Will Sinn Féin Take Their Seats In Westminster?

TPQ kicks off the New Year with a piece from Matt Treacy asking if Sinn Fein will take seats in Westminster.

Members of First Dáil 1919
With British Prime Minister Teresa May facing into a crucial period that will decide her own future and the future relationship of Britain with the EU, some attention has focused on whether Sinn Féin might take up their seven seats in Westminster in order to lend support to the deal offered to May by the Overmasters in Brussels.

Of course there are many permutations as to how any vote might break down. Will the DUP, despite its bluster, be persuaded that the deal is better than the alternatives, which can only be worse one assumes, from their perspective. What way will the Tories themselves divide?

And of course there is the possibility that Jeremy Corbyn who is even more unpopular among his own MPs than is May among Tories, might face a pro deal revolt by his own party. Certainly many of them might be tempted to kill two birds with one stone: avert a hard Brexit and finish off Corbyn as a plausible leader.

So what the Shinners will do or will not do, might be a minor issue. The margin in favour of a deal might be substantial, but if it is close then the votes of MPs from the Six counties, Wales and Scotland might well be crucial. No one knows as yet, and might not until close to when the vote is taken.

Which is why Sinn Féin is being urged to go to Westminster in order to keep the remnants of the old Empire within the new Empire.

On the face of it, for them to do so would really signal that the game is up. Curiously, however, it is a kite that has been flown in the past. Most notably around the time of the last British general election when there was a chance that Corbyn might become Prime Minister if he had sufficient votes from other parties on the centre left including the SNP, Plaid Cymru, Sinn Féin and perhaps even the Lib Dems.

Even afterwards there were some within the party who expressed regret that perhaps they ought to have done so in the interests of whatever.

As with many other things within Sinn Féin when something dramatic is being planned, there are usually kites flown. That has taken place to some extent but not with the conviction that marked earlier sallies into the collective republican consciousness prior to accepting Partition as defined in the Good Friday Agreement, the disarming and disbanding of the IRA, coalition with the DUP, the abandonment of opposition to being junior coalition partner in Leinster House, acceptance of the surrender of sovereignty to a Federal EU and so on.

Undoubtedly there are a significant number of people in the public and not so public leadership of the party, and especially among the kitchen cabinet of daring intellectuals, who see the benefits of jettisoning as much of the “old baggage” as possible.

Interestingly, when asked about the prospects of Sinn Féin entering the mother of parliaments, Michelle O’Neill merely said that other parties had approached them to do so, but that their bottom line remained the “backstop” for the part of Ireland under British control. Pressure has continued and it will be interesting to see if the argument in favour gains traction, especially as it will be raised by other parties with whom they foresee being in government with in the near future.

But to take seats in Westminster. Surely that would symbolise the ultimate ideological bankruptcy of a party which claims to be the sole inheritors of the first Dáil Éireann which ratified the Declaration of the Republic of 1916.

One would imagine so. Then again who would have imagined all the other things which they have agreed to in the past 20 years, including administering the part of Ireland under British rule as sort of leftie colonial satraps?

It might be recalled that recognising the partitionist northern state, and above all not only accepting Stormont but helping to run the place, represented at least as radical a demarche as would going to London to visit the Queen and bear her homage. Again.

So let not us lesser minds prejudge the issue. If minds superior to our own and with an understanding to which we can never aspire, decide that this is a good thing, then it will indeed be a good thing. Even if the caravan of destiny is beginning to lose more stragglers who are living in the past.

Republican Army is also available @ Amazon. 

Matt Treacy blogs @ Brocaire Books. 

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Anthony McIntyre

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

49 comments to ''Will Sinn Féin Take Their Seats In Westminster?"

  1. “So let not us lesser minds prejudge the issue. If minds superior to our own and with an understanding to which we can never aspire, decide that this is a good thing, then it will indeed be a good thing. Even if the caravan of destiny is beginning to lose more stragglers who are living in the past.”

    Haha wonderful writing. The awful awful past. Onward to Direct Plantation, insolvency and Parliament!

  2. At this stage who cares? Republicanism as a meaningful concept has been rejected. Only members of SF, their weird pseudo party, devoid of meaningful policies, an almost cult organisation who follow leadership even if they have to do a 360 on previously held beliefs see SF as republican. Would taking seats in the Brit parliament be any different than campaigning on brexit or kowtowing to British Royalty, so on so forth.

  3. David - in my view the crucial determinant will be the consideration of what value taking seats in Westminster would be to any possible move by Adams to go for the presidency in 2025.

  4. The majority of electors from Northern Ireland voted Remain in the EU Referendum of June 2016 yet they have only one MP in the House of Commons to articulate their wishes - Lady Sylvia Hermon of North Down.

