Lord Trimble, arch Unionist, intellectual Loyalist and convinced Brexiteer, was laid to rest.
An Orangeman, a man of fascist-type Vanguard rallies, whose leaders worked with Loyalist paramilitaries and called for Catholics to be exterminated. A man who supported the reactionary Loyalist Workers Strike. A man who participated in the Orange Order Siege of Drumcree and the Garvaghy Road stand-off which was linked to the death of 3 children.
British, Unionist, anti-Catholic, anti-Irish to his finger-tips.
An unpleasant character, by all reports. Rude, cold, arrogant, easy to anger.
Ostensibly, a man of peace, authority and caution, far-seeing, percipient, worthy recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
In the run-up to the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement Lord Trimble insisted his people must not linger on in the past but embrace the present.
Yet he did exactly the opposite.
Lately he supported Brexit, hindering any move forward on the Northern Irish Protocol (NIP), contradicting judicial findings that the NIP breached the 1801 Act of Union and supporting Unionist refusal to accept a SF First Minister in Northern Ireland.
He ultimately encouraged a tribute to the past, the supremacist past of Unionism that lives on in present Unionist parties.
Comment: RIP Let the dead bury the dead
Lord Trimble acquiesced to the 1998 (Belfast/Good Friday) Agreement because
a) he had no other choice. The British, Irish and USA governments offered no alternatives to Sunningdale Mark 2, except Joint Sovreignty with the Irish Republic. A fate worse than death for Unionists/Loyalists.
b) the IRA/SF were already on board pursuing peace. Being off-side and left out, was not a good look for the Unionist/Loyalist image and
c) the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement secured another 25 and counting years of Unionist hegemony in Northern Ireland.
Queries: What was there not to like?
A mere quibble about power-sharing for slow learners?
Lord Trimble knew Unionist/Loyalist hard-liners were not slow learners.
A long, long time ago they had learnt how to wield slogans in their favour.
“No Surrender” and “Never, Never, Never” guaranteed their place in Northern Ireland and Westminster, particularly when the Conservative Party needed to be make up numbers to form a government.
NB: The Conservative party in England were comparatively slow learners in this regard.
“Brexit is Brexit” and “Take Back Control” came much later.
Unionists/Loyalists had no intention of, nor are they ever going to, share power with the IRA/SF.
Parity of esteem is a foreign (EU?) concept to them.
Since 1998, the Stormont Assembly has staggered from one debacle and collapse to to the next.
Unionists forever walk in smaller “No No No” circles, a minority in the “wee pravince” they once dominated.
After the latest elections the DUP refuse to participate in the Stormont Assembly, thus blocking everything.
Ostensibly because they do not like the NIP which the British government they supported negotiatiated, ratified and attempted to implement to a certain extent.
Ostensibly because they will not play “bridesmaid” to a SF First Minister.
Comment: Unionists/Loyalists and Westminster are not yet sick of Ireland, not yet sick of being where their supremacism is unwanted.
Remember: Unionist/Loyalist attraction to Northern Ireland is not rooted in love of place and people but in their desire to control the people and impose their will upon everybody living there
Today Unionism/Loyalism/The Loyal Orders are shadows of a past, flickering in a world in which the living and the dead meet, haunted in these summer months by the legacy of 10 dead IRA Hunger Strikers.
The Stormont Assembly music has stopped.
Unionists/Loyalists will not permit the Assembly to function unless they get what they demand.
The rest of the parties and MLAs gather at the door, coats on, ready to leave if the DUP gets what it wants.
If not, what are all the conversations about a “New /Shared Ireland about?