As the adverts tell us, a puppy is not just for Christmas.
Last week, Sinn Féin were sold a pup. They…the Irish Nationalists and Republicans….agreed to hand “Welfare” (ie Welfare Cuts) back to ….Westminster.
But Sinn Féin assure us they will fight for the most vulnerable in Society….it is a contadiction. Meanwhile Sinn Féin criticise SDLP (the “Stoop Down Low Party”) for attending the House of Commons. But maybe SF is the “Stoop Further” Party.
It is all a bit of a farce. A year ago SF was accepting “welfare” cuts before doing a U-turn before the recent Westminster election.
Now they have caved in.
Not that their allies in DUP are much more principled. The “hokey cokey” resignations and appointments was because of speculation that the IRA Army Council was still on existence. As this has now been independently confirmed, it might be more logical if they resigned permenantly but they have curiously settled for the IRA to be “monitored”
Yet it would be only half the story to say that Sinn Féin sold out on “welfare” and DUP sold out on IRA….for both casually decided to overlook the Legacy issues….the victims of the Troubles.
Thats the real shame here.
In 1998 nationalists overwhelmingly and unionists narrowly voted for the Good Friday Agreement. We voted on the basis that the victims would not be forgotten. They received vague assurances and the word “Justice” was used a lot.
The promises got more vague. And the number of people who have actual first hand memories of the years 1969 to 1998 decreases with each passing year.
It is now crystal clear that their issues will not be dealt with. They have been quietly told to “get over it” and “its time to move on”
Will Sinn Féin and DUP lose votes? In any normal world, they would deserve to lose votes. They have let people down. But as the Assembly election is between the centenary of the Easter Rising and the centenary of the Somme, then it might still be possible for both parties to motivate the core vote.
All Sinn Féin needs to do is play up the chances of being the biggest party (and get Martin McGuinness into the First Ministers seat)….and ironically thats all the DUP need to do…paint a nightmare scenario.
Meanwhile David Ford of Alliance Party is the Minister for Justice. Dont expect him to rock the boat…will he get into the House of Lords in the New Years “Honours” or will he wait until June and the Birthday “Honours”. That would suit the Alliance Party better….and he would be above the battle between Stephen Farry and Naomi Long for the Leadership.
There has never really been a point to David Ford …a man loitering with intent of a peerage. For services to toadying to DUP and Sinn Féin….a LetsGetAlongerist success story.
SDLP will feel they have had a good week. Colum Eastwood and Fearghal MCKinney have brought a degree of energy and the three Westminster MPs have played a blinder.
And Alex Attwood was at his forensic best in the Assembly …and it was at least interesting to see Sinn Féin and their Twitter Army squirm around.
Next step? Well….Sinn Féin bought this pup. Now they have to feed it and take wee “Westminster” walkies in West Belfast, Derry, Newry and Ardoyne.
“Westminster” looks a cute wee puppy now. But he has some Rottweiler in him. Maybe he will be biting Sinn Féin on the arse before he is much older.