If you were an Irish Nationalist how would you feeling as of, 1st of January 2011, at the beginning of yet another decade “under British Rule”?
How far away do you think your nirvana of the 32 County Republic is at this point?
Well, if I were a nationalist at this juncture, two things in particular would be disturbing me:
- the confidence of not just the Unionist elite, chattering classes and bloggerati
- the maturity of the pro-Union electorate (defined as only those who presently or previously voted for Unionist parties).
For the first point, check out the News Letter’s Union 2021 series. Ignore the obvious troll (aka the prospective Right Dishonourable Member for Louth), what was the overall feel, the overall atmosphere of the series?
If I had to sum it up in a phrase, I’d say “Quiet Confidence”.
The vast majority of commentators most certainly weren’t saying: “We have the Union of our fathers and grandfathers”, but that is not *necessarily* a bad thing. Put it this way, a Unionist of 2011 can look forward to the future under the Union flag in a much more relaxed and assured way than the Unionist of 1970 could ever have anticipated, yes or no?
If I were a nationalist, the last two election results and their consequences would also greatly disturb me. In the Euros of 2009, the DUP fought on the traditionalist (accept no substitute) –
“Vote for us, Keep them out!” ticket. They didn’t “smash Sinn Fein” because the pro-Union electorate wasn’t that bothered about “smashing Sinn Fein”- it was self-confident enough to instead exercise its democratic right.
East Belfast 2010 also proved that merely putting on the red, white and blue rosette was no longer a guarantee for the Unionist flock to fall behind its assigned candidate. In both cases, the Union was no longer the question for the voter because the Union at this juncture in our history is no longer a serious question open for debate.
But let’s push the counter-intuitive boat out here and, as I said at the beginning of the post, put ourselves in Irish nationalist shoes.
I’ll get the ball running, with a quote from Sun Tzu (or was it Eric Cantona;))
“If you sit by the river long enough, you will see the body of our enemy float by.”
Is that it? A “United” Ireland is inevitable “just because” and will happen if we/ they wait long enough for it?
Come on, rack your brains; make the argument for the “United” Ireland to the uncommitted voter, more pertinently, for a Unionist readership; make the argument why a “United” Ireland is inevitable.
A Pint of Unionist Lite