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April 22, 2005

Comments

Ultonian Scottis American

YI:

"Why would I want to wear a foreign nation's colours on a day when I would be celebrating my own nation?"

An experiment, much like John Howard Griffin's novel "Black Like Me". Unionists in NI might try a similiar experiment.

If the Anschluß Eireann becomes manifest, will the ROI allow Union Jacks to be provocatively displayed? Or banned as under De Valera?

Not every island is ruled by only one sovereign gov't. Hispaniola, New Guinea, and Timor come to mind.

American intolerance? Yes, but with an Irish brogue.

You don't have to convince me of the righteousness of your position. I won't be participating in the sectarian headcount AKA "Border Poll". Be careful what you wish for.

Young  Irelander

Ultonian,

I don't fancy trying an experiment on the day when my nation is being celebrated.

I'm not so intimidated by other cultures that I fear their colours and symbols. Let's not forget that the NI state banned the tricolour.

The entire island might not be a state but it is a nation.

As for the American intolerance with an "Irish brogue", that's hardly my problem. There are plenty of people on this island who put Britishness to shame by their actions.

And you're damn right I don't have to convince you of my position. I'm in favour of unity by consent not coercion. You have a narrow-minded view of Irishness that borders on outright xenophobia. Thus you are already in effect participating in a "sectarian headcount".

Ultonian Scottis American

YI:

Don't go getting your knickers in a knot.

I also suggested that NI unionists try a similiar experiment: Perhaps wearing a green shirt and waving a tricolour at a 12th July parade in a unionist area.

As Earraghàidheal was settled by Ulidians from Dàl Rioghfhada, I am hardly anti-Irish.


Young  Irelander

Ultonian,

For someone who is not anti-Irish you've some very bizarre views in relation to my nation's flag.

Ultonian Scottis American

YI:

I live in Texas, and the issues here vis-à-vis Mexican immigrants are very similiar to the situation NI unionists are in, so I understand their position very well.

I don't want the USA overrun with non-English speakers who demand that I learn Spanish because they aren't going to become Americans.

If these immigrants began an insurrection with the aim of making Texas part of Mexico, I would be very upset. This already happened once in the early 20th Century and it led to a very bloody conclusion. And if they provocatively displayed the Mexican flag but yet demanded that the US flag NOT be flown over public buildings, well, it'd be déjà vu all over again.

In the eyes of unionists, NI nationalists flying the tricoulor is no different than loyalist paramilitary flags to NI nationalists, or Union Jacks in the ROI. Except, of course, in the ROI there is no popularly supported sectarian terrorist group with outside assistance actively seeking to subvert the state.

Young  Irelander

Ultonian,

There's so much wrong with your post that I don't know where to begin. You cannot compare the issue of Texas with Ireland's north. In Ireland, you're dealing with a situation in which the majority of the island's inhabitants oppose the division of the island. A situation in which it has been acknowledged by unionists that while NI will remain British unless the people there say otherwise, likewise the nationalist community in the North have the right to consider themselves Irish and consider themselves part of the Irish nation.

On the issue of flags, I'm not aware of nationalists calling for the union jack to be removed from public buildings, they simply want the Irish flag to be flown as well. NI has not got its own flag anyway.

You say that, to unionists, nationalists who fly the tricolour are the equivalent of loyalist terrorists. This is an appalling thing to say and one I would not agree with. I don't think unionists are that stupid. The Irish flag is not a terrorist symbol and neither is the union jack. They are flags that frequently get treated like rags in the North but this shouldn't tarnish the true meaning of these improtant symbols.

From what I can see, your problem is a common problem in the eyes of many pro-unionist people - a misunderstanding of the concept of Irish nationalism. You see, it is not for states to set boundaries on nations. In the eyes of Irish nationalism there is a 32 county nation and every person on this island is entitled to be a part of it. The border cannot and will not succeed in its ultimate objective of segregating Irish from Irish. We the people of Ireland simply won't let that happen. Unionism needs to acknowledge that while it can determine the boundaries of the two states on these islands, it cannot hope to determine the boundary of the one nation on this island.

