The role and importance of identity is an increasing issue of discussion across the Western world. The development and impact of globalisation had led many to assume that identity was inexorably fading away. This is not true. The desire to be from somewhere remains inherent in many and played an important role across many recent elections. Simply put, culture and identity matters. It should be respected. One identity should no be elevated above all others.
Respect does not mean simply acceding to everything asked for or demanded by different groups or communities. Instead, it is a dialogue of what is wanted, what is needed and what can be practically delivered to ensure the expression of an identity and its successful communication to the next generation. In this dialogue,an important place must be made for our growing minority ethnic communities to ensure their contribution to our diversity and to integrate into our society.
The commentary and manifestation of disrespect is not exclusive to one identity
or one form of expression. An obvious example is the continuing targeting of Orange Halls for physical attack while political parties attack any public funds going to them.
In the spirit of contributing to a genuine discussion and development of a real respect agenda the DUP would see a number of areas of concern that need to be addressed. The DUP believes these reflect the identity concerns of different cross-sections of those who support Unionism and in some cases beyond it. It does not claim to be exhaustive or prescriptive for all different identities here but to contribute to the discussion and development of a real respect agenda.
These concerns fit within three broad categories: