An uncivil war

I recently did a blog regarding what I felt unionists should do regarding the oft repeated suggestion that a united Ireland is inevitable. Mick has a serious blog on the subject of a united Ireland below. In this rather less serious blog, I will examine what strategies might be adopted by unionists if confronted by the dread reality of waking up in a united Ireland; as an alternative they could just pull the covers over their heads. Actually as I have previously intimated I am most dubious that this Sword of Damocles will fall on our heads; still on with the blog. Can I say at the outset that this is somewhat tongue in cheek and I had meant to blog in on 1st April but never got round to it. As some may remember the following discussion owes more to the early 1990s Cloisters coffee table than much else.Whether the inevitable united Ireland so beloved of some of our nationalist and republican posters comes by a 50%+1 vote or by some nefarious sell out by the British government the reaction by unionists would probably be shock, disbelief and then a great deal of anger. How long that anger would last is difficult to be certain of. How it would manifest is also difficult to be sure. I suppose one thing which must be stated is that violence could ensue. I would state yet again that I personally am totally opposed to violence and whilst personally not a pacifist; I cannot see circumstances in which I would use violence to stop a united Ireland. Some might, however, but I am not prepared to discuss this issue as I am certain the overwhelming majority of unionists would oppose such a thing and I will not allow this blog to be used by assorted supporters of violence of any sort to set their unacceptable stalls out. Violence could indeed happen; I would hope, argue and pray not.

The first thing to note is that all unionist divisions would probably be forgotten overnight. I know people see the likes of myself, The Watchman, Ahem, Delta Omega, Darth Rumsfled and others doing battle with various DUPers and UUPers but in a united Ireland I am pretty sure we would all be fraternal brothers again. This would be the same and much more so in the real political world. There is nothing like an outside threat to unite people and Ulster Prods are notorious for fighting and arguing (look at the number of denominations we have) but to quote one song on the siege of Derry: “And when we close our gates again then we’ll all be found true blue.”

To those who think all those very nice middle class unionists they like at work would not care: I am sorry to disabuse you but very many nice apolitical garden centre Prods are actually really very extreme. They may not even vote but I suspect they would be pretty spectacularly angry in a united Ireland. Unionist loyalty to the state is often based on a feeling that it is an agreement or “covenant” between the citizen and the state. In a united Ireland that covenant would be irrevocably broken; as such obeying many laws and edicts of the government would no longer be seen as necessary. Do not quote “render onto Cesar” by the way as many scholars suggest that that is far from a conciliatory statement as the Jews held that everything was God’s and hence; actually nothing was Cesar’s. I strongly suspect tax evasion, smuggling and such like would suddenly be seen as almost a unionist’s moral duty.

Politically then what might happen. Well I suspect that a policy of utter uncooperativeness would be the most likely. It would also probably provide a conduit for angry unionists and might thereby reduce possible support for violence.

In the Dail, I would suggest that unionist TDs would be wise to simply cause as much trouble as humanly possible: use every chance to attack the other parties, disrupt the chamber, get thrown out frequently, filibuster whenever possible, refuse to stand when it is appropriate. Essentially adopt extremely childish and difficult behaviour. Why such a strategy? Well because it would make the government’s and other TDs lives miserable in the Dail, it would bring the Dail into disrepute, it would damage and undermine the standing of the RoI. Clearly we would also maneuver to try to bring down every government, stop or hinder the passage of every government bill. We would have to sabotage things like investment conferences by turning up and causing trouble.
This would in my view maximise the chances of getting concessions, and what concessions we would demand. We would be wise to demand the earth, the moon and the stars and keep causing trouble. At some point the unionist electorate might tire of this and get rid of the trouble making unionists. I suspect, however, that this would take years and a surprising number of concessions, both important and purely symbolic could be won.

Just to suggest some of the concessions we would demand:

Ending of the use of the term republic. For unionists that term conjures up connotations of the IRA and as such is unacceptable. The state would merely be Ireland.

Ending of the office of president. The president is supposed to be a uniting force. Unionists would not accept any unity with the rest of the population and as such could not have any loyalty to this figure. It would be ludicrous to accept such a person and as such their office would merely be an insult to unionists.

Removal of Irish from use in the state. Whilst I personally am fairly liberal on Irish, most unionists are not. I suspect demands to remove terms like Taoiseach would be inevitable. On a related note removal of all requirements in state life to have any ability at or qualifications in Irish would be essential.

