Irish Unity Figures Don't Stack Up For Sinn Fein

Alex Kane argues in the Irish News that Irish unity is as far away as ever. Alex Kane is a unionist political commentator.

Martin McGuinness' shifting prediction on when a united Ireland would happen shows it is not as inevitable as he would like to believe (Photo Irish News)
It seems like five minutes ago that Martin McGuinness was telling us, in relation to Irish unity: ``It is our view that it can be accomplished over a short period. Gerry Adams has said 2016 and I think that is achievable.''

Well, five minutes is clearly a long time in republican politics, because two minutes ago he shifted his position to:
I believe a united Ireland is inevitable. I have never put a date on it. It will happen when it happens and in the meantime, we have to continue on the work that we are doing within the institutions.
Seriously? The work they are doing within the institutions? Sinn Fein is threatening to collapse those institutions if they don’t get their way on welfare reform. They’ve dragged the Stormont House Agreement process to a standstill. They treat the institutions as an inconvenient truth rather than an opportunity to fulfil the obligations they demand from others.

If nothing else McGuinness’s shift on the timing of the ‘inevitable’ suggests that Sinn Fein has accepted it’s going to be a long haul. That presents them with a difficulty, because protest parties—which is what Sinn Fein is—need to sustain the momentum of hope. They need voters to believe that victory is likely, rather than merely probable. They need constant success if they are to shore up their core vote as well as attracting new ones.

But, as Chris Donnelly pointed out in the Irish News on Tuesday, the combined nationalist vote has been falling at the last general, local, Euro and Assembly elections and:
the only conclusion that can be drawn is that fewer nationalists are bothering to vote than at any time since the Good Friday Agreement ushered in a new era in northern Irish politics.
Back in 2001 I wrote a piece in which I argued that:

any post-Agreement suspicion that Irish unity has been hindered rather than enabled will, at some point, manifest itself in a downturn in the overall nationalist vote.
I think we are now at that point, with increasing numbers of nationalists/republicans accepting that unity is further away now than it was in 1998.

The problem for Sinn Fein and the unity lobby generally is that the figures aren’t stacking up for them. Real polls, opinion polls, government and academic surveys say the same thing: there isn’t anywhere close to a majority of voters here planning to leave the United Kingdom. Worse, indeed embarrassingly worse for the unity lobby, is that a very significant section of what should be their potential voters don’t seem to want to leave the United Kingdom, either. In other words, they prefer the Brits to the Shinners. Or, to put that another way, far from boosting the prospects of unity, Sinn Fein’s tactics and arguments seem to have undermined them.

I’ve made that point to a couple of Sinn Fein audiences in the last year and was received in mostly stony silence. Fair enough, being rubbished by your guest speaker is probably quite irritating, but ignoring valid observations is plain stupid. Yet the fact that Pat Doherty was on the Nolan Show on Monday saying that Sinn Fein was talking to unionists about unity tells you all you really need to know about Sinn Fein’s present predicament. Which is that they have entered la-la land. Of course they’re not talking to unionists. Why would any unionist talk to Sinn Fein about working together in a united Ireland when every unionist knows that it isn’t going to happen any time in the foreseeable future?

No, this is just more self-serving bunkum from Sinn Fein, part of a desperate attempt to persuade their voters on both sides of the border that the old order is crumbling and that `A Nation Once Again' is something more than electoral karaoke. Look guys, however rattled you may be by the reality that Irish unity has been delayed indefinitely, the fact remains that in 1998 and again in a separate deal with the DUP in 2007, you signed up to governing a Northern Ireland that remains in the United Kingdom for so long as a majority wishes it.

You may not like it, but you agreed to it. Yep, you can still call yourself Irish and promote your unity projects, but that doesn’t absolve you from your responsibility for providing good, coherent government on this side of the border. Stop blaming the British, the unionists and just about everyone else for your own failures and failings. For now, and for a long time to come, this is as good as it gets for you.


  1. As per the 'stony silence'; Sinn Feiners are just now waking up to the fact they have been led up a cul de sac. In the back of their minds they know it but have a hard time admitting it.

  2. Sinn Fein voters were told and told and told what was happening, by Anthony mainly and others. They had real evidence to support their claims of SF blaspheming the Republican cause, and the historical precedence of treachery too.The path traversed by SF until now was plotted for them by Anthony in 94 (as far as i can see publicly, it may of been conveyed privately earlier). The brick wall they have now hit was also forseen.People are not so unthinking to realise this,so you are left facing the conclusion that those Republicans actually want to be lied to, and prefer it to the truth. Its not such an uncommon thing.There is a part of the human pysche that will lie to itself to avoid stress. Like the women who find their partners looking a child porn : everyone is certain they would do horrible things if a peado was in their reach, but when you have kids and mortgage and the prospect of midlife dating again when you arent at your peak etc, maybe ignoring the truth avoids certain pain. This is where the SF orientated Republicans are at, nothing you ever point to will cause them to yeild on the point they arent on the one road to a United Ireland.

