GENIRE-L ArchivesArchiver > GENIRE > 1999-08 > 0933792377
From: "Jim Conner" <>
Subject: Re: TO CENTER WITH THE COMPASS, SQUARE AND PLUMB
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 1999 19:46:17 +0100
I agree with you entirely. I was, in fact, going to mention that, in
time, we would all be governed from Brussels anyway, but I
felt that my message was getting a bit long.
EU rule is for the future, though. I think we're a few decades
away from it yet, and so there's still the short term to think about.
One former Ulster Unionist minister - in the old Stormont
Parliament - said not so long ago that Unionists might find it
easier to swallow a united Ireland if Ireland would (as South
Africa has now done - successfully) apply to rejoin the British
Commonwealth. Dublin would have full political control over
the 32 counties, just as the governments of Australia, Canada,
South Africa, India and so on have full control over their own
countries, but would, as those and all the other Commonwealth
countries do, acknowledge the sovereignty of the British monarch.
It is only something ceremonial but it keeps the countries of the
Commonwealth together as a sort of family. If Ireland were to
rejoin, then the Unionists, now part of a united Ireland, would still
have that tie with Britain. As the former minister (Roy Bradford)
said, in such circumstances many Unionists might be persuaded
to accept a united Ireland.
My little idea was just another thought along similar lines. We'd
each have our own government, with all Ulster governed once more
from Dublin, but at least the Unionists would have the consolation
of having a federated British Isles parliament there to debate
matters of common interest. The Unionists' links with the rest of
Britain wouldn't be entirely broken.
A bit of give and take is necessary in all negotiations. You can't
simply claim everything for yourself and offer your opponent
nothing. I don't grudge offering the Unionists something. After
all, the last major plantation of Scots and English settlers into
Ulster (the forefathers of today's Ulster Unionists) was carried
out in the first two or three years of the 17th century. It was all
over and done with before the Mayflower set sail for
To argue that the Ulster Unionists should have no say in what
happens to Ulster (as some people do), because they are the
descendants of British settlers and not true Irish, is quite unfair.
They've been in Ulster for longer than Europeans have been in
the United States. You might as well say that only American
Indians should have a voice in what happens in the US.
So I would want to find a way of uniting Ireland while giving the Unionists
something as well. My idea, I thought, might be one
way. Roy Bradford's idea might be another.
Peter Flass <> wrote in message
> Jim Conner wrote:
> > What I would love to see is the Irish joining, in spirit, the British
> > Isles fold, and not looking at the British as an age-old enemy.
> > I would dearly love to see a federation of British Isles peoples
> > - the Scots, the Irish, the English and the Welsh all having our
> > own parliaments in Edinburgh, Dublin, London and Cardiff
> > respectively, but cooperating on certain matters of common
> > interest in a joint parliament which would rotate on an annual
> > basis between the four capitals, with no one country being predominant.
> > There might even be the germ of a solution to
> > the Ulster problem in that idea.
> It would apear from outside that the EU is making national governments
> not obsolete but irrelevant.
> Pretty soon you'll all be where the US has been for a couple of
> centuries. I'm not sure people realize what's happening.
|Re: TO CENTER WITH THE COMPASS, SQUARE AND PLUMB by "Jim Conner" <>|