    The uber-Brexit stance of the DUP clearly does not represent the interests of their farmers' and business electoral base who are desperate to avoid the dreaded "Hard Brexit". Sinn Fein's refusal to take up their Westminster seats and the insouciance of the Michelle Gildernews of this world with their insistence that what goes in the Commons is irrelevant to the needs of her constituents in Fermanagh and South Tyrone is a massive one finger gesture to "Border Communities Against Brexit" campaigner and to food processing and dairy industries either side of the border who stand to be clobbered by a WTO rules based Brexit which if SF were serious about avoiding they would take their seats to avoid such an outcome.

    Talk about democratic deficits. Bu,t as the old saying goes, "you get the politician you deserve".

    Happy New Year to all at TPQ. Leeds and Liverpool still on course for glory.

  5. Im with David H -who cares? I seems like the natural progression of thier, as unionists put it, house training.

  6. It's just a big nothingburger whether they take their seats or not to effect brexit. For starters, it should be obvious by now that the suits that run a Brit govt are hard at work undermining the brexit result. In fact May's backstop proposal is merely a 'we are leaving the EU but we are not' proposal. Pure codology.

  7. AM,

    "in my view the crucial determinant will be the consideration of what value taking seats in Westminster would be to any possible move by Adams to go for the presidency in 2025."

    Surely even that would be hard to swallow for the shinner unwashed?

    And thanks Matt, always enjoy your pieces even if I don't agree.

  8. Am- every calculus undertaken by Adams has his well being as the endgame. From 1983 onwards, maybe before he manoeuvred his way through dangerous power struggles. Whatever else he may be he's a survivor. If he thinks taking seats will benefit him he'll do it. The whole thing's just a farce now. You've people who were the most feared and wanted people in Europe now sitting on police boards. They potray every stupid little 'victory' as groundbreaking. It's all just a nonsense.

  9. Fcuk Westminster. I think someone soon ought to get back into Stormont ASAP before anymore shit sticks to the fan.

    Talk about democratic deficits. But as the old saying goes, "you get the politician you deserve"

    Barry, what people didn't deserve was to be lied to, screwed over and left out of pocket. You should re-read how Marty Flynn explained how the illuminati at local level work. Gangsters and Chickens. And like all government corruption no one is going to do any jail time, pay any fines or even get fired. But the truth be told is power corrupts and all the rest of it. Basically the people who aren't running the show are still lining their pockets at everyones expense because they are still on gardening leave.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the farmers. Those cunts didn't give a fcuk about anyone apart from themselves when they thought they could get free money from heating empty sheds while families can just about afford to turn on a light blub or eat a hot meal once a day...

    In a few weeks time the same faces will be knocking your doors asking for your vote and they will all say they have your back...And some people will fall for the lies and vote them back in to power....

    In 2014 Barry, Pauline Mellon warned people how bad things are going to get in Until I'm blue in the face and as 2018 was ending the NIHE issued this warning.. No ministers are in place at Stormont and measures designed to limit the impact of welfare changes are due to lapse in 2020.. Which means anyone who finds themselves out of work because another high street store has gone bust due to E commerce, run a real risk of finding themselves homeless or evicted from their home because they can't pay the bedroom tax, lose their rent allowance and fall behind. Think Stokestown. It will happen in a street near you sooner than most imagine.

  10. Frankie

    They won't be knocking on my door as I exited "our wee country" three decades ago.

    The point I was making was that if a majority of NI electors vote for ethno-nationalist, clientilist parties then why complain if they divide the place up like tribal chieftains and give the spoils of victory to their hangers-on and forget to govern in the process.

  11. Barry,

    They won't be knocking on my door as I exited "our wee country" three decades ago.

    But you do knock on doors asking for people to vote for you and ask them to vote for the BLP. If Labour get into N* 10 what's the big plan for the 6 counties...? Special status so the farmers you are concerned about can get the best of trade deals? How about a OIOV/border poll...Is that on the agenda? What about direct rule until Stormont is back up and running and using the saved wages to buy toilet roll for schools instead of asking parents to buy it. Truth be told Barry the BLP, going by past form, like the Tory party don't really give a fcuk about he O6C.

    that if a majority of NI electors vote for ethno-nationalist, clientilist parties then why complain if they divide the place up like tribal chieftains

    No one voted for the place to be divided up. In 1998 people bought into the notion that walls would be coming down and not increasing. People voted in the belief their kids would grow up in a safe society, instead there are more young people dead due to total mismanagement at all levels of government that died during the conflict. People didn't vote for welfare reform.

    The tribal chieftains they simply copied their paymasters and had their own secret meetings about chicken's sealed by dodgy handshakes and called it RHI.

    "in my view the crucial determinant will be the consideration of what value taking seats in Westminster would be to any possible move by Adams to go for the presidency in 2025."

    I am going to stick that (Adams to run for President in 2025) on a £5 Paddy Power treble...Liverpool to win the EPL, Man Utd to win the Champions league and Adams to run in 2025....(think Leicester, Brexit and Trump...a fiver treble on those three and you'd be £15million richer today)

  12. Frankie

    Truth be told, I don't give a fcuk for NI politics. The only proposals I have are regulatory alignment across the whole British Isles on abortion rights and gay marriage and proper truth and memory mechanisms for all those bereaved by the Troubles.

