What Loyalism Means To Me: Dr John Coulter

Long Kesh Inside Out, a forum that exists to provide a platform for former loyalist prisoners to express their views, is running a What Loyalism Means theme. John Coulter takes up the mantle and explains what it means to him. John Coulter is a columnist with the Irish Daily Star.
  • Dr John Coulter has been a life-long member of the Ulster Unionist Party. He is chairman of the radical Right-wing Unionist think-tank, the Revolutionary Unionist Convention, which wants loyalism to embrace the concept of One Faith, One Party, One Commonwealth. In this article for Long Kesh Inside Out, he outlines what purely democratic path loyalism should take and what loyalism means to Revolutionary Unionism.
I am an unashamed and unrepentant Radical Right-wing Unionist and loyalism now needs to follow the path of the ideology I have penned – Revolutionary Unionism. It encompasses the ethos – one faith, one party, one Commonwealth. 
As a born-again Christian, my first loyalty is to Jesus Christ as my Saviour and political mentor. His Sermon on the Mount, often referred to as The Beatitudes, as outlined in St Matthew’s Gospel, represent a caring Christian social agenda which every loyalist should adopt as their manifesto.
As a journalist and commentator, I have grown up in a political era where loyalist and unionist indulged in the luxury of splitting and fragmenting Unionism, Loyalism, Orangeism and Protestantism.
As a Revolutionary Unionist, I want to see loyalty to a single pro-Union movement simply known as The Unionist Party. It can contain as many pressure groups as it has interest groups, but seats have been lost to republicanism and nationalism through splitting the pro-Union vote and Protestant voter apathy.
Tens of thousands of loyalists gave their lives, were wounded, or served in two world wars so that the generation of 2015 could enjoy the freedoms of democracy. Like the fine example of our sister Commonwealth nation, Australia, responsible citizenship should also carry the moral duty of compulsory voting. Being a loyalist should also mean loyalty to the ballot box – and the ballot box alone.
As a Revolutionary Unionist, I recognise that the Occupied Twenty-Six Counties (known as the Republic) has failed as a political and financial experiment. It is time for these 26 Southern counties to resume their rightful place in a new Union within the Commonwealth of nations.
The historical roots of Revolutionary Unionism lie with the Glorious Revolution – hence the title of the ideology – of the 1690s under King William III which established modern parliamentary democracy as we know it. 
That Glorious Revolution affected all of Ireland, not just the six Northern counties of Northern Ireland. All of Ireland was a founder member of the Empire Parliamentary Association in 1911, which later became the current Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in the 1940s.
Loyalism must not become a purely defensive ideology. Through democratic persuasion, Revolutionary Unionism will encourage the South to initially join the CPA before taking its place once again in the Commonwealth.
Revolutionary Unionism will campaign for the UK and Ireland to leave the cash-strapped European Union with the CPA as the economic alternative. The CPA represents more than 50 national and regional parliaments throughout the globe and is much more stable politically than the crumbling EU. Where the UK goes politically and economically, Ireland must follow.
Revolutionary Unionism seeks to further the cause of Faith and State, not Church and State. The latter assumes a religious denomination ramming its views down the throats of citizens. Revolutionary Unionism will seek to re-establish the Biblical standards – not denominational dogma – as the guiding principles for the state. 
The Christian ethos will be that espoused by the Salvationist doctrine as outlined in the New Testament text of St John Chapter 3, verse 16. Revolutionary Unionism is firmly committed to the concept that a political awakening in Ireland will go hand in hand with a Christian spiritual reawakening, such as that which swept across the island in the 1859 Revival.
Revolutionary Unionism will not confine itself to the six counties of Northern Ireland or the ‘Not An Inch’ mentality. It is not a case of being loyal to the maxim ‘What We Have We Hold’, but embracing the aspiration ‘We Will Take Back What Is Rightfully Ours’. 
Loyalism needs a new aspiration; as a Revolutionary Unionist, I firmly believe loyalism has the solution – one Biblically-based Christian faith, one pro-Union party, and all of Ireland back in a single Commonwealth under the Royal Crown.


  1. The occupied 26 counties, I love it. But I genuinely wonder if this is meant to be satire?

  2. Unfortunately not. If you had to explain this type of politic culture to a visitor from another planet you'd be lost for words, I've lived among people like this and I can't describe it. At times you'd have to pinch yourself just to check if you're actually on planet Earth.

  3. Michael Craig, I wonder if Loyalists/Unionists have the same reaction to say Republican Sinn Fein or Eirigi literature? I actually liked his analysis of the Proclamation, so I know not all his stuff bizarre, but this has no basis in reality.

  4. Lauds the ballot box and democracy as he wishes for compulsory voting and a one party state solution. Who exactly is 'occupying' the 26 counties? Hope Sophie Long, Wolfsbane, Peter and Robert comment here to enlighten us on 'Progressive Unionist' thinking regarding this LSD induced political vision.

  5. I'm sure there are degrees of reaction to these literatures depending on how fundamentalist the unionist reader is. The PUP used to have a long diatribe on their website about what they had in common with working class republicans. last time I looked it had gone. The unionists who, like Coulter, claim to have been 'born again' would see the republican view of history as alien and bizarre.
    It's also a matter of class ( and it always comes down to this in my analyses), Traditional unionists lump all republicans as evil communists, but the PUP types would recognise the different shades of red /green among republicans, perhaps better than they do themselves.

  6. AM how does this biblical wank job continuously escape your bollix detector and avoids the sewer?
    he can’t even be challenged over his ludicrous theories as he wont debate here and he leaves this blog like a shit house wall.

    I’ve long believed he's the real John Doe whom the fictional character in the movie se7en was based.

  7. As a working class "Loyalist" and a man who has been unfortunate to read the ramblings of John Coulter on numerous occasions, I can let you know, he is as batshit crazy to me as he is to you.

    The overwhelming majority of Loyalists I know or know of aren't religious nutjobs like him and to be honest this fella is clearly off his rocker!!

    The people I know are more your "Super "Sunday types, would enjoy a few pints on that particular day if the "wife" lets them out, wouldn't normally darken the door of a church.

    People from the PUL are extremely diverse and mostly secularist, the noisy minority of head-the-balls give us a bad look.

  8. Sean,

    it is not obligatory that people read him.

    He can be challenged and is regularly hammered.

    He stands over his views by putting them out there without the use of a pen name. But he is not obliged to respond to his critics.

    And if you are ever in a corner over a free speech issue, getting slashed from all sides, he will be at your back.

    He is more than welcome here where assent from me to what is written is not the admission fee to get in.

  9. Andy,

    I doubt very much if too many outside the unionist community think it is characterised by religious mania. It would be like imagining the state of Utah is home to millions and millions of Church Mormons rather than merely formal Mormons who like a drink, a game, a jump. And there is a consistent internal logic to John's religious outlook which was absent from say Sinn Fein Councillor Michael McIvor's unadulterated gibberish, which earned him his own page. While I don't sample opinion on the matter, I doubt if the majority of our readers would like to see John go. Even if they did he would remain in place.

  10. I obviously disagree with John's prescription for Loyalism/Unionism. It is fairly exclusivist, and traditionalist, whilst Unionism and Loyalism, and Protestantism for that matter, are bound up with diversity, dissent and, ironically, disunity.

    Can we have Unionist unity? Well, yes, on the Union. After that we all disagree on what sort of Union we would like, and to ignore this dissensus would be tyrannical.

    To be fair to John, there is a more right-wing, traditionalist strand within Loyalism/Unionism, and its adherents believe in their vision,as many of us believe in our own.

    I don't wish to lump several, different individuals together, but he, Jamie Bryson, perhaps Charlie Freel (LKIO member) see the current,secular,progressive Unionist thought as a corrupting force, and wish for a return to the traditional. Not sure if this holds but might be connected to similar political projects who reject modernity and wish to preserve and protect the "pure" nation or group...


  11. Sophie

    You mean like ISIS or the Taliban? Who are LKIO?

