05/02/2013 Spotlight


05/02/2013

Hard-hitting investigations. Stephen Dempster tackles questions of identity, finding out what support there is for a border poll and investigating the union flag controversy.


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This programme contains scenes of Good evening. Unionists and

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loyalists can relax - the union is safe and supported by a lot of

:00:29.:00:33.

Catholics. Those are the indications thrown up by a special

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spotlight poll which asked people how they would vote in the

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referendum. The last few weeks have been among the most turbulent odd

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that our recent history with protests about the Union flag

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bringing violence and world attention back to our streets.

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Loyalists believe their identity and culture are under attack and

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that the other side is winning. But our poll shows most Unionists think

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the protest should stop. We will discuss the findings in detail with

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our political editor Mark Devenport and political parties. What began

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with the Council vote to limit the flying over the Union flag over

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Belfast City Hall from 365 to just 18 designated days has spiralled

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into disorder that has brought city centre businesses to their knees.

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Steven Dempster assesses the fall- out.

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This is the image Belfast's Lord Mayor is keen to show off. A

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celebration of Chinese New Year, sending out the message that

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Belfast is a diversity, will bring -- welcoming all its people. But it

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weeks ago, there was a very different mood at City Hall. In

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December they came to proclaim their loyalty to their flag. But

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expressions of identity turned nasty. Trouble began after a vote

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at Belfast City Council to limit the flying of the Union flag over

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City Hall to 18 days. This council should adopt the practice of flying

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the Union flag, designated days. The outpouring of anger has lasted

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two months. Across Northern Ireland, loyalists occupied the streets with

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daily protests and sporadic rioting. The bill for policing and lost

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business is over �20 million. Businesses in the City say they

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have been hit very hard. While Belfast is trying to recover, this

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restaurant in the Cathedral Quarter says trade is still down around 50%.

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A during the week it is really quiet. People are going home. We

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are not getting a reputable teatime early bird trade. Larry Mawhinney

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says he is on the brink of calling in the bank. You can only sustain

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yourself for so long. You still have your brakes and rent to pay,

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your wages... -- York rates and rent to pay. At some point, it will

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be breaking point. It is difficult to see a way out. While the

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protests have been scaled down and the tactics changed, the anger over

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flags has not gone away. In the heart of east Belfast, the Office

:03:21.:03:28.

of Alliance MP Naomi Long is still the focus for most of that rage.

:03:28.:03:32.

has been quite volatile. Staff have been subjected to verbal abuse by

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some of the protesters. There have been attempts to film and

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photograph staff. We have had members of staff followed to their

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cars and people shouting at them. It has been an unpleasant and quite

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difficult experience. Alliance voted with Sinn Fein and the SDLP

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to reduce the number of days the Union flag flies over City all. And

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or offers was burned out in Carrickfergus. Councillors' homes

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were attacked and party members threatened. In all, Naomi Long has

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received three death threats. at home in bed. The police came to

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our front door and they told me that they had received a call to

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say that if I returned to my constituency office, or if I

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remained at my home, I would be shot. So why exactly did all this

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trouble begin? It is a long-term republican objective to remove

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British plants and emblems everywhere and Sinn Fein and the

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SDLP called for the Union flag to be taken down permanently from City

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Hall. When or refused to back this plan and opted for a compromise of

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designated days, Unionists were squaring up for a fight. It was on

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Peter Robinson's mind at his party's conference last November.

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Just in case there is anybody from the Alliance party in Belfast here,

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can we see those flags? Unionist councillors mounted a leaflet

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campaign urging people to complain to the Alliance Party offices in

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east Belfast and to Naomi Long. She claims the leaflet was inflammatory

:05:15.:05:22.

and made her a target for loyalist anger. The DUP denies this. Naomi

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Long and the Alliance Party are trying to distract attention away

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from their culpability. The Alliance Party have brought about

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this situation along with the SDLP and Sinn Fein. Know a land of

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wriggling will get them off the hook. -- no amount. This

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journalists are just there was a bigger political game behind the

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leaflet. The UUP and the DUP decided when the flag that was

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coming and bass or they could not win it how they could play this.

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The way they played it was to blame it Alliance for the defeat that

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they were about to suffer. But why did the leaflet focus on Naomi Long

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and east Belfast in particular? The answer may lie in the fact that in

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2010, she took the Westminster seat from Peter Robinson. They were also

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mindful of the growth of Alliance in Belfast so they distributed a

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leaflet saying that this party is not part of the Union and they are

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against the Union flag and that was a way of connecting with working-

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class freedom. Naomi Long is not a councillor and can see no other

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reason why the leaflet drag her into the dispute. This was less

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about the flag at City Hall and more about Westminster. I have not

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really had a convincing denial or rebuttal of that from anyone who

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was involved and a leaflet. -- Int the leaflet. It is about the flag

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flying in the City Hall. It is entirely a matter for Naomi Long to

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put forward her record at the next election like every other

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politician and we needed to the people to decide who gets elected.

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Loyalist who voted for Naomi Long next time have vowed to unseat her

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in two years. Meanwhile, the police continued to protect her office 24

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hours a day. The MP is under personal and political pressure but

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says she will not be deterred from doing her job. I do not see any of

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the constituency as a no-go area. I grew up in it in east Belfast in a

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loyalist working-class community and for me, it is not about no-go

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areas. It is about how I go in those areas. It is about when I go

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in those areas. Obviously I have to be thoughtful and mind. It has

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greater difficulties that, there is no doubt. While we know the Union

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flag will fly again tomorrow over the City Hall to mark the Queen's

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accession, the flag row continues and with the marching season just

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weeks away, nobody yet knows where this will end.

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That is how we got to where we are today. We asked our interviewees

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and respondent in this poll - 1046 of them - about the flag dispute.

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Mark Devenport is with me to look at them and analyse them. Good

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evening. Good evening. We asked our respondents which of these options

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in relation to the Union flag at Belfast City Hall do you most

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support? As you can see, we gave the option to our interviewees the

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same kind of options that based city councillors before they came

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to that decision in early December. You whipping by looking at the

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response we got that Belfast City Council got it about right because

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the most popular option was the 18 designated days compromise,

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favoured by 44% of the people we talked to, compared to about 35%

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favouring retaining the flag all year round. 10% were looking for

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the flag never to fly. You may say what is the big deal if they pick

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the most popular option? Why was there such a kickback on the

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streets? It was not popular with everyone. We analysed what our

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Unionist interviewees said and this is what we found. The flying of the

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flag really polarises Unionists and nationalists because Unionists very

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strongly were sticking to the 365 days a year option. Just less than

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a quarter were opting instead for the designated days compromise

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which Alliance and the nationalist councillors ended up voting for.

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we might expect a mirror image of that but we do not get quite a

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mirror image when we look at what nationalists think. Very little

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support for retaining the flag all year round. Quite significant

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support for the 18 designated days compromise. The interesting thing

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was that the nationalist parties set about initially calling for the

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flag to come down altogether, which is the practice in some other

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councils that are not have a flag. Only a 5th of their supporters

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actually opted for that. Nationalist voters appeared to

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regard the designated days compromise as the way forward.

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vote itself sparked protests that very evening, which lasted for a

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couple of months. We asked when the flag protests began, to what extent

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to go interviewees agree or disagree? There is significant

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support for the right to protest and in the actual question that was

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asked of the interviewees, it did talk about whether people were

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right to protest. That is the only way I can explain the fact that

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there is greater support for the protests taking place in their

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early December than there was for keeping the flag all year round.

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Some people may be did not favour keeping the flag but thought that

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people had a right to protest out on the streets if they oppose the

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policy. We are not talking about violence but just protests. Let's

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:11:11.:11:13.

break that down. What tedious say? -- what did Unionists say? Strong

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support given the fact that they favoured keeping the flag 365 days

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in the first place. It is not as loyalists because they would be a

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small section of this Unionist lot of interviewees. So that is right

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across Unionists. 83% support in all the Unionist parties. They are

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being asked at the end of January but about their views when it all

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kicked off. They are saying they sympathise with it when it kicked

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off in December but then there is a shift in opinion. The next question

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- do you think the protests should now stop or continue?

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interviews were carried out in late January. By this stage, a lot of

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people had seen the violence that was barred by the protests and

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there had been a call by Unionists in east Belfast backed by loyalist

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paramilitaries for the violence to end. The majority of Unionists, 54%,

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think that the protest should stop. But still a significant proportion

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of Unionists, even at this late stage, think that the protest

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should continue. I think it is food for thought for the Unionist

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parties have called for this to end. Let's see how that have fits into

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the overall population in our sample response. In terms of the

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general populace, by the end of January you can take it that they

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were pretty much that up with what had been happening over the cause

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of those few weeks because you are adding nationalists and others into

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the equation and you have a very strong majority. More than three-

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quarters of those we talked to said it was time to call it a day as far

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as the protests were concerned and the reasons they gave way of

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violence, damage to business, traffic disruption and so on.

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the results emerge in the course of the programme, we are keen to hear

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what you think. You can textiles on 81771. You can phone and e-mail us

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and put us on #SpotlightNI. Calls cost five pence per minute from

:13:16.:13:20.

most landlines. Calls from mobiles may cost considerably more and

:13:20.:13:25.

texts will be charged at your standard message rate. It is fair

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to say that as long as Northern Ireland has more Protestants and

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Catholics it will stay part of the UK but does the narrowing gap

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between them in the latest census mean a united Ireland could be

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coming into view? Sinn Fein thinks so and that is why they are

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pressing for the border question to be put to the vote.

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Sinn Fein launched their campaign for Border poll. Gerry Adams police

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people are increasingly embracing their national -- Irish identity.

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the mood is shifting towards thoughts of a united Ireland? The

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Good Friday agreement allows for a referendum. If Westminster believes

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there may be a majority in Northern Ireland who want to end partition.

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So far, the response to Mr Adams has been blunt. My feeling is that

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the conditions which require a border poll are not present in

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:14:38.:14:49.

Northern Ireland and we have no For Sinn Fein, however, this is

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simply a delay en route to the longer-term target of a poll by

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2020. Because while republicans never saw the Good Friday Agreement

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as a final settlement. This is part of the British state temporarily or

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permanently bore only conditionally for as long as a majority of the

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people want that to be so. This was not from a shin. -- Sinn Fein point

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of view, a settlement. It was an agreement on a journey, and the

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core of it, it is a Road Map towards democracy and equality.

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future direction of Northern Ireland, be it sticking with the

:15:25.:15:28.

Union or move to Irish unity, has traditionally been predicted by a

:15:28.:15:32.

sectarian headcount. It's been assumed that Protestants are all

:15:32.:15:34.

unionists, Catholics are all nationalists, and as long as

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Protestants are the majority, the Union will remain. That has er been

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a pretty crude way of trying to work out what the current levels of

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support are for a united Ireland, or for northern ireland remaining

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within the UK. I think in recent years er there has been certainly

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considerable evidence that there's also this emerging other category,

:15:57.:16:02.

people who say that they're Northern Irish. A sign of this

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change came in the recent Census figures which revealed 1 in 5 now

:16:05.:16:08.

say they are primarily Northern Irish, rather than British or Irish.

:16:08.:16:11.

It suggests they don't conform to type and their votes are up for

:16:11.:16:14.

grabs and it has opened-up a new battleground between unionism and

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nationalism. The phrase Northern Irish, I suppose, is, in some ways,

:16:20.:16:26.

very ambiguous. And both sides sort of try to claim them as either for

:16:27.:16:30.

a united Ireland or for the United Kingdom. In truth I think people

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don't really know how those people would vote in a border poll.

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this new landscape, Sinn Fein argue the Census indicates the pieces of

:16:40.:16:45.

their plan are coming together. unionists are relaxed about calling

:16:45.:16:50.

themselves Irish, albeit Northern Irish. The question is, can

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republicans convince these people to share their goal of a united

:16:52.:16:58.

Ireland? Sinn Fein has a huge challenge to persuade unionists

:16:58.:17:01.

that their future is best in an all-Ireland context. I don't

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minimise that for one second. But I think there are lots of indications

:17:04.:17:13.

that people out there are at least up for those arguments. So are

:17:13.:17:22.

unionists up for the debate? After Gerry Adams called for a poll, the

:17:22.:17:25.

DUP surprisingly said they were considering it. I think the DUP

:17:25.:17:35.
:17:35.:17:40.

floated this idea seemingly intentionally. Arlene Foster quite

:17:40.:17:43.

deliberately said that the DUP could be persuaded to call Sinn

:17:43.:17:47.

