Get Out and Vote Sinn Fein 148


A quick exhortation to my readers in Ireland to get out to the polling station and vote for Sinn Fein. Irish government has too long consisted of two centre right parties taking turns at the trough of public finance, and Varadkar’s slick disguise of his essential Thatcherism through social liberalism and identity politics is particularly nauseating. Martin’s platform of being a little bit less Thatcherite than Varadkar is scarcely appealing. In a country that is now significantly wealthier per capita than the UK, the levels of poverty and the growth of inequality are inexcusable.

But even more important than any of that is Irish unification. As Northern Ireland elects a majority of Nationalist MPs for the first time since partition, and as Brexit leads to support for reunification that reaches across communities, the traditional parties in Ireland are lukewarm and at best pay lip service to Irish unity, with no sign of any real intention to reach for it.

Those who oppose Irish unity lest it be expensive are a disgrace to their nation. People who will not take what their forbears were willing to die for, because it might cost them a little bit, are despicable. They are also missing the point entirely. Before Independence, Ireland was very impoverished compared to England. The free part of Ireland is now much richer than England. Once Northern Ireland escapes from the dead hand of UK economic centralism, it too will flourish and become much wealthier. Ireland will be a larger and more confident economic unit. Of course there will be initial dislocation effects, but Ireland is well placed to weather any short term pain – provided the rich take their fair share of the burden.

For all those reasons, do get out and vote Sinn Fein.

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148 thoughts on “Get Out and Vote Sinn Fein

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  • Cousin Jack

    I’ll never forget that when my Grandmother (b.1893) was in hospital in Cornwall, she received some shamrock in a letter for St Patrick’s day. A nurse with whom she had a close friendship teased her about it because she was from the North. Her reply was “young man, when I was a girl there was only one Ireland”.

  • frankywiggles

    There has never been a 26-county poll on reunification that has shown less than 2/3rds in favour. That’s despite relentless fear mongering about cost and orange terror. The two rightwing parties, the media and revisionist academics naturally oppose any change. The varadkar-blueshirt position is summed up by their recent attempt to honour the Royal Irish Constabulary and the Black and Tans.

  • Formerly T-Bear

    Quite an astute observation of the Irish Condition, but, I fear, faced with the political inertia, generated by fear and apathy, enabling, funding or supporting the status quo anti. About the only conditions that will counter neoliberal/neoconservative grasp on power is to develop a political spectrum where Karl Marx would be seen as a mild mannered middle of the road centrist, and that is not about to happen given the current levels of education and political civility, sadly. Of the six pillars of economic theory, five were British (most having strong Scottish persuasion) and the other from the German culture, no other source have provided any contribution approaching even the secondary levels set by these economic theory giants. It isn’t a wonder that historical economy is overlooked and discounted as an academic subject now nearly universally in the Western domain.

    You are dead correct about the historically accurate description of the markedly conservative makeup of the Irish state apparatus, enabled from the Irish nationalist experience faced with the enormous power exercised by the London cosmopolitan centre of empire, no chance could be taken against that power that could be weakened by diversity. The same will pertain to Scottish nationalist hopes, the secret being to become as inclusive as possible for as great a part of the political spectrum of the activists as possible without causing fracturing. That enabled the three successful revolutions (U.S., Irish Republic, India) against and removing British Imperial power. Abu Scotland for the fourth member of that group, maybe the first to accomplish the feat peaceably to show the world how it is done.

    I see the U.K. ambassador to the U.N. is now assigned as ambassador to the U.S. imperium. Poor Karen would much better be cast as lead concubine to Star Wars’ Zorba the Hutt, after seeing her performance at the U.N. courtesy of RT. One would think out of some 60 millions population, someone with ethics and integrity could be found.

    • Dungroanin

      As successful revolutions go.
      France set the standard as they are in the process of doing yet again!
      You know it is trie because it is not reported!

      The US was a bankers one against a German King who didn’t accept their supremacy.

      As for the German Economic theorist of the nineteenth century – Marx was a tool of the bankers – set to work to obscure their takeover of MONEY creation by them. Obfuscating it into various functions and creating a specific phantom to divert the wrath of future revolutionaries towards – Capital and capitalists.

      Funny, as how the banker empires plans are being defeated by the cradles of civilisation, older than the bankers, they have unleashed the ‘Marxist Socialist’ liturgists across the media.

      There are a lot better economists and have been, even from Germany in the same Marx era, that were and are repressed.

      The bankers are frightened fhat their great game is finally coming to an end. They are not able to fool all the people all the time; their control of the msm and academia is not enough; nor is their thug assassin praetorian secret police and judiciary and penal system.

      Their enemies in the East are grown, beyond control or conquest; their proxy armies and nations are insufficient or unwilling to be sacrificed to maintain the illusion. Faced down by real humans, willing to lay down their lives and not yield to the ancient slave lords.

      They have only their control of cataclysmic weapons left and like the Blazing Saddle sheriff they are holding it to their own heads to fool the populace to let them off the hook or else they’ll blow their own brains out! But we are not some cinematic caricature inbred rube Johnsons…

      Where is that submarine with the Low Yield Nuke heading to target?

      • Formerly T-Bear

        Where you got that particular concoction of historical interpretation, I haven’t the slightest idea. However it does contain echoes of and the odorous whiff from the economic wankers pleasuring themselves in the bordello at Naked Capitalism. History by youtube or Hollywood has become universally acceptable of late, fiction scripted to fit the need of the conspiracy being produced. You seem to subscribe the idea of cunning bankers under every rock, conspiring to steal everything of value. (Just went to the garden and turned over a rock and nary a banker there, sorry what that does to that theory.) Being of WW II vintage, your history does not resonate with my education, experience or reading, e.g. the cause of the colonial rebellion lay fully with Westminster’s failures to respond to colonial distress, not the dotardly and ill (German speaking) king, a mistake commonly committed by historical ignorance. I shall only remark your knowledge of economic history appears non-existent, making reply to your neoliberal delusions of historical fact mixed with libertarian theology a waste of effort and time (sorry you wasted yours), not sharing those delusions or their genesis from The Chicago School of Economic Phrenology, The Harvard School of Business Chicanery or The London School of Economic Ledger Legerdemain.

        • Dungroanin

          Because history is written by winners.

          Academia is owned just like the Fourth Estate.

          Coming to realise that you have been lied to and to accept like literal biblical truth the exactly religious level of Economic theory that was developed since the take over of state funds and currency creation by PRIVATELY owned banks is how I came to my understanding.

          Listening to the liturgical parroting of ‘Marcist Socialists’ never answering what the reality of ‘Money’ is – by that conjuring of ‘Capital’ was the dead giveaway.

          That edifice and Wizard of Oz act is over as the world looks behind their curtain.

          That’s how to understand as always….follow the money!
          Lol.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig,

    I am a little older than you; not for a moment to say any the wiser than you.

    Maybe with age – a little cynicism sets in.

    In the 1970s I was a student at London University. Did my fair share of protesting and marching. The anti-Apartheid movement, South Africa House, Trafalgar Square all come to mind. Look at the ANC now. What – some 21 Black Billionaires, party support to move rapidly into money – and then what of the necessary structural changes for the improvement of the lot of the masses – now that the ANC has power?

    Sinn Fein – don’t know enough about their party structure and the level of integrity within the leadership. Just wondered, and even if there was popular support – does the usual human cycle run its course as it did with the ANC?

    Time will tell.

    • craig Post author

      Sinn Fein are no more immune from corruption of office than anybody else. But they are better than the alternatives. I don’t really see the point of your post, Courtenay. Human beings are of course not perfect. But to the best of my knowledge, there aren’t any divine beings up for election.

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Craig,

        Don’t want to raise expectations too high – so we have realistically lowered the merit bar.

        Seems to me that since ” there aren’t any divine beings up for election.” and ” Human beings are of course not perfect.” then the real question is the actual or perceived predisposition to small, medium or large levels of corruption.

        The global corruption index prepared by Transparency international had consistently placed Nigeria as number one in the global corruption rankings amongst countries. Ukraine does not seem to get good marks either. I am not assuming in any informed way that Sinn Fein is or is not corrupt in the extreme. I am merely toning down ‘great expectations’ from them – yet also hoping too for the Irish people that better will come. That is all.

        • Laughingsong

          I rather got the impression that the post wasn’t focused on reading any tea leaves regarding the present Sinn Fein candidates’ future prospects of co-option or corruption. Instead the focus is on unification and yeah, that’s ever so much more likely with Sinn Fein. Me-hole Martin or aul’ Leo couldn’t give two shakes about the North. Their parties aren’t there and unification would only dilute their power and importance.

          • Andrew Paul Booth

            I am supposing that those latter parties will battle each other in an attempted grand coalition with which the brown envelopes will continue to change hands while Sinn Fein grows stronger and prepares to lead great change.

    • Caratacus

      Courtenay – I am considerably older than both of you and would say that your comment is derived from much wisdom.

      As and when the unification of Ireland finally comes about, I expect to see the fortunes of political non-entities swell considerably.

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Caratacus,

        Thank you.

        My eldest brother is a retired Minister of Government and my father-in-law was Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance.

        Guess that I am speaking what I have observed from quite close up when it comes to obtaining political power and the temptations attendant thereto.

        Probably I shall reach your age and level of advanced wisdom one day.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        The history of the evolution of political aranfements is the history of trying to solve the corruption problem. There has been some success.

  • djm

    Attempting to influence the electorate in another country……….we’d never hear the end of the autistic screeching on here should a non-Scot attempt to do the same in Scotlan’

  • Blair Paterson

    Ireland is one country; it was England that made it two for political reasons. Every country should be independent, no one else should rule them. I mean in nature you do not get lions living among tigers and telling how to live. Each live their own life’s in their own way we should learn from nature: yes the ones we have the cheek to call dumb animals???

    • Theophilus

      ‘Every country should be independent, no one else should rule them.’ Does that mean that should Scottish independence come about that the people of the Shetlands should be as independent of Edinburgh, as the Faroes are of Denmark and b*gger off with all the oil, gas and fish?

      • Cubby

        Theophilus

        Of course if the Shetlanders or Orcadians want to be independent they should be allowed to do. Self determination is a basic right. Something Britnats seem unable to come to terms with.

        Now of course your comment relating it to oil and gas shows your motivation for raising this point is nothing to do with human rights. It is an old Britnat trope discredited many years ago in 2014 that the rights to the oil and gas would go with them. So your point is irrelevant but your motivation is clear.

