Should the Republic join the Commonwealth..?

OVER at Open Kingdom, Conn Corrigan argues that if ‘Ireland to rejoin the commonwealth, it would send out a message to Northern Protestants not simply that their Britishness would be tolerated (which implies a kind of reluctant acceptance) – but would be actively promoted in a united Ireland.’ He argues that if republicans are serious about convincing unionists that a united Ireland is in their best interests and that their way of life would not be under threat in one, this would be a good way of signalling to unionism that Britishness and Irishness are no longer (if they ever were) incompatible. Violence didn’t work, and if republicans are seeking for a means of persuasion, wouldn’t this go some way towards addressing unionist concerns in a way that the ill thought-out idea of a ‘Sinn Fein unionist outreach officer’ never could?

  • kensei

    “I’m not at all convinced that Unionists wanting to retain the name Londonderry is about demonstrating superiority over Nationalists or gloating over past victories. Nor do I think that average Unionists think for a second that they are superior to Nationalists. I believe that they feel under threat and that making a stand on these issues is an attempt to retain their dignity. They’re on the back foot and we all know it. It would be a wise Republican who worked to guarantee their dignity.”

    Unionism has never made a compromise that hasn’t been torn out of them by the British Government. Even the current settlement was pushed through on pain of large Dublin involvement in the North.

    I am all for helping everyone, including Unionism, retain their dignity. But it needs done through compromise and not capitulation. In a true Republic there is no special status: there is equality and compromise where needed. The Derry situation needs sorted to remove the poison from the system, but Unionism has not offered compromise and rejects any suggested.

  • Damien Okado-Gough

    Reader, Dubliner et al,

    I’d like to respond to every point has been made in argument against my suggestion, but there are too many for the time I have available. However,

    Reader,

    I have had enough contact with members of the Unionist community to know that, for a great many of them, to be a Unionist is more an ethnic label than a profession of a deeply understood, political conviction.

    Indeed, it is my experience that few in NI, whether they claim to be Republican or Unionist, Nationalist or Loyalist can give a full account of the logical outworkings of their professed political allegiance and that adherence to such political ideologies can be distilled down to this, ‘You’re born one, so you are one’.

    This means that I believe that persuasion is possible, as does Conn Corrigan. I agree with him that many of the arguments against all-island independence are now void, the economy, backwardness, Catholic church dominance etc. and that many Protestants may well be persuaded that it is in their best interests in joining the rest of the people on the island in building a new nation, if they felt that they would not be under threat in such a nation.

    Dubliner,

    To employ reductio ad absurdum by dismissing my suggestions as ‘irrational voodoo politics’ then to point out that the political situation which makes them, not only perfectly reasonable, but also necessary if we are to achieve our goals, is in existence, strikes a very serious contradiction through your argument. I also have no idea what you mean by ‘irrational voodoo politics’ as you failed to explain the phrase.

    However the current situation has come about, it remains that in order for Republicans to achieve their objectives they need to persuade enough Protestants in the north to vote for a republican party and/or for all-island independence in any future referendum.

    Putting a gun to their heads as a means of trying to persuade them has proven to be a disastrous failure. Therefore other means must be employed.

    It is not appeasement in this case, and Unionists are not behaving like ‘temperamental children’. They’re genuinely concerned about their future on this island and they are trying as best they can to fight their corner.

    I believe that there are forces of logic, as well as political and economic forces, which are bringing an end to the Union with Britain closer.

    As those forces gather strength, it would be wise for Republicans to make sure that Protestants do not feel threatened by any change in the constitutional status of the north.

    Following such suggestions as I have made is not appeasement. It is an investment in the future stability of the island community in the event of the end of the Union.

    Continuing to try to score cheap and unnecessary points in a squalid ethnic squabble does nothing to advance the cause of Republicanism.

    However, generosity and magnanimity does.

  • lib2016

    Dubliner,

    you appear to have such a dislike of Northern Nationalist leadership that it is colouring your vision. The GFA is backed by the vast majority of people on this island, North and South. It gains it’s legitimacy from the people not from the politicans who negotiated it.

    The fact is that NI is not the only disputed piece of territory in the world or even within the EU. Those situations will be sorted out peacefully and by due process. Physical force may or may not have forced the British to the table but sooner or later a negotiated settlement was going to happen.

