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Thread: 2017 NI Assembly Election

  1. #261
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Would another election be of benefit to Sinn Féin and/or nationalism generally? What's the strategy? I'd fear a unionist backlash.

  2. #262
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    I can't see how SF would be in a more advantageous position than before. I think they would prefer direct rule and blame DUP intransigence for direct rule.

    There would be a unionist backlash. As has been discussed, all those "fifth seats" could easily flip back.

    They'd be mad to go back to the people and be realistic, there's little appetite for another one.
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  3. #263
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Detractors of Ruth Dudley-Edwards will enjoy this one:



    She is a guest to a discussion, which also features Brian Rowan and Eamonn Mallie, hosted by Al Jazeera's 'Inside Story' programme on the present political stalemate in the north.

    Dudley-Edwards asserts that Martin McGuinness would have kept power-sharing going (despite him having pulled the plug on it) because "he'd invested quite a lot of personal reputation in [it]" and further claims that Gerry Adams won't have the same interest because he has made no such personal investment. Does she think that McGuinness was carving out his own path and deviating from Sinn Féin policy or something? Everything McGuinness did was obviously in accordance with Sinn Féin party policy, and thus in tune with Adams' wishes by extension.

    She also claims that Sinn Féin are "making a crisis out of Brexit"... What planet is she on? Brexit is a crisis and it's hardly of Sinn Féin's making.

    Also, as far as I understand their position, Sinn Féin seek equal treatment for all combatants in the northern conflict, or preferably an international and independently-administered truth and reconciliation process, possibly along South African lines; not "a process with state killers being charged and the IRA getting away with it", as Dudley-Edwards suggests. Gerry Kelly also confirmed that the party advocated parity of treatment on 'The View' recently.

    Dudley-Edwards really is abysmal. Eamonn Mallie doesn't hold back and ruthlessly tears her guff to shreds in a comprehensive outline of the situation as it is. His opening comment is a gem:

    "Y'know, sometimes I wonder whether we're speaking with an historian when I hear Ruth Dudley-Edwards... What is she talking about?! Where has she been all those years?"



  4. #264
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Gerry Adams makes an explicit commitment that he would give evidence to a truth and reconciliation commission during an interview with Sky News last Sunday:



    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Adams
    It isn't about getting British soldiers in the dock. It's about the victims of British soldiers being treated exactly the same as the victims of the IRA or any other combatant force. Our position has been for an international, independent truth commission that everybody can make use off, but we compromised on this issue. And, yes, I believe that victims of the IRA, or at least their relatives, have the right to truth and I believe that those who are victims of British army violence or state violence also have the right to truth. And the British government is holding that back [in terms of the refusal of the British government, despite the instruction of the Lord Chief Justice, to issue the necessary and promised/agreed funding for legacy inquest/investigative mechanisms to be put in place].

    ...

    I have said - and Martin [McGuinness] and I have said this together quite a few times - that we would both do our best [to openly discuss the past] and we would also encourage other republicans to come forward if there was a satisfactory [legacy, truth and reconciliation] arrangement put in place, and that's my commitment. Martin's not here, but that's still my commitment.

  5. #265
    First Team Gather round's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyInvincible
    Dudley-Edwards really is abysmal. Eamonn Mallie doesn't hold back and ruthlessly tears her guff to shreds
    RDE's clearly a bluffer (and admits she's often on a wind-up), but I thought Mallie came across worse. He sounded arrogant and almost hysterical.

    Marty as the Great Man of History carrying SF almost single-handed doesn't convince, but nor really does Eamonn's claim to know the parties' strategy inside-out. Let's face it, do they know it themselves? They're all over the place since the election.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Adams
    I have said - and Martin [McGuinness] and I have said this together quite a few times - that we would both do our best [to openly discuss the past] and we would also encourage other republicans to come forward if there was a satisfactory [legacy, truth and reconciliation] arrangement put in place, and that's my commitment. Martin's not here, but that's still my commitment
    Translated: I'll engage in a dialog about [where the bodies are buried], but only if the Brits squeal first [which of course they won't...]
    Last edited by Gather round; 04/04/2017 at 12:19 PM.

  6. #266
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    Same old, same old.
    Anyone would think there was only one bad party in all of this.

    Change the record FFS.

