Foster: you need to lift the blinkers!

In the second edition of Ireland’s new political weekly The Village Arlene Foster rebutts the claim by made most recently by several nationalist commentators that the DUP’s pitch for accountablity is in fact a back door route to majority rule.

She cites the party’s keynote Devolution Now (PDF) document, in which “…the DUP set out its support for weighted majorities and cross community support”.

Then she asks:

“No matter how false and mischievous the claims, how come this bigotry towards the DUP is more acceptable and goes unchallenged by few than if it was occurring in the other direction?”

She questions nationalist committment to equality suggesting it is strictly one way traffic:

“Nationalists bang on about it ad infinitem without challenge from anyone but unionists. Yet when unionists raise the inequalities of 50-50 recruitment, the anomalies in the Equality Commission, the suppression of unionist opinion in Queen’s Students Union, or ethnic cleansing against Protestants along the border or within North and West Belfast, they are dismissed with the same anecdotes about what happened in Northern Ireland fifty years ago. Apparently nationalists believe that two wrongs make a right”.

She beleives there’s been a mistaken perception:

“Perpetuating the myth that those who were anti-Agreement were anti-any agreement and the bigger problem, was and is a mistake. That approach merely served to push more and more unionists to say “enough is enough” so that the electoral mathematics now mean that things cannot feasibly move forward without the DUP”.

And there’s been a seachange:

“A healthy glow is now emerging from a unionism regaining confidence within itself regardless of what others think, but there are signs that the cold front against the DUP is thawing within the Government at least. Others need to catch up with the reality that in any future devolved administration the DUP are going to be the key players, taking decisions in more departments than anyone else. Moving away from majority rule cannot mean abandoning the entitlement to respect of the majority of the population”.

  • chunkyguy

    I dont know about anyone else but i think arlene foster is one of the more sexier female politicians about at the moment- what do others think?

  • Mick Fealty

    Before we go any further. I’m not suggesting that was meant in anything but the most postive way, but if this gets played rather than the substance of Arlene’s piece the effect is precisely the same as aggressively playing the (wo)man and not the ball.

  • Butterknife

    I prefer the Sinn Fein MEP for Dublin.
    But putting that to the side for a moment should the DUP not change its name to Paipi Daonlathach Aondachtach (is that right?) for the sea is changing so much that from smashing Sinn Fein they are prepared to get into bed with them.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “Yet when unionists raise the inequalities of 50-50 recruitment, the anomalies in the Equality Commission, the suppression of unionist opinion in Queen’s Students Union, or ethnic cleansing against Protestants along the border or within North and West Belfast,”

    MOPEry is a poor substitute for the new realisation that is meant to be sweeping through the DUPers.

    “Others need to catch up with the reality that in any future devolved administration the DUP are going to be the key players, taking decisions in more departments than anyone else.”

    Perhaps Foster should have listed those who fall under the category of ‘others’. Or is she simply inventing a position from which to appear strident.

  • barnshee

    “Others need to catch up with the reality that in any future devolved administration the DUP are going to be the key players, taking decisions in more departments than anyone else.”

    The UUPS are dead– I suspect that the DUPS and SF are playing a longer game with the a UK election looming –leading to further increases in their respective mandates. The longer it goes on the stronger SF and DUP will become.
    Valete SDLP UUP etc

  • Butterknife

    Who said that FPTP favoured the two party state? I really do hope not however as we need the middle ground!

  • barnshee

    There is now no significant middle ground

  • peteb

    That’s not an accurate assessment, barnshee, not even if you restrict it to those who do vote.

  • Jonathan McCullough

    Pat McLarnon has for once raised a very valid point when he says that;

    “Perhaps Foster should have listed those who fall under the category of ‘others'”

    In terms of joining the PSNI ‘others’ mean anyone that isn’t a Roman Catholic, so the 50/50 rule disciminates against everyone in Northern Ireland brought up in any other faith. Parity of esteem? I don’t think so! It’s a disciminatory process supported by the SDLP and Sinn Fein that only goes to prove that their support for equal rights is nothing more than a joke.

  • Davros

    ” playing the (wo)man and not the ball.”

    Women don’t have balls Mick 😉
    Unless you count Emily Howard from “Little Britain ” and her ‘little ladie’s testic -lees “

  • Robert Keogh

    Arlene

  • Davros

    Sinn F