    You feel that unionists will not become nationalists and that is true. What you don’t allow for is the cultural effects of being brought up to believe that Britain is the motherland.

    The middleclass are becoming ever more international and the slow drainage of unionist graduates is an observed fact. All things being equal a certain number will always choose to head for Britain.

    Equally there was a large segment of the unionist community which was involved in the security industry, just as there was a hundred years ago in the South.

    What happened to them is also well recorded. It is no accident that the ‘Irish’ regiment is now headquartered in Britain.

    Unless the Unionist population can find a new ‘Irish’ identity they will become a minority, some of us believe that is already happening.

  • The Dubliner

    “To employ reductio ad absurdum by dismissing my suggestions as ‘irrational voodoo politics’ then to point out that the political situation which makes them, not only perfectly reasonable, but also necessary if we are to achieve our goals, is in existence, strikes a very serious contradiction through your argument. I also have no idea what you mean by ‘irrational voodoo politics’ as you failed to explain the phrase.” – Damien Okado-Gough

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/voodoo

    Informal: Usually Disparaging. characterized by deceptively simple, almost magical, solutions or ideas: voodoo politics.

    There is no contradiction my saying that something is irrational and you supposing that it is rational.

    “However the current situation has come about, it remains that in order for Republicans to achieve their objectives they need to persuade enough Protestants in the north to vote for a republican party and/or for all-island independence in any future referendum.” – Damien Okado-Gough

    They need to do this without abandoning the principle of self-determination. If the means to the end has this outcome then it is not a ‘republican’ objective.

    “Putting a gun to their heads as a means of trying to persuade them has proven to be a disastrous failure. Therefore other means must be employed.”

    That is the main reason why they are in their current dismal predicament. Violence had the effect of consolidating divisions. That also gives rise to the moral argument about whether unity should be should be enabled by the South for this generation. Obviously, other means need to be employed by those who seek to persuade those in the South and in the North that they should unify. That does not mean, however, that appeasement is the only means which should be employed or that it should be employed at all.

    “I believe that there are forces of logic, as well as political and economic forces, which are bringing an end to the Union with Britain closer.” – Damien Okado-Gough

    Joining the Commonwealth in order to appease Unionists, irrespective of the actual merits or otherwise of joining the Commonwealth, has nothing whatsoever to do with logic. It is voodoo politics.

    I don’t beleive that logic will play any decision in the decision of Unionists. A sense of nationality is determined by emotion rather than geography. As I pointed out, it is the same emotion that will make a man keep his present parents over the choice (were g-d to grant it) of better parents. Since the ‘decision’ is formed by emotion and not by logic, using logic to alter than decision is an exercise in delusion. Irrespective of the emotion, Unionists will always conclude that their sense of Britishness is best preserved by remaining part of Britain.

    Since northern nationalists changed the status of their right to self-determination from a ‘right’ to that of an aspiration, making it subject to the will of others rather than inalienable, and removing the option of unity from both governments by mutual agreement (as both governments were democratically entitled to do), they are now in a situation where the only way they persuade unionists to remove the border is by persuading the southern Irish to give up their right to self-determination and a nation state by making the British joint-owners of Ireland in some quasi-GFA artifice which makes a mockery of self-determination. It is not a ‘right’ when is subject to the discretion of others. In effect, they have to ‘remove’ the border by the paradoxical expedient of extending it to cover all of the island. Perfidious Albion has tied them into knots, making them into de facto unionists whose mission to ensure greater control for the British of Ireland to the detriment and demolition of Irish nationalism. Of course, they can make no logical argument to the Irish as to why they should chose to pay billions in extra taxes for a reduction in the status of their nation state, so they seek to make progress by emotional blackmail and propaganda. This is pure farce.

  • The Dubliner

    Continued

    The tactic by the handlers of the leaders of PSF is to divide and conquer by brainwashing a section of the population to promote a pro-British political agenda to the detriment of self-determination by giving them newfangled grandiose terms to bandy about which are devised to disguise their own self-emasculation, such as pluralism, parity of esteem, shared future, principle of content, etc, e.g. those Irish ‘nationalists’ who promote a role for the British government in Ireland, be it in the form of Ireland compromising its territorial sovereignty by conceding control of its sovereign borders to a foreign power do so unwittingly, Ireland compromising the sovereignty of its parliament by conceding a role for Her Majesty’s MPs in the form of ‘speaking rights’, or compromising its independence by conceding a role for Her Majesty’s Commonwealth in Ireland, etc, do so because they think that their self-subjugation to a foreign power is a sign of a progressive mentality aimed at building a “shared future” rather than pitiful manipulation of them by the perfidious machinations of that foreign power.

