David McNarry: We are being pushed into dealing with extreme republicans

David McNarry, the former MLA
David McNarry, the former MLA

Are we as a people in this nation state incapable of settling our political differences to the extent that we have reached the end game of throwing to the wind the opportunity to secure in our lifetime a final lasting settlement.

Are we truly incapable of agreeing to govern as any other region in the UK has established the right so to do.

Where are the rights of unionism?

Since partition far too many republicans and nationalists failed to integrate into Northern Ireland and cast aside making what we have work for them also .

Instead we are being pushed into dealing with the vulgar anti-British dominated message of extreme republicans.

Yet a recent lucid poll showed that less than a third of the people supported a united Ireland, an indication that in an actual border poll support for the union could tip over 70%.

Way back 49 years ago, Terence O’Neill asked the people ‘what kind of Ulster do you want?’

Years later James Molyneaux insisted in a highly-charged debate inside the Ulster Unionist Party that devolution ‘would be nothing more than a glorified county council’.

They say that history has a strange way of repeating itself.

Because what unionism demanded in the aftermath of O’Neill’s question and what failed to materialise following the Molyneaux leadership, and some would argue since, has been a strong and resolute determination to protect and maintain the Union, for in particular the 70% of the people who today support unionism over a united Ireland.

Here’s the question for us all right now: ‘what kind of Northern Ireland within the Union do we want?’

But here’s the crunch – while republicanism continues to dismantle our Britishness, have our negotiators failed unionism by not nailing down ‘a final lasting settlement’?

In four years’ time our nation state will celebrate its 100th birthday.

How fantastic it would be to do so in the secure knowledge that the game of 30% controlling the denial of the rights of 70% supporting the Union is over forever.

It can be achieved by a confident and forward thinking unionism. The work on a final lasting settlement starts now.

Direct rule, devolution, county council or something else . What do you want?