Martin McGuinness’s resignation:five points to keep in mind

  1. Martin McGuinness’s decision to resign yesterday chimed exactly with the feelings of the nationalist/republican electorate. For the last couple of years, more and more republicans in particular have been fed up with what’s been happening at Stormont. The consistent refusal of Arlene Foster to do what any priest, prison-officer, teacher or politician would do as a matter of course – step aside while a matter in which they were involved is investigated – was just the final manifestation of DUP hubris that has been evident again and again.
  2. The southern newspapers today have been filled with acknowledgement that Martin McGuinness acted admirably throughout his term of office as Deputy First Minister. In contrast with the sour looks and guffawing contempt of his unionist co-equals, he displayed a patience and positivity that unionist leaders didn’t match and worse, didn’t  try to match. What a pity the southern newspapers couldn’t at an earlier point have let their readers in on their estimation of Mr McGuinness.
  3. The Cash-for-Ash scheme has been blurred with so many details and so many reactions – including the criticisms by former DUP Minister Jonathan Bell and former DUP MLA David McIlveen – that its simple outline can be lost. It was about a scheme which offered £1.60 for every £1.00 invested. A secondary school pupil of economics could have spotted the flaw in such a design. This scheme was introduced by Arlene Foster and was continued even when it demonstrably was devouring public funds. These simple facts need to be kept at the heart of RHI discussion.
  4. When we look clear-eyed at that scheme, if we’re honest we’ll acknowledge that those who created it were at best economic illiterates and therefore lacking in the qualities required for the highly-paid posts they occupied, OR there was a deliberate attempt to divert public money into the pockets of some of those who chose to become involved in the scheme. (That could include the suppliers of the wood-chip pellets, who must have done a roaring trade.) Which of these two possibilities – incompetence or corruption – was the case will emerge only with a full-blown inquiry. But even without an inquiry, a dim teenager could tell the entire scheme was ridiculous.
  5. The Cash-for-Ash affair, while a massive abuse of the public purse, is only one of the matters in which the DUP have displayed their high-handedness. An Irish Language Act, the commitment to resolving legacy issues, Red Sky, Frank Cushnahan and NAMA – the list goes on. In all of these matters the DUP have failed to acknowledge the fact that they are co-equals in Stormont – or were. The fact that they were the party with most seats does not affect the fact that First Minister and Deputy First Minister are co-equal positions. For a long time the DUP have reassured the backwoods portion of their electorate that they are in charge, all is well. Yesterday at 5.00 pm, the message from Martin McGuinness informed them otherwise. Maith thú, Martin.

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61 Responses to Martin McGuinness’s resignation:five points to keep in mind

  1. jessica January 10, 2017 at 9:18 am #

    Stormont is finished, these elections are about resolving outstanding issues and nothing else.

    If London and Dublin want to focus on Brexit, then the national security veto on legacy must be dropped, respect to the Irish language should be enshrined in law, respect for nationalism must be put on parity with unionism and projects such as the maze which are imperative for economic growth must be given the support required to make a difference to peoples lives.

    Nothing else matters.

  2. paddykool January 10, 2017 at 9:19 am #

    I couldn’t have put it better myself, Jude.

    • Jude Collins January 10, 2017 at 11:02 am #

      Thank you, Paddy. Praise indeed…

  3. Perkin Warbeck January 10, 2017 at 9:30 am #

    FROM a FERMANAGH hamlet

    To re-B Special or (gasp) not
    To re-B Special that is the pot
    On which she sits
    A pot that not, fits:
    Can a Kelly really be an Ulster Scot?

    Whether tis Chernobyler in the whins
    To suffer the slings and a.of the Shins
    Today A.F. woke in
    A shire wot’s broken
    Ah, politics ! tis all about Outs and Ins.

    For our dour Arl this is the zero hour
    Too little water in her glass of Power
    Exit, left, the gunnery
    Get thee to a nunnery
    For an Orange maid, the Unholy Hour.

    D’Insolence of office, aye, there’s the rub
    Less of the cowbyre,more the yacht club
    Her bodkin is bare
    Ne’re a deck chair
    Blub, blub, she’s lost her Lotto ticket stub.

    Arrogance, thy name is A. Foster
    See how her hubris has cost her
    Old Rudyard K.
    A card did play:
    Triumph is a byword for impostor.

    Shuffle then ye off, AF, thy mortal coil
    Don yon duffle coat, return to the soil
    Grab your secateur
    Let E. lilies beware!
    Drill in the long grass for more snake oil.

    • paddykool January 10, 2017 at 9:36 am #

      Lovely one Perk..

      • Perkin Warbeck January 10, 2017 at 10:07 am #

        Bouquets, Protean Pk, bouquets !

        People will say we’re hand in glove.

        • Jude Collins January 10, 2017 at 11:04 am #

          In that case it’s a threesome – perfecto, Perkin!

  4. Oriel27 January 10, 2017 at 9:38 am #

    I am absolutely delighted Martin has pulled the plug. I was sick of the unacquainted gestures, good will and love.
    That unionist mindset of not even bidding the time of day to enemy, its ridiculous.
    SF were beginning to be a bit of an embarrassment to common decency. I know its christian, and human to extend friendship at all times for the common good – but enough is enough. How much does one expect to be walked on?
    I was beginning to question SF’s personnel self esteem, and self respect.
    I certainly was not going to vote SF again. But now since yesterdays actions, Martin, you have proven to be a leader once again.
    To hell with those dinosaur unionists, to hell with appeasing them. We nationalists are better than that.
    The British government have made it clear they will wash their hands of them.
    Its time now for Dublin to step in, on a joint government role.
    Its time to fill Stormont with hay

    • TheHist January 10, 2017 at 11:46 am #

      I agree with most of what you say, Oriel27. I have been a critic of Sinn Fein and their strategy for a number of years but I was relieved and delighted to see them take a firm stand yesterday as well as catching the DUP off guard – The DUP have ensured and facilitated this debacle progressing into a political crisis – Sinn Fein I feel were more than accommodating on 19th December, right up until yesterday, giving them a way of the this crisis, that was their own doing. But, even with this, the DUP were undermining all attempts they were making, trying to ensure political gain was made – I hope the Unionist electorate wake up to the DUP – they, along with Nationalists, will be paying for the scandal for many years to come.

      Yesterday, Sinn Fein’s language, demeanour and passion was reminiscent of a Party that’s had enough of DUP arrogance and misrule and they have nothing else to offer the current power sharing arrangement – they were rightly frustrated. The DUP opposed the GFA in 1998 and nearly 20 years later their actions illustrate they are still against the very principles enshrined in that Agreement and subsequent Agreements. Sinn Fein, I feel, have went well beyond the limits of conciliation and pushing the process forward – they often jumped through hoops that I thought they should not have, but in reflection, they tried with a partner in government who were never going to try and reciprocate – a party who continually appease their electorate all to remain in power. Subsequent elections have shown the DUP, that what they do, works. In the absence of a viable Unionist party to challenge them they believe continuing this negative trend will ensure the same result each time. Sinn Fein have, perhaps sacrificed support from within their community in gesturing to Unionism and making bold political moves in an attempt to pursue a parity of esteem agenda, all whilst political unionism watched on and failed to reciprocate. Unionism, I feel, has hardly moved, it remains in its comfort zone of attack, deflect and frustrate. The mind-set of Unionism 100 years ago and of the dictatorship form of government that reeked havoc upon this place is still there. To some within the DUP and political Unionism there’s a mind-set of supremacy and utter contempt towards the Nationalist community – this has not changed since the DUP entered government with Sinn Fein in 2007 and I cant see how it ever will change.

