Connected Citizens - from a Northern Protestant Irishman

petaljam

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It is actually very complex. For one thing the GFA would remain. Including its institutions. For another there are real questions about whether and how various services become integrated. For example does the NHS adopt the HSE model and do people in NI accept/know that. Or does the HSE accept the NHS model and how much money and time does that take.

That’s not an argument against unification but it’s an argument against the Farage-style insistence that something really complex is simple.
I agree with your basic point, butdo we actually know that the HSE model costs the taxpayer significantly less than the NHS does?

My impression is that the HSE system with its multiple exceptions and complex mixture of public/semiprivate/private coverage may pay administrators and perhaps some consultants better than the NHS does, but in terms of value for money for the taxpayer, the NHS is actually a terrific bargain.

Ireland tops EU table for percentage spent on health

There is an assumption that it is NI that would automatically lose out because the HSE system is so much less efficient - shouldn't the Republic adopt the better system in that case? It's not about costs, since the money is already being spent.
 


livingstone

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I agree with your basic point, butdo we actually know that the HSE model costs the taxpayer significantly less than the NHS does?

My impression is that the HSE system with its multiple exceptions and complex mixture of public/semiprivate/private coverage may pay administrators and perhaps some consultants better than the NHS does, but in terms of value for money for the taxpayer, the NHS is actually a terrific bargain.

Ireland tops EU table for percentage spent on health

There is an assumption that it is NI that would automatically lose out because the HSE system is so much less efficient - shouldn't the Republic adopt the better system in that case? It's not about costs, since the money is already being spent.
Sure. But you sort of make the point. These are complex issues, with lots of different angles. They need to be resolved before a border poll so people know what they are voting for and you don't end up with a Brexit-style 'vote for this and it will be totally simple'.

Take other much less important issues. Car Reg plates conform to different standards in the UK than in Ireland. Will they be converted retrospectively? Will they just be converted going forward? Or phone numbers? Now - neither of this will be especially controversial I would think, or very difficult. But every single fairly minor, fairly easy decision needs someone actually working out how to implement it.

Can it be done? Of course it can. But it takes planning and implementation of a complex programme of integration of two jurisdictions, much of which will need to be planned ahead of any referendum (and almost none of which any of those on here arguing that it's simple and should be done quickly have any actual answer for).
 

silverharp

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just scare NI voters about Ireland's 200bn debt
 

Talk Back

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Sure. But you sort of make the point. These are complex issues, with lots of different angles. They need to be resolved before a border poll so people know what they are voting for and you don't end up with a Brexit-style 'vote for this and it will be totally simple'.

Take other much less important issues. Car Reg plates conform to different standards in the UK than in Ireland. Will they be converted retrospectively? Will they just be converted going forward? Or phone numbers? Now - neither of this will be especially controversial I would think, or very difficult. But every single fairly minor, fairly easy decision needs someone actually working out how to implement it.

Can it be done? Of course it can. But it takes planning and implementation of a complex programme of integration of two jurisdictions, much of which will need to be planned ahead of any referendum (and almost none of which any of those on here arguing that it's simple and should be done quickly have any actual answer for).
All these supposed "barriers" you are highlighting are being dealt with, if not already dealt with.


And here - Dail Eireann have been working on elements of a reunification paper through its 'Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement'. They produced a paper called 'Uniting Ireland & its People in Peace & Prosperity'

 
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petaljam

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Sure. But you sort of make the point.
Well I did say I agreed with it, so that's not too surprising. :)

These are complex issues, with lots of different angles. They need to be resolved before a border poll so people know what they are voting for and you don't end up with a Brexit-style 'vote for this and it will be totally simple'.

Take other much less important issues. Car Reg plates conform to different standards in the UK than in Ireland. Will they be converted retrospectively? Will they just be converted going forward? Or phone numbers? Now - neither of this will be especially controversial I would think, or very difficult. But every single fairly minor, fairly easy decision needs someone actually working out how to implement it.

Can it be done? Of course it can. But it takes planning and implementation of a complex programme of integration of two jurisdictions, much of which will need to be planned ahead of any referendum (and almost none of which any of those on here arguing that it's simple and should be done quickly have any actual answer for).
Well of course, but East and West Germany had far greater differences again, and they managed it. It's about having the will to do it. I also think there may be lessons to be learned from the German experience too, such as the widespread assumption that one of the two will completely "disappear" into the other, which in hindsight was not necessarily the best approach.

Especially as the decades of work towards standardising laws within the EU will make it all much easier and therefore less expensive..
 

wombat

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Well of course, but East and West Germany had far greater differences again, and they managed it.
The east and west Germans all regarded themselves as German. We have 2 problems, a large section of the northern population believe themselves to be British and the sectarian division in the north is as deep as ever.
 

silverharp

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you might go down the HK or potential NK solution, have a 50-100 year plan, full unity after everyone that had a part in it is dead
 

Ireniall

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I'm increasingly of the view that what NI needs is to stay out of Brexit and in the CU and SM. It then needs to have the general direction of some future 'landing zone' set out. With the open sore of sectarianism slowly healing it would further help this process if the general outline of what the finished situation might look like was agreed -with the first steps in that direction taken soon but much of the rest left for the future. We would have to agree a new flag and anthem, join the Commonwealth and agree to The British Isles and elect an all-Ireland president . With the all-Ireland dimension firmly established as the future direction of travel everyone could relax and Unionists could see that their British loyalties were prominent and this would begin to remove, for them, the grim mutual exclusivity of having to be either British or Irish instead of both. Really tricky financial problems and other such considerations could then be left out of the solution until the appropriate time which would further remove a substantial complicating factor
 

raetsel

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I don't quite know what you mean by 'psychological blow to its credibility'.

