Why real reason for Martin McGuinness' resignation is that Arlene has been running rings round him
Republican’s letter didn’t mention it, but DUP leader is simply too smart for Sinn Fein, says Nelson McCausland
In his rambling resignation letter on Monday, Martin McGuinness identified the key issues that led him to resign. As regards the DUP, his litany of grievances included equality, respect, a negativity towards nationalism and the Irish language. As regards Westminster, it was Brexit and the legacy of the past.
Yes, he also mentioned the Renewable Heat Initiative, but his resignation won’t resolve that — and neither will an election. The two things that are required are an independent investigation to find out what went wrong, along with a plan to cut the cost and prevent an overspend.
Arlene Foster and Simon Hamilton have been working on both these things and an election will only delay both the investigation and the necessary remedial legislation. So, clearly this is not the real issue for Sinn Fein.
What, then, is the resignation of Martin McGuinness really about? That brings us back to his litany of grievances, starting with equality.
In November 2014, Gerry Adams told a public meeting in Arlene Foster’s Fermanagh constituency that “equality” was just a Trojan horse, a weapon “to actually break these b******s and what’s going to break them is equality. That’s the Trojan horse of the entire republican strategy”.
Martin McGuinness did not elaborate in his letter, but I think we already understand the Sinn Fein strategy of weaponising equality.
The resignation letter also talked about respect, but who are Sinn Fein to lecture anybody about respect?
On the day before the letter was sent, Adams was in Limerick, glorifying the infamous IRA terrorist Sean South, whose sectarianism was only matched by his anti-Semitism.
He even refers to respect for women. So, was it not the IRA that blew up the school bus that was taking Arlene Foster and other girls to school in Enniskillen?
As regards his charge that the DUP was “negative towards nationalism”, I can only plead guilty. Of course, I have a negative view of an ideology which I reject.
McGuinness also referred to the Irish language and in an interview he specified the decision of a DUP minister to end a Sinn Fein-initiated scheme to fund Irish language visits to Donegal.
He said the decision was “disgraceful” and Adams told an audience in the Felons’ Club that it was “an ignorant decision taken by an ignoramus”.
Sinn Fein have also been talking about their demand for an Irish Language Act and their vision of an Irish language academy in the Sinn Fein heartland of west Belfast.
So, which graduates of the Long Kesh Jailtacht will have been lined up to run that?
Then, there was his charge that the DUP and Westminster were colluding in regard to the legacy of the past.
Sinn Fein want to rewrite the past, demonise the Army and the RUC and sanitise IRA terrorists, to which Arlene Foster has said a resolute “No”. However, the underlying issue here for Sinn Fein is that the DUP have stood firm against their incessant and unreasonable demands.
Martin McGuinness is clearly in poor health and that may also have been a major factor in his resignation.
Perhaps, Sinn Fein see an election as the best way of managing the transfer from McGuinness to whoever they select as his successor.
They are also being stung by external nationalist criticism. The commentator Brian Feeney has criticised the performance of Sinn Fein members on the Policing Board. He said they had been “asleep at the wheel” and that their “silence” was a “disgrace”.
During the last Assembly mandate, the same commentator said that the DUP had “run rings round” Sinn Fein at Stormont. That must sting Sinn Fein members, so is this their answer to their critics?
Martin McGuinness spoke about arrogance, but in the face of a frenzied onslaught, what I have seen from Arlene Foster and the DUP has been steady resolve.
The truth is that Sinn Fein don’t like her as the leader of the largest unionist party and the leader of unionism, because she is too strong and too smart for them.
That’s what the Sinn Fein letter really says.