Analysis comment

Starmer chooses most volatile weekend in NI calendar to announce he’s anti-Irish reunification – and it’d be illegal if he ever became PM

Good Friday Agreement stipulates ‘rigorous impartiality’ by UK government in a reunification referendum mandated by peace deal

An 12 July loyalist bonfire

Keir Starmer has been accused of ‘recklessness beyond the extreme’ in his decision to announce – on the weekend before loyalists light huge bonfires and tensions escalate in Northern Ireland – that he will campaign ‘strongly’ against the reunification of Ireland if a referendum is triggered under the Belfast (or ‘Good Friday’) Agreement (GFA):

Starmer stuck to this position even when he was challenged by his interviewer about neutrality. And the BBC man pushed that point with good reason: the GFA obliges the UK government to maintain ‘rigorous impartiality’ in the event of such a referendum:

The likelihood of the feeble Starmer ever becoming PM is diaphanously thin, but if he ever were to occupy Downing Street, it would be illegal for him to campaign in any direction – and his statement even on any other day would be a slap in the face to republicans in Northern Ireland, who include many and probably most on the left and many Roman Catholics.

Astonishingly, Starmer only yesterday correctly accused Boris Johnson of undermining trust in Northern Ireland

The Northern Irish-run @ToryFibs Twitter account accused Starmer of ‘recklessness beyond the extreme’ in choosing this weekend to make such a statement:

On Monday, right-wing ‘loyalists’ will set light to massive bonfires in celebration of sectarianism, built on a scale to be truly dangerous – and often decorated with photographs and effigies of republican figures, while many Catholics are advised to avoid travel and if possible to stay home completely:

And Starmer’s timing is even worse when many feel that demographic shifts in Northern Ireland have brought the prospect of a referendum closer than it has been at any time since the GFA was signed more than twenty years ago. The terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA) state that the UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland must call a referendum,

if at any time it appears likely to him that a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland.

And polling in April suggested that, for the first time, more than half of the population supports reunification.

A day of new shame and new depths for Labour – and under Keir Starmer there seems to be no prospect of improvement.

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124 comments

  1. Whilst I acknowledge that there is a solemn obligation on the government to carry out the outcome of any cross-border referendum I’m struggling to see anything that precludes the leader of the opposition, or the PM for that matter from expressing an opinion, before any referendum vote. This seems to be a fuss about nowt

    1. Do you at least see the absurdity in Keir coming out against Irish reunification when no one who’d even consider voting Labour insists on it- Ulster Unionism is a purely right-wing and purely bigoted concept- and when the majority of the N.I. population now favors reunification? Who could he possibly think he could impress by doing this?

      1. Maybe it is what he believes.
        Personally I don’t agree, I think that the people of Ireland would be better off united but like Starmer if and when there is a referendum I won’t have a vote. It will be for the people of Ireland to decide.

      2. @SteveH 10/07/2021 at 1:38 am :

        ‘It will be for the people of Ireland to decide.’…is what Starmer should have said.

        Instead, he ‘picked a side’, on the most volatile weekend, on the N. Ireland calendar – virtually – equating the situation in Ireland to that of Scottish Independence.

        The man is an ignoramus! In this situation – a dangerous ignoramus. There is nothing in what he said, mitigates that ignorance. He, simply, showed a total lack of understanding, in regard to, the tensions felt around Loyalists and Nationalist interfaces this particular weekend.

        Keir Starmer is not a politician. He is not a leader. Regardless of his personal politics – for no one knows what those politics are – he should remove himself from politics, immediately.

        We have a blithering con-man as Prime Minister. We do not need a blithering ignoramus as leader of the Opposition, as well.

        Thankfully, I’ve managed to keep this comment ‘clean’. It doesn’t, fully, convey the anger I feel for this man.

        Especially, this weekend.

      3. Kashmir, Palestine, green politics and now, with the brexit-caused inevitability of Irish Unification, Northern Ireland. On each of these Starmer is rejecting Labour’s long-standing position and resolutely contradicting the logic and independence of democratic socialism.

        Sir Keir Rodney Starmer is not simply a right-wing Labourite tying to modify and adapt Labour’s thinking, he is acting like an enemy-agent who has been tasked by Labour’s antagonists to destroy it.

        I mean no disrespect to my Christian brothers and sisters, but this awful man is Labour’s Antichrist – and kenburch, I suspect steveh does not see the absurdity of Sir Keir Rodney Starmer’s very existence in Labour.

