Time Hamilton got on the same page as the unionist people over Irish language

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Simon Hamilton’s comments on alleged TUV “scaremongering” (February 23) deserve a response.

The document which we published some months ago was, as Mr Hamilton knows, based on the proposals put forward by Sinn Fein and informed by the detailed policy papers produced by the two Irish language groups which his party met — Pobal and Conradh na Gaelige.

Far from being “spectacularly inaccurate” it is accurate in every respect and demonstrably so from supporting documentation.

That is something which cannot be said about Gregory Campbell’s claims about a draft agreement not existing only for the document to be published and Edwin Poots to claim he wrote some of it!

As I said in a letter published in your paper a few days ago “the direction of travel is clear and the end point — regardless of any ‘safeguards’ which may be built into Irish language legislation – has already been spelt out”.

It is that “end point” which TUV accurately spelt out in the document.

Moving on, there will be many unionists wondering who in the DUP is accurately articulating the party position on Irish.

Is it Mr Hamilton in your paper on Friday who says the DUP were “prepared to legislate for Irish” or Mrs Foster who told us the other day that they were not even contemplating an Irish language act?

Perhaps Mr Hamilton believes these apparently contradictory positions are compatible?

One is reminded of George Orwell’s definition of doublethink — “holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously and accepting both of them”.

It’s time for Mr Hamilton to get on the same page as the unionist people and seek to reflect their position rather than having a go at those who articulate their concerns.

We do not need and we do not want legislation for Irish which would be divisive and discriminatory.

Samuel Morrison, TUV Press Office, Stormont