    No republican will ever concede that all citizens are not equal in Ireland or that some citizens should be more equal than others. Those who seek to pervert the democratic process by granting a tiny minority the right of veto over the majority or any status other than ordinary citizen are deluding themselves about the power of British control of the Irish media to brainwash the majority and about being republicans. Propaganda and contempt for democracy only gets you so far, then the realists hit back. 😉

  • lib2016

    Damien,

    The North is coming down with symbols of the Unionist identity which no-one threatens. Derry was chosen by unionist hardliners as a place to demonstrate just how hardline they were.

    To deny that would be to deny the whole point of unionism. The fact is that unionists forced the argument about the name upon nationalists and can only blame themselves for the consequences.

    The changing of the name will be the symbol that democracy reigns at last – and there will be such symbols or we cannot have nationbuilding in any real sense.

    The ‘Confederacy Flag’ argument in Carolina is a reasonable comparison. If the ‘New South’ is to mean anything in America then such deliberately antagonistic symbols must be left behind.

    So too for the name Londonderry in any New Ireland. Whatever it’s original connotation it has become a symbol of humiliation for the people of Derry. That cannot be allowed to continue.

  • BfB

    Then there’s..
    http://tinyurl.com/2h4hut
    and
    http://tinyurl.com/3yv43p
    and on a final, and lighter note..
    http://tinyurl.com/2xkbv3

  • The Dubliner

    “you appear to have such a dislike of Northern Nationalist leadership that it is colouring your vision. The GFA is backed by the vast majority of people on this island, North and South. It gains it’s legitimacy from the people not from the politicans who negotiated it.

    The fact is that NI is not the only disputed piece of territory in the world or even within the EU.” – lib2016

    Err, it isn’t disputed. I suggest you read the GFA, and study the amendments to Articles 2 & 3 of the Irish constitution. You all accept that NI is a part of the UK. Also, the GFA doesn’t apply to the Republic, despite the best efforts of so-called ‘republicans’ to extend its pro-British state provisions to the Republic. Irish and British identities are more or less equal mass in NI. Post-unity, that would change to 86/14 – making them a manageable minority, much like the Polish.

    Since you have changed the status of self-determination from a ‘right’ to an ‘aspiration’ there is no longer a moral obligation on others to help you to achieve that which you are not entitled to. If you want unity, you have to persuade both the southern Irish and the Ulster unionists that it is in their best interests to unify. Expecting them to do something that is in your best interests, not theirs, is only applicable to rights, not aspirations. I suggest you get to work on that task. It’s what you signed up to.

  • lib2016

    The Dubliner,

    What’s this nonsense about ‘a moral obligation on others to help you’.

    The point is that NI as it was traditionally run i.e. as a British colony, had become an embarrassment, to both NATO and the EU. The GFA, forced on the British as it was by the Americans and (less publicly) by Europe gives Britain a facesaving way to withdraw from Ireland and forces us in the North to explore ways of working together.

    Morality is not something one would want to rely on in the context of nationstates, nor the ability to persuade people to give up their deeply held opinions.

    Unionists have a perfect right to their identity and the ideals which go with it. The fact that there are less of them every year does however mean that nationalists will sooner or later be in the majority. My opinion is that it will be sooner.

    All political parties in the South favour Irish unity but you are welcome to try forming a successful party opposing that viewpoint. Strange it hasn’t been done already if, as you claim, most people share your opiniion.

  • lib2016 @ 10:00 PM:

    The GFA, forced on the British as it was by the Americans and (less publicly) by Europe gives Britain a facesaving way to withdraw from Ireland

    As if the Westminster Government has not wanted rid of the whole damn shoot for at least the last seventy years.

    Dammit, the offer of reunification (on almost any terms) was explicit on Friday 21 June 1940, as Malcolm MacDonald shows:

    The Prime Minister [Churchill] himself, as well as Mr Chamberlain and others, had said we should do nothing to discourage and everything we could to encourage the unity of Ireland, so long as there was no coertion. The establishment of unity in war would almost certainly lead to the continuance of unity in peace.

