When a senior politician from a party representing the moderate British Unionist or pro-Union vote in the north-east of the country publicly acknowledges the colonial origins of “Northern Ireland” and the logic of Irish reunification then you know that we are truly progressing towards a better future. From the Irish Times:
“Unionist parties moved quickly today to exploit what they viewed as a pre-election gaffe by Anna Lo, an Alliance South Belfast Assembly member and the party’s candidate in the May European elections in Northern Ireland.
Ms Lo was upbraided by the DUP, the Ulster Unionists, the Traditional Unionist Voice party and the Northern Ireland Conservatives after she said she supported a united Ireland created by consent and further implied that Northern Ireland was a colony.
Ahead of Saturday’s annual Alliance conference and also ahead of local and European elections in two months time she told today’s Irish News that a united Ireland would be “better placed economically, socially and politically”.
She said it was “very artificial” for Ireland to be divided up and for “the corner of Ireland to be part of the United Kingdom”. She added that she was “anti colonial” while insisting unity could only be achieved through the consent of the people of Northern Ireland.
While Ms Lo is viewed as a straight-talking politician her comments did cause surprise and unease among several Alliance members. The party adopts a so-called “agnostic” position on the union with Britain, although the majority of its support is viewed as coming from centrist unionists.”
The Chinese-Irish member of the regional assembly in Belfast has been subject to repeated racial attacks by Unionist extremists, most recently at an International Women’s Day event in the city.