Ultonian Scottis American

If, as you say, "it is not for states to set boundaries on nations," then a "United Ireland" is unnecessary and anti-productive.

Why limit Irishness to a "32 county nation"? Why not add to the Irish nation the Irish now living in Britain, the Americas, and Australia? Eire, Banba and Fotla cannot be delimited by even the shores of the Emerald Isle.

Whilst many NI unionists are I'm sure put off by the insidious linking of Irishness with Republicanism, Irishness with non-Britishness, Irishness with Gaelic-ness, and Irishness with Roman Catholicism, I'm also sure that they could live with some form which didn't demand that NI become part of the ROI. Would this not also satisfy the GFA? It certainly would lead to stability in Ireland, South and North. And isn't that the goal?

In Roddy Doyle's novel, "The Commitments", an Irish musician says, "The Irish are the niggers of Europe..." I would suggest that they, and Celtic peoples in general, are more the Wild Indians of Western Europe. (Besides, everybody knows that the Turks are the niggers of Europe, but I digress...)

The American Indian nation extends from Alaska to Tierra Del Fuego. Yet not one sovereign state in the New World is "An Indian Country For An Indian People." To suggest that the Irish Nation, the Irish State, and the island of Ireland itself must coincide sounds very reminiscent of Hitler's Greater Germania. Must Irish Culture (oh, how Joseph Goebbels hated that word!) thrive only as a hot-house orchard? Beware that it doesn't turn out to be Audrey II.

BTW, I also find parallels bewteen the US-Mexican Border situation and that of the pre-James VI/I Scottish-English Border.

willowfield

mairin

With this particular case, my first thought was that since this happened in a Catholic school, why would the tricolour pin be seen as so contentious as to cause this teacher to lash out in such a manner?

Presumably it was seen as associating the wearer with Provisional republicanism.

I have many close friends/family who have SF leanings now and know others who have always supported SF...

Shame on them.

and a few who made the mistake of getting involved with the IRA...

Shame on them.

they aren't all bad...and they're certainly not scum.

Tell that to their victims.

Young Irelander

The entire island might not be a state but it is a nation.

Sorry? Are you trying to claim that a "nation" is a geographic concept? Like Hitler and his demand for anschluss? Like Milosevic and his demand to retain Kosovo?

For someone who is not anti-Irish you've some very bizarre views in relation to my nation's flag.

"Nations" don't have flags: states do.

In Ireland, you're dealing with a situation in which the majority of the island's inhabitants oppose the division of the island.

In Greater Mexico (i.e. including Texas), you're dealing with a situation in which the majority of inhabitants oppose the division of the Greater Mexican territory.

A situation in which it has been acknowledged by unionists that while NI will remain British unless the people there say otherwise, likewise the nationalist community in the North have the right to consider themselves Irish and consider themselves part of the Irish nation.

A situation in which it has been acknowledged by the Americans that while Texas will remain American, likewise the Mexican community in Texas have the right to consider themselves Mexican and consider themselves part of the Mexican nation.

You see, it is not for states to set boundaries on nations. In the eyes of Irish nationalism there is a 32 county nation and every person on this island is entitled to be a part of it.

A "32-county nation"? Do you think "nations" are geographical concepts??

The border cannot and will not succeed in its ultimate objective of segregating Irish from Irish.

That's not its "ultimate objective".

Unionism needs to acknowledge that while it can determine the boundaries of the two states on these islands, it cannot hope to determine the boundary of the one nation on this island.

Unionists couldn't give a fuck about "the boundary of one nation". "Nations" don't have "boundaries": they are imaginary concepts.

Young  Irelander

willowfield,

Since you and I could quote each other until the cows come home and have done so in the past, I'll sum up your points briefly:

- I'm claiming that the Irish nation is the entire island.
- Nations do have flags. Ask the Palestinians.
- Mexico isn't Ireland.
- Nations don't have to be about geography but the Irish nation has always been the island.
- The ultimate objective of the border is to put into the psyche of Irish people in the North and South that they are somehow different.
- Unionism needs to start respecting the Irish nation. It is not an imaginary concept, it is an entity that is still in existence whether the border remains in place or it doesn't.