Removal of the National Anthem. The anthem is seen by unionists as divisive and sectarian (Saxon foe etc.) and as such would be unacceptable. Until removed, I would advocate sitting down every time it was played. I would also suggest that new anthems pretending that the state was united and everyone supported this would be foolish. As such I would suggest that unlike most countries the new Ireland should make a point of having no anthem.

Removal of Flag. That flag (so often draped over the coffin of the murderers of the unionist population or used to mark territory) would be utterly unacceptable. As such we would demand its removal. Again I would advocate having a policy of having no flag as we could give no allegiance to the flag of our oppressors nor pretend we were happy with unity.

Addressing the imbalance in the Garda. I am not an expert but I believe that there are extremely few Protestants in the Garda. As such massive positive discrimination would need to be demanded; yet of course we would discourage unionists from joining. Remember I am not trying to be logical or reach consensus here; this is war by another non violent means.

Changing the name of Connolly station. It is an unacceptable form of sectarianism that unionists traveling to Dublin have to alight at a station named after someone we regard as a terrorist. In the interim and as a form of non violent protest I would advocate people repeatedly pulling the emergency stop cable on the Dublin express just before its arrival at Connolly.

Ending of the Angeles. To have a specifically Roman Catholic religious event before the state broadcaster’s six o’clock news is utterly unacceptable in a supposedly secular state and as such would have to go.

I am sure many sluggerites can think of other things to demand.

Essentially what I am advocating is an Uncivil War or actually the strategy used by the Irish Parliamentary Party or indeed unionists at Queen’s Student’s Union throughout my time there. I was actually quite good at this. Maybe a united Ireland would provide me with an opportunity despite my lack of charisma, talent and looks to be a real politician. That is worrying; I have seen a fun and interesting possibility in a united Ireland. For absolutely everyone else, however, I suggest you need to hope 50%+1 never happens or alternatively I develop more sense before it does happen. Now before you all denounce me as an even worse bigot than you all suspected, remember it was (largely) tongue in cheek.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Ah, the good ol’ USA and Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Paine ‘the Englishman’, et all – inspiration for all republicans and freethinkers!

    1798 abú, Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter!

  • and maybe one of the Pope’s children too, Darth, in a nominal sort of way.

  • “1798 abú, Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter!”

    Which faction do you mean, Gréagóir, the Loyalists or the United Irishmen? 😉 Was it not just a simple Masonic conspiracy?

  • Greenflag

    ‘Arthur Griffiths’ dual monarchy idea has its merits’

    Had it’s merits in 1910 . The world has changed somewhat since then. Home Rule could have worked had Unionists been able to accept it . Given the times that were in it Unionist resistance to HR was understandable in 1920 from both an economic and political security aspect .

    Dave,

    ‘Now, as for Irish unity, that will arrive circa 10 years after the British government removes its subvention to Northern Ireland’

    So that should be in the year 25016 AD +- 1,000 years . HMG cannot remove the subvention for NI. No British Government can allow part of the UNIted Kingdom to have the living standard of a post communist Albania. Weaning the people of NI off government support would require electing a new people. Not a prospect allowed for under the terms of the D’Hondt electoral system 🙁

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Ah Nevin, the “Society of United Irishmen” of course!
    The Masonic antics are the preserve of the Orangmen with ‘Qualifications’, ‘Bibles’, ‘Monarchs’ and all that superstitious stuff! Of course they are entitled to believe in what ever they want.

  • Freemasonry was a shared tradition, Gréagóir – as was the presence of the main denominations on both sides of the conflict.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    True, I’m not arguing with that!

    Indeed a certain amount of loyalist and rebel businesmen of the day were freemasons.

    A certain amount of yeomanry were papist paddies (and gaelic speaking) recieving the queen’s shilling.

  • FraserValley

    A useless blog–would it not be much more usefull to discuss the terms under which Unionists would consider a UI?

  • Turgon

    FraserValley,
    I am sorry you did not like my blog. Whilst I have not and would not advocate violence; I do not wish to voluntarily consider a united Ireland. That is because I am a unionist. As such discussing the terms under which I would want or request a united Ireland is actually a fairly simple blog. I will list the circumstances below:-

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Turgon,

    Some relationships are one sided with all the love and respect coming from one side. Often when greater love is shown it has precisely the opposite effect intended on the other partner – greater rejection. It is usually difficult for the rejected partner to admit that they are not wanted and this may result in even greater displays of devotion. Often it is only people outside of the relationship who can actually see this and the last thing the rejected partner can admit is that their love is not reciprocated. They may retreat back into the past and constantly refer to a time when they were love was true and pure.

