The Democratic Unionist Party is a political grouping which prides itself on its opaque nature. The internal workings of the ultra-right organisation are rarely exposed to public scrutiny and few in the party are willing to break ranks on matters of concern or disagreement except in extremis. Despite claims to the contrary by some sympathetic commentators, externally at least, the party more or less speaks with one voice. So the ongoing British-initiated public enquiry into the “cash-for-ash” scandal in the Six Counties has given us a rare opportunity to peer into the institutional culture of Arlene Foster’s party.
Much of it, as you would imagine for a minor regional grouping, is pretty parochial stuff. Especially as the revelations predate the DUP’s backdoor coalition deal with the ruling Conservative Party in the United Kingdom, when its influence – and already exaggerated sense of self-importance – was increased exponentially. The Irish correspondent Sam McBride has done an excellent job of charting the twists and turns in the Renewable Heat Incentive or RHI controversy, and his latest report on new revelations from the UK’s official tribunal into the scheme is well worth a read. In a highly unusual move for Britain’s news media when it comes to issues localised to the country’s contested territory on this island, iNews in London has given the multi-million euro affair a great degree of coverage.
Talking of very public scandals, the latest issue of the Village Magazine has a feature on the campaigning journalist Gemma O’Doherty, the bête noire of Ireland’s incestuous press establishment. Since her unfair dismissal from the Irish Independent, a conservative title currently beset in controversy, she has taken the lead in exposing stories some in the domestic media would prefer best left hidden. Like certain figures being granted very favourable treatment by senior officers of An Garda Síochána, as the ongoing Disclosures’ Tribunal seems to be indicating. I’d recommend a buy.
Finally, how is this for an example of Anglo-British exceptionalism, special pleading and victimhood in a few sentences? Written by the magnificently named Ambrose Evans-Pritchard for the London Daily Telegraph, the columnist claims that the Brexit,
…bid for British independence has failed.
There will be no return to full sovereign and democratic self-rule in March 2019, or after the transition, or as far as the political eye can see. Britain will be bound and hemmed until the latent contradictions of such a colonial settlement cause a volcanic national uprising, as they surely must.
The British complaining about colonial rule being supposedly imposed on the United Kingdom by the European Union is a bit hard to take while the UK continues to maintain its shrunken legacy colony on the island of Ireland. You take your Brexit, we’ll take back our Six Counties, agus slán abhaile.