      4. His sponsors?Max never acts alone or in the light. He is beyond the pale however, his backers do see him as PM, no matter where Jock the Hat stands. The national evisceration of JC shows this is all part of a great project. Dark days lie ahead for the working class. Those that don’t accept this are suicidal and willfully blind. X

    2. Steve H from your past comments on Palestine and your comments on sectarianism,I do not believe you really think that what Starmer is saying is either sensible or good for the Labour party even amongst the right wing.in a statement of intent in Ulster politics.The Catholic vote would never consider the intervention of a foreign party so I can only assume hes fishing in the desperate and dangerous waters of the unionist population.Not a good idea as I can assure you that theres only limited room there for another right wing religious fanatic and starmers jewish morosi conservative faith will not fit for Bible punching fanatics trapped in a time warp.I have contacted friends in the “North” and like me want to know just what the knight did whilst working there?….Yes your misfit seems drunk on power after your inexperienced politician and leader as once again gone for the divisive approach.This time the dangerous waters of politics in Ulster might bite back.Mr knight the epitome of British crown rule as like those before him underestimated the Irish and it will cost them every single day till a united Ireland Republic takes over from this failed statelet and over subsidised money pit…Sir keir starmer the “Frank Spencer” of British Empire politics.

      1. Joseph – My comment above yours which was written over an hour before yours clearly states that I think Ireland would be better off united so you telling us that you believe I don’t agree with Starmer on this isn’t much in the way of a revelation.

      2. This is the first chance to post about G Peels post. Max is not an ignoramus. He has smashed the left, terrified the unions, comfortarians, and the mighty intellectuals of the left are in the gutter gasping for air. Come on lefties put up your dukes, they’ll put up their Lords and ladies. We didn’t stick up for victims of abuse. The beeb still stands and we let them inject anything they want into our kids. Now we can’t go on holiday unless? Hey how, its of to war we go.

      3. Headroom warrants some deep investigation. No one is this clean. Even Mirandas agents couldn’t do a perfect sweep.

    3. Starmer’s position is no surprise.
      According to the terms of an international treaty that UK signed up it has to remain IMPARTIAL.
      That’s already a contradiction in terms. Calling the United Ireland Ref is up to the UK Secretary of State for NI and the criteria remains ill-defined,resting on “when he/she thinks Unity might win”.
      Despite that, IMPARTIALITY means UK parties, Govt, influencers, Royal family, economists, political pundits, etcshould not express anything beyond “Here’s your referendum/border poll. Polling is on such a date”

  2. The man just isn’t a politician, Having ties with Northern Ireland through my late wife I’m sure the people I know from both sides of the divide will look at this interview in a dim light. On the surface Starmer doesn’t stand for a great deal but to forward this argument two days before the 12th must have people pulling their hair out trying to understand the senseless removal of Nationalist democratic hopes,

      1. All he had to say was it was for the NI population to decide.

      2. You’re right but I strongly suspect that some on here would have been critical if he had.
        But.
        Whether the Labour or Conservatives parties campaign for one side or the other won’t alter the fact that it will be for the Irish people to make that decision The stance of UK political leaders may influence the outcome but they don’t have a vote.

      3. SteveH. You are being disingenuous, you know quite well Starmer is wrong and unless you are incapable of joining the dots, you also know why!

        If he agreed with a united Ireland then by the same logic he would have to agree to a united Palestine, which would not please the Zionists in Israel or the Zionists in our own establishment here.

      4. Jack – The only one who is being disingenuous here is you for trying to conflate the issues in Ireland with those in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza in a vain attempt to prop up your obsessive anti-Zionist agenda.

      5. All of us would respect if if he’d said it was up to the people of N.I. and nobody else, and therefore not his place to express an opinion. Since this can’t gain him votes- and since there is no chance of the DUP ever, under any circumstances, supporting a minority Labour government, what’s the point of taking the right-wing position on this?

      6. The issues in Ulster Steve H are very similar to Palestine with a foreign and secatarian government in control by military force..The Catholics were considered inferior and excluded from decision making and voting and even denied employment and housing in there own country.The former leader of the queens privey council ian paisley who led the pogroms for ethnic cleansing in Belfast once said “the Catholics breed like rabbits and spread like vermin” for this and much more serious reasons,such as internment without trial,Murder of unharmed civilians by crown forces and the continued presence of a military garrison backed up by a armed and mainly protestant para military police force make the situation on your own doorstep steve h intolerable and unsustainable in a modern world.We are no longer the “black man of Europe and we assert our rights like the Palestinian to demand freedom from the Ocuppier.

      7. Joseph – Yes all that used to be the case but there is a big, big difference. The Irish people have a democratic solution to their issues, the Palestinians don’t. I think the f’wits on both sides are in the minority.

      8. SteveH. When a politician makes a decision or a pronouncement, it’s sensible to ask why? My ‘conflation’ of the NI and Israel issues is not at all disingenuous, it is based upon Starmer’s track record and actions.
        There is an exact parallel between the two situations, i.e. a group of colonisers has supressed an indigenous population and commited atrocities against them.

        Starmer’s Zionism is at the heart of every decision he makes on issues such as this and my ‘obsession’ as you put it, is to highlight the evil racism of Zionism which intentionally set out to destroy Corbyn’s leadership and is now manifesting itself again in Starmer’s crass statements.

        You know perfectly well that Starmer was foolish but you have adopted the position of ‘my Leader right or wrong’ and it’s why you cannot offer any good reason other than ‘maybe that’s what he thinks’. It’s important to ask why? but you don’t like the answer, therefore you equivocate.

      9. Jack – I think you are blinkered by your own political dogma, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

      10. SteveH. You said I am blinkered. Please explain what you can see which you believe I am missing?

  3. Starmer can’t help himself grabbing at anything he thinks is what the establishment would be pleased to hear. It doesn’t ever occur to him his overzealous sycophancy makes him look even more feeble.

    He will never get Labour elected.

      1. Rainbow nationalism under The EU. Sounds great.

  4. As long as stability and peace is maintained I doubt that the establishment cares much either way.

    1. I think you are right and life would go on unbothered without the ill thought out interventions from both main uk parties

    2. Uh…it was the Establishment that went all out to block the implementation of the Home Rule bill in the 1914-18 period, and who did all they could to end Sunningdale in 1975. The same Establishment has supported every Unionist call for suspension of the N.I. Assembly as well.

      1. SteveH,

        kenburch – You are living in the past.

        Do you understand the irony of your statement in reply to Kenburch on the subject of Ireland? Or we you being deliberately offensive when that very statement should be directed towards the various orange order lodges that celebrate the “superiority” of one part of the community over another part of the community, for the last 3 HUNDRED f**king years!

  5. Speaking as a non-christian with family from both sides of the border of the island of Ireland that would vote for reunification, mr keir “eric armrest” starmer has no f**king right to an opinion on the subject of reunification of Ireland!

    In addition, labour do not stand in northern Ireland so have no relevance while not in government, so it would have been better if he had said “I’m not prepared to answer that question so move on.”

    Also, it is further evidence that he and labour are STILL doing nothing, absolutely fucking nothing, to convince me that they deserve my vote and where I live I am politically homeless. (But would never vote for a “centrist” or a right wing party.

    1. Richard – It is more than a little perverse that you believe that the UK’s opposition party doesn’t have a right to comment on the break-up of the UK.
      As I’ve said above GB politicians have the right to influence not decide the outcome. When the time comes it will be for the people of Ireland to decide what they want.

      1. ‘Influence’ he euphemises…

        Yep, all that union flag-shagging already told us all we need know about his ‘influence’.

        And now – out of any time of the year – he comes out with this bilge. The blockhead is utterly bereft of the ravages of intelligence, guile AND tact.

        He may as well have stuck his thunderbirds uniform on and got out his fisher-price big bass drum ffs, because if that isn’t a massive ‘fuck you’ to the nationalists, then I don’t know what is.

      2. Ah…so you’re an Ulster Unionist, Steve. News flash, The reunification of Ireland is not “the breakup of the UK” and there cannot possibly be a Labour case for keeping N.I. British if the majority there no longer wishes it to be.

      3. kenburch – Which bit of GB politicians have the right to influence not decide the outcome. When the time comes it will be for the people of Ireland to decide what they want. are you finding it difficult to understand.

      4. Why SHOULD Starmer be trying to influence N.I. to stay in the UK when that’s something only people who vote Tory would insist on? There is no such thing and there never can be any such thing, as a socialist or even “social democratic”(a term now utterly devoid of meaning, since all “social democrats” in the UK and Europe have reduced their message to nothing but “it’s enough that it’s US writing the austerity budget”) case for keeping N.I. “British”.

        There is no way to argue for keeping N.I. part of Britain and still fight against cuts in services, or to save the NHS, or to protect anyone in the UK from any form of bigotry-assuming, of course, that Keir OPPOSES any form of bigotry other than AS, of course.

        There is simply no decent reason for any Labour leader ever to agree with people like the Orange Order or Ian Paisley(pre-GFA) on this issue.

    2. Richard, love the “eric armrest” anagram.

      Thing is, the ‘armrest of the billionaires’ probably believes he is the ONLY non-billionaire entitled to any opinion on this (and indeed everything else). Blair fooled the socialist-world with his “third-way” acceptance of capitalist excess, but today, Sir Keir Rodney Starmer’s very exclusive ‘membership’ of the Trilateral Commission is just comng across as right-of-centre toryism and oligarchic-supporting instincts.

  6. The problem is Steve NI was/is totally instilled in the past, the unionist Party on the 12th will be taunting the Nationalist community with the actions of William of Orange, The Catholics still hate the actions of Oliver Cromwell and the English intervention during the potato famine

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    2. I was in Ireland a couple of times in the 70’s when sectarianism was rife but when we went there on holiday a few years ago I got the impression that it was a dramatically different place with the younger generations in the main looking firmly forward rather than backwards. In time the demographics will decide the issue.

      1. … not just demographics, the type of little englandism brexit that the “ alleged Prime Minister, Boris d’pratface Johnson has implemented.

