Feeney attacks CRC over preconditions for a ‘shared future’

Brian Feeney has slammed Community Relations Council chief, Duncan Morrow, following an article by the latter (which was the subject of a thread here.) While Feeney clearly has little time for the CRC, for reasons he articulates, he takes particular issue with a “revealing” paragraph by Morrow which also raised some eyebrows on the initial thread here on Slugger a week ago:
“For nationalists, a shared future means committing to full engagement in a state with which they have never felt comfortable and some have dedicated their lives to replacing. For unionists, the hard part of sharing will be making political arrangements with previously violent enemies who have deeply traumatised friends and relations and coming to terms with the Irish dimension to the six counties.”

  • neill armstrong

    Poor old brian feeney,once again bleating about problems but never really trying to come up with solutions then again if the problems were sorted he would be no longer needed by the media and then how he would he spout about his victim mentality.

  • Nevin

    …. and they don’t want a Feeney about the place …

  • Albert

    I’m no fan of Feeney but he is dead right about the fact that the CRC do norhing other than provide window-dressing for the government.

    I attended an event this week at which Duncan Morrow was guest speaker. Not knowing much about the work of the CRC and never having met Morrow, I went along with an open mind.
    I then listened dumbstruck as Morrow delivered the most patronising, twee and insulting sermon to my working-class community in the hall.

    Having cleared just been parachuted in from Planet Cherryvalley, the gist of Duncan’s message was that we should all stop being Silly Billys and learn to be nice to our neighbours from ‘the other side’.

    I was really embarrassed for Morrow because within the room was a range of church and community activists who had worked long and hard all summer to keep the lid on tensions at the local interface. The efforts of these unpaid volunteers were reciprocated, I might add, by their counterparts on ‘the other side’ to borrow Duncan’s parlane.

    To then compound the situation Morrow could provide no details of practical work or projects undertaken by the CRC in our area.

    Real , hard work done on the ground?

    Evidently this was alien territory (in more ways than one) for Dunc and his ilk living in their middle-class ivory towers.

    Who funds the CRC and what do they get for their money?
    Maybe they do do some good work somewhere but Morrow was an appalling ambassador for the CRC at this event.

  • Rory

    The central problem facing unionism is its inherent sectarianism, which no unionist politician has ever confronted because it’s the basis of their political creed. Brian Feeney

    That more or less hits the nail on the head and connects with Albert’s account of Morrow’s complete failure to engage with working class people. Sectarianism was essential to, was the bedrock of Unionism not merely to suppress the Nationalist community, but more importantly to create a false conciousness in the Unionist working class to prevent any natural economic alliance between them and their fellow workers on the Nationalist side. We have seen this again and again as the Orange card was played at every sign of workers’ militancy against economic repression.

    To men of Morrow’s class it is only but natural to maintain this essential division and any attempts by both sections of the working class divide uniting to solve common problems must make him very nervous indeed.

  • John East Belfast

    Brian Feeney is going backwards with every spiteful article he writes.

    He is a nationalist political dinosaur with nothing of future value to say and simply wants to drag up every injustice – real and imagined – so that each and every northern unionist can get down on bended knee and beg his forgiveness.

    I really dont see why the Irish News gives a column for such a view point which was clearly better placed in equally prehistoric and now thankfully extinct Daily Ireland.

    I could repute every paragraph but they are all well run arguments.

    The gist of what Morrow was saying, I assume, was that Nationalists were being asked to support a state they had traditionally opposed the very existence of and unionists were being asked to run the state now with the very people they had to date been defending the state against.

    The latters campaign was one of orchestrated violence against its economic fabric and anyone who served the forces of law and order – whether it be the judiciary, police or civilians who worked for them.

    That the entire nationalist community faced the same onslaught from the unionists is a a laughable notion and could only be articulated by someone as bitter and spiteful as Feeney.

    The overwhelming majority of the onslaught on nationalists was from the loyalist paramilitary community who nobody is asking nationalists to share power with at all.

    I think Feeney has totally lost the plot.

  • George

    John East Belfast,
    When will they be putting up the memorial to remember the Belfast pogroms where a quarter of your city’s Catholic population were forced from their homes?

    It would seem like the type of thing a mature state would do.

