The DUP and a changing political landscape

Breaking the deadlock

Sir, – Pat O’Brien’s characterisation of the DUP’s concern to protect Northern Ireland’s position in the UK as “bluster”(Letters, March 24th) is unlikely to change the minds and hearts of unionists. Nor is the sneer at the phrase “our precious Union”, for that matter.

Unionists are called that for a reason, so whether or not you agree with them nobody can reasonably expect them to do anything else other than defend the political position which they hold dear.

Similarly, the idea that the 22 Conservative MPs who voted with the DUP against the Windsor Framework in the House of Commons are “on the loonier wing” of the party is not particularly helpful, especially since one imagines that the 48 other Tories who abstained or were excused from voting might also share some doubts.

Yes, there was an overwhelming majority in support of the framework, but that does not mean that the minority should be showered with contempt. It also seems reasonable to ask how many Conservatives who backed the framework did so not out of unequivocal support for its well-intentioned compromises, but in a show of party unity and an effort to break a deadlock that nobody much likes.


Those with whom we disagree are not necessarily loonies. – Yours, etc,



Sir, – DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson declares that the Windsor Framework, which is about to become international law, “will not bring stability” to Northern Ireland (News, March 23rd).

Perhaps not. But there are a relatively small number of people who could help to bring stability, and could begin by walking into a well-proportioned and comfortable-looking building outside Belfast. – Yours, etc,



Co Cavan.