David Cameron Versus Ed Miliband In Sky News Channel 4 Debate

For those who missed it, the big Sky News / Channel 4 television debate in Britain featuring the Conservative’s David Cameron and Labour’s Ed Miliband, as we approach a UK general election whose domestic concerns may have dire political consequences for peaceful progress in the north-east of this country.

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42 comments

  1. I’m not aware of any major differences in Lab and Con policies with regard to NI (or very much else for that matter!) What do you see as the Irish dimension here? The possibility of a Con government having to make concessions to NI Unionist parties perhaps?

    For a summary of the ‘debate’ btw, I recomment the auld Wee Ginger Dug 😉

    1. Irish Times DUP make coalition overtures to Conservatives and Labour:

      “Mr Robinson explained the DUP five point plan for negotiations in the event of a hung parliament aims to:
      * Make Northern Ireland an economic powerhouse
      * Deliver world class public services for our people
      * Create a society based on fairness and opportunity for everyone
      * Make politics and Government work better in Northern Ireland
      * Strengthen the United Kingdom and protect and enhance British identity

      1. I do not believe any British Government has the appetite to meddle with the GFA or to try to defy US Foreign policy which underpins the GFA – an outstanding coup by Dublin and Nationalist Ireland. So, no danger there.

        The “No Surrender” strategy is clearly not working and has rendered the Unionists politically impotent to such a degree that they cannot even get a flag up a pole on BCC on their own terms any more.

        All that marchin’ would appear to have taken its toll.
        More lovin’ – and less marchin’ – would be a better strategy, though there are few signs of that happening, one has to admit.

        The DUP overtures merely re-confirm the point that the DUP and the British community in the north-east of the country recognize that by 2020 they will be the minority in the North – and the ELECTORAL minority by the mid-2020’s.

        It’s all good.

        1. “….by 2020 they will be the minority in the North – and the ELECTORAL minority by the mid-2020’s…..”
          ================================================
          Yes and what then????
          ( I hear a lot about majorities many confuse a pluarity with a majority..But I shall run with your point )
          Do you really think enough people will vote for a United Ireland??

          Well let’s tell them what they are voting for, shall we?
          It’s been said by economists that the 26 County little state needs to export £120 Billion to “enjoy” the standard of living it does now.
          Let’s us agree to take that figure as a working example.
          Of that £120 Billion.
          Irish owned enterprises make up £20 Billion which is the lowest % in the EU.
          ( Ireland a Rich Country..Richer than Germany..Don’t believe it)
          Of that £20 Billion..at least £8 billion is made up of agri exports..Beef and the like.

          So, when I say Ireland is a shytehole..It’s things like this I have in mind.

          So, if Irish business is exporting SFA..
          What , then are the workforce doing?
          Well some are teachers, bus drivers, Civil servants Police and Nurses.
          all very well..I shall call these the “smart” crowd.
          They have secure employment..
          Or at least until the gangsters in the Dail..Courtsey of the EU..privatise the electric Bus service etc and ALL the Semi State companies.
          Then the only smart ones will be the Teachers, Garda, Nurses and civil servants etc.

          Everyone else either works directly for multi nationals or work for Irish SME business who depend on multi nationals.
          These stay for about 10 years and then close up.
          Think Memorex, Seagate, Digital, Dell, The list is postively endless.

          In the meantime..rather than fix any of these problems.
          The Gombeans and the gombeanistas ran a property Ponzi scheme and called themseles ” Richer than Germany”.

          Erm..I am a devout Irish Nationalist.
          I detest the Brits for their “navigation Acts ” which helped destroy the Irish economy.

          But the Country is a shytehole for all those reasons above..Who’d vote to join that????
          I have left out the fact the the Free State has ignored the Irish in the wee 6 since 1922..which allowed the Orange Free state to trample over them.

          And then we have your closing remark.
          “It’s all good.”
          Erm..No it isn’t.

          Unless you fix the problem that only about 1/6 th of the exports we need to make each year is of Irish owned manufacture…Then the country will continue to be a failed state.
          As in the Christy Moore song.
          Irish Ways..The Brits have turned the place upside down.
          And nobody since 1922..has had the bog notion of what to do with the kip.
          Such is life.
          I don’t forsee any of this changing.

