Owen Polley’s piece (‘Unionists must match relentless nationalism,’ October 25, see link below) is thoughtful, insightful and perceptive.
Irish nationalists and republicans scent victory in their defeat of unionism and the next Stormont election will be crucial.
Unionism always lacked strategic political language and its pragmatic application unlike Irish republicanism.
Unionism has to deal with political enemies at Westminster and forked-tongued non-ego commentators in Dublin, Brussels and Washington.
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The latent function of the recent Armagh Centenary service was to convey that Northern Ireland had no right to exist.
In contrast consider the political strategies of Gerry Adams.
I lived in Central and Southern Africa in the 1960s after the defeat of Ian Smith’s Rhodesian Front and the creation of Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.
Gerry Adams was quick to identify with Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress (in 2001 a memorial plaque in Irish was placed in the prison compound of Robben Island dedicated to “the shared suffering of Irish and South African political prisoners”).
After the end of white rule in 1994 Adams appealed to his republican base and many others: “Where is the unionist de Klerk?”
Closer to home he was able to say that the “Orange Bs would be beaten with equality” (meaning social equality).
Owen Polley is correct when he says that “unionists sometimes struggle to find a vocabulary that fits their aspirations and motivations”.
The challenge is to incentivise non-voting unionists back to the ballot box.
George McNally, Londonderry
• Owen Polley: Unionists need to match the relentless energy of nationalism
• Other comment articles below and beneath that information on how to subscribe to the News Letter
• Henry McDonald: Absence of Queen at centenary service was spun beyond credulity
• John Cushnahan: To those who distorted nature of centenary service — Shame on you!
• Henry Patterson: Terror is being legitimised in Basque Country as it is in NI
• Ruth Dudley Edwards: Nasty article gloated over Sinn Fein centenary snub
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