    De Valera came preciously close to agreeing:

    If there were not only a declaration of a United Ireland in principle, but also agreement upon its constitution, then the Government of Eire [sic] might agree to enter the war at once.

    Only because MacDonald quibbled about coercion of the North did De Valera resile from this.

    Looking at the shambles the Craigavon administration had been making in any area of war preparation, one can seriously doubt whether it enjoyed much sympathy in Whitehall. Craigavon had to be gently but firmly put right on the issue of conscription, and (typically) his only other concern was to get as big a share as possible of armaments work. Meanwhile, as events proved, Belfast and Derry had no AA or ARP protection of any merit (despite remittances from the Exchequer to that end).

    Meanwhile, for the rest of the War, there were more than amicable working relationships between the British and the Irish military: if there were problems, they seem to have been largely American (i.e. largely David Gray). Doubtless, all this was covered by De Valera’s pragmatic caveat (which Hitler accepted as reasonable in the neutrality) of a “certain consideration” towards Britain.

    Then again, we can look at the period between 5 October and 22 November 1968, when Harold Wilson and his Government put the screws on O’Neill to the extent that the Wilson-O’Neill-Lynch conspiracy was proclaimed by the Ulster Protestant Volunteeers (proprietor: IRK Paisley).

    As I have argued here previously, one can go further back and find even more corroborating evidence: the bottom line is that the North-East of the island, and its bloody-minded inhabitants have been an embuggerance to almost every British Government since Fenian days.

  • George

    Malcolm Redfellow,
    Churchill offered the Good Friday Agreement; unity by consent. That’s what “so long as there was no coertion (sic)” means.

    He offered Ireland giving up its right to self-determination in return for the 26 counties entering the War.

  • George @ 12:07 AM:

    Churchill offered damn all:

    I certainly sh’d welcome any approach to Irish unity; but I have forty years experience of its difficulties. I c’d never be a party to the coercion of Ulster to join the southern counties; but I am in favour of their being persuaded.

    The leading voice of sanity was Sir John Maffey (the British Minister to Dublin):

    This plan needs an ultimatum for Craigavon …

    We no longer want to govern or administer Eire. We have had enough of that and are well quit of it. What we need is to restore the strategic unity of our island group. Nothing else matters.

    He added to that an observation on:

    The fatal results of allowing Ulster to control our inter-state policy on Ireland. This is the last occasion on which she can bring us to ruin with her short sightedness for her own true interests and with her false and sectarian ‘loyalty’.

    Churchill’s War Cabinet pressed that on him.

    Much of the pressure came from Chamberlain and Bevin. In the context of that second name, perhaps we might recall what Labour Party policy on Ireland consistently had been, and how dominant a personality he was.

    Bevin went on paper, suggesting a new constitution for “the basis of a united Ireland at the end of the hostilities”, with Roosevelt nominating the chairman for the negotiations. Meanwhile, Chamberlain was relaying the views of the Chiefs of Staff, who wanted an accommodation with Dublin, while bewailing:

    the main, and perhaps the sole, obstacle to such collaboration was the partition question.

    Which ever side of the Great Divide you stand, the credit/blame does not lie with Churchill.

  • George

    Malcolm Redfellow,
    my point was that Churchill offered damn all so it seems that we are in agreement. Thanks for the added historical info.

  • jaffa

    “We no longer want to govern or administer Eire. We have had enough of that and are well quit of it. What we need is to restore the strategic unity of our island group. Nothing else matters.”

    Nowadays that’d mean Ireland having to join Nato in exchange for the North-East.

    Any takers? 🙂

    To clarify earlier posts; personally, I don’t think membership is a neccessary to reunification or some sort of “test of faith” regarding nationalism’s commitment to reconciling British-Irish people to life in a united Republic.

    It is though a handy “testament of faith”. If Ireland that can take or leave Commonwealth it has nothing much more to prove. If it goes into agonies of self-analysis at the idea then it needs a bit more couch-time.

    When I first came across Slugger this question was running. I don’t remember anything like the same number of easy-going, confident, pros and cons kind of posts that Matt, Ozy, Red Kangaroo left, which seem to conclude that it might be worthwhile regardless of prod opinion. I think that these are the only proper grounds for entry. A half-hearted sop to prods would, as others have said, seem like just, that but a confident bit of internationalism is always attractive.