      2. qwertboi – I agree, Boris and his NI Protocol have accelerated the process.

  7. Steve H sectarianism as always been rife and still is amongst the unionist population.of Ulster.Just wait for the glorious twelth,,Pope burning effigies and individuals effigies,just like Lewes in Sussex who burnt my effigy as a “enemy of Lewes” .and encouraged the intervention of extremi groups to target me and my family.I was actually attacked in the village of Newick Sussex in two thousand and four by maniacs from Lewes the English home and chapel of the paisley family.Like many English you are oblivious to what goes on on your own doorstep.Do you realise that the Orange lodge have a presence in every town in the UK and are reviving defunct lodges like the Victoria lodge in Bolton were right wing extremists are now flourishing..Ignorance is bliss for people like you but how would you and your family feel sorounded by the Klu klux clan and a army and police force to back them up.Ps Steve H The attack on me and my family was carried out in broad daylight and heavy security breached on my home by a group of Orange fanatics who fled after the leader was dealt with by me and I was arrested on the spot by Lewes police that sent him off to Haywards heath hospital,whilst I was locked away he targeted another refurbished property of mine and tried to burn it down by lighting a candle and rupturing the gas supply.Luckily the property was empty but if the plan had worked many people would have been caught in the explosion.neighbouring the property.You are ignorant of just how dangerous your slithering knight is Steve H.

    1. Brilliant post. Thanks. We have Orange parades and a members only RangersClub in little cirrhosis by the sea , Scarborough North Yorkshire. It’s everywhere but no-one knows

  8. Steve H “I am sruggling to see whats this to do with Starmer….?Well Steve H if you don’t understand and I appreciate that you may not do like many English people.Maybe you might if we all followed the knight and “Light the blue touchflame and stand well back” IF you have ever encountered real evil and hatred which I have then you would be extremely worried about the Labour party under the rule of such a desperate and dangerous man whos humanity is Zilch and is aspirations like his misfits are deluded and confused 😕

      1. And the answer to what keir starmer did in Ulster is he was an advisor to the Police northern Ireland human rights board….thats basically a contradiction in terms to many who have dealt with human rights from the police and military especially being as military intelligence operatives are still very active in the Catholic areas of Derry and Strabane and over in West Belfast…The war is over and the battle goes on with British imperialism

  9. One plus from that interview was to show-up the differences between a regional BBC political journalist, and a Broadcasting House BBC political journalist.

    Generally speaking, there are no easy rides for politicians outside London.

    Time Broadcasting House had a clear out. Throw out the deadweight, and put some live back into the place.

  10. Re: “Maybe it’s what he believes.” – Maybe it is, but what this clearly demonstrates is that the man is unfit for office. Any politician worth his/her salt would have understood the potentially incendiary nature of what he said, and even half-baked politicians are adept at giving answers that provide no answer. Starmer clearly doesn’t appreciate that Labour has benefitted from the votes of a large group of people in GB who are of Irish Catholic ancestry and he has risked alienating many of them with this comment. Following the LP’s actions/statements that have alienated socialists, Black people, Travellers and Muslims, this is yet another demonstration of the man’s political naivety.
    I know that some people believe that Starmer is doing these things deliberately to destroy the LP. I don’t hold that view. I think that he is simply utterly, unbelievably incompetent.
    Re: “I was in Ireland a couple of times in the 70’s when sectarianism was rife but when we went there on holiday a few years ago I got the impression that it was a dramatically different place with the younger generations in the main looking firmly forward rather than backwards.” – I can see how the casual observer could form such a view. However, my regular visits to the North over 40 years followed by Covid-enforced electronic contact since, lead me to the conclusion that such a view was always one that used rose-tinted spectacles. It seems clear that the situation in NI is worsening and there could easily be an escalation in the conflict. Starmer’s intervention won’t help.

  11. The situation in Northern Ireland has always been precarious at best. The consequences for the local people should violence break out again would be terrible. We have been fortunate over the past few years that the observance of the Good Friday Agreement has managed to keep a lid on things. It is however beholding on every politician to be very careful what they say because the consequences of any stupid remark could be so great.

    I don’t regard putting at risk a whole community’s safety even if it just stirs the flames during for a few nights during he Marching Season as being a “fuss about nowt”. Starmer ‘s comments were ill considered and ill timed he’s and absolute chump. He needs to keep his mouth as firmly shut .on these matters as he does on most things when parading in the Hof C as a leader of the opposition.

  12. I’ll tell you what I find most enigmatic…

    That a certain someone – more than anyone else here – has a link to somewhere or someone from the place being discussed. No matter how tenuous, he seems to have some sort of personal connection to the topic/place/person with a vague and unsubstantiated tale to tell about it.

    Other than that, for a supposed lawyer, stammer’s completely f**king clueless. As a politician he’s even worse, with almost indescribably piss-poor diplomacy skills, and a pitiful lack of communication skills to boot.

    How the absolute fook did he get to where he is? He’s not fit to run a whelk stall ffs.

    1. I’ve never seen the proprietor of a whelk stall who would consistently drive the customers away to the stall at the other end of the prom. That’s what we have with Mr S.

      1. I wouldn’t buy the big issue of stammer – nevermind a tub of whelks (Nasty stuff anyway, that shellfish/mollusc eating mullarkey)

    2. I think the knight and his comments will have upset the neo liberal alliance in the Republic who are hanging on by the skin of their teeth in government.The republic of Ireland has benefited most from the Good Friday agreement economically and with a newly prosperous country will be fuming at such comments from the Labour party..The false statelet of Ulster as been left behind whilst the all Ireland socialist Sinn Fein are preparing for a united Ireland with a socialist government..Big changes are here to stay in Ireland and the abandoned unionist population will have to accept the writings on the wall and false representation by the Labour party and its leader doesnt help.The referendum is inevitable and so it should be.No country can remain devided especially when the so called minority Catholic population turn into the majority with just a good few of the protestant non unionist population behind them.The knights imperialism could cost lives this weekend and onwards through the marching season.

  13. The Newspaper AN phoblacht and Irish Republican news are reporting the Labour party are pushing to break the GFA and the leader supporting a veiw that the referendum on a united Ireland is according to the knight led Labour party “Nowhere in sight” .Step up the security mr knight yuve just stepped up the pressure on maintaining peace in the dysfunctional statlet of Northern Ireland. To think this creature with a handful of years in politics could have been allowed to throw out the greatest peacmaker in the history of the Labour party on trumped up charges of Anti semitism..This devisive horrible specimen will go down as the man that destroyed the Labour party .and reversed the peace plan.Still with advising the PSNI in human rights would anyone be suprised.This retrobate is up to his neck in innocent blood of the nationalist population and is looking for more in tempting the unionist population on behalf of the Labour party.

    1. No surprise after the Mike Sivier ruling*… Seems they can do as they please with little or no comeback.

      *IIRC, Mike sued for breach of DPA/GDPR. The judge ruled that because they couldn’t find the person(s) directly responsible for the breach, it was ok.

    2. Whilst we are on the subject of the courts this ruling by the Supreme Court doesn’t bode well for the future. That 80+ seat majority is a worry.

      The End Justifies the Means

      Supreme Court President Lord Reed said today: “The court concludes that the two-child limit has an objective and reasonable justification, notwithstanding its greater impact on women.
      “The measure pursues a legitimate aim – to protect the economic wellbeing of the country by achieving savings in public expenditure and thus contributing to reducing the fiscal deficit.
      “It was inevitable that if that aim was to be achieved, there would be a disproportionate impact on women – since women are disproportionately represented among parents responsible for bringing up children.
      “Parliament decided that the disproportionate impact of the two-child limit on women was outweighed by the importance of achieving its aim.
      “There is no basis on which the court could properly take a different view.”
      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/breaking-mums-lose-landmark-supreme-24495788

  14. ‘Imperial Kier.
    Pleasing the rich and powerful here.’
    Dustbin of history calling Mr S?

    1. .That 80+ seat majority is a worry.

      To who?

      Because Rachel reeves will be tougher than the toerags on benefits claimants…

      Well?

      1. And what’s changed in those eight years?

        The debt’s increased, and stammerism means the corporates won’t be paying any of it.

  15. In 1973, the UK government called a poll in Northern Ireland on whether to maintain the Union or join a united Ireland. The poll was the subject of a nationalist boycott: 98.9% of those voting, 57.5% of the electorate, voted for the union.
    The Good Friday Agreement recognises ‘that it is for the people of the island of Ireland alone, by agreement between the two parts respectively and without external impediment, to exercise their right of self-determination on the basis of consent, freely and concurrently given, North and South, to bring about a united Ireland’. The consent principle is recognised in the new Article 3 of the Irish Constitution.
    It is also possible that a southern poll would reject unification, even when the northern one favoured it, the voters there believing the admission of so many recalcitrant Unionists would bring more disruption than they wish to contemplate. Such a result might seriously shake both parts of Ireland.
    The question of a border poll and it timing is fraught with some very complicated questions regarding both constitutional and financial, the question of self determination is self evident i.e. 50% plus 1 should determine Northern Ireland’s fate, providing the Republic agreed in their own referendum? The timing of such referenda in both parts of Ireland is crucial, for instance a poll conducted in 2019 when Corbyn was Labour opposition might result in a different result 1 year later if he had become Prime Minister. That is why polls are not the panacea some people might think.
    Could anyone imagine the problems if NI voted in a referendum the way Quebec voted in their last referendum in 1995, then, just 1.16% won the referendum against independence for Quebec. Regarding Scottish independence Corbyn refused to call himself a Unionist, he preferred to call himself a socialist, I think he meant whatever is best for the people from a socialist perspective i.e. are workers better off, I suppose he was sitting on the fence, Brown on the other hand was for the Union to continue.
    Joseph O’
    No country can remain divided especially when the so called minority Catholic population turn into the majority. Ah thank you Joseph, now I know it’s all a question of genetics, Catholics all have different genes than Protestants, is that why you were confused by Becketts lineage?

