Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Union is safe and...what next?

The Newsletter is currently hosting a series of essays on the future of the Union over the summer months; contributors will include Peter Robinson, Sir Reg Empey, academics such as Henry Patterson and Arthur Aughey, church figures, the loyal orders, but "ordinary" commentators will also be having their say.

Henry Patterson's piece here especially is recommended, but regular readers will not be surprised to find me quoting here from Arthur Aughey's article:
Some point to the rise of nationalism and argue that the UK is breaking up.

However, nationalism has not risen and what electoral appeal it has is not mainly separatist. Moreover, the Scottish and Welsh nationalists – SNP and Plaid Cymru – can no longer look to Ireland as their model – except as a model for an even more radical form of austerity than that facing the UK.

This new Union requires David Cameron’s ‘respect agenda’ at all levels of governance.

Unionists should adapt that agenda locally, nationally and in their relations with the Irish government. And demand respect too.

This is of key importance for the future of unionism for one of the challenges facing unionism over the next decade is to close the gap between the strength, vitality and self-confidence of unionist political thinking and the parochial and divided state of unionist party politics.

The cliché that 'all politics is local' is an understandable but dangerous one for unionism to accept if the large reservoir of pessimism and apathy within the broad unionist community is to be drained. A broader perspective is necessary.

1 comment:

Dilettante said...

This looks like an excellent series, thanks for bringing it to the attention of us mainlanders.