Diarmaid Ferriter: Those in Downing Street have no regard for the North or the DUP

Boris Johnson just the latest British poltician to use unionism to advance his own agenda

Those with power in Downing Street  have no regard for Northern Ireland or the DUP.

Those with power in Downing Street have no regard for Northern Ireland or the DUP.

Fred Crawford, the loyalist gunrunner for the Ulster Volunteer Force during the home rule crisis of 1912-13, kept an interesting diary of the disturbed state of Belfast from 1920-22 as the new state of Northern Ireland was baptised in blood.

He was furious about the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December 1921, regarding it as humiliating for a British cabinet to agree terms with “Irish Roman Catholic murderers and assassins”. More than that, if the cabinet had agreed to establish an Irish Free State, he was adamant “they must go one better and establish an Ulster Free State”. A few months later he referred disparagingly to the British prime minister David Lloyd George as “that little Welsh rabbit”.

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