Ben Lowry in his article (New influence for the DUP but it needs to tread with tact and caution at this perilous time’, June 10), advises the DUP to tread with caution in the extraordinary favourable position in which they find themselves.
Faultless advice. Apart from the independent Northern Ireland MP, Ms Sylvia Hermon, the DUP Members of Parliament are the sole effective representatives of all the people of Northern Ireland (and the island of Ireland) in the UK Parliament.
The Sinn Fein MPs in, what I consider, a regressive step, have decided they will not participate in the UK Parliament.
Presumably, they are under the illusion that the situation prevailing in Northern Ireland is the same today as that which prevailed in Ireland some one hundred years ago. Tir na nOg comes to mind. Be careful not to step on reality.
There is something quite strange happening in Northern Ireland; in my opinion, language is an important element in this occurrence.
For instance, Ben distinguishes between nationalists and unionists in the article.
It is a fact that unionists are nationalists, albeit British nationalists. Sinn Fein are also, as a matter of fact, unionists; they wish to join Northern Ireland to Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. (However, this cannot happen without the consent, given voluntarily, by the majority in Northern Ireland).
I suggest, therefore, that the terms nationalist and unionist are no longer appropriate; they may have been some one hundred years ago i.e. previous to the establishment of Northern Ireland and an Independent Ireland on the island of Ireland.
Whether people like it, or not, things have moved on in the island of Ireland in the past the century. There are now two long established separate jurisdictions, one called Northern Ireland which is, and has been, an integral part of the UK and the other called Ireland or the Republic of Ireland and its independent antecedent.
For some forty years these two separate jurisdictions have been members of the European Union and/or the EU’s antecedents. The major occurrence today is that one of the island’s jurisdictions, namely Northern Ireland, is about to disengage from the EU. However, this does not have a significant constitutional effect on the status of Northern Ireland which will continue to be an integral component of the UK; ditto Ireland, which remains an independent State within the EU.
I believe this new realpolitik can enable the people of Northern Ireland (and Ireland) to discard past baggage and to better come together as a unit, and work together, for the betterment of all - regardless of historic traditions and cultures.
If I may refer to a recent controversy regarding language, specifically Gaelic or the Irish language, and the sickening comparison to lethal bullets. People would appear to have missed the real point which is that language, any language, can be used abusively and dangerously.
Examples abound. For instance, I recently heard a Sinn Fein senior spokesperson refer to the party as being a “Progressive”party. The corollary being that Sinn Fein’s political opponents, specifically the DUP, were “regressive”. Another example is “Women’s’ Rights” with regard to the “right” to destroy innocent and vulnerable unborn humankind, including unborn female humankind.
It is quite extraordinary that so many of the Catholic population in Northern Ireland can give succour and support to a Pro-Abortion party such as Sinn Fein and not to the opposing sole Pro-Life party, the DUP.
Clearly, the tag unionist, in the latter’s title, sadly, trumps, the Biblical, Catholic and rational exhortation against the unwarranted taking of innocent human life.
Might I suggest, therefore, that the DUP consider embracing fellow Christians of all hues and none, and replacing the word unionist, in its title, with something more open, and having a wider appeal, such as, say, Ulster.
They could call themselves the Democratic Ulster Party, DUP, and sincere Catholics, and rationalist progressives, would then have no excuse to withhold political support. Hopefully, in these circumstances, Catholic Church authorities in Northern Ireland would step up to the plate and encourage its practicing members to support the new DUP.
Apart from protecting innocent unborn human life, it would make the “union” a lot safer.
Micheal O’Cathail, Fermanagh