DUP charm offensive continues…

THE DUP’s outreach initiative continues with an offer to exchange views with all-Ireland Catholic Primate Sean Brady. The party is clearly on a charm offensive – an oxymoron that I feel suits Paisleyites well – but it may be how the party reacts to the usual summer violence that will really shift outside perceptions of hardline unionism before the next (yawn) round of talks.

The BBC reported:

The East Londonderry MP said he hoped a meeting with Archbishop Brady would bring about a greater understanding in the Catholic community of unionist concerns, particularly in employment and cultural matters.

“It’s my view that it is perceptions of people’s views that create problems, rather than the actual position,” Mr Campbell said.

“Quite often when people sit down and explain their position, whether in writing or in person, the clarification that is required is given.

“Then you quite often find that people adopt a different position.”

Very true. What kept you so long though?!

The DUP clearly expects – as do many – that the IRA’s forthcoming statement will be the usual halfway house. It is gearing up for any blame for political failure to be placed on republican shoulders.

  • pete

    Separation of church and state and powersharing,
    I can just see the headlines.
    In 2 weeks.

  • Gonzo

    See my reply to pete. As blogged.

  • stevie ‘wonder’

    Why shouldnt the DUP meet the leader of the Roman Catholic community?? After all they represent the majority of the people in Northern Ireland, and the catholic church need to know were we stand! … and where we’l not go!
    There is an obvious difference in Dr Paisley meeting Archbishop Sean Brady as DUP leader and as Free Presbyterian Moderater.
    ….The meeting will be purley political (and Archbishop Bradey had never advocated the use of the ‘armed struggle’ therefore as a democratic he deserves to be met!
    ….

  • Davros

    the leader of the Roman Catholic community??

    Can or should Archbishop Brady be described as the “leader” of the RC Community ? He’s the most senior member here of the largest Church in NI. But does he have the political power that calling him “leader” suggests ? Would either the SDLP or SF acknowledge that he has any authority over them ? Would many members of the RC Community accept that he has anything beyond spiritual authority ?

  • Fanny

    I know that Gonzo frequents the Debate Centre board so I’ll leave it to him to summarise what they’re making of this over there, if he can do it without becoming suicidal.
    Suffice it say certain people of both persuasions find the idea of a DUP-Catholic Church rapproachment deeply disturbing.

    This, obviously, is excellent news for the rest of us.

  • Snapper

    As a deeply cynical person I sincerely hope and pray that the motivation behind these moves are genuine. Fingers crossed.

  • Snapper

    Davros – quite right. I think “Spiritual Leader” would be more appropriate.

  • kev

    There can be no agreement in N Ireland until the D U P and their sizeable support base, realise that the prospect of their party, steeped as is, in a tradition of anti-catholicism, and bigotry, is as eqully abhorrent to all shades of nationalism, as sinn fein is to them.

  • Des

    Yes Kev

  • Davros

    to all shades of nationalism

    With respect, that’s obviously and demonstrably untrue Kev and Des 🙂 The SDLP for example have a working relationship with the DUP. So there’s one shade of nationalism that doesn’t find the DUP as abhorrent as the DUP finds SF…..

  • bertie

    I think that there will be no agreement in NI, until we all abhor terrorism more than bigotry, however bad the later is. I will not presume that because someone is a nationalist, they will abhor me as much if they perceive me to be an anti-catholic bigot as they would if they perceived me to be in UDP, UVF, et al.

  • Occasional Commentator

    I hope there will come a time when both terrorism and bigotry are a thing of the past.

    If/when that happens then it won’t matter about the hierarchy of abhorence – but it will be an issue until then of course.

  • garret

    Very nice but it would be better if unionism just implemented the GFA.