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azadi

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Reply with quote  #31 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
By why should the Ulster Protestants come to see themselves as part of the Irish nation first and foremost? As I said, I do think many have some notion of being Irish, but they are certainly British and Ulstermen first. Why should they change in their self-identity?

If, as I fear, your answer is based on relitigating past oppression and wrongs, without due attention to current circumstances, I think this to be a mistake. As a general rule, it seems likely to cause a great more present problems and injustices than it will solve.

I don't support relitigating past oppression and wrongs. I'm opposed to Irish nationalist terrorism, because Irish unification without the consent of the majority of the population of Northern Ireland is wrong. Protestants and Catholics ought to embrace a shared Irish national identity in order to obtain true reconciliation between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. Otherwise, peace in Northern Ireland will remain fragile. The DUP rejects Irishness, because it equates Irishness with Catholicism. Embracing Irishness doesn't mean supporting Irish republicanism. It is possible to embrace Irishness while remaining loyal to the Windsor monarchy. A lot of Northern Irish Catholics are unionists. I consider Windsor rule in Ireland legitimate, because the Kingdom of Ireland shared its monarch with Great Britain. I would like Southern Ireland to become a Commonwealth realm, but that's unlikely to happen, because sharing the head of state with Great Britain is unacceptable to most Irish nationalists. That's why electing a Chief of the Name king of Southern Ireland is the best option. Sadly, Irish republicanism has hijacked Irish nationalism, despite Ireland having impressive traditions of monarchy.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #32 
I suppose that isn't entirely absurd. However, erasing and replacing a big part of one side's identity doesn't seem the best way to achieve sectarian harmony. Also, why not have the Nationalist population become. British instead? They are, after all, a minority still in Ulster.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #33 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
I suppose that isn't entirely absurd. However, erasing and replacing a big part of one side's identity doesn't seem the best way to achieve sectarian harmony. Also, why not have the Nationalist population become. British instead? They are, after all, a minority still in Ulster.

I don't propose erasing the identity of any side. Both sides ought to keep their identities. But the DUP appear to reject Irishness because it equates it with Catholicism, and in the late 19th century, Ulster Protestants used the slogan "Home rule means Rome rule". National identity ought to be secular, as Kurdish national identity is.
Considering Northern Ireland the successor of the Kingdom of Ireland might lead to reconciliation between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. Emphasizing Irishness will appeal to Catholics, and emphasizing allegiance to the Windsor monarchy will appeal to the Protestants.
C.S. Lewis, the author of Narnia, who was born in Belfast, considered himself an Irishman despite not being an Irish nationalist.
https://irishpapist.blogspot.com/2018/04/the-forgotten-irishness-of-c.html

Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #34 
But that doesn't answer the question. Why should they become Irish? They have never considered themselves primarily Irish. Some, as I have said, have had some vague idea of being Irish, but this has always been far behind their British identity and their Ulster identity. I think you will find the same is true for Lewis. Most Ulster Protestants were originally English or Scots. To say they should be Irish to end sectarian tension isn't completely absurd, but, again, it seems a quite far-fetched to have the Ulstermen give up their identity for that reason. Besides, it doesn't answer why it isn't the Nationalists who should become British.
Windemere

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Reply with quote  #35 
The whole point of the Good Friday power-sharing Agreement is that it permits the people of Northern Ireland, as individuals, to choose for themselves whether to identify as British or Irish. Those who wish to be British can be British, and those who wish to be Irish, can be Irish. The people elect representatives who sit in the British Parliament (the Sinn Fein members choose not to take their seats) but they play a consultative role in the Oireachtas Eireann. Northern Irish Olympic athletes may choose which nation to compete for. The Northern Irish Unionists will never give up their British identity, nor will the Northern Irish Nationalists ever accept a British identity. DUP, as long as it remains the majority political party, will never agree to reunification with Eire, nor will Sinn Fein ever relinquish this goal. But they have both come a long way since the 1990s, and they do grudgingly cooperate with each other, particularly on economic issues, and the present system, though not ideal, is working quite well (even if the Stormont Assembly remains in suspended animation).
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Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #36 
All that is besides the point. None of it is an explanation why the Ulstermen should give up being British and Ulstermen first. Certainly, the Unionists did not see the Good Friday Agreement (which was a shameful surrender to terrorism anyway) as mandating this, nor does it. What you need is to a convincing reason why Ulster Protestants should change their identities (and Nationalists shouldn't). I don't see that you have supplied one.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #37 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
All that is besides the point. None of it is an explanation why the Ulstermen should give up being British and Ulstermen first. Certainly, the Unionists did not see the Good Friday Agreement (which was a shameful surrender to terrorism anyway) as mandating this, nor does it. What you need is to a convincing reason why Ulster Protestants should change their identities (and Nationalists shouldn't). I don't see that you have supplied one.

Because the Irish are the native people, while the Ulster Protestants are the descendants of settlers. Northern Ireland is comparable to South Africa. I don't claim, that the Ulster Protestants must change their ethnic identity, but they ought to adopt an Irish civic identity. Irish identity ought to be pluralist and non-sectarian. Ulster Protestants don't have to become Catholics or to become Irish nationalists, but they ought to embrace Irishness. After all, they have lived in Ireland for several centuries. The Norman lords, who settled in Ireland in the 12th centuries, gradually assimilated into Irish culture, and they were said to be more Irish than the Irish themselves.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #38 
As I said, you seem to wish to right wrong long past, with little regard to the current situation. This is, as , a general principle, more likely to cause more problems and injustices than it solves. Ulster is quite different to South Africa. It is the Unionists who are the majority, and they have lived separate from the rest of the island for nearly a century. Before that, Ulster was somewhat distinct from the rest of the island. It only becomes anything like South Africa if you beg the question by assuming that we should treat all Ireland as one nation.

azadi

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Reply with quote  #39 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
As I said, you seem to wish to right wrong long past, with little regard to the current situation. This is, as , a general principle, more likely to cause more problems and injustices than it solves. Ulster is quite different to South Africa. It is the Unionists who are the majority, and they have lived separate from the rest of the island for nearly a century. Before that, Ulster was somewhat distinct from the rest of the island. It only becomes anything like South Africa if you beg the question by assuming that we should treat all Ireland as one nation.


I'm not speaking of revenge. I'm speaking of reconciliation. Northern Ireland ought to follow the path of Mandela, not the path of Mugabe. I'm not opposed to Ulster Protestants remaining distinct from Northern Irish Catholics, but they ought to share a civic Irish identity, not an thnic Irish identity. In addition, Ulster Protestants don't constitute a clear majority of the population of Northern Ireland. The Ulster Protestant community and the Northern Irish Catholic community are of roughly equal size. But before the Brexit referendum, a clear majority of the population of Northern Ireland were unionists. Many Northern Irish Catholics are unionists. Unionism rejecting Irishness will alienate Catholic unionists. The fate of Northern Ireland will be decided by the Catholic Unionists and the moderate Ulster Protestants, not by Ulster Protestant extremists, who hate everything Irish.
The DUP is an extremist Ulster Protestant party, who are willing to accept a disastrous no-deal Brexit in order to prevent a customs border in the Irish Sea. Most Northern Irishmen reject the extremism of the DUP. The Alliance Party, which is surging in polls, is a non-sectarian party, which supports an inclusive Northern Irish identity. The Alliance Party isn't opposed to Northern Ireland being part of the UK. According to a recent opinion poll, the Irish nationalist parties (Sinn Fein and the Social Democratic and Labour Party) will get 33 % of the votes in the next British general election, the unionist parties (Democratic Unionist Party and Ulster Unionist Party) will get 38 % of the votes and the Alliance Party will get 21 % of the votes. In the 2017 British general election, the unionist parties got 46 % of the votes, the Irish nationalist parties got 40 % of the votes and the Alliance Party got 7 % of the votes. I hope the Alliance Party will achieve in Northern Ireland, what Mandela achieved in South Africa.
If a no-deal Brexit happens, the majority of the population of Northern Ireland will vote in favour of Irish unification, but if a customs border is established in the Irish Sea, the majority of the population of Northern Ireland will remain unionist. A customs border in the Irish Sea will weaken Irish nationalism, because it will make being part of the UK very advantageous for the economy of Northern Ireland.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #40 
You simply haven't given a reason why the Unionists of Ulster, who are British and Ulstermen first should think of themselves as Irishmen. All you seem to have are somewhat obsessive ideas about past wrongs and inviolable national territories, which are divorced from current circumstances. This is qhy you again beg the question by talking of the need for a South Africa style reconciliation. I doubt you would be up for touring the pubs of Protestant Belfast with your ideas about how they have their loyalties all wrong. But now we seem to be largely repeating ourselves. If the Nationalists have a majority, they will move towards a referendum and the union of Ulster with Eire. For now, outlandish ideas about lecturing Unionists into becoming proper Irishmen are just that.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #41 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
You simply haven't given a reason why the Unionists of Ulster, who are British and Ulstermen first should think of themselves as Irishmen. All you seem to have are somewhat obsessive ideas about past wrongs and inviolable national territories, which are divorced from current circumstances. This is qhy you again beg the question by talking of the need for a South Africa style reconciliation. I doubt you would be up for touring the pubs of Protestant Belfast with your ideas about how they have their loyalties all wrong. But now we seem to be largely repeating ourselves. If the Nationalists have a majority, they will move towards a referendum and the union of Ulster with Eire. For now, outlandish ideas about lecturing Unionists into becoming proper Irishmen are just that.

I'm not speaking of Irish unification. I'm speaking about unionism being non-sectarian rather than Ulster Protestant. A lot of Northern Irish Catholics are unionists. Protestant sectarianism actually harms unionism in Northern Ireland, because it alienates Catholic unionists. In addition, it is possible to consider yourself both Irish and British, but sectarian Ulster Protestants refuse to consider themselves Irish. Ulster Protestants ought to consider themselves both Irish and British. I repeat, that the fate of Northern Ireland will be decided by the Catholic unionists and the moderate Ulster Protestants. Neither sectarian Ulster Protestants nor supporters of Irish republican terrorism will be able to impose their ideology on Northern Ireland. Currently, the Catholic unionists and the moderate Ulster Protestants support Northern Ireland remaining part of the UK, but if a hard border is established in Ireland, they will likely change their mind. That's why unionists ought to support a customs border in the Irish Sea. A customs border in the Irish Sea will ensure Northern Ireland remaining part of the UK.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #42 
Who is talking about sectarian Protestants except you? Just because an Ulster Protestant isn't a sectarian, doesn't make him Irish. If there was much hope of such people feeling themselves Irish above British and Ulstermen, the Nationalists would have made a move towards a referendum already. How about we respect the self-identity of Ulstermen and not lecture them according to outlandish ideas about which territories? If anything, those strongly in the middle - like the irreligious - tend to consider themselves just Ulstermen, more than either Irish or British.

A customs barrier in the Irish sea is affront to all Britain. We are countrymen. Whatever damage a hard border with Ireland would do, a customs barrier between two British nations will be worse. It is demographic changes due to birth rates, not the customs barriers or foreigners half a world away lecturing them that will lead to Ulster becoming a part of the Republic of Ireland.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #43 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
Who is talking about sectarian Protestants except you? Just because an Ulster Protestant isn't a sectarian, doesn't make him Irish. If there was much hope of such people feeling themselves Irish above British and Ulstermen, the Nationalists would have made a move towards a referendum already. How about we respect the self-identity of Ulstermen and not lecture them according to outlandish ideas about which territories? If anything, those strongly in the middle - like the irreligious - tend to consider themselves just Ulstermen, more than either Irish or British.