    Of course advice to find a new partner is always rejected and when this advice actually comes from the existing partner then that can increase fellings of rejection and hurt even further.

    But if the trust between the two partners breaks down completley because of continuous betrayal then the unfortunate and wounded partner has got to consider moving on in circumstances in which they can retain their dignity.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘for real soldiering in Iraq, Afghanistan etc.’

    you mean for foolish neo-colonial US lapdog jaunts.

    So the men in the Defence Forces are not real soldiers, because they haven’t done real soldiering?????? tell me darth, what is real soldiering? Is one a real soldier only if he kills someone, or gets to fire his rifle in other places apart from uprange? I long to hear of your soldiering days…..please do tell !

  • Greenflag

    ‘fraser valley’

    ‘would it not be much more usefull to discuss the terms under which Unionists would consider a UI’

    No. They would no longer be Unionists if they were to discuss ‘terms’ re a UI and anyway why should until if or when the ‘dreaded day’ dawns . The fact that by then it might be too late is neither here nor there . Unionists have a tradition of being ‘late’ when it comes to dealing with political issues . How else could NI have gone through 40 wasted years ?

  • Timber

    Some would leave, most would stay and prosper, the rest would make the best of it. A few might fight but it would be a waste of life both for them and their cause

    Because they’ll be crushed under the mighty jackboot of the Irish Defence Forces 4,000 or so infantry?

    Perhaps a few “independent contractors” from the companies in Iraq cold be persuaded for some coinage.

  • Greenflag

    timber,

    The ‘quote’ you comment on presumed a majority NI vote for a UI and a general acceptance by most on the Unionist losing side of that vote . I do not see the IDF ever crossing the present border or any other except in a ‘doomsday’ scenario in which Irish nationalists in NI were being forced to flee their homes by loyalist terrorists.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    “…..the queen’s shilling.”

    pardon my Freudian slip…but it should be “king’s shilling” instead of course, as King George III was on his throne at the time.
    But sure hasn’t there been plenty of old kings who were ‘queens’ in a way; ermines and pearls, tantrums and tiaras… and all that!

  • hotdogx

    This is an Iarnrod Eireann announcement we are now approaching conolly station please prepare for the usual emergency stop as part of a unionist protest and we must apologize for being banned from making this announcement in irish also as part of a unionist protest. Gor a maith agibh! er i mean a very british thankyou

    Get real turgon

  • Dave

    “So that should be in the year 25016 AD +- 1,000 years . HMG cannot remove the subvention for NI. No British Government can allow part of the UNIted Kingdom to have the living standard of a post communist Albania.” – Greenflag

    I know there is no prospect of it, and that is why there is no prospect for Irish unity. Unionists can live with a model for economic backwardness because of the subvention. Remove the subvention and they must live with the actual consequences of their intransigence. While they’d stubbornly rather be dead than Irish, they wouldn’t – oddly enough – rather be broke than Irish. The other side to that is that the Nationalists would rather be British than broke, so they don’t promote the only surefire route to unity. Both sides are just taking the piss at the expense of others, and should really be just left to rot in a hole of their own digging.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Joe Canuck

    “If you go back and read all of Turgon’s blogs, you will see that he tries to be a very moral person and has no time for illegality of any sort from any source.”

    I dunno Joe. Perhaps if you were from our benighted little statelet you’d be more attuned to the ambiguity in Turgon’s posts, and a little more questioning of his oft-professed opposition to violence.

    Though he is always very polite, and that is genuinely to be respected.

  • Delta Omega

    Billy Pilgrim

    It is interesting that you don’t believe Turgon’s profession of opposition to violence, despite that fact that he has never been shown to have created any violence at all, yet the unionists of this land are expected to believe Adams and McGuinness and the rest of their cohorts when they now exhort non-violent means, despite their hands still dripping in blood. Your one-sided blinkered opinion leaves a lot to be desired. Grow up.

  • Greenflag

    Dave ,

    ‘Both sides are just taking the piss at the expense of others’

    Indeed;(

    ‘and should really be just left to rot in a hole of their own digging.

    They’ve been given the shovels and the rope . It’ll be up to them when to tie the noose , pull up the chair and jump . Let’s hope that their legs are long enough to reach the ground :). On the other hand think of the savings !

    ‘Remove the subvention and they must live with the actual consequences of their intransigence.’

    The Brits can be cruel Dave but not that cruel . The lads have been on the drip since 1920 and their dependency has only increased in recent decades.

    ‘ While they’d stubbornly rather be dead than Irish, they wouldn’t – oddly enough – rather be broke than Irish.’

    So they have some sense after all 🙂