Voices from Russia

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Sinn Fein’s Breakthrough Brings a United Ireland Closer Than It’s Ever Been

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It’d be fair to say that Sinn Fein’s historic electoral breakthrough in the recent elections to Northern Ireland’s devolved Assembly legislature took almost everyone by surprise, including them. With this breakthrough, Sinn Fein (English: “We Ourselves”) just shattered the veto of the ruling Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) for the first time since the inception of the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1998, along with the province’s power-sharing government, as part of the Good Friday Agreement, which brought an end to three decades of conflict known as the Troubles. The new Assembly elections were held after Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness resigned from his post as Deputy First Minister in protest at the refusal of the Assembly’s First Minister, the DUP’s Arlene Foster, to step down over a financial scandal surrounding a botched renewable energy scheme that she helped to set up and which is set to cost taxpayers in Northern Ireland up to 480 million UK Pounds (34.48 billion Roubles. 4.04 billion Renminbi. 38.84 billion INR. 584.06 million USD. 786.76 million CAD. 774.31 million AUD. 547.21 million Euros).

Yet though this particular scandal and Foster’s intransigence may be the proximate cause of the bad feeling between Sinn Fein and the DUP, various unresolved political and sectarian issues emanating from the Troubles also lie at its heart. For many unionists both inside and outside the DUP, political parity with Sinn Fein (and the Irish Republicans and the Catholic communities they represent) has always been anathema. It has been this way ever since the partitioned British statelet of Northern Ireland began in 1921, out of the negotiations that ended the Anglo-Irish War of 1919-21. Northern Ireland’s Catholic minority, cut off from the Catholic-majority Irish Republic south of the border, saw succeeding generations denied the same civil rights as the Protestant majority in the province.

The modern conflict, the Troubles, erupted in the late 1960s when a mass civil rights movement… non-violent, non-sectarian, and peaceful… emerged in Northern Ireland to demand those civil rights for Catholics still denied justice and equality when it came to housing, employment, and political representation. When the movement began to win concessions from the British government, the Protestant majority began to feel their dominant position and status under threat, resulting in a wave of sectarian-inspired attacks on Catholic communities in Belfast. The need to defend Catholics from this campaign of terror saw the birth of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA), colloquially known as the Provos, in 1969. Attacks on the civil rights movement continued into the 1970s, culminating in Bloody Sunday in January 1972, when soldiers belonging to the élite British Parachute Regiment shot and killed 17 unarmed protesters in Derry during a mass march for civil rights. This event effectively destroyed the province’s non-violent movement for civil rights, while at the same time increasing support and recruitment to the PIRA.

Roughly 3,600 people died during the Troubles, with thousands more maimed and injured. All sides in this conflict committed atrocities. It’s high point, its apogee, was the 1981 Hunger Strikes, in which ten Republican prisoners at the specially-built prison facility just outside Belfast, the H-Blocks, starved themselves to death in protest at the British government’s removal of their status as political prisoners. The man who led the Hunger Strike and was first to die, Bobby Sands, achieved international fame and recognition. The likes of Fidel Castro and Nelson Mandela (and others like them around the world) lauded Sands for his courage and stance in the cause of national liberation. His detractors dismissed and continue to dismiss Bobby Sands as a terrorist, however, along with his comrades. This polarisation is still entrenched in Northern Irish politics up to the present day, one evident in the current spat between Sinn Fein and the DUP over the position of Arlene Foster.

Another important factor in Sinn Fein’s remarkable electoral breakthrough is the party’s opposition to Brexit. A majority of people in Northern Ireland voted to Remain in the EU during the UK-wide referendum on the issue, held in June 2016. This was no surprise considering that the province has benefited significantly from the UK’s membership of the EU in the form of agricultural and various other subsidies. Brexit throws up the issue of the border between British-controlled Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, which remains part of the EU. The prospect of what is currently an open border being changed to a hard border as a result of Brexit gave rise to serious concerns north and south of the border over a peace process that is far from impervious to such significant political and social shocks. Ultimately, Sinn Fein’s growing political success and influence in Northern Ireland is a testament to the party’s strong opposition to Brexit and a political vision that is far more progressive and compelling than any offered by their unionist opponents and counterparts. It also places the question of a united Ireland firmly back on the table.

