Let The Flag Set Us Free
As with most Unionists, I found that the removal of the Union flag from Belfast City Hall stung. The subsequent Nationalist triumphalism has been raw hypocrisy, and given their history of being political calamine lotion the role of the Alliance party in all of this was particularly hurtful.
But why can’t this be the start of something positive?
Why can’t this be the spark to ignite actual politicisation of the protestant working class?
The deterioration of what began as quite dignified and legitimate protests into violence remains indicative of the now undeniable political void. The time has come to fill it with a new unionist culture. One where working class protestant’s lose their fear of voting for a self-serving agenda and gain political leadership likely to come from their own street, or one like it.
Perhaps with a late moustachioed gentleman in mind the people of Erskine Street are not only capable of having representation as effective as that of the people of the Falls Road but they should feel entitled to it!
Such Unionist people have long needed a political leader not a succession of political masters.
Why not choose now to bring political debate back to the dinner table, the school classroom, the church car-park and the community centre? And it is now clear that it is not enough to merely get together in such venues to express dissatisfaction with ones councillor or MLA. The time, I believe, has come to bring about his replacement and why not with someone from that very room?
Political leadership, not political mastery! We can begin now! Can there ever have been a more appropriate catalyst than the lowering of the flag of the most progressive, multinational, democratized, inclusive Union on earth?
Hope to see you at one of those meetings.
William Ennis, Progressive Unionist