  • austin

    John,
    I note your use of the ‘nationalist’ community as your description of choice in every reference you make to the non-unionist community.

    This is in stark contrast to your convenient distinction between loyalists and unionists in a pitiful attempt to distance your community from the brutal sectarian campaign that emanated from that community and is indeed still manifesting itself in acts such as the brutal murder of Michael McIlveen.

    Wise up!!!

  • dub

    this loyalist/unionist division of labour really wo works wonders! and as for the british themselves… wow they are not even in the picture..

    maybe we “nationalists” should starr referring to the pan – british alliance… believe me john when it is put in those terms then the overall effect of last 80 years on the catholic community has been intense…

  • Reader

    dub: maybe we “nationalists” should starr referring to the pan – british alliance…
    Or nationalists and unionists could work together and refer to the ‘pan-terrorist’ alliance. After all, the terrorist groups mostly left each other alone and concentrated on bombing and shooting people who never wanted anything to do with their shite.
    dub: believe me john when it is put in those terms…
    Additional perspectives do shed a bit of light on matters, don’t they? (is that a mixed metaphor?)

  • austin

    I see that Morrow has replied to Feeney’s criticsm in a letter in today’s Irish News.I note that Morrow lenghty and meandering missive entirely fails to explain why his original article referred only to violence inflicted on unionists by nationalists and not vice versa as well.

    One-nil to Feeney on that one.

    It’s been a bad week for Morrow given the account of his inept and patronising performance at a Talk earlier this week.

  • pith

    Another attempt by Brian Feeney to outstare his own belly-button.

  • heck

    Feeney is dead on.

    I think this attitude from the unionist/loyalist community he describes is the reason for the failure of the GFA. Nationalists saw it as final recognition of their aspirations and identity and republicans saw it as a way to work non violently toward their goals.

    The unionist community expected nationalists to finally behave as “good wee prods” and accept their place as queen’s subjects. Unionists still believe that “it was a good wee Ulster” until them’uns acted up.

    To the Brits the GFA was simply Honest Tony finally getting the stupid micks to stop fighting.

    This difference in interpretation of what the GFA meant was, IMO, the underlying reason for its collapse-not some republican James Bond in Stormont.

    In my opinion the only way to give recognition to the identities and aspirations of both communities in through full joint authority.

    As for the cheap attacks from people like John East Belfast on Brian Feeney all I can say is that most of the time Feeney articulates my views better that I could. Keep up the good work Brian!!

  • parcifal

    apart from the lack of refereeing here on this thread I came up with a blinder last night that dovetials into this whole discussion:
    What is more important behaviour or attitudes?
    seems to me that behaviour can be modified, mistakes can be learnt from, thus supporting my idea that the journey for republicanism is one of caterpillar to Butterfly.
    That journey is not yet complete.
    However on the opposing side, one can say “where is the change in attitude?”. There isn’t: Paisley the head , has had the same appalling attitudes for 50 years,
    What Feeney does is highlight this sectarianism and make his point.
    Now what Unionist readers are objecting to is Feeney’s delivery, ie. his resentful attitude causes them concerns,
    And I agree that Feeney needs to make his points better,
    because he is not communicating the message that unionists need to confront their sectarian attitudes.
    If he’s simply writing for a nationalist audience, its equally hopeless, because we already know.
    It takes a super-human to face down Paisley, and get him to focus on his setarian attitudes, not republican behaviours. No-one has ever succeeded here. Amazing !

  • parcifal

    oh and just to add
    behaviours can change ie decomissioning ,
    no-one thought this would happen.
    Changing attitudes is so much harder !!!
    You’ve got to really want to change, and there is no evidence of this in the DUP.

  • John East Belfast

    “the Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights which stood by as the British army and RUC violated human rights on a daily basis,”

    what kind of serious and balanced commentator would think let alone write something like that.
    That piece of hysterical nonsense says it all about Feeney

    George

    “When will they be putting up the memorial to remember the Belfast pogroms where a quarter of your city’s Catholic population were forced from their homes?”

    For the record when i was saying goodbye as an 8 year old, in 1971, to my two Catholic best friends, who were leaving East Belfast, I was that weekend loading up my grandfathers furniture from the family home on the Springfield Road as he was coming in the opposite direction.

    austin

    “I note your use of the ‘nationalist’ community as your description of choice in every reference you make to the non-unionist community.”

    I was only reflecting Feeney’s stance – nowhere does he talk about republicanism and constitutional nationalism.

    I am more than happy to draw the distinction but Feeney didnt – once again that says it all.

    ie he totally ignores when condemning the entire British and Unionist apparatus the fact that one of the most deadly and ruthless terrorist organisations of the 20th Century was waging an onslaught – not even on his radar.

    heck

    “As for the cheap attacks from people like John East Belfast on Brian Feeney..”

    nothing cheap about it – I read his article and got even angrier than the last one I read – he is going backwards.

    The PIRA campaign was proactive and aggressive – it wasnt a reaction – and if it was about civil rights it should have ended at least 25 years before it did.

    Morrow is probably aiming his speech at Republicans and Unionists – they are the biggest part of each community.
    The former were at war in their minds and the latter were resisting.

    The nationalist community are not being asked to share power with anyone who was waging war against them as the PUP and UDP are not given a mandate by the unionists.
    The daily human rights abuses by the State are a figment of Feeney’s blinkered imagination

    SF are therefore the distinction is appropriate.

  • IJP

    Again, it’s important to play the ball not the man here.

    The full article degenerates towards the end, but I think Feeney is on to something here – deliberately or otherwise.

    The point (probably not the one he’s trying to make, as he’s really having a go at the CRC for being “unionist”) is perhaps this:
    a) the vast majority of people in NI are of one “side” or other, even if they don’t perceive themselves to be; and
    b) partly as a result of this division, we have a sectarian poison in our society that won’t be solved by nice guys talking to each other.

    The CRC can do much good work, but frankly until we end social segregation and politics based on sectarianism, they’ll be fighting a losing battle with people waiting to catch them out at every turn. And none of that is healthy.

  • [i]”That the entire nationalist community faced the same onslaught from the unionists is a a laughable notion and could only be articulated by someone as bitter and spiteful as Feeney.”[/i]

    As usual, JEB ignores the reality, i.e. that the loyalist paramilitaries with the active support of the British security forces and the blessing of the unionist political parties ran a terrorist campaign against the nationalist community he likes to blame. I guess JEB wishes the Irish/Catholic/nationalist community had just allowed the murder campaign to run on as long as the death squads found targets.

    FACT: in it’s “terror campaign” (as JEB lijkes to call it) the PIRA killed some 516 civilians, 30% of all those killed by the PIRA.

    FACT: In its campaign, the loyalist paramilitaries killed 873 civilians, more than 85% of those killed by the loyalist thugs. Of those 873, 715 were murdered because they were Catholic or the thugs though they were Catholic.

    So, it’s obvious that JEB is seriously distorting the facts in his commentary — which, of course, makes most of the rest of his opinions questionable, if not outright false.

  • dan

    ‘The PIRA campaign was proactive and aggressive – it wasnt a reaction – and if it was about civil rights it should have ended at least 25 years before it did. ‘

    JEB-Does this mean that you view the loyalist’s campaign as reactive?

  • Anna Dale

    Every week it’s the same old Feeney…

    “Ever since the north failed as a political entity in 1972, the British administration which took over”

    Northern Ireland still exists as in 1972 a part of the United Kingdom, that’s the kind of “failure” I can live with it.

    “So we had the Fair Employment Act, the Fair Employment Agency which made no difference to discrimination”

    So, is discrimination today exactly as it was prior to the various FEAs and FEA? If not,what has caused the improvement? Can’t have been the Unionists, as Brian informs us on a weekly basis they are to a man and woman sectarian to the core.

    “Then of course the CRC wasn’t meant to DO anything about improving community relations. Like SACHR and the FEA and the other quangos, its function is just to BE there so that the British can point to it and claim they’re doing something.”

    Outside NI and certain circles within both the ROI and Irish America, no one for the last 20 years has given a toss what the “British” (I think he actually means the “British Government” here) did here, does he seriously believe that the UK government keeps such organisations running for PR purposes? If he had said they were a way to keep professional do-gooders and busy-bodies out of our collective hair, then he’d have been closer to the truth.

