None of us know what 2019 holds for anyone, but it looks to be the case that both nationally and internationally the year is one where we can expect the unexpected.
None of us know what 2019 holds for anyone, but it looks to be the case that both Nationally and Internationally the year is one where we can expect the unexpected. Whether the Trump Presidency or Putins’ regime in Russia, Internationally it appears that we may have more massive upheaval and uncertainty. In the UK there has been a prolonged campaign to paint our leaving the EU as the pinnacle of uncertainty rather than focussing on what the EU could look like in a few years time.
With Italy, France, Germany and other States toying with the far right and other populists, and very few analysing WHY this is the case as the prospect of increasing instability within the EU increases with each passing month.
Those who attacked our decision to enter into a confidence and supply deal with the Conservative Party which resulted in hundreds of millions of additional resources for all communities in health, education, broadband etc. have to face up to their own inherent contradictions. If SF manage to get into Government in the Irish Republic similar types of criticism would be levelled at them, just as the SDLP who use to loudly trumpet their ‘sister party’ status with the Labour Party, when Labour were in power here in the UK. Those in glass houses need to be careful as they continue the verbal stone throwing. The massive distinction is that our relationship with the Tories has resulted in tangible benefit for people here irrespective of their background or political outlook.
As we enter 2019 another concern is one of expectation levels among some of SF’s more excitable supporters, that Party has allowed an expectation level to be built up which has no possibility of being met. Some of their supporters have worked themselves into a frenzy about a United Ireland being imminent. SF were supposed to be good in the past at preparing the ground for what was coming to their voting base, there does not appear to be any evidence that they have done so on this occasion. Over the next few years when their age old dream still hasn’t materialised, there does not appear to be any appetite for a return to violence, so if their movement had tried violence previously and it didn’t succeed, now having tried the political route and it won’t succeed, what then? The previous IRA campaign and the continuing SF cultural campaign has meant such a ghettoising of many of Northern Ireland’s towns and villages that there is not even a remote chance of either a preferred Unionist or a Republican political outcome could be workable, under any circumstances.
They have a choice to make, between joining the rest of us in making this Country a better place for all, or continuing in their hopeless dreamland and reaping what they sow.
Gregory Campbell, DUP MP, East Londonderry