John Wright

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201703071051337394-sinn-fein-electoral-breakthrough/

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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Sein Fein Calls for all-Irish Unity Referendum in Northern Ireland

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On Friday, Sinn Fein chairman Declan Kearney, leader of Northern Ireland’s largest Irish nationalist party, stated:

A British vote to leave the EU intensifies the case for a vote on whether Northern Ireland should leave the UK. This outcome tonight dramatically changes the political landscape here in the north of Ireland; we’ll intensify our case for the calling of a border poll on a united Ireland. As a direct result, the British government forfeited any mandate to represent the interests of people here in the north of Ireland, in circumstances where they dragged the north out of Europe because of a vote to leave.

24 June 2016

Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sinn-fein-brexit-reaction_us_576cbc1ae4b017b379f586f9?k37j8i16oqeabgldi

26 June 2016. Sturgeon on the Brexit… The Law of Unintended Consequences Strikes Again!

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If Scotland became independent and left NATO… a very real possibility… it’d mean that the USA wouldn’t have access to the Orkneys and the Shetlands. That’d mean that they couldn’t really secure the GIUK gap. Therefore, if Scotland voted for freedom, do watch the Yanks. Their reputation for aggression, coups, assassinations, and general mayhem is well-deserved and well-founded… they’re “exceptional”, after all. They believe that “winning is the only thing”… you turn your back on an Anglo at your own risk…

Watch for the Yanks to install Bojo as UK PM… he’s one of them in spirit and has the bloodymindedness and nastiness to do their bidding in re Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Besides that, he was born in New York City to British parents, so he has dual citizenship. If he became PM, it’d be disastrous for the UK…

BMD

LIfeNews on the Brexit

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Ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister N Ya Azarov thought that Kiev should concentrate on solving domestic economic problems, instead of dreaming of European integration:

The result of the [Brexit] referendum has no relevance to the internal situation in the Ukraine. Our trade and economic relations with the UK are derisory. Besides, we’ve never gotten anything good from them, just empty talk. We have to think about how to get the Ukraine out of its present crisis. We aren’t moving towards the EU… we’re becoming Bangladesh. All this talk about European integration is make-believe.

In the UK referendum, the number of votes to leave the EU outweighed those favouring European integration. This led to a sharp drop in value of the UK Pound by 10 percent and pulled European stock indices into the red. After they counted the votes, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation.

https://life.ru/t/%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B8/424121/eks-priemier_ukrainy_azarov_strana_idiot_nie_v_ievrosoiuz_a_v_banghladiesh

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French President François Hollande commented on results of the UK Brexit referendum:

This event changes the situation in Europe. The EU will no longer be the same, and it’ll take us quite some time to take the measures to solve the emerging problems. It’ll take some time to bring it about, to put it into effect, for Europe will no longer be what it was before. We must recognise that the story has changed today; now, new events change the European situation.

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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said:

I hope that after it leaves the EU, the UK will continue to be a close partner.

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President V V Putin confided that the Brexit wouldn’t affect Western sanctions against Russia:

These sanctions didn’t start as a bilateral matter; we’ve only responded to measures taken against our country. I emphasise that if our partners ever want to engage in constructive dialogue with us, we’re ready, we want that, and we’d respond positively to positive actions. At the same time, other parties can’t expect Russia to do things over which it has no control.

https://life.ru/t/%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B8/424193/putin_brieksit_nie_povliiaiet_na_sanktsii

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K I  Kosachyov, head of the RF Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee told us:

If the British authorities decide to withdraw from the EU, it wouldn’t happen overnight. According to my calculations, it’d take about two years to carry out all necessary consultations, to prepare the measures to implement it, and start the actual process. After this transition period, they’d need another five years to complete it. It’d take seven years for a complete withdrawal of the UK from the EU.