  3. There is a term for the process you describe David, 'cognitive dissonance'. It is among the most powerful forces to impact on the human brain and you are right, it definitely attacheds to those still aligned with the Adams leadership

  4. DaithiD

    Is it that people like to be lied to or that the alternative to SF are the incompetent dissident alphabet soup brigades? Better the devil you know... Even if dissidents weren't so incompetent in their attempts to kill cops or brits they will still not change anything other than to refill the prisons and create hardship on families and communities. Maybe many are aware of the lies but reckon SF might not be honest or perfect but they are better than what dissidents have to offer ...

  5. Christy, in terms of lies (and with hindsight) it started before any IRA splits,before even CIRA began. Sean, could of used that term, also war pyschosis must play a part, two guys articulated the hopes and fears of so many for so long that they have become (probably) bigger than the movement itself, and people follow them rather Republican tradition, so it doesnt follow that the alphabet IRA’s (to paraphrase your term) are an alternative home for them. Ive said before, it was the civil rights movement that hijacked the IRA not the other way around. There is little reasoning with that constituency now, its why I find old arguements about 86 Ard Feis’s so depressing, these battles have been fought and lost, there is no leverage to be exerted from effort there. If our truths are more uncomfortable than their lies, we will always loose in a personality contest. That said im not a pessimist, if you read between the lines, you can see where i think the movement needs to come from.

  6. Yawn!
    Rather than go on too much.
    Britain is bankrupt.
    The idea that they'll sustain the status quo is laughable
    And Here's a thing.
    The 6 county State is selling off 80,000 homes.
    Creating private home ownership.
    Homes in the 26 Counties are worth MORE than 6 County Homes.
    Tell these people ( 80,000 New home owners )
    That their property will be worth more in an Irish State than a Brit one
    And see how they vote.
    This Staus quo is sustainable routine is Rubbish.
    And I could think of at least another 100 reasons why things don't look bright for Onionists.
    NHS Debt..Rising number of Pensioners. British Deficit/Debt.. British Failure to export..
    Huge Unfunded Pension debts of something like 250% of their GDP.... Their failed agriculture polices..over Milk..BSE and Foot and Mouth. Their failed Industrial policies..
    British Net debt is 80% of their GDP ( And Rising ) and a deficit of 5% GDP
    Irish Net Debt is 90% of Irish GDP ( And falling ) and a deficit of between 2-3% ( also falling )
    The very idea that the 6 Counties is sustainable is Laughable.

  7. Yawn!
    Rather than go on too much.
    Britain is bankrupt.
    The idea that they'll sustain the status quo is laughable
    And Here's a thing.
    The 6 county State is selling off 80,000 homes.
    Creating private home ownership.
    Homes in the 26 Counties are worth MORE than 6 County Homes.
    Tell these people ( 80,000 New home owners )
    That their property will be worth more in an Irish State than a Brit one
    And see how they vote.
    This Staus quo is sustainable routine is Rubbish.
    And I could think of at least another 100 reasons why things don't look bright for Onionists.
    NHS Debt..Rising number of Pensioners. British Deficit/Debt.. British Failure to export..
    Huge Unfunded Pension debts of something like 250% of their GDP.... Their failed agriculture polices..over Milk..BSE and Foot and Mouth. Their failed Industrial policies..
    British Net debt is 80% of their GDP ( And Rising ) and a deficit of 5% GDP
    Irish Net Debt is 90% of Irish GDP ( And falling ) and a deficit of between 2-3% ( also falling )
    The very idea that the 6 Counties is sustainable is Laughable.

  8. Oh and BTW. I read this little gem from the Irish Economist David McWilliams.
    He predicted the Irish property crash well before it did occur.
    When the " smart money " said otherwise.
    So his ability to get things right is better than most.
    Also he is not a ShinerBot So you cant attack him that way.
    Also from My point Of View He is saying what I have been thinking for some time now.

    Also I will predict that London and most of the rest of the UK will see a property bubble burst like the Irish Celtic tiger has done
    Not likely to be fun for the Onionists...that one. They are unlikely to prosper when this does happen.

  9. Ozzy,

    I really hate to burst your bubble, but both governments are fully signed up to the GFA which states that there will be no change to the constitutional position of Northern Ireland without the consent of the people of Northern Ireland. As things stand there is absolutely no prospect of that happening.

    Your dire predictions for the property market are interesting, but based on the rest of your projections are probably wrong. Northern Ireland survived in the UK during the economic turmoil of the seventies despite a left wing Labour government and a terrorist campaign. If you think a drop in house prices will do the trick then I have to wonder about your sanity. I think that 'onionists' would welcome cheap housing.

    Perhaps you should pin all your hopes on Comrade Corbyn becoming Prime Minister. I'm afraid though that you will only be in for another crushing disappointment. The 'onionists' won the argument largely thanks to a thirty five year IRA murder campaign which made abandoning them morally unacceptable. IMHO. Something perhaps to reflect on.

  10. Cue B

    The union is not safe under the GFA -brit withdrawal from the ECHR poses a more realistic threat to the GFA than dissidents do.


    No doubt the lies were always there from early on. There were a lot of people/families so crushed and drained from the conflict they would support anything than to go back to that. Dissidents undermine any alternative. I sort a agree with you on the civil rights association but then again the civil rights movement was proving successful and so that had to be stopped.

  11. dc,

    I don't folow your logic. Even if the GFA was canned tomorrow the principle of consent would remain in stone. Unless there was a looney left government in London in tandem with a Sinner government in Dublin. Neither of which is remotely likely.

  12. Cue bono.
    You missed my point.
    When the UK property bubble bursts.
    The Budget for the 6 counties will be shredded ..That's the point.
    It's the knock on effect.
    Even without this the budget is been shredded.
    As for the IRA.
    Well due to the fact that they're gone...That makes shredding the budget that much easier.
    I'll give you a hint of what I mean.
    Shipyards on the Clyde...Swan Hunter on the Tyne .. Cammell Lairds in Liverpool were all Sold Off in the 1980'S and then collapsed.
    Why do you think Harland and Wolff wasn't Sold OFF? And What else was happening in the wee 6 in the 1980's?
    Riddle me that.
    Is the penny dropping yet?

  13. Cue b

    "Neither of which is remotely likely."

    If the Brits were to break an international peace treaty unionists would be on shaky ground because the stone you refer to would be at the bottom of the thames river along with your made up 'law' you refer to in other threads.

    Maybe you are not aware but the main political parties in Dublin are actually afraid of a SF gov taking over next time round -FF have put it out that they are prepared to form a coalition government with FG if need be. You also might not be aware that republicans have seldom allowed who is in government in England to dictate their policy, even if they prefer Labour and would like a Labour led by Jeramey Corbyn even more.

  14. Ozzzzzzzzzy
    Harland and Wolff was sold off in 1989 by the British government to Fred Olsen. What exactly is your point? I'm afraid the penny is not dropping. You talk some ballix, I guess you aren't married.

  15. It was kept longer than the other Brit Yards in Public ownership and it was given prefential treatment in Royal Navy Orders and that is State aid.
    There is no balix to point out that the wee 6 is being gutted by the Tories..and the reason they can do this is "peace Process" And that will be the trend for now and the future.
    Right now the decrease in spending is been made up for in the sale of Council housing and Belfast Port.
    Once they are sold...well you can't sell them twice and there is nothing left too much to sell.
    Ergo the future cuts will be meat by spending cuts.
    See how the unionists cope with this.
    Also the NHS is having HUGE trouble recruiting GP doctors.
    Very few medical students want THAT job.
    I have heard that the GP's in the wee 6 are getting on now.
    Pray tell how your "superior" NHS will cope?
    Sorry lad...What you think is true..Ain't going last.
    Here are some facts about your NHS from the "mainland"
    #50% of England and Wales patients CANNOT get a GP appointment on the same day..they ring up.
    Of that 50% who DO see a GP ; well 50% of those are either wrongly diagnosed or receive the wrong drugs.
    BTW there is only a Half Hour window in the course of every which you are entitled to book an appointment.
    So your NHS isn't the great white hope that you think it is.
    And As the number of GP's reduces from retirements..You are going to get a taste of it.
    Gud are in desperate need of it.
    so as for the future is bright the future is Orange malarky..It well just isn't.

  16. It wasn't kept longer than other "Brit yards" it was sold at the same time as Sunderland and Govan. It wasn't given preferential treatment with RN contracts that was Portsmouth and Rosyth. I worked in H&W for 7 years and worked on only one RN boat, RFA Argus, which was a refit not a new build. As I said you talk some ballix. You are obsessed with the UK going bankrupt which is really bizarre. Keep taking the tablets "lad".