    1. Get back in your hole Harry Orange…!and cut ✂the meddling in Ireland you are beginning to sound like a broken record much like your slithering lawyer the knight…The Labour party have a good tradition of keeping the Labour party out of Ireland and I know you wish to recolonise the North East of Ireland but its too late you clown.

      1. Joseph okeefe Personal insults only prove you have no arguments, you do not like the Good Friday Agreement because it requires the consent of both parts of Ireland in referenda, including Sinn Fein. Sounds like you want to be a one man army and force your undemocratic opinions on the whole of Ireland. Bit of advice Joseph make sure you have your armalite all greased up, you do not need the ballot box in your other hand.

  16. I have spent a lot of time in Northern Ireland, I first went to visit my future wife in the sixties, what I found dumfounded me, Gerrymandering on an unbelievable scale shocked me, business owners entitled to the votes of their workers, Catholics barred from working in any Government jobs or the shipyards, I pointed out a sign in a shop to my wife in Strabane a town 90% Catholic that read “Shopgirl required no catholic need apply”, I asked why would anyone shop there but she was resigned to it, it was the norm, most of the men had to work in England, The police were 100% Protestant with the B specials that terrified the Catholic communities, The Nationalist community had been sidelined in an Apartheid State, The Belfast agreement brought a sense of normality to the Province although the Unionists could withdraw power share at any time by refusing to attend Stormont, Starmer has gone back 30 years, yet again sidelining the Nationalist community, he really is a handicap to democracy

  17. Keir Starmer
    “The Good Friday Agreement and its promise of peace must never be taken for granted. Returning to Northern Ireland today, I can see how much is still at stake.

    “The peace here was built on the trust, courage and commitment of the communities of Northern Ireland and political leaders. I felt that while working here in the years after Good Friday. And it is with those values in mind that I will go into today’s important meetings.

    “This morning, I saw the transformation that peace helped bring about at an integrated school in Belfast. I saw the smiles of hope from young people as they look to the future. Whether we are in Westminster or Stormont, as political leaders we owe it to that generation to deliver on the promise of the Good Friday Agreement.

    “We must recognise that trust is fragile, and progress is stalling. I understand the concerns of communities and businesses here about the problems with the Northern Ireland Protocol. I’m here to listen and to call for serious, practical solutions.”
    https://labour.org.uk/press/keir-starmer-meets-with-northern-ireland-party-leaders-at-stormont/

      1. Probably the Jewish free school, it’s on his doorstep and he’s said he “brings them up in the Jewish faith”.

    1. What a Tory SAYS and what a Tory DOES, are two entirely opposite things!
      Starmer is a Particularly Slippery Slimy Eel of a Tory!
      If you have any ACTIONS not WORDS, now that would be meaningful and of Interest!

  18. How long before he crosses the floor, seriously? Last week he lost, for certain, Muslim voters with the nonsense coming from Labour ‘sources’ after Batley and Spen. Now at the beginning of the marching season he does this. He is pitching for the votes of 3 million Tory voters as he believes that is the only way he can win. That’s the whole plan, full stop, and he has a group of fanatical Remainers as his storm troopers backing every ridiculous statement that comes out of his mouth. He may say he accepts Brexit and its all in the past but he relies on his remainer and returner supporters to keep him afloat. Yes Brexit is a disaster and we should never have left but these people didn’t back remain because of that. It was to help remove Corbyn and if it meant pissing off 52% of the public and losing a general election it was worth it to them. Now they are going full throttle to attract Tory voters with any old bullshit from flag shagging to being very quiet about the privatisation of the NHS. But if he is finally rejected by well meaning Labour members waking up what will happen? Crossing the floor is not as crazy as it may seem.

      1. Haha…

        But he looks more like Blakey from ‘On the buses’

      2. Wah hah hah! Yeah he does too!, never made that link! I always get Roy Cropper from Starmer almost every time I see him Roy pops up!

  19. Of course there are integrated schools There is one in Newcastle that I know of as well but they are like an Oasis in the desert, great if you happen to be near one. this particular statement is far removed from his interview and I’m sure it was designed to undo the insult he made to the Nationalist community.

  20. Starmer is hoping that by coming out against a border poll he will get the Unionist MPs at Westminster on his side if, and its a massive if, there was to be a hung parliament after the next GE. The Shinners as we all know don’t take their seats so they’ll be no use to him. I’m old enough to remember the MP for Fermanagh South Tyrone propping up Jim Callaghans Labour government in the 70s. He only turned up to Westminster when his vote was required to keep Labour in. So maybe Starmer is thinking along those lines.

