The 100th anniversary of the sectarian state in Northern Ireland was marked by the announcement that Edwin Poots and Jeffrey Donaldson are bidding to lead the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). They are both right wing bigots well suited to the job.
And the ousting of the previous leader is informative. Arlene Foster did not go after overseeing a corruption scandal that involved paying businesses to burn fuel.
Nor for presiding over a party enthusiastically whipping up sectarian tensions. Nor for propping up the Tories when they needed it. Nor for supping with leaders of Loyalist paramilitaries.
Technically she was forced to resign after not voting in favour of conversion therapy for LGBT+ people. Abstaining on bigotry was enough to lose the support of her party.
Now there will be a vote by bigots between a man who thinks the earth is 6,000 years old and another who started his career as an aide to racist Enoch Powell. It’s not one socialists will rush to take sides in.
While it’s tempting to focus on the dinosaur-denying element of the DUP, the pull to the right doesn’t just come from outlandish buffoons—it is dangerous.
It is no coincidence that an organisation founded on religious bigotry moves even further right on social issues while pouring fuel on real fires of sectarianism.
After a century Northern Ireland is still stuck with the dangerous bigotry Britain created.