  17. DC,

    Let me get this straight. Your fantasy is that the Brits pull out of the ECHR and the GFA then falls overnight, at which point they then decide that their policy of no united Ireland without the consent of the people of Northern Ireland, held since 1921, should be binned? At the same time the parties in the south, who you rightly point out detest SF, decide to bring them into government annd voila we have a united Ireland. Am I getting this right? I do get that they would be delighted to see Jeremy Corbyn in government of course.


    Just to clarify your fantasy. Basically the British economy is going to go belly up because of cheap houses, the sale of Belfast Port and a lack of GPs, at which point they are going to dump the 'onionists' into a united Ireland. Is that about right?

  18. No Cue Bono.
    Most of what you said is how I explained the Union will become unattractive to 6 County voters..i.e No Superior NHS.And As I alluded to earlier a British property crash will affect the block Grant and other services.That's the point.
    The reason for sell to fund services..aand since you can only sell things once..This leaves a hole in future finances. A hole which the Brits ain't going to fill.
    After all isn't the place "normal" now?
    RFA Fort Victoria was built in the Mid 1990's.
    The Last 2 ships were built for Andrew Weir shipping for CHARTER to the Brit MoD.
    Hartland Point and
    Anvil Point
    Ro/Ro ships.

    Also Gawd knows how much the British State pumped into that place over the years.
    I doubt very much Fred Olsen would have bought it without money from the government.
    It's not how Big business works.

  19. Ozzzzzzzzzzzzzzzy
    Us "onionists" (I see what you did there, its a wee rib tickler!) heard all that shite at the time of the Celtic Tiger. Partition will last longer than you, and if by a miracle it doesn't, it will not be a 32 county republic. So Ozzy just let it go. This obsession with all things British is not good for your soul.

  20. Peter, if you think you've beaten us you better think again. The key weight that balances the existing settlement is the dumbed-down acceptance of the implanted belief no alternative can be found to the status quo - we're talking Ireland here and not the Six Counties. The principle of consent on which you depend for your very existence only holds relevance while people are prepared to accept it, tacitly or otherwise, and that might not always be so. A new generation is on the rise all across this country, your certainty will come back to haunt you. He who laughs last lasts longest. The sooner your day is over the better, your arrogance is disgusting but we all know the saying, pride comes before the fall. You think you have it all sussed but you don't, your precious Union will be at the bottom of the Atlantic within 20 years - 40 tops. Britain has no right to be in this country and as soon as people begin to assert that she will have to leave. At present the threat of violence helps to dumb down any demand among the people for this but what you are missing is that the coming generation might not be as brainwashed as some people on here

  21. Sean,

    there are alternatives to the status quo - what a terrible world it would be where we had to endure life without the possibility of alternatives. The difficulty is in persuading people of their merit. The way Alex Kane has outlined it is the way we predicted it would play out. The driving force behind unity in this country was a very small section of the people on the island tapping into a grievance reservoir constituted primarily not by the absence of unity but the absence of fair play within the North. Republicans are going to have to do more than their version of promising the second coming of Christ: They need to outline what will make that happen. From what I can make out current republican activity is akin to curing disease with a prayer when medicine is needed. You seem to recognise this and it is perhaps better that you focus your energies on this than trade bragging rights with Peter.

    Republicanism at present seems to be premised on the notion that a sell out has it where it is rather than the sheer array of obstacles and forces in its way. I don't dispute the eagerness of the career republicans to sell the lot down the Suwanee but that hardly explains the reason for the catastrophe that befell the republican project.

    But keep trying, keep battling your corner, grow adept at engaging with unionists rather than howling at them. When dealing with unionists always remember that we had far too many bastards on our side for them all to have been on the other side. Black/white doesn't compute in the world we live in.

  22. Mackers, there are alternatives to British rule and continuing partition. We must work to empower those alternatives - there is no other way forward. What we need is the correct analysis of the existing establishment, which account for it's many strengths (which Peter and others of his ilk just can't help but gleefully throw in our faces). As previously made mention of, we need a broad strategy which sets out interim goals and which locates the points where struggle can best be advanced in the current, what we might describe as infertile or unproductive environment. We need to be in it for the long haul. I'll get a full piece on this to you shortly. As I said elsewhere, it's hard to know who if any are listening but there was never harm in the trying

  23. Sean,

    this goes to the point I was making earlier. It sounds more like praying than planning: if we just pray harder it will happen. The dots are not being joined. Republicanism is sounding shrill and anachronistic. Sometimes people don't listen because the argument is not compelling enough. Republican strategy has to amount to more than a rain dance otherwise the rain is not going to come down on the British parade. One Ireland One Vote is a wholly legitimate position to take regardless of what qualms Peter or others have. But it has to be more than legitimate, it has to be plausible, capable of alleviating more misery than it causes, capable of integrating civil society rather than fracturing it. What makes me wary of it is the almost triumphalist tone which has a ring to it of "wait until the shoe is on the other foot and then we see who is master in the house". That has to be worrying. Something I readily embraced at 16 but now approaching 60, it just doesn't seem as prudent. Ultimately the problem is like the magical fly killer - killing the fly is not the challenge, catching it is. And until republicanism captures the public imagination, which it currently shows no sign of doing, it will feel the pangs of suffocation.

  24. Sean
    I don't need a Northern Ireland to exist. I am not slavishly loyal to the Royals nor to England. If the best thing for this corner of the island is to do a deal with Dublin then fine by me. But it will be a negotiation not a 32 county republic. You lost the Rising, the civil war, the north, the border campaign and the Troubles, there will not be a 32 county republic. Good luck with getting the young to "arise", in my experience they are less radical than my generation. You can talk about "strategy" till the cows come home, it will get you nowhere. If there's a big rock in your garden, and by trying to dig it out it gets deeper, stop digging.

  25. Tony, I agree we have to plan better, conscious of our limitations in the present environment. It's an ongoing work but nowhere does it involve giving up. You've said yourself there are pressure points we can focus on in the interim, where republicans can have an impact, and we'll do that. The times that are in it demand greater discussion than what's ongoing at present but sure we can still make a decent fist at improving on that matter

  26. Ozzy,

    I'm still not 100% clear about what it is you are hoping for. Is it:

    a. That the Brits (who had no problem pumping billions of pounds into NI when it was being bombed to rubble and people were being murdered every other day) will decide that it is too expensive and pull out?


    b. That the greedy, grapsing 'onionists' will decide that cheap housing and access to plentiful GPs, not to mention ownership of docks, is more important than centuries of history and culture. Resulting in them voting en masse to join the land of milk and honey that is the ROI?

  27. Sean,

    I know exactly what would lead to a united Ireland within two or three generations, but I also know that republicans are utterly incapable of doing it.

  28. Unionists are a dying breed. One way or another there will be an all-Ireland republic. I'd say you know more about the aspirations of the next generation as you do a hardened smell. Your agenda is see-through Peter but deep inside that cockiness knows damn well, the facade is crumbling. The Soviet Union disappeared overnight and no-one saw it coming. The same will happen your precious Union. If the Irish people determine they want an all-Ireland republic and set about empowering such an arrangement you and your ilk will be powerless to stop it. And no, we will not give back what we got as Mackers made mention of earlier, that's not in the nature of our politics - unlike the reactionary section of the population Peter here emerged from. We'll see what comes but no matter what may come we will continue our efforts to bring about the democratic republic. That idea still resonates with the Irish people despite the efforts of those who would have us declare it an impossible dream. Never will we accept that and when all's said and done why should we. You know it and thus your desperation for us to abandon thoughts of Unity as regressive and unhelpful to our cause. Pull the other one. You know and fear that old certainties are no longer, regardless of securities currently afforded by the existing state of play. If history tells us anything it's that events can spring out of nowhere. We'll just keep plugging on, or praying as Anthony would have it, that the wheel will turn. The wheel will turn don't worry and we don't need to pray for it, it's as certain as night follows day, it is the inevitability of history itself

  29. Sean
    Keep the insults coming all you like, duck's back and all that. In 20-40 years I'll be dead or doting and well past caring. You don't seem to listen so I'll try to be clear and then we can leave it there. I have absolutely no problem if the people of my country vote in a democratic election to unhook from London and hitch up to Dublin. I am comfortable with my Irishness and more so now that the catholic church and militant republicanism are dying. I dislike political unionism and dispise the DUP and OO (nearly) as much as PSF. Whatever political model is best for the next generation in terms of peace, health, education, prosperity, equality I am happy with. What is not going to happen is some republican "victory", one last push to get the Brits out, a new rising, that is just plain stupid. Any constitutional change will be a negotiation, there is absolutely no appetite on this island for a return to the past. You guys are wasting your time, more fool you.

