Dear Mrs Foster,

Your recently comments on the BBC re the border and the sun shining out of the a… of unnamed politicians has led me to write this open letter, which I am posting in my FLIPBOARD MAGAZINE #Silent Witness To The Truth.

” Nobody understands negotiations probable better than I”

It is quite obvious that you indeed understand negotiations being unable to re – establish a government in Northern Ireland.

“Some people are taking their moment in the sun, to try to get the maximum in relation to the negotiations – and I understand that but you shouldn’t play about with Northern Ireland particularly at a time when we’re trying to bring about devolved government again.

“But they certainly shouldn’t be using Northern Ireland to get the maximum deal for their citizens.”

“Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar “should know better” than to “play around” with Northern Ireland over Brexit” “His government is being reckless with Northern Ireland over Brexit.”

The hypocrisy of these comments beggars belief.  But I suppose they are understandable coming from the leader of a Party that has historical links to loyalist paramilitaries.

For my readers:

The DUP was founded in 1971 by Ian Paisley and is a hard-line faction of the UUP, Ulster Unionist Party. 

The UUP evolved from the Ulster Unionist Council, which was founded in 1905 to resist the inclusion of the historical province of Ulster in an independent Ireland.

The DUP views the Republic as an existential threat to Northern Ireland’s place in the UK, staunchly supports union with Britain.

Citing the territorial claims in the Irish constitution, which the party viewed as illegal and a threat to the security and religious freedom of Protestants in Northern Ireland, the DUP traditionally avoided all contact with the Irish government.

In the early 21st century, however, the party moderated its stance on a number of issues, most notably its longtime opposition to Sinn Féin’s participation in any power-sharing institution.

Arlene Foster, Its current leader vehemently opposed the Good Friday Agreement. The IRA attempted to kill her father (A reservist police officer in the Royal Ulster Constabulary) by shooting him outside their family home. They also set off a bomb on her school bus ten-year later.

Her “cash-for-ash” scandal, the cost of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme she set up in 2012 spiraled out of control and saddled taxpayers with a multi-million pound bill., caused the demise of the present NI devolved Government.

In October 2016, Mrs Foster was photographed alongside with Charter NI’s chief executive, Dee Stitt, who is also a leading member of the Ulster Defence Association.

Then there is your understand about the origins of the border.

For my readers:

It was the Government of Ireland Act (1920) that first divided the island into two separate jurisdictions, each with its own government and parliament.Arlene Foster

This act of partition was envisaged as an internal United Kingdom matter and as a temporary answer to the thorny question of contested sovereignty across the island.

It was a solution that made sense in light of two overarching principles of contemporary democracy: nation-statehood and majoritarianism.

The border was intended to create straightforward majorities on either side that reflected broadly different national sentiments.

The island’s complex history as a site of contests for power and control – some of which battles had wide European resonances – was thus dramatically over-simplified and reduced into the division of the Irish border.

In 1922, after two years of civil war, the unionist-dominated government of Northern Ireland exercised its right not to be included in the Irish Free State, and the border officially became an international frontier.

The colonial high-handedness with which the border was carved is reflected in its route, which cuts through single farm holdings and shows little respect for the natural terrain of the landscape.

The 1998 Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement, on which Northern Ireland’s peace process rests, approaches the Irish border not merely as a dividing line between the jurisdiction of the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom but as the embodiment of historical difference between British and Irish nationalisms.

It assumes that the primary political, social and cultural identities within Northern Ireland centre on conflicting interpretations of the border’s legitimacy and, what is more, that they have conveniently settled into a stable binary divide:

British/Protestant/unionist and Irish/Catholic/nationalist.

The strongest manifestation of this is a commitment by both governments to facilitate Irish reunification if it is the will of a majority in both jurisdictions, expressed via a referendum.

That said, all such activity will be in response to the new delineation of the UK’s borders with the European Union.

The precise nature and purpose of those borders (including the Irish border) will, of course, be determined by the outcome of negotiations that look set to take place with no direct input from Northern Ireland or the Irish border region.

Why then is the Ulster man adamant against any thought of making common cause with Dublin?

What lies behind the motto that expresses so aptly the sentiment in the North, Not an Inch”?

For it must be remembered from the outset – all anti-partitionist propaganda to the contrary notwithstanding – that the union with Great Britain is preserved not by a British garrison hut by the declared will of the Northern Ireland people, expressed through their elected Parliament – and that will is paramount.

You might say that it is the most childish of evasions, the most ignoble of pretenses, to place the responsibility for partition on England and to ignore the many and fundamental differences which more than adequately explain the political division of Ireland.

To a great extent this is true.

Ireland as a whole has suffered and struggled for peace for centuries and I as a Irish man living in France strongly object to Mrs Foster and any others who do not aspire to its unity by peaceful agreement.

For this reason, the price of a hard border is too high on both sides.

The border between Northern Ireland and Eire exists because of the ideological gull’ which divides the two Peoples . Although Ulster and Ireland cannot unite, they can be good neighbors – on this condition, that each recognizes the right of the other to shape its destiny in its own way without interference.

That is true democracy; it is also sound statesmanship.


All human comments appreciated. All like clicks chucked in the bin.