    “So there you have it. Apparently, in this mindset, violence was all one way. Unionists, despite being traumatised, will have to make political arrangements with “previously violent enemies”.
    All nationalists have to do is engage fully in the state. Dead easy. Obviously none of their friends or relations were victims of violence from unionist sources, paramilitary or official, or a combination of both. “

    No, in my opinion Morrow was highlighting the most important factor which is presently influencing Unionist and nationalist behaviour. It suits Feeney to constantly claim that Unionist reluctance to deal with SF is solely based on sectarian reasons; the fact that the particular party in question is the political wing of a terrorist organisation which waged war against their country and their community in NI for almost three decades is conveniently swept under the carpet. They have a right to feel traumatised at being expected to make deals with people who up to recently were trying to murder their kith and kin.

    “Unionist politicians have all clean hands.”
    Where exactly did Morrow say that?

    “Unlike the horrible nationalists who carried out all the violence.”
    Where exactly did Morrow say that?

    “The sentence should read: “For unionists, the hard part of sharing will be treating nationalists as equals with as much right to run the affairs of this place as unionists and accepting that unionists no longer own the north.” “

    Classic Feeneyism. Complains about sectarian stereotyping of nationalists and then employs exactly the same lazy prejudice in describing all Unionists.

    “Yet we’re supposed to believe that the sectarian bigots who dominate councils are suddenly going to treat nationalists as equals in a partnership administration at Stormont with more at stake than emptying the bins and burying the dead”

    “Dominate councils”?
    All councils in NI are dominated by Unionist bigots?
    According to Brian, yes and those exact same “bigots” will now be keeping the “croppies down” up at Stormont just like they’ve always done.
    Two inconvenient facts: whatever they might think of their nationalist counterparts, if the DUP ever enter an administration again, it will be under the terms of the Belfast Agreement; if nationalists had felt that the terms of this agreement did not give them safeguards from future discrimination, then the majority wouldn’t have signed it. They didn’t sign an agreement which said that the average redneck in Ahoghill must no longer hate RCs/SF/the Irish.

    Second fact conveniently ignored by SF lapdogs such as Feeney, no one is forcing nationalists back up to Stormont. If they don’t trust the Unionists, then come up with an alternative plan and see which one the electorate prefers. It’s called democracy.

    “The NIO has been compelled to deal with discrimination and policing.”

    Who/what “compelled” them?

    Bob McGowan
    “So, it’s obvious that JEB is seriously distorting the facts in his commentary—which, of course, makes most of the rest of his opinions questionable, if not outright false.”

    An opinion is only an opinion it can’t be “wrong” or “false”.
    Propaganda delivered as a “fact” can be “questionable” or “false”.

    From reading previous of your commnets on here, your opinion seems to be that the various attrocities carried out by the IRA were of little significance, not a terror campaign.
    You however provide no evidence ( I presume haven’t spoken to the relatives of victims from La Mon, Enniskillen, Warrington etc?) to support your claim.

  • pith

    True it is difficult to deal with Feeney’s weekly spite-fest without appearing to play the man – see what I mean? A problem with his anger-blurred type of writing is that fails to provoke thought, only reaction. He’s very Daily Mail that way.

  • Little Eva

    Feeney is a well-spoken, educated, besuited bigot. He is bitter against the CRC and Morrow in particular because he applied for the job of CRC chair and was beaten to it by the same D Morrow.
    Understand the above facts about him and it puts his writing in perspective. Why the Irish News puts up with him is beyond me. Notice how he puts on the mister nice guy act when on the BBC because he knows he wouldn’t get away with his usual hate-filled bile.

  • Red Paul

    Morrow is Chief Executive of the CRC. Eammon McCartan is chair.

  • black and white

    As another poster has already said the fact remains that Morrow has entirely failed to explain why his original article referred only to violence inflicted on unionists by nationalists and not vice versa as well.

    It not only betrays Morrow’s own mindset but confirms a complete absence of compassion for the nationalist victims of unionist violence since 1966 to date.

    How can nationalists have confidence in Morrow after this?

  • heck

    come on webmaster surely this playing of the ball(Brian Feeney) is unacceptable.

    I agree with Feeney more often that not and I object to this hate filled bile against him.

    The same level of hate is directed against Danny Morrison when he is linked.