        Do try and keep up.

  • Kempe

    ” Before Independence, Ireland was very impoverished compared to England. ”

    and remained so right up until they began to get Objective One funding from the EU in the 1990s.

    • bevin

      Yes. The economic argument that Craig makes is not compelling. Except in the fact that inequality and its associated social diseases, long prevalent in an Ireland which ‘escaped’ the social reforms of the 1940s, have become particularly noxious. And this at a time when it no longer makes sense-as it did pre-Thatcher- to look enviously at the ‘welfare state’ in the North.
      It is a reminder that, under neo-liberalism, there are always certain regions and jurisdictions where local governments can make a difference by offering Transnationals special advantages in the way of tax breaks, anti-union regimes, cheap gangsters looking for clients and pools of extreme poverty in the Labour Market.
      There are obvious parallels to Scotland here- we have all heard Scots Nationalists salivating over the prospect of throwing the working class under the wheels of a Celtic Tiger. There isn’t much left in the way of UK decent social security to give any more away to the capitalists and the Tigers are now roaming the wild east of Europe where fascism, attended by the US midwife, is going through a rebirth. But there are still those, over represented at leadership levels, within the nationalist movement for whom the interests of the great majority , living in poverty and insecurity, can be catered to without the disruption of requiring the expropriators to return the plunder of the ages in which they operated behind the protection of the state in London.
      It was not the, so often insulted and disdained, mill hands in Lancashire, still less the 6 bob a week agricultural labourers of the south who carried out the Clearances, any more than they were behind the Famines in Ireland: the one great truth about the UK that nationalists forget at their peril is that it was a regime in which the rich, and their clerisy, in every region oppressed, cheated and abused the poor. And that was true across the empire-night and day. The world will be a marginally better place when Scotland is independent but, for the long suffering people of Scotland, the day it occurs will also be the day when the real battle begins, again.

      • Kempe

        Poverty in Ireland stands at 17% compared to 19% in Scotland and 22% in England which suggests the wealth is still not being distributed very much more fairly.

        • Adam t

          Relative poverty, you mean. Fine, a real indictment, as long as you acknowledge you’re talking about the Gini coefficient (equality). Absolute poverty is actually much worse in Eire.

      • terence callachan

        No Bevin , the real battle is now.

        Once Scotland is independent it will have much more control of Scotland than it does at present .

    • George

      The Irish were quick to get there nose in the EU trough. Let’s have a United ireland but the cannot and does not have the money or resource to fund it. For Uk let’s get rid of the financial liability of Northern Ireland.

  • deschutes

    “Varadkar’s slick disguise of his essential Thatcherism through social liberalism and identity politics is particularly nauseating.” As hilariously put as it is cutting! Well said Craig, you have a gift with words.

    Speaking of Thatcher-
    ‘Ding-dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!
    Ding-dong! The Wicked Witch is dead!
    Wake up you sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed
    Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead
    She’s gone where the goblins go
    Below, below, below…’

  • DiggerUK

    Ireland is going through phenomenal political change. I hope Irish unification is at the top of everyones agenda.

    That being said, a call from our host to vote Sinn Fein without caveats is startling. These two sites give a fair reportage of matters Irish.

    https://www.thepensivequill.com/

    https://sluggerotoole.com/

    I haven’t found a site of worth that gives a balance to the above from the loyalist, unionist, orange perspective. If anybody has a link help out please…_

    • RuilleBuille

      Both those website are viciously anti-Sinn Fein. They are run by dissidents who want the truce to end and a return to war.

      • DiggerUK

        The Pensive Quill and Slugger O’Toole have a lot of criticisms aimed at Sinn Féin, many I share. Sinn Féin are not undeserving of such comments and damnation.

        The articles that show they are sympathetic to dissidents are non existent, you are making a false allegation………unless you can link to the relevant articles that evidence such support of course…_

        • Andyoldlabour

          DiggerUK

          I am descended from a Roman Catholic family (my mother) in Northern Ireland, and I know for a fact that my Catholic relations have no time for the IRA or Sinn Fein, having had businesses burned to the ground by them. There were plenty of Catholics who were murdered and kneecapped by the IRA, their families will not forget or forgive.

  • Chic McGregor

    I checked the IMF predictions for 2020 fairly recently. Ireland is expected to attain around $88 thousand GDP per capita compared to the UK’s $44 thousand. About twice as much.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      The structural issue in the Republic would be a population of 5m and a population of greater Dublin of 2m (estimated to reach 2.5m by the middle of the decade). Objective One funding has gone into a greatly improved road network but as with London, improved transport infrastructure just makes it easier to get to the great vampire conurbation.
      Attempts to stimulate growth around the island (bio-tech hub in Galway) are well intentioned but hopelessly underpowered.
      Unification would put two “Ulster” cities in the top five for a united Ireland and five population centres in the top ten.

      • Muscleguy

        Which is probably why including Belfast again would help to rebalance Ireland. The Norwegians realised that almost everyone in Norway might end up within commuting distance of Oslo unless they did something about it. So they subsidise places like Tromso which is above the Arctic Circle but has a very good university for eg. There’s also Bergin.

        New Zealand govt has recently instituted a regional development fund urged by one of the coalition partners. In part to improve strained tourist infrastructure but also to do things to improve regional economies and stop everyone living within commuting distance of Auckland. At least Wellington is the capital though, which helps. Australia also didn’t make Sydney or Melbourne capital but built Canberra from scratch instead.

        iScotland could also do a lot to help keep people in the Highlands and Islands and even increase their populations. The glens used to be full of people before they were moved for sheep.

      • Chic McGregor

        You might think that Dublin is a wealth magnet in Ireland but there is Eurostat detailed analysis which shows exactly which EU countries have the most regional wealth disparity. Ireland is not it. Here is a link to a relevant chart which shows clearly which country has the greatest regional disparity. It is of course the UK, which has such a huge regional disparity that they have actually cut a 200% section out of the graphic for the UK as it would then render the other EU countries regional wealth disparities so small it would be difficult to see them.

        https://www.nsi.bg/sites/default/files/files/pressreleases/ECP_GDP-Regional_2016_en.pdf

  • Cubby

    A post that I wholeheartedly agree with.

    It’s hard to believe there are people who still harbour the opinion that Ireland under Westminster rule hasn’t been that bad.

    At least the people of Ireland still have the option of voting for their freedom from Westminster rule – for the moment. This option would appear to be no longer available to Scotland – fascists in London.

  • Mist001

    I find it all a bit ridiculous really. We’re seriously talking about the reunification of Ireland as a direct result of Brexit. Meanwhile in Scotland, we have an independence party which is actively obstructing the path to independence and which completely misread and mishandled the entire Brexit scenario.

    More often than not these days, I find myself becoming embarrassed and ashamed to be Scottish.

    Scotland the brave? Scotland the laughing stock.

    • Cubby

      Mist001

      I guess that’s why you are in France. Just kid on you are British then. You do a great job already of sounding British.

    • George

      Braveheart (sturgeon) and her team are not interested in independence. They want to keep on the political gravey train.

      alex Salmond was the real hero of the snp movement, but he has been neutralised by the sex allegations had has been effectively side lined now.

      One day braveheart will get her peerage in the House of Lords.

    • terence callachan

      Is that why you live in France
      Are you even Scottish ?

      Your comments are often similar to those made by English nationalists who often pretend to be Scottish and against Scottish independence

  • Andrew Ingram

    I didn’t give SF my “Number One” today but I did give them a tactical transfer.
    The notion of a “United Ireland” is a distraction. There never was a United Ireland until the Norman’s and the “The English” brought about one.
    Homelessness, economic fairness and the environment keep me awake.
    Sinn Féin are pragmatic middle of the road left.
    An independent Northern Ireland within the EU and the Commonwealth might be a starter.

      • nevermind

        Youre Beck’s will be getting dearer unless this Independence gets rolling.😊
        Seriously, to dither now, when everything is up in the air, is taking peoples dreams for a ride.
        FGS have your spring conference, express your thoughts, form possible policies and show some integrety, so utterly lacking from the Westminster employed stooges.

      • Laughingsong

        I would think that the North would be too small economically to be viable as a standalone political entity. Agreed that Irish unity didn’t exist historically — pretty much why conquering the place was achieved by Normans then Tudors/Orange-y fellas. But that history wouldn’t stand against unification now, it’s a different world. Ireland also didn’t really have towns until the Vikings came; I think we’re all in for having towns now.

        Please don’t mention any rugger scores! As an expat in western US we will not get the match until later today.

  • Hatuey

    Not so long ago on here I suggested the SNP should be more like Sinn Fein in their approach to Indy and Westminster, and I was attacked by a few people who were clearly SNP loyalists and independence supporters. It’s not often that I’m surprised by harsh responses to the things I say, but I was that day.

    If the SNP leadership had once single ounce of what Sinn Fein had, we’d be sitting pretty right now.

    • Vronsky

      If only we could persuade Mary Lou to lead the SNP there would be fewer clouds on the horizon. I wish the ordinary Englishman in the street could understand that Irish unification and Scottish independence are as essential to him as to any Celt.
      One must sorrowfully concede that the billionaire media do a great job. Whole herds vote for the abattoir.

