What now of Unionist leadership? – By David McNarry

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Two sides of the same republican coin that will not accept the people’s choice in terms of nationalist demands here and in Scotland, essentially the undisputed fact remains that a majority in Northern Ireland will reject an all Ireland and a majority in Scotland will reject independence.

That should not mean that a border poll here or a referendum in Scotland should be denied overtime – that only inflames the protagonists.

Requests not demands should be entertained indicating that at an appropriate time consideration of such polls will take place. It remains therefore a challenge for Sinn Fein and the S.N.P. to wait patiently on the choosing of an appropriate time.

The combativeness of the demon Boadicea battle axes Mary Lou and Nichola will of course not relent until they bring the country to the brink of despair when more important matters such as health, education, welfare are dependent on a Brexit dividend through economic investment. The busy besoms are united in manipulating action to destroy the Union. Two sides of the same republican coin that will not accept the people’s choice on Brexit.

So here is a pitch from a Brexiteer unionist perspective. The Brexit battle is over. A second referendum is lost. Labour, Lib.Dems., S.N.P., Sinn Fein , SDLP. Alliance, Greens and uncle Tom Cobley and all lost ! Boris won. So get over it and stop the futile wrecking exercises . Northern Ireland must be given room to concentrate its energies on securing the best trade deals around and freedom to do business exactly on the same terms as the rest of the U.K. It’s game over for the remainers and game set and match to the Brexiteers. Northern Ireland  is going no where except exiting the E.U. along with the U.K. with a deal on the 31st January 2020 or no deal on the 1st February .

With no mechanisms in place to alter the constitutional status, the Union is as safe as ever. Yet the structure of party political unionism is under siege. Unionism’s necessary task is to agree the issues around which to unite.

Getting the DUP to adapt as a political movement and not a perceived ‘sect’ is essential. Just as is the job of finding a home for the 71,914 Ulster Unionists who didn’t vote Alliance . “Nothing to do with Spec Savers – unionism has to be focused on finding its own 2020 vision for the future “.

The future is the axis upon which unionism is spInning. I do not think that a Sinn Fein First Minister let alone an Alliance Deputy First Minister or a border poll are on the horizon. Their backers should park the nonsense which makes unionists restless.

A worthwhile contribution by Sinn Fein, the SDLP and their southern co agitators would be for the first time since the Trimble – Mallon experiment at partnerships to meet the challenge implicit in the Belfast Good Friday Agreement. It would make a difference if they actually signed up to make Northern Ireland a vibrant social and economic success. They could go even further by designating as Northern Irish .

By doing so and in making friendly approaches not only would unionists be interested. The Tory government are bound to applaud both the DUP and Sinn Fein signing up to a ‘Made in Northern Ireland Arrangement’ informed by the election results. It says a lot about unionist complacency. Unionism’s problems are mostly about leadership, a leadership which confidently walks within the safety protection provided by a united unionist family is currently not installed. Arlene Foster cannot alone be blamed for unionist thran and disunity. She can and should have a major role in healing division and bring unionism to its rightful place centre stage of local and national politics in concert with a newly defined inclusive unionist vision for Northern Ireland .

Ulster Unionism is a dead letter party falling without grace and regrettably not resembling the great movement it once was. Its demise is alarming especially when in every constituency apart from Fermanagh UUP voters switched in massive numbers to Alliance a switch which dumped on the UUP and blanked out the DUP à move which showed middle class unionists are not comfortable with the involvement of working class loyalists. This is a new phenomenon where the once influential UUP fur- coat brigade smugly transferred their allegiance to the fence sitting inbetweeners neither unionist or nationalist.

The question posed, was the escape hatch for remainer middle class moderate unionists used as a temporary or permanent move ? Will the fact that notions of remaining in the E.U. are wiped out bring back into the unionist fold those who voted Alliance as would be my personal desire or are they content not to be supporting unionism any longer, which case will the influence of erstwhile ulster unionists bring about the Alliance Party designating as true unionists? That would scatter the field and enter a new political prospective. Go on Naomi I dare you to declare Alliance as a pro union party!

For unionists the challenge is to unite and address the weight of responsibility of being in charge of Northern Ireland’s destiny and in equalising the relationships between a majority and a minority in whatever form is determined by the ballot box. Make no bones the risks ahead as witnessed by the collapse of Ulster Unionism manifesting in significant numbers to boost Alliance could prove to be a more lethal threat to the Union than nationalism ever will be.

(Besom – a  Scot’s term – someone with a bit of attitude, ie. “ya cheeky wee besom.”)

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  1. Gearoid Mac Siacais on

    Clear as mud David. I thought you might give at least a hint of What now of Unionist Leadership? But narry a jot or tittle.

  2. Thanks for the glossary at the end. It was the only thing that made any sense in that article. Judging by recent elections, “the responsibilities of being in charge of NI’s destiny” are no longer Unionism’s alone. You may wish to ruminate on that before publushing any more of your flailing missives.

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