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  1. #1
    seabhac siulach seabhac siulach is offline
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    Can Ulster Unionism be persuaded of the merits of a United Ireland?

    "Brexit challenges the identity of Ulster unionism"Brexit challenges the identity of Ulster unionism

    In today's Irish Times, the Northern Irish Unionist Alex Kane writes what is essentially a "come and get us" letter to Irish nationalism. It of the highest significance, in my opinion, and shows how Brexit has shattered the pre-existing constitutional certainties. It is most illuminative of the thinking taking place at present within the highest ranks of Unionism.

    In the article Kane more than hints that moderate Unionists post-Brexit could be persuaded to join a United Ireland, if a broad non-Sinn-Féin-led coalition of nationalists could present a convincing case.

    Have we the politicians of the required calibre to seize this opportunity, however? I am doubtful. It is clear that, contrary to what they might wish, Sinn Féin are an impediment to unity, carrying (still) too much baggage from the recent past. Fine Gael, Labour et al are 26 County nationalists at best (Leo Varadkar anyone?). Fianna Fáil, amazingly, did not even have a policy on unity and now (in response to Sinn Féin's lead on this) are hastily cobbling one together.

    Where then does the lead on this come from? What baggage-free group/groups can take up the banner and seize an historical opportunity to achieve what should be a national objective? What pro-national forces are capable of countering the anti-national forces and agendas in the establishment and media? Will we see this opportunity lost due to the lack of imagination and small-town thinking of our pygmy political class?

    I hope not, but I am not hopeful.
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  2. #2
    cropbeye cropbeye is offline

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    One would only have to win over 7 or 8% to vote for it it's dooable.

    Half of the rest would be laid back in that they would not vote for it but also not see it as
    some nightmare outcome and thus settle down to the new reality quite quickly.
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  3. #3
    enuffisenuff enuffisenuff is offline

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    more chance of me shifting this...

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  4. #4
    LadyLou LadyLou is offline

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    To answer the question asked in the OP................doubt it, if they spend any

    time reading P.ie.
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  5. #5
    Dame_Enda Dame_Enda is offline
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    If Brexit goes badly a case could be made to the Unionist business community that a UI would restore access to the Single market on equal terms.

    However the pre Brexit Spotlight poll on BBC showed that even when asked about how they would vote if a UI made them better or worse off, it made no difference to how Unionists would vote but made a lot of driving deference to how Catholics would vote.

    I don't think our politicians down here are prepared to put a UI before interparty competition. FF and FG continue to treat SF as a near pariah in Irish politics eg not supporting SF resolutions even when they agree with them.

    The real swing vote are middle class Catholics not Protestants.
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  6. #6
    Cruimh Cruimh is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by cropbeye View Post
    One would only have to win over 7 or 8% to vote for it it's dooable.
    You must be kidding LOL That would only apply if the vast majority of the CNR population wanted Unification ..... they don't ....
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  7. #7
    former wesleyan former wesleyan is offline
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    The nub:-

    A significant minority of unionists voted to Remain. They like the European Union, and regard it as a stabilising influence in Northern Ireland. They like being Northern Irish, British, partly Irish and European. That multiplicity of identities suits them.
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  8. #8
    Cruimh Cruimh is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by enuffisenuff View Post
    more chance of me shifting this...

    I suspect that is how dGerry sees Michelle
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  9. #9
    seabhac siulach seabhac siulach is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dame_Enda View Post

    However the pre Brexit Spotlight poll on BBC showed that even when asked about how they would vote if a UI made them better or worse off, it made no difference to how Unionists would vote but made a lot of driving deference to how Catholics would vote...

    The real swing vote are middle class Catholics not Protestants.
    I would agree. Middle class Catholics are essentially the archetypal Unionists with a small u. I do not see Unionism in religious, ie Protestant/Catholic, terms. Such shorthand is misleading.

    As to the issue of whether Unionists would vote for a UI, irrespective of whether it made them better or worse off, the point must be made that Brexit has not happened yet!
    When it does, or as the consequences become clearer, attitudes could change. I do appreciate that nationalisms are not logical and often work counter to a people's best economic/social interests. We will see what sacrifices Unionists are willing to endure in the years ahead to maintain the Queen's image on their stamps. It is easy to be "brave" before the event.

    Regardless, the Irish govt and interested parties should do all possible to make unity palatable, to prepare, including proposals to alter the constitution, introduce an Irish NHS equivalent etc. Is this being done? There are many attractive sides to modern Ireland (tolerance, etc) and these also need to be sold.
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  10. #10
    Karloff Karloff is offline

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    Is it wise to seek to forge a nation out of enemy peoples who not only hate the other but have allegiance to a different country? One of the things a nation should be is stable with it's people having allegiance and some level of fondness for the nation. It's different to having groups who disagree on the direction of a country or it's culture but still have allegiance to it.

    If a UI happens it should happen without red carpets and inducements and Unionist quotas and vetoes. Let the demographics decide or repartition.

    Sinn Féin are an impediment to unity, carrying (still) too much baggage from the recent past. Fine Gael, Labour et al are 26 County nationalists at best (Leo Varadkar anyone?)
    FG are right wing europhiles - they are not nationalists of any stripe. Labour are not much different. Even SF seem to be changing fast day by day, what they will be in 20 years is anyone's guess.
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