Days Like These No7
by Guest Blogger Gerry Fitzpatrick
I'll not be commenting on the precise details Mrs R's recent outburst but wish to look at it's political consequences. What the Belfast Agreement and the St Andrew's Agreement was about for the British and Irish governments and Sinn Fein was to present the the DUP as new 'shiney happy people' (as the Irish Times described IPsnr) and every thing in the new DUP/SF future will be fine and if not fine - manageable.
After several incidents involving the DUP bigotry and malpractice SF's condemnations of their partners in government are waring pretty thin, because they are the ones who have vested interest in the fantasy that DUP can be what they want them to be - and not what they are.
The difference between this latest DUP instance of homophobia and previous instances is that the DUP via Iris are now telling us loud and clear 'they will not be silenced' not by anyone and have a right to their views. She has now been reported to the police by various groups - including the Alliance party for her hate speech. That will, if nothing else show us just how strong the DUP and Loyalist bigotry is here, as she is turned into a Loyalist hero -a 'victim' of 'liberal left political correctness' as one of her supporters put it .
The endorsement given by Iris to Dr Miller who is still practices aversion therapy in the province is now official as Mrs Robinsion is not only the chair of the Stormont health committee she also sat on the the special committee on suicide prevention. Now we know her solution for people who have suffered as a result of homophobia 'I know a Dr, who can help you change your sexual orientation...'. The person she offered that advise to had just been beaten and left for dead in Carmoney a few days ago.
Sinn Fein seem to think that they are dealing with a New DUP when they are the same as when they first started - an organisation devoted to reaction pure and simple. And it is Sinn Fein that we all have to thank for putting the DUP and that reaction into government.