Unionism needs its own ‘stonewall’ leader

A letter from Walter Millar:

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 8:00 am
Letter to the editor

In the light of the current difficult circumstances the leaders of unionism are facing as they witness the advancement of the republican movement assisted by the continuing appeasement policies by successive British governments and policing decisions I trust all of them will have taken the time to have read the excellent article written for the News Letter a few weeks ago by the historian Gordon Lucy (March 15).

It was about the life of Ulster Scots Confederate General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and his role in the American Civil War.

While Jackson was also a lay Preacher in the Presbyterian Church his fame was noted for his military achievements and he was called ‘Stonewall’ by the Union forces facing his army as they stated that Jackson was like a ‘Stonewall’ because he wouldn’t move.

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His untimely death during the civil war was one of the main reasons why the Confederate Army was forced to surrender to the Union forces ending the American Civil War.

While the unionist leadership and electorate have every right to believe they have been let down and deceived by successive governments in all the issues regarding policing and justice and the disgraceful treatment of victims of IRA terrorism they must recognise that in the past some of them have broken their own political pledges and after being misled by Prime Minister Tony Blair they entered government with Sinn Fein, which elevated them from supporters of terrorism to world statesmen and peacemakers in the belief that they had decommissioned their weapons.

Also in the belief that the IRA Army Council no longer was in existence and that they were now committed to the rule of law and order and not engaged in criminal activity.

This decision has sadly placed the unionist and loyalist community in the most precarious position in our hundred-year history.

Our leaders of unionism would do well to consider the leadership qualities given by General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and whatever policies or positions they take now or in the future they must be prepared to stand firm and act as Jackson did and stand like a ‘Stonewall’ against our republican enemies and those in the British government who have betrayed the unionist and loyalist communities.

Walter Millar, Cookstown

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