  30. Peter, none I know are looking a 'victory' but yes, let's have that Ireland you were talking about, the one where peace, health, prosperity and equality are the order of the day and future generations are cared for as they should be, with the opportunities that should be there's as of right. You want to look at your own commentary before accusing others of insult. Your need to rub your 'victory' in our noses is the height of insult but when all's said and done, we'll not lose sleep over it

  31. Cue Bono.
    a) the Brits won't be able to afford it.
    and b)
    As for centuries of history.
    Well most youths in the PUL community are running away from it.
    Over half of all college graduates are leaving.
    Even more leave to go to Uni abroad in the first place.
    Seems that history and Kultur is doing nobody any favours.
    and c) the Stated "benefits" of being in a union are been eroded..NHS etc.
    Also unemployment benefit in the wee 6 is 100 Euro Per week[P/W]
    It's 180 Euro in the ROI P/W
    Pension in UK is 180 Euro P/W
    It's 240 Euro in the ROI.P/W
    Ireland isn't the land on milk and honey.
    But when you see the above and also factor in the £9,000 Per year University fees to improve yourself in the UK.
    Neither is the UK[raine].

  32. More insults, more vacuous noise from Sean.

    Can't you give us something more substantive than just rattling out the 'Four Green Fields'.
    Hopefully the generations coming will be more educated and sophisticated than to buy into the emotional and simplistic model you're consumed by.

    Though the coming generations are likely to face far greater challenges than what flag or combination of flags (that) might fly in Tyrone and the five other northern counties your ramblings need to be challenged occasionally. You may take all of this personally Sean, let me assure you its really not. You may also consider the opinions of the likes of Anthony and I as those of 'defeated old men' but you and your comrades, if you're to make any headway, do really need to listen and address the explicit advice and concerns as expressed in A.M's earlier post;

    "One Ireland One Vote is a wholly legitimate position to take ... But it has to be more than legitimate, it has to be plausible, capable of alleviating more misery than it causes, capable of integrating civil society rather than fracturing it"

    If you fail in addressing those challenge and in reassuring people of your bona fides in such regards then all your substantial efforts have been and will be for nought.

  33. Please don't equate your opinion as being on a par or in any way related to Anthony's. His is genuine, yours is not. Peter's opinion matters more than yours, for yours, at least to me, does not matter at all. Peter's is relevant, again at least to me, because unionists are an important section of the people living here. His gloating for sure can be annoying but it's just a case of taking it on the chin, no-one to blame but ourselves. You on the other hand have nothing of worth to say as far as I'm concerned and should be avoided like the plague. You are not wise in the head judging by many of your bizarre contributions on here, not least your sudden conversion as though you had seen the face of Christ himself. To me you read as a man just desperate to be of relevance, craving attention. Being honest I hate to see you comment on anything relating directly to me but for some reason you still haven't figured that out. I've already taken what I need from Tony's suggestions and long before today. You have nothing to add as far as I'm concerned and your real agenda is to make mischief. Henry Joy, the enlightened one. Yeah right

  34. Surprised you wrote that HJ, maybe another one to delete?

  35. Ozzy,

    So it's a combination of both? The Brits will pull out because NI is too expensive and the 'onionists' will want to join a united Ireland because it will better suit their greedy, grasping, unscrupulous mentalities.

    Good luck with that. I suspect that you may be in for a bit of a disappointment. Oh and house prices are soaring in major UK cities including Belfast.


  36. Cue,

    What the article didn't say was house prices have simply regained the ground they lost around 2007/2008. In real terms they aren't "soaring" ...

  37. Frankie,

    But they were soaring in 07/08. I'm not sure what Ozzy thinks his point is. Expensive houses are only good for the people who are selling them.

  38. Alex had an interesting piece in the Irish News today relating pretty-much to the same subject matter. I hope it makes an appearance here on TPQ for it would certainly make for a good discussion

  39. But they were soaring in 07/08.

    Cue, in around 2007/2008 the housing market and the whole banking system came very close to imploding.

  40. Sean,

    I am well aware, as surely every regular reader around here is, of the low esteem you hold me in ... "piece of human garbage" you called me on one occasion. If you feel the need to keep hurling insults rather than engage the substantive of my position, then so be it. I'm sure the more discerning readers see through the emptiness of your arguments, your pathetic deflections and misdirections and that they see them for what they really are. You fail, and you fail miserably and consistently, to make any cogent inroads into my critiques of your position. Most objective people would rightly view your demented behaviour as the behaviour of someone that is totally brainwashed, brainwashed and trapped in your dogma.

    Opinions as 'Dirty Harry' said, are like ass-holes and everybody's got one ... so let's not attempt to set up a hierarchy of opinions here. It is a matter of recent record for all to see on the Quill that A.M's position and my own about the failure of Irish Republicanism and concerns about OIOV are essentially the same. Once again I'd hold (that) any objective observer would surely concur with my evaluation on similarities of our positions. They'd also see that in attempting to address the cognitive dissonance that this obviously creates for you the best rebuttal you can come up with is that for you Tony's hole smells sweeter than good old Henry JoY's. You really are a howl Sean!

