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In spite of, not because… December 12, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

This piece in the IT on the attitude of the English towards unionism in Ireland, by comedian Peter Flanagan, or more specifically Northern Ireland, is surprisingly solid. It notes that:

Unfortunately, I’ve observed that the more the British learn about Ireland’s loyalists, the less they like. The union has been preserved not out of love for Northern Ireland but by the general ambivalence towards it. The exact nature of Britain’s relationship with the island of Ireland is only vaguely understood by many in England. The education system here encourages ignorance when it comes to the grubbier aspects of nation’s past. In the same way a blackout drunk tries to piece together the night before, the English suspect they did something shameful in Ireland but can’t recall the exact details. Rather than “do right” by Northern Ireland, they’d much rather not think about it.

And I wonder if it is equally possible to argue that unionism tends to a remarkably romanticised view of the union and what that entails. The heady enthusiasm of the DUP during the last number of years was something to see – they genuinely believed that they were at the centre of events, and in a way they were, but more importantly that their centrality to supporting the Tories was the political manifestation of a deeper dynamic that had, as it were, been absent previously but was only waiting to be seen.

And this led to a dynamic that the author describes:

In their craven pursuit of influence, Foster and her party enabled a Brexit strategy their own electorate did not support, only to get dropped when they were no longer useful. Shortly after Johnson announced his new deal, the British parliament forced equal marriage and abortion rights on Northern Ireland. A double hammer blow, it meant total humiliation for the DUP. How much longer could they have held out on their retrograde social politics if they’d just kept their heads down?

In other words they quite literally did not realise that the political lash-up with the Tories was just that, only a political lash-up, and that it did not indicate any fellow feeling with unionism on the part of the English. Indeed, that in arriving at that position it led them right into the glare of a most unforgiving spotlight where they were open to real examination for the first time and in doing so suddenly began to appear quite alien to most English.

And Flanagan notes there’s more to come, cash-for-ash, etc. And worse, they are unlikely to exercise the same influence in the next parliament.


1. Joe - December 12, 2019

Yep. Those Tory ERG members who were interviewed before every vote in Westminster over the last few months. “Will you be supporting… blah blah blah”. “Well, I’ll be taking my lead from the DUP on this…” All a load of bollicks. When it came to it, they dumped the DUP quicker than wotsit.

Liked by 1 person

2. Ivorthorne - December 12, 2019


I think that some DUP MP’s got a little bit carried away. They were cheered as they went to Brexit rallies and praised by the ERG types.

They wanted to believe . . .

Liked by 1 person

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