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24 September 2009 Edition

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DUP must deal with Irish reality not Tory fantasy

It would seem that the DUP is mesmerised by the prospect of a Tory government in Britain after the Westminster General Election next year. They were always reluctant participants in power-sharing and uncomfortable with the equality agenda but their latest initiative shows them moving even further away from reality.
DUP First Minister Peter Robinson has proposed fundamental changes in the working of the Good Friday Agreement institutions, changes that would undermine its whole basis in equality, replacing power-sharing with ‘weighted majority’ rule.
Robinson’s colleague, Executive Minister Nelson McCausland, has said that the changes sought by the DUP will be determined at Westminster either by the current British Labour government or a future Conservative one. In his wistful moments Nelson imagines David Cameron as Tory Prime Minister granting the DUP its wish, after which we can all live happily ever after.
A dose of reality is needed here. It was provided by Martin McGuinness (see page 13) who has said that any such attempt by a British government would “result in the end of nationalist and republican participation in the institutions themselves”.
This DUP flight of fancy is motivated by their wish to out-manoeuvre their political competitors within unionism. But it is a dangerous diversion and they need to wake up to the reality that power-sharing and the equality agenda are here to stay.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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