Hi matgb,Hello to another new commenter, guess I'll have to get used to this sort of thing if I keep kicking worm cans ;-)
First, you're use of the term "Protestant ascendancy"- you need to update your history books mate!To be completely honest, I used the term both as a short hand and a catch all. However, I've heard it said, and there are people (in GB as well as quoted in NI) that do agree with the ascendancy; it's also one of the reasons the province was created, etc. Yes, it's completely outdated, but there are still those who believe in it.
The most recent Census in Northern Ireland showed that that the Shankill(overwhelmingly Unionist) ward was also the most socio-economically deprived, 5 out of the ten most deprived wards in Belfast were also Unionist.
I'm, obviously, not one of them. But they are out there, it's not just a historical relic. I'd also surmise that there are those within Shankill that believe in the Union because, despite being poor, they're still not Catholics. They may be a dwindling minority, but they were there 10 years ago, I suspect they're still there now.
Now, I know you're not daft enough to think we all live in castles, but also the use of the word "Protestant" probably also is outdated, don't let what you see on 30 second snatches on tv fool you.I do not, in any way, believe that all unionists are loonies, I'm actually talking mostly about why Britain is still there and why it was there; and protestantism was part of the reason we were there.
I am, of course, saying the idea of a protestant ascendancy is over, but that was one of the reasons for the Union in the first place. If one of the basic reasons is compeltely outdated, and others no longer apply, why keep it?
Note, however, I'm not talking about your perspective as a resident, but from mine as a 'mainlander'. We, it seems, don't want to hold on to the province any more.
"We (well, I) no longer want them, and consider them no more British than you; part of the British Isles, but that's it, Britain is this side of the water."You may have been born British; but you weren't born in Britain, merely a territory of Britain, part of the UK, an entity I, personally, feel no attachment to or desire to maintain. As, essentially, Westminster can, legally, change the status of the province without the consent of the residents, my opinion, as a voter with a Westminster MP, is very much her and there...
I'm sorry that you feel like that matgb, but it doesn't take away the fact that I was born and will die British. Your opinion on that matter is neither here nor there;)
The proposal you suggest( and I know this wasn't your intention) has a whiff of ethnic cleansing about it. Troublesome group of people don't fit into their surroundings, move them out of their home and country regardless of their own wishes.You're right, of course, a brief comment reply in which I quickly summed up my views doesn't do them, or you, justice; if I'd known UI would quote the comment as a whole, I'd have framed my words slightly better, but the basic principle remains.
Now, if you'd said that it's up to the British government and the Irish to prove to us why it would be in our long-term interest to break our constitutional link with Westminster, then I could have accepted that.Which, if I was writing a full post on the subject, I would have. I'll give it a go now:
I believe that Westminster/Dublin need to resolve the conflict with a long term plan for the status of the province. Part of that plan must be to explain to yourselves and others that, essentially, we (in GB) don't necessarily care about the status of the province any more, we just want the problem solved. It is in the long-term best interests of all involved, but especially the residents, that a solution be found that can last passed the next election. That may mean a break, and will almost certainly lead to a change, of the link with Westminster.
Ergo, we have to persuade you, you're right. That's why I said it's not (yet) the time for a significant change. If it comes across that I was suggesting some form of cleansing, I most certainly was not, and apologies.
The essense was that if the settlement will involve a change in the status of the province such that you are no longer formally British but a citizen of something else, then you must be given the right to remain British if you so wish, and either live in Britain proper or live as an overseas citizen. I would not deny your right to be British at all.
I would remove all claim that Britain has to the 6 counties if I thought it was a valid long term settlement. I don't, currently, and suspect it never will be. It is also my belief that Westminster leaders are failing to be fully honest with Unionist politicians; Paisley (and his voters), need to be told, and understand, that when he comes on any media and rants int he way he is wont to do, he alienates more and more British voters from the Unionist cause; one of Nationalism's greatest assets is currently Paisley's outdated ranting; ironic, n'est ce pas?
The sad truth for the little Englanders(no offence) and United Irelanders of this world is that no matter how much you dislike it, the Unionist of N.Ireland are British and are here to stay. By all means use negotiation and persuasion to change their mind, but this kind of" they can accept whatever settlement we offer them" nonsense has zero chance of delivering a peaceful solution to the present situation.
And I'd never be offended when someone insults little Englanders, as I do it all the time.
I'm Devonshire, English, British and European; essentially we made one Union, it worked for its time, but now I look to a greater one. Cleaning up the mess our ancestors jointly made is something that has to be done.
Essentially, I'll accept any solution that gives us a long term settlement. I suspect complete autonomy and dual-sovereignty is the best option. But it's not my place to decide. It has to be a question for all the citizens of the UK.
I wonder, if put the question "would you give up sovereignty over Northern Ireland and end the United Kingodom" was put to the populace as a whole, which of us would like the anser most?
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Formed by the Act of Union of 1800, as amended by various other devices.
Personally, I'd repeal the thing and stick to the 1707 Act, but that's just this bloggers opinion...
And, having checked that twice, I give up on spotting typos, they're still there, I can tell it...