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azadi

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Reply with quote  #46 
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Originally Posted by Wessexman
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.

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.

You may consider Irish resentment of Great Britain silly, but many Irishmen still understandably hate Great Britain. You don't belong to an oppressed nation unlike me. England has never been oppressed by foreigners unlike Ireland and Kurdistan. I actually agree, that you ought to move on, when you're no longer oppressed, but you ought to understand the feelings of the descendants of oppressed Irishmen. I don't understand, why you attack me. I don't support Irish republicanism. I repeat, that I'm not opposed to Northern Ireland being part of the UK, as long as Northern Irish Catholics aren't discriminated against by the British state, and that I consider Windsor rule in Ireland legitimate because the ancestors of Queen Elizabeth ruled the Kingdom of Ireland. I don't want Ulster Protestants to reject their British identity, but they ought to embrace an Irish identity too, because Ulster Protestants rejecting Irishness is an insult to the Irish nation.
It's true, that you usually don't have customs barriers within states today, but Northern Ireland is a special case. The economy of Northern Ireland depends on trade with the Republic of Ireland, and a large part of the Northern Irishmen values the ties between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which the Good Friday Agreement established. In addition, the EU will never accept a hard border in Ireland. A no-deal Brexit will inflict heavy damage on the British economy, and it will lead to Irish unification and perhaps Scottish independence. If you are a British unionist, you ought to reject policies, which inevitably will lead to the dissolution of the British union. 


Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #47 
I am attacking your position because it would, if generally instituted, cause more problems and injustices in the world than solve them. I also resent meddling in my country's affairs. I'm not suggesting the Irish become British, so their resentments are irrelevant. Indeed, I pay enough heed to the circumstances that I don't even bother hoping many Nationalists are likely to come to feel themselves British. It is extremely unlikely they will change their identity in this way. What I am saying is you don't approach international situations by simply siding with long past grievances, ignoring the actual situation today.

The EU will institute a hard border if there is no deal, presumably, but Britain doesn't have to. Northern Ireland is a part of Britain, and I reject treating it otherwise. No deal may well be necessary to actually leave the EU. If it necessary, I welcome it. To take any other position - so our leaving is dependent on the EU offering a good deal - is essentially a remain position. I reject it out of hand. A meaningful British union requires that we continue to exist as a sovereign nation, which is contrary to the long-term trajectory of the EU. We must leave, whatever the (vaguely realistic) cost.

Finally, it is an exaggeration to say that Ulster is economically dependent on Ireland. A third of its trade is with Ireland, certainly, but most of its economic activity is not; it's inside Ulster itself or with other partners. And a hard border would mean tarrifs, not a complete embargo of trade, so even this third wouldn't simply disappear. It would hurt Ulster, certainly, though, at least short and medium term.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #48 
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Originally Posted by Wessexman
I am attacking your position because it would, if generally instituted, cause more problems and injustices in the world than solve them. I also resent meddling in my country's affairs. I'm not suggesting the Irish become British, so their resentments are irrelevant. Indeed, I pay enough heed to the circumstances that I don't even bother hoping many Nationalists are likely to come to feel themselves British. It is extremely unlikely they will change their identity in this way. What I am saying is you don't approach international situations by simply siding with long past grievances, ignoring the actual situation today.

The EU will institute a hard border if there is no deal, presumably, but Britain doesn't have to. Northern Ireland is a part of Britain, and I reject treating it otherwise. No deal may well be necessary to actually leave the EU. If it necessary, I welcome it. To take any other position - so our leaving is dependent on the EU offering a good deal - is essentially a remain position. I reject it out of hand. A meaningful British union requires that we continue to exist as a sovereign nation, which is contrary to the long-term trajectory of the EU. We must leave, whatever the cost.

Finally, it is an exaggeration to say that Ulster is economically dependent on Ireland. A third of its trade is with Ireland, certainly, but most of its economic activity is not; it's inside Ulster itself or with other partners. And a hard border would mean tarrifs, not a complete embargo of trade. It would hurt Ulster, certainly, though.

I'm not ignoring the actual situation in Northern Ireland today. I mentioned the fact, that the British state doesn't oppress Northern Irish Catholics today, which means, that Irish nationalist terrorism doesn't make sense today. Trying to right past wrongs make no sense, if nobody care about them today, but when a lot of people still care about them today, it is important to right them. At the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the President of Germany, apologized to the Polish nation on behalf of Germany for Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland and its subsequent crimes against the Polish people. The Turkish state is often criticized for denying the Armenian Genocide, despite the fact, that the Armenian Genocide took place more than a hundred years ago.
It is important to repent of the past crimes of your nation. I'm a Kurd of German descent (I'm descended from German nobility from Sachsen-Anhalt in East Germany). The Kurds participated in the Armenian Genocide, so we are hardly innocent. But I'm willing to apologize for the Armenian Genocide. Most Kurds don't deny the Armenian Genocide, and the KRG grants the Armenian minority in Kurdistan minority rights. When Frank-Walter Steinmeier apologized to the Polish nation for the crimes of Nazi Germany, I was proud of my German ancestry. You ought to apologize for the British crimes against the Irish people and for the crimes of the British Empire. The DUP is entirely unwilling to repent of the crimes of their ancestors against the Irish Catholics. The wounds of Northern Irish society will never heal, as long as the DUP insists on a solely British identity as opposed to an identity, which is both Irish and British. That's why making learning the Irish language in school in Northern Ireland compulsory is very important.
I agree, that the EU is a threat to the sovereignty of its member states, and I support Brexit. I hope Germany will leave the EU too, but that's sadly unlikely to happen. But if making a deal is possible, then it is definitely preferable to no deal. I don't want the British union to dissolve. The peoples of the British Isles have far more in common with each other than with continental Europe. The Scottish National Independence isn't a true nationalist party, because it wants independent Scotland to join the EU. Scotland has far more in common with England than with continental Europe. I'm merely stating the fact, that a no deal Brexit will likely lead to Irish unification and Scottish independence. I still don't understand, why Northern Ireland mustn't be treated differently from Great Britain, when Northern Ireland has home rule. If a customs border in the Irish Sea is inconceivable, why did Theresa May consider it? Boris Johnson even appears to consider it currently.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #49 
No, it cannot be some nebulous notion that some people still care about past wrongs that matters. To cherish grievances and pretend they are relevant is unhelpful. The boundaries aren't always clear, but if we are talking long before living memory, it is usually a mistake to make such wrongs the foundation of a modern situation. You are not responsible for the alleged misdeeds of your ancestors. As a quarter Ashkenazi (though I don't consider myself Jewish per se), I actually don't think the Germans of today should beat themselves up too much about the Holocaust. My mother was adopted, so I have never had much of a relationship with my Jewish forebears, so it might not mean much, but I harbour not the slightest resentmenr against living Germans, and neither does my mother. You acknowledge that your country did wrong, certainly (allowing for proper context, of course), as I certainly do with Britain's history in Ireland, but I'm not a fan of national apologies for events long since past. Anyway, to revisit ancient wrongs would lead to no end of turmoil, and cause more present problems and injustices than it would solve. You yourself mention the Scots nationalists, and you must realise they, and their Welsh and Cornish fellows, regularly the same kind (if sometimes less justified) grievances against the English as the Irish to try to further their goals. By the way, Sinn Fein, as you admit, were a terrorist front organisation only two decades ago. Why must we all move on from this, but not the Potato Famine?

The vast majority of Ulster Protestants (not simply the DUP bogeyman you keep conjuring) think pf themselves as primarily British and Ulstermen, for umpteenth time. Hectoring them to become Irish is almost like asking the French to become Germans. It is a wholly dubious suggestion, resting, it seems, on an obsession with some imaginary idea of eternal Ireland and with long past grievances.

I personally just want to leave the EU as soon as possible. Ideally, I would take a good deal over no deal, but I would take no deal over a bad deal. But if all we can get is a bad deal, like May's, I would take it if necessary. I wouldn't, though, make our leaving dependent on getting a good deal or any deal. That is essentially a remain position, and, besides, undermines our bargaining position with the EU entirely (though parliament doesn't seem to care). I have ideas about why May acted as she did, but I will be charitable and say I don't know.


Home rule hardly means that Ulster is a separate country. It is a species of devolution, essentially. Ulstsr is still British, hence the DUP's insistence there be no backstop. What Britain should do, if feasible, is put up neither backstop nor a hard border. Let the EU and Ireland do the latter if they must. We can hardly be blamed for that.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #50 
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Originally Posted by Wessexman
No, it cannot be some nebulous notion that some people still care about past wrongs that matters. To cherish grievances and pretend they are relevant is unhelpful. The boundaries aren't always clear, but if we are talking long before living memory, it is usually a mistake to make such wrongs the foundation of a modern situation. You are not responsible for the alleged misdeeds of your ancestors. As a quarter Ashkenazi (though I don't consider myself Jewish per se), I actually don't think the Germans of today should beat themselves up too much about the Holocaust. My mother was adopted, so I have never had much of a relationship with my Jewish forebears, so it might not mean much, but I harbour not the slightest resentmenr against living Germans, and neither does my mother. You acknowledge that your country did wrong, certainly (allowing for proper context, of course), as I certainly do with Britain's history in Ireland, but I'm not a fan of national apologies for events long since past. Anyway, to revisit ancient wrongs would lead to no end of turmoil, and cause more present problems and injustices than it would solve. You yourself mention the Scots nationalists, and you must realise they, and their Welsh and Cornish fellows, regularly the same kind (if sometimes less justified) grievances against the English as the Irish to try to further their goals. By the way, Sinn Fein, as you admit, were a terrorist front organisation only two decades ago. Why must we all move on from this, but not the Potato Famine?

The vast majority of Ulster Protestants (not simply the DUP bogeyman you keep conjuring) think pf themselves as primarily British and Ulstermen, for umpteenth time. Hectoring them to become Irish is almost like asking the French to become Germans. It is a wholly dubious suggestion, resting, it seems, on an obsession with some imaginary idea of eternal Ireland and with long past grievances.

I personally just want to leave the EU as soon as possible. Ideally, I would take a good deal over no deal, but I would take no deal over a bad deal. But if all we can get is a bad deal, like May's, I would take it if necessary. I wouldn't, though, make our leaving dependent on getting a good deal or any deal. That is essentially a remain position, and, besides, undermines our bargaining position with the EU entirely (though parliament doesn't seem to care). I have ideas about why May acted as she did, but I will be charitable and say I don't know.


Home rule hardly means that Ulster is a separate country. It is a species of devolution, essentially. Ulstsr is still British, hence the DUP's insistence there be no backstop. What Britain should do, if feasible, is put up neither backstop nor a hard border. Let the EU and Ireland do the latter if they must. We can hardly be blamed for that.

Before I joined this forum, I supported Irish unification, but I changed my mind, because Baron von Servers told me about Catholic unionists. But I have never supported Irish unification without the consent of the majority of the population of Northern Ireland.
Concerning the Irish backstop, it's understandable, that you oppose treating Northern Ireland different from the rest of the UK, but sometimes, you have to be pragmatic. To a British unionist, a customs border in the Irish Sea ought to be preferable to a no deal Brexit, which will inevitably lead to Irish unification and Scottish independence. I hope Boris Johnson and Labour will agree on a customs border in the Irish Sea. Otherwise, the future of Great Britain looks very dark.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #51 
The future of Great Britain is darker if we can't leave the EU, with a deal if possible, without if necessary.

I think the threat of no deal is greatly exaggerated. It is hard to tell, but support for independence is lower in Scotland than at the independence referendum. Ulster is more of an issue, but I highly doubt Unionists will change their views, and Nationalists already want to leave. It is demographic change that is the real threat. Regardless, what matters is that if the choice is no deal or remain, there is no real choice at all.

azadi

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Reply with quote  #52 
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Originally Posted by Wessexman
The future of Great Britain is darker if we can't leave the EU, with a deal if possible, without if necessary.

I think the threat of no deal is greatly exaggerated. It is hard to tell, but support for independence is lower in Scotland than at the independence referendum. Ulster is more of an issue, but I highly doubt Unionists will change their views, and Nationalists already want to leave. It is demographic change that is the real threat. Regardless, what matters is that if the choice is no deal or remain, there is no real choice at all.


But the choice isn't no deal or remain. The EU will accept a customs border in the Irish Sea, while the EU never will accept a hard border in Ireland. Boris Johnson ought to expel the DUP from his governing coalition and make a deal with Corbyn on a customs border in the Irish Sea. When a Brexit deal introducing a customs border in the Irish Sea has been approved by Parliament, a general election ought to be called.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #53 
Yes, that's realistic. I'm sure after the Tory party gets annihilated at the election for fudging Brexit, and the radical left, Sinn Fein enthusiast Corbyn becomes prime minister, the union will in be great shape. Both the Tories and Brexit seem to rely on Johnson remaining strong, not repeating May's mistakes. Personally, I would have taken May's deal, if it were necessary. Parliament might end up with something like May's deal if it takes control of the process completely, though it might get rid of Brexit entirely. But Johnson can't go that way. Farage and his party will destroy the Tories for fudging Brexit, and much of the base will never forgive him for making a deal with Corbyn.