      • Oriel27 January 10, 2017 at 12:12 pm #

        TheHist, very very well put, a very accurate summary of unionist bigotry to date. They cant be seen to give an inch to nationalist on any front, what so ever.
        Even voting for Brexit, knowing it wasnt in the economic interest of the North summed them up for me. Their total disdain for anything irish is sad.
        I worked with the husband of a now MLA in Lurgan many years ago who called me into his office to ask me where Mayo was… said to me – was i going to return to the south when the economy picked up…
        That DUP, anti-irish, anti catholic mindset will be their downfall.

      • jessica January 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

        Sinn Fein got it right, they could not have been the cause of Stormonts failure, they had to be genuine in their efforts to make power sharing work, and they could not bring it down before the people wanted it brought down.
        They have earned the respect and done our community proud. Lets hope their efforts will be rewarded in the election which will not be about resuming Stormont.

        Only a british government can change unionist attitudes.
        The question is, would a british government prefer to deal with Sinn Fein or the DUP?

  5. Una Gillespie January 10, 2017 at 9:56 am #

    Well said Jude…hit the nail right on the head

  6. Mark January 10, 2017 at 10:19 am #

    I have listened to Nolan this AM with interest, albeit while working. A couple of things struck me, Murphy was straight into election mode, pushing an agenda which, it appears, ordinary people reject, notably the LGBT agenda, perhaps they think the gains can be made with queer Prod’s to get them into the ‘First Minister’ position seven months after they were reduced by the working class vote.
    Campbell, it appeared, did attempt to be conciliatory but, he just couldn’t and quickly reverted to type, attacking all things Nationalist.
    Previously, the leader of the Free State opposition was straight out of the blocks but, will his party be running? I doubt that, again.
    Election needs to be about the reason why it was called, to wit, the economic incompetence of the DUP coupled with their inertia on equality which ignores the ethos of the ’98 six counties Act. Unfortunately, as above, it all appears to be drifting to other things rather than concentrating on the money lost to all of us living in this part of our country, working in the Capital, I have ended up paying for Dublin and Dundonald governments incompetence’s, my children will continue to, will we get a full and, properly independent, inquiry or, will we just go back to direct rule, frankly, and I worked with several of them, the helicopter ministers had significantly more competence but, again, sack the responsible civil servants.
    Finally, the whole role, as I stated to the wife last night, of the above mentioned wood chip pellets manufacturers deserves questioning.

    • TheHist January 10, 2017 at 11:16 am #

      “Campbell, it appeared, did attempt to be conciliatory but, he just couldn’t and quickly reverted to type, attacking all things Nationalist” “Conciliatory” and “Campbell” in the same sentence – Perhaps I was listening to a different Gregory Campbell, Mark – Not only did he attack all things Nationalists – his comfort zone, he spent the interview attacking Nolan – and did what the DUP do best in times struggle – diversionary politics with personal attacks.

      “Murphy was straight into election mode.” I would be surprised if Murphy wasn’t in election mode as its somewhat inevitable an election will be taking place in the short term. DUP have been in election mode pre Christmas with their cutting of Irish language grants and their despicable attitude towards everything and anything Nationalist (well this is the norm for the DUP).

      • Mark January 10, 2017 at 12:21 pm #

        I did think Gregory Campbell did commence this article in a less boisterous form than normal, as above, this did not last. My reasoning being, are elements within DUP perhaps a little frightened the Sinn Féin party might not support them back into government or worse, might actually have more cards than they’re letting on and actually tell the tax payer the truth about the whole debacle if they have the info.
        The attack on Nolan sounded, to me, like a warning, why and to what ends?

    • giordanobruno January 10, 2017 at 11:08 pm #

      LGBT people are ordinary people.

      • Mark January 11, 2017 at 1:52 pm #

        Gio, where did I write otherwise?

        • giordanobruno January 11, 2017 at 10:31 pm #

          Do you think LGBT people are ordinary people?

          • Mark January 12, 2017 at 9:25 am #

            Sorry to ask Giobut, did you not understand the point about ‘agendas’?

          • giordanobruno January 12, 2017 at 1:00 pm #

            I am just looking clarity. Do you think LGBT people are ordinary people?

