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Across the Pond

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About Across the Pond

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    Anarchist
  • Birthday 02/16/1976

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    Belfast, Northern Ireland

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  1. Thanks! Just re-read it after being away from SA for a few days and I appreciate how the search for a viable way forward here can look depressing. As someone who sits in the middle ground and respects both ideologies it can be an infuriating place from a political point and it gets very frustrating, especially when something as monumental as Brexit occurs and self interest rules. Re-integration with the Republic is the most likely long term option and I've been thinking a lot about your perceptive question over the last few days........and I'm not really sure what the answer
  2. Two problems Jack: 1) The lack of an argument articulating a viable alternative. 2) The fact that it is led by the DUP would put off a lot of moderate people from supporting such a petition. So somewhat doomed to failure....
  3. As you know Jack the there are so many practical, cultural, sporting, economic and emotional links between the two countries. I was up on the east coast of Co Down with work a while back and could see houses on the Scottish shore - it's that close. I don't think that Scotland leaving the UK would make a huge difference to the situation over here, though. It would certainly add to the push factor away from what remained of the UK but there is still not a huge pull factor for Unionists towards Dublin. As such I would say that the majority would still look towards London and want to remain with t
  4. Thanks for your comments. You may be a complete outsider but you summed the situation up very well. It is an intractable situation and I think in many ways the best solution all round would have been if Northern Ireland never existed in the first place - and I say that as a someone from the Pro-UK community! However it is what it is and it's hard to see a solution that would suit everyone over here. In terms of the GFA: The formation of Northern Ireland - in my opinion - was an act of temporary pragmatism that has lasted 100 years. The GFA itself is a supreme example of
  5. Cheers mate! I've been lurking around here since early 2004 and have seen plenty of people come and go and plenty of changes on the site. Thought it about time I actually said something. Not to worry, though, I have a small amount of knowledge about a very limited area so anything I say on any topic other than Brexit will fit in with the usual standards. I'd hate to get a reputation for being articulate and well reasoned. That sort of thing gets you banned round here!
  6. Apologies! Conciseness has never been a friend of mine!
  7. An interesting hypothetical Jack! Had a border poll been held during 2017 – 2019 then Unionism would almost certainly have won. It would have also put Sinn Fein in a tricky situation as their whole identity and strategy is based around a border poll. Loosing would put them in a very bad situation with regards to their constituency and potentially embolden dissident Republicans so ironically it would probably not have been in their strategic interests. Would they have lost too much face in opposing a border poll, though? It could have been a shrewd move by the DUP however, for reasons best know
  8. Absolutely true. The irony, though is that in many ways the DUP has been a (relatively speaking) broad church. There has always been a moderate and pragmatic wing within the DUP. In reality, away from the cameras and microphones, the DUP and Sinn Fein work perfectly well together in many areas. The moderates, though, always get drowned out and over ruled by the fundamentalist wing who have not changed their position in 50 years. It's to the detriment of everyone here that this is the case....
  9. You got it absolutely right Leo and Jack - to the point as always! The DUP have been against anything that threatens the very narrow basis of their politics - hardline Unionism and a very conservative, biblically driven stance on social and moral issues. So yes, they were against the GFA until the realised that there was power and money was to be had by operating within Stormont as opposed to undermining it from the outside. To be honest the last few days underlines what infuriates me about political Unionism. In many ways the case that they are arguing is very strong. As mentioned
  10. Appreciate what you meant and it was only me dreaming that the DUP would be finished! It's an interesting question and not beyond the bounds of possibility. If Sinn Fein were the top party then I think that a likely outcome is that the DUP - assuming they were a close third to Alliance - would try and collapse Stormont. Which would be another major political own goal. If not, then I can't see Alliance going in to government with Sinn Fein and in may ways (I think) they couldn't as that would require them to designate as Unionist. Despite the fact that many of their vote
  11. Thanks for all the PS’s Jack and unfortunately work got in the way of Anarchy yesterday but some really interesting points and PS’s which I will try to deal with. PS#1 It does look like playing the violence card with Sinn Fein really doesn’t work in the south any more. Most of the older generation have already made up their minds and the younger generation have no connection with or memory of the Troubles. For them the bread and butter issues are what matters. For those of us who lived through the Troubles and remember the brutal, sectarian reality of IRA violence it’s hard to
  12. Really appreciate your comments upthread Jack. You make some good points there that need some thought and I'll get back to you tomorrow on them. Brexit has really thrown a spanner and it is a crazy situation as you say. In the short term it has managed to make Northern Ireland even more ungovernable than normal, which is quite and achievement but perhaps it will force all side to ask serious questions of themselves with regards to where we are going and how we are going to get there. Given how we have been mis-governed by the two big parties for years that might not such be a bad th
  13. I was thinking for the last few days that as a pro union lifelong Alliance voter I should respond to this post but turning on the radio this morning and hearing Mike Nesbitt made me decide to act. Sea Warrior - you make a very valid point and it is one that many of us on the progressive, moderate side of the pro-union community have been saying for years. Jack - you and I will differ on a lot of things when it comes to the constitutional situation but you have been pretty accurate in a lot of what you say on this thread. One thing I would urge people to consider, though is
  14. I think you've nailed it on the head, Jack. I've been reflecting a lot today about John Hume, the whole GFA period and where we are now as a society. That point you make about listening is hugely relevant. I'm a child of the Troubles and remember the excitement there was at the time of the Goof Friday referendum. I voted yes and am still a passionate supporter of it. I remember at the time there was a feeling over here that things would change. We had a new opportunity. Violence had failed. (In my opinion, violence has never worked in Ireland - be that British forces, armed Republi
  15. Hey Jack, As someone who lives in Northern Ireland I can't begin to tell you how sad a day this is. I would differ from John Hume when it comes to the constitutional question - (I'm pro-UK union but not a Unionist. There is a difference!) but he was an absolute hero of mine, along with people like Seamus Mallon and David Trimble. He fought injustice and faced huge opposition at times from all sides but fought on, armed only with words, respect and reason. Compared to the routes that others on both sides took, that was a truly brave path to take. I agre
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