Courtesy of Newshound, Suzanne Breen, writing in the Newsletter, has a couple of suggestions for possible candidates for witnesses to decommissioning. But, as well as pointing out the need for more than an official ‘blessing’, she raises an important point – “I don’t believe there is this huge reservoir of respect for these men. Indeed, a substantial section of the population – including believers – view them with (at best) suspicion and (at worse) contempt.”
I’d go further. Whatever progress, such as it is, that we have got has only come about by the gradually increasing acceptance that the issues here are political and, as such, can only be resolved through political dialogue – however tardy some may still be in fully grasping that.
The ‘witness’ idea that is being promoted suggests that the two governments haven’t fully understood that themselves.
What, given the conditions in which progress has been made, could be more patronising and regressive than the idea that one Catholic and one Protestant clergyman could act as official representatives of the entire community here?