“With Doherty going on to decree that The Good Friday Agreement is only an accommodation – not a settlement, and part of a process towards Irish unification, this is a direct challenge to the DUP … “And,
“It is clear from Doherty that for Sinn Fein the Belfast Agreement, like St Andrews and Hillsborough, is a mere staging post to be used and exploited to roll out Irish unity by stealth”Well, apart from the ‘stealth’ bit he is quite right, of course. Sinn Féin and the SDLP (as well as non-party nationalists) do see the current arrangements as transient, and transitional. Of course – otherwise they would hardly be nationalists at all.
The strange thing is that Allister only seems to have woken up to this reality recently. What did he think from 1998 to 2007 – that all Irish nationalists had meekly bowed their heads and agreed to remain in the UK for the rest of all eternity? And, if he did think this, then why did he bother with politics during the past decade – if he thought that the constitutional position of Northern Ireland had been ‘settled’, then what further need was there for unionist parties? Why did he set up the TUV? If he thought that the constitutional position of Northern Ireland had been ‘settled’, and yet he was still agitating for the exclusion of nationalists from any positions of power, at a time when he apparently thought that they had ‘acquiesced’ to this ‘settlement’, then he was truly a nastier and more bigoted person than many thought. He thought nationalists had surrendered their constitutional ambitions, but he wanted them excluded from power nonetheless!
Now that he appears to have realised that behind all the talk about being nationalists, nationalists really are nationalists, poor Allister is going to come up with a whole new political strategy – instead of just trying to exclude nationalists because of their previous errors, he is going to have to think of a way of countering their current and future plans!
No wonder nationalists have so often seen Allister and his TUV as unwitting allies – because he was fighting a completely different (and totally off-target) battle, while nationalists were fighting for national unity and self-determination.
Allister was just trying to kick nationalists while they were down, but in his rage he failed to notice that they weren’t actually down, they were up and working away on achieving their political goals.
So Allister’s inadvertent assistance was not because he was completely stupid – it was because he was stupid and blind. But now that he has seen through Sinn Féin’s ‘stealth’ campaign, presumably he will refocus his strategy.