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  1. #1
    belfast1981 belfast1981 is offline
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    Haas talks. Have we missed a great opportunity for betterment due to tribalism?

    Over the last few weeks we have witnessed our elected parties once again cry and complain over their 'important' issues such as flags, the past and parades. We have listened to stories showing just how one sided they are. They will only look out for their own side. To hell with the other side.

    But I can't help but feel we missed a great opportunity in the Haas talks to try and move forward and make positive changes, not to flags or parades but to vital health care and education. To making sure future generations benefit from what they would have done in these talks.

    We currently have on the table

    Flags - The fact that this is STILL the main issue between our parties over a year later shows just how petty and uncaring for the general populous our elected representatives really are. I don't see this as an issue. I am a Unionist, you all know that. I am not offended nor do I take offence when I see the Tri-colour fly in Nationalist areas. I have Catholic friends who don't care that the Union flag flies and do not take offence when they see it.

    Now, I know some see the Union flag as the 'Butchers apron' and some see the Tri-Colour as a symbol of the IRA... and to some extent I can see how those respective flags have been hijacked for political means, but when I and most people look upon a flag, we see simply that.. A flag that represents one part of our Island and its respective communities.

    The Past - Don't get me wrong, the past was a horrible time and horrible things by both sides were done. No one side is truly innocent in the troubles. No one side has their hands clean of dreadful acts. BUT the past is the past. No matter how much we have, and no doubt will for years to come, talked about the past. It sadly is not going to change anything. It is not going to bring those killed back. It is not going to repair the damage done to famalies who suffered in the troubles. The extremes on both sides will always see their side as Heroes and the other side as terrorists. That will never change.

    I understand that families need closure, and to see justice done but truthfully no amount of talks or resolutions on the past will change anything. We need to move forward building a better Northern Ireland and not looking back on the past. We can only talk about the past for so long before it becomes clear the past can't be changed. But the present, and the future can be.

    Parades - I've never been too big into parades, but that's just me. However it does seem that there are only an actual small minority that cause problems. I think the Apprentice boys of Derry have set a good example. They talked to the residents and came to an understanding. Listened to their side, and put forth their side and each year the parade passes off without incident. We even had Martin McGuninness praise how good the day was this year.

    The problem is the Orange Order don't care (or at least some in power don't) They don't see the issues that are caused and it leads to more issues. I fully believe if the OO engaged in talks they would have been allowed past Ardoyne, all be it with SOME restrictions. Instead we saw violence and troubles. Thus ensuring they will probably never walk past the area again.

    Now those were the 3 issues that dominated the talks, as I said it could have been used as a stepping stone to build a better place in 3 key areas I believe should take priority over flags, parades and the past.

    Health Care - Our system is in trouble, and I have no doubt Edwin Poots has been a major factor in that. Care homes are being closed and people who worked and paid taxes all their lives are being evicted, through no fault of their own with some with no where to go.

    Hospital A&E departments are being cut back or closed and people are not able to get beds. We had an incident not so long ago that hospitals were forcing sick children to wait in the car park in the middle of the winter because there was no beds, or no space for them.

    This is pretty close to me, I don't want to divulge into personal reasons but I have had family members failed repeatedly by the Health Service this year due to cut backs and general incompetence.

    Edwin Poots, instead of addressing the above issues has wasted hundreds of thousands of our tax payers money on a personal crusade against Homosexual blood issues, Homosexual Marriage and Homosexual adoption. Appeal after appeal which from the start were doomed to fail and he was bound to know this. But his own personal religious beliefs were more important to him than the health and welfare of the citizens of this country.
    These talks could have been used to try and better our health care system and bring about proposals to ensure all people get good medical treatment and care homes are able to remain open.. A wasted opportunity in my opinion.

    Building the Community and bringing them together - Another issue close to me as I have worked for a few community regeneration groups in the past as well cross community centres that bring people together in activities.

    The one thing needed to move forward is improvements to the community and bringing people together and showing them that Protestant and Catholics really have more in common than they think and that folk from the other side of the divide are people, just like them.