    For what it’s worth, when I was a nipper, reasons I heard from prods (including Southern relatives) for opposing reunification included the relative poverty, clientilism and confessionalism of the south, “not giving in to threats”, occaisionally “sure they don’t really want us anyway” and finally (or rather more specifically) relatively underfunded health, education and transport sectors.

    Apart from continuing efforts to lay accusations of sleaze at Bertie’s door most of these don’t apply anymore and I never hear them nowadays.

    But to register an opinion on the wooing front, Paddy said that if each effort to woo unionism brings a 1% swing from unionism to either nationalism or just increased open mindedness then it’s a good thing. Personally I think it’s brought more than that, and counter-intuitive as this may sound, even amongst “unionist” voters a vote for politicians like Sylivia Hermon who run on liberal platforms under a Unionist ticket really shouldn’t be mistaken for die-in-a-ditch No Surrenderism.

    Last (name dropping) thoughts.

    Garrett Fitzgerald recently accepted an invitation to a sports club in Bangor that’s friendly with another he’s a member of in Howth. He talked about his early life, N.Down family, the commitments Ireland made on the right industries and the pay off and then he tried to persuade the audience (who quite rightly he guessed as mainly middle-class prod) to drop their attachment to an outdated “proletarian” education system and suggested that they need to be more optimistic, ambitious and perhaps (my words) professional in their approach to public life.

    Loads of applause and after dinner Garrett was back-slapped, hand-shook and just generally cuddled all the way out the door.
    There was no sense that this was an unwelcome foreign inter-loper. He was a good friend from down the road.

    Second related thought. I visited the Ulster Tower at Thiepval a few years ago. I met the curators who were working there on secondment from the Somme Heritage Centre on the edge of the Clandeboye estate (where the 36th trained) at Conlig. We had a chat about commemoration generally and they told me (and it seemed a big thing) about the visit from Brig-Gen Gerry MacNamara who came to Thiepval to lay a fir wreath (no poppies mind).

    So what Dubliner might say?. Quick flight to Charles De Gaulle, jump in the car, a bit of cod-sentimentality and home for dinner. All I can say is that while small in themselves these events represent the milestones reached in a greater journey. In my experience they are well received, they’re remembered and talked about and they do bring a lasting cumulative build-up in goodwill.

    Another point – maybe also counter-intuitive. Just as the DUP; passionate opponents of power-sharing, cheerfully and without red-face took us into exactly that (because they knew this was the wish of the majority of their new voters), I think we should expect the signal (if it comes) for eventual reunifaction not from a swing to nationalist parties but from a change in the centre of gravity within unionist parties.

    Thankfully politicians are professional hypocrites; or maybe their manifestos just offer medium-term and changeable solutions to the underlying long term interests of their constituents.

    If some “Unionist” politicians decide that by dropping rowdy Orangism and instead selling respectable Barbour wearing, Irish-Times reading, IRFU following, Prod school attending, slightly more Dublin orientated, British-Irish liberal all_Irelandry – they’ll win more votes, then I reckon they’ll detect that and, happily claiming that’s what they always wanted if the South had just been more ready or reasonable, that’s exactly what they’ll do.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Should the Republic join the Commonwealth..?

    No Way! Sorry Unionist folks…..
    Queen Liz may be Queen of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as Australia, Canada, Pakistan, Samoa, Jamaica, Uganda etc….. and all the rest of the form British Empire, but this is one part of terroritory she ain’t. If we are to have a queen here in the ROI, she’ll be Irish, not English. Joycean scholar Senator David Norris would fit the bill and I’m sure he’d love the role too.

    BTW – I would welcome a visit of HM herself to the Irish Republic as GB’s head of state, but all the ballsology and snobbery of royalty is so anachronistic today and reigning over us again will never be the case.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Presbyterian folks – Remember 1798 and what your ancestors did, far more noble!

  • jaffa @ 12:22 PM:

    Nice one.

    Garrett is always good value (and guaranteed to play to any audience). Long may he continue, a national treasure, in print and in person. The island owes him a lot.

    But: Ireland having to join Nato in exchange for the North-East … ?

    The RoI joined NATO’s “Partnership for Peace” back in 1999, as part of an assimilation, which is worth a moment’s review.

