This Union

Next Generation Series

A while back This Union asked for articles from younger or newer writers/commentators, the next generation. Rather than have established(ment) political statements on repeat, we want to try to gauge a range of views from younger writers and commentators. Contributions have been stored ‘on file’ for a while, trying to find a gap in the endless Brexit headlines to break out onto a more fundamental track that will remain on the political agenda past Brexit (if Brexit ever ends….).

Next week, starting Monday 19th August, we will post a series of five articles that provide individual perspectives on The Union.

The five articles offer personal perspectives and make different arguments, reflecting the individuals’ particular background and experience.

There is a case that instrumentality and identity driving mono-ethnic nationalism provides short-term political gain but at a longer-term diminution of economic potential and social cohesion. The greater case is an open an outward looking society offered within the Union. This is reinforced by the view that when all strands, instrumental, non-instrumental, citizenship, allegiance and affinities are integrated coherently case for the Union is strongest.

There is a case that wonders whether The Union and devolution of powers to regional institutions are compatible or desirable, which is a debate to be had if only around the range and nature of relative powers within a United, though disparate political, Kingdom, particularly post-Brexit.

While nationalism has the advantage of appealing to a moment that ‘ends’ and denotes a new beginning (a soaring dove of endless possibilities), whether an United Ireland or Independent Scotland, and is a challenge to the status quo. The case for The Union can sometimes seem dull by comparison; “keep calm, and carry on”. Perhaps this has been aided by a series of uninspiring technocratic central Westminster Governments – it will be interesting, past the hype, how a full energy Government lead by the current Prime Minister Johnston might reset that balance.

The case is presented that the need for deeply laid and long-run stamina to promote The Union. That might need a ‘project’ or ‘concept’ that our series of short essays are unable to address, but perhaps others will pick up on that theme and take on that challenge going forward.

We start on Monday with a short local Northern Ireland perspective to kick things off, the most personal of all the articles, a basic case for This Union.