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Martin McGuinness in town today

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Goonerman I agree and accept with most of what you say except for your statement <PS demographic studies indicate that the Catholic increase of population will fall short of equalling the Protestant population.  So you're not getting rid of us any time soon. Tough.  Hard luck.   :mrgreen: > what has this got to do with anything in todays religious and political climate or the context of your post, I believe that to make such a statement or comparison between two religious groups in a forum that is read by thousands across the world is a stupid and dangerous statement to make, it may seem innocuous to you but in my opinion is bordering on secterianism, surely we should be working to heal the divide between religious groups not making comparisons that could help antagonise and divide them yet further, using a silly green smilie does not make such a stupid statement either amusing nor accepatable.

Oh!! and finally, your quote <There is a little principle we need to bear in mind: Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer> this is not a principle it is a quote/saying originating from Niccolo Machiavelli, a Florentine political philosopher, historian, musician, poet, and romantic comedic playwright who also wrote amongst many things "Upon this, one has to remark that men ought either to be well treated or crushed, because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, of more serious ones they cannot; therefore the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge".

Goonerman I would advise you to carry out research of the author prior to quoting him/her as this particular gentlemans ethics/morals appear to be somewhat flawed and in this particular instance may reflect on the individual using them, especially when used in the wrong context.

 

I should make it absolutely clear that I personally do not have any strong religious views or leanings and am totally impartial regarding any religion practiced in this country so long as they are not used for political gain.

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Goonerman

 

I said the British troops originally went in to protect the Catholics, that is the case, I never mentioned when the killing of troops started.

 

I also said the demographic is changing, Catholics will out number Protestants soon enough, I stick by my statement, the catholic population is growing more quickly than the Protestant one, may I suggest you check your information again, As I said earlier I am not a supporter of the IRA

 

At the last census 48% prodestant a 5% decline

 

45% Catholic an increase of 1%

 

The population in Northern Ireland as a whole is declining

 

 

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Algy, I wasn't the one who raised the issue of population change, Lt. Kije did.  Don't try to stereotype me, that would be a huge mistake.  Obviously you are not aware sadly of the demographic realities that unfortunately scar Northern Ireland's landscape.  OK, I'll change the terminology to the more accurate Unionist/Loyalist and Nationalist/Republican.  Perhaps you don't know that Northern Ireland has an opt-out clause from membership of the UK built into the Good Friday Agreement and that when the British Government say they will keep Northern Ireland in the UK so long as a majority wish to stay in the UK they mean it, and this is key.  Demographic change will determine the Province's fate alone.  Nothing else.  I'm not being at all stupid, I was simply stating a fact, not an opinion.  If you want a stupid statement it is the British public wanting a United Ireland when it is not ready and when the majority in the region still wish to stay at the moment and for the time being.  But then I am used to certain people arguing that Any Northern Irish opinion is sectarian.  In fact the demographic changes make it all the more necessary for healing to occur, and actually make violence unnecessary and stupid, but then violence is really about lust for power.  And the 'you're not getting rid of us' is to those on the mainland who foolishly want to dump us out right now.  What you don't know is how dangerous that idea is, and that little taunt of mine is directed towards them.  We alone in Northern Ireland, on both sides will make that decision, not anyone else.  Only a balanced settlement like the Good Friday Agreement can push us forward.  Furthermore, the one weakness with the Agreement is it copperfastens those divisions and event he promise of keeping Northern Ireland in the UK so long as a majority want it paradoxically adds to that weakness.  Hence why the stats of population growth is relevant.  So the next phase has to be how to break the sectarianism.  There are two problems.  Polarisation is greater than ever.  Also, the divided aspirations to two separate nationalities remains.  If I made that grin, it is because of my exasperation with those more extreme people in England who don't know what they are talking about and want us shovelled out right now and believe we are all evil.  Believe me, I KNOW from experience that some British public opinion on Northern Ireland is nowhere nearly as reasonable or as moderate as you would like to believe, many people who believe in a violently forced and tyrannical solution.  I know.  I debated with these people many years ago.  Most British people of course just want a quiet and peaceful life and hope we settle our differences properly and amicably.