    Previously, the Common Foreign and Security Policy was part of the Maastricht Treaty. Only Denmark opted out of this clause, so the RoI is presumably bound to an arrangement where the other partners are explicitly NATO members. Then there was the St Malo agreement of 1998, which declared the EU “must have the capacity for autonomous action, backed up by credible forces, the means to decide to use them and a readiness to do so in order to respond to international crises.” Finally, we have the Rapid Reaction Force, to be capable of deploying 60,000 EU troops within 60 days, operating under the political direction of the EU: the RoI pledged 7.4% of the Irish military capacity, plus finance, administrative and logistical support.

    This is either “Softly, softly, catchee monkey” or a long while waiting for the pay-off. It ain’t neutrality.

    And I never mentioned “rendition” … oops.

  • BfB

    Lib,
    GFA, forced on the British as it was by the Americans

    Wah? Enlighten me on that one.

  • lib2016

    BfB,

    Despite all the revisionism very few nationalists believe that the Good Friday Agreement could have been arrived at without Reynolds and Clinton.

    Major was completely out of touch with modern Britain, never mind the rest of the world. He made no secret of how he detested Irish republicans.

    At one stage he had a ‘hissy fit’ and refused to take phonecalls from Clinton for a week over a disputed visa needed for the republicans to keep the Irish American hardliners onside.

    Blair was an improvement and made a big contribution himself but it took the yanks to get things going.

    BTW Clinton came over and received fantastic welcome. He had a nice wife, I remember. Whatever happened to her?

  • The Dubliner

    Appeasement of Unionists is a pretext to promote self-censorship of Irish nationalism. The logic is ‘If you censor expressions of Irish culture, then those who detest Irish culture won’t have find as much to detest about you. Now, if you would only follow this logic to its conclusion and declare yourselves Serfs of the British Empire, then the Unionists would love you because you would have turned yourselves into Unionists. Unity would occur simply because there would be no difference between Ireland and the UK.’ I suspect that the mandarins who disseminate this propaganda do so not because they believe it will encourage Unionists to inject the southern Irish into the British Empire (which is all that unity of those terms would amount to) but because it amuses them to be able to manipulate the mentalities of dumb paddies.

    Unionists, even if the South was as British as the North, would still reject unity with it because they know that they have greater control as a majority within an partitioned island than they have as a minority in a united island. No, this propaganda is put out as piss-taking by the mandarins within the UK and as a pretext to censor Irish culture and nationalism by the irredentists within Ireland who despise Irish culture and nationalism. It greatly delights the mandarins to mock you as loyal minions of Her Majesty, bowing to her queefing groin upon whimsical command, much to the amusement of the regal court. They know they could make you do this if the British-controlled dynamics of northern nationalism were followed by the southern nationalism.

    You only have to look at how many ‘dumb paddies’ promote their own self-subjugation because it is sold to them as being other than it is: it is sold to them as promoting a “shared future” and “parity of esteem” by which is really meant that you will forsake your right to sovereignty, independence, self-determination, and a nation state in order to share a future with the UK. In effect, in your eagerness to appease those who identify themselves as British, you are encouraged to obfuscate British identity with British nationalism, promoting British national interests instead of promoting any enterprise aiming at reassuring those who identify themselves as British that their identity will be not cause them to suffer discrimination under Irish law or constitution. It is simply assumed that the State must be disbanded in order to reassure that minority, and assumed thereby that the State as it is presently constituted does not guarantee rights to all its citizens. That is a wholly bogus assumption.

    The rest of us are supposed to share in this state-manufactured hysteria, believing that the GFA is the greatest document since the Dead Sea Scrolls, don miniskirts, pom-poms, and chearlead it all the way to or own destruction. In this madness, we are to import the dynamics of competing nationalisms into the Republic that have destabilised the North, allowing them to destabilise the South. I don’t think so, kids.

    Separating national identity from national allegiance is how to make progress. There are more Irish in Britain than there are British in Ireland, yet we don’t hear any silly claims from the Irish over there for the British state to fly the tricolour from Buckingham Palace or for No 10 to have a Minister for Irish Culture or for power-sharing arrangements, etc. Unionists to get over their ridiculous sense of entitlement, inoculated into them when they were planted here in order to further the interests of colonizers who used them as a means of extracting wealth from Ireland. They can be British within Ireland in the same way that the Irish in Britain remain Irish.