Friday, 9 July 2010

News Letter canvasses views on Union 2021

It’s worth flagging up the News Letter’s ’Union 2021’ series of articles, which is to run throughout the summer.  The paper is asking academics, commentators and politicians to consider how healthy our connection with  Great Britain will be, in ten years time, when Northern Ireland is one hundred years old.

The contributions are being drawn together on a Facebook page.  As yet I can’t find a similar section of the News Letter’s website, but only Paul Bew’s article so far has not made it online.  The common theme is confidence that the Union will endure, but there are differences as to the meaning and development of Northern Ireland’s UK status.

In a typically far sighted piece, Arthur Aughey argues that Ulster unionism’s constitutional preoccupation has become a mainstream concern since devolution and the resurgence of Scottish nationalism.  He urges unionists here to contribute to the debate about what Britain should become, in an age of ‘territorial diversity’.

Other notable contributions so far have been made by academics Henry Patterson, Alex Kane and Graham Walker, who all urge unionists in Northern Ireland to be constructive and participative.  The News Letter's own Ben Lowry notes the growing number of Catholics happy to describe themselves as 'Northern Irish'.

All good thoughtful stuff.  Mind you tomorrow Peter Robinson will stick his oar in.

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