Posted By: March 05, 2016

In this Belfast Telegraph article below (“Arlene Foster: It’s me or Martin McGuinness”) , First Minister Arlene Foster , yet again, is in danger of giving the impression  she wants to be seen as the  heir apparent  to that other Fermanagh Protestant/Unionist leader :Sir Basil Brooke, later Lord Brookeborough, former Prime Minister of Northern Ireland (1943-1963). Rightly or wrongly, Basil Brooke ( as he’s commonly known in Fermanagh) is best remembered for  proudly consolidating anti-Catholic discrimination. In a speech in 1933,  he declared  : ‘There are a great number of Protestants and Orangemen who employ Roman Catholics. I feel I can speak freely on this subject as I have not had a Roman Catholic about my own place [originally a several thousand acres estate] … I would appeal to Loyalists, therefore, wherever possible, to employ good Protestant lads and lassies … I want you to remember one point in regard to the employment of people who are disloyal … You are disenfranchising yourselves in that way. You people who are employers have the ball at your feet. If you don’t act properly now, before we know where we are, we shall find ourselves in the minority instead of the majority.’
Arlene Foster, of course, defected from Brooke’s party, the Ulster Unionists, to what was seen by some  as an even more anti-Catholic party— the DUP, founded and lead by Rev. Ian Paisley.
In September 2015, the DUP, then led by First Minister Peter Robinson, pulled off the meaningless  stunt
of four ministers  temporarly resigning from the NI Executive, leaving Arlene Foster the only DUP minister.
 BBC NI, explained the story in this way :”Speaking on the BBC’s The View programme, Mrs Foster said she has stayed on the executive in order to act as a ‘gatekeeper’. “I have been placed there as a gatekeeper to make sure that Sinn Féin and the SDLP ministers don’t take actions that will damage Northern Ireland and principally, let’s be honest, that damage the Unionist community.”

She added: “If anybody knows me, and indeed knows the Democratic Unionist Party ,they know that I’m not going to put at risk to the people of Northern Ireland ;the possibility that rogue Sinn Féin or renegade SDLP ministers are going to take decisions that will harm the community in Northern Ireland.” (Stormont crisis: Acting NI leader Arlene Foster criticized for rogue ministers remark.September 11, 2015).

It’s a little bit more coded-speak than Brooke’s,  but it’s essentially the same message : good loyal Protestants cannot trust Catholics.(Note it’s not only Sinn Fein that cannot be trusted, but also SDLP— in other words,  no Catholics).
And now in today’s Belfast Telegraph ( a paper that’s always done it its bit for the Unionist cause), First Minister Foster expands on her apparent main theme :keep Catholics in their place.Keep Martin Mc Guinness from becoming First Minister because, “ …That would be bad for unionism and bad for Northern Ireland.”
“Basil Brooke could not have said it better,” one can imagine good Orangemen cheering.
—Fr. Sean Mc Manus, President, Irish National Caucus
Arlene Foster: It’s me or Martin McGuinness

Belfast Telegraph. Saturday, March 5, 2016

The First Minister warned voters they faced a stark choice

Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster has told voters May’s Assembly election boils down to whether she or Martin McGuinness will be Northern Ireland’s first minister.
Addressing the party faithful at the DUP’s spring conference in Limavady, the current First Minister insisted she and the Sinn Fein veteran had “very different visions” for the future of the region.
“At the heart of this election is an important choice for the community,” she said.

“108 MLAs will be elected but in reality the next first minister will either be me or Martin McGuinness. Your vote will decide. It’s that simple.”

The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA, who took over from the retiring Peter Robinson last year, outlined her party’s main priorities for the coming Assembly term.

She said the DUP would focus on job creation, protection of family budgets, prioritising spending on the health service, raising standards in education and investing in infrastructure.

But the battle with Sinn Fein for the first minister’s job was the major theme of her speech.

“I may not be on the ballot across the Province but a vote for our DUP candidates all across the country will  return a unionist first minister,” she said.

“A swing of only two votes in every hundred from the DUP to Sinn Fein would see Martin McGuinness become the next first minister.

“Their (Sinn Fein’s) real agenda in the May election is to shred and split unionist votes.

“They didn’t make the breakthrough they wanted in the South and will do all they can to take Northern Ireland.

“They will seek to capitalise on a new and untested leader of the SDLP and on the complacency of some unionists.

“That would be bad for unionism and bad for Northern Ireland.

“It would take Northern Ireland in the wrong direction and send out the wrong message at this crucial time.

“For many, including myself, power sharing with Sinn Fein is difficult but it is a price worth paying to keep  Northern Ireland moving forward.

“But if you think it is difficult now just imagine what it would be like with a Sinn Fein first minister and the  Executive dominated by republicans.

“That’s why we must stand our ground and fight for every vote.

“And it’s not just to stop a Sinn Fein first minister, I want the mandate to promote my positive agenda for the future.

“But we can only deliver it if we get the support of the people at the ballot box.

“The next two months will determine the fate and fortunes of this party and of this country for decades to come.”