          1. But the Country is a shytehole for all those reasons above..Who’d vote to join that????
            —————————
            Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the EU don’t mind living here.
            In a typical Irish workplace you can hear all sorts of languages (Except Irish of course).

    1. The main problem with SNP is that it encourages voting based on ethnicity.
      “I’m a Scot, that’s why I vote for SNP”
      not
      “I’m voting for SNP, because of their left-wing/right-wing policies”.

      1. Jānis, that’s simply untrue. The whole thrust of the SNP’s electoral and constitutional strategies since the 1990s has been an avoidance of “ethnic politics”. Labour Party voters are deserting to the SNP precisely because of their “left-wing” policies.

        1. Well – that clip’s message was – all true Scotsmen should vote for SNP not “Westminster parties”.

          1. All true Latvians should have stood up and fought for their independence – instead of allowing their country to be overrun, with out even putting up a fight.
            Shameful.

            Instead, thousands of Latvians collaborated with the Nazi’s in the murder of tens of thousands of innocent Latvian civilians in yet another shameful, horrific chapter in recent Latvian history.

          2. The problem is that legally there is no such thing as Scottish nationality. There is no legal way for an immigrant, English or Latvian (!) to take out Scottish nationality. However, excluding the few inevitable bigots, anyone who makes their home in Scotland and fits in and likes the Scottish way of doing things will be accepted. Of course there’s a certain type of English pratt who get the contempt they deserve, witness Farage’s ill-fated excursion to Edinburgh a while back.

            SNP policy is broadly ‘social democratic’ in the European sense, and generally a little to the left of centre, but fairly pragmatic on particular issues. Also its conferences are far far less stage-managed than those of the main UK parties. E.g. the genuine debate over NATO last year. Whether that can last with >100,000 members and growing we shall have to see …

            Meanwhile …

      2. What a shame Latvia just simply allowed the Soviet Union to walk in and turn Latvia into a Soviet province – while the Latvians just stood by. In fact, the Latvians did not even put up a fight or resist.

        That’s not to say that the Latvians were inactive during WW2 – on the contrary, thousands of Latvians collaborated with the Nazi’s in the murder of tens of thousands of innocent Latvian civilians in yet another shameful, horrific chapter in recent Latvian history.

    2. The Russians in Latvia have created the same problem for themselves, because most of them are voting for one “Russian party” without even looking at its policies.

      And the same can be seen in Northern Ireland as well where the Irish vote for Sinn Fein and the British vote for DUP.

      1. If only the Latvians had stood up and fought for their country like the Finns – instead of capitulating without even a fight.

          1. Those who do not learn from history – are doomed to repeat it.

            The world has a duty to ensure that the recent horrific and shameful chapters in Latvian history are never repeated.

            1. After gaining independence the Irish Republic has been invaded by no one, (apart perhaps from a handful of British squaddies who couldn’t read their maps). Most of the bloodshed that has occurred since was during the civil war, Irish against Irish.

              Latvia (along with Estonia and Lithuania) also got their independence after WWI but were then taken over by the Russians, invaded by the Nazis, and re-invaded by the Russians. Who can possibly judge their actions in such unimaginable circumstances? Remember the Finns and the IRA both had Nazi support. When Hitler invaded Russia and Churchhill made an alliance with Stalin he said, “If Hitler were to invade Hell I’d try to say something nice about the Devil”. From my perspective the wonder is that the Baltic nations and their languages have survived at all. They are tiny nations in both geographically and in terms of population, and in some ways they put Ireland to shame.

  2. “Who can possibly judge their actions in such unimaginable circumstances ? ”

    – Marconatrix

    Latvian participation in the murder of tens of thousands of innocent civilians is indefensible.

    Period.

    1. And no sane person tries to defend those scumbags.

      The Irish nation is not responsible for IRA murders as well…

  3. 1. Latvia capitulated without even putting up a fight – unlike the Finns when faced with the same Soviet threat – and then Latvians participated in the Holocaust.

    2. No Finnish or Irish organizations participated in the Holocaust – Latvians did.

    1. Many Irish people helped the Brits to colonise the world.

      Those who emigrated to the USA also helped to exterminate the Native Americans.

