By Jamie Bryson
The Belfast Agreement is persistently evoked every time nationalism has another insatiable demand. That tells you something; when nationalism seek to advance their political objectives, their weapon of choice is the Belfast Agreement.
If that pernicious agreement was actually about equality and respect for all traditions, then it would stand to reason that it would demand the protection of unionism every bit as much as nationalism. Accordingly, if- because of the Belfast Agreement- there can be no land border, then surely the converse applies to a Sea border.
Not so. Only those gullible enough to believe the Belfast Agreement is anything more than a nationalist trojan horse would arrive at such an interpretation. In relation to Brexit the Belfast Agreement has been evoked as a weapon to prevent a border between the sovereign territory of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. In a preposterous approach, the Government has treated Northern Ireland as some hybrid British-Irish territory working from the premise that a land border must be avoided at all costs, even if that means imposing an internal UK border.
That should illuminate for all unionists that the very root of the problem we how face can be found in the Belfast Agreement. If you therefore accept the reality- as set out very clearly by nationalism’s weaponisation of the agreement- that the 1998 deal is entrenched with a wholly nationalist trajectory designed to incrementally wedge Northern Ireland out of the union, then why would any self-respecting unionist continue to operate such structures?
Interconnected to the infectious branches spawned by the Belfast Agreement is its core ‘spirit’. This is unwritten, but forcefully powerful. In short the spirit of the Belfast Agreement is that nationalism must be perpetually appeased, because a failure to feed the concession meter constitutes a failure to progress the embedded trajectory of the Belfast Agreement, and as such is therefore endangering the so-called ‘peace process’.
Let us firstly remind ourselves that every process, by its very definition, has a beginning and an end. If you want to understand the end of the process, then look at the Northern Ireland Act 1998- the envisaged end point is when there is a referendum on Irish unity and the answer is in the affirmative. Thereafter the ‘process’ is complete, and the unionists of Northern Ireland are forever held captive by Dublin. There is no mechanism for a reciprocal process to re-enter the United Kingdom.
Further to that reality, if we logically break down the fact that concessions to nationalism is a necessity for the ‘peace process’, then its relatively straightforward to see the truth- ‘peace’ is dependent upon nationalism getting what it wants in the ‘process’.
It is this which has stalked the Brexit talks- the very clear message that a failure to cede to nationalist demands could risk peace, because IRA terrorism could return. That sets a powderkeg precedent; whilst I don’t encourage this line of thinking, it would be very hard to argue against any loyalist who concluded that if the threat of republican violence is good enough to prevent a land border, then why would the converse not be true when it comes to preventing a Sea border? That’s the dangerous and destabilising community strife which has been created by the latest appeasement of nationalism.
Helpfully the Chief Constable also intervened today (9 December 2020) to confirm what many of us have been arguing for years; policing is every bit as inherently biased in favor of nationalism, for the apparent greater good of the aforementioned ‘peace process’, as is our political systems.
The potential for nationalist violence led the PSNI to surrender policing to the IRA for the funeral of Bobby Storey. Whilst over-zealous PSNI officers have gleefully waded into churches, loyalist gatherings and small businesses- you would struggle to spot a single police officer anywhere near the unlawful gathering for the Storey funeral.
Furthermore, whilst many other citizens in Northern Ireland were aggressively pursued for apparent Covid breaches, the PSNI happily colluded with Sinn Fein in an effort to run the clock down on the Storey funeral offences, given they are statute barred after 6 months. They very nearly got away with that scheming until it was called out by this writer.
Policing and Politics is subservient to the agenda driven by the Belfast Agreement; this necessitates an inherent pro nationalist bias.
Brexit was about the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, not part of the UK leaving whilst Northern Ireland is left behind as a prisoner of Dublin and the EU. The notion that such an outcome will deliver anything other than perpetual instability is as foolish as the Sea border itself.
Unionism must finally wake up to the reality that the Belfast Agreement is a weapon designed to slowly and incrementally infect and poison every institution and structure of Northern Ireland as part of bringing on the slow death of the Union. It is insanity for unionism to continue to operate its institutions, and with every day that passes unionism’s very participation in the institutions advances the process, which as explained is designed to mutilate Northern Ireland constitutional position.
We must now turn our mind to a political and legal war of attrition, with the potential for street protests undoubtedly very much kept alive as an option for many. Article 16 makes clear, inter-alia, that should the implementation of the provisions of the NI Protocol lead to “serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties” then the UK could take steps to remedy that. Silent compliance is unlikely to trigger Article 16.
This protocol- and its implementation- is a tank which is driving full steam ahead towards our place in the United Kingdom. It must be impeded, frustrated and resisted. There can be no acquiesce or compliance. Unionism and loyalism collectively must come together to devise an ambitious and robust strategy to fight back against the efforts to drive us into an economic United Ireland.