I love this place to which I belong and which I call home and share with my fellow Northern Irelanders.
Worryingly, at no point before in my lifetime have we experienced such almighty terrible times. The threat posed to my citizenship, prosperity, lifestyle and future wellbeing has reached alarming danger levels.
I campaigned vigorously for the Belfast Agreement. It offered a positive way forward based on the principle of consent. I took dogs abuse from certain quarters whom I am pleased to note are converts to the Agreement. The Agreement legitimised British and Irish identities. It affirmed my Britishness and endorsed my birth right. I am a citizen of the United Kingdom.
In his Belfast News Letter column of September 14th Ben Lowry succinctly articulated common cause with unionist opinion in writing, “It has, from a unionist perspective been a depressing few years in which open S.F. contempt towards the British tradition on this island is almost the norm.”
Sinn Fein are not interested in respecting British citizenship and rights.
Sinn Fein are into a new process with the tactical direction taking a fundamental twist away from the Belfast Good Friday Agreement. This development is incompatible with support for the Belfast Good Friday Agreement.
Lamentably the SDLP, Alliance and Greens have formed up under Sinn Fein’s central command – an anti-Brexit alignment which identifies no difference between remainers and united Irelanders. Is this a case of ‘vote for Mary Lou and get Colm, Naomi and Clare free?’
These hard line republicans and nationalists, let us call them ‘repnats‘ have turned their backs on the Agreement. They give no quarter in their relentless pursuit of wiping out unionism. If the Agreement no longer validates peace, order and government, then what does?
Ask any unionist and they will confirm that sectarianism works for the repnats process, a process which has majored on a false declaration of peace, a dishonest approach to power sharing and a blatant abuse of the Agreement. Unionists are convinced that the Sinn Fein process will create a catastrophic and destructive end game hurting Northern Ireland badly .
Was the bloody awful war and the subsequent suffering only a process, a planned precursor to take power and throw unionists out of Northern Ireland?
Surely the epitome of everything important to us Northern Irelanders is bound up in our own hands by what we can do for each other and not against each other? The Agreement was sold on the premise of buying time and space to accommodate reconciliation and being an honourable settlement to make this country work for each other .
In the current circumstances of no go politics locked in and locking out the Agreement most unionists read the situation as the repnats red lines extending far beyond Irish language, abortion and same sex marriage with extra demands demonstrating that they don’t want a unionist about the place, they don’t want devolution far less direct rule and they don’t want Brexit. So apart from wanting to wipe out unionism what is left?
While unionist anger is pulsating and the antics of Sinn Fein tiresome and irritating, it is noticeable that so far unionist frustration has not spilled onto the streets in massive demonstrations and rallies of which it is capable. Instead having learnt lessons, unionism is boxing clever, waiting patiently on the outcome of issues turning in favour of Northern Ireland, an outcome in our best interests which resonates with the people.
I humbly make this serious appeal. There has to be a case accepted for standing still a while and taking stock. Republicans and Nationalists and inbetweeners should listen carefully to unionism just as through the Agreement unionists listened to them .
Unionists are staying as British citizens in the U.K. There is no other place which we want to call home or in which we want to live. A stocktaking would provide a long overdue discussion between civic unionism and civic nationalism. For Northern Ireland’s sake make it happen by calling the get together soon.