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Montevideo, December 17th 2017 - 13:57 UTC

Poll shows that 49% of Irish republic favor a united Ireland

Wednesday, December 6th 2017 - 10:23 UTC
Full article 69 comments

A new poll has found just under half of the Republic's voters want a united Ireland. The results revealed on Irish television Live on Monday night showed 49% in favor, 29% against, and 22% of respondents saying they 'Don't Know'. Read full article

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  • Islander1

    Sorry, this is largely irrelvant - the future of Northern Ireland is largely SOD ALL to do with the Irish republic as regards political unification - That is solely the decision of the people of Northern Ireland to make should they wish to in a democratic free vote if they want to have one.

    Dec 06th, 2017 - 11:19 am - Link - Report abuse +3
  • EscoSesDoidao

    Three cheers for Arline Foster and the DUP. Keep doing what you are doing folks.

    Dec 06th, 2017 - 11:26 am - Link - Report abuse -3
  • darragh

    Islander1

    As a citizen of the Republic of Ireland I have to say that I agree with you 100%.

    Dec 06th, 2017 - 11:26 am - Link - Report abuse +3
  • EscoSesDoidao

    Quite amusing to read about just how willing the British Government were to hand over NI to the Republic on condition the Irish would allow British troops to retreat there when they thought the Wermacht was about to come to GB in 1940.

    Dec 06th, 2017 - 12:10 pm - Link - Report abuse -3
  • DemonTree

    @Islander1
    That's just not true. You can't unite with another country unless they allow you too; Ireland would have to agree to it as well. Moreover, the Good Friday agreement says that if and when a majority of people in both NI and in the RoI want a United Ireland, then the UK and Irish governments must make it happen. So it definitely does depend on what the people in Ireland want.

    By the way, the same DUP who just scuppered the Brexit agreement were the only major political group in NI who opposed the deal.

    Dec 06th, 2017 - 01:01 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Brit Bob

    https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/poll-just-38-want-a-united-ireland-29584149.html

    Poll: Just 3.8% want a united Ireland
    Day two of the Belfast Telegraph's survey delivers a clear message on unity and reveals worrying levels of political apathy in young

    Dec 06th, 2017 - 01:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Clyde15

    The position seems insoluble. If the North wish to be united with Eire then good luck to them BUT it cannot be done by force.
    To the outsider, unity would seem to make sense. However, the hard line Protestant majority would never accept their British citizenship to be taken from them.

    If this happened then the UVF would probably take up armed insurrection and the South would be the target....a mirror image of IRA policy.

    Darragh would know the ramifications better than anyone here.

    It would need the judgement of Solomon to solve this one and all we have is a bunch of discredited politicians who don't have a clue.

    Dec 06th, 2017 - 01:41 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Terence Hill

    Let the Unionist’s withdraw their support and let the government fall. After a general election hopefully the UK and Eire will be able to formulate an agreement that is in the best interests of both countries. With an included referendum of whether the UK accepts Ulster as part of the UK. Leaving the Unionists to their proper role of narrow bigots in an independent provincial back-water.

    Dec 06th, 2017 - 02:01 pm - Link - Report abuse -4
  • darragh

    Clyde15

    You are absolutely correct and is why I would want nothing to do with some attempt to cobble together a united Ireland. It just can't happen and not likely to for at least another century.

    TH - you can call the Unionists bigots for all you want but they are no less and no more bigoted than the 'nationalists'.

    I have lived a greater part of my life under the threat of terrorism and you know it isn't a one way street. IRA terrorists weren't freedom fighters no matter what American knuckleheads think. They were and are the scum of the Earth.

    Up until a few years ago if we went to any pub and I mean ANY pub at some time during the evening two 'gentlemen' would come round asking for donations to the 'cause'. As one took the 'donation' the other would write your name in his book and the amount you 'donated'. If you refused or didn't give a large enough 'donation' then you were likely to have a nasty 'accident' some time in the near future. It was no use complaining to the Garda as they were as terrified as everybody else.

    Those times are not entirely past and there are still pubs in Dingle that I won't go in because those self-same gentlemen will be sitting at the bar and in one case running the pub presumably using his ill-gotten gains to buy it.

    I don't want to see a return to the 'troubles' (idiotic word - it was nearer a civil war. It is only in the last couple of years that the army has been stood down from delivering money to banks) and a guaranteed way for that to happen is to try to unite the two parts of the Island. You would have better luck trying to unite Israel and Palestine.

    Dec 06th, 2017 - 04:11 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Room101

    Strong at 49%, but looks like a divided wish. Perhaps I'm reading that wrongly?

    Dec 06th, 2017 - 04:45 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Clyde15

    Darragh

    I agree completely with what you say. If you are “English” then you do not really have a clue as to how entrenched the views on either side are.

    I can remember when the “Troubles” were at their height, many N.Irish sold up and came to the Stranraer region to set up business only to find that they were targeted for extortion by the “patriots” of either denomination.

    I was carrying out a VAT examination to a caravan dealer in Galloway. During my visit two individuals with strong Ulster accents came in to see the owner who excused himself to talk to them outside. I could just make out snippets of the conversation. It seems that the business man had missed his last two“voluntary” contributions to the “cause ” and that unpleasant things would happen unless they left with some money. He duly came in and emptied his safe to give the contents to them. In the meantime I was assessing him for underpaid VAT. He had just given them his VAT liability.

    What could I say ? In his case I would have done the same. One is very attached to one's kneecaps !

    Dec 06th, 2017 - 05:26 pm - Link - Report abuse +4
  • LEPRecon

    Clyde15

    Actually Clyde, I think an awful lot of English people do understand the problems of Northern Ireland. There are an awful lot of English people of Irish descent (such as myself), especially in the North West of England.

    I also believe that there are only 2 ways that island of Ireland could become 1 country. The first is for the Republic to rejoin the United Kingdom (which is unlikely to happen). The second is for Northern Ireland to leave the UK and join the Republic (which is unlikely to happen).

