DUP, like fractious children, refuse to take no for an answer
There can be nothing more frustrating when you are just itching for a good fight and your opponent refuses to engage. So it was when on Monday past (April 30), Arlene Foster couldn’t get a rise out of Michel Barnier with her latest salvo when she accused him of being aggressive, not understanding unionists and not being an ‘honest broker’. Well, any self-respecting protagonist worth their salt would expect a very robust response to that vitriolic outburst, would they not? Much to her undoubted annoyance, all she got back from the supreme diplomat was that he refused to engage in ‘polemics”. Full stop. And poor Jeffrey Donaldson didn’t fare much better either when he later had a go at the taoiseach for daring to waltz into NI without due notification of said invasion. In fairness, the UK did not have time to fortify the defences at the integrated school and the port that the Dark Lord visited, so wee Jeff might just have had a point.
‘A conflict exists when there are at least two parties involved who are interdependent, who are experiencing strong emotions, who seemingly hold incompatible outcomes or beliefs, and at least one of the parties recognises the incompatibility and perceives this to be problematic.’ (Katz & McNulty, 1994).
The key words here are ‘parties’ and ‘interdependent’. The problem the DUP have is thus twofold. First, they are not party to the Brexit negotiations, (even if they think they are – or should be) – in fact, the UK government is one party. Second, the DUP are not interdependent with the EU 27 nations on whose behalf M Barnier is negotiating – de facto, the other party. It therefore follows that the DUP are trying to pick a fight with Barnier, Varadkar, Coveney and Co where they have no business to, and they keep getting told this. But, like fractious children, they refuse to take no for an answer. They and their Brexiteer Tory buddies are determined to start a fight anyway, so they keep coming back, and they keep getting told to go away. This would frustrate even the most timid of combatants, never mind the most ardent and seasoned of warriors in the DUP. What a bummer. I can appreciate their vexation.
Instead of trying to pick a fight with Barnier and the Irish government the DUP might do better to read and absorb the excellent article in the Irish Times, (May 1) by Denis Bradley: ‘If unionism was a person it would
be in therapy over a united Ireland’.
Omagh, Co Tyrone
20 years of wasted effort is nothing more than busted poker hand
Trevor Ringland’s letter (April 26) on an alleged agreed Ireland was surprising, especially when considering reality. Trevor says the only way to pursue a constitutional preference is within existing institutions. What if one’s constitutional preference is that those institutions should not exist and that they should never have existed to begin with? Is it logical that people who want to get rid of said administrations to work within them and prop them up? He then wrote about uniting people by implementing partition and then had the brazen audacity to mention a flawed strategy. He highlighted unionist alienation yet he did not mention nationalist alienation. He warned against social division and economic hardship yet ignores the fact that the GFA delivered these ills as my letter (April 2) and the Workers’ Party’s letter (April 25) clearly showed. He implies that constitutional change is possible even though I recently demonstrated that this was not the case as Westminster has the power to prevent it (April 25). If the Conservative Party wanted prosperity for people in Ulster would they have cut Stormont’s block grant by 8 per cent between 2010 and 2015? He then asserts that Sinn Féin made Stormont fall due to their constitutional preference. This is beyond ridiculous. Does Trevor seriously believe that the Renewable Heating Incentive scandal and Paul Givan cutting the Líofa grant were inconsequential? On the mandates does anyone actually think that, if said referenda were voted on today, the results would be the same? He concluded his letter by failing to set the proper context for prisoner release under the GFA. Sinn Féin gave away the five demands for this, the five demands which had been hard fought and won by 10 brave men who would have never negotiated them away for a Sunningdale-style settlement. He could be more appreciative of the sensitivities of Irish nationalists. Trevor should realise that 20 years of regress and wasted effort amount to nothing more than a busted poker hand. In such circumstances why would anyone with an iota of common sense commit to the GFA’s structures and waste endeavour in a vain attempt to pull off the impossible by making them work?
Sinn Féin needs to condemn PSNI actions
Isn’t it interesting that Sinn Féin in the Six Counties encourage the PSNI to take action to suppress those who Sinn Féin regards as potential republican rivals. While this trend is evident throughout the Six Counties, it appears to be most evident in Derry at the moment. Here, Sinn Féin appears to fully endorse the activities of the PSNI which the party previously protested against when those same tactics were employed against Sinn Féin/IRA.
On the other side of the border this mask of constitutionalism appears to have slipped with Irish citizens being threatened with visits from the IRA. When loyalist paramilitaries recently released a statement claiming to turn their backs on criminality, Sinn Féin said that there was no place for these groups in society.
Sinn Féin needs to say whether the IRA continues to exist; whether it is active or inactive; whether or not it has access to weapons and if the answer to all of these questions is that the IRA no longer exists, has no access to weapons, that alleged threats made by Sinn Féin activists that the IRA would take action needs to be strongly condemned.
Likewise the party needs to condemn actions by the PSNI against legitimate republican groups that are aimed at suppressing that republicanism.
You don’t have to be Jewish to be Zionist
You would be hard pressed to find anyone anti-semitic in the Labour party, however you will find thousands anti-Zionist.
Zionism is a political ideology. For decades the Zionist Israel state have oppressed Palestinians, imprisoning them into what is known as the largest prison camp in the world; financed with billions of US arms, which the UN turns a blind eye to.
You do not have to be Jewish to be Zionist. Many non-Jews in Labour and Conservative support Zionism.
The most outspoken against Zionism are Jews. Jews, particularly Judists claim their religious beliefs, where they lived with Christians and Muslims, have been turned into a national and oppressive identity by Zionism.
Protests by Jews against Zionism has been clamped down on by the brutal Israel security forces. In 2014 thousands of Jews protested in Tel Aviv against the Israeli slaughter of more than 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza.
In London and New York tens of thousands of Jews have protested against the state of Israel, using slogans ‘Zionism is not Judaism, identity stolen from us’. Labour has failed to make this distinction.