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A British-Irish federal alliance could achieve so much more than the busted flush of nationalism

A busted flush is a hand in poker that is almost a winning single suit but not quite. It also means a person, or thing that had value but is now worthless.

In the 19th century, constitutional nationalism, with the philosophy of Home Rule, was a party that had a distinctive flag (the Green Flag), a distinctive name (the Irish Political) Party, a distinctive platform (Home Rule) and a distinctive anthem (God Save Ireland Cried The Heroes). It was a genuine political movement.

However, in the 1918 general election, De Valera's Sinn Fein defeated John Redmond's third Home Rule Bill and constitutional nationalism lost its identity, its flag, its name, platform and anthem and became part of Sinn Fein.

Those nowadays who cling to constitutional nationalism have only a nominal, unreal party that is indistinguishable from Sinn Fein.

All is not lost, however. Federalism can take over where constitutional nationalism left off.

Federalism has been airbrushed out of history by republicans but remains undefeated. It stands for the independent togetherness of Ireland and England with a reformed Crown as head of the kingdom. This is possible, feasible and do-able and should be adopted in place of the busted flush of constitutional nationalism.

It should be adopted in place of a useless alliance with political republican parties in Dail Eireann, which will cut no ice with Protestants.

Federalism should plough its own furrow in Ireland - it doesn't need Dail Eireann.

Michael Gillespie


Belfast Telegraph

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