DUP Manifesto 1997
Democracy - Not Dublin Rule
THE WAY IT IS
Ulster faces a crisis never before encountered in her history. The British and Dublin Governments have agreed a joint plan to force a united Ireland upon the unionists of Ulster. Their strategy is set out in their joint position paper known as the Framework Document. In its Manifesto "New Labour" have endorsed this betrayal paper. That Document has only one end - the annexation of Northern Ireland by Dublin.
HMG and the Dublin Government have made it clear at the Talks that they will not depart from their agreed programme. This Agenda is developed from the Anglo-Irish Agreement, and in particular, the Downing Street Declaration. That Declaration, altered the basis of the principle of consent on the future of Ulster.
Before the Joint Declaration Ulster's future depended on the consent of the people of Northern Ireland alone but the Declaration sets out a new basis for effecting constitutional change in Northern Ireland - the consent of all the people of Ireland.
The British Government and the Official Unionists are prepared to give. The DUP will not surrender one inch to IRA/Sinn Fein or the rest of the pan-nationalist front.
The catastrophic lack of foresight, bad judgement and weakness of the UUP Parliamentary Party has cost Ulster dearly. The present process - complete with Clinton's interference - flows from the UUP folly and failure to oppose the Downing Street Declaration. It will continue to be our task to oppose Dublin rule and the processes that are designed to lead to it. We will use our position at Westminster, as elsewhere, to defend Ulster and retain the Union on terms that enjoy the consent of the people of Northern Ireland.
The DUP, unlike the UUP and SDLP, are not in the pockets of either the Tories or Labour. We speak and act at all times in the interests of the people of Northern Ireland. It is a disgrace that the UUP missed the opportunity that Parliamentary arithmetic provided in order to better Northern Ireland's position. They cannot point to one gain that resulted from their cosy arrangement of propping up the Conservative Government. Claiming changes that were happening anyway will fool no-one.
The Democratic Unionist Party fought for the creation of a Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee and have a better attendance record on it than anyone else in the United Kingdom. The Northern Ireland Grand Committee was also set up after DUP pressure and in the new Parliament we will seek to increase and improve its function and role.
In their Manifesto for the European election the Official Unionists attempted to deceive the people of Northern Ireland by claiming that they had succeeded in having the Order in Council procedure ended and Northern Ireland legislation dealt with by Bills as in the rest of the UK. This lie has been exposed - 88 Northern Ireland Orders in Council have been presented to Parliament since the Official Unionists made this dishonest claim. WE CHALLENGE THE OUP TO APOLOGISE TO THE ULSTER PEOPLE FOR THIS DECEPTION.
The process of destroying illegal weapons in Northern Ireland is based upon the recognition that groups that claim to be committed to peace and democracy do not need an arsenal for murder and destruction. Their sincerity is better demonstrated by a tangible gesture such as decommissioning than by empty rhetoric.
The British Government policy of talking to terrorists, upon which the Talks process was constructed, was sold to the public with the suspect sweetener that the participation of terrorists in negotiations would:-
involve a permanent end to the use of, or support for, paramilitary violence.
The DUP holds to its previous electoral commitment - IRA/Sinn Fein must be made to hand over its illegal weaponry and dismantle its terrorist machine. The terrorists killing machines are still intact. None of the sinews of war has been dismantled. What is needed is the defeat of armed terrorists, not an accommodation made with them. No matter what other Parties do, the DUP will not be sitting in negotiations with Sinn Fein/IRA before the total surrender of illegal weapons has occurred and its terror machine has been dismantled.
The DUP will never negotiate Ulster's future with the murderers of the IRA or their representatives, nor will we be at any Table where the Union is up for negotiation.
The DUP has held firm to the covenant it made with you, the Ulster people. While other unionists have wavered, we have led the battle to prevent IRA/Sinn Fein from coming to the table with their illegal weaponry intact and on the basis of another bogus, temporary, tactical ceasefire.
The DUP stands resolutely by its commitment that Ulster's future cannot be based on the Anglo Irish Agreement, the Downing Street Declaration and the Framework Document sell-outs.
We have worked with the UK Unionist Party, to create a united unionist front in the face of Dublin and SDLP demands. However, our hopes of a concerted and united unionist negotiating position have been consistently undermined by the Official Unionists' preference to negotiate secretly and do deals with the SDLP, Dublin and Her Majesty's Government.
When the DUP proposed that all Parties should put their proposals on the table for open debate the Official Unionists refused. The DUP has nothing to hide. It has faithfully represented the views of traditional unionism. You can trust us to safeguard Ulster's future within the United Kingdom. Not for us any back door deals or secret manoeuvring with the Pan-Nationalist front.
The DUP's view of the phoney ceasefire was proved to be correct. Among the major Parties in Northern Ireland ours was the only voice raised amidst the clamour, indicating extreme caution when reviewing security measures during that time. While the Official Unionists, through their Deputy Leader, were telling the people of Northern Ireland that the IRA ceasefire was genuine the DUP was warning it was a tactical cessation of violence in order to extract concessions.
