Is it accountability or partnership?


  • North Antrim Realist

    There is little doubt that after the last 30 years that there are many bigots, overt and covert, in both communities. I certainly cannot understand what some ‘unionists’ say in private about Catholics, Nationlists and Republicans and I understand that the same type of activity takes place on the ‘other side’.

    We have to accept that this is the situation and not pretend that it is any different, and try to work between those who are not of those views. The difficulty is that we do not have leaders who are prepared to stand up and be counted in any of the parties as they are afraid of the bigots and losing votes. David Trimble is a classic example of this, he is not I believe a bigot, despite his background, and he has proved that he would be willing to have power sharing and partnership. However he was not prepared to take on the bigots in his own party and those in the DUP for fear of the electoral consequences, he has now by his actions suffered the reverses and made none of the potential gains.

    The same may be true of the few in the DUP who are not sectarian bigots but will not try to break away from their sectarian past lest they lose their new found electoral dominance.
    The problem for them is they may go the way of David Trimble and lose it by inactivity.

    It is true that the leadership in the Nationalist and Republican communities are in a similar position as they vie with each other for votes and making concilatory noises towards Unionism is not seen as a vote winner.

    Where will we find the leaders with vision who can take us out of this sectarian impasse, unfortunately there are not to be seen in the current crop of senior politicians, maybe they are lurking in the younger generations to come.

  • Christopher Stalford

    “The same may be true of the few in the DUP who are not sectarian bigots but will not try to break away from their sectarian past lest they lose their new found electoral dominance”

    If their “sectarian” past kept them in second place in electoral terms for donkeys years, as you imply, why would they be afraid to abandon it?

    Alternatively, it sounded like a good line when you were typing it but bears no semblence to reality at all?

  • North Antrim Realist


    Why did the DUP gain dominance last November, there was only one reason – David Trimble failed to get the IRA to decommission, had they done so in a transparent and open manner the DUP would have remained in second place.

    If, as it appears, the IRA are offering to do what they failed to do last November and the DUP fail to take advantage the electorate that moved from the UUP and those who sat at home in protest will not forget.

    However the base vote of the DUP as is evident around the councils and in its upper echelons is largely bigoted and sectarian, so they are caught between two opposing ideals, move from their old position into the 21st century and hold the new votes or stay where they are and lose them.

    If the UUP wasn’t such a shambles of a party, with a leader who no longer commmands grass roots support, the DUP would never have become the dominant party.

    Does the DUP have the leadership to move its supporters from their sectarian roots? I very much doubt it given Ian Paisley’s history…. so the future is not too rosy apart from the lack of opposition in the UUP.