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Old 02-13-2018, 10:56 AM   #621
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Originally Posted by FuckingRotter View Post
The obvious solution long term is an autonomous Ulster province. It raises its own taxes, and administers its own budget, makes its own laws, and is responsible for its own trade, borders, and security..
Sounds similar to what they had for five decades from 1922, and look where that got them. A one sided Unionist dominated apartheid paradise.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:58 AM   #622
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I've just read that today Arlene Foster poured cold water on what was expected to be a breakthrough by weeks end. No Irish language act, no road signs in both English and Irish, no compulsary Irish language choice for schools. "Ulster Says No" again.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:08 PM   #623
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Actually, previous to Good Friday, nothing like what they had. Laws, budgets, security, all decided in Westminster.



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Sounds similar to what they had for five decades from 1922, and look where that got them. A one sided Unionist dominated apartheid paradise.
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Old 02-13-2018, 04:00 PM   #624
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Speaking solely for me, I think it is a non-starter, because it is a fucking waste of money.

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I've just read that today Arlene Foster poured cold water on what was expected to be a breakthrough by weeks end. No Irish language act, no road signs in both English and Irish, no compulsary Irish language choice for schools. "Ulster Says No" again.
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:30 AM   #625
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Actually, previous to Good Friday, nothing like what they had. Laws, budgets, security, all decided in Westminster.
That must have been unique in the United Kingdom. All that stuff decided in Westminster, and governed from Westminster. Yet the Unionists got to rule Northern Ireland and pass legislation and laws locally that benefitted them and not the Nationalists community, and without oversight or sanction from the UK government.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:47 PM   #626
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You obviously don't understand how local government works in the United Kingdom.

First of all, the six counties of what is now known as Northern Ireland is in the United Kingdom. Accept that, move on.

Before devolution took place in Scotland, Wales, and Good Friday in Ulster, which is essentially a devolved region, local government worked in generally the same way as it does now in England.

Between various levels of local government, they are responsible for social care, education, roads, social housing, policing, libraries, recreation facilities, and probably other things too dull to think about.

Local authorities are controlled by councils, or assemblies, made up of democratically elected representatives, usually known as councillors. Much like national and devolved government, these are organised along party lines, and a council that has a majority of X Party councillors is a X Party controlled council.

To give an example, the GLA is currently a Labour Party controlled assembly, led by Sadiq Khan.

These councils are responsible for setting budgets for the above services, based upon how much money they can raise. Councils usually receive some government money, and raise more money them selves through local taxes known as rates. These are charged to businesses and households alike. Councils cannot tax income.

They have a certain amount of autonomy over how much they charge and how they spend, but government can cap rate rises. Traditionally Northern Ireland, Scotland, and to an extent Wales, have been net benefactors of government spending, they receive more per capita, than England does, from the national treasury.

So as you can see, local government are very much at the whim of Westminster.

Northern Ireland is, or at least they would be if Mary and Arlene got their act together, in a very privileged position, in that they get to send MPs to Westminster to decide policy in England alone, as well have certain devolved powers over which the rest of Westminster has no leverage.

What I want from you though, is an explanation as to who exactly was supposed to decided local government policy in Northern Ireland, if not duly elected officials?

By the way, the sort of laws Unionists would have been passing prior to Good Friday would have been very insignificant stuff, like how much to fine some one for letting their dog shit in the street, or what to charge to have a planning application read.
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:51 PM   #627
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DUP leader Arlene Foster has called on the British Government to set a budget and start making policies in Northern Ireland, as once again the DUP and Sinn Fein fail to agree a power sharing deal.

Getting a bit long now this.

The issue of gay marriage seems to have gone away, although mainstream press here aren't describing what has been agreed on that.
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:57 AM   #628
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Is this going to be the end of the peace process do you think?
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:32 AM   #629
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The remaining difference seems quite petty to me. Sinn Fein want a law that protects Irish language rights. The DUP want a law that protects Ulster Scotts and Irish language rights.

If Westminster takes over, they may well get neither! The funniest thing will be if Westminster then decide to impose a gay marriage law in the six counties!

