The coronation later this week of Jeffrey Donaldson as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is not a reflection of stability but rather is an indication of growing instability and confusion within reactionary unionism, going round and round in ever decreasing circles, lost in a labyrinth of its own contradictory class positions.
Unionism’s innate sense of entitlement, their ‘no surrender’ attitude, which castigates anyone who may question them from within their own community as a “Lundy” or traitor, has locked unionism and a significant section of the working class, influenced and brought up within that reactionary ideology, into a fixed mindset and paralysis of thinking beyond British triumphalism.
These attitudes and beliefs were all possible and harnessed when British colonialism and imperialism needed them, when it suited their interests, handing Unionism a monopoly on job allocation, housing, political representation, the security of repression, in essence creating a virtual block on any unitary aspirations of the people of Ireland.
However all of these privilege dispensing levers have been lost and the DUP and Unionism are scrambling to revive that frozen political landscape.
It has yet to dawn on various shades of unionism that British imperialism has its own strategic concerns to follow and to secure in relation to its current negotiations regarding a trade agreement with the European Union, which the “Northern Ireland Protocol” is but one part thereof. The concerns of unionism amount to nothing more than a hill of beans.
The material self-interests that pushed the British to partition Ireland a century ago and used unionism as the vehicle to bring about partition, are the very same self-motivating material interests of British imperialism that is dispensing with Unionism today. Unionism has yet to learn a few simple lessons of history, that a century on, partition has now become a bloc on capital and the accumulation process.
Britain’s current hiatus with European monopoly capitalism, as expressed by the political structure of the EU, has only intensified and provided a new spark for a process which begun some time ago.
As always the material needs of capital will breach all existing structures that stand in its way to secure its interests. It will tear up all scripture that becomes an obstacle. All that is frozen will become unfrozen as monopoly capitalism re-organises political structures and political allies to advance its own profit-driven interests. Yesterday’s allies become surplus to requirement, yesterday’s enemy, for the time being, become current allies.