A customs barrier in the Irish sea is affront to all Britain. We are countrymen. Whatever damage a hard border with Ireland would do, a customs barrier between two British nations will be worse. It is demographic changes due to birth rates, not the customs barriers or foreigners half a world away lecturing them that will lead to Ulster becoming a part of the Republic of Ireland.

Opinion polls actually show, that a majority of the Northern Irishmen will support Irish unification if a hard border is established in Ireland, while a majority of the Northern Irishmen will support remaining in the UK, if a hard border in Ireland is avoided. Your claim, that a hard border in Ireland will make no difference to the attitudes of Northern Irishmen to Irish unification is wrong. Theresa May initially wanted to establish a customs border in the Irish Sea, but abandoned the idea because she needed the support of the DUP in order to stay in office. I honestly don't understand why a customs border in the Irish Sea is a bad thing. Northern Ireland will remain subject to the British crown and the British parliament if a customs border is established in the Irish Sea, and a customs border is solely about the movement of goods, not the movement of people.

azadi

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Reply with quote  #44 
I agree, that you ought to move on, when you're no longer oppressed, but it is understandable, that many Irishmen still hate Great Britain. Great Britain has committed horrible crimes against the Irish people. English landlords stole the land of Irish peasants, and Great Britain did too little to alleviate the Irish Potato Famine. Irish Catholics were denied basic civil rights until 1829. But on the other hand, the British state did a lot to end the injustices against the Irish people during the 19th century and the early 20th century. In 1829, Irish Catholics were granted civil rights, and in 1869, the Anglican Church of Ireland was disestablished. From 1870 to 1903, the British parliament passed the Irish Land Acts, which made it possible for Irish tenant farmers to buy their land from the English landlords. In 1914, the British government proposed granting home rule to Ireland, but massive opposition from sectarian Ulster Protestants prevented it from happening before the outbreak of World War 1. Southern Ireland might have remained part of the UK, if Irish home rule had been implemented before World War 1.
I'm not opposed to Northern Ireland remaining part of the UK, because the British state today grants Catholics and Protestants equal rights in Northern Ireland. Windsor rule in Ireland is legitimate, because the Kingdom of Ireland shared its monarch with Great Britain. I don't consider Ulster Protestants feeling themselves British wrong. But Ulster Protestants ought to feel themselves Irish too. Sectarian Ulster Protestants hating everything Irish reminds the Irish Catholics of the oppression, from which their ancestors suffered. Ulster Protestants ought to identify with the country, in which they were born, and in which their ancestors have lived for several centuries. That doesn't prevent Ulster Protestants from identifying with the union with Great Britain. They don't have to choose between being Irish and being British. They can choose being both. If the Ulster Protestants embrace Irishness, the Irish upas tree will finally be uprooted. 
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #45 
Certainly, someone needs to move on. Lecturing the Unionists about their identities based on far-fetched ideas of what they should think themselves, and long dead grievances, is just silly. It is also a stereotypically leftist approach to such issues. It is rather obvious you have never been to Ulster nor met Ulstermen. My great-grandfather was born in Belfast, and when he came to Sydney he was a member of the Orange Lodge. I wonder what he would have thought to be told.he was after all an Irishman. And he couldn't have been too sectarian, as his son married an Catholic woman from a Catholic Irish family.

You don't, today, have customs barriers, generally, within nations. A customs barrier cannot but give the signal that Ulster is no longer part of the UK. We will see how Ulstermen react to a hard border. Opinion polls are not necessarily accurate. I don't see why there needs to be either a customs barrier or the hard border, at least from Britain's perspective. Let Ireland and the EU erect that border if they want; Britain doesn't have to.
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