Book Reviews
& Book Forum

Search / Archive
Back to 10/96





ireland, irish, ulster, belfast, northern ireland, british, loyalist, nationalist, republican, unionist

The North of Ireland has a different outlook than anywhere across Europe


The two Goliaths – Sinn Féin and the DUP – are involved in a game of political chess that is dominating the landscape of politics here

While there are commonalities across this island of ours I can't but feel that the North of Ireland is somewhat different from anywhere else in Europe.

How so you may ask? Well at the moment we are witnessing a game of political chess being played out on TV and radio and in the papers.

This game has Sinn Féin on one side and the DUP on the other. It is a shame that these two Goliaths are dominating the political landscape at the expense of the likes of the SDLP, UUP and Alliance Party.

Over the years the centre ground parties struggled against bigoted and fascist tendencies, often in the face of threatened or real violence.

The two Goliaths in the form of SF and the DUP were frequently to be seen and heard behaving like spoilt children. I want, we won't, you better and the stamping of feet could be heard for miles around.

While all of this was happening people died and suffered for no valid reason.

The old game of stubbornness has given way to one-upmanship. Worse still it is the landlords of the NIO who are pandering to the immature and childlike politics of the two largest parties.

Rightly so, some of you may say. I say that this is wrong and in the end we will all be losers.

The DUP got the Victims Commissioner and Sinn Féin got the On-The-Runs.

The DUP have destroyed the very essence of the Parades Commission and Sinn Féin got the case over Stormont-Gate dropped. Some commentators have claimed this was done to protect an alleged informer within the IRA or Sinn Féin.

This is clear evidence that a game is being played out by the two parties with the collaboration of the NIO. God only knows what the make up of the new Policing Board will look like.

For a large section of the population the question is why should the On-The-Runs be treated any differently from any other criminal?

If I wanted to be cynical about this I could call them cowards and rather than referring to them as On-The-Runs, I could refer to them as 'we ran away', brave or what?

The physical conflict is over and at some point we as a society have to deal with it emotionally. However, justice should be for all and should not be selective.

Why then could an offender of a so-called non-political crime (what a joke), having committed a crime prior to 1998, not ask for the same privilege? Why not have amnesties for criminals?

The answer is simple, that doesn't fit in with the big picture of appeasing Sinn Féin and the DUP. Every time one gets annoyed, the landlords come up with an idea for the other.

We are truly unique in this troubled land and troubled it will remain as long as such shenanigans occur.

The two parties should be seen for what they really are, power hungry and selfish in their pursuits of overall control of the lives and destinies of the people of the north and in the case of Sinn Féin, of Ireland.

Over the years I have often heard that the more someone complains then the more that person will get. This is clearly the case for the two parties.

The DUP have spent the past 30 years whining about anything that they cannot control or influence. The attitudes of some of their representatives should have landed them in court long ago, but then that again doesn't fit into the bigger picture.

It is not healthy for society to have two diametrically opposed parties effectively running or at the present blocking the administration of the north, by local people.

Okay, so the other parties will be there, if they all ever get their acts together, however, the evidence is there that rather than being respected for what benefits that they can bring to us, the other parties will play second fiddle.

The way forward should look like this. All public appointments, which they are not at present, should be tendered out to a recruitment agency and all criminals should do their time.

Any negotiations about our future should be round table and include all of the political parties and the game of political chess for two, which is occurring at present, should be turned into a debating society for all.

The charade of political checks and balances is getting us nowhere. Now is the time for inclusive dialogue and inclusive processes.

It is only when we achieve this will the North of Ireland and this island truly enjoy real and transparent politics and bring with it a real sense of purpose for all of the people.

December 26, 2005

This article appeared first on the Irelandclick.com web site on December 16, 2005.