Foster’s DUP can’t see the wood for the trees

Posted By: January 10, 2018

Distributed by Irish National Caucus


“Surely someone in the DUP sees that the game is up? Here are the facts. There will be a Nationalist voting majority by 2024. The voters are born. Foster’s leadership has ensured no Catholic will vote DUP. “

Brian Feeney. Irish News. Belfast. Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Here’s the reality. There isn’t going to be a Stormont executive in 2018. All that guff about Sinn Féin and the DUP really being mates behind the scenes and ready to cut a deal behind a squishy fig leaf cultural-cum-language deal was and is codswallop.

Irish and marriage equality aren’t the issues. How many times does Sinn Féin have to say: ‘There will be no return to the status quo.’? With Foster,  it’s the dialogue of the deaf. She keeps repeating she has no problem forming an Executive tomorrow,  and dealing with everything afterward. Seriously? Pull the other one. Sinn Féin fell for that in 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2015 and they got nothing. The DUP is dishonest, insincere and can’t be trusted.

The tectonic plates in The North have shifted. Arlene Foster is probably the last Unionist first minister. If she sees the light and demonstrates a firm purpose of amendment, she may well return, but on Sinn Féin sufferance.

An Acht na Gaeilge, equal marriage, and abortion reform are not in her gift. All that seems to escape Foster.

There’s much, much more she doesn’t know, though there aren’t enough words available in this piece to list it.

It’s just plain stupid for her to say she is willing to go into an Executive now, stupid not just because she has not addressed a single matter of importance to Sinn Féin. It’s very likely that she will make a dog’s dinner of her evidence to the RHI inquiry and that her former Spads will start fighting like cats in a sack when they appear.

Then there’s the unedifying prospect of Jonathan Bell blubbing about how and why he did or didn’t delay shutting down the scheme and the role Foster played in all that. And she thinks that somehow she could be the first minister during all that? Her lack of judgment will all be revisited on a daily basis. Meanwhile, Michelle O’Neill sits quiet and isn’t supposed to comment. Just like old times eh?

No, we’re long past any notion of restoring an Executive that hasn’t been reset within different parameters. Somehow someone in the DUP needs to find a way to penetrate the tiny particle of political nous in the party which is rapidly degenerating under the accumulation of bile set free by Foster’s leadership.

Seeing the need for that doesn’t require a mathematical genius. Surely someone in the DUP sees that the game is up? Here are the facts. There will be a nationalist voting majority by 2024. The voters are born. Foster’s leadership has ensured no Catholic will vote DUP. Normally one percent did. She has turned that into the square root of minus one. For the benefit of DUP members that is an imaginary number. Brexit or no Brexit, the writing is on the wall.

Depooty Dawds [Deputy Dodds] knows this, all of it. To postpone it,  he has hitched his horse to the wrong cart, Westminster. To do otherwise would pain him too much, yet somebody has to do it. We’re in the endgame. Someone in the Unionist leadership needs to start engaging Sinn Féin to work out a way to live on equal terms with northern Nationalists.

If they don’t, it may postpone the single direction of travel – doesn’t prevent it. Foster is self-evidently too short-sighted to do it. Dodds has neither the political weight nor nerve. He bottled [ chickened]out of standing for leader.

Of course, a leader with any imagination would already be chatting up Varadkar to work out a future way of living on equal terms with the rest of the people on the island and leaving Sinn Féin isolated in Irish politics. No chance. Instead Foster misses the big picture and whinges on about health and education. And what difference pray, did the Executive make to any of that in ten years?

Perhaps it’s the whole mindset of ‘our wee country’ which means Unionists can’t see the wood for the trees. This isn’t a country. It isn’t the size of Yorkshire. It doesn’t have an economy and it’s too small to have a real government or any without Sinn Féin.