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Irish Brexit

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  • Registered Users Posts: 695 ✭✭✭Havockk


    The Snickers Man crystal ball vindicated again!!

    Article in The Times by the lovely Melanie Phillips (lovely if you like Islamophobic climate-change-skeptic witches) again decries the very concept of Irish nationhood and independence. Unfortunately it's behind a pay wall but if you can stomach paying Rupert Murdoch to read her drivel it's here


    Excerpts include
    [should].. Westminster [..]tear up the Good Friday agreement and bid farewell to Northern Ireland? No, because it has an obligation to the Unionists; and because the claim to unite Ireland is tenuous since Ireland itself has a tenuous claim to nationhood, having seceded from Britain as the Irish Free State only in 1922."

    And
    “Scottish nationalism and Irish republicanism are cultural phenomena rooted in romanticism and myth and hatred of the other in the form of the English or the Protestants.”

    She also derides both Scotland's SNP and Sinn Fein as wanting only to “reclaim powers from Westminster in order to surrender them to Brussels”.

    The right wing of the British Establishment, including the military, are getting very worried at the prospect of an Ireland outside of a larger entity not involving Britain being independent and sucked in to a wider strategic realignment, very likely following the probable demise of NATO in its current form.

    The "dog whistle" diplomacy heralded by the likes of Ms Phillips and Mr Heffer is going to become a lot louder and more insistent in weeks and months to come.

    Get ready for it.


    PS If anybody has rights to access the entire article it might be nice to see it. Just saying. ;)

    I read this article earlier. It literally beggars belief. Almost speechless in regards as to what to even say about it really...... just wow.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,301 ✭✭✭Snickers Man



    PS If anybody has rights to access the entire article it might be nice to see it. Just saying. ;)

    All right then. I did it, so you don't have to.

    Boards rules say I really shouldn't publish this without comment but I am stuck for time at the moment and there is so much to pull apart in this lame-brained piece of schlock that I don't have time to do it justice. I will in due course.

    In the meantime, how many contradictions, non sequiturs, meaningless gobbets of loghorrea and instances of pseudo-intellectual claptrap can you find in Ms Phillips' diatribe?

    March 7 2017, 12:01am, The Times
    Britain is the authentic nation in this battle


    Melanie Phillips

    Nationalist claims of Scots and Northern Irish don’t outweigh the ancient unity of the British Isles

    The most troublesome bits of the United Kingdom are once again showing signs of disuniting. In Scotland, the SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon is demanding a second independence referendum on the grounds that, contrary to the English, the Scots voted to remain in the EU by 62 per cent to 38 per cent. In Northern Ireland, a surge by Sinn Fein to within one seat of the Democratic Unionists after a divisive assembly election has revived the spectre of a united Ireland, now given further rhetorical push by the jubilant nationalists on the grounds that the province also voted to remain.

    It is a curiosity that the SNP and Sinn Fein want to leave the UK in order to remain in Europe. In other words, they want to reclaim powers from Westminster in order to surrender them to Brussels. Of course they don’t see it like that. The EU, which concentrates power in Brussels while reducing nations to the status of provinces, is conversely regarded by weak nations and provinces as a way of boosting their status and income.

    Scottish nationalism and Irish republicanism are cultural phenomena rooted in romanticism and myth and hatred of the other in the form of the English or the Protestants.

    Nevertheless, the genie of national identity is now out of the bottle. Trans-nationalism, or the drive to erode the autonomy of nations, has been stopped in its tracks by British voters. This raises some complicated questions.
    Brexit expresses the desire for independent self-government by a sovereign state based on the history, institutions and cultural ties that constitute a nation. Great Britain, though, is a confederation of three ancient nations: England, Wales and Scotland. The UK is a super-confederation of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    If national aspirations are now validated for the UK, what about the national aspirations of its constituent parts? Do all national identities have equal status? What happens when one is in direct competition with another? Scotland says it is a nation. Republicans in Northern Ireland say Britain dismembered their nation which they want to unify again. Are these claims to national identity valid? If so, where does that leave the UK?

