The DUP is making the best case for a united Ireland
Overall, the letter posted by Denis Mayne (August 3) read as a reasonable assessment of the DUP’s lack of strategic political thinking, but its reasonable tone was in my opinion threatened by one phrase ‘dragged into a united Ireland completely unprepared’, as if a united Ireland would be the worst thing in the world – which of course is not the case unless viewed from a completely pro-UK ideological stance, with no regard to the economy, peace, etcetera.
Then we also hear the DUP MP Sammy Wilson comparing the unionist battle against a united Ireland to the fight against the Nazis in World War Two, thus managing in a single comment to insult people, north and south, who view themselves as Irish and remind the Germans of a dreadful episode in their history, not to mention how such comparisons might affect the people damaged in that awful war.
The reality is that overall demography, Brexit and the increasingly youthful population in Northern Ireland will make people look south to the Republic of Ireland, an increasingly vibrant liberal country which compares more than favourably to the Victorian statelet of the north, where the rights and needs of many are denied on spurious bases. They will also look south and see a growing economy where the GDP per capita is 17 per cent higher than the UK’s, and an Ireland which overall after unification will reap a unification dividend of tens of billions of euros in less than a decade, according to commissioned reports.
Peter Robinson may at least have the political nous to encourage the DUP to remove its blinkers and acknowledge the truth of a coming border poll, but when they do what they will see will be depressing for them, as a united Ireland presents a picture far more enticing than anything that they could possibly offer, to all but their most ideologically fixed supporters.
I would suggest that they stop quoting small polls of face-to-face interviews which give false readings because of the ‘embarrassed interviewee’ effect [people saying what they felt the interviewer wished to hear] and look instead to the poll held by Lord Ashcroft online, which although still of a limited number of participants was anonymous and therefore removed that embarrassment/ interviewer-pleasing factor, and gave a much more truthful assessment of the increasing support for a united Ireland.
However, even that poll was held a few months ago, and as Brexit and the DUP’s statements have become increasingly strident they are increasing the support for a united Ireland daily without a single pro-UI individual having to lift a finger.
Sectarian division has led to green and orange divide
Sectarianism is the foundation upon which the failed state of Northern Ireland was built. It is the natural consequence and outcome of Britain’s military occupation of Ireland.
From discrimination against the natives in language, employment, law and housing via the misapplication of public funds, oppression, repression, emergency laws and gerrymandering, we have witnessed nearly 100 years of unionist misrule.
Sectarian division promoted by successive British rulers and governments has led inevitably to the green and orange divide in civil society here.
The orange want to remain as a colonial backstop for their imperial masters in parliament and cling ever tenuously to their former positions of power which today are more illusory than real.
The green, representing the masses who were discriminated, disenfranchised and marginalised, want to end the immorality of partition and claim their civil rights in a modern inclusive multi-racial Ireland.
All those who claim to want social equality will have to wait until the national question is finally resolved through reunification.
As long as unionism has a veto on reconciliation and denies full Irish national sovereignty then the orange will vote in ever increasing numbers for a regressive DUP and the green will vote in ever increasing numbers for SF in order to bolster a border poll and referendum.
Once the island is reunited the reason d’être for many voting for the DUP will falter. If they can no longer vote for the union perhaps they will revisit the politics that affect their daily lives.
With unification comes liberation, the liberation and freedom to vote and create a fairer society fit for and in the interests of all.
Few could fault Peter’s logic
Peter Robinson has recently floated his thoughts on advance preparations before a possible referendum on a united Ireland. Given how well Cameron performed ‘due diligence’ before inflicting Brexit on us all, few surely could fault Peter’s logic, save naturally, most of his former and not so deep-thinking colleagues.
One wonders, how might inter-government discussions go? Who would go first? This really would be high stakes poker where each bidder not wanting to win, is afraid to speak in case the other rips its arm off. The discussion could see the UK, like a second-rate Del Boy, offering the proverbial house, contents, carpets curtains plus the sports car in the garage. Our dear friends down south would keep on bidding up the price and length of the transitional/ temporary arrangements to sometime after the 12th of never.
Even if a UK government promised a 50-year dowry or such, beyond the RoI’s wildest dreams what then? Courtesy of Brexit we know that no British government can be allowed to bind the next. In the past year alone several cabinet ministers, have cheerfully declared their willingness to repudiate past deals and treaties.
What if after a few years after striking a deal, the UK changed its mind? Eire Nua would find itself literally up the Lagan, without the proverbial paddle.
Even worse, if the Republic overplayed its hand it might find itself forced later to settle for a worse deal.
I think Robinson is onto something. Such negotiations could end up like waiting for Godot or hell to freeze over, which would suit most parties around the table, where minutes, most certainly, would not be taken.
Following will of electorate
Daniel McCrossan (July 20) argues that the republican representatives (MPs) ought to take their seats in Westminster. He rightfully cites the shambles that is evident in the British handling of a Brexit that we in the six did not vote for.
So let’s see. Republicans set their stall out in front of the electorate, part of which was/and is that they will not sit in Westminster. It appears that the electorate agreed. Yes, the abstention policy has been there from partition. But let’s be clear, the nationalist parties (including the SDLP) that made the trip to Westminster created nothing. Neither major parties give a jig for the six counties.
Abstention is a loud voice raised against the imposition of partition created by Westminster.
Mr McCrossan should direct his fire at DUP representatives that are putting party and ideology before people. It is not a case of republicans ‘simply not turning up’. They are following the will of their electorate, who are well aware of what they are voting for, just as they voted against Brexit a fact ignored by the Tories who by their dependence on the DUP are running coach and four through the GFA.