On Wed, Apr 26, 2000 at 07:50:58AM -0400, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> > Now, would you like to explain exactly how your suggestion would result
> > in a successful resolution of the Irish problem? If you can convince us,
> > then I suggest you will not find the Prime Minister and the Taioseach
> > uninterested. (They -- and their predecessors -- have been looking for a
> > solution for the past three decades, at great personal risk.) If you
> > can't suggest a solution, may I submit that the smart thing to do would
> > be in future to do your research _before_ you open your mouth in public?
> The unfortunate problem, Charlie, is that the northern group looks upon
> itself as 'english', not 'irish', so the solution is to get ALL of the
> 'english' out of Ireland.
Again: it ain't as simple as that.
Remember why Ireland was partitioned in 1918 in the first place? It was
meant to be a final solution to that problem -- move all the Protestants
to the north, and all the Catholics to the south, put a wall between
'em, and everyone's happy.
The North _was_ 80% protestant; now it's more like a 60/40 split, and
both sides are getting itchy. Demographics put the boot in on the idea of
a peaceful settlement. For decades the North was run on a cosy (for the
Protestant majority) apartheid basis. Then the growing Catholic minority
put an end to that. Add the fact that the South had (until relatively
recently) a constitution containing a clause laying claim to the North,
and was run along highly conservative Catholic religious lines, and you
can see why the Protestants in the north weren't too enthusiastic about
this -- although the violence of their response was utterly inexcusable.
As for the Orange orders identifying as British ... if you want to deny
that they're Irish because they're descended from lowland Scots settlers
(note for by-standers: most of the 'English' settlers in Ireland were
actually Scottish), then you're also going to have to admit that _you_
are British! Those settlers landed in Ireland a full generation before
the Mayflower set sail.
Hell, if the 'english' in Ireland aren't Irish, that makes me a Pole.
No, scratch that: Poland is a new-fangled construction. I'm Russian!
Yours from Edinburgh, Scotland,
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