Does this mean the end of the peace process? Depends how sincere the various paramilitaries are about peace. I can’t answer that, though I suspect there are some that would gladly take up arms again.
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:21 PM   #630
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The dissident republicans would gladly take up arms again, they don't have the arms to take up. They have some, but nothing near to what they would need to mount anything approaching a significant campaign. At the end of the troubles it was estimated the IRA had weapons on hand enough to field two conventional infantry battalions. Most of this was surrendered during the decommissioning process. No doubt some was held back, some taken by the dissidents, and there is a theory the actual Provos have never really gone away and they stashed a limited quantity of weapons for a desperate turn of events. Same with explosives, not only material but people with the skill to construct a viable device. The pipe bomb is the weapon of a disaffected teenager, not a skilled bomb builder.

Beyond that the IRA's international network no longer exists. Perhaps more importantly, there is no support for a return to the armed struggle. The lot of the average nationalist, while far from ideal, is vastly improved from 1969.

On the loyalist side, given they never actually engaged an armed opponent, I suppose they could resume random murder of random nationalist civilians if they so chose. It might put a dent in their profits from heroin sales.

So, perhaps a few more riots , surely increased polarization, not good by any means, but no return to the bad old days.

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Old 02-16-2018, 12:09 AM   #631
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“Heroin sales”

Yes, I’m sure Boston gangsters will be a bit miffed too when the Provis come cap in hand. Bigger problem though is we bombed their Q-branch back to the stone age, and it has been taken over by IZAL and human traffickers intent on jihading the fuck out of Belgium and Calais.
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Old 02-16-2018, 11:04 AM   #632
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The lot of the average nationalist, while far from ideal, is vastly improved from 1969..
I guess it has, but there are still imbalances. One of my neighbors is part Irish and he goes over there to see family once every few years. He showed me a video of a Belfast bus tour he took. That peace wall is a bit of a shock to see, almost like the Iron Curtain Ireland style.
In one part of the video as the bus is coming away from Belfast castle, it passes between two state-funded primary schools. The tour guide is describing how one of the schools is Catholic and the other Protestant, one each side of the road. One of the schools is a fine old Victorian style building set in nice grounds with well kept lawns. The other school is comprised of several pre-fab structures in a pot-holed tarmac yard.

Can anyone guess which school belongs to which religious group?
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Old 02-16-2018, 11:24 AM   #633
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Does the appearance of the grounds reflect the performance of the schools?
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:24 PM   #634
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I won't argue Grants that things are equal, they are not. My point was that things have improved to the point that the incentive to risk your life and liberty is not really there for young nationalists. there is an old saying that if you want to make a man truly dangerous, put in him a position where he has nothing to lose.

Pre 1969, that incentive did really exist. FR has made the point that the working class and poor of England suffered discrimination as well, true enough. But conditions in the six counties went far beyond that. The conditions in the north between partition and the troubles resemble an third world police state more than a west European democracy. The RUC may have functioned as a police force in the loyalist areas, in the nationalist areas it was a heavily armed army of occupation.

this is an account of a British journalist on his first trip to the six counties

On the Sunday, 27 September, the day I flew into Aldergrove, Paisley had called a meeting at the Ulster Hall, having heard of the flag in the window of the Sinn Féin campaign headquarters. He declared that if the RUC did not remove the flag he would lead his followers in an attack on the election office. The Stormont minister of home affairs, R W McConnell, actually went in person to see Paisley to placate him and assure him that the RUC would go in.

The day after I arrived ‘wide eyed’ in Belfast, district inspector Frank Lagan and fifty RUC men — the first time I had seen such heavily armed police in what was supposed to be part of the United Kingdom — smashed in the door of the election office, confiscated the flag and generally destroyed everything they could lay their hands on. A few days later the flag was displayed again in defiance and the RUC were soon back with pick axes. This time the office was destroyed beyond salvage. This was Northern Ireland unionist democracy at work.

the north was Britain's dirty little secret for close on 50 years
.

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Old 02-16-2018, 11:26 PM   #635
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Tom, the suppression of universal suffrage in Great Britain has more in common with that in Bogside and West Belfast than perhaps you realise.

Do a web search of "Peterloo".

When some women were granted voting rights in this country, working class men who were previously disenfranchised were given the vote at the same time.

As recently as 1989 the British Government introduced what they termed the community charge. Some communities took this as an instruction, and charge they did! The community charge was a form of local government funding that basically meant a truck driver feeding a family of five in a mid-terrace two up two down house, paid the same as a stockbroker living in his detached five bedroomed house. Now, libertarian me isn't a big fan of punitive taxation, but even I can see there is some imparity there!