    The main reason the second one won't happen is because the Republic is basically a serf state to the Vatican, and no Protestant, Jewish person, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Pagan, Devil Worshipper, Atheist or Agnostic wants to be ruled by a bunch of kiddie fiddlers, who force their religious superstitions on others, and regularly abuse women as well as kids.

    If the Republic truly want a United Ireland then they need to kick out the Catholic Church and become a secular state with GUARANTEES for all people regardless of their religion, or lack thereof, to be respected and treated equally under the law. Until that happens they'll never get the people of Northern Ireland to willingly join them.

    As for this poll, it is meaningless. The only people who can decide the fate of Northern Ireland are the people of Northern Ireland. And they don't want to be ruled by the Catholic Church.

    Dec 06th, 2017 - 05:59 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • DemonTree

    @LEPRecon
    I've heard that Ireland has become a lot more secular in the last generation, in large part due to the sex abuse and other scandals in the Catholic church, and perhaps partly due to greater prosperity as well.

    It's not outside the bounds of possibility that they might become an officially secular state, like the USA, and that would surely lessen a lot of hostility to the idea of union in NI.

    I disagree that the poll is meaningless. It's necessary but not sufficient, because NI would also have to vote for it. Personally I am surprised the support in the Republic is so low, although perhaps I shouldn't be as NI still has a lot of problems and is a money pit as a result. Unfortunately the organised crime mentioned above did not disappear with the end of the violence.

    Dec 06th, 2017 - 06:15 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • El capitano 1

    A huge proportion of the British public do indeed have Irish forbears..(Including my own).indeed as do the Irish public when it comes to British forbears...Many many Irishmen contributed greatly to Britains grandeur in times long past...I can only add that if Ulster was in any way forced into unification with the republic we could all expect the rise of the ultra nationalist's on both sides..(sad but true)....My advice...........“Tread very carefully”....and good luck going forward....!

    Dec 06th, 2017 - 06:21 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Terence Hill

    NI of course wouldn’t be forced by anyone to join Eire. But there is nothing in cards to prevent the UK from holding such a referendum, then NI as indepent could chart which ever course she wishes. Then the rest of the UK is totally free of engaging in any of the Irish problems. While it then becomes a none issue vis-à-vis Brexit for the UK and a problem she has gifted to the EU to resolve, problem solved by being decisive.

    Dec 07th, 2017 - 06:30 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Voice

    Terry....
    ...being a Canadian you are having real problems understanding the difference between being British and being Irish...
    Forget the geography...you are suggesting that the UK holds a referendum on whether the British in NI are British and whether they should remain British...

    Dec 07th, 2017 - 06:50 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    Aye...!
    http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/the-dups-hardline-policies-could-be-the-quickest-road-to-a-united-ireland-3734575-Dec2017/

    Dec 07th, 2017 - 06:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @Voice
    I suppose there is a precedent: Singapore was thrown out of the Malaysian union against their government's wishes, but they had only been in it for 2 years. Terry's idea is ridiculous, there is no chance our government would hold such a referendum and no chance it would pass if they did. They've promised to respect the wishes of the people in NI, anyway.

    Dec 07th, 2017 - 07:39 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Terence Hill

    Voice, V0ice, Vestige, Think et al, sock-puppeteer extraordinaire and mythology major
    “You are suggesting that the UK holds a referendum on whether…”
    There its nothing in their unwritten constitution barring such a course is there?
    Demonstrator the slavish follower
    “…no chance it would pass if they did.” Depends how its presented. It would certainly certainly solve the Brexit issue and solve along thorny historical problem leaving it with parties who are the only ones that must solve it ultimately. Rather like Quebec when they realized that succeeding meant losing the economic advantages they presently enjoyed as being part of Canada. More importantly, it would solve the problem of the tail wagging the dog.
    “They've promised to respect the wishes of the people in NI, anyway.” They would be, or are you suggesting that the present instance of a minority having precedence over a majority is preferable.

    Dec 08th, 2017 - 05:43 am - Link - Report abuse -2
  • DemonTree

    @TH
    Your post just shows how little you understand the situation. Getting rid of NI would 'solve' the problem of the tail wagging the dog by leaving the Tories without enough votes to govern. The DUP are able to get their own way and cause these problems precisely because the current government needs them.

    And, no, it certainly wouldn't be respecting their wishes to force NI to leave the UK against their will, any more than it would be respecting their wishes to force them to join another country against their will.

    Dec 08th, 2017 - 08:47 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Terence Hill

    Demonstrator the slavish follower
    “Your post just shows how little you understand the situation…” I am absolutely conversant with situation. It is you that is blissfully ignorant of what I’ve posted on this thread but opines about constitutional matters of which to all intents you know even less about. I had stated “Let the Unionist’s withdraw their support and let the government fall”
    Instead of the UK government having to deal with a ‘thousand cuts’ Take the initiative by removing yourself from the issue and let these other three parties deal with their own issue themselves, as you’re leaving anyway. Like the farmers say. “If you want to a stop horse in a stable from leaning on you. Grab it, firmly round the upper back-leg and pull it towards you.” It will always move away from you. “To force NI to leave the UK against their will ..” Would be an act of the majority and thus perfectly legal. So the bottom line to NI is your either pulling with us or we will try to throw you under the bus. Simple political brinkmanship, except they can enjoy the consequences of their own power play.

    Dec 08th, 2017 - 10:34 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • DemonTree

    Terry, that was so incoherent I'm not even sure what you are trying to say. You appear to be advocating that the UK government cuts off its metaphorical foot in order to treat a stubbed toe. Worse than that, you think they should threaten to throw part of the country under the bus, which is an absolutely terrible way to govern and totally irresponsible given what has happened there in the past.

    And your “act of the majority” is clearly incompatible with respecting the rights of British citizens in NI. Should the majority in Britain decide what country the Falklands belong to s well? It's an act of the majority isn't it?

