DUP-Sinn Fein stitch up at St Andrews means that the Ulster Unionists cannot succeed

Robin Swann, speaking above at the Ulster Unionist Party Conference 2018 in the Armagh City Hotel, said that the problem for the Union is DUP politics and scandals. But people will keep voting DUP and Sinn Fein to keep the other out. Photo by Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Robin Swann, speaking above at the Ulster Unionist Party Conference 2018 in the Armagh City Hotel, said that the problem for the Union is DUP politics and scandals. But people will keep voting DUP and Sinn Fein to keep the other out. Photo by Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye

The Ulster Unionist Party at their recent conference said that the problem with the Union is DUP politics and scandals.

Yet no matter what controversies the DUP (and Sinn Fein) find themselves in, voters will continue voting for them to keep the other out.

Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

This is partly due to the 2006 St Andrews Agreement stitch up between the two and why normal democracy doesn’t work here.

St Andrews was nothing more than a form of electoral rigging.

Martin McGuinness, much feted in certain circles, had his finger prints all over it despite presumably being against such electoral favouritism in 1968 as marked by the recent 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Association.

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir (Mr Perfection — saw no wrong did no wrong) said at the RHI inquiry that special arrangements for his IRA advisors were made to circumvent an assembly law sponsored by Jim Allister because it was an “attack on the peace process”.

What a pity this concern for the peace process wasn’t swirling around the higher echelons of Sinn Fein when they (and the DUP) rigged the electoral system in their favour at St Andrews.

An act which former deputy leader of the SDLP, Seamus Mallon, described as tearing the heart out of the Good Friday Agreement.

Now that Stormont is down (and assuming it gets up again) is it not possible for the smaller parties (UUP, SDLP, Alliance, TUV, Greens, PBP) to collectively draw their own red lines and refuse to enter Stormont until St Andrews is reversed or a new system of voluntary coalition arranged?

Or can the DUP and Sinn Fein sail on regardless? Without change the smaller parties cannot succeed including the UUP.

Thomas Stewart, Belfast BT4