David McNarry: Politics in Northern Ireland changed when nationalists threw in their lot with Sinn Fein

A letter from David McNarry:

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 2:13 pm
Letter to the editor

Ben Lowry’s thought provoking article (‘Essays in 2010 about NI on its 2021 centenary foresaw province staying in UK but not change from within,’ Saturday November 13, see link below), challenges unionists to waken up to realities.

The essay he wrote in 2010 but which was not published until now highlights this biting thought that “no-one addressed the possibility of NI being technically in the Union but so changed as to be halfway to an all-Ireland”.

It should not be forgotten that preceding the ‘essay’ period, there was a genuine heartfelt prospect that terrorism was over and NI would be a settled place for all.

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David Trimble and John Hume were Nobel peace prize laureates and the charge of 50 years of unionist miss-rule was no longer chanted.

There were legitimate grounds for optimism for building a better Northern Ireland.

None can claim now that they envisaged then so-called constitutional nationalists (SDLP voters) deserting the agreement and throwing in their lot with Sinn Fein.

It was that single act of nationalist duplicity which changed the political landscape and unionist feeling about compromise.

Irrespective of today’s agenda backing a border poll, the NI Protocol, an Irish language act and whatever other agitation SF can sustain, remaining halfway to an all-Ireland will not appease 35% of a population determined at any cost to unite Ireland.

Making SF the lead party of Irish republicanism/nationalism was a calculated call and Northern Ireland is sadly reaping the consequences, most of which are still to hit us.

Matters of honour, trust, honesty and integrity are key issues which unionists take very seriously. The demons of dealing with the SF process has stretched patience to breaking point.

People have had more than their fill of SF threats and their Marxist dogma.

Tinkering with and abusing the Belfast Agreement by turning it into a vehicle for grievances is a price too excessive for unionists to allow.

No-one could have guessed that the corruption of power would have lead nationalists to turn their backs on the agreement which they lauded as the provider of peace and stability.

None can complain when unionist leaders are urged as I do now to inform the prime minister that there is little scope or support for remaining in government with Sinn Fein.

David McNarry, Comber

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