  4. 1. Ireland was a British colony and a victim of Britain’s imperialism – not a beneficiary.

    2. It is extraordinary that the Irish Nation survived the barbaric War crimes carried out by the British state over centuries in its unsuccessful attempt to subjugate Ireland. War crimes that the vast majority of British people are ignorant of – or simply deny.

    “An Sionnach Fionn” along others, has documented some of these War crimes for those that still live in denial.

    3. Britain rejected the democratic mandate of the majority of the people in Ireland in a democratic election in 1918 for an independent 32 county Ireland. Britain – in spite of overwhelming superiority in terms manpower, weapons and resources – was defeated in the Irish War of Independence 1919-21, which proved an inspiration to many other Nations in the British Empire and was the beginning of the end of that Empire. Some British people recognise that the British Empire was built on terrorism and War crimes and are rightfully ashamed of it – others, unfortunately, deny the War crimes and actually believe that stealing other peoples land and enslaving them is a positve thing.

    In 1921, with the independence of the Irish state, 75% of the country’s GNP was removed with Partition. We had 1 brewery and 1 biscuit factory – and the biggest slum in Europe – Dublin.

    Ireland has made huge progress since then and has one of the highest standards of living in the world, in spite of the severe economics crisis. Problems exist for sure and many things could be better – but even in the past 30 years, Services and infrastructure have improved significantly. In the North of the country, the Orange apartheid state has been destroyed and the Nationalist community no longer are at the mercy of death squads run by the British state forces.
    The power of the churches has been faced down – though, unfortunately, the sectarian Orange Order is still active, albeit with a much reduced hold on power, in the North of the country.

    Hundreds of thousands of foreigners have come to Ireland in the past 20 years and they have made a superb contribution to Ireland and many have made their home here. There has been no emergence of a racist anti-immigration political party here thankfully – but racism must be fought.

    This country has come a long way since the very dark days of British colonial rule – ans there is a lot we can be very proud of. Lots more to be done.

    Upwards and onwards.

    1. Although the British Empire is no more, the notion of empire lives on in the minds of the British establishment and in the brainwashing many Brits get all their lives. It’s a bit like the way that I’m told, if you’re unfortunate enough to lose a limb, you still feel that it’s there. Phantom limb syndrome, the brain takes time to accept the fact that the actual limb is no more. I’d say Britain suffers from ‘phantom empire syndrome’. That probably explains the otherwise irrational behaviour with regard to NI and also the near fanatical reaction to the idea of Scottish independence. Just my 2p.

      1. And that’s why some British people hate the EU.
        London has been the centre of a large empire for centuries and the empire disappeared too quickly.

        They can’t stomach the fact that the EU is a union of equals and that they can’t push around other member states like they did with their colonies.

        1. France and Spain are also guilty of this, but perhaps not quite so much.

          Britain’s geographical isolation has in the past allowed it to avoid being taken over by whatever power was dominating Europe at the time, and then to interfere as it chose. What Russia achieved by it’s vast size and climate (when invaded they just kept retreating and waited for ‘General Winter’ to do the rest) Britain managed by being an island with a powerful navy. So British history as taught in school looks like this :
          1. The Spanish tried to invade us but we beat them;
          2. The French tried to dominate Europe but we beat them;
          3. The Germans tried to destroy us but we beat them (with a bit of help from the US)

          So clearly Europe is a source of tyrannical Empires that seek to destroy our “British Way of Life” (whatever that may be). In short Europe is “The Enemy”. It’s almost instinctive for Brits to see the EU as yet another Evil Empire, especially when it seems to be run by Germans, since all the war-films and comics we were brought up on have taught us that “the only good German is a dead German”.

          I often thought, “I’m glad I don’t live in Holland or Denmark etc. with the Germans just down the road”. Then I looked on Google Street at the borders and there is nothing there but a small sign or two, it’s just an administrative boundary like that between two counties etc. Maybe the road surface changes or the type of street lights. Clearly the Dutch, Danes etc. are not terrified that the Germans are going to start raiding over the border any time soon. In this respect the UK (and of necessity Éire too) still hides behind customs and immigration barriers, just like Karleningrad or Bieloruss! This in turn strengthens the perception that Europe is ‘foreign’.