    The only project which I think Labour should have at at the moment is the reversal of Brexit through a People's Vote so no more talk of hard or sea borders.

  13. Frankie, mr gilheaney wants everyone just to assimilate. Why bite the hand that feeds ye and all that.

  14. Barry,
    I don't see the point in interacting with you as I don't learn anything from you and you certainly don't from me but every now and then your hypocrisy catches my eye. You want to overturn a democratic decision through a 'peoples vote' you couldn't get more orwellian doublespeak if you were directly qouting the book. You not see how dangerous that could be? If so you willing to get your hands dirty? Don't go down the line of politicians lied because that happens in every campaign. I.e the Scottish independence campaign some of the scare tactic headlines from the pro union Scottish media were that bad they were actually funny. Should they get another go. Where do you stop? First to five?

  15. David

    The reason why a People's Vote is the best mechanism to resolve the UK's Brexit imbroglio is that he Westminster Parliament has been unable to give effect to the Brexit vote as there is no agreement as to how it can be implemented (does it mean just withdrawal from the political institutions of the EU or the Hard Brexit of withdraswal from the single market and customs union). This is because the victorious Leave campaign offered no legislative pathway towards a Brexit (unlike thee Yes sides in the Scottish Indy and Irish abortion referendum campaign last year) on top of their lies about £350m a week going to the NHS and the 70 million Turks on their sway to UK shores.

    Mrs May made things worse by laying out red lines to be followed in divorce negotiations with Brussels in order to appease the insatiable Tory Brexiteer right and she has ended up satisfying nobody and now her Withdrawal agreement looks set to fall in the Commons.

    Democracy did not begin and end on 23rd June 2016. People do have the democratic right to change their minds and in the context of Brexit, the public now has greater and more accurate information as to the complexities of EU withdrawal and how the EU works and a triple question on the ballot paper giving the options of Remain, Theresa May's withdrawal agreement or Brexit without a deal should enable a more equitable outcome than the binary choice which voters had to make on 23rd June 2016.

    I am not normally a supporter of plebiscitory democracy but a People's Vote on Brexit would be the exception that proves the rule about referendums in democracy.

    Finally, David you are under no obligation to interact with me and vice-versa.

    Wolfe Tone

    If being assimilationist on your terms means judging people by the content of their character and not race, ethnicity, sexuality, disability and private practice of religious observation and rejecting identity politics as inimical to liberal democracy then I happily plead guilty. I am not biting any hands and never have as I am an independent thinker and writer.

    Happy New Year to you both.

  16. Barry- I realise I am under no obligation. We are miles apart on most things, for me there's no benefit. I've noticed in your responses and articles you've an almost snobby attitude towards peoples right to vote. You do realise it was parliamentary representative democracy that gave you the referendum in the first place. You didn't answer my question if it goes south, if there's a second referendum and the remain side win and let's say the football lads alliance, whatever they're called, react violently will you defend your beliefs or will you hide behind cops and soldiers and let them face it. It's easy to talk shite. What your advocating basically denies the English their sovereignty and undermines their democracy. They're a proud, arrogant people it, it could get nasty. I like to know if people who champion such disdain in the ordinary voter are willing to deal with any aftermath.

  17. David

    If Remain win a second referendum then that will be democracy in action. Not to call for second ref simply because of the threat of far-right violence is to surrender to it not to confront it.

    You seem to forget that Scotland and London as well as NI voted Remain; why should their demo cratic rights and aspirations be disregarded in order to satisfy the whims of nativist and inward looking English nationalism. The UK is not synonymous with England.

    What you call my "almost snobby attitude towards people's fright to vote" is my preference for representative and deliberative forms of democracy over direct and delegate forms. To put it bluntly there are issues that never should be the subject of referendum: capital punishment being very obvious example.

  18. Barry- the threat of far right violence was a worst case scenario to see how far you'd go for your beliefs. You never answered so it became irrelevant. Surrendering to violence was never my point. Let's follow your logic through here, Scotland voted to remain British, the 6 by all accounts would vote to remain British, London is the capital of the dominant country in Britain. Britain as whole voted to leave, so what, these regions should count more? Britian is either one parliament or it's not, what is it? 'If remain win a second referendum then that will be democracy in action' you for referendums or against them? Which is it ? your all over the place. What if leave win again would that be democracy or will we go again? Who are to decide what people have referendums on. Your arrogance knows no bounds. In my opinion people such as yourself are part of the reason we have Brexit or the Yanks have Trump, so on. Ostentatious and condescending beyond belief.

  19. David

    If there is to be a second referendum, then if it is conducted in an atmosphere of proper deliberation and if the ballot paper lists the options that I suggest then I will accept whatever result emerges. The growing evidence of criminality engaged in by both Vote Leave and Leave.EU on top of the tissue of lies that they told makes a second referendum an imperative.

