Nationalists are now confident in their status as equal citizens

The reaction of the nationalist people to the recent shooting of detective John Caldwell revealed that they have fully embraced Northern Ireland and are now confident in their status as equal citizens receiving fair treatment from the police, courts and other institutions. Seeing Sinn Féin stand alongside unionists to condemn the shooting was a momentous moment, historic in many ways.

The uprising of 1969 was never about a united Ireland – it was a reaction against 50 years and more of unionist domination and discrimination. This has gone and the nationalist people are quite content with the status quo, or to coin a phrase which the DUP may understand, they have reached the promised land. We have no hankering for the unionist habit of domination nor are we particularly annoyed one way or the other about Irish unity.

That section of unionism represented by the DUP appear unable to deal with the new reality. The latest manifestation of this is shown in the DUP’s reaction to the Windsor Framework which has nothing to do with territory but only concerns economics. The DUP has failed to understand that there has always been a border down the Irish Sea. When we travel to their beloved England we are all ‘Paddies’ and how we vote, or how much we desire to be part of the UK, has no bearing on it whatsoever. We are an unwelcome partner, a financial burden and a political embarrassment to everyone. Yes, there has always been a border in the Irish Sea, it’s just that some people are too blind to see it.

As has always been the case, unionist intransigence has enabled nationalism to portray itself as progressive, rational and willing to compromise. It has become apparent that Brexit has been an economic disaster. Britain accepts this. Sunak realises that the UK must start to mend bridges with the EU, business interests of the realm trump those of any one province, and that the EU and UK are willing to hand an economic golden chalice to the

‘wee north’.

Things change – social, political and economic evolution continue apace. Confident, politically and economically astute nationalism is willing to play its part in the future of Northern Ireland.

A diminishing, militant, backwards-looking brand of fundamentalist unionism is unwilling to evolve. We all know what happened to the dinosaurs.


Portglenone, Co Antrim

Sinn Féin have no friends on this island

Critics of the DUP have sought to frame their absence from Stormont as less to do with objections to the Northern Ireland Protocol and more to do with not wanting to serve alongside a Sinn Féin First Minister.

Let us assume this is the case. Such logic would put the DUP in good company alongside Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, both of whom made the historic decision to set aside their rivalry and enter a power sharing agreement after the 2020 election.

Neither party can be accused of not wanting to serve alongside a Catholic/nationalist in government so what possible explanation could there be?

Contrary to what is being said, it is not to do with holding bigoted views towards Catholics and/or nationalists.

Whether it is in the north or the south, Sinn Féin is not viewed as a respectable partner in government.

This leaves the party without any friends across this island – an uncomfortable truth which no amount of expensive adverts in the American press can wash away.

We live in hope that, at some point before the next century, Sinn Féin will also face up to this reality and perhaps by then, the accusations of hostility to a Catholic/nationalist First Minister will have ceased.


Belfast BT7

I’m glad I am woke

The BBC did wrong over Gary Lineker. He should never have been taken off air.

He was expressing his opinion and I agree with him.

The BBC needs to let its viewers hear the opinions of its presenters.

What Lineker has said was an expression of how many feel. He was speaking out against injustice.

Anyone who speaks out against racism and in defence of refugees is a hero in my book.

The BBC had no choice but to back down because of the overwhelming solidarity Linker received.

The BBC needs to stop playing the PC liberal card and bending to pressure from right-wing Tories.

In the past the BBC backed down from attending LGBTQ pride parades because of a few complaints.

The BBC needs to stop being so stuffy.

I enjoy BBC radio and TV as an Irish citizen as much as I do RTÈ but I feel the BBC, by the suspension of Linker, has shown by the liberal-PC image it pushes that it is really hypocritical and confusing to some.

Its wrong to claim to be a democratic institution and then remove someone for their viewpoint.

If that’s political correctness then I am glad I am woke.


Belfast BT10