    The historians Linda Colley and Benedict Anderson famously declared the nation to be no more than an artificial construct or “imagined community.” In this post-modern formulation, the nation could therefore arbitrarily be either declared or dissolved. The nation is not, however, artificial or imagined. It is solidly rooted in a group of people united by different things at different times: geography, language, law, religion, ethnicity, history, institutions, culture.

    The UK is an extraordinarily complex web of identities: civic, ethnic, cultural, national. As the historian Jonathan Clark wrote in his book Our Shadowed Present: “Britain was not invented; it developed.”

    The pattern of this development has been “the resilience of a diverse and plural system of identities”. Englishness, however, came to stand proxy for all the communities of the British Isles. Even Edmund Burke, although a loyal Irishman, wrote of himself as an Englishman rather than describing himself as British.

    Scotland has no right to rip the UK asunder if it wants to secede
    The Scots developed over time the characteristics of a nation: a distinct language, religion, legal system and so on. The UK was formed in 1707 by the union of two distinct kingdoms, England and Scotland.

    Kingship matters because monarchs unify tribes into a nation. Wales was subsumed into the English legal system by Henry VIII and so lost its separate identity except for residual ties to the Welsh language.
    Northern Ireland is different again. The Unionists hate this being said but they are not British. They’re the bit that got tacked on to Great Britain to make the UK.

    Does that mean Westminster should tear up the Good Friday agreement and bid farewell to Northern Ireland? No, because it has an obligation to the Unionists; and because the claim to unite Ireland is tenuous since Ireland itself has a tenuous claim to nationhood, having seceded from Britain as the Irish Free State only in 1922.

    Britain, by contrast, is an authentic unitary nation. It didn’t begin with the union with Scotland but as the British Isles, an island nation defending itself (or not) against invaders from across the seas. Throughout its history, it was beset by attempts at secession by tribes across Hadrian’s Wall and across the Irish Sea.

    The prime minister’s speech to the Scottish Conservatives last week was said to have attacked the SNP for wanting to do to Britain precisely what Mrs May was doing to Europe: seceding on the grounds of independence. The comparison, however, is spurious.

    Britain is a nation with the right to rule itself. It is the EU which is the artificial construct, the imagined community that falsely claims for itself the hollow appurtenances of a nation. The EU therefore has no prior claim on its constituent nations which are under no obligation to remain. By contrast, the United Kingdom is a nation which is governed in accordance with its name. Scotland has no right to rip it asunder if it wants to secede from the Union (which in any event is highly doubtful).

    Faced with the contemporary resurgence of regional or tribal uprisings, it’s the ancient British Isles that must hold itself together to take its place once again as a sovereign nation in the wider world.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,846 ✭✭✭CrabRevolution


    So many factual inaccuracies and contradictions so I'll stick to 2 or 3.

    In one sentence she (correctly) states that Northern Ireland isn't part of Britain, but it is part of the UK. She then repeatedly states that Ireland seceded from Britain, which contradicts the previous statement that Ireland isn't part of Britain.

    She claims Irish republicanism is based on a hatred of Protestants. This makes no sense, considering such a huge number of Republican heroes are protestants. Wolfe Tone, Robert Emmett, Countess Markievicz, Henry McCracken, Douglas Hyde, Erskine Childers etc.

    Some pretty torturous mental gymnastics going on too.
    Britain should apparently govern itself because it is an island.
    Ireland though shouldn't govern itself despite being an island because....?


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    There's no point in even trying to analyse that garbage. It's women and men like her that have dealt a killer blow to the United Kingdom, which is now on borrowed time IMO.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,567 ✭✭✭✭Sand


    Don't know why anyone would want to pay a sub to be trolled, when you can get trolled here for free.
    It is a curiosity that the SNP and Sinn Fein want to leave the UK in order to remain in Europe. In other words, they want to reclaim powers from Westminster in order to surrender them to Brussels. Of course they don’t see it like that. The EU, which concentrates power in Brussels while reducing nations to the status of provinces, is conversely regarded by weak nations and provinces as a way of boosting their status and income.

    Wilfully ignoring that both Scotland and Northern Ireland are nations reduced to the status of provinces in the UK. The EU grants far more autonomy to its 'provinces' than the UK does and is essentially beholden to them, so its clear it could be more attractive than being a subject of London.
    Scottish nationalism and Irish republicanism are cultural phenomena rooted in romanticism and myth and hatred of the other in the form of the English or the Protestants.

    I'd say ideas are not entirely responsible for those who believe in them. There is certainly bigots attracted to both movements as justifications for their hatreds. For example, Phillips identifies with British Unionism as it justifies slagging off Irish and Scots (and the Welsh?).

    Certainly given the sneering hostility in the piece, I don't think a Scot or Irish person can believe this Phillips person has their best interests at heart. Its not entirely irrational to believe Scots and Irish politicians may give better government and attention to the concerns of Scots and Irish people than a London where a bigot like Phillips can get a newspaper column.
    Nevertheless, the genie of national identity is now out of the bottle. Trans-nationalism, or the drive to erode the autonomy of nations, has been stopped in its tracks by British voters. This raises some complicated questions.

    English voters to be exact. Phillips has already noted Scottish and now Irish voters are out of step. Its English national identity that's out of the British bottle. The UK itself is a trans-nationalist project between different nations, cheering own its downfall is hardly consistent with a broad British identity and necessary compromises to make it work.

    She may complain about the UK hinterlands drifting away, but its actually the English centre where the whole concept of the UK is crumbling fast. It does raise complicated questions, but its helpful to recognise the actual problem first.
    Brexit expresses the desire for independent self-government by a sovereign state based on the history, institutions and cultural ties that constitute a nation. Great Britain, though, is a confederation of three ancient nations: England, Wales and Scotland. The UK is a super-confederation of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    Great Britain is not a confederation - shes displaying complete ignorance of her own country's constitution (or lack thereof). Its not even a nation or a country since 1801, being succeeded by the UK. Its a geographical term referring to an island in the north Atlantic of the coast of Europe.
    The historians Linda Colley and Benedict Anderson famously declared the nation to be no more than an artificial construct or “imagined community.” In this post-modern formulation, the nation could therefore arbitrarily be either declared or dissolved. The nation is not, however, artificial or imagined. It is solidly rooted in a group of people united by different things at different times: geography, language, law, religion, ethnicity, history, institutions, culture.

    Arguably Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada are all also part of the British nation going by her definition being united in all those senses at different times. So her idea is that bad.
    The UK is an extraordinarily complex web of identities: civic, ethnic, cultural, national. As the historian Jonathan Clark wrote in his book Our Shadowed Present: “Britain was not invented; it developed.”

    Actually, it was largely conquered and then imposed.
    The pattern of this development has been “the resilience of a diverse and plural system of identities”. Englishness, however, came to stand proxy for all the communities of the British Isles. Even Edmund Burke, although a loyal Irishman, wrote of himself as an Englishman rather than describing himself as British.

    I think given the anti Irish Catholic penal laws that many familiar with their history would struggle to recognise that plurality as being a key factor in the growth of the UK. I understand that Phillips is completely blind to this - most English people don't study Irish history, or Scottish history or Welsh history for that matter and why should they?

    Edmund Burke identified as an Englishman because it was the dominant, imposed and victorious culture in the UK. Identifying as an Irishman - even a 'loyal' one - would have significantly hampered his prospects in Phillips imagined pluralistic UK.
    Scotland has no right to rip the UK asunder if it wants to secede

    She never really explains why Scotland has less rights to express their national self interest than England or the UK as a whole does with regards to the EU.
    Kingship matters because monarchs unify tribes into a nation.

    Eh no. Looking through medieval European history, English kings ruled vast swathes of continental Europe. France is still a distinct nation. Nations are about ideas. Sustainable political structures are an extension of that idea - Germany for example unified in the mid 19th century primarily because of distinct idea on German nationalism sweeping through the remnants of the HRE. The idea of German unity proved strong enough to survive later divisions of the country into West and Est under entirely different political systems.

