Preface (the Commonwealth of NI)

This is the second of a (very!) occasional series of posts providing background notes for the Basic Law of the Commonwealth of Northern Ireland. In this post we will walk through the preface, which introduces some basic principles and sets out a declaration of intent. Preface We, the people of Northern Ireland, believe: that no… Continue reading Preface (the Commonwealth of NI)


The Rorschach Test

I argued in an earlier piece that the word "Unionism" should be handled with extreme care, because it has become overloaded with far too many overlapping yet inconsistent meanings. For slightly different reasons, we should also avoid using the phrase "United Ireland". "Unionism" refers to a collection of existing things that can, with effort, be… Continue reading The Rorschach Test

The flaxen revolution

I find myself in the unaccustomed, even uncomfortable position of agreeing with Jamie Bryson. This may be because in a democratic system at least some of the people are happy, while an undemocratic system is offensive to everyone except those in power (and in the case of NI, perhaps not even them). NI is not… Continue reading The flaxen revolution

Northern Ireland needs a final settlement

It is now fifteen years since the Good Friday Agreement, and seven years since the St Andrews Agreement. Time has moved on, but Northern Ireland is in a rut. Political institutions are bedded in, complete with safeguards against communal domination, but politics has not kept up. Elections are still fought on the basis of Keeping… Continue reading Northern Ireland needs a final settlement

P. Equality of Representation (The Commonwealth of NI)

In my previous post (temporarily eaten by wordpress, but now restored), I laid out a proposal for a constitutional settlement that I feel represents the best chance for real political progress in Northern Ireland. It is not a perfect solution by any means, but I have tried to keep the compromises to a minimum. I… Continue reading P. Equality of Representation (The Commonwealth of NI)

How can I trust you if you don’t want my vote?

Politicians are often castigated for appearing to put reelection before principle, for lusting after votes rather than doing what's best for the country. Sometimes this may be justified, but the lust for votes is not necessarily a bad thing. We should be more worried when politicians stop caring about our votes, because then we have… Continue reading How can I trust you if you don’t want my vote?

The Commonwealth of Northern Ireland

Preface We, the people of Northern Ireland, believe: that no form of government is legitimate without the consent of the governed that the state exists solely to serve the needs of its people, and has no rights or powers other than those granted to it by its people that all persons are equal before the… Continue reading The Commonwealth of Northern Ireland