After reading an article in relation to the PUP by Charlie Freel, on the Long Kesh Inside Out website, I felt compelled to respond.
I must place on record from the outset that I agree with much of what Charlie says, however I think it could be directed in a different manner. I do not intend to stray into my views or vision of the PUP, because that is not my place as I am not a member of the party. I simply wish to highlight the positive work of Julie Anne Johnston.
I have in the past published articles calling for the principles of ‘For God And Ulster’ to be adhered to and it is a matter of record that I oppose gay marriage and the dilution of biblical principles. I believe in Protestantism and am extremely uncomfortable with left wing politics or socialism. My views on that are well known and I do not intend to rehash them. That is not what this response is about.
I believe that Julie Anne Johnston has been a breath of fresh air for working class loyalist communities- her political views differ from mine on a massive scale- however her genuine belief in doing what is right for her community and her desire to stand by people who need support is unquestionable.
I am writing this blog not to defend Julie Anne’s politics or the politics of socialism- which I oppose- but instead to defend Julie Anne as a person.
She is genuine, caring and by all accounts an extremely effective constituency worker. She has time for everyone and on a personal level she was straight out offering public support to me and in contact to see if she could help with the contrived political case against me.
Julie Anne has never sought to aggressively push her political or social views down anyone’s throat and she is a rare breed on the left wing of politics- she preaches tolerance and she shows tolerance of others viewpoints, even if she is opposed to them. She practices what she preaches.
I will continue to articulate my political views and vision of loyalism, which are different than Julie Anne’s, but I will support her right to continue to promote her views & visions. I think to personally attack her is grossly unfair and I think that someone who is working as hard as Julie Anne is for the loyalist community deserves nothing but praise and support.