The GFA remains as a legally binding international agreement unless and until both parties (Ireland and the UK) agree to replace it or repudiate it.

Unless that happens, then the institutions remain. Which means it becomes incumbent on those claiming that Irish unity is not at all complex to explain how devolution works in an Irish context. What issues are devolved? Does the Irish Government create the equivalent of the Northern Ireland Office? Does the Dail mainatin something that looks like the Sewel convention? Etc etc.

Again, none of which is to say that unity shouldn't happen. It is simply that those arguing it is a simple and non-complex process are wrong.
What I mean is that a key part of the agreement, even if only ever implied, would be lost. The concept that became to outline for the GFA was proposed by John Hume and sold by him to hard-line republicans included a lot of emphasis on the fact that now that both the UK and Ireland were governed by similar legislative arrangements within the EU and that in the event of the Troubles ending, that the border would all but disappear, and become an irrelevance. Hume's favourite and oft repeated line that "You can't eat a flag" was part of that narrative. He was very persuasive in selling that line.
The border during the Troubles had a very destructive effect on communities which straddled both sides of it. I worked alongside someone from Garrison Co. Fermanagh when the Troubles ended, so I became very aware of the effect that road cratering had on border communities as a result of what she told me about how people from her village and that of neighbouring Rosinver. Friends and relations, who had previously lived a stone's throw from one another had to make a round trip of something like 25 or 30 miles to remain in contact during the Troubles. That was a parable for what went on all along the border.
In a hard border situation, given the possibilities for smuggling in the modern era, there is the possibility that the authorities will be forced to close off those roads again.
 

Pyewacket

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Oh well cheer up, I believe Ireland has recently introduced post codes so that is converging integration.

When I cast my ballot in the Border Poll, I promise you, I will think long and hard about whether we still want to keep the miles on the road signs, because it is kinda historic and cute, no?
 

runwiththewind

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It is actually very complex. For one thing the GFA would remain. Including its institutions. For another there are real questions about whether and how various services become integrated. For example does the NHS adopt the HSE model and do people in NI accept/know that. Or does the HSE accept the NHS model and how much money and time does that take.

That’s not an argument against unification but it’s an argument against the Farage-style insistence that something really complex is simple.
Why would the GFA remain? It was a pathway and that pathway would be achieved.
 

EnglishObserver

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I worked with an Alex from Larne in England. He hated being called 'Paddy' by the English.

Softened his sectarian cough it did!
Ye, the English really hate and despise those Ulster Prods don't they paddy?
 

runwiththewind

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The superiority of the NHS to the HSE model is becoming increasingly open to question. My wife has been on a waiting list since 2015, for treatment for what was initially a minor irritant which has now become more troublesome. We also have private medical insurance but she hesitated to rely on it for her current condition, concerned that it might push up the premium if she did. Due to the discomfort the condition is now causing, she has finally decided to go private.
I also know a GP who recently transferred to a Dublin practice from London. One of the advantages of the HSE, she says is that she sees a lot less time-wasters in Dublin. That is the big problem with the NHS, and it puts a major drain on resources. Make any service free and inevitably there will be a collection of clowns who want to avail of it, because it is their 'right', regardless of need.
There should be a certain amount of free visits per year, say two, for healthy people. Thereafter there should be a charge depending on income.

People with lifetime illnesses such as asthma, diabetes etc, should always be free, same for special needs and and currently fighting illnesses. Retired people with private income should contribute something.

The rest of us should pay a standard fee of say 20/25 euros.

My doctor told me that 2/3 of her patients in any given day are under six since it became free. Most of the parents are medical card holders. This means extended hours to see her fee paying clients.

That's shocking.

Free at the point of entry is noble but utterly unaffordable idea.

Everybody should pay something with exemptions.
 

raetsel

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I see what you mean - unlike public figures from the Nationalist tradition who seem to all come across to me as complete tossers.
If you are English then your opinion of public figures from the nationalist tradition is not worth a pitcher of spit. You don't elect them. They have no effect on your life, nor you on theirs. In other words you are irrelevant here.
Now, go stick your tongue out at someone else, who might care about what you think. :ROFLMAO:
 

runwiththewind

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I see what you mean - unlike public figures from the Nationalist tradition who seem to all come across to me as complete tossers.

Like who? I want names, give me names.
 

livingstone

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Why would the GFA remain? It was a pathway and that pathway would be achieved.
International law. It is s treaty with no exit mechanism beyond standard international law repudiation with agreement of both parties.

I don’t think the UK would agree it was merely a pathway and that it had no continuing relevance for one million UK citizens.
 

runwiththewind

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International law. It is s treaty with no exit mechanism beyond standard international law repudiation with agreement of both parties.

I don’t think the UK would agree it was merely a pathway and that it had no continuing relevance for one million UK citizens.
Wouldn't an UI repudiate the GFA. An UI would surely require a new treaty thereby invalidating the GFA.

How many treaties would need to be signed between Ireland and the UK. The breakup of Czechoslovakia required 3 treaties and 21,000 legal documents.
 

McSlaggart

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It is actually very complex. For one thing the GFA would remain. Including its institutions. For another there are real questions about whether and how various services become integrated. For example does the NHS adopt the HSE model and do people in NI accept/know that. Or does the HSE accept the NHS model and how much money and time does that take.

That’s not an argument against unification but it’s an argument against the Farage-style insistence that something really complex is simple.
???

recognise 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, if that is their wish, accepting that this right must be achieved and exercised with and subject to the agreement and consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland;

GFA

What makes you think the current setup in Northern Ireland would still have to exist?
 


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