 17, 2012, 12:56:57 pm
...as that made it easy to paint them as just another talkshop and waste of taxpayer money.
The fact that a referendum actually went ahead despite a complete lack of establishment enthusiasm for the idea really says more than the actual results. Then again, there's a reason the Northeast was the place that had a referendum. Can you imagine the spectacle of a pilot referendum in the government's definition of the "Southeast"? :D



Title: Re: United Ireland?
Post by: patrick1 on April 17, 2012, 11:35:18 pm
While re-unification has romantic appeal to some Catholics in Northern Ireland, the suspension of Home Rule and the introduction of an army presence was initially welcomed as a protection against political Orangism. Even during the 'Troubles' it was more welcomed than perhaps many Catholics would care to admit (and always preferable to the police)

I wouldn't over-egg the pudding; the welcome wore out very quickly after the Falls curfew and the introduction of internment. It also depended on the regiment; a lot of Scottish regiments had a bad reputation for dealing with Catholic civilians and the UDR (officially part of the British Army) a worse one.

Yeah, the hallowed Black Watch got a very bad reputation with the Nationalist community. However, the UDR went even further and was effectively a wing of the UDA.

Several Irish posters here, as Observer states, also underestimate the desire for a united Republic. While it is certainly not a majority, on either side of the border, there is still a strong Republican constituency. Further, despite posts that label Sinn Fein a single issue, Adams party,  the goal of an all Ireland party with a voice on all issues continues. There is a generational shift occurring with the likes of a Pearse Doherty leading.  Ive also seen some posters say that no one was speaking out against the greed and corruption inherit in the Celtic Tiger era. I'd say you were listening to the wrong people or refused to listen to it because of some culture cringe. The media and government functionaries were not warning but others were.