How local authorities determined who should pay was by looking at the electoral register. If you were on it, you paid. So the charge was quickly nicknamed the Poll Tax.

People with two or more properties could also choose which property they could register as their permanent home, thus selecting an area where the charge was lower if they wished!

What happened was, there were a few organised protests, some turned violent, with police usually getting the blame. The protests culminated in what became known as the Battle of Trafalgar Square. However, the community charge was eventually abandoned because people in their millions just refused to pay. In some authorities as much as 80% of this tax remains uncollected.

It didn't just end there though. When local authorities sent out court summonses, people turned up in their thousands to have their day in court! Communities formed bailiff patrols and just surrounded houses when they turned up.

Move forward 30 years, and whilst Mary Lou and Arlene are squabbling over language, basically an exercise in pedantry, literally, instead of getting on with the job they've been elected to do, the UK political class are attempting to over-turn the biggest democratic mandate ever in this country. And in some inner city areas, electoral fraud and enmasse coercion of voters, the effective disenfranchisement of women is going unchecked, because so long as the ragheads are voting for the right candidate, it doesn't really matter does it?



So yes, Paddy has had it tough, and there is no excuse. But as Harold MacMillan might put it, Paddy has never had it so good, as he has it today. Unfortunately, just when things had turned a corner in Northern Ireland, politicians with questionable motives seem determined to put the kibosh on the whole thing.
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:37 AM   #636
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The lawn at 10 Downing Street must be a terrible mess.
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Old 02-17-2018, 03:21 PM   #637
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I've just found and read a good article on why the Irish Language Act is so important to one side of the community, and detested by the other:

""'There's a deep-rooted hatred toward the indigenous culture of Ireland, above all its language'
When Northern Ireland was formed, unionist were determined to kill off the Gaeltacht communities, writes Caoimhín De Barra.

THE COLLAPSE OF talks to restore the power sharing arrangement in Northern Ireland has come as no surprise to many. The crisis has developed due to a perfect storm related to both ancient and recent history, and exacerbated by a deep flaw in the Good Friday Agreement.

Firstly, part of the problem is a deep-rooted hatred toward the indigenous culture of Ireland, above all its language.

This dates back centuries, and indeed was central to justifying England’s colonial venture in Ireland. Long after that project has ended, the hatred itself lives on. Remnants of it can still be found south of the border, but for obvious reasons it takes a more potent form amongst the unionist community in Ulster.

When Northern Ireland was formed, there were still Gaeltacht communities within its boundaries. But unionists were determined to kill the language off quickly. A scheme set up by the British government to give students the option of studying Irish after school was cut once Stormont took control of education.

This contempt for Irish manifested itself in the pettiest of ways. Starting in 1922, the Northern Irish government interned about 700 people, mostly nationalists, as threats to public order. The teaching of Irish in these internment camps was forbidden, and those who tried were moved to a different location and placed in solitary confinement. Like carriers of some horrible disease, they were effectively quarantined.

‘No-one admits to being a bigot’

Unionists today deny their opposition to a language act is based on spite. They claim their resistance is founded on practical considerations. But hatred always tries to hide behind the mask of logic. No-one ever admits to being a bigot, after all.

Yet a loathing of Irish is only part of the equation. The unionist identity has been constructed on a tradition of uncompromising defiance. From the siege of Derry in 1689, to the mobilisation of the UVF in 1912, through to the strikes that destroyed the Sunningdale Agreement in 1974, unionists have a proud history of getting their own way when they dig in.

But modern unionism has not had similar success. Massive protests organised to derail the Anglo-Irish Agreement in the 1980s, to recognise the right of the Orange Order to march on the Garvaghy Road in the 1990s, and to restore the daily flying of the Union Jack from Belfast City Hall in recent years, have all ended in failure.

‘It’s about taking a stand’

We often forget that a majority of unionists actually voted against the Good Friday Agreement. As far as some are concerned, this has turned out to be a shabby peace, where they feel they are the ones doing all the compromising while nationalists lord it over them.

In this light, what might be contained in any proposed language act is actually irrelevant. For many unionists, it is about taking a stand. The Irish Language Act has effectively become the twenty-first century equivalent of King James’s army at the walls of Derry, to be defied at all costs.

