Alex Kane’s criticism of loyalism is unfair — the LCC is quite right on the protocol

A letter from Dr WB Smith:

Sunday, 4th July 2021, 4:07 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th July 2021, 4:15 pm
Alex Kane cites Graham Spencer’s assumption that the threat of republican violence has gone: but for Leo Varadkar and Boris Johnson, pictured, it hasn’t

Alex Kane says (Monday June 28, see link below) that “loyalism should beware a retreat to its bad old ways”, by which he apparently means that the LCC should support the GFA, stop telling the unionist parties what their policies should be, and refrain from calling on unionist voters to vote solely for Unionist parties.

I dissent. No unionist should accept the one-sided implementation of the GFA, with the two governments stressing the importance of the north/south dimension while dismantling the east/west connection and dismissing the need for cross-community consent to constitutional change.

Why should the LCC alone of all factions in unionism remain silent about parties’ policies? And what is ‘belligerent’ about asking Unionist voters to vote only for unionist candidates?

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During the Brexit negotiations the Irish persuaded the British to repeal the Act of Union 1800 which protects the UK internal market. How did they do that? By threatening them with republican violence against any border installations on the island of Ireland.

They played the same card throughout the Troubles, and it is extraordinary that the British fell for it yet again. Alex cites Graham Spencer’s assumption that the threat of republican violence has gone: but for Leo Varadkar and Boris Johnston it clearly hasn’t.

In this context it would not be irrational to believe that the British government takes seriously only those who threaten violence and disorder. Its current tactic on the protocol is apparently to prevaricate until September, when the marching the season is over and the DUP has recovered its composure, then to offer a series of sticking plasters for a fatal wound.

The LCC is quite right to declare that this would be intolerable.

Dr W.B. Smith, Belfast BT15

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