Tag Archives | Unionism

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Two coffees and a Highland wedding

To my nationalist and republican friends… I think you should reconsider your opposition to the Union, and here’s why… A friend of mine recently threw out a question which stopped me in my tracks. “Do you think there will ever be a united Ireland?” She asked. She knew I was a member of a unionist more…

It’s easier to get rid of a hard border

Vincent Boland has written a major piece for the FT magazine (£) entitled “Dividing Line: Brexit and the threat to the Irish Border“. The article is all more absorbing for being written for the casually interested globalised audience that is the FT’s typical readership. Boland doesn’t deal in economic statistics or confusing politics but on more…

Conservative manifesto very warm on the Union, cool and correct to the Republic, no mention of special status in ” a comprehensive free trade and customs agreement”

TORY LAUNCH: Here I concentrate on those matters of specific interest to Northern Ireland. Remember that while manifestos tend to be mainly broad brush, they convey a sense of direction. The rhetoric of this one is modern British Unionist, as would be expected with the Union under threat but it avoids Rule Britannia jingoism.

The EU summit’s declaration on a united Ireland exposes British isolation

EU prepares for post-Brexit united Ireland membership Summit endorsement would raise fears over fragmentation of UK The Financial Times  is getting  excited about today’s  EU summit endorsing special treatment for Ireland  in the Brexit negotiations and raises “ fears for the fragmentation of the UK “ The Irish Times political editor Stephen Collins is equally more…

The saving grace of electoral pacts is that they’re short lived. There’s a longer and bigger game to play afterwards

One sign of changed times is leading commentators  such as  Alex Kane Tom Kelly and Newton Emerson ranging across newspapers that not so long ago  would have stuck to simple uncomplicated messages for  well  understood and stable readerships. Times have indeed changed for us all. From my remote position in London however, Alex and Tom more…

Left to themselves, the parties won’t agree. The time has come for the governments to bring forward solutions which involve the people directly

Observed from London, the political atmosphere at home is surreal.  The volume of comment on the talks is in inverse proportion to hard information. Expectations of agreement by Good Friday are so low that  the local media can barely be roused from torpor. Emergency action for feeding the Stormont cats occupied more space in the more…

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Swann makes his opening pitch as UUP Leader

Robin Swann became the Ulster Unionist Leader yesterday. He candidacy was unopposed. He delivered his first speech as leader to the few hundred delegates gathered at the party’s AGM in South Belfast. On a single Unionist Party; So to those who seek a single unionist party, I ask them to consider carefully the consequences of more…

Will unionists ever imagine a more generous vision than Orange culture to match Sinn Fein’s on unity?

Showing good timing and a big bunch of confidence, a warm house for Unionists in a united Ireland within the EU has been imagined once again by Matt Carthy of Sinn Fein. Political positioning, based solely on opposition to Irish unity, is unsustainable. Although he can hardly expect an immediate favourable response,  his pitch   is more…

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Robin Swann set to become the new UUP Leader

North Antrim MLA, Robin Swann is set to take over as the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party without a contest. Swann is currently the party’s Chief Whip and was involved with the Ulster Farmers Union. In a post on Facebook last night he said; I can confirm that I have submitted papers today to more…

“I’m a patient man” said Martin McGuinness in a last interview as he defended his strategy of ” making the institutions work”. But Unionists have Rubicons to cross too

So what’s the legacy?  His contribution to underlying peace not war was essential, certainly.   In the welter of well- rehearsed comment  yesterday  we can be thankful that there was no suggestion of regression, rather the opposite from the likes of Gerry Kelly.   But in politics?  To adapt Ian Paisley jnr’s tribute “It’s not how you more…

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“Wolfe, Russell and McCracken did not found a society for a united Ireland, but a society of United Irishmen…”

Seneca once wrote in his Letters from a Stoic: “enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.” There have been fewer moments when the old Roman philosopher, statesman, and dramatist was more relevant to the politics of Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein’s recent and significant gains on political unionism has given rise to more…

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Why Unionism has a problem…

Nothing in life is inevitable so the old saying goes, other than death and taxes and maybe Arsenal finishing fourth in the Premier League, so the recent old news that the Catholic population of Northern Ireland may soon reach a voting majority might cause sleepless nights. Of course, Unionists will be quick to point out more…

Theresa May’s fightback to support the Union through Brexit is only work in progress. The Irish are creating a benign vision of a United Ireland. Do the British want to match it?

The imminence of triggering Article 50 has at last woken up the British government to the reality of the threat to the Union. In a reported forthcoming tour of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to explain a negotiating  position that has seemed to ignore them,  propping up support for her “beloved Union” has become  Theresa more…

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Nesbitt; “Northern Ireland’s future within the United Kingdom will be best secured by maximising the number of people who are content and happy with their lot”

Yesterday Mike Nesbitt addressed the UUP Executive for the final time as party leader. In his speech he focused on his 5 year leadership and had a few shots at the DUP. His full speech is available on the News Letter website. He made some points about the general attitude of Unionism arguing; Unionism needs more…

All very exciting, Sandra and Sean. But in the cold light of day the election changed nothing except dreams and nightmares

Now that  the election is  over, all the  politicians have turned into commentators   tweeting all over the place, giving pious little lectures about what the other guy should do now. Not a word about what they themselves should do to reach agreement.  In the cold light of day the undoubted Sinn Fein victory makes neither more…