Labour and the call for a general election from The Times

Sir, In the midst of all the knee-jerk excoriation and mockery of the DUP, I was glad to see John Brehcist (letter, Oct 24) reminding us of the horrors they and the unionist community lived through courageously. They are required to share power with Sinn Fein, which is led by people who loudly extol the terrorists who murdered and mutilated many of their family and friends, still have their strategy secretly dictated by unelected IRA veterans, use the law at every turn to try to eradicate the symbols of Britishness, and have cynically in the past five years rebranded themselves as pro-EU progressives to win support from the ignorant and those with short memories.

They are also right to think British governments unreliable allies who have serially appeased the violent. The betrayal of the centre ground was reportedly justified by Tony Blair, regarded as a visionary peacemaker, to the SDLP’s Seamus Mallon in these terms: “The trouble with you fellows, Seamus, is that you have no guns.” More recently, it is true that in the interests of the United Kingdom as a whole this prime minister has broken his word on customs arrangements. However, he is genuinely a unionist and I think the DUP should accept a clever deal that gives Northern Ireland extraordinary opportunities to become a self-reliant and prosperous place. This is about as good as it gets.

Dr Ruth Dudley Edwards

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