9/12/2005

How can we help?

I do seem to be laying the boot in to Political Unionism a lot recently (they do deserve it however) and believe it's time to try and sort this out.
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I accept that Unionism sees itself as under threat and I admit that to a certain extent it is. Nationalists will not relinquish their plans to unite this country. Unionism is just going to have to find a way of reconciling that with the siege mentality. I don't accept that Nationalists or Republicans have a "siege" on Unionism. That mentality has been a part of the Unionist psyche ever since they first set foot on these shores.

Let's look at the problems that Unionism has and see what Republicans and Nationalists can do about it.

1. Parades

If the Orange Order followed the example set by the Apprentice boys in Derry we might get a lot further. Unionists have no automatic right to parade through someone else’s neighbourhood with "foreign" flags, singing triumphalist songs and generally using parading as a form of communal deterrence. Unionists need to accept that many nationalists and republicans equate "Unionist Culture" with sectarianism and bigotry. If the Orange Order sat down with the residents of each area and engaged in meaningful dialogue then perhaps this mess could be sorted out.

2. "Concessions"

Unionism needs to specify what they mean, for the majority of the Nationalist and Republican family Unionism bemoaning about concessions is basically Unionism resisting equality.

Let’s be honest here and call a spade a spade

Unionism, the evangelical wing, will never accept or trust Catholics because they know that Nationalism wants to destroy their own "wee country" and replace it with a United Ireland. That said Nationalists and Republicans will no longer keep their head below the parapet. Unionism, and I include loyalism, need to look at their situation.

What percentage of their young people attend University compared to their Nationalist comrades?

All of the jobs, with the exception of Policing, the criminal justice system and the civil service are no longer considered Unionist. Gone are the days when Nationalists and republicans were labourers. They are now Doctors, Solicitors and Psychologists as well.

I think it's about time Unionism opened the gates and let people in

What do Unionists think Republicans could do to help?

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