After the positive outcome of the referendum in the UK, it’s likely to see further disintegration in the EU. It’s not right to gloat about it, as Europe continues to be one of Russia’s largest trading partners. Even in a time of sanctions, trade between the EU and Russia is 49 percent of the total, some 230 billion Euros (16.8 billion Roubles. 1.67 trillion Renminbi. 17.36 trillion INR. 255.7 billion USD. 332.5 billion CAD. 342 billion AUD. 186.9 billion UK Pounds) per year. I don’t share the simplistic view that if things get worse for them, it gets better for us. If the EU remains enmeshed in problems, mired in crisis, this’d affect our trade relations.

On 23 June, the UK held a referendum on whether to leave or stay in the EU. In the end, the “Leave” faction garnered nearly 17 million votes, or 52 percent of the total number of votes. The Remain” faction scored a little more than 15 million votes, only 48 percent. Against this background, world oil prices lost about 6 percent and the UK Pound weakened against the US Dollar.

https://life.ru/t/%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B8/423937/konstantin_kosachiov_v_budushchiem_brexit_sulit_dlia_rossii_nieghativnyie_posliedstviia

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G A Zyuganov, the First Secretary of the KPRF Central Committee and KPRF Faction Leader in the RF Gosduma, told us:

The decision to withdraw from the EU taken by British citizens in the referendum showed that they weren’t willing to put up with the negative effects of globalisation. The Brussels bureaucracy engulfed them and they had to swallow its dictates; the English were the first to realise its dangers. The End of History didn’t happen, but it’s a new stage, where peoples pursue sovereign development and friendly relations with their neighbours. This is the beginning of the end of the EU, which acted as the big stick of American politicians, rather than harmonising relations.

https://life.ru/t/%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B8/423979/ziughanov_anghlichanie_piervyie_pochuvstvovali_opasnost_briussielskoi_biurokratii

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O A Tsaryov, former Peoples Deputy of the Ukrainian Verkhovnaya Rada, told us:

The Ukraine shouldn’t count on EU accession. After the UK referendum and its possible consequences, the EU might not even be around in a few years time. Once again, this emphasised that Kiev chose the wrong path. They sacrificed their economy’s stability in a quest for “European Integration”. Everything turned out to be in vain. They want to go where it’s already impossible to enter. They try to reassure themselves that it’s possible, that they can get into the EU eventually, but this “later” may never come, as the EU can’t survive. They lost their illusory “opportunity” to get the Ukraine into the EU.

https://life.ru/t/%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B8/424083/oliegh_tsariov_uvierien_chto_poslie_brieksita_u_ukrainy_niet_shansov_popast_v_ies

24 June 2016

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The Irish government intends to start a process of reunification with Northern Ireland. The main instrument of such an action could be a referendum, both in the north of the island, which is part of the UK, and in the south in the Republic of Ireland itself. However, Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ireland Charlie Flanagan told the Daily Mail:

The referendum won’t be in the near future. A future united Ireland is in the interests of our citizens, but to hold a referendum at the same time that the British government negotiates its withdrawal from the EU would only cause division.

Ireland’s reunification would threaten the territorial integrity of the UK, as part of the latter is Northern Ireland. At the same time, the majority of people of Northern Ireland voted in favour of remaining in the EU, but the national vote went the other way, not taking them into account, which gave rise to even more talk about a possible referendum for independence from England.

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Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the start of preparations for a referendum on independence from the UK. Firstly, the task is to develop a bill calling for such a referendum. This vote will be the second in recent years. In the previous referendum, the Scots voted by a whisker voted to keep Scotland in the UK. Talk about Scottish independence resumed immediately after the results of the referendum on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU became clear. According to the results of the last referendum, nearly 50 percent of Scots believed that the country should be independent. The Cabinet believe that this number increased over the last two years, especially, after the announcement that the UK is leaving the EU.

https://life.ru/t/%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B8/424482/shotlandiia_nachinaiet_podghotovku_k_riefieriendumu_o_vykhodie_iz_vielikobritanii

25 June 2016

LifeNews

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