    Dec 08th, 2017 - 11:47 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Voice

    We have seen what happens when one gives the “people” an important decision to make...
    There is every chance they will make the wrong one...
    The majority can and will be clueless...

    Dec 09th, 2017 - 12:24 am - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Clyde15

    TH

    Who says that the people of the UK would agree to dumping N.Ireland ? No government would survive if it tried to pursue this policy.
    Basically you are saying that a government who has the approval of 39% of the electorate could act in this manner. It opens a can of worms and would eventually lead to the demise of the UK.

    Dec 09th, 2017 - 09:53 am - Link - Report abuse +3
  • DemonTree

    @Voice
    That's why normally we elect people who can properly inform themselves and make the decisions for us. Of course, that doesn't always work out so well either, but what's the alternative?

    Dec 09th, 2017 - 10:18 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Terence Hill

    Demonstrator the slavish follower
    “act of the majority” is clearly incompatible ..Falklands” Absolutely not as their position is fully protected under internal law(UNC). What appalling ignorance of the subject matter.
    “Your post just shows how little you understand the situation…” I am absolutely conversant with situation. It is you that is blissfully ignorant of what I’ve posted on this thread but opines about constitutional matters of which to all intents you know even less about. I had stated “Let the Unionist’s withdraw their support and let the government fall”
    Instead of the UK government having to deal with a ‘thousand cuts’ Take the initiative by removing yourself from the issue and let these other three parties deal with their own issue themselves, as you’re leaving anyway. Like the farmers say. “If you want to a stop horse in a stable from leaning on you. Grab it, firmly round the upper back-leg and pull it towards you.” It will always move away from you. “To force NI to leave the UK against their will ..” Would be an act of the majority and thus perfectly legal. So the bottom line to NI is your either pulling with us or we will try to throw you off the bus. Simple political brinkmanship, except they can enjoy the consequences of their own power play. I’m not even suggesting it should or could happen. I’m simply showing one possible option.
    Voice, V0ice, Vestige, Think et al, sock-puppeteer extraordinaire and mythology major
    “We have seen what happens when one gives the “people” an important decision to make..” So included in your many virtues your anti-democratic to boot.

    Dec 09th, 2017 - 10:35 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Repeat your nonsense all you like, you're still wrong. What you are suggesting is as impossible as anything can be in a country without a codified constitution. You obviously know little about the UK or how people here feel, because they wouldn't vote to kick out of NI anyway.

    Dec 09th, 2017 - 11:26 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Terence Hill

    Demonstrator the slavish follower
    “What you are suggesting is as impossible ….” The proof of which? So that little gem is product of your uninformed opinion. Unless parliament has voted on a similar issue or the courts have ruled likewise. Parliament ”can do no wrong’ in theory parliament can do just about anything it wants. As there is nothing codified that limits their unfettered discretion. “They wouldn't vote to kick out of NI anyway.” Probably not, but its still an option how ever unlikely. “You obviously know little about the UK “ Apparently I know more about your constitutional law than you do.

    Dec 09th, 2017 - 01:54 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Voice

    It isn't the US Terry ...Parliament can do very little without the support of the other parties in the Commons and then the support in the Lords AND if they didn't think they had the support of the electorate it wouldn't pass a memo stage...
    Can you imagine the ridicule that would be bestowed on an MP in the Commons that suggested such foolery...
    Only a stupid foreign Canadian would attempt to suggest such foolery and then try to defend it...
    ...I don't want you to take this the wrong way...but...
                                                                                      yer an idiot...!

    Dec 10th, 2017 - 12:39 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @Voice
    That's unfair, I think most Canadians broadly understand how things work in the UK. Their system is pretty similar, and even though they do have a constitution it doesn't include everything; for example it doesn't define the office of Prime Minister at all, yet they have no problem electing one.

    It's nearly always Americans that I see online asking the really naive-sounding questions, like could the Queen start a civil war with parliament, can the King of England (it's England, for some reason) abolish the Monarchy, or could parliament legalise slavery.

    I guess because the US is a republic with a really strong respect for their constitution, they don't understand how a country can function without one. Probably people from Latin America understand better that what is politically possible can be more important than what is legally possible.

    As for Terry's silly suggestion, if he just wanted to say that it's *possible*, then his statement is totally uninteresting, because parliament can do almost anything in a legal sense. The main question is whether it's politically possible, and I'm sure you agree the answer to that is no. Hence it is as impossible as anything can be in a country without a codified constitution.

    However, Britain also signed a treaty with Ireland which includes in section III:

    “...that Northern Ireland's status as part of the United Kingdom reflects and relies upon that wish and that it would be wrong to make any change in the status of Northern Ireland save with the consent of a majority of its people;”

    Obviously, the change in status it refers to is becoming part of the Republic, but the wording would seem to rule out Britain forcing NI to become independent also. If that's true than it really is legally impossible as well as politically impossible.

    Dec 10th, 2017 - 01:57 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Terence Hill

    Voice, V0ice, Vestige, Think et al, sock-puppeteer extraordinaire and mythology major
    Parliament can do very little without the support of the other parties …” Agree totally, but sits till possible, but highly unlikely. What has the US got to do with it? “..attempt to suggest such foolery” Maybe the EU got wind of the fact that the UK however unlikely could jettison NI. Thereby, cutting the Gordian Knot and leaving the EU, NI and Eire to solve their problem. While the UK would have been exculpatory free of having to resolve sweet Fanny Adam.
    Clyde15
    “Basically you are saying…” What is implied is that the present government would be inviting the opposition to support a pro Berexit position rather than the government being left in a compromised negotiating position. Or vote for a no confidence proposal and possibly end up having to be put in the hot seat themselves.
    DemonTree
    “Britain also signed a treaty with Ireland which includes ..” I think your point is well made. My sole purpose is to generate dialogue, as personally I have no vested interest in the outcome. But its plain to see that there little or no imagination here of alternative solutions.

    Dec 10th, 2017 - 10:40 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @TH
    “I think your point is well made.”

