The Spectator's Notes

Charles Moore's notes: Why Ireland fears Scottish independence

Plus: What Thatcher really thought about Mandela, and the incredible growing Christmas holiday

14 December 2013

9:00 AM

14 December 2013

9:00 AM

In Dublin, where I am writing this column, people are watching the Scottish referendum campaign more closely than in London. Despite the polls, they almost expect a Yes vote, but most do not want one. People fear that Yes would weaken the UK and therefore make it a less useful ally for Ireland in the EU. They also think that an independent Scotland might overtake Ireland as a cute little place for foreign investors who like the combination of kilts, bagpipes and general Celtic carry-on with tax breaks and commercial access to the Anglosphere. Finally, they worry that Scottish independence would reopen the Irish question. At present, the Republic enjoys the fact that the settlement in the North has driven the call for a United Ireland into the background. The example of a breakaway Scotland would stir it up all over again. The more one thinks about the Scottish vote, the more multi-dimensionally dangerous it seems.

Appearing on Pat Kenny’s Newstalk show here, I take advantage of the moment to talk a bit about Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela. On the BBC World at One the day after Mandela’s death, a man called Pat Hart representing ‘community radio stations’, such as BCfm, said that Mrs Thatcher had called Mandela a terrorist and a ‘grubby little man’. She didn’t, but of course Hart was uncorrected by the BBC. He said that the remark had been made ‘not that long ago’, and in this, at least, he seems to be right. It was made after her death. It sprang forth in a Daily Mirror blog before her funeral and in an internet poster campaign comparing Mrs Thatcher unfavourably with Clement Attlee. It has been endlessly repeated, without evidence. She was certainly no friend to the ANC (which was why they tried, unsuccessfully, to prevent Mandela from seeing her after he came out of prison), but in fact she, of all foreign leaders, was the one who most often personally pressed the release of Mandela on the white regime. I do not know why David Cameron felt the need, in 2006, to apologise for Conservative policy in the 1980s: much more effectively than the Anti-Apartheid Movement, it persuaded the whites that they must concede majority rule. Great people — like the rest of us — can be caught out by a subsequent shift in the wind of opinion. Churchill, for instance, did indeed describe Gandhi, in 1931, as ‘a seditious Middle Temple lawyer now posing as a fakir’. But, so far as I have been able to discover, Mrs Thatcher is completely in the clear. Last word to Mandela himself: ‘She is an enemy of apartheid.’


It is fitting that three American presidents attended Mandela’s memorial service in South Africa, but also a reminder of how ungenerous the Obama administration was in its attitude to the Thatcher funeral. Since she, unlike Mandela, was not a head of state, protocol would have made it unusual for the President himself to have gone, but the vice-president and/or the secretary of state and an ex-president should have been there. However important Mandela’s example in the history of the world, he did a lot less for the United States than Margaret Thatcher.

During the Iraq war, Tony Blair was often called the ‘poodle’ of George Bush. A similar accusation is not thrown at us for falling in behind Barack Obama, yet it might be more justified. His recent deal with Iran was theoretically structured by the ‘5+1½’, the ‘½’ being the European Union. But in reality, it was strongly dominated by the United States, a fact at which only France publicly protested. The deal is seriously bad because, for the first time, it legitimates Iran as a ‘threshold’ nuclear power without winning anything more than a bit of delay in return. If Mr Obama really does wish to withdraw America from its quasi-imperial global status, his historic allies owe him less loyalty. The logic of his own policy is that there is no longer much he can do for us.

Last year, this column’s Christmas charity was Style for Soldiers, and since it is simultaneously successful and small, I recommend it again. The heart of the enterprise, invented by Emma Willis, who runs the Jermyn Street shirt shop of that name, is still to design elegant handmade shirts, regimental walking sticks etc for young injured servicemen. Every two months, Emma goes to Headley Court to measure them up. Now the male fashion website Mr Porter has got the most glamorous ones to take part in a fashion shoot. She has also discovered that the young men and women who receive lump-sum compensation payments often lack advice about how to invest the money. So she has persuaded four senior investment managers — from Church House, Smith Williamson, Thurleigh and Ruffer — to donate free wisdom on the subject. It is fascinating what some smart clothes can do for the morale of people who can easily lose self-esteem when wrenched suddenly from physical vigour to pain and disability. Please help cheer them up. A regimental stick costs £125 and a bespoke shirt £120. About 180 of each are made in a year. Donations can be made online at www.styleforsoldiers.com or by cheque to Style for Soldiers, 66 Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6NY.

