Brexit, Demographic Change And A 'New Republic' For All

Sean Bresnahan, Chair of the Thomas Ashe Society in Omagh, argues that a United Ireland demands full Irish Unity in a 'New Republic' for all. He writes here in a personal capacity.

With Brexit looming and unionism fast becoming not only a national minority but one within its own gerrymandered statelet, what is now required is a national dialogue, inclusive of all stakeholders in society, that moves to agree – freely and without impediment – proposals for an independent all-Ireland republic. An elected Constituent Assembly is arguably best-placed to speed that function and should proceed at the earliest opportunity.

Such a 'new Ireland' requires a modern, pluralist political arrangement, where the identity of all is secured and upheld regardless their class, tradition or creed. Republicans must prepare a solid proposal that puts substance to that vision, giving form to a new and vibrant democracy in tune with the needs of today. Our initiative must speed an advanced proposal towards that end, offering a new beginning for Ireland and her people as is their democratic entitlement.

If there is to be such a 'new Ireland' – spoken of increasingly by many and which no doubt will come to pass given changing demographics – then republicans must influence its form and appearance, ensuring to the greatest extent practical that it is bound by our rights to national freedom and sovereignty. Our banner is the Irish Republic and we must position to ensure that when constitutional change arrives that republican objectives are achieved.

The revisionist concept of an Agreed Ireland is out of sync with traditional notions of a full republic. It is instead yet another compromise with the occupation. Britain should not be allowed to negotiate the terms of her withdrawal, the shape and structure of the new Ireland with it, and should not be facilitated in so doing in the event of Irish reunification. That is what the 'Agreed Ireland' project is really about and it must not go forward unchallenged.

If a United Ireland should come to be then as a people and as a nation it will be for us – ourselves alone – to determine its constitutional form. By agreement among and between our people, yes; inclusive of their number entire. But the link with Britain, fully and in its totality, must go and without equivocation.

Key here is that a United Ireland must be an Irish Republic. Indeed it is arguable it should be The Irish Republic – the Republic of 1916. It is there in that Republic where our rights to freedom and sovereignty reside. As such it should be restored to the people, albeit in newly-agreed form where the requirements of society, in all its diversity, can be accounted for as they must in the Ireland of today.

Post-Irish Unity, allowances for Ulster's Protestants – their culture, identity, traditions and fears – should only be accounted for under the constitution of a united and sovereign republic. The 'Agreed Ireland' notion of 'enhanced ethnic status' for unionists, encompassing a constitutional recognition of their attachment to the Crown, is an anathema to the idea of a republic. Constitutional protections should be afforded all citizens, not a group within their number, if sectarian division is to be consigned to the past. If there is to be Irish Unity then contrived divisions, fostered by colonial rule, must not carry through into a new beginning.

The republican position is simple: British rule derives from conquest and is without legitimate title. Accordingly, Britain should leave Ireland and allow her people to determine their own future, freely and of themselves. It does not and should not require a vote, of any description, to see this made good – not even an all-Ireland referendum. Nevertheless a vote could prove useful in the face of Britain's refusal to leave. Indeed, given that one such vote has already been signed-off for under the British-Irish Agreement and given also and in turn the shifting demographics exposed by the last election, republicans would ignore this at their peril.

With that in mind, republicans should be conscious of the emerging dynamics, laying out in turn that constitutional change – regardless how it comes to pass – must deliver, in full, Irish Unity. There is no reason we can't hold that Britain should leave Ireland – no matter of any poll and on the basis that she has no right here – while taking stock of emerging realities, factoring them in as we proceed on a nuanced basis, exploiting them where we can and at the ready. It seems at times as though republicans are good at saying what we're against but not so strong regards what we're for.

The real task before us is to contest the narrative of what should happen should constitutional change unfold – to 'steer the bus' towards destination Irish Republic rather than the emerging consensus that a role reversal, within the Good Friday set-up, should follow a nationalist majority. Why should it? We have waited long enough. Britain has outlined her terms for leaving and should they be met – regardless whether we consider them legitimate or otherwise – then out must mean out.

As much has been codified in the British Irish Agreement – an international and binding Treaty between two sovereign states registered at the United Nations – which allows only for 'continued Union with Britain' or a 'sovereign United Ireland', depending on unionism's ability to retain its majority internal to the north. Should that majority be eclipsed by a rising nationalist population within the northern gerrymander then Britain's feet should be held to the fire: full Irish Unity should proceed without delay and as agreed.

On that basis, Irish republicans need to forward a detailed plan as to what should happen, from our perspective, in the event of Irish Unity. With the British Government's triggering of Article 50, this is now a matter of urgency. Republicans must get their heads around the game-changer 'Brexit' will prove. Its implications for Ireland are massive. The time to get this moving is now, with immediate effect. Slogans and rhetoric, while useful to an extent, will not carry the day and will simply bounce off the establishment's narrative.

The establishment cannot be allowed to frame the agenda unhindered but to challenge it, as we must, requires something more comprehensive – a solid proposal, with substance behind it, that all can lend their weight to. It remains to be seen how far we are capable of putting this together but it stands as the task now before us.

Ultimately, how Irish Unity is to be achieved – whether by national referendum, six-county border poll, a declaration of intent or some other means – is secondary to the form it will take. Brexit and demographic change are set to bring forward that day and so we must get our house in order. The time to put this together is now. A Constituent Assembly as spoken of above, its remit to determine the form and specifics of a new all-Ireland republic, is arguably where our weight needs applied. It is here and here alone where the new Ireland should be agreed.

In such an initiative lies new opportunity to reconnect republicanism, and the notion of the Republic, with the broad mass of the people – without whom constitutional change is a near-impossibility. As much is the task before us and we cannot afford to wait. We must set forward our proposals now, placing the Irish Republic at the centre of the debate as a viable alternative to the failed status quo.

Onwards to the Republic – An Phoblacht Abú.

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

130 comments to ''Brexit, Demographic Change And A 'New Republic' For All"

  1. Sean Bres

    It is an interesting time for no other reason than the possible shift in the majority in the north. Either way the unionist bully boy in the wee 6 is a dead duck. Without wanting to undermine the positive slant of your article I think it is seriously time to look forward rather than back. A progressive modern forward looking society with a bill of rights for all is desirable and I see no reason for harping back to 1916 or even the word republican all the time. That is alienating the very people republicans want to win over, unionists. Republicanism gave us Eamonn de Valera, a civil war, internment and executions worse than the Brits ever did. It gave us an IRA that permitted the pogroms of the late 1960s in Belfast and then gave us the Provos and Scap, Donaldson and the Adams family values and an entire leadership of rats and scoundrels.

    Think about the country we want and need, not the one that was lost a century ago. When unification comes, and it is coming, we need to make sure we do not behave like the unionists did in the north for whatever reasons they did it. A bill of rights and laws to protect all citizens and penalties for breaches of it needs vigorously enforced. Unionists don't require 'special status' they just need to be afforded guaranteed equality. Dual citizenship is available and should remain so. The same with he freedom of movement situation. Leave the past behind and in particular the recent past as much as possible. What is that old saying, wherever I go for a new life, I always take ME with me.... A NEW IRELAND should mean exactly that, for all of us. We have much still to do in the south, nuns are still running hospitals regardless of recent revelations about infant deaths and 'burials' in septic tanks. JESUS WEPT.... literally.

    Also, history has shown us Ireland cannot function in Gaelic isolation. Ties with he UK will require retaining, too many of our people down the generations are in it and the Commonwealth as is a lot of national trade. But ties with the EU are essential if unity politically independent of London is to be successful. The corruption in Dublin and Brussels on that score will be an entirely new battle zone.

    Much to do, but on the bright side the Orange Ogre is now a midget.

  2. Absolutely Sean, many of the ideals of the Republic ought be encompassed within any new arrangement. Aspirations for an equal, inclusive and tolerant society should be at the heart of our considerations. Indeed the liberation of three of the four green fields from the old colonial master depended largely on such a grand ideal.

    Enthusiastic idealism like needs, desires and aspirations are all part of the mix which drives and supports achievement and change. The British would never have ceded to leave 26 of our 32 counties but for the passions and commitment of those who proclaimed the Republic and the subsequent support and efforts of those men and women who heard the call of Pearse and Connolly.

    Yet even Connolly and Pearse knew the limitations of their idealism and in facing the reality of their situation surrendered to superior forces. Wisely surrendered to superior forces yet probably aware that the embers of revolutionism and nationalism had been fanned back to life. Those flames and passions fuelled those who fought the Tan War and sustained those that supported the campaign for liberation. Enthusiastic idealism turned the wheels of revolution. Idealism turned the wheels until confronted once again with the threatened reality of superior force.

    Expectation, aspiration and idealism are powerful forces that drive change. Yet they are constrained to the degree that they may be deemed realistic and achievable. Much of what you write Sean is aspiration. Its the rhetoric of yet another soi-disant liberator which like the ambitions of many before him is neither achievable nor grounded in reality. Neither achievable nor grounded in reality and certainly not cognisant of the views, I'd contend, of the population as a whole.

    You'd do well to chew over Larry's sober commentary.

  3. Those who insist an all-Ireland republic is beyond what can be achieved can only have ignored that a binding international treaty, co-signed by both the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom (the British-Irish Agreement), has cleared the way for such a republic and provides an actionable route to get there. The terms of that treaty allow for two options regards the constitutional position of the Six Counties and within what political framework they should be 'bound', depending on the majority preference of those who live there: continued 'Union with Great Britain' or a 'sovereign United Ireland'. Both have been explicitly allowed for, with the signatory parties agreeing that were a majority for the latter to emerge, having found expression in a so-called border poll, that both will legislate to give effect to that arrangement. The idea, then, that a United Ireland is beyond what is possible is simply a nonsense. This holds fast regardless our views as to the legitimacy of that treaty - and likewise no matter our opinion on the right of those who co-authored and co-signed its terms to have done so.

  4. Henry Joy

    I agree with quite a bit of your take/logic at times. However, whatever took you from cheering news reports in Bundoran to basically performing gymnastics in defence of unionism is a line I won't be crossing. You must have had a particularly ugly experience with republicanism and you obviously are not alone there. The scoundrels lurking within it to this day are nothing but reptiles. But for me, whatever my personal experiences with certain individuals I wont 'deviate' to the extent SF have, never mind become a pale green loyalist where your comments at times place you at. I am still capable of tactically voting for SF to facilitate a sectarian head count in the north or a long over due change in the south as a hopeful beginning towards something new.

    I agree though that the problem is too much subjectivity in a 'republican' message based on harping back to a violent past that interests no one but the daydream believers and wannabees. There's simply zero objectivity or concrete suggestions for post unification, no detail. A manifesto of complain complain complain, as close to Blair's education education education as they can muster. I think there's a laziness involved in that harping back to historical events and betrayals endlessly, negates the need for serious economic and political analysis. SF haven't a clue either. But they may get into power in the south because of a fatigue in general with the FF/FG pig and trough antics this 100 + years. THAT would be a result in itself simply to break that mould.

    Other than that I have no clue what they plan for us all bar a midnight walk on the beach at Omeath for some of us if Gerry Adams ever becomes Taoiseach.

  5. A few points for what it's worth.
    1. I agree that political unionism is fucked and a good thing that is too. The flat earthers of the DUP are proving that there is no fool like a religious fool.
    2. Don't get ahead of yourself over Brexit. The Conservatives may just pull a victory from the jaws of defeat. Greece and the fact that Italy has experienced no grow in several decades show a deep structural weakness in the EU and it may go down the swanny before the UK does.
    3. There will not be a 32 county republic, not a chance. If there is a UI "compromise" will be the order of the day for Dublin as they seek to accommodate unionists and move closer to London's orbit.
    $. If there is a UI the micro groups of "revolutionary" republicans (LMAO) will not be at the negotiating table. Strategise that.

  6. Republicanism ironically encompasses all the elements of equality and inclusion we are searching for in terms of its history if you look back to the United Irish men who put it on the agenda many of whom were Ulster Protestants and its focus of being a free land owned by the people and harvested for the people.

    It is the divisions dug in our society by our imperial conqorers which remains as a hangover, a tradition which was born out of triumphalism over an indigenous people and to them Republicanism represents a loss of their position as the elite in society a position long lost.

    My message is Republicanism scares Union ism/Loyalist as a March to erode their tradition. We must approach the proposition of a United Ireland with equality as the priority and guarantee that an identity as British is protected for anyone born within the six counties.

    Brexit is the opportunity not present since world War 2 for a constitutional change to the six counties and if it pivots on making some moves to an "agreed Ireland" rather than the bitter sweet romantic purist Republic of 1916 then let's do it because once we remove the British state from Ireland we can do anything. Then let's take up the class war where the elite still reign Supreme regardless of their national identity.

