Friday, 24 July 2015

Root Of All Evil In North Of Ireland Statelet

01: Ireland became the British Empire's first colony and the entity known as 'Northern Ireland' is a remnant of that colony. In 1800, a foreign British power incorporated Ireland into the UK. And despite contending that Ireland was now (then) an integral and equal part of the UK, Ireland alone had a Governor-General and Under-Secretary plus it was still the subject of draconian anti-Irish and anti-Catholic Penal Laws. Plus, until partition was imposed at gunpoint in 1921, the UK State stationed a considerable standing army to suppress repeated native Irish rebellions against foreign British rule.

English Oxford Dictionary definition of a 'Colony';

'A country or area under the full or partial political control of another country...'

English Oxford Dictionary definition of a 'Colonialist';

'A person who supports the practice of gaining political control over other countries and occupying them...'

The term Unionist is a UK euphemism for a Colonialist i.e those who refused to assimilate into their host nation and support colonial rule over Ireland by a foreign Westminster parliament. Furthermore, these Afrikaner-like British Colonialists support imposing upon us a primary 'British' identity and relegating our unique native nation(al) identity (be it English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish) to the status of a mere British ethnicity - this supremacist attitude is more repugnant than the most insular forms of ultra-nationalism that Irish Republicans reject with equal conviction.

Killing In the Colony

02: Contrary to the devious or naive interpretation some NI colony Unionists apply to our GFA peace deal of 1998, the Irish nation signed the GFA solely to a) end the killing and b) affirm we would use peaceful means to remove the undemocratically imposed border partitioning us and our native island homeland. Consequently, nothing has been 'settled' but rather placed into an agreed state of flux that can only be finally settled by reunification of the Irish nation.

03: British Unionists can not escape a) the Irish nation didn't consent to Ireland being absorbed into the UK b) their gerrymandered NI colony statelet came into existence in 1921 against the wishes of the majority of the Irish nation as expressed in Ireland's 1918 election result (see above graph). Hence, the NI statelet has no 'real' right to exist. The fact the NI statelet exists is a matter of reality and not one of legitimacy; the Apartheid regime and partition of the German nation were realities but likewise with the NI statelet neither of those were ever legitimate... and both of those injustices were eventually righted as will be the unjust division of the Irish nation.

Raging Against Truth

04: During her seminal visit to Ireland in May 2011, the British Queen made a reconciliation speech which was warmly received by the Irish nation. Having expressed sadness and regret for the way in which British colonial rule had not always been 'benign' and acknowledging 'a painful legacy' existed, Queen Elizabeth not least added;

'...Inevitably where there are the colonisers and the colonised, the past is a repository of sources of bitter division. The harsh facts cannot be altered nor grief erased...'

05: In the 1920's, Winston Churchill held the title of 'Colonial Secretary' to Ireland. Indeed as recent as February 2013, British Government Minister Alistair Carmichael (Secretary of State for Scotland) confirmed Ireland was a colony of Britain. Despite all these British state evidential facts, oddly in March 2014 Unionists were apoplectic when Alliance party MLA Anno Lo told the Irish News she believed the NI state was 'artificial' and that she was 'anti-colonial' and favoured a united Ireland.

06: Unionist journalist Newtown Emerson contended the opinion of Ms Lo was 'incredibly dangerous rhetoric'. And the mildest outburst from the Democratic Unionist Party came from its MLA Arlene Foster who demanded Anna Lo apologise for her opinion, adding:

'Does Anna Lo believe that Northern Ireland is comparable to a colony and does she view unionists as colonists? Northern Ireland is not a colony; it is a full and equal part of the United Kingdom'... Her language would have more in common with those republicans who can't even bring themselves to use the name of Northern Ireland...'

07: In his reaction, Traditional Unionist Party leader and elected MLA Jim Allister de facto conceded NI is indeed a colony:

'...Ms Lo says she believes that for a “corner of Ireland to be part of the United Kingdom… is very artificial”... But then, of course, she makes it clear that she is “anti-colonial”!...'

08: The above linked articles and Tweets show, frequently even so-called moderate pro-Union Politicians, Journalists and Commentators resort to blatant hyperbole to suppress reasonable debate on the majority Irish view that NI is an illegitimate statelet. Whenever Irish Republicans try to explain their perspective on this topic, pro-Union factions tend to go much further than these 'dangerous... fascist... dehumunising' language accusations levelled against Hong Kong born Anna Lo. If anyone were being fascist it is these individuals who attack and abuse this educated woman who just politely stated her impartial view and one based on decades of her living in this rampantly sectarian cesspit that is NI colony. Stop this oppressive nonsense!!!

Irish Native or British Colonist

09: The day before Ireland was undemocratically partitioned all its inhabitants constituted the 'Irish nation' plus British Colonialists. The following day, the only change was that those in the South had broken free of foreign colonial rule. We of the Irish nation in the North remained Irish, still occupied by a foreign colonial power and among us live British Colonialists still sucking on the teet of their English masters in London, masters who make abundantly clear they dispise them.

10: The fact the island of Ireland was a British colony is indisputable. What NI colony's self-described "Unionists" suggest but seem incapable of coherently articulating is when Ireland or any part thereof might supposedly have legitimately ceased to be a colony - I contend not until the British state leave the island of Ireland or the entire island nation is provided with a single one-man/woman referendum to determine our destiny as a nation. In the meantime, if a 'British only' planted/settler community opts to not assimilate into their host nation be that in Ireland, America or elsewhere and instead strive to remain a people apart governed by a foreign Parliament in London or any other country then they remain Colonists/Colonialists; it's that simple!!!

11: If born on the island of Ireland and support British Government rule over any part of Ireland then a) you're advancing a British Colonialist political ideology and b) if you profess to be British-Irish but oppose unification of the Irish nation you're almost certainly just a British Colonist with an identity crisis - what genuine 'Irish nation' member wants their nation to remain split?

12: If born within the NI state and contend you're strictly 'Northern Irish' ('neither a Nationalist nor Unionist' blah blah) and support the status quo rather than advocating an independent NI state then you're either naive or just a closet British Unionist/Colonialist with an agenda.

13: If born within the NI state and refer to yourself as "British Only" then are you not in rejecting the NI state's "Northern Irish" identity de facto repudiating the legitimacy of the NI state you profess to cherish?

Bastardised Democracy

14: In addition to the above, I respectfully further suggest so-called moderate Unionists cease demonising Irish Republicans for stating the plain factual truths:

i) All-Ireland was once a colony and a foreign British state imposing its 1800 Act of Union did nothing to alter that fact?
ii) The NI statelet was gerrymandered into existence due to armed Unionist terrorist threats of 1913 and then British state gunboat threats of 1921 precisely because the NI statelet region is a remnant of the once larger all-Ireland British colony?
iii) It's farcical to contend the NI state founded in 1921 is a legitimate democracy as its very creation usurped the 1918 democratic and explicit wish of the majority of the Irish nation who then sought independence from the UK?
iv) It's absurd to pretend NI is a legitimate and properly functioning democracy. Since the 1998 GFA, NI colony functions pursuant to a internationally agreed mandatory cross-community power sharing Executive and it's governed by a unique in-built anti-discrimination 'petition of concern' veto process?

15: To set the above in context, had the Nazi's occupied England and incorporated it into a new 'German Union' would the English nation have fought to regain their freedom? Similarly, if the Germans had say colonised Devon and Cornwall and after you ousted them from all but that region wherein your fellow Britons were being treated as second-class citizens, would you continue to oppose that occupation of part of your homeland?

16: In consequence of the above injustices but especially the ignoring of the 1918 democratically expressed will of the majority of Ireland, the 32 county Irish nation has in perpetuity a legitimate right to seek reunification and to oppose a foreign parliament in England interfering in the affairs of our island of Ireland homeland. Who can sensibly argue the Irish nation has any less an inalienable right than that of the American and other nations who rightly ousted that same foreign colonial ruler?

