Lyle is a retired Ballymena solicitor and has been around politics for some time. He stood in North Antrim in the 2007 Assembly election for the UKUP and got 4.2% of the vote but was not elected. Then at the 2010 Westminster election he stood again in North Antrim and polled just 606 votes (1.4%). What then are we to make of his comments?
Last Saturday I attended and spoke at a conference on commemorations organsied by the Unionist Centenary Committee. All those who were at the conference were looking forward to 2012, the centenary of the Ulster Covenant, as the start of a decade of centenaries, leading up to 2021 and the centenary of formation of Northern Ireland. As unionists we should be preparing for the centenary of Northern Ireland and looking forward to the second century.
Of course Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness have predicted a United Ireland by 2016, the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising . Gerry Adams even said that he would shave off his beard if there was not a United Ireland by 2016. But that sort of nonsense is designed to encourage his followers and demoralise the unionist community. Republicans often talk about the 'inevitability' of a United Ireland as part of their strategy of psychological warfare. We should recognise it for the propaganda that it is.
Why then would a unionist swallow Gerry Adams' propaganda of a United Ireland by 2016 or even 2021 and regurgitate it in a unionist newspaper? Why act as a propagandist for Sinn Fein as they try to demoralise unionism? It simply beggars belief.
Unionist (and most nationalists) don't believe Gerry Adams when he said he was never in the IRA. Why then believe him when he predicts that there will be a United Ireland in the next few years?
Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and there can never be a United Ireland without the consent of the majority of people in Northern Ireland. Most Protestants and a significant section of the Roman Catholic community as well want to remain within the United Kingdom. They recognise the material benefits of being part of the United Kingdom and they prefer the United Kingdom to a United Ireland. That view will have been reinforced by the economic plight of the Irish Republic. We have our own difficulties and the Tories have cut £4 billion out of the Northern Ireland block grant over the next four years but we are far better off within the United Kingdom than in a United Ireland.
There will be no United Ireland by 2016 or even 2021 and we will then enter into the second century of Northern Ireland. Unfortunately some people, such as Lyle Cubitt, prefer to wallow in doom and gloom and peddle the same line as the Sinn Fein propagandists.