Thursday, 10 January 2008

In the interests of balance

Just to prove that not all nationalists are of Feeney’s ilk O’Neill has drawn to my attention a fine thoughtful article from Conn Corrigan at Open Democracy. The gist is that Corrigan believes the Republic of Ireland should re-enter the Commonwealth, re-establishing a natural link and simultaneously providing a powerful persuader to unionists that a united Ireland would be a friendlier home for those who consider themselves British.

In common with O’Neill, I would welcome the Republic rejoining the Commonwealth, but I would contest the notion that there is a compelling argument for a united Ireland or that this would be significantly strengthened by Commonwealth membership. I also believe that there are stronger incentives for remaining part of the UK than Corrigan allows and that civic politics allows for a stronger emotional link with the idea of Britishness than he acknowledges.

Nevertheless, the article is scrupulously argued from the nationalist perspective and shows that there is a strand in nationalism which seeks to accommodate and persuade unionists rather than berate and hector us.

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