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A question for Unionists on Scottish independence


Ireniall

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With the more recent polls which suggested a potential appetite for independence in Scotland there was much talk of the undermining of the Northern Irish union if the Scots withdrew.I'm really trying to understand what the Ulster Protestant attitude to Scotland is.I realise that the Scots will probably not vote to leave but the subject is interesting nonetheless.

In particular I'm wondering if Ulster people consider themselves to be Celts or even Gaels as a result of the strong Scottish connections or if not how do you eliminate this central aspect of what Scottishness is from your heritage?I mean in the event of independence would you approve of Scottish promotion of their native language and such or would you find the Anglo world in England more to your liking?Which British would you be after the split?

Or is it the case that Ulster people feel more of an affinity with the English world and feel their Scottish ancestry is no problem to that-more of a northern English rather than Scottish affinity?

Or is it simply the Presbyterian connection and if so will that not stay with Scotland even after a split?
 

between the bridges

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serious question for this time of nite, so i will give a serious answer, in truth unionism has an identity crisis, we are not Irish nor Scottish nor English and certainly not welch (well apart from shhep shaggers in Antrim) In reality we are Northern Irish but apart from myself and dancy no one seems to have ticked that box, but at the same time both the census and polls have shown that the nationalist community also has an identity crisis...
 

Mattarigna

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serious question for this time of nite, so i will give a serious answer, in truth unionism has an identity crisis, we are not Irish nor Scottish nor English and certainly not welch (well apart from shhep shaggers in Antrim) In reality we are Northern Irish but apart from myself and dancy no one seems to have ticked that box, but at the same time both the census and polls have shown that the nationalist community also has an identity crisis...
TBH, I find that puzzling. There is such a thing as a distinct Irish culture, which is more than what can be said for British culture(which, in fairness, is almost interchangable with English culture). Basically, a lot of Unionists came from lowland Scotland, and have rejected intergration with the Irish cultural identity, nearly uniquely among all historical settlers in Ireland. But as you said, no other category besides "Northern Irish" really fits, and that in itself is an ambigious term. Easy to see why Unionism would have an identity crises.


Why would Nationalists have an identity crises though? There is nowhere near as much complicating factors, many NI people are involved in all-Ireland assosiations, from SIPTU to the GAA, and many take an interest in promoting Irish. I find it hard to believe.
 

between the bridges

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TBH, I find that puzzling. There is such a thing as a distinct Irish culture, which is more than what can be said for British culture(which, in fairness, is almost interchangable with English culture). Basically, a lot of Unionists came from lowland Scotland, and have rejected intergration with the Irish cultural identity, nearly uniquely among all historical settlers in Ireland. But as you said, no other category besides "Northern Irish" really fits, and that in itself is an ambigious term. Easy to see why Unionism would have an identity crises.


Why would Nationalists have an identity crises though? There is nowhere near as much complicating factors, many NI people are involved in all-Ireland assosiations, from SIPTU to the GAA, and many take an interest in promoting Irish. I find it hard to believe.
OO, next...
 

theloner

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I'd even go as far as saying hurling is more popular in Fermanagh than the OO is south of the border! And that is saying something!
 

Schomberg

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When 80% of the population of NI is either unionist or Unionist, the question would no doubt give a wide range of opinions. The Scottish connection gets a tad plastic at times IMO. Surly to God there are more people in NI of English background than there are of Scottish?

Why don't we ask resident unionists like Esk?
 

Schomberg

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I'd even go as far as saying hurling is more popular in Fermanagh than the OO is south of the border! And that is saying something!
You're welcome along to any of our events to see for yourself
 

Dame_Enda

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When 80% of the population of NI is either unionist or Unionist, the question would no doubt give a wide range of opinions. The Scottish connection gets a tad plastic at times IMO. Surly to God there are more people in NI of English background than there are of Scottish?
Nope. James I skewed the Plantation in favour of his countrymen, and to rid the Anglo-Scots frontier of "Border Reivers" (brigands). The Cromwellian Plantation brought in large numbers of English Protestants, (but many settled in the South e.g. Wexford) but this was later counterbalanced by a mass influx of Scots during the Highland Famine. The dominance of the Presbyterian religion among Unionist demonstrates this.
 

Mattarigna

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You're welcome along to any of our events to see for yourself
70 marches down south vs 2500 up north.........a small amount of members in the border counties hardely makes the OO an "All Ireland Organisation".
 

Mattarigna

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When 80% of the population of NI is either unionist or Unionist, the question would no doubt give a wide range of opinions. The Scottish connection gets a tad plastic at times IMO. Surly to God there are more people in NI of English background than there are of Scottish?

Why don't we ask resident unionists like Esk?
No. Most of those from Unionist backgrounds descended from The Scottish lowlands - hence, the "language"(a good dose of sarcasm here), Ulster-Scots.
 
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C

Castle Ray

The UK has many regional cultures and identities including Scottish Gaelic, Irish Gaelic etc. These are to be preserved and promoted with priority to their importance in everyday life in those areas. However there are more common cultural and aspirational overlaps between British people and economic synergy means we're all better off in the Union. I think Scottish separation would be very damaging to the Union and NI would be close to separation too as a result. However, it won't happen as the vast majority of Scots like the Northern Irish are fully aware that Celt or Gaelic or whateveridentity, based on historical cultures dominant 100s of years ago, are old fashioned and silly if it means a separate state is required in 2013.
 

Glaucon

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Scotland's possible leaving the Union (and it will be a very close vote, either way) will have little impact on Northern Irish Unionists. They do not and will not agree to accede to a united Ireland and will seek any (legitimate) means of avoiding this. In a like manner, when the 26 counties left the U.K., it did not stop the many thousands in the West of Scotland who consider themselves Irish, not Scottish or British, to suddenly shorn themselves of their identity or their politics.

In any event, "Scottishness" is as nebulous a term as Irishness. Who is more Scottish, the Gaelic-speaking Irish-descended Highlander (Scotland coming from the early medieval Latin Scotia, meaning Land of the Irish), or the Lowland Protestant Scots speaker descended from the invading Anglo-Saxon tribes?

I don't think Scotland is nearly as important a stake in the constitutional question as many think. The "Ulster Scots" palaver is mostly a product of a section of the Unionist community trying to find a unifying identity (what sociologists call the "communal founding myth") to counter the all-island Irish one. As Schomberg hinted at, a large chunk of the colonists sent to Ulster were English Anglicans; Fermanagh is a county that received mostly English, not Lowland Scottish, colonists.
 

IrishWelshCelt

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When 80% of the population of NI is either unionist or Unionist, the question would no doubt give a wide range of opinions. The Scottish connection gets a tad plastic at times IMO. Surly to God there are more people in NI of English background than there are of Scottish?

Why don't we ask resident unionists like Esk?
80% of NI is unionist? :lol:
 

centauro

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With the more recent polls which suggested a potential appetite for independence in Scotland there was much talk of the undermining of the Northern Irish union if the Scots withdrew.I'm really trying to understand what the Ulster Protestant attitude to Scotland is.I realise that the Scots will probably not vote to leave but the subject is interesting nonetheless.

In particular I'm wondering if Ulster people consider themselves to be Celts or even Gaels as a result of the strong Scottish connections or if not how do you eliminate this central aspect of what Scottishness is from your heritage?I mean in the event of independence would you approve of Scottish promotion of their native language and such or would you find the Anglo world in England more to your liking?Which British would you be after the split?

Or is it the case that Ulster people feel more of an affinity with the English world and feel their Scottish ancestry is no problem to that-more of a northern English rather than Scottish affinity?

Or is it simply the Presbyterian connection and if so will that not stay with Scotland even after a split?
Purely a personal point of view, but I have a great affinity with Scotland. My surname is a Scottish as they come, and my dads sister married a chap from Edinburgh many years ago. They have a large family so I have a pile of cousins (and now their kids) spread right across the Glasgow/Edinburgh belt. I'm back and forth many times every year, usually dropping in at pipe band contests if there's any thing on. I feel really at home in Glasgow, seems just like Belfast to me ie banter, sense of humour general outlook on life etc. My male cousins would all be Hearts fans (I've no interest on football) They would all be unionists as far as NI is concerned, members of the masonic, enjoy watching orange "walks" etc, but they are a bit up in the air about Scottish Independence. They would vote SNP, be mad Scottish rugby fans, scorn the English but honour the Queen. All very confusing
 

vinoboy

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All British unionists do not want to see a fractured UK .As for Scotland the actual vote for independence would mirror NI support for a UI ,30-35% .Scottish unionists(many who vote Labour) are proud of their Scottish identity and can appear anti English on sporting occasions but are still unionists .
 

runwiththewind

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Apr 12, 2012
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The UK has many regional cultures and identities including Scottish Gaelic, Irish Gaelic etc. These are to be preserved and promoted with priority to their importance in everyday life in those areas. However there are more common cultural and aspirational overlaps between British people and economic synergy means we're all better off in the Union. I think Scottish separation would be very damaging to the Union and NI would be close to separation too as a result. However, it won't happen as the vast majority of Scots like the Northern Irish are fully aware that Celt or Gaelic or whateveridentity, based on historical cultures dominant 100s of years ago, are old fashioned and silly if it means a separate state is required in 2013.
The union of Scotland, Wales NI and England was never about cultural unity but was a political and military force union and in this day-and-age, is just as sillly as a forced political and military union.

Scottish independence is solely about what's best for the people of Scotland and the SNP are in no way pushing a cultural identity on the Scottish people. Even Cameron has stated that the Scots wouldn't be financially any worse off as an independent state. It's not just economics that will decide the vote. It will probably come down to whether or not the Tories will win, or are likely to win, the next election and the promised referendum about EU membership. If these two events look like coming about, the SNP will get a massive boost. Only thing is, is the vote in 2014 is too soon for the Scots? The SNP should/ought to postpone it until after the next general election and promised British referendum on EU membership. If the Tories win, can't see Cameron being able to renege on his promise to the British people of a referendum. All-in-all, the English are very anti-EU but the Scots a lot less so. There is a lot of ifs, buts and maybes there - way too many on something as serious as an independence votes.

The discussion on the Scottish referendum wont take off in earnest until mid-summer of 2014. If debate starts too soon, fatigue and boredom will be the SNP biggest enemy. They must get their timing right.
 
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