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 What's the difference between a United Ireland and a United Bag of Spuds?

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PostSubject: What's the difference between a United Ireland and a United Bag of Spuds?   Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:33 pm

I thought of putting a comment on one of the other threads about the fresh outbreak of hostilities. I realised that my opinion would seem somewhat vague and that I'd need to situate it contextually so as not to appear a complete looper. Such an outpouring of my 'issues' would hardly be an act of engagement with the other posts on the other threads. Hence a brand new thread. Where I expect engagement on my terms. My hypocrisy knows no shame.

Let me get the obvious out of the way first, so that I might get to the purpose of this thread.

How do I feel about the violence and the killings?

I don't give a shit. I was numbed to this crap a long long time ago. I'm outraged, but only about one thing. The pizza delivery guys. Other than that, it's business as usual and I just cannot work myself into a heated frenzy along the lines of any typical viewpoint. Short of saying that it's all senseless, all of it - all sides.

The politics - this still interests me. Don't get me wrong, I deplore needless suffering and it is not my lack of care that facilitates my numbness. The numbness is facilitated by my view of the different political views, that facilitate acceptance or approval, revulsion and, numbness...

That's the purpose of this thread. It's about the hollowness of politics, concerning Northern Ireland. Anyone who wishes to engage in an exercise of condemnation of the happenings or in praising the happenings, please do so on one of the other threads. This particular thread is a self-indulgent exploration on the lack of any real substance behind politics associated with the opposition to or the search for that ethereal beast; a united Ireland.

First I'll take a look at the politics or indeed the fantasy, of a united Ireland. What in Christ's name does it mean?

Does it mean that we'll give a shit about each other, anymore than we do now? Will we suddenly care about our neighbours? Those folk, whose names we possibly don't even know. The very same folk we pass on the side of the road without uttering a word to, or making eye contact with. Does anyone really want to adopt another million people to their list of people they don't want to know and don't give a toss for?

That's very cynical of me, I know. The truth is rarely pretty.

If we did care for the people of Northern Ireland, would we wish them to share the meaningless yoke of oppression we bear down here. Would we strive to inflict the Berties and the Harneys of our world on them and once that was accomplished, forget them as we have all our other alleged brothers and sisters - mission accomplished!!

What of our republican brethern, I especially include the Shinners in this group. What are their long term plans. Whatever about me not being aware of any, I'm quite unsure if they themselves have ever put any meaningful thought into the concept, barring the immediate and concrete goal of an ethereal, undefined and meaningless united Ireland. Say it was achieved, what then, do the republicans fade back into the woodwork, content that we have Irish bastards for landlords as opposed to English bastards?

Now for the other side of the shilling, the queen's side. Surely the above applies too to those who wish to be subject to her majesty?

Consider the discourse on the vagueness of wanting to be British complete.

Tis all about nationality isn't it? More like fashion really. It's important that I be seen wearing the right trousers. Is this to do with some sort of fear of being seen at an international level to be inferior? Maybe we have a united Irish inferiority complex. Or maybe, it's to do with some sort of ancient need to pull each other down to the same level, or possibly to pull each other up to the same level. Whatever the answer, ultimately, in my view it's all quite meaningless.

What of folks like myself, folks who'll be and are viewed as fence sitters, eventhough the truth is anything but. Is my view the superior view and fuck the rest of ye? I might give that impression every now and then. It's not the intention, but I realise that it frequently may appear to be. There's a view of the Irishman (or woman) that I must admit to having fallen in love with from a very early age. I've borrowed from it when in foreign countries and have basked in the glow of the respect and affability that came with it. I became an Irishman when away from Ireland, but I've never been able to donne the mantle here. We all need to be markedly different in the motherland, so that we might someday embrace our sameness. Yup, if we're complete bastards to each other we'll appreciate it all the more when we're nice to each other, at some point.

So there you have it. Maybe your input will develop what I've said. Maybe this thread will sit as a lonenly embarassment to Machine Nation, unexplored but much read nonetheless.


Last edited by Hermes on Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: What's the difference between a United Ireland and a United Bag of Spuds?   Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:58 pm

I asked merle about one thing in particular on the other place. Say I'm wrong and he's right, the killings aren't futile and immoral, that they have a chance of success. Say after 30 years and hundreds more dead then they get what they want. How are they going to feel when they look around at the Ireland that has been united (leaving aside the threat of civil war) and realise that they have very little power there anyway, the EU has been handed the essential bits? They'll have united a glorified local council, with, probably by then, less power than there would have been under the old home rule acts. What then? A campaign in Brussels? Bombs in Frankfurt? Merle never answered it.

