The following short article by Party Leader Justin Barrett was first published on Telegram on January 16 2023
There is no such thing as British “nationalism” because there is no such thing as a British nation. At best there is a descriptive geographical term, British nations, which would refer to the three nations, England, Scotland, and Wales which have existed and still exist on the island known most commonly as Britain. You might even get a little esoteric and add Cornwall to that. Racially there is not in the indigenous people there very much difference, but ethnically culturally and historically they are very much distinct. Indeed England is more distinct a nation from Scotland than Scotland is from Ireland, but no one would seriously mistake the two despite certain similarities. The matter grows more absurd when someone purports to be a British nationalist from the north eastern counties of the island of Ireland, since no part of this island is or ever was British, geographically or otherwise. We were certainly tied to a political union with the others by force dominated by England in a history too long to tell here.
What is relevant is that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a political power construct, no different whatever and of no more gravitas than the political power than supports it. It is not a natural phenomenon, it is nothing of “the family grown large” that Pearse used to describe the nation as a spiritual thing or as the natural law would have it a thing set apart from other things and distinct in itself by self evident existence. There are no ties between the peoples or a political construct of kinship and shared history. If anything the history of this particular construct is of constant hostility and intermittent violent and bloody conflict. It has in that sense about as much to recommend itself as the European Union and at the same time serves as an example of why that Union won’t function in its current form for any greater length of time without the same coercion, leading to the same violence and bloodshed.
The fact that all the nations of these two islands are beset by many of the same problems changes nothing essential. That all these nations might soon be absorbed in a globalist tide, economically, ethnically, culturally and even racially does not make any one of them less a nation, nor can there be any salvation from that globalism by a flat denial of the facts of nationhood. Quite the contrary the only solid argument any has for its independent existence lies precisely in its nationality. Ireland’s right to be is the same as England’s, we are nations. Britain has no claim against globalism at all since as a mere power construct it is globalism in principle writ small and indeed was as the Empire globalism writ large within living memory.
Thus, when I hear a person who says they are a British nationalist, or hear or an organisation or political party which stands for “British Nationalism” I know immediately they are not to be taken seriously. This is separate entirely from the sometimes very shady characters that inhabit such organisations. The best in the world has lost his or her sense in the claim to be British. A Scottish Nationalist I can take seriously at least prima facie, a Welsh Nationalist the same. And even if there is some distinctly unpleasant history if an English Nationalist speaks to me of nationalism he is, I will make the presumption, talking about the same thing as I am.
There is the further implication and not the least in the term British nationalism of a territorial claim over part or all of Ireland. My country. Our country. I have not seen any policy document or statement from any leader, group, or political party which styles itself British that does not state that the six north eastern counties of our island of Ireland should not be under the jurisdiction of the political power construct of the United Kingdom. The only variation on maintaining full support for the Union has been the even more ludicrous suggestion that the 26 nominally independent counties should also return to that jurisdiction. It is founded variously on the belief that this island and the people living on it are “British” or that some considerable part of the population of the six north eastern counties are. This is not even geographically plausible. And yet its proclamation by bigger forces has and does plague the politics of our moral and spiritually sound nationalism of an Ireland United, Gaelic and Free.
It has led to various very shady co-operation between people from the island of Britain and dangerous elements on our own island claiming to be “Unionist” or more usually “Loyalist”.
It should be obvious and if it is not let me state it here. No genuine Irish Nationalist would engage with or co-operate with any organisation unless there is a renunciation of the claim of sovereignty over the six counties by a London Government. Indeed, it is the flaw of the Good Friday agreement that will inevitably lead to its unravelling one way or another that such a renunciation was not the first and foremost point discussed. And the Republic’s claim should have, far from being removed from our Constitution been re-stated. That is a broader issue.
More immediately I intend to refute here the suggestion that for the purposes of “far-right” ideology or any common interests that we might have with persons or groups in Britain, The National Party could, would, or will form an alliance of co-operation with any political grouping that maintains any foreign territorial claim in Ireland. It is difficult to know whether suggestions that some “far-right” individuals have met with such organisations have taken place with such ideas in mind because we only have the media’s insinuations to go off of for the behaviour of anyone else and we note they always remain un-named. We know only what we know. We haven’t and we won’t. We denounce anyone who would without hesitation or reservation.
That does not preclude the fact that some people claiming to be British nationalists are themselves of sound character. It is only to declare emphatically that insofar as they might exist they haven’t the faintest idea what nationalism is and there can therefore be no common ground of any substance between them and us. The political arrangements between nations not of this island may be of some academic interest but we cannot have a policy position, other than a broad ideological empathy with ethnic independence for all the peoples of the world.