    The unification of the UK via personal unions and a debt crisis in Scotland is more an accident than a pattern. The idea of British Unionism came about as a result of that unification, not as a factor in it.
    Does that mean Westminster should tear up the Good Friday agreement and bid farewell to Northern Ireland? No, because it has an obligation to the Unionists; and because the claim to unite Ireland is tenuous since Ireland itself has a tenuous claim to nationhood, having seceded from Britain as the Irish Free State only in 1922.

    Well, the UK only existed as a political entity from 1801 so Phillips cant get too sniffy. By her definition the US is an older and more valid nation than the UK by virtue of being founded under its constitution in 1776.
    Britain, by contrast, is an authentic unitary nation. It didn’t begin with the union with Scotland but as the British Isles, an island nation defending itself (or not) against invaders from across the seas. Throughout its history, it was beset by attempts at secession by tribes across Hadrian’s Wall and across the Irish Sea.

    This statement is too entirely stupid to even begin to unravel. It offends me to know humanity has descended to the level where someone can smear themselves with this sort of non factual excrement as a publicly expressed opinion.

    I fear for British leadership if the likes of Phillips is able to pass as part of their media elite without being discovered and cast out.
    The prime minister’s speech to the Scottish Conservatives last week was said to have attacked the SNP for wanting to do to Britain precisely what Mrs May was doing to Europe: seceding on the grounds of independence. The comparison, however, is spurious.

    The comparison is entirely valid. Phillips has already acknowledged Scotland is a distinct nation, with significantly different political views to the rest of the UK/England.

    If anything, Scottish secession from the UK has been far better thought out than the UK Brexit plan which is literally being made up as they go along.
    Britain is a nation with the right to rule itself. It is the EU which is the artificial construct, the imagined community that falsely claims for itself the hollow appurtenances of a nation. The EU therefore has no prior claim on its constituent nations which are under no obligation to remain. By contrast, the United Kingdom is a nation which is governed in accordance with its name. Scotland has no right to rip it asunder if it wants to secede from the Union (which in any event is highly doubtful).

    As already discussed, Britain is a geographical term, not a nation. Phillips has already acknowledged the UK is a (historically imposed) union of 4 distinct nations, where three of them (and to be fair a large swathe of Northern England) have been reduced to fairly powerless provinces beholden to a London parliament ruled by London concerns.

    Phillips is right. The EU is different. It is a voluntary union, where sovereign nations have agreed to pool some of their sovereignty to achieve more together than they could apart. Being voluntary, there is strains and friction between national and EU concerns but nothing about the EU is imposed by any army. All members have hugely benefited from membership, even taking account of the costs. Rather than being reduced to provinces of a distant capital, small member-states of the EU are empowered by being able to travel, work, live and trade across a union of 500 million people. Ireland now has a voice (however small) in the policies that will be agreed across that union. Look at the recent holdup to the EU-Canada trade deal by a regional Belgian parliament: the EU has empowered people and nations.

    The UK *did* at times, and *could* again serve a similar empowering role for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and northern England but its far from doing so when the ilk of Phillips cant stop criticising the EU for imagined slights long enough to solve their own real domestic issues. British Unionists *ought* to be celebrating trans-national projects like the EU. If the UK does disintegrate it will because English nationalism erodes the trans-national British identity and repulses Scot and Northern Irish voters who will always have the option of joining the EU.
    Faced with the contemporary resurgence of regional or tribal uprisings, it’s the ancient British Isles that must hold itself together to take its place once again as a sovereign nation in the wider world.

    Again, the British Isles is not a sovereign nation, nor even a nation. Its a geographical term for two islands in the north Atlantic off the coast of Europe. Confusing geography for sovereignty is an argument for a unitary Europe stretching from the Azores to the Urals.

    I need to get a better hobby.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,301 ✭✭✭Snickers Man


    Not much to add to the foregoing but I'll try just a few.

    The historians Linda Colley and Benedict Anderson famously declared the nation to be no more than an artificial construct or “imagined community.” In this post-modern formulation, the nation could therefore arbitrarily be either declared or dissolved.

    The nation is not, however, artificial or imagined. It is solidly rooted in a group of people united by different things at different times: geography, language, law, religion, ethnicity, history, institutions, culture.

    These two paragraphs essentially say the same thing, although they are presented as being contradictory arguments. If people are "united by different things at different times" which is of course true then that which unites them must be, to a degree at least, an "imagined community".

    It is true that different things animate people into different communities and back again over the years. The Irish push for nationhood has always been represented by different interest groups over the years. Frequently we have fought bitterly with each other over the differences.

    The Jacobites, whose demise is celebrated so joyously by the Orange Order every summer may have been many things but they certainly weren't republicans; they were monarchists. They just favoured the rightful hereditary monarch (James II) over his usurping nephew and son in law William of Orange.

    Patrick Sarsfield, the great Irish hero of that struggle and the eponym of many a GAA club, was an aristocrat, well connected with royalty and even the great uncle (times seven) of one Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales. So in a few decades (if that) Sarsfield's seed and breed will ascend to the throne of Great Britain and Northern Ireland--if indeed that is what the kingdom will be called then. So he was no Republican.

    Conversely, many of the followers of the republican United Irishmen in Ulster in the 18th century were non conformist Protestants --Dissenters--who were almost as badly discriminated against by the prevailing Penal Laws as Catholics. They couldn't take the Oath of Supremacy, for example, and so were excluded from Parliament. Yet their great grandsons, little more than a century later, were signing the Ulster Covenant in their own blood and vowing to oppose Home Rule to the death.

    Irish nationalism has in the preceding century paid lip service to the notion that it is synonymous with republicanism. This is not entirely true and the prominence of the church for much of that time has given teh lie to it in practice, but nevertheless the republican constitution of Ireland is strong and robust, not least because of the fact that it allows for its own change and evolution.

    The fact that we are at least trying to accommodate a changing population, in ethnic terms, by appealing to the democratic safeguards in our constitution and repopsitioining the GAA away from being a narrow-minded exclusive ethnically pure representation of "Gaeldom" into being a welcoming community minded and racially inclusive body is evidence of practical change driven by a high minded vision, a product of the imagination indeed but no less worthy for that.

    The simple fact is that no "nation" or "State" remains ethnically religiously or politically homogenous for ever. Times change, people change, technology changes, the economy changes. And so does one's sense of nationhood.

    That is as true for Britain as it is for us. But they're the ones going backwards, it would appear.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,178 ✭✭✭pajo1981


    Sand wrote: »
    Don't know why anyone would want to pay a sub to be trolled, when you can get trolled here for free.

    ...

    I need to get a better hobby.

    Epic epic post!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,301 ✭✭✭Snickers Man


    Sand wrote: »
    Don't know why anyone would want to pay a sub to be trolled, when you can get trolled here for free.

    I feel I must point out that I merely registered with the Torygraph which means that in exchange for a false name and dummy email address (don't tell them!) you get to read ONE premium-rated article per week. That was that week's article. That's all.

    I may have a curious mind but I'm not a complete sucker. :D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 910 ✭✭✭BlinkingLights


    So many factual inaccuracies and contradictions so I'll stick to 2 or 3.

    In one sentence she (correctly) states that Northern Ireland isn't part of Britain, but it is part of the UK. She then repeatedly states that Ireland seceded from Britain, which contradicts the previous statement that Ireland isn't part of Britain.

    She claims Irish republicanism is based on a hatred of Protestants. This makes no sense, considering such a huge number of Republican heroes are protestants. Wolfe Tone, Robert Emmett, Countess Markievicz, Henry McCracken, Douglas Hyde, Erskine Childers etc.

    Some pretty torturous mental gymnastics going on too.
    Britain should apparently govern itself because it is an island.
    Ireland though shouldn't govern itself despite being an island because....?

