Belfast Telegraph

Talk about hypocrisy, Sinn Fein cosied up to DUP when it suited

By Suzanne Breen

The collective chorus of condemnation directed by Sinn Fein at the Tories for asking for the DUP's help to stay in government has been ear-splitting.

Social media is awash with outrage from the party's politicians and supporters.

Every non-progressive stance that the DUP holds, or has ever held, is paraded with derision.

Its opposition to same-sex marriage and to a woman's right to choose; its attitude to climate change and Sunday trading; its alleged corruption and endorsement by loyalist paramilitaries are all being well-aired.

Hold on a minute, guys.

You were quite content to be in government with the DUP for 10 years at Stormont.

If they were such political pariahs, then why on earth did you do business with them for so long?

And you didn't do it through gritted teeth, you enjoyed it.

First there was the Chuckle Brothers.

Then Martin McGuinness called Peter Robinson his "friend" and spoke glowingly of him.

That's the same Peter Robinson whom you're now posting pictures of in his Ulster Resistance red beret, and lambasting for describing loyalist paramilitaries as "counter-terrorists".

When the DUP opposed equal marriage, Sinn Fein didn't think that was a deal-breaker.

Neither did they pull out of government when the DUP acted to prevent abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and rape.

They were quite happy to cling to office in Stormont for a decade, accepting the status quo along with the big fat pay cheques.

The continued abuse of the petition of concern happened on the Shinners' watch.

Many people have consistently challenged the DUP's record on social issues down through the years.

Sinn Fein's not among them.

That party cosied up to the DUP when it suited.

Let's not allow history to be rewritten. Sinn Fein stayed in government all through the Nama affair.

It brought down the Executive only after internal grassroots opposition over Christmas to the leadership's previously lily-livered response to RHI.

Sinn Fein chairman, Declan Kearney, has retweeted a picture of UDA gunmen and this statement: "The UDA supports DUP. The DUP will keep May in power."

But Sinn Fein kept the DUP in power throughout the whole Charter NI business. When the then First Minister, Arlene Foster, said she had "no regrets" about being pictured alongside UDA boss Dee Stitt, Sinn Fein didn't pull the plug.

Indeed the £80m Social Investment Fund, which the SDLP among others has described as a slush fund for paramilitaries, was supported by Sinn Fein.

New South Down MP Chris Hazzard retweeted the Daily Mirror's 'Coalition of Crackpots' front page.

Can Chris confirm that Sinn Fein is unequivocally ruling out sharing power with the "crackpots" again?

Somehow, I think not.

Sinn Fein's denunciation of the DUP reeks of hypocrisy.

It is all about political posturing - there's not an ounce of principled leadership to it.

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