Dagger in a friend's hand

ANOTHER VIEW

Share
Related Topics
The people I represent, more than any others, deserve peace and stability. They are the most wronged, persecuted and vilified people in the civilised world. For a quarter of a century, they have refused to bow to terrorism and many have paid for it with their life's blood. They have been bombed and shot at, bullied and blackmailed, yet even in their darkest hour, they held on to their cherished membership of the British family.

Being British, for them, was no nominal condition. Their citizenship was under attack, but that danger only caused them to cling more tightly to their Britishness. A dagger wielded by the hand of a friend is the cruellest cut of all and they now see, once again, a Tory Prime Minister betraying loyal Ulster.

The process is clear. It is to bring about a United Ireland, incrementally and by stealth. This week's published Framework Document offers no Union- strengthening option. It is entirely a nationalist agenda for bringing about a united Ireland. We are told rejection of this proposal could end the peace process. As if we, who have been the victims of violence, would be responsible for the terrorists starting up again because we refuse to surrender.

Politicians have a duty to talk, but it would be an irresponsible politician who would sit down at a negotiating table if the agenda excluded any outcome that would be satisfactory to those he represents. It would be an even more foolish politician who would sit down at a negotiating table knowing that the other negotiators had previously pledged themselves to a predetermined outcome.

For the Unionist community of Northern Ireland, this document confirms their worst fears - that they are no longer wanted and that their Government no longer has any selfish, strategic or economic interest in them.

I do not point an accusing finger at Gerry Adams, John Hume or John Bruton. They are acting out their republican role. Just as a dog barks and a pig grunts, I expect nothing else from them, but when I hear John Major proclaim that he is a Unionist while taking an axe to the root of the Union, I find it hard to come to terms with such nauseating hypocrisy. Mr Major's framework is for an all-Ireland structure with executive power, which will be a precursor to a united Ireland.

Mr Major knows the principle behind this proposal well - it is based on the European modus operandi. Just as in the EU, two territories are brought together and in a number of practical, functional ways, they are treated as one.

They are told that it is for economic reasons or for better co-operation, but the truth is that it is to bring about a political union. I trust that those in the Tory party who would give their last drop of blood in the fight against European union will show no less vigour in defending the rights of loyal Ulster.

The writer is deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party and the MP for Belfast East

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Accounts Executive

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for the ...

Recruitment Genius: Team Administrator / Secretary - South East

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time Administrator/Secreta...

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: a duchess by any other name is just wrong

Guy Keleny
A teenage girl uses her smartphone in bed.  

Remove smartphones from the hands of under-18s and maybe they will grow up to be less dumb

Janet Street-Porter
Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor