Saturday, March 6, 2010

Funny News from Northern Ireland

I was recently informed that, after so many decades in power, some are talking that it may be time for Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams to step down. What?! Are they kidding? Surely this must be a joke. Why should Adams even think of turning in his resignation? Look at all he has done for Sinn Fein since taking over: Ireland is not one step closer to unification than it was when the partition was first agreed upon, Northern Ireland is still part of the U.K. and under the sovereignty of HM Queen Elizabeth II, Adams has defacto recognized British sovereignty by taking part in the power-sharing government and does not seem to have any more desire to push for reunification than the politicians in Dublin (which is 'zero' desire), that basic situation is not about to change anytime in the foreseeable future and Sinn Fein has lost the last of the few seats they held in the south. Heck, now that I think about it, with a record like that, if he does get turned out by Sinn Fein he could probably fit right in with the DUP!


  1. LOL!

    ALWAYS turn to the Modern Day Sein Fein for a good Chuckle.

    At this rate, the Republic of Ireland will restore the Monarchy, then decide to formally rejoin the UK, before Sein Fein can manage talks on possible reunification.

  2. As a witty observer on an Irish tv show pointed out to Gerry Adams, the recent actions of Sinn Fein have shown them to essentially be the SDLP for slow learners. They roar and roar about reunification but the fact is that the parties in Dublin don't want it to happen. Oddly enough at the same time most polls in Britain show that the majority of Brits would like to be rid of Ulster, the dirty little truth is that Dublin doesn't want it anymore either. Adams has been a failure just about any way you look at him. Like I said, he's essentially recognized British sovereignty over the north, he's a socialist and he hates the history and traditions of the British Empire -he'd fit right in with most of the MP's in Westminster.

  3. Too right on that. And with his Track record he may be less destructive of Britain than Brown or Blair ever were!

    That said, I always did wonder why Britain seemed to hate Ulster. For that matter they seem to be developing a Peculiar Self Hatred back in the Mother Country. What is it with being ashamed of being British? Or even English? Or the idea that to be Proud to be a Scot means wanting some sort of Independent Socialist Republic?

  4. I don't usually see the two as being connected. I can understand why most Brits would want to be rid of NI -it's a big drain of resources, it's a big headache on many levels and having lost 90% of Ireland long ago I can understand why not too many would care about clinging to one small corner of it. If I can't have the whole dog I wouldn't want the tail. As for the self-hatred that is something effecting the wider western world in general and I don't understand it either and probably never will. To me it seems natural for anyone to want their country to be great and to admire the times when your people were at the top. Thinking otherwise is something that doesn't register with me. It has often seemed to me that the people most proud to be "British" are the ones who don't live in Britain, there's probably a greater percentage in Northern Ireland these days.

  5. The Republic of Ireland will never rejoin with the British Monarchy & Sinn Fein have no real power base in the South .

    Support for Sinn Fein is under 10% as per the latest opinion polls .Support for the House of Windsor is virtually non existent in the South .

  6. Very true, which is something I've never understood about the unionists in NI. The fact is Britain lost Ireland, it's gone and it's never coming back. So why hold on to one little corner of one little island? Especially when there are so many in Scotland and Wales and even some in England who want to go their own 'national' way, I often think the zealous unionists of Ulster would do better to fight for it on the island of Britain where it still has a chance of being saved rather than to remain fighting a war long lost in Ireland.

  7. To answer your question MM,it is that the Unionists feel the North is their 'home' and that this home is intrinsictly part of the United Kingdom, couple this with the widespread siege mentality of many people in the community, they would likely feel that moving to Britain would be culpable to 'surrender'.

    I have long since lost any love I had for Sinn Fein, it is a socialist party that will in the end ultimately betray their nationalist support base if they ever succeed.

    As with Adams himself he seems to be a very confused man, recently there was a documentary on Channel 4, A history of the Bible I believe, in which he and a victim of IRA violence where interviewed, (the irony was lost on no one I assure you) where he stated he had a definite belief in Jesus and this belief influenced his politics. This confused me when I heard about it and I think I may have to watch the documentary to understand what he meant, but it sounds like he himself seems to be in some sort of crisis of conscience, because I personally dont know how he can reconcile his faith with his odd politics.

    On the matter of the politicians in Dublin, in truth they are a spineless bunch really, (for reasons other then the partition issue I mean)so it should not surprise or amuse anyone that they would not want to take the north. Sides even if they did, the Unionists would in all likelihood fester in anger and the entire troubles would start up all over again.

  8. Thanks for your input SotC. I can understand the 'siege' mentality but I still don't understand them feeling at 'home'. I'm not disagreeing that they do, I just don't understand it because they are so adamant that they are *British* and not *Irish*. It often seems to me though that the unionists are fighting for something that no longer exists (the British Empire or even simply British rule of Ireland) while on the other hand Sinn Fein has essentially talked themselves out of all justification for their existence. The only recent thing I have perhaps agreed with Sinn Fein on is opposition to the EU constitution which I heard they opposed, at least the first time, don't know about 'round two'. It seems such a crying shame to me that in a country where everyone is descended from a king there is no serious monarchist party or movement. Ah well, more work to do...

  9. Actually MM there actually is a monarchist movement in Ireland, it is known, or was known, as Pobal Na hEireann. I have no idea if its still in existence or not, but whatever it was it was at the least apparently serious with some definite policies.

    You're right on Sinn Fein opposing the EU and it was in fact one of the reasons I held on to republicanism for a time, before I stopped fooling myself on SF's nature. I cant fathom why though, perhaps out of a nascent National Pride. But then again most people cant fathom how the majority of parties in every national parliament could shamelessly come to agreement on Lisbon when they usually bicker over everything. Oh wait, money, thats right...

  10. I have heard of Pobal Na hEireann, in fact I wrote some stuff for them several years ago. However, I never knew if it had any real following and had not heard anything new from that direction in quite some time. The ideas and principles behind it all sounded very good though, very monarchist and very Irish.

    The national pride thing I can understand, and I can understand the sectarianism when Catholics were being discriminated against in the north. However, when the country as a whole is becoming secularized and when Sinn Fein is full of anti-clerical socialists there's certainly no reason for the religious to support them and it does cut into the national argument when (perhaps not Sinn Fein but plenty of others) so many denounce rule from London but seem so willing to embrace rule from Brussels.

    Money talks, you got that right. Makes you wonder if the independence leaders of the past were men of principle or if the British simply didn't offer them enough. I kid of course, principles like most everything else were far stronger in the past than they are now.

  11. I think that people just live the Mythology they base their life around. I mean by Mythology he true Definition, not a made up story.

    Really he Irish Nationalists don't reject Rule by a Forign Power, they rejected British Rule. The republian Mythos has been Building ince the Enlightenment, and the reason Secularism is promenant in Republicanism is for that reason also.

    Its really just silly nonsence. Irish Nationalism was based on the same thing Scottish Nationalism is, which is larley a romantic view of History and a romantic view of a newe future, whilst demonising your oponant. At least Ireland can rightly claim to have been taken over though, unlike Scotland.

    That said, I haven't heard of Pobal Na hEireann, so may I ask?

  12. I haven't heard of Pobal Na hEireann. May Iask more information?

    That said, I think people just folloe the Mythology they are taught. By Mythology I mean the origional definition, not a made up story.

    The Myth hat defines America is the Revolution. The Myth that Deines Ireland is the 1916 Uprising and the demand for Independance from Britain.

    Brussel sis not Britain. They seem to undrstand it radiclaly differently simply because of this.

    The Irony is that Brussels wants ot demand of them far mroe than did London, and will sap them of Freedom to a Greater Extent, but in their Midns Britain was the Enemy Oppressor and they Freely Joiend the EU as full and Equel Mmebers. Thats the Rhetoric and thats the story tey adhere to. Facts never get in the way of that.

  13. There can be arguments both ways but Ireland does have reasons to oppose British rule. What there is no justification for is embracing republicanism which is totally alien to Irish history and culture. Republicanism came along by those inspired by America & France and just as a way to annoy the British. Yet, by embracing republicanism to simply be different than the British is to admit that Britain succeeded in changing Ireland into something it never was.

