Consumer Choice Democracy
This works by each of us identifying as either Ulster British, Ulster Irish or Ulster Independent. The choice we make – which we can switch each year if it better suits our pockets, or our identity – sets the regime under which we are taxed and receive our benefits. We get what we pay for. This is Consumer Choice Democracy.
Freed from the competing forces of Unionism/Nationalism, and able to express our identities in this private way through our tax code, sectarianism in our politics becomes irrelevant and redundant. We choose what suits our pocket and we all pay for one another. No one can blame anyone for that.
ACCOUNTABLE POLITICAL PROCESS
At election time, the normal democratic decision-making process will take place. Our political parties draw up their manifestos and their candidates to make their pitch for our votes, and we elect them on the basis of what they promise and what they have delivered.
The yardstick for electoral success – how well those elected will run the economy – will feature as in any ordinary democracy alongside other societal concerns. But, there being no constitutional issue requiring a preference for Unionism or Nationalism, no sectarian matter arises,
Cultural expressions, Orange and Green, are freely supported and encouraged to find ways of becoming cooperative and inclusive so they can begin to merge their stories into the peaceful future that we seek.
Those who argue that Dublin cannot afford this have now 3 new factors to take into account – the new economic picture for Ireland post-Brexit, the new priorities of a weakened UK pursuing global connections, and the need now for the EU to recognise its new responsibilities to NI as a partial member,
Taken together Irish funding will become manageable through growth of the RoI economy regenerated by the transfer of GB companies to Ireland and NI to stay in the EU – making the whole island the only English speaking part of the EU, attractive to inward investors, especially from the US. The island. north and south, is set for sustainable growth – capable of transformative development – because of a united Northern Ireland.
INTRADEPENDENCE KNOCK-ON EFFECTS
Other Intradependence benefits include the removal of social apartheid costs caused by our divisions and, in particular, the removal of the fear of one side gaining an advantage over the other. Intradependence is life affirming, and frees us to concentrate on pulling together for one another.
This is the effort that will build a united NI – a foundation stone without which no lasting peace of any kind is possible on this island.
Previous calls for Independence or Interdependence have failed to show how these ideas can work economically. With Consumer Choice Democracy, not only can we transform our entire economy by providing a new home for EU-bound GB Businesses but also our choices translate directly into funds for government no different from how NI already operates. Except, now the fund is shared.
NI is presently financed via the Barnett Formula – c£12-14bn a year comes from Westminster. If those opting to be Ulster British represent 60% of our population it is that percentage of the annual Barnett Formula monies that the UK pays into the Stormont Exchequer. Likewise, if 40% opt to be Ulster Irish, then 40% becomes payable by Dublin.
The transfer of GB companies and many of their key staff to this island, as well as the inflow of foreign investors, will bring widespread social change as well as wealth. Our schools, our churches, our way of life, will all be affected. 50,000-100,000 key workers will bring energy and new ideas that will change us too and refresh our ways of thinking. We can use this extraordinary opportunity to grow confidence and overcome our past.
A joint task force from Stormont, Dublin and London should even now be targeting GB based/EU bound companies to relocate to NI/RoI rather than cross the English Channel where their taxes will be lost to our exchequeurs and their jobs lost to our economies.
That the UK Department for International Affairs is recommending GB businesses to set up new companies in Europe rather than come to NI is a fundamental failure of duty to the UK as a whole. That our local politicians are doing nothing about it is more grim evidence of our dependency culture dominating our public life.
Unionists, instead of crying ‘foul’, are more concerned to fight a Protocol they created that cannot be changed, while Republicans are not prepared to promote the NI economy at all lest it weakens their case for a united Ireland. Neither is paying any attention to the most fundamental of voters interests. Intradependence alone has a plan for making NI financially sound.