Saturday, 12 May 2018

Strengthening the Union

Policy Exchange, which is probably the UK's leading think tank, has organised a conference in London on Monday 21 May on The Union and Unionism - Past, Present and Future.  

There are political speakers from across the United Kingdom, including Michael Gove MP, Ruth Davidson MSP, Arlene Foster MLA, Lord Murphy of Torfaen and Jim Murphy, former leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

There are also contributions from historians and commentators, including two from Northern Ireland, Professor Lord Bew of Donegore and Arthur Aughey, Professor Emeritus at the Ulster University.

Some weeks ago Sinn Fein organised a United Ireland conference in London,  This time Policy Exchange is organising a United Kingdom conference and it certainly looks to be a much more substantial event.

It is right that pro-Union politicians and parties should engage with historians and others to reflect on the Union and how we can strengthen it.  We also need to do more to sell the benefits of the Union to those who are ambivalent and indeed the two go together - we strengthen the Union when we sell the benefits of the Union and convince the waverers and the unconvinced.


  1. Might I ask you a hypothetical question, so as to gain a better insight into the Northern Unionist mindset, the concept of "Britishness" and the entity that is the United Kingdom? Let us say in this scenario, there comes to pass a huge groundswell of support for both the SNP and Plaid Cymru, which leads to referendums in those respective countries, both of which are successful. With both having seceded from the Union, we are left with a "United Kingdom" consisting simply of Northern Ireland and England. My question to you, (and remember it's only hypothetical), is if such circumstances were ever to transpire, would you still hold the same positions that you hold now?

  2. I shall take your refusal to respond as a tacit admision that such semantic enquiries into the nature of what the "Union" constitutes discomfort you. It is indeed a fragile system of belief, that which cannot bear a little self-examination.

  3. You posted at 10.30 on Saturday morning and because I had not responded by 13.24 you reached the conclusion above. Some of us have a life and do other things as well as sit in front of laptop.


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