In response to Leicester City Council’s egregious lack of a Zombie Attack Preparedness Plan, over 200 intrepid citizens will stage a mock zombie attack on Leicester in a public-spirited demonstration of the risks involved. Hopefully Leicester get off their collective asses and put a plan in place as soon as possible. This is serious.
Prime Minister Cameron has been called “arrogant” and certain remarks of his made on Wednesday rejected as “mediocrity and stupidity”. Ed Miliband certainly doesn’t have this degree of chutzpah; rather it was Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, responding to Cameron’s statement during PM’s questions that “I would say this: as long as the Falkland Islands want to be sovereign British territory, they should remain sovereign British territory – full stop, end of story.”
I agree with Cameron so far as democratic self-determination should be the governing principle. Of course, should Argentina plan a reprise of the 1982 war, the British are in a much weaker position than 30 years ago. Lacking any aircraft carriers, and with only four Typhoons based at RAF Mount Pleasant, it’s difficult to see how the Falklands could be defended.
Consistent with the theme of self-determination in British overseas territories or “provinces”, the new Life and Times survey, commissioned by the office of first and deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, reports that 73% of respondents want to remain part of the United Kingdom rather than united with the Republic. This isn’t surprising. Nor is that 52% of the Catholic community feel the same.
Saturday night I had a friend over my house in England as a goodbye (and for goodbye, he brought a bottle of single malt which did not survive the evening). We’re broadly like minded on Northern Ireland, save that he’s closer to the republican end of the spectrum and I’m nationalist. I argued, as I do, that if there were ever to be a united Ireland, the only way that this could be legitimately achieved is through a plebiscite, and a mere 50%+1 yes vote would not be enough. We discussed what would happen if such a plebiscite were held today, and he was shocked at my suggestion that a significant share of the Catholic community would vote to remain in the UK.
My ad-hoc reasoning behind this was economic (Ireland is barely on the good side of the Iceland – Greece club) and generational. It’s been nearly 90 years since partition, the vast majority of which clearly sucked for the Catholic community, but also 13 years since the Good Friday agreement. While that night I suggested a lower percentage (not the presence) of the Catholic respondents favoring remaining with the UK than the 52% reported, I am surprised that 4% of the Protestant community favors a united Ireland.