Letter: A manifesto for the Unionist intellectuals

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The Independent Online
Sir: The close of Monday's leading article 'Ireland's faces, old and new' (21 June) gave me pause. You summon 'Unionist intellectuals' in Northern Ireland to teach their frightened coreligionists to embrace a new vision of Ireland.

Fine words. The truth, however, is that 'Unionist intellectual' is regarded by Irish nationalists as a self-contradiction. Mainland observers follow suit, casting a fashionably cold eye on pro-Union sympathisers, indeed on the Protestant population of Ulster.

I am currently mustering a group of Unionist intellectuals to define and defend in a manifesto a generous, non-sectarian Unionism. Any bets we will have to defray the costs of this ourselves? What English publisher would look with favour on a project as inconvenient as the Unionist people themselves? Will the Independent open its columns to this intellectual Unionism it claims to want?

Yours sincerely,


University of British Columbia

Vancouver, Canada

23 June