No role for unionists in national debate on the Union..?

I’VE been going through the bottom few entries on the daily Newshound digest, following the national debate on Britishness. It’s a debate from which Northern Ireland’s tribes could either learn from, criticise or contribute to in some way. But I found Gordon Brown’s Telegraph article today extraordinary. Despite it’s title – We must defend the Union – there is not one single mention of Northern Ireland. It is clear he does not regard NI as part of the Union in any real or meaningful way, since there are four mentions each for Scotland, Wales and even England. As Jack Straw launches a consultation on a “statement of values that define British citizenship and on the case for a full British bill of rights and duties setting out rights and obligations for all citizens”, it is pretty clear that one part of the Union has no part to play in defining what Brown calls our “shared values”. Brown’s “bonds of belonging that make us all feel part of a wider Britain” simply do not appear to extend to Northern Ireland.

Oddly, unionist politicians have contributed very little to this debate thus far; perhaps they can cry ‘Me too!’ in the consultation, but something tells me our ‘unique status’ as a place apart means they’ll be ignored – as usual. One unionist who seems to be espousing the ‘British values’ Brown suggests is Alex Kane, who wrote recently: “There is an overwhelmingly convincing socio-economic-political-philosophical-intellectual-historical case to be made for the Union and for the constitutional and geographical integrity of the United Kingdom.
But it is a two-way process and unionists in Northern Ireland are going to have to begin to promote the case for themselves.” Kane concludes: “If the Union is to survive then we have to prove that it is a Union of benefit to everyone.” How would a unionist convince a Scot living in London that NI’s current contribution to the Union is “of benefit” to them?

  • Steve

    Greg

    is your other personality John O’ or are your appearances a happy coincidence?

  • Gregory

    I probably get more strange stuff than him, I’m all over the place with lunatic teachers.

    I do all sots of things when asked, bible bans, skirt bans, crucifix bans, bangle bans,

    I wanted to do a hot cross bun ban to have a complete set, but that timed out on me.

    I’ll catch one next year.

    G.

  • Dec

    FD

    When Parnell asked a question on the issue of flags I said:
    “I just knew the mention of flags would lead us into a cu-de-sac and not the main question.”

    So why give it prominence then?

    BTW the Pot. Kettle. Black. Remark. was in reference to you accusing me of mis-respresenting your position. I thought that was somewhat rich, coming from someone who had equated the work of the Equality Commission as ‘Nationalists stripping the place”.

    “Your casual linkage of Equality legislation and an implied ‘Pan-Nationalist Front’”

    Yawn.

    Before you nod of and dream of how things were so much better in Chichester-Clarks day, I’ll revisit your quote:

    Nationalism (and its pal Bob Collins) stripping the place

    Now that’s what I call so-phis-ti-ca-tion.

  • good grief

    Dewi

    Cop on to yourself.

    Do you want me to publish some links to some racist attacks in Wales to make the spurious claim that Welsh are a racist society. You’re better than that. Don’t stoop to the level of tarring a whole community with the actions of some mindless scumbags in their midst. It’s grossly offensive and evidence of a lack of (intentional?) lack of perspective on your own part to indulge in such nonsense.

    …and before we start, Yes there is a problem with racism in some poorer loyalist areas, just as there are problems with anti-social behaviour in some poorer republican areas. I must have missed you trying to demonise the republican community on other threads.

  • Willie McCreas autoharp

    Lets face it, the unionist community are racist, sectarian, monarchists, because they always had the upper-hand. When they see that equality amongst men is a proper society then they and everyone around them will live in harmony.

  • good grief

    You WMAH are a sock puppet and i claim my five pounds. Sock puppet and a troll in fact.

    That or your attempting to redefine juvenile all on your lonesome.

    All the best.

  • Ceist

    Quick question, since there is all this talk about Britishness and the union and Westminster and NI’s voice inside it, am I right in saying that when devolution kicked off in Scotland their number of MP’s in Westminster was reduced. Any plan for that in NI once full devolution is restored (in May..)? If so a small voice will be even smaller, and maybe Gordon might like to restrict the influence of possible kingmaking parties like the DUP in a future hung parliament? If its good enough for the Scots…

  • Robert Bingham

    The dark grey storm clouds gather overhead as Ulsters darkest day approaches ever faster. As she gathers speed, the hooves of Lucifer (accompanied by hordes of foaming at the mouth rebel irish) can be heard galloping in ulsters direction. The protestant children of Ulster however, who have toiled on her british soil for many centuries, will stand for this no longer. No longer will the sons and daughters of protestant ulster stand by as the irish usurps poison her lush soil. For we are tired of our lament.

    May the lord god save her most venerable Queen Elizabeth II, Ulster, and Jim Allister!

  • willowfield

    … am I right in saying that when devolution kicked off in Scotland their number of MP’s in Westminster was reduced.

    Yes

    Any plan for that in NI once full devolution is restored (in May..)?

    No

  • Seanie

    THe “british” soil of Ulster? Now thats the funniest thing that I have ever heard from ye. Ulster is a nine county province of Ireland. Britain is to the east of Ireland, therefore any part of Ireland can never be anything but Irish, ya langer of a man.

  • Brian O’Neill

    Hey Robert my boy I hope the english queen who you profess your love to gets a dose of the scours tonight just before the Greek fella is ready to hop up on her.

  • Jim Allisters real son

    Go back to Scotland Bingham your empire is crumbling. Any by the way the Malvinas islands are Agentinian, and no amount of strong-armed butchery will change that either.

  • Langer

    Bingham you are a fool

  • DK

    Hehehehheee… Bingham brings them out of the woodwork again. Note to the fools – it’s a wind up to root out the mentalists… and boy did you show yourselves up!

  • Alan

    Mr/Ms Bingham seems to destest the notion of colonisation. He won’t like his ancestors history too well then.

    The sheer hypocrisy of his statement given the history of how his ancestors arrived in Ulster highlights the sheer lunacy of Unionism in Ulster.

    It’s Irish land boys and girls, and will be til the end of time – whatever government pays the bills.

  • Alan

    Yeah DK, as if there could possibly be any DUP/TUP men who think like Bingham hehehehe.

  • fair_deal

    Dec

    “So why give it prominence then?”

    It exemplified the introductory point to the thread that Brown and co had annoyed the DUP as did the second example, the questioning of brown by Dodds and Campbell.

    CS Parnell then asked me a question to which I replied. I consider responding to a question to be a reasonable act even, as I pointed out, it was not the central issue as far as I was concerned.

    “Before you nod of and dream of how things were so much better in Chichester-Clarks day, I’ll revisit your quote:

    Yawn you really can’t help yourself, just revert to an outdated stereotypes rather than engage.

    “Nationalism (and its pal Bob Collins) stripping the place Now that’s what I call so-phis-ti-ca-tion.”

    If you believe that such key appointments are entirely free from politics so be it. I disagree. Such a belief I call naivety.