DUP’s deal with the Conservatives

 

Sir, – It may be useful to look at the DUP-Tory deal in a historical context. In about 1920, just before partition, about 70 per cent of the industrial production of the island of Ireland came from the greater Belfast area, north Down, north Armagh and south Antrim. This in itself, and the fact that most of this production went to the British market, was a powerful justification for partition, even though most of the benefits from this productivity went largely to one side of the community. Since then, and particularly in the last 50 years, with the demise of heavy industry in the North and development in the South, these positions have been reversed, with the same area in the North now only producing about 15 per cent of the island’s output. These figures, I believe, demonstrate the utter failure of partition as an economic model. However, one of the main tenets of unionism was, and still is, that the North, or more accurately the northeast, is inherently more efficient and prosperous than the rest of the island. As economic activity and GDP figures no longer support this argument, it is imperative for unionism to preserve and perpetuate this myth by ensuring the continuing flow of large amounts of cash from London to Belfast, which per annum came to about £6,000 per man, woman and child, even before the latest deal. In these circumstances, why would unionists want to review their position? – Yours, etc,

KEVIN CLEARY,

Dublin 6W.