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Will Irish Border Poll End Injustice?

Thursday, April 4, 2013
Provisional Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams argues that the historical right of a united Ireland should be put to a vote (photo courtesy of BBC News).

Provisional Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams argues that the historical right of a united Ireland should be put to a vote (photo courtesy of BBC News).

In the current British occupied six-county state the Provisional Sinn Fein have been arguing that a border poll, a vote on whether Ulster should join the British created 26 county state of the Republic of Ireland, is the “next logical step” to end the partition of Ireland.  In a speech on Easter Sunday  Provisional Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald stated:

“They are the essential starting point for the next phase of struggle – the move towards a united Ireland, a new Republic.

“Because we believe that a United Ireland is essential and because we recognise that the agreement of a significant section of unionists is required, we are calling for a Border Poll. This is a provision of the Good Friday Agreement which was concluded in this city 15 years ago.

“Such a poll is a threat to no-one. It is a logical step and by making this call we are demonstrating our firm resolve to end partition peacefully and to build a new democracy.”

However, my issues with this logic, as I stated on Republican.ie, are as follows:

I would say my opposition to a boarder poll is that the primary struggle would be a destruction (or withering away) of both Leinster and Stormont creations. The poll would be some type of merging of the two current governments which both stand on exploitative roots.   The six county British occupied state of Stormont and the British created 26 county state of Leinster House are both controlled by the capitalist classes of Ireland and Britain with much of the economy not controlled or owned by Irish interests.  To do a border poll and to recognize either legitimate government would be problematic and against the revolutionary principles of the 1919 Dail Eireann.

Also, the poll moves the base of the argument of a 32 county socialist republic away from a natural right (or progression) to one that is based on some type of principle that can be changed based on outcome of some type of metaphysical emphasis on “will of the ‘people'” rather than a historical-cultural basis.  The unity of Ireland and an Ireland that is free of the shackles of U.S. and British imperialism and of the capitalist class cannot be put up to a vote.  Ireland as a whole is a socio-historical unity that can’t be put to a vote just as the rights of queer people to enter into marriage can’t be put to a popular vote.

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