Clifford Smyth: Modern unionism lacks moral core

Abuse of the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme is one of a series of scandals that have sullied unionist politics
Abuse of the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme is one of a series of scandals that have sullied unionist politics

Parochialism and self-interest are cankers that gnaw away at the inherent strengths of unionism.

Any devolved solution to Northern Ireland’s deeply polarised society tempts unionism to look inward and make a virtue of small mindedness.

Brexit, which is now under way after the triggering of Article 50. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

Brexit, which is now under way after the triggering of Article 50. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

Sinn Fein has out thought and out fought unionism.

The Irish republican movement whose 30 year campaign of terror demonstrated that violence pays has taken a giant leap forward to teach unionism that peace pays too.

Though it will take time to discover whether unionism will be willing to pay the price that Sinn Fein will now demand.

A long time ago unionism’s competing parties abandoned the First Principles on which unionism was founded: “unity is strength”.

Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

Traditional unionism was jettisoned in favour of modernity.

Unfortunately there was a moral core to traditional unionism which modern unionism lacked.

Your readers will be all too familiar with a series of scandals that have sullied unionist politics and the end result is that ordinary unionists have lacked the motivation to vote.

But that lack of motivation has been augmented by a collapse of any sense of unionist cohesion: dramatically signalled by the Ulster Unionist Party leader’s call to vote ‘Remain’.

The support for a Remain vote demonstrated that the UUP was totally out of touch and sympathy with the shift in thinking of the ordinary British electorate.

To compound matters, parochial concerns lead the UUP leadership into the folly of recommending a transfer of further preferences to the SDLP.

Meanwhile, and this is why I believe Arlene Foster should go, the DUP leader underestimated her Sinn Fein opponents.

Mrs Foster was in the dark as to this highly secretive republican party’s intentions.

Further the DUP’s political advisors spent their energies on a disastrous scheme rather than working out how to pull the velvet glove off Sinn Fein’s steel fist.

One of the ‘Chuckle brothers’ carried a knuckle duster and now the DUP don’t know what has hit them.

Clifford Smyth, Belfast BT6