In the Belfast Telegraph, Duncan Morrow, chief executive of the Community Relations Council, reminds our negotiating politicians of the cost of continuing to do politics separately:
…in a changing world, the idea that only one sort can live in any area is unsustainable. We cannot talk on the one hand about getting rid of private armies and still want to be defended against our neighbours.
Financially, we cannot provide separate public facilities like libraries, swimming pools or recreation centres for Protestants and Catholics.
We cannot build a healthy society on the idea that somebody in the wrong football jersey was ‘asking for it’ when he walked around in the wrong area. We cannot attract investment into an unstable political setting consisting of hostile ‘bantustans’.
We cannot distribute resources properly when some people cannot get houses in areas where they are available because they are ‘the wrong sort’.
Without common commitment to a shared future in which people in Northern Ireland can live, work and play safely together, the peace process has no central purpose.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty