A bit of a kerfuffle on Twitter over Baroness Hoey’s forward to a report by Jamie Bryson on ‘Vetoing The Protocol’.
From the forward:
“I support the increasingly strategic activism of young (and not so young) people within the pro-Union community, who are coming together in various ways to develop networks and sharing of ideas…
“I also entirely support the ongoing work to encourage those, especially from working class loyalist communities, to engage in education and to seek entry to professional vocations such as journalism, law, and public service.
“There are very justified concerns that many professional vocations have become dominated by those of a nationalist persuasion, and this positioning of activists is then used to exert influence on those in power.
“The work of UVPS is crucial, both as a network for the sharing of pro-Union ideas, and for the development of policies, legal arguments, and political strategies.”
This lead to the inevitable backlash on Twitter:
I'm from a WC nationalist background, I grew up in a council house, I was a teenage mum, I worked and went to school at night, I studied journalism because I loved writing, when I was growing up journalists were all very posh and mainly men, it's not 'infiltration' it is redress
— Allison Morris (@AllisonMorris1) January 5, 2022
The ‘enemy within’ argument is inaccurate, sinister, and dangerous. Further shameful intervention from Kate Hoey https://t.co/AxuWkQuuyQ
— Stephen Farry MP (@StephenFarryMP) January 5, 2022
It is no secret that professions have become more nationalist over the past decade or two. The majority of UU and Queen’s students now come from a Catholic background (there are more catholic young people so thus more students, also many Protestant students have traditionally gone to Scotland to study), it is not a surprise that all those students who study law or journalism end up becoming solicitors or journalists. Just as other students become doctors, programmers, and every other career.
There is also the implication that is it perfectly fine to be a professional with Unionist views but the sky falls if a professional has Nationalist views. It was acceptable for Unionist politicians like David Trimble, Edgar Graham, Esmond Birnie and Dermot Nesbitt to teach at Queen’s but if Colin Harvey expresses a Nationalist view he is public enemy number one.
The covert masterplan has been exposed.
To ascend to positions of authority in civic, political, public and social life.
And run this region for the benefit of everyone who lives here.
Particularly the most marginalised and vulnerable.
— Colin Harvey (@cjhumanrights) January 5, 2022
The obvious question in all this is so what? Sure some professionals are off a republican mindset but there are just as many happy with the Union or in the undecided camp. All this has a whiff of a red scare about it. I think people also take exception to the suggestion that they are some kind of mindless sleeper agents working to undermine the Union from within.
Getting the working class to fight amongst themselves while the rich hoover up all the money and power is a tactic as old as time itself.
From the battlefields of Flanders to the cells of the H-Blocks working class loyalism has been continually screwed over by Unionist leaders.
Heather Wilson hit the nail on the head:
No one has walked over working class unionists and loyalists like ‘elite’ unionism has.
— Heather Wilson (@hevwilson_e) January 5, 2022
I help to manage Slugger by taking care of the site as well as running our live events. My background is in business, marketing and IT. My politics tend towards middle-of-the-road pragmatism, I am not a member of any political party. Oddly for a member of the Slugger team, I am not that interested in daily politics, preferring to write about big ideas in society. When not stuck in front of a screen, I am a parkrun Run Director.