Dr John Coulter has been a life-long member of the Ulster Unionist Party. He is chairman of the radical Right-wing Unionist think-tank, the Revolutionary Unionist Convention, which wants loyalism to embrace the concept of One Faith, One Party, One Commonwealth. In this article for Long Kesh Inside Out, he outlines what purely democratic path loyalism should take and what loyalism means to Revolutionary Unionism.
I am an unashamed and unrepentant Radical Right-wing Unionist and loyalism now needs to follow the path of the ideology I have penned – Revolutionary Unionism. It encompasses the ethos – one faith, one party, one Commonwealth.
As a born-again Christian, my first loyalty is to Jesus Christ as my Saviour and political mentor. His Sermon on the Mount, often referred to as The Beatitudes, as outlined in St Matthew’s Gospel, represent a caring Christian social agenda which every loyalist should adopt as their manifesto.
As a journalist and commentator, I have grown up in a political era where loyalist and unionist indulged in the luxury of splitting and fragmenting Unionism, Loyalism, Orangeism and Protestantism.
As a Revolutionary Unionist, I want to see loyalty to a single pro-Union movement simply known as The Unionist Party. It can contain as many pressure groups as it has interest groups, but seats have been lost to republicanism and nationalism through splitting the pro-Union vote and Protestant voter apathy.
Tens of thousands of loyalists gave their lives, were wounded, or served in two world wars so that the generation of 2015 could enjoy the freedoms of democracy. Like the fine example of our sister Commonwealth nation, Australia, responsible citizenship should also carry the moral duty of compulsory voting. Being a loyalist should also mean loyalty to the ballot box – and the ballot box alone.
As a Revolutionary Unionist, I recognise that the Occupied Twenty-Six Counties (known as the Republic) has failed as a political and financial experiment. It is time for these 26 Southern counties to resume their rightful place in a new Union within the Commonwealth of nations.
The historical roots of Revolutionary Unionism lie with the Glorious Revolution – hence the title of the ideology – of the 1690s under King William III which established modern parliamentary democracy as we know it.
That Glorious Revolution affected all of Ireland, not just the six Northern counties of Northern Ireland. All of Ireland was a founder member of the Empire Parliamentary Association in 1911, which later became the current Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in the 1940s.
Loyalism must not become a purely defensive ideology. Through democratic persuasion, Revolutionary Unionism will encourage the South to initially join the CPA before taking its place once again in the Commonwealth.
Revolutionary Unionism will campaign for the UK and Ireland to leave the cash-strapped European Union with the CPA as the economic alternative. The CPA represents more than 50 national and regional parliaments throughout the globe and is much more stable politically than the crumbling EU. Where the UK goes politically and economically, Ireland must follow.
Revolutionary Unionism seeks to further the cause of Faith and State, not Church and State. The latter assumes a religious denomination ramming its views down the throats of citizens. Revolutionary Unionism will seek to re-establish the Biblical standards – not denominational dogma – as the guiding principles for the state.
The Christian ethos will be that espoused by the Salvationist doctrine as outlined in the New Testament text of St John Chapter 3, verse 16. Revolutionary Unionism is firmly committed to the concept that a political awakening in Ireland will go hand in hand with a Christian spiritual reawakening, such as that which swept across the island in the 1859 Revival.
Revolutionary Unionism will not confine itself to the six counties of Northern Ireland or the ‘Not An Inch’ mentality. It is not a case of being loyal to the maxim ‘What We Have We Hold’, but embracing the aspiration ‘We Will Take Back What Is Rightfully Our’s’.
Loyalism needs a new aspiration; as a Revolutionary Unionist, I firmly believe loyalism has the solution – one Biblically-based Christian faith, one pro-Union party, and all of Ireland back in a single Commonwealth under the Royal Crown.