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Our new shadow chancellor - John McDonnell watch

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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    Sadly, I have to remind this because people have a habit of taking individual events outside of the context of the time. Too many people for instance jump in to criticise nationalists who took up arms, but are unaware of the background that saw arming as an option.
    Were the drinkers in the Tavern in the Town in Birmingham, were the shoppers in Harrods, was the Catholic boat boy on Lord Mountbatten's boat about to go on a rampage through the Bogside?
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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    Well, we're talking a dangerous precedent if your argument is that he did it, regardless of whether or not he was found guilty of it.
    Not remotely. I know Cromwell committed treason despite him never having been tried for it. I know Augusto Pinochet committed some horrendous acts despite never having been found guilty in a court of law. I know Adolf Hitler was involved in the Holocaust despite him never making it to the Nuremberg trials.

    Innocence until proven guilty in a court is a legal concept. It does not make you innocent, or otherwise immune from accusation and conclusion. Indeed, the civil courts will find you liable for things on the balance of probabilities even if they cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, just as history will draw conclusions that people did indeed do things that they obviously did.

    I don't know frankly, but I'm curious as to why he wasn't charged on that. Planting weapons is not beyond the rumours of the time and I do indeed doubt the validity of police reports at the time.
    Perhaps he was one of those well-known pacifist IRA supporters, eh?
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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    Sadly, I have to remind this because people have a habit of taking individual events outside of the context of the time. Too many people for instance jump in to criticise nationalists who took up arms, but are unaware of the background that saw arming as an option.

    "Protest" - protests were quashed, violently. So naturally they should be able to protect themselves by responding with viol....oh hang on.
    There were instances of protests being quashed violently. To suggest there was no scope for protest in Northern Ireland in the 1980s is simply not the case - in many cases, the police actually worked to defend demonstrators from Loyalists and others.

    You see, I don't care about the context. I will happily criticise the Government of Northern Ireland over a great many things, but that is not the point in discussion. The matter is whether Bobby Sands was somehow justified in joining a terrorist organisation, being involved in a bombing and shooting people.

    I entirely understand why he did what he did, just as I can understand by the standards of the time and the environment why people in other situations committed atrocities or tortured, murdered and inflicted cruelty on fellow human beings. That does not, however, justify it.

    Regardless of the situation in Northern Ireland at the time he could - and should - have done what the vast majority of the Roman Catholic population did and not go running around shooting at policemen or whatever else the IRA got up to back then. Northern Ireland would have been a better place for it.

    I disagree on your last point, but it is interesting you feel that way. Personally I think the Unionist government had the power and desire to eradicate Catholics from NI. I believe that over time, without the IRA, a series of fires, murders etc. Would have seen catholics forced to flee below the border. So in the short term, I disagree.
    I think there was a lot of dislike of Roman Catholics, but I've never seen any evidence of encouraging ethnic cleansing. It's worth noting that there was a considerable cross-border movement after partition, with the Republic's Protestant population declining considerably without any strong-arm discrimination.

    In both cases, there was unhelpful rhetoric: both "a Protestant state for a Protestant people" and "a Catholic state for a Catholic people" were lines used. There were extremists, and there were problems with state institutions like the RUC. But let's not forget the other efforts: in the early 1960s, you had Unionist leaders visiting convents and meeting with Catholic religious leaders. Under Terrance O'Neill there were serious (but ultimately unsatisfactory) concessions made early on.

    The best argument I think would be that SDLP becomes the main nationalist party, which, under Hume, would have been amazing. Perhaps a less extreme unionist party follows suit.
    A thousand times yes. Whatever problems one may lay at the door of the UUP and SDLP, the electoral success of their extreme equivalents is hugely unfortunate. While I actually have some time for the progressive politicians of the Unionist movement, it was the DUP's current membership and the likes of Ian Paisley who were entrenching division at the time.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Were the drinkers in the Tavern in the Town in Birmingham, were the shoppers in Harrods, was the Catholic boat boy on Lord Mountbatten's boat about to go on a rampage through the Bogside?
    No, any campaign targeting civilians lost the support of the community, similarly bombing Birmingham was a disaster, were the IRA to have had a PR department.

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    (Original post by Gears265)
    Funny how Hayes and Harlington are filth and down the road in Uxbridge- a Tory constituency, not great but a hell of a lot better and far more civilised. I am yet to bare witness to a Labour constituency I find appealing.
    Yeah, it's almost like Tory constituencies get more money thrown at them isn't it?

    Also the rich people are only that way because they keep the poor people desperate. The poor in Hayes are paying for the rich in Uxbridge and they are paying even more for those in Richmond and more again for those in Chelsea. The closer people are to the means of production the more their income is based on ownership and other people working for them.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    Not remotely. I know Cromwell committed treason despite him never having been tried for it. I know Augusto Pinochet committed some horrendous acts despite never having been found guilty in a court of law. I know Adolf Hitler was involved in the Holocaust despite him never making it to the Nuremberg trials.

    Innocence until proven guilty in a court is a legal concept. It does not make you innocent, or otherwise immune from accusation and conclusion. Indeed, the civil courts will find you liable for things on the balance of probabilities even if they cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, just as history will draw conclusions that people did indeed do things that they obviously did.



    Perhaps he was one of those well-known pacifist IRA supporters, eh?
    Membership of the IRA was a community ideal, as much as just a terror group. If I lived in a strong republican area, it would be nearly guaranteed you would join the IRA. Those same communities were able to bring in the Irish language, sports etc.

    Being associated with the IRA wasn't clear cut, you had communities who assisted without ever being involved with the IRA.

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    (Original post by L i b)
    There were instances of protests being quashed violently. To suggest there was no scope for protest in Northern Ireland in the 1980s is simply not the case - in many cases, the police actually worked to defend demonstrators from Loyalists and others.

    You see, I don't care about the context. I will happily criticise the Government of Northern Ireland over a great many things, but that is not the point in discussion. The matter is whether Bobby Sands was somehow justified in joining a terrorist organisation, being involved in a bombing and shooting people.

    I entirely understand why he did what he did, just as I can understand by the standards of the time and the environment why people in other situations committed atrocities or tortured, murdered and inflicted cruelty on fellow human beings. That does not, however, justify it.

    Regardless of the situation in Northern Ireland at the time he could - and should - have done what the vast majority of the Roman Catholic population did and not go running around shooting at policemen or whatever else the IRA got up to back then. Northern Ireland would have been a better place for it.



    I think there was a lot of dislike of Roman Catholics, but I've never seen any evidence of encouraging ethnic cleansing. It's worth noting that there was a considerable cross-border movement after partition, with the Republic's Protestant population declining considerably without any strong-arm discrimination.

    In both cases, there was unhelpful rhetoric: both "a Protestant state for a Protestant people" and "a Catholic state for a Catholic people" were lines used. There were extremists, and there were problems with state institutions like the RUC. But let's not forget the other efforts: in the early 1960s, you had Unionist leaders visiting convents and meeting with Catholic religious leaders. Under Terrance O'Neill there were serious (but ultimately unsatisfactory) concessions made early on.



    A thousand times yes. Whatever problems one may lay at the door of the UUP and SDLP, the electoral success of their extreme equivalents is hugely unfortunate. While I actually have some time for the progressive politicians of the Unionist movement, it was the DUP's current membership and the likes of Ian Paisley who were entrenching division at the time.
    I'd like to know what else to suggest to people who aren't being listened to, controlled by an unrepresentative government, gerrymandering seats, utilise a heavily biased police force, who were simultaneously being targeted by Loyalist paramilitaries.

    The answer is no, over the bombing and the shooting. Having gone over the medical history of the troubles, literally none of it is acceptable. But he was one of the few people at the time who was prepared to disobey the government at grave risk to himself to highlight, in this case, the legitimacy of campaigning for a united Ireland.

    Yes, there were, earlier certainly, Craig purged streets of Catholics, stripping them naked and throwing them in the sea etc. If not openly under Paisley, but certainly with the UVF.

