Friday, November 04, 2005

The Reform Movement and Ireland in the Commenwealth.

Got this link from Freestater. The reform movement is an organisation whos aim is bring Ireland back into the Commonwealth. Interesting I should stumble across this when yesterday I was watching the Conservative Leadership debate when David Davis said that they should follow Irelands economic model. I.e low taxes etc etc. Saying that while British growth has fallen ours has grown enormously. So basically Maggies party was saying we were right and they were wrong. So maybe the British should join Ireland not the other way around. One of there aims are a council of the isles. This would allow a common forum for us to discuss issues of mutual interest fisheries, the North, bird flu etc . Considering we are in the EU this means that such an organization already exists just on a grander scale. The interaction between the states already exists without the need to create an additional excuse for Political junkets. Also they say
The altering of the present Constitution to reflect a new Ireland as a member of a multi-cultural E.U.
Now how doesn't the constitution reflect a multi-cultural E.U. We all have equal right freedom of religion freedom of thought etc. I’m not sure what they mean by that one. Another of there aims is the Separation of Church and State. Correct me if I am wrong but that has already happened in Ireland in the 70s. There is no state church. Unlike the U.K. They also want more representation in the Senate for minority sections of the population. The Taoiseach should nominate five such representatives from his senate seats. This I have to agree with but not just from the British tradition as they claim to be but African, Eastern European etc. They want the National Anthem to be rewritten to reflect the heterogeneous nature of the Irish of today, rather than the narrow, violent nationalism of another time. The french national anthem says Oh, do you hear there in our fields The roar of those fierce fighting men ? Who came right here into our midst To slaughter sons, wives and kin. Should it be changed because it reflects violence against wives. No it is their anthem. People who sing it don't want to slaughter wives. Neither do Irish people want to. I do know some unionist that do actually feel intimidated by the song. But it is only a song. Don't read into the lyrics.Most Irish people don't even know them. The Reform Movement believes that English and Irish should be made equal official languages to reflect the reality of the Irish situation. The Constitution article 8 says.
1. The Irish language as the national language is the first official language. 2. The English language is recognized as a second official language.
It doesn't mean anything both are official both are equal. English is used more. What possible thing would happen if this was changed. The only manifestation of the 1 2 situation is that sign posts have Irish on top and English below. On duel signage something has to go first. Don’t forget English tends to be in larger letters. They also talk about the compulsory role that Irish has been made to play in our schools which has resulted in the shameful lack of other language instruction, especially in the primary school curriculum. Which I have talked about before. They also want it to be recognized that people in Ireland should have the right to hold a British passport. This should only be on the same terms as people in England. I.E the granny rule. If you qualify that way i.e. can show that you are indeed of British stock then you are entitled to one. But we can't have people taking random Irish passport for many reasons. Neither can the British have this. This passport thing is an issue for the British government not the Irish government. Their big policy seems to be Ireland rejoining the Commenwealth. Which was also favored by none other then Dev, Lemass and Eamon O'Cuiv. They mention that the commonwealth accounts for Twenty-three per cent of world trade. Yet the Commonwealth has no economic policies . It is not like the EU. It accounts for 23 per cent of trade as it has 30% of the world's population. No other reason it is merely a distortion of figures point. There is no real trade benefits to joining. There is also no loss of sovernity involved in joining it. Also the Commonwealth is in decline. Countries are looking away from one another and looking to regional partners instead eg the EU. Also it has been shown by Zimbabwe who have left the organization that it has no power to influence member states to adhere to Human rights and democratic principles. The only benefit to Ireland would be that our athletes would get to run in the commonwealth games and is that really worth a referendum. The Reform movement need to realise that Ireland is a country just as valid as any other country including Britain and it can also be their country. Just as you can be Irish American you can be British-Irish. Also republicans have to realise that British-Irish are as entitled to be considered Irish as Gerry Adams. Remember the Irish flag is as much orange as green.


Anonymous said...

I don't think much of the Reform Movement at all. It was firstly their attitude to the Irish language which turns me off. Their Director (the name escapes me now, McDonnell??) has written some articles and posted in some forums about the language and he comes off sounding like Paisley, a narrow mainded git with a huge chip on his shoulder. The article he wrote not only contained a pile of lies and half-truths it attempted to speak for me and most of the population of Ireland and was out of tune with the way Irish people think.

I also agree with you on your other points re Church & State etc.

On the national anthem, this confuses me. The official national anthm is not the full song, so if we look at the lyrics of only the official anthem we see that there is nothing wrong with it. Sure it speaks of a different era and sure it's nationalist but what national anthem isn't?

Anonymous said...

The Reform Movement believes that English and Irish should be made equal official languages to reflect the reality of the Irish situation.

I disagree completely with the Reform Movement's stance on this. If Irish was removed as first official language it might never have become an official language of the EU. If they were on equal standing, then there would be less of a justification for this to happen. For minority languages, official status is one of the main factors preventing the slip into language death.