Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hain is right (for once)

I'm not Peter Hain's biggest fan by a long way, but I applaud him for two things he said yesterday.
 
Firstly he told Martin McGuinness, Sinn Féin's 'chief negotiator', that he did not accept the experience of policing by the nationalist community now is repressive and "it would be an enormous boost to the prospects of doing a deal by November 24 if the Sinn Fein leadership made an unequivocal commitment to support policing". Quite right. Failure to do so is inexcusable.
 
Secondly he said, "At some point unionism needs to recognise that Northern Ireland has been transformed - absolutely, completely transformed - in a process that is deepening all the time" and told Ian Paisley Jnr. that if he was going to wait until the "picture is perfect" he would be a very old man. Also quite right. Unionism needs to grasp that Ulster Protestants are going to be far better off in an environment of inclusiveness and full democracy than under a continuation of the stubborn Unionist hegemony that failed all Irish people for 70 years.

10 Comments:

At 4:36 a.m., Anonymous bill said...

I am still griped that the Ulster Scots (not Scot-ish) are about to disappear as a people because Ian Paisley was allowed to use them for political gain instead of allowing an inclusiveness that maintained some kind of identity as a people with a history. I still maintain that as an Ulster Scot, among other things, that my heritage predates the Scot-ish. I take umbrage at being looked on as the illegitimate offspring of some lowland Scot that happened to pass through Ulster on his way to America to achieve all those wonderful things that the Scotch-Irish are famous for.

 
At 8:26 a.m., Blogger B.U. said...

Bill, the Ulster-Scots (Scotch is just whisky, BTW) are descended from the ancient Cruthin (or Ulaidh), Celts who inhabited Ulster and western Scotland between which party there has been vigorous exchange of population for 2 millennia. (So don't let anyone tell you you're a 17th century blow-in). Until a few centuries ago they were able to speak Gaelic (although their original language was a form of "P" Celtic fairly akin to Welsh, Cornish and Breton). Slán.

 
At 6:33 a.m., Anonymous bill said...

b.u., I have also always corrected folks about the only Scotch being in a bottle but apparently, the use of Scot as opposed to Scotch has become the term of choice more recently than the original exodus to America the Beautiful. The term Scotch-Irish was indeed a term that was applied to our folks and is still used by some of the folks in the U.S. today. One of the problems re; our identity as a people is that the Scot-ish don't remember anything about the 6th century or Dalriada but only the 17th century plantations and are now claiming as Scot-ish all those things that our people accomplished. Bummer!

 
At 1:03 a.m., Anonymous aileen said...

BU

I can't make you out.


""it would be an enormous boost to the prospects of doing a deal by November 24 if the Sinn Fein leadership made an unequivocal commitment to support policing". Quite right. Failure to do so is inexcusable."


and quoting from a previous thread.

"Democracy also means that no party should be forced to coalesce with an other (as Peter Hain is trying to do to the DUP)."

I can't reconcile the two positions.

 
At 2:31 a.m., Anonymous bill said...

aileen; Forgive the intrusion ( as I hope b.u. will ). The difficulty in reconciling the two may be that you are assuming a complete democratic process is already in place. In fact, it is still in the process of being established. Rules that apply to adults cannot necessarily be applied to growing/changing children. Their needs are different. If someone holds up the establishment of a truly democratic society on the basis of hegemony and sectarianism and claims it as their democratic right, then the whole process is held hostage to their whims. They need to join the process or be excluded but the process must continue.

 
At 2:20 p.m., Blogger B.U. said...

Intrusions are always welcome ;-)
Aileen, pretty simple really: I believe SF have no excuse for not supporting policing and law and order, and I make the observation that in a democracy no party should be forced to coalesce with another. That doesn't mean one shouldn't badger them to do so (a democratic right of all) and, in the DUP's case, embarrass them into relinquishing such a position that becomes more untenable each day. But they should not be forced as Peter Hain is trying to do (by threatening to withdraw rights, split Ulster down the middle, etc.).

Anyway, if SF decides to put its "full-bodied" weight behind the forces of law and order in NI, friend Paisley will have no moral right left for refusing to let it engage fully in a Stormont administration.

 
At 7:43 p.m., Anonymous aileen said...

bill

democractic principles are domocratic principles.

John

"if SF decides to put its "full-bodied" weight behind the forces of law and order in NI, friend Paisley will have no moral right left for refusing to let it engage fully in a Stormont administration. "

Yes he would. For the reason that we have just mentioned. Even if SF were angels he would have a moral right not to want to go into governemtn with them. As it is they are far from it and it is imoral to have them in governemnt without them accepting that the IRA terrorism was criminal and imoral, including the murder of Jean Mc Conville. IT would also be imoral to have the UUP in goverment until they break the link with the UVF AND accept that that was an unaccpetable and imoral alliance as oppose to jujst an unbeleviably stupid political mistake.

 
At 10:53 p.m., Blogger B.U. said...

Even if SF were angels he would have a moral right not to want to go into governemnt with them.
A democratic right maybe, in the sense that any party has freedom to act or not to act, but not a moral right because - if SF were angels, or even well down the road to quasiangelic transmutation - it's wrong to prolong English lordship here by refusing to talk constructively with them about a future for all the people of Northern Ireland.
I understand your view, and I hope you understand mine. Let's concentrate on what building blocks we need to get there, i.e. commitment to law and order, recognition of electoral mandates, taking seats on Policing Boards, etc.

 
At 2:26 a.m., Anonymous aileen said...

John

"A democratic right maybe, in the sense that any party has freedom to act or not to act, but not a moral right because "

Exercising democratic rights is standing up for moral rights. As it is undemocratic and therefore imoral to try and force comalitions it is a moral responsibility to establish the right not to.


As I said a fundamental building block is an accpeptance of the immorality of the terrorism. Fudging this is iteslf immoral.

 
At 3:08 a.m., Anonymous bill said...

I think mixing democracy and morality in one basket may not work. Democratic governments are forever trying to bully, force, wheedle, cajole or use any other method they can to get their own way and cling to power especially in a minority government situation. It becomes government by expediency. That may not be all that moral but at this point it's all we've got. Hitler began his career using a democratic system and manipulating it to his own purposes. I would hate to see the same thing happen in Northern Ireland. Remember, the U.K. government is democratically elected to defend the rights of all it's citizens. That mandate is extended to it's appointee in N.I. He is trying to make sure that democracy is not highjacked by any group.

 

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