Unionists ditch Paisley realism
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In spite of the advantages of the Windsor Framework - a reiteration of the Protocol which eliminates red-tape on goods - 64% of unionists apparently now back DUP’s Stormont no-show.
As unionism tilts at windmills and singularly fails to seize on the opportunities of the WF, the contrast between the pragmatism of Paisley and his latter day heirs could not be more apparent.
In 1996, during a debate on BSE, he unflinchingly told MPs: “The secret of the difference between us and the rest of the UK is simple— we do not have a land border; we have water around us.
"We can safeguard ourselves. Everyone knows that we have always had the best possible animal health standards because we are ringed by water.”
In 2001, at the height of foot-and-mouth, he told MLAs: “It is certainly gratifying that we do not have this disease to the same extent as they do in the rest of the UK.
"Does the Minister agree that, given the serious announcements and fresh outbreaks in various parts of the UK, we need to be even more careful in guarding our ports as the summer months approach?
"As we have been able to stop the disease from getting a grip on NI, it would be terrible if, given the summer traffic, there were to be any let-up in the very successful way that the ports have been guarded.”
Paisley was, for all his faults, a realist and a leader who led.