  21. When immigrants went looking for digs in London in the 1960’s it was standard to see signs saying ‘No blacks, no dogs, no Irish’. Now the Northern Irish are still discriminated against because the Labour party refuse to let anyone resident in NI vote for or against the party that governs or aspires to govern them i.e. the UK Labour party, over 2300 LP members organized in just 1 Province wide constituency party and thousands of UK based Trade Unionists have no vote at general elections, they are forced to vote for one of the sectarian local parties DUP, Sinn Fein etc. Is that a democratic choice? tcliverpool, the question of one man, one vote was an issue which was prevalent in GB until 1948 it involved the local government franchise which gave businesses in towns two votes, the result was more Protestants were denied the vote because of the greater number of Protestants in those particular areas, whichever way you look at it, it was wrong and was easily put right by bringing NI into line with GB legislation. Now, nobody in NI can vote for or against the party that aspires to govern them i.e. the UK Labour Party, a democratic deficit which cannot be correct and must be put right, incredibly Palestinians living in Israel [approx 2 million] have more rights than UK citizens [approx 2 million] living in Northern Ireland, at least they can vote for or against any Israeli political party.

    1. I did bring this up with my MP Maria Eagle at a CLP meeting, she said Labour was affiliated to the SDLP which I don’t think has been particularly hand in hand with UK Labour

    2. harry law “Palestinians living in Israel [approx 2 million] have more rights than UK citizens [approx 2 million] living in Northern Ireland, at least they can vote for or against any Israeli political party.”

      I take your point but it’s only true if you disregard Israel’s jerrymandering. Take the West Bank for example which is under Israeli control, only Jews are allowed to vote, most of whom are settlers.

      If we exclude Gaza, about a quarter of those living under Israeli rule don’t have the right to vote. If Gaza is included, it’s approximately one third who are disenfranchised.

      1. Jack T, “I take your point but it’s only true if you disregard Israel’s jerrymandering”. It is not jerrymandering it is illegal occupation which is a grave war crime ‘Geneva conventions 49.6’ It is the UK Labour party which is gerrymandering by excluding 2400 of its NI Members plus 1000’s of its Trade union members from participation in the UK electoral process. Shamefull.

      2. harry law, if you’ve read any of my previous posts you would know that I have often said the Palestinians are under illegal occupation, however to compound the injustice they have gerrymandering on top. We must never give the impression that there is anything democratic about the racist apartheid State of Israel. Not that I think that’s what you were trying to do.

    3. Similarly, harry law, taking the side of he Unionists n the IndeRef was, I would argue, autoritarian and anti-democratic. The Labour party has an authoritrian demeanor at times. Milliband’s Falkirk Fiasco, Gordon Brown’s “Better Together” campaigning and now this with Starmer – somebody needs to tell the Labour party that a bottom-up organisation and member-led decision-making is what a democratic socialist organisations should pursue

      1. qwertboi – I agree the party does need to be democratised. It was one of that I voted for Jeremy. But ……..

      2. Nice to hear steveh, but what. He started killing jews and planning house-arrest of billionaires? Yes, I know, I read it too..

      3. qwertboi – But he not only failed to introduce any democratic changes during the nearly 5 years he was in charge.he also actively went behind the members backs to thwart mandatory reselection..

      4. No qwertboi, I have taken no side, the only way consent is to be gauged is by consent 50% plus 1. Until that is achieved nobody in NI should be discriminated against by not being able to vote for the parties that govern them, what next Northern Irish to pay more taxes than in GB, no NHS for NI. Democracy means for all citizens in the UK.

      5. steveh (of JC) “he also actively went behind the members backs to thwart mandatory reselection..”

        Says you and Lord Mandelson of the black arts.

        Me, I just see him as too nice and overly concerned with keeping the neolberals in the PLP happy.

  22. In 1689 a very sectarian figure, William of Orange, was installed as King of England and Wales. The “Establishment” of the time painted this sectarian Coup D’Etat as “The Glorious Revolution”, which is portrayed by said Establishment as the beginning of modern ‘liberal’ democracy, the ascendency of a ‘glorious’ capitalism, and, the purpose for which it was completed, the sectarian victory of one class of gangster aristocrats over another, William III making England a ‘Protestant” country more completely than Henry VIII or Elizabeth I had before him.

    And Keir Rodney Starmer might not know the detail of this, but the Labour party anti-leader knows his symbolism and knows a class and ideological struggle when he sees one – and instinctively takes the side of the ruling elite, the trilateral billionaires and the powers that be (TPTB).

    He is an anathema to the true spirit of the Labour party and I wish he wasn’t its Leader.