Ultonian,

A United Ireland is not unnecessary as the majority of the people in the Irish nation desire it and so it should be there. The very creation of the NI state was an insult to democracy as it saw a manipulated border which secured a 66% majority for unionists.

As for the limits of the nation, the nation is Ireland. Unlike the English and Scots settlers who colonised Ireland in the past, the Irish who emigrated did not seek to impose their culture on other cultures. There was no attempt by the Irish in Liverpool to create a 33rd Irish county. We seek not to expand into other nations, we merely desire our own. I would also point out that my Irishness is not about Republicanism, anti-Britishness or Catholicism.

I don't know if the Irish were the "niggers of Europe" but we were certainly the niggers of the United Kingdom.

With regards to the foolish comparisions with Hitler, the Irish nation has always been in existence you must remember. It is not about irredentism as we are seeking the reunification of the national territory. When Asquith visited Ireland in 1912, he himself commented that the Irish nation was the island!

willowfield

Young Irelander

- I'm claiming that the Irish nation is the entire island.

That's preposterous. "Nations" aren't pieces of land: they are imaginary groups of people.

- Nations do have flags. Ask the Palestinians.

That is the flag of the would-be Palestinian state.

- Mexico isn't Ireland.

No-one said it was.

- Nations don't have to be about geography but the Irish nation has always been the island.

?????????????????????????????

Nations are people: not islands!

- The ultimate objective of the border is to put into the psyche of Irish people in the North and South that they are somehow different.

It's not.

- Unionism needs to start respecting the Irish nation.

Why? Unionism is ambivalent to "the Irish nation". It neither respects it, nor disrespects it. It is, however, hostile, to irredentist views like yours which claim that "nations" are, in fact, territories that must be "united" regardless of the will of the inhabitants. Such views were defeated in 1945 and no more acceptable today than they were then.

It is not an imaginary concept

It is.

it is an entity that is still in existence whether the border remains in place or it doesn't.

It's not an "entity". It is an imaginary concept that exists in the imaginations of people either side of the border and in many other places besides.

Young  Irelander

willowfield,

I look forward to the day when your arguments develop beyond the playground. "It's not, "It is" etc. Lame!

The nation can be defined in a territorial sense and I'm pleased to see you have accepted my point that nations have flags such as the Palestinian one.

I'm perplexed at how you can get so specific about nations, for example your statement that "nations are people: not islands!" while claiming at the same time that the very concept of a nation is imaginary! How can you be so specific about something that is supposed to be fictitious?

On the concept of my views, I support unity by consent and I back the GFA. I do not seek unity without the consent of the majority of the inhabitants of Ireland's north. I believe that most unionists do indeed respect the Irish nation for if they do not, then God help the future generations of Ireland's north!

willowfield

A United Ireland is not unnecessary as the majority of the people in the Irish nation desire it and so it should be there.

Nonsense. "The majority of people in the "Irish nation"" has no right to override the wishes of the people of NI.

The very creation of the NI state was an insult to democracy as it saw a manipulated border which secured a 66% majority for unionists.

By the same logic, the very creation of an all-Ireland state would have been an insult to democracy as it would have seen a manipulated border which secured an 80% majority for nationalists.

As for the limits of the nation, the nation is Ireland.

No. Ireland is an island.

We seek not to expand into other nations, we merely desire our own.

You've got your own. "Nations" can't expand into other "nations" anyway: nations are amorphous concepts that can co-exist without the need for "expansion" or territory.

With regards to the foolish comparisions with Hitler, the Irish nation has always been in existence you must remember.

Has it? Was it in existence in 1000BC? Was it in existence in AD1000? Wise up.

But, by your logic, you presumably would say that "the German nation has always been in existence". So what is your point?

It is not about irredentism as we are seeking the reunification of the national territory.

That's exactly what Hitler would have said about the Anschluss.

willowfield

Young Irelander

I look forward to the day when your arguments develop beyond the playground. "It's not, "It is" etc. Lame!

Try reading them. They already do.

The nation can be defined in a territorial sense

Nations are imaginary collections of people: they are not territories. Your understanding of politics is very poor.

