Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Pause for thought

Next month this blog will have been running for 2 years, but it doesn't seem like it. I started it the day the Provisional IRA said it would disarm totally and for good, and in those two years we've seen the payoff: Paisley sharing power with Sinn Féin! If I'd predicted that two years ago you'd have rightly called me bonkers, but two years are a long time in politics.

Regulars know I don't beat any party's drum because none of them offers the kind of British-friendly-but-distinctly-Irish-ness I espouse. I'm no raving Unionist, but I think Great Britain's a fine country and value the British aspect of our heritage. I'm no raving Nationalist, but I'm a big fan of Éire and would feel optimistic enough if NI were to join it in a suitable new all-Ireland state, at the right time and with the right levels of support.

I hope my moderate approach has offered an alternative to some of the bitter blogs because I believe passionately that, in whatever direction the political status of NI is to develop, it has to be inclusive enough to command the support - active or passive - of what I call the "middle 80%", and that's not achievable in an atmosphere of diatribe and alienation.

The devolution milestone means we've entered a new phase, and I'm going to use the summer break to lie down with pina coladas and think through what I can usefully do with this blog. And a few other things as well of course.

So have a good summer, and I'll be back on 3rd September. Go well.


At 4:18 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

First time I read your blog, BU, and I'm impressed. It's refreshing to see a normal Unionist who doesn't go all schizo at the idea of an all-Ireland state in the future.

It may happen, it may not. But surely it's not a cause for the hysteria we so often see promoted among Unionist politicians.

At 5:26 p.m., Anonymous Ms. Jen said...

Happy Big blog birthday! As a California living in Dublin last year, I truly appreciated the levelheadedness of this blog. Keep it up! ;o)

At 8:03 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a like minded protestant, I congratulate you on having the courage to openly state your opinions.

At 1:07 a.m., Anonymous aileen said...


any takers for a United British Isles? ;o)

At 11:14 a.m., Blogger B.U. said...

Didn't work last time, Aileen! Maybe a new united state within the Commonwealth (as recognition of Britain's and Ireland's cultural contributions to each other) but with Michelle Gildernew as head of state ;-)

At 7:14 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone familiar with the New Ireland Group. They seem to be composed primarily of Protestants who espouse a united Ireland where all cultures are welcome. Im thinking of joining.

At 9:07 p.m., Anonymous bill said...

Merry birthday to my favourite blog site! Thank's b.u. My background is the same and my views generally synchronous with yours. Have a great holiday and keep up the good work.

At 12:00 p.m., Anonymous Tony said...

>> I'm no raving Nationalist, but I'm a big fan of Éire and would feel optimistic enough if NI were to join it in a suitable new all-Ireland state, at the right time and with the right levels of support.<<

First I've heard of this! I know you are not your typical Unionist but the above is surprising. It might get you drummed out of the lodge ;)

At 10:55 p.m., Blogger Safiya said...

I enjoy your blog and it's lack of bitterness very much.

Have a good break!

At 10:23 p.m., Blogger O'Neill said...

Having been an avid reader for some time, I don't think BU can be accurately described as a British Unionist, more of an Ulsterman open to persuasion;)

Enjoy your break!!

At 5:15 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're simply the best male non-bigoted prod in Ulster.

Have a great summer



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