Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: British government has already dumped DUP


It would appear that the DUP are, at last, starting to realise that Britain and Europe will arrive at a negotiated solution to the Northern Ireland Protocol and they will have played no part in the negotiations and will have absolutely no say in the final outcome. Once Britain and Europe have finalised the deal, the DUP will simply have to accept what is on the table, and accept that this is the way trade between Britain and the six counties will be run.

Neither Britain nor Europe will seek any endorsement from the DUP, thereby leaving the DUP somewhere between a rock and a hard place, with the decision as to whether or not they will allow an Executive to be formed in their hands – at least for the moment. There can be little doubt that even this incompetent British government realised, when they signed up to Brexit and the protocol, there would be these contentious obstacles facing unionism. That they were aware of this and proceeded with the deal in any case shows, yet again, their complete lack of interest in the north of Ireland and its future in the United Kingdom.

The British negotiators would have been well aware how unionists here would react to even the most minor increase in the checks on goods coming from GB, but cared little or nothing for the sensitivities of the unionist population. This was not done by accident, it has to have been deliberate and the British must have discussed the probability of unionist opposition and simply wrote it off as insignificant. Unfortunately the DUP, who we must not forget were part of the negotiation process, did not object to any of this at the time because of their blind desire to see as hard a Brexit as possible.

Even when the finer details of the agreement were made known to the public, Arlene Foster, then leader of the DUP, publicly welcomed the deal. Later the DUP did a complete turnaround and voiced their total opposition to the protocol with no explanation and no indication as to who or what had forced them to change their minds.
Jeffrey Donaldson has not proven himself to be a strong or competent leader and he has allowed himself to be duped by the Tory government on more than one occasion. This time the Tory leadership has completely ignored him and his party.

Donaldson appears to be out of his depth, and in recent TV and newspaper interviews, he doesn’t appear to have any answers to the current stalemate.

The British government have already dumped the DUP and they know it and are aware that the day of reckoning is nigh. 

Craigavon, Co Armagh


What’s the point?

The article ‘Toddlers more likely to help dogs reach treats than toys” (January 16) reports on the outcome of research conducted at the University of Michigan, looking at “whether youngsters were likely to impulsively help a pet”. The findings conclude that “toddlers are more likely to help a dog reach a treat than a toy, especially if it has shown interest in the nibble”, and that “a group of children aged two to three were twice as likely to help a dog reach a treat or toy when the animal showed interest than if it did not”. Academic Dr Rachna Reddy goes on to state: “These findings lend support to our hypothesis that children’s early developing proclivities for goal reading and pro-sociality extend beyond humans to other animals.” Really?

Arguably, most people on the planet who have raised children and pets have developed the common sense and empirical knowledge to learn that their young offspring possess a natural predilection for and curiosity about pets and animals in general, in some cases more so than human adults.

This research, no doubt conducted at considerable expense, is unlikely to enlighten people further regarding this matter.

The article goes on to reveal that for the five-year research project scientists recruited 97 toddlers from middle-class families in and around Ann Arbour Michigan, and three ‘friendly’ dogs.

Perhaps, if some of the toddlers studied had included children from (for example) the favellas of Rio De Janeiro, the streets of Harlem, New York, or the Scampia area of Naples, the research might have taken on more international relevance.

As it is, this university study will no doubt occupy a minor footnote in terms of its irrelevance in the history of academic research.

Ultimately, the question one is left with this is – what’s the point?


Belfast BT7


Republicanism has been consigned to the bin

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald (January 16) says she likes King Charles very much and coming on top of the friendly relationship that Michelle O’Neill and Alex Maskey recently had when greeting the Commander in Chief of the British Armed Forces is but another example of how republicanism has been consigned to the bin by Sinn Féin. Under the previous leadership of Adams and McGuinness, Sinn Féin MPs banqueted with the British royals and the Tory leadership. Under McDonald and O’Neill’s leadership we have witnessed these constitutional politicians flying to Westminster to beg the Tories to introduce legislation here in the north of Ireland.

Indeed most people find it remarkable that the party lobbying and campaigning the most vociferous for the return of an Executive at Stormont is Sinn Féin. How a party that claims to be republican and whose core aim is the establishment of a 32-county socialist republic can prop up a partitionist assembly at Stormont and socialise regularly with British royals is mind boggling. Is it any wonder that so many former republican prisoners have disassociated themselves from Sinn Féin.

Glengormley, Co Antrim


DUP should respect will of the people

Democratic is the first word of the DUP but it doesn’t act in this way. Its blocking of the Stormont administration is nothing to do with the protocol but everything to do with not playing second fiddle to Sinn Féin. It is a selfish act when the people are crying out for help from the cost of living to the health service, from organ donors to trans people. I don’t like Stormont very much and would rather be governed by an all-Ireland government that was socialist and republican and promoted and acted on the ideals of cherishing all the children of the nation equally. But unlike the DUP I am a democratic and love democracy and it’s the reason why I respect the will of the people. With the DUP it’s not about loyalty as they are an embarrassment to the same people they are supposed to be loyal to. It is clearly reactionary behaviour that is punishing the people of the north and even the loyalists and DUP voters. Time for a nation once again of Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter with real peace with justice along with liberty, equality and fraternity for all.

Belfast BT10





Letters to the Editor