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Fintan O'Toole: The DUP created this mess but now it belongs to all of us. (Subscriber only)
Unionism in disarray is dangerous, and tribalised glee at its plight is idiotic

When the DUP decided to back Brexit without thinking through its consequences, it abandoned the task that any political movement must always engage in: that of taking its bearings, not from its dream world, but in the landscape it actually inhabits. Waving the union flag took precedence over the cooler headed but much more necessary work of thinking about where, in the course of history, Ulster unionism now lies. The current crisis is the cost of that great distraction.

Let's be clear: there is no gain for anybody in unionism's pain. Tribalised glee at the disarray of the enemy is idiotic. Disarray, as we know all too well, is dangerous for everybody on the island.

And unionism is not, in any case, the enemy of Irish national aspirations - it belongs in them. It should not be necessary to emphasise this, but apparently it is: people in Northern Ireland have an absolute and permanent right, under the Belfast Agreement, to choose to be British, with or without being Irish as well.

And, under the amendment to the Constitution that 94 per cent of voters in the Republic supported in 1998, it is the "firm will of the Irish nation, in harmony and friendship, to unite all the people who share the territory of the island of Ireland, in all the diversity of their identities and traditions".



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Apr 29th, 2021 at 03:33:28 PM EST

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