What’s actually being done on Community Relations

Newt Emerson, believes simply turning on revenues for improving community relations in Northern Ireland is encouraging a lot of displacement activity that whilst it may wear the right livery is not actually encouraging anyone to take the courageous steps necessary to tackle sectarian division head on.

  • Nestor Makhno

    Fair point, Newton, but-

    Traditionally, ‘community relations’ was considered to be a lily-livered politically correct term associated in most people’s minds with ineffectual middle class prevaricating.

    Now that public bodies have a statutory obligation to think about community relations (or ‘good relations’) the term has become subsumed into ‘strategy and policy’ speak and made even more ridiculous and irrelevant.

    But behind the nonsense is a sensible, practical idea – what do you do in a society where sectarianism and division is such a part of the normal way of thinking than most people are not even aware of it (in themselves or others)? The reaction of individuals (and organisations) is to be slightly embarrassed when the subject comes up and then to make a joke about it. (Thus we end up with crap policies and ineffectual programmes like Community Relations Week.)

    Perhaps the wider modernising changes in society will eventually make sectarianism irrelevant. Perhaps. More likely, it will transform itself into closed minded racism against foreign workers. Protestants and Catholics together against the Romanians?

    So it’s a bit mean to laugh at the Community Relations Council. At least they’re doing something. When are the rest of us going to get off our fat arses?

  • fair_deal

    “At least they’re doing something.”

    Yes they are spending lots of government money and failing as the CRC approach can be summed up as “ineffectual middle class prevaricating”

  • barnshee

    Face the truth -many in the two communities now heartily despise/hate each other more than ever.

    All the middle class bleating won`t change that -a few generations might but with another two generaions of prods alienated (raising a third) I would not bet on it.