Is equality still a problem for DUP?

FROM Councillor Johnny McGibbon

I read with interest the headline of last week’s article in the ‘Mail’ regarding DUP Cllr Alan Carson’s comments about the Muslim community. I am disappointed that the ‘Mail’ decided the story was an accusation of political point scoring and not the real issue; derogatory comments about the Muslim Community.

I welcome the fact that Cllr Carson has apologised, but I remain concerned that comments of this nature reveal a mind-set which still remains beneath the surface within unionism. In the absence of any real political programme or vision, ‘gaffes’ like this re-emerge, as unionist politicians retreat to old and long kept positions.

If we consider Craigavon we can see the manifestation. The UUP and DUP are both now competing for the title of most unionist. Motions relating to parades, military covenants and flying flags for the British Armed forces are by-products of unionist inter-party competition. Couple these issues with the fact that unionists still carve up the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor exclusively amongst themselves, and we can rightfully put the question; are unionist politicians capable of equality?

It seems they are in Stormont but not in Craigavon. There are no circumstances where ‘well, maybe not for some’ is acceptable. Equality means everyone. Is this still a problem for the DUP?