Fein's bluff on this but I think that there has been considerable

:17:47.:17:49.

rowing back since then and there's certainly very little indication

:17:49.:17:52.

that the DUP are serious about this. But with tensions already high over

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the flag, there are those who would see the calling of a border poll as

:17:56.:18:02.

likely to further destabilise unionism. It would really, I

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suppose, send people back to the trenches in many ways and that

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would be a huge decision to take, particularly at a time when Peter

:18:08.:18:11.

Robinson has been making much of the fact that Northern Ireland's

:18:11.:18:14.

position is settled, we're secure within the union. Publicly at least,

:18:14.:18:18.

the DUP is bullish. Republicans asking for a border poll makes

:18:18.:18:21.

turkeys voting for Christmas look like a carefully considered

:18:21.:18:26.

strategy. But are the DUP right to make their own assumption, that

:18:26.:18:29.

there is a significant block of Catholics, who don't vote unionist

:18:29.:18:32.

in elections, but would actually back the Union? Richard Doherty is

:18:32.:18:37.

a practising Catholic, from Londonderry, who is also pro-Union.

:18:37.:18:43.

His father was a British soldier and he was in the RUC Reserve.

:18:43.:18:46.

Being a Catholic never excluded me from being pro-Union. I think

:18:46.:18:55.

there's a large number of people like that. I think a large number

:18:55.:18:58.

of Catholics would say they feel they're better off socially and

:18:58.:19:05.

economically within the union. are talking about British identity?

:19:05.:19:11.

It is a British again today, what remains is still under seas. Pretty

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she might be but he has never voted for a unionist Party. So does that

:19:15.:19:20.

mean Gerry Adams could at least engage, on the idea of a united

:19:20.:19:25.

Ireland? There is not anything Gerry Adams could say that would

:19:25.:19:32.

convince me that a united Ireland would work, particularly with in a

:19:32.:19:39.

position of power. A representative is this you? As the census showed,

:19:39.:19:43.

the new Northern Ireland is embracing Malta poor and mixed

:19:43.:19:46.

identities of people no longer designate themselves as either

:19:46.:19:56.
:19:56.:20:00.

We come to the most interesting part of the opinion poll. We asked

:20:00.:20:08.

This has been pored over by the politicians and the British and

:20:08.:20:15.

Irish governments. And those surveys tell us : that the

:20:15.:20:17.

Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud would vote if there was a referendum

:20:17.:20:27.
:20:27.:20:31.

This is similar wording as was used in the 1973 border poll. The same

:20:31.:20:37.

number there who would not vote. This is an opinion poll and not a

:20:37.:20:41.

referendum, so there is that Cav the art, and there is a margin for

:20:41.:20:47.

error in this exercise, but it is a pretty big lead. Gerry Adams talks

:20:47.:20:51.

about the Good Friday Agreement being an agreement on the long

:20:51.:20:54.

journey, will it will be a long journey of these figures are born

:20:54.:21:02.

at it. We will look at the committed voters and look at that

:21:02.:21:09.

throws up. As we will see as we move through the results, there are

:21:09.:21:13.

more people on the Catholic side of the divide who are telling us in

:21:13.:21:17.

any case that they will not vote rather than on the Protestant side,

:21:17.:21:23.

and that is why, when you take out the non-voters, you get a hardening

:21:23.:21:33.
:21:33.:21:33.

of that majority, almost 80%. the similar to other recent surveys.

:21:33.:21:42.

73 opted to remain in the UK, over a united Ireland, so it is in line

:21:43.:21:50.

with that. The big one, what did Catholics say in response to this

:21:50.:21:57.

question? Stephen Dempster was talking to one or Catholic, and he

:21:57.:22:02.

is not unique in holding that you Foster 38% of the cat books said

:22:02.:22:06.

that there was an opinion poll tomorrow they would have -- boat to

:22:06.:22:11.

remain part of the UK. Whilst that is not a majority, it is larger

:22:11.:22:18.

than the proportion, 35%, who voted for a united Ireland. So that towns

:22:18.:22:22.

some of the traditional assumptions on their head because it is a

:22:22.:22:28.

larger section of the Catholic population voting for the status

:22:28.:22:38.
:22:38.:22:42.

And a larger percentage there, 18%, saying that they would not a boat.

:22:42.:22:48.

And we have these people who, in the senses, described themselves as

:22:48.:22:55.

Northern Irish. We asked how they would boat. When the census come

:22:55.:23:00.

out, I took calls from politicians who said they were talking about

:23:00.:23:07.

being Irish. In answer to this question, we found a large

:23:07.:23:14.

proportion voting to remain in the UK. Again, quite a strong

:23:14.:23:19.

proportion in terms of not voting. This new category of the Northern

:23:19.:23:24.

Irish, seemed to be comfortable with the Northern Ireland, but

:23:25.:23:28.

comfortable to retain the constitutional status quo. Lots of

:23:28.:23:33.

fascinating stuff there, thank you very much for your analysis. Don't

:23:33.:23:42.

forget, you can contact us by text, you can Collis or you can use

:23:42.:23:51.

Twitter. We have a collection of political representatives gather.

:23:51.:23:55.

Jerry can be, your Road Map is going nowhere - you should join the

:23:55.:24:01.

Alliance Party. I will not be doing that any time soon. He said during

:24:01.:24:04.

the conversation that this is an opinion poll and not a referendum.

:24:04.:24:10.

The last thing it was tried out scientifically we were up front and

:24:10.:24:13.

the reports -- an approach that you want an Irish republican people

:24:13.:24:17.

vote for us in huge numbers. If you want to be signed to forget about

:24:17.:24:25.

it, go to the last election. Peter Robinson has talked about turkeys

:24:25.:24:30.

at Christmas, well, then, let's have it, let's bring the referendum

:24:30.:24:35.

and put that to the test. The argument during the referendum or

:24:35.:24:39.

during the election is an entirely different process to sitting here

:24:39.:24:45.

after doing an opinion poll. election is also different from a

:24:45.:24:54.

referendum. In fact, 22% of Sinn Fein respondents said they would

:24:54.:25:00.

vote to stay in the United Kingdom. Well, I do not believe that. You do

:25:00.:25:04.

not think that because Sinn Fein is now a party with a wider appeal,

:25:04.:25:10.

there are people who are not married to the core Republican

:25:10.:25:15.

beliefs? We will try to convince people that a united Ireland is the

:25:15.:25:20.

best place for them. I am a republican. I believe it is the

:25:20.:25:24.

best place for Unionists, republicans and nationalists. That

:25:24.:25:31.

is a debate that we have started and will continue. We're up to that

:25:31.:25:36.

discussion and to put that to the test. And, in the end, that has the

:25:36.:25:45.

final Test. We have a couple of indicators, our opinion poll and a

:25:45.:25:47.

lifetime so be, both showing similar opinion, that people are

:25:47.:25:53.

not crying out for a border poll, and if they are, lots of them are

:25:53.:26:02.

going to say, let's stay where we before elections, it is quite a

:26:02.:26:05.

consistent fact, that we set before elections and underestimate the

:26:05.:26:09.