  7. Larry,

    sorry to disappoint you but I had no ugly experience with republicanism. In fact the contrary is much more the case.

    It'd be somewhat sad if, now in my early sixties, I retained the same boyhood passions that were born from experiences of being exposed to civil unrest and conflict at a time in one's life when one was supposed to be transitioning from childhood to adulthood.
    In some way those exposures prevented or distorted that transition and I've been playing catch up ever since. We're talking about a fifty year journey Larry of highs and lows, addiction and depression. And if one is ever to climb out of the lows it requires developing a capacity for reflection along with increased self-awareness and self-management.
    Part of my journey over the last twenty years has also seen a return to study with minor awards in social and cognitive science and also in education. Throw all that into the mix (along with regular participation here on The Quill) and much of the change you draw attention to is understandable enough, I'd contend. When all's said and done, and I'm sure we'll agree on this Larry, the only constant is change!

    Why shouldn't that hold to one's political allegiances too?

  8. These pieces draw a big readership.

    An Agreed Ireland is one that the majority in the North agree to. That rules out unity unless there is a serious sea change in unionist opinion.

    Peter, more significant than Brexit will be the outcome of the French election. If Le Pen wins, everything changes, and predictions ... forget about them

  9. Och my tans coming along nicely lol

  10. The biggest election in France this year that could change the face of France in Europe isn't the Presidential elections. Le Pen wont get elected. The elections in June will be the game changer. Macron will have trouble in getting a Gov. in place in June.

    Macron is basically a stool pigeon from Europe and will have to work with people who don't like him or have the same policies..

  11. Interesting observation Frankie. Worth reflecting on given your proximity to it all.

  12. Sean here is an idea. Set the date for the OIOV poll/referendum for May 2021 (100yrs since partition). By then Brexit will have bedded in and the Unionist farmers and millionaires who prop up the Loyal Orders and mainstream unionism will be feeling the pinch and throw into the mix their ever decreasing majority will be none existent....

  13. Henry Joy

    We could be twins separated at birth after reading your latest post.

  14. Required going forward is some form of 'Irish Independence' movement, where the disparate strands of the Irish body politic can come together and speed a new 'pan-nationalist' consensus. This can then push the argument for a United Ireland and begin to put forward what it will look like, how it will be financed and all of the rest. Once this process begins there will be no stopping it - and the foundation is already in place. A United Ireland is coming down the tracks.

    There will of course be constitutional allowances for the minority tradition in the 'New Ireland' but it will still be a 32-County Republic, no matter how UDR Pete, mistaking his forlorn wet dreams for reality, would have it. A strong bill of rights allied to something akin to a devolutionary framework for the north are the likely 'compromises' but this would not impose on a republic. These in truth are not compromises at all and should present us no difficulty should this be what people want.

    As for this 'closer relationship' with Britain, I don't see this being a problem either. The United Kingdom is the fifth largest economy in the world, with whom we already do much of our trade and without issue. It will be in our national interest for that to continue and is nothing to get upset about.

    I wouldn't pay much heed on the rest of Peter's disparaging remarks but safe to say he might be surprised if he knew even some of those I converse with on a daily basis and from whence they come. More people are interested in this conversation than he seems to realise - all of them with a keen interest in securing Irish Independence as the numbers begin to add up.

    His parting shot, his obvious pain coursing through it, simply reveals that he knows his precious Union is finished and that a United Ireland is a done deal bar the choreography. I almost felt sorry for him when reading it. 'Strategise that' indeed...

  15. Sean that's a good article much to think about. I kind of veer towards Larry Hughes' first comment and the idea of looking forward etc. However, correct me if I am wrong but the thrust of your article is that Republicans need to discuss and consider a way forward. In that I think you are doing a good job and on the right track.

  16. Sean
    As I have said to you many times before, I have no problem with a UI. My union is not that "precious". I just love how you "strategise" as if the societies or any other micro group will have any bearing on the political future of Ireland.

  17. Peter, with his usual dismissive arrogance, makes the mistake of assuming the Societies envision such a role for themselves in the first place. We don't. We're a collection of autonomous cumainn who affiliate to each other on the basis of the 1916 Societies constitution. Our combined purpose is not in time to have our 'group' supplant the political establishment but to 're-grow' republicanism in our own local areas, coordinating and assisting each other while so doing. We don't wish to lead or dictate to anyone but instead hope simply to bring new ideas to the surface while tying into a wider, organic movement for change at street level. We have no intent or ambition to control such a movement and wish only to play our part. We bring our ideas to the table and take onboard in turn those of others. This movement is flourishing at present, with groups such as James' 'Buncrana Together' and a whole raft of other progressive entities in the same mix as ourselves. You could include TPQ in that I would argue, even though it's not a physical organisation but a forum for debate and discussion. The idea that a movement of this nature cannot influence power is mistaken. What ties us together is not any notion or plan to seize or assume power but our collective hope for a better Ireland for all the people who live here - including yourself. We, the people of this country, will build that better Ireland no matter the naysayers and that is our shared future. It is already a work in progress; the conversation begun. Exciting times lie ahead for this country. Soon we will finally, at long last, be in charge of our own destiny. Much remains to be done but the ball is rolling. An Phoblacht Abú - there is no stopping now.

  18. Sean, honest question : In the eventuality of a socialist republic and ownership of industry is slowly taken from private hands, do you think America will such expropriation? Wouldnt it become a target like Venezuala was, no matter the period of time it takes? Do you find the people you speak with have their enthusiasm for independence dimmed when the socialist aspect is mentioned?

  19. *America will allow such expropriation.. (typo sorry)

  20. Daithi D

    I think you are deliberately confusing old style socialism with old style utterly facetious of you down there in D4 with Mary Lou ... old chap.

  21. Sean,

    how does the proposal become an actuality?

    The Agreed Ireland is about maintaining partition more than it has ever been about shaping the future of a unitary state. This is why the unionists were happy with the concept. As Paul Bew pointed out, an agreed Ireland could not by definition be a united Ireland because the unionists would not agree to it.

    In a post partition situation, if it ever comes to pass, there will be an agreed Ireland of some sort. It is hard to imagine an unagreed one. If republicans are to play a role it will be in trying to shape that agreement. A tough ask given the marginalisation of republicanism, something underlined by the recent Northern elections, and which shows no signs of being reversed. Why would people opt for a constituent assembly rather than the assemblies they already have?

    The danger from your perspective is that agreement might well produce a link with Britain. You can disagree with that link but how do you propose to make that disagreement effective? As it stands, if there is a post-partition situation, unionists have the power to shape it more than republicans.

    You raise the strategic question "The real task before us is to contest the narrative of what should happen should constitutional change unfold – to 'steer the bus' towards destination Irish Republic" but it seems much like the call for OIOV - how can it be made real? And a failure to make it real leaves you delivering a rhetorical flourish which will not cut the strategic mustard.

    Obviously, people are interested in this type of thinking and is why this article and the Irish Times one are so well read. But if you remain short on answers that rise above polemic and rhetoric, it will be more of the same.

    While you raise the need for nuance and seem willing to slaughter a few sacred cows in the course of strategic readjustment I think you need to go further and openly call on your colleagues to come out of the ivory towers (you don't need to use that language) where nothing is ever made to happen and throw their weight behind a border poll. That is where the potential maximum leverage lies for republicanism: there and not in constituent assemblies that are as far removed from realpolitik as the Republic of Pearse and Connolly currently is.

  22. Larry, as an example, was not land redistribution was part of Eire Nua? I dont mean to be utterly faecetious, I expect a United Ireland at some stage. I think its longevity is proportional to how much America will chose to allow it. Look at how they reacted in 2015 when Erbil (with all its American companies) was looking like being lost by the Kurds.Secondly, if all republican groups agree on a removal of Britain from Ireland, what divides them is what should come after. If this is what prevents their stated desire for greater unity, its worth examing these 'what after' scenarios. Even if their isnt an agreed answer, I would hope they would acknowledge this is a real concern to any nascent Irish Republic.

  23. David, I can really only speak for myself here but it is a democratic republic that I seek and not a socialist republic. When it comes to 'socialism', much depends on what the individual applying the term has in mind. On a side-note, I've asked many of those on my Facebook who identify as 'socialist republican' (rather than just plain old republican) to explain what they mean by a 'socialist republic' - how it would be politically ordered, how the economy would be structured etc - but always to no avail. That suggests to me that much by way of their politics is bound up in rhetoric. The bottom line for me regardless is that it's for the Irish people to agree the Ireland they wish to live in, having first restored our national sovereignty. At that point, whatever democratic arrangement the people decide upon - which can be worked through and determined at elected Constituent Assembly - will suffice for me. If that process should deliver a socialist republic then well and good but if not then the same applies the other way around and I will still be content. The most important consideration moving forward from there, at least for me, is that all future political change should only be argued for and actioned through the democratic processes of the 'New Republic'. Mackers, I'll have to weigh up your comments and see what I can come up with by way of a response. You may give me a half hour.

  24. Daithi D

    I was only ribbing ya!
    Maybe what you allude to re' USA interests in any future state here is something SF have accepted as a reality and come on board the UK/USA global line of thought. A socialist republic of Soviet era style will never see the light of day here. I think Mackers point of Unionists having a stronger influence upon the political complexion of any future unified state than marginal republican groups is certainly on the money just now. They did manage to partition the place after all and London definitely hasn't gone away you know. But for me it is great to hear UDR (lol) Pete having little or no fear of a unitary island state. Changed times. Alla hu Akbar indeed!!

  25. Thanks Sean, its very useful to not give potential allies reasons to ideologically dig in. As Nietzche noted, they hold the effort it took to change their mind to a better opinion , against their opponent anyway! I think your proposal encourages more participation, and this will clearly aid you going forward, its the opposite of a Belfast elite herding peopple.

    Larry, the Unionists are a minority, its a matter of record how they have behaved, and the exceptions they see themselves as entitled to. But to repeat what I said three years ago, sovereignty issues are the food of the world now. The Unionists would not be as decisive were the South not so supine and cowed, many sucessful sovereingty movements of today started from a lower base , a smaller tradition, than current Republican groups.

  26. Larry,

    why is it some of us get to be lucky enough to acquire a modicum of maturity despite ourselves?

    And meanwhile ... delusion, deceit and denial marches on ... ar dheis, ar chlé, ar dheis, ar chlé, - , ar chlé, - , ar chlé, ... marching on mindlessly to the mythical Republic.

  27. Anthony, the 'Agreed Ireland' Bew et al are talking about is most likely the one set out under the Good Friday Agreement - i.e. the status quo. The 'Agreed Ireland' that Sinn Fein have in mind however, despite its limitations, is a different animal and envisions a unitary state where sovereignty has been transferred, in the main, from the Crown to the All-Ireland Republic. There are obvious qualifications to that, as can be seen from their recently published 'Towards A United Ireland' proposal. In it they allude to 'expression being given to the relationship between unionists and the British monarchy'. What this means, though, has not as yet been defined, which gives us cause for concern as it introduces a dangerous entry point for a continuing intrusion on Ireland's sovereignty by the British state 'post-partition'.

    You ask how the proposal - presumably we are talking here about the notion of a 'New Republic' - 'becomes an actuality' but that's already allowed for under a binding treaty that Britain has signed up to, whether we agree with that treaty or not. The option its terms afford for a so-called border poll, delivering in turn a 'sovereign United Ireland' should a 'Yes Vote' emerge therefrom, represents a clear and actionable pathway to Irish Unity that is lacking in other initiatives - as you have consistently argued yourself. Should such a 'Yes Vote' ever materialise then Britain's feet, quite simply, should be held to the fire. Her terms for leaving Ireland having been met, at that point it must be insisted that she do just that. If no-one insists she do so then rest assured the entry point made mention of above will be widened out to become a broad expanse.

    Why would people opt for a Constituent Assembly and not those already in place? Because we would be entering into a new and as yet to be agreed arrangement. That arrangement will need to be agreed in some forum or other and that is the only purpose of such an assembly. Jean-Luc Mélenchon ran with this as a key plank of his manifesto, saying he would aim for a Sixth Republic with a new constitution equipped for the needs of modern France, this to be agreed at National Constituent Assembly. It is by no means then an outlandish proposal, 'far removed from realpolitik', and it is hardly rhetoric to argue the merits of doing something of that nature here in Ireland should a United Ireland be realised. It's important to bear in mind that such an Assembly would follow Irish Unity and not of itself deliver it. Only a British declaration of intent can do that, much to our collective chagrin.

