England faces its Sinn Féin moment of going 'Ourselves Alone'
Published 28/03/2016 | 02:30
The thriller writer Frederick Forsyth has quit writing novels, or books of any kind, to dedicate himself to a cause. "I want my country back," he says. "I want to re-claim our sovereignty." Mr Forsyth has found his inner Sinn Féin - you could call it Ourselves Alone - in his vigorous campaign to wrest the United Kingdom from the clutches of Brussels.
A hundred years after the Easter Rising, attitudes in Britain to the momentous events of 1916 have been respectful and benevolent and coverage has reflected the significance of the event which led to the establishment of the Irish State. British-Irish relations are now in calmer waters indeed and the tone of mutual official esteem bears out the adage that time heals all wounds: or at least, most of them.
But something else has happened. A hundred years after Easter 1916, a strong popular and political movement has emerged in England - if not Britain - which bears an uncanny resemblance to the original aims of the Irish national movement and early Sinn Féin.