Cherry-picking Heritage

17: Finally, Unionists/Colonialists can not fail to appreciate the absurdity of your community cherry-picking its way through "British heritage in Ireland" and arguing only their cherished aspects of it remain valid and relevant i.e the Unionist distorted version of their 1912-14 armed rebellion against their Government's Home Rule Bill and their limited part in the WW1 fighting against German imperialism. However, other aspects of your must-remember shame-instilling heritage are; your forefathers were English and Scottish soldiers, civilians and elites planted in Ireland for the purpose of aiding and abetting imperial England's evil against the native Irish in Ireland, plus; during 1912-20 Unionist fascists usurped the democratic will of the majority 32 county Irish nation? Surely - in a political debate context, it is fair and proper that Unionists take ownership of the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of British colonialism in Ireland and how such has impacted and unfairly shaped the status quo? If your intellect and conscience don't permit you to arrive at this start point, you shall never begin to understand the majority Irish nation's ongoing quest for reunification and self-determination...

7 comments:

  1. Well-written commentary, Ruadri - maith thú! Anna Lo's words pulled back the Wizard of Oz curtain. Shock-horror...

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  2. As an Irish Protestant who grew up in a Unionist social environment, and who viewed the NI situation, not from the perspective of a colonist (as I have never viewed myself as a colonist), but admittedly, as a direct descendant of early 17th century British colonists, it took me a while to spot the elephant in the room.

    Unionists are British colonists without question, as their raison d'etre is to sustain six counties of Ulster and Ireland under British rule, and in their own social, economic and political interests. They abused their position of political power from 1921-72, and their vision for the the future is to sustain partition and the union with Britain for as long as is possible, as they feel that in a united Ireland they shall be persecuted and discriminated against for 800 years of British colonialism, for partition, for what happened to Catholics under Unionism in NI, and shall become an isolated, marginalised and alienated community looking in on itself and having to live precariously and vigilantly. They also fear a worst case scenario, that of eventual and gradual ethnic cleansing.

    I would like to ask the author; given their unenviable history, what sort of future can these British Unionist colonist's expect in a unified independent Ireland? And why should they relinquish what protection they have within the union and risk all by putting themselves in a vulnerable position in a 32 county Irish republic?

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  3. Bertrand, in a future united Ireland all 9 counties of Ulster would constitute approximately 23% of our nation and represent a loud united Ulster voice which will be heard by all state institutions - the people of Great Britain don't hear us because they just don't care about what's happening over in Ireland.

    In a 21st century Ireland, no religious faith person' has any cause to feel they would be persecuted. That said, what it presently means to be a NI Protestant has become synonymous with what means to be a NI Unionist; both ideologies profess allegiance to a Protestant Monarch who is head of both their religion and state. That for the most part is how the NI Unionist collective is held together. Add to this, 40% of NI Unionists reject they're 'Irish' and self-identify as 'British Only'... all NI citizens have dual Irish/British citizenship but what else could or should be done to accommodate this large minority's allegiances to a foreign state and Monarch is something which requires considerable debate.

    You should read my earlier blog post: A Lost Tribe - the "British" in a corner of Ireland http://belfast-child.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/ALostTribetheBritishinIreland.html

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    Replies
    1. I'll have to provide this response in a number of posts due to character number restrictions.

      Part 1:

      I read your post "A Lost Tribe - the "British" in a corner of Ireland", and like your "Root Of All Evil In Northern Ireland Statelet", found it to be refreshingly forthright, honest and accurate. Above all else, I value candour, and I'm speaking as someone who hails from within the Protestant community in NI, but who from the age of 18 has been a Socialist, and since 1994, on a personal political journey of his own.

      Ruaidri, the problem with the concepts and aspirations to Ulster and Irish unity is that even when the territorial partition of Ireland is eventually and inevitably terminated via a future referendum result in favour of Irish reunification, you are still going to have the ethnic and socio-political divisions among the people in the northern counties. The removal of the geographical border shall unite the territory, but not the people, and the very real political, religious and cultural divisions which exist in NI shall merely be transported into a 32 county context.

      In fact, there are many Irish Catholics in the RoI who are totally opposed to Irish reunification, as they have no desire to attempt to incorporate close to 1 million British Unionist Protestants into their country who are ethnically different i.e. foreign and alien to the indigenous Irish, and whose culture has in essence been diametrically opposed to Irish nationalism, and indeed all things Irish.

