‘Waiting for peace in Derry’
Sir, – The opinion article “Waiting desperately for peace to flower again in Derry”, July 18th) portrays a city full of moderate people trapped in a culture of extreme political views from which they cannot escape.
The reality is a little different. In the 2017 Assembly election, in the Foyle constituency, more people voted for the more extreme parties of Sinn Féin and the DUP than all other parties combined.
Although the SDLP did well, it received fewer votes than Sinn Féin. Other moderate parties in terms of the nationalist/unionist divide, such as the Alliance Party and People before Profit, polled badly. The Ulster Unionist Party didn’t field a candidate in the Foyle constituency, presumably knowing that unionists would vote DUP. The number of votes for the SDLP and Alliance parties in Foyle in 2017 actually decreased compared to the 2015 election, whereas the more extreme parties increased their votes in the same period, Sinn Féin by 8.2 per cent and the DUP by 3.7 per cent.
If we accept the premise that moderate people vote for moderate parties, and that people with extreme views vote for the more extreme parties, then the city of Derry is a place where most people have extreme views and where, sadly, peace is unlikely to flower again for a long time. – Yours, etc,