It's warm up North


#1263

We can all take the 12th of July off as a national holiday as well.


#1264

We all win.

Let’s bring the 6 home!


#1265

I’m no snob when it comes to money.


#1266

It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming
Northern Ireland’s coming home
It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming
Northern Ireland’s coming home
It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming
Northern Ireland’s coming home
It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming
Northern Ireland’s coming home

Everyone seems to know the score, they’ve seen it all before
They just know, they’re so sure
That Ireland’s gonna throw it away, gonna blow it away
But I know they can stay, 'cause I remember

Tricolour on our shirt
Titanic museum still gleaming
100 years of hurt
Never stopped me dreaming


#1267

Quiet day?


#1268

I’ve been up since six, couldn’t sleep so went into work early and got a load done before people were in annoying me :grinning:

Did a load of housework this morning so I’m in the good books now as well and I even had time for a little too and fro on the Cork Weirdos thread.

I can’t see it being a regular thing but it’s going well so far.


#1269

They’ll complain that they can’t play soccer in Casement Park.


#1270

Did you have a bulletproof coffee this morning by any chance?


#1271


#1272


#1273

As far as I can tell from this, it turns out Newton Emerson is actually a Unionist. In other words, the only single Northern Nationalist voice in the Irish Times that they use to balance their massive anti-Nationalist bias is actually another Ulster Protestant Unionist.


#1274

How did you not know that?


#1275

The key is in the name.


#1276

He is a unionist, but he’s married to a taig. That must be their reasoning.
The paywall let me read as far as Plymouth Brethren. They’re some outfit


#1277

I know a lot of people like this in Monaghan. My neighbours didn’t own a tv until Euro 2012 when one of the grown-up kids got interested in football. A teacher friend told me a story recently about a teacher who was doing a transition year module in Carrickmacross that involved plenty of kids coming in from a Protestant school to do some cooking lessons. Electric cookers in the classrooms, electric hobs. On the first day one of Protestant lads stands holding a match up to the electric hob, trying to light it. Kid had never seen an electric cooker before, only gas.

If you’re that interested:-

When I lived in Portadown, my town centre neighbourhood was home to a Plymouth Brethren congregation.

A sort of urban Amish, they eschewed television, radio and cinema, in addition to observing the more familiar Old Testament strictures against drinking, dancing and licentiousness.

Perhaps due to lacking these cultural cues, everything about them was slightly off-centre – their speech, their clothes, the inside of their houses. Living by the creed of “in the world but not of it”, they engaged as little as possible with wider society and public institutions – by not voting, for example.

There cannot have been more than 100 of them yet they were strikingly visible, the men usually in suits and the women in long dresses with hair always covered, by a scarf if out shopping or with a hat if walking to the meeting hall.

The rest of us looked up to them as super-Prods, all the more so from knowing they looked down on us – they were horrifically, magnificently judgmental.

Presumed to be unionist, although never asked, they were in constant contact with a sister congregation in Monaghan and crossed the Border as freely as diesel.

When Peter Robinson, the former DUP first minister, urges unionists to prepare for a united Ireland he is addressing political leaders and speaking in terms of an insurance policy or a business contingency. The debate he has started says little, so far, about mental preparation by individual unionists.
Media interest is only roused by two archetypes in this vein: loyalists who might resort to violence, or middle-class professionals who might immediately hoist a Tricolour over the conservatory.

Secular model

Both seem highly unrepresentative. In the huge gap between, the Plymouth Brethren speak most powerfully to me, at least as a secular model. I can imagine being in a united Ireland but not of it, obeying the law but not engaging with the state, eschewing certain cultural cues as profane, and hoping to remain aloof even if there were only 100 people like me.

How many others feel the same I cannot say – not knowing how typical a unionist you are is one of the joys of membership. However, the Brethren model uncannily mirrors Protestant experience in the Republic after independence: a regrouping into small, proud, self-contained communities, with dimensions beyond religion and geography.
For individual unionists, mental preparation for a united Ireland is unlikely to be guided by their political leaders. Asked recently what she would do in the dreaded event, Robinson’s successor Arlene Foster said she would leave, which would probably be true in spirit if not in deed.

There is nothing more Protestant than letting people figure out eternity for themselves, and nothing more unionist than marching everyone up to the top of a hill then disappearing.

Robinson told the MacGill Summer School he believes unionists must accept any majority vote for unification and would acquiesce to it with only a few basic guarantees.

Psychology of unification

Supplying such reassurance is the focus of what debate there has been on the psychology of unification. Nationalists and republicans are almost universal in echoing Robinson’s concept of “guarantees”, although they frame these in terms of rights, equality, respect and symbolic concessions. Debate on integration versus multiculturalism is notably absent: unionists are being promised their own distinctness, to be reflected primarily through their Britishness.

No matter how well-intentioned this is, it is a one-size-fits-all straightjacket. With a permanent end to the union, every unionist would have to redefine what their identity means. Consensus could be rare and idiosyncrasy seems certain. People may decide they are no longer British, yet still unionists; members of all-Ireland Protestant churches, yet not Irish Protestants; or no longer unionists, yet still cultural unionists. Rights and equality frameworks would have to be increasingly generous to accommodate this variety, which risks entrenching resentment.

A united Ireland would inherit northern nationalists still aggrieved about the past and unionists aggrieved about the present. There would be competitive victimhood – far more than there is already – and perceived special treatment could exacerbate it, not just by antagonising nationalists but by institutionalising a put-upon sense of entitlement in unionists. How do you walk the line between assimilating a sullen minority and overindulging it?

Ideally, every unionist would have the confidence to walk their own line and find their own new congregation. What they disliked about the unitary state they would ignore, as long as it kept out of their way.

However, this is hopelessly at odds with contemporary expectations, and I accept it would be no panacea.

Growing up in Portadown, I noticed Brethren people my age were adept at leading double lives – in their parents’ world one minute, in the pub the next. They could maintain this dichotomy into adulthood but the strain on them and their families inevitably told, and something would snap.

Exactly the same thing often happens between first and second generation immigrants from conservative countries.

Is this the final fate of unionists if their country leaves them?


#1278

I’m assuming you are joking here.

I’ve heard this guy on the radio a few times, RTE love him. He’s a self-confessed Tory who was delighted with the prospects of a Tory-led direct rule being imposed on Northern Ireland.


#1279

It’d be great fun trying to get the Brits to prop up the North if it was no longer part of the UK, given how the Brits have always so resented paying anything into the EU and are now trying to weasel out of paying them money they are obliged to pay.

Also, sterling may be worth slightly more than toilet paper by the time the North leaves the UK.


#1280

I’m sure it would be on the table and in the long run the British tax payer would surely prefer to pay a 10 year exit deal instead of continuing to prop up the failed Orange state.


#1281

I stand to be corrected, but that is a well written and reasoned article.


#1282

Just to clarify, aren’t you the oirish poster based in Britian that voted for brexit or was nonchalant about it?