There are few people in politics as disagreeable as Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster. Scowling her way through the very negative launch of her party's election campaign for the Northern Ireland Assembly election she said she would not be supporting the introduction of an Irish Language Act. No surprise there as hostility to Ireland’s indigenous ethnicity including the Gaelic language is deeply entrenched in her brand of political unionism.
Northern Ireland has been described in various ways; a country, province, region, or "part" of the United Kingdom. Created in 1921, when Ireland was partitioned Northern Ireland has no history of being an independent country or of being a nation in its own right. It has never been other than a British colony in the north-east of the island of Ireland.
The election is to be held on 2 March 2017. It follows the resignation of deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in protest over the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scandal. The RHI or as its known Cash for Ash scandal in Northern Ireland was part of a failed renewable energy incentive scheme. It could be set to cost the public purse almost £500 million. The plan was overseen by Arlene Foster when she was Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment and failed to introduce proper cost controls and allowing it to spiral out of control.
Some have described the election as an opportunity to fix the corruption and chaos of Stormont (the seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly). Irish republican political party Sinn Féin, which is dedicated to the reunification of Ireland and an end to British jurisdiction in the north of Ireland, held a candidate announcement event this morning in Belfast. The party's new Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill said: "We are fighting this campaign. We have launched our candidates here this morning on the basis of three key principles - respect, equality for all, and integrity in the political institutions. That's our job of work, that's what we are concerned with."