Saturday, August 7, 2010

What community? What family?

Simon Hamilton:
The DUP, from the leader down, is in the business of bringing Unionism together and binding up the wounds of the past. It is our hope that whoever assumes the leadership of the UUP will heed the earnest desire of the pro-Union community for co-operation within the Unionist family in a way Reg Empey never would."
"Vote for Unionist Unity and make Simon Hamilton a happy bunny" is going to be a difficult slogan to sell for any prospective UUP leader.

Also, the most recent empirical evidence we've seen proves Hamilton wrong: "cooperation" in the form of an agreed candidate in Fermanagh/S Tyrone resulted in a drop, not increase, of the pro-Union vote (and not coincidently, also a mirror nationalist consolidation round one candidate). But it's the "communal" terminology which grates most here.

Cameron never speaks of a "Conservative community", Salmond of a "nationalist" one- there are merely Conservative and SNP voters past, present and future. And so it should be with Northern Irish Unionism with the real challenge for Hamilton and Co being the selling of the Union *outside* the "community"/"family", selling it as a "stand-alone" one which is available to everyone whether or not they consider themselves a part of that mythical Unionist "community" or "family".

No comments: