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  1. #1
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    Is the UK going to split?

    Particularly interested in hearing from @Donal Cozzie on this one.

    Recent polling in Scotland suggests that for the first time there is a majority to split from the Act of Union. The Scots are heavily for the EU and have been taken out of it by English Conservatives / Nationalists.

    What will a Yes vote in IndyRef2 mean for the economy of the resulting two states Scotland, and England / Wales / NI? The Scots will have a claim on part of the North Sea and therefore North Sea oil and gas. Longer term, that may not be so significant as Europe pivots to renewables. But it can only help the Scottish economy and damage the English.

    The EU will insist on protecting its customs area in The Republic of Ireland so that means either a land border with the Six Counties - unthinkable as it will likely provoke a return to violence. Or the island of Ireland will be within a customs border, in which case tariff-free imported goods from the EEA will be able to be driven into the Six Counties without checks. NI will automatically start to lean away from the UK and more to the EU. How far away is a referendum to leave the UK and reunify? And will this cause violence to resume by Loyalist paramilitaries?

    Fascinating years of change ahead.

  2. #2
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    The Irish reunification bit is what fascinates me most: a historical wrong being righted. I was reading up on it a few months back, and also quizzed Donal about it, and I was surprised, even a little taken aback, by just how rational, rather than emotional, the people of the Republic of Ireland are about it. Newspaper articles and editorials spoke about the financial costs of the reunification, there was talk of keeping the craziness of the north confined there, and so on and so forth. Remarkable pragmatism.

  3. #3
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    eventually yes, but i think NI issue is too much of a powder keg for anyone to want to touch immediately.

    scotland is interesting cos they obviously are pro european, but economically north sea oil revenue is too volatile and unlike Norway they wont have years of harvesting oil revenue to build a wealth fund.

    then there is the issue of the currency, dont think scotland would want to switch to euros, although regardless of what happens not having control of their currency would be a poor outcome.

    finally the EU has enough separatists within its member ranks to certainly rock the boat as far as places like catalonia and lombardy go if the EU was seen to openly support a country obtaining direct EU membership.

    too many moving parts to say what will happen, but the likelihood of long-term dissolution of the UK is certainly higher than ten or twenty years ago, even though personally i would not like to see it happen.

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    Scots might be heavily for the EU, but the benefits of that might be outweighed by the issues it would cause with splitting from the UK. Scotland is only a small country, there's basically one big city - two if you count Edinburgh - and the rest are small towns and villages. They can't even sustain a competitive football league. Most of the Scots I know watch the Premier league and maybe offer token support to their own local clubs.

    They resent the English with all their heart, but deep down they also fear independence would leave them cut off and stranded. EU is all very nice, but the rest of Britain still lies between them.


    I for one welcome our new In____ overlords - Kent Brockman

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    Two thoughtful replies.

    @Nostalgic - the Republic abandoned its historic constitutional claim to the Six Counties at the Good Friday Agreement in 1999.

    Though the Celtic Tiger was seriously wounded In the 2008 crash, its economy is back on track and growing the fastest of any EU state.
    While their politics tends to be classic liberal or centre-right, they are in some ways more socially liberal than the UK. They perform well in terms of press freedom. Citizens donít require a diagnosis of gender dysphoria to register as TG as in the UK - they just fill out a government form.

    The more I learn about this nation, the more I am impressed.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    Scots might be heavily for the EU, but the benefits of that might be outweighed by the issues it would cause with splitting from the UK. Scotland is only a small country, there's basically one big city - two if you count Edinburgh - and the rest are small towns and villages. They can't even sustain a competitive football league. Most of the Scots I know watch the Premier league and maybe offer token support to their own local clubs.

    They resent the English with all their heart, but deep down they also fear independence would leave them cut off and stranded. EU is all very nice, but the rest of Britain still lies between them.
    Hmm.... Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen are all Europe-facing ports.

    The Irish Sea is pretty narrow in places, and the port of Glasgow faces Ireland.

  7. #7
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    UK is already a pretty small nation (by landmass). If it splits even further, it can look ridiculously small.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Hmm.... Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen are all Europe-facing ports.

    The Irish Sea is pretty narrow in places, and the port of Glasgow faces Ireland.
    Food for thought. I still think road links are important though, and that is where England will always have an advantage. As someone who lives closer to Scotland than most parts of England, this has always been an interesting topic for me. Some members of my family considered moving to Scotland to remain in the EU, and to be honest it's still an option.

    I suppose we'll have to see how Brexit turns out for England, but I'm not optimistic. There was absolutely no need for it other than to sell newspapers by whipping up unnecessary hysteria.


    I for one welcome our new In____ overlords - Kent Brockman

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    The Irish reunification bit is what fascinates me most: a historical wrong being righted. I was reading up on it a few months back, and also quizzed Donal about it, and I was surprised, even a little taken aback, by just how rational, rather than emotional, the people of the Republic of Ireland are about it. Newspaper articles and editorials spoke about the financial costs of the reunification, there was talk of keeping the craziness of the north confined there, and so on and so forth. Remarkable pragmatism.
    There has been too much violence between protestants and catholics, in parts of Belfast they really hate each other. The Loyalists who are protestants will turn back to bombings, shootings and violence if Ireland was ever reunited.

    British are very clever, they form such animosity between groups so peace and unfication becomes a near impossibility.


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweep_shot View Post
    UK is already a pretty small nation (by landmass). If it splits even further, it can look ridiculously small.
    There are plenty of small nations around the world. Scotland should be allowed to be independant, the elites snobs of England have never done justice to this wonderful piece of land.


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKhanWC View Post
    There are plenty of small nations around the world. Scotland should be allowed to be independant, the elites snobs of England have never done justice to this wonderful piece of land.
    Yeah. It is up to the Scots.

    I neither support nor oppose it. It was just an observation.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKhanWC View Post
    There has been too much violence between protestants and catholics, in parts of Belfast they really hate each other. The Loyalists who are protestants will turn back to bombings, shootings and violence if Ireland was ever reunited.

    British are very clever, they form such animosity between groups so peace and unfication becomes a near impossibility.
    What I read in Irish newspapers mentioned similar reasons for their skepticism: that even though the Protestants will soon be a minority in Northern Ireland (and they already are among the youth), and even though the moderates among the Protestants may be fine with reunification and an Irish identity given how progressive the Republic of Ireland is, the fringe that would resort to violence cannot be discounted, and they donít want that sort of unrest in the Republic.

    But the arguments against unification went beyond that: they also debate the financial impact, how Northern Ireland will be a drain on the resources of the Republic, and how long it would take for the new country to overcome all that. This is the bit that I found remarkable. I wouldíve thought people would look beyond banal monetary concerns, and yearn for it as a long-overdue step that restores the natural order of things.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    What I read in Irish newspapers mentioned similar reasons for their skepticism: that even though the Protestants will soon be a minority in Northern Ireland (and they already are among the youth), and even though the moderates among the Protestants may be fine with reunification and an Irish identity given how progressive the Republic of Ireland is, the fringe that would resort to violence cannot be discounted, and they don’t want that sort of unrest in the Republic.

