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"Brick bandits" and mini manifestoes

Mark Devenport | 15:39 UK time, Monday, 18 April 2011

I spent this morning at Belfast's Waterfront Hall with a confident looking DUP. The party is attempting the hard sell on peace and power sharing that the UUP was unable to embark on a decade ago (although as UUP types have pointed out to me having the DUP outside the tent in those days made that job rather more difficult).

Peter Robinson swiped away my question about the possibility of a Sinn Fein Justice Minister after the current cross community compromise expires, and relegated any discussion about Martin McGuinness as First Minister to a footnote at the event.

Although Mr Robinson said it was vital the DUP remain biggest party in order to ensure unionists get first pick of departments, his manifesto doesn't dwell on the possibility of Sinn Fein usurping the top job. Instead it promises no increase in tuition fees, greater efficiency in the health service and the preservation and promotion of grammar schools.

As ever with manifestoes you have to watch the precise wording - if, for example. in 4 or 5 years time 20,000 new jobs have not materialised then the DUP can say they only promised to "support the creation" of these posts. I too promise to "support the creation" of new employment - I shall cheer it on but don't blame me if it doesn't happen.

The party also produced a postcard sized mini manifesto which boils down their committments to seven top priorities. This is particularly handy for busy people like, say, BBC Political Editors, who don't have the time to read through all the fine print.

Interestingly, though, there is room on the postcard for specific pledges which aren't in the full manifesto. For example, the postcard promises that "the DUP will block additional water charges" but the full manifesto only talks about working "to keep household bills at a minimum". I am assured by a senior DUP source there's no sleight of hand here, and the postcard pledge has the full weight of a manifesto committment.

The DUP also pledged a crackdown on "brick bandits". Since I cannot imagine they have anything against the New Jersey house band of the same name, I assume this means action against those who steal building materials from Housing Executive sites.

I didn't make it to the Baby Grand for the Sinn Fein launch as our very own "tweeting freak" Martina Purdy was looking after it. But I have just opened up the manifesto file on the USB stick provided to reporters. Just like the DUP, Sinn Fein rule out student fee hikes or extra water charges. They want to harmonise tax rates north and south and reinstate 50/50 recruitment to the police.

Sinn Fein wants an "all Ireland job creation" plan, but unlike the DUP don't put any number on how many new jobs might be feasible. As reported previously, they want to take £25 million annually off each of the four main banks to create a "Sustainable Economic Development Bond" and to push ahead with changes to legislation to enable a similar strategy to be employed in relation to Belfast port.

The Sinn Fein manifesto's mention of a referendum on Irish unity encouraged me to revisit the Good Friday Agreement to check what it said on the matter. The Agreement says the Secretary of State can call a border poll "if at any time it appears likely to him that a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland." Once a poll is held, another cannot be organised for at least seven years. So once they've finished criticising him for - in their view - not keeping to pledges on capital spending, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness will have to do their best to persuade Owen Paterson of the need for a referendum.

When I mentioned a line in the DUP manifesto suggesting a "FixOurStreetNI" website I was instantly festooned by tweets from SDLP activists insisting they had the copyright on this idea. Despite the global economic downturn I seem to have huge problems persuading anyone to come around and give me a quote for work on my house. Perhaps I should create my own personal "FixMyHome"website, although I am not entirely convinced by some of the offers of help I have received as I suspect they would lead to Devenport Towers getting plastered with partisan posters, not the kind of neutral off-white I had in mind.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Adams is poking the Unionists with the 'scary stick'. United Ireland referendum, SF/IRA justice minister and inner city Gaeltacht areas. All carefully created scare stories to push some potential DUP voters towards the other Unionist parties and give SF/IRA the largest party position and their desired economic department.

    Any referendum will fail and SF/IRA know this, I doubt they will pursue this after the election. It will fail because regardless of what the TUV would like to think, not all SF/IRA voters are Republicans. Most vote for them because of their postcode.


    Other highlights -

    Introducing a phone mast levy to generate £160m over four years;

    This cost will be passed onto the consumer directly, in the form of reduced numbers of masts and poor rural mobile coverage. We are not exactly short of hills and mountains.


    Delivering Bill of Rights;

    Too, too ironic, don't know where to start...


    Promoting the Irish language act, and implementing all-Ireland strategy to create new Gaeltacht areas, particularly in urban centres;

    The Irish language act is about as wanted and as much use as an Irish dancing act. As for inner city Gaeltachts, either they are going to be very quiet neighbourhoods or they will be populated by retired RUC Special Branch officers, who currently account for 75% of NI's Irish speakers.


    Bringing in all-Ireland public health system which provides free care at point of delivery;

    We already have this. Ours is funded by all those hard working subjects of the Queen (tens of millions of them). In a united Ireland how would it be funded? Oh that's right, I forgot, Eire is full of mobile phone masts.


    And finally,

    '...they want to take £25 million annually off each of the four main banks...'

    You couldn't make this up. Add your own 'does that include the Northern bank?' punchlines...

  • Comment number 3.

    Wolfe Tone

    You will admit that the Sinn Fein party are very astute at adapting to circumstances beyond their control; they spin situations to make it work for them. Would you like it if unionism had the same political genius? May will be an interesting month!

  • Comment number 4.

    And the DUP want charities and private firms to run prisons here.

    www.newsletter.co.uk/news/local/charities_could_run_prisons_robinson_1_2606950

  • Comment number 5.

    Sinn Feins call for a United Ireland referendum is pretty desperate piece of electioneering to say that they didn't sell out. The Unionists got what they wanted most, an absolute, total Veto over everything.

  • Comment number 6.

    maxmerit

    I think it's a brilliant move. It will do one of two things: It will play into the hands of the DUP, and will give credence to the DUP's stance on keeping Sinn Fein out of the title of First Minister; or it will divide unionist voters allowing Sinn Fein to conquer. Look at the number of parties within unionism, all fighting for the Protestant vote. There are many large and small factions: from the DUP to the BNP/TUV!

    The ball is now firmly in the DUP's court. Like I said, it's political genius on behalf of Sinn Fein, just like burn the bond holders was for the party in the Southern election. Tell them what they want to hear!

  • Comment number 7.

    @Wolfetone

    Whether Sinn Fein are electioneering is beyond the point. The terms of the Good Friday agreement allow for an all-Ireland election to self-determine the future of all people on this island. Ironic (a word you have mis-appropriated in your post - I will get to that in a moment) that the future of Ireland should be determined by democracy when the so-called state of NI was created against the will of the people of Ireland. Very convenient for the Unionist population to cry 'democracy' now for the very state that was created unconstitutionally.

    Bit like if the German army and the Luftwaffe had actually succeeded in conquering Britain in 1940 and had shipped a million of their most brutal paratroopers and SS to subjugate the native British population. Then the Germans populate Cumbria (for example) with their own people and cultivate the land calling it their own. Then the native British people (a resistance) rise up against the invaders (and who could blame them?) in which the Germans define as 'terrorism'. The Germans (a little put out by the uprising) agree to leave 'Great' Britain under the conditions that their little plantation of native Germans in Cumbria are annexed into the German Reich (Cumbria to form part of a German empire). Why? Because there is a majority of Germans in Cumbria (well of course there is - an artificial majority created by the invading German state). Would the British people stand by and allow such events to take place? Or would they fight with every ounce of strength they had to resist the German empire and unite Cumbria with the rest of Britain? I think the answer is obvious. Which also begs the question? Why, o why can educated people not see the inherent hypocrisy in 'the democratic will' of the people of NI to determine whether they are united with the rest of the island of Ireland?

    NI was a state forced upon the island of Ireland (against the will of the Irish people)by a country that had brutalised Irish people for hundreds of years. There was nothing democratic about the formation of the state referred to as Northern Ireland (six counties of Ulster) so the mere presumption that the North of Ireland should only be re-united with the rest of Ireland if the majority of people in the North (a trumped up artificial and uncontitutional majority) is an absolute joke.

    Your references to the Irish Language act are poorly constructed attempts ot sarcasm and smack of ignorance. 75% of Irish speakers are ex-special branch? Please. The Nationalist/Republican community of the six-counties of Ulster are over whelmingly in support of that act - their democratic rights should be respected and upheld (and when I talk about democracy, I mean true democracy, not the trumped up illusion of democracy afforded to the irish people in relation to national self-determination. Funny, I have never read anything about unionists kicking up a fuss about the unconstitutional terms of partition when it occured).

    In fact all of your points regarding Sinn Fein are null and void. Even your reference to the Northern Bank and the Bill of Rights. Regardless of what you may think of Sinn Fein, they are entitled to pursue peaceful means of attaining human rights for people in this country (rights trampled upon by unionists right up until 1969). You also did not make a valid point about their banking proposal - just a pointless reference to the Northern bank robbery that does not serve any critical justification.

    Nice prose but no substance.

  • Comment number 8.

    Quiggers, wow!

    That was empassioned, you've got my vote!

  • Comment number 9.

    David Cameron wants to scrap the 1701 Act of Settlement which bans Roman Catholics from the English Throne.

    http://news.scotsman.com/uk/PM-allow-Catholics-to-ascend.6754812.jp

  • Comment number 10.

    Quiggers

    Well thought out post. It is funny that when the shoe of democracy is on the other foot, some cry foul!

    hoboroad points to a good article. The entire UK population live in an undemocratic state; a state that is governed by archaic laws that date back centuries. David Cameron should go further and end the Union. It benefits the few, and keeps most under it living in abject poverty.

  • Comment number 11.

    Had a few DUPers at the door. When I asked them what they had delivered they told me "steady government". When I asked them about Health they said it wasn't their department. Looks like they won't be getting my vote.

  • Comment number 12.

    It will be interesting to see what happens in North Down at the upcoming election.
    Will those Ulster Unionist voters who voted for Sylvia Hermon return to the UUP fold or are they lost forever and going to vote for Alan McFarland and the other independent candidates.

  • Comment number 13.

    Wolfe Tone you have highlighted the flaws in the Sinn Fein manifesto admirably. I would say that many of those former Special Branch officers that you mention, are more fluent in Irish than Gerry and his cohorts.

  • Comment number 14.

    maxmerit

    Somehow I doubt you have failed to see the sarcasm in Wolfe Tone's post regarding Special Branch. As for the Irish language: It was unionism and its discriminatory foundations that excluded the use of, and ultimately reduced the usage of, the Irish language. People like Pádraig Anraí Mac Piarais ensured the language was protected and promoted. That promotion died due to a policy of ramming it down the throat of those in the Free State, and the sectarian policies of Ulster Unionism after partition. Thankfully now, it is no longer rammed down the throat of people, and they are now choosing to learn and use it out of a love for their heritage and culture. Unionism no longer rules in Ireland; republicans are now showing true leadership by bringing unionism out of its discriminatory rule, into powersharing and respect for others.

    Gerry Adams is very fluent in the language and he uses it in his everyday life. This is replicated in homes and schools across this island. It would suit maxmerit better to highlight the wasteful stupidity in promoting a dialect of English spoken by a few on the North Coast. I believe it was once described as English mixed with Buckfast!

    The Irish language is growing, and will continue to grow, as long as people like maxmerit and Wolfe Tone belittle it. The more people like Jim the Wrecker speak against the language, the more Irish people will learn it to ensure its growth.

  • Comment number 15.

    DinD

    Adams learnt Irish in the 'kesh, in his twenties as a monoglot. He is very definitely not fluent. He speaks Irish like a stroke victim. I know several fluent Irish speakers. There is an Irish language channel on RTE, have a listen, they don't sound like Adams.

    The Irish language is dying. In Eire, where it is taught compulsorily, it is widely despised and resented by the school children who are forced to learn it and by the adults who were glad to see the back of it. It is rightly regarded as a ridiculous anachronism. The importance and funding given to it in Eire is simply an over compensation stemming from a cultural inferiority complex. This is very common among young nations.

    The BCI stats suggest that over 390 thousand people speak some degree of the language in Ireland. With only 6% of this number being fluent (under 24000 people). These figures are of course, massively exaggerated and are based on questionnaires asking people 'are you fluent in Irish?', not based on testing people's fluency.

    The cultural aggression shown by the British against the Irish language, centuries ago, has turned it into an empty totem. In the same way that wanting to walk to the Drumcree church has become a holy of holies for Unionists.

    In the same way that 'Irish' Americans get very excited about shilelaghs, Northern Nationalists get excited about Irish. The people who actually live in Eire, where it is a national language, feel the same way about it as they do shilelaghs.

    People only support the Irish language act because it is a way to score points against Unionism. If they had to pay for it or choose between it and the GAA, they wouldn't think twice. In the North, the number of fluent speakers or people who would put in the time and effort to learn a dead and isolationist language is very small. Special Branch had a reason to learn Irish, the Nationalists of Ulster do not.



