The Irish Unionist Party isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds | Matthew Murphy
About a month ago, I spent the weekend in Northern Ireland with my good friend and the founder of the Irish Unionist Party (IUP), Tristan Morrow. The IUP, for those who are unaware, is a party which calls for the unification of Ireland under the British Crown. This surface goal is seen by the vast majority of people as impossible and possibly even idiotic, and perhaps fairly so. However, within the madness of Irish Unionism, Mr. Morrow has his method as well as a genuinely important motive to boot.
Mr. Morrow brings up an excellent point which I had never thought of before; how come Irish Republicans are free to campaign and run political parties in Northern Ireland, but it doesn’t work vice versa? Sinn Fein has branches in Ulster, so why should the Democratic Unionist Party not have branches in the Republic of Ireland? From this question stems a major issue in Irish politics, one that has a significant danger of being realised in British politics. In Ireland, every political movement, whether liberal, conservative or socialist, must follow the baseline republican line. The IUP differs from this and has received death threats as a result, merely from normal, otherwise acceptable campaigning such as leafleting or stickers on lampposts. Irish politics is extremely dogmatic and to deviate from what the big-wig establishmentarians say is tantamount to heresy. The IUP’s true motive is not the pipedream of British rule over Ireland to be re-established, but rather a movement of free speech, not just within the Republic but also outside it.
It is also a party which any Irish Republicans ironically must accept. In a 32-county united Ireland, if it happened tomorrow, there would be a population of ~1 million Unionists. That would make up just over 10% of the population. It would be outrageous for those people not to receive political representation, lest the republicans fancy The Troubles starting up all over again. And yet, as earlier stated, the IUP and some of its members have received outright death threats- credible ones, too, from republicans.
This is an interesting question of free speech because it is not governmental. It isn’t the establishment that is organising this: it is happening independently, with threats and violence being carried out by independent thugs who are dogmatically entrenched in their narrow belief system. We cannot blame the governments directly for this, but we can blame them for fostering a society and culture in which this is the norm. We should also take it as a stark warning, as similar things can be seen to begin to happen here in mainland Britain, too. Growing Antifa movements- and their Crypto (or sometimes even outwardly) Fascistic enemies- tear our streets apart and never miss a major protest to turn violent. This is not the British way, but as dogma takes over discussion, it is becoming ingrained into our political culture.
This is why the IUP is not as ridiculous as it seems on the surface. It exposes the issues with Irish politics, and helps to prepare us for the coming age where we will experience similar issues. It is an excellent case study for free speech, as they are doing nothing wrong in the slightest and yet are receiving threats. The motivations of those threatening them can all be exposed with the simple two words; “Why not?”
When I spent that weekend with Mr. Morrow, I saw the beautiful sights of Northern Ireland. It truly is God’s country. But I also saw stark political divides which frankly shocked me. Entire zones of cities were locked off to certain political affiliations. We passed some villages which were controlled entirely by militias such as the Ulster Volunteer Force or the Red Hand Commandos. The most important takeaway from this, however, is I did not see a different country. It was still Britain, it was still my nation, and I could see everything happening even in England itself within as little time as a decade.
This is why I ask people to support the IUP, even if you don’t believe in the cause of Irish reunification, even if you’re not Irish. It’s a perfect demonstration of not only the importance of free speech, but also the ways in which it is being stamped out. “So this is how liberty dies; with thundering applause.”
Photo provided by the Irish Unionist Party.