  7. #267
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    An excellent piece here written by Amnesty International's Patrick Corrigan on the present impasse regarding the dealing with legacy issues in the north: http://eamonnmallie.com/2017/04/solu...rick-corrigan/

    He also looks at suggestions as to how to move the process forward so as to ensure the UK satisfies its ECHR obligations and truth, justice and reconciliation can be realised as best as possible.

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  9. #268
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Sean Swan of the London School of Economics argues that direct rule from Westminster would be "incompatible with parity of esteem": http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpo...thern-ireland/

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Swan
    The only form of Direct Rule which is compatible with the spirit of the Agreement is some form of joint rule by London and Dublin, whether the minimalist joint authority or joint sovereignty. Joint authority would be simple to institute and would meet the requirement for parity of esteem. Joint sovereignty would be more convoluted (and would require a referendum in the Republic), but has certain advantages:

    • It would help disaggregate sovereignty within these islands;
    • It would be a formal and permanent institutional recognition of the British/Irish nature of Northern Ireland;
    • It would help ensure a ‘soft’ border between north and south, and
    • It would help facilitate keeping Northern Ireland within the EU.

    Under the joint sovereignty of Dublin and London, parity of esteem would be fulfilled and both communities would have a sovereign power with direct control over Northern Ireland to prevent any form of community-based discrimination. Under such conditions it could prove possible to reframe the Assembly without the consociational elements such as ‘designation’ and the requirement for ‘cross-community consent’. This might, or might not, allow for the emergence of ‘normal’ politics. At least the removal of the consociational elements would satisfy those liberal critics who saw in it the ‘institutionalisation of sectarianism’.

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  11. #269
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, here's an interesting list of other condominia (or political territories in or over which two or more sovereign powers formally agree to share equal dominium) around the world: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condom...rnational_law)

  12. #270
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    So, Arlene is now on a "journey" of discovery and visited Our Lady's Grammar School in Newry today to engage with Irish speakers, even saying "go raibh maith agat" as she departed: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-...itics-39717243

    And, tomorrow, she's to meet with Conradh na Gaeilge: http://www.irishnews.com/news/politi...rsday-1007359/

    It seems the assembly election results have encouraged her to reflect on matters. Of course, there's another election approaching, and a cynic might point to that, but engagement with and outreach in respect of the Irish language is a very positive development nonetheless, just as was her attendance at Martin McGuinness' funeral. Is this a new approach from Arlene and the DUP? It's very welcome, if so.

  13. #271
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    Talks suspended til after the UKGE17. Whoop.

    http://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2017/...lks-suspended/
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  14. #272
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    The talks deadline for the restoration of power-sharing is set for 4PM tomorrow afternoon, although I don't see much chance of a breakthrough. Brian Rowan summarised what essentially needs to happen here (and it's not very likely it'll all come together): http://eamonnmallie.com/2017/06/heav...t-brian-rowan/

    Meanwhile, the DUP have been complaining in knee-jerk fashion about the Irish government's expression of support for a stand-alone Irish language act: https://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0628/886087-stormont/

    Quote Originally Posted by RTÉ
    The DUP has questioned the Government's neutrality after it reiterated its commitment to an Irish Language Act in Northern Ireland, a key demand of Sinn Féin in power-sharing negotiations.

    Chair of the Assembly and Executive Review Committee Christopher Stalford said: "By publicly declaring its support for Sinn Féin's position in negotiations, the Irish Government has undermined its own credibility as being neutral" and called on Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney to "address this".


    Is this going to be the tedious DUP's go-to complaint now any time the Irish government makes an utterance on northern affairs, just because they themselves (the DUP) have had the spotlight shone on them after compromising the British government's obligatory impartiality by virtue of their grubby deal with the Tories? If it is, then their understanding of the GFA is somewhat faulty. The GFA obliges that "the power of the sovereign government with jurisdiction [over the north of Ireland] shall be exercised with rigorous impartiality". That obviously refers to the UK government at the present moment in time. Considering the Irish government doesn't presently enjoy jurisdiction over the north, it is under no such obligation to maintain neutrality.

    Even if the Irish government was duty-bound to remain neutral in its northern dealings, a declaration of support for an Irish language act from the Irish government would not be unreasonable or necessarily partial anyhow, considering the act is not merely a Sinn Féin demand. It's something to which the British government has committed in writing and is also backed by multiple other parties (not just nationalist ones). The Irish government might as well be simply asking the British government to fulfil a promise.