    But the arguments against unification went beyond that: they also debate the financial impact, how Northern Ireland will be a drain on the resources of the Republic, and how long it would take for the new country to overcome all that. This is the bit that I found remarkable. I would’ve thought people would look beyond banal monetary concerns, and yearn for it as a long-overdue step that restores the natural order of things.
    Dublin is an amazing city and most of Ireland is truly beautiful while Belfast is a bit of dump, got better in recent years but not somewhere you'd take your family for a holiday.

    Im not sure you can call them fringe but a sizeable minority. The politcal wing of the loyalist terrorists were voted into government not long ago. Its like Pakistan having an coalition between PPP and Al Qaeda.

    One of the leaders is called Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair, which most of these loyalists are.


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKhanWC View Post
    Dublin is an amazing city and most of Ireland is truly beautiful while Belfast is a bit of dump, got better in recent years but not somewhere you'd take your family for a holiday.

    Im not sure you can call them fringe but a sizeable minority. The politcal wing of the loyalist terrorists were voted into government not long ago. Its like Pakistan having an coalition between PPP and Al Qaeda.

    One of the leaders is called Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair, which most of these loyalists are.
    Even so, I wouldíve thought reunification would be such an emotive issue that such concerns pale before the euphoria of it occurring, but I guess Iím wrong. Iím probably approaching it by drawing parallels between how we would see a potential reunification with Kashmir. I doubt we would even stop to consider financial implications if there were any. Europeans are far more calculating than us I suppose, even though I always had this image of the Irish as more emotional than that.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Even so, I would’ve thought reunification would be such an emotive issue that such concerns pale before the euphoria of it occurring, but I guess I’m wrong. I’m probably approaching it by drawing parallels between how we would see a potential reunification with Kashmir. I doubt we would even stop to consider financial implications if there were any. Europeans are far more calculating than us I suppose, even though I always had this image of the Irish as more emotional than that.
    I think the difference is in Kashmir there is wide spread oppression of the people by an occupying state. If the Catholics in NI were facing the same persecuation, you'd see your scenario play out along with deaths for British Troops. Irish are a peaceful people, they love to laugh, drink, sing, party and dont want to see more people die so have left the North ...for now.


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKhanWC View Post
    I think the difference is in Kashmir there is wide spread oppression of the people by an occupying state. If the Catholics in NI were facing the same persecuation, you'd see your scenario play out along with deaths for British Troops. Irish are a peaceful people, they love to laugh, drink, sing, party and dont want to see more people die so have left the North ...for now.
    You mean repression and persecution in the North was limited to those Catholics who openly opposed British rule or supported the Irish nationalists?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    I’m probably approaching it by drawing parallels between how we would see a potential reunification with Kashmir. I doubt we would even stop to consider financial implications if there were any.
    given the issue of water security and the potential for it to become a driving force in future conflicts, i think all three countries involved in the Kashmir conflict are extremely aware of its economic importance.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    You mean repression and persecution in the North was limited to those Catholics who openly opposed British rule or supported the Irish nationalists?
    Protestants are for Britain, the rest wanted a united Ireland. British were ruthless against the Catholics. In 1972 Brit soldiers shot over 25 unarmed protesters in a Catholic area.

    Rangers and Celtic support each side. Celtic are always with the resistance against occupation, as we see with their support of Palestine. Most supporters of these two are also Catholic and Protestant on each side.


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElRaja View Post
    given the issue of water security and the potential for it to become a driving force in future conflicts, i think all three countries involved in the Kashmir conflict are extremely aware of its economic importance.
    I meant detrimental economic implications, so if reunion were to be a drain on the economy. My contention was that we wouldnít really care, but the Irish appear to.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKhanWC View Post
    Protestants are for Britain, the rest wanted a united Ireland. British were ruthless against the Catholics. In 1972 Brit soldiers shot over 25 unarmed protesters in a Catholic area.

    Rangers and Celtic support each side. Celtic are always with the resistance against occupation, as we see with their support of Palestine. Most supporters of these two are also Catholic and Protestant on each side.
    Yup, Iím aware of all this. The question was were the Brits oppressing all Northern Irish Catholics, or just the ones actively opposing them. The question itself was prompted by what you said about if there were widespread persecution of Catholics in NI, there would be widespread support for reunification in the Republic.


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    I meant detrimental economic implications, so if reunion were to be a drain on the economy. My contention was that we wouldn’t really care, but the Irish appear to.
    fair point. perhaps im playing devils advocate and going off topic but you could argue that pakistan's (institutional) fervour for the kashmiri cause would not be as strong if it was purely for Kashmiri independence (which may lead to some economic detriment if it encourages separatism in Pakistan) rather than possible unification with pakistan, or maybe im being unnecessarily cyncical.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElRaja View Post
    fair point. perhaps im playing devils advocate and going off topic but you could argue that pakistan's (institutional) fervour for the kashmiri cause would not be as strong if it was purely for Kashmiri independence (which may lead to some economic detriment if it encourages separatism in Pakistan) rather than possible unification with pakistan, or maybe im being unnecessarily cyncical.
    Your reading isnít cynical, itís simply realistic. You would expect a stateís calculus to be exactly that, and it may well be that the institutional zeal wouldnít be as... zealous if the potential economic and strategic benefits werenít there and the desire for reunification were driven strictly by reasons the state officially claims, keeping those more cynical/realistic reasons out of official statements.

    Iím going to refine my original statement(s) further to restrict my observation about the lack of fervor for reunification to the Irish populace. One could imagine their state institutions making their decisions on cold hard logic, but it appears that the population concurs. Of course thereís the complication about the state at least partly basing its decisions on the wishes of the population on the one hand, and on the other manipulating public opinion to match the stateís, but if we were to divorce the state from the public for a minute, I wonder why the Irish people arenít more enthusiastic about reunification.
    Last edited by Nostalgic; 19th September 2020 at 02:53.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Iím going to refine my original statement(s) further to restrict my observation about the lack of fervor for reunification to the Irish populace. One could imagine their state institutions making their decisions on cold hard logic, but it appears that the population concurs. Of course thereís the complication about the state at least partly basing its decisions on the wishes of the population on the one hand, and on the other manipulating public opinion to match the stateís, but if we were to divorce the state from the public for a minute, I wonder why the Irish people arenít more enthusiastic about reunification.
    i was gonna make a point about economic development, individualism and the weakening of nationalism as a political ideology but spain pretty much locked down barcelona a few years ago to suppress catolonian nationalist sentiment so its tough to say.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElRaja View Post
    i was gonna make a point about economic development, individualism and the weakening of nationalism as a political ideology but spain pretty much locked down barcelona a few years ago to suppress catolonian nationalist sentiment so its tough to say.
    And I was going to respond by suggesting that the weakening of nationalism would be more pronounced in the Anglosphere than in Iberia, but then I remembered Brexit, Trump, and Boris...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKhanWC View Post
    Protestants are for Britain, the rest wanted a united Ireland. British were ruthless against the Catholics. In 1972 Brit soldiers shot over 25 unarmed protesters in a Catholic area.
    This is an oversimplification. There are Protestant Republicans and Catholic Loyalists and people from both traditions who don‘t care.

    And it bears remembering that the Mayor of Belfast asked the Home Secretary to send in the troops because the RUC couldn’t protect the Catholic community from Protestant mob violence.

    For a time this was popular among the Catholic minority, but Bloody Sunday and Internment put an end to the goodwill, and caused a sharp rise in PIRA recruitment.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Yup, I’m aware of all this. The question was were the Brits oppressing all Northern Irish Catholics, or just the ones actively opposing them. The question itself was prompted by what you said about if there were widespread persecution of Catholics in NI, there would be widespread support for reunification in the Republic.
    Its the British, they ruled India with only around 40,000 troops. Only those opposing which was the majority from what I know. I think because the Brits directly controlled Ireland for over 100 years they had plenty of time to work out how to divide and rule this land.

    I assume as the economic decline of the west continues , the Irish might once again look for freedom and unifaction. When you're hungry you want as much land and resources as possible. UK might even give up, it's a broke nation already.


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    This is an oversimplification. There are Protestant Republicans and Catholic Loyalists and people from both traditions who don‘t care.

    And it bears remembering that the Mayor of Belfast asked the Home Secretary to send in the troops because the RUC couldn’t protect the Catholic community from Protestant mob violence.

    For a time this was popular among the Catholic minority, but Bloody Sunday and Internment put an end to the goodwill, and caused a sharp rise in PIRA recruitment.
    Small minority not worth mentioning in a summary of the conflict.

    Brits have been mingling in Ireland for hundreds of years, sure one or a few mayors or politicians want to help and restore peace between both sides.

    Maybe they should ship out all those who are against a united Ireland to some place in England. Unlike other occupations such as Palestine, the Northern Irish who want to be part of Britain can actually move to Britain, problem solved.


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKhanWC View Post
    Small minority not worth mentioning in a summary of the conflict.

    Brits have been mingling in Ireland for hundreds of years, sure one or a few mayors or politicians want to help and restore peace between both sides.

    Maybe they should ship out all those who are against a united Ireland to some place in England. Unlike other occupations such as Palestine, the Northern Irish who want to be part of Britain can actually move to Britain, problem solved.
    But they are Irish. You tell an Ulster Orangeman he isn’t an Irishman, see how far you get.

    A lot would depend on the attitude of the Taoiseach and the Dail. The politics of the ruling parties seems to swing between centre and centre-right so that suggests a reasonable approach. I could foresee violence if the Loyalists feel persecuted. I think devolved government in Stormont would have to continue for the loyalists to feel they have a voice.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKhanWC View Post
    Its the British, they ruled India with only around 40,000 troops. Only those opposing which was the majority from what I know. I think because the Brits directly controlled Ireland for over 100 years they had plenty of time to work out how to divide and rule this land.

    I assume as the economic decline of the west continues , the Irish might once again look for freedom and unifaction. When you're hungry you want as much land and resources as possible. UK might even give up, it's a broke nation already.
    Well there are just seven million of them on a significant land mass so they can feed themselves and export with no problems.

    And the Republic has the EU to look after them.

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    It would be ideal to ensure sheffield, liverpool and bradford are all independent, what we all want deep down in England @Markhor

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    Speaking of the Irish B and Scotts, I don't care about either of them; if anything they bring England down, would be happy for them to get lost

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    Speaking of the Irish B and Scotts, I don't care about either of them; if anything they bring England down, would be happy for them to get lost
    And right there is part of why the Scots now want to leave the Union. England arrogance.

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    Several posts in, no one has mentioned Wales yet. Are they tethered to England in ways Scotland and Northern Ireland arenít? The England and Wales Cricket Board seems to suggest so. Do you guys feel they would eventually go their own way too, especially if Scotland and NI do first? I recall Plaid Cymru inviting Nicola Sturgeon to their party conference to guide them on winning enough votes to start off with. Being in government was a distant prospect for them.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Several posts in, no one has mentioned Wales yet. Are they tethered to England in ways Scotland and Northern Ireland aren’t? The England and Wales Cricket Board seems to suggest so. Do you guys feel they would eventually go their own way too, especially if Scotland and NI do first? I recall Plaid Cymru inviting Nicola Sturgeon to their party conference to guide them on winning enough votes to start off with. Being in government was a distant prospect for them.
    The Welsh are in an interesting position, because they are both oppressed historically by the English and yet benefiting from their position in Great Britain. England and Wales has been an administrative unit for many centuries. And Wales voted to Leave the EU, like England.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Several posts in, no one has mentioned Wales yet. Are they tethered to England in ways Scotland and Northern Ireland aren’t? The England and Wales Cricket Board seems to suggest so. Do you guys feel they would eventually go their own way too, especially if Scotland and NI do first? I recall Plaid Cymru inviting Nicola Sturgeon to their party conference to guide them on winning enough votes to start off with. Being in government was a distant prospect for them.
    wales is far more dependent on england than scotland (have oil, large maritime territories, significant financial services and two decent size cities) and NI (have ireland), its very difficult to see what wales has to gain from independence.

    also at the risk of espousing the arrogance @Robert spoke about, i think many a young welsh person value the ability to move to england (to study or work) given proximity to the south east, which would weaken independence sentiment amongst those most likely to harbour those views, young educated people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    It would be ideal to ensure sheffield, liverpool and bradford are all independent, what we all want deep down in England @Markhor
    why not just return to the heptarchy of pre unification england, i for one would love to see who is crowned the queen of essex.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Well there are just seven million of them on a significant land mass so they can feed themselves and export with no problems.

    And the Republic has the EU to look after them.
    In 10-15 years time we very well could see a new order in the world, the US dollar will no longer be the global currency, the petrodollar will end , wars will commence resulting to a new system. The Irish are as a strong as a people you will find in the west, they will survive and perhaps unify their land to secure all their island.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Several posts in, no one has mentioned Wales yet. Are they tethered to England in ways Scotland and Northern Ireland aren’t? The England and Wales Cricket Board seems to suggest so. Do you guys feel they would eventually go their own way too, especially if Scotland and NI do first? I recall Plaid Cymru inviting Nicola Sturgeon to their party conference to guide them on winning enough votes to start off with. Being in government was a distant prospect for them.
    Its a little tough to pronnounce the towns/areas.

    Welsh will be with the English for a long time to come, on their own they cant do much apart from play Rugby and eat cheese on toast. Lovely little country, about 2 hours from me is Snowdonia, great for hiking and sights.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ElRaja View Post
    why not just return to the heptarchy of pre unification england, i for one would love to see who is crowned the queen of essex.
    It would be a toss up between Graham Gooch and Alistair Cook...


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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    The Welsh are in an interesting position, because they are both oppressed historically by the English and yet benefiting from their position in Great Britain. England and Wales has been an administrative unit for many centuries. And Wales voted to Leave the EU, like England.
    Quote Originally Posted by ElRaja View Post
    wales is far more dependent on england than scotland (have oil, large maritime territories, significant financial services and two decent size cities) and NI (have ireland), its very difficult to see what wales has to gain from independence.

    also at the risk of espousing the arrogance @Robert spoke about, i think many a young welsh person value the ability to move to england (to study or work) given proximity to the south east, which would weaken independence sentiment amongst those most likely to harbour those views, young educated people.
    Quote Originally Posted by KingKhanWC View Post
    Its a little tough to pronnounce the towns/areas.

