06/11/20 – Ireland United… Maybe

It’s Friday which is fantastic, it means I get a lie-in tomorrow which I’ve been really looking forward to. Today I thought I’d talk about a united Ireland, controversial I know but I can’t stand tiptoeing around sensitive issues. We all have our own views on things and we need to be able to share our views without falling out so here goes.

If there was a Border Poll tomorrow I can say with all confidence I’d vote for a united Ireland. But I wouldn’t be voting as somebody who has been waiting for this moment with great anticipation. I find a united Ireland meaning less and less to me as time passes. I’m not sure why but maybe it’s the fact that I’m beginning to think about my future and starting a family eventually etc. Well I think I might finally understand having your political ideals slightly warped by a primal instinct to look after your own. I want to do what I think is best for me and for the people I care about. That said, I don’t think a united Ireland would be the best thing. But so much effort and energy has been exerted trying to achieve it that I don’t think I could bring myself to vote against it. You never know when the next one is coming round and it would shake things up a good bit.

Something that I think about often is how many people consider Southerners in the equation. The vast majority of Southerners don’t give a shit about us from the North and I think the people in the two communities here have more in common with each other than either has with a Southerner. I’m sure many a Republican has argued that the British don’t care about us, they don’t want us, they’d get rid of us in a heartbeat and so on and so forth. But what about the South? Do they give a shit about us? Or do they want us? No. We’re on our own, I can already hear the counterarguments about Sinn Féin’s success in the South. This success is on the back of an anti-austerity ticket essentially. I’m certain that the majority of Sinn Féin voters in the South vote that way for social and economic policy rather than an all-Irish vision. In all seriousness it’s hard to tell if Sinn Féin have grown in the South because they’ve been good or just because everyone else is so dire. Varadkar for example, how could you like the guy? I don’t give a shit that he’s gay, there are plenty of gay people that are wankers too. Yes it’s fantastic but if you want to make a statement do so in a ceremonial role. I hate Varadkar sorry, I’ve never liked him, he’s a prick and when he made that comment about Belfast being overseas he may as well have just shot himself there and then. I know I said I don’t like to get triggered like two days ago but I’ll admit that did trigger me to be fair. He died to me that day, disgraceful behaviour and then he calls himself Irish… I’d confiscate his passport for that kind of rhetoric. Point is, I don’t believe there’s very much appetite for it in the south. When you factor in the economic impact of COVID as well it makes a Border Poll look even less likely to happen or win.

The other thing then is the Unionists in the North. I’m going to say something some of you may not like. If I was a Unionist, there’s no way in hell I’d ever vote for a united Ireland over my dead body. Unionism is by its nature and in its history an incredibly stubborn and staunch movement. The whole basis of Unionism is resistance to change which makes it inevitable that it will lose eventually. But still I’m not one of those people who act as though a united Ireland makes sense for Unionism. Like for all of Sinn Féin’s supposed inclusivity their requirement to keep links with the past severely hinders that. How can you seriously expect any Unionist to believe you when you say they’ll be safe and protected in a United Ireland if you march holding photos of hunger strikers. Whatever you think about the Hunger Strike is irrelevant, to Unionism it represents the IRA and only the IRA and you can understand why that would put them off. The way that Nationalists view the 12th July is the same way that Unionists view the Easter parades and the feile. I remember last year everyone getting annoyed at the Wolfe Tones playing at the Feile which I think received money from the government. Me and my girlfriend go to the Wolfe Tones every time they come to Belfast but I said at the time that if this was the other way around and thousands of people had packed into a park with Union jacks giving it 90 singing about the UVF everyone would kick off, me included. But yet again, ignorance is bliss.

I’ll say this, a United Ireland in my lifetime I think is likely. But even if it’s not in my lifetime it is still inevitable and here’s why. I’ve got a saying ‘Conservatism always loses’ and that is a true bill. The basic nature of conservatism, to conserve tradition and resist change means that it’s screwed. Humans change all the time, the world is ever changing and it seems to be getting more and more Liberal as the time passes. See it’s much easier to attack something (positive action) rather than to defend something (negative action). Positive action is a lot more sustainable because it can be successful due to time alone. It’s pretty much a fact that if you go on about something for long enough people will give in. Most obviously of all is that Nationalists seem to be reproducing quicker. Team that with the fact that a larger proportion of young Unionists are moving away either for uni or permanently than Nationalists are. This all points towards a United Ireland but this is all on the basis that Sinn Féin can play their cards right in the South and we’ll see if the Southerners finally have the sense to elect someone who isn’t right-wing and who gives a shit about the people. Who knows what could happen if Sinn Féin get in down South.

So, I’d vote for it, I’m really sceptical about attitudes towards the North and protection for Unionists but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

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