PREVIEW: The Future of Unionism

By Claire Dickson

Surprise is aroused in me at Nationalism having formerly sat on the back burner as Unionism complacently succeeds in repelling electoral trends away from itself year on year. Its apathy can probably be traced back to the ‘Protestant parliament for a Protestant people’ sitting at Stormont prior to direct rule. As the Civil Rights movement came into force to combat its corruption in gerrymandering electoral boundaries it not only led to better equality between communities with regards to jobs and housing but inevitably disassociated Unionism with that prosperity. Thereafter, the more extreme fringes of Unionism only served to sound over the top of O’Neill’s attempt at moderate reform in increasing government funding to Catholic schools and hospitals and reaching out to Catholic faith leaders. Neither did Unionism exactly jump at the chance to back an agreement which enshrined NI’s status within the Union (provided it was the will of the majority) in the form of the GFA. So does contemporary Unionism make a conscious effort to rebrand itself progressive? Phrased alternatively: can we blame Alliance for everything?…

The Orange Arch in Lisburn, BBC

Read more of this article when the Gown’s online issue is released on 16th of September.

Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.

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