    Sinn Fein rode to prominence on a wave of Unionist sectarianism, the old Stormont and the need for civil rights. They infiltrated and destroyed the Civil Rights movement, a movement that regarded them as much the same as the other forces of oppression in NI at that time.

    Adams and McGuinness spent years making mealy mouthed, rationalisations for the random slaughter of the PIRA. An orgainisation that shared the same heritage, agenda and methods as the Real IRA and other dissidents.

    Sinn Fein is a propaganda wing of a (now dormant) paramilitary death squad. They are not politicians, they are warlords and just as in Somalia, they make very poor leaders.

    Their electorate have very little choice and vote for SF/IRA as the only other options are the disgraced SDLP or the Unionist parties who, sadly, still seem to see Ulster in terms of Orange and Green.

    The confrontational nature of the forced coalition has forced both sides to the political extremes. SF/IRA's success at the polls has more to do with the situation they found themselves in, than any talent or abilities they might have.

    Their manifesto is a joke. They are not fit for purpose. They are constructed to repeat slogans and make excuses for the inexcusable. The pursuit of human rights does not involve heartless justifications of murder, SF/IRA's specialty. Anything requiring some political gravitas and they are out of their depth. The Irish language act is a prime example of this.

    I hear very little from the supporters of SF/IRA that doesn't involve tired histrionics and rhetoric about the years when Unionism had the upper hand and control of Ulster. It's sad that these people are so programmed, that they cannot see that if it had been a tricolour flying from Stormont in those years, it would have been the Unionists calling for Civil Rights.

    It's seems it's always the other side, who are responsible for all the wrongs and one's own that are the sole victims.

  • Comment number 16.

    Gerrys attempts at speaking Irish in public have been widely ridiculed by Irish linguists. I recall one stating ' I have heard pigeon English, I am afraid Mr Adams has introduced us to pigeon Irish. Maybe Gerry should enroll for an Irish refresher course with the PSNI.

  • Comment number 17.

    Wolfe Tone

    Your post offers nothing but hearsay and innuendo. The Irish language is obviously not dead. If it were no one would speak it. It continues to grow, and not having an Irish language act will not buck that trend.

    You talk of the Irish language channel on RTE and the difference between their Irish and Gerry Adams' Irish. That just shows how little you actually considered the reason before posting. That channel is based in Galway, in the province of Connacht. Gerry Adams is from the county of Antrim, in the province of Ulster. Have you ever heard the people from Connacht speaking English, compared to the people of Ulster speaking English? It's called dialect. Just like the dialect of those in London differs from those in Newcastle. I cannot believe you would be so naïve not to think of it that way.

    Sinn Fein are the largest party in the North of Ireland, because they have an intelligent, forward looking, and talented membership. People like you hate the fact that they, and the language of this island is growing. You, like former contributors to the Devenport Diaries can't see this without being enraged. It is clear that your vision does not allow for respect. Tens of thousands of Irish people continue to use the language you call dead. You might have some respect and embrace this. Obviously your sectarian socialisation does not allow for this!

    As for unionists controlling Ulster; you are confusing Ulster with N'Ireland. I don't seem to recall the Protestants in the South of Ireland, post partition, calling for civil rights. That is because the Irish government did not do what their Protestant counterparts in the North did: And that was to treat a section of the people like dirt. It is evident from your posts that you are sectarian in your mindset. Views like that are what has caused division in this state. Wind your neck in!

    P.S. You say Sinn Fein rode to prominence on the wave of unionist sectarianism: Have a look at your first post on the DDs and get back to me!

    P.P.S. maxmerit: If that is all you can contribute, then it shows your level of intelligence. Your callow attitude only highlights this lack of intelligence. Away and read a book or two; you might actually learn something!

  • Comment number 18.

    That last post is typical of parrot like Sinn Fein propaganda, if you repeat it often enough you might even believe some of it. There is no prospect now of Irish unity thanks to the policies of Sinn Fein and the Provos. That is why Adams call for a border poll is so laughable and farcical. People in nationalist areas in the 'North' are finally coming to terms with the fact that Gerry and Martin sold out, hence Sinn Fein election canvassers being heckled and harassed. Wake up and smell the bacon.

  • Comment number 19.

    PS. Would it not be great if Gerry spoke permanently in his version of Irish.

  • Comment number 20.

    "People in nationalist areas in the 'North' are finally coming to terms with the fact"

    Nationalists are coming to terms with the fact that Sinn Fein are their best ticket. That is why election after election, Sinn Fein have come out as the largest Nationalist party. In fact they are the largest party in this state and have been for a few years. They are bigger, and stronger than any other party on this island. In fact these islands. The future will once again be shaped by Irish republicans. The future will be bright, and bright for us all!

  • Comment number 21.

    Go on Mark Allen!

  • Comment number 22.

    @WolfeTone

    "They are not politicians, they are warlords and just as in Somalia, they make very poor leaders."

    Really? They don't make very good leaders? They are Warlords just as in Somalia? Oh dear - all your credibility has just gone out the window. Even Sinn Fein's political opponents acknowledge their political leadership as formidable. And really? The comparison with Somalia warlords? How lazy and how badly thought out that comparison is. I can recommend a number of books that will illustrate this poor choice of association - just let me know.

    In the space of twenty years, Sinn Fein have increased their share of the vote many times over (North and South) and have a Deputy First minister sitting at Stormont. They have one of the most effective election machines in the six counties of Ulster and will once again be highly successful in the forthcoming elections. If Sinn Fein are poor politcal leaders, please show me a good one please.

    "if it had been a tricolour flying from Stormont in those years, it would have been the Unionists calling for Civil Rights."

    One of the most irrelevant and rediculous statements I have ever, ever heard regarding the sectarian apartheid administered by the Unionists at Stormont. What an utterly illogical attempt at both justifying the sectarian apartheid and also insinuating that had the roles been reversed (which they couldn't have been as a political reversal would have meant a power base in Dublin - not Belfast) Nationalists would have meted out the same treatment to unionists. What a presumptive, insulting statement of ludricously large proportions.

    I have heard similar rhetoric before from a politically blunt and ineffective 'Republican' movement in the early 1970's. They failed to instill any political dynamism or effect then as do any of your theatrical finger-pointing now. The movement I refer to subsided into petty criminality but still attempt to give their tuppenceworth now and again from the comfort of their armchair thinking they could have done it better than those 'poor leaders' in Sinn Fein.

    You also make some reference to Republicans thinking they are the sole victims? Really? Perhaps in your mind the Jews whine a little too much when they point out the injustice of the holocaust? Or perhaps they blame the 'other side' too much. Maybe they brought it all on themselves? Or could it be that perhaps there may have been a malicious campaign of hate and genocide carried out by a government (or empire) that could possibly, and I just say possibly, be worthy of a little moan, and dare I say again, some form of resistance. Or maybe we should all sit around a table and discuss the virtues of Marxism some other people like to do (whoops, where did that come from?).

  • Comment number 23.

    Great stuff Quiggers keep it up man your doing great.

  • Comment number 24.

    @Max Merit

    One question - what is your alternative?

    I'm quite certain that it is....nothing.

    Or, perhaps, you think that skulking around housing estates and planting booby trap devices under the cars of Catholic policemen is the only viable alternative.

    Prove me wrong and tell me what the alternative is.

    Thank you.

  • Comment number 25.

    Hoboroad

    I have to agree with you there!

    Quiggers for First Minister (",)

  • Comment number 26.

    The fact is that PIRA had a 30 year murder spree which brought shame on a noble cause. If they had heeded the plea of the Holy Father, Pope John Paul 11 in 1979 to cease the murder campaign there would have been a prospect of Irish unity today, let alone the many hundreds whose deaths would have been avoided. Now there is no prospect of a United Ireland, whatsoever. A referendum? how many?

  • Comment number 27.

    DinD

    If i didn't respect you or your contributions, I would simply ignore you.

    TG4 has contributions from Donegal (the northern dialect you mention) Irish speakers as well. The Irish language offers the children of Eire very little and the children of Ulster even less.

    The Protestant minority in Eire had to accept a Vatican ban on divorce for decades and another on abortion. Human rights they would not have been denied in the UK. They had to accept the Irish government offering passports and a safe haven to Nazi war criminals and their country being a staging post in the Vatican's Nazi rat run to Brazil. They had to endure the Angelus prayer, twice daily on their national broadcaster and the pathetic triumphalism of de Valera's statelet.

    You are right when you suggest that the political growth of Sinn Fein frustrates me. Before the politics of Ulster became simply an Orange / Green head count and grab for departments and funding, the Nationalist electorate saw SF/IRA for what they are. Right wing chauvinists and thugs. As you say, now they are the only ticket.

    My point remains the same as my first post. Sinn Fein's success has more to do with Unionism failing to deconstruct and modernise, than it has with their own abilities.

    It seems you and many others will always be confused by the fact that I can attack SF/IRA without wearing an Orange collarette and attack Unionism without wearing a Celtic shirt.

    Just because I disagree with you does not make me your political enemy / Just because I agree with you does not make me your political comrade. Some of us live outside the tribes.

  • Comment number 28.

    Talking of posters... I'm campaigning for an indepedent lady in East Belfast and thought we had the poster war won. Now that I've figured out the Workers Party poster I have to concede we've probably come second!

  • Comment number 29.

    Wolfe Tone

    I also have respect for your 'White Line' protest, at both sides of the argument. It is also frustrating when you attack some things that have seen attack for too long. The Irish language should be cherished and nurtured; not attacked! All the issues you talk of regarding the Southern government are as backward looking and archaic as the Orange order's views on anything Irish. You also continually refer to the South of Ireland as Eire. That is I suppose as opinionated as my and others' referral to Northern Ireland as the six counties. What I'm trying to say is, you might be middle of the road, but you do on occasion take a right or left turn!

    maxmerit

    This old adage that the IRA and the IRA only carried out a campaign of violence does not work any more. This blog was full of people with your opinion, until lately. This blog has had drop outs who, like you, spewed this notion for far too long. Tell it how it was; it was not all one sided - Wise up!

    I can point you to numerous documents showing all the shades of organisations who used violence here. The DUP; the UUP; the RUC; the UDR and the British army; the IRA; the INLA. Many many more also, Should I go on? Should I start posing up links? Will you counter them with your own links, or will you bury your head in the sand like the various unionist drop outs of late?

    As I have said already: Away and get yourself a few books. You might actually learn something!

  • Comment number 30.

    They ignored the Holy Father 32 years ago, the Provos could have ended it there and chose not to. Others had to bear the consequences of that mindless decision.

  • Comment number 31.

    @Wolfe Tone

    I'm afraid your comparisons are becoming more and more desperate, frayed and illogical.

    So, you are attempting to equate the sectarian apartheid (and lets hear that again: A-P-A-R-T-H-E-I-D) of the Unionist administration at Stormont with a ban on Abortion (not directed at any particular denomination - and also instituted in many non-Catholic states in America), the Angelus being read on TV twice a day (stifles laughter) and a ban on Divorce. Oh dear. Oh dear me. You simply don't grasp this, do you?

    "They had to accept the Irish government offering passports and a safe haven to Nazi war criminals and their country being a staging post in the Vatican's Nazi rat run to Brazil."

    How exactly is this discrimination against Protestants? It isn't. You are simply attempting to vilify the Irish Republic in the absence of any real evidence relating to mal-treatment of the protestant population living there. This is almost hysterical barrel scraping. I could draw my own comparison with the Nazi regime and the British Empire (I actually did - read my first post) and how both countries murdered and tortured the native populations of those countries they occupied and exploited. But I won't - that has no relevance to the fact that you have shown no meaningful discrimination by the Irish State on the Protestant minority living there (apart from a few hysterical points on Catholic doctrine).

    As for De Valera celebrating the departure of what could be argued the most barbaric and pitiless occupying force since, maybe, the Nazi's, then perhaps one can understand the obvious emotion of the occasion. You will remember, after all, the emotional scenes all over Europe when a similar regime was defeated in 1945. To say De Valera maliciously violated the rights of Protestants by over exuberance at this time would be to also allude that Jews and Slavs were also being mischevious and 'triumphalist' when celebrating the defeat of the Nazi's and liberation of their respective countries. De Valera had good reason to be happy - as did the victims of Nazi Germany after the fall of the Reich.

  • Comment number 32.

    And now they are calling for a referendum, I wonder what the odds are? Must check with Paddy Power tomorrow.

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 35.

    If my posts didn't sting they wouldn't whinge to the moderators. SF/IRA and their supporters clearly don't like the fact that their child like electioneering stunts were so transparent. Enough people read my critique of the recent hyperbole to get the point, clearly enough read them to feel threatened by the logic. :)

  • Comment number 36.

    @ Wolfe Tone

    Two comments removed? Oh dear.

    I'm sorry I missed those two. Please repost. I promise your 'logic' won't sting.

    The posts I read didn't contain any logic - they were actually very easy to refute. Extroardinarily inaccurate in fact.

 

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