Over my lifetime we have spent a lot of money in ensuring that Northern Ireland did not, contrary to the wish of the majority of its inhabitants, fall into the hands of what was then the priest ridden backward theocracy to the South. The Republic is slowly but surely moving on, having realised that its priest-gods had feet of clay. Her Majesty’s loyal province of Northern Ireland seems to be stuck in a time warp, as two recent events in particular have proved.
First we had the entirely unedifying spectacle of the majority of the legislature voting in effect to stop Marie Stopes opening up a legal abortion clinic or referral establishment. The Bill was only stopped by Sinn Fein exercising a cross community veto.
The we have had the overwhelming majority of NI MPs putting their noses in where it is none of their business trying to block equal marriage in England and Wales. In Committee, we had Jim Shannon trying to block even recognition by NI authorities of same sex marriages contracted in England and Wales.
These bigots are elected. Why do their electors re-elect them? Or to put it another way why are the NI electors such a bunch of bigots themselves? Maybe the answer is in a statistic quoted by Shannon in the Same Sex Marriage Bill committee: that a much higher proportion of people in NI are regular churchgoers, the statistic being closer to those obtaining in the US than in respectable, civilised, secular Europe. Clearly the NSS has a lot of work to do in the province.
Or maybe we should, now that the Republic is growing up, pass them back their remaining six counties for Dublin to have a go at civilising….
And I don’t know about the rest of you, but if I had the misfortune to live in Northern Ireland I would be minded to vote for the only party which seems, for all its disgusting past, to be seriously committed to social liberalism – Sinn Fein.