9/15/2005

Working-class Unionism used, again

I do feel a certain pity for working-class Unionism; they have been used by the DUP and the UUP for the last 30 years. This was all too evident over the last few days as the UUP, DUP and Orange Order used them to do their dirty work.
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Middle-class Unionism (UUP especially) has never given a crap about its working class brethren. To hear Reg Empey asking the SOS to come and visit "loyalist" areas is almost laughable if it wasn't so serious.

He said Mr Hain should meet people in these areas and get a "real taste" of what was happening.

I doubt there is many in the UUP who have had a real taste of what happens in working-class areas, least of all Unionist ones.

They have been abandoned by their political representatives and the extent of the social deprivation is incredible

Why does working-class Unionism allow itself to be used by leafy Malone Road types who couldn't care less about them from one year to the next but will use them if it suits their political ambitions?

Republicans must do more to reach out to working class Unionism, what benefits exactly have they received from the "Union"

It seems Republicans were right, Unionism can't handle a peaceful society and the recent IRA imitative has hit the underbelly of the beast.

Only time will tell if the hit was fatal.

"The unionists were largely upper-middle-class people from Malone Road and places like that who got their votes from working-class areas. So these people, whom you've never seen before in your life, come down from a big house in the Malone Road, come down with a Union Jack, playin' their tapes, and you voted for them. You don't question yourself at the time but you do it in later years - like what are you votin' for these people for? They're not from the same background I am from, and they don't give a shite about working-class people. They're just after power and wages and keepin' the system goin' ."

Reflections of the Stormont parliament in Fortnight, 1994.

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