Spiked have just published Brendan O’Neill’s observations on the recent unrest. He argues that apportioning blame to one side or the other is a distraction from the collusion from both sides towards mutual cultural emnity and a culture of victimhood.
The recent violence is the product of this divisive and degraded politics of identity. Having created a society based on the idea that there are two irreconcilable communities – whose relations need to be permanently monitored and managed and where each side must always be reminded that they are valued as much as the other lot – the peace process has also nurtured the potential for angst, disgruntlement and even violence if one side feels it is left out of the loop. The politics of identity does not only heighten sectarianism; it also actively encourages individuals to see themselves as potential victims with a grievance that ought to be expressed.