And why do you keep saying the EU won't accept a hard border? It's literally the EU that will demand a hard border without a backstop, even if the British government doesn't want a hard border. It's the EU that demands that there be customs duties between mainland Britain and Ireland if we leave the EU.
azadi

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Originally Posted by Wessexman
Yes, that's realistic. I'm sure after the Tory party gets annihilated at the election for fudging Brexit, and the radical left, Sinn Fein enthusiast Corbyn becomes prime minister, the union will in be great shape. Both the Tories and Brexit seem to rely on Johnson remaining strong, not repeating May's mistakes. Personally, I would have taken May's deal, if it were necessary. Parliament might end up with something like May's deal if it takes control of the process completely, though it might get rid of Brexit entirely. But Johnson can't go that way. Farage and his party will destroy the Tories for fudging Brexit, and much of the base will never forgive him for making a deal with Corbyn.

And why do you keep saying the EU won't accept a hard border? It's literally the EU that will demand a hard border without a backstop, even if the British government doesn't want a hard border. It's the EU that demands that there be customs duties between mainland Britain and Ireland if we leave the EU.

The EU won't make a Brexit deal with Great Britain, unless the Irish border remains open. Introducing a customs border in the Irish Sea isn't fudging Brexit. Boris Johnson repeatedly claims, that he want a Brexit deal with EU. Boris Johnson is willing to leave the EU without a deal, but he prefers leaving the EU with a deal. A customs border in the Irish Sea is very different from May's deal, because May's deal included a UK-wide customs union with the EU. Boris Johnson opposed May's deal, because it limited the ability of Great Britain to make independent trade agreements. A customs border in the Irish Sea will enable Great Britain to make independent trade deals.
Most conservative Brexiteers and Farage supporters will likely vote Tory in the next general election, if Boris Johnson makes a Brexit deal, which enables Great Britain to make independent trade deals. The Tories will be united, while Labour will be divided, because many Labour voters oppose Corbyn for reasons unrelated to Brexit. His support for Marxism, his support for Irish republicanism and him being soft on anti-Semitism (Corbyn isn't an anti-Semite, but he tolerates anti-Semitism in the Labour Party) turn a lot of Labour voters off.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #55 
Another option is making Northern Ireland independent. An independent Northern Ireland will be a Commonwealth Realm and it will join the EU. A non-sectarian independent Northern Ireland might unite Ulster Protestants and Northern Irish Catholics. The unionist Ulster Protestants will avoid Irish unification and will keep the British monarchy, and the nationalist Northern Irish Catholics will be liberated from British rule. An independent Kingdom of Ulster/Northern Ireland might be the best option, if it will be ruled by moderates like the Alliance Party rather than by the DUP. 
Peter

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Reply with quote  #56 
i can see why you would think that, but an independent Northern Ireland would not necessarily be economically viable. At present it is massively subsidised by mainland Britain (= in this context, England). If it were to join the Republic it would no doubt be similarly subsidised by the EU. But an independent Northern Ireland would be a new state, and its admission to the EU as yet another pensioner nation would by no means be certain, as is also the case with Scotland. Joining with the Republic would be different as that would be an existing member acquiring additional territory and population.

In case anyone wonders why as the Queen's loyal subject I view the possible departure of a part of her realm with equanimity, the answer is the Good Friday Agreement. It specifically envisages such a possibility, and was completed on her behalf by her ministers. So if it happens it happens is my view, and as long as it does genuinely accord with the wishes of the majority of the population I would not be opposed, to the extent that my opinion matters, which is of course not at all. I feel somewhat similarly about a Scottish departure, except that there I would certainly want Scotland to become a Commonwealth Realm. I don't want Scotland to depart, but that is because I know the country well and love it and feel that separation would not be a good choice. I have never been to Northern Ireland (fewer than a third of mainland Britons have, according to figures I have seen) so naturally don't feel the same affection. And actually I think that now the Republic has at last broken free of the Church's shackles union with it would not be that bad an option for the North.

Independence I think probably would, and in fact no one seems to be seeking it. In any case, as long as the majority in the province wishes to be British then British they must remain.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #57 
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Originally Posted by Peter
i can see why you would think that, but an independent Northern Ireland would not necessarily be economically viable. At present it is massively subsidised by mainland Britain (= in this context, England). If it were to join the Republic it would no doubt be similarly subsidised by the EU. But an independent Northern Ireland would be a new state, and its admission to the EU as yet another pensioner nation would by no means be certain, as is also the case with Scotland. Joining with the Republic would be different as that would be an existing member acquiring additional territory and population.