In the last decade, the habit of working over the Christmas period has been tacitly dropped. Except in service industries, it has now become quite surprising to come across people who actually have to go to an office or factory between 24 December and the first Monday after New Year’s Day. I don’t know what this change does for the trade figures, but it is a wonderful development. Advent, which should be a time to reflect on the Four Last Things, has become a hectic and unpleasant anticipation of Christmas itself. If Christmas, by secular means, is getting back almost all its Twelve Days, that must be good for our spiritual health. The Spectator, as always, is leading the way. This is a triple issue, so we shall not meet our readers again until 2014. I hope you do not enjoy our absence too much.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
  • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

    What is there that prevents a United Ireland there, is no longer a need for partition.

    • bigmax

      Why do you say there is longer a need for partition?

      • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

        Now that there is no longer a protestant majority in Ulster there is no need for partition of an island that gained its independence from England.

        • bigmax

          Hmm. First I’ve heard that there is no longer a protestant majority in Northern Ireland. But anyway:

          *Not all catholics, in a free and secret vote, would vote to be part of a united Ireland.
          *Not all people in the Republic want to be integrated with Northern Ireland. It is doubtful if they could afford the welfare bill in the north or afford to continue the NHS there.
          *As a point of fact, the Irish Free State gained its independence from the United Kingdom, not England. There is more historical and cultural ties between Ulster and Scotland than between Ulster and England.

          • gunterprien

            Yep I agree Scotland and “Ulcer” both Sectarian backwaters.
            Although in fairness Scotland is tyding up it’s Act.
            Largely due to the SNP.

          • Bonkim

            Best for all to be united under the Holy Roman Empire Gunter.

          • gunterprien

            I don’t DO Empires…A 32 County Republic is the end of my ambition.
            Britain can do what it likes.

          • Bonkim

            Live in hope. Armageddon and the demise of the multi-headed beast, the Holy Roman Empire not far off.

          • gunterprien

            Dear dear..For someone who is “Non-sectarian”..You don’t half go on about the R/Cs and the R/C church..

            Let me guess..You are NOT racist..And some of your best friends are black..etc…etc…etc…

          • Bonkim

            The Catholic Church is racist, spread false Christianity across the Globe, caused wars, and genocide across the Globe. Not unlike Jihadist islam in the Middle-Ages.

            I am non-sectarian but keen follower of history. my best friends are black? I don’t recognize any black/white/brown divide and there are Catholics amongst all races.

            By their fruits you will recognize the trees – and the fruits of Catholic society – over population, and ignorance. Pope Pius was a racist and cohabited with fascists, the Spanish Inquisition, Vasco da Gama, and St Xavier – genocide in the Americas, India, and SE Asia, modern day Jesuits – perpetrators of paedophilia across the globe, the Vatican bank and the Mob, the list is endless..

          • gunterprien

            Care to discus the Brit Empire..The Bengal Famine, The Boer War Concentration camps..The ethnic cleanising of the Indians in North America. The Plantation of Ulster..The Higland clearances..The Partition of India and Palestine..The Black and Tans..The so called Famine Aka Genocide in Ireland…Cromwell etc..etc..etc…Brit Crimes are endless…Not to mention the whole function of the “empire2 was organised Theft…The opium smuggling into China the Slave Trade..Care to mention any of that?

          • Bonkim

            That is how history evolves. The Empire was greater than the sum total of its components – and Irishmen as others in the enterprise benefited immensely and shared in the loot, as also residents of the territories within the empire.

            Slugs attach rotten wood and the societies that were absorbed within the Empire were rotten to the core and did not/could not resist. and don’t forget the countries you refer to did not exist as political entities within defined borders at the time. Countries such as India just did not exist. China was collapsing from internal feuds and warlordism, Palestine and Greater Arabia was part of the Ottoman Empire, the US natives – yes but it was mainly the immigrant settlers that did the dirty work and that included many Irishmen in addition to those from continental Europe – and if you look up history the main genocide took place after the American colonies formed their Federal United states and in the 1800s when land was released to settlers and continued until the early 20th century.

            Bengal famine – the British simply followed the Zamindari system instituted by the Mughals – and similar to the Serfdom that prevailed in Europe including Scotland, and Ireland where the landed gentry had peasant farmers to toil the land as long as they got their pound of flesh – share croppers in the US, and similar systems all across the globe and still continuing when the Empire was dissolved.

            Human societies exploited others and that is the same when you get your clothes made in Bangladesh or Indonesia or Iphone in China and the workers toil in the sweatshops..

            The British were no more exploiters or bloodsuckers than those at the top of the pecking order in the lands of the Empire – and a handful of Brits which included Scots, Irish, Welsh, Indians, and all others, would not have succeeded in the enterprise without the active collaboration and assistance of the indigenous people of the lands, and in return expanded infrastructure, education, scientific and technological innovation, etc, etc. Empire was a two way process.

            Darwin’s theory at work and going by the prevailing norms of the times – a highly civilized and civilizing influence all across the globe.

          • gunterprien

            “Given that English language and law of contract have been taken up universally, the Empire must have done something good.”

            No..English laws were imposed to guarantee British Theft..i.e..Why make a deal with a tribal chief; who may be deposed in 5 years..English Law was about legalizing grand Larceny.For the sole benefit of London..Plummy accents hide major crimes.
            And you are a Hypocrite to take on the church and make these poor excuses for the Brits..
            You are blinded by Red,white and Blue.
            Makes no odds either way..Brit-land is Kaput; in any event. A failed state in waiting.

          • Bonkim

            All civilizations rise and fall. Nothing surprising in that but the British Empire has left its mark on history and changed the world regardless of what you or others may say – and you have every right to your view. The Catholic Church has also left its evil mark and not many now to justify what it did.

          • gunterprien

            As for Ireland “benefiting” from this depraved Empire…The Brits Banned Irish Industry..apart from the linen industry ( except farming) this was because the Brits had no linen industry of their own…ergo they didn’t seek to protect it from competition…This was the act of a bully..Look Up grattan’s Parliment and the “navigation acts” where Grattan tried to allow the build up of an Irish Merchant Navy..Which London sought to stamp out.
            It was a corrupt enterprise..Of Course their Unionist buddies were “allowed2 industry to keep the plantation going.
            So, Why would Unionists ( who live on the island of Ireland) pledge alligence to a Brit State that only too happy to keep it’s Jackboot on Ireland.
            Since 1922..Standards of living have skyrocketed, once it broke free from the grasping hand of the English.
            Kerry is one of the largest food companies in the World.A net Worth of over £7 Billion.
            Arklow shipping..(owned by a Prod) is one of the Largest short Sea Merchant fleet in Europe..Second only to Wagenborg(I should say. Wales and the 6 Counties have been in MASSIVE decline.
            The 6 Counties had the same standard of living as the UK average in 1922..Today at best it’s 75%..Maybe even 50% of Uk average. Ireland 216 Counties is richer than the 6 Counties. And Wales..So don’t blame the IRA..There WAS No IRA in Wales..And that’s as much a basket case as the 6 Counties..So, the Union isn’t working.
            Scotland should LOOK at Wales..Coz thats Scotland’s future when the oil runs out IF it stays in the UK(raine)…If it leaves..it has a chance.
            How many Merthyr Tydfil’s will be in Scotland’s future

          • Bonkim

            Ireland is a great country with great people. i am sure Irish industry – shipbuilding, etc, are great.

            But stop looking at history through green spectacles – the whole world has progressed technologically and economically since 1922.

            Ultimately social organisation and religion influence work ethic and enterprise. The Scots i should say have been the most enterprising within the UK and Empire despite their relatively low population.

            Looking back achieves little and I am sure Ireland will do well – its people have spread far and wide – the US, Australia, and Britain itself – that does not mean you deport protestants to England or Scotland and absorb Ulster into the Republic against their will.

          • gunterprien

            You Lot are expecting Polish, Hungarian and Romanian emigrants to assimilate to British life..The Unionists in Ireland can assimiliate to Irish Life..They arrived in the 17th Century..It’s about time they “settled” in.
            Scrap their artifical border..Those that can’t assimilate can go..There are two islands..One called Ireland and one called Britain.
            Leave Ireland 32 Counties for those who are Irish and are happy being Irish..And have Britain for those who want to be British.
            Don’t crave off a piece of Ireland and try banish it’s Irish culture and roots.
            That doesn’t play.
            I ‘d love to see a British Council deal with thousands of Orange Parades..They wouldn’t tolerate it..Why should the Irish?
            Time to adjust..time to move on..They are either Irish or Brits. If they “HAVE” to live in Britain..Move to “THAT” island.

          • Bonkim

            Well – I suppose we all prepare for the next battle of Kilroot.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Why is it your business, you old nazi fruitcake? Do you live there?

          • gunterprien

            “Hmm. First I’ve heard that there is no longer a protestant majority in Northern Ireland/….”

            You are NOT very Bright are you Big lad.

            A simple majority is 50% +1.
            In the 2011 Census the number of protestants was given as 48%. ergo this is NOT a majority.
            As the figures for R/C were 45 % What you have is a slim protestant PLURALITY and NOT a MAJORITY.
            By 2016..This will disappear.
            Oh and BTW in 1991 at the census at that time..TWO Dublin academics used those 1991 figures and stated that the number of R/C was UNDER stated by as much as 5%…
            In the FOLLOWING Census in 2001 the academics noted that the Data they used to come up with a figure for religious background was Changed..So They were UNABLE to take apart the 2001 census..
            but If this is true it’s safe to say that the Census is FLAWED..
            Also, ONE reason why the number of R?c is under reported is the fact that in majority Protestant areas Catholics will NOT state their religion on ther form..Due to the collusion between the state and Unionist killers.

            So, there may already be an R/c majority..Just NOT reported.
            Ah..Poor auld Craig, Brookeborough and Carson must be turning on their spit..Next to Thatcher in consort with Saint Nic himself..
            Who’d be a Unionist???

          • Euro_Hero

            Well that could all change if, and it is a real possibility, Scotland becomes independent.

            Besides, you should absolutely not speak of NI as a whole, it is very heterogenous and religiously, geographically divided. Counties Fermanagh, Tyrone, Armagh and half of Derry vote Sinn Fein/SDLP and are constituted mostly of Catholics. Maybe they should withdraw from NI and join the ROI separately, in exactly the same way as the northern traitors of 1922 did – WITHOUT CONSENT FROM THE POPULATION – and withdrew from the Irish Free State by begging the King of England, like dogs, to take them back

          • g1

            Lets be clear here,Ulster consists of nine counties,3 in the ROI (vast majority catholic)and six in the UK (almost equal numbers of RC,s and Prods)so let us talk about the 6 counties.here.A majority is regarded as 50+1 so the Unionist/Protestant (whatever one wants to call them) are no longer in the majority in the 6 counties of Ulster ,they are touching 48 per cent of the population and declining.Therefore when the nationalist/catholic pop soon reach 50+1 they will be in the majority and will have the right to democratically vote to leave the UK if they so wish.Of course I would presume not all RC,s would vote in favour of a U.Ireland but perhaps they would with a little bit of help from London who in reality want rid of the NI problem altogether .But really it is not all about that, it is about being in a position of equality and fairness within the UK or a united Ireland.Certainly ,not all of the people of ROI would wish for unification as things stand ,why should they?After all the problem in the 6 counties was not of their creation and must be sorted by London before they decide to do a runner.In its present financial predicament the ROI is not in a position to absorb the hand-outs given to the 6 counties but in better times who knows.We did go it alone from 1922 and never looked back except for the 2008 blip so who is to say that with our resilience,determination and capacity to overcome that we will not in the medium term find an amicable solution to suit all.
            Note ..There are obvious close ties between the peoples of the ROI and all of its province of Ulster as there are between Ulster and Scotland .( called after the scoti(an irish gaelic tribe) hence the name scoti-land or Scotland.

    • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

      My understanding is that partition was necessary because the majority of people were Protestants.. This is no longer true and their is no reason why their should not be an united Ireland. May I make it clear I have NO religious beliefs and am looking at it in a democratic manner.

      • Bonkim

        or better still repatriate the Catholics to Ireland. they will be happier there.

        • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

          I am confused where do you think the Roman Catholics are. I assume they are already in Ireland.

          • Bonkim

            Get the Catholics in Ulster to move to their Republic in the South. They don’t like to be part of the UK.

          • gunterprien

            You are a sectarian G*bsh*te

          • Bonkim

            Non-sectarian in fact – believe all religions/sects are superstitions. No reason why geographical territoriality should be sectarian.

          • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

            Surely it makes more sense for the Protestants to move to Britain as they wish to be British.

          • Bonkim

            Or to reconquer Ireland and drive the Celts out to sea.

          • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

            Why would the English do that ,what would they gain . We Scottish Celts wish to leave the union but for some reason the English are frantic about this and are using every trick in the book to prevent it-=Why.? You wish the English to drive the Celts out to sea, this makes no sense when you are desperate to keep us Scots Celts in the Union.

          • Bonkim

            different tracks – in a democracy people should have a choice – is there a clamour for joining the Irish Republic amongst the people of N Ireland as there is for Scots independence?

          • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

            I do not know whether or not there is a clamour for an united Ireland. But since the whole island gained independence and a politician, who paid with his life, agreed to partition of the Island it seems to me that with the passage of time the whole Island should be recognised as a unified nation.

          • Bonkim

            The concept of a nation state is a feature of the past 100 or so years – previously most people on earth lived within Empires of one sort or the other or loose affiliation along ethnic and sectarian lines or warring tribal war-lords.

            People have in the past or will in the future gain territory through wars, revolutions or in some instances democratic consent. The driver for unity is often economic – and in Ireland if the Republic gave greater opportunity to those in N Ireland they will migrate voluntarily – for the present the UK has more attraction for the Irish even those from the Republic and beneath narrow nationalistic and sectarian sentiments, have done well working and settling in the UK. Doubt if they want a war with Britain and lose out.

            If you look at Europe the less developed countries want closer union simply because they see better prospects for travel, settlement and working in the better-off regions. The main cause of the turmoil in Western Ukraine is simply the attraction of being able to travel and work in the EU.

            I bet the Irish Republic will be in the hole if it invades N Ireland with such a lot of its exports people working in the UK at stake.

          • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

            Nobody suggested that the Irish should invade Ulster, It was you that wanted to sweep the Celts into the sea.. The global economy allows free transfer of capital, it follows that the free transfer of labour must follow from this.

          • Bonkim

            Free movement of human capital raises social tension and destroys social organisation essential component of economic success and peaceful existence. Globalism is also destroying resources, increasing resource depletion, and increasing populations across the globe – totally unsustainable future for mankind.

          • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

            I am confused by your argument. On the one hand you do not want EU citizens to move to where the work is, but what else can they do as this is what the Global economy requires of them. An English Tory gained fame by telling us to get on your bike. However when we do this we are not welcome wherever we go.

          • Bonkim

            The English Tory’s message was for UK citizens, not all and sundry to take the next flight to London. Global economy does not require anything from them but trade in goods and services, not human capital – for that best to flock to Chin, India, Brazil which are developing and will absorb more.

          • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

            Surely you must be proud that all of these European nationals took on board this advice from a DANAIR pilot, and as such had to accept European passengers who dared to visit England. Perhaps this is why Danair failed.

          • Bonkim

            ???? There treaty arrangements within EU – a penalty for being part of being an EU Member – not sure what you are getting at? Hope UK gets out of the EU or that Cameron renegotiates the Treaty – EU is a collection of self-interested countries and EU administration an unelected corrupt lot.

          • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

            I am certain the English will vote to leave the EU if the Lib/Dems allow a vote Your reasons for wishing to leave the Union is exactly the same reason that the Scots wish. However the English are obviously frantic about this eventuality and are peddling all sorts of lies, like the Scots needing food parcels and not being allowed to join the EU. Why are you doing this when you claim not to give a F.

          • Bonkim

            Can’t speak for all in England – it is a free country and any government elected will follow the will of the people.

            Scots are also free to make their choice. They are a good and wise people and will think hard on what is in their best interests. Once again I don’t speculate on what others think or will do. Personally the EU is run by a corrupt and unelected lot, and all the national representatives looking to see what it can get and pay lip service to the rules.

          • g1

            Enough of your childish rubbish,Ireland is a small nation and a threat to nobody.

          • Bonkim

            who said it was?

          • g1

            But the Scots,Welsh and most of the English are Celts so do you mean drive them all out to sea or do you know what you are talking about?.