    I am not opposed to referendums if they are conducted in the proper deliberative spirit as with the Scottish Indy Ref where Yes had a clearly laid out path to independence and in Ireland's abortion referendum last year where the role of the Citizens Assembly in getting to grip with the complexities of the abortion issue and where again there was a clear legislative pathway to the implementation of the result.

    These conditions did not pertain in the Brexit referendum in 2016 or the original Eighth Amendment referendum in 1983 in Ireland. Both were therefore flawed exercises in supposed direct democracy.

    When you say "Britain is either one parliament or it is not" you seem to forget that there are devolved administrations and legislatures in Scotland, Wales and NI was well as a representative assembly in London as swell as directly elected mayors in London, Manchester, Bristol, Liverpool and other places. All necessary reforms made to what historically was an over-centralised polity.

    But yes the overriding constitutional principle in the UK is the sovereignty of Parliament; a principle which , bearing in mind the overwhelming majority for Remain among MPs, Brexit has grievously violated.

    David, I will continue to campaign for Remain regardless of the thuggery of the Stephen Yaxley-Lennon's of this world. What you call "arrogance" and "ostentatious an d condescen ding beyond belief" behaviour on my part is what i call robust defence of liberal democratic and Enlightenment values. Maybe left-liberals need to be more angry and aggressive in defence of these values against populist, alt-right nationalism.

    Ta ra.

  20. Barry are you now saying that Irish democratic rights and aspirations should not have been disregarded in 1919 in order to satisfy inward looking English nationalism? Or do you make an exception for outward looking English nationalism aka imperialism? And if the UK is not synonymous with England, then what difference does that make since Scotland, Wales and any part of Ireland cannot out vote England and bring it to heel for their own national ends? The greatest trick the UK ever played is convincing people like you that England is some how on a par with all their conquered little outer parts. LOL!

  21. Barry- you're hard work. That's what happened I forgot Stormont existed, Scotland had a parliament, Wales has an assembly, thanks for reminding me. The point is under referenda protocols it's treated as the one eninty, complaining that certain districts voted against the eventual outcome makes no sense, bit like losing a football match then wanting the result changed because you were better in certain areas of the pitch, doesn't work like that. If you want to be more aggressive, what's stopping you? Campaign away, who cares? Keep calling your opponents little Englanders and racists because they disagree with you, that'll help your cause no end.

  22. Eoghan

    Your point about Irish democratic rights and aspiration in 1919 is a total straw man. This thread is about the legitimacy of the outcome of the 2016 Brexit referendum and the difficulties which the UK govt and parliament has in giving legislative effect to it. The democratic legitimacy of Brexit is to be questioned because of all the dodgy money received by the Leave groups; the growing evidence of criminality via the offices of Cambridge Analytica and the Russian Internet Research Association (IRA - ha ha!) and their flooding of the Referendum campaign (and the US Presidential Election campaign) with fake news stories; the outrageous lies told by Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and company, the exclusion of EU nationals resident in the UK and of 16-18 year olds from the franchise and the lack of a legislative proposals on how to implement a Leave victory.

    David, Eoghan

    The thread is furthermore about the suitability of referendums in a country where the sovereignty of Parliament is supposed to be constitutionally supreme. Because of the starkly binary nature of the ballot paper options; EU membership should never have been put to a referendum because of the complexity of the issues involved and the drip drip effect of decades of Europhobic scare-mongering by the British tabloid press.

    By no means all Brexit voters were racist but it is undeniable that hostility to migrants and xenophobic English nationalism were major drivers of the Leave vote and campaigning.

  23. I am sorry but I can't take anybody serious if they use useful idiot and Brit state agent "Tommy Robinson" as their reasoning for rejecting a democratic poll. Yaxley-Lennon(Robinson) is a carefully constructed agent provocateur designed to divide those of whom voted for brexit. A simple but effective tactic. Ably supported by thon other bigot and brexit bogeyman, Katie Hopkins, who btw had her education paid for my the Brit Army at Sandhurst(that should be another clue as to who is pulling her strings), they've managed to demonise and allow the brexit side be labelled racist, bigots etc etc. A pure psyop on behalf of the State. But of course the notion of 'psyops',dirty tricks,agent provocateurs are pure 'tin foil hat conspiracies' by those people who are better educated. The 77th brigade of the Brit army doesn't exist in their eyes either! Lol
    P.s one thing brexit and indeed the election of Trump has shown, is the rank hypocrisy of those politicians that for so often have preached how 'democratic and decent' they are. A real eye opener. The mafia were more honest.

  24. Great writing as always from Matt Treacy. I agree with those who say the Shinners going to Westminster would be no big deal in comparison to the sell-outs they've already perpetrated - and I'm not talking here about giving up the armed struggle - that's the very least of it.

    I've always thought the EU was a disaster, but I do find the new found anti-EU zeal of Neocon warmongers like Michael Gove and the Daily Telegraph crew a bit of a quandary. In the normal course of things I'd be inclined to think anything the Neocons oppose must, by definition, have something good about it, but that obviously doesn't apply here since anything the Shinners, Blair, FG, the Irish Labour Party and so on support CAN'T contain any redeeming features. Even so, it remains a mystery as to how the Brexit phenomenon caught on so suddenly among the Neocons and their northern Unionist lackeys.

  25. Barry Gilheany: Even if the Russophobic brigade could prove their nonsense about "Russian meddling" it wouldn't amount to a hill of beans. The idea that the British, the US, Israel and many other countries don't meddle in the elections of foreign countries is utterly preposterous. Chuck Feeney, Soros, Rupert Murdoch (an American citizen) and many more foreigners have meddled blatantly in Irish elections and referendums - with the active connivance of much of the Irish media.

  26. Barry,

    reading is you are from the Socrates school of thought and only certain people should be allowed to vote because most don't grasp the complexity of the question and didn't factor everything into account.

    Why hasn't the Labour Party called for the head of Chris Grayling? He signs off on a contract worth millions to a company with no boats to take on the excess shipping after Brexit, who used a terms and conditions contact and delivery fee from a pizza shop as their T&C's, £6 in the company bank account and the company as such doesn't exist...Corybn saying he still wants Brexit. And very few are asking questions.

    Can you answer the question Phil Kelly from the BLP NI couldn't answer yesterday on the radio when William Crawley asked...(starts 8min 30secs---30mins long give or take)Who is the most shambollic May or Corbyn? At least Phil Kelly unlike you is up front saying the 'peoples vote' that you call for Barry is wrong and the real reason Labour don't like the deal is because it will be quids in for here but England/Britian lose out...He also explains why Labour are not at least 20pts in front..First caller wont intrest you..In fact none will because you don't give a fcuk about six county politics (but comment on them enough)

  27. Barry-I don't know if you're at the wind up or simple. Sundar pichai told congress Russia spent 4800 dollars. Somehow that out ranks Clinton's 2 billion. You mock conspiracy theories yet indulge in one that has the U.S president outwitting the intelligence agencies for Russia. The same guy you say shouldn't be in office through his lack of intelligence. You never answer any questions just come back with rhetoric. Boris's lies should be accountable but Blair's tolerated? What about the remain side saying after Brexit they'll be no medicine, do we get a redo through that. You're the shinning example of a democrat, your party votes in Corbyn, you call them anti semitic. Britian votes for Brexit 17 million of them are racist. Trump wins, Russia swayed it with a few grand of anti Hillary posts, 'cause they loved her before. You said you'd accept a second referendum result if it meets your standard, no lies except your side. It's embarrassing

  28. Barry, you can’t have it both ways. You said:

    “You seem to forget that Scotland and London as well as NI voted Remain; why should their democratic rights and aspirations be disregarded in order to satisfy the whims of nativist and inward looking English nationalism. The UK is not synonymous with England.”

    So which straw man are you talking about?

    Or like the British government do you only support democratic outcomes that you agree with?

  29. Frankie

    A very simply reply. Corbyn and May are equally shambolic. Besiodes, I never wanted Corbyn's name to be on the ballot paper for the leadership as I believed (correctly) that he would be a disaster. His leadership on Brexit has been a disgrace and his willingness to embrace it is, bearing in mind that the vast majority of Party members are pro-Remain and support a People's Vote, giving the middle finger to the principles of party democracy that he waxes so eloquent about.

    Contrary to what you assert about me wishing to restrict the franchise on the basis of intellectual capacity; I advocate extending it young people aged 16 and over as is the case in Scottish elections and, in any future EU ref to EU nationals resident in the UK and to UK expatriates in EU countries. But there again, Frankie, you seem to make a habit of misinterpreting (charitably speaking) or twisting everything I say.


    Where I have ever said that Trump has either the willingness or capacity to outwit the Russian intelligence services? The evidence being compiled by the Mueller Commission, the convictions of the pro-Kremlin lobbyist and erstwhile Trump staffer, Paul Mannefort and Trump's personal lawyer; the resignation of Michael Flynn, his pro-Russian National Security Adviser and Trump's fawning of Putin at the Iceland summit the day after the World Cup final and the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal so diligently ex;posed by the Observer's Carol Cadwalldr all point in one direction: collusion between Putin (the real brains behind the operation) and Trump because, firstly, Putin did not want a US President that would stand up to his undermining of rules-based international order and because of Trump's business interests in Moscow. All of this is in the public domain so they are not figments of my imagination or rhetoric. Like Frankie; you have a fine line in misinterpretation when you say that I believe all 17m Brexit voters are racist or that all Jeremy Corbyn supporters are antisemitic.

    What has "Blair's lies" got to with the Brexit vote?

    If Remain were lying about medicines supply being threatened then why is the UK making contingency plans to safeguard against just such an outcome after 29th March.


    I accept democratic outcomes, even tnose I do not like, where there has been no cheating. Brexit and the election of Trump were due to Lance Armstrong and Russian doping type cheating.

  30. Barry, glad to hear that!

    So you agree the UK should have then & now respected the Irish 1919 vote and left, right?

    By the way, Trump won because of the US Electoral College (which Hillary Clinton supports).

    His win had nothing to do with the Russians who did not ratify the US Constitution.

  31. Eoghan

    Nationalist Ireland (notwithstanding the facts that the Irish Labour Party did not stand in the election; that Sinn Fein were given a free run in some cpnstituencies and that women under the age of 30 and men under the age of 21 did not have the franchise) did vote for independence from the UK which was granted to most of nationalist Ireland in 1922 after the Troubles.

    However the greater part of Unionist Ireland voted to reject independence something which those who proclaim as a matter of faith their belief in the one, indivisible Republic have always had problems with.

    Citing the 1918 election and the First Dail of 1919 as legitimacy for the One and Indivisible Republic has two inter-related flaws: it endorses a majoritarian view of democracy by ignoring the reality of the difference of the Northern Protestant/Unionist populace in the same majoritarian manner as Unionist administrations were to rule the Catholic/Nationalist populace.

    Secondly it assumes that nationality and national identity is or must be coterminous with territory. Taking this thinking further; it would permanently deny Scotland and Wales to independence on the basis that the geographical entity of Great Britain should always be one and indivisible. Taking the argument to an even greater level, should the continental landmass of Europe form a single state. You may be surprised to know that I do not believe it should.

    I am not defending or would never seek to defend, as somebody of a Catholic/Nationalist background in NI, the gerrymandered way in which the border was drawn but the divisions had solidified since 1886 and the armed struggle 1919-21 only made partition even more likely.

    Yes, I know Trump won the Electoral College while losing the popular vote by 3 million votes showing that this mechanism is no longer fit for purpose.

    But the evidence mounts of criminal behaviour involving Team Trump, Russia and other elements of a right-wing axis including Nigel Farage, Aaron Banks and Farage's friend, Julian Assange who held court with the nicotine stained frog in his hideout in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Truth will out soon.

  32. Barry - I was talking about US intelligence services, you're implying their commander in cheif is commiting espionage under their very nose. You're still missing the point, as it stands Mueller has submitted no hard evidence, he's being openly challenged to do so by Gulliani. He's postponed it several times, as it stands it's in the realm of conspiracy theory. You point to'fawning of Putin' as evidence and have the audacity to mock other people.
    There's contingency plans for everything. The headline was 'no medicine after brexit!' Just as in the Scottish independence debate a headline read 'independence leaves us open to attack from space' or such nonsense. You don't seem that bothered with establishment bullishit which exposes your hypocrisy.
    As for Blair, who knows the full ramifications of Blair's war crusade, there might never have been a brexit without the Iraq invasion.
    If you can't sell a slander against trump! There's something wrong.
    Here's a thought see instead if telling America how their voting mechanism is not fit for purpose or lecture people of the flaws of majoritarian democracy why not put your attention into your own party who can't beat the stuttering incompetent dancing machine that's Theresa May

  33. Barry,

    So what about the Irish Labor Party not participating in the 1918 Election?

    They chose not to as was their democratic right not to:

    “The (Irish) Labour Party, however, decided not to participate in the election, fearing that it would be caught in the political crossfire between the IPP and Sinn Féin; it thought it better to let the people make up their minds on the issue of Home Rule versus a Republic by having a clear two-way choice between the two nationalist parties”

    And Women and Native Americans didn’t get the right to vote in the US until 1920.

    The voting age in the US was finally lowered from 21 to 18 in 1972.

    Ireland was more electorally progressive than the US in 1918 and 1919.

    And Irish independence wasn’t granted or gotten then.

    Instead Ireland got a regional Brit “free state” assembly and gerrymandered partition.

    After a bloody war!

    In complete violation of their 1918 democratic vote for independence.

    It wasn’t until 1949 that the “free state” declared a Republic sans England.

    And what do you mean “…granted to most of nationalist Ireland in 1922”?

    Ireland is only nationalist in the 26 counties of the Irish nation?

    Because the Brits said so?

    Partition is the fault of Irish Nationalists?

    Heal thyself.

    Me thinks besides being a self-loathing Irishman you want it both ways.

    You don’t endorse the majoritarian view of democracy if you don’t like the outcome.

    Yet you are against the US Electoral College because you don’t like that outcome either.

    And you don’t think that Irish nationality & identity must be coterminous with territory.

    But you think that Scotland and Wales nationality & national identity must be.

    Because you’re against Irish (32 county) sovereign independence and against Brexit.

    Now for a news flash: Trump won because Hillary sucked!

    Let me know when you find evidence of Putin nominating her. LOL!

  34. Eoghan

    "Methinks besides being a self-loathing Irishman..."

    Stick your racist insults where the sun does not shine preferably in the company of Le Pen, Trump, Farage, Robinson, Putin and any other populist nationalist bigot you can think of.

  35. Barry,

    You protest too much.

