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March 1997 (The Independence)
"We have been turned into an internal colony. "
IN 1988 David Trimble, the present leader of the Ulster Unionist Party,
published a document emitted What Choice For Ulster? in support of
independence. This month we are printing extracts from that document in the hope
of reminding David Trimble and his unionist friends of "the grim reality
before us." Although Trimble seems to be embroiled in unionist rhetoric
these days, the arguments presented by him against devolution and integration in
favour of independence are as valid today as they were nine years ago.
This statement is poignant in the light of the Anglo-Irish Agreement which is
not only still in place but has been reinforced with the advent of the Downing
Street Declaration and the Framework Document. These combine to promote Irish
nationalist desires including a North/South governmental body and an all-Ireland
referendum on the future constitutional status of Ulster. Furthermore the signs
in 1988 which led Trimble to believe "...that London is prepared to
sacrifice us in pursuit of its own interests and that the object of same
elements of the establishment in London is to prepare us gradually for
absorption into the Irish Republic, " still exist today. Could it be
that the selling of Ireland as a single entity by the tourist boards North and
South is a device "to prepare us gradually for absorption info the Irish
Republic"? It is strange that in highlighting (and even correctly
predicting) what would happen after 1988, Trimble has not moved towards
independence but stepped backwards into the old unionist policies of devolution
and lion. An even greater oddity is the fact that Trimble actually provides the
reasoning why the people should reject these policies;
And on integration:
For the David Trimble of 1988, devolution, integration and direct rule were
all rejected on the basis that with these options power would stiff be retained
in Westminster with the potential of more treachery by the British; "We
cannot therefore continue to allow London to misgovern us but must now take
steps to govern ourselves." To those who doubt the economic viability
of self-governing he presents the following argument:
As well as providing peace, stability and prosperity, independence, according to Trimble, will also provide clarity. "To simple minds it then can seem that our part of the United Kingdom is an improper intrusion into Ireland and that we are merely the agents of British imperialism. A move towards independence would clarify that position." No longer could the 'un-Irish' amongst us be seen as unwanted visitors in our own country, rather we will be reinforcing our right as a nation to self-determination, free from London and Dublin interference. All this would create a problem for the IRA as "It would thus deprive the IRA of its emotional power house, namely the desire to drive out the British `army of occupation'... and when the 'occupation forces' are gone and replaced solely by native Ulstermen, we will see confusion, uncertainty and double speak in their minds."
Trimble's message is clear - independence is the only way forward . and "...when we come to agree on the inevitability of some form of independence we can shape our political offensive." For the future of this country we can only hope that the unionist family and Trimble will listen to his own rationality and "come to agree" soon before it is too late. We have had the warning signs of what the future will hold if we are not prepared to assume responsibility; erecting 'Ulster Says No' banners is simply not going to influence a British government which takes every opportunity to turn a blind eye to the aspirations and rights of our people.
"..it is now time for the unionist community to seriously consider whether the best way of protecting its vital interests is not some form of independence."
A THIRD WAY FOR ULSTER
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