As the dust settles after the Brexit vote and the reality dawns, we all need to adjust to a new reality. Events can sometimes make change come pouring through the cracks rather faster than expected.
Some are having much difficulty with that. Including me.
Politically, Sinn Fein (Don’t go there Mary) reacted instantly with a call for a reunification poll. Within a week , Fianna Fail and Fine Gael and the SDLP followed suit, to a degree. The DUP, predictably, didn’t. As usual they sought to align themselves with the Tories in London regardless of the consequences to the people here, most pointedly, their own voters.
The dynamic has now changed, without a doubt.
This is a moment of catalyst. There is a tangible feel in the air that change is now happening around us and yet nobody is entirely sure what to do next. Least of all our political leaders.
It is clear to me that within nationalist politics there is a wind of change. The traditional republican heartlands feel a sense of abandonment as a result of the expansion of the membership and voter base which has been most notable south of the border. Hence the stagnation and decline in the nationalist vote in those heartlands. This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency in my opinion and it can only be done by talking and having some uncomfortable conversations. With honesty.
Equally, the opportunity provided by the Brexit vote to engage with those who voted yes but would, perhaps, be traditionally unionist voters (NOT TUV) is obvious. This is not some sort of nationalist outreach project. It is a genuine opportunity to engage in a serious way with intelligent fellow countrymen on something that is a concern to us all.
It is not a discussion about the southern state taking over the failed northern region, It is an opportunity to discuss shaping a new Ireland for us all, democratically.