Sinn Fein Board, over the last number of elections going back

:26:09.:26:16.

years. -- Sinn Fein vote. We're up for the challenge. The conversation

:26:16.:26:21.

has started. It is a huge challenge, to convince a section of Unionists

:26:21.:26:25.

that a united Ireland is the place to go, but that there is the

:26:25.:26:29.

discussion we are having and at least that discussion is being had.

:26:29.:26:35.

We're up for the challenge. Let's put it to the vote. There has been

:26:35.:26:40.

some dithering within the Ulster Unionist Party about this. We just

:26:40.:26:46.

say that now you should have one? - - de Democratic Unionists party.

:26:46.:26:51.

said that Sinn Fein can talk about an opinion poll, but if we had a

:26:51.:26:54.

border poll tomorrow the greater number would vote to stay within

:26:54.:26:59.

the United Kingdom. Gerry Kelly can talk about Sinn Fein been

:26:59.:27:04.

underestimated in elections. You are right about that. It is not an

:27:04.:27:09.

election. It is a referendum. And people would be very clear about

:27:09.:27:13.

their economic and social benefits of being in the United Kingdom.

:27:13.:27:17.

That is why people said clearly that he wanted to stay in the

:27:17.:27:22.

United Kingdom. They are not convinced by the vision of the

:27:22.:27:26.

Democratic Unionist Party. Less than 1% of Catholics would vote for

:27:26.:27:30.

them. That was a challenge for us. We want to reach out to Catholics

:27:30.:27:34.

were happy with in the United Kingdom. That was the context of my

:27:34.:27:40.

party leader's speech back in November. Our flag protests the way

:27:40.:27:50.
:27:50.:28:02.

to convince Catholics to join The combined decision of the

:28:02.:28:05.

party's who have very serious crisis Trust and sells... Clearly,

:28:05.:28:11.

the victory that was proclaimed by the leader of the Alliance Party on

:28:11.:28:14.

the night of this vote is a hollow victory because in terms of

:28:14.:28:20.

electoral terms, all the aggro on there were within the Unionist

:28:20.:28:24.

community. Most people think the compromise is the right answer.

:28:24.:28:29.

This has come at a very high price. This has upset political relations.

:28:29.:28:33.

It has affected community relations and it has been a recipe for

:28:33.:28:37.

disaster. I am afraid to the Alliance Party are absolutely

:28:37.:28:44.

nowhere. 38% of Catholic say they want to stay in the UK. The kind of

:28:44.:28:50.

scenes we have seen as a result of this protests are likely to make

:28:50.:28:54.

them say they want out. It is counter-productive. The people who

:28:54.:29:01.

have most to lose as a result of this poll, followed on by the

:29:01.:29:04.

recent census and lifestyle studies, clearly on the leadership of Sinn

:29:04.:29:11.

Fein. Their strategy has gone. It is in tatters. There is no prospect

:29:11.:29:16.

of a united Ireland, there is no support... But whereas the

:29:16.:29:21.

generosity from the Unionist community? 23% of Sinn Fein's own

:29:21.:29:26.

supporters do not believe it is achievable. But why is there not

:29:26.:29:30.

more generosity of spirit? Are you have this vast number of Catholics

:29:30.:29:35.

who wish to stay part of the UK and you are scaring them off. Why have

:29:35.:29:38.

you and other Unionist leaders not be able to convince your own people

:29:38.:29:43.

that actually, the union is safe? believe we are reaching out.

:29:43.:29:47.

while there are figures coming up which show that you are not. On a

:29:47.:29:51.

Northern Ireland basis, we are able to reach out and particularly to

:29:51.:29:56.

the Unionist Party. None of a Catholic respondents would vote for

:29:56.:30:02.

the UUP. Centrist and moderate Unionist opinion... And not one.

:30:02.:30:08.

How can you say that? Will provide the necessary leadership that will

:30:08.:30:14.

link all of the people. It will bring people into the real issues -

:30:14.:30:19.

the issues of jobs, the economy and health and education and that is

:30:19.:30:25.

whether prosperity is. That is the underlying secret and necessity for

:30:25.:30:31.

the executive half. Alex Attwood, did you represent the 30% of

:30:31.:30:36.

Catholics who wish to stay in the UK? Are they all convertible,

:30:36.:30:38.

middle-class Catholics who are looking to their economic benefits

:30:38.:30:44.

and wish to stay where they are? I had been sitting here 20 or 30

:30:44.:30:49.

years ago, he would have said to me it was a pipe dream to persuade

:30:49.:30:51.

people to join a partnership government if that is what we have

:30:51.:30:56.

today. You would have said it was a pipe dream that we would have

:30:56.:31:02.

brought about the policing we have now. While they may be a snapshot

:31:02.:31:06.

in this poll, the challenge to all of us is to convince others about

:31:06.:31:11.

the best way forward and we have demonstrated unambiguously and

:31:11.:31:14.

overwhelmingly that when you apply yourselves and work up the

:31:14.:31:18.

arguments, you can change how people think. And now you have

:31:18.:31:24.

changed it, do people think it is not so bad here and we should stay?

:31:24.:31:32.