Of course, opposition to legislation is something every government faces, and often overcomes. But things are not so simple in Northern Ireland. Contrary to what one might think, the power sharing arrangement set up under the Good Friday Agreement encourages stubbornness, not compromise.

More extreme

The agreement guaranteed that power be shared between a unionist and nationalist political party, as neither community trusts the other to govern alone. But this creates two separate electorates in Northern Ireland, a unionist one that unionist parties cater to, and a nationalist one served by nationalist parties.

Far from healing tribal divisions, the agreement makes them the central basis of the electoral system.

In order to gain power in the Northern Irish Assembly, parties have to be more nationalist or more unionist than their direct competitors. This is precisely why Sinn Féin and the DUP have shunted aside the two parties that originally brokered peace, namely the SDLP and the UUP.

It is also the reason that the strongest voices against the Irish Language Act have come from the UUP and the TUV. They know that if the DUP does concede on this issue, they stand to benefit the most at the polls.

Such a situation might still allow for compromise in most countries, but Northern Ireland does not need to resolve government gridlock because it has an autopilot function i.e. direct rule from Westminster.

Put yourself in Arlene Foster’s shoes. You can compromise on the Irish Language Act and watch many of your colleagues, and possibly yourself, become unemployed at the next elections. Or you stand firm and continue to get paid while someone else handles the responsibility of government. It is a no-brainer. Let Theresa take the wheel.

Of course, when it comes to Northern Ireland, identifying the problem is always the easy part. Finding a solution is another matter entirely."
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Old 02-17-2018, 03:23 PM   #638
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Originally Posted by FuckingRotter View Post
Does the appearance of the grounds reflect the performance of the schools?
I have no idea. But it does reflect how one side of the community got the cream of investment, while the other side got crumbs.
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Old 02-17-2018, 10:39 PM   #639
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You've described two buildings that may have been built a hundred years apart. The difference reflects the architectural styles in which schools were built at the time.

The schools are in Belfast? The city that you have just described where the Union Jack has been removed from the city hall? The very same Belfast? The Belfast that is in the Northern Ireland where Sinn Fein has had ten years of disproportionate power sharing? The same Belfast that is in the United Kingdom where state funded schools receive the same amount of money per pupil regardless of the religion of that pupil? The same Belfast that is in the same United Kingdom where faith schools, academies, and other independently operated schools are free to spend that money how they see fit, so long as they teach the national curriculum, and don't discriminate against any pupil in that school?

Ten years is plenty of time for a building to dilapidate, or for it to be restored to some sort of decent standard. Sure one may be an apparently lovely Victorian place, the other a post-war monstrosity, but the latter only proves that some one cared enough to build a school for those kids at all. Perhaps replacing one that was bombed by the Luftwaffe, or putting up a school where no school was required before?

Does your article reflect that? No.

Faith schools exist because the different faiths decide they would like to teach children according to their custom, and because their parents decide to send them there. The state didn't divvy up the education system and say "right, all you prods over here in this lovely brick built paradise, all you taigs over there in concrete carbuncle land". There are Protestant/ C of E/ C of S and Catholic schools in Great Britain too. There are also Islamic madrassas, Jewish schools, and I expect schools of other faiths too.

There are also academies, and non-sectarian schools that receive state funding but are run indpendently of local authority control.

All these schools, the prod and taig schools, the academies and madrassas, they receive exactly the same amount of local government funding per pupil, according to the level set by local authorities. They are free to spend that money how they like, so long as they teach the national curriculum. That is the law. Local councils are not allowed to discriminate against pupils based on their faith, and neither are the schools themselves.

Or are you suggesting that in a city run by a council that can remove a Union Jack from the city hall, they are purposefully discriminating against children in a nationalist community for bizarre reason?

So, two schools, one built 100 hundred years before the other, that can't be helped. What can be helped is the way in which those schools are maintained. If the one is shabby and run down, that is because it is poorly run, not because the Brits hate the Irish and therefore discriminate against them.

You're clutching at straws sunshine!
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Old 02-19-2018, 03:17 AM   #640
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The BBC NI website is reporting a 3% increase in business for Belfast Harbour, with the port handling 24m tonnes of trade in 2017. 70% of Northern Irelands seaborne trade goes through Belfast Harbour.

The DUP wants to make Belfast a tariff-free port in order to put the province at the centre of a post-Brexit trade boom between the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.
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