WHAT CORRUPTION? WHAT SCANDALS?
“SOOT FOR LOOT , GIVE ARLENE THE BOOT!”
What has this latest debacle taught us all about our relationships?
The DUP are very obviously still at war . They seemed to have never stopped being at war,even during peace-times and ,by default, so are all those who vote for them.They still apparently see Irish nationalists as an ultimate threat and will always close ranks against them , no matter whether or not their own representatives are found to be variously incompetent or criminally corrupt.Indeed , these voters may not even notice the corruption, bad-manners,incapacity to empathasise , or even understand the intricacies of their own manipulation ,by their chosen politicians, , such is their suspension of belief in many aspects of the real ,actual, logical world.Some of these Norneverland politicians still believe the world is only 6000 years old and that the seas are not actually warming up and the ice-caps are not melting.They may be political fools but their followers feel comfortable voting for these same fools. It is hard to understand , just as it is very obviously difficult for anyone who has not experienced this before. The media in the Republic of Ireland very obviously have no real understanding of the mad social dynamics or they would not be writing the unmitigated tripe that has been their daily bread. They want to blame Sinn Fein for bringing the institutions crashing down ,when it was actually the DUP’s First Minister Arlene Foster who went on a unilateral rant outside her remit and which was abhorred by every other political party and not only Sinn Fein. They all knew at that point that they had to turn their backs on her. She had no idea how she was supposed to behave .All of that came as the final note to a series of DUP inspired scandals and rancid behaviour.The British government also paid no heed while all of this was happenening and were also ill-informed as a result.
Let us make no bones about any of this .The local government has ceased to work because the DUP did not want it to work in the way that it was designed.
At the moment they appear to have no notion of the real reasons why there is currently no local government in place and whether or not the First Minister had to step down.They imagine she stepped down by her own volition rather than being forced to because of her disregard for the parameters of her office and the corruption or stupidity that forced the issue. They appear still oblivious as to how any normal society operates and by what basic rules and measures ministers can and must be held to account. It has not been lost that at base a financial scandal occured and it was a DUP scandal. To hear the story being told , even in the post -apocalypse media, it might be assumed that it was someone else’s fault.Let us put this into perspective once again.There was a scandal to the tune of some half a billion pounds sterling …and counting, over which the leader of the DUP presided and failed to address in the normal manner.It was set up by her office ,copied from an original UK model ,but tweaked in such a way as to make more money for anyone subscribing to it and it was her total responsibility . So let us not beat about the bush as to whether she is a criminal or incompetent .It hardly matters except for her eventual punishment. She is one or the other and everyone with a functioning brain knows this simple fact .All else is nonsense and distraction storytelling . Many will blame civil -servants …but they were her civil-servants and she presided over the department that created the crisis.
To the DUP and by extension everyone who votes for them ,the idea of a party espousing the perfectly legitimate political path of something like a republican agenda with the usual ideals of fraternity , brotherhood and equality , is not seen in that way at all .It is seen as a threat and a declaration of war on unionism. Even now , in the 21st Century when the days of the British Empire are long -gone, that much is apparent .The very idea that Irish republican nationalists could ever conceive that they could be on a friendly basis with such unionists, hell-bent on division , is something of a conundrum in such circumstances. Much like the PushmepullyoU joint- partnership in government, it is quite possibly something of an impossible machine to drive successfully .Corruption and incompetence within the DUP has been the real thing that has crashed the Norneverland fantasy government, even though the DUP are thrashing about trying to blame everyone else for their own fears , bigotry, incompetence and lawless , fraudulent criminality. The power-sharing ended after a procession of scandals, after all.These scandals came from the DUP and it is these plus an unholy arrogance that has finally caused this political divorce.Sometimes divorces and marriages cannot be mended.Sometimes the partners will settle to separate for ever.
None of this was what had been previously agreed when the current system was set up.No provision had been made for the possibility that their would be none of the promised parity- of- esteem, or any of the sleekit intransigence or unwillingness to work together , or even how to finally ,properly deal with a scandal at the top echelon of local government. No one thought that far ahead.There was an initial honeymoon naievety and an assumption that everyone would give the new system a fair -wind and their best shot ,so no really strong enforcable rules had been written to protect the institutions , if one of the parties should lose the plot and soil their office , or indeed should they go politically insane .
There was poison at the heart of it from the start ,which seeped out by increments until the First Minister somehow got the idea that she actually ruled the place like a queen’s little fiefdom and had convinced herself that she was beyond censure. Her outrageous behaviour seemed to be encouraged by her own ministers. Some said that her partner in government Martin McGuinness had given her party too much leeway but the fact is he had much more political experience than her and had advised her to the end. She finally boasted that she was literally power incarnate and would not take advice from her partners. At that point we all knew she was not a fit person for a power-sharing government. Oh she might have made a grand tribal chief on some little island but she had not got what was needed in a divided society that had to share power equally. In that she was possibly the worst choice possible.She was very obviously psychologically damaged already by a much trumpeted childhood trauma, which she referred to , possibly as a reason for engaging in politics at all. For someone of her disposition , politics was possibly the wordt possible choice of career and it’s possible that ultimately she should not have been put into such a stressful position at all.
She was bound to crack at some point. A more pragmatic head than hers was needed but there was none around apparently or no one realised what an unstable card had been dealt into an already unstable game. Already Martin McGuinness had steered his way through stormy political waters for some forty -plus years and had proven his political savvy and longevity. He had dealt with a variety of politicians at the highest levels over five decades, so there was little he had not learned. You might not agree with his politics but you had to admire his political nous. He successfully worked as best he could with two previous DUP First Ministers ,even sharing a most unlikely relationship with the man who had almost single-handedly lit the fuse on the Troubles in the 1960s, the Reverend Ian Paisley ;but these past DUP leaders had had at least some idea of the limitations of their own role in such a set -up. The last First Minister in office had no such political insight whatsoever and there was no one in her team able to advise her. The only advice came from Martin McGuinness, her partner and she refused it outright to take it .She appeared to believe she could rule without him..
Sinn Fein did apply themselves to the task of rapprochment but it would never be reciprocated .It never could be.Certainly Martin McGuinness ,as Deputy first Minister, made many gestures and attempts to cross that divide. but to reciprocate in any way would be for the DUP to admit to the idea that a republican agenda was actually a viable, legitimate political one like any other , or even to admit that it was one that was wanted anywhere at all. That was never going to happen.There was nothing that could ever persuade unionists such as the DUP that such a political path was ever going to be a legitimate political one . To them such talk was still simple rebellion. They couldn’t conceive that anyone could have a different political perception to their own.It was and still is preferable for them to remain on a war-footing at all times in case of the prospect of political republicanism gaining even more political clout in the future. What to do then, if they had become friends ? That could never be allowed to happen.It might be “politics” but it was still a war of sorts in their eyes. They do not appear to realise that politics is the exchange of ideas.
It is for reasons such as these that it is preferable for the DUP to keep UDA muscle on -side, which is why they have pushed hard to keep them sweet by using government schemes to fund them, even though they also know of their background criminality and potential for social and street hooliganism , even some twenty years after the end of any real physical conflict. So there you have it ;We have criminals and incompetent trick-ponies inside the government and criminals and poor ill-educated near- illiterates ,outside of it. How could anyone be expected to make any government work in tandem with people like that ?
Even if you had a list of rules ,would they simply tear them up again as they’ve been doing since the two previous agreements were signed.Who is going to successfully police and censure any future misdemeanours they might want to commit?
That question might need answering even before we rake through the scandalous ashes that brought the current breakdown .