Jim Allister is attempting to generate something of a furore about a ‘citizenship roadshow’ at Laurelhill Community College in Lisburn, which involved a highly representative panel of no less than five DUP politicians. The Traditional Unionist leader has accused Peter Robinson and his party of ‘taking over’ the school for ‘political propaganda’.
Although I would uphold children’s right not to be subjected to the blethering of more than one DUP spokesman at a time, surely the school itself is ultimately responsible for the composition of the panel? With this in mind, it would be interesting to know who at the school organised the event, why they didn’t invite representatives of other parties, and if the organiser had any prior connection to the DUP?
Certainly an unbalanced line-up of this type does smack of indoctrination when it is chosen to address young minds. And given the subject matter, were the panellists really best placed to lecture children on citizenship? After all, the DUP shows scant regard for the sovereignty of the British parliament and its interest in national politics is frequently confined to blackmail.