Sinn Fèin's concept of a united Ireland is a lazy, primitive, 50-per-cent-plus-one headcount cartoon.
No one wants that. No one.
It is by far and away the weakest plank in their cynical populist policy platform “down here” and it is not surprising that their putative party political raison d'etre is played down so much. They don't campaign on THAT down here.
If a united Ireland is ever fit to really happen, that will take generations. Sinn Fèin know that, deep down. But in the meantime it is a great way to exercise and polarise their opponents.
Unionism is caring about all the wrong things.
It should be caring about Brexit. Inward investment. Cross-border cooperation. Less segregation in secondary school education. Detente with EU institutions.
Blurred boundaries make good and surprisingly permanent neighbours. All of these things are things Sinn Fèin want unionists to avoid, detest, or care less about.
Tribalism in this day and age is difficult to preserve. Modernity is a many-coloured thing. Most political parties cannot survive without friends. Sinn Fèin is exceptional. It is a cult, a family, and a religion. It cannot survive without enemies. A party that thrives on its concept of “the others” despite all its protestations to the contrary.
I am a Fianna Fàil republican. I believe that 50 years from now the border will be exactly where it is now. Politically meaningful. A line on a map.
Our job, north and south, is to make it less troublesome, economically destructive and divisive.
Michael Deasy, Bandon, Co Cork