Can Entrench Sectarianism [Southern Warning]

James Daly james.irldaly at ntlworld.com
Fri Mar 7 04:11:09 MST 2003


Just when I thought it was safe to read posts from John O'Neill he
sends this emetic about sectarianism. When I looked up his source, the
[British] Economic and Social Research Council, I found: This research
is funded by the Office of the First Minister/Office of the Deputy
First Minister in Northern Ireland.

We know that David Trimble wants to get rid of Sinn Fein [aka power
sharing]. When he received his egregiously undeserved Nobel Peace
Prize [of course they are rubbish anyway] he made a speech against
power sharing, claiming that the state should not be concerned with
"ethnic divisions" but only with "citizens" -- in other words, he
expressed his preference for a return to majority rule, to what a
Prime Minister of the former Government of Northern Ireland called "a
Protestant parliament for a Protestant people". Now there's
sectarianism.

The only real alternative to it would be an Irish parliament for an
Irish people. Unfortunately in the '70s the leadership of the then
Sinn Fein -- strongly influenced by academics like the one John
O'Neill quotes now -- sent out a very, very firm directive to all
PRO's that the words "United Ireland" must not be used -- permitted
words were "a United Ulster" and "a Greater Ulster".

If there is to be a six county [N. I.] unit, power sharing is the only
possible protection for the minority -- which is secular nationalist,
not sectarian like Trimble's unionist party which has a powerful
Orange ["religious order"] bloc ex officio on its ruling Council, or
Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party [democracy = majority rule! -- no,
seriously, its original name was the Protestant Unionist Party], which
is going to be voted for in such numbers that Trimble has been able to
have the coming election postponed The nationalist working-class is
cornered; a Sinn Fein friend of mine led a highly successful strike of
lorry [truck] drivers until the loyalists discovered his affiliation
when he had to disappear and the strike [was] collapsed.

John recently quoted the Irish Republican politician de Valera's
famous statement that "Labour must wait" while the electorate decided
the issue between acceptance and rejection of the Anglo-Irish treaty
of the '20s. [And it did -- Connolly would not have, but he was dead,
and trade union organizer Jim Larkin stayed in the States until the
Civil War over the treaty ended -- when he returned and became the
loyal opposition to the partition government].

I have already pointed out that John's politics means that the
beleaguered ghettoes like Ardoyne must wait -- until the Catholic and
Protestant working classes of the six counties unite hand-in-hand and
tiptoe through the tulips...

James Daly

>
> Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 19:40:16 -0000
> From: "John O'Neill" <johnfergaloneill at eircom.net>
> Subject: Belfast Agreement can entrench sectarianism
>
> Belfast Agreement power-sharing model can entrench sectarianism
>
>
>
>   The agenda at Hillsborough was long: from the existence of
paramilitaries,
> unionist willingness to share power, the British army presence,
devolution
> of justice, human rights, the Irish language everything except the
central
> problem: the fact that Northern Ireland is a deeply divided society.
And the
> peace process may be helping it to become more so, writes Robin
Wilson
>
> In an era marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall, Northern Ireland
has
> accumulated, officially, 37 peace walls separating hostile
communities - up
> from 15 in 1994. And the recent Northern Ireland Office consultation
paper
> on community relations admits: "Northern Ireland remains a deeply
segregated
> society with little indication of progress towards becoming more
tolerant or
> inclusive."
>
> Worse still, evidence from the Life and Times Survey on public
attitudes
> shows a deterioration in intercommunal relations and diminishing
optimism
> about the future.
>
> A "blip" of polarisation after the Belfast Agreement might have been
> dismissed as the shock of the new. But five years, four suspensions
and
> three polarised elections on, at best the agreement has had a
neutral effect
> on communal division, at worst, it has unwittingly exacerbated it.
>
> in full at www.esrc.ac.uk



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