How Norn Iron’s zero-sum politics works: #2,857

LOYALIST terrorists want funding to transform their community, so nationalists complain. ‘Nationalist areas’ get more funding from a package than ‘loyalist areas’, so unionists complain.Since the DUP complaint isn’t online, here’s what PA reported:

Diane Dodds and Nelson McCausland accused Government of favouring republican areas and disadvantaging the Greater Shankill.

“Nationalist west Belfast will receive £9 million of funding for projects, whereas only £900,000 is going to community-specific projects in the Shankill,” they said.

“This means that nationalist-specific projects will get 10 times as much funding as unionist-specific projects. That 10-1 disparity is unacceptable and is the outcome of a flawed process. We didn’t ask for preferential treatment, we only asked for equality, but
the Government decided to proceed with a flawed package that was incapable of delivering an equitable outcome.”

And here’s the SDLP John Dallat’s complaint about the UDA’s pay-off:

“It really says a lot about the one-sided handout policies of the current Secretary of State that such a ludicrous claim
even gets aired. This UDA gang reckons it can transform itself into a community development body in just five years for a mere £8m.

“Democratic society should make them a counter-offer: desist from crime and rackets and you can stay out of jail.”

The East Londonderry MLA added: “No matter what promises they make, paramilitaries should not gain control of communities or community funding in any shape or form.”

I don’t think you could ask for a more perfect example of the predictable tediousness of Northern Ireland’s zero-sum politics in the space of one day.