    Although self-loathing about being Irish is a shame...

    Being Irish isn't a race despite English bigots and you thinking we are.

    That said you forgot to also mention Maggie "The Iron Lady" Thatcher.

    If ever there was a blood soaked lying Saxon nationalist...may she rust in peace.

    And may peace be upon the Donald for rescuing all of us from Hillary.

    Syrians, Libyans and Hondurans among others badly needed a break from her.

  36. Eoghan

    Irishness is a recognised ethnicity; why else does the "category "White Irish" appear on all UK equal opportunity questionnaires? So your "self-loathing Irish" jibe is from the "self-hating Jew" stable of Zionist extremism. I do not loath being Irish; I do loath the actions and ideology of armed groups who carried out their murderous campaigns in my name and the (happily dying) cultural homonym between Irishness and misogynistic Catholicism.

    I have no problem with the idea of a "sovereign 32-county Ireland" provided it is achieved peaceably and with the consent of all who live on the island of Ireland. I favour self-determination for all distinct national or ethnic groups if that is what they want.

    Peace be upon the Donald for abandoning the brave Kurdish secular democratic allies of the US in Rojavi to the the tender mercies of Erdogan, Assad and possibly even the ISIS genocidaires which they have fought so hard to drive out of Syria.

  37. Barry,

    Being Irish (like being Italian or French or Jewish) is ethnic but not racial.

    The human genome has been mapped out.

    And sorry but there are no Irish, French or Jewish genes.

    I suppose England now has their own affirmative action policy (or at least the appearance of one) on anyone being “White Irish” because of their history of invidious discrimination against Irish people in England and in Ireland because they’ve never discriminated against white people for being white.

    And no, the self-loathing concept more likely stems from poor suffering blacks in the U.S.

    Hence the jibes Oreo (black on the outside, white on the inside).

    Most ethnic groups have these jibes if they have a history of second-class citizenship.

    You know like Irish people living in England.

    And nice try at appearing reasonable here.

    You have “…no problem with the idea of a ‘sovereign 32-county Ireland’ provided it is achieved peaceably and with the consent of all who live on the island of Ireland.”

    Well, so much for democratic majority rule back then or now.

    Yet without blinking you say: “(You) favour self-determination for all distinct national or ethnic groups if that is what they want.”

    Err, that's what the democratic majority of all 32 County Ireland wanted in 1918 and now.

    But their efforts at self-determination have been squashed and prevented by an overwhelming armed imperial power that has carried out murderous campaigns with armed groups in your name and theirs in part on behalf of their different misogynistic religion.

    Remember Henry the 8th beheading his wives, Oliver Cromwell and the DUP?

    And why is it you can’t be Catholic or Jewish and be British Prime Minister?

    Now for another news flash:

    The Kurds have no more right to Syria or Turkey than the Bedouins have to Iran or England.

  38. Eoghan

    Geneticists have discovered the "Celtic curse" gene which explains the prevalence of hereditary haemochromatosis (excess iron absorption in the blood) amongst Irish people; I am affected by this condition which proves there is a genetic component to Irishness.

    I have better things to do with my life than engaging with your incoherent rantings and slanders such as "armed imperial powers" carrying out murder campaigns in my name. But I shall sign off with these facts

    In 1998 the democratic majority in the island of Ireland voted in simultaneous referendums to enshrine to principle of Irish unity with the consent of a majority of people in Northern Ireland and to repeal the Government of Ireland Act 1920 in which the UK government's claim to rule NI is vested. You need to get used to that simple reality.

    The Kurds do not claim the whole of Syria and Turkey (or Iran and Iraq) just autonomy and national rights in the areas of those countries where they reside.

    You appear to confuse the British monarchy with the office of Prime Minister when you say Catholics and Jews cannot be the latter. I recall that Benjamin Disraeli was a Jew.

    Finally England is not coterminous with the UK.

  39. Barry,
    Benjamin Disraeli was born Jewish but converted when he was 12 and since he was a practicing Anglican

    I do not loath being Irish; I do loath the actions and ideology of armed groups who carried out their murderous campaigns in my name

    Is that what you tell yourself on poppy day or do you make excuses for armed groups like the Paras who carried out murderous campaigns in your name....

    (I stand over my comment you a from the Socrates school of thought with little or no regard for democracy<--you can put what ever spin you want on it...))

  40. Disraeli became an Anglican aged 12. Not sure if the relief act went as far as Catholics being allowed to be prime minister, do know there's never been one.

  41. Barry,
    Another of your distorted facts about to be debunked....Haemochromatosis affects mainly white northern Europeans..Sometimes called the Celtic curse, Scottish sickness..Viking gene...They think it may be a mutated gene from 60/70 generations ago..No one is really sure except mainly white Europeans are affected..

    In 2016 the majority of the occupied six counties said "We would rather deal with mainlandland Europe than London2..This Got Fcuk All that you like to flag up, is bollicks. It was based on lies and double speak. Exactly the same language that you accuse Brexiteers of using.

