Conservatives are a threat to Ulster peace…
Gordon Brown says in The Guardian this morning that the election of a Conservative government would endanger the peace process in Northern Ireland. Meanwhile, on Next Left Sundar Katwala exposes the contradictions that Cameron’s ‘selfish and strategic’ alliance with unionism will cause.
I agree with Brown. Surely one of the prerequisites for being an honest broker in a situation like Northern Ireland is to not be seen as being too close to either side and certainly not forging a ‘strategic’ alliance with one side? How can nationalists and supporters of both the SDLP and Sinn Féin have any confidence in David Cameron as an honest broker?
The answer is surely they cannot. Electorally the cynicism of Conservative pact with the Ulster Unionists beggars belief; we all know the reasoning is down to the mountain that Cameron has to climb to win an overall majority in the Commons. It is a clear example of putting the acquisition of power before the wider interests of the British people.
Furthermore, if current polling is correct and the Conservatives fail to win an overall majority then the Cameron dependency on unionism will increase thus further increasing the alienation of the nationalist community in Northern Ireland from Westminster government. Trust built-up under Labour will be frittered away and all sorts of terrifying things become possible.
Already Sinn Féin is under pressure to bring it’s coalition government with the DUP down over the failure to reach agreement over the always contentious issues surrounding policing and justice. Of course, the Conservative right couldn’t care less about this; not intrested in the Ulster Peace Process they would be happy to see its end, crushing nationalism and specifically Sinn Féin is a matter of pig-ignorant national pride. Tim Montgomerie lauds the ‘common sense’ of Benedict Brogan for saying;
“It seems a stretch to lambast Mr Cameron for doing his job as a unionist politician, which should be to find political ways to ensure Sinn Fein doesn’t end up the winner as the result of the failure of Unionism in Northern Ireland to get its electoral act together.”
Brown is right; so, having seen the Conservatives drive a wrecking-ball through bi-partisansihip I think there is nothing wrong with Labour pointing out that a Conservative vote risks re-igniting a conflict it was hoped was over.