    Finally, how can the call to 'contest the narrative' be made real you ask? By publishing a clear proposal as to what should happen in the event of Irish Unity - whether it flows from a border poll, a national referendum or some other vice. That proposal for me should centre on the idea a Constituent Assembly is best-placed to agree the form of the 'New Ireland'. Publish the proposal and build support for the ideas it puts forward. Lobby, advocate, cajole and encourage. There is no other way for it that I can foresee but I'm all ears if others have a different take. Discussing these matters can only help develop and fine tune our politics and programmes as we must.

    On just one other thing, there is no movement away from republicanism or its supposed 'sacred cows' in any of this that I can see.

  28. Henry Joy

    Bollox to the marching. I prefer a bit of sailing myself on the Shannon and Erne. It is perhaps a blessing that all that is required of republicans today to graduate/qualify as an IRA volunteer (in yer own head) is to march in a lawful parade wearing combat fatigues with forty mates. The cell system is 'boots-up' it would seem. All authorised, monitored and approved of course by the PSNI in advance.

    I have Volunteered myself to a five year sentence, of hard slog as a house-husband with a view to buying my retirement dream boat. A Princess 32. I'm intending to hit the ground (water) running well before my non contributory pension kicks in about 15 years from now. Who was that RC RUC 'defective' who said them Provos are smart as phuk, they know where they want to be in ten years time... He was correct of course. Personally I know exactly where I want to be too and exactly where I don't want to be. Lough Erne is a yes, Jail is a big fucking NO-NO!!

    Any suggestions for a name for said boat are welcome from fellow Quillers. Previous best was by a right sound fella many moons ago who said 'Black-Bastard' was a good idea or someone else suggested 'Orange Dream' I think, and another said Countess Markievicz .... ffs I'd sooner stick fucking needles in my eyes than sail around in that..

  29. Daithi D

    The ties between Dublin and London are strong and long established. There will be no return to trade war FF era nationalism of the 1930s. Any settlement will have close links with the UK and the EU. Hard core purists will strive to maximise their impact and so they should. But they would do well to grasp that reality as I see Sean is doing.

  30. Sean,

    The agreed Ireland Sf is talking about, I don’t imagine varies from the one Paul Bew talked off. SF is not primarily concerned with ending partition but in acquiring as much power north and south as is possible.

    I imagine in any future Ireland allowance will be made for the type of relationship with the British crown. The issue will be how is it to be defined and as usual SF do not. The Crown might have no more relevance than the Vatican in terms of sovereignty but if the unionists want to adhere to it in some form or another, the bulk of the country will probably agree to it. This is all the more likely in the wake of the Dublin government having successfully rehabilitated the crown and SF being forced to do a U turn on their previous position.

    I was asking how the constituent assembly becomes a reality but noticed that I had managed to delete that opening line in the comment.

    The treaty will allow for a withdrawal if a majority in the North agree although I doubt that happening unless something I am unable to see comes along. If it does I doubt the Brits will hang around long enough to allow the North to change its mind.

    Why would people opt for a Constituent Assembly and not those already in place? Because we would be entering into a new and as yet to be agreed arrangement.

    That really does not answer anything and seems wishful thinking or a fidelity to some idea that Dave O’Conaill came up with at a time when such things might have seemed feasible. But why would Leinster House not assume that role or even share it with Stormont.

    Jean-Luc Mélenchon had a significant machine behind him and still lost out. Republicans have nothing of that magnitude. I see it as a sign of plugging gaps when we cite these examples. In the context of Ireland it seems wholly removed from Realpolitik.

    Having read the above piece, I find it rhetorical although I wouldn’t criticise it for being rhetoric. It has its uses so long as it is not a substitute for something else. Good rhetoric and polemic can be powerful tools in any movement. Where I would be more focussed with my criticism is that the piece seems to suffer from the same deficiency as the earlier arguments for OIOV. More heat than light. It seems strategically vacuous.

    Finally, how can the call to 'contest the narrative' be made real you ask? By publishing a clear proposal as to what should happen in the event of Irish Unity - whether it flows from a border poll, a national referendum or some other vice.

    As republicans, we have always done this but to little avail. The action that might give that a lift is a strategic intervention while partition is still in place and not through some paper outlining the future.

    Publish the proposal and build support for the ideas it puts forward. Lobby, advocate, cajole and encourage.

    Publish and be damned as they say but what is Plan B?

    I didn’t say there was a movement away from republicanism but a sacred cow will need to be slaughtered if you want to impact on the border poll. The cost of not slaughtering the cow would be astronomical.

    Were I in the Societies I would prioritise the point of maximum leverage and conserve energy for the purpose of shaping any border poll rather than calling for constituent assemblies.

  31. What would be the purpose in backing a border poll if there were nothing to indicate where or to what it would (or should) lead? If though, on the other hand, we were to propose that a Constituent Assembly should be actuated by a border poll it would be a different matter entire and in that respect would merit serious consideration.

    You ask why would we need a Constituent Assembly to fulfil a role that Leinster House could assume on its own or with Stormont but seem to have missed that this is what would anyway and already be happening were such an Assembly to proceed. What I'm proposing is that an All-Ireland Dáil, sitting in Constituent Assembly, should determine the constitutional form of the 'New Ireland' once it has been actuated - by whatever means. That's hardly an outlandish proposal and to me is the logical position for republicans to adopt at this time.

    I don't mind the criticism about my use of rhetoric but as David pointed out elsewhere it can have its uses in terms of helping to foster ideas and debate in turn. Logging out for tonight anyway but have no aversion to thrashing this out further tomorrow. I agree that along the kin we will have to jump from rhetoric and ideas to an actual campaign we can deliver on but this, for me, leads us back to the need for a grounded proposal. Oiche mhaith.

  32. Sean,

    the purpose in backing a border poll has the potential to concentrate energy, maximise impact, make those who favour your type of UI more relevant and subsequently capable of winning an audience willing to listen to arguments about the future shape of the country. And if an insufficient number of people do participate in the border poll, then it is no UI. So there is every reason to vote in a border poll if that is where you consider change is going to come.

    Not that I believe that any such change is likely. A UI emerging from any such thing has for a long time being a SF stratagem/subterfuge to mislead its base. SF has been telling people for years just how close a UI is. Its critics have been rubbishing the notion, pointing out its weaknesses and shortcomings. On this one issue its critics have never been wrong and SF has never been right. That Brexit, financed by the rich, led by the reactionary, and energised to a large extent by the racist, might bring about something radical in Ireland runs counter to the logic of all experience.

    I think the above article ran out of steam as it approached the end. It conveyed the feel of there really being nothing of substance in it and that strategic deficit lack had to be masked with the Republic Abu chant.

    That is impressionistic and there is no real reason to be guided by my view on it. But that is how it struck me.

    I am not at all sure what you are saying about the Constituent Assembly. Will it displace the Dail and Stormont? Where will the dynamic come from? Why would they build another parliament and elect a new body of people so that they can talk about the shape of a future Ireland? The greater likelihood is that they will broaden the Citizen's assembly and bring people from the North onto it.

    Rhetoric is fine - nothing worse than a turgid piece of writing that lacks colour and zest. But at some point is has to unveil the main act.

  33. A 'Citizens Assembly' and a 'Constituent Assembly' are for all intents and purposes the same thing - the latter is just a stricter and more specific term for the body being imagined. The one, I suppose, would function to adapt the existing constitution whereas the other would seek to frame in full a new one - a 'Second Republic' with it, if you will.

    I'll return to the rest of your comment later but I think you've already slammed the door on a further discussion. The one thing I'll say for now is that the idea everything remains as is carries no weight when we look at the huge rise in discourse as to what a United Ireland will look like. This is what people are talking about now, including the media, and not whether there will ever be one. That's a significant change in itself. That there will be some form of a United Ireland for many now seems a given and it is with this in mind that republicans should seek to impact the debate as and where they can.

    Just on the article running out of steam, it's quite possible and I'll read over it again with a more critical eye with that in mind. If it's the case then it's not the end of the world as I don't imagine this will be the last I'll write on the subject. The slogan 'An Phoblacht Abú' though, in fairness to yourself, was of course a rhetorical flourish. But it was not intended to conceal or mask any deficiency. I'll think again over all you've said and thanks for the criticism.

  34. Larry,

    goals ... short-term, medium and long-term are essential if one is to keep the head up.
    Its important though that they are costed, realistic and achievable. That has to be the starting point otherwise our efforts are all in pursuit of a fantasy.

    All Irish Republicanism has, or had to offer, is chimera. Like all obsessive ideation it allows adherents aberrate more healthy and grounded attempts at needs fulfilment. Much of what it offers, I'd contend, is nothing short of deluded escapism. But hey the oppressed, and those who perceive themselves so, are vulnerable to the seductive promises of such dogma and guff ... they always were and forever will be(world without end, Amen). That unfortunately is the way it goes.

    Now Larry, get back to the washing, the hoovering or whatever it is you house-husbands do. Keep your woman happy, take care of the gasún and during break periods look forward to some more cruising on the river!

  35. Despite the jump in discourse referred to, it seems that if things go forward on their current trajectory there will be what is now described as an 'Agreed United Ireland'. To what extent this will be a sovereign all-Ireland republic is questionable and thus a concern for republicans. While it will not, most likely, be the Republic of 1916 it will, though, put an end to the Union. On a side note, just because it may not prove the Republic does not mean we abandon the argument that it should. If, though, we are to go on what the establishment is seeking to present, this 'Agreed Ireland' would instead involve a compromise with the occupation.

    The train of thought of those concerned is likely that unionism's 'unique identity' should be guaranteed through legislating a role for the British state - as a 'guarantor' - within the terms of the 'Agreed Ireland'. This could be as simple as guaranteeing their right to hold British citizenship or could involve a much broader role. If it were merely the former then that presents no real issue but the obvious danger is that none of this has been defined - no doubt deliberately so, giving those concerned the space required to prepare the ground for a sell out. Rest assured, if the establishment is left to its own devices it will be the latter notion of an expanded British role - and then some. And thus we must seek to influence the debate as far as possible, to be a fly on the shoulder of the gorilla so to speak.

    It is because of our current inability to influence that debate as we would want to, allied to the reality that constitutional change will arrive before we prove able to do so, that whatever comes next will most likely not be the end of the story. But that doesn't mean we lie down and forget the whole thing - whether now in advance or afterward. A further effort will almost certainly be required, bringing us back to the need for republicanism to put forward its proposals and build from there.

    They need framed in a way that accounts for all eventualities and should remain centred on the notion that a full Irish Republic is best-placed to deliver on the wants and needs of its citizens. It is conceivable, then, that proposals like 'One Ireland One Vote' will only come into their own once we have crossed the bridge of the 'Agreed Ireland' - regardless should we wish to do so or not. And so we should never lose heart as regards where we stand in the now. I have long argued we face a thirty-to-forty year struggle. Brexit may have narrowed that timeframe significantly. And don't forget at no point have we got the length of Scotland and the implications of what may happen there. The work remains to be done. Republicanism still has a purpose.

  36. Sean,

    A 'Citizens Assembly' and a 'Constituent Assembly' are not the same thing. The key difference is that the first is not elected whereas you want the second to be.

    What huge rise in discourse? There is little down here. We see huge coverage of Garda malpractice, The National Maternity Hospital, the Northern political talks - there is nothing about the future shape of a new Ireland. Brexit is a big issue but not about it leading to a united Ireland and rather about the impact on the South and trade as result of the hard border. There would be no need to consider a border hard or otherwise, if most people thought a united Ireland likely. There is certainly no talk about it on the ground among the people I meet.

    If you go through Newshound we find one piece by Graham Gudgin, a unionist economist, who thinks it highly unlikely. Scroll down and the coverage is about everything else. Maybe if you scroll down further you might find something but ...

    Where are the media talking about it if not in the media? Most people including the media seem to be talking about direct rule if the talks fail. Very few about Joint Authority.

    The key issue here is how a sufficient number of people in the North are to be persuaded to vote against continued rule from London. There is nothing that would lead us to see any transformative change.

    People have to make their own choices and I am not willing to throw energy at republican projects when there is so much else that needs addressed. I think all that energy republicans have should be applied more productively. Maybe I am just too old and have other things that capture my interest. The ideas interest me but I have no enthusiasm for the project. While still in Belfast I said there were two things I never wanted to do again in my life: never go to a mass and never go to a republican meeting!!!

  37. Anthony, I didn't say they were the same thing but that they would serve the same intent and purpose. Your answer, though, reveals why we would be better to run with the latter as our masthead, as any Assembly that works out the 'New Ireland' should surely be accountable to the people. In that regard, what better way to proceed if not by all-Ireland election?