    Thank you. But if your sole purpose is to generate a dialogue, you must expect that people will disagree with you, and that the people who actually live in Britain will have a better idea of the reality of the situation than you do, most especially when it comes to whether such a vote would pass, but also as to the likelihood of the Conservative and Unionist party choosing to hold one right now (infinitesimal).

    But as to “Maybe the EU got wind of the fact that the UK however unlikely could jettison NI,” the answer is no. There has been no suggestion whatsoever that the UK government has considered this idea, there is no reason to think they would consider it, and there is no reason to think the EU would care if they did. What happened is that both sides agreed to compromise (the UK more so, IMO).

    Dec 10th, 2017 - 12:09 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Terence Hill

    DemonTree
    “Britain also signed a treaty with Ireland which includes ..” Which legally doesn’t present a problem as treaties are unmade in same way as they are made. “you must expect that people will disagree with you” No problem. I’m disappointed in the stance of the EU especially as the Treaty of Lisbon doesn’t require any compensation for a withdrawal from the EU. They have reduced Brexit to the level of a bar fight. Your government appears to be on the back foot. As the best defence is offence they need to possibly step up.

    Dec 10th, 2017 - 01:38 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @TH
    “Which legally doesn’t present a problem as treaties are unmade in same way as they are made.”

    Technically this may be true, but

    1. the UK doesn't want to appear unreliable like certain other countries who have repudiated their international obligations.

    2. this treaty was made to end the violence in NI, and nobody wants that to restart. Keeping the Belfast Agreement intact is the main reason all parties to this negotiation were so determined to keep an open border. Ending it would defeat the purpose.

    3. You have frequently quoted treaties on here, claiming they are binding on Spain or Argentina, without ever suggesting that they could be undone by the parties concerned. If Britain can undo a treaty then so can Argentina.

    As for the UK government, I haven't yet got the impression that they have a clue what they are doing, and they certainly are very far from agreeing about anything, let alone presenting a united front. And I think the EU would be better off taking a softer line, as they are alienating people in the UK and increasing support for a hard Brexit, which is not what they want.

    Posted 6 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    Mr. DemonTree...

    You say...:
    “The UK doesn't want to appear unreliable like certain other countries who have repudiated their international obligations.”

    I say...:
    Ermmmmmmm...:
    https://www.quora.com/What-country-has-broken-the-most-treaties-that-it-has-signed

    Posted 6 days ago - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Terence Hill

    DemonTree
    If Britain can undo a treaty then so can Argentina.” So let them it doesn’t make any difference as they bogus claim is toast anyway.
    “EU would be better off taking a softer line, as they are …” Exactly, I was expecting a much more statesman like approach. Their present approach is so short sighted as they’re permanently damaging any chance of a future rapport.
    Voice, V0ice, Vestige, Think et al, sock-puppeteer extraordinaire and mythology major
    “I say...:What country has broken the most treaties that it has signed? Hands down, Great Britain.”
    So other than assertion no evidence is provided. Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat (the burden of proof lies with who declares, not who denies) it.
    As the only formal rapport they had with India was by invitation . Which is why they left when India pressed their independence. This was also why no British citizen could own any property in India.
    On the other hand, Argentina is in clear breach of the Convention of Settlement.

    Posted 6 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @Think
    That's an interesting example, because those treaties were renounced in order to decolonise India. Keeping them would have meant British involvement in India continuing indefinitely. Ironically independence would have been much easier to arrange if Britain had broken the treaties earlier and absorbed the princely states into the rest of India.

    If you had been UK Prime Minister in 1947, what would you have done?

    Also, remember I was taking about perception rather than reality. There may have been hundreds of those treaties, but it was a rather unique event that led to Britain ending them. I think arbitrarily renouncing the Good Friday Agreement would make a much bigger impression, do you agree?

    @TH
    If you are trying to use those treaties to prove they can't claim the Falklands, then yes, it does make a difference.

    “As the only formal rapport they had with India was by invitation.”

    It was impossible for Britain to have a treaty with India at that time, because it didn't exist as a sovereign state until 1947. India consisted of a bunch of separate kingdoms and a couple of empires before Britain gradually conquered most of it, and it was with these that the UK made treaties.

    Posted 6 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    Mr. DemonTree....
    - I'll remember you were taking about perception rather than reality of Britain..., if you remember that quite a few of us foreigners have a clear first hand realistic perception of Britain..

    Posted 6 days ago - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Terence Hill

    DemonTree
    “It was impossible for Britain to have a treaty with India at that time ..” Well if I could tell my former deceased history honours major wife she’s wrong because you say so I would. That’s my hearsay source that they had such a treaty, yours is exactly? Or are you just guessing again?

    Posted 6 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @Think
    You told me you believe in heroes and villains. I don't think it's realistic to look at people that way, let alone whole countries.

    @TH
    Well, tell me what formal rapport Britain had with India before 1947, then. Was it a treaty or not?

    Posted 6 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Terence Hill

    Voice, V0ice, Vestige, Think et al, sock-puppeteer extraordinaire and mythology major
    “If you remember that quite a few of us foreigners have a clear first hand realistic perception of Britain..”
    Particularly when you fuck with them they pay you back in spades.
    DemonTree
    Ive given you my source from an expert, it’s impossible for me to reverify. Thats my reliance as I’m not going attempt research what were her sources. It was good enough for me if it’s not for you, then so be it as it’s the best available evidence I have.

    Posted 6 days ago - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    Interesting read ; don’t know enough about the subject to give an opinion, but two of yr comments caught my attention :
    “Probably people from Latin America understand better that what is politically possible can be more important than what is legally possible”…Have you you absorbed what I've implied many times about brzln political culture ? i.e. political decisions may well ignore what the Law says ?
    “But if your sole purpose is to generate a dialogue, you must expect that people will disagree with you, and that the people who actually live in Britain will have a better idea of the reality of the situation than you do…. “to generate a dialogue” ? good luck with that ! ! Anyway, your opinion that ”people who actually live in Britain will have a better idea of the reality than…”, suggests that perhaps I deserve more credit when discussing the character of our politicians...after all, I have lived here for decades.

