Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Voters 'will not be fooled by DUP's bluster'

In the run-up to yet another election, the DUP will again trot out their normal pre-election promises only, I'm sure, to fail to deliver on any of them post-May 5.

Last time around, the promises were: the DUP would control Sinn Fein; Ian Paisley would "never share power" with Sinn Fein, and the DUP would instigate an efficiency audit and reform the workings of the Assembly.

Yet within days of the last Assembly election, Ian Paisley crowned his 40 years of bluff and bluster by achieving the only job he ever wanted - Prime Minister - only to find himself shackled to an IRA godfather.

Leaving aside the ultimate failure of Ian Paisley, the so-called political 'success' has been an economic nightmare, an educational shambles and a monumental failure of good government.

Ultimately, the last four years have been a mix of confusion, obstruction and failure.

Ironically, even when the DUP are papering over the cracks they still need to rely on Ulster Unionist Party successes to dress up their own failure. Take free prescriptions - something many DUP MLAs have tried to undermine. Yet in their election broadcast, the DUP trumpet Michael McGimpsey's success, suggesting it was their own.

Northern Ireland is a better place today than it was in 1994, or 1998, but that success ultimately came from the Belfast Agreement and the bravery of unionists who refused to run from the enemy - it didn't come from the Clontibret Cowboy and his mounted yahoos.

TRAFALGAR

Millisle, Co Down

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