Before I begin, I would just like to say I really do like Northern Ireland. Good People, good pubs, good food, interesting tourist attractions and it’s relatively safe.
However, in the politest way I can put it, it is incredibly frustrating to be stuck in the groundhog day style time warp where everything political in this little country sends everybody to a place that blood pressure monitors can’t reach. The mere mention of the border sets our politicians frothing like rabid dogs. Those good people I mentioned above are actually great people, but do not get them into a discussion on the political situation in Northern Ireland.
I like a good argument as much as anyone, but the utterly pointless, hysterical and uninformed bitterness that passes for debate in this country is pathetic. Northern Ireland’s regular mentions in the ‘worst in the UK’ category in a number of issues (Covid cases, child poverty) should really be the focus of our efforts. In the end it always comes back to that border.
So, first off, whoever decided to commission a poll based on the constitutional preferences (Do you want a United Ireland or stick with the British?) of the people of N. Ireland needs their heads checked. That the results – which could all have been easily predicted and have been incessantly regurgitated since the beginning of time – were reported as groundbreaking news shows that a) it was an incredibly slow local news week and b) showed the hysterical way we jump onto anything border related.
If Lucid Talk had just asked anybody with any sort of passing interest in Northern Ireland Politics they could have guessed in and around these figures for them and saved them both the time and expense of carrying out the Poll. Maybe next time you can give me a shout.
The result was that around 50% want to maintain the Union with Britain and just over 40% want a United Ireland. There was apparently 9% that ‘hadn’t decided yet’ which I find strange to be perfectly honest, and a 0% who would not vote at all – which is even stranger. So Nationalists and Unionists harped on that the 9% belonged to them which vindicated their positions etc etc etc.
Nothing like a good bit of pointless back and forthery about a hypothetical and distant border poll. Seriously, it is so pointless. The border is there, and it is not going anywhere in the near future. The sooner both Nationalist and (the seemingly insecure) unionist politicians get to grips with that, the better.
However, that wasn’t the only poll results that set the cats amongst the pigeons. Lucid Talk also kindly produced a poll on likely voting patterns which saw the DUP dip, and the TUV make 3% point of gains. This would apparently result in a Sinn Fein – UUP – TUV Top 3 in any future Assembly election. I’m not a Unionist, but Doug Beattie’s beard would be the most interesting thing about that entire setup.
Firstly, should the TUV ever gain a significant foothold within our assembly or political life then all of us should emigrate. I mean every one of us in N. Ireland. Just leave these 6 lovely counties as an empty warning to other countries not to be so daft.
The TUV is most famous for 3 reasons – 1. Grumpiness to everything 2. Lack of Diversity and 3. Jim Allister’s big miserable voice.
I really do understand that there is political polarization all around the world right now, but I think Jim Allister playing a leading role in the government would be enough to make the Taliban blush.
The Other Stuff
Beyond the border bickering, the kids are all back at school, so we await with complete and utter fear the next potential round of home schooling. Please get vaccinated if you haven’t already. Please.
Lagan College also celebrated it’s 40 year anniversary this week. The college is the oldest integrated school in N. Ireland and, at the time, was met with a bucketload of hatred. Those who first attended were given an armed guard by Police. 40 years on though, only 7% of children in N. Ireland attend integrated schools.
There’s a depressing irony in the fact that we are also marking the 20th anniversary of the Holy Cross School ‘dispute’, when primary school kids also required a police escort on their way to school.
I promise the next round up will be happier…