Outside the Box: Take 1

Guest writer Sean Mallory with a few thoughts on the obstacles facing the development of any republican strategy.

Are we trapped to play the British political game of what defines the future of this Island? A game where they set the rules and to which we adhere to? A game whose rules they can change to suit their throw of the dice and to which we adhere to? A game that in essence keeps us in a political labyrinth where we can reach highs and lows but never actually achieve what we initially set out to achieve? A game whose rules and machinations are designed to engage, to retain, and bewilder us within the confines of the political labyrinth but instil in us the vain hope that one day we may win it? A game whose only outcome is defined by its creators, the British themselves.

And yet, this is exactly what we have constantly been doing. From the very beginning, we have continued to abide by their rules, and to agree, to play it their way. What we need to do is to step out of it and re-analyse where do go we go from that point? We need to stop playing their game and we need to come out of their political labyrinth once and for all.

A repetitive theme that runs through many articles on the Quill is that there still exists a post de-industrial, industrial orthodox class system in Britain/Ireland, with a general focus being here on uniting the working class against I suppose, the ruling class and which I also assume would encompass that nebulous bunch known as the Establishment.

But with the rapid decline of industrial manufacturing and the rise of the service industry sector, is this still a viable position to take? Is there still a working class in the true conventional understanding? Should we be focusing on 19th century concepts to get our message across? Has not the working class been surreptitiously surpassed and replaced by the current ‘Lumpenproletariat’ more commonly known today as the ‘spongers on benefits’? Does Unionist working class and Nationalist working class have so much in common that is constantly implied?

Or are these understandings the result of playing the British political game? For instance, Unionism is only Unionism because the British have accepted them as so and in so doing have intrinsically implied that they are somehow British but different – Irish-British just like Scots-British and Welsh-British. And from this the British can easily describe the conflict as an internal affair that can only be resolved internally and to which they have done! But, if we, were to refer to them as solely being British and without the Irish tinge, then the political landscape here changes from an internal conflict to a conflict by a foreign aggressor and one that is not so easily explained away ... stepping away from the game.


  1. 'But, if we, were to refer to them as solely being British and without the Irish tinge, then the political landscape here changes from an internal conflict to a conflict by a foreign aggressor and one that is not so easily explained away ... stepping away from the game'.

    Been saying exactly that since I can remember. If ethnic Chinese were planted in Hokkaido Japan and set themselves apart from the rest of Japan would they be considered Japanese? Doubt it very much. Republicanism in this regard is a farce.

  2. Interesting article. What rights, if any, then should these 'British' (the Unionist community) have in Ireland if the British state were ever to withdraw from the six-counties? How do we quantify that community to which we will grant or withhold these right? By ethnicity? Religion? Given the amount of inter-marrying over the centuries I don't see how that can be made work, every family has a turn in it somewhere if you go back far enough - in most instances you don't need to go back too far. As far as I'm aware my mother's grandfather or his father converted to Catholicism so to all intents in purposes I have settler blood flowing in my veins. How then should I be considered, by my ethnicity or by my values and beliefs? The republican analysis of the Unionist community is open to criticism as some may consider it patronising in its approach, but where it stands up is in the idea that for there to be a full peace there has to be recognition of the other and reconciliation as a result. Britain is dividing the people of Ireland from each other in a deliberate strategy that helps maintain their overall ability to influence how we do things here - and not just in the north but all over this country. It's not a reassessment of our position on the Unionist community that's needed but a reassessment of our approach to cooperation with the British state itself, popular culture needs revolutionised so it turns away from the British model and looks back towards our own

  3. disappointed ur a bit of a proddie unionist bres but i always had my suspicions.

  4. Sean you are going around after your own tail there like a typical republican. How many times would you recommend a man chase after a woman when she has zero interest in his advances? It quickly goes from courting to freak show I'd suggest. Unionism was never here to integrate. As for your British comparative, the British community here should do what the Irish and every other ethnic minority does in their country of settlement; abide by the laws and customs where necessary in their adopted homeland. You are talking about not playing the British game but your stuck in it by grovelling to the very people placed here to retard this nation and who hate the Irish. Republicanism has a long history of failure and grovelling to Unionism takes you to destination stickie or destination Provo/PSNI. Don't see any other end result ever. De Valera was brutal during WW2 so republicanism would do well not to hoist him up as a hero either.

    Find an alternative. People will be glad of the 'change'.

  5. Adams: 1916 Proclamation is ‘unfinished business’

    Irish Times

    Sinn Féin will not follow Labour’s example of going into office to give cover to the “ agenda of conservative parties , repeating again the failed political history of this State over the past eighty years”, he added.

    He goes on to say..........

    The 1916 Rising commemorations belong to the progressive people of Ireland, not to any political party, including Sinn Féin, he said.

    But he insisted his party wont “ take lectures on 1916 from those revisionists and other slibhini who abandoned its ideals decades ago”.

    The piece ends with this....

    He said Sinn Féin will stretch out the hand of friendship to unionist neighbours but will stand against bigots, racists and sectarian fundamentalists and their cheerleaders who “are on the wrong side of history”.

    It's a good article...

  6. I understand what you're saying of course Larry, what I mean is we have to offer them full rights. What they choose to do with that is up to themselves but our hostility should be to their lack if respect for ourselves as opposed to themselves per se if you get me