Monday, May 7, 2018

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Revolutionary Unionism - The Only Workable Solution

The introduction of an all-island military National Service is at the economic heart of Revolutionary Unionism. In this latest Fearless Flying Column today, controversial commentator Dr John Coulter outlines how his ideology will create thousands of jobs in a post Brexit Ireland.

Ireland, north and south, needs to embrace a new sense of patriotism in a post Brexit society. The key to achieving this, according to my Revolutionary Unionism ideology, is the introduction of a cross-border National Service for every citizen which would kick in once people reach the age of 16.

The ethos of Revolutionary Unionism is about practically ‘Putting People First’. We’ve just had the local government elections in England along with the West Tyrone Westminster by-election. Candidates of whatever shade and persuasion talk a lot about wanting to put people first.

While this makes great manifesto and slogan reading as well as terrific soundbites, will the practice of ‘Putting People First’ work in reality? Revolutionary Unionism can give that guarantee to the people of Ireland post Brexit.

No matter what type of border – hard or soft – exists between the republic and Northern Ireland after next March, one fact of life will be indisputable – the people of Ireland will have to work together if the island is not to descend to the economic status of a third-rate banana state.

Revolutionary Unionism can live up to its pledge of guaranteeing work for all citizens. To become a recognised citizen, all adults once they reach the age of 16 will have to serve a minimum of two years in the Armed Force of either the UK in Northern Ireland, or the Irish Defence Forces in the republic.

During this two-year compulsory period of paid National Service, each person will learn a vocational trade. All branches of the forces will be open for National Service – the army, navy, air force and even the police.

For example, in the north, a young person could join the British Army at 16 immediately after completing their GCSEs. During their paid time in the Army, they could also learn a vocational trade which would be of use to them once their National Service is completed.

If that person came from the nationalist community and did not feel they could cope with serving in the British forces, they could still complete their National Service in the Irish Defence Forces. There would be extra cash bonuses for people who completed their National Service whilst serving abroad with either the United Nations or NATO.

National Service, while it could begin at 16, would be available at various stages in the educational calendar – at 18, for example, after A levels, or upon graduation from university. The two key factors are – to become a fully-fledged citizen of the new Ireland, you must do your minimum of two years’ paid National Service and learn your trade.

Of course, the key question, how would Revolutionary Unionism pay for and administer all-island National Service? Primarily, there would be a massive reduction in the overseas aid budgets of both the UK and the Irish republic. Millions of pounds and euros are wasted every year as the cash goes directly into the pockets of dictators, bureaucrats and administrators instead of the people who supposedly need it.

Revolutionary Unionism is unashamedly an ‘Ireland First’ ideology – we look after our own people before we pander to anyone else. Money which the UK will save by not having to pump millions into the European Union post Brexit can be used to develop the defence capabilities of the new Ireland.

Naturally, the republic would be persuaded of the benefits of Irexit and following the UK out of the EU as there is the real danger that the Irish republic would be forced to become a ‘giver’ to the EU rather than a ‘receiver’ to fill the huge financial black hole which will be created when the UK quits and EU and there is no cash flow to Europe from Westminster.

There has been much chat about the role of the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference in a post Brexit Ireland. While the Conference is merely a glorified talking shop at present, it could have a positive role in the administration of this all-island National Service with a joint armed forces defence policy between Northern Ireland and the South.

Leinster House and Westminster could have a joint role in the running of National Service. In the event of a terrorist threat, the British Army and Irish Defence Forces would have an agreed ‘hot pursuit’ policy across the whole island.

There would be no hopping across the border to escape as happened during the conflict where republican terrorists had only a short distance to run to the diplomatic safety of the Irish republic.

Likewise, Revolutionary Unionism would generate income from other global powers through nuclear waste recycling and storage. Four nuclear waste recycling plants would be located in each of the island’s four provinces employing citizens from the island.

Added to this would be a service to refit nuclear submarines, ships or aircraft from the nuclear powers. As an island, Ireland has numerous ports and airports where such naval and air force servicing could be maintained. All money made from this servicing would be re-invested into the island’s economy, not just for the paid National Service programme, but also to boost the island’s health and education service sectors.

A more controversial scheme of income generation would be the creation of a Camp X-ray in each of Ireland’s four provinces to house terrorist suspects from across the globe. Just as the Americans operated such a camp at Guantanamo Bay for many years to hold terror suspects, the same scheme would be in place in Ireland. Nations would pay Ireland through the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference to keep their terror suspects.

Taking Guantanamo Bay as a benchmark and noting the huge amount of infrastructure needed to maintain these camps, it is estimated each provincial camp would create and maintain 25,000 jobs – that’s 100,000 new security-related jobs for a post Brexit Ireland.

Critics and opponents of Revolutionary Unionism can dismiss these practical policies as simply ‘bat crazy’, but at least Revolutionary Unionism is looking at workable ways of creating income for the island, north and south, once the economic reality of Brexit comes home to roost.

At the heart of Revolutionary Unionism is the need for Unionist to start thinking – and believing – in an all-island future. For nationalists, it is the need to recognise that with Brexit, the republic can no longer survive on its own; it will need to negotiate a new Anglo-Irish Treaty leading to a closer, more formal Union with the UK and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

One mistake not to make – do not confuse Revolutionary Unionism’s all-island ethos with liberal Unionism’s pathetic pleas that Unionists should face the inevitable United Ireland. There is a major difference between the positive, pro-active realism of Revolutionary Unionism, and the politics of surrender and capitulation of liberal Unionism’s United Ireland compromising. 

As the countdown to Brexit continues, in the coming weeks and months, I will be outlining how Revolutionary Unionism as an ideology can take the people of Ireland forward. When I first mooted my Revolutionary Unionist ideology as a radical postgraduate politics student at Queen’s University in the early 1990s, the idea of all-island thinking in Unionism was a total joke.

Those within my own Unionist community who dismissed Revolutionary Unionism as a non-starter clearly did not reckon that the euro-skeptic camp would ever win the argument.

Like it or loathe it, Brexit will be a reality and if Unionism is to survive as a realistic ideology on this island, the Revolutionary Unionist path is the only workable solution. 

Dr John Coulter has been a journalist working in Ireland for the past 40 years.

His ebook, An Sais Glas (The Green Sash) The Road to National Republicanism is published on Amazon Kindle.

Dr Coulter is on Twitter @JohnAHCoulter


David Higgins said...

Revolutionary unionism is an oxymoron, is it not? As unionism is very much an ideology of the status quo. What if your a pacifist and want to join neither the free state army or the Brits? Assuming no pacifists exists for arguments sake and you completely polarise the situation, every nationalist becomes a free state soilder and every unionist a Brit, what happens at any future marching season flash point when both sides are militarised and they blood is up? Seems to me a bit of an outdated concept based on British values of might is right and all you need is a bit of discipline. That system funnily enough brought a lot if war, conquest and resistance.

Steve R said...


"Doctor" Coulter is clearly a nutter, don't stress!