    Discussion on my mental health, and indeed my mental history is for another day suffice for now but to quote songwriter Mickey MacConnell.

    "It is my honest belief that all of my generation who grew up in the North during the Troubles were maimed, dwarfed and diminished in myriad ways. We are all survivors of death and madness and are all individually damaged in many ways."

    (From an opinion piece by Billy Keane 'Fifty years on, 'Only Our Rivers Run Free' is still flowing beautifully along'. Published 10/08/15

    The cohort that Mickey refers to includes you too Sean. Look after yourself.

  41. Frankie,

    The crash began in 08 so when people talk about house prices being at 07/08 levels they mean that they are high.

  42. Deluded isn't the word for the above. The frightening thing is you actually believe it. You're good for a laugh if nothing else I suppose, wiser eating grass

  43. Sean

    'mischief making' and 'deluded', are reminiscent of Adamesque misdirects and dismissals ... misdirects and dismissals that once again attempt to deflect from the substantive of my position ... and merely confirm the vacuousness of yours.

    Perhaps you ought increase your grass intake then?

  44. Henry Joy, a legend in his own lunchtime, I have no reason to take you seriously, you do enough of that yourself for the world and his dog. To me your opinion is not worth tuppence, thus this 'substantive of your position' bullshit, derived as it is from this synergy you share with Anthony (in the deep embrace of your warped mind), means jack-shit as far as I'm concerned. That you elevate your opinion to the heights you now do is the greatest demonstration yet of not only your vanity but also how clever you actually believe yourself to be. Scary. Quite the guru indeed - in your own head. 'Self praise is no praise' is a saying we were reared on round here, a useful maxim clearly lost on the great philosopher Henry Joy. Have a day off ffs. As far as I'm concerned this conversation, for want of a better word, is over. If Anthony's prepared to tolerate an idiot troll like yourself that's his own business, but it does not stretch to me or anyone else. Slan

  45. Alex Kane in today's Irish News..

    "In response to last week’s column (in which I said that we were as far away from Irish unity as ever) a Twitter follower tweeted: “I would love to hear your views as to the circumstances under which a united Ireland would be ok for Irish-born Brits like your good self.”

    There’s a short answer to that. None.

    I am a citizen of the United Kingdom. I am happy to remain a citizen of the United Kingdom. At no point has any individual or political party presented me with a coherent, convincing case for relinquishing my citizenship and exchanging it for something else. And nor did the IRA’s terrorist campaign succeed in bombing me, or bullying me out of my citizenship."

    What the 1916 societies need to do is get their message out to people like Alex Kane (and there tens of thousands who think like him on both sides of the oxymoron's).

  46. Speaking of the world and his dog Sean

    you're a right little terrier yourself ... have to grant you that.

    Plenty of noise out of ya ... bear your teeth ... and when somebody challenges ya or your precious dog's ma ... you're off with your tail between your legs.

    Woof, woof!

  47. this endless name calling is hardly promoting discussion and detracts from more substantive issues. Time to take a step back

  48. Does the timing of your editorial guidance AM suggest a strategic re-positioning of sorts?

  49. Anthony, if Henry Joy wishes to troll on here that's your concern not mine but where it relates to me he is chasing his own tail. I've no want or need to oblige him, his opinions cannot possibly be taken seriously and to my mind are little more than ballwashing attempts to get inside your pants. I can't ever see it any other way given how he journeyed from hardline O'Bradaighite to SDLP voter (him and his mother) for no apparent reason other than a need to appear relevant. He's not wise from where I stand but sure hey, the same can be said for us all I'm sure. His relentless trolling requires a response from time-to-time and what you describe as 'name-calling' is really no more than that. I've better things to be at than lose a day to this man's distraction so adh mhór, I'll leave you's to it. I take back none of what I said, every word is the truth as far as it relates to this mixer. Slan

  50. Henry Joy,

    it suggests that there are better things to do than manage that type of discussion which adds nothing to understanding, detracts from some otherwise good points. This site should be about more than bun fights.

  51. Sean,

    that is fine but you seem to want it both ways and keep coming back to Henry Joy to tell him why you will not be coming back in future. Sort of defeats the purpose. You have the advantage not because of what you say but only because you are prepared to stand over what you say and not use a moniker. But I guess to anybody left tuning into the name calling it is an advantage that is fast becoming marginal.

    Best thing for all concerned is knock it on the head.

  52. No Anthony, when you have someone to all intents following you on here, trying to play silly boogers at every occasion, eventually it leads to this. The man can't help himself and at times is bordering on obsessed. He has some opinion of himself, he thinks his analysis is beyond reproach and somehow has me stumped. I deal with those types of arguments on a daily basis but when it comes to this geezer I simply have no desire to feed the troll. That's as far as it goes and as I've said already, it's your site, he's your concern and I've nothing much to say to him beyond that. Enjoy the day

  53. AM

    It might be better if you were to now and again apply your editorial guidance immediately after some of Sean's rants .
    I'd still contest that for the largest part by far my comments in the main address Sean's opinions and positions. They are seldom ad hominems. His responses are invariably personalised attacks rather than the debating of points to hand.

    You've made your case on the use of a moniker on several occasions before and to which I've replied in some detail. At this stage its become as over-worked a point as most of Sean's repetitive positions.

    Maybe there is a hierarchy of sorts at work here after all? Do those opinions that are posted not under a moniker of necessity carry more weight than those of the vast majority of posters who are not readily identifiable to those of us outside the circle? And does someone qualify for particular comforting and cosseting if s/he provides a steady feed of articles and notices to the Quill?

    Sorry to be somewhat bitchy about this ... still haven't fully resolved all my paranoia issues!

    In the meantime I can gladly knock this one on the head if we must. (Though, for as long as I'm allowed, I reserve claim to right of reply).

  54. Henry Joy,

    I think Sean has been on the receiving end of more criticisms from me for his ideas than you have. Both of you have been asked to desist from the current nonsense.

    If you have paranoia issues and have not solved them, we are not in a position to assist.

    You are allowed the facility of reply and that will not be denied you. You have no rights here on the long established principle of invisible people invisible rights.

    Both you and Sean have been in it and have each undermined your own arguments by it.

    Your reasons for a moniker however valid they might be, are still not a licence to snipe at people who put it out there in the open and do not shield behind a moniker. I imagine it is basic human courtesy/decency not to want to expose others to the risk of ridicule that we are not willing to expose ourselves to.

    I think you try to bait Sean. I think he is OTT in his response.

    There is a hierarchy here - opinions that are stood over are of more value than those that our not. People have paid quite a price over the years for refusing to use a shield. Therefore, we would not expect it to be any other way. For twenty years we have urged people to stand over what they say. If people feel a genuine need to use a moniker then they should do so to make a point rather than score one.

    You can dislike whatever you want and you are more than welcome here to express it. But it is better for discussion if you all pull back.

  55. Sean,

    I think there is an element of playing silly ... going on. But there are two of you in it. I think he tries to bait you and you respond by being OTT.

    But if that's the end of it fine. If not, I'll look at the comments from all concerned once ever lot of days rather than putting them up as I find them when opening up the laptop.

    It serves no value on this site.

  56. You do what you must Anthony but to save you the hassle I'll concentrate my efforts on Facebook from here on. At least there we're not obliged to tolerate trolling, baiting or whatever you wish to call it. The man was warned on the matter previously but to no avail, most likely, as I already said, because he has a deep-seated obsession going on in that head of his (even his puke comments this afternoon say to me this character has serious issues going on). If my response to incessant trolling is OTT well what do you want me to do, it gets to be seriously galling after a while. If the end result is that my comments are to be reviewed for upload 'once every lot of days' then you can keep your troll and keep your comments. Job done Henry Joy and not for the first time. Slan

  57. Anthony,

    thank you for your feed-back.

    Hands up on this, I had a blind spot that needed pointing out. I realise that you've made several attempts to direct me to look at it before but hey I really must be a slower learner. I'm really sorry that this has taken of your time and energy. Truth told I didn't really get the difference between 'making a point' and 'scoring a point' until just now. Sobering experience.

    Your absolutely correct, the anonymity facility ought not be abused in this way.
    I stand educated. I apologise to Sean for the 'baiting' and assure you that such behaviour is over with from me.

  58. Henry Joy,

    the site is better for both your and Sean's contributions. And we all get tetchy at times. It is disappointing when two of the more articulate commenters become embroiled in this type of thing. Sometimes a big STOP sign does the trick. I hope you both continue to contribute to ideas but at the same time avoid antagonising each other.

  59. Now now AM, dont go killing the internets best homoerotic shadowplay. You must of realised by now this whole United Ireland/OIOV sparring is just a proxy for something altogther more carnal between the two.Never mind a weird border,the worst partition is that which keeps us from those we would love.

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  61. I have to say I love the idea that Britain will pull out because they can't afford it. But somehow Ireland will be able to afford it??