The public conversation within Unionism (see here) continues in the Belfast Telegraph. This time it’s Jeffrey Donaldson. He asserts, in apparent agreement with David Trimble, that this crisis is entirely of Sinn Fein’s making.
Like the Trimblite academic Paul Bew yesterday, he highlights violence as a point of concern:
Levels of violence on our streets are higher now than they were at the time of the Belfast Agreement over four years ago. The Assistant Chief Constable, Alan McQuillan, has declared that both the IRA and loyalist terror groups are responsible for that violence.
He goes on to cite Colombia and, to a lesser extent, Castlereagh, as examples of the way in which the Republican movement has not fulfilled its commitment to peaceful means. He then states:
There is an alternative to this sorry state of affairs. It requires the Ulster Unionist Party to reinstate its bottom line and to demonstrate that it will not be complicit in ignoring the consequences of IRA activity.
He derides the idea of a ceasefire monitor, suggesting:
The appointment of a so-called ‘ceasefire monitor’ is no substitute for resolute action to deal with increasing terrorist violence. Why do we need another foreign envoy to breeze into Northern Ireland to tell us what is already blindingly obvious, namely that all the main terrorist groups, including the IRA, have broken their ceasefires
However, what seems most striking in the whole article is the immense care taken not to spell out what such a bottom line might actually entail.
A slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay off the fightin’ side of me and there is a bit of background about me here. You can email me using this spam-proof link if you really need to, and Slugger is @sluggerotoole on Twitter. But above all, remember, Play the ball and not the man.