Emerging from a tradition that many would characterise as anti-intellectual, this piece from Roy Garland charting a plausable defence of Trimble’s outburst last week is all the more interesting:
“There are two kinds of unionism. One rejoices in intimate links with a pluralist, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic British state whose openness to the world and tolerance of difference holds people within its orbit. Their attachment to the union is compatible with a love of this island and appreciation of Anglo-Irish and sometimes even Gaelic traditions and culture. There are other unionists for whom being British means little more than being not Irish.”
He goes on:
“David Trimble and his colleagues do not always speak from a position of strength because of the virulence of opponents who are ostensibly wearing liberal clothes. However, it is not only unionists who live in a less than perfect world and Trimble seems to be saying that the credentials of the Irish state also require examination and reform.”
“The Republic now needs to initiate changes that can end the dominance of one set of traditions in favour of a multiplicity of others in a broad tapestry of pluralism.”
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