    Welsh will be with the English for a long time to come, on their own they cant do much apart from play Rugby and eat cheese on toast. Lovely little country, about 2 hours from me is Snowdonia, great for hiking and sights.
    Thanks, that answers it. I was speaking to a Welsh friend and he said the population is concentrated to the south, where nationalist sentiment is virtually non-existent. Not so much the North of Wales, but even they have historical links with Merseyside etc.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ElRaja View Post
    why not just return to the heptarchy of pre unification england, i for one would love to see who is crowned the queen of essex.
    A famous quote comes to mind, oh is he the king of Lahore, Karachi and Nottingham the throne is awaiting the great one in Notts that's for sure, vacant since 2009


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Thanks, that answers it. I was speaking to a Welsh friend and he said the population is concentrated to the south, where nationalist sentiment is virtually non-existent. Not so much the North of Wales, but even they have historical links with Merseyside etc.
    There is no such thing as a Welsh 'friend'


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    There is no such thing as a Welsh 'friend'
    How come?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    And right there is part of why the Scots now want to leave the Union. England arrogance.
    That's Engurland to you. I don't like the Irish, the Scotts and especially Scousers.


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

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    This'll never happen , not realistically, for a long while.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Particularly interested in hearing from @Donal Cozzie on this one.

    Recent polling in Scotland suggests that for the first time there is a majority to split from the Act of Union. The Scots are heavily for the EU and have been taken out of it by English Conservatives / Nationalists.

    What will a Yes vote in IndyRef2 mean for the economy of the resulting two states Scotland, and England / Wales / NI? The Scots will have a claim on part of the North Sea and therefore North Sea oil and gas. Longer term, that may not be so significant as Europe pivots to renewables. But it can only help the Scottish economy and damage the English.

    The EU will insist on protecting its customs area in The Republic of Ireland so that means either a land border with the Six Counties - unthinkable as it will likely provoke a return to violence. Or the island of Ireland will be within a customs border, in which case tariff-free imported goods from the EEA will be able to be driven into the Six Counties without checks. NI will automatically start to lean away from the UK and more to the EU. How far away is a referendum to leave the UK and reunify? And will this cause violence to resume by Loyalist paramilitaries?

    Fascinating years of change ahead.
    I think it hinges on the current situation.

    If the status quo prevails and we see either EU membership remain or some form of quasi EU membership, then no I think it'll remain. The mental impact of centuries of , shall we term , "union" do leave a significant mental and cultural toll, meaning it'd take quite a lot to break, as the Scots showed in 2014 by rejecting independence.

    If the Tory's take the UK off the cliff it seems destined to do, and if the UK as a nation continues to see its stock and reputation sink, then I definitely think the Scots will vote to go their own, as they'd benefit economically from the EU and they really aren't represented whatsoever by the UK politically or socially anymore. The UK Gov right now is quite firmly one of the Englander, not the liberal leaning Scot or Northern Irishman.

    NI I think will and should be left as is for the short to medium term, its too much of a powder keg to risk any sort of immediate or sudden constitutional change.

    I personally think Scotland will break away in the enxt decade or fifteen years if current courses are maintained, then NI will follow a decade or so down the line because if we're being realistic, if any UK member leaves the whole union will follow eventually, aside from perhaps England and Wales.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    The Irish reunification bit is what fascinates me most: a historical wrong being righted. I was reading up on it a few months back, and also quizzed Donal about it, and I was surprised, even a little taken aback, by just how rational, rather than emotional, the people of the Republic of Ireland are about it. Newspaper articles and editorials spoke about the financial costs of the reunification, there was talk of keeping the craziness of the north confined there, and so on and so forth. Remarkable pragmatism.
    The economic argument is fairly complex.

    Northern Ireland as it is now runs at a deficit of about seven billion pounds a year due to its sorry economic state and its reliance on UK government funding. I think nearly half its workforce are directly employed by the Government which is insanely high (exact stat may be off but its much higher than elsewhere in the UK)

    From our perspective the issue is more so with the short and medium term costs, as varios economic reports estimate the net gain to an all island economy of unification being about thirty billion euros worth, so unification in the long run would be quite beneficial, the issue is with the short term. In the event of it happening a) what happens to pensions b) to people employed by the UK government c)how do you introduce two million people into a totally new health service and welfare system d) how do you stave off the terrorism threat that would inevitably follow .

    It gets even more long winded as there's plenty of pros and con's. FWIW the majority here are definitely pro unification but it needs to be at the right time and in the right fashion. Although there certainly is a minority that sees how run down and mismanaged NI has been by the UK and think they'd be far better off ditching it entirely.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Donal Cozzie View Post
    The economic argument is fairly complex.

    Northern Ireland as it is now runs at a deficit of about seven billion pounds a year due to its sorry economic state and its reliance on UK government funding. I think nearly half its workforce are directly employed by the Government which is insanely high (exact stat may be off but its much higher than elsewhere in the UK)

    From our perspective the issue is more so with the short and medium term costs, as varios economic reports estimate the net gain to an all island economy of unification being about thirty billion euros worth, so unification in the long run would be quite beneficial, the issue is with the short term. In the event of it happening a) what happens to pensions b) to people employed by the UK government c)how do you introduce two million people into a totally new health service and welfare system d) how do you stave off the terrorism threat that would inevitably follow .

    It gets even more long winded as there's plenty of pros and con's. FWIW the majority here are definitely pro unification but it needs to be at the right time and in the right fashion. Although there certainly is a minority that sees how run down and mismanaged NI has been by the UK and think they'd be far better off ditching it entirely.
    Thanks. This is what I meant by pragmatism: the short- and medium-term concerns and being able to dispassionately consider them and all their implications, not the I-want-it-now approach a Pakistani would take, myself included.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donal Cozzie View Post
    The economic argument is fairly complex.

    Northern Ireland as it is now runs at a deficit of about seven billion pounds a year due to its sorry economic state and its reliance on UK government funding. I think nearly half its workforce are directly employed by the Government which is insanely high (exact stat may be off but its much higher than elsewhere in the UK)

    From our perspective the issue is more so with the short and medium term costs, as varios economic reports estimate the net gain to an all island economy of unification being about thirty billion euros worth, so unification in the long run would be quite beneficial, the issue is with the short term. In the event of it happening a) what happens to pensions b) to people employed by the UK government c)how do you introduce two million people into a totally new health service and welfare system d) how do you stave off the terrorism threat that would inevitably follow .

    It gets even more long winded as there's plenty of pros and con's. FWIW the majority here are definitely pro unification but it needs to be at the right time and in the right fashion. Although there certainly is a minority that sees how run down and mismanaged NI has been by the UK and think they'd be far better off ditching it entirely.
    See, this nuts and bolts stuff is why I always seek your opinion @Donal Cozzie. Of course the British TUPE law won’t apply if 100Ks of civil servants suddenly change nationality. Could there be an interim solution where Ulster becomes a dominion of Ireland with its own laws, administered from Stormont?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKhanWC View Post
    There are plenty of small nations around the world. Scotland should be allowed to be independant, the elites snobs of England have never done justice to this wonderful piece of land.
    You could argue that the union of Scottish intellectualism with English industrial might and martial skill is a strong alloy indeed, which hugely magnified Scottish influence across the world.

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    We will see both Scottish independence and Irish reunification within our lifetimes I think.

    The United Kingdom of England and Wales is all that will remain.

    I have personal opinions on each situation. But it is ultimately up to each individual country to determine its own future.

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    People forget that Northern Ireland's cultural, religious and social links are to Scotland, not England and Wales.

    Boris Johnson is despised in Scotland. If he actually does renege on the EU Withdrawal Agreement he will light a fire which can only end in Scottish independence.

    But while the Protestant majority in Northern Ireland has no love for the Republic of Ireland, they want to be in the same country as Scotland, not England.

    I can imagine Ireland (incorporating an autonomous Northern Ireland) and Scotland as EU members, with England and Wales as a separate country. So basically exactly as cricket and rugby are already structured!

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    Irish independence always seemed more logical to me than Scotland or Wales. Scotland is part of the same land mass as England, as is Wales, whereas Ireland is an island in it's own right. It's basically just a self contained little splodge in the Atlantic ocean when viewed on a map. I'm not even sure why they speak English. Don't they have their own language?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    I'm not even sure why they speak English. Don't they have their own language?

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    Is the UK going to split? The UK is already spilt with polarised politics - thanks to the liberals.

    Liberals wanted to revert democracy, well they got it - now deal with it. If the UK split it's because of the liberals.

    In other news, Ireland has more ties with Amreeka than England. Who funded the greatest terrorist threat to the UK, IRA, ever? Amreeka.

    Don't fall for the hollow cries of the left. You have the OP bailing to Irish citizenship, the same clan worried about a UK split. Hypocrisy and daylight fraud at it's finest.

    Liberals are the cancer to society.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    Irish independence always seemed more logical to me than Scotland or Wales. Scotland is part of the same land mass as England, as is Wales, whereas Ireland is an island in it's own right. It's basically just a self contained little splodge in the Atlantic ocean when viewed on a map. I'm not even sure why they speak English. Don't they have their own language?
    Yes, but King Henry II conquered Ireland in the 12th century, and they started speaking French and English. There was a Gaelic resurgence for a while but the Tudors reconquered Ireland - it was seen as a backdoor by Catholic France and Spain into Protestant England. Eventually English and Scottish Protestants were exported there and given plantations, so the landed class was largely English-speaking and Protestant and Gaelic culture collapsed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    People forget that Northern Ireland's cultural, religious and social links are to Scotland, not England and Wales.

    Boris Johnson is despised in Scotland. If he actually does renege on the EU Withdrawal Agreement he will light a fire which can only end in Scottish independence.

    But while the Protestant majority in Northern Ireland has no love for the Republic of Ireland, they want to be in the same country as Scotland, not England.

    I can imagine Ireland (incorporating an autonomous Northern Ireland) and Scotland as EU members, with England and Wales as a separate country. So basically exactly as cricket and rugby are already structured!
    That’s where my paternal line comes from.

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    I dont think we will see Scottish independence. Ever.

    People underestimate the strong but silent support for British unionism amongst the protestant community in Scotland. It may not have historically translated to votes for the Conservatives but it exists and they will mobilise in the event of another referendum.

    I remember during the last referendum there was no real economic argument. That has been compounded now by the fall in oil prices. Speaking to friends and family back in Scotland and the support just doesn't seem to be there anymore as people are scared of jumping into the unknown again.

    I now live in the North of England. The problems are the same here as in Scotland. However the main opposition political parties seem unable to tackle them and its left the working class whites without a place to go and they have lurched to the Tories. In Scotland many have drifted towards nationalism as a solution.

    A strong left wing party on economic issues that is also conservative on Social issues is lacking. If a party can step into this vacuum it could really unite the population across GB.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadlyVenom View Post
    I dont think we will see Scottish independence. Ever.

    People underestimate the strong but silent support for British unionism amongst the protestant community in Scotland. It may not have historically translated to votes for the Conservatives but it exists and they will mobilise in the event of another referendum.

    I remember during the last referendum there was no real economic argument. That has been compounded now by the fall in oil prices. Speaking to friends and family back in Scotland and the support just doesn't seem to be there anymore as people are scared of jumping into the unknown again.

    I now live in the North of England. The problems are the same here as in Scotland. However the main opposition political parties seem unable to tackle them and its left the working class whites without a place to go and they have lurched to the Tories. In Scotland many have drifted towards nationalism as a solution.

    A strong left wing party on economic issues that is also conservative on Social issues is lacking. If a party can step into this vacuum it could really unite the population across GB.
    I disagree bro. The polls now show a lead for Yes vote, which was pretty equal previously.

    I dont think it will be the economical policies but the simple truth the UK is run by a bunch of Tory clowns. Now Labour once again has turned its back on it's social foundations, Scots will want out.

    You are from Scotland, so I take your view on board but still feel it's inevitable.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    Irish independence always seemed more logical to me than Scotland or Wales. Scotland is part of the same land mass as England, as is Wales, whereas Ireland is an island in it's own right. It's basically just a self contained little splodge in the Atlantic ocean when viewed on a map. I'm not even sure why they speak English. Don't they have their own language?
    We do. Irish or Gaeilge. Scotland has a dialect spoken in the Highlands and Islands.

    The most common language up to the turn of the 19th century, it declined significantly due to the impact of the Great Hunger and centuries of policies aimed at wiping it out. Job interviews, business dealings, schools etc were all forbidden from using anything bar English. Stories still remain of teachers encouraging other children to beat any students caught speaking in Irish.

    It's still spoken today. About 100,000 native speakers and another few thousand who gain fluency as it is heavily funded and a core part of the education system. Unfortunately, the method through which it is taught is quite dreadful so the vast majority of people today outside the Gaeltacht areas (where it's the native tongue still) only hold a fairly poor level.

    Far from a dead tongue, but very much peripheral. Oddly enough Ulster Presbyterians were some of its most passionate defenders in its toughest times.


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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadlyVenom View Post
    I dont think we will see Scottish independence. Ever.

    People underestimate the strong but silent support for British unionism amongst the protestant community in Scotland. It may not have historically translated to votes for the Conservatives but it exists and they will mobilise in the event of another referendum.

    I remember during the last referendum there was no real economic argument. That has been compounded now by the fall in oil prices. Speaking to friends and family back in Scotland and the support just doesn't seem to be there anymore as people are scared of jumping into the unknown again.

    I now live in the North of England. The problems are the same here as in Scotland. However the main opposition political parties seem unable to tackle them and its left the working class whites without a place to go and they have lurched to the Tories. In Scotland many have drifted towards nationalism as a solution.

    A strong left wing party on economic issues that is also conservative on Social issues is lacking. If a party can step into this vacuum it could really unite the population across GB.
    I very much agree with this, it was very apparent in the last campaign. But personally I think the regular disdain the Scottish MP's get treated with in Westminster, combined with the blatant corruption of the current Tory Government, and railroading of Scotland out of the EU against its will would be enough to overturn this, although it would be tight.

