Welcome, but insufficient to the needs of the day

David Cameron today apologized for the  British Armies conduct on Bloody Sunday.

Great… now do something of substance. Either treat the north as a real part of the rest of the damn country, or get the hell out.

The UK is firmly wedded to a lot of government involvement in industry, in finance, in development… fine. Ok. If that’s what the people of the UK want, then so be it. But it stifles entrepreneurship. The barriers to entry get so high, that it becomes nearly impossible to do anything without government support.

This is coming from someone who has founded and run businesses in the republic, in the north, and in England. I am an American, but also a dual citizen with Ireland. My father is an Irish immigrant. His father was a member of the IRA from the age of 15; when the IRA was still a legitimate organization. Most of my family still lives in Ireland; and I lived in Ireland, and in the UK, for years.

This is not just an American pontificating from afar, I have lived and worked there… and my position on the troubles is that none of it is justified, ever. Terrorism is terrorism, and is never to be tolerated. Government repression is similarly, not to be tolerated.

This isn’t about the troubles anymore. This is about the future of the North… or the lack of future represented in todays situation; because mark me, the north has no future, if the present state of affairs is allowed to continue.

Without government support, it’s near impossible to get anything done in the north. It’s somewhat easier in England itself, in that there is no less interference, but that the government cares more about business development; so it makes things smoother, and gives approvals, and planning etc… more attention.

What this means is, effectively, there is no economic development in the north without government intervention… but they don’t particularly want to intervene, and spend the taxpayers money on PRODUCTIVE projects in the north, when so much is already being funneled into nonproductive drains.

So long as there is no real industrial or technical development support by the government, except in a token way; the north will always be an economic disaster. It is that economic disaster, and the sense of neglect, of second class citizenship, of disrespect, disregard, and disdain… which allows the thugs their safety, and their income.

Either REALLY support economic development, or get the hell out of the way and allow some real entrepreneurship. Get people working, productively. Get the tax base up. Get people motivated to seek higher education, by having something useful for them to do when they get it.

So long as the north is dependent on the government teat, the real government on the street will be the organized crime gangs that masquerade as unionists, or republicans. So long as the thugs are safe, the police are not, and will respond with repression. It’s automatic. A + B will always equal C.

Oh and I should be clear, I don’t blame this situation on the great mass of the population of the United Kingdom.

I blame it on an incoherent, and uncommitted government position on Northern Ireland since 1921.

There is no real policy, nor any real rationale behind what is promulgated as policy. The only conclusion one can come to is that the government of the United Kingdom does not want to govern northern Ireland, but also does not feel they can stop doing so…

So instead, they neglect, and waffle, and make bad and inconsistent decisions. They fight, they withdraw. They take a hardline, then they fold…

It’s insane.

Oh and yes I know, they’re a giant welfare suck… But if the people (and the politicians) of England would treat the people of northern Ireland like actual human beings, not just as a national joke, or a drain on social spending, or a potential terrorist, or an electoral distraction… That might help a bit too.

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

  • Ray

    So you don’t blame the people of the United Kingdom, but do blame the people of England?

    FWIW ( I live in England, was born here etc. so am ‘English’) I think the UK should be broken up and its constituent countries made totally independent. Then NI (and Wales, Scotland, England) can do what it/they like(s).

  • http://anarchangel.blogspot.com Chris

    Do I blame the people of England for treating the people of Northern Ireland as, at best, a joke; and at worst as scum unworthy of notice?

    Yes I do.

    I don’t blame the people of England or the rest of the United Kingdom for the general state of affairs, or the actively harmful actions taken by the government over the past 90 years.

  • http://anarchangel.blogspot.com Chris

    Oh and in principal I agree, the act of union should be repealed and the UK broken up.

    In practice, I think that would be a disaster for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland…. and a great boon for England.

  • Ray

    I have never treated anyone from Northern Ireland like that, and have had colleagues and friends from there.

    But if you do really think we are all like that I am sure you wouldn’t want to associate with us at all anyway. Apologies for whatever I have done.

  • http://anarchangel.blogspot.com Chris

    “The People” is a general expression of the collective; not related to the actions, attitudes, or behaviors of a specific individual.

    How often do you see positive portrayals of either northern Ireland, or the Northern Irish (or any Irish for that matter), in British popular culture?

    How often negative?

    What do you think the first two things most Englishmen and women think of when they think of someone from northern Ireland? Is it “dole waster” or “terrorist” maybe?

    When I lived in England, I heard the foulest imprecations against the Irish, both north and south, constantly (the reverse is true as well unfortunately).