          • Bonkim

            This was merely a rhetorical response to the other chap – simply pointing out that you cannot judge history by today’s standards or undo history. The same reason it would be silly to drive the protestants from Ulster and to have an United Ireland. Read the full thread before picking on bits.

          • James

            Dear Bonkim or is it Bonkers

            I am sorry to inform you as I know the news will be upsetting but Britain was never able to totally conquer Ireland!

            Ulster the province is not part of the YUK.

            ​​​Sláinte mhaith​, Séamus ​Ó Muineacháin

          • Bonkim

            Don’t speak Irish – but go back to sleep. the Irish did very well out of Britain over the centuries, many even became Brits. No need to conquer Ireland.

          • jmjm208

            They won’t get as much child benefit in the republic!

          • Bonkim

            No one will get much in Britain either at the way things are going and EU and other immigrants flocking in.

          • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

            What are the child benefits in the Republic ?

          • g1

            Rather good actually,nearly as good as the UK,job benefit is better as well as pensions but the health service needs a lot of improvement..There have been cut backs in payments since 2008 but with the economy on the up so will benefits improve.As for Charles Moore he is talking a load of nonsense re Ireland.

          • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

            Thank you, it is very good news that Ireland is recovering and a blow to those English spokesmen who seemed to relish problems for those in the Euro zone.

          • Euro_Hero

            Get the invaders out of Ireland, the UK has no right in NI

          • Bonkim

            O.K will need a Referendum for that, and did not realise there were any heroes in Europe- only there for the gravy.

            Will let you know when the Referendum is organised – bring your passport with you at the polling station..

          • James

            Dear Bonkers

            Again for your information and further education – there is no law that rquires your passport with you at the polling station here in Britain. What country do you reside in?

            ​Sláinte mhaith​, Séamus ​Ó Muineacháin

          • Bonkim

            Just woken up? I have lost the thread Munchhausen!.

          • James

            Dear Bonkim or is it Bonkers

            I am also confused by you or is that that you are confused?
            Ulster the province is not part of the YUK.

            ​​​Sláinte mhaith​, Séamus ​Ó Muineacháin

          • Bonkim

            Have you just woken up after a year’s drunken stupor? Go back and come next year.

  • David Ganz

    In January 1978, Margaret Thatcher, told ITV’s World in Action, “People are really rather afraid that this country might be swamped by people with a different culture.” Bob Carr’s report of her comments about Asian immigrants to Australia is well known.

  • gunterprien

    This article is pure tosh.
    In a 2011 poll in the Irish Times 56% expressed a desire for a United Ireland.
    20% 0r so ONLY were in favour of Partition.
    And another 25% were Undecided.

    The Irish still want the British to leave.

    Kindly do so.

    • jmjm208

      The Catholics don’t want to join the republic because they won’t get as much child benefit!

  • drydamol1

    BROKEN BRITISH POLITICS – THATCHER V
    BEVERIDGE

    In todays Shambolic Political Jungle it is not surprising
    that proposed Bills weaving their way through the intriguing mire of self
    interest Politics are not for the purpose of meriting those that have
    radicalised Britain for the overall good of the People but to celebrate the
    radicalisation of Britain to its detriment .

    The last Bank Holiday in August is being proposed to be
    celebrated as Thatcher Day .Surely Sir William Beveridge is more deserved than
    someone who devastated British Industry in Favour of ‘Banking Rules’ for a
    minority than someone whos vested interest was for the Welfare of Country &
    People .It is another step in the eradication of any sign of our History in
    favour of trying to martyr someone who saw her Party after her rule ostracised
    to the wilderness for years .

    The Beveridge Report was an influential document in the
    founding of the welfare state in the United Kingdom. It was chaired by William
    Beveridge, an economist, who identified five “Giant Evils” in
    society: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness, and disease, and went on to
    propose widespread reform to the system of social welfare to address these .The
    report formed the basis for the post-war reforms known as the Welfare State,
    which include the expansion of National Insurance and the creation of the
    National Health Service.

    Typical of Shamcams modern angle on Minority Political
    Will and his insistence that it should override far greater achievements than
    his ilk could or ever will produce for the common good .A Government Govern a Regime Forces their Will upon the
    People .A minority will at that .

    http://brokenbritishpolitics.simplesite.com

  • Mack

    We will all continue to obey our Chinese masters. Now go to the store and stand obediently in line for your made-in-China football / duck dynasty gear.

