Monday, January 3, 2011

Unionist confidence, Facebook and EU media independence

It can be very useful to occasionally put yourself in your opponent's shoes; I've posted this challenge to Unionists on Open Unionism:
"Come on, rack your brains; make the argument for the “United” Ireland to the uncommitted voter, more pertinently, for a Unionist readership; make the argument why a “United” Ireland is inevitable."

I've also now set up a Facebook page here for "A Pint of Unionist Lite", although it is one of those things that once you've done it you think:
"Right that's that sorted. What happens now?"

The basic intention is to use both it and my twitter account more interactively with the blog this year in order to get the ideas, thoughts (rants) on here read by a bigger and more involved readership. I just haven't yet work out the best way to achieve this, so any suggestions will be welcomed.

Finally, I've also put up my first piece on Slugger O'Toole.

The topic (protecting freedom of expression in the EU) is certainly lateral to the point behind this blog and probably also Slugger. But I think it is still very relevant to anyone who wishes to have their opinion expressed and read freely- be it online, in the printed or televisual media.The picture I've placed at the top right/hand corner of the blog is directly connected and will remain until the Eurocracy finally does its moral duty in this specific case. If you're interested to find out more, read the article, or tap the picture.

How's that for a mixed bag, all in one easily digestible post!


Anonymous said...


I checked out your facebook page, but could not possibly click on 'like'.

To quote, from it,

"A site dealing with all aspects of UK Unionism.

Its central belief is in the United Kingdom, the continuing Union of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales."

United Kingdom?, so the one parliament you envisage continues to exclude (by the Oath of Alliegence) all republicans and others who do not believe in the outdated and elitist concept of a monarchy, be they Irish, English, Scottish or Welsh? Hardly democratic.

I don't get it. You seem an intelligent, liberal minded person. Why oh why do you want to drag everyone kicking and screaming back into the nineteenth centuary?

Just look at the map on your facebook page, what is that ugly carbuncle swathed in the union flag to the left of the island Britan? Oh! It a small wee lump of Ireland. Not all of Ireland, just a mandatory little lump.

What is so wrong with the infinately more sensible idea of a united, republican Ireland?


Dilettante said...

Well Rory, you certainly sound like someone who was on the verge of agreeing before those little niggles came up.

And if you'd rather a 32-county unionist, I'm right here. ;)

Anonymous said...


It is not a little niggle, as a socialist I am repulsed by Monarchism.

It is elitist and it is shocking in this day and age that someone can be regarded a superior or worthy of alliegence because they happen to from a particular family.

Monarchism goes hand in hand with Imperialism and all that that entails (slavery, exploitation of indiginous peoples, institutionalised racism and sectarianism).

The latter still being enshrined in the UK's unwritten constitution, i.e the fact that head of state and his/her spouse must be members of the Church of England.

Not little niggles at all my friend,


O'Neill said...


The disetablishment of the COE, I'd agree with. The monarchy is what we've got and seems to be what the majority of MPs and the population are happy with. If through a democratic referendum that situation was to change, I'd have no problem, as I've said to you before my loyalty is to my nation first and foremost, not its monarch.

Regarding the map on facebook, if I were to do a map of the EU, using the EU flag, then Norway and Switzerland would also disappear. Until the ROI rejoins us in the U, then I can't, in all conscience, include it under the Union flag;)

Curious Bored Idiot said...

Ok, for the sake of arguement. I agree. Unionism, from Unionism's point of view has every cause for optimism.

I am a thirty something and I agree that I will never ever see a 'united Ireland'.

A complete victory for Unionism?

No. Merely holding the line.

It may be difficult for Unionism to understand but most nationalists take a long term view of politics and nationality.

History, poetry, song, fact and myth. These are the things that sustain Irish nationalism.

Many would see that it is right to work for a 'united Ireland' even if one is unlikely ever to see it.

The cause of Irish nationalism is the defence of the Irish nation.

In 80 years of partition, Unionism still has a large Irish population (to use Gregory Campell's definition of the word) unreconciled to the State and / or losing their nationality (which is sybolically protected by the GFA).

Unionism is right to confident, but surely this confidence cannot be projected more than twenty years into the future?

The size of the 'two communities' is too close, Nationalists are still Irish and demonstrate no loyality to the Crown (which legally excludes them).

It should also be remembered that the main Unionist party does everything it can to alienate as many nationalists as possible from the Union. This tactic could well drive Catholics to vote for a United Ireland in a referendum as if compels them to vote for united Ireland parties today.

Now, if an Alliance type 'shared future' could break the nationalists' back culturally and create the fabled Northern Irish identity, one may well see the GAA deserted for the Irish league etc etc. etc and see a new Northern Ireland nationalilty emerge with Irish Nationalism desolved. This would be an incredible piece of socio-political engineering - perhaps this is unlikely to happen?

Another tactic would be to abandon all remaining vestiges of unionist supremacy and treat Northern Ireland more like Scotland and Wales? Could break nationalism politically but again highly unlikely given the history of Unionism.

So, a united Ireland, not enivitable, but certainely not unevitable.

O'Neill said...

Unionism is right to confident, but surely this confidence cannot be projected more than twenty years into the future

No political movement anywhere in the future can predict with confidence what will happen on that timescale. At 1/1/2011, the Union (not necessarily the Unionist parties) is in pretty robust shape, that's all.

Some factors which could change that situation we can control, some we can't- for example, if a new gerneration of nationalist politicians started to move away from the communal version of Irishness then that would be beyond our control and I think we would be in a whole new ball-game. I suspect we won't see that happening anytime soon though.

I (and a growing number of Unionists) see myself as Irish *and* British, the number of people no longer bothered about voting is also increasing, the proportion of people in NI not born there is also growing. All of those factors weren't foreseeable 10 years ago and if our political class is adaptable enough, we can work them to our advantage.

Anonymous said...

I left a post on your other site just to add a point when you talk about the Union being robust you might find the Scots and Welsh throw a spanner in the works before the Nationalists in the North get the chance and then what do we have the United Kingdom of England and Northern Ireland?

O'Neill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O'Neill said...

Ok, thanks. I'll answer it there.

O'Neill said...

Sorry, re the Scottish and Welsh. Yep in a democracy they have that right. But I don't see it as a real danger at the moment (look at how well PC and SNP will perform this year as a guide, in both cases I'm sure Labour is going to become sole leader in both places).

Now, if you had said England, I would have been more cautious. Devolution has caused a whole lot of disparities, especially in health and educuation. It just takes a campaign in one of the tabloids and the tide could turn v quickly.