The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

A Dual Presidency: An Improbable Solution to the Irish Problem


Michael Gillespie • 27 August 2006

In Mr Dowds' article on a dual presidency as a solution to the Irish problem, I am faced with Late Sinn Fein Republicanism, republicanism in general being a secular religion with secular saints and secular martyrs, has to do with dogmatic belief about Ireland, a one true faith about Ireland, and a one absolute truth about Ireland, anyone dissenting from these could be kneecapped as a heretic. Federal Unionism - Late Sinn Fein is far removed from all of that. That stance has nothing to do with martyrs, dogma, a one true faith, or an absolute truth (Thackery has said - There are TWO truths in Ireland, the Catholic truth and the Protestant truth.) Federal Unionism - Early Sinn Fein mistrusts all of that absolutely. The approach of Early Sinn Fein to Ireland and its problem is wholly pragmatic and eclectic, ideas being drawn from many and varied sources. Early Sinn Fein looks at the island as it is nowadays and asks the pragmatic question -- Is the constitutional get up of the island acceptable and if it isn't what can be done about it in a pragmatic way?

On observation the island is partitioned into two sectarian statelets, a six county statelet called Northern Ireland constituted as being within the United Kingdom and a twenty-six county statelet which has had problems with its constitution in its history being constituted originally as an Irish Free State then as Eire and nowadays as a

These statelets are foreign to one another. If a minister from Dail Eireann wishes to visit Belfast officially the visit has to be made through the foreign office in Dublin. This would be a joke if it wasn't rooted in the tragic folly of Republican extremism in past times. I would assume that such daft constitutional practice is acceptable to Mr Dowds.

Charles Haughty has declared that N. Ireland is a failed entity. There is some truth in that but N. Ireland's failure is of a constitutional nature and can be rectified by finding a new reformed written U. K. constitution, which enjoys cross community support. Such a constitution cannot be written for N. Ireland but has to be written in the first place on an all Ireland basis.

But what of the 26 county statelet, is it a success? If this statlet is looked at carefully it can also be seen as a failed entity. The 26 county state is sectarian in that its population is almost wholly Catholic has a cosy Catholic President, and a cosy Catholic Dail Eireann and a constitution written originally by the Catholic De Valera with the Cardinal holding his elbow and whispering in his ear as he wrote. That constitution is now old hat and is out of date and needs replacement but if it is to be replaced that can only be done for the 26 counties. An all Ireland constitution can be conceived of in a United Kingdom basis. But the hard fact of the 26 county statelet has to be faced that since its inception in1921 the Protestant populated has withered away to a miniscule remnant. On the other hand since the inception of the 6 county statelet the Catholic population there has increased and multiplied. So being within the United Kingdom was not detrimental to the Catholic community, but being in a 26 county statelet proved to be a disaster for the Protestant community. That community voted against the nature of the state by walking out. For that reason the 26 county statlet must also be rated a failed entity. If Charles Haughty had been consistent he should have declared two failed entities on the island.

Federal Unionism is not prepared to accept an Ireland that is in such a constitutional mess that constitutional mess having been created in past times by the folly and excesses of Republican extremists. Late Sinn Fein (and in their ranks I include Mr Dowds) are prepared to live in this constitutional mess and put up with it because they haven't a clue what to do about it. Late Sinn Fein is now straining at the bit to get into Stormont and prop up a Right Wing Union Jack Unionist Statelet in the 6 counties and in so doing copper-fasten partition, and in the Belfast Agreement institutionalise sectarianism. A garrison of 5000 British troops are to be stationed permanently in the 6 counties with the whole-hearted approval of Late Sinn Fein heedless to the reality that the British garrison's purpose is to impose a Right Wing Union Jack Unionist Unwritten Undemocratic constitution on those who don't want it. In return for accepting all of this Late Sinn Fein will pocket a fat cheque at Stormont paid by the British Exchequer. This is done with the applause of partitionist Dail Eireann and I would assume with the applause of Mr Dowds. Federal Unionism - Early Sinn Fein can tackle this in a pragmatic manner because if the National Government of Ireland Act were in place either in the whole of Ireland or in the 6 counties then it would be a constitutional imperative that the British garrison leave, lock, stock and barrel, and take the Union Jack with them.

In his article Mr Dowds puts forward his solution to the Irish problem This solution rests on the Republican wishful dream that the monarchy is soon to go out of business and the United Kingdom will be replaced with the United Republic of Great Britain and Ireland with a dual Presidency and the two islands will work closely together, Republicans being victorious, the Irish and British will live happily ever after. I find this solution so simple minded, so far fetched, and so improbable as to be amusing.

Instead of pontificating a wishful dream of a Republican victory to the faithful as an exercise in realism Mr Dowds should meet the Loyalist people of the Shankill and the Loyalist Orange Order and find out how they see the long-term future of the United Kingdom and its monarchy. Mr Dowds should then break the bad news to the Loyalists that the United Kingdom and the monarchy are soon to disappear from the face of the earth (Mr Dowds would be advised the bad news very gently on the Shankill). Mr Dowds should listen carefully to what the Loyalists have to say and take it on board. He should then drop the Republican dogma because dogma of any sort doesn't go down well with Protestants and accept the Loyalist people as constitutional equals, and not as a people to be put down defeated and their rightful heritage, their rightful tradition and their rightful culture which is loyalty to the Crown trampled underfoot as was the fate of the loyalist community in the 26 county statelet.

If Mr Dowds were to accept the Loyalist people as people this would be a happy change from the practice in the past of brute force Republicans blowing up the Shankill because the people are Loyalist. It would also be a happy change from a more recent incident in Dublin in which Loyalists in an attempt to parade their heritage tradition and culture in the city were set upon by sectarian Republican extremists; so much for Dublin being the capital of a mature nation.

In his article Mr Dowds suggests that the Irish nowadays want nothing to do with a monarch. But who are the Irish? Are the Irish sectarian Catholic Republican extremists waving an Irish tricolour and singing a belligerent national anthem -- A Soldier's Song? Non-sectarian Federal Unionism - Early Sinn Fein regards each and every inhabitant of this island as Irish and that includes the loyalist community and envisages in the future An Irish Christian Liberal Democracy on the entire island in which the Loyalist community can be Irish and at the same time freely and proudly parade and celebrate in public their rightful heritage, their rightful tradition and their rightful culture which is loyalty to the Crown anywhere on the island. In an illiberal and oppressive Republic such freedoms would be denied as has been denied to loyalists in the 26 counties.

Federal Unionism - Early Sinn Fein will again state its position. That stance regards traditional unionism, traditional nationalism, and traditional republicanism as failures on the island. Nationalism is a half way house towards Republicanism and Republicanism has been tested to destruction by the I.R.A in the 6 counties; and Republicanism has been shown to be flawed, faulty, and defective and should be rejected and discarded. The 1801 Act of Union has been rejected by the vast majority of the Irish and needs replacement in a new acceptable Act, The National Government of Ireland Act. The 1801 Act of Union came about when the Irish parliament was removed by corruption and trickery in reaction to the folly of Republican extremism in '98. When the parliament was removed the constitutional centre was removed with it and this loss has bedevilled Ireland ever since. The 6 counties are now polarized between the extremes of Republicanism and Right Wing Union Jack Unionism and the centre has been abandoned. This is a repeat of 1918 when the country polarised into constitutional extremes and the centre was lost. Yeats was conscious of this loss of centre in The Second Coming.

A way out of this can be found in the 6 county statelet of N. Ireland by first of all establishing a constitutional centre there. This can be found under the banner of Federal Unionism - Early Sinn Fein, which occupies a moderate constitutional centre. If An Irish Liberal Christian Democracy were in place in the whole island with the National Government of Ireland Act as its constitution, then Ireland would be a genuine nation (not a 26 county statelet masquerading as a nation) and Emmet's epitaph could be written. It is the contention of Federal Unionism - Early Sinn Fein that a constitution for the whole island can be drawn up in a U.K. context using imagination and ingenuity which should be as acceptable to the Catholics of Kerry as to the Protestants of Derry.

There is little point in Mr Dowds getting hot under the collar and describing the Act as madness When eventually the Act is published in full in The Blanket, it will be clear the people of the 26 counties won't be dragged kicking and screaming back into the United Kingdom. They are free to opt to remain locked away and live apart on the island in a cosy Catholic foreign 26 county statelet called a Republic if that is their democratic wish. When the Act is read in full it should be clear the Act is pragmatic common sense about Ireland, not a one true faith.

Eventually the harsh reality will have to sink into the mindset of Late Sinn Fein that there isn't going to be a United Ireland as a Republic, and for this reason, Republicanism wounds the cultural psyche of Loyalist Ireland, which is loyalty to the Crown, and that culture is deeply embedded in the Protestant psyche. To have a United Ireland as a Republic, Late Sinn Fein will have to bring about a cultural revolution among the Loyalist community-Chairman Mao style-with Chairman Adams reading his thoughts from his little green book, the green thoughts of the Chairman being enforced by the Green Guard, the I.R.A.

I wish to thank Mr Dowds sincerely for reading and considering my material in The Blanket and responding to it. I encourage Mr Dowds to follow the articles in the journal detailing The National Government of Ireland Act. Perhaps when he has done so, he will abandon a failed, sectarian, Catholic, destructive Republican extremism and adopt a vital non-sectarian constructive moderate Federal Unionism - Early Sinn Fein.

Finally, I challenge Mr Dowds to write Emmet's epitaph, because if the 26 county statelet is now a mature nation as Republican dogma would have us believe, why hasn't Emmet's epitaph been written in Dublin decades ago?





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Index: Current Articles

27 August 2006

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An Open Letter to Martina Anderson
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An Honest Writer: Cristóir Ó Floinn
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A Dual Presidency: An Improbable Solution to the Irish Problem
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Michéal Mhá Dúnnáin

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The Letters page has been updated.



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