As one of our commenters noted here, there are some noteably unhappy voices within the DUP. At a senior level the party is holding firm so far. But Jack McKee, the party’s poll topping local councillor in Larne is clearly very unhappy, and unsually he has broken ranks with the party’s otherwise steadfast silence. His statement, already published in the Larne Gazette, comes close to wondering that if the St Andrews deal is acceptable, what was the party’s stiff political resistence over the last treaty to any rapprochement with Nationalists (and in earlier years any Nationalists) all about?
Certainly I would be opposed to the St Andrew’s Agreement.
I have to pose the question to myself: When Terence O’Neill brought the Irish Prime Minister to Northern Ireland, all those years ago, he met with a hostile reaction and the campaign ‘O’Neill must go’. What was wrong then is equally wrong now.
When Brian Faulkner set up power sharing with Gerry Fitt this was also deemed to be wrong and brought about the Worker’s Strike and all that that entailed.
I must say to myself ‘What then have the last thirty or thirty five years been all about? Why did we have 3,000 deaths, countless people maimed and crippled and billions of pounds worth of damage?
David Trimble, when he signed the Good Friday Agreement, was deemed to be wrong. He was hounded from office as a result.
Yes we can tinker with the Belfast Agreement and alter it here and there, but a rose is still a rose by any other name.
It’s alright to condemn those people when you don’t have power but, especially when you have a position of power, you have to justify it.
My only conclusion is that after being in opposition, things are seen differently now you are in power.
One must consider that every leader who went down this road was regarded as a Lundy and a traitor and drummed from office.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty