Mudcat Café message #270628 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #23852   Message #270628
Posted By: Peter K (Fionn)
02-Aug-00 - 06:58 PM
Thread Name: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
Subject: RE: BS: Grit your teeth, the PIRA boys are out
Paddymac, I guess that comparison with apartheid was tongue-in-cheek. But there are plenty who do believe it. In NI Bernadette Devlin, Gerry Adams and Bobby Sands, among others, were elected to the UK parliament. The idea of a black (or "kaffir" to use the language of apartheid) getting elected in white SA would have been laughable.

That's not to deny that crass mistakes were made in London when 'the balloon went up.' It's not much of a defence, but some of those mistakes (and not least the staggering folly of internment) were made in sheer bloody ignorance.

I've never heard even die-hard Belfast catholics run that line that they'd have a majority now but for intimidation. In the worst years, emigration was pretty high among those who could afford to get out, and that obviously included a fair number on the loyalist side.

The two communities are not far off 50-50 now, but you'd need a sizeable nationalist majority to get a vote to end partition now, even after Ireland's phenomenal economic growth of recent years. Anyway the Republic has never been keen, and much less so now. A 5 per cent minority of prods who are mostly well off and totally docile is easy to live with. A united Ireland would push that minority up to one in four, many of whom would be as belligerent as hell. The Republic needs that like a hole in the head, which is one good reason why it ain't going to happen.

Finally Brendy, sorry if I got boring, but I only named names because someone directly asked me to.*BG* I say finally because I've posted enough to this thread now, though I will be interested to read whatever anyone else may add. Many thanks indeed to all of you for a stimulating natter.