That was the year that was

In the Belfast Telegraph, Eamonn McCann points out that 2005 was the year when scepticism about the 1998 Agreement went mainstream, and identifies its fundamental flaw as “The Agreement was always certain to consolidate sectarianism in that it established a system based on striking a balance between the wishes and interests of “the two communities.” This ensured that the battle within each community concerned which party could be counted on to vindicate and advance its interests vis-a-vis the interests of the other side.” And he argues, with some justification, that the assessing of major issues in terms of “how does such and such an attitude help or hinder in the Sisyphusian task of getting the institutions up and running again?” is hindering political progress.