    1000 ton elephant in the room:

    Act of Union 1801 - end of any form of Irish government.
    1845 - massive famine that leaves scars on the nation that still shape Irish politics today.

    The British selective memory is impressive (and this seems to mostly impact a certain type of Tory. I know many British people who aren't at all like that. In fact most aren't)

    Ireland under British rule was grossly mismanaged to the point that a large % the population starved to death or fled in absolute poverty. That wasn't the Irish government (as no such entity existed at the time) or Irish policy. It was British government incompetence and cruel notions about superiority, class, sectarianism combined with dogmatic views of free market economics.

    Bear in mind Ireland was fully part of the UK when this happened and the UK at the time was the wealthiest country on earth.

    So either the British government was grossly incompetent to the point that it allowed its own people to starve to death or it did it deliberately.

    Clearly they never saw us as part of the UK or the British identity. If they did the those horrors wouldn't have happened and we wouldn't have been sneered at, laughed at and mocked on various publications.

    That's where Irish nationalism comes from. It's not some religious thing. Irish Catholics, protestants, atheists and anyone else got behind trying to do something better here. Yeah, it got off to a rocky start but, given that we are not even a century independent this country is now regularly topping all sorts of global rankings.

    I'd rather be a welcome member of the EU with a relationship based on consent, law, human rights and respect than to be riding on the coat tails of the UK without anything other than some right wingers getting nostalgic about a lovely Irish past that never existed!

    I suspect the UK also wouldn't think twice about throwing us under a bus if we were successfully to compete with them. They're not likely to be a reliable trade partner. The track record is very poor indeed.

    I wish the UK luck. Nobody wants to see them go off a cliff. However, I'm not taking rose tinted history lessons from someone who quite clearly doesn't understand the facts at all.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 667 ✭✭✭Balf


    I'd rather be a welcome member of the EU with a relationship based on consent, law, human rights and respect than to be riding on the coat tails of the UK without anything other than some right wingers getting nostalgic about a lovely Irish past that never existed!
    Except, that's a very benign view of the EU. I don't relish the prospect of remaining in EU without the UK presence.

    Which is not the same as saying we should leave - neither is a ideal situation.
    I wish the UK luck. Nobody wants to see them go off a cliff.
    I think they've left if too late for this move, but like you I wish them all the best.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,336 ✭✭✭✭jimmycrackcorm


    Balf wrote:
    Except, that's a very benign view of the EU. I don't relish the prospect of remaining in EU without the UK presence.

    What exactly have the UK done for us in the EU?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 667 ✭✭✭Balf


    What exactly have the UK done for us in the EU?
    It's more that they've a tendency to balance out some of the more bat**** crazy stuff that the EU does.

    We'll be staying in an EU utterly dominated by Germany, in a context where we adopted the German currency without thinking about it too much. Not that we can undo that now too easily.

    I don't think that will be a happy place to be.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    What exactly have the UK done for us in the EU?


    Its not what they have done FOR us, but simple geography and things like common standards and ways of doing things etc.

    On many issues UK and Irish positions coincide and having a big voter in your corner means that others are forced to make a compromise. Ireland on its own would simply get outvoted.

    There is far less empathy between Ireland and France or Germany, for example than between Ireland and the UK.

    Once the UK leaves I would expect France to make a big push against the use of the english language in EU business, for example, as the only remaining countries with english as an official language are small members states who also have another official language.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,047 ✭✭✭BKtje


    I really don't see that happening. English is the de facto language when conversing with people who's language you don't speak. Even here in switzerland the business language is English in any medium to large cooperation. Most of the business world speaks English and it would literally serve no purpose to switch to french or any other language apart from cause headaches.

    Not that I would object by the way if it did change.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    I see the pastime of making sh*t up about the EU hasn't gone out of fashion.
    Balf wrote: »
    It's more that they've a tendency to balance out some of the more bat**** crazy stuff that the EU does.
    Such as?
    We'll be staying in an EU utterly dominated by Germany, in a context where we adopted the German currency without thinking about it too much. Not that we can undo that now too easily.
    We adopted the Euro, not the Mark.
    On many issues UK and Irish positions coincide and having a big voter in your corner means that others are forced to make a compromise. Ireland on its own would simply get outvoted.

    There is far less empathy between Ireland and France or Germany, for example than between Ireland and the UK.
    Where does that leave Portugal? The Netherlands? Finland? Croatia? Malta?

    The idea that the EU is a place where Germany and France would conspire between them to grind smaller countries into the dust, were it not for the heroism of good old Blighty, is one that I'm surprised to see outside the pages of the Telegraph. There's something quite bizarre about seeing it spouted on an Irish website.
    Once the UK leaves I would expect France to make a big push against the use of the english language in EU business, for example, as the only remaining countries with english as an official language are small members states who also have another official language.
    Why would you expect that?


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,585 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    Once the UK leaves I would expect France to make a big push against the use of the english language in EU business, for example, as the only remaining countries with english as an official language are small members states who also have another official language.

    I think France got enough with Strasbourg.

    Most countries east of the Maginot Line would find English easier to learn than French, so I doubt that French will make inroads anytime soon.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,388 ✭✭✭✭Jayop


    Sand wrote: »
    I need to get a better hobby.

    I really hope you don't. Bualadh bos!!


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    oscarBravo wrote: »

    Where does that leave Portugal? The Netherlands? Finland? Croatia? Malta?

    Croatia and Malta just go along for the ride. They have no effective say. Finland and Portugal fight and make alliances, win some issues but mostly have to accept the outcome.
    Netherlands has much more clout, being a founder member, politically close to Germany and knowing how to play the game well.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    Croatia and Malta just go along for the ride. They have no effective say. Finland and Portugal fight and make alliances, win some issues but mostly have to accept the outcome.
    Netherlands has much more clout, being a founder member, politically close to Germany and knowing how to play the game well.

    And all this is based on...?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,846 ✭✭✭CrabRevolution


    Croatia and Malta just go along for the ride. They have no effective say. Finland and Portugal fight and make alliances, win some issues but mostly have to accept the outcome.
    Netherlands has much more clout, being a founder member, politically close to Germany and knowing how to play the game well.

    That sounds like those personal observations which seem to be descriptive but that are so vague that they actually apply to anyone like "You're a good judge of character" or "You're not living up to your full potential".

    "win some issues but mostly have to accept the outcome." Could be said for every single country in the EU. How can a country even "go along for the ride"?

    The notion that the UK has been the one keeping the EU grounded with sensibility and reality is utterly comical.

    Fire the French "Euromyths" section of the Commission website through a translator: http://ec.europa.eu/france/news/decodeurseurope_fr

    Then take a look at the UK Euromyths: http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK/page/2/

    The French version deals with large scale, genuine, easily measured and provable concerns such as EU funding,democracy, jobs, immigration, agriculture,fishing, social integration etc. Not to say it answers them all satisfactorily, but it's a pretty serious, grown up discussion.

    The UK section is page after page of British newspapers blaming the EU for everything, no matter how incorrect, trivial or inexplicable. Either that or falsely accusing the EU of banning something.

    http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK/euromyths-a-z-index/

    Looking through that list of lies it's easy to see how the British press fooled the UK into somehow thinking they were the level headed straight man needed to keep Europe from going mad.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,084 ✭✭✭oppenheimer1


    Ireland would be in default of it's loans if it leaves the EU. One of the many reasons why this stupid idea won't gain traction.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 667 ✭✭✭Balf


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    We adopted the Euro, not the Mark.
    I'm not interested in exchanging soundbites, or a conversation set at the level of a Transition Year civics project.
    Why would you expect that?
    Because French government is run by adults, for adults.

    Same reason they have a nuclear arsenal.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    Balf wrote: »
    I'm not interested in exchanging soundbites, or a conversation set at the level of a Transition Year civics project.
    Then try not saying things that are self-evidently untrue.
    Because French government is run by adults, for adults.
    Not interested in exchanging soundbites, eh?


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    Balf wrote: »
    It's more that they've a tendency to balance out some of the more bat**** crazy stuff that the EU does.

    We'll be staying in an EU utterly dominated by Germany, in a context where we adopted the German currency without thinking about it too much. Not that we can undo that now too easily.

    I don't think that will be a happy place to be.
    Ah yeah, that aul Deutsche Mark was a terrible currency altogether.

    We were gifted the use of a terrifically stable currency with associated super low interest rates.

    We had within our own power the ability to prevent the "abuse" of these conditions. We chose not to. Don't blame the currency though. You can prevent (as we see with current Central Bank of Ireland rules) all sorts of silliness if you set your mind to it. We didn't, until after a terrible credit fueled crash, which was totally avoidable.

    You actually summed it up well with "without thinking about it too much". That was the problem, the lack of thinking, not Germany or the Euro.

    By the way....you can "blame" Francois Mitterand's jealousy of the DM for the introduction of the Euro if you want someone to blame ;) Mitterand essentially told Kohl there would be no German unification unless Germany committed to monetary union. Mitterand had long envied the stability of the DM and wanted in on the action for France.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    Once the UK leaves I would expect France to make a big push against the use of the english language in EU business, for example, as the only remaining countries with english as an official language are small members states who also have another official language.
    And France will be told by the rest of the EU to PFO. English goes well beyond the borders of the EU as a Lingua Franca. English isn't so important in the EU because of the UK, it's important because most people speak it as a second language, well ahead of French.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    Croatia and Malta just go along for the ride. They have no effective say. Finland and Portugal fight and make alliances, win some issues but mostly have to accept the outcome.
    Netherlands has much more clout, being a founder member, politically close to Germany and knowing how to play the game well.
    Actually Malta has the most "clout" per capita in the whole union! Germany has the least, per capita.

    You do know how the voting weights work, right?

    Germany and France are not natural allies. Germany has elected a centre right government or centre right led government for the vast majority of the time since the Bundesrepublik was founded in 1949.

    France has tended to elect centre left governments. We know France is more socialist than Germany.

    Germany may have to step up to the plate now and contain France somewhat, something the UK could be relied upon to do. Germany remains extremely cautious about upsetting the French and tend to placate them.

    Ireland and Germany are both open trading nations, opposed to protectionism. We would actually be fairly natural allies. The UK will be missed by both Ireland and Germany in this regard. France is very protectionist in contrast.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    murphaph wrote: »
    Actually Malta has the most "clout" per capita in the whole union! Germany has the least, per capita.

    You do know how the voting weights work, right?


    Silly comment. and irrelevant. and I do.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    Silly comment. and irrelevant. and I do.
    Then you'll know it favours smaller countries over bigger ones. Germany alone has something like 17% of the votes in the union. But we are told that we're dominated by Germany. It's patent nonsense.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 667 ✭✭✭Balf


    murphaph wrote: »
    We had within our own power the ability to prevent the "abuse" of these conditions.
    At least, unlike the other guy, you're not trying to pretend that the euro is a neutral institution. I think what you need to reflect on is the narrow gap between seeing the 'conditions' as something we could contain, and them meaning that the idea that national economies had converged enough to have a common currency was a politically determined fiction.

    I don't think it is realistic to think we could adopt the same currency as Germany, and then rely on our Central Bank to effectively negate the effects of a single currency through banking regulation. Particularly as, at the very same time, the EU was promoting convergence in banking regulation, with all regulators operating under a common legal framework.

    And the proof of the pudding is the eating. Regulatory controls were unable to contain the impact of a single currency.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 667 ✭✭✭Balf


    murphaph wrote: »
    Then you'll know it favours smaller countries over bigger ones. Germany alone has something like 17% of the votes in the union. But we are told that we're dominated by Germany. It's patent nonsense.
    It seems naive to me that you'd think the exercise of power would require Germany to have a majority of votes. Germany certainly is a dominant force, and will be even stronger without the presence of the UK.

    Can I suggest you reflect on that's little.


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