Unionism is presented badly at home and by the media, Irish republicanism well
A letter from Thomas Smyth:
It’s not easy being a unionist in NI. Increasingly marginalised, often ignored and even ridiculed by local, national and international media outlets and commentators, the unionist case is rarely presented in a balanced manner. Indeed, at times, dearly held unionist views are denigrated and unfairly characterised as being unreasonable and even extremist.
In contrast, the views and actions of those within Sinn Fein/IRA who steadfastly refuse to disassociate themselves from the murder and maiming of thousands of innocent victims, go unchallenged and are often presented as being reasonable and mainstream.
Much of the blame for this perverse position can be ascribed to the UUP and the DUP. Despite having had over 100 years and 50 years respectively to explain and promote the case for NI being treated as a valued, equal and integral part of the UK, both parties have abjectly failed to secure any material support for the unionist cause nationally, internationally or within the realms of the media, arts, academia or professional bodies. I cannot think of a single government anywhere in the world that is sympathetic to the unionist position. The UUP and the DUP have effectively given unionism a bad name.
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In contrast, it seems that those who attempt to justify the murder and maiming of innocent citizens for their cause of getting ‘the Brits’ (ie, unionists) out of NI, can rely upon the unwavering support of governments across the world, most notably from across the EU and the USA.
Furthermore, with a few notable exceptions, SF/IRA spokespersons and supporters are shielded from inquisitive questions concerning their past and present attitudes to terrorism, human rights abuses and criminality.
Against this backdrop, the News Letter serves as a beacon of hope, shining a light on matters that affect the future of the Union and taking a stand against those who promote a skewed and biased narrative on the terror campaigns waged against NI citizens.
To the editor, journalists and staff of the News Letter, I say: thank you. To the career centred politicians within the UUP and DUP, I say: rediscover unionist principles and put country before party or personal gain.
Thomas Smyth, Belfast BT4