Unionism is paying the price for years of apathy and neglect, and failure to face down and challenge a self-indulgent middle class. They are Irish nationalism’s Trojan horse, to be groomed, and manipulated, then led out to grass.
After years of hovering they have found their natural home – the Alliance Party.
This election result shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, Unionism has been haemorrhaging for years and is sick unto death. It has been placed on life support. Someone in an act of mercy may yet emerge to switch it off, and claim the body.
Disowned by Britain, and despised by Irish nationalism, we are running out of places to hide. If we are going to survive we have to search for answers within ourselves. London and Dublin will not indulge us with an act of mercy. In their contempt they will offer us a fig leaf to cover our shame.
The most interesting statistic to emerge from the election, apart from the media hype and its focus on Alliance, was the very credible showing of the TUV, and this should provide a wake-up call for mainstream unionism.
Many wanted to vote for the TUV, but panicked at the last moment, played safe, and voted tactically to ‘keep the other side out’.
Others, disgusted at the ineptitude of our unionist politicians, stayed at home, or in a moment of despair voted Alliance. Calls for unionist unity won’t change our politicians, it will only provide them with a cloak to cover their nakedness.
For some considerable time unionism has been complacent and lazy, and is now reaping the consequences of its indolence. The shock waves from this humiliation could range much wider, and spin out of control.
If this trend continues, it has the very real potential of bringing down the curtain on our culture and our community. This mood of despair could deepen, and drive unionism underground and onto the streets. That, is the ultimate nightmare!
Mainstream unionism has failed, and when this message gradually sinks in, and we realise we are being backed into a corner, attitudes will harden. We are now faced with the challenge, shake ourselves down and get out into our community, and work! Do we still have the capacity to do that? The alternative is to vote Alliance, bow to the inevitable, and take our place in the plot reserved for us, under the green sod of a ‘New Ireland’. If we go quietly, Irish nationalism will lay us to rest, sound the last post, and provide a eulogy. That’s where this drift is taking us.
Clive Maxwell, Bleary