It was a tale of two campaign launches this morning as the DUP and Sinn Fein launched their campaigns for the upcoming election.
The DUP Leader, Arlene Foster was asked about her party’s policy on an Irish Language Act and her response was swift and decisive. She compared the implementing of one to “feeding a crocodile” which would simply see more demands made for Unionism
However, Michelle O’Neill at the Waterfromt Hall was not taking the bait;
— David McCann (@dmcbfs) February 6, 2017
Even though we have been in a period of a campaign for nearly two weeks now, this was the firing of the starting pistols today.
For the DUP the focus is about stopping what they perceive as a threat from a possible resurgent Sinn Fein with a First Minister and Irish Language Act.
For Sinn Fein, the focus is about standing up to what they perceive as DUP arrogance and some way of dealing with the implications of Brexit. There were also the usual messages about no return to the status quo and that they would not engage in a sham fight about who is First Minister.
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs