Wearing my other hat as Conspiracy Theorist, I have decided to explain Unionism by reference to Matryoshka/Babushka Dolls…and your spelling is probably better than mine because I am too lazy to look up Wikipedia. This set was bought by me in Moscow in 1980….and to be honest I was expecting more.
Nesting dolls. Open one and another is revealed and …another.
Which is a bit like Unionism.
The nicest doll is Let’sGetAlongerism. a Golden Halo of Do Gooders in quangos, universities, discussion boards and lobbying companies. Seductively appealing, they do have a bottom line that parity of esteem is limited by the institutional supremacy of the Union…and they are a bit too “in your face” about that and think we maybe should all join British political parties and put all the unpleasantness behind us. Far too intelligent to be monarchists, they are likely to get surprisingly worked up if a young nationalist decides to play football for the Republic of Ireland.
Inside that doll is Liberal Unionism…always a risible concept going back to the days of Terence O ‘Neill and politically split along the fault line of the nastier elements in the Alliance Party and the nicer people in the UUP. Most likely to believe in the best of British such as the Jubilee and Olympics and saddened rather than angry that nationalists don’t see it that way.
Inside this doll is Traditional Unionism, angered rather than saddened by nationalism and ever ready to go into defensive mode. Some of their best friends are Catholics but Traditional Unionists are now to be found in the worst parts of the UUP and the more “enlightened” parts of the DUP.
Inside that doll is Religious Unionism….the worst elements of the DUP and the apolitical God botherers in Protestant gospel halls. Nutters who believe in the lost tribe of Israel and religious and ethnic supremacy. Mainstream Orange Order types.
Inside that doll is unapologetic Paramilitary Unionism. UVF, UDA…often critical of unionist politicians and not overtly religious but when Push comes to Shove, they row in behind political unionism. They know their place. It is a 1912 kinda thing.
And inside that doll is Scumbag Unionism…the culture of the Kick the Pope bands, the underclass and the fascism of the football hooligan. Not the sort to be brought home to tea by the better class of Unionist.
The curious thing about the last seven weeks is that all these dolls have been opened up and every aspect of unionism has been laid bare.The entire case is based on the Mob….always the bottom line in Unionism. yes there is a case to be made that we have laughed too long at Willie Fraser, we have photo-shopped too many images of Flegs and rioters and uploaded too many rap videos to You Tube.
We are being encouraged to give them a break….and in some ways all those Dolls from Let’s GetbAlongerist to Scumbag is calling for nationalists/republicans to cut them some slack. This would of course get the mob off the streets but it merely facilitates all these forms of Unionism to get their act together and pursue their anti-nationalist agenda.
Not on my watch.