Applying principles

Dissident Republican Anthony McIntyre uses Chomsky to provide a lesson that should not be lost on every side of the conflict in Ulster:

“If we propose some principle that is to be applied to antagonists, then we must agree – in fact, strenuously insist – that the principle apply to us as well.”

McIntyre writes:

“The unionists …are finding it all too easy to steal the moral high ground. It is cumbersome to argue against Trimble who manages to sound eminently reasonable – even if his motives are what republicans allege them to be – when he calls for the post of monitor to go to a person of “unimpeachable integrity” who could give ‘an absolutely independent assessment’.”

He goes on:

“In June of last year Gerry Adams was saying of the British Government that he ‘didn’t know whether to believe them or not.’ It is a fair point but one which is balanced by the presence of a lot of people who don’t believe republicans.

“How then, in a situation of mutual suspicion, is the judgement call to be made sans an outside arbiter? In any event what would a democratic republicanism seeking to empower rather than control people have to fear?”

And he finishes by quoting from the proverbial turbulent priest, Des Wilson:

‘Democrats …never lose anything by telling people too much rather than too little’.”