Chris McGimpsey shows the muddled thinking that has brought unionism to the last ditch

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

In his opinion piece (’Republicans have lost sight of founding values — they care only about victory,’ October 18) Chris McGimpsey continues to articulate the extreme confusion in unionist ranks.

He criticises Sinn Fein for losing sight of their founding values of uniting the people of Ireland as the United Irishmen of 1798 sought to do.

I’m left wondering if Sinn Fein were more to Dr McGimpsey’s pleasing would he be supporting them? After all he claims some of his own ancestors were United Irishmen.

I have strong doubts.

So any of his criticisms are the usual adversarial politics dressed up as having some principle behind them.

He says ‘unionism exists ... to make Northern Ireland a viable functioning democracy. It is, therefore, an ideology dedicated to the status quo.’

As the ‘status quo’ is not currently and, many would argue, never has been a ‘functioning democracy’, then unionists are not arguing for the status quo, but something very different from what we currently have. So unionists could be radicals, but don’t want to be.

He writes it is ‘essential that unionists start setting agendas in the local councils’, but concludes that they can’t because ‘unfortunately in many of councils unionists are in the minority’ and cites his experience in Belfast City Council where unionists haven’t had a majority for over thirty years.

Is he suggesting that unionist minorities should be allowed to set the agenda? Now that would be radical.

But none of this matters because Dr McGimpsey asks ‘have we proven to be congenitally incapable of governing ourselves?’

I’m left wondering where does all this zero sum politics leave us?

Back at square one according to Chris McGimpsey’s rationale.

It is this muddle headed thinking that has brought unionism to the last ditch where they wail, ‘If only the Shinners would be good unionists, like us!’ (without even knowing what a good unionist is or what they should do).

As the man said: ‘If you don’t know which road you want, any road will do’.

Willie Methven, Belcoo