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After a UI has been established? August 10, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Entertaining line in Newton Emerson’s latest – which by the by argues that in a UI he coming from a unionist perspective might be in Ireland but not ‘of’ Ireland. And he asks some interesting questions about how unionists would assimilate, suggesting that for many it would be a case of retreat …

However, the Plymouth Brethren model uncannily mirrors Protestant experience in the Republic after independence: a regrouping into small, proud, self-contained communities, with dimensions beyond religion and geography.

Having a part foot in that camp and more than a passing acquaintance with same over the years, there’s something to it. Though I wonder if the much greater numbers, geographic concentration and so on would see a political post-unionism playing a much more robust role in a future UI. I would tend to hope so.

Emerson ends on a pessimistic note:

Growing up in Portadown, I noticed Brethren people my age were adept at leading double lives – in their parents’ world one minute, in the pub the next. They could maintain this dichotomy into adulthood but the strain on them and their families inevitably told, and something would snap.
Exactly the same thing often happens between first and second generation immigrants from conservative countries.
Is this the final fate of unionists if their country leaves them?

Yet unionism in the south didn’t ‘snap’. Those who were Protestants (and important to keep in mind unionism and Protestantism aren’t exactly synonymous) most certainly didn’t even during a period of a much less open, and frankly sub-reactionary time in the life of this particular state.

Still, that entertaining line comes in the second part of this sentence:

There is nothing more Protestant than letting people figure out eternity for themselves, and nothing more unionist than marching everyone up to the top of a hill then disappearing.

Comments»

1. Joe - August 10, 2018

The north is different.
The six counties are different from the twenty six counties.
The six counties, after a UI has been established, will be different in different ways than they are now – we don’t know what those differences will be because we haven’t gone through the process that establishes a UI yet.
The experience and fate of protestants and unionists in the six counties, after a UI has been established, will be different than that of protestants and unionists in the twenty six after independence.

Let’s hope that our great grandchildren, if we have any, get through it all ok.

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EWI - August 10, 2018

The north is different.
The six counties are different from the twenty six counties.

Not so, in any way. There was no difference between, say, Fermanagh and Sligo when ‘Northern Ireland’ was created. It was only a gerrymandering.

The six counties, after a UI has been established, will be different in different ways than they are now – we don’t know what those differences will be because we haven’t gone through the process that establishes a UI yet.

Reverse GFA. Simples.

The experience and fate of protestants and unionists in the six counties, after a UI has been established, will be different than that of protestants and unionists in the twenty six after independence.

I’d really love to hear what you mean by this, and bear in mind that some of us have Protestant relatives.

Let’s hope that our great grandchildren, if we have any, get through it all ok.

Congratulations on being the proud grandfather of college graduates, because that’s the timeframe here.

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Joe - August 11, 2018

EWI, I say the north is different. You say not so, in any way. Not much point in going any further with it, is there?

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2. Polly. - August 10, 2018

‘The North is different…’ It is of course, it is more different to the other provinces than they are different to each other. Ulster Custom, fair rent free sale fixity of tenure; Industrial North vs Rural South; the Cattle Raid of Cooley.

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3. WorldbyStorm - August 10, 2018

You’re all correct in my view, it is both different and similar. I think the reverse GFA is the best approach since it acknowledges both.

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4. Logan - August 10, 2018

I think this notion of the “reverse GFA” is a bit too neat. It doesnt take into the account the major difference between NI being in the Republic and NI being in the UK, which is the impact of the relative sizes.

In the UK, the NI economy hardly matters and the NI delegation to the UK parliament is about 2% (would be a bit higher except for abstentionism).

In a reverse GFA, the NI parliamentary delegation would be about 30% of the Dail and the NI economy would be a hugely important component in the Republic’s economy.

SF would usually (after most general elections) be the largest party in the Dail.

So NI would be a hugely important part of the unified Irish states politics and economy in a way that is unimaginable in the current UK situation.

Not sure what effect that would have on the devolved institutions, but I am sure it would be a considerable one.

And of course the effect on the south. Lets say an election ended up with a SF/FF coalition with just over 50% of the Dail seats. Could be a 60/40 SF/FF cabinet. Might be a bit of a shock for southerners to find that three or four of their cabinet ministers are TD’s who represent seats in west Belfast or east Tyrone.

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EWI - August 10, 2018

And of course the effect on the south. Lets say an election ended up with a SF/FF coalition with just over 50% of the Dail seats. Could be a 60/40 SF/FF cabinet. Might be a bit of a shock for southerners to find that three or four of their cabinet ministers are TD’s who represent seats in west Belfast or east Tyrone.

PSF have successfully taken FF’s clothes as being the party to deliver a UI (for which FF have only themselves to blame. I can recall talk from nearly twenty years ago of FF running candidates in the North, yet nothing was done).

It’s by no means likely that ‘unionist’ and ‘nationalist’ division will survive reunification, which removes PSF’s big issue. Certainly we no longer have unionist parties on LAs or in the Dáil in the South – the Protestant vote has scattered on a non-sectarian basis to FF, FG, Labour etc.

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5. sean - August 11, 2018

UI ……don’t worry about it, the Millions of emigrants that will flood Ireland in the next 25 years will not care about catholic or Protestant.

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