 

I notice Algy that you selectively ignored the bit where I said I persuaded a Sinn Feiner to give up believing in violence.  That smacks either of carelessness or deliberate dishonesty.  Another thing.  Here's another problem.  In the flashpoint areas Protestants are moving out, while the Catholics are overcrowded.  But there are these peace lines still.  The obvious solution is deghettoisation.  I think the inhabitants of the more Protestant Donegall Place and of the Catholic Markets area are realising slowly that a merger has to happen.  The Protestants are again shrinking in population in that area, and older than in the Markets.  The next step also is to create a united Northern Ireland.  

 

But since the very nature of the Northern Irish dispute is due to one side looking to London, and the other looking to Dublin, they are so busy concentrating on the UK and on the Irish Republic that they are still neglecting their own region except with regards to the connection with London and Dublin.  

 

Another reason why I said tough, hard luck, is my scorn at imposed solutions from outside, and also at the equally nationalistic desire by certain British mainlander's desire to throw us out of the UK and deliberately sabotage the peace process.  After all, it happened in 1974.  In fact it was my way of saying, either a moderate approach with power sharing and compromise is the way forward, or the person thinking otherwise can go sling their hook.  The fact is, the present peace deal is the only way forward, and any attempt to wreck it by anyone is a form of extremism.  One-sided solutions are not acceptable.  

 

OK, so the quote was from Machiavelli.  But my own spin on it is quite different from his.  For me keeping your enemies closer is a way of tying them in to working with us, not against us, and forcing them to live with the fact that what they did was wrong-headed and unnecessary, look, we are saying, here is a better way.  You can see that in Martin McGuinness' face when smiling at Ian Paisley, the realisation that all that violence and aggro was unnecessary in the first place.  

 

You can stereotype me all you like Algy, but the fact is the fault lines in Northern Ireland are still there, and ignoring them is to fail in making a proper analysis of what is going on.  I'm not some foaming at the mouth crazy flag waving abuser; I'm a quiet guy who lives a quiet life and keeps his head out of trouble.  I've more in common with normal Irish Catholics than the red white and blue aliens from outer space who cause the trouble on 'my' side.  And I've lived a normal life.

 

PS The strong political views of Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland don't count as being religious.  

 

But of course I get blamed for what Lt. Kije said.  Thanks Algy.  Besides, it's always easier to blame the moderate from Northern Ireland.  

 

It seems that living a quiet and law-abiding life and opposing sectarianism is rewarded by being accused of the very things I am opposed of, while the real extremists are courted as the heroes against those horrible moderates.   

 

Lt. Kije, yes, the population growth in Catholic areas is faster, but further studies indicate it is beginning to level off.  Besides, the population of Northern Ireland is increasing, not decreasing.  1 500 000 as of 40 years ago is now 1 700 000 people.  

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Lt. Kije, with regards to Belfast it is true that the troops were brought in to protect Catholics, but in fact this is because they lost the riot.  It is true, the Nationalists were the ones who asked the Army to come in, but the RUC did too, as they were hammered and over-stretched in both Belfast and L/Derry.  It was the stuffing of the police by both sides which was why the Army came in, as the RUC made an SOS plea.  (Cops were on riot duty for a full 48 hours in some cases.)  So the Army were brought in to keep the peace, and to fill in where the police couldn't cope any more.  The RUC in 1969 was a very different organisation from the one that took over primacy in security again in 1977.    

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Goonerman, <Goonerman I agree and accept with most of what you say except for your statement> if you read my previous reply, that was the opening part of it, I was merely pointing out that what my eyes read appeared inflamatory and may well appear so to others picking up the thread of the post at that point, that was and still is my opinion, regarding my being supportive of Lt's point of view, it is rare that I support his views on any political point of view and why should I, I am neither judge nor jury and as I have said in the past I am certainly not sufficiantly politically educated to debate the rights and wrongs of what has and is going on in Northern Ireland to date, what I do know is the day that our town was savagely attacked by someone was one of the worst days the people of Warrington experienced since the bombing of Thames Board Mills during the second world war and I pray to God it is never repeated. That is my opinion and all I have to say on the subject!.

