Children of the Ceasefire / 1

This is one of three winning articles for the Future Ireland series. The articles were submitted together – by three friends who met at college – a northern Catholic, a east Belfast Protestant, and a Dublin man. We liked the nuanced content of the pieces, the sense of identities in flux, and the fact that each tried to understand the perspectives of the others. Also how being children of the ceasefires weaves throughout their pieces. By Matthew Redmond – hailing … Read more

Children of the Ceasefire / 3

This is one of three winning articles for the Future Ireland series. The articles were submitted together – by three friends who met at college – a northern Catholic, a east Belfast Protestant, and a Dublin man. We liked the nuanced content of the pieces, the sense of identities in flux, and the fact that each tried to understand the perspectives of the others. Also how being children of the ceasefires weaves throughout their pieces. By William Clarence – from … Read more

How will the PUL be accommodated in a United Ireland?

This week, we’re featuring submissions from readers on the theme of ‘Future Ireland: Alternative Conversations about Unity and the Union’. Competition winners will be published on Saturday. By ‘Danny Boy’. According to the demographics, there could be a nationalist majority within Northern Ireland in the not-too distant future, which some think will automatically lead to the re-unification of this island. So what will happen to all those people living within Northern Ireland who class themselves as being from the PUL … Read more

What Unionists Should Strive For

This week, we’re featuring submissions from readers on the theme of ‘Future Ireland: Alternative Conversations about Unity and the Union’. Competition winners will be published on Saturday. Alan Robinson is an Orangeman hailing from Carrickfergus. I’m an Orangeman, play in a flute band and support the Northern Ireland football team. If you only knew those three things about me, the stereotype of a loyalist skinhead would probably be conjured from the subconscious.  Dig a little deeper and see what you find: … Read more

British Irishman, not a Black and Tan

In the Ireland of 2016 the British community (Protestant and unionists) still carry the curse of plantation, Cromwell, the famine, the Black and Tans and one-party rule Stormont. (Read ‘Being a planter‘ here.) The Protestant and unionists are the villains, by birth levied and vilified with historical wrong. Catholic is Erin and virtue, Protestant is Saxon and guilt. When Americans think of Britain they think of Monty Python or Downton Abbey. When the French think of Britain they think of … Read more

St Patrick’s Day a time to reflect on an openness that, at its best, Englishness encourages

For St Patrick’s Day Mark Perryman outlines the meaning of the forthcoming Easter Rising Centenary for models of Britishness. St Patrick’s Day across England has always been more of a party than our own St George’s Day. Down the local, one of the best night outs of the year, a non-stop evening drenched in all things Irish. A celebration of Ireland’s freedom, which can never be entirely separated from its place in English, and British, history either. But the framing … Read more

#London2012: What did it mean to you, then?

With barely enough time to catch breath after all those golds, there has been a glut of reflections on how the London Olympics have either redefined or exhibited a new Britishness. Over at the Daily Mail, Dominic Sandbrook is unequivocal, calling it a rebirth of Britishness: Coming so soon after the triumph of the Diamond Jubilee, which reaffirmed the deep bond between the British people and our Royal Family, the Games have been a valuable reminder of everything that most of … Read more

What is Britishness anyway? – latest

Stephen Moss in the Guardian adopts the least analytical approach imaginable to the identity thing, a random journey. It’s like an intro to a report that that doesn’t actually appear. A bit like Britishness itself maybe? Quite unlike our own passions. Might  uncertainty and toleration be its saving graces?  As I stood in freezing temperatures in Bradford’s Centenary Square trying unsuccessfully to get twentysomething Muslim women to tell me how they lived their lives, I started to have doubts about … Read more

“Not so much the rise of a new Scottish sentiment, but the gradual decay of what it meant to be British in Scotland”

Thanks to Peter for this acute report on the strange disappearance of British identity in Scotland from Alan Little for last night’s Newsnight… Here’s the real kicker, in almost the last line: “Independence no longer means separation in any meaningful sense, and that’s the game changer.” See also Gerry Hassan‘s take on it… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest … Read more