At first, I felt that this was typical of a certain type of right-wing unionism. But then, having thought about it, maybe Jim has a point.
Ben Habib does have some traits that make him quite similar to me, an Ulsterman, born in County Antrim, part of the nine counties of Ulster. Ben was born in Pakistan – a country created by a British border commission, and which has seen ethnic cleansing, sectarianism, and relentless, bloody conflict – though on a much greater scale than in Ulster, or indeed, Ireland (in the 20th and 21st century, anyway).
Ben, also, like some other Ulster people, was elected to serve in a parliament that he believed shouldn’t return elected representatives from where he lived. Martin McGuinness; Gerry Adams; Ben Habib – two actual Ulstermen, and an honorary one, enduring the indignity of elected office in a parliament they don’t see as legitimate.
Ben, like some Ulster folk in ‘Derry, has also sought to cite the Russian invasion of Ukraine as having something in common with the situation in Northern Ireland. This type of persecution complex, and solipsism, is something that Ulstermen and Ulsterwomen, of all voting blocs, can have in common.
The similarities are almost endless. Ben has done well in property. The Ulstermen who make up the Provisional IRA’s Army Council have, allegedly, an impressive property portfolio.
I think that the next honorary Ulsterman title should go to Nigel Farage: a man who has led the way in seeing GB become an international laughing stock, and with a much depleted economy.
⏩ Brandon Sullivan is a middle aged, middle management, centre-left, Doors loving Belfast man. Would prefer people focused on the actual bad guys.