Nesbitt does not know the country he lives in

Mike Nesbitt’s latest absurd article in the Belfast Telegraph just gives away the self-evident truth that Unionists fundamentally do not know the country they live in.

Essentially, it amounts to saying to Nationalists that, if only they would admit they were wrong all along and agree to honour Unionists’ national flag, then he will generously agree to get along with them! Seriously? In 2013? From an Oxbridge grad?

The worst of it all is that I think Nesbitt knows what he is doing. He knows that real reconciliation – where you apologise for your own indiscretions and make room for others’ identity and not just your own – requires strong leadership. Much better just to appeal to the lowest common denominator, blame themmuns, appear generous by hinting (but not specifying) that you may have carried a small percentage of the fault, and watch the communal (ahem, sectarian) votes roll in.

There is nothing wrong with demanding “Republicans” admit past sins. Unlike Mr Nesbitt, who chickened out of doing it, I have done this to their faces at a Sinn Féin conference. However, I have news for Nesbitt – the Union Flag is not and never will be “their flag” – any more than the German flag was my flag when I lived in Germany. The 1998 Agreement was quite clear that people in Northern Ireland may opt not to be British, while still remaining full citizens of Northern Ireland. Now there is an “inconvenient truth”, but it is not one Nesbitt wants to grasp, as it may require coming to terms with the country we actually live in.


13 thoughts on “Nesbitt does not know the country he lives in

  1. “The 1998 Agreement was quite clear that people in Northern Ireland may opt not to be British, while still remaining full citizens of Northern Ireland.”

    This is the crucial point.

  2. harryaswell says:

    Ian, your arrogance and supremacy never fails to astonish and amuse me! So easy to sneer and smear isn’t it? The only problem is it makes you out to be a simplistic foolish jackass. How dare you to be so presumptious as to say that “anyone”, let alone Nesbitt, doesn’t know the country he lives in!! – Oh please! Resorting to the tricks of schoolboy debating really does your credibility no good. From your own remarks, it is plain to see that Nesbitt is not alone in what you accuse him of! Nesbitt is quite correct to challenge Republicans, high time that someone does it. Your own failure to see what Sinn Fein and Republicans are “really” up to does you no credit either.

  3. factual says:

    Meanwhile Alliance have voted to gag NI21 in the Assembly.

    • harryaswell says:

      Well “factual”, are you really so surprised? Proper democracy is hardly what Alliance can deal with, especially after their performance over the flag debacle.Sadly, NI21 is more of a protest party than anything else, not properly based on any sure fire propositions or policies. Even more sad is the fact that at the very moment the Unionists should all be supporting each other they are splitting the vote. Like it or not, Nesbitt does not deserve this type of, sic., “loyalty”.

  4. So, it turns out Alliance *didn’t* vote to move NI21 from sixth to twelfth. Indeed, it is unclear if they have any speaking rights at all, as they are a new party with no seats at the last election.

    I’m sure “Factual” will wish to set the record straight.

  5. Clare says:

    Yet another example, if we need one that Nesbitt is tribal.
    Dosn’t seem room space for NI21 though Ian.
    It will be as successful as Kilfedders old Popular Unionist Party.
    Minor unionist parties have come and gone and there is nothing
    to suggest this will grab any more imagination (despite the
    razzmatazz launch) than they did.

  6. Political Tourist says:

    Does the 21 in NI21 stand for their membership or maybe their future voters.

  7. Clare says:

    Seems to stand for how many pretty ladies they have to show.
    I agree Neil all style and no substance.
    I fail to see how they can get off the ground in areas outside Lagan Valley
    to be honest.

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