In case anyone wonders why as the Queen's loyal subject I view the possible departure of a part of her realm with equanimity, the answer is the Good Friday Agreement. It specifically envisages such a possibility, and was completed on her behalf by her ministers. So if it happens it happens is my view, and as long as it does genuinely accord with the wishes of the majority of the population I would not be opposed, to the extent that my opinion matters, which is of course not at all. I feel somewhat similarly about a Scottish departure, except that there I would certainly want Scotland to become a Commonwealth Realm. I don't want Scotland to depart, but that is because I know the country well and love it and feel that separation would not be a good choice. I have never been to Northern Ireland (fewer than a third of mainland Britons have, according to figures I have seen) so naturally don't feel the same affection. And actually I think that now the Republic has at last broken free of the Church's shackles union with it would not be that bad an option for the North.

Independence I think probably would, and in fact no one seems to be seeking it. In any case, as long as the majority in the province wishes to be British then British they must remain.

British rule in Northern Ireland is definitely better than a sectarian Protestant regime in an independent Northern Ireland, because the British state tries to be fair to both communities in Northern Ireland. I agree, that the fate of Northern Ireland must be decided by the population of Northern Ireland in a referendum. But a hard border in Ireland is a very bad idea, because of the strong economic links between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and because the Irish nationalists in Northern Ireland value the links between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. That's why a customs border in the Irish Sea is a good idea. Northern Ireland isn't, and will never be, as British as Finchley.
Boris Johnson appears to be considering introducing a customs border in the Irish Sea in order to avoid a no deal Brexit.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #58 
I largely agree with Peter, except perhaps about the economic viability of small states. I just think it's jolly silly for an outsider with little firsthand knowledge of Ulster or Britain lecturing Ulstermen on what nationality they should feel themselves, especially for the spurious reasons offered. I wouldn't even bother doing this to Nationalists in Ulster, to try to make them feel British. It wouldn't work. It's silly.

We will see how the rest of Britian thinks of an affront like an internal customs border between Ulster and the rest of our nation. It depends how much Brexiteers and others actually care about Ulster. If Boris is seen as weak on Brexit, he is likely done, and the Tories with him. But it depends how much people care about the union. When remainers go on about it, I often suspect this is just for political reasons -after all, many are keen to support or work with Sinn Fein enthusiasts and literal secessionists to thwart Brexit. Probably, many Brexiteers aren't much better.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #59 

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Originally Posted by Wessexman
I largely agree with Peter, except perhaps about the economic viability of small states. I just think it's jolly silly for an outsider with little firsthand knowledge of Ulster or Britain lecturing Ulstermen on what nationality they should feel themselves, especially for the spurious reasons offered. I wouldn't even bother doing this to Nationalists in Ulster, to try to make them feel British. It wouldn't work. It's silly.

We will see how the rest of Britian thinks of an affront like an internal customs border between Ulster and the rest of our nation. It depends how much Brexiteers and others actually care about Ulster. If Boris is seen as weak on Brexit, he is likely done, and the Tories with him. But it depends how much people care about the union. When remainers go on about it, I often suspect this is just for political reasons -after all, many are keen to support or work with Sinn Fein enthusiasts and literal secessionists to thwart Brexit. Probably, many Brexiteers aren't much better.

If you care about Ulster, you ought to support a customs border in the Irish Sea, because Ulster depends on trade with the Republic of Ireland, and the Ulster Catholics wants to retain close links to the Republic of Ireland. Unionists opposing a customs border in the Irish Sea make no sense to me. A customs border is a technical matter, not a constitutional matter. A customs border in the Irish Sea will strengthen the Union, because remaining part of the customs union of the EU and the single market, while remaining part of the UK, will benefit Ulster by making Ulster a gateway between Great Britain and the EU. Ulster becoming a gateway between Great Britain and the EU will make Irish republicanism far less attractive to Ulster Catholics and moderate Ulster Protestants.
I don't want anybody to abandon their British identity. It is possible to be both Irish and British. What I'm proposing is merely making the Irish language a compulsory subject in school in Ulster, as it is in the Republic of Ireland.  

Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #60 
You seem to be literally repeating yourself entirely now. You clearly know nothing of Ulster and little f Britain. Your opinions are irrelevant.
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