          • Mark January 12, 2017 at 1:37 pm #

            Gio, what I think, or otherwise is not in issue here, therefore, clarity is unnecessary.

          • giordanobruno January 12, 2017 at 2:12 pm #

            It might help to clarify which ordinary people reject the LGBT agenda since it seems unlikely that ordinary people who happen to be LGBT would be part of the set rejecting it.
            But you know that.

          • giordanobruno January 12, 2017 at 2:12 pm #

            It might help to clarify which ordinary people reject the LGBT agenda since it seems unlikely that ordinary people who happen to be LGBT would be part of the set rejecting it.
            But you know that.

          • Mark January 12, 2017 at 3:21 pm #

            ‘pushing an agenda which, it appears, ordinary people reject,’
            I take a more global view, I know many Irish don’t, as is seen in the different approach between BBC six counties news and RTE but, you need look at what happened in November and June, ordinary people want shit sorted, not more shit posturing which, it appears, is what Conor Murphy, perhaps to improve his chance of taking over the president for life’s mantle from the middle class probability, bringing into the equation.

  7. Michael January 10, 2017 at 10:38 am #

    Very well said Jude and people need to remember those points.
    Any election campaign by any party needs to focus on the likes of RHI, Nama, Redsky, land deals etc etc and not be dragged down into sectarian politics.
    The DUP will inevitably go that way, Paul Givan alluded to as much last night so when they do pull them up on it and then switch back to RHI.

    People from right across the board are sick of the DUP and are sick of Stormont in its current guise.

    • Jude Collins January 10, 2017 at 11:07 am #

      In that case it’s a threesome – perfecto, Perkin!

    • Jude Collins January 10, 2017 at 11:07 am #

      Thank you, Maichael…

  8. Alex January 10, 2017 at 11:22 am #

    I only hope the Nationalist electorate stand up and be counted come the inevitable election, after all, Martin McGuinness stood up for us all yesterday.

  9. Wolfe tone January 10, 2017 at 11:22 am #

    This election will be a test of those from a traditional ‘unionist’ people of their genuineness concerning fairness,equality and anti corruption. If the DUP increase their vote then we can safely assume a sizeable portion of the unionist community are content for some to exploit tax payers funds to feather their nests.
    This election will not be about the usual them against us battle. This is an election on whether people at the very least want fairness. If SF or SDLP were the party behind this scandal there is no doubt in my mind the nationalist electorate would punish them heavily. Maybe that’s nationalism problem? They are too eager to be fair?

    • Michael January 10, 2017 at 11:40 am #

      I agree Tone this will show us where the unionist electorate are right now.
      Are they happy with the currruption, incompetence and disrespect shown regularly by the DUP?
      Will they fall for the “we can’t let themuns in” charade again?
      Only time will tell.

      • Gearóid January 10, 2017 at 4:02 pm #

        Have they ever done things any differently in the past? Time really does tell!

  10. Cal January 10, 2017 at 11:31 am #

    Truth be told SF should have acted sooner not just on RHI but on DUP conduct long ago. As outlined by none other than Newton Emerson in today’s IrishTimes, the DUP have spent some years now arrogantly ignoring past agreements.

    That said, I commend Martin McGuinness for his almost super human efforts in trying to make power sharing work.

    I now think a lot of nationalists have simply had enough of Stormont. The thought of Foster swanning back into office some months from now proclaiming herself as the leader of NI isn’t on anymore.

  11. cushy glen January 10, 2017 at 11:37 am #

    The cash for ash issue had been known to the SF hierarchy at Stormont for about a year & they were quite content to let it sit – until the BBC exposed ii in December.
    Then the SF grassroots got agitated & it was the grassroots that forced McGuinness’s hand.
    Why did the BBC make such an issue of cash for ash?
    They knew about it (like SF leadership) for some time & only exposed it to great fanfare in December.
    We know the BBC is politically controlled. BBC NI would not have been allowed to run with this on their own.
    There is a larger strategy at work here.
    Have the Brits grown tired of the institutions? Do they want something else? Is this part of a wider strategy connected to Brexit?

    • Sherdy January 10, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

      You wonder at the BBC’s reasoning for eventually running with this story.
      Remember that Davy Gordon was Stephen Nolan’s right hand man, and when FM/DFM poached him, and appointed him by royal prerogative, Nolan was apoplectic, and the Beeb hierarchy were somewhat miffed.
      So, in their quest for retribution, what better opportunity than the makings of a mighty government scandal, which as it turns out, tested Davy’s abilities and found them wanting – job done!
      Some have been surprised at the Newsletter’s enthusiasm (in the form of Sam McBride) to also stir the pot.
      It has been suggested that the bould Sam had his eye on that apparently cushy number which Davy sneaked up on the rail to win.

      • cushy glen January 10, 2017 at 5:42 pm #

        I don’t think the Brits (who control the BBC) would have allowed their people in Belfast to cut loose like this & threaten the institutions & with that the GFA because of some office politics.
        I still suspect that this is part of a wider strategy & that the aim of the RHI crisis was to remove the current institutions.
        Only time will tell. But watch how the Brits play this now.

  12. Patrick McDermott January 10, 2017 at 11:48 am #

    Go mbeadh tú an breathnú siar ar an eolas nuair atá tú, an Foresight a fhios agat cá bhfuil tú ag dul, agus an léargas a fháil amach nuair a tá tú imithe i bhfad ró.
    ( May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you’re going, and the insight to know when you’ve gone too far ).
    Firstly, I found the scenes yesterday of Martin’s physical decline shocking and very upsetting, and can only pray that he can get the necessary treatment to restore him to good health. As that old irish proverb avers, the decision of Martin and SF to ” pull the pin ” has been a long time in the coming. Apart from Ian Paisley at the start, the optics emanating from the unionist parties of all hues were never good, in that deep down they never wanted to share power and looked upon nationalist and republican potential partners as rogues and renegades. So many promises by British Government and Unionist parties made at different junctions were never adhered to, such as Irish Language Act, Bill Of Rights, the Maze development, Pat Finucane inquiry and Historical Inquiries etc inter alia. On top of all that, the inability of unionists to engage in the normal daily cordial courtesies and exchanges of everyday life with republicans, and their mocking derisory attitude towards all things Irish whether it be music, sports language and the events surrounding 1916, ( even the mocking twisted irrational contributions by some of the protestant unionist loyalist mindset to your articles ) demonstrates their aloof superior condescending and belligerent mindset towards the irish tradition here.
    Then there are all the financial scandals, Nama, Red Sky, Cash for Ash etc. Any time legitimate questions are raised, unionist and loyalists deflect criticism by playing the sectarian card, the blame it on others card , and now with Mrs Foster, the misogyny card. They are a disgrace to democratic politics. Regarding the southern media, their praise of Martin comes too little, too late for me, and possibly for him too. Whatever happens now, there has to be fullblooded public inquiries into all these financial scandals with innuendoes of public corruption. Go Raibh Maith Agat, Jude.

    • Sherdy January 10, 2017 at 1:53 pm #

      Regarding the southern media, their praise of Martin comes because they believe they are writing his obsequies – not out of kindness, but the tradition of saying nothing ill of the afflicted!

  13. fiosrach January 10, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

    It may be worthwhile, at this juncture, to ask unionist voters to step back and think before voting. The union, so dear to their hearts, is not in danger until the nationalist voters have superior numbers. This is not likely to be in the near future so for the sake of this election, could they not reassess their voting patterns? No matter what way they vote, when the non unionists are in the ascendancy they will be on the back foot. So for this election, from the copper bottomed safety of the Union,why not try something different? You can always revert back to previous behaviour in two or three years knowing that it hasn’t affected the union and you will have had an opportunity to see how nationalists behave in power. I would normally socialise with nationalists, republicans and Irish language enthusiasts and the expression on the PSF faces lately can only be described as shamefaced and sheepish. I was in a cafe in Béal Feirste recently and looking out the window I mused that I could be in any grimy city in Britain. After nearly twenty years of parity of esteem and Irish language promotion not a sign was visible. And this after ten years of a PSF coalition government. Make you despair.

  14. Freddiemallins January 10, 2017 at 12:58 pm #

    The problem is, Fiosrach whilst Nationalism broadly rewards its representatives for showing conciliation, the Unionist electorate punishes theirs.

    • Belfastdan January 10, 2017 at 1:20 pm #

      Nail on the head Freddie.

  15. fiosrach January 10, 2017 at 1:17 pm #

    The fact is,Freddie, we are not the ones in a rapidly deteriorating siege situation.

  16. Eolach January 10, 2017 at 1:38 pm #

    The problems within the DUP and unionism in general cannot be put down to arrogance or an antiquated feeling of superiority….in my opinion it is a racism and bigotry that runs back into the mists of time , to the Plantation….they are today’s “Peep o’day boys”. They have that unchanged mindset of forever being under siege , a “beware of strangers bearing gifts attitude” Sinn Féin , rightly , tried to make the whole deceitful charade work…if the hadn’t they would have been mauled in the media , whereas Unionism and the British government , no matter how perfidious and obfuscated they become , escape almost without censure. No matter how hard you try, you will not take water from an empty well….forget about appeasement and propitiation and move forward with building the Nation WE want !

  17. giordanobruno January 10, 2017 at 3:49 pm #

    Unfortunately Sinn Fein have their backwoodsmen and women too who will vote faithfully regardless.
    Their poor showing in all this will probably not affect them too much though they may well drop some votes, if not seats.
    If only they had had a secondary school economics student to help they might have spotted the flaws in this scheme sometime ago rather than waiting for the BBC that well known Unionist organisation to point it out.

    • jessica January 10, 2017 at 4:10 pm #

      Sure, its all Sinn Feins fault for not spotting the flaws in a DUP scheme.

      That is like blaming the whistle-blower for not doing enough to let the DUP know they were a bunch of thicks.

      I didn’t vote last time out, but I will this time around providing they make it clear that Stormont will not be coming back again before all outstanding issues including the RHI investigation are resolved.

      • paddykool January 11, 2017 at 4:11 pm #

        Whem you consider how much the DUP value any kind of communication with Sinn Fein…even on a passing equitable social level , how would anyone know too much about their schemes , anyway.?

        • giordanobruno January 11, 2017 at 10:32 pm #

          DETI committee.

    • Gearóid January 10, 2017 at 4:13 pm #

      Is that it Gio? That’s the best you can come up with? …………telling!

      • giordanobruno January 10, 2017 at 4:30 pm #

        Which part do you disagree with?

        • Michael January 10, 2017 at 5:44 pm #

          The blaming of SF for the RHI mess perhaps??

          • giordanobruno January 10, 2017 at 6:31 pm #

            I blame the DUP for the RHI mess. I blame SF for making such a god awful mess of holding them to account.
            Why was it the BBC and not SF who brought it to our attention if it was as obvious as Jude says?

          • Wolfe tone January 10, 2017 at 7:06 pm #

            Predictably tactful as ever Gio.zzzzzzzzzzzz

          • Michael January 10, 2017 at 7:22 pm #

            It’s quite clear from your original post that you were deflecting blame.
            You didn’t mention the DUP once in that post.
            You’re nearly as bad as Arlene has been these last coupla days refusing to accept responsibility and blaming everything and one around them.

          • Ryan January 10, 2017 at 8:10 pm #

            “Why was it the BBC and not SF who brought it to our attention if it was as obvious as Jude says?”

            Do you really need to ask that Gio? You know full well SF has been trying to forge a better working relationship with the DUP, in vain. They didn’t want to go too hard on the DUP because they, foolishly, thought Arlene would do the right thing and step down for a short time. They also thought taking such light approaches would make Unionist politicians see they were serious about reconciliation and wanting to move forward. They could have easily have rubbed the DUP’s nose in Red Sky, NAMA and RHI. But of course all these outreaches were a waste of time, when it came to the DUP anyway.

            It was the same with Camp Twaddell. SF supported the compromise of a one off morning parade in order to get the Orange Order off the hook and out of a tight corner. The stand off was going no where for the Orange Order and it was getting embarrassing. SF could’ve easily have stood their ground, got more backing from their community and left the Orange men to stand there for more years in vain. But, in the interests of reconciliation, they didn’t.

            Yesterday Martin McGuinness ended this run of turning a blind eye to the abuse and sectarianism of the DUP. As he said himself: “there will be no return to the status quo”. Obviously reaching out to Unionists will continue but there will be no more toleration of sectarianism.

          • giordanobruno January 10, 2017 at 11:14 pm #

            So no-one is actually disagreeing with anything in my post then?

          • jessica January 10, 2017 at 11:25 pm #

            You are entitled to your opinion gio.

            You are clearly a Sinn Fein hater so it is to be expected from you. Perhaps Arlene could lend you her love goggles.

          • giordanobruno January 11, 2017 at 9:26 am #

            So are you saying Sinn Fein knew about this mess (being smarter than an economics student obviously) but did nothing out of kindness to the DUP?

  18. Ryan January 10, 2017 at 8:23 pm #

    Martin McGuinness won back my vote yesterday. I still oppose abortion but the Assembly Elections isn’t about that. I think Martin has towered above all politicians here in the North in the last 10 years. It says a lot that even Southern Newspapers had something good to say about a senior member of Sinn Fein. I don’t know what it was but what Martin did yesterday was a morale boost to Republicanism, there really was an air of “Enough is Enough, time to get off our knees” to the attitude and sectarianism of the DUP. I’m not saying that about all Unionists because that’s what the DUP want to portray this as: an attack on Unionism. Its not. The DUP will bang their big sectarian drum in the coming weeks but that drum as time goes on will be drawing fewer and fewer voters, that’s a certainty.

    I’m not the biggest fan of the PUP but one of their members, Sophie Long, tweeted recently:

    “If we’d rather be robbed by a Prod than led by a Catholic then we are in Trouble #RHI #Elections”

    If only more Unionist voters were like Miss Long….

    • jessica January 10, 2017 at 8:46 pm #

      Yes, no one has anything to be ashamed about in voting for Sinn Fein and that is not something the DUP can say about themselves.

      There could well be more protestants voting for Sinn Fein now also.

      Unification should be about ending sectarian divisions on this island.

      Just because DUP supporters are sectarian bigots doesn’t mean reconciliation both north south and east west cannot continue without them.

  19. slanlot January 10, 2017 at 10:46 pm #

    If anyone is still under the illusion that this failed state is important to the British Government ,they only needed to take a look at the nearly empty chamber when the Secretary of State was making his address in the house of commons today . It would appear that NI is not really a priority in the grand scheme of things . Those assembly members all puffed up with their own self importance would do well to make a note of that lack of interest . Sooner I suspect rather than later Brits are going to call time on this dysfunctional place and refuse to under-write it .

    • Ryan January 11, 2017 at 1:08 am #

      “If anyone is still under the illusion that this failed state is important to the British Government ,they only needed to take a look at the nearly empty chamber when the Secretary of State was making his address in the house of commons today”

      Slanlot, its always nearly empty when it comes to the North lol that’s been the case for decades now. Indeed the only ones making noise today was DUP MP’s when they were disgracefully trying to interrupt the SDLP’s Margaret Ritchie when she said that its time the principles of power sharing were endorsed instead of trampled on like the DUP is intent on doing.

      One can only imagine what the few English/Scottish/Welsh MP’s that were there thought of them trying to barrack another member of the House.

  20. Patrick Rowley-Brooke January 11, 2017 at 5:28 pm #

    Well articulated Jude. However, I would add to No. 3 the fact the scheme was similar to one in England where a cap was put in place. It’s a mute point as to whether Ms. Foster was made aware of this.