    These sort of comments would be unnacceptable if directed against Lindy McDowell who is as pro unionist as Feeney is pro nationalist

  • robbie

    well said Heck-Why has Mick not intervened?

    I have yet to see anyone on this thread (or indeed Duncan Morrow in his letter of response) deal with the specific issue in question-why did Morrow’s original statement mention only the violence inflicted against the unionist community by nationalist without acknowledging the violence visited upon nationalists by unionist paramilitaries?
    Moreover how can the CX of the Community Relations Council continue in the role having made a clear distinction in favour of the unionist community?

  • Mike

    Anna Dale

    Prior to 1972, we had the rates based voting system and gerrymandering (both in favour of Unionism). So, if the British govt hadn’t taken direct control of NI, do you think that Unionists were about to start playing fair with Catholics? Since they hadn’t done so for 50 years, I don’t see why.

    I don’t like Sinn Fein and often disagree with Brian Feeney. However, I totally agree with his interpretation of Morrow’s remarks.

    The obvious implication of his remarks is that Unionists are the only people who have suffered from violence and now they are being asked to deal with the representatives of these terrorists – a view that you obviously share.

    I hate to upset your little dream world but hundreds of innocent Catholics have been killed and there are many loyalist politicians who have been associated with loyalist terrorists. This pretence by the DUP that none of their members have ever dealt with the UDA, UVF, LVF (McCrea anyone?) is sickening.

    If we are going to move on, everyone will have to forgive. However, if people like Morrow and yourself are going to pretend that only 1 community suffered and has to forgive, I don’t see much chance of NI progressing.

  • Reader

    Mike: Prior to 1972, we had the rates based voting system and gerrymandering
    Electoral reform act was 1968, not 1972.

  • barnshee

    catholic community spends oh say 100 years+ murdering prods in the name of Irish unity in NI
    Government cannot or (will not) protect its citizens prods retaliate in kind how dare they!! don`t they know the rules? only catholic ireland`s violence is legitimate

  • Billy

    Barnshee

    NO VIOLENCE IS LEGITIMATE.

    However, since you are obviously an apologist for “loyalist” violence, I guess that doesn’t matter to you.

  • kensei

    “NO VIOLENCE IS LEGITIMATE.”

    This one of those things people say that simply isn’t true. If it was true, then the Irish and American Wars of Independence and WW2 wouldn’t be legitimate. Even on a day to day level you can justify violence if you someone was threatening you.

    The world just doesn’t fit into neat little boxes like that.

    Barnshee’s still ta;lking balls, obviously.

  • Billy

    Kensei

    Of course, you are correct about some violence being legitimate (Self-Defence etc).

    I was referring to pre-meditated violence against innocent people based purely on their colour or creed etc.

    As you have clearly ascertained, I was attacking Barnshee’s sickening attempt to justify the violence against Catholics as purely a reaction to violence against Protestants.

    Many innocent Catholics were killed purely because the scum who murdered them were rabidly anti-Catholic. They required no additional motivation.

  • Anna Dale

    Mike

    “Prior to 1972, we had the rates based voting system and gerrymandering (both in favour of Unionism). So, if the British govt hadn’t taken direct control of NI, do you think that Unionists were about to start playing fair with Catholics? Since they hadn’t done so for 50 years, I don’t see why.”

    Read my and Feeney’s comment again re discrimination.

    He’s saying that the various boards and acts passed by the UK govt were simply window dressing. If that’s the case (and bearing in mind that both he and apparently you regard the entire Unionist community as irredeemable sectarian bigots) what caused the discrimination situation to improve?

    You reckon the British govt, Feeney reckons…well, he gives no reason. Lazy,sloppy journalism from a man who is capable of so much more than just appealing to the lowest common denominator of his readers.

  • Billy

    Anna Dale

    At no point did I label the entire Unionist community as “irredeemable sectarian b-i-g-o-t-s”.

    What I did point out (historical fact) that there was a rates based voting system that clearly favoured Protestants as it was designed to – there was also clear gerrymandering in Derry to ensure a Unionist dominated council in a city with a large Catholic majority.

    I do not believe and have never believed that most Unionists/Protestants are b-i-g-o-t-s.

    The FACT remains that, in his comments, Morrow says that the challenge facing Unionists is to forgive Nationalists for the terrorism of the last 30 years.

    He makes absolutely NO mention of the terrorism inflicted on the Catholic community.

    I do believe that this is a Freudian slip and shows his underlying attitude. Even if it were simply “a slip of the tongue” – it is a bad error of judgement for someone in his position.

    What is laughable is the number of Unionists on this site who attack Brian Feeney for being “b-i-g-o-t-t-e-d” but don’t think that Paisley (junior or senior) shouldn’t be considered as b-i-g-o-t-s by the Catholic community – hypocrisy indeed.

  • Anna Dale

    Billy,
    My post was answering Mike’s earlier comment not yours.

    Anyway,

    “What is laughable is the number of Unionists on this site who attack Brian Feeney for being “b-i-g-o-t-t-e-d” but don’t think that Paisley (junior or senior) shouldn’t be considered as b-i-g-o-t-s by the Catholic community – hypocrisy indeed.”

    Do you know what I think about Paisley?
    Do I have to preface my comment on Feeney’s journalism with a caveat, “Of course Paisley is bigot”? just to prove my non-sectarian credentials?

    “B1gotry” is not an unique condition limited to one section of the community in NI.

  • Mike

    Just to point out that the ‘Mike’ posting above isn’t me (I’ve commeneted on and off here for a couple of years). I know that electoral refrom took place before 1972, for example.

  • Dec

    Luckily for Duncan Morrow he’s not the President of Ireland otherwise he’d be spending the next few weeks apologising and endlessly back-pedalling for his somewhat partisan view of recent history.

    I note Michael Wardlow of the CRC council is in today’s Irish News attacking Feeney but omitting to withdraw or at least clarify Morrow’s remarks which directly implied that while Nationalists spent the last 40 years engaged in mass-murder of Unionists, Unionism merely reciprocated with intolerance.

  • John East Belfast

    Feeney has taken offence at

    “For nationalists, a shared future means committing to full engagement in a state with which they have never felt comfortable and some have dedicated their lives to replacing. For unionists, the hard part of sharing will be making political arrangements with previously violent enemies who have deeply traumatised friends and relations and coming to terms with the Irish dimension to the six counties.”

    he has somehow interpreted this as Morrow saying the only people who have suffered violence here are the Unionists.

    If Morrow is guilty of anything it is not fully being able to read the sensitivity of some the republican mindset – i use republican because I assume that is the constituency Feeney’s writings seem to best represent.

    when Morrow was talking about the Nationalist side he was talking about both Consitutional nationalists and Republicans – having to accept a partitionist settlement is I believe more painful to them than the fact that there were loyalist terrorists in action.

    When he was talking about the Unionists – and in the context of violence – he was talking about their relationship with now the largest ‘nationalist’ party – Sinn Fein – who all unionists regard as the other side of the militant irish republican coin.

    ie SDLP/SF have to deal with UUP/DUP

    When I see the above it is clear to me where the majority of the illegitimate violence came from

    Is it really that difficult ??

    I know there are many on Slugger who absurdly believe that each and every UVF,UDA,UFF,LVF,PAF murder was under the control of both the British Government and the constitutional unionist parties.
    If that were true then Feeney would have a point.

    However the only people who believe this are Republicans for propaganda purposes or prejudiced numb skulls.

    In Feeney’s case I suspect it is just another in his increasingly long line of vitriol in his search to be offended.
    A bit like certain Muslim reaction to what the Pope said.

  • kensei

    “he has somehow interpreted this as Morrow saying the only people who have suffered violence here are the Unionists.”

    Learn the meaning of the word implication. And the phrase “freudian”.

    Come back, and embrass yourself less.

    “I know there are many on Slugger who absurdly believe that each and every UVF,UDA,UFF,LVF,PAF murder was under the control of both the British Government and the constitutional unionist parties.
    If that were true then Feeney would have a point.”

    Wrong, wrong and double wrong. 1 UVF man under the command of the British is too many, and a disgrace to your nation. And it was rather more than that. Get a fucking moral compass.

  • Anna Dale

    Morrow, as far as I’m concerned got at least the Unionist part of the equation right, being expected to reach accomodation with “previously violