OPINION: Civic unionism must come together to counterbalance nationalism’s sectarian pact

By Jamie Bryson

The nationalist sectarian pact is perhaps one of the most appalling polarisations of civic society that one is likely to see. It was undoubtedly designed to ostracise unionists within their stated professions, and at its core it is a hostile takeover- orchestrated by Connolly House- of the professional class.

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This was not a case of individuals making a personal declaration, which they would of course be perfectly entitled to do.

Those that signed the letter were listed by their profession, therefore they were quite patently declaring themselves as nationalists in their professional capacity. This is quite unique, especially for solicitors and journalists, that make much of their professional impartiality. How this impartiality squares with being listed as nationalist solicitors or journalists, is quite beyond me.

Could you imagine for just one moment if 200 unionists from the legal, media and academic world had written a letter demanding civil rights for the Orange Order on the Crumlin Road?

Some of the same media outlets that are giving this sectarian letter a free ride would have been apoplectic and filling the airwaves with condemnation had this been a unionist pact. Sinn Fein and the Alliance party would have been the first to bleat on about sectarian pacts and creating division.

Why then is the unprofessional, overtly political and sectarian nature of this letter not being challenged on the airwaves?

Here we have a clear division of civic society, organised along sectarian lines, yet no one wants to challenge that absurd agenda. No one wants to drill down on the fact that we have supposedly professional and impartial solicitors, who incidentally I happen to think quite highly of, appearing on TV and articulating a Sinn Fein political message under the guise of a letter in relation to Brexit. This is alongside some other absolutely disgraceful and inflammatory comments that some of the signatories have made in the media.

Robin Swann quite rightly said that this letter could have come straight from Sinn Fein. One need only look at the list of signatories to see that it is a who’s who of arms length Sinn Fein activists and supporters. They have clearly orchestrated this attempt to create a broad pan-nationalist civic coalition, in furtherance of their own Irish republican agenda.

Whilst those that signed the letter may have believed they were supporting a nationalist political agenda, the text of the letter is clear, they put their names to a republican propaganda statement clearly manipulated by Sinn Fein.

I have spoken to some who signed the letter, and they have indicated that the way the letter was intended is not how it has been briefed , and reported in the media. I would suggest that many people have been played by Sinn Fein, and been walked into putting their names to a political stunt. I imagine that will be professionally damaging for many of those that have unashamedly hitched their wagon to the republican movement.

This letter has been a PR disaster for those that signed it. It has achieved nothing besides professionally damaging the impartial nature of many professions and polarising civic society.

Given nationalists have created a sectarian civic pact, designed to push their narrow a political agenda, it may be prudent for unionists within the now divided professions to similarly gather together to advance the cause of unionism. What is good for the goose, is good for the gander, and all that.

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