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Lt.Kije wrote: "They have power as as democracy works and the population demographic changes they will get more power, Londonderry is now just Derry as they out number the Protestants their, they are just playing the waiting game, unless the Protestant community starts to have as many children as the catholic comuninity they will win the North by democratic vote soon enough.They have power as as democracy works and the population demographic changes they will get more power, Londonderry is now just Derry as they out number the Protestants their, they are just playing the waiting game, unless the Protestant community starts to have as many children as the catholic comuninity they will win the North by democratic vote soon enough."  I was responding to that.  Especially the "catholic comuninity they will win the North" part bit, which I would have re-expressed as a democratic vote for an all-Ireland Republic would follow- the only thing then is if both sides haven't settled their differences there is the spectre of further trouble and the possibility of the new all-Ireland Republic losing the east side of the Province.  The statement by Kije suggests a victory for only one side when what we need to do is work on eliminating there being two sides by uniting the community- easier said than done.  

 

I actually think in the present circumstances for the British public to want a United Ireland in spite of the Good Friday Agreement is what is inflammatory, as it goes against a democratic deal and fuels loyalist paranoia and troublemaking.  Hence the 'tough- hard luck'.  And it was typed flippantly, not in an inflammatory manner.  

 

This is not the kind of topic you can just casually glance over, and that is what has happened here.  Also, I notice you think I am accusing you of agreeing with Lt. Kije.  I'm scratching my head trying to work out how you came to that conclusion.  

 

But the question is, why did you not rebuke Lt. Kije for his comment?  That comment of mine you think is so inflammatory, was a riposte to him, especially as he seems to want a one-sided solution for only one side of the community- now that is inflammatory even if perhaps not meant to be- hence the little riposte.  

 

And I talk as someone who is more than willing to accept a democratic vote out of the UK.  Finally, I wasn't the one who set the rules for this with regards to majorities and minorites determining the fate of the region in question.  The Government did.  The Unionists insisted on it, but as birthrates shift, they could if Lt. Kije turns out to be right, be setting themselves for a fall.  

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Goonerman

 

As I have stated I am not a supporter or sympathiser of the IRA, All I was doing was to show the demographic of Northern Ireland is changing slowly but surely in the Catholic favour, the Catholic population will out number the Protestant population. Whether they all support independence is an other matter.

 

The British Army was deployed into Northern Ireland in 1969 to protect the Nationalist population from attack.

 

Perhaps the troubles could have been avoided completely if the British Government had intervened a lot earlier and not allowed the discrimination of the catholic population by the Protestant population, it had being going on for many years. It is a shame that so many people had to die before sense was seen, In my opinion the Agreement is not perfect but it has succeeded in the main, in that most of the violence has stopped. It is my hope that in time and with both populations now working together on a political level that in time things will improve even more.

 

I completely agree with you on your point on Schools, integrated schools would in the long run make a huge difference.

 

Ps

The figures I quoted are census figures

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Yes, but you are still not aware that even the Catholic birthrate is showing signs of slowing.  I never said anything at all about you supporting the IRA.  I am fully aware of the census figures, as the population dynamics have changed from roughly 1 million Ulster Protestants and 500 000 Catholics to 900 000 Protestants and 700 000 Irish Catholics.  I actually think while this could cause more mayhem as the population levels become 50/50, but in the end it would force a greater amount of co-operation.  

 

The British Army, indeed was brought in to protect those in especially the Bombay Street area of Belfast, but the rioting was far from one-sided and they as I say were also drafted in to help the RUC and while the protection of Catholics was necessary in Belfast, this was not the case in Derry.  You see, the Catholic rioters in Derry in their Battle of the Bogside deliberately forced the RUC to be over-stretched and this ironically contributed to the hammering of Catholic rioters in Belfast by Protestant rioters.  (What is often forgotten is that Catholic rioters in Belfast were planning to invade Protestant areas while Protestant rioters planned to do the same with them- also, and here's a point, the demarcations of areas were much less clear-cut in 1969 than they are today anyway.  Those streets most affected by the August 1969 riots in Belfast were mixed area which were transitional points between the Shankill and Falls areas- as well as in the Crumlin Road, where the Belfast Troubles actually began- ironically with the IRA throwing my Protestant grandparents out of their home in a Catholic street in May 1969, with their rioters causing the first riot in Belfast that night in the entire Troubles.  With the RUC hammered too, the Army were needed to fill in the gaps and bring a stronger presence.

 

The best sources for studying in brief the origins of the Troubles are A History of Ulster by Jonathan Bardon (my former external examiner from Dublin and so a dispassionate expert), and The Course of Irish History by T. W. Moody, F. X. Martin, Dermot Keogh, and Patrick Kiely.  These are informative and very even-handed, they blow away a few myths held by those of different persuasions.  

