Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Eurosceptics the new Ulster Unionists? Hardly.

I’m a little puzzled by a section of this blog, by Iain Martin, carried on the Wall Street Journal’s site. Martin (presumably the same one who writes for the Telegraph) hails the death of ‘British Euroskepticism’ (sic). It is this passage, however, which had me scratching my head,

“The defeat of British Euroskepticism reminds me quite a bit of what happened to Ulster Unionism around the turn of the century. One minute it seemed to be winning the arguments. It was strong, then the wind changed and it wasn’t - in any way that we had previously understood it - there any more. Its former adherents couldn’t quite see the point of carrying on as they had previously done and within months had “adjusted to reality”. Quickly, they were prepared to adopt positions they would have previously though unthinkable.”


Ulster Unionism ‘wasn’t there anymore’? Undoubtedly accommodations were reached which were disorientated many unionists, but unionism, devoted to retaining and strengthening the Union, certainly didn’t disappear. Neither had Ulster Unionism been strong prior to the mid-90s. On the contrary it had been ignored for years. I simply can’t see that Martin is comparing like with like.

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