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Fundamentalism, discrimination and bigotry - the DUP run riot again

Edwin Poots, Minister for Health in the Northern administration, has attracted almost universal condemnation for a series of attacks on women and the LGBT community. 

These included: 

  • New rules that force women to carry a non-viable foetus to term. 
  • A ban on gay people donating blood. 
  • Exclusion of gay couples from adoption lists. 
  • He has also been criticized for spending public money on a series of appeals against judgments that ruled his actions illegal and that the courts ruled without merit. 
Much of this is what might be expected from a far-right populist politician. What is unusual, and characteristic of the North of Ireland, is the absence of any retreat and the impossibility of any sanction against Poots and the DUP for criminal disregard of human rights. 

There is no scurrying to re-write legislation. The abortion issue is kicked into the long grass. Poots shrugs off the blood issue, saying that the British can sort it out. The adoption rules stay, but agencies are told by gay rights groups that they must ignore them. Poots is cheered to the echo in the DUP for defending Christian fundamentalism from the human rights brigade. The peace settlement leaves the Health ministry at the gift of the DUP without any restriction. 

The mythology of the Irish peace process is that we are on a journey towards a democratic future. Nowhere does that myth touch reality.


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