Carlton green wrote: pwa wrote:
Carlton green wrote: Irish memories are very long and there is no doubt in my mind that the whole lot could ‘kick-off’ again. There are some particular cultural and deep rooted beliefs in Ireland that need to be treated with large amounts of caution.
That is the point, we need more than anything for the past to be left behind. Sinn Fein have made great strides towards doing that, but all sides need to keep focused on that and forget the old habit of looking backwards. Part of the problem is lack of trust but in building up trust you have to take risks.
I would suggest to you that observation of Irish history, culture and deep rooted beliefs indicates that your proposition is flawed. Trust is something to be earned and I would not agree that part of that process involves taking risks; for many what happens in NI is literally a life and death issue and gambling with people’s lives isn’t a good idea.
It’s easy for us on the ‘mainland’ to talk about what should happen in NI but I’d suggest that our mindset isn’t well suited to that task, the Irish have more useful perspectives on what would be acceptable (or not) to their fellow countrymen. Mr Murphy’s comments above seem sound to me. (Perhaps, but I would feel less antipathy towards Sinn Fein if it helped identify, and bring to justice, those involved in, for example, the Birmingham pub bombings
But think about it. The Peace Process only happened at all because the likes of Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley took a risk and decided to take tentative steps towards each other. The talk at the time was all about a protracted process of reducing suspicions between the communities and building trust. That was in the 1990s and since then, by and large, Sinn Fein have been as good as their word. The great disease of Northern Ireland is the influence of the past, the constant celebration of old battles between the communities and the narrative of division. Things have improved in recent decades but the problem still exists. The past lays a heavy hand on the present. The way forward must involve an effort to put the past to bed and search for common goals and values that can bring people together. Embracing Sinn Fein in their current form is part of that.
I am a half Irish (by descent) English person who considers himself (if anything) British, but I have no view on the ultimate fate of Northern Ireland, other than that I want the place to be at peace with itself and I want it to go in directions that both communities can feel comfortable with. At the moment that is difficult, but as the Peace Process recognised, time is the great healer and we should be open to whatever tomorrow's Northern Ireland wants for itself.
(Can someone remind me what this thread was about? I think we may have gone off track.)