Discussion in 'The Red Room' started by RickDeckard, Dec 5, 2017.
Another reason Liverpool voted to stay.... you can't find a copy of The Sun in Liverpool
Oh you can.
In highly vandalised shops.
Or shops, as they are known locally.
I remember when selling it was the death knell for a shop and the owner being socially outcast.
Wow, go Scousers!
Been busy, only getting back to this now.
Okay, so, here's some relevant detail.
Ireland was partitioned in 1921 after the War of Independence, because the people in the northern counties were overwhelmingly Protestant-unionist (descended from colonists of centuries past) and didn't want to go off towards independence with the Catholic-nationalist south.
For several decades the two new entities went their own way.
Southern Ireland was poverty-stricken, backwards and rural, dominated by the Catholic Church. (The Quiet Man & other Hollywood depictions are a romanticisation of this situation)
Northern Ireland was industrialised and more prosperous, but a substantial Catholic/nationalist minority remained and was subject to much discrimination.
In the 1960s, taking inspiration from movements in the US, put-upon northern nationalists began seeking "civil rights" within Northern Ireland. They were harshly slapped down by the unionist/Protestant majority and this reaction led to mostly dormant extremist groups like the IRA gaining support. Those guys begun a violent campaign to remove the British presence and achieve a united Ireland. Many dead ensued and the economy in the north stuttered, becoming unable to pay its own way and reliant on subvention from the British.
Meanwhile both the UK and Ireland joined the European Union. For the south of Ireland in particular, this was one of a number of things that came together by the 1990s that eventually transformed the country from the "poorest of the rich" to one of the richest countries in the world, with incomes far outstripping those in the now-beleaguered Northern Ireland (or in the UK generally). It's society became secular and multicultural. Despite having a formal desire for re-unification in the constitution, people stopped caring about the north, seeing it as trouble.
The 1996 peace agreement (eventually) accepted by all major players (the Irish, British, pro-UK parties, pro-Irish parties etc.) reformed the Northern Ireland state to remove anti-Catholic discrimination and enshrined the principle of consent, whereby Irish unity could be based only on a majority vote within Northern Ireland. The border with southern Ireland was demilitarised (a heavy British Army presence having been seen as necessary during "The Troubles") meaning that for everyday purposes, nationalists could move freely and largely behave as if there was no border. This was facilitated by the existence of the EU single market and customs union.
The peace since then has not been easy in Northern Ireland, with occasional violent flare-ups and much political drama. In particular because of the way Northern Ireland is now governed using power-sharing, those elected must designate which "side" they belong to and political entrenchment has only deepened. Moderate voices have made little headway as voters in both communities shift towards who will push their agenda hardest.
This is complicated by the fact that, now 100 years since partition, the large majority unionists enjoyed has shrunk. Nationalists may overtake them in a headcount before long.
The UK could have left the EU while retaining a close relationship with Europe, keeping the customs union and single market in place. This would have meant that little would change for Northern Ireland. But driven by little Englander nationalism, Boris, Nigel and the rest of the chancers wanted to leave it all behind them. That required that there be a physical border between the EU and UK.
But while the Tory party might have been prepared to bin the Good Friday Agreement, the Irish government was not. They insisted that keeping the Irish border open was a pre-condition for any deal, on the grounds that any infrastructure placed there would immediately become a target for extremists (who still exist) and disrupt much of the life of nationalist Ireland. So the Tories have thrown the unionists to the wolves instead - they've agreed to put a border in the Irish Sea, meaning that while Northern Ireland is part of the UK, they are not part of the UK single market. They instead remain in the EU single market.
Unionists are currently apoplectic at this development. They are trying to sabotage it as best they can and (other) extremists are threatening those who operate it. For their part and contrary to what they agreed to, the British government have been trying to dodge their responsibilities to operate it at all, making the EU very unhappy. Trade has been disrupted even without full implementation and there are fears of empty shelves in the future.
Some nationalists are quite happy with it, bringing as it does Northern Ireland ever closer to the south. Some are calling for a referendum on unity.
Politicians in the south are trying to push the date of that out, not wanting to deal with the aggravation - economically or socially.
It's all adding to the pressure on a system which seems to be in a constant cycle of crisis. And it won't take much to light the tinderbox again.
The tensions are not so much between the NI & Republic (though those exist) but between the communities within NI.
What you're getting from the news might be the perspective of some Irish nationalists. But that's just one side of the story.
Bit of background, in case anyone isn't aware, the Sun newspaper is one of our less prestigious tabloids which has a dubious history with regard to the people of Liverpool.
In 1989 there was a crush at a Liverpool/Sheffield football clubs at the Hillsborough Stadium resulting in 96 dead and nearly a thousand injured. The causes were disputed for many years, only recently resulting in anything approaching a meaningful inquiry after years of obfuscation and deliberate avoidance by various authorities.
In the final analysis there was a laundry list of corruption and blame avoidance exposed which involved everything from mass falsification of statements by police, long term systemic repression, intimidation and false arrests of witnesses and dissenting officers to government level hampering of investigations by successive Cabinets.
Key to the point here is that the Sun was wilfully complicit and inflammatory in perpetuating and in many cases outright fabricating a version of events which placed blame squarely on the shoulders of allegedly violent and drunk Liverpool supporters who had stormed the stadium, so much so that aspects of their narrative and alleged evidence became accepted at the highest levels as having forensic backing.
Outright fictions of deliberate attempts to storm the stadium, massive evidence of excess blood alcohol level in corpses and a host of other allegations were reported with screaming headlines, voyeuristic delight and a complete opposite of editorial oversight by a newspaper which knew full well that would play into regional stereotypes of the quasi savages living in the nation's northern reaches.
Naturally the residents of the area were collectively less than pleased to be presented with daily headlines proclaiming that their recently deceased were without exception mindless thugs who deserved what they got and the only tragedy was the impact it had on the rest of the nation, especially when so many had been present and witnessed a totally different version of events. As a consequence there was a campaign to publicly boycott the publication and any businesses profiting from it by association which lasts to this day.
Wow. Excellent. Thank you.
Just to make sure I'm understanding this right, please confirm (or invalidate) my understanding of the terms "unionists" and "nationalists". If I understand correctly, both refer to what could be considered "political movements" in Northern Ireland. "Unionists" would be those who are partisans of the UK, meaning they desperately want NI to remain a firm part of the UK. "Nationalists" would be those who are in favour of Irish unity, meaning they want NI to pretty much disappear as a political entity and just become part of the Republic of Ireland.
Am I Correct?
It's amazing however the level of denial people indulge in over this.
Tony Blair brought peace, therefore the problems went away.
There are different tendencies within the groups, but yeah, pretty much.
And those political movements almost always break down along sectarian lines yes? Almost all Unionists are Protestant and almost all Nationalists Catholic.
It has little to do with Brexit, but further to my recent posts - just to illustrate how abnormal and on edge this place constantly is...
Northern Ireland executive to meet after sixth night of unrest
Northern Ireland’s first minister, Arlene Foster, condemned Wednesday’s attack, tweeting: “There is no justification for violence. It is wrong and should stop.”
Foster said the protests “do not represent unionism or loyalism”, adding: “They are an embarrassment to Northern Ireland and only serve to take the focus off the real law breakers in Sinn Fein.”
The deputy first minister, Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill said the executive would be briefed on the “violence and street disorder which is causing huge distress in local communities at this time”.
Both of them are as completely hypocritical as it's possible to be.
Sinn Fein wrote the rules on COVID restrictions and then held a funeral for a former IRA commander and arranged for hundreds of people to line the streets.
The DUP ran the Donald Trump playbook - stoking discontent with the police over this and dog-whistling to the loyalist paramilitaries. And then tried to disown the violence once it started.
Separate names with a comma.