Aboard a poll, if it were to happen - I think it should happen... We

:31:32.:31:36.

have a period of time to bring about the situation... Or what

:31:36.:31:42.

would you tell them? Catholics look to the south and see economic

:31:42.:31:52.
:31:52.:31:58.

distress the stock they feel more How would I do it? I would

:31:58.:31:59.

accelerate the process of national acceleration and healing so that

:31:59.:32:02.

the legacy of the past will be dealt with and the truth of the

:32:02.:32:07.

past will be dealt with. I would accelerate and built up economic

:32:07.:32:17.
:32:17.:32:24.

opportunity so that people will five years. -- differently than we

:32:24.:32:34.
:32:34.:32:38.

opportunities here in the north. Let me finish. In that way, you can

:32:38.:32:40.

change how people see our politics. We will not go back to the flag-

:32:40.:32:46.

waving... You are not only have to convince the overwhelming territory

:32:46.:32:53.

of the dubious population -- majority of the Unionist population

:32:53.:33:00.

but the Catholics as well. If they said 20 or 30 years ago... Your

:33:00.:33:05.

campaign has been unsuccessful. SDLP argument prevailed in terms of

:33:05.:33:12.

power sharing. The SDLP argument prevailed in terms of... People

:33:12.:33:16.

want to stay in the UK. Stephen, one of the commentators said that

:33:17.:33:21.

there was a fear that even the thought of proposing a border poll

:33:21.:33:25.

would send people back to the trenches but the evidence of this

:33:25.:33:29.

poll - and it is only a poll - shows that people would not go back

:33:29.:33:34.

to the trenches. There is a very clear message coming across from

:33:35.:33:39.

the poll as a whole. People are concerned about tensions around

:33:39.:33:44.

flags both before and after the vote. They also see a border poll

:33:44.:33:47.

has not been terribly relevant our situation at present and that may

:33:47.:33:53.

well send the book to the trenches. But the vast majority of people are

:33:53.:33:58.

focused on making Northern Ireland work and building a shared future,

:33:58.:34:01.

addressing the quality considerations. If we are an

:34:01.:34:04.

outward-looking society we can have a positive relationship with the

:34:04.:34:08.

rest of the UK and a relationship with the rest of Ireland, the

:34:08.:34:12.

European Union and the rest of the world. All those opportunities are

:34:12.:34:19.

on our doorstep but the real danger of what has happened over the past

:34:19.:34:22.

six months - the entire political system has risked tipping back into

:34:22.:34:27.

the old politics of the past. We have a real challenge and close to

:34:27.:34:30.

make over the coming weeks. Are we going to continue on the road of

:34:30.:34:34.

the good work of the political peace process of the past decade?

:34:34.:34:38.

I'll be going to press on and address a shared future? Of we

:34:38.:34:43.

going to focus on the economy? The issue of whether we are going to be

:34:43.:34:51.

in the UK becomes less relevant because Northern Ireland works.

:34:51.:34:55.

have had plenty to say. The notion of a shared future - huge damage

:34:55.:35:00.

was done by the Alliance Party and their participation in City Hall.

:35:00.:35:05.

What happened at Belfast City Hall was a compromise. The nationalist

:35:05.:35:12.

parties backed a compromise. Danny Kennedy... Let me speak, please.

:35:12.:35:15.

64% of nationalists thought that the designated days was a good

:35:15.:35:19.

solution. If Unionists had played this right, they would have

:35:19.:35:23.

recognised that for the first time, and nationalist parties poll to be

:35:23.:35:27.

voted for the flag flying from Belfast City Hall and we have the

:35:27.:35:31.

same outcome that is standard policy elsewhere in the UK. How

:35:31.:35:38.

that is a threat to British identity is utterly beyond me.

:35:38.:35:41.

Unionists have failed to convince their own people that actually

:35:41.:35:45.

things are going their way. Can we talk about consensual politics

:35:45.:35:49.

because there has been a lot said about it tonight? Consensual

:35:49.:35:53.

politics was working and we all were moving forward in Northern

:35:53.:35:57.

Ireland for what we saw at City Hall was a move away from

:35:57.:36:03.

consensual politics. The SDLP and the Alliance Party moved into a

:36:03.:36:08.

majority position and then they were not talking about jobs,

:36:08.:36:12.

education or economic benefits for Belfast. They were removing the

:36:12.:36:17.

flag of the nation from the capital city of Northern Ireland. The same

:36:17.:36:22.

as the rest of the UK. It is no different. You can shout at me if

:36:22.:36:25.

you want but it is not the same as the rest of the country. If you

:36:25.:36:30.

lived in the west of Northern Ireland, as I do, there is no

:36:30.:36:35.

designated days. Would you call for designated days for the flying of

:36:35.:36:43.

the Union flag? Yes. I welcome that an thank you for it. Things like

:36:43.:36:52.

the flags are not helping. When the Unionists were in charge, they did

:36:52.:36:55.

not allow the Irish nurse of the people. All this debate centres

:36:55.:37:02.

around Britishness. It centres around identity generally. And it

:37:02.:37:06.

centres around Britishness. point I am making is it should. It

:37:06.:37:11.

is disrespectful to Irish. If you are going to City Hall, as we said

:37:11.:37:17.

today, over 95% of all the paraphernalia and emblems... Were

:37:17.:37:21.

we are in a British city. It does not matter. We are in his city

:37:21.:37:30.

which is supposed to be shared... Consensus is gone. Gerry, 38% of

:37:30.:37:35.

the people in this poll are quite happy with that. Let me say this

:37:35.:37:42.

because Arlene has been putting the perspectives of her party. We

:37:42.:37:48.

Onneley in a 50-50 situation. The City Hall and the councillors are

:37:48.:37:53.

supposed to represent that shared city. That shared city is almost

:37:53.:38:00.

half Irish and therefore, Irish... In that is lazy sectarianism. It is

:38:00.:38:08.

not. The first Republican mayor of Belfast in many years did not

:38:08.:38:11.

trying take anything else but he put up a try colour. He wanted to

:38:11.:38:19.

show that it was a shared city. Demanding that it remains 95%

:38:19.:38:24.

British is not consensual. The removal of the flag from City Hall

:38:24.:38:27.

is not the only issue where there is a lack of consensual politics.

:38:27.:38:31.

We have, within the last two weeks of the executive, the beating of a

:38:31.:38:38.

national crime agency by Sinn Fein. If you want to go into that

:38:38.:38:43.

argument... I do not think we do because it is not about identity.

:38:43.:38:52.

Why are you afraid... After signing up to the Good Friday agreement,

:38:52.:38:58.

why are you afraid of the accountability being put on... At I

:38:58.:39:02.

am not going to pursue this argument. Danny, I am not going to

:39:02.:39:08.

pursue that argument. Danny! I am not pursuing that argument - it is

:39:08.:39:14.

a different argument. I think this is the fundamental issue of

:39:14.:39:18.

political leadership in the North at the moment. It is a challenge to

:39:18.:39:22.

Unionism and I have to say it is a challenge to me and democratic

:39:22.:39:26.

nationalism and it is simply this. The new order of politics that has

:39:26.:39:29.

come through the various agreements since the Good Friday Agreement

:39:29.:39:36.

means that we have to say to our people - Unionists to the Unionist

:39:36.:39:40.

community and nationalists to the nationalists - that Northern

:39:40.:39:43.

Ireland will look and feel different. Listen to this! It

:39:43.:39:48.

sounds exactly the same for the last 40 years. That is why I am

:39:48.:39:52.

making this point. The new order of politics means that things will

:39:52.:39:55.

look and feel different but in looking and feeling different, it

:39:55.:40:05.

does not mean that people have lost all won. -- lost fog won. Danny

:40:05.:40:10.

Kennedy, please keep quiet! This is the crucial point and that is why

:40:10.:40:15.

Abbott aspic of stubbornness and for a moment. -- I would ask people

:40:15.:40:22.

to stop and listen. Things are going to be different but that does

:40:22.:40:31.

not mean that Unionists have lost the national identity or

:40:31.:40:35.

political... Where is the opportunity? The facts of the

:40:35.:40:40.

survey, the facts of the census and the facts of previous studies

:40:40.:40:46.

confirm that Northern Ireland's constitutional position is secure

:40:46.:40:50.

and settled within the UK and that is not a threat and should not be

:40:50.:40:57.

considered as a threat to nationalists who have to live there.

:40:57.:41:03.

Accept a dollar credit vote in City Hall. The consequence of Danny's

:41:03.:41:08.

assertion of the Unionist confidence has to be not to tell

:41:08.:41:12.

people that when the flying of the flag is changed to designated days

:41:13.:41:16.

that somehow you have lost your identity, some power you have lost

:41:16.:41:20.

out, somehow your worst fears have been confirmed. That was the moment

:41:20.:41:25.

of bad leadership. Let's regroup and show good leadership. This is

:41:25.:41:31.

the point, Arlene. From my point of view, and as this survey shows, the

:41:31.:41:37.

democratic nationalism accepts that the politics of accommodation may

:41:37.:41:41.

mean that the Union flag flies not in a way that I would necessarily

:41:41.:41:47.

opt for in the first instance but in the wake of the designated

:41:47.:41:50.

days... It shows that we are prepared to respect your identity,

:41:51.:41:55.

accommodate it and not in any way raised it. Although you did want to

:41:55.:42:05.
:42:05.:42:17.

It was quite clear that when Sinn Fein were in majorities in cases in

:42:17.:42:26.

the West, then the flag went. We're not going to be ludicrous...

:42:26.:42:31.

you're arguing they are and which they could easily have put up...

:42:31.:42:36.

Gerry Kelly will let me finish. The reality is this. If Jenny says that

:42:36.:42:43.

he accepts that Belfast Agreement he must and -- accept the principle

:42:43.:42:47.

of consent that Northern Ireland will remain within the United

:42:47.:42:55.

Kingdom unturned -- until such times as we can leave it. I am

:42:55.:43:01.

challenging him to do to say, I challenge him to say in the west of

:43:01.:43:05.

the province they should recognise Unionism on designated days.

:43:05.:43:12.

Gentlemen, we are going to move on Forest's second. We have another

:43:12.:43:17.

issue to address. There is a feeling of disaffection and

:43:17.:43:21.

loyalism that they are losing out to the other side so how is that

:43:21.:43:31.
:43:31.:43:36.

reflected in the opinion poll? We But as Stephen Dempster found out,

:43:36.:43:41.

once again, below the surface, opinion is even more deeply divided.

:43:41.:43:44.

The Malone Road, South Belfast. Once the preserve of the unionist

:43:44.:43:47.

middle classes, but as the emergence of St Bride's Church

:43:47.:43:53.

suggests, increasingly home to the Catholic middle class too. And it

:43:53.:43:58.

is places like this thatcould be preserving the Union. According to

:43:58.:44:00.

the Spotlight poll, affluent catholics, like the people who

:44:00.:44:04.

worship here, are more likely to vote to stay in the UK than they

:44:04.:44:07.

are to choose a united Ireland. They are one important reason why

:44:07.:44:14.

the poll suggests such a big margin in favour of staying in the Union.

:44:15.:44:17.

And that's probably related to another finding of the poll -

:44:17.:44:19.

middle class Catholics overwhelmingly think the current

:44:19.:44:25.

political settlement is fair to both sides. But that view isn't

:44:25.:44:31.

shared on this side of town. Rush hour in east Belfast, last month,

:44:31.:44:36.

and the streets are eerily quiet. Protesters have gathered to block

:44:36.:44:40.

the Albertbridge Road, a main route in and out of the city. Among them

:44:40.:44:48.

are local mothers Julie Ann Workman and Sharon Kirkwood. We felt the

:44:48.:44:51.

need to come out on the street because nobody was listening to us,

:44:51.:44:55.

and we thought the best way to get people to listen to us was to come

:44:55.:44:58.

out on to the street. We don't want our culture trampled on, we don't

:44:58.:45:02.

want our culture disappearing $YELLOW The taking down of the flag

:45:02.:45:06.

was the last straw. It's not just about one issue, there is a lot of

:45:06.:45:09.

issues. It's Sinn Fein-IRA, they are just eroding our identity,

:45:09.:45:14.

taking our communities down brick by brick. Sharon and Julie Anne

:45:14.:45:16.

believe the political process is weighted against their community on

:45:16.:45:18.

things like parading and historical enquiries. But how representative

:45:18.:45:23.

are they? Is this disquiet among hardline loyalists or something

:45:23.:45:33.
:45:33.:45:36.

On that question over whether people think the political system

:45:36.:45:39.

favours one community or another, over half of unionists feel it's

:45:39.:45:41.

imbalanced in favour or nationalists. And that view is

:45:41.:45:43.

strongest among the unionist lower middle and working class what

:45:43.:45:48.

pollsters call groups C2 and DE. This sense of unfairness may be

:45:48.:45:50.

more perception than reality, according to Professor Richard

:45:50.:45:57.

English. He says the Union is secure but loyalists feel

:45:57.:46:02.

threatened by the success of republicanism. Some sections of the

:46:02.:46:05.

loyalist working class simply feel disadvantaged. Feel that they are

:46:05.:46:09.

second class citizens. They look over the sectarian fence and see

:46:09.:46:11.

Sinn Fein being very well oiled and well heeled. Well funded and very

:46:11.:46:14.

professional. And they feel a certain envy towards that in terms

:46:14.:46:18.

of not having that kind of representation themselves.

:46:18.:46:21.

Dissatisfaction with the unionist leadership has also been voiced

:46:21.:46:26.

throughout the flag protests. Nobody has no trust in them and to

:46:26.:46:29.

be honest with you nobody believes a word comes out of their mouth,

:46:29.:46:32.

because we are just pushed aside, pushed aside More specifically,

:46:32.:46:38.

they blame the DUP. Everybody has lost faith in them and let me tell

:46:38.:46:41.

you, my family all through the years voted DUP, my grandmother, my

:46:41.:46:44.

granda, my mother, my father, but now we know what they are, they

:46:44.:46:50.

don't get our votes, and they never, ever will get our votes again.

:46:50.:46:53.

the DUP argue they are taking a lead on voicing unionists concerns

:46:53.:46:57.

on issues like the flying of the flag and are confident of their

:46:57.:47:03.

electoral support. We have met a range of people who say we have

:47:03.:47:06.

been DUP voters all our lives and we will never vote for the DUP

:47:06.:47:13.

again. Well, I heard that too. And election, and I have heard it

:47:13.:47:15.

before previous elections. And we don't take anything for granted or

:47:15.:47:18.

are not complacent in any way shape or form. But we need to be careful

:47:18.:47:28.

here. The fact of the matter is, that overwhelmingly the vast

:47:28.:47:31.

majority of unionists who voted in Belfast where we have 16

:47:31.:47:34.

councillors. Is that the vast majority of the unionist people in

:47:34.:47:37.

all areas did vote for the DUP, and do support the DUP. But if some

:47:37.:47:40.

loyalists and unionists reject the DUP's leadership, who will provide

:47:40.:47:42.

them with a voice? Already divisions have emerged within the

:47:42.:47:45.

new Ulster People's Forum, led by Willie Frazer and Jamie Bryson.

:47:45.:47:52.

will no longer be driven into the corner by certain politicians.

:47:53.:47:56.

is too early to judge if a loyalist political grouping will prosper on

:47:56.:47:58.

the back of the protests. But journalist Brian Rowan believes the

:47:59.:48:03.

number of people on the street shouldnot be overplayed. I think we

:48:03.:48:06.

need a context and we need a perspective. This is not a people

:48:06.:48:16.
:48:16.:48:17.

being on that scale of the 70s when you had the Ulster Workers Council

:48:17.:48:20.

strike, the 80s after the Anglo- Irish agreement or the 90s and all

:48:20.:48:28.

of the fallout that was associated with Drumcree. However, the

:48:28.:48:30.

Spotlight poll, which suggests 45 per cent of unionists still support

:48:30.:48:33.

the protests, eight weeks after they started, may concern the DUP.

:48:33.:48:36.

And Brian Rowan says both the DUP and UUP leaderships have a PR

:48:36.:48:39.

problem when they are targets for loyalist criticism. Have you seen

:48:39.:48:45.

them walk the streets of east Belfast,? You know that, that they

:48:45.:48:48.

would be as much a target as, as Martin McGuiness or Gerry Adams

:48:48.:48:51.

would be if they walked the Newtownards road. Do you accept

:48:51.:48:54.

though that Peter Robinson is unwelcome among a section of his

:48:54.:48:58.

own community in east Belfast? look, there are always people who

:48:58.:49:00.

are opposed to certain politicians. There will be people opposed to

:49:00.:49:05.

every politician who has ever got elected. But under the DUP

:49:05.:49:12.

leadership unionism/loyalism is demoralised. Why? No, I don't

:49:12.:49:15.

accept that at all. I don't accept that. Some people will say that,

:49:15.:49:19.

and some people will try to say that because some of them have

:49:19.:49:21.

their own vested political interests. They are not weakening

:49:21.:49:27.

the DUP, they are weakening the Union. And First Minister Peter

:49:27.:49:30.

Robinson's dilemma seems clear, 46% of the general population think

:49:30.:49:35.

he's handled the controversy badly, according to our poll. But what's

:49:35.:49:38.

even more worrying for Peter Robinson, is that more DUP

:49:38.:49:40.

supporters think he's handled the flags controversy badly, than

:49:40.:49:50.
:49:50.:49:51.

well.37% say he's done badly, to But Richard English predicts the

:49:51.:49:54.

issues within Loyalist communities could be a problem for decades to

:49:54.:50:00.

come and he says Peter Robinson and the DUP have a dilemma. I think

:50:00.:50:03.

this is a difficult situation for Mr Robinson because there is the

:50:03.:50:10.

question of his own electoral support. Because on the one hand he

:50:10.:50:13.

wants to make sure that he looks like the most credible Unionist

:50:13.:50:16.

leader who can bring delivery of good to his own community. There is

:50:16.:50:19.

also the question of how he looks as somebody who is not just the

:50:19.:50:22.

leader of one party, but is effectively the prime minister of

:50:22.:50:25.

Northern Ireland. The Spotlight survey asked about the performance

:50:25.:50:30.

of several politicians during the flags crisis. No one fared

:50:30.:50:34.

particularly well. Naomi Long, Alliance deputy leader, got the

:50:34.:50:36.

highest positive rating. 30% of the population think she's handled

:50:36.:50:46.
:50:46.:50:47.

things well. But 33% think she's done badly. But she needs unionist

:50:47.:50:50.

votes to hang on to her Westminster seat, and 59% of unionists think

:50:50.:50:53.

she's handled the flags controversy badly. The worst rating of any of

:50:53.:51:03.
:51:03.:51:06.

the politicians we asked about. But if people think this means it will

:51:06.:51:10.

be easy for the DUP in East Belfast, they should also consider that 45

:51:10.:51:13.

per cent of unionists still support the flag protests and, as our poll

:51:13.:51:15.

suggests, a very significant percentage of unionists think the

:51:15.:51:18.

current political settlement - agreed by the DUP - is unfair. And

:51:18.:51:21.

nowhere will those views be more stridently expressed than by the

:51:21.:51:26.

loyalist working classes. More food for thought. Do you accept the

:51:26.:51:31.