  38. Sean,

    an all Ireland election is like the magical fly killer. The problem is catching the fly not killing it. Republicans do not have the power to effect it and the opposition has the power to prevent it. Good ideas are good ideas not good strategies. The problem remains pretty much as it was.

  39. Sean
    As AM says there are far more important subjects for us Irish to deal with than getting rid of Britain. You are obsessed with this and the past. Even the name of your group acknowledges this. All this strategising reminds me very much of Citizen Wolfie Smith.

  40. Henry Joy

    Republicanism is fantasy island without the luxury resort. My five year plan is a real possibility. It is the only five year plan this island will be seeing. Those who talk of republicanism going back to its roots are welcome to 1798 living conditions, 1840s mud hovels and coffin ships to the slums around NY docks. Difficult to imagine people stuck fantasising about that shit while sitting in three bedroom modern houses with double glazing and income support on the double. Leisure centres shopping centres and SKY TV. But sure nstalgia is what it's all about.
    As long as the Brits have the 'muslamic' threat to play with I doubt even they can fuck things up here at this stage.

  41. Anthony, I agree that when we enter the realm of realpolitik, regards the here and now, a border poll is unable to deliver the Irish Republic and will bring us instead to the 'Agreed Ireland'. This, however, does not require us to drop the argument - now or later - that the Irish Republic is a good idea or that it is this which should follow a vote in favour of unity.

    Why shouldn't it when Britain, the occupying power, has signed up to a binding treaty that asserts a 'sovereign United Ireland' should follow once a majority for 'continued Union with Britain' has been overridden in just such a poll?

    Despite the limitations imposed by the realpolitik, what it (a border poll) might do - depending though on to where it leads - is unlock the means by which it, a full republic, can then in turn be realised. Paddy hints at this in his comment from Sunday evening. When discussing this with friends over the weekend, they felt the same: that the necessary first step was to end the Union and that from there the Republic would follow, even if it did not with immediate effect and in the there and then.

    No matter of all that, republicans would do well to set forth a policy-position that aims towards an All-Ireland Democratic Republic, offering mechanics as to how it can be achieved. A border poll, however distasteful, could be one such mechanism - or part thereof - should that be what is determined. Such a proposal does not, though, need tied to one particular mechanism and can offer a plurality of options.

    There is no good reason why a Constituent Assembly, elected by popular suffrage, should not form the 'frontispiece' of such a proposal. We are democrats are we not? We can in turn stand behind this initiative and grow support for the same, regardless what constitutional arrangements unfold in the interim, if any.

    There is much talk above of 'strategy' but as far as I'm concerned, and what I would question, is how can anyone form a strategy if there is no policy in place in the first instance - surely that would beggar the question 'a strategy to do what?'

    We must set forward what we are for and build support accordingly. 'Lobby, advocate, cajole and encourage.' We may never achieve what we wish for in full but we certainly won't get close through embracing defeat before the game has begun, never mind the sounding of the final whistle. That is a strategy for the hopelessly defeated. The final whistle is the Irish Republic and this will not be stopped. It is merely a matter of time and focus.

  42. UDR Pete, assuming you are formerly "Peter", you have devoted alot of your time countering Wolfie Smith. Kind of like an ex that doesnt care, but happens to follow you across the internet for the past three years?

  43. Sean,

    there is no guarantee that a border poll will bring you to even an agreed Ireland. It might lead to NI independence of some sort.

    You are entitled to maintain the idea that a Republic is a good idea but as somebody who subscribes to, and is thus constrained by, democracy you will find that others will call it a Republic anyway (much as they do now down here) and your idea of a Republic might not have the democratic appeal that some other idea of a Republic has.

    There is also the possibility that a decision will be taken democratically to allow the unionists to have a relationship with the British crown that might prove anathema to republicans. I tried addressing this type of issue at the RDS conference in 1995. It seemed clear to me what the leadership was about to do ... and they did despite denying it at the time.

    republicans would do well to set forth a policy-position that aims towards an All-Ireland Democratic Republic, offering mechanics as to how it can be achieved.

    Well, you have answered your own question quite succinctly - if that is not a call for a strategy I don't know what is. Up to now republicans have not done that to a degree that has gathered even a level of support that would allow it act rather than observe.

    There may be no good reason for a constituent assembly not to serve the purpose you want but there is every real reason as to why it will most likely not. Where is the strategic power that will bring that about? We can see the vast array of strategic power that will most certainly block it.

    The position is even more bleak if we read into your comment an awareness that republicans have neither a policy nor a strategy.

    "A strategy to do what?" seems such a hopeless yet astutely accurate question to raise.

    The hopelessly defeated crushed republicanism when they opted for the GFA. This is why it is in the state of ineffectualness we see today.

    I see no way back.

  44. The 'strategic power' we should concern ourselves with Tony is none other than the Irish people; the strategy we should set toward being to popularise the idea of the Republic among their rank. The hard reality is that this is the only way back and it cannot be done any other way. It's an uphill task for sure and on that we are on the same page. It would be remiss though to declare it an impossibility.

    As young Donovan said last night, many successful sovereignty movements began from a lower base and a lesser tradition than what is presently the case in Ireland. We might also do well not to confuse advocates for a Republic as simply interchangeable with the various Provo splinter groups doing the rounds - the Societies included. They are not the sum total of those who wish for a Republic and are in reality a minority among their number. There is a whole other movement for change in this country that seeks an end to the failed status quo and this is where the strategic potential lies. Tommy and others are working with this in mind, as am I.

    Indeed as an aside, I note that none deconstructed or questioned at length his call for a 'People's Assembly', made in his most recent contribution to this site, in the manner that has been attempted here. No mention of how this was legally actionable or dismissing of its strategic nous, no critique of its viability or its ability to deliver on what it intends to achieve. As I say, just an aside.

    No matter of that, the changing public mood both north and south suggest to me that the values of the Proclamation continue to be of relevance to the Ireland of today and can help address the needs of her people, who have been failed. In that respect, republicanism still has much to offer. It just needs to make a better fist of doing so.

  45. Sean, one other thing that counts in your favour, as demonstrated most recently by the French election where the two traditional parties that alternate in power were thrown out in the first round. At least current abstentionist politicians in Ireland very clearly are not in lineage with the usual power cartels publics world wide are turning against. Observing this in itself is not a strategy, but many of the criticisms about not having a plan towards power should factor this climate into their considerations. Ideally Republicans should be shaping their message now so that the public are hearing something new e.g. what if Republicans use the term "Restorationist"* instead of the (tired) "Revolutionary" tag? After all, a restoration of the 1916 Republic as declared from the GPO is the key point? I feel things like this have not yet been processed by the general public, they are not pyschologically prepared to ignore the message etc. Just a thought anyway.

    * I know this is counter to the idea the Republic exists, and its Government is in exile, I dont really see the neccessity for this tradition anymore. Irish people would have the right to resist occupation even if there was no Government directing them.

  46. David, I think an 'Irish Independence' movement, rather than a 'Republican Movement', is what needs built and would allow for the subtly you make mention of. I agree with the need for that subtly by the way, even if much of my 'rhetoric' suggests. otherwise

  47. Sean,

    the strategic power is not the Irish people because it is too amorphous an entity to have any strategic cohesiveness. It is very difficult to ascribe strategic intelligence to a mass of that size.

    The issue for republicanism is how to strategically impact on what it calls the Irish people. Thus far it shows no signs of having done this. The Irish people endorse partitionist states and partitionist governments. What I think is likely to happen in the event of a border poll that cuts links with the UK, is a rerun of what I warned against at the RDS. The people with power will arrange matters in such a way that the North will only become fully subsumed within a unitary state when a sizeable majority, maybe even 2/3 of the North agree to it. If they put that to an all Ireland referendum, given the current state of republicanism, they will win easily. That is one reason it is so important for republicanism to establish in advance strategic beachheads that enable to it to insert itself into the decision making process. Where does the potential lie for that? In the campaign for a border poll.

    Interestingly enough I took a call from a major News network a few minutes ago asking would I do an interview on what Brexit means, if anything, for the dream of a united Ireland. So, there you go. There is more interest in it than I thought.

    What Donovan said last night has been said by everybody everywhere about whatever tiny project they happen to embrace. I suppose you could say the same about the lotto: if you buy a ticket you have a chance. As a motivating argument its power of persuasion is dubious. Mormonism started out of nothing other than a fraud performed in front of people and managed to become a major religion. So there is potential but how much? For every seed that sprouts numerous more fall on barren ground.


    that sounds like whistling while walking past the graveyard!

  48. AM, I must be growing as a human if im just whistling, I had previously been accused of spitting on patriot graves before with my comments (not by you).

  49. For me, it is more accurate to say not that the Irish people 'endorse partitionist states and partitionist governments' but that they accept there is little they can do to impact on partition while Britain refuses their right to self-determine, having been forced to accept the 'principle of consent' as a bulwark to prevent them so doing. Partition derives from conquest - as does the means to uphold it. As much was acknowledged in the 1998 Agreement, in its admission that the wish of the people of Ireland is for a United Ireland - which it blocks, absent a consenting majority for the same within the Six Counties.

    That said, throughout this discussion and your stubborn negativity towards the prospect of some form of United Ireland seems a lack of awareness to the reality that Brexit - the 'gift that keeps on giving' as many now describe it - is bigger than Ireland and conceivably will lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom as an entity of itself. The idea this will not impact here is fanciful. Nevertheless, the discussion above has been more than useful and offers a sense of the pitfalls republicans would face should they shift tact towards a border poll strategy. In that respect you have probably sealed the argument against such a move, should other republicans have been following this exchange.

  50. Sean, my own view on the political content of speech has shifted since I first posted on here. While I appreciated abstract notions,I used to want simple measurable content first off, but looking at other movements around the world, those who use soaring rhetoric are seeding the storms which others can use realpolitik to connect the lightening to the earth. Its something I mentioned about Pearse and Connelly in my first article on here, but I can really see it now.

  51. Sean,

    the Irish people had a choice. They could have abstained from voting. They didn't. They even went as far as to relinquish 2 & 3. Partition is not their preferred option but they endorsed it. I think you grasp this anyway when you express the apprehension that they might just endorse the agreed Ireland as well.

    Partition derived from conquest although partition seemed not to be the preferred option of the British state: a state run by Cumann na nGaedheal in conjunction with the Unionists promised more stability. But consent has come to replace conquest. British conquest hardly needs a divided Ireland. Territorial acquisition is no longer a necessity for what are termed imperialist states. They have so many ways of honouring and implementing their "system guarding imperative." The Brits would be away tomorrow physically if the Northern referendum voted for them to leave. Although, they have a couple of reasons for staying that they did not have in 1998 which sort of muddies the water.

    My "stubborn negativity" as you term it is no more stubborn than it was to the same type of logic when SF tried to sell it to us back in 1998. Phrases like that were used to describe me for my refusal to buy into their argument of a transition to a transition. In spite of all their pejoratives, I ended up correct. Had more of us been more stubbornly negative, the republican position might not be so weak today. So a bit more stubborn negativity might do you good.

    You tell us Brexit will "conceivably" lead to a united Ireland. Conceivably and inevitably have a huge chasm separating them. A break up of the UK (Tories are making gains in Scotland against the SNP, hard and horrible as it is to fathom) is just that - not a unification of Ireland. What needs demonstrated in very clear terms (which is what we asked of the GFA and got anything but) is how a majority of people in the North are going to vote themselves out of the UK and into a UI. Experience suggests they will not.

    Tommy McKearney made an interesting point in that Irish Times interview when he pointed to a more prominent partition and border emerging as a result of Brexit. That is the opposite of Unity rather than a move towards it. The people arguing the case most strongly that a UI could emerge from Brexit is SF. They got nothing else right. Why would they be right now?

    If my view of things here could influence republicans not to move strategically on a border poll, despite my suggestion that they should, it really illustrates how limited republicanism is and how irrelevant it will remain. Perhaps a stronger factor in their reasoning is your own reticence to push the matter as robustly as I think you should. You might feel good reason for walking on egg shells and we are not always as free to make the arguments that we want to. It is my view that you sense the strategic possibilities that would open up with a border poll. But if you don't bite the bullet and push for that strategic switch most strongly, then who will follow the lead not given?