  12. Larry,

    Long Kesh Inside Out, the site from which John's piece was reproduced

  13. Sean
    Coulter's ramblings may seem like batshit to you, most of it is to me too, but some of his ideas are interesting. In this article he lays down his hopes that the 26 will return to the commonwealth. This is reminiscent of the old TARA organisation of the 60s who wanted a united Ireland under British rule and to evangelise and convert catholics from their superstition. As an atheist I would prefer that both catholics and prods were converted from their superstition to enlightened reason but that is another story. With the UK wanting a different relationship with the EU than the eurozone countries and the SNP wanting a different UK, I think it is a really interesting time to rethink the relationship between the 26 and both Our Wee Country and the Uk in general. Judging by Charlies visit last week it may not be such a crazy idea.

    I was 13 during the Hunger Strikes and that was, like many of my generation, a pivotal year. The IRA seemed to be winning with murders almost daily; Michael Foot announced that the next Labour govt would give a United Ireland; the Cons looked like they wanted out; the Republic was an economic basket case with high unemployment and emigration, it was ruled politically by the corrupt republican sympathiser, Haughey and socially but the South Armagh über gael, O'Faigh. I decided that I would rather die than see a United Ireland (oh the folly of youth!) Now the war is over and I realise that I probably have more in common with Anthony that with Coulter. Coulter's ideas are not to my taste but neither are those from the 1916 Societies, thankfully these extreme sectarian positions are attracting less attention as our young people get more liberal. Whatever happens next in these isles we must never let violence return.

  14. Larry,

    yes- he posts regularly, and,like John, receives a lot of opposition. However, like Anthony I support free speech. He is not inciting hatred,so causing no harm, and we can refute his claims and make our own counter-claims.

    This is his piece- http://www.longkeshinsideout.co.uk/?p=3235.


  15. "... thankfully these extreme sectarian positions are attracting less attention as our young people get more liberal. Whatever happens next in these isles we must never let violence return."

    Well said Peter.

    I was 13 when the Battle of the Bogside happened and the unjustness of the northern state ensnared my consciousness. In my well primed mind I made a decision that I would rather die than see such injustice prevail.

    Like you I have come to accept that the war is over. I now see myself as having little in common with the Johns and Seans and much in commons with yourself or AM.

    Perhaps we could initiate a new Ulster Covenant; a simple pledge (before our neighbours rather than before god) ... regardless of previous hurts and losses ... regardless of whether we'd like to address the past or not ... regardless of our preferences for the future ... regardless of our views on current administrative and governmental strategies ... that we collectively affirm firstly and fore-mostly our opposition to either wishing or inflicting violence upon each for the purpose of political change.

  16. Henry,
    You said the war is over, yet you serve up a recipe for sectarian rioting over the definition of violence and whether that includes extends to the state, and what language the simple affirmation is written in. A sinister Republican ruse if ever there was one!

  17. ....2015 and counting.

    Soon we hope to detect other life forms in the universe.

    Soon, artificial intelligence will confront us.

    And even now, humanity is faced with self induced climate change, with all its consequences, loss of arable land, terrible and irreversible loss of biodiversity, rampant capitalism and ensuing inequality, mindless idiots (Christian, Jewish and Muslim) promoting apocalyptic visions and behaving as if no morality existed at all never mind even their own. These and many other problems that demand calm and rational thought.

    Yet in the six counties mindless bigotry still prevails in the minds of many.

    I would happily countenance a union of the four Atlantic Island states but first the monarchy and all that it entails must go. Your lords and ladies may call themselves what they will but it will be in the homely confines of a flat in Hackney.

    Also, all established religions would go. Keep your religion, if you are unfortunate enough to have one, safely in your pocket.

    Finally, Coulter can stand at City Hall or Castle Place and entertain the children and the village fools if he wants but he and his kind must be removed from any semblance of power.

  18. Dáithí

    second draft to be amended to 'regardless of our views on current administrative, governmental and security strategies'. The pledge does not preclude peaceful protest nor peaceful resistance to policy and strategy.

    And also it can be translated and made available in as many languages as required.

  19. Sophie

    I believe Peter and Henry Joy are along the right lines. There's something about loyalist and nationalist time machine addicts that can only lead to endless re-runs here. The political state of flux on internal UK and UK-EU relations is an opportunity if the foresight is there to avail of it.

    I read that link. He has the blinkered view of loyalty to nothing but 'self' so evident in historical unionism/loyalism. So he left the British army to fight terrorists? I assume that was ATAT in defence of the one party unionist state. His fireman experience hardly clouded his viewpoint, sure he had already left the Army to kill taigs before joining the fire brigade. It would be easy to be rude and say he had something other than his kidney removed. But 'plank and eye' would come into play. As readers here will know my granddad was also in the Royal Ulster Riffles and survived both Dunkirk and D-Day only to die doing civilian vigilante protecting RC houses in early 1973. My granny was initially told he was dead during the war by telegram only for an officer to land at the house to say he was traced to a hospital in Scotland having been buried alive for two days.

    He was fighting the war while most 'loyalists' crammed into protected jobs to avoid the conscription the were demanding for unemployed taigs. Anyhow, 'plank and eye' come into play due to the fact when my dad bought himself out of the RAF in '73 I was only nine and already waiting to 'get at' loyalists. Twaz a 'funny old war' lol.

  20. Henry Joy

    would the new Ulster Covenant also be 'regardless' of a Westminster annual bail-out?

  21. Larry,

    must be the biggest amount of comments on a piece in years. You draw crowds like a circus freak LOL

  22. the cake thread? aye lol elephant man Hughes roll up roll up!!

  23. Sorry, Larry - that is where I thought I was posting the comment

  24. AM,Larry provided one of the few laugh out loud moments for me from reading the web with his suggestion for NY St.Patricks Day flotilla of gay leprechauns "blowjobbing and buttfucking" down 5th Avenue. The Party Planning Industry is missing his skill set.

    Henry, suitably inoffensive. Now how to get the PUL community to think they originated it,remember part of the their ideology necessarily means anti-anything that has a Southern whiff. (With a comment like "Southern whiff" I may be mentally on the cake thread too)

  25. DaithiD

    Am always striving to put my creative writing course to good use.

  26. Jazyus Budgie ye really have stirred the pot. I love it -it;s just you.....now I know what ye were cogitating all those yers back on the NL desk......great stuff you may yet gain the title of offical Unionist Philosopher..ooops sorry ...THE ONLY offical Unionist philospher.
    Meantime , many years ago, in a student uni debate on Partition,I coined the cry: " give us back our 26 counties".
    we may not be as far apart as we (and/orothers)may have thought.

  27. Larry,

    I don't know John Coulter in any personal capacity but he has always struck me as someone who displays little interest in critical acclaim. I think what he has provided here is what the exercise required - a subjective response.

    Revolutionary? Aside from the idea of the Irish Republic within the Commonwealth I haven't read much else that might be considered radical. But how radical is the concept of Ireland joining an enity consisting of thirty two other republics, Twenty nine of them former Briish colonies with equally troubled histories? One terminus of the current détente between Ireland and Great Britain John has claimed as a policy objective. I find it entirely plausible and even more so when one realises and accepts that a United Ireland if one is ever to exist will only come about in the presence of a formal link to the British monarchy that satisfies Unionism.

  28. Larry

    the affects of the reduction in British exchequer subsidisation of the north are certainly relevant. Next week will tell some of the tale; lets hold back a little before adding another clause!


    Calling it the New Ulster Covenant would give suitable ownership to the PUL's and anticipating a customary and reactionary response of CRN's we could have the same pledge with a suitable variation on the name ready to go for them too ... Then repackage, fuse them together and relaunch under the 'Not In My Name Pledge'.

    (And pigs might fly :)

  29. Robert

    It doesn't seem to me the majority here have any problem with monarchy. It was argued at university the preference of Scotland by Queen Victoria over Ireland as a holiday destination and Royal neglect regarding Royal visits opened the door to advanced nationalism/fenians post famine. Visits always drew big crowds in Dublin, coining the phrase jackeens coz they waved the union flags.

    Unless there was a storming of the Dail by republicans I couldn't see anyone caring things are so bad.

  30. Henry,
    The probability comparison with flying pigs is quite accurate in terms of fairness in the North.
    As for the naming of things, it was too dismissive of me to class the author as unreal, I think Coulterkampf is much more descriptive!