DERRY JOURNAL Editorial: Liz Truss' British premiership merely a changing of the guard
Boris Johnson’s replacement by Liz Truss as leader of the British Conservative Party and incoming British Taoiseach (she officially takes office today) must be seen for what it is - a changing of the guard.
For all of the column inches and hot air expended on her campaign against Rishi Sunak, the Tory leadership battle was nothing so much as a manifestation of the narcissism of small differences.
In reality, there wasn’t a cigarette paper between the pair in terms of their core ideological principles. Each held two of the ‘great offices of state’ for much of the Johnson premiership but somehow sought to present themselves as candidates for change.
It was like the sham fight at Scarva. We even knew the winner in advance. But what does it mean for Derry? Truss’ continuity Tory administration will carry on pursuing policies and objectives inimical to the interests of our citizens, as they have a proven record of doing over many, many decades.
The movement of the NI Protocol Bill and the NI Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill, in face of widespread and insistent opposition in Ireland (the six counties in particular), are just two of the most recent examples highlighting the glaring democratic deficit upon which the United Kingdom and its hegemonic power dynamic is founded.
Population figures put the total population of Great Britain at 65,186,000 and that of the north at 1,903,100. ‘Do the math’, as our American friends say. Such a polity can never and will never deliver for the people of Derry.
Voters in the Brexit-supporting garrison towns will always take precedence under this and every British government. The interests of the electors of the Tory heartlands will always be served before those of a working-class Irish city like our own.
What can be done? Preparations for Irish unity must be laid as the only feasible means of ensuring a fair crack of the whip for Derry and Donegal. Imagine a polity of 1,903,100 citizens (the six counties) joining with one of 5,123,536 people (the 26 counties) to elect the government of a new Republic to face the challenges of the 21st century.
It won’t happen overnight, but it must happen. Otherwise, under the present status quo, our interests will continue to play second fiddle to that of the loyal Tory constituencies of the Home Counties.