The Union’s future is written on the wall, but those who care most about its preservation are simply too blind to see it.
If there were a border poll tomorrow, 48 per cent of people here would vote to remain in the UK and 41 per cent would opt for Irish unity, with 11 per cent undecided. But that’s not the number that should scare those trying to maintain the status quo.
It’s because they lag so far behind in the under-45s. About 57 percent of 18-24 year olds want a united Ireland, while only 35 percent opt for the Union. Among 25 to 44-year-olds, according to a survey by LucidTalk for the Sunday Times, it is 48 to 42 percent.
Unionists need to get out of their comfort zone quickly and go well beyond their traditional base.
The DUP was the gift given to supporters of Irish unity over and over again in recent years.
Along with the Tories, they have alienated huge sections of the population, which they need to remain more neutral towards the Union if it is to survive.
Any trade unionist who thinks Brexit hasn’t hurt their cause is delusional. English nationalism, backed by absolute Ulster fools, was the greatest friend imaginable for Irish republicanism.
Today and middle-class Catholics, who used to be cultural nationalists, not political ones, are now talking about the British government in a manner reminiscent of the staunch Sinn Fein supporters at the height of the conflict.
In the months and years following the IRA ceasefire, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness predicted there would be a united Ireland by 2016, but there was never a Sinn Fein strategy for achieving one.
Brexit and stupid DUP decisions filled the void and created momentum towards Irish unity.
When it comes to abortion, same-sex marriage and recently integrated education, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson’s party at Stormont finds itself increasingly friendless.
It has pushed social-liberal unionist voters into the arms of the Alliance. Both nationalist parties have been much bolder and bolder in tackling the dinosaur attitude within their ranks and moving with the times.
The DUP constantly speaks of transformation and a positive, vigorous and inclusive approach that will win new support for the Union.
Peter Robinson and Arlene Foster both spoke about the prospect. But it was never more than gossip.
The party has proven incapable of taking small steps, let alone winning new allies for the Union.
Demographic trends mean that smart union politicians would kill nationalists with kindness and court those unaligned by the constitution. They should do everything to make Northern Ireland work and make everyone feel at home there. Whether that’s an Irish Language Act or a GAA pitch in East Belfast shouldn’t matter.
With Sinn Féin at 29 percent versus 21 percent for the DUP in May’s general election, the need for unity has increasingly come to the fore in some union circles.
It is said that without him there will never again be a unionized prime minister. But a large, single pro-union party – or electoral pacts – retaking Sinn Féin’s seats may mean individual battles are won but the war is still lost.
Earlier this month, UUP leader Doug Beattie wrote on the Slugger O’Toole blog about the flaw in relying on “narrow bases rather than growing support for the broader pro-union message”.
“Many voters do not currently believe in the political union movement, but they will vote for a prosperous, forward-looking Northern Ireland with a strong economy at its heart where respect and understanding are as important as identity and culture,” he said.
Unionism has a choice of continuing down the path of short-term tactical thinking, “focusing on the negative and alienating the very people we need” to keep the Union alive, or it can do something else, Beattie explained.
History shows that the chances of a wise choice are slim. Unionism has always been better at looking for Lundies than chasing down converts. Saving the Union always takes precedence over securing it.
Demographics are such that it may even be too late. Irish unity is certainly not inevitable, but since the founding of the Northern Irish state, its future has never looked so uncertain.
https://www.independent.ie/news/english-nationalism-assisted-by-absolute-ulster-fools-has-been-the-greatest-friend-imaginable-to-irish-republicanism-41926505.html English nationalism, backed by absolute Ulster fools, was the greatest friend imaginable for Irish republicanism