  52. You suggest we should 'bite the bullet' and push for a border poll but are adamant it cannot achieve a United Ireland. Indeed you maintain it cannot even bring us to a transitional arrangement. The case then is clear is it not, why would we pursue such a pathway if this is the reality of where things are at? We would be better to do as I suggested at the outset, to set forth a policy-position to be argued for in all and every eventuality, one that has the flexibility to remain a viable proposal regardless of what mechanism is moved to determine the merits of unity. Tommy once told me, when discussing where to for a republicanism confronted with the emerging bulwark of Good Friday, that we had no other option but to 'stick to that good old republicanism'. That is exactly how he put it, no matter how wistful his tone. As it stands and going on the logical conclusions to be drawn from our discussion, I struggle to see any other way.

  53. David, an interesting thought for sure - a viable movement will presumably strike the right balance. Is it there at all or in my imagination is the real question, it would seem. There are still connections to be made, no doubt, but we'll not give up just yet - not in a world where change is the order of the day. Head's bleaching after two days solid at this. Not sure if much more can be gained. Thanks to all who contributed and thanks, of course, to Anthony and TPQ for providing us all the platform.

  54. Sean,

    as you rather than I feel a border poll might lead to a UI you should follow your own instinct rather than mine.

    If your instinct is right you secure a major success. If wrong, you still galvanise your supporters, draw more in, promote your movement, increase your relevance, serve as a stop block to prevent SF and others backsliding. There is quite a lot which could be achieved.

    I doubt setting forth a policy position would lead to you taking any ground. A perception difficulty for the Societies appears to lie in them being viewed essentially as a commemoration body. That is more a cultural phenomenon that looks backward rather than a political project that looks forward. People might respect it but won't vote for it and in not voting for it they will vote for something else.

    You are of course free to stick to good old republicanism but Tommy is not hidebound by it and is involved in a wide range of radical activity, which all republicans can do but which is not defined as being essentially republican. Sticking to good old republicanism is in my view like telling a Catholic disappointed with the decline of the Church to stick with the Latin mass. Fine for the purist but a disaster for the realist.

  55. 1916 Societies are already involved in radical and community-based projects as those made mention of. That though, while worthy endeavour, is a matter for another discussion and separate from the matters above.

    Just to be clear, as these things can get lost in translation in the course of a debate, I said the British-Irish Agreement provides (on paper) a pathway to a 'sovereign United Ireland' and that it predicates this on the need for a consenting majority inside the Six Counties, this to be expressed through a so-called border poll. I said that were such ever to occur that Britain should have her feet held to the fire and that we must insist she leave Ireland.

    The problem however, as has been exposed over the course of the discussion, is that those who hold the capacity to shape the terms and parameters of a border poll, who can dictate what it will give rise to, intend that it deliver the 'Agreed Ireland' and not the 'sovereign United Ireland' mentioned in that agreement.

    In this respect, we would do well to take care that any movement on our approach to a border poll, however nuanced, does not end up with our internalising of this corruption of the republican ideal - most especially when we take into account what you have revealed as to our lack of strategic power, i.e. for all our good intention we would anyway be unable to change the set up.

    We would surely then be better to set out what we say should happen in the event that a vote - of whatever description - should countenance an end to existing arrangements. This can be held up in its own right and be useful even where no vote is proposed. Likewise, as regards what we are discussing, it can be held up in the event that a border poll were called. It can also be advocated for in the interim. We can do this without ever having to endorse the border poll, and thus by extension the deceptive move towards 'Agreed Ireland' that it hides for now in the rear, and that is really where I'm trying to get to - not to having republicans get behind a border poll.

  56. Sean,

    I am not sure any more can be squeezed out of the discussion as worthwhile as it was having. Like most things in life it has run out of steam from all sides of the debate.

  57. Indeed Sean,

    we live 'in a world where change is the order of the day'. Everyone but a fool would agree with you on that.
    Its also understandable that parties with perceived interest would seek to advance their cause as uncertainty and stability arises.
    However its also observable that rigid dogma sometimes gets beached and left behind by the tides of change. For example, few practising Catholics adhere to the doctrine of Humanae Vitae. Yet most feel unencumbered in conscience to use birth control and sterilisation to avoid unplanned pregnancies and fulfil their sexual needs. Likewise many Catholics are advocating for female priests. It appears a majority perhaps have liberated themselves from old tyrannical dogma.

    Similarly, if good old republicanism is too have any purchase or relevancy it must, I'd contend, transcend fixated, dogmatic and historical interpretation. We have choices. We can adhere to the spirit of Republicanism in a liberal and nuanced way or we can choke the life out of it completely by advocating for a rigid literal adherence.

    The arch-deacons, or so it appears to me, would best surrender to the people!

    (I can respect that the 'Head's bleaching' Sean. Examining and subjecting one's deeply cherished beliefs to scrutiny can often seem like exhausting work. Yet I believe as you acclimatise to the commentary and integrate some portion of it you'll be the stronger and wiser for the experience.)

  58. HJ,

    ...we live 'in a world where change is the order of the day.Everyone but a fool would agree with you on that...

    But you feel confident to write off Republican efforts to challenge partition? Either the future is in flux, or everything is predestined. I dont disagree if current anti partionists cant strategise enough to distinguish themselves from a 1916 street theatre group like we saw at the Centenery, but that isnt what is on offer. Additionally, you and others negate the awful management skills of partitions enforcers, you havent changed your routine since before/after Stormont fell. Which was meant to be a permanent comprimise on competing ideologies, imperfect, but the best we could of hoped for right? Whether Seans vehicle is the right methodology or not remains to be seen, I respect the fact he hasnt migrated to some exculsive Societies message board, the fact they want to engage in itself is an improvement on Sinn Fein.

  59. DD,

    short, late Friday night answer.
    I can't always predict the winners yet the form book can be useful in identifying the probable losers.
    There's little in Sean's latest piece or comments to suggest that Republicanism (as I once practised) has any leverage or practical application.

    As AM has said often before, it could neither overthrow nor reform the Northern State: why should we assume it will influence any new arrangements?

  60. HJ, we have new insights into the political arrangements in the North, MMG reveals that it is people like you that are in the extreme for being resolved to this arrangement. We know that there was no parity of esteem in Stormont, more like a parody of esteem where Republicans were humiliated by Unionists for 10 years, to such a degree the SDLP winced.

  61. Sure Dáithí,

    the DUP continued to act in a supremacist manner. Whether those that were humiliated were republicans is a moot point.

    Whatever unfolds or doesn't unfold between Unionists and Nationalists in the North and between the Irish and British peoples as a whole will be forever more largely reflective of the wishes of those who hold the middle ground rather than of those who inhabit the margins and extremes. Whatever might happen in the event of Brexit Irish Republicanism of the type to which Sean adheres (and to which I once subscribed) isn't remotely likely to have much or any influence.

    To an extent for as long as Republicanism mounted a military campaign the tail got to wag the Nationalist dog. But as we know Hume and the preistíns drew Adams and McGuinness in and persuaded them dock their tails.

    That yourself, Sean and some others haven't managed to integrate the consequences of that is kind of pathetic.

  62. HJ,
    if the GFA had any logic, it was in obscuring the sovereignty issue for such a period that the insitutions were incorperated long enough to give the appearence of permanency,and it has failed so far. I dont know whether OIOV is the correct vehicle, but a period of inertia to find the perfect vehicle is not an option either, because people need some structure to organise around.

    We dont need to have been with great Republicans like Brendan Hughes in cage 11 or H3 to examine his thoughts on Republicanism like his contemporaries were privillaged to, we can find them through many different mediums (the Blanket, Voices from the Grave etc).With this democratisation of knowledge, its too soon to declare this tradition over, by this measure it probably hasnt even begun.

  63. DaithiD,

    The GFA didn't fail in creating an appearance of permanency. It succeeded. But that permanency has been called into question by some as a result of Brexit.

    Yesterday's position by the EU alters nothing. It confirms what we already knew: that if the North joins a UI it will automatically go into the EU. It was impossible to see how it would be otherwise post-partition. It leaves us with the rock against which the republican project has always crashed - consent.

    Republicanism had a policy of getting the British state out of Ireland which was predicated on ignoring the consent matter. That policy was abandoned and republicanism opted to become constitutionalism, strategically ring-fenced by the consent principle.

    There is currently no viable republican strategy for getting the British to leave and we see a focus concentrating on the constitutional nationalist way of doing things.

    I smiled yesterday at the thought of Enda Kenny possibly bringing about unity when Adams failed! It is most unlikely to happen. I suppose the people who could at least lay some claim to being successful if unity came about would be those republicans who advocated Brexit! It rather than SF has produced the current situation.

  64. AM, I dont think Britian will be leaving the EU (I dont see how another election doesnt weaken the Brexit mandate) , but thats another point."Republicans shafted Republicanism" you were told at conference right? All im trying to poiint out, is that partitionists could shaft partition too.Republicans need not initiate this to benefit from it, but they need to be around at least.

  65. DaithiD,

    I don't see how it can fail to pull out.

    Corbyn never waged a serious anti-Brexit fight.

    Labour look as if they will take a big hit.

    People are not going to vote Tory on the presumption that it will weaken Brexit. They will be voting in Brexiteers.

    The Tories are picking up in Scotland.

    Republicans can be around although what difference they will make if they do not act is another matter.

    Republicanism seems more of a cultural phenomenon now than a political one.

  66. AM, On Brexit, we already have terms like 'hard Brexit' that were never mentioned before the referendum. People like Gina Miller who initially just campaigned for Parliamentary Vote on Article 50 now feel emboldened to campaign for a Brexit reversal. The fact is big business and the majority of the media didnt want Brexit. This election looks like a way of tying the Governments hands, so they can be thwarted in Brexit negotiations. No futher mandate should be needed. We saw how the Lib Dems presented the Richmond by election as a vote on hard Brexit. This election can only offer more of that, and not more of a mandate.If the Dutch elected Wilders, or Le Pen had a chance in France maybe the EU project would be doomed, but it looks like its going to carry on, I dont the British will finally leave, remember Article 50 can be reversed at any stage.

  67. Dáithí,

    'Who cares to admit complete defeat? Scarcely no-one.'

    (Big Book of AA)

    If it were possible for any of the die-hards to have any chance of influence in any purposeful way, never mind making solid contribution to future designs, they would have to take that first step of admission. Paradoxically they'll find that almost impossible to do. As I've argued before the obsessive self-righteousness of elements of Irish Republicanism parallels the obsessive convictions of the addict.

    I'd go somewhat further than AM and assert that Republicanism has ended up nothing more than an evermore irrelevant and failing cult. A bitter pill to swallow for those still enmeshed and hence the continued nonsense from Sean.

    You don't have to agree with me Dáithí ... they're just my observations/opinions and best understanding.

  68. HJ, I think before the instant vitriol started with Sean, yourself and AM gave the best analysis of OIOV, whether I agree or disagree with you, I respect your perspective, and love the way you phrase things. (A psuedo intellectual couldnt write as you write). Of all the people on this site, I have walked away from more opinions than I have held on to when I have been convinced of the other view.I doubt whether Sean would ever consider your view these days though, there is too much personal animosity and thats a real shame. It seems where me you and AM differ is you think there is no permutation of events (however improbable) in the future that Republicans could capitalise on to advance our cause, I dont agree. Nobody is going to jail for being in societies, so your hostility seems misplaced, even the UDR PR man is afforded a more individual treatment than traditional Republicans.

  69. DaithiD,

    it makes for an interesting election.

    I can't see Labour getting stuffed by a Tory Anti-Brexit. It seems to me that they will be stuffed by Tory Brexit assault.

    Time will tell, I guess.

  70. AM, it will be the British people that shaft Brexit. Absent of some unforseen event that will render the referendum result insignificant,the Government will likely just ask the question again after the type of settlement they can get with the EU is known. I fully expect those brave MP's to declare they cant in conscience vote for something so damaging to her majestys realm. Of course I cant definitively argue this to convince others, I would just be surprised if such forces like the PM, big business, the media and major foreign governments will allow the people to usurp their designs. If it does happen, I guess Socialist groups will have to concede their analysis on power is incorrect.

  71. DaithiD,

    Voting Tory, hammering Labour, to get rid of Brexit.

    it doesn't add up to me.

  72. Dáithí,

    for sure I give it to Sean yet I do my best, for the largest part, to focus on his ideas rather than personalise it. When deeply held beliefs are challenged one can get heated exchanges. That's to be expected I guess.

    And for all that I still can respect his dedication and tenacity. Unfortunately I don't see republicanism coming forward with anything of substance. I think AM's summary with regards to the consent principle clarifies republicanism's inherent weakness. Despite the noble aspirations of the Proclamation and of Éire Nua republicanism has fallen short on engaging Loyalism and Unionism. The only relevance they will find is through this challenging path. Otherwise the necessary conditions for relevancy don't exist, not at least insofar as I can see.

    In the realm of debate Sean's, Peter's and my own positions included are all equally legitimate targets for challenge. On reflection though my interrogation of Sean's stances have sometimes been too full on, too direct and lacking in subtlety. As happens when both parties are hewn from the same back-wood our exchanges too often ended up in confrontation. And confrontation tends only to entrenchment and with entrenchment comes few opportunities for influence not to mention the opening of minds!

  73. Open your mind to the reality that the north will not be under British sovereignty for much longer - 20 years max and likely much less. I'm shocked that some people on this forum can't see this. Ian Paisley clearly seen it in the wake of the election and is trying to reconfigure the DUP approach accordingly. Peter seems to have grasped it - and long before Brexit (which only bolsters that reality) became a factor. He has long argued that while the unionist majority held firm that there was no compulsion on unionism to consider anything other than the status quo. Alongside that, he has argued that when that day was no more that unionism would then negotiate an acceptable deal - this being an arrangement where Irish sovereignty over the north would be the constitutional foundation but with allowances made for the British-identifying unionist community therein. For someone as shrewd as Anthony McIntyre NOT to have noted the emergent conversation in academic and political circles, which is trying to shape the public perception on how a United Ireland should appear, surprises me. I can only assume that he simply does not want to see it for fear that Sinn Fein might get the kudos. This is not about Sinn Fein. It's about Brexit and demographic change and the developing reality that Good Friday will not hold on a permanent basis. The internet is awash with articles about a United Ireland, its likelihood, what it might look like, what it should look like, when it might happen. You say you haven't noticed this but if that is really true then you can only have been in a coma.

  74. The dominant conversation now is not whether there will ever be a United Ireland but what kind of United Ireland it should be. Like Peter has argued above, I don't foresee this being a full Irish Republic - at least not at this point in time. That doesn't mean we don't advance that Republic as our view as to what should go forward - regardless the importance of our view or our strategic capacity to impact the political process. It doesn't mean we don't insist that in the event of a nationalist majority that Britain should give way to a 'sovereign United Ireland', as signed up to under an international binding treaty in 1998. Of course we should insist on this - not roll over and say, 'refashion Ireland as you so desire, sure we don't care as we're defeated - sure have we not told you?' Be assured, in any instance and regardless how all of this pans out, that republicans will continue to organise with the Irish Republic in mind. Not because we are a 'cultural phenomenon' but because we believe it a good idea and the best way forward for this country. Sin é.

  75. Sean Bres

    I don't think anyone in with even half the sense they were born with doubts it is coming down the track. But it will be fashioned from the realities of the economic and political reality of the time as it exists in the future. Not as envisioned by one or several of those participating at Easter week a century ago. An EU and UK context will be a huge part of it.

  76. Sean,

    I don't agree that the dominant conversation is over what a united Ireland will look like. There is a conversation about the possibility of a united Ireland arising from Brexit.

    The Financial Times discussed the possibility but in the context of it being raised by the EU. All the EU did was tell us what we already know, not what a UI would look like.

    ‘Brexit and the Future of Ireland: Uniting Ireland and Its People in Peace and Prosperity’ is apparently 1,200 pages long. The Journal referring to it list the problems to be overcome before it is possible.

    We have Kenny and Bertie Ahern even opposing a referendum, not discussing what a UI would look like.

    There is an Irish Times piece about why we need to plan for a united Ireland.

    Nothing on RTE main news today about it.

    How many times was the future shape of a united Ireland discussed on Nolan, Spotlight, UTV main news, BBC main news? I rarely follow the Northern news on TV or radio but would expect to see all of this main discourse feature in Newshound. But there is usually very little of it. I haven't seen it discussed down here on RTE News, Prime Time or Vincent Browne.

    I would suggest it is a marginal discourse. It might be discussed on Facebook but that hardly constitutes a dominant media conversation.

    Given the republican experience of so many false promises about a united Ireland (Freedom Year ... every year for a while ... united Ireland by 2016 and all that), there is an onus to explain how rather than reiterate a mantra which in the absence of specifics is vacuous. 20 Years at max means you think it but you have showed nothing yet that we could consider as a working model. I hope to win the Lotto and can say I'll do it within twenty years. But if people are to take me seriously, I would have to outline why. I heard logical arguments today from a BBC journalist as to why it could happen even though I felt he was wrong and explained why. But from yourself I have yet to hear anything other than it will happen. Much like the OIOV exchange - heat but little light.

    I don't believe Ian Paisly sees it but rather was defending the legacy of his da post-election and the death of Martin McGuinness. He certainly didn't see it in the wake of the EU discussion at the weekend, arguing that it would make no difference to NI.

  77. Sean,

    Your tendency to be shocked at people not seeing things the same way you do probably causes you more problems than are worth it and leads you to getting annoyed so easily with all those who disagree with your take, even when they do it in a matter than is far from insulting or abusive. If you could more persuasively argue your case, you might find more people in agreement with you and fewer for you to be shocked at.

    I think Peter might give you a radically different interpretation of what he feels from the one you present here. The unionists losing a numerical majority is not the key factor but the position of those nationalists whose opposition to the union with Britain is considerably weaker than unionist opposition to Irish unity. Will Brexit act as a catalyst for the type of change necessary to cause that realignment both within northern nationalism and unionism? The BBC journalist today made a plausible case as to why it could. But you have yet to make any case. All we know is that you think it will happen.

    An "emergent conversation" which you accuse me of not seeing is vastly different from the dominant conversation that you claim to see. I do see an emerging conversation, which is stronger about the possibility of a united Ireland arising out of a border poll but weaker about the shape of a United Ireland. As I told you previously SF taking the kudos matters not. That would be vanity standing in the way of progress. And we can only judge a vanity problem from how people respond to criticism or dissent. The more strident they are the more vain they are. I think I respond pretty much okay to criticism. But Brexit was not of Sinn Fein's making and was never part of their strategic plan so the kudos they would get would come from shallow thinking.

    The Internet might be awash with discussion about the shape of a UI if we mean Facebook and such like. Reading the nonsense spewed there does frequently induce a coma. But I rarely read anything there so have not yet lapsed into the coma. I will just have to leave the readers of these threads to make a judgement call as to who lives in a state of intellectual stupor. I simply refuse to accuse anyone.

    Republicanism, in my view, is a cultural phenomenon rather than a political one because it fails to influence anything politically. The focus on republicans is highest when they use violence but not because armed activities are in any way politically effectual.

  78. Anthony, the only response I can give to the above is to say that buried among all you've said is the admission that there is, in fact, a step-change in the conversation around Irish Unity - this after insisting previously there were none. As I said earlier, that someone as yourself can have failed to note the emerging conversation - sticking rigidly to the narrative that nothing in this regard has changed - surprises me. That's what you were doing even though you've since rowed back.

    This has nothing to do with what you describe as my 'tendency to be shocked at people not seeing things the way I do' or my 'getting annoyed so easily with all who disagree with my take'. A cheap shot totally out of kilter to what I've said above. The reason I am surprised is because the massive uptake in the conversation of how a United Ireland should look is surely obvious to everyone - even if it hasn't, as yet, reached the point it is on the 6 o'clock news.

    All of this has nothing to do with conversations on Facebook or other social media but if you want to pretend that it isn't being talked about then you do that. Just leave me out of it - play the man not the ball. The real reason I was surprised is not because I can't hack you not agreeing with me - as you allege is my general disposition - but because I honesty believed someone like yourself would have noticed the change in conversation. My words reflect no more or less than that.

    Just to return to what I was saying. Since the latest election, and the striking result it produced, it seems nationalists are no longer in the mode of thinking as to whether there might or might not be a United Ireland. They are thinking now instead not on those lines but on what it could or should look like once it has come to be. That's significant but at this point I don't expect you to acknowledge it as so. The uptake in the broader conversation around Irish Unity however reflects that.

  79. Sean,

    do you ever actually read what anybody writes?

    Can you show me where I have said there was no conversation about Irish unity? I can show you where I said there was no dominant conversation nor was there even a substantial conversation about the shape of a future United Ireland. There is a discussion about the possibility of a border poll being initiated that might lead to a united Ireland. My position remains as it was. I am sticking rigidly to that because for the very reason that I am not at all persuaded that Brexit amounts to any real change in the alignment within the North. If rowing back occurred it is where you switched from dominant conversation to an emerging conversation. Readers are free to make up their own mind. Pointless going over it all forever and a day.

    Far from a cheap shot about your tendency to be shocked, it is a criticism of your tendency to be shocked. But again, maybe I am wrong and the readers will think that you are not shocked at those who do not share your view of the world.

    So, there is a massive uptake in the conversation but it just hasn't made the news yet. Did you not tell us initially that there was a huge rise in discourse as to what a United Ireland will look like. This is what people are talking about now, including the media, and not whether there will ever be one.

    But just not in Six O'clock News?

    You then told us The dominant conversation now is not whether there will ever be a United Ireland but what kind of United Ireland it should be.

    Where is it dominant? In your local? Your house? In the Societies?

    Everywhere but where we would expect to see it if it had such dominance? How many times was it discussed on Nolan, BBC, UTV, Radio Ulster in April? The answer should be simple? Provide the links or articles about those outlets' coverage of it and I am sure my comatose state will come to a quick end.

    Don't fault me if I fail to notice what you might merely imagine. I have asked for evidence. Time to piss or get off the pot. But don't piss down people's backs and tell them it is raining. We have been told so often that a UI is just around the corner by piss artists, that we would need to be suffering from gold fish syndrome (perpetually condemned to forget that we swallowed the same old shit six seconds earlier) to suddenly let go of our critical faculties in the rush to swallow more of the same. Have we forgotten everything we ever learned about such predictions and promises?

    Your last paragraph suggests that it is only a dominant conversation amongst nationalists. Can this be demonstrated? Where is this dominance manifested? Is it in the Irish News? Are there meetings in halls and community centres all over the Nationalist North? Which is what we would expect as part of a dominant conversation. How do we measure dominance?

    I can say with a degree of accuracy that the dominant conversation down here at the minute is about the National Maternity Hospital. It makes the papers, radio and TV News every day without fail. It is also discussed in pubs, on the streets, in the home. There have been large demos on the streets about it. If you can show anything like that happening in the North about the future shape of a united Ireland, I will say I have it totally wrong. And I don't merely say this because I much prefer a state of the art, first class health service North and South, to a united Ireland, if the choice came down to that. I happen to see the dominant discussion. I don't see any equivalent of it taking place in respect of the future shape of a united Ireland.

    Time to curb the hyperbole and rhetoric.

  80. Surreal. I will add nothing further and leave it to the readers to decide for themselves, as is your want.

  81. I think Brexit moves the goalposts in the context of Ulster Farmers Union members and their subsidies from the EU. There is no doubt that there is a sense of inevitability now rather than an aspiration. Not so much an urgency as an acceptance of the fact that unity will come about in the future. My bet is it will be with dual citizenship and joint authority ensuring Protestant identity and farmers money from the EU is safeguarded. SF commemorations and O'Neill saluting the IRA dead is only the confusion within the party refusing to cease. Delusional attempt to cling on to some sense of victory. Nothing could be further from the truth, the IRA was defeated and it was defeated by too many of its top brass working for the opposition for decades. The less said about republicanism and the rhetoric that goes with it the sooner things will move on. As John Cleese said in Faulty Towers, 'whatever you do don't mention the bloody war'. Old Provos who oversaw decommissioning and every capitulation imaginable can play act the top operator all they want, that just makes them funny and sad. The unionists won the war, but in good time they will lose the peace. Or maybe everyone can win the peace.

  82. It may seem surreal to you Sean but Anthony is bang on the money with his synopsis above. At times you have come across as seething, combative and revisionist. I'm not a Republican as you well know but one thing that has always struck me about your communiques is that not once have you asked for ideas about how to achieve your aims.

    You have the combined minds of the TPQ with their vast wealth of different ideas to ask upon but you invariably seem to be unshakable in your own opinion of how things need to be done. Any advice offered to you appears not to be taken as constructive criticism of your position but just plain criticism of you personally.

    Nobody knows everything Sean, and even the greatest minds that ever existed asked the advice of others.

    And absolutely every last one of the world's great thinkers bared their arse to shite!

  83. Sean
    The current buzz around a UI doesn't amount to a hill of beans. It will dissipate as quickly as it arose. When NI21 came into being we had dozens of passionate people coming and speaking at our meetings, social media was buzzing and the response from people as we knocked doors was incredibly positive yet when it came to the vote who voted for us? We got 2 men and a dog. The point being that in your circle there may be a buzz about a UI but it is not island wide. If the UK does ok out of brexit expect the status quo to return. In fact the Dublin establishment are trying to pour cold water onto this UI hype as we speak. Only a UK economic crash post brexit will sustain the current hype and may produce a change.
    You laud the last election as a show of nationalist support but the nationalist share of 1st preference votes was only 40%, 42% if you add PBP. AM's caution is well founded.