  • Harry law

    The Republic of Ireland claimed sovereignty over the whole Island of Ireland and its territorial waters in their 1937 constitution [articles 2 and 3] The Good Friday Agreement [GFA] between the UK and Irish government [including Sinn Fein] recognised that the people of Northern Ireland have the right to self determination when the Republic changed its constitution from a ‘claim’ to an ‘aspiration’ and confirmed that there can be no constitutional change in NI without the majority agreeing to it.
    The result of the Irish Republics referendum in 1999 was 94.39% for constitutional change to 5.6% no change. This complemented the 1973 border poll in Northern Ireland which was 98.8% to remain part of the UK to 1.2% for a united Ireland. On a 58% turnout [Sinn Fein told their supporters to boycott the poll]. The GFA could not have happened without the Irish Republic and Sinn Fein recognising that the people of Northern Ireland have the right to self determination. When a majority in NI vote for a United Ireland, just as when a majority of Scots vote for an independent Scotland, negotiations between all parties concerned can take place in order to bring it [Irish unity and/or Scottish independence] about in an amicable way. All perfectly democratic, with no need for violence.
    One of the largest democratic deficits in Northern Ireland is the fact that the political parties that govern the Province Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem will not challenge the local sectarian parties, all 18 seats are up for grabs, if Corbyn’s Labour Party had contested those 18 seats Prime Minister T May might not have needed the help of the sectarian DUP to prop up her minority government. On another note, Opinion polls over the years have indicated that at least half the Catholic population do not want a united Ireland.
    A 2011 survey by ‘Northern Ireland Life and Times’ found that 52% of Northern Irish Catholic respondents favoured union with Great Britain over a united Ireland. This is despite the fact that most Catholics who vote do so for political parties that are Nationalist.
    According to another 2015 opinion poll taken in NI, 70% expressed a long-term preference of the maintenance of Northern Ireland’s membership of the United Kingdom (either directly ruled or with devolved government), while 14% express a preference for membership of a united Ireland. This discrepancy can be explained by the overwhelming preference among Protestants to remain a part of the UK (93%), while Catholic preferences are spread across a number of solutions to the constitutional question including remaining a part of the UK (47%), a united Ireland (32%), Northern Ireland becoming an independent state (4%), and those who “don’t know” (16%).
    All that is now required is for the Labour party to give all the people of Northern Ireland Catholic and Protestant alike the elementary right to vote for the party that governs or aspires to govern them, otherwise 1.8 million people in NI effectively have no vote.

    • Cubby

      Harry Law

      You seem to be missing the fact that the Britnsts are now saying to the people of Scotland no vote on independence not now not ever to infinity.

  • Doug

    Well said, Craig. A good showing by Sinn Fein will, I believe, help the cause of unification, which in turn will help Scotland regain its independence. Now’s the time for a bit of temerity and a lot less timidity.

  • Harry law

    One of the dangers of assuming most Scottish [or Irish people for that matter] want independence based on the number of Scots MP’s returned at General elections is the fact that at the independence referendum in 2014 with a huge turnout of 84.6%, the result was 44.5% yes and 55.5% no. In the General election following that vote in 2015, the Scottish Nationalists won 59 seats out of a total of 59 Westminster seats. In my opinion a countries destiny i.e. Scottish ‘self determination’ should only be settled only by a properly organized referendum, certainly not by fluctuating opinion polls or as Craig prefers through a unilateral declaration of independence [UDI].

    • craig Post author

      In that case, Harry Law, let’s have a referendum.

      I get fed up with hypocrites who say “Independence can only be determined by referendum – no there can’t be a referendum”.

    • Republicofscotland

      “In my opinion a countries destiny i.e. Scottish ‘self determination’ should only be settled only by a properly organized referendum,”

      Yes but not waiting for when Johnson decides that the time is right. We need to organise and hold a referendum ourselves free of Westminster interference.

      Kosovo’s independence should be our inspiration if England doesn’t recognise the dissolution of the union.

      The only thing missing is Sturgeons backbone to go through with it.

      9

      • Harry law

        RoS “Kosovo’s independence should be our inspiration” unfortunately Kosovo’s independence was achieved by a majority vote in their parliament, the people were not consulted via referendum. In Scotland’s case who decides on when a referendum takes place and the criteria involved in that decision? That is a good question, provided there is a reasonable interval between referenda or a major constitutional rearrangement [like Brexit] then a fixed time scale could be introduced [in Northern Ireland a ten year border poll was put forward] unless it was clear the ‘yes’ vote had no chance of winning, all I can say is that such a monumental decision needs more than the hatred of any particular government at any particular time, be it Johnson or Corbyn.

        • Formerly T-Bear

          What is this persistent reliance concerning referendum? There was no referendum establishing the North American Colonial rebellion, there were no referendum legitimising the Irish Easter Uprising and following events and not a recollection of any referendum involved in India’s path to independence. Nationalism conquered imperial pretensions in Spanish, Imperial and Soviet Russian, Austro-Hungarian, Prussian, British, Portuguese, French and doubtlessly to come to Imperial U.S. empires.

          Spanish repression of the Catalonian referendum(s) will only advance and assure Catalonia’s independence from Spain. The Spanish demonstrate they haven’t sufficiently qualified people in the country to fill their Supreme court’s bench, the Spanish treaty of ascension to the E.U. modified their constitution and laws to a common standard, a bunch of political hacks sitting on that bench cannot ignore those changes to accommodate a politically incompetent PM (Rajoy). The royal head of the military has endangered his crown, his throne and his sovereign position by the acts of his military police on Catalonia’s non-violent population responding to a legitimate call for referendum; those actions are yet to play out, but this new King spent his father’s legacy built from patience and wisdom – what for? Repression only leads to further repression until change stops that repression. History is clear on that point, as even Machiavelli points out in advising “The Prince”. Westminster’s remaining home colonies will be no exception. Then those Isles off the coast of Europe can become: The Celtic Isles, as they deserve.

          • Andrew Paul Booth

            Franco is still dead; Rajoy is no longer PM; the king neither commands nor influences the Spanish interior Ministry; police and judiciary in Catalonia are under Catalan jurisdiction, under the Spanish constitution; the fewer than 50% of Catalans who seek a separate independent state are free so to seek and are not being repressed; the said separatists do have a strong department of propaganda.

