Last week the DUP's Peter Robinson did a little electioneering for the SDLP, claiming they had a the 'ability to unnerve' SF. He went further poking fun at SF and its lack of backbone in the assembly claiming:
'Too often Alex Attwood's position one day is Sinn Fein's the next, time and time again the SDLP takes a stance that Sinn Fein lacks the courage to oppose.'
This one must have hurt as not only was the SDLP stance the opposite of the DUP's in regards to the 'Welfare Reforms', SF has come in for big criticism within nationalist circles for not signing the Petition of Concern to kill the bill it such vehemently claimed to oppose. Indeed, many SF posters on this forum seem to be tongue tied on the matter.
Now it's SF's turn to return the serve, Declan Kearney has accused the DUP of dragging it's heals on its murky past, including the role of Ulster Resistance, its ties to the UDA and Brian Nelson's arms issue. This is a point yet to be properly addressed by the DUP and it wont go away. He went on:
'Their contributions sit in stark juxtaposition to the involvement of DUP politicians in Ulster Resistance, its documented role in importing weapons later sold to the UDA, with the support of several British agents, not just Brian Nelson, and, subsequently used in multiple sectarian and political assassinations during the 1980s and 1990s'.
He added the DUP should start doing 'grown up politics'. Kearney outlined how far NI has come and it was impossible for Robinson to become 'a latter day James Craig or Basil Brooke, because the Orange State has gone'. (Or, perhaps that should be diluted, Declan). Robinson's comments seemed to have hit a nerve within SF circles, and the usually calm and collected public face had a few home truths for unionists as he went to say:
'The Orange Order and loyalist bands cannot walk wherever they want; the 11 Plus isn't coming back; minorities do have rights; and nationalists in the north are no longer second class citizens'.
The event was hosted by West Belfast MP Paul Maskey in the Grand Committee Room at W.M. and was also attended by John Alderdice, Conservative Peer, ex-Eton, Bobsledder Robin Dixon and former Under Secretary of State Angela Smith.
BBC News - Sinn Fein: DUP needs to grow up