David Montgomery in his comment piece (Put NI politicians at heart of the talks to resolve the dispute over the protocol, Oct 28, see link below), captures a good mood for future optimism.
We Northern Irelanders, once we identify ourselves, are well capable of developing what he alludes to as ‘a true sense of belonging’.
However we need a sense of proportion as to realistic time-scales. It is what comes next, after unionist efforts to remove the protocol and Sinn Fein’s avowed determination to destroy Northern Ireland, which will ultimately decide who belongs where.
The next assembly election will prove the toughest of all to maintain the Union, especially if unionism remains divided.
Preparation must commence to detail a ballot paper strategy to maximise the pro Union vote. All it takes is for the DUP, UUP, TUV, PUP to agree principles within each other’s manifesto which promote similar policies and pledges.
Consistently 62%+ of unionists vote in elections with 30% staying at home. The immense gain of enticing 10%-15% of the stay-at-homers to rally and turn out cannot be ignored. A 72% unionist turnout would restore unionism as the indisputable community majority.
In facing an election, unionists have no choice other than to confront SF-SDLP-Alliance– Greens in the battlefield to overthrow the Union. It can only be achieved through unionists standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the contest.
Then, and long overdue I concede, will unionists be trusting and confident in their own intuitions to address what David Montgomery speculates on ‘the emergence of a nation in its own right’.
What a desirable prospect to pursue and look forward to.
David McNarry, Comber
• David Montgomery Oct 28: Put NI politicians at heart of the talks to resolve the dispute over the protocol
Other related stories, and beneath that information on how to subscribe to the News Letter:
• Owen Polley Oct 30: Unconvincing poll was twisted by pundits to support the NI Protocol
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