Country in search of an ethos?

David Trimble’s remarks to the Chicago Sun-Times have been seized upon by many nationalists as proof that despite the apparent changes brought on by the Peace Process, little of substance has changed in Unionist thinking.

Not everyone agrees. Eric Waugh in last night’s Belfast Telegraph believes that Trimble is wrong only insofaras he is walking away from an important debate that needs to take place. For example:

“…the state defines itself overwhelmingly in terms of what it is against, not in terms of what it is for. This negativism can lead to the quite devious manoeuverings which can result from the necessity to sieve every possible policy through the sieve of anti-Britishness. Nato cannot be embraced because it would conflict with the national policy of neutrality. But the recent tradition of neutrality sprang from the hostile core’s objection to fighting alongside the British in a World War.”

Mind you, some might say that this negativism is the key problem affecting both sides of northern political life.

Apology: the Belfast Telegraph site has been down for the last couple of days, so I have not been able to provide working links to the relevant stories.