    • SouthOhioGipper

      Like fat lazy drunk on the job westerners who charge too much for their substandard labor can make better? I’m sick of lazy western workers acting like they are God’s gift to the global labor market.

  • Otto

    Mandela embraced Fidel Castro after his inauguration and told him: “You made this possible.”

    The West is good at erasing uncomfortable history.

    If the Portuguese Empire in Africa had not fallen to Soviet-supported African guerrillas and if South African racist forces supported by the US and the UK had not been forced out of Angola by Soviet-backed Cubans, apartheid would be with us still.

  • Garrett leary

    Reading these comments hurts my eyesight, most of you haven’t the slightest idea about the republics culture and politics. Most people in the south are unconcerned about the north, in the same way that mainland Britons are unconcerned, as it dosent affect their ordinary lives. Even discussing the prospect of the republic invading ulster is comparable to the republic invading the lost city of atlantas, it’s that crazy ,the irish military has never engaged in a conflict since the deceleration of the state in 1921.

  • Euro_Hero

    A tough one for you little Englanders, and how being hell-bent on vilifying the EU and EU migration under current plans would definitely backfire on the UK by reigniting the Irish issue:

    Your PM is considering plans to curb EU migration to 75,000 p.a. Aside from the fact that this completely violates EU rules for freedom of movement, bear in mind that you share a customs union with Ireland. These plans would almost certainly not be adopted by Ireland, which is far further down the road of European integration than Britain, e.g. they have the Euro and would have absolutely no interest to curb migration, which is encouraged to Ireland. Exporting Irish work contracts the way Ryanair does it would become problematic and a big issue for Ireland. So, even if special agreements are put in place between the UK and Ireland (e.g. the quota would not apply to irish citizens), foreigners are however free to migrate to the UK from Ireland (via NI or directly) since there is a customs union, rendering the UK migration curb completely useless. The UK would have no choice but to instore border checks, which completely violate the Good Friday agreement. It would make absolutely no sense anymore for NI to be part of the UK and not only Catholics there would see it, but probably a sizeable part of the Protestand electorate.

    Furthermore, leaving the EU, as the UK seems to be not sleepwalking towards a Brexit but actively forcing the door open with all the ridiculous EU- and migrant-bashing rhethoric taking place in the English media, not totally unlike what was going on in Germany in the 30s, would seriously compromise trade with the South, who have absolutely no intention of leaving – be it the Euro, or let alone the EU altogether, EU membership has many advantages beyond the obvious trade benefits, e.g. the bailout that saved Ireland’s life (and incidentally the UK’s too given the €140bn exposure of English banks to Ireland at the height of the debt crisis). The UK would become disconnected to even Ireland, a fact that the majority of people in NI would not agree to, raising the prospect of a United Ireland.

    Likewise, let’s discuss the Scottish independence with the EU in mind. Unlike their neighbours to the South, Scots are generally pro-EU and share historical links to many EU countries, e.g. France, and obviously Ireland. The UK, seeming hell-bent on leaving the EU, would seriously hamper trade between Scotland and Ireland as well as with other EU nations, a fact that would be difficult to accept by Scots. Scottish voters should take this into account when they vote, since if they stay in, it may very well be to leave the EU – and possibly say farewell their historical connection with Ireland.

    Finally, a trivial argument that should be taken into account by settled English/Welsh/NI students in Scotland – who would be allowed to vote: if Scotland becomes independent, England/Wales/NI would now be a separate EU nation. Under current EU rules, students from EU members do not pay tuition fees in Scotland. Thus, all future English/Welsh/NI students would pay no tuition fees in Scotland, as opposed to £9,000 p.a. currently. A thought to bear in mind when you vote!

  • James

    The partition line first proposed had encompassed the whole province of Ulster (nine counties). Unionists rejected this because they could not maintain a majority in such an enlarged area.

    The partition of Ireland was merely an innovation of the British governments tried and trusted colonial strategy of divide and rule, used throughout its former colonial empire.

    “On what rightful principle may a state, being not more than one-fifth part of the Nation in soil and population, break up the Nation and then cause a proportionately large sub-division of itself in a most arbitrary way?”United States President Abraham Lincoln, February 18th, 1861

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