51 years ago Terence O’Neill asked “what kind of Ulster do you want”. A very good question, as yet unanswered! The then Prime Minister wasn’t asking for a border poll. He was pointedly putting it up to the people to decide how they wished to live alongside each other in Northern Ireland. Now days no one has the grace to ask what we want .
On Brexit, Boris didn’t bother to ask before he rushed into putting a trade border in the Irish sea. On party pacts, same thing, no one asked to switch our votes and change our party allegiance. Yet from O’ Neill’s call, it seems we have spent our time evading his question. Is this because we do not know or do not want to answer? Can it be that we Northern Irelanders are so hopelessly caught between two stools that we must come up with two answers from two divided camps? If so is that not a starting point to address the issues which so far we have been unable to sort out? Answer this then, is it not time we put our minds to deciding to live alongside each other with respect and accountability to ourselves?
From a personal single minded unionist perspective, I believe I represent at least a million other like minded Northern Irelanders in saying that in the midst of chaos, loose talk and abundant chicanery.
Cool heads and positive leadership must prevail all round. Unionists are circumnavigating unchartered political waters without guidelines. It being imperative that in the whirlpool unionists are negotiating there is no mutiny as they assert their rights and entitlements within the United Kingdom ( an issue to which issue I hope to return to after the election).
A whole new constitutional gambit is opening and evolving around not only Northern Ireland but also Scotland and to a lesser extent Wales – belonging with England to an all encompassing U.K. I mentioned the elections. By common consent we are content with the localised party set ups. Factor in the bedlam there would be should British unionists and Irish nationalists have the added choice to vote Tory, Labour, Lib. Dems, Fianna Gael, Fianna Fail, etc. Even more furore should I decide to run for the Irish Presidency. My poster slogan would read “Vote McNarry – Unionist – Go on I dare you.” Come to think of it why are there no southern unionists in Dail Eireann ?
On a more serious note- Brexit. It is tied up and hitched onto our election here. Personally my choice is that the U.K. makes a clean break and gets free through the E.U. defaulting on a No Deal. Dismiss this crass notion that nationalist electoral pacts are formed as some Anti Brexit Alliance. One way or another, deal or no deal, Brexit is done and dusted. There is not a thing the remainer remoaners can do about keeping the U.K. in the E.U. It is more than a tinge hypocritical to witness a pan nationalist love in of remaniacs entering the courts of British national politics fighting to keep the British in Europe .
Call it as it is! It’s okay for the Anti Brexiteers to battle for Irish independence. Yet when it comes to the British clamouring for their freedom from the E.U. according to this new electoral concordant – we can’t. Are those signed up to the Anti Brexit cause really saying that they are 100% content and in favour of clinging onto the U.K. and upholding the Union so long as the British remain in the E.U. ? Now that is worth exploring in the quest for what kind of Northern Ireland for which we could all settle.