Source: Traditional Unionist Voice – Northern Ireland
Commenting on Arlene Foster’s decision to resume joint press conferences with Michelle O’Neill Jim Allister said:
“The short lived furore over the Storey funeral is yet another insight into the powerlessness of Unionism within the constraints of the “peace process”.
“Just as was the case with Stormontgate, the Florida gunrunning scandal, the murder of Denis Donaldson, the Northern Bank robbery, the murder of Robert McCartney, the murder of Kevin McGuigan, the OTR letter scandal, the government report which revealed that the PIRA Army Council not only exists but oversees Sinn Fein and the revelation just last week that the MI5 bugging operation uncovered resentment within the New IRA that they were unable to access the PIRA arsenal of weapons, which clearly haven’t been decommissioned, it seems that the hurt and outrage caused by the blatant disregard for the law at the Storey funeral will be forgotten about.
“A Republican movement which has witnessed the feeble response of Unionism to all the above concluded long ago that while Unionism will huff and puff for a few days they can do whatever they like without fear of serious consequences. They have got the measure of the “graduated response”, the farce of in-out ministers and similar stunts a long time ago. Calls for resignations changed to calls for apologies and now we see a return to business as usual after a mere expression of regret – although what exactly Ms O’Neill regrets isn’t exactly clear. Certainly, there is no regret or apology for attending the funeral in breach of her own rules.
“The simple fact is that Republicans have concluded that having bought into the principle of eternal power sharing with Sinn Fein until such times as the process reaches its conclusion with Irish unification Unionism has no where to go.
“Yes, energy will be expended on whatever the latest insult is. If the public focus on the scandal is such that it cannot be ignored there will be negative headlines for a few days. But ultimately Unionism under the DUP will do nothing. It will merely be a case of sound and fury signifying nothing.
“On the measures announced, I have to say there is an inherent absurdity in the full reopening of pubs while Ballymena etc Is put under renewed restrictions. So, pubs will be fully opened to all, but homes closed to friends in a major part of my constituency! Doesn’t add up for me.”