The manner and speed in which the new “IRA Regeneration” has come to a head begs a lot of questions.You might call it a feeding frenzy by the opponents of Sinn Fein . They want so much to believe in the existence of any bete noire that will somehow stop the rise of political republicanism that they would have done anything , even to the point of inventing a reason for tearing that movement down. I suppose they’ll soon be happy to get a new bombing campaign underway when the whole thing reverts to past form ,so that they can wallow in the nostalgia of times past.
The fact is that they really didn’t expect to share any power with Sinn Fein . They thought that the more podgy SDLP would better suit their idea of Nationalism. When enough voters put Sinn Fein into power it didn’t sit too well with them and they obviously felt pressured into sharing any power at all. This kind of democracy didn’t sit too well with them .They’ve tried every trick in the book to get out of that situation.They’ve done all they can to stymie any radical reforms or progress that they could and the DUP especially has taken no amount of flak and abuse from the wilder shores of loyalism for even talking to republicans. The Ulster Unionist never forgave them either for stealing their voters.Still, it seemed to make no odds .Sinn Fein kept doing politics and seemed to get better at it. They noticed how that was developing in the establishment corners of the Republic of Ireland and at Westminster .Then Jeremy Corbyn rose to prominence and seemed to be weeks away from leading the Labour Party. Wasn’t he the guy that sympathised with the republican ideal of a United Ireland? This whole situation was getting too out of hand for everyone .It was all moving too quickly. The next thing you know Sinn fein would be in Government in the Republic of Ireland and the Labour Party in Westminster would be onside too.All of unionism’s enemies reading from the same script at the same time. Something had to be done ….and something had to be done right now……
Now ,the Ulster Unionist Party has decided to withdraw from Stormont in the wake of some very woolly revelations the Chief Police Officer about the existence of the IRA and especially with a finger pointing at the Sinn Fein leadership in the Executive as though they are completely involved . They want to form an Opposition , although there has been nothing in place to make this work.. They could barely conceal the glee in their eyes when given this opportunity to go one better than their Democratic Unionist rivals. They obviously want to get the DUP voters back into their fold or possibly pressurise the DUP into making the very same move and abandon the Executive .They see it as a way to stiffen Westminster’s concentration. Again , there’s the dream of a united unionism . Why bother to wait for any hard evidence, they imply ?Get in there quickly before the DUP steals their thunder .They ‘ve made the rival DUP look as if they ‘re more interested in hanging onto power at all costs while they are doing the right thing by climbing onto the moral high ground and leaving the stage .
That’s really not good enough. We now expect something more than baby -kissing politicians reeking of false sanctimony as though they had contributed nothing to the contorted politics we now find ourselves in. They played a part in getting us to where we are now too…right back to 1969 and further , so there’s no point pretending they don’t know how we got to this .
As far as I am concerned , I have no real problem if the Ulster Unionist Party want to hold their breath until their faces turn blue . That’s their choice .There used to be a family joke about a child who threatened to “let the pig eat me!” if she didn’t get her pretty little way. Blackmail , really.They are entitled to do that little thing, but let’s not make some song and dance about it if there is no proof .I certainly have little objection if they don’t want to lift their wages.Everyone has the right to up-sticks and leave their job if it doesn’t suit their temperament . On the other hand , I wouldn’t mind seeing the hard evidence that they haven’t just made fools of themselves. It’s all about the hard evidence , so what if they’ve jumped the gun….so to speak? If they’ve left the stage and there’s no hard evidence , I wonder will anyone really notice.The Chief Constable appears to hold the fate of the executive in his hands .Will he bring it down with his evidence or not?
The story that is currently dominating the national news is the shooting of a television journalist and a cameraman. The doings in Norneverland only make the headlines when the bombs are exploding . That kind of thing is always just a step away, of course . It always was.These particular unionists seem to have forgotten just why we arrived in this situation in the first place