    In relation to the duplicitous British government's commitment to the provision of an act, the words of Peter Robinson (published earlier today) are both interesting and troubling: https://sluggerotoole.com/2017/06/28...ions-trickery/

    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Breen
    In his recollection of events during the 2006 St Andrews’ talks, Mr Robinson said that while Sinn Féin genuinely believed an agreement to implement an Irish Language Act had been reached, there had been only “a tongue in cheek” promise by the [British] government. Mr Robinson said the issue was “never raised” with his party during the negotiations. He believes a reference was inserted into the agreement at the very end of the talks.

    “We were not informed of any change to the document,” he said. When the DUP noticed the “added section”, it informed the government that it was “unacceptable” to the party. “We were told the section had been carefully and deliberately worded. It was not an issue that should cause us any concern,” Mr Robinson said.

    “They informed us that as devolution would be up and running the government would not make good its commitment as the power would be devolved. At no stage did Ian commit the party to accepting an Irish Language Act and indeed we made sure there was no commitment to it in the legislation.”
    It appears perfidious Albion has struck again.

  15. #273
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Brian Feeney offers his view as to why he thinks there's a political impasse at present: http://www.irishnews.com/news/2017/0...inion-1071681/

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Feeney
    [For the DUP to] accept an Irish language act would be the admission that [the unionist policy of culturally cleansing the north of signs of its Irishness], almost a century old, has ended in abject, total failure. It would be an acceptance that the north is part of Ireland and the DUP lives in part of Ireland.

    That goes to the heart of the problem here which is identity and allegiance, two versions, one of which has been suppressed.

    When Sinn Féin talk about equality it’s not just equality for LGBT people, it’s equality of status and parity of esteem for those with an Irish identity and allegiance. The DUP cannot accept that, which is why they’ve never accepted the thinking behind the Good Friday Agreement. We’re stuck because we’ve reached the nub of the matter.
    He's probably not far wrong. The DUP have frequently raised concerns about the potential cost of an Irish language act. In fact, this is supposedly one of the reasons as to why they oppose it. However, now they're asking for the insertion of recognition and provision for Ulster-Scots into any legislation as well. Wouldn't that be likely to increase the cost of any such act?

    Clearly, either the "cost" excuse was an insincere red herring or they're demanding the inclusion of Ulster-Scots now as a stalling/disruption tactic (because they know full well that anything other than a stand-alone Irish language act simply isn't happening). It's definitely one or the other, although my suspicion is that both the excuse and demand are disingenuous attempts to obstruct formal legal recognition and support for the Irish language. Why don't they just be honest about it and admit their actual problem with it?

    The idea that legal provision for Ulster-Scots might be required in order to put the unionist or British tradition on a par with the nationalist or Gaelic tradition is a suspect one anyway, seeing as we all already speak English and that fact is rooted in the historical domination of unionist or British culture in Ireland, so the unionist or British tradition evidently already enjoys lingua-cultural supremacy.

    An Irish language act would thus be a move to elevate the Irish language towards some degree of equilibrium or parity, but if the DUP do still truly want legal support and recognition Ulster-Scots, then get the ball rolling and start working towards an act for that. I don't think any party with political clout in the north would oppose that in principle. I would have no qualms with it. In fact, I'd encourage it for reasons of cultural enrichment. People just fail to see why it should be tagged on to an Irish language act, seeing as they're two totally different languages (or dialects, or however you wish to classify Ulster-Scots) with different histories and different legislative needs on account of differing educational and societal demands.

    GR; why exactly is it that you dismiss the concept of parity of esteem as a "soundbite", "meaningless" and "about as philosophical as apple-pie"? Do you not acknowledge (or accept even) the principle behind the term and the political, legal and cultural necessities of that?

  16. #274
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    See answer on parallel GE thread. I've already made clear my own equally low esteem for the DUP and SF...

    On the Language Act, I support it as you know- a deal (at St Andrew's) is a deal. Did you hear the DUP's Christopher Stalford on BBC AQ at the weekend? He claimed this as an example of Tony Blair's craftiness, as if TB was to blame for Robinson not bothering to read the small print...

