Jude Collins has been writing about Peter Robinson’s comments in The Times last week which preceded the DUP Leader’s latest declaration that his party would like to attract votes from catholics.
There are quite a few reasons why the sincerity of those comments should be questioned at this stage- as they were when similar comments were made before the summer. Perhaps Peter’s party may even find an interest in addressing underachievement amongst catholic boys in schools, or indeed refrain from boasting about their ability to stop houses from being built for catholics. And then there’s the small matter of Peter’s track record of dealing with the catholics actually residing in his own constituency….
But Collins makes the rather obvious point that the economic condition of either Britain or the south of Ireland has never before determined the constitutional preferences of people in this part of Ireland:
But what if economics isn’t at the heart of this at all? I talked to a unionist politician a while back and he swatted away the economic argument for union. When the south was booming, he said, unionists were against re-unification; now it’s bust and they still don’t want to join. Might it be that nationalists feel the same way about breaking the link with Britain? Maybe when the chips are down it’s not actually the economy, stupid, after all.