Many unionists in North Down will have been appalled at the increasingly overt attempts by the local MP, Lady Sylvia Hermon, to subvert the will of the British people in relation to Brexit. Lady Hermon, like many remain MPs, cloaked these attempts in palatable language, however there is no doubt that the member for North Down’s real objective, in line with that of Sinn Fein, is to revoke Article 50.
On Wednesday Lady Hermon brought forward a disgracefully anti-unionist motion in the House of Commons, which sought to protect the utterly failed political project which has acquired a label that is the epitome of moral blackmail- the ‘peace process’.
The ‘peace process’ inextricably links peace to the political project, namely the Belfast Agreement, which is given effect by the Northern Ireland Act 1998. The purpose of this is clear, it is designed to send the message that peace is dependent upon acquiescence to the political project. This effectively ensures that any moral outrage or reprehensible act of appeasement can simply be justified and placed above criticism by filing it away under the heading- ‘to protect the peace process’.
This great moral blackmail, of course, has another more sinister method of extracting concessions. If peace is dependent upon the political project, then this hands a veto to those that would threaten violence. Therefore all that has been required for the republican movement to extract political concession after concession, has been for them to remind everyone that we don’t want to go back and advise that a failure to accede to their latest demand threatens the ‘peace process’. Quite who would take us back is unclear.
Supporters of the agreement assert that peace is dependent upon the political project, as a result this blackmails a great many people into supporting something that they know is morally and politically wrong, for what they reluctantly conclude is the greater good. And therein lies the great deceit at the heart of the ‘peace process’.
In her comments yesterday Lady Hermon, in a most despicable attempt to manipulate the unionist community, justified the need, in her opinion, to protect the Belfast Agreement by stating that a failure to do so may encourage dissident republicans.
Stop for just a moment and assess just how absurd that is. We must support a political project, because if we do not then republican terrorists may grow angry. Such a morally reprehensible argument has seldom been advanced within the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Lady Hermon further appeared to support the heinous proposal that had been put forward on Monday, namely for an economic United Ireland that would move the border to the Irish Sea, thus cutting Northern Ireland adrift from the rest of the United Kingdom. It is hard to recall a more overt attempt to wedge Northern Ireland out of the United Kingdom and chastise the British people of Northern Ireland along the rocky road to Dublin. The DUP, quite correctly, vetoed this ludicrous proposal.
There will be many people within North Down now looking to the only realistic replacement for Lady Hermon, Alex Easton MLA, to provide a voice for those within North Down that support the union, that support Northern Ireland’s place within the United Kingdom and as such respect the democratic will of the British people that voted to leave the European Union.
Mr Easton was the only candidate within sight of Lady Hermon during the last election, therefore many people in North Down will want to hear from the man that will undoubtedly be the DUP candidate for the next Westminster election.
Many Unionists in North Down will, quite correctly, have had serious misgivings about the DUP. Many will have been deeply uncomfortable at the concessions previously awarded to Sinn Fein and indeed the implementation of the Belfast Agreement. However, it has been clear that the DUP have put the brakes on and adopted a much harder line. This must be welcomed and supported, with a watchful eye kept on the party to ensure that there is no backsliding to the period of roll-over unionism.
In North Down Alex Easton provides the best opportunity for the unionist people to reclaim the seat for principled unionism. There is no unionist that could seriously have supported Monday’s proposal, as Lady Hermon appears to have done, and there are very few unionists that could in all conscience fail to see that the Belfast Agreement is a failed political project and as such the Northern Ireland Act 1998 should be repealed and replaced with a durable and robust system of Government based upon the will of the majority.
It is of course interesting that almost all of those arguing for Northern Ireland to be battered out of the United Kingdom, and handcuffed to the Republic of Ireland, support the Belfast Agreement. Their argument for Northern Ireland having special status is the rather irrelevant point that a majority of the region voted to remain. However, when it comes to Northern Ireland’s governance they demand a minority veto in the form of mandatory coalition and deny the majority their right to select their government, as in any normal civilised democracy. They can’t have their cake and eat it.
The vote to leave the European Union was a UK wide referendum. If we were to follow the special status argument to its logical conclusion then we would chop the United Kingdom up into towns and cities that voted leave or remain. The outcome of that would be preposterous. We would have, for example, North Down in the Customs Union and Single Market, and east Belfast outside of it. That idea is politically illiterate, naive and utterly ridiculous, isn’t it? It makes you therefore wonder why so many are continuing to advance such a baseless argument.
Of course, Irish nationalism and the progressive left have always wanted to demolish the strength and independence of the United Kingdom . They cherish weakness and despise strength. They cheer on the unelected political super state of the European Union and side with them against their own Parliament.
June 23 2016 was Britain’s Independence Day and it falls to the British people to ensure that those elected to serve, respect the will of the people.