All over the globe there are countries which have struggled to become independent only to find that a chunk of it has been snatched back by its erstwhile colonial power.

It has happened in the Balltic states when, following the cold war, Russian emigres were encouraged by Russia to militate in favour of staying with Russia. Fortunately, there were not enough people of Russian descent to make a significant difference. Nonetheless, it looked like a propaganda coup for Russia to be able to claim that the Baltic states wanted to stay with Russia despite the clamouring for independence.

It has happened since WWII in the case of Tibet being occupied by China on the grounds that Tibet has been historically a Chinese subject state. There are likely to be many millions of Chinese emigres in Tibet by now in order to bolster the Chinese claim to be "protecting " Tibetans.

It should have taught us a lesson not to play games over national identities, but if we had abided by those terms we would not have been able to hang on to the North East corner of Ireland. In WWII the sea ports in Northern Ireland were very useful to us in the Battle of the Atlantic. If we had recognised Ireland as a whole we would not have had those assets.

If we had not encouraged Lord Carson to militate against independence for the minority of Ireland there is no doubt that the majority of Irish at that time would have stayed in the Free State. It is an object lesson in not being aware of the movement of population. The majority in the Crimea are nowhere near the majority in the whole of the Ukraine but it gives Russia an opportunity to claim some or all of it back. In Tibet there could be a majority favouring union with China if all the Chinese troops are counted as Tibetans. In reland the Irish greatly outnumber the Unionists in the North, that but it is the clamour of the Unionists that claim themselves to be democratic.

What goes around comes around. It could be that the day will dawn when we regret the gerrymandering of Ireland for temporary advantage.

The Unionists are no more British than the Tibetans are Chinese, nor the Crimean Tartars are Russian.

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