    Quick question assuming the Law gets enacted. Will the replacement of street signs etc. be rolled out everywhere, or can local residents vote on it as before?

    PS Unsurprisingly Brian Feeney can't resist some purple prose. Culturally cleansing NI of its Irishness? Has he never waded through the Holy Land's rivers of boke on Paddy's Night?

    In the 80s, Unionist friends of mine returning from college or jobs in Britain used to moan about how much more 'Irish-looking' Belfast had become. If the DUP are losing the Culture War, their Stalingrad came a long time ago...
    Last edited by Gather round; 03/07/2017 at 9:46 AM.

  17. #275
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    a deal (at St Andrew's) is a deal.
    Of course it is. And it's a deal with the British government. SF know this. The DUP know this.

    The first thing SF will do in the event of direct rule is present their IOU to the new proconsul. If the British fail to pass it they'll accuse them of welching on the deal at St. Andrews. Give it 18 months for the RHI enquiry to report and an ILA to be passed by the British and their 2 key demands will be granted without them having to give up a damn thing. As well as that the sunset clause of cross community support for the justice ministry will have expired and the brits will bring gay marriage into line with the western world.

    At that time they can get a few more goodies for going back in.

    There is no reason for them to go back in now.
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  18. #276
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Quick question assuming the Law gets enacted. Will the replacement of street signs etc. be rolled out everywhere, or can local residents vote on it as before?
    I'm not sure, but I'd be surprised if it was imposed upon reluctant communities.

    Coincidentally, I just happened to be reading about the "Protestant village" of Drum in County Monaghan yesterday evening. Supposedly, it's one of the few villages/towns south of the border that doesn't have the place-name in both Irish and English on the welcome sign at the entrance to the village/town. It just has its name spelled in English.

    PS Unsurprisingly Brian Feeney can't resist some purple prose. Culturally cleansing NI of its Irishness? Has he never waded through the Holy Land's rivers of boke on Paddy's Night?
    Well, he did say the policy had failed abjectly and totally!

    In the 80s, Unionist friends of mine returning from college or jobs in Britain used to moan about how much more 'Irish-looking' Belfast had become.
    It is an Irish city, after all. In what sense did they feel it was "more Irish-looking" than it had previously looked?

  19. #277
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Just on the Irish language act and road signs, looking at page 23 of the recommendations document published by Conradh na Gaeilge back in March, they suggest that "road signs should be bilingual" and don't appear to make any exceptions. Perhaps it will apply to all signage then.

  20. #278
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyInvincible View Post
    I'm not sure, but I'd be surprised if it was imposed upon reluctant communities.

    Coincidentally, I just happened to be reading about the "Protestant village" of Drum in County Monaghan yesterday evening. Supposedly, it's one of the few villages/towns south of the border that doesn't have the place-name in both Irish and English on the welcome sign at the entrance to the village/town. It just has its name spelled in English.



    Well, he did say the policy had failed abjectly and totally!



    It is an Irish city, after all. In what sense did they feel it was "more Irish-looking" than it had previously looked?
    Coincidentally while looking for something on RTÉ's archive today I stumbled across this news report from 1971.

    https://www.rte.ie/archives/2016/063...on-the-border/

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  21. #279
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    Drum: no better name for a Protestant town on these shores.
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  22. #280
    First Team Gather round's Avatar
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    Bttw:

    Agreed, SF will present the shopping list. Don't ye think accusing the Brits of bad faith is a bit passe though? I mean, they'll do it anyway regardless of what actually happens, so it's a bit Boy crying Wolf...

    The age-old consensus on equal marriage across the Western World has applied in its leading member since...last Thursday, and even then Angela Merkel voted against. The idea of Shinners as some sort of feminist vanguard is a bit rum- then there's abortion, where the UVF party are rather more down with the sisterhood

    DI:

    Can't see the bilingual street signs across Carrick or Larne anytime soon. The locals will likely be not reluctant but belligerent, the signs would inevitably be vandalised and there would probably be wider disorder....sorry, I mean 'threats to the peace process'. Whatever Conradh na Gaelige say, 'contracting in' small areas would be more sensible

    My mates back in the day were grumbling as far as I remember about marking of territory (ie tricolors around town) and simplistic 'marketing' (ie shops and cafes featuring 'Cead Mille Failte' in Ogham script

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