May’s desperation for power will jeopardise peace for 1.8m

Theresa May. Picture: Jim Mattis (CC BY 2.0)

 

Vaughan Williams

From the outset, and in the interests of honesty and impartiality, I must declare that I am a very rare breed here in Wales – a Welsh Roman Catholic, making up a mammoth 3% of the population.

I assume the figure of my native Holyhead are markedly higher due to the relative proximity of Erin’s Isle (73 miles to the west) and the Irish influx who helped build the railway.

You don’t need any such links, however, to recognise that the DUP being allowed anywhere near the corridors of authority is abhorrent and extremely worrying.

The DUP’s outlook on issues such as gay marriage (which they have blocked on numerous occasions in Stormont) and their Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign are prime examples.

Ian Paisley Jr, the son of party founder Ian Paisley, described homosexuality “immoral, offensive and obnoxious” and said he was “repulsed” by gays and lesbians.

Peace

Abortion is another issue where the DUP hold “traditional” views. Party leader Arlene Foster herself said that she did not want abortion to be freely available in Northern Ireland as it was in Wales, England and Scotland.

It remains a criminal offence to have an abortion in Northern Ireland. This is the case even in the event of rape of incest or a foetal disability. The only exception is if doctors consider a woman’s life to be in serious and imminent danger.

Then there’s the DUP’s link to its paramilitary past which is of great concern. Corbyn was pilloried for talking to terrorists. The old adage that one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist seems quite pertinent in this case.

But what troubles me most of all is that May’s hunger to retain power for the benefit of one person may well jeopardise peace for 1,800,000 people.

The British government cannot, with a straight face, claim to be an authentic broker in the north of Ireland, while being in cahoots with one side at Westminster.

The safety and long standing peace in Northern Ireland isn’t something to be bartered away by one power-hungry woman in London.

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