Language of blood will only raise the risks of extremism
Flirting with provocative rhetoric was a step too far for DUP leader Arlene Foster
It may be possible, with sufficient bending over backwards, to find a charitable interpretation for why DUP leader Arlene Foster, when describing her party's position on Brexit last week, told a BBC reporter that "the red line is blood red"; but right now it's hard to think of one.
There's an unfortunate history of politicians using blood rhetoric to emphasise a point, not least Enoch Powell's "rivers of blood" speech warning against the dangers of immigration, and 1916 leader Padraig Pearse's insane conviction that "blood is a cleansing and sanctifying thing, and the nation that regards it as the final horror has lost its manhood".
That last one was at least a hundred years ago. Arlene Foster decided to dabble this week in the same rhetoric in the full knowledge of where such absurdities can lead. Suffice to say that it's a turn of phrase more beloved of extremists than democrats. She'll be talking about the sanctity of the "soil" next.