Anna Lo, the Chinese-Irish president of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), a liberal unionist grouping in the north-east of the country, has once again raised the ire of mainstream British unionism by condemning the DUP as the “most racist party” in the Six Counties (or, indeed, the Thirty-Two Counties). In a recent high profile interview with the Belfast Telegraph newspaper she also expressed her continued support for the reunification of Ireland:
“The politician, who faced a unionist backlash when she first voiced such sentiments in 2014, is adamant that Irish unity remains the way forward, and now she has spelt out the reasons for her stance.
“If there was a referendum, I would vote for a united Ireland under the right conditions. Ireland is one island. I don’t think we should have a border to divide an island,” the Alliance president said.
“I would like to see Ireland united, and I think it is inevitable. I take a wider world view on the issue. I am against colonialism. I welcomed Hong Kong being returned to China in 1997. When both Germany and Vietnam were united, despite all the foreboding, the sky didn’t fall down.”
The former South Belfast MLA described the DUP as “the most racist party in Northern Ireland”. She said racism was more extensive and vicious than when she first arrived in Belfast in 1974.
She said: “Over the years, many of their councillors and MLAs have made negative comments about ethnic minorities. Plenty of times they haven’t condemned racist incidents in their areas. Sectarianism and racism are two sides of the one coin. If people have always been sectarian, it’s very easy for them to be racist.”
Ms Lo said while she was “very complementary” to DUP First Minister Arlene Foster at the start “I’ve been less impressed with her as time goes on”.
As if proof were needed of where the formerly extremist Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) stands on the political spectrum, Arlene Foster has also taken to the press, though not on behalf of any progressive or liberal cause. Instead she condemns the actions of the northern Equality Commission and its legal action against a bakery in Belfast, run by evangelical Protestants, which refused to meet the specific requirements of a gay customer:
“I think they need to have a long hard look at how they work with faith communities in Northern Ireland and instead of accepting the metropolitan liberal elite definition of equality they need to look at what real equality is and look at the faith communities in Northern Ireland and that is something they haven’t been doing.”
Meanwhile, on the issue of gay marriage itself:
“Mrs Foster insisted her party was not anti-gay, but said the torrent of online abuse she received from LGBT activists demanding a law change had made it even less likely for the DUP to support their calls.
“Some of the abuse that is directed at me and colleagues online is very, very vicious and I think if activists want to have a conversation about where they are coming from do they seriously think they are going to influence me by sending me abuse?” she asked.
“No, they are not going to influence me by sending me abuse – in fact they are going to send me in the opposite direction and people need to reflect on that.”
Mrs Foster said her willingness to use the petition of concern voting tool reflected her party’s strong determination to protect the traditional definition of marriage.”
Ah yes, the familiar rhetorical sleight of hand deployed by bigots everywhere. We don’t hate homosexuals, just homosexuality. Which is about as likely as those who claim not to hate Irish-speakers, just the language they speak.
If I were an old style Prophet, I would be wandering the Streets of Northern Ireland, chanting “Woe unto the Unionists, for thy fate is BREXIT!!. Put simply, the Tsunami has now arrived, and will not go away. It changes everything. The magical thinking of the Unionists, that they could somehow carry on, as if nothing had actually happened, that the partition of Ireland would continue, and they would not have to face reality, has been shattered. There are now very hard choices for them. Reunification, or isolation, utter poverty, and dangerous social and political polarisation in the North. Choose one. I predict that in five years the North will be unrecognisable. It will be either an isolated enclave, with a hard border, serious social collapse, and much else, or reunified. I personally think it will be both. BREXIT will be phase one, with the hard border enforced by Brussels, and a great deal of social, economic and political crisis, and the probable collapse of the Peace process. Phase two will be the setting in of grim reality, with ultimately the Unionists realising that reunification is inevitable, painful, and inevitable. Total time for the whole process, five years from now. As the old Chinese saying goes: “May You live in interesting times”. Another Chinese saying is that “Crisis” also means “Opportunity”. For the Nationalist Community, this is an opportunity that will come just once, and must be grasped. BREXIT has now relegated, for a good while, any ideas of renewed Republican armed struggle to the background. Why fight for reunification, when it is now inevitable?…What is now needed, is very focused thinking by Nationalist Community leaders and Republicans about how to deal with this very dangerous process, without reigniting a war in the North, which would delay the whole process, and how to cope with a furious and destabilised Unionist community, with whom they will have to live, in the future, in a reunified Ireland. When that happens, the peace process has to go into ovedrdrive, the by then minority Unionists will have to be prodded and coaxed into acceptance of the inevitable, and to help them come to terms with the New Ireland. The alternative to that, is a renewal of conflict, the wrecking of the peace process, and goodbye to peaceful reintegration with the rest of Ireland. None of this is going to be easy, but it is essential. This time, we really must mean Peace, not the present compromised process, which is slowing dangerously. For Republicans, we really are going to have to, if not love thine enemeies, at least make things tolerable for them. It can be done, and it should be done.
