Perhaps the most ironic section of the new deal between the DUP and Sinn Fein to run the British part of Ireland is the following:
25.The parties affirm the need to respect the freedom of all persons in Northern Ireland to choose, affirm, maintain and develop their national and cultural identity
I would imagine that getting to decide about whether abortion is permitted would be an integral part of the cultural identity of most people in the north, Protestant and Catholic, green or orange, unionist or republican.
Rather than put that to the test, Sinn Féin deliberately delayed their inevitable re-entry into the partition executive until abortion had been introduced by default.
So now they are back, as though nothing ever happened. Other than both the DUP and Sinn Féin are terrified of another election after what happened in December.
None of the allegedly key issues they collapsed the executive over in 2017 have been resolved. It will be the same First Minister from the same party that administered the corrupt home heating scam – a deal that was promoted by the SF ministers themselves, when they were not operating their own rackets involving “consultancy groups.” They all wet their beaks, and will do so again.
The Irish language is of course an important issue. How important it is to Mary Lou and Michelle who could not answer a simple question in Irish is another matter. If you are “passionate” about the Irish language, then learn the jaysus thing, as we Dubs might say.
The rest of the document is full of the usual platitudes. Parity of esteem, recognising this, respecting that. People in Che Guevara tee shirts will get to tell nurses about their overtime, and explain how catering to tax-dodging multinationals is what Connolly and Bobby Sands died for.
Apart altogether from that is a cold day fact that the British have once again achieved what has always been their bottom line since we almost beat them in 1921: Get the Irish to rule themselves for us.
At last we have them, as a great man once said….