In a joint statement, Councillor Ted Tynan of the Party’s Cork Region and Hugh Scullion from the Northern Ireland Region have set out the divisive and potentially dangerous consequences risked by calls for a border poll.
“Increasingly, almost every issue in this country is viewed myopically through sectarian glasses with orange and green lenses”, they say
“So it is with the growing clamour for a Border Poll on a united Ireland, driven largely by Sinn Fein, and now supported by a number of new organisations, some academics, a variety of media commentators and other nationalist parties, north and south, desperate not to be left behind this wave of manufactured urgency” the statement says.
The Border Poll argument is cynically presented as a ‘done deal’ based on a simple and dangerous concept of territorial realignment. It is, we are being told, only a matter of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.
Setting out the Party’s position the pair say, “…[we have] always pursued and remain committed to the objective of a unitary socialist state on this island. We have long recognised that is a long term and onerous project and it can only be built on working class unity rather than the territorial unity of a united capitalist Ireland which offers no solution to the urgent problems facing working people, north and south.
“When the rhetoric is stripped away, when the concrete realities are exposed, then the border poll campaign becomes an undisguised all-class alliance designed to promote the policies of Sinn Fein and benefit the aspirations of some sections of the professional middle-classes, north and south”.
What the border poll campaigners don’t want to consider, and don’t want raised, is the necessary discussion on the fundamental restructuring of Irish society to ensure that working people control their own destinies.
“There is a real risk and potential for sectarian violence in the aftermath of a border poll – irrespective of the outcome. The people on this island, and particularly in Northern Ireland, have witnessed more than enough bloodshed, intimidation and death – but that has been the outcome of belligerent nationalism, British and Irish, for decades”.
These are real and ominous possibilities which border poll campaigners seem content to ignore or disregard.
“The unity of the working class and a fundamental transformation of our social, political and economic system remain an absolute and non-negotiable prelude to the creation of a single unitary state”.
It is incumbent upon all progressive forces in this country, on all socialists, trade unionists, democrats and anti-sectarian forces to challenge and oppose the ill-conceived clamour for a Border Poll, expose it for the shallow, sectarian scam that it is, and to continue to build the basis of working-class unity as the only secure foundation for the people of this island and beyond.
Read the statement in full here: