Unionists need to be careful when believing Westminster promises
A letter by Frank McClintock:
In view of the recent loyalist protests/ violence and the NI Centenary, it is worth looking at the birth of the Province in 1921 to determine how we are and always have been perceived in Britain.
The Stormont Parliament was established as a Home Rule or Dominion Parliament in all but name, we had a governor just like Australia or Canada and we were expected to get on with governing the six-county area without bothering Westminster too much.
The hope was that the 26 and six county areas would eventually unite again as a Dominion state under the Crown and that was why the Council of Ireland was proposed (but never implemented).
In the event the establishment of the Free State torpedoed that plan, as it was not the Southern Home Rule parliament foreseen by the Government of Ireland Act.
So it can clearly be seen that we were no longer to be a direct part of the United Kingdom ruled by Westminster.
The actions of the Westminster governments of both parties over the last 50 years can be seen through that prism — anything which causes trouble on the mainland is to be avoided at any cost and pandering to nationalism and betraying unionists has become standard practice — as seen as recently as the NI Protocol debacle.
We need to see that we must make our own way and in future unionists need to be careful when believing Westminster promises.
Any more disastrous experiments such as the DUP/Conservative pacts need to be avoided and we must become more wary and cleverer in our dealings with both Westminster and nationalists.
Frank McClintock, Belfast BT4
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