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Re: [vox] [OT] (really OT) question about ireland
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Re: [vox] [OT] (really OT) question about ireland

Quoting Richard S. Crawford (rscrawford@mossroot.com):

> Until the various factions in Northern Ireland can find in themselves
> the courage to sit down and hammer out a common solution, nothing will
> change.

Well, that's awfully facile.

My own briefings on the situation are mostly from my wife, nee Deirdre
Saiorse Maloy, which is _such_ an Irish-Catholic name that when she
visited Ulster (using a US passpart that gave her name as "Deirdre
Saiorse"), she was practically put in jail by the border guards.[1]

("Saoirse" means "freedom" in Gaelic.  It's sometimes found as a given
name, but would be considered peculiar as a surname.  Which is why she's
now turned it back into a middle name.)  

Anyhow, one of the reasons Americans tend to be hopeless at foreign
affairs is their tendency to wallow in gratuitous moralising at the drop
of a hat, as a substitute for researching and thinking about relevant
facts.  Which is pretty much what you just did.

The underlying problem preventing progress in Ulster isn't a failure to
link arms and sing "Kumbaya"; it's economics.  The Catholic minority
have for generations had staggeringly high unemployment rates to a
degree that cannot be explained by discrimination, especially given all
the foreign firms with operations there.  Most not only don't feed
themselves; they also don't even try, but instead rely on the dole.

If someone made this claim in a USA context, I'd dismiss it as mere
Limbaugh-ism, but Ulster's Catholics having fallen into a culture of
dependency for hundreds of years seems an ugly but well-established fact.

That means that the welfare costs are so high that Ulster's Protestant
"Loyalists" really don't have to worry about the weary British lopping
off Northern Ireland and handing it over to be re-united with the other
26 counties:  The Republic of Ireland simply couldn't afford the tax burden.
It would therefore refuse to take them, even as a gift.

The "few wankers who don't want peace" are the natural consequence of a
powderkeg situation that gets only worse over time and that many people
of goodwill have tried to resolve and failed.

[1] And, in case you're wondering, I'm Norwegian-American and a lifelong
heathen with no religious allegiances.  I use Commonwealth spelling
because of having been raised in the British school system in Hong Kong,
an experience that should _not_ be assumed to have made me pro-British.
If anything, close acquaintance with British history has pushed me the
other way, if anything:  Historically, they've had a lot to answer for.

Cheers,            There are only 10 types of people in this world -- 
Rick Moen          those who understand binary arithmetic and those who don't.
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