Alliance has lost the East Belfast seat? The innings in the penis say

:51:31.:51:38.

that it has been badly handled. Naomi Long has handled the

:51:38.:51:43.

situation great dignity and integrity. Not according to 59% of

:51:43.:51:49.

Unionists. Pensions have been inflamed. Accusations have been

:51:49.:51:55.

laid against us, pensions have been whipped up by other parties. --

:51:55.:52:04.

tensions. The message is that we won the seat last time round, and

:52:04.:52:10.

how we will seek to retain the seat. Naomi Long will work for everyone

:52:10.:52:17.

in that constituency. The office is under 24 hour police protection.

:52:17.:52:21.

And we still have constituents wishing to engage with us because

:52:21.:52:27.

of the record of hard work on the ground in dealing with everyone.

:52:27.:52:30.

How would you seek to get those Unionists back on board?

:52:30.:52:35.

addressing bread-and-butter issues, issues a round jobs, training,

:52:35.:52:39.

educational under-achievement, in East Belfast, that have to be

:52:39.:52:44.

addressed. Things that aren't close to my heart as minister for

:52:44.:52:49.

employment and that Naomi Long cares very much about as well which

:52:49.:52:55.

are of relevance to the entire community. 37% of DUP voters say

:52:55.:53:00.

that Peter Robinson has handled the flags issue badly. There is a

:53:00.:53:04.

section of our community who does not feel part of the peace process.

:53:04.:53:08.

Professor Richard English got it right - it is about perception

:53:08.:53:13.

against reality. When you look at the amateur investment going into

:53:13.:53:17.

east Belfast, looking at the investment bodies constituency,

:53:17.:53:21.

east Belfast gets more money spent on it than any other constituency

:53:21.:53:26.

in Northern Ireland. If you look at their unemployment figures and I

:53:26.:53:31.

have heard people say that it is higher than might east Belfast, it

:53:31.:53:38.

is 5.4%, and the average is 7.8%. There is a job of work from a

:53:38.:53:43.

unionist forum point of view. We are engaged on that. I spent two

:53:43.:53:49.

evenings last week engaged on that form. But there were Gate weeks of

:53:49.:53:53.

rioting. P Bull have the right to protest and we have seen that very

:53:53.:53:59.

clearly coming through. Why did it take you this crisis to sit down

:53:59.:54:02.

with the working-class people of East Belfast and say that actually,

:54:02.:54:07.

you are not doing too badly. have constituency offices right

:54:07.:54:12.

across Northern Ireland, and we are there to serve the people. Actually,

:54:12.:54:17.

if you look at Sinn Fein and working-class nationalist areas,

:54:17.:54:22.

they have a considerable Disconnect From politics. It is not just about

:54:22.:54:26.

Unionist disconnection, it is nationalists as well. But they are

:54:27.:54:31.

not out on the streets writing. They still have that this affection

:54:31.:54:36.

and I think we should look at. Gerry Kelly, is it good for you

:54:36.:54:40.

that there was this disarray, because it helps your argument that

:54:40.:54:44.

Northern Ireland is not workable even though we have opinion polls

:54:44.:54:49.

showing that many nationalists think that it is workable. Witney

:54:49.:54:56.

repeat something you said earlier on which struck me.-let me. That

:54:56.:55:00.

nothing has changed. We have a power-sharing government. We're

:55:00.:55:07.

moving ahead. We're going to try to bring in direct investment. We're

:55:07.:55:13.

making an effort in the economic downturn, to do all of that. The

:55:13.:55:17.

difficulty is that we are discussing things like flags, when

:55:17.:55:23.

the other work is still going on at the same time. You pushed it.

:55:23.:55:30.

be clear about this. Let's nail this. This was over the East

:55:30.:55:36.

Belfast seat. They were out there against Naomi along. She was not

:55:36.:55:44.

even in the City Hall and the Alliance have got it right. Let me

:55:44.:55:47.

bring in Danny Kennedy. Is it not true that the leaders of Unionism

:55:47.:55:54.

have lost their flock, 42% think Mike Nesbitt has handled it badly.

:55:54.:55:57.

The DUP would butte rightly concerned about your overall

:55:57.:56:07.
:56:07.:56:08.

ratings. Int -- would be rightly concerned. I have to say that Mike

:56:08.:56:12.

Nesbitt's approval ratings are on a par with Peter Robinson's. There is

:56:12.:56:16.

a challenge within Unionism to give leadership and we are attempting to

:56:16.:56:20.

do that, and that is why we're engaged and involved in the

:56:20.:56:28.

Unionist forum. It has been a very good sounding board, let me say,

:56:28.:56:36.

for Unionist representatives and politicians. Engage with the whole

:56:36.:56:45.

community, don't just talk about your cells. Let me bring in Alex.

:56:45.:56:52.

If you step back, this is where we are. We need to consolidate

:56:52.:56:56.

stability of devolution and consolidate against terror. We're

:56:56.:57:01.

not living up to the full ambitions and values of agreement politics.

:57:01.:57:06.

And unless we do, we're going to have a season of like disputes,

:57:06.:57:11.

parades disputes, and other disputes. It is time to take stock

:57:11.:57:15.

and move on, but to move on to the full purpose of the Good Friday

:57:15.:57:20.

Agreement. You were calling for flax to be completely taken away

:57:20.:57:27.

from city hall. And democratic nationalism work it through. In

:57:27.:57:32.

order to demonstrate the politics of accommodation. The Alliance

:57:32.:57:38.

Party work boot room. In the past, of nationalism and Republican has

:57:38.:57:43.

some have said we accept that the politics of accommodation...

:57:43.:57:49.

Sinn Fein and SDLP had been in the majority in Belfast City Hall, with

:57:49.:57:57.

it have been flown on designated days? Please answer that question.

:57:57.:58:03.

I will were fruit. Are we going to work on the politics of

:58:03.:58:08.

accommodation... If you had been in the majority there would have been

:58:08.:58:12.

no flag flying over City all. Is that true or not? It is not true.

:58:12.:58:18.

The politics of accommodation would have prevailed. Look what happened

:58:18.:58:23.

in Newry when republicans and nationalists combined to name a

:58:23.:58:27.

children's park... Thank you very much for watching. We must leave it

:58:27.:58:31.

Stephen Dempster tackles big identity questions, finding out what support there is for a border poll and investigating the union flag controversy.


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