Charter debate: four questions from Cork

The following is a condensed summary of some of the main points from Saturday’s seminar in Cork. It contains four questions that I thought might useful to address in the comments. It would be useful if you could structure your contributions around them.

There

  • Alan

    I think we are tripping over charters and bills. Surely the Charter issue should not begin until there is a clear view of the Bill in the North.

    As for a laconic, open textured, generality, that is the way to hand this back to the lawyers. We need something that can be understood and supported by people in the street.

    To get that, we need to talk about issues that ordinary people understand, such as housing, health and the right to be consulted in work. Yet all these are the so called economic and social rights that too many of our parties distain.

  • smcgiff

    ‘And what’s blocking it?’

    Apathy?

  • Yank in Ulster

    Reality check: The current issue is unionist dissatisfaction with a perceived nationalist-bias of a human rights agenda (while nationalists have derided the NI Human Rights Commission). How does discussion on a bilateral treaty improve this situation?

    Alliance is one of the 3 parties that has replied to several NIHRC consultations, including the latest on Progressing a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s a crucial point Yank. There’s a second one. That is failure to engage any, outside Sinn Fein, political interest in the Republic.

    Thus Reidy’s argument that the process is the thing – ie that it should be spun out as long as possible in order to culture a popular debate on the subject.

  • smcgiff

    ‘That’s a crucial point Yank. There’s a second one. That is failure to engage any, outside Sinn Fein, political interest in the Republic.’

    With the notable exception of posters on Slugger, many from the ROI would need to get beyond the Nationalist and Unionist dimension to get excited about it. So, getting unionist’s engaged is not the only concern (for once! ;o) ).

  • Mick Fealty

    Here’s a response from a colleague who’s involved in politics in the Republic:

    “Reasons Why Political Parties Aren’t Engaged:

    – not an issue as far as voters are concerned;

    – it’s a technical matter with slightly different sets of rights competing for jurisdiction – try explaining it in a 30 second soundbite;

    – too many airey academics;

    – too many fee-seeking lawyers;

    – too many crusading NGOs;

    – and what about responsibilities?”

  • peteb

    Mick

    “Reasons Why Political Parties Aren’t Engaged:
    – not an issue as far as voters are concerned;
    – it’s a technical matter with slightly different sets of rights competing for jurisdiction – try explaining it in a 30 second soundbite;
    – too many airey academics;
    – too many fee-seeking lawyers;
    – too many crusading NGOs;
    – and what about responsibilities?”

    Another argument in support of John Lloyd’s thesis.

  • Mick Fealty

    Not everyone’s read the book Pete. Can you explain?

  • peteb

    I was looking for a link where John Lloyd summarised, but no luck – So, leaving aside the reasons Lloyd gives for the current failure of the media “functioning as an inquiring check on the excesses of the political class”, he is calling for (if necessary a ‘new’) journalism dedicated to the pursuit and clear explanation of the facts rather than the ubiquitous “shallow interrogation”.

    Given the ‘Reasons’ listed above for the lack of political engagement, that ‘clear explanation of the facts’ by the media is long overdue on this issue.

  • Mick Fealty

    Email response:

    “…it all looks very professional but to the man on the street it is like waving at clouds, it provides nothing tangible nothing to enhance their lives nothing they can relate to”.

    Arthur