  84. Larry,

    the opening line of your comment illuminates an area where people should be looking at. Was talking to a BBC guy yesterday who said much the same thing.

  85. Peter, I invariably agree with most of what you say and have done for a long time, indeed if not always - just not on the stuff with the agenda behind it that the IRA was bad; the security forces good (which for me relates to your background as a former member of the UDR). This is the only place we have really differed, other than that we both have a different end result in mind of course.

    In terms of your analysis of the constitutional situation, while I agree with its broad accuracy, I just don't believe it means this is what republicans should accept and get on with. I believe instead we should remain committed to the goal of a full republic, however long it takes to get there and no matter how weak our current position. We should exploit / utilise what everyone on this thread now concedes, after all, is a dynamic towards change to advance that objective - regardless our ability to inject our views into the mainstream debate at this particular time. If we were able to do that then we would most likely not be here on this forum having this conversation, regardless the growing importance of alternative media.

    I don't see why nationalists in the north, after everything we have been coerced into and denied, should have to concede a further compromise on our rightful place within an Irish Republic to appease what Larry rightly, if somewhat crassly at times, describes as reactionary 'Irish haters' who do not want to accept they are living in Ireland and despise the very thought. We can give them fair protection in a Republic, as is their right, but the idea we should concede our sovereignty to appease what is now a mere sliver of land in the far north-east of our country is fundamentally flawed and indeed bows to the threat of violence (if we are to go by the latest line being peddled by Ahern and co). It would clearly be the tail wagging the dog yet again and even after the tail had basically lost its power to wag. That to me makes no sense.

    Steve R, your comment is so rampant with hypocrisy there is no point even touching it. Just because you changed your moniker on here doesn't mean your own past abuses - which I responded to at the time in question - were erased with the old. 'New and Cuddly Steve' remains the same person no matter of that.

  86. Nearly 60 percent in Scotland now saying, by the way, that they want Scottish independence post-Brexit and will vote for this as soon as a vote presents. Nothing to see here - move along please...

  87. Mackers

    Any unity here will reflect modern interests and economic advantage going forward and not reflect past antagonisms or victory for one side or the other. Working class and unemployed agitators will be left to ponder who pays their supplementary or job-seekers benefits, UK or EU.

  88. Larry
    The conservatives said that they would continue the EU subsidies from the annual stipend saved from not contributing to the EU. I can't see London turning off the tap unless the economy tanks.

    If you want to push for a full "Connelly" republic then go ahead but when you say your position is weak I don't think you realise how weak. The Disappeared, Enniskillen etc have tarnished republican's image beyond repair.

  89. Sean, its when Unionists feel so confident we get hubris like Burntollet or the 2 Civil Rights March in Derry, these types of events, whatever form they take, will be as decisive as anything can muster beforehand. The way they rolled over MMG is a sign this goes right to the top of their reprsentatives too.

  90. (the Duke street battoning incase the March I mean isnt clear)

  91. Peter, as I explained much earlier in the discussion, it's not a 'Connolly' republic I seek but a democratic republic - a democratic republic as freely agreed by the Irish people, alone and of themselves. The key thing for me is that the Irish people be able to determine their own affairs without external impediment or interference - this to remain the case from there forward and to be reflected, as such, in the arrangement of the state. This is essential to any democracy if democracy itself is to mean anything. Whatever constitutional system is decided upon will be agreeable to me providing all of that is allowed for. Should that be a 'Connolly' republic then well and good; should it be something else, likewise.

  92. David, were the Republic to be achieved and were unionism to resist by force, the 'legal' situation would work in reverse. No more would be needed than to apply the full weight of the law. Personally I don't foresee it coming to that but that's where it would be at.

  93. Sean Bres
    Drop republic/an for modern secular state and move on.


    I was unaware the Tory Party had made such a commitment. Game set and match if the keep to it, good luck with that though. As for disappeared and beyond repair, honestly funny from a unionist. I would't indulge in the holy holy never sinned routine if I were you.

  94. Larry,

    politics doesn't always follow economics as easily as we think it should. Still, I think you make a good point and are offering a very sobering assessment of the lay of the land. A modern secular state is what I favour although I see no reason why a Republic could not cater for that. I would much rather live under a secular British state than a theocratic Irish one. Fortunately, that is a choice we don't have to make. Secularism is on the up in the South. I think it is in a more healthy position here than up North.

  95. Larry
    They said it straight after Brexit. Let's see if they deliver. I suspect in the short term at least they will.

    I never said unionists were sin free. In the eyes of ordinary Irish citizens republicanism and loyalism are both beyond the pale.

  96. Sean, im more pointing out the flaw in HJ and AM's analysis. Republicanism may have failed to successfully defeat partition, but if history is to rhyme rather than repeat as they say, part of that will be partition to peacably exist in a Northern setting. They just keep screwing it up, and what the next screw up is, we cannot predict, but Republicans need to be around to steer whatever resistence movements rise up. It neednt be a military thing, its probably safer that this is not an aspect of any resistence in the early days, the Nationalist north need to be radicalised, and not defer resposibility to some vanguard. Just my thoughts anyway, please do keep using mediums not exclusively Societies based, the right feedback is golden.

  97. Daithi D

    What in the name of Christ are you suggesting?

    "Republicans need to be around to steer whatever resistance movements rise up".

    Seriously? After the last 30 years history of murder and mayhem, all for nothing more than an electoral strategy that was an option since the foundation of the N. Ireland state you believe that? You advocate another Trojan Horse affair like unionists accuse the Civil Rights Movement of having been today in 2017? Boy, republican genius at work!

    Daithi I couldn't disagree more. Cathal Goulding had a lot to answer for back in the CRM day leaving RCs undefended. But unless you are heading north of the border personally and launching the radicalisation campaign and leading the charge in whatever will follow I suggest you read what you wrote again and give your head a seriously vigorous and prolonged shake. People are fed up to the back teeth with the mention of republicanism. That is why they are voting SF, to get rid of it. To think the old guard who led everyone up the garden path of liberation only ending up at Stormont could be permitted to lead the charge all over again is just too much to even contemplate. I would sooner join the UVF to get stiffing the bastards with glee! The young do not require radicalising Daithi they require the reverse on both sides and they require education and jobs and the ability to buy a fucking house.

    I see no reason for violent conflict under any circumstances these days and anyone in jail today has been used worse than we ever were back in the day. They will get even less thanks for it in my view. I pity them.

  98. A United Ireland and the need to begin framing what it might appear like mentioned this evening on the 6 o'clock news, by the way. Mention also of a 'wider debate on a United Ireland having been sparked in the Republic' due to Brexit and demographic change in the north. As the man says, say nothing 'til ye hear more...

  99. AM, sorry to double post, but is there a copy of your Ard Fheis speech available? Ive searched online but I cannot see it listed anywhere (I hope im not asking something that is not there for a reason, Im just a nosy so and so).

  100. Sorry AM, this is what I was looking for, at least its taking this thing over 100!

  101. DaithiD,

    it should be online but I sent you a copy of it

  102. Sean Bres

    It was also stated that the EU has facilitated the event should it happen with immediate entry for a unified Ireland. Everything is in place. I also see the logic in one contributor on the subject who suggested the more rigorous any lobbying for unity the more unionists may resist the idea. Throw into that 1916 and REPUBLICANISM and ... well ... it becomes a self defeating ideology. Do we want a new Ireland or a victory?

  103. Larry please, there is no way I was suggesting a return to violence, I went out of my way to distinguish that type of radicalisation with that which I was proposing. I dont think those that were stoned at Burntollet were pursuing radicalisation, they wanted British rights for British citizens, or something like that. But the end result was a radicalisation. You will get me in trouble you know!

  104. A democratic all-Ireland republic, freely agreed by all of the people who live in this country, is a victory for everyone Larry. There is nothing for anyone to fear from such a republic. A strong bill of rights can ensure that where such fears exist that they can be accommodated as required.

    As the analyst from Dublin made clear, there is no point ignoring this conversation as the simple demographics make the process of constitutional change, leading to a United Ireland, an inevitability. When THAT is on the BBC News then you know that everything is not as it were before. It could not be more obvious from where I sit but we won't run away with ourselves, not when the pace of change has yet to be determined.

    Much in this regard hinges on what Peter alluded to earlier - i.e. whether Brexit in fact proves a success. Personally though, I feel that even should it do so its benefits are unlikely to accrue to the people living in the six-county area and will instead be concentrated in lower England.

    We must also factor in Scotland - which again, and as I said earlier more than once, has been virtually ignored throughout this discussion by those in denial that change could very well be in the offing. In this regard and as the saying among many now is, 'Brexit is the gift that keeps on giving'.

  105. Larry,

    And there was me telling you earlier that secularism was on the rise here. It hasn’t reached the Dail yet! Embarrassing.

  106. The Angelus at 6pm before the news is so outdated too. It is just pathetic.

  107. Dathi D

    Don't worry if I manage to get you into trouble the nuns are still in charge of the maternity ward. You'll be grand.

    Sean Bres

    As a Liverpool supporter will you not have a guilty conscience if there is a united independent Ireland and the UK is broken up forever? Do you not think it has been a blessing for millions of Irish seeking work and a decent life when our own country couldn't and wouldn't look after 4.5 million people here at home even when being power hosed with endless supplies of EU cash? Do you think the diaspora will flood back to an Irish success story? You have no shame Bresser! You will miss the UK once it is gone and the IRA will regroup under a new name demanding the border back for smuggling.

  108. Larry,

    then there is the problem of schools, which has been brought to the fore. Forced into faith: ‘We are second-class citizens in the education system’

    A republican in the North who happened to be a religion other than Catholic or an atheist would have grave reservations about moving into the type of state that permits this. That said, this type of thing will be pushed back so I wouldn't let it be a deterrent. Persuading unionists who are non-Catholic (the vast bulk of them I imagine) will be something else. We are looking at Repeal of the Eighth as the next big advance down here. When we get that over the line, the type of nonsense referred to in the Dail and the schools will be eroded even further. All of this is positive for republicanism.

    A journalist did say to me the other day that we should not be too hopeful that the moves towards secularisation down here will placate the unionists: They also have enough theocrats of their own and are as hostile to secularism as are the Catholic faithful.

    I wonder if we removed the morning prayer and sacrificed a goat instead would that be better? Like, we could always eat the goat as part of a free fry up after!!! Not much you can do with prayer on a plate!

  109. Anthony, you seem to have missed that convincing unionists of the merits to a United Ireland will not be necessary - even if this is something to aim for and indeed worth aiming for. Once nationalists can muster sufficient numbers to outvote them in a border poll, change will follow automatically and in line with the terms of a binding agreement - that being the British-Irish Agreement. The current reality is that, once we exclude people 60 years old and above, the nationalist community becomes the majority community - with a majority of 60,000 over ALL others and not just unionists. And that's not to count the 'extra' nationalists that will be born over the duration of time it takes the over-60s to 'shuffle on'. As we look further down the age cohorts these numbers begin to skew more radically. While the so-called 'Catholic unicorn' is not as rare as the mythological creature itself it will not be found in the required number to block a United Ireland. Not even close. The question is not whether there will be a United Ireland. It is inevitable. The question is what kind of United Ireland it should be and who should determine its shape and structure. You might not live to see it but, barring the intrusion of fate and an early grave, I most certainly will. And all of that is to take no account of Brexit, Scotland and narrow English nationalism. Unionism would be much better served to make a deal now because without one we are condemning the north to twenty years of political instability. With every election to come a certainty to degenerate into a sectarian headcount, each more pronounced than the last, it can be no other way.

  110. Mackers

    I think Bresser calls it correct on one aspect, a sectarian head count from here on in. Unionists will vote solid until outnumbered. Then what happens is anyone's guess. Come the poll-vote (vault) I expect a good deluge of republican rhetoric followed by an out-pouring of traditional republican political catechism in the who's the biggest and staunchest republican contest to merely solidify the prod vote and alienate the castle catholic one. There goes the slight majority. But when yer right and every other cunt on Earth is wrong, diplomacy or tact are unnecessary in the charge to victory... AT LAST.

    Was unable to open that link BTW.

  111. As I said to you earlier and elsewhere Larry, what you are arguing for is that we vacate the space - what little of it we hold - so that Bertie Ahern and company can whittle away the potential dynamic towards a meaningful Irish unity that a northern nationalist majority could unlock. For me that would be a grievous mistake but each to their own.

    We've had twenty years of the 'lie down prostrate' rollover republicanism you suggest we should embrace. Look what it achieved. It only encouraged unionism to persist in its superiority complex. We don't want a victory. We are prepared to agree an Ireland with unionism and to work together to achieve that. There is a difference in doing this and allowing unionism to dictate its under-arching foundation, which would be a dereliction of duty.

    You have a very entrenched view on republicanism which seems to skew your commentary but you should consider that republicans seek only a new and capable republic that can best advance the material needs of its citizens - in all their diversity and regardless their differences. If that is an objectionable concept well then I'll be damned. I'm out of here until this evening. Slán.

  112. Larry,

    that might be the hope. The evidence thus far is not something that the hope could be built on. The evidence is that nationalists are less monolithic on the question of partition than the unionists are. The people not favouring a united Ireland has been considerably broader than political unionism.

    We have been exposed to the demographic argument before although in different circumstances. A Catholic majority tells us nothing in terms of preference for or against partition. Same with a nationalist majority, if it is reached. Unionism has for some time realised this and has stressed keeping a sufficient number of nationalists on its side of the partition line.

    The question now is if Brexit can unite the nationalist bloc as one in their opposition to partition and disunite the unionists. If that does not happen, a British withdrawal is moonshine.

  113. Sean Bres

    What I cannot understand is, are you seeking a border poll on unity or a border poll on the republic declared in Easter week 1916? One step at a time. If unionists are not required in the finally tally why not call it the 'once and for all stick it to the prods' referendum. Republicanism is confused, taig prod and dissenter horse crap on the one hand and we can move forward without them on the other. I'm tired of the very word REPUBLICAN it means nothing but murder mayhem betrayal judas bastards and jail and political surrender by reptiles. Find a new meaningful 'catchall' word. Republicanism is worn out and threadbare. It unites no one, not even the dissos in jail today or outside of it for that matter. People and IRELAND needs something fresh, something new.


    Dissident Republicans will scuttle any hope of a yes vote it is so divisive and unimaginative. Then they will all blame each others faction.

  114. Larry , Ill tell them im Muslim, they go all wet for comunity outreach. As far as gunmen in the community go, the continued Scap revelations should cause some serious reflection as to whether you want people like that operating in a community , never mind the efficacy their stated supposed day job of fighting the Brits, its this policing and justice aspect that they also assume. I know why its done, but the reflection on all the information im talking about elsewhere in this thread includes this aspect too.

  115. Larry,

    you are being generous. I think republicans are pretty marginal to any outcome, yes or no.

    If you look at the Brian Feeney piece in the Irish News, you can see coherence there, even if you don't agree with him. Compare that to republican arguments that so often sound vacuous. People will most likely be guided by constitutional nationalist
    "wisdom" and not by republican "waffle."

  116. Mackers

    If you and I, UDR Peter, Steve R, Robert, Bresser and a few others on here and Henry Joy the unionist in disguise, all sat down and advocated joint authority, dual citizenship, a freedom of travel/movement area and a bill of rights protecting everyone regardless of race colour or creed and EU rights and benefits extended to the wee 6 for farmers and workers and it got 95% approval in a referendum the 'republicans' would not accept it. Because Pearse and Connolly would NOT have approved back in 1916. I don't have a romantic view of republicanism, merely a repellent one at this stage. Not the individuals, they are free to waste their own time as they wish, just what republicanism has offered the country endlessly. But I will still NEVER NEVER NEVER be like Henry Joy lol

  117. Mackers

    Business interests and not romantic claptrap about dead people a century ago will decide the future of this country. We saw Adams in 2007 and how little he knew about anything relevant to the economy. I see nothing better in anything alternative republicans put forward. Devoid of a plan. Attempting to hide that lack of reality in the mists of the Proclamation and historical wrongs.

    Daithi D

    You will get yourself into trouble yet depending on how sexy yer burka is.

  118. Larry writes, "why not call it the 'once and for all stick it to the prods' referendum", seemingly oblivious to the fact the only person who has ever suggested such a thing or outcome is none other than himself.

  119. Larry,

    I think that is right. 1916 will have no bearing on matters but then again it had little bearing on the emergence of the Provisional IRA.

    Whether the republicans agree or disagree with whatever is decided by the 95% you refer to is not going to matter. The process has marginalised them and they have failed to rise to the challenge.

    If you look at the republican discourse or critique today and compare it with the critique of ten to fifteen years ago, there seems a serious gap in quality. I am thinking of the type of material that appeared in the Blanket from a range of writers. Blanket writers could appear in virtually every paper in the British and Irish media. We see little of that today. And it is not that the Blanket had the range of numbers that today's republicans have. Yet, very little that captures the imagination or informs a wider discourse seems to emanate from republican thinking.

  120. Too much emotional arousal makes people stupid!

    Heightened emotions arise, and trap us to some extent, in the limbic system. When operating from the paleomamillian cortex (limbic system) we have seriously reduced ability for higher cerebrum functioning. Neuro-imaging can clearly demonstrate such phenomenon.

    This appears to be where republicanism is currently operating from. In this period of increased uncertainty they seek for opportunity. Whilst their hopes aren't totally impossible their reasoning is seriously flawed. Their over aroused passions, of necessity, leaves their reasoning limited and their judgements questionable if not flawed.

    When this initial arousal flat-lines these limitations will eventually become painfully apparent even to them. The paleomamillian brain is hardwired to assess opportunity and threat. Those that consistently re-act from this space vacillate in a never-ending binary manner predictably flip-flopping endlessly between exaggerated fears and hopes. They remain entrapped in this realm and hence lack capacity for finer and more nuanced discernment. Rational actors would heed them at our peril.

    (Larry, go find a bigger key if you're going to try and wind HJ up)!

  121. How the 'Agreed Ireland' manifests will almost certainly not be as I would want it to Larry. That's beyond my power. That doesn't mean we don't lobby for what we want, seeking through the same to imprint our ideas, all of which are of worth, on the discussion from where 'Agreed Ireland' will emerge and in the hope - futile or otherwise - that they might exercise a bearing. Why this should be a problem for you or anyone else I am unable to work out. Republicans do not have the clout to frame Ireland according to their design but that does not preclude our right to engage the discussion that will.

    Much of the tail-end of this particular conversation has veered towards insult and reminds me, in parts, of something a Sinn Fein Councillor in Strabane said to me a few years ago. She argued that groups like our own should stand aside and give her own a free run, because only they were in a position to deliver. My response to yourselves, Anthony and Larry - Henry Joy it seems too - is much the same as it was to her. If these people were granted a free run and left to their own devices they would likely slide even further into the reformist swamp, taking everyone down into the bog with them. To that extent it is good that an argument is there, with numbers behind it, that continues to stand over republicanism.

    As for the suggestion the Blanket's writers were of superior mind and ability to the like of myself, that may well be the case and in itself is no insult (given that it is essentially true) but that you went as far as to comment on it reveals a lot. As unsavoury as it was unnecessary, to say the least, and leaves me wondering from where your disguised aggression is coming from. Your concern and not mine - thick skin and all that - but no doubt you'll come up with some smart-assed comment to try and turn it around.

    This thread, as often proves the case on this site, is fast turning into a circle wank among the anti-republican element. Probably best just to leave you's to it.

  122. Sean,

    you need to stop thinking everything is about you. Your contribution here have been praised by myself more times than enough, recently in an exchange with Peter, where it was pointed out that they draw a lot of readers, as no doubt will your Saturday Evening piece on Loughall this weekend.

    The Blanket made ripples and today's republicans need to ask why they don't. So, it is neither unsavoury or unnecessary to raise these things. I think it is very necessary. You were not even mentioned. But there certainly seems a serious difference in the quality of the analysis.

    The thing to learn from the Blanket is not that the writers were of a superior mind and ability but that republicans are capable of making a critique that can resonate. I said after TC died that there would be a huge intellectual vacuum created within republican thinking. I have no reason to pull back from that.

    Temperamentally, some of us are not cut out for criticism and it does take a thick skin which I am not sure you have. I am not of a disposition to listen to Wolfsbane's biblical stuff. So, I just give it a wide berth. If people insult you, particularly the nameless ones, just ignore them. It might look good on their CV that you engage with them but you don't need it on yours.

    You don't have to be here: you don't even need to get into debates in response to your articles. I never feel it is the article that loses you the ground but the follow up in the comments. And as you know your tendency to rush in causes you more problems than enough, whereas you can at least give yourself time to think when writing a piece. In your quitter moments you will know just how many times you contact me to tell me not to publish this or that comment. I laugh because it causes me no problems if I get your message in time. But the rush to respond in a manner that is not even satisfactory to you, tells you something.

    Stop taking things personal. It is the comments section of a blog, nothing more. There is only so much advice you can be given as to how to deal with these things. If you want to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, with rushing to comment and seeming rage, not much I can do. Big Boys Rules.

  123. There is nothing personal on my part. Like yourself, I'm well aware this is the comments section of a blog. I still detect a disguised aggression in some of your comments but on quick reflection it's more likely a frustration with where things are at. I reply at speed because that's just how I work. I don't sit and study it out but write it as I go. It won't always be the totality of my thoughts and views for that reason but the understanding among ourselves is that we allow for that, for that the gun can be jumped. While I have no reason to be here I would not be so if I didn't actually want to be. I appreciate the opportunities it affords me to thrash things out - especially given the challenging criticism that often presents itself.

  124. there you have rushed in again!

    I can often reply quickly but never to the extent that I would in do when talking and the thing is out of your mouth while vainly trying to suck and gulp it back in again.

    The only thing that has brought out "aggression" in the past fortnight is the debate down here on the National Maternity Hospital, not Brexit, UI or anything else. And it is hardly disguised. I dislike intensely what is going on with it. But all this about Brexit and UI - it is like reading a novel where what happens in it seem too far removed to raise concerns.

    Fewer comments, more pieces might work better for you in the long run.

  125. Sean Bres

    I am neither confused nor am I wanting some long dead persons 1798 Utopian dream to become everyone's reality today. Are you a taig prod dissenter advocate or are you for ourselves alone without needing unionists? I cannot figure that out. The confusion is not with me, come the border poll I will be up all night waiting for the polling booth to open so I can vote 800 years right back fucking up them. No mistake about it. No apology either.

    As for the 1916 Societies and OIOV my position is that any group keeping attention on the unity question, even on a limited scale, is very welcome. There it ends for me. Republicanism can go sling its hook. Those who present themselves as COCA COLA republicans and guardians of the holy grail are intolerant. Like Israeli Zionists and Nazis. FF are republican and just look where they left us after their needless civil war and trade war with the UK, then the recent boom and bankrupted nation. The Irish can't wipe their own arse without external help. Too fucking lazy and corrupt to even try at any serious level. The people don't want patriots they want euros, euros and more euros. So, UK and EU input will be necessary and welcome going forward. The last 100 years already proves that. Why re-run the experience, accentuate the positives, move on.

    Keep plugging away for the border poll, I totally support you on that. But I'm totally over the Rising and republicanism and give not one flying fuck for the proclamation. That era of Irish history is one I steer well clear of in any library or bookshop.

  126. AM, you know when i speak of socialists i dont have people like you or tommy mckearney in mind right? I think you would been seen as extremists in todays movements, with your focus on workers rights and state encrouchment into peoples private lives.I dont know how far this has seeped into Ireland yet, but socialism as a cultural coercive force rather than the structures of enable an different kind of economics isnt what these kids advocate these days.

  127. DaithiD,

    I am not sure what this means.

    Tommy and myself don't share the same view of priorities. He is much more immersed in socialist activism than I am.

    My preferred socialist theorist is Poulantzas, not Lenin.

    I don't favour the state's encroachment into people's private lives. I think the state should protect people from capital's encroachment into people's private lives, and protect them from the harmful effects of greed and accumulation.

    The last part seems all over the place. I guess it is typo.

  128. Yeah sorry, what I mean is other peoples primary experience of socialists today is when they are being coerced or condemmed by them in some way. They think racism is impossible to be anyhting other than white on minorities because its power relationship, not just a prejudice. But given the concentration of wealth in the West, ordinary working class white person has an accountancy rounding errors more power than his black counterpart. Socialist will retort its also the power structures that whites are privillaged in, but the obvious question back is : what portion of your time is spent combatting where this power resides then, and what amount is spent coercing others. I didnt think yours and Tommys politics was specifically the same, but in general sense you have said your views alligned with Socialism. When I watched the Bannon documentary 'Generation Zero' (its free on youtube), I was surprised from where the crticism of him came from, he absolutely nailed the bank/politics relationship in empoverishing Western workers.Now the Socialists laud the CIA interventions in politics.


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