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Why Ulster-nationalism?

(This article was written in July 1998.  The UIM is now defunct)

THE ULSTER Independence Movement describes itself as an Ulster-nationalist political organisation. In effect the UIM is the Ulster National Party. We believe that unionism as it is traditionally understood is no longer relevant to the present. The Union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland died on November 15th 1985 when the Hillsborough Pact gave Dublin a 'right' to interfere in our homeland's internal affairs.

Despite the claims of David Trimble and others, we cannot see how the Mitchell Agreement restores the Union to its pre-Hillsborough status. In fact the gap between Ulster and Great Britain has widened but this is not the half of it. The situation in Great Britain itself has changes. Ulster is the only part of the British Isles where most of its inhabitants describe themselves as 'British'. Ask most people across the water their nationality and they will tell you 'Scottish', 'Welsh' or 'English'.  Scotland and Wales are about to get their own devolved national assemblies and the whole structure of the United Kingdom is about to change forever.  There is also a growing sense of English national consciousness. This first became apparent during the Euro96 football tournament when the English flag - St George's Cross - was well to the fore. This was even more obvious during this year's World Cup when St George's Crosses were everywhere. In 1966, when England actually won the World Cup, the 'English' flag carried by the team's fans was the Union Jack!

Thus far there is no overt English National Party but it is surely only a matter of time before one emerges. Many English folk already feel a sense of alienation from Brussels and resentment at Cardiff's and Edinburgh's fast track to European institutions will stoke this feeling up if they believe that English taxpayers are paying for it all. The end result is likely to be political separation - independence for England as the Scots and the Welsh are allowed to go their own way.

Scotland and Wales will probably remain in the EU but a separate England could pull out. Unionism's great weakness is that it necessarily requires two parties for it to work. Unionism is not in control of its own political destiny and as argued above, may well have no Union remaining to hold on to. Loyalism requires a reciprocation of the loyalist's loyalty. This is virtually non-existent. Given this problem, the need for an Ulster National Party  is obvious. The only way for Ulsterfolk to determine their homeland's destiny is through a new political creed - Ulster- nationalism - which puts the interests of Ulster and the Ulster people first.

David Kerr

 

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