    After several hundred years there does seem to be a bit of a Stockholm Syndrome amongst many Scots, which is odd as we've thrived through independence, althought I suppose Ireland and Scotland historically held difference levels of important within the Union.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Thanks. This is what I meant by pragmatism: the short- and medium-term concerns and being able to dispassionately consider them and all their implications, not the I-want-it-now approach a Pakistani would take, myself included.
    Well we went through this phase in many ways. But the difference is eventually the penny dropped that NI vehemently opposed reunification. The core part of the GFA from our side was official recognition that any unity had to be through consent and not some bombing raid or a sneaky gift by the UK Government. Once you hold a political discussion on a matter like this, people's views change.

    One of the few things I think we've nailed politically is the requirement for every constitutional change to go through a public referendum. It meant that there was a very public and political debate amongst the nation over the GFA and what ratifying it and releasing articles 2 and 2 (the claim to NI) did. It was discussed, voted on and passed. Closure in many ways.

    You also need to factor in that the country had endured two decades of *** for tat bombings, maimings, killings, atrocities. Twin children petrol bombed in their living rooms, protestant workers lined up and shot on the way home, football fans massacred watching the world cup in a pub. People had had enough, nothing was worth these sacrifices and tragedies. No doubt at the outset the mentality was like yours and some still hold it today, but the majority made the right choice and so we are where we are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    See, this nuts and bolts stuff is why I always seek your opinion @Donal Cozzie. Of course the British TUPE law won’t apply if 100Ks of civil servants suddenly change nationality. Could there be an interim solution where Ulster becomes a dominion of Ireland with its own laws, administered from Stormont?
    The general consensus here of what would happen assuming unification occurred would be for Stormont to remain for a temporary or maybe even permanent period similar to it is now, a devolved administration under Dail Eireann. In fact some Unionists, although not many, actually support Unification on the basis that Unionism would, overnight, become a pretty important political figure in an all Ireland set-up, unlike in the UK now ehre, barring a freak Kingsmakers arrangement which was a disaster, they are very much an irrelevance.

    Wouldn't help the DUP much, but the more moderate Unionist parties could thrive in an all Ireland set-up, given the number of coalition governments we tend to have its quite likely many would be in Government.


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    Probably the biggest reason @Nostalgic coming back to your point is that, pardon me if I'm wrong, but Pakistan in general seems to be miles removed from the Kashmir conflicts direct consequences. Not the entire country of course I know it has a border, but the average citizen in the country will likely never set foot within a few hundred miles of that particular border. It doesn't really impact on people's lives, the vast majority anyway.

    As a small island where 100 kilometres separates Dublin and Belfast the reality was the Troubles had an impact everywhere in Ireland, even though there were comparatively few incidents in the Republic, they did occur and the place is so small everyone knows someone who knew or was caught up in an incident. My old headmaster used to tell us of the football matches that would take place between schools and county sides in the North. They would regularly be played under the watch of a British Army squad overlooking proceedings. Hell one pitch is pretty much next to a military barracks in Armagh Small experiences like this and the checkpoints meant that everybody felt the conflict, whether you wanted to or not.

    https://www.irishnews.com/picturesar...e28353a709.jpg

    Here's a photo of that grounf. Only a small thing but as a visiting team, even if you lived as far as humanely possible away from the conflict on the island and were only on a day trip, you sure as hell didn't forget about it once you got home that evening.

    It's easy to hold an attitude of "Reclaim xxx at all costs" when you're on a keyboard or living thousands of miles away from the hotseat, but when the bombs start going off outside, someone gets shot at the end of your street and army patrols drive on by every day it becomes a hell of a lot more real and only then does the penny truly drop.

    Anyway getting OT so I'll quit there, not the right thread.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Donal Cozzie View Post
    Probably the biggest reason @Nostalgic coming back to your point is that, pardon me if I'm wrong, but Pakistan in general seems to be miles removed from the Kashmir conflicts direct consequences. Not the entire country of course I know it has a border, but the average citizen in the country will likely never set foot within a few hundred miles of that particular border. It doesn't really impact on people's lives, the vast majority anyway.

    As a small island where 100 kilometres separates Dublin and Belfast the reality was the Troubles had an impact everywhere in Ireland, even though there were comparatively few incidents in the Republic, they did occur and the place is so small everyone knows someone who knew or was caught up in an incident. My old headmaster used to tell us of the football matches that would take place between schools and county sides in the North. They would regularly be played under the watch of a British Army squad overlooking proceedings. Hell one pitch is pretty much next to a military barracks in Armagh Small experiences like this and the checkpoints meant that everybody felt the conflict, whether you wanted to or not.

    https://www.irishnews.com/picturesar...e28353a709.jpg

    Here's a photo of that grounf. Only a small thing but as a visiting team, even if you lived as far as humanely possible away from the conflict on the island and were only on a day trip, you sure as hell didn't forget about it once you got home that evening.

    It's easy to hold an attitude of "Reclaim xxx at all costs" when you're on a keyboard or living thousands of miles away from the hotseat, but when the bombs start going off outside, someone gets shot at the end of your street and army patrols drive on by every day it becomes a hell of a lot more real and only then does the penny truly drop.

    Anyway getting OT so I'll quit there, not the right thread.
    Islamabad is actually only 100 miles away from Srinagar - the capital of Indian controlled Kashmir, the Punjab province also shares a big border with Jammu and Azad Kashmir. Also Abbotabad, home to Pakistan's biggest military academy is only about 100-200 kms from the Line of control. Also while Lahore does not border Kashmir, it's right on the Indian border and any fallout from Kashmir secession would definitely impact them like what happened in 1965 and 1971.

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    @Nostalgic I've seen the same pragmatism from South Koreans, a lot of them fear unification with the North would cost them a lot and hurt their economy, however I personally believe that these sacrifices are neccesary for the national project - in fact in the long run it would result in a net gain rather than a net loss, it's almost near impossible to increase your terrotiry in this day and age post-WW2 so when you have the chance gain a large piece of land and have the chance of increasing population (more people = bigger internal market) then you can't pass up on that oppurtunity, it might cost a lot in the short-term to the economy but after 2 generations or so the benefits would be evident.
    Last edited by Giannis; 21st September 2020 at 08:58.

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    I'm not British, but i hope it does not split up. Its one thing if North Ireland joins Ireland, but i dont see how Wales or Scotland will benefit by leaving the UK.

    I watched this video before on the History of British Isles, and its amazing from being divided into tiny fiefdoms the island was able to unite.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7k9utCpzF50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donal Cozzie View Post
    Probably the biggest reason @Nostalgic coming back to your point is that, pardon me if I'm wrong, but Pakistan in general seems to be miles removed from the Kashmir conflicts direct consequences. Not the entire country of course I know it has a border, but the average citizen in the country will likely never set foot within a few hundred miles of that particular border. It doesn't really impact on people's lives, the vast majority anyway.

    As a small island where 100 kilometres separates Dublin and Belfast the reality was the Troubles had an impact everywhere in Ireland, even though there were comparatively few incidents in the Republic, they did occur and the place is so small everyone knows someone who knew or was caught up in an incident. My old headmaster used to tell us of the football matches that would take place between schools and county sides in the North. They would regularly be played under the watch of a British Army squad overlooking proceedings. Hell one pitch is pretty much next to a military barracks in Armagh Small experiences like this and the checkpoints meant that everybody felt the conflict, whether you wanted to or not.

    https://www.irishnews.com/picturesar...e28353a709.jpg

    Here's a photo of that grounf. Only a small thing but as a visiting team, even if you lived as far as humanely possible away from the conflict on the island and were only on a day trip, you sure as hell didn't forget about it once you got home that evening.

