We Are The People

‘We are the people’: I used to think that was a football chant but it’s not. It’s the by-word of unionism and it was on display yesterday.

Peter Robinson warned that if any party ( read ‘Sinn Fein’) walked away from its obligations under power-sharing, ‘it would experience the full wrath of the community’. What he meant, of course, was that Sinn Fein might experience the full wrath of the unionist community. You may be sure they won’t experience the wrath of the nationalist/republican community. A great number of nationalist and republicans are ahead of Sinn Fein in their frustration with the DUP, who have for a number of reasons ( most of them beginning with the initials JA) decided to present power-sharing in a minimalist light, as a series of scores they have produced while putting one across on Sinn Fein.

We saw an example of this again yesterday with Arlene Foster and later Nigel Dodds. (By the way, can there be a politician less attractive in appearance and demeanour than Nigel?) The DUP duo rejected the Sinn Fein assertion that they had agreed to the transfer of policing and justice at St Andrew’s. Oh yes, the British government and the Irish government might have promised its transfer, but the DUP didn’t sign anything on that score. Check the fine print, Shinner suckers – hahahahhaa. Chalk up another one for us.

Clearly that sort of approach can’t be allowed to continue. For all their claims to being realists, the DUP seem determined to forget that their party just two weeks ago was being ripped to pieces by a whirlwind scandal that is still thrashing and crackling in the background. In fact the better metaphor might be a slow-burning fuse. Once the financial irregularities begin to surface, the DUP will go from flinty integrity party to sticky-fingered pilfering party in record time. That, even more than Iris’s taste in young men, will do terrible damage to them.

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