  23. tcliverpool, the Labour party is not affiliated with the SDLP, it is part of a Euro grouping with the LP only and agrees to take the Labour party whip when convenient, The SDLP register as a Nationalist party in the NI Assembly, the UK Labour party are supposed to be neutral on the border question so they should be telling their members to vote ‘other’ in the assembly elections, they should not be telling their NI members to vote for the SDLP Here is a good article on the subject..https://newsocialist.org.uk/its-time-labour-disassociate-sdlp/

    1. It was my MP who said affiliation, it was asked on AOB and time was running out but I did notice her response was particularly terse,

  24. “Working in Northern Ireland in the decade after(!) the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, I saw first-hand the transformation that peace helped bring about (so he was there ten years earlier first hand?). The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement is personal to me, and it is personal to the Labour Party. But it must never be taken for granted. That’s why I am incredibly proud we are launching this unique programme for members(?) across the country(?) which will tell the story of peace, Labour’s proud role in it, and why the work to deliver the promise of peace goes on,” The Good Friday Agreement had other parents but ‘hey’ it’s personal to Keir. wiki ‘However, the proposed Resolution initially came to nothing.[4] Nevertheless, Clinton discussed the prospect of appointing a Special Envoy with the Irish premier, Albert Reynolds when the two leaders first met on St. Patrick’s Day in 1993. However Clinton deferred any appointment.[5] When the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) declared a ceasefire in 1994, Sinn Féin party leader, Gerry Adams urged Washington to play a “nudging role” as it did in South Africa and the Middle East.[6] Congressman Bruce Morrison was considered a potential candidate.[6]’

  25. Starmer buys into the whole deceitful rendering of British history. There was a ridiculous in film on TV tonight about Churchill’s war. The British people were never fully United against Hitler. The aristocracy and the elite were far more scared of Stalin than Hitler. Stalin would have deprived them of all their riches while Hitler would have let them keep most of them. If you look at history from that perspective, Hitler was supposed to defeat Russia and then lose the war.The British empire would have been saved and split the world in two with the Americans.

  26. I had a staunch Irish protestant friend who refused to wear the lime green condoms you got in a multi pack
    Then he met an Irish Catholic girl and fell in love
    True Story

  27. It’s looking as though things could kick off tomorrow. Hope I’m wrong.

    1. A sigh of relief – possibly helped by the rain, the Tiger’s Bay and other bonfire events seem to have passed without violence, although there are reports of a young man being badly burned.

      1. So despite the fears raised above this potentially volatile weekend has more or less passed without incident then.

      2. Your comment, “This seems to be a fuss about nowt.” clearly referred to the Starmer interview. Your comments here clearly refer to my concerns about the PSNI’s concerns about the Tiger’s Bay bonfire and what they feared could happen the weekend just gone. My reading of what you said here was that you were scoffing at the concerns, not just of me but of the PSNI too. With friends and family in Northern Ireland, I had a right to be concerned. And, yes, you are right. I was wrong to use the word disappointed. The word should have been delighted – though your delight appears to be in the fact that my fears were unrealised rather than that my family had a peaceful weekend. There are some things that are more important than your sense of superiority.

      3. Sorry. You’ve got me there. I think I am getting an idea of what “woke” means but “virtue signalling” is a new one on me. It’s what comes of being a little long in the tooth. I guess it’s some kind of an insult.

      4. Thank you. Yes, it does help to know what you were intending to say.
        So not an insult then. My apologies.
        Although the terms “good character, social conscience or the moral correctness ” do rather over-egg the pudding.

  28. Here are some extracts from an article that Kier wrote for LabourList,
    You can read the full article here.
    https://labourlist.org/2021/07/the-peace-process-is-fragile-northern-ireland-cannot-afford-johnsons-failure/

    Keir Starmer 13/07
    Working in the institutions built by the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, I saw what is possible when people pull together. As the late Mo Mowlam said: “It takes courage to push things forward.” The agreement was the sum total of the courage of the communities of the people of Northern Ireland……..
    …………I know the importance of trust in Northern Ireland, and it is trust that Boris Johnson has undermined. I have heard loud and clear that communities there see a Prime Minister that has put his own narrow interest over the interests of the people and communities of Northern Ireland…….
    ……..Northern Ireland cannot afford Boris Johnson’s failure. It has seen, in the brief period since our party helped co-author the Good Friday Agreement, a moment in which, in the famous words of Seamus Heaney, hope and history have rhymed. We cannot risk a return to the past and the loss of hope it will bring……….
    …….That Agreement was the sum total of the courage and determination of people from all corners and communities of Northern Ireland who sought a new beginning. It was negotiated and signed by political leaders, including the Labour government led by Tony Blair, and we are all rightly proud of Labour’s role in the signing of the Agreement………..
    ……..The genius of the Agreement was that it was unambiguous in saying that people in Northern Ireland can be Irish or British or both, and the Agreement makes it clear that it is for the people in Northern Ireland, and on the whole island of Ireland to determine their own future.

      1. charming64 – In the context of this discussion my comment was both apt and informative. I’m struggling to see what your problem is,

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