Thursday, 22 September 2016

Northern Ireland - Unionist values and identity dilemma

The mindset of many Unionists within the Northern Ireland statelet is, at times, truly baffling...

Unionists Ideological Anchor

Who are that large cohort the UUP and DUP describe as the "British Unionist Protestant people of Ulster" who empower them to speak and act on their behalf? What we know about the professed collective values of this cohort can, I believe, be summarised thus: they claim to be loyal to the British state but have frequently refused to obey its authority, attacked and even murdered state officials. Furthermore, though they contend their ideological anchor with Britain is a supposed shared belief in personal autonomy and equality of UK citizenship rights, oddly, they have since their arrival on the island of Ireland opposed native Irish Nationalist Catholics accessing those equal UK citizen rights.

'Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed & adored him & rejoiced in their loss of freedom' - Cicero

Supremacist Unequal Citizenship

Today, there are a few loud Unionist voices who contend their community solemnly cherish modern British values. However, the evidence says otherwise. Firstly, most voting Unionists continue to empower the DUP, UUP and TUV who oppose modern abortion rights and LGBT marriage rights available to citizens in other parts of the UK. Secondly, whereas the Scottish and Welsh nations of the UK have native language protection laws, Unionist politicians continue to oppose a similar native Irish language protection Act. Thirdly, Irish Nationalist Catholic districts remain the most impoverished districts of NI according to official measures and that's due to a sectarian refusal by Unionists to allocate poverty funds on objective needs grounds.

Ulster Unionists must free themselves from what in truth are their ancient British Empire era colonial values and learn to embrace the 21st century societal values cherished by the Irish in Ireland and the British in Britain.

Confused Colonial Identities

On this island of Ireland known to the world as the native homeland of the Irish nation, too many Unionists in this backward NI colony statelet region conflate the differences between a) nation(al) identity verses b) state citizenship. If Unionists are minded to understand and thereafter escape their self-destructive, antiquated British colonial mindset and resulting muddled identity choices then they might want to consider the following:

British Only: If you believe the NI state is legitimate, why do you lack the commitment and confidence to embrace its 'N Irish' identity? Is it that your sense of identity is rooted in a political ideology and thus any acknowledgement of even a pseudo 'Irish' dimension to your identity alarms you?
British and Irish: If your sense of identity isn't rooted in politics and/or you aren't suffering from an identity crisis, why aren't you advocating a reunified Ireland within the UK? Being Irish, how could you sensibly want to maintain the division of the nation to which you claim to belong?
British, Irish and N Irish/Ulster: If you believe the NI state is legitimate and should remain a part of the UK why bother insincerely professing to part of the 'Irish nation' whose unity you oppose?
N Irish/Ulster Only: If you're neither British nor Irish but Northern Irish, why are you not promoting an independent NI state? Is it, you're just a British Unionist but too dishonest or ashamed to admit it?
Irish Only: If it isn't that you're just lazy or otherwise just deceiving yourself or out to deceive others, why aren't you actively promoting the reunification and independence of your divided nation?

To place the above in context, note that based on the 2011 Census data for the N I colony state region those deemed to belong to the Ulster British Unionist Protestant community can be divided into six groupings:

76% British only;
11% British and N Irish/Ulster only;
1% British Irish and N Irish;
5.5% N Irish/Ulster only;
1.1% British-Irish only;
5.4% Irish only
Importantly, the sum of these 6 cohorts represent roughly 15% of Ireland's total population.

Unionists abandonment of Irish identity stretches back to the 1st Home Rule Bill of 1886 and was down to 20% by 1968 (the year before they started our last internecine conflict then labelled Nationalists the aggressors). To most Unionists/Colonialists, Irish was only ever a mere British ethnicity and not a ancient nation in our own right. As the majority Irish nation kept rising against abuses by colonisers and sought to end foreign colonial rule by London, the Unionist community's view on identity became that expressed by the infamous 1912 Larne gunrunner Fred Crawford who said: "I am ashamed to call myself an Irishman. Thank God I am not one...".

Nowadays, Unionist politicians who oppose reunification of the Irish nation (whether a reunified Ireland were inside or outside of the UK) continue to perpetuate a British colonial identity psychosis that's destructive of the wellbeing of citizens they purport to represent. For instance:

DUP's Sammy Wilson advises, he's 'not Irish' despite being born in Ireland. He insists, 'I'm British' despite he wasn't born in Britain; a political jurisdiction consisting of England, Scotland and Wales.
UKip's David McNarry says "you can't be both British and Irish" and insists Irish people like me also born in the (colonially ruled) North of Ireland region should surrender our birthright Irish Passports.
PUP's party leader Billy Hutchinson very publicly mocks those born within the occupied North of Ireland who identify as 'Irish', while members of his party profess and promote a British-Irish identity.
Additionally, Unionists mostly from the N Irish cohort will blandly say they're advocates of our 1998 'shared future' peace deal while telling me, my nation(al) identity is supposedly N Irish not Irish.

British Identity: I am not British; I wasn't born in Britain. And it's offensive colonial supremacism for the Unionist 1% British-Irish identity cohort to tell me, I'm supposedly anti-British people as I object to being told I'm British and told my 'Irish nation' is de facto some mere British-Irish ethnicity; it's just the IRISH NATION!!!

Northern Irish: I chuckle at the ironic naivety of this cohort of Unionists insisting, whether I like it or not I'm supposedly not Irish but N Irish - did this fabricated British colonial hybrid identity form any part of the 1998 GFA "shared future" peace deal this cohort often mention but only in mischeviously vague terms? No!!! Can these "Wolves in Sheep clothing" Unionists convince even a third of fellow Unionists to adopt this NI statelet identity and particularly given that to all Unionists the NI statelet is a supposedly legitimate and cherished entity? No!!!

Citizenship: Unlike Unionists, my sense of nation(al) identity isn't dependent on whether I'm entitled to a Citizenship Passport from the Irish State or UK State. Unionists who require their British identity to be propped-up by a Passport travel document and/or our 1998 GFA peace deal plainly must feel terribly insecure.

Logic suggests - being mindful they're in a land outside Britain, Unionists prefer to avoid facing the above points as such shake the very foundations of their colonial state identity construct.

'We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English' - Winston Churchill
John Heywood: ‘There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know’.

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