I don't see any demand for a 32 county kingdom: there are one or two accounts on Twitter! – but no realistic demand.
However, how can we have a a republic when we need to accommodate about 20% who want a royal family from the unionist community? Will that demand falter with the passing of time?
The Commonwealth Quandary
Some reckon rejoining the Commonwealth is one option. I’d oppose that myself from idealism but do think it could be put to a vote, and allowed to be debated without anyone being condemned for taking up a pro-Commonwealth position.
For democracy to take place, we must allow opposition from within our own community to our position – anything less is not democracy.
All Options on the Table
Should all options for a united Ireland be on the ballot paper, including a 32 county united Ireland back in the UK with home rule or direct rule? I can\t see why not.
The least popular options can then be removed, and the top two – liable to be keep things as they are, or have a united Ireland - be held on a 32 county vote basis.
The united Ireland debate and national self determination is an issue of its own, the choice between a republic or other is another debate.
Whether to be a unitary state, or have separate states in confederation union is also to be decided, either in negotiation or by island wide vote. What would be in a local British self-governing entity could be decided like Gagauzia in Moldova, with mixed areas under joint rule.
A New Constitution
A new national constitution that outlines a pluralist secular government – that is neither pro or anti any religion or none, with all social options to be voted on from divorce to abortion (yes . . . that debate again) with each entity having an opt out from a policy the majority of its voters vote for.
For instance, a British self-ruled area could allow divorce and outlaw abortion, even if both were legal in the national referendum.
That thorny issue can be dealt with with Irish being declared the heritage language of Ireland, English the lingua Franca and Ulster Scots a heritage language of the North of Ireland.
Traveller Cant could be a heritage language too, bar I doubt there would be much demand from the actual Travellers, such only coming from the NGO sector who claim to speak on their behalf.
As republicans we have to move away from the thinking that every word of Irish spoken is a nail in the coffin of the Union. Such thinking legitimised opposition to the Irish language which we should want both to save and share whether the future of our island be a United Ireland, or as is, or a United Europe. Indeed it was many of British heritage from the Scots of Ulster to John Dopping and others of the landed classes who worked to undo the damage or prior and subsequent British policy.
O’Connellism did as much damage to Irish as most British policy, based on the idealist but foolish French policy that all speaking the same language gives equality. Bilingualism is the ideal situation but I doubt we could manage that.
Flags and Anthems
In the south, there is universal support for both the tricolour flag and Amhran na bhFiann, and as such opposition among the unionists and those sympathetic to them. For national unity the Irish entity could keep both, the British entity have its own, and the national entity have an anthem similar to Ode to Joy.
The tricolour was intended to represent both communities, but it is universally seen as belonging to one. I'd hate to see a United Ireland fail on strength of a fleg. The Lough Erne flag could be the compromise we need.
Marches and Commemorations
Can an Orange march go sown the street of what is meant to be the capital of the state where both communities are equal? Everyone says Dublin would be an issue, but Eire Nua says Athlone could be the new capital, or even a new city.
Mad idea that solves the issue in a fell stroke, why not Belfast as the capital of a United Ireland?
Each will want to commemorate the dead whether they did good or ill from their own community during the struggle. That has to be allowed, and the ability to counter protest allowed too.
Out of the Box thinking, and stepping out of our Comfort Zone
We will need out of the box thinking and need to step out of our comfort zone.
That goes for both communities.
We must have the bravery of Ruairi O Bradaigh and never again be cowed by Adams, McGuinness and Co and their ilk who play the brave, stop all progress, keep a conflict going for another quarter century and settle for less, in a well intentioned agreement which promises all to each and delivers none to neither community.
Talking to Unionists is not an Orange sop.
🖼Tom Carty is a writer and a lifelong leftwing republican, trade union and political activist.
Solid and reasonable thinking here.ReplyDelete
"we need to accommodate about 20% who want a royal family from the unionist community?"ReplyDelete
Seriously, we are STILL pandering to a minority that are dictating to the majority in an All Ireland context!
The Unionists were part of an All Ireland at many stages during this islands history with no issues, now the argument is been turned on its head!!
It betrays every single thing that was fought for during 1916 and is totally against what Wolfe Tone and the United Irishmen stood for!!