 

As for Britain not intervening earlier, that is an understatement and a half, as part of the problem was British indifference.  Britain dumped a government and a parliament on Northern Ireland which the Unionists, this may surprise you, did not want.  Everyone was included in the compromise deal of the 1920s except for the Northern Catholics.  A huge mistake.  They then absconded from Northern Ireland from 1922-69.  There was a Border Commission set up in 1925 to adjust the borders of both Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State, but they did not bother implementing it.  They did not intervene when the Unionists failed to deal adequately with defending Northern Ireland from the Nazis in 1939-41.  The British Government deliberately underfunded Northern Ireland in order to try to persuade the Unionists to give up being British.  (See A History of Northern Ireland by Patrick Buckley.)  The Speaker of the Westminster House of Commons in the 1920s ruled that questions on Northern Ireland were not to be tabled in the House.  This was a matter for Stormont.  There was a real groundswell of support for Labour in the 1949 General Election in Northern Ireland (and in 1964) but both times Labour Prime Ministers Attlee and Wilson did not bother to intervene and help the Northern Ireland Labour Party from breaking the sectarian stronghold and give the Unionists a real opposition.  It is now known that British military intelligence, led by Communist traitors like Philby and Blunt were involved in creating conspiracy theories and the creation of the modern UVF in 1966 to divide Unionism and provoke the IRA and bring back the Troubles (which had occurred in 1920-22), so as to hopefully destabilise and destroy Northern Ireland so they could have it thrown out of the UK.  The British Government should have imposed Direct Rule in 1969, not in 1972.  The Army messed up against the Catholics, oppressing them in the Falls Road Curfew.  The Paratroopers famously did what they did on Bloody Sunday.  The Army in 1969 also stupidly blamed all Protestants on the trouble in August 1969 which was not true and cannot be held responsible for the Battle of the Bogside.  Wilson thought of intervening with the Unionist Government who had a more progressive Prime Minister at the time, Terence O'Neill, but did not bother.  This was in 1964.  The British stood by while idiots like William Craig undermined O'Neill and forced the RUC to stand by while loyalist mobs attacked Catholic protesters at Burntollet in January 1969.  The Downing Street Cabinet's files on Northern Ireland were found by James Callaghan and Sir Richard Crossman (a major Whitehall mandarin) in August 1969 not to have been updated since 1925!  We now know that Wilson and MI6 helped the Loyalists wreck the peace process in 1974 and facilitated talks between the IRA and the Loyalists to found an independent British supported Northern Ireland terrorist dictatorship so Britain could withdraw, in which the Army would attack the RUC and the population of Northern Ireland to help the terrorists take over.  We know this from state papers released in January 2005.  The Army threatened the Unionists, the SDLP and the Alliance Party who ran the Executive, ordering them to resign and get out of Stormont.  So the British Government in league with the terrorists deliberately sabotaged the peace process to appease the terrorists in the hope that they would take over so that Britain did not get bombed.  Yeah, that really worked, not, it did the opposite, as it gave the IRA the idea of bombing pubs where English and Irish people went to mix, as in the Birmingham and Guildford pub bombings.  The Irish Government in 1975, a more moderate Irish Government under Cosgrove as opposed to Lynch's government from earlier, with Dr. Garrett Fitgerald as Irish Foreign Minister, was suspicious of the British Government as they seemed more biased to the terrorists than to the ordinary people who did not support them and than to the constitutinal moderate parties.  He mentions this in his autobiography.  So, as you can see, Britain's indifference had DANGEROUS consequences.  At least John Major and Tony Blair recognised this and made up for it in their own flawed way.  Local government and national government must work hand in hand.        

 

Which is why I am in favour of a multilayered and consociational deal just like the one in place, and there is no other answer.  I've been arguing for it since I was a child, though sometimes in my teens usually after atrocities I wondered if a temporary dictatorship would work in getting the terrorist defeated then have power-sharing, but it is clear that only power-sharing that works.  So none of us can get rid of each other!

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He denied that, after being asked the same question.

This was Wolfie's last post!!!

Wonder what happened to him - I see one interest he had was conspiracy theories - and he shared my birthday!!!

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