The unionist leaders are weak, with the exception of Jim Allister

A letter from John Mulholland:

By John Mulholland
Friday, 19th February 2021, 1:31 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th February 2021, 12:34 am
Jim Allister QC MLA is the only leader in whom many unionists have confidence, writes John Mulholland
Jim Allister QC MLA is the only leader in whom many unionists have confidence, writes John Mulholland

Reading the News Letter on Saturday showed me one thing: how weak the present unionist leadership is, bar Jim Allister.

How much more does it take for unionists to walk away from Stormont than the undemocratic way that the British government, Republic of Ireland and the EU have treated unionists?

They have done the dirty deed when we are in the middle of a pandemic that no doubt pro-protocol parties will use to make unionists feel guilty about walking away from power sharing.

Letter to the editor

If they were not there tomorrow, a direct rule minister would take charge. We have seen in past agreements like the Stormont House and New Decade New Approach (NDNA) that the DUP are weak negotiators.

We are seeing their agreement on legacy having security forces being investigated and terrorists walking free. We have yet to see the full scale of what they have agreed in the NDNA deal.

It cannot be for the good of unionism that they are continuing to work the agreement so I suspect that the majority of unionist MLAs are thinking about their own wellbeing.

It occurred to me there may be those business people who would call themselves unionists taking advantage of the protocol, thinking that they can make more money as goods from GB to Northern Ireland are being stopped or exporters in GB are being weighed down by paperwork and costs.

If they are taking advantage through this betrayal shame on them.

I, as a unionist, have no confidence in the present unionist leadership bar Jim Allister and suspect many are in the same boat.

Arelene Foster was going along with the protocol until grassroots unionism put pressure on her and her party. She even wrote a letter with McGuinness in 2016 that Northern Ireland be treated differently — totally against what I and others voted for in the UK-wide Brexit vote.

The Belfast Agreement is dead, so unionists should desist from its workings.

Through the pandemic, it is hard for unionists to protest on the streets due to concern for our people.

If the present unionist leadership is not up for the fight against the protocol politically, they should stand aside.

One thing that I hope is that come 2022 many of the present unionist MLAs will disappear from public office if they continue with their present attitude to NI’s hybrid position in the UK.

John Mulholland, Doagh

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