Open Unionism

A new and collaborative Unionist blog launched earlier this week. Open Unionism will be seeking to draw out some of the debates facing Unionism, and hopes to draw a broad range of contributors, on a range of platforms in time. You will in the short term notice some famaliar faces on the blog, primarily Bob, Chekov, O’Neill and, at some point, me.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    oxymoron or what – no fenians about the place?

  • percy

    lol sammy, that’s exactly what I thought prior to opeing the comments zone

  • John East Belfast

    There is obviously a market/purpose for unionist only blog as I believe there is one for nationalist/republicanism.

    On it unionists can develop their own policies and discuss ideas with one another rather than spending hours combatting with – in certain cases – complete nut jobs who just want to call you names and score petty points.

    Having said that though Slugger, a couple of years back, was just a blood letting among Pro and Anti Agreement unionists.

    Not that unionists should not also appear on forums where republicans and nationalists exist.

  • borderline

    It’s put together well, obviously by thoughtful intelligent people.

    O’Neill tells us that he’s a unionist, believes in NI England Scotland Wales etc. That’s his first loyalty.


    But England NI Wales Scotland etc are subject to other social and political forces, much more fundamental than Unionism.

    And unionism is at the mercy of these forces. To worship it as a creed unto itself is daft IMO.

    But that’s for you fellas to work out, or not, as the case may be.

    I suspect that most Unionists are in fact British Nationalists.

  • I believe the submissions button is open to anyone, whether unionist or not. As are the comments zones (Bob setting the policy and not I). Of the first three posts one champions integration, one challenges the pro-selection case and one highlights the launch of a book about the Official IRA. And the first comment on here is about ‘fenians’.

  • fair_deal

    “primarily Bob, Chekov, O’Neill and, at some point, me.”

    So everyone formally signed up is UCUNF connected. Openess involves more that using the word. It’s a process that requires patience and effort to be successful not make it up as you go along.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Guys, guys, you know there is only one thing we fenians like more than arguing with you Unionist Paddies and that’s listening to you arguing between yourselves.

    Let the fun commence.

  • So everyone formally signed up is UCUNF connected.

    Thus far. But invitations have been extended to DUP bloggers and TUV people (as you are aware). It has to start somewhere! Bob (in particular) has worked pretty hard at this and has had some promises but because there are a core of regular CU bloggers out there they were the ones who were ready to go!

  • Driftwood

    Jeff Peel been invited?

  • Fair Deal – i agree with you, it does require patience. Here are some of the things we’re planning and awaiting responses on:

    … I’ve approached the DUP asking for the names of potential bloggers for me to contact and blog material from their reps to post up.

    … I have asked the TUV for blog material. I will be following up with them on Monday when their press officer returns to discuss how to get a TUV blogger on board.

    … I have put out soundings through people (nationalist/unionist, mainly established bloggers) about broadening the list of one-off and regular contributors on the blog. We’re starting to get firm responses back.

    We are in the first week of activity and already have netted over 1,000 views since Monday. I’m pleased with how things have started, but to my mind achieving breadth and balance in the material is critical to the blog’s success.

    I want this blog to succeed – how much more successful will it be if we can count upon bloggers, contributors and audiences from across the spectrum of unionist opinion?

    So i would ask you to be patient, as i think we’re heading in the right direction…

  • fair_deal


    ” it does require patience.”

    Thank you for the reply.

    I think you have went too soon. I think you needed to be patient with the launch, pegging it to the re-opening of Stormont had some sense but the establishing the brand was more important. You needed the diversity of commitments already in place to show from the beginnings that it was an ‘open’ project.

    BTW I can certainly cope with being proven incorrect it’s a good concept.


    “It has to start somewhere!”

    See above.

  • slug

    Yes – agree its a good concept.

    I like the blog so far – it makes some interesting arguments so far.

    I wish it success and agree that people outside UCUNF should be involved.

  • Driftwood

    Any word on adding Jeff

    and presumably Ian Parsley, now he has seen the light?

  • Last time I checked Jeff was heaping abuse on anyone who called themselves a unionist for being ‘obsessed’ with trivia. If he doesn’t have an opinion on constitutional matters why would he be invited? No nation state = no national issues and no participation in national politics. If he doesn’t see the Union as an issue then he’s unlikely to contribute to a pro Union website.

  • DC

    Just a note to Michael, did you not offer an apology to David Hilditch after the court threw out the benefit fraud case that you made a terrible fuss in trying to assert – you and big Stevie Nolan too?

    I mean if we are going to have Open Unionism the least you could do would be to stop picking on those people within unionism who have disabilities!

    I meant to raise this with you whenever months ago the court bucked out the assertion of false claiming.

    So David Hilditch had no case to answer, but I think you do.