    But, taking advantage of this opening, and changing the subject, just wanted to end the discussion on ‘revolutions’ ; I think that the earlier revolutions (USA/FRA)were fought for ideals which have lasted until today, and are the basis of today’s truly free, democratic societies. It’s why they worked. Over the centuries, Portuguese /Spanish cultures developed one way in Europe, and quite differently in their colonies…which set the status quo of today, and the enormous contrast between social classes. In Latin American politics, the feudal system prevails. Might find it interesting to read about some of S.America’s national heroes, quite different to the bs I was fed at school. Despite the fact Brazilian independence (1822) came only 33 years after the French revolution, the monarchy carried on until 1889, creating an aristocracy that is the basis for today’s inequality.
    Inclined to agree that the lack of an established aristocracy in the US (1779) contributed to democracy.
    The Pumas beat France 34 x 10, to take 3rd place in the 2007 RWC.

    Posted 6 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @TH
    Sorry, but something vague your wife said, which you could easily have misunderstood or misremembered, and are unfortunately unable to check, is *not* good enough for me. You can easily see for yourself that Britain had treaties with the princely states, and what happened to them.

    @JB
    “Probably people from Latin America understand better that what is politically possible can be more important than what is legally possible.”

    I was thinking of the many coups when I said that, since we were talking about constitutions, and also of the times some president stacked the supreme court in his favour, to remove term limits etc. But Dilma's impeachment is a good example. As long as she had sufficient political support, Cunha blocked any impeachment from proceeding. When she lost that, she also lost the presidency. The actual legal issues were only a pretext which the government ignored for as long as it suited them.

    Anyway, Americans really respect their constitution, and don't understand how Britain can function without one. Even if parliament can legally pass almost any law, in practice there are many limits on what they can do.

    “perhaps I deserve more credit when discussing the character of our politicians”

    I certainly give you more credit when discussing Brazil, or its politicians than, say, US ones where we are equally knowledgeable (or not). But I do look at other sources as well, and you must know we are on opposite sides of the spectrum politically. You could not expect me to agree with you even if we did live in the same country.

    “Over the centuries, Portuguese/Spanish cultures developed one way in Europe, and quite differently in their colonies…which set the status quo of today, and the enormous contrast between social classes.”

    That's probably true, and what needs fixing somehow in Brazil and its neighbours. The countries in Europe that stayed feudal the longest were generally the most backward, and didn't start to develop until they got rid of it.

    Posted 6 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Voice

    Terry
    I would like to apologise for calling you an idiot...
    As a UK resident I do not understand the “Troubles” in NI...
    A lot if not most of the ordinary English do not understand sectarian violence...religion is usually relegated to marriages and funerals nowadays...
    Your view is probably shared by a lot of rUK British...that would like for the rUK to wash their hands of it and walk away, but also realise that politically the UK Govt's hands are tied.
    It may be resolved in the future when the Catholics outnumber the Protestants in NI...the gap is closing and they vote for unification by majority...
    When I say rUK I exclude Scotland because sectarianism still exists here and I personally don't understand that either...
    For instance I saw a guy the other day wearing a Union flag sweatshirt and (it's not the first time I've done it) I asked him if he supported the Union...?
    He said no I'm a Rangers supporter...(WTF???)
    If I don't understand it...how could I expect you to...hence the apology...

    Posted 6 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Terence Hill

    DemonTree
    My understanding was because the elites wanted a stable uniform system of governance as they were expelling the Mughals. Many of the treaties originally where not made with the British government but private commercial interests which initially made the government only a third party.
    “Those who directed its affairs in London(East India Company) could see no case for military or political intervention to try to change the status quo. The British did, however, start to intervene in Indian politics from the 1750s, and revolutionary changes in their role in India were to follow. This change of course can best be explained partly in terms of changed conditions in India and partly as a consequence of the aggressive ambitions of the local British themselves. ..Great personal rewards were promised to the European commanders who succeeded in placing their Indian clients on the thrones for which they were contending.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/east_india_01.shtml
    Voice, V0ice, Vestige, Think et al, sock-puppeteer extraordinaire and mythology major
    “If I don't understand it. … hence the apology..” Apparently Rangers are Protestant and have never hired a Catholic player. Whereas, Celtic are Catholic. Don’t sweat it, life isn’t only for the over sensitive.

    Posted 6 days ago - Link - Report abuse -1
  • DemonTree

    @TH
    All that is true, and I'm not sure we actually disagree on anything.

    I know what Think's perception is, it's 'breaking the spirit' of agreements, but I didn't find any of his examples wrt Argentina convincing.

    @Voice
    It's not really about religion though, is it? It's a lot more complicated than that. IMO before Brexit there was little chance of NI rejoining the rest of Ireland anytime soon, but now, who knows?

    Posted 5 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Voice

    DemonTree
    Actually it is and it isn't...if the Catholics outnumbered the Protestants in NI they would rejoin within a heartbeat..
    My observations in Scotland is that they are not particularly religious, but if you are Protestant it's pro Union and the opposite if you are Catholic...
    Yet the strangest part is they are not particularly pro Union (Protestants) either...it's weird...
    I have yet to find one that has adequately explained why they are as they are...
    Bigoted Numpties is how I see them...

    Posted 5 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    Its easier being English. The further you get from SE England the higher the bigot count. Val MacDermid lambasted monks at Buckfast Abbey for selling Buckie in glass bottles because of the injuries the natives inflict on one another outside Lorezo's on a Saturday night. Very little religious bigotry here. NI has almost always suffered continuous recession, everyone else in the UK would be better off if it joined up with the Republic, but...the Republic doesnt want it.

    Posted 5 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Clyde15

    T.H.

    You are decidedly wrong about NO R.C.'s playing for Rangers. There have been approx. 15. The most famous and contentious was “Mo Johnston” who left Celtic to join Rangers in 1989. A “cause celebre”

    Unless you have lived in the midst of religious bigotry, it's almost impossible to understand.

    Where I lived in Glasgow, it was a strong Protestant area with links to N.Ireland (Ulster).

    It was predominantly working class with most people employed in the shipyards or heavy engineering. Despite this, a conservative MP was always returned with a large majority.

    I could not understand why Labour always failed to win the seat as it was obviously Labour territory. My father explained it to me. The “Tory” stands as an Unionist candidate strongly pro protestant - same policies as the Tories and votes with them. Basically anti catholic and for the Union of N.Ireland with the UK..
    Labour candidates were seen as pro catholic so no protestant would ever vote for them.
    You are among people that live by the creed of “No Surrender” - a reference to the apprentice boys who held Londonderry against the Catholic army of James 11.

    Follow that logic.

    Posted 5 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @Voice
    “if the Catholics outnumbered the Protestants in NI they would rejoin within a heartbeat..”

    Not necessarily. In this survey from September 2016, they break down the results by 'community background' (actual religiousness not required), and 37% of Catholics said they would vote to stay in the UK, 43% to join Ireland, and 17% didn't know. That would not be enough to swing the vote even if over 50% of the population was Catholic.

    https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/northern-ireland-border-poll-2016

    I can somewhat understand the problems in NI, it's less obvious why they have spilled over to Scotland. Seems like a lot of people just maintain the grudge out of tradition?

    Posted 5 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Terence Hill

    Clyde15
    “You are decidedly wrong about NO R.C.'s playing for Rangers” More than happy to be, so thanks for update. Perhaps you could give quick blurb about the goal-keeper that died tragically in a local derby in 1938 I think.

    Posted 5 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Voice

    DemonTree

    I think you are applying your English reasoning and upbringing to a community and country that is unlike anything you have experienced...

    That is only probably an anonymous survey with no pressure to make a decision...
    I really don't think they would have a choice any Catholic not with...would be against and therefore a target...
    See Darragh's post...
    http://en.mercopress.com/2017/12/06/poll-shows-that-49-of-irish-republic-favor-a-united-ireland/comments#comment478423
    ...and Clyde's posts...
    and I quote him...“Unless you have lived in the midst of religious bigotry, it's almost impossible to understand.”
    You are either one or the other there is no middle ground...

    Posted 5 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Why do you think they would lie on the survey? They must know that such surveys are one of the things the government uses to decide whether to hold a referendum or not. And the ballot is still secret in NI, no?

    Posted 5 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    For NI to join the Republic the Republic's government would have to agree. I doubt they would because they wouldnt want the drain on their coffers and the attendant resurgent internal conflict which still simmers fired by many personal family tragedies on both sides. The Republic would have to hold a Referendum too and perhaps the majority there would want reunion, I couldnt say with very little personal knowledge.
    My experience of the level of bigotry and division is based on many business and personal visits to Belfast, Colraine, Crossmaglen, Derry and Eniskillen. When you see the mean backstreet terraces of Belfast and meet the people who live there you begin to understand the mindsets of people who have never been anywhere else.

    Posted 5 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Clyde15

    I can somewhat understand the problems in NI, it's less obvious why they have spilled over to Scotland. tland.

    To understand, you will have to start at 1607 when Lowland Scots were encouraged to settle in Ulster...partly to fill a power vacuum. They became the “ruling ” class over the Catholics culminating in the failed attempt of King James 11 to regain the throne from William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. This is enshrined in Ulster Protestant history.
    So basically you have a Lowland Scots population in Ulster. For centuries they have kept up family ties with Scotland. You only have to look at the surnames in Ulster to see the Scot's connection.

    When there was an attempt to force Anglicism on the Presbyterian Ulster Scots, many left for America and settled in the uninhabited lands, ( outside the original English colonies) of the Carolinas, and Appalachians.

    When the Irish Free State was formed, the Protestant North felt threatened by being subsumed by a Catholic controlled government. This was anathema to them and partition came about. There was no doubt a feeling that they had to strongly show their faith and loyalty to the UK.

    A reverse immigration from Ireland to the UK started in mid 19th century to mid 20th century. The central belt of Scotland took a large group of these. They brought their Catholic faith and history with them.

    In many areas a polarisation took place. Roman Catholic schools were springing up and communities were divided on sectarian beliefs. The mainly protestant population would support their brethern in Ulster while the Catholics favoured the Irish Free State.

    The obvious manifestation of sectarianism is shown in Celtic/Rangers rivalry with undertones of IRA and UVF support.

    So, it has not spilled over to Scotland, it has been there for centuries.

    This just my take and experience on the subject having lived in it for over 70 years. To an “outsider” it probably does not add up.

    Posted 5 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    Clyde, you forgot to add that in Scotland it spills over into fitba. Witnessed my first Rangers/Celtic brawl in St Vincent Place...

    Posted 4 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @Clyde15
    So basically people moving back and forth between the two places have taken the quarrel with them. That makes sense.

    @TV
    The poll that is the subject of this article strongly suggests the people of Ireland would vote for unification. The government is perhaps less keen; Varadkar was saying they ought not to reunify on a result of 50% + 1 vote, probably because of the potential for renewed violence, but the financial aspect may also be an issue. If Brexit goes badly and the border becomes a problem there would probably be a big increase in support for union with Ireland.

    The only people I have met from NI were young, and I suspect have a different attitude to those who lived through the Troubles.

    Posted 4 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    Whether HRC’s criticism is ‘generally accurate’ isn’t my point…it’s what’s driving her that is; besides, what ‘good’ has stirring up all the shit done ?

    Re the BF, if you believe that those who had (relatively) nothing, and now have an extra US$ 26 per month, have been lifted out of poverty, so be it…they're mostly back where they were due to the fragility of their so-called ‘ascension’, and what have they achieved for themselves (permanently), beyond getting this money?

    When I said the PT’s taken Brazil back to the 90’s, was referring to the fact that in 1990 the GDP dropped 3,1%, and in 2016, 3,6% ; In recent times, the highest GDP’s were reg’d during the military rule, upto ‘79, when the oil crisis occurred /contributed to the return of civilian rule.

    As far as reducing poverty goes, I say that the main factor that contributed to that was the dramatic reduction in inflation, with the Plano Real in 1994 ; it cut inflation from 760% p/ year to the current 2,21% ; only that made it possible for low salaries to last until the end of the month, or to buy enough food. So, for those who are living on under US$ 1 a day, what good has the BF done to ‘really’ change their lives ? the political choice to throw them crumbs instead of educating them and letting them get ahead, on their own merit, is the populist’s (Lula’s) way of doing things.

    Wanting Temer to carry on despite corruption, is exactly because he IS doing the reforms. That is the ‘difference’. What’s the alternative ? hope he’s kicked out, that Brazil carries on as it is, or worse, without reforms, and in a few years becomes irremediably broke ?

    Half of Congress and 90% of all politicians have declared the “lavajato” public enemy nº 1 ...what to expect from such a bunch of crooks ?

    Before the military took over, the people did not know exactly what to expect from the political unrest, but once in, and comparing possible alternatives, the great majority ended up supporting them.

    Posted 4 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Voice

    DemonTree

    A poll is not a vote there is no intimidation involved...
    I live in a SNP stronghold...you never had to run the gauntlet at the Inderef...
    Literally a line of SNP members to the polling station and no one for the Union...
    Sheer intimidation...if I wasn't a big guy...
    I can only imagine what it would be like in NI with a very closed knit community...

    Posted 4 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Clyde15

    Voice

    What does it matter if it was wall-to-wall SNP at the polling station. It's was a secret ballot , wasn't it OR you could just tell them what they wanted to hear.

    When I vote, I agree with ALL the party members standing outside so it makes a balls up of their predictions if we all agree with ALL the parties.

    Unless of course if you're voting intentions are well known.

    Posted 4 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @JB
    “besides, what ‘good’ has stirring up all the shit done ?”

    Well, you said it was screwing the Trump administration, which is a good thing from many people's point of view. If she was lying about him, then I'd think what she was doing was wrong, but not if she's telling the truth. D'you think Republicans should have shut up about the Benghazi incident because it was screwing Obama? I don't believe they had any better motives.

    It's hard to find recent poverty stats for Brazil, but this page has them from 1990 to 2015:

    http://povertydata.worldbank.org/poverty/country/BRA

    There was a sharp drop in poverty from 19.9% in 1993 to 13% in 1995, which matches up with the Plano Real in 1994, so you're right about the effect of that. Then poverty stayed fairly constant until about 2003 when Lula took over, then it started to fall, reaching 3.7% in 2014 when the recession hit and it started to rise again. I can't find any good figures for 2016 and it's important to distinguish between poverty according to the national line and this measure, which is the international line of $1.90 per day. If you are living on $1.90 per day the BF really does change your life. Education is important, but being able to feed your children is more urgent.

    The same page also has a chart with estimates of how much poverty reduction was due to growth and how much to distribution. Slightly more than half was due to growth, the rest to benefits like the BF.

    As for Temer, what it comes down to is that you think he's a crook, but you want him in power because you support his policies and believe no one else will carry them out. Other people feel the same about Lula, and I don't think they are any more irrational than you are.

    Do you think the Lavajato investigations are going better or worse since Temer took over from Dilma? I'd say worse. We've seen the task force reduced and prosecutors replaced by those who are more amenable. Who apart from Lula is even close to being convicted?

    Posted 4 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    If HRC is such a lover of the truth why did she lie abt Benghazi ? despite the evidence of a screw-up, no one's been punished .

    Only the ‘Plano Real’ really contributed to reducing poverty, not the BF, which had it been effective, would speak for itself. The 'PR', plus the commodity boom that produced billions in revenue for Brazil (and not thanks to the govt) would've permitted Lula to make history, in a good way, but instead he installed a criminal organization in govt to rob the country stupid. The result and the proof of which, was/is the crisis. The BF has made little, if any difference.
    The stats on poverty, published by the government during the PT’s 'reign', are not exactly reliable - Dilma, in the attempt to cover up the failure of her anti-poverty policies, lowered the bar which determined the level below which you'd be classified as poor, so many millions, literally overnight, were “lifted” from the C & D social classes, into the middle-class…numbers can be manipulated to produce the result you want, and that is what gave those “former C & D classes” a false notion of social advancement.
    The int’l definition of poverty sounds a bit off for Brazil...the minimum wage is currently R$ 937 (US$ 280) so according to that definition, anyone with a job, is over the poverty line. So it doesn’t really mean much.

    My feelings about Temer and your belief that others feel the same way about Lula, are not the same. Temer IS doing what has to be done. Lula was elected based on promises (the reforms) he never kept - believing they might undermine his popularity, he decided to ignore them...so looks like that to him, his popularity, in the short term, was far more important than keeping his promises….the consequences, which we see today, could have been avoided.

    So far, only business executives have been convicted; a few politicians/ex-politicians are in prison, most temporarily, but due to their parliamentary privileges, their trials can take years.

    Posted 4 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • JFrench

    The question is why is this piece appearing in Mercopenguin, a British government propaganda organ supposedly devoted to America, South America and the “South Atlantic”?

    Posted 4 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Terence Hill

    JFrench
    Because their view is not as narrow as yours.

    Posted 4 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Clyde15

    JFrench and other Troll personas

    Because any news NOT from S.America is of more interest and consequence to the readers here.

    Posted 4 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @JB
    She's a politician. She was 'economical with the truth' about Benghazi because she needed to cover her ass, but in general she can't get away with telling blatant lies like Trump can, even though she spins the truth as much as anyone else. As for no one being punished, it probably just wasn't serious enough for that to happen. People who are low down Powerful people usually manage to get away with their screw ups, and it takes a lot to unseat a President (usually).

    The data disagrees with you about the BF, international organisations disagree with you, and the right-wing press outside Brazil disagrees with you. They all say it works.

    It is pretty shocking that Brazil had and has so many people below the global poverty line, in a middle income country, but that's the result of inequality. There is a minimum wage, but how many people are unemployed, how many are working in the informal sector with no labour regulations, how many are subsistence farmers? And your minimum wage employee may have a family depending on that money, with a family of five that puts them right on the international poverty line.

    You live in the richest state in Brazil, how many people do you know on minimum wage? As I have got older, I know less and less, probably none anymore, though I was on minimum wage myself once. I'm guessing the really poor are concentrated in the NE.

    For the people who would vote for Lula, no doubt they feel he kept the promises that were important to them. People know when they are better off or not, no matter how governments play with statistics (and Dilma couldn't change the international poverty measure anyway).

    As for the Lavajato, my perception is that the politicians are succeeding in slowing it down, without doing anything decisive enough to cause protests. What do you think?

    Posted 3 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    Ok, so HRC’s a liar. And you think the Benghazi “incident” was not serious enough for someone to be punished ?

    Don’t know what criteria these int’l orgs are using, but I’m just saying it as it is…the reality you see here on a daily basis tells a different story. The BF has not done anything beyond put some food on the table for the very poor – it has NOT lifted anyone OUT of poverty; IF it had, why are 95% of those who entered the program 12 years ago, still sponging off it ? THIS, the int’l organizations don’t mention.

    The informal market grew thanks to the PT’s refusal to do the reforms, 'n their populist policies. Without enough people contributing, the deficit is increasing year after year, and Lula is now against the reforms; before he said he defended them, and did nothing - now he’s against them - part of his opportunistic/ populist platform, 'n is not at all concerned with the deficits, not to mention the absurd privileges of the political class & the unfair distribution of the cake between the public and private sectors. That, the int’l organizations don’t (want to) see.

    Today, very few people earn the minimum wage…the person who typically would, is a brick layer’s helper….and it’s been this way for decades. I can tell you stories about the poor in the NE…they’d rather sponge off the BF than look for work.
    If those who support Lula believe he kept his promises, that’s exactly what I’m saying, they're too damned ignorant 'n stupid to realize he didn’t, and that they are still in the shit because of him.
    Dilma did not change the int’l poverty measure, she just created her own. Political propaganda works miracles, especially with the stupid.

    Your perception is correct - Congress and most politicians are doing whatever they can to obstruct the Lavajato - Lula included - and unfortunately they are being relatively successful. I think that most people have just become fed up with the situation and have given up...a bunch of sheep.

    Posted 2 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    My impression of Benghazi is that while the results were sadly very serious, the misjudgement and responsibility of the administration was not serious enough to warrant punishment. It was a mistake, basically. If anything I think their efforts to mislead the public over it were more blameworthy.

    This article says 1.7 million people have 'graduated' from the BF, and Wikipedia says about 12m are on it, which would give about 12% of recipients having left. Where did you get the 95% figure?

    http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2014/03/22/mundo-sin-pobreza-leccion-brasil-mundo-bolsa-familia

    “The BF has not done anything beyond put some food on the table for the very poor”

    Don't you think that's kind of important? Especially for children who are growing and won't reach their full potential without good nutrition?

    As for poor people in the NE, you told me many moved to SP for work, and then the work dried up and they ended up turning to crime. Seems like they are screwed whatever they do.

    I kind of agree with you about the reforms, at least those to pensions and public sector pay/benefits seem very overdue. Where I disagree is that I think the poor would still be worse off if someone else had been president instead of Lula. Because although he missed many opportunities to make improvements, most of those would not have been done by anyone else, and they would not have expanded the social programs either. Even Temer is only pursuing reforms because he does not intend to stand again and doesn't care about his (incredible) unpopularity.

    I guess it is hard for people to keep up the pressure on congress for so long... and no doubt that is what they are counting on.

    Posted 2 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    Updated BF stats : began 2003, w/ 3,6 million families ; now, end 2017, 13,560,000 families, approx. 39 million people (2,9 members/family). Allow me to correct a mistake : average BF p/family is R$ 180,00 (US$ 55), depending on size & income. In 2010, took in 1,33 million addtl families (nb: election year ! - Dilma won) ; in 2011, 351,000 new families (sharp drop, as Dilma already elected); in 2012, 479,000 new families ; in 2013, 505,000 new families ; in 2014, only 209,000 new families, a 50% reduction from 2013 - despite rising unemployment, and due to lack of funds. In 2015, more left than entered, net reduction of 65,000 families ; in 2016, again a net reduction of 11,000 families; and in 2017, net reduction of 408,000 families, now totaling 13,560,000.
    So, over the years, only 485,000 families, or, approx. 1,4 million people have ‘’graduated’ from it, probably forced out due to fraud, or lack of funds, that’s why I say the majority who joined in 2003, are still in it.

    Putting food on their table is very noble, but what else has it done ? are we to consider it an eternal benefit with no strings attached ? Temer is proposing a US$ 1 billion fund, to capacitate BF recipients to re-insert themselves in society, to get them to ‘graduate’ spontaneously. At last.

    Five states, in the N & NE (poorest) concentrate most BF recipients, where 43,5% of the population are considered poor (accdng to the World Bank); 52 million Brazilians, or 25% of the population are poor, with an average family income of US$ 117. That’s why I say that the BF has done little - or nothing - to make a significant change, and yr opinion that the poor would be worse off without Lula, is mere speculation…how d’you know the reforms wouldn’t have carried on if someone aligned with FHC had got in ? he got inflation under control, and hoped future governments would solve the deficits.

    Yr link states Brazil reduced poverty by 50%, from 9,7 to 4,3 %...It's not what I'm seeing.

    Posted 1 day ago - Link - Report abuse 0

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