    It's easy to hold an attitude of "Reclaim xxx at all costs" when you're on a keyboard or living thousands of miles away from the hotseat, but when the bombs start going off outside, someone gets shot at the end of your street and army patrols drive on by every day it becomes a hell of a lot more real and only then does the penny truly drop.

    Anyway getting OT so I'll quit there, not the right thread.
    The smaller distance influencing public opinion is an intriguing thought. Itís just that the reaction to that could so easily have been the opposite of what you describe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giannis View Post
    @Nostalgic I've seen the same pragmatism from South Koreans, a lot of them fear unification with the North would cost them a lot and hurt their economy, however I personally believe that these sacrifices are neccesary for the national project - in fact in the long run it would result in a net gain rather than a net loss, it's almost near impossible to increase your terrotiry in this day and age post-WW2 so when you have the chance gain a large piece of land and have the chance of increasing population (more people = bigger internal market) then you can't pass up on that oppurtunity, it might cost a lot in the short-term to the economy but after 2 generations or so the benefits would be evident.
    Correct. I wonder what it was like in West Germany pre-unification. I imagine it was pro-unification, given that it happened after all, but there mustíve been dissenting voices.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Correct. I wonder what it was like in West Germany pre-unification. I imagine it was pro-unification, given that it happened after all, but there must’ve been dissenting voices.
    There were. Many West Germany felt that their economy would tank. Instead it took wing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donal Cozzie View Post
    I very much agree with this, it was very apparent in the last campaign. But personally I think the regular disdain the Scottish MP's get treated with in Westminster, combined with the blatant corruption of the current Tory Government, and railroading of Scotland out of the EU against its will would be enough to overturn this, although it would be tight.

    After several hundred years there does seem to be a bit of a Stockholm Syndrome amongst many Scots, which is odd as we've thrived through independence, althought I suppose Ireland and Scotland historically held difference levels of important within the Union.
    Does the large number of English people who have moved to Scotland play a big factor? I would imagine that most of them would still have some loyalty to England and would be against a split, although with Brexit that loyalty might be less than before.

    Anyway, regardless of whether they stay with the union or not, I would like to see Ireland united again. Would be nice to see the same happen in Korea at some point, but that looks a bit further off.


    I for one welcome our new In____ overlords - Kent Brockman

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    Does the large number of English people who have moved to Scotland play a big factor? I would imagine that most of them would still have some loyalty to England and would be against a split, although with Brexit that loyalty might be less than before.

    Anyway, regardless of whether they stay with the union or not, I would like to see Ireland united again. Would be nice to see the same happen in Korea at some point, but that looks a bit further off.
    Current polling in Scotland would suggest that some English who moved North want independence too.

    They could always apply for British passports, having been born in England, and adopt dual nationality.

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    Angus Robertson, the SNP's former Westminster leader, said ď55,000 predominantly No supporting voters (were) passing away every yearĒ.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics...saying-elderly

    Yup, SNP and liberals in a nutshell. Counting on the death of elderly for a win. Despicable.

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    The oil price crash and questions over currency means the economic case for Scottish independence is weak. But then again, nations aren't always born out from pragmatic economic considerations. The complex political arrangements in Northern Ireland make Scottish independence more likely, but the Brexit Irish Border issue means reunification has become far more palatable to moderate Catholics, and a small percentage of moderate Unionists, than ever before.

    I still think a United Ireland could work if the North has autonomy and the Protestants are allowed to keep their cultural symbols, marches etc. Basically swap the roles of Britain and the Republic of Ireland in the Good Friday Agreement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    You mean repression and persecution in the North was limited to those Catholics who openly opposed British rule or supported the Irish nationalists?
    To answer this question, Catholics were treated as second class citizens from the foundation of Northern Ireland in 1921, not just those openly opposing British rule.

    Immediately the Unionists placed the levers of political power in the hands of Protestants. The first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, James Craig, abolished Proportional Representation and began a programme of gerrymandering with the most famous example being Derry city council. 10,000 Nationalist voters returned 8 Nationalist Councillors, while 7,500 Unionist voters returned 12 Unionist Councillors. Voting for local government itself was limited to ratepayers and spouses - and of course Protestants were more likely to own or rent a home. Housing and employment discrimination was commonplace.

    Judges and magistrates were almost exclusively Protestants. Meanwhile, policing was the armed wing of Unionism. The RUC/B Specials were overwhelmingly Protestant, and heavyhanded against Catholics. As James Craig said himself, "We are a Protestant Parliament and a Protestant State".

    It came to a head in the late 1960s. Inspired by the example of Dr King, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association was formed. In fairness, a moderate Unionist Prime Minister, Terence O'Neill DID try to reform the system. It was met with a fierce counterreaction, most notably by Unionist Rev. Ian Paisley - had he grown a beard Paisley wouldn't be out of place amongst Pakistan's Islamist Parties. He disparaged the NICRA as a "United Ireland movement" even though NICRA was a diverse group composing of Catholics, liberals, leftists, trade unionists, and yes some United Irelanders. But moderate Unionists, or O'Neillites, were whom Paisley reserved his harshest words. Violence broke out, and it was ironically a Labour Government that sent in the troops to Northern Ireland where they stayed for the next 38 years.

    I've felt the greatest recruiters for Sinn Fein and the IRA were the violent reactions of hardline Unionists and the British Army. Had the Unionists seriously committed to reform in the 1950s and 1960s, perhaps the Unionists wouldn't have needed to powershare with the Catholics or accept the GFA which enables a Unity referendum to be called should the majority in the North want it (not unrealistic if the 2021 Census returns a Catholic Majority). But the Unionists kept barking "NEVER NEVER NEVER" - and could never let go of their Siege Mentality stemming from when they colonised the place. And the tragedy is, today English Unionists care little for their Ulster brethren.

    The best book I can recommend on the Troubles is "Making Sense of the Troubles" by David McKittrick and David McVea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    The oil price crash and questions over currency means the economic case for Scottish independence is weak. But then again, nations aren't always born out from pragmatic economic considerations. The complex political arrangements in Northern Ireland make Scottish independence more likely, but the Brexit Irish Border issue means reunification has become far more palatable to moderate Catholics, and a small percentage of moderate Unionists, than ever before.

    I still think a United Ireland could work if the North has autonomy and the Protestants are allowed to keep their cultural symbols, marches etc. Basically swap the roles of Britain and the Republic of Ireland in the Good Friday Agreement.



    To answer this question, Catholics were treated as second class citizens from the foundation of Northern Ireland in 1921, not just those openly opposing British rule.

    Immediately the Unionists placed the levers of political power in the hands of Protestants. The first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, James Craig, abolished Proportional Representation and began a programme of gerrymandering with the most famous example being Derry city council. 10,000 Nationalist voters returned 8 Nationalist Councillors, while 7,500 Unionist voters returned 12 Unionist Councillors. Voting for local government itself was limited to ratepayers and spouses - and of course Protestants were more likely to own or rent a home. Housing and employment discrimination was commonplace.

    Judges and magistrates were almost exclusively Protestants. Meanwhile, policing was the armed wing of Unionism. The RUC/B Specials were overwhelmingly Protestant, and heavyhanded against Catholics. As James Craig said himself, "We are a Protestant Parliament and a Protestant State".

    It came to a head in the late 1960s. Inspired by the example of Dr King, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association was formed. In fairness, a moderate Unionist Prime Minister, Terence O'Neill DID try to reform the system. It was met with a fierce counterreaction, most notably by Unionist Rev. Ian Paisley - had he grown a beard Paisley wouldn't be out of place amongst Pakistan's Islamist Parties. He disparaged the NICRA as a "United Ireland movement" even though NICRA was a diverse group composing of Catholics, liberals, leftists, trade unionists, and yes some United Irelanders. But moderate Unionists, or O'Neillites, were whom Paisley reserved his harshest words. Violence broke out, and it was ironically a Labour Government that sent in the troops to Northern Ireland where they stayed for the next 38 years.

    I've felt the greatest recruiters for Sinn Fein and the IRA were the violent reactions of hardline Unionists and the British Army. Had the Unionists seriously committed to reform in the 1950s and 1960s, perhaps the Unionists wouldn't have needed to powershare with the Catholics or accept the GFA which enables a Unity referendum to be called should the majority in the North want it (not unrealistic if the 2021 Census returns a Catholic Majority). But the Unionists kept barking "NEVER NEVER NEVER" - and could never let go of their Siege Mentality stemming from when they colonised the place. And the tragedy is, today English Unionists care little for their Ulster brethren.

    The best book I can recommend on the Troubles is "Making Sense of the Troubles" by David McKittrick and David McVea.
    Thanks, that was very informative. Iíll try to get my hands on the book.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    There were. Many West Germany felt that their economy would tank. Instead it took wing.
    On the other side though, thereís a sentiment called Ostalgie:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostalgie

    Prompted at least in part by the erstwhile West Germans considering them country bumpkins. They were apart for 45 years, and itís been thirty years already since reunification. In 15 years, they will have been together again as long as they had been apart, but it certainly looks like those 45 years apart had enough of an impact that it will take quite a while longer for them to achieve some sort of parity and cohesion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Correct. I wonder what it was like in West Germany pre-unification. I imagine it was pro-unification, given that it happened after all, but there mustíve been dissenting voices.
    the germans always saw both halfs of the country as one, which pbly had a lot to do with the fact that they were split after the loss of a war, not from demographic or political reasons.

    this is a great video on the general subject and the influence of helmut kohl on german reunification. germany paid a price for the reunification tho, giving up claims to what had historically formed nearly a quarter of its territory.


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    Fantastic summary @Markhor.

    Saved everyone a thousand or mroe words of my drivel lol.

    Your point regarding the Provisional IRA is spot on as well. The original IRA did actually launch a border campaign in the fifties, which was an abject failure and never had any support. It culminated in a failed raid of an RUC police station in Enniskillen iirc where the IRA members involved were all killed.

    Shortly afterwards they ended the Campaign and the IRA as we knew it from the early 20th century officially ceased to exist.

    It was out of the ashes of Bloody Sunday that the Provo's really gained serious traction. Being an oppressed young person in Derry, no vote, no job, no house, seeing the Army you originally welcomed with open arms join with the RUC in beating and murdering innocent protestors, then cover it up, can you blame some for turning to arms?

    That incident more than any other made the Provos. They couldn''t have asked for a better recruiting tool in that respect.

    I seem to recall James Faulkner also being the Unionist Leader at the time of Sunningdale. No surprise Paisley et al demonised all and anyone willing to talk with the Taigs. We're talking about a mob who lined up and spat/hollered abuse at Catholic schoolchildren as young as six for daring to walk to school through "their" land.


    See You Space Cowboy....

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElRaja View Post
    the germans always saw both halfs of the country as one, which pbly had a lot to do with the fact that they were split after the loss of a war, not from demographic or political reasons.

    this is a great video on the general subject and the influence of helmut kohl on german reunification. germany paid a price for the reunification tho, giving up claims to what had historically formed nearly a quarter of its territory.

    The video neglects to mention that there werenít all that many ethnic Germans in the area ceded to Poland. Even when that region was part of Prussia, I doubt the Germans formed the majority there.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donal Cozzie View Post
    Fantastic summary @Markhor.

    Saved everyone a thousand or mroe words of my drivel lol.

    Your point regarding the Provisional IRA is spot on as well. The original IRA did actually launch a border campaign in the fifties, which was an abject failure and never had any support. It culminated in a failed raid of an RUC police station in Enniskillen iirc where the IRA members involved were all killed.

    Shortly afterwards they ended the Campaign and the IRA as we knew it from the early 20th century officially ceased to exist.

    It was out of the ashes of Bloody Sunday that the Provo's really gained serious traction. Being an oppressed young person in Derry, no vote, no job, no house, seeing the Army you originally welcomed with open arms join with the RUC in beating and murdering innocent protestors, then cover it up, can you blame some for turning to arms?

    That incident more than any other made the Provos. They couldn''t have asked for a better recruiting tool in that respect.

    I seem to recall James Faulkner also being the Unionist Leader at the time of Sunningdale. No surprise Paisley et al demonised all and anyone willing to talk with the Taigs. We're talking about a mob who lined up and spat/hollered abuse at Catholic schoolchildren as young as six for daring to walk to school through "their" land.
    I had a few questions. During The Troubles, Sinn Fein were often mentioned in the press as the political wing of the IRA, but it was more nuanced than that, wasnít it? If I remember correctly, Sinn Fein predate the IRA by quite a bit, or is my age catching up with me? Also werenít they at the forefront of the independence movement? So how did they end up being supplanted by Fiana Fail and Fine Gael?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    I had a few questions. During The Troubles, Sinn Fein were often mentioned in the press as the political wing of the IRA, but it was more nuanced than that, wasn’t it? If I remember correctly, Sinn Fein predate the IRA by quite a bit, or is my age catching up with me? Also weren’t they at the forefront of the independence movement? So how did they end up being supplanted by Fiana Fail and Fine Gael?
    There was fusion - some of the IRA godfathers became elected as Sinn Fein MPs. Sinn Fein are active in both the NI Assembly and the Dail.

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    Great question @Nostalgic, worthy of more reading.

    Sinn Fein (ďWe OurselvesĒ) formed in the early 1900s. They gained a majority in the 1918 election and set up the DŠil …ireann, supporting the IRA (who were uniformed in those days) in the War of Independence.

    They later split during the Irish Civil War into Treatyists and anti-Treatyists. De Valera took a lot with him and formed Fianna Fail.

    After Partition, quite a lot of what some Loyalists disparagingly refer to as ďThe ShinnersĒ remained on the NI side and were elected as British MPs. Curiously the first woman elected to Parliament was not Nancy Astor but Constance Markievicz of Sinn Fein, but of course she did not take her seat in the Commons as that would meaning swearing herself to the King.

    Brilliant thread gents, I am learning loads!


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