Sombre assessment for unionism


by Tommy McKearney writing in the December issue of Socialist Voice, published in Dublin by the Communist Party of Ireland

Oxford Union votes down motion on the reunification of Ireland” read a recent headline in the Belfast Telegraph.

It was the type of news story guaranteed to warm the hearts of delegates gathering in Belfast a few days later for the DUP’s annual conference. Coupled with the attendance at the event of Conservative Party heavyweights—the chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond, and the barnstorming Boris Johnson—it appeared that the spirit of James Craig was smiling benevolently on the DUP and its assembled delegates.

Yet for all the self-congratulatory backslapping there were more sombre assessments emanating from influential voices elsewhere within unionism. Arlene Foster’s party was suffering setbacks, they said, and the future of the Union was problematic.

While speaking at Knock Methodist Church in Co. Down on the eve…

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