          • Formerly T-Bear

            Andrew Paul Booth
            Guarda Civil – the state military police are under the command of the king. Rajoy’s failure to even negotiate with the elected Catalan government about the referendum whatsoever provoked the Catalan government, properly elected, to conduct the referendum, guaranteed by E.U. treaty. The Spanish supreme court failed to acknowledge the conditions of Spanish membership in the E.U. and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that does allow for such referendums. Had the Madrid government engaged in the referendum, polls indicated the remain in Spain would have prevailed, ending for the time being at least. Legally elected officials are now serving arbitrary long sentences in the legal conduct of their offices, others have arrest documents awaiting should they end their exile from Spain. Belgian and German Courts have held those international arrest warrants served are without force – invalid under E.U. law.

            Andrew Paul Booth, your ignorance is showing. Good news: Franco is still dead; Rajoy is out of office and Spring is coming.

          • Andrew Paul Booth

            Oh dear, Formerly T-Bear… And I suppose, because that’s what official documents say, it’s really Mrs. Saxe-Coburg-Windsor who micromanages the UK with lizard tongue and eye.

            The Spanish King is a symbol and gives no orders, unless he were to attempt to stage a coup d’etat.

    • Cubby

      Harry Law

      56 out of 59 seats.

      Referendums are so much easier to pockle. Surprising the Britnats have banned them. The Britnats are usually quite partial to a bit of gerrymandering.

    • lysias

      In the two parliamentary elections of 1910, the Irish Nationalist Party, which stood for Home Rule, not independence, won virtually all Catholic Irish constituencies. The situation was very different for the1918 parliamentary election. There, Sinn Fein, which stood for secession and independence, won almost all the Catholic seats, and used this to declare independence.

    • Dungroanin

      A formal referendum of only these registered to vote is not the only or most comprehensive way of determining who the people of the land are and what they desire.

      The simplest way known to society is a process of a CENSUS.

      The door to door due next year ought to be iniated NOW in Scotland- and along with it every individual opinion on independence established.

      The answer being then obvious for the structures and representatives to obey.

      Simple, quick, decisive – no bs manipulative campaigns or vote rigging possible.

  • Wee Jim

    It’s curious that Murray favours the inhabitants of one part of an island separating from the rest because the inhabitants of that part favour it and favours another island being forcibly united, regardless of the views of the inhabitants of the part that is separated.
    The reason for not voting for Sinn Fein is simple. It was the political wing of a still extant military force and there are unanswered questions as to who actually controls SF

    • Cubby

      Wee Jim

      The Tories are the political wing of the British military force.

      The Republican Party are the political wing of the US military force.

      There are certainly questions about who controls these parties as well.

      So what is your point?

      • Wee Jim

        Really, Cubby?
        Did Boris Johnson or Donald Trump reach their present positions through their service or connexions with the military?

        • corkie

          Wee Jim – Did Mary-Lou McDonald reach her present position through her service or connections to the military? Get away with your red herrings.

          • Wee Jim

            Take a look at how McDonald became leader of Sinn Fein, corkie. The sole nominee for the post. Take a look at her powers in the party compared with those of the Ard Chomhairle. Just how are SF’s candidates nominated and wat part do local parties play in their proposal and nomination?

      • Giyane

        Al Qaida is the political wing of Islam, Zionism ofJudsism and the fascists you mentioned are busy cocking up the worlds hard as they possibly can.
        Sounds like a good argument for voting for middle of the road nauseating.

          • Giyane

            Wee Jar Bored
            Not a hair’s distance between Pence or Eugenics Cummings and the Al Qaida doctrine. They all believe fighting is good for humans and they are the Chosen dogbollox.

            What about you?

          • Iain Stewart

            The great advantage of extreme simplification is that it makes everything just so simple (apart from its utter futility).

          • giyane

            Iain Stewart

            The great advantage of extreme varieties of shades of grey is that it makes everything just so complicated (apart from its utter futility). Not nit-picking. That’s what I sincerely believe.
            The right wing ( Pence, Johnson, Al Qaida, zionizm ) declare like Blair that they will take responsibility for their actions, but they in reality take zero responsibility for their actions in the name of the little pile of dogma on their shoes. The sneer on Johnson’s face at Jeremy Corbyn in the HoC after the rigged election sums it up completely.Jeremy Corbyn, cautious, principled, humane had put together a package on Brecit that would work for everyone. No says the sneer the world is now under my dogpoo and anybody who doesn’t like the smell of my particular combination of dogfood and dog is just going to have to get used to it.

            If this is politics, at all we don’t need politicians,

          • Giyane

            Wee Jim

            I take your point about al qaida.
            Al Qaida was described by Robin Cook as a list of available agents for government nefarious purposes. For which he was murdered.

            As well as being political Islam, it is also an arm of the usukis military.
            Al Ciada, Al Queenida etc.
            However in the context of this post about the radicalisation of a young Muslim, al qaida and daesh are the agencies hat our government uses to do this. A good living is to be had by ex agents on the ground of usukis radicaliding the young.

            For example on the day that Islamic State announced its responsibility for the Sri Lanka atrocities two young men were despatched by agents to the mosque to celebrate the announcement but they left the mosque before joining in the sunset prayers. I met them leaving as I was going.

      • Wee Jim

        I have no objection to checking on the opinions held in NI, or the RoI for that matter. Murray doesn’t seem to think the opinions of a great many people in NI shoul;d be considered under any circumstances though.

        • Iain Stewart

          The contradiction isn’t new, of course. Many years ago Owen Dudley-Edwards told me he felt like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, being at the same time both a Scottish and an Irish nationalist, trying to reconcile separation on the one hand, and unification on the other.

  • Harry law

    Wee Jim.. “Did Boris Johnson or Donald Trump reach their present positions through their service or connexions with the military?”
    Donald Trump criticised by veterans for wearing military style outfit despite ‘dodging’ Vietnam draft

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-speech-military-outfit-criticism-veterans-us-navy-a7609471.html
    When Donald ‘Bone Spurs’ Trump avoided military service Trump Boasted of Avoiding STDs While Dating: Vaginas Are ‘Landmines … It Is My Personal Vietnam

    https://people.com/politics/trump-boasted-of-avoiding-stds-while-dating-vaginas-are-landmines-it-was-my-personal-vietnam/

    Hail to the greatest military Leader of all time Emperor Trump /s A gobshite of the highest order.

  • Geoffrey

    There is a major difference between Scottish independence and Irish reunification.
    With Scotland,the rest of the UK would be saddled with whatever debt it was agreed was Scotland’s indefinitely , which presumablt would be unacceptable to the rest of the UK.
    With Ireland , the government of Ireland would take on this liability presumably. Making this much more acceptable to rest of th UK.

    • JOML

      Geoffrey, you make no mention of the UK’s joint assets. How would these be split, particularly those located in England but paid by the UK tax payer because of the ‘national’ interest e.g. Houses of Parliament, M25, etc.

      • Geoffrey

        Because it is implied. Though your two examples M25 and the Houses of Parliament, I would think were liabilities not assets.
        You are not walking out of the house and buying a new one, you are just cementing up the interconnecting doors. Agreeing to separate the utility bills etc. But the mortgage now has to be split , why would one party agree to take on this liability solely?

        • Cubby

          Geoffrey

          Seems obvious but I’ll spell it out. Scotland has never had any democratic say in the decision making to build up over £2 trillion of debt. 59MPs out of over 600 MPs. A gerrymandered Parliament from 1707. An England / Westminster dictatorship from day one in the so called mother of parliaments.

    • Republicofscotland

      “With Scotland,the rest of the UK would be saddled with whatever debt it was agreed was Scotland’s indefinitely”

      If I recall correctly Scotland has very limited borrowing powers, and must maintain a reserve of its budget for emergencies.

  • Bayard

    “Irish government has too long consisted of two centre right parties taking turns at the trough of public finance, ”

    Not just Ireland, somewhere closer to home, too.

  • Adam

    Sorry, Craig but you’re wrong. The Republic is not ‘richer’ than the UK. GDP appears high because of tax dodging US corporations; this is illusory. Obviously, it means the ‘trickle down’ of some decent jobs, but in reality, your average Irishman sees no material benefit.

    You may want this to be true, but it’s not.

    Yours, a republican.

      • Yr Hen Gof

        Indeed, when one investigates how it’s calculated, totally illusory.
        We pretend that there are a 100 people employed to do a job when in fact there are only 10; result: apparently poor productivity and a drop in GDP.
        Some might see falsified employment figures.
        As to including the presumed income from sex, drugs and the rent from your owned/mortgaged house that isn’t let but lived in by you and your family, (imputed rental) apparently a game played throughout the EU.
        Whichever method is used to calculate GDP, it’s basically a crock of sh…

  • lysias

    OT, Daily Mail reports Anne Sacoolas is CIA, higher ranking than her husband. I immediately concluded that she was CIA operating under diplomatic cover when I read what postings she ostensibly had. Presumably the reason her hasty departure from the UK was expedited was the sensitive nature of whatever she was doing in the UK.

    Spying on Labour and Corbyn for MI 6?

    • David

      ‘Crumbs’ seem to indicate more of an international stance for the joint NSA/CIA’s Croughton base….

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/12/11/raf_croughton_nicked_pic/

      The base is notorious for relaying information stolen direct from German chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone back to the US for analysis.

      It also houses a number of communications masts used for broadcasts to American spies abroad, as veteran investigative journalist Duncan Campbell revealed. “Tech support activity” takes place there but RAF Croughton’s most high-profile role is as a relay station for the American Special Collection Service, the joint NSA/CIA unit that targets foreign countries, friendly and hostile, for snooping purposes

      So rather than Corbyn, some of the GBexit ‘nudges’ might have come from there – EU ‘full-take’ comms, and control & command of the active ‘nudgers’ in positions of influence.

      After-all, on 31st January 2020 there will have been champagne popping in both the White House (and champanska in the Kremlin)

  • lysias

    The original boundary of Northern Ireland as drawn in 1919-22 was already the product of undemocratic gerrymandering. Northern Ireland even then included two counties, Fermanagh and Tyrone, with Catholic and Nationalist majorities. Today, two more of the six counties have such majorities.

    • Xavi

      Yes, the demographic trajectory suggests only one outcome, no matter how many efforts there are to spin alternative possibilities.

  • Phil E

    “Those who oppose Irish unity lest it be expensive are a disgrace to their nation” In the same way that those who opposed Brexit are?

  • Theophilus

    it wouldn’t hurt in discusing contemporary Anglo-Irish relations to remember that the UK has been pretty generous in its treatment of Southern Irish citizens.

  • Harry law

    Martin McGuinness said when Ian Paisley died that he had lost a friend.. watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STxiF_usMn4
    Some comments on this article say Catholics will outnumber Protestants shortly, no doubt, if not already, so what, are we to cancel all elections and replace them with a sectarian head count. In the past one Provisional IRA man when shooting a pregnant RUC officer [a Protestant] claimed that it was two kills with one shot. Now, in the Middle East Israelis are trying to impose an Apartheid type regime on the Palestinians, how much different is the Northern Ireland situation, there, despite there being one Province wide Constituency Labour Party with over 2,000 members paying full subscriptions and Union subs which also go to the Labour Party, they are not allowed to contest ANY election, be it local or national, in effect 1.8 million people in Northern Ireland have no vote. Oh yes they can put pieces of paper in a ballot box, but one thing they cannot do is vote for the parties that govern them. It is unlawful and discriminatory of the main Political parties to exclude citizens of Northern Ireland from the full rights of membership of their parties and with those rights the ability to join the political system at Westminster, it is a form of Apartheid which contributes in no small measure to the problems of sectarianism in Northern Ireland.

    • Xavi

      Harry, if you could cite anybody saying elections should now be cancelled you would sound less like a creator of straw men.

      As you know, “Northern Ireland” only ever existed on the basis of a crude sectarian headcount. The statelet was an antidemocratic, unhistorical construct created after the British effectively cancelled the result of the last all-Ireland election. No last ditch organising by the British Labour party is likely to save it and sustain British rule in Ireland.

      • Harry law

        Unfortunately elections in Northern Ireland don’t mean much, since if you lived in NI and wanted to vote for Corbyn because of his record on the NHS and economics generally you would be disappointed because you could only vote for the local sectarian party which normally had no influence at Westminster unless in the event of a not very frequent hung parliament as happened with May’s Conservatives and the sectarian DUP.
        All the political parties in the UK and Ireland North and South have said the people of Northern Ireland as a distinct Region have the right to self determination, consent is the correct word here, without consent you have coercion, but that was tried for nearly 30 years by the Provos and failed, the Provos in all fairness were only trying to enforce the irredentist claim by the Irish Republic in its 1937 constitution [articles 2 and 3]. I am not saying that elections should be cancelled, just that those elections should give the people of Northern Ireland [Catholic and Protestant] the opportunity and the choice to vote for the Parties that actually govern them i.e. Labour, Conservative or Lib Dem as well as the local sectarian parties if that is their choice, in other words ‘Democracy’ is that too much to ask?

        • Cubby

          Harry Law

          Who exactly is stopping the British parties standing candidates in N. Ireland. You know these parties (Tories,Labour and Lib Dems) that claim they are nationwide parties but do not seem to have a grasp of what nationwide means.
          .

          • Harry law

            Cubby ..”Who exactly is stopping the British parties standing candidates in N. Ireland”. The Labour Party..Its National Executive Committee. Who keep prevaricating, it was only after threatened court action on discrimination of a ‘National minority’ were residents in Northern Ireland allowed to join the Labour party, to date over 2000 members across NI were allowed to join the party as fully paid up members, albeit second class ones, since they are still not allowed to contest local or National elections in breach of the Equalities Act……
            UK Equalities Act 2010.
            101. Members and Associates.
            2)An association (A) must not discriminate against a member (B)—
            a)in the way A affords B access, or by not affording B access, to a benefit, facility or service;
            (b)by depriving B of membership;
            (c)by varying B’s terms of membership;
            (d)by subjecting B to any other detriment.
            Disgraceful isn’t it, the party of Anti Racism, practices it with regard to NI Socialists and Trade Unionists.

          • Cubby

            Harry Law

            Mmm Harry it was a bit of a rhetorical question.

            The Britnat parties are only stopping themselves because they want to keep the sectarian divide going in N. Ireland just as they like to stoke the fire in Scotland.

  • N_

    Those who oppose Irish unity lest it be expensive are a disgrace to their nation. People who will not take what their forbears were willing to die for, because it might cost them a little bit, are despicable. They are also missing the point entirely. Before Independence, Ireland was very impoverished compared to England. The free part of Ireland is now much richer than England.

    Have you taken debt into account? Not much point having a larger income if you have to hand most of it over to loansharks.

    Take off the hate goggles and realise that many people in Northern Ireland prefer to keep the NHS rather than watch tricolours flap from all the lampposts. Oh wait – if they want the NHS rather than having to pay for private health insurance or paying the medics directly, as many do in the “free part of Ireland”, they must be “missing the point”. That rather suggest that the point is a crock of sh*te.

    This blog has gone mental.

    • N_

      Have you taken debt into account?

      Then there is all the money that many have to pay out of their net income in the Republic of Ireland for health insurance and treatment. Perhaps someone could compare the Republic of Ireland with the hated England (with its “cesspool” – and oh look, multiethnic – capital London) for

      a) median net income after health payments and debt repayments, and
      b) median equity, i.e. how much the median person is actually worth once they’ve handed a big chunk of their house over to the moneylenders.

      I’ve lived in the Republic of Ireland. The “tiger” crap was based on construction, i.e. moneylending scams, and prices in the shops are sky high. Many a time I was so shocked at high prices as to wonder how on earth people could afford to pay them – and of course there is only one answer…they borrow money.

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