Since the foundation of the north eastern statelet in 1921 a common thread is evident.
The purpose of this is to limit, confine and minimise the electoral influence of citizens born within the geographical area who do not accept the legitimacy or validity of who governs them.
Of course the undemocratic partition of Ireland was a subversion of democracy in the first place but that was some time ago. We have moved on and with the adoption of the GFA I thought that we had all agreed to “getalong” (c: fitzjameshorse) and, subject to the democratically expressed wishes of the electorate, the constitutional status quo would remain.
Since partition, nationalist democratic participation has been systematically limited, minimised and discouraged in the North East. This was a matter of policy by the exclusively Unionist assembly in Stormont.
“‘thousands of Roman Catholics have been added to the population. In many places Protestant majorities are now minorities and at that rate of increase twenty years would see the Church of Rome in power”
Meanwhile, political Unionism continues with its old habits as we see in today’s Irish News. This comes hard on the heels of similar patterns of behaviour, particularly in regard to the Girdwood Barracks site.
This is an attempt to ghettoise potential nationalist voters.
There are huge derelict sites across Belfast awaiting development. Anyone who drives into the city can attest to this. The one beside Short Strand is an obvious example.
There are also some derelict brain cells that seek to limit housing expansion in these areas because, guess what, it may lead to an electoral geographic realignment.
This signifies a significant shift in mindset. A shift back to the 1920s.
Am I surprised that the minister, the boul’ Nelson, held a meeting regarding housing in a potentially nationalist voting street in an Orange Hall? No. Not a bit. It is in tune with what unionist political strategy has been for 90 years.
Will it work?
No. It has failed abysmally. Belfast is no longer a Unionist City, demographically or electorally.
It is disappointing that that the old habits of political unionism die hard, but they are surely going the way of the the supremacist, hubristic mindset of 90 years ago.
(As an aside has anyone figured out the identity of the Bangor Woman in the main picture above?)