Good comment, Graham. However, a peacekeeping force will be needed to contain the violent unionist backlash – I hope to god the force are EU peacekeepers and not English troops (been there and never again). I would suggest a plantation program of relocating disgruntled unionists to England and Scotland where they would be warmly embraced as kith and kin under the banner of the English-Scottish-Welsh flag.
So ethnic relocation? Like the Germans in land given to Poland after WWII? You should be ashamed of yourself for that.
How would you like it if unionists had removed ethnic Irish people from NI in the fifties?
Well considering their behaviour since the ‘Ulster Plantation’ days what’s good for the goose is good for the gander
Read your history correctly , the Unionists did remove swathes of the natives, thus the term the Ulster Plantation of the 17th Century. Any person of good will is welcome to stay and not murdering scum
“relocating disgruntled unionists to Scotland where they would be warmly embraced as kith and kin”
doubt that very much – Scottish nationalists are not fond of the orange order or british loyalists and they’re planning to exploit brexit for scottish independence.
Would NI DUP- , TUV- UDA and UVF- types settle down any better in an independent scotland than in an independent ireland?
with regards to the 100 year and counting threat of the “Unionist/Loyalist backlash in NI” , please consider
I’m proudly Britsh born and living in Northern Ireland (North East Ireland according to some wankmeisters) and happen to be in a majorty of like minded people living in this small country.
Get over it a piss off back to the 26 counties, your opinions are irrelevant to the majority people living in Northern Ireland.
Where to start? Firstly the north east of Ireland isn’t a country. Secondly,there are many people in the north east of Ireland who are proudly Irish and want their country reunited. Where should they piss off to?
Do you feel proud that you get that ~10 billion handout from the rest of the UK every year?
I agree with Anna Lo on Irish reunification but here are instances where there should be a border dividing an island – mainland Britain being the most glaring example.
Unionist backlash my arse. The UDA and UVF aka UDR RUC are finished. They survived to murder and intimidate their Irish neighbours while hanging on to the British shirt tail. Now that shitty tail is being tucked in. They are nothing but toothless dogs incapable of looking after themselves. SUCK IT UP.
Agree 100%, the ”Security Services” are modern day Black and Tans.
DUP are like Ian Smiths Rhodesian Front Party, with the same haughty arrogance
on the ”Native” question . Time to spell out a timetable for Irish unification based on an all Ireland referendum. Any colonialist who does not want to stay should be aided in their return to England.
I must admit I’m very impressed by the level of argument/debate on this site, erstwhile Unionists reading it will surely flock to join a United Ireland! Yes, I know sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but if this is all Irish Nationalism has to offer then God help us all.
As to the guy talking about tsunamis, isolation, utter poverty, etc, surely in the wake of Brexit you’ve missed out plagues of locusts, a zombie apocalypse, fire and brimstone …..
Not as long as a rear end points down will any unionist flock to join a united Ireland. However their failure to do so will be their loss. Domination has been tried on their behalf and failed miserably. The Brit way hasn’t worked so now is the time to try a new approach. True Irishmen can make it work and will. Ireland unfree shall never be at peace. Give peace a chance. Get out of our country and leave us in peace. The day of croppie lie down is over never to return. This country belongs to us all. Protestants catholic and desenters not Britain.
By the way has anyone looked at the photo at the start of this article?. Jesus H. That’s our leader. 😭😭😭