      As regards unionism as colonialism, yes it is, and unionism is also a synonymous term for protectionism. Whilst Unionist's feel that a united Ireland is a risky venture and not in their best interests, the age-old "No Surrender" mentality shall perpetuate and predominate among Protestants in the North-eastern corner of Ireland. Take it from someone who grew up in East Belfast, a staunchly British-Protestant-Unionist-Loyalist socio-political environment; if Irish Nationalist's offered Unionists higher salaries, improved healthcare, improved living conditions, a better quality of life and first rate standard of living in a 32 country Irish Republic replete with safeguards, guarantees and assurances written into a revised Irish constitution to protect their religious freedom, culture and ethnic identity, Unionist's would reject Irish unity on the basis that to consent to it, or even contemplate what was on offer, would be simple surrender to Irish Republicanism and the enemies of (6 counties of) Ulster.

      In that respect, Sinn Fein are wasting their time and are the very worst political party to attempt to persuade Unionist's to abandon unionism and accept a place in a reunified Ireland. Just like Republicans, Unionist's have long memories, and my generation, who lived through the Provisional IRAs campaign don't remember Republican's once reaching out to Unionists and attempting to "persuade" them into a united Ireland. At that time "persuasion" was not PIRA strategy. The strategy was to bomb and murder Unionists into a UI. That strategy failed, and it has only been since 1998 and the GFA that we've witnessed SF adopt a more gentle and conciliatory approach towards Unionists, and you may have noted that Unionists have not been swayed by it.

      Unionist's don't view Britain as a foreign country, as it is their country of ancestral origin. They don't view the British government as a foreign government, they view it as their (potentially treacherous and untrustworthy) government, who have granted NI regional autonomy via devolution. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland offers NI Unionists protection against subsumption into a constitutional arrangement which shall place them in a vulnerable position where they feel they are likely to experience persecution, discrimination, marginalisation and alienation, and in a worst case scenario, ethnic cleansing.







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  4. Part 2:

    I've described myself as an "Irish Protestant", but one whose ancestors were British colonists i.e. English and Scottish settlers who arrived in Ulster as part of the Ulster plantation, which was the British colonisation of Ulster initiated in 1609. I'm not offended by the term "colonist", as I'm not offended by historical fact. The first Republicans in Ireland were Protestants; Wolfe Tone was a Protestant of English colonial descent, and the entire leadership of the United Irishmen were Presbyterians. I was born into Presbyterianism (though consider myself an Agnostic), so many of my ancestors were Irish Republicans.

    We use terms like "Protestant-Unionist-Loyalist" (PUL) and "Catholic-Nationalist-Republican" (CNR) to describe two separate tribes, but an analysis of our past reveals a false dichotomy. One tribe are viewed as native/indigenous Irish, whilst the other are regarded as "British colonists". The latter tribe have had a presence on this island for more than 400 years, which calls into question the very concept and definition of indigenous, and what criteria should be used to define indigenous. Like most Protestants in NI I have always viewed myself as British and Northern Irish, and definitely not Irish, as the Irish were Catholics, Gaels, Nationalists and Republicans, I wasn't. It has only been in recent years, and since the cessation of hostilities, that I have been willing to recognise and acknowledge the fact that I was born on the island of Ireland and not Great Britain. I've also taken the time to examine the past, and realise that the union between NI and Britian shall some day come to an end, and that NI Unionists/colonists have a difficult decision to make; one which fundamentally boils down to stay and run the risk of persecution in a united Ireland, or return to the land of your ancestors, where you shall be perceived as Irish.

    For many years my intention was to leave NI before Irish reunification occurred, and to return to the land of my ancestors on my father's side - England. But I've travelled around England, and whilst I recognise it as my land of origin, I feel no real affinity with the English. In fact, I am perceived as Irish in England, not British and Northern Irish. So I had to ask myself a crucial question; which would you rather be - an Irishman in England, or an Irishman in Ireland? I have chosen to opt for the latter.