I'm perplexed at how you can get so specific about nations, for example your statement that "nations are people: not islands!" while claiming at the same time that the very concept of a nation is imaginary! How can you be so specific about something that is supposed to be fictitious?

"Nations" are not fictitious: they exist in people's imaginations. They are not tangible.

On the concept of my views, I support unity by consent and I back the GFA. I do not seek unity without the consent of the majority of the inhabitants of Ireland's north.

"Ireland's north"? What does that mean?

I believe that most unionists do indeed respect the Irish nation for if they do not, then God help the future generations of Ireland's north!

That sounds like some kind of a threat. If so, you should hang your head in shame.

Unionists aren't interested in "nations".

MIchael

I think the harp is an English symbol......

*looks away sheepishly and walks slowly for the door....*

Young  Irelander

willowfield,

You will find the Irish nation includes the people of NI. As for your Hitler comments, I'll invoke Godwin's law if I may. Also, a nation can be defined in terms of territory. Read Bunreacht na hEireann. Article 2's opening sentence states:

"It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, to be part of the Irish nation."

Here we have the nation defined in a territorial sense. I suggest it is you who has a poor knowledge of politics. Not surprising since your arguments are childish and contradictory. A classic example of your contradictory views:

'"Nations" are not fictitious: they exist in people's imaginations."'

You appear to have yourself confused now! The word 'fictitious' means something imagined!Get yourself a dictionary like a good lad.

As for "Ireland's north", it means what it appears to mean, the part of Ireland that is north of the border!

As for your funny suggestion that I made a threat, I made no threat but it is plain to see that there will never be peace in the future unless unionists learn to acknowledge the right of people in Ireland's north to be part of the Irish nation!

willowfield

Young Irelander

You will find the Irish nation includes the people of NI.

The "Irish nation" includes whoever wants to belong to it: undoubtedly that includes people living in NI, ROI, England, the US and elsewhere.

As for your Hitler comments, I'll invoke Godwin's law if I may.

How convenient. Fact remains you are proffering the same argument that Hitler argued for the anschluss of Austria.

Also, a nation can be defined in terms of territory. Read Bunreacht na hEireann. Article 2's opening sentence states: "It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, to be part of the Irish nation."

Irredentist nationalist drafters of the Southern constitution can define the "nation" however they want. But they have no right to do so. A "nation" is merely a concept of the imagination: it has no tangible form. The drafters of the constitution, like you, are mixing up the "nation" with the state.

'"Nations" are not fictitious: they exist in people's imaginations."' You appear to have yourself confused now! The word 'fictitious' means something imagined!Get yourself a dictionary like a good lad.

If something exists in the imagination, then it exists in the imagination. I don't believe it is fictitious. The "Irish nation" clearly exists in the imaginations of many.

As for "Ireland's north", it means what it appears to mean, the part of Ireland that is north of the border!

It appears to mean the northern part of Ireland, which would include many parts of the Republic. Do you actually mean Northern Ireland? If so, then you should say so in order to avoid confusion.

As for your funny suggestion that I made a threat, I made no threat but it is plain to see that there will never be peace in the future unless unionists learn to acknowledge the right of people in Ireland's north to be part of the Irish nation!

That sounds like a threat to me. Luckily, though, it is irrelevant, since unionists do acknowledge the right of people in "Ireland's north" and, indeed, anywhere, to be part of the "Irish nation". It is of no consequence to them, so long as the members of this "nation" allow Northern Ireland to remain part of the UK.

Ultonian Scottis American

YI:

Whilst I agree with you that nations aren't imaginary, they are as much a human creation as borders themselves. As is Article 2, which does not say:

"It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, to be part of the Irish nation. AND SAID NATION MUST HAVE THE EXCLUSIVE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE ENTIRE IRELAND, AND WE WILL VISIT AND SUPPORT CALAMITY AND DESTRUCTION ON THE UK AND THE UNIONIST POPULATION OF NORTHERN IRELAND IF WE DON'T HAVE OUR WAY."

