Unionists, nationalists and neither – these have three distinct agendas. Only one has always fought for the survival of Northern Ireland as an entity in its own right in geographical Ireland – yet as the clock counts down to an amazing one hundredth birthday a significant document remains missing – it is an accurate unionist narrative – a truthful assessment of the most influential political cause impacting on our history – a narrative which explains that unionists are very comfortable within a cherished British dimension. Here is how it works. The Union is an actuality. A united Ireland is a flawed aspiration. Way back, unionists were offered two options – to join in the great Irish Treaty or remain British. Unionists chose to be excluded from rule under an all – Ireland Parliament.
A narrative on Unionism will detail that since then its people have paid one hell of a price in upholding their principles and rights. The true extent of this is not on record.
An up to date narrative will show that unionism has survived all the violence thrown at it and that the Union is safe, that confidence is high, that splits are managed, that connectivity with the U.K. is strong and that unionism endorses the decline of Sinn Fein support and that they decry the absence of constitutional nationalism.
A narrative would demonstrate that unionism applauds that the term Catholics and Protestants is seldom used in debates. Unionists are very positive about the fact that some Catholics support the Union. Why wouldn’t they be? They can cope with Protestants being Irish Europeans. Not even the inglorious re-emergence of the militant moderate mafia of pretentious supremacists bothers confident unionists.
What matters is that dismantling division takes a solid dose of backbone – not the engineering of Fancy Dan innovation. Shame on the entrenched preventers who lack a vision for a shared Northern Ireland whether British or Irish.
My preference is that we are all proud Northern Irelanders. Unionism is well equipped to navigate through two way manoeuvres. Negotiating the cost of compromise is different from paying the price demanded. Writing that into a new narrative is a commitment unionists can manage.
The guarantees are in what unionists call demarcation lines but they will not be skittled by hard line nationalist battle lines.
Of course tomorrow’s narrative also includes notice of Brexit health warnings especially sabre rattling from the Irish over the border backstop.
Unionists look forward to being part of an independent nation again whereas they see a once proud independent Irish nation locked into total dependence on E.U. directives being the willing patsy promoting the border backstop.
I have yet to work out the dividing line between being bought and being a boot licker. Assisting the E.U. to use the Belfast Agreement against Brexit, sending politics here into a cataclysmic free fall spin is crazy Irish duplicity. Attempting to sabotage the will of the British over Brexit is crazy Irish politics. Marking out territory against your nearest and most lucrative market benefactor is crazy Irish economics. Irish scare mongering over violence returning to the border is one sided. Brussels have been told an Irish version of a story by Irish authors.
The other side of the story which Brussels must hear is that of loyalism which, when if necessary, will have a presence at the border to denounce any border backstop.
The final folly of the Irish government is – financing a United Stares of Europe which will cripple the Irish economy. When is the Irish government going to come clean and inform their young citizens to prepare to be conscripted into a European Army?
Unionism is not guiltless for what happened in the last century+ of Irish history – that much is obvious even to an objective observer – but nationalism, and even to an extent the British government itself, never understood, or cared enough to try, the unionist position; why they believe what they do, their fears of a UI (either independent or under collective home rule), and their cultural traditions so deeply interwoven with Great Britain.
Nationalism, on the other hand, could have had it all had they been smart and accepted the 1920 Government of Ireland Act (with some negotiated amendments, such as control over some taxation like the current Scots legislature has); a 26-county (called Eire not Southern Ireland) Irish legislature in Dublin with almost untrammelled executive authority over internal affairs, able to express their Irishness to it’s fullest extent, but with all the benefits of being a member of a wider Union… isn’t that what they like about the EU so much? They could have had that a century ago.
Consider this fact; in 1912 whilst still part of the UK, Ireland by itself was the 12th richest country in the world… flash forward 40 years, two decades after independence from GB, and Ireland is now the 79th richest country in the world, ’nuff said.
Ireland would have had more freedom under UK devolution than with the current EU elected dictatorship… and that’s what Irish Unionists wanted; not partition, not division, not wholesale bloodletting, not near-civil war.
Had the Irish experiment in self-rule (both jurisdictions) went well, Scotland and Wales would undoubtedly have followed much sooner than they did… which in itself would have prevented the regional nationalism that has emerged in recent decades. Couple that with English regional assemblies with substantial powers not just the talking shop that Labour tried in the 2000’s, and you have a stronger, stabler, more democratic, and constitutionally balanced United Kingdom NOT in the European Union, alas…
‘Proud Northern Irelanders’? Will you ever grow up Dave? Your train left the station around 1968 when the Civil Rights movement entered the world stage.
For 50 years before that Unionism had a chance to create a new, emerging society which embraced equality – and gloriously blew it.
The majority community in the north will from now on call the shots. You’re welcome to join us.
What “majority community” is that, Kev me ol’ mucker?
It certainly ain’t Catholics (yet) and it absolutely isn’t nationalists (judging by EVERY poll ever taken since time immemorial)… who’s left?
Btw, that ‘call the shots’ statement sounds very ominous indeed… and it’s exactly that attitude why most Protestants in NI reject even the possibility of a UI… you can put the mask back on again, I think it slipped there for a second.
The majority is the majority among us who favour a society which respects equality and human rights – like the majority of elected politicians who voted in tje Assembly in favour of equal marriage rights for all. I made no reference to any political or religious grouping.
Your default retaliatory position is so hard-wired into your psyche that you automatically jump the gun.
Jump the gun is another one of those expressions like ‘call the shots” that has become fossilised into common parlance to the extent that no-one perceives any sense of threat in it – except gun-jumpers like yourself.
As for the rest of your cliché-ridden post … I think you need to grow up too.
“… like the majority of elected politicians who voted in the Assembly in favour of…”
Interesting how republicans like yourself have seemingly become born-again believers in the principle of majority rule of late; indeed many are advocating the BRITISH government (the very same institution they have been describing as the fount of all evil for the last, oh 100 years!) to legislate on certain matters in ‘the North’.
Guess all that ‘ourselves alone’ stuff was pure poppycock and empty rhetoric, eh?
P.S. Your fellow SF brethern had absolutely no problem with or deploying the Petition of Concern when it suited their own ends… what’s that saying about the goose and gander?
But if you want to renegotiate the GFA, I’m with you… let’s start with it’s outright repeal and work from there…
Seo deireadh an cheachta anseo.
Streams of consciousness can be quite intriguing and revealing until they become incoherent, abusive rants. For those who are concerned with mature, thoughtful disputation the following is a very good read …