The SKWAWKBOX has reported the evident emboldening of loyalist hardliners in Northern Ireland since the potential – and now confirmed – deal between the Tories and the DUP was first mentioned as a possibility after the General Election.
Belfast residents report a big increase in the number of taunting unionist flags, banners and posters put up in Catholic/nationalist communities since the deal was mooted, with some even being set up on private property owned by Catholics.
It’s an ugly development – and getting worse.
Every year, hard-line protestants build bonfires in preparation for the anniversary of the ‘Battle of the Boyne’ on 12 July – bonfires of a scale and structure that are mind-boggling to anyone used to a typical English ‘Guy Fawkes night’ bonfire. Here’s one from last year before its lighting and during the blaze:
But many are not only huge but openly racist or carrying hate-messages:
The above structure, festooned with images of Sinn Fein politicians to be burnt is bad enough, but some are even more shocking:
If the writing is not clear on the above image, zoom in. KAI stands for ‘Kill all Irish’ and KAT for ‘Kill all Taigs’ (Catholics) – and “we’re not racist we just don’t like n****s” speaks for itself.
There are many, many decent people on both sides in Northern Ireland and around half of protestants do not vote for the DUP. But those who do include many who would build and celebrate these bonfires and the messages they carry.
And our ‘government’ is empowering them.
For this and many other reasons, it’s essential that any Tory backbenchers with any moral sense take a stand for what’s right on Wednesday and Thursday as the debates and votes on the Queen’s Speech and Labour’s amendments take place. Defeat for the Speech – or even the approval of a single opposition amendment – is enough to bring down the Tory government before the damage of its deal with the DUP solidifies and worsens.
The whole UK needs it, not just Northern Ireland.
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