    Terence O'Neill was a tragedy, he portrayed an equality agenda and to pass it with the Unionists he had to dilute it down. This was still a massive positive for nationalist communities and Catholics. Sadly, the OUP kicked him out. He had a famous quote about how embittered the OUP was towards Catholics.

    To just look at the parties today, McDonnell and the SDLP have in my book, faded. No longer representing the "Irish" community. The UUP actually have come up with some good policies modelled from Westminster. Sinn Fein as are represent the most modern party in my view. I had high hopes for NI21 and Alliance as good compromise parties but again, nothing particularly impressive so far.

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    he's going to have to buck up his ideas if he is going to have any chance outsing Osbourne
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    (Original post by Gears265)
    Funny how Hayes and Harlington are filth and down the road in Uxbridge- a Tory constituency, not great but a hell of a lot better and far more civilised. I am yet to bare witness to a Labour constituency I find appealing.
    You do realise that depressed areas generally vote for more left wing parties because they are depressed and are not depressed because they vote for left wing parties?
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    (Original post by xxvine)
    he's going to have to buck up his ideas if he is going to have any chance outsing Osbourne
    I think a man of his experience stands a good chance against a hapless history graduate.
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    (Original post by United1892)
    You do realise that depressed areas generally vote for more left wing parties because they are depressed and are not depressed because they vote for left wing parties?
    Not in terms of Hayes and Harlington, since local power has shifted to Labour, the area has declined year on year. That seems a bit too much of a coincidence if I may say so myself. The local policies are horrendous yet the surrounding Tory councils (hardly rich or prosperous by a long shot) remains civilised and appealing in comparison. These areas share the same geographic location, the same services, the same economic prosperity yet vastly different. Labour seem to be the only factor that remains the anomaly.
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    (Original post by LockheedS.)
    but actually applauding the murder of British citizens by the IRA.
    Sorry, who did Bobby Sands kill other than himself?
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    (Original post by Gears265)
    Not in terms of Hayes and Harlington, since local power has shifted to Labour, the area has declined year on year. That seems a bit too much of a coincidence if I may say so myself. The local policies are horrendous yet the surrounding Tory councils (hardly rich or prosperous by a long shot) remains civilised and appealing in comparison. These areas share the same geographic location, the same services, the same economic prosperity yet vastly different. Labour seem to be the only factor that remains the anomaly.
    You do realise an MP has no link to the council. Also have you thought about external factors like the fact that thanks to 19th century economics we still haven't recovered from the reccesion may be affecting the area.
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    (Original post by United1892)
    You do realise an MP has no link to the council. Also have you thought about external factors like the fact that thanks to 19th century economics we still haven't recovered from the reccesion may be affecting the area.
    My bad I meant to say constituency.

    Are you willing to place the blame of disastrous local social policy, immigration policy, policing policy and economic policy on '19th century economics'? We have modernised the economy over the centuries and I fail to see how it has significant similarity which you are insinuating. But you fail to pick up what I said in regards to the area going downhill before the recession while under Labour control so the economic turmoil has nothing to do with it. The decline of the area kick started under Labour.
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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    I'd like to know what else to suggest to people who aren't being listened to, controlled by an unrepresentative government, gerrymandering seats, utilise a heavily biased police force, who were simultaneously being targeted by Loyalist paramilitaries.
    Despite the litany of grievances, we can look at many examples where non-violent resistance was what won the day. The southern United States, British India and so on. The Government of NI were implementing reforms when the troubles began and it is doubtless that they - in consort with the UK Government - would have addressed them without bullets being fired.

    If we are to move away from the condemnation of individual wrong, however, let's consider the social environment in which we were operating. The RUC and even the British Army - who didn't really have much of a dog in the sectarian fight before the Troubles - grew ever more suspicious of the Roman Catholic community; the Protestants became more entrenched and the vilest of extremists were given status as the tit-for-tat attacks on each community were carried on and people became fearful; the role of paramilitaries became ever more pronounced as bombings and shootings drove investment from Northern Ireland and created generations of relative backwardness and poverty.