Throughout that entire period the IRA was constantly updating it's terror machine. They kept their organisation on an alert footing while monitoring the political temperature in order to decide when was the correct time for a resumption of violence. Canary Wharf, Lisburn, Manchester and other atrocities signalled their desire to apply more pressure on the Government. Unfortunately, during this time Her Majesty's Government has produced an abysmal response, hoping against hope that what was going on was a 'phoney war' and applying minimalist measures to deal with the IRA. It is somewhat extraordinary that when the ceasefire was ‘on' but being violated daily, Her Majesty's Government would not countenance talk of a 'phoney peace' and then when there is an announcement that the ceasefire is over, followed by a number of murders, the same Government seems ready to believe talk of a 'phoney war'.
The DUP believes that the IRA is waiting to see what concessions the incoming Government will offer. Their war machine is still intact and events in recent months prove their capacity and willingness to kill are still there. The DUP will demand of the new Government, whether Labour or Conservative, a policy which is proactive in pursuit of terrorists. An emphatic robust and effective strategy must be mounted to demonstrate to all terrorists that DEMOCRACY MUST DEFEAT TYRANNY.
TIME TO TACKLE TERRORISM
For many years the border has been used by the IRA as a bolt-hole from which they operate and to which they return after attacks on security bases and personnel. Sufficient resources and manpower are required to prevent this from developing once again. The Government of the Republic have demonstrated during the BSE crisis that they have the will and resources to prevent ‘mad cows' from entering its jurisdiction from Northern Ireland. It would be a relatively straightforward decision, IF THE WILL WERE EVIDENT, to take similar steps against the ‘mad dogs' of the IRA as they try to murder innocent people in Northern Ireland.
It has long been the contention by Her Majesty's Government that there are only a relatively small number of trained terrorists operating here under the direction of the IRA Army Council, virtually all of whom are known to the security forces but against whom evidence is very difficult to establish. Those individuals are holding the entire community to ransom. They perpetuate fear, they promote hatred and violence as a way of resolving difference and they have demonstrated their utter contempt for all our community's longing for peace. The Government must direct the security forces to ensure that within the law every possible step is taken to monitor the movements of this number of people, thus ensuring that every difficulty imaginable is placed in the way of the operational capabilities of the Provisional IRA.
The IRA's murder machine requires in the region of £7 million per annum to finance. It is imperative that every possible source of funding is examined to plug any loopholes which they are presently exploiting, e.g. money laundering, drugs, ‘legitimate front' businesses, etc. The US Government have been lukewarm in their attempts to thwart Provisional IRA fund-raising and organising in their country.
Her Majesty's Government must radically change its approach to the US authorities, pressing home the obscene nature of the Provo campaign and demanding action be taken against supporters and sympathisers who illegally raise funds and assist those who should be regarded as the UK equivalent of the Oklahoma bombers but have killed thousands more people than were murdered in Oklahoma. The permission granted to Sinn Fein/IRA to open offices and raise funds in the USA must be revoked.
The targets of terrorists are many, but there is no doubt that members of the RUC, RUCR, RIR and the Regular Army have been consistently targeted and often either injured or killed. The new Secretary of State must immediately authorise all security force personnel at risk to receive all assistance available, including the fitting of under-car booby trap detection devices which have proved so effective to those who have had them fitted. All security force bases not presently upgraded to survive mortar attacks need to be reinforced immediately.
Her Majesty's Government, if it has the will, can instruct the security forces, under the Chief Constable and the GOC, to establish proactive units whose task would be to pre-empt terrorist attacks by decisive actions similar to that taken in Loughall, Co Armagh, when eight IRA terrorists who tried to kill policemen and destroy the local RUC station were intercepted and, refusing to surrender, they and their entire local organisation were dealt a blow from which they took years to recover.
A comprehensive strategy which is aimed at defeating, not containing, any renewed full-scale resumption of terrorism needs to be in place as the IRA are ready to recommence hostilities if the concession conveyor belt does not produce enough reward for them.
NO FORUM - NO TALKS
The government has dissolved the Northern Ireland Forum which was the recognised authoritative elected voice of Ulster. Elected members formed the core of each party's negotiating team in the Stormont Talks. The DUP have indicated that it will not participate in fresh Talks unless the government revive the Northern Ireland Forum. You cannot disband democracy on the one hand and demand Talks on the other.
The DUP has pioneered debates in the Northern Ireland Forum, leading off with Education in June 1996. The positive drive by the DUP led on to reports being presented on Agriculture, Education, Health, Parades etc. The SDLP sought the first opportunity to abandon democracy and joined their partners Sinn-Fein in boycott and abstention. This has always been the republican response to democracy - boycott and abstentionism.
No party has a better record in the Forum than the DUP. All DUP members have spoken, more Forum resolutions have been sponsored by the DUP than by any other party, more speeches have been made by DUP members than by the members of any other party. The DUP record is second to none.
Copyright © 1996 Ulster Democratic Unionist Party