    Our elected officials could have worked with Dr Haas to bring forth new community groups and proposals on how to improve communities. How to deal with Anti-Social behavior and how to make sure everyone, no matter what class or religion has the chance to live in, and partake in an active, vibrant community in the future. But again, tribal politics came into play and we have the same issues of flags over and over.

    My third and final key issue that could have been focused on is

    Education - Simply put, this is essential to the future. Children, no matter what class or community deserve the best education possible be it in a single religion school or an integrated school. I don't really care where you send your kids as long as you believe that the school they are at will provide the best education they can get.

    Now, NI schools are improving, but there still needs to be more improvement. Especially within lower class areas. This sounds horrible and I don't mean it that way but lower class areas often are neglected in education leading to anti-social behavior. The parties involved in the Haas talks could have sat together and agreed on proposals to ensure children get every opportunity they can to learn and go onto further and higher education.

    To sum this rambling up, the Haas talks involved the following 3 'Key' issues

    1) Flags
    2) The Past
    3) Parades

    When they could have been used to benefit the whole of Northern Ireland by sitting down together and coming up with proposals for actual key issues such as

    1) Health Care
    2) Community Relations and regeneration
    3) Education.

    Dr Haas had a tough job, he is suck in the middle of two stuck in their ways sides. I feel we missed a golden opportunity to move forward and to better NI due to our representatives putting flags, parades and the past much higher on their list of important issues that Health care, Community and Education.
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  2. #2
    Castle Ray Castle Ray is offline
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    A Haas talks for economic development and rebalancing the economy wouldn't go amiss. We need new private sector jobs and a reduction in public sector jobs urgently. At the moment we're toying with it.
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  3. #3
    vivabrigada vivabrigada is online now
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    Good luck with that one, Jeffery Donaldson has just said we need to learn from the "mistake" made by Belfast City Council over the fleg!
    Democratoic decisions are a mistake?
    Jesus wept.
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  4. #4
    Northtipp Northtipp is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by vivabrigada View Post
    Good luck with that one, Jeffery Donaldson has just said we need to learn from the "mistake" made by Belfast City Council over the fleg!
    Democratoic decisions are a mistake?
    Jesus wept.
    Tone set!
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  5. #5
    james toney james toney is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by vivabrigada View Post
    Good luck with that one, Jeffery Donaldson has just said we need to learn from the "mistake" made by Belfast City Council over the fleg!
    Democratoic decisions are a mistake?
    Jesus wept.
    Jeffery is just a bigoted flegger in a suit,whose party used all the other thick fleggers.
    What did he say about the DUP leaflet drop that started this mess?
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  6. #6
    DT123 DT123 is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by belfast1981 View Post
    Over the last few weeks we have witnessed our elected parties once again cry and complain over their 'important' issues such as flags, the past and parades. We have listened to stories showing just how one sided they are. They will only look out for their own side. To hell with the other side.

    But I can't help but feel we missed a great opportunity in the Haas talks to try and move forward and make positive changes, not to flags or parades but to vital health care and education. To making sure future generations benefit from what they would have done in these talks.

    We currently have on the table

    Flags - The fact that this is STILL the main issue between our parties over a year later shows just how petty and uncaring for the general populous our elected representatives really are. I don't see this as an issue. I am a Unionist, you all know that. I am not offended nor do I take offence when I see the Tri-colour fly in Nationalist areas. I have Catholic friends who don't care that the Union flag flies and do not take offence when they see it.

    Now, I know some see the Union flag as the 'Butchers apron' and some see the Tri-Colour as a symbol of the IRA... and to some extent I can see how those respective flags have been hijacked for political means, but when I and most people look upon a flag, we see simply that.. A flag that represents one part of our Island and its respective communities.

    The Past - Don't get me wrong, the past was a horrible time and horrible things by both sides were done. No one side is truly innocent in the troubles. No one side has their hands clean of dreadful acts. BUT the past is the past. No matter how much we have, and no doubt will for years to come, talked about the past. It sadly is not going to change anything. It is not going to bring those killed back. It is not going to repair the damage done to famalies who suffered in the troubles. The extremes on both sides will always see their side as Heroes and the other side as terrorists. That will never change.

    I understand that families need closure, and to see justice done but truthfully no amount of talks or resolutions on the past will change anything. We need to move forward building a better Northern Ireland and not looking back on the past. We can only talk about the past for so long before it becomes clear the past can't be changed. But the present, and the future can be.

    Parades - I've never been too big into parades, but that's just me. However it does seem that there are only an actual small minority that cause problems. I think the Apprentice boys of Derry have set a good example. They talked to the residents and came to an understanding. Listened to their side, and put forth their side and each year the parade passes off without incident. We even had Martin McGuninness praise how good the day was this year.

    The problem is the Orange Order don't care (or at least some in power don't) They don't see the issues that are caused and it leads to more issues. I fully believe if the OO engaged in talks they would have been allowed past Ardoyne, all be it with SOME restrictions. Instead we saw violence and troubles. Thus ensuring they will probably never walk past the area again.

    Now those were the 3 issues that dominated the talks, as I said it could have been used as a stepping stone to build a better place in 3 key areas I believe should take priority over flags, parades and the past.

    Health Care - Our system is in trouble, and I have no doubt Edwin Poots has been a major factor in that. Care homes are being closed and people who worked and paid taxes all their lives are being evicted, through no fault of their own with some with no where to go.

    Hospital A&E departments are being cut back or closed and people are not able to get beds. We had an incident not so long ago that hospitals were forcing sick children to wait in the car park in the middle of the winter because there was no beds, or no space for them.

    This is pretty close to me, I don't want to divulge into personal reasons but I have had family members failed repeatedly by the Health Service this year due to cut backs and general incompetence.

    Edwin Poots, instead of addressing the above issues has wasted hundreds of thousands of our tax payers money on a personal crusade against Homosexual blood issues, Homosexual Marriage and Homosexual adoption. Appeal after appeal which from the start were doomed to fail and he was bound to know this. But his own personal religious beliefs were more important to him than the health and welfare of the citizens of this country.
    These talks could have been used to try and better our health care system and bring about proposals to ensure all people get good medical treatment and care homes are able to remain open.. A wasted opportunity in my opinion.

    Building the Community and bringing them together - Another issue close to me as I have worked for a few community regeneration groups in the past as well cross community centres that bring people together in activities.

    The one thing needed to move forward is improvements to the community and bringing people together and showing them that Protestant and Catholics really have more in common than they think and that folk from the other side of the divide are people, just like them.

    Our elected officials could have worked with Dr Haas to bring forth new community groups and proposals on how to improve communities. How to deal with Anti-Social behavior and how to make sure everyone, no matter what class or religion has the chance to live in, and partake in an active, vibrant community in the future. But again, tribal politics came into play and we have the same issues of flags over and over.

    My third and final key issue that could have been focused on is

    Education - Simply put, this is essential to the future. Children, no matter what class or community deserve the best education possible be it in a single religion school or an integrated school. I don't really care where you send your kids as long as you believe that the school they are at will provide the best education they can get.

    Now, NI schools are improving, but there still needs to be more improvement. Especially within lower class areas. This sounds horrible and I don't mean it that way but lower class areas often are neglected in education leading to anti-social behavior. The parties involved in the Haas talks could have sat together and agreed on proposals to ensure children get every opportunity they can to learn and go onto further and higher education.

    To sum this rambling up, the Haas talks involved the following 3 'Key' issues

    1) Flags
    2) The Past
    3) Parades

    When they could have been used to benefit the whole of Northern Ireland by sitting down together and coming up with proposals for actual key issues such as

    1) Health Care
    2) Community Relations and regeneration
    3) Education.

    Dr Haas had a tough job, he is suck in the middle of two stuck in their ways sides. I feel we missed a golden opportunity to move forward and to better NI due to our representatives putting flags, parades and the past much higher on their list of important issues that Health care, Community and Education.
    All very interesting and with a lot of merit.

    However,the bottomline is that SF and republicans in general, do not want NI to function properly.There only interest is in hanging on to power and agitating constantly towards a UI.

    If the partners in a joint government are actually intent on the destruction of the country they are meant to be governing, you have no hope of improving all the day to day, bread and butter issues you are talking about.

    The DUP, on the other side of the coin, are quite content to "fight" SF on this constitutional issue, on a daily basis as it galvanises their support base.

    Consequently you end up with the mess we have to live in.Our "government" is useless for the people of NI and has no purpose other than the aggrandizement of SF and the DUP.This is the road to no town and I see no option but to bin the whole thing and start again.
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  7. #7
    Willy Tone Willy Tone is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by DT123 View Post
    All very interesting and with a lot of merit.

    However,the bottomline is that SF and republicans in general, do not want NI to function properly.There only interest is in hanging on to power and agitating constantly towards a UI.

    If the partners in a joint government are actually intent on the destruction of the country they are meant to be governing, you have no hope of improving all the day to day, bread and butter issues you are talking about.

    The DUP, on the other side of the coin, are quite content to "fight" SF on this constitutional issue, on a daily basis as it galvanises their support base.

    Consequently you end up with the mess we have to live in.Our "government" is useless for the people of NI and has no purpose other than the aggrandizement of SF and the DUP.This is the road to no town and I see no option but to bin the whole thing and start again.
    Translation: As a stereotypical right-wing Ulster Unionist Party voter, I mourne the loss of Unionist power, dominance and control. As an infamous social supremacist with a deeply ingrained contempt for the working class; the Protestant Loyalist working class in particular, it makes me angry and resentful to see my party; the one responsible for 50 years of Unionist misrule and both PIRA and Loyalist violence, get sidelined by parties who by and large represent the Catholic and Protestant working class, who collectively make me feel rather nauseous, as I'm a reprehensible sectarian social snob.

    As a former RUC Officer, I colluded with Loyalist patamilitary groups to defeat the PIRA, but used to enjoy beating working class people of both religions about the head with my baton and telling them to get back into their ghetto, and I long for a return to the days of direct rule, when that type of police brutality was permissible, and when we didn't have Unionists and Republicans in a power-sharing executive, administering an egalitarian Northern Ireland on the road to Irish reunification.

    My name is Constable DT123. I hate social equality and yearn for the days of Unionist supremacy and domination. I cry myself to sleep at night. I'm pathetic.
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  8. #8
    Éamonn an Chnoic Éamonn an Chnoic is offline

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    It's a shame alright, opportunity missed I suppose. I still don't understand why a Northern Ireland official flag is so unappealing? Surely to God that would have been neutral to all? Union flag on designated days and a tricolour if the Taoiseach, president or a senior government minister was in attendance? Cross border talks, all island bodies, commemorations etc etc

    It's a common diplomatic courtesy in other countries...
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  9. #9
    DT123 DT123 is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willy Tone View Post
    Translation: As a stereotypical right-wing Ulster Unionist Party voter, I mourne the loss of Unionist power, dominance and control. As an infamous social supremacist with a deeply ingrained contempt for the working class; the Protestant Loyalist working class in particular, it makes me angry and resentful to see my party; the one responsible for 50 years of Unionist misrule and both PIRA and Loyalist violence, get sidelined by parties who by and large represent the Catholic and Protestant working class, who collectively make me feel rather nauseous, as I'm a reprehensible sectarian social snob.

    As a former RUC Officer, I colluded with Loyalist patamilitary groups to defeat the PIRA, but used to enjoy beating working class people of both religions about the head with my baton and telling them to get back into their ghetto, and I long for a return to the days of direct rule, when that type of police brutality was permissible, and when we didn't have Unionists and Republicans in a power-sharing executive, administering an egalitarian Northern Ireland on the road to Irish reunification.

    My name is Constable DT123. I hate social equality and yearn for the days of Unionist supremacy and domination. I cry myself to sleep at night. I'm pathetic.
    You appear to be the one person on this site,who believes that the DUP gives a rat's arse about the "working class".Although I suppose convincing gullible fools, like yourself,is part of their plan.
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  10. #10
    Willy Tone Willy Tone is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by DT123 View Post
    You appear to be the one person on this site,who believes that the DUP gives a rat's arse about the "working class".Although I suppose convincing gullible fools, like yourself,is part of their plan.
    They give more of a rat's ass than the right-wing, conservative, Ulster Unionist Party; Northern Ireland's very own version of the Tories. This deplorable party that you support even changed their name to the "Ulster Unionist and Conservative Party".

    W*nkers.
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