To assert that the Irish nation is somehow incomplete or doomed to extinction absent an Anschluß Eireann is a sad commentary on the Irish nation.

willowfield

U S A

You, too, would seem to be confusing the "nation" with the state. The state is real: it exists. The nation is merely a concept.

Ultonian Scottis American

willowfield:

The "state" is no less an intangible idea than a "nation", maybe more. Both have boundaries, but "state" (in the political sense) is a legal concept subject to immediate change. "Nation" in the sense of "ethnicity" seems to be more objective, although subject to political chicanery.

Going by train from France to the Netherlands, it was unclear when I crossed the borders; crossing from Belgium to France, Les Flics left me in no doubt whatsoever.

However, I could tell immediately when I crossed from the Flemish region of Belgium into the Walloon region. These two "nations" seem to have a palpably different ethos, as well as I suppose DNA groupings, although they share the same "State".

Young  Irelander

willowfield,

I'm not aware of many nationalists who view the Irish nation beyond the confines of the island of Ireland. Hitler proffered a dangerous form of nationalism; I do not. The history of Ireland is very different to that of Austria. This goes without saying.

A nation is beyond the imagination. For example, look at the UK - Wales, Scotland and England are nations but the UK itself is not a nation.

The Irish nation acknowledges the right of the NI state to be part of the United Kingdom if the majority in NI want to remain there.

Ultonian,

Are you suggesting that the majority of Irish nationalists support violence as a means of attaining Irish reuniifcation? If so, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Ultonian Scottis American

YI:

And supporting the destabilisation of NI is non-violent?

SF sans IRA would have to be acceptable, however distastefully, by even the DUP. The SDLP, by refusing to move ahead without SF when the IRA haven't gone away is destabilising for NI. The ROI and UK allowing SF to pretend that it is a regular democratic political party whilst wed to the IRA is destabilising to the whole island, even the whole of the British Isles. To be quite frank, the turnout for SF in NI scares me.

Lapps are a nation that span several states, but without a state of their own. Same be can said of many "nations". They seem to be doing just fine. The problems arise when certain "nations" decide that they must have exclusive sovereignty of a "state" within geographical boundaries that is ruled by another state. Believe me, the Kurds can make a much better argument for this than Irish nationalists, who already have a "state", i.e. the ROI.

I can believe, even work for New York City to become part of Mongolia. But if I destabilise the US in order to achieve my goals, I will have definitely crossed over the line from non-violence.

Young  Irelander

Ultonian,

NI was attained through threat of force from the UVF and was built on the destabilisation of the island. Nationalists have accepted that NI will remain part of the UK as long as the majority want this. We in Ireland are entitled to desire the removal of partition however and the reunification of our national soil. The people of Ireland never asked for partition, we had it thrust upon us. It was a disgrace and it was wrong. It would appear that the majority of people on the British mainland have also come to that conclusion judging by refcent opinion polls. I believe that, ultimately, unionists in the North will reach a similar conclusion. It is wrong to keep a people divided. The border has failed in its objective of segregating Irish from Irish. The border's objective will never succeed. There are far too many things which unite the people of this island!

Ultonian Scottis American

YI:

Personally, I couldn't care less if unionists changed their minds and voted out of the UK, either to independance or to joining the ROI.

But please don't descend into whataboutery concerning events of nearly a century ago to defend the current destabilisation of NI by Irish nationalists. You will have a tiger by the tail, but it won't be of the Celtic variety.

Speaking of Celtic Tiger, once the ROI stopping whingeing about the UK all the time, they did quite smart for themselves. So, where did the ROI get destabilised? By legalising SF.

Ultonian Scottis American

BTW, is there an "English Nation" and who stands up for them?

Young  Irelander

Ultonian,

If you're going to take things out of context you will appreciate my desire to put things into context.

Irish nationalists are not destabilsing the north of Ireland. To say that shows incredible ignorance. How is Irish nationalism destabilising NI?

Also, the ROI is NOT destabilised and SF is legal down here. I will put this down to yet more ignorance of my country from yourself such as your comments about poppies!

As for an English nation, I certainly think there is one and I'm sure there are plenty of English who would agree. Sadly there aren't too many people sticking up for this nation, certainly not the British government.

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