    Terence O'Neill was a tragedy, he portrayed an equality agenda and to pass it with the Unionists he had to dilute it down. This was still a massive positive for nationalist communities and Catholics. Sadly, the OUP kicked him out. He had a famous quote about how embittered the OUP was towards Catholics.
    That's the reality of politics. No matter the situation, he had to work with what was possible, as has everyone involved in Northern Irish politics. As I touched on above, I think militancy entrenched these positions and gave undue status to the vilest of bigots and more unbending of extremists on the Protestant side. In what other place and at what other time could the bile coming out of Northern Irish politicians have been given anything other than condemnation?

    A culture of fear and hatred was fostered by paramilitaries, and I will never say that was reasonable. While one might justify earlier actions in terms of real grievances, the second that guns and bombs were picked up the path was set: decades of conflict was inevitable, followed by the horrendous sight of psychopathic murderers on both sides being released from prison on the basis that it was the price of peace. **** that.
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    (Original post by Gears265)
    My bad I meant to say constituency.

    Are you willing to place the blame of disastrous local social policy, immigration policy, policing policy and economic policy on '19th century economics'? We have modernised the economy over the centuries and I fail to see how it has significant similarity which you are insinuating. But you fail to pick up what I said in regards to the area going downhill before the recession while under Labour control so the economic turmoil has nothing to do with it. The decline of the area kick started under Labour.
    For a start MPs litteraly have 0 direct control over what happens in an area.

    Secondly it is 19th century in that it's massively idiotic belief that the public sector debts are more important than economic growth. In addition its belief that aisterity kicks starts the economy due to increasing confidence (it dosnt even do thay) is downright idiotic.

    Thirdly Hayes probably got outcompeted during the (unsuatainable) boom years of Blair but Its not the MPs fault.
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    (Original post by United1892)
    Secondly it is 19th century in that it's massively idiotic belief that the public sector debts are more important than economic growth.
    Up until you have a deficit and get locked out of further debt sales.
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    (Original post by Quady)
    Up until you have a deficit and get locked out of further debt sales.
    it's probably because im tired but i dont get what you mean.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    Despite the litany of grievances, we can look at many examples where non-violent resistance was what won the day. The southern United States, British India and so on. The Government of NI were implementing reforms when the troubles began and it is doubtless that they - in consort with the UK Government - would have addressed them without bullets being fired.

    If we are to move away from the condemnation of individual wrong, however, let's consider the social environment in which we were operating. The RUC and even the British Army - who didn't really have much of a dog in the sectarian fight before the Troubles - grew ever more suspicious of the Roman Catholic community; the Protestants became more entrenched and the vilest of extremists were given status as the tit-for-tat attacks on each community were carried on and people became fearful; the role of paramilitaries became ever more pronounced as bombings and shootings drove investment from Northern Ireland and created generations of relative backwardness and poverty.



    That's the reality of politics. No matter the situation, he had to work with what was possible, as has everyone involved in Northern Irish politics. As I touched on above, I think militancy entrenched these positions and gave undue status to the vilest of bigots and more unbending of extremists on the Protestant side. In what other place and at what other time could the bile coming out of Northern Irish politicians have been given anything other than condemnation?

    A culture of fear and hatred was fostered by paramilitaries, and I will never say that was reasonable. While one might justify earlier actions in terms of real grievances, the second that guns and bombs were picked up the path was set: decades of conflict was inevitable, followed by the horrendous sight of psychopathic murderers on both sides being released from prison on the basis that it was the price of peace. **** that.
    This is the debate I suppose, the IRA actively targeted the BA, so the army specifically going after them is understandable. But, at the same time by waging such an aggressive campaign it only sought to strengthen the IRA control.

    That said, I don't agree with your first paragraph, I think Britain had a "let themselves sort it out" leaving a Unionist government going nowhere.

    The RUC, as a Unionist police force, were heavily biased in who they targeted, not just that they distrusted nationalists.
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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    That said, I don't agree with your first paragraph, I think Britain had a "let themselves sort it out" leaving a Unionist government going nowhere..
    Well, let's not forget the British Government eventually took the unprecedented step of abolishing the Government of Northern Ireland. From what I understand, this was threatened at several points in the preceding years.
 
 
 
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