Darren Causby is right to be concerned at weakness towards Sinn Fein

News Letter editorial of Wednesday July 7 2021:

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 5:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 5:42 pm
News Letter editorial

The interview with Darren Causby makes depressing, yet in a small way heartening, reading.

Mr Caubsy is a councillor in Craigavon Council who has quit the DUP for a number of reasons.

It is always sad to see young talent disillusioned with politics, when society badly needs fresh blood in local and devolved governance.

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But among Mr Causby’s complaints is frustration at what is happening to unionism, and what he implies is a weak response to Sinn Fein (without using that word).

It is a relief to hear this sort of criticism, rather than some of the other internal DUP critics who attacked the party for not modernising or being nice enough, and who almost talked in a tone that implied the way forward was a woke agenda for trans and other rights.

The central challenges for unionism are Boris Johnson’s Irish Sea border betrayal, after the prime minister decided to tear up the Act of Union, and a Sinn Fein that wants Northern Ireland to fail, but has to be in power at all times.

The two challenges are linked because appeasing Irish republicans was a key reason why the UK agreed the NI Protocol. The arrangement for a barrier between Northern Ireland and Great Britain came after endless warnings of terrorist violence, including by Leo Varadkar, if there was any strengthening of the Irish land border as a result of Brexit.

Mr Causby criticises his party under Edwin Poots agreeing to prioritise the Irish language act above matters such as the health crisis and rightly observes that “Sinn Fein now know that this has worked for them, so they can do it again”.

He is also right to say that the DUP have shown that “they’re not prepared under any circumstances to pull down the institutions — and it makes them look weak”.

These will be the first two tests for Sir Jeffrey Donaldson.

To show what the party’s apparent rejection of the protocol actually means. And to show what the toppling of Mr Poots for agreeing to the latest SF blackmail on the Irish language means for DUP policy (ie its plan to overturn that blackmail).

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Alistair Bushe

Editor