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The UK’s leaders are united, but only in their indifference to what happens within it but outside England


As Politico reports in their daily morning email today:

Following Northern Ireland’s biggest ever public sector strikes on Thursday, Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris issued a statement overnight promising “urgent action” to address the issues they raise.

The U.K. government has offered money to resolve the strikes, but will not pass it on until the Northern Ireland Executive is restored.

The DUP kiboshed the latest attempt to do so this week, putting a legal obligation on Heaton-Harris to call fresh elections. Unions called on him to pay out the money regardless.

I often talk about the importance of democracy when writing this blog. I mention the threats that exist to it. Trump’s name is often associated with that, but so too is the far-right in general.

It is, however, all too easy to ignore the fact that here in the so-called United Kingdom democracy has now been suspended in one of the four constituent countries for more than two years, with significant, and always adverse, consequences for the people of Northern Ireland where this is happening.

The reality is that democratic government in Northern Ireland has ceased because a sectarian, evangelical Christian, opaquely funded, far-right political party has refused to engage in that democracy because it did not come first in an election which it thought by right was its to win. Does that sound familiar?

I have three thoughts and suggestions.

The first is why is no one talking about this? Are we really that indifferent to democracy, Northern Ireland and those who live there? If so, why do we claim the right to rule it?,

Second, why has the government let this continue? Could it be that it is indifferent to this happening, and is more than happy for it to do so because it really does not care about democracy?

Third, what is Labour saying about this? Where is it? I haven’t heard it siding with those on strike to demand that they get the pay they are owed which is being deliberately withheld from them by  a Tory / DUP alliance of indifference? Do they not care, either?

So much for a supposed United Kingdom. It would seem that its leaders are united, but only in their indifference to what happens within it but outside England.




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