          1. Ireland is very pro-Europe, unlike the UK.
            Using “Eire” is incorrect when using English – it would be the same as using “Suomi” or “Deutschland” in English, instead of Finland and Germany respectively. The correct name in English is Ireland – or the Republic of Ireland, if you wish.

            Your point about the British being totally brainwashed is well made as is your point about their “lost” Empire. The British ignorance of Britain’s imperial history in Ireland beggars belief – truly hilarious when they slag off Americans on the same score when they have not the first clue themselves. Then they slag off the Russians – blissfully unaware that Finland had Autonomy status within the 19th Century Russian Empire that Irish Nationalists could only dream about. Britain would not even concede Home Rule, a glorified County Council – and then badgered Ireland to fight Britain’s War in WW1 ” to save little Belgium”, whilst doing all in it’s power to deny Ireland that same independence that Ireland sought.

            You could not make it up.

            1. No, surely, the British Empire was a beacon of enlightenment bringing civilisation and Christianity to the Fuzzy-wuzzies and other such unfortunates across half the world. At least that’s how we’re supposed to remember it. The remaining Commonwealth consists predominantly of those places where the ‘natives’ were largely subdued or exterminated, not that the Scots, and dare I say it the Irish, didn’t play their part.

              Finland may have been semi-independent under the Russian Empire, but the local rulers were Swedes and Swedish was the language of the towns, administration etc. Somehow within a relatively short period they elevated Finnish from being a mess of peasant dialects to the status of a normal national language used everyday by default in business, commerce, education up to university level … , even though most of them can also speak English these days. Where did Ireland* (Republic of) go wrong?

              *aka Éire, Fodla, Banbha …

          2. Ireland isn’t hiding behind any barriers.
            When I travel to and from Ireland I just have to show my passport at the airport and that’s it – I don’t have to get a visa or answer any questions – it’s far less inconvenient than security checks – you have to go through them even if you fly from one Schengen country to another.

            Ireland is an island country and you can’t walk or drive across its border anyway so joining Schengen would not make much difference to most people.

            Russia and Belarus are completely different because you have to get a visa to enter those countries.

            It’s kinda weird that I have lived less than 40 km away from the Russian border for much of my life but haven’t actually been there because it’s a hassle to get a visa – it costs quite a bit of money, you have to fill all sorts of paperwork and then wait for it and there isn’t anything interesting to see near the border anyway.

            And at the same time – all I need to do to visit the rest of the EU is to just buy a plane ticket.

            1. Visitors from outside the EU need to get a separate visa to visit the UK (and Ireland?) which means we miss out on tourism. A single separate visa works for the rest of the EU. But as an EU citizen why should you even need a passport to visit Ireland/UK? We are told we’re EU citizens in the UK, but need a full international passport, with all the extra stuff to conform to US paranoia, just to step across the Channel. When the politicians talked of a “Europe without borders” I thought they meant for business etc. and were speaking figuratively. But I find now that there really is a Europe without border posts out there, it’s just that we’re shut out. I’m sure this has a psychological effect, especially on the younger generations. But not in the UK, hence our continued insularity of outlook.

  5. Ireland – like Finland – is independent, having had to fight for it’s independence against a much bigger neighbour to win independence, an independence that both countries are very proud of, and rightfully so.

    A 100 years later, Scotland had to merely tick a box on a piece of paper – but did not even manage to do that.
    The first – and only – Euorpean country in history that rejected independence – which had been offered on a plate.

    Meanwhile, the British Govt. (read English), continues to siphon off Scottish Oil and other Scottish resources and uses Scotland as a playground – with Scottish approval.

    Where did it all go wrong ?

    1. Just look at the graph here :

      http://whatscotlandthinks.org/questions/how-would-you-be-likely-to-vote-in-a-uk-general-election#line

      (The referendum was about where the red (Labour) and yellow (SNP) lines cross near the right hand end).

      Somehow the referendum totally changed the Scottish political landscape, “changed utterly” (no disrespect intended, but there is a sort of parallel there). In a few weeks now we’ll have Westminster by the balls, these are very interesting times.

      As to why exactly the vote was lost, well listen to this [15-45 to 19-00, sorry, couldn’t locate a shorter clip] :

    2. But you don’t treat the UK like a foreign country.

      British citizens can vote in Irish general elections, for example – citizens of other EU countries can’t do that.
      Also I’ve heard from many British people that they don’t consider you foreigners either.
      UKIP’s attitude is – “No poles required, but the Irish are totally fine”.

      Russian citizens don’t have voting rights in Finland and Latvia and they need a visa to visit those countries for a limited amount of time.

      1. 1. The Nordic countries have very similar rights bestowed on Nordic citizens over and above what is granted to EU citizens.
        2. Only Irish citizens can vote in Irish National Referendums and Presidential elections – nobody else.
        3. Irish citizenship is bestowed upon all born in Ireland as a birthright – Finland does not have the right to bestow citizenship to those who are born in the former Finnish territory of Karelia or the other former Finnish territories now part of Russia by virtue of birthright in those territories.
        4. Most of the Irish National teams in sport are All-Ireland teams – so, De Facto and De Jure, Britain recognises that part of the UK state is represented internationally by another, foreign, country – and this is recognised under International law. Finland does not have the right to represent Karelia or any other Finnish territory which is part of the Russian state.

        1. I’m not sure that any fundamental principles can be deduced from these cases. They are simply practical ad-hoc arrangements that happen to suit the various states involved. The result partly of history, partly of practicalities and partly due the the various pressures that states have been able to exert on their neighbours.

        2. Finland, like all other countries, has the right to give it’s citizenship to anyone.

          And it’s also not that uncommon for national sports teams to include players who aren’t living in the country at all.
          The Latvian national hockey team includes many NHL players who live and work in the USA and Canada, for example.

          1. You miss the point.

            The Finnish National teams do not represent the lost territories of Karelia or indeed any other former Finnish territory now part of the Russian state.Under Finnish law, people born in the former Finnish territories of Karelia which are now a part of the Russian state do not have Finnish citizenship as a birthright.

            People born in Ireland have Irish citizenship as a birthright under Irish law – and most Irish National teams represent all of Ireland.

            Finnish or Irish – or any – players playing abroad outside of their own country is an entirely different matter and has no bearing or relevance to the above.

          2. That’s because Finland evacuated its citizens after Russia occupied its land.
            It would be incredibly stupid to give random Russians Finnish citizenship now.

            Ireland did not do that – a lot of people who identify as Irish are still living in Northern Ireland.

      2. The agreement that allows Brits to vote in Irish elections and vice versa goes back to before either country joined the EU. I don’t know how it came about. There was a good deal of prejudice against Irish workers in England in the past, they were the “East Europeans” of those times, along with West Indians etc. It was common to see “No Irish, No Blacks” signs in London etc. This anti-Irish attitude goes back to before Irish independence.

  6. But as an EU citizen why should you even need a passport to visit Ireland/UK?
    —————–
    It would be great if the UK and Ireland joined the Schengen zone, but as I said it would make little practical difference to most EU citizens, because you still have to identify yourself and go through security screening at all international airports.
    (very few people visit the British isles in any other way than by ship or plane)

    And yeah – that separate-visa thing really sucks – I’m surprised that there aren’t any agreements between CTA and Schengen in this matter.

    1. I don’t recall having to produce any ID on ferries within the CTA (Fishguard – Cork, Aberdeen – Lerwick, Western Isles, IoM) has that changed? Do you need to do in on ferries within Schengen? Anyway the whole thing stinks of English paranoia IMO, even Switzerland has open borders these days!

  7. No, surely, the British Empire was a beacon of enlightenment bringing civilisation and Christianity to the Fuzzy-wuzzies and other such unfortunates across half the world.
    ——————-
    And so did the rest of European colonial empires.

    Had the Brits not colonised those lands – someone else surely would have done that.

    Canada and the USA would not be countries run by native Americans anyway.
    They would be Russian, French and Spanish (And maybe German and Dutch as well) speaking countries.

    And I surely would prefer living in the USA or Canada than in any of former Spanish colonies.

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