DUP won’t share equal power with Nationalists

Posted By: August 30, 2017


Distributed by Irish National Caucus
[“At no point in Unionist history has courageous political leadership been shown; instead, encouragement of insurrection and sedition.”]

Brian Feeney. Irish News. Belfast. Wednesday, August 30, 2017.

ANOTHER summer is over: another Unionist defeat. This time it’s bonfires. Statues and emblems will follow close behind.

Not at all you say. There will be plenty of bonfires next summer and statues and emblems will remain in place.

True, but that’s not the point. It’s part of a long slow inexorable process with many stops and starts.

The process is two-fold. First, Unionists are being compelled to obey the law and , secondly,  they’re being compelled to recognize the existence of an Irish Ireland in the north.

Both changes are being achieved by legal means, unusual in The North.

Take the first point. Every place has its origin- myth, often invented to bolster self-confidence and esteem, rarely based on fact.

For example, heroic French resistance in the last war, though historical research indicates now the phrase ‘French resistance’ is an oxymoron.

There’s the origin -myth of modern Britain based on the ‘Dunkirk spirit’ and the D Day landings, even though they were a sideshow. The Red Army won the war while the Americans concentrated on the Pacific.

The Unionist origin -myth is based on a much more dishonorable claim. The origin of  The North, given to Unionists in 1921[ by the 1920 Government of Ireland Act] was based on lawlessness, sedition and defiance of the British government.

As a result, their belief developed that they could do anything they liked and get away with it.

That was reinforced in 1974 when Unionists – political, paramilitary and civilian – defied the British government successfully once again.

Unionists passed laws that suited them,  and openly disobeyed any laws they didn’t like,  but the game’s up.

They tried a repeat unsuccessfully in 1985 with the Anglo-Irish Agreement and got nowhere.

They’re still at it. They profess loyalty to Britain but still, after 20 years, refuse to accept the Parades Commission and its rulings.

The difference is that without their own Administration they no longer control the legislation nor, more importantly, the courts, the police and the councils.

As usual, buoyed up by their origin -myth, they have been defying a whole range of laws with bonfires but they are literally hoisted by their own petard.

The bigger the bonfire the more likely Unionists are to be stopped legally. Belfast councillors led the way and next year all across The North dangerous intimidating towering bonfires will be blocked.

Oh yes, of course there will be some, but they will be the exception. It’s the beginning of the end.

On the second point, statues and emblems, Sinn Féin have craftily proposed erecting Nationalist versions rather than demolishing Unionist ones.

Across The North, councils have the power to do it – and they will. Exclusively “Unionist space “ will vanish. Unionists no longer own The North nor have the power to exclude any vestige of Irishness.

In all this, Unionist politicians have consistently played their graceless, cowardly role.

They’ve played on the gullibility of the wilder elements of their supporters as they always did, but at the same time stabbing them in the back.

Unionists publicly supported dangerous toxic bonfires but secretly voted against them, then denied they had.

At no point in Unionist history has courageous political leadership been shown; instead, encouragement of insurrection and sedition.

Before this year the worst recent example was during the infamous ‘fleg’ [flag] protests in 2013.

The terms of trade in politics have changed and Unionist politicians know it, but they won’t tell their supporters,  and still use them in their traditional role as cannon fodder.

Voices like Rev Harold Good’s appealing for generosity and the need to discuss the future of Unionism and a Unionist society now faced with rapid demographic change,  at best fall on deaf ears, at worst are received with vituperation.

Sammy Wilson’s latest appeal for direct rule, in itself no surprise from perhaps the most thoughtless Unionist MP, speaks volumes.

At bottom, it’s an appeal to restore some system of administration here which doesn’t involve sharing power with Nationalists.

Individual DUP [Democratic Unionist Party] members find it distasteful to have to share power with Sinn Féin but that party represents the overwhelming majority of northern Nationalists.

The reluctance to share power on equal terms with their fellow citizens is nothing new for Unionists.

They wouldn’t [even] share power with the SDLP [Social Democratic snf Labor Party] who were harmless.