| 2.7°C Belfast

Slogans fail to hide reality of the DUP's failures

There's an old saying: 'pen and ink refuses nothing'. In the fantasy world currently inhabited by the DUP, this is more than true.

The latest epistle, 'the New Deal - made in Ulster', has such a fairy tale quality about it, it should really be entered in a Richard and Judy fiction award.

Statements such as 'Resourced to tackle crime' are laughable. More than half the money claimed is being paid out to former members of the RUC, so not much tackling crime there. And where is the full-time Reserve in all this?

'No Sinn Fein control of policing and justice' has been rubbished by the likes of Peter Smyth QC, who has written to the Secretary of Sate, concerned that the new proposals will allow political interference in policing. So for all the DUP claims, those without a political axe to grind disagree.

And as for parades - how often is the DUP going to re-sell this nonsense? The DUP has singularly failed over the last five years to make even a dent on the republican-biased parades policies.

This is now at least the third review of parading and in this review the DUP appears to have rolled over and accepted the rights of residents to define who can and cannot walk in the newly ceded nationalist/republican areas.

Finally, we are to believe that we're going to get 'better government'. At least this is an admission that what has gone before has been terrible.

Apparently, the Assembly will be focusing on education and employment. The question we all want to roar is: what have you been doing until now? For this latest leaflet to be believable, or mean anything, it should start with an abject apology: "On behalf of the DUP, we would like to apologise for being so utterly useless and ineffective over the last three years. We accept that we haven't delivered anything near good government and we accept that public cynicism and disdain is totally the correct response of you the electorate."

If this were the case, then - and only then - should Peter Robinson and the DUP dare to tell us how they propose to get it right.


Ballynahinch, Co Down