Unionists should reflect on the words of Rudyard Kipling about paying Dane-geld


Recent reports in your newspaper have highlighted not only the immediate dangers of agreeing to an Irish language act but the fact that the zealots who campaign for it see it as ever expanding, particularly if it is rights based by way of publically funded judicial reviews.

Just look at the public comments of the two Irish language groups the DUP met some months ago, Conradh na Gaeilge and Pobal.

They want an audit of the public sector carried out to grade public bodies on their obligations under an act and all signs on public buildings and roads to be gradually replaced with bilingual signs.

They argue that these signs should go up even in areas where they are not welcomed because otherwise we would have “ghettoisation”.

So much for the rights of those who do not want Irish!

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.

Back in the summer I wrote to your paper warning unionists and particularly the DUP

of the road they were travelling.

In that letter I recalled the words of a friend of Ulster, Rudyard Kipling, who observed:

If once you have paid him the Dane-geld

You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,

For fear they should succumb and go astray;

So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,

You will find it better policy to say: --

‘We never pay any-one Dane-geld,

No matter how trifling the cost;

For the end of that game is oppression and shame,

And the nation that pays it is lost!’

I would urge all unionist elected representatives to reflect on Kipling’s words and all unionists in or out of politics to ask themselves why we are contemplating such a monumental betrayal of our (non-Irish speaking) children at a time when unionism holds the balance of power at Westminster.

Samuel Morrison, Traditional Unionist, Dromore, Co Down

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