    Anyway, the website mentioned was suggesting a movement to restore the old monarchies of Ireland around a traditional Irish High King who would be chosen by the chiefs from the appropriate candidates.

  14. Something seems to be out of joint here -some posts are not showing up and others are misplaced -anyway, the website is located at and you can find more info there, be forewarned most of it is in Gaelic but there are sections in English, you just have to hunt & peck.

  15. Some brief notes:

    1. With the flight of Earls in 1603, the Irish Church lost the strong, active laity that the Church has always recognized as being necessary to the intellectual life of the Church. With no lay leadership, the people had only the clergy to look to for defense against the CofE. Over time, problems developed; a stringent clericalism that denied the necessity of active laity; a lack of intellectual growth that always seems to prosper when laity and clergy are free to bounce ideas off one another; no strong lay spokesman (such a far cry from Calvo Sotello in Spain, Dollfuss in Austria, or Chesterton in England) in the political realm (aside from O'Connell, they all managed to fall afoul of the hierarchy); and, over time, a clergy that, in its struggle to secure the rights of the Church in Ireland, neglected the culture of the people, at times becoming merely a mouthpiece for the status quo. How many priests condemned Bloody Sunday, or the violation of the constitutional rights guaranteed to these "British subjects"? I think it can be argued that the Irish clergy lost sight of its mission, and became so wrapped up in their own needs that they forgot that they were only one part of the Church (read some of the old sermons on the sins of the flesh; it comes dangerously close to declaring marriage a sin).

    As for Adams, although he makes me uncomfortable, he has succeeded where others have failed. There is home-rule in the north, the cease-fire has not been broken, and the inhabitants of Ulster are policing and enforcing the laws themselves, instead of relying on mother England. A small step perhaps, and considering the way the south is going, reunification may not be worth it, but I haven't given up hope yet.

  16. The Flight of the Earls certainly had an impact with the loss of so many of the traditional leaders in Ireland, as for the Church, I don't dispute what you say, but there were reasons for that greater than simple self-interest (part of which I will address in the next papal profile). On Gerry Adams I must disagree. The primary point of his party is supposed to be reunification, not autonomy, and that has not happened and is not going to happen. The unionists will not stand for it and Dublin doesn't want it -neither of which he has been able to change. Aside from that, on other issues he's simply a socialist who wants to import the NHS to Ireland (learning from the British? How odd...) and he wants to allow Ireland to be a haven to all foreigners (as if large numbers of foreigners moving in has *ever* worked out well for Ireland) and he acts like Communist Cuba is some sort of paradise. Yuck, yuck and yuck!

  17. I half jokingly say that perhaps all this can be laid to rest if we all beocme Jacobits and let the ROyal Hous of STuart claim France, Britain, and Ireland.

    Hey, its at least not a ttypical Option...

  18. Certainly not typical, you got that! I would also add to my point above, one of my big beefs with Sinn Fein today is their support for the division of Spain -again, not cool Gerry!

  19. I think I can answer the question on feeling like Northern Ireland is 'home' to the Unionists, since I was born and raised in a Unionist family. My family has been in Ulster since the 1180s, our culture, as it has developed, is not Gaelic - it's been influenced by England, by Ulster, by France, by the Reformation, by the Empire, but never by what is popularly known as "Irish culture." The culture of northern Ireland was established for many Protestants/Unionists long before the reality of Northern Ireland was by Partition. Unionism, yes, is still in love with the idea and dream of an Empire long-vanished, but it's also about promoting the practical benefits of being part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - a stable economy compared to Ireland's, free health-care, an outstanding education system (although Sinn Fein have done their level best to wreck that in recent months) and, above all, it's a political ideology that is not based on some antiquated notion of geo-politics. Yes, there is a sea between us and the mainland and nothing but a line on a map between us on the south, but on that basis, southern France should merge with northern Spain, no? Loyalty to one's mother-country can bridge the gap caused by a sea and I for one have to say I am proud to be British and Northern Irish, but if I'm honest I don't feel Irish in any way. It's not a party I was ever invited to.


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