When It Comes To Irish Equality, The DUP Is The Putrid Little Statelet

To her many critics, this afternoon’s statement by Arlene Foster provided further proof of her failings as a political leader, with the boss of the hard-right Democratic Unionist Party continuing to promote the ethno-sectarian politics of her predecessors, notably the group’s founder, the rabble-rousing Ian Paisley. As the Fermanagh MLA dismissed any notion of introducing genuine legal equality between the Irish and English languages in the disputed Six Counties, Foster made explicit the colonial nature of the United Kingdom’s “putrid little statelet” on the island of Ireland.

From the BBC:

On Tuesday, the DUP leader said there would be no compulsory Irish language in schools, no one would be forced to learn Irish, there would be no quotas for Irish speakers in the civil service and there would be no bilingual road signs.

The DUP leader said her test for any proposal is whether it impinges on the rights of those who are British or in any way weakens the union.

Her message was reinforced by a standard letter issued to DUP elected representatives to use if they receive any criticism.

[This says] …that the DUP “won’t sign up to any deal that diminishes Northern Ireland as a part of the United Kingdom”.

In other words, the political and constitutional anachronism in the north-east of the country must remain a British and English-speaking colony for a British and English-speaking people. Like victorious Brennus before the defeated senators of Rome, the militant pro-union party has only one philosophy in relation to the indigenous language and culture of Ireland: Vae victis “Woe to to the conquered!”.

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12 comments

  1. I saw somewhere today a picture of the leader, the Grand Master, of the Orange Order. The suggestion was that there were hard men behind Arlene, almost pulling the strings.

    A commentator noted, however, that the background to the Grand Master’s picture was a painting of unionist leaders of yore. One of these was Carson; it was noted that he was a fluent Irish speaker.

      1. Yep, the old order, if you’ll excuse the pun, has reasserted itself in unionism. From “flegs” to “crocodiles” to “UDA support” to “Irish, Irish, Irish: out, out, out” the politics of unionism has proved itself in recent years to be incapable of change or reform.

  2. Yes, how things have changed : a Deputy Grand Master of the O.O. in Belfast was once a member of the Gaelic League, but that, of course, was before the latter organisation was taken over by physical force Republicans. This has really nothing to do with the Irish language, but more to do with the party which is the chief cheerleader for an Irish language Act and a Party which, strangely, spent 10 years in government with the D.U.P. and never raised the issue of such an Act. Whatever happens it won’t make a blind bit of difference to the number of people speaking Irish, they will remain a small minority in a predominantly English-speaking entity, just like in the Republic.

    1. Irish was on the SF agenda for the last ten years, continuously pushed, continuously blocked, until this, along with other matters, reached a crisis point. Though I would be of the opinion that the plug should have been pulled on Stormont years ago. It is clear that the post-Paisley DUP saw Stormont as a return to the old unionist Stormont, with itself in the role of the UUP and virtual one-party government.

    1. I just can’t see it. Nigel Dodds aside, there are no real contenders in the party to take her place. She has lined up unionism behind her on the denial of Irish rights, with the UUP chasing her and the TUV egging her on. Her position seems stronger than ever and will help her weather the continuing RHI storms.

      Unionism as a political ideology, on the other hand, may well be in its twilight days.

  3. Just a little off to one side. I’m not that interested in sport, though I know what the Sam Maguire Cup is. I only learned recently who Sam Maguire was; it was an article about his funeral. Ignoring the commands from the Bishops, the local IRA unit formed a guard of honour at the church. A protestant church.

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