Something is Stirring – by Michael Lagan


Something has been stirring within the less hardline grassroots of Unionism over the past weeks which has caused concern to the more hardline Unionists out there and indeed Unionist politicians who took the hardest line possible on the Protocol and Brexit.  The realisation that at some point in the near future Unionism will have to start relinquishing ground in a bid to remain relevant in today’s NEI is a very real concern for those of the Paisleyite tradition.

The hard words of “Never, Never, Never” have never been more inappropriate to use in the context of dear old ‘Norn Iron’ with the tides changing in all directions for Unionists who thought nationalism’s day would never come.  Returning the serve as it were, to those who dared to believe the battle cry of Tiocfaidh ár lá was a volley of stones, cries of ‘No Surrender’, and the sounds and tunes of blood and thunder bands playing some of the most insulting tunes the world has ever heard…and all in a supposedly shared society coming out of decades of political strife and war.

Election after election has shown a decreasing number of Unionists willing to vote for Unionist parties who time after time lead them into a quagmire of defeat and failure, a constitutional siege mentality and constantly being out-manoeuvred by both the UK government and indeed domestic political parties.  This has been the very definition of ‘the long game’ for nationalism.  The 6 Counties statelet was created to secure an in-built Protestant and Unionist majority. When, in the early 1930s, the Ulster Unionist MP Basil Brooke told his constituents not to employ Catholics, Northern Ireland’s Prime Minister, James Craig, commented: “I would not ask him to withdraw one word he said.”

Young Unionists are beginning to look over the fence at what a united Ireland would look like, or in more near future terms, what NEI would look like under a Nationalist First Minister after seeing what NEI has become under Unionist First Ministers and British government oversight and the youth aren’t stupid, which is why more Unionist politicians are starting to call for the voting age to be raised to account for the number of young people voting against Unionist parties for more progressive parties and for any unity poll to be weighted heavily toward what Unionism wants by up to 70%.  Now the British government has become tired of dealing with the DUP, openly castigating it in public and strongly suggesting it get back into Stormont, one can only imagine the conversations taking place between DUP elected reps and members.

The problem is Unionism, but more specifically Loyalism in NEI is like a cornered animal which will bite if threatened too much.  Sometimes it’s better to back away and allow said animal to calm down before advancing again but do we have time to allow that to happen?  Our education system is in tatters, our health system even worse, people can’t get doctors appointments, poverty is running rife and on top of that there are about to be border control posts put in place in NEI, something NI Unionism fought hard against and something political Unionism said it would never operate.

Unionism is in abject chaos with its leadership trying with all its might to hold onto the reins in a sad attempt to steer it in a direction which, as always, benefits political Unionism rather than grassroots Unionism and Loyalist communities.  After decades of ruling the roost without question or challenge, Unionism has met its match, and the long game is starting to come to fruition…but beware that cornered animal, remember it has teeth…and guns.

3 Responses to Something is Stirring – by Michael Lagan

  1. Michael Willis May 26, 2023 at 6:31 pm #

    Never fear i know a good dentist

  2. Cormac Ó Briain May 26, 2023 at 7:34 pm #

    when the threat of loyalist violence emerges although it could hurt some i refer to jamie Bryson and his resolve on hunger strike, google it. It is weak without MI5

    • Michael May 28, 2023 at 4:00 pm #

      Since the GFA, every time that Loyalism revert to violence, Unionism will loose ground.