Same for the unionists. They toast the Queen as sovereign head of the nation, but she isn't fully sovereign any more, and will be even further away from sovereign in 20 years. Granted, Britain isn't as far down the road as we are, they've still got their currency, but EU law is still supreme. Does it even occur to the unionists?

That's what's always left out of these discussions - political reality. The argument is still framed in the context that existed in 1921, but that has been utterly changed since 1973. Only John Hume ever seemed to have realised it...
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PostSubject: Re: What's the difference between a United Ireland and a United Bag of Spuds?   Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:10 pm

Interesting musings Hermes. Many good points, imo. Honest to the point of bluntness. I like it.

Personally, I never given much thought beyond a United Ireland, in and of itself. After these least couple of days,weeks and years, I'm not so sure. Maybe a serperate six counties (very,very) loosely tied to Ireland and the UK but focusing on its own population with the agreed power sharing structures looking to do business in the European sphere any beyond is a way forward. (Of course, a new capital would have to be constructed in Tyrone. Hmm, or maybe Donegal. We could invite them. They tend to be a laid back sort.)

Summed up. Let those who want to be brits, be brits, Let those who want to be Irish, be Irish. Let those who want to be eskimoes with a prediliction for - yee get the point. The power sharing agreement has limitations but maybe limitations on govt is a good thing. Accountability is easy enough to assess since the vast majority of elected reps are responsible for all govt depts collectively. The elected reps, for such a small population, will know the local issues but also be able to address larger concerns for the region. It could just work. But it probably won't. And human nature isn't evolving anywhere near as quickly as technology and the complexity of socio-economic change.
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PostSubject: Re: What's the difference between a United Ireland and a United Bag of Spuds?   Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:30 pm

What is the difference between a United Ireland and a United Bag of Spuds?

The latter will go green quicker.
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PostSubject: Re: What's the difference between a United Ireland and a United Bag of Spuds?   Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:15 am

Quote :
I don't give a shit. I was numbed to this crap a long long time ago. I'm outraged, but only about one thing. The pizza delivery guys. Other than that, it's business as usual and I just cannot work myself into a heated frenzy along the lines of any typical viewpoint. Short of saying that it's all senseless, all of it - all sides.

The politics - this still interests me. Don't get me wrong, I deplore needless suffering and it is not my lack of care that facilitates my numbness. The numbness is facilitated by my view of the different political views, that facilitate acceptance or approval, revulsion and, numbness...

That's the purpose of this thread. It's about the hollowness of politics, concerning Northern Ireland. Anyone who wishes to engage in an exercise of condemnation of the happenings or in praising the happenings, please do so on one of the other threads. This particular thread is a self-indulgent exploration on the lack of any real substance behind politics associated with the opposition to or the search for that ethereal beast; a united Ireland.

First I'll take a look at the politics or indeed the fantasy, of a united Ireland. What in Christ's name does it mean

Is it possible to have a United Ireland without a united people?
Divide and rule was the reason for plantations here and the same tactic has been used across the globe by big powers against smaller or weaker ones. Great post by Asi Irish on Pakistan today on Pie on the disgusting manoevers of the US, using proxy bombings and street shootings to divide and destabilise the population. How could anyone with a future in mind for their country use the same tactics and call it nationalism?

At this stage, how relevant is nationalism anyway? People all over the world are confronted with the pressing issues of environment and economic collapse and these issues have long ago spilled over the borders between countries. Solutions as well as problems are international. Why is that territory so much left to the lads at Davos and the G7?

I've not lived in the north and I don't know how I would see things if I had, but we cant dismiss this as a handful of people when 100 dissident republicans are in jail north and south. For everyone in jail there surely must be 10 at least who arent.
They are angry and disgusted at the Sinn Fein leadership. That I can sympathise with, but not the damage these particular dissidents are setting out to do.

If the plan is as Toxic says, to do damage to the community by getting the troops brought in, and to provoke them to react, that is an infantile response. Damage is always damage, and strengthens the other side not your own. That is why there is so little difference between the US and Al Quaeda: they damage the same people.

Is there not any Republican opposition to Sinn Fein that opposes these tactics and is willing to do the patient political work that is needed without losing the head ?
Is there not common cause to be made between people north and south and in the UK who want to defend public services and livelihoods from the depredations of governments run by banks?
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