    The Donald didn't start the middle east wars in his defence he did run on a ticket about bring American GI's back from wars they didn't start......My only problem (bigger problem than you have with him) is his links to Epstein. We know you love BIll, Hillary and Obama. Lets play spot the difference.....

    Bill Clinton 1995 State of the Union Speech. HIllary voted for the wall in 2006 (1min 55second her words not the Donalds). 2006 secure fence act

    Spot the difference Barry....?

    Today Barry I am nominating you for the Plato award (he was of the same school of thought as you, both think Socrates rocked)..I am more with Diogenes....

  42. Frankie

    The difference is that is that Bill Clinton did not cause the virtual suspension of the Federal Government to build the secure fence nor put the US armed forces on a major invasion alert to stop a human caravan of misery from Central and South America.

    "Do you make excuses for armed groups like the Paras who carried out murderous campaigns in your name"

    NO I DO NOT and I have a simple message for you and your comrade in slander, Eoghan, who insinuate that I do: FUCK OFF.

    This is the last time that I engage with either of you on this site and your bullying style of debate not least because I do not expect an apology from for your contemptible abuse of the memories of the dead of Bloody Sunday, Ballymurphy and other state crimes in order to guilt trip me over what I wore on Remembrance Sunday last (particularly when I defended James McClean over his stance on the poppy because I believe people have a democratic right to wear or not wear one and not get abused whatever their decision.

    So go and wallow in your adoration of Trump, Putin et al and your Rothschilds/Ilumanati bubble and let somebody else take the bait.

  43. Genetic Proof of the prevalence of haemochromatosis among Irish people:

  44. Barry, nice try but like I said there is no Irish, Jewish or Italian race.

    These are distinct national cultures and ethnicities for sure but not genetic.

    Like I said the genome has been mapped out and no such national gene has been found.

    And obviously you don’t have better things to do with your life.

    Except to repeat specious Brit arguments about their gerrymandered democracy for Ireland.

    Speaking of simple reality: the US made same arguments about their democracy in Vietnam.

    No one, not even the Brits, believed that, so rhetorically speaking why do you?

    Note the word rhetorically, it means you don’t have to reply or engage.

    In fact, I too am beginning to conclude that you are either simple or a wind up or both.

    Since you claim to have a PhD from a reputable UK university but yet you just wrote this:

    “The Kurds do not claim the whole of Syria and Turkey (or Iran and Iraq) just autonomy and national rights in the areas of those countries where they reside.”

    So, do Irish Tinkers camping on England’s roads have a jurisdictional claim to it?

    Surely you know most Kurds are a Persian people from northwestern Iran.

    Just like many if not most southwestern US people are Mexican or of Mexican descent.

    But that doesn’t mean they can claim these countries or parts of them for themselves.

    Therefore, the Kurds are just another imperial geo-political pretext...

    For destabilizing the Middle East and keeping it that way.

    After all, why would the British have gassed them and the Americans abandoned them again?

    Yet you obsequiously echo Anglo-American sanctimonious concerns for the Kurds.

    And you think I’m confused --- says you who thinks Disraeli was Jewish. LOL!

    Not while in office he wasn’t.

    And if he was then he kept it a secret because he knew the Brit law against it.

    Finally, you keep saying “England is not coterminous with the UK” like that’s profound.

    Try this very simple reality: England controls all of the UK.

    Scotland, Wales & NI do not.

    Hence Brexit.

  45. Awful language being used by some on here. Luckily most folk aren't so sensitive as to call for censorship lmao!

  46. Barry - while it will not apply to this article due to it not being written by you, the following tweak to TPQ will apply to any future article which you do author.

    A named writer can insist on not having the moniker comment on their pieces. While it would change nothing for Frankie (he makes no attempt to conceal his identity and is always willing to openly stand over his ideas) it will ensure that the playing field is level.

    It is one of a number of small tweaks we will be making to the use of monikers.

    We don't feel that either Frankie or Eoghan have been using bullying.

    1. Anthony, so good old Barry wants to limit free speech here, shocker that.

      He wants to limit who can comment on what he has to say.

      What an elitist!

      I think though that he is pushing against an open door.

      Because only a few ever comment on his ersatz academic articles here.

      If any at all because his articles fail to astonish.

      In fact I can't remember anything about them even after I've read them.

      Since like a lot of conventional academics he apes...

      His articles say nothing memorable or noteworthy.

  47. Eoghan,

    that is not right. Barry did not ask to have a choice over who can comment on his pieces. Nor does he have a right to stop people who do not use a moniker. The blog has made that offer to all named writers that they can choose to be treated in kind. The blog policy as long been that invisible people have invisible rights. It will seek to protect from anonymous abuse those who stand over what they say. Nor has Barry asked in his last comment for anyone to be censored. The moniker who censors their own identity is never well placed to protest censorship.

  48. Anthony, thank you for that clarification!

    I will withdraw that part of my critique.


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