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  5. Part 3:

    I understand the contempt with which Irish Republican's view the Unionist community in NI, as let's face it, we've been at war with each-other since the Ulster plantation. That division between native Irish and British planter has sustained itself through the generations and is evident in the socio-political scenery of NI/ the 6 counties to this day. I have no solution to this problem, and the more I think about it the more I realise that bar repatriation of the British colonists and initiating a reversal of the Ulster plantation, the political/ethnic/national/religious/cultural divisions in the northern counties cannot be resolved. The best we can do is to accept and respect our differences.

    The identity confusion experienced by Protestants in NI is one I'm all too familiar with, as I've experienced it myself. At the ripe old age of 45 I felt that all my life I had neglected a very important aspect of my identity, that of being born on the island of Ireland, albeit a partitioned, segregated sector known as 'Northern Ireland'. In 2013 I made the decision to apply for an Irish passport, and as a means of attempting to embrace Ireland and my own inherent Irishness; something which I had hitherto been reluctant to do. In my drawer alongside my British passport now sits an Irish passport. I have dual nationality, that of being British and Irish, and have dual citizenship of both the United Kingdom of Great Britain and NI, and the Republic of Ireland. I'd prefer to have a single national identity, as life is so much simpler with a mono-identity, and two passports seem superfluous.

    I don't regard myself as a Unionist, and whilst sympathetic to Irish nationalist aspirations, I would be less than truthful if I said that I didn't have genuine concerns about what the future actually holds for Protestants of British colonial descent in a united Ireland. However, for the first time in my life I have described myself as "Irish", which I suppose could be classified as progress. You tell me, Ruaidri, how does a Protestant who grew up within a staunchly Unionist environment and who has considered himself as British and Northern irish for most of his adult life go about becoming Irish in practice, in political orientation and culturally, and without abandoning his British colonial roots? I have no desire to conceal my tacks or deny where and what I come from. A Belfast Telegraph poll in 2103 found that 10% of NI Protestants stated that they would be in favour of a united Ireland in approx 20 years time, I would count myself among that 10%. The fundamental question is how does one transform close to 1 million British Protestants (colonists) who have traditionally sought sanctuary in the union into indigenous Irish citizens whose loyalty is no longer to their land of origin but to their land of birth?

    It's a toughie.

    Bertie.

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  6. Bertrand,
    Thank you for your considered and considerable reply.

    Firstly, it would be helpful to ascertain and catalogue whatever 'specific concerns' Unionists express or might otherwise likely possess. Indeed, this would be an execellent and worthwhile study for someone like yourself to undertake? Then, there will be a need to explore and figure-out the remedies for what is likely to be a mixture of legitimate and/or unfounded concerns – the appropriate framing of a new all-Ireland Constitution ought to resolve those concerns.

    Secondly, Irish Republicanism will never assimilate into the UK. In this context, to 'respect our differences' is not a long-term solution. History books are littered with examples of the Irish nation periodically rising against the forces of the Westminster Parliament in London. The Irish nation will never cease viewing the English Parliament as a foreign power because it is one.

    Thirdly, our brave United Irishmen knew that the Union flag hanging over our heads was the source of all division and the impediment to us building a lasting peace and harmony. Remove the constitutionl aspect of the Union flag from elite Unionism who use it as a sheild against equality and modernity and a tool to manipulate their working-class cannonfodder. Then and only then shall Unionist working-class be free to embrace the true values of Socialism – it's impossible to build a Socialist society while attached to the imperialist UK but eminently possible in a new united Ireland we all get to shape.

    In regard to my references to elites and manipulation read my blog post: Orange Order – myths lies distortions http://belfast-child.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/orange-order-myths-lies-distortions.html

    Finally, if you were born on the island of Ireland you are Irish. As to when one starts to feel Irish, I venture such begins the moment one feels they want to act in the best interests of the entire Irish nation... though you decide that for yourself. Additionally, Orange and Gaelic are 'Irish culture' but not partaking in either or participating in English or American sports doesn't make us any less Irish... feel that soil beneath your feet, that's Ireland, your home!!!

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