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I think unionists do look to Westminster a lot for leadership but have been almost continually disappointed that their voices don't count for much when they don't have a parliamentary tipping point majority - which has only happened once in recent times.

Nationalists and the unaligned, on the other hand, have more or less given up on Westminster, and increasingly look to Dublin for leadership, and are also sometimes disappointed that Dublin doesn't take a more pro-active approach  and seems obsessed with wooing unionists who do not want to be wooed, at the expense of nationalists and others who do.

Brexit has been the tipping point for many, as Brexiteers and unionists ignored the wishes of the vast majority, and continue to do so over the Protocol.  It appears only unionists are supposed to have a veto on stuff they don't like; everyone else has to suck it up when their wishes are ignored.

One consequence is that many nationalists are no longer prepared to accept the post Brexit status quo and have abandoned all hope of reforming N. Ireland and gone all in for a border poll and a united Ireland now. They are thus aghast at Andy Pollak's suggestion that it could take another 50 years for a United Ireland to come about and see attempts to mitigate or appease threats of loyalist violence as just another way of preserving the current, unacceptable status quo.

They also don't think many loyalists can be appeased, and that there is little point in trying. Any attempts at violent resistance will just have to be confronted and criminalised if necessary. The idea of a totally peaceful transition is to them hopelessly idealistic pie in the sky.

I would argue that with good leadership - see for example, Nelson Mandela - there is no reason the transition cannot be almost completely peaceful, if not entirely consensual. But then there is hardly a society in the world without some dissidents and some violence on the margins, and I do not believe the differences between loyalists and nationalists are as deep as those in many other societies.

But neither can the the transfer of sovereignty, decision making and power be instantaneous. Some transitionary and transformative processes are required. Hence my blog post and much other thinking on the subject.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 3rd, 2022 at 10:10:20 AM EST
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