When the House of Commons voted yesterday to legislate for gay marriage and British-style abortion for Northern Ireland, it proved that anything can happen to the province during a prolonged absence of an Assembly.
Issues that were once described as “devolved matters” are no longer so. I believe that those who governed Northern Ireland so poorly will rue the day, and cannot complain about any imposition of liberal laws by a British Parliament.
C..S. Lewis said: “There are only two kinds of people. Those who say to God: ‘Thy will be done.’ Or those to whom God says: ‘Thy will be done.'” To all who worked at undermining local democracy, Monday’s events in Parliament are the consequence of their actions. It is like God saying: “Ok. Have it your way.”
It is my view that in light of what has happened Unionists should now put more of a distance between themselves and the governing party.
As a Christian minister, I feel that a failure to speak against the legalising of any practice that is contrary to the Gospel, leads people to conclude that they may live as they please without offending their Maker, and that the Cross justifies their reckless notion that anything goes.
If devolution has effectively ceased to exist, you cannot then term something to be a devolved matter without understanding that what you are then also saying is that you do not want to make any decision concerning that. If the Houses of Parliament did not act (to legislate) in this way they would effectively send the signal to the people of Northern Ireland that they did not enjoy the same democracy, the same rights, as those people of the mainland. No true Unionist could support such a situation.
Of course, much of the problems that Northern Ireland suffers from are the direct consequence of the many and varied teachings of the different Churches.
Firstly, neither of those issues have been formally legislated on as yet for N.I. as HM Government has a deadline until October 21 to do so in the absence of an Assembly… let’s be clear about that; the amendments yesterday merely gave Westminster a deadline to bring forward legislation if no Executive is formed in the interim, specific regulations will be drafted later.
Secondly, there was an agreement more or less settled last February between the DUP and SF – and it was frankly the deal of the century for unionism – that would have restored local accountability on these issues, but hardline unionism/loyalism again decided to shoot themselves in the foot by killing it before they even knew the details.
Thirdly, the DUP have still to renegotiate the confidence-and-supply deal with HM Government… if they’re even half the negotiators some give them credit to be, they’ll make sure yesterday’s affront to devolution and democracy is part of those negotiations.
I’ll not hold my breath though… as Plato once said; “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”
Alas, it’s a lesson that Unionism still hasn’t learned in 45 years…
A vacuum will always be filled. These legislations occurred for that reason. It was stupid for the DUP to let Stormont fall
There’s a straightforward explanation for all of this: Westminster taking control of same-sex marriage and abortion laws suits the DUP quite well.
When the findings for the cash for ash are released there will be no chance of a return to stormont. It will soon be clear how incompetent the DUP are how can anyone trust them on Brexit is beyond me
Arlene foster is the problem and the weaklings that stood by her
If they were strong men they would have put her out and DUP would would still be in gov with majority
If Arlene had stood down for a couple months between late 2016-early 2017 whilst an initial preliminary report on RHI was assembled, she could have returned soon after and the Assembly would never have collapsed; but SF and a left-leaning media were out to get her after the overwhelming DUP victory in the Assembly elections that May, whilst the DUP themselves were too proud to do the right thing and be publicly seen to be dancing to SF’s tune in acceding to having Arlene step aside for a few short weeks… it was a zero-sum game being played by all sides, and we’ve all paid the price for it.
If Peter Robinson had still been First Minister, the Assembly would never have imploded, alas…
Yes, SF and the latte-supping intelligentsia were actively taking shots at Arlene, deliberately trying to bring her down… but she actively handed them the ammunition to do so in the first place, let’s be clear about that.
None of that nonsense would have mattered anyway if the deal reached last February had been agreed and everyone went back to work. It was an imperfect solution to a very imperfect situation, but frankly, I’d rather have a 75% victory (which is what that draft agreement last year amounted to for unionism) than a 100% defeat. The ILA agreed in that draft was substantially meaningless, more milk than meat, but the DUP have whipped their followers into such a frenzy over any ILA, they boxed themselves in a corner with a move that came back to bite them on the ass when it mattered.
The hardline unionist grassroots insisted on ideological purity, no surrender, not an inch… again… and subsequently snatched defeat from the jaws of victory… again.