Calm down, dears…

Wilful or otherwise, there’s been a degree of misrepresentation of Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s apparently unscripted, and qualified, comments at the MacGill Summer School yesterday – you can read the official version of his speech here. As the initial reported quote demonstrated, his focus was not on preparing for the prospect of referendums on a united Ireland, but on seeking clarification of what would happen, in the new post-Brexit world, in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote. Because if that possibility were …

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“No one party or leader will unite this country…”

David McCann with a republican view on why Sinn Fein’s calls for a border poll in the near future are undermining any long game chances of achieving a unified island: The old republican strategy of ‘It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose but how you’ve played the game’ is precisely why we have achieved next to no success in ending partition. Instead of coming up with common sense proposals and some new thinking on what a united Ireland would …

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Why a #BorderPoll ill-serves the cause of a united island

“I live in terror of not being misunderstood.” From The Critic as Artist, by Oscar Wilde So, what is a reasonable, even a Nationalist, objection to the calling of a Border Poll in the next parliamentary term north and south? The most obvious is that from what we know of the current public will in Northern Ireland, it will be lost. And why? Because what we know of the polling in this area already tells us that there is not …

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Decoupling religion from political identity a necessary pre-requisite for any unification project

It’s always hard to get whether Gerry’s referring to the chicken or the egg when he talks about a united Ireland. In any case, his party has been campaigning for a referendum they almost certainly don’t want (at this stage), and which, thankfully, the Secretary of State will almost certainly not grant. Happy days. With a conference on Irish unity coming up this weekend, he had the opportunity to welcome the new questions about nationality so that we might now …

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Nationalism needs separate and competing visions for ‘unification’…

This is a version of the article of mine that appears in the Political Review supplement of today’s Belfast News Letter. It examines the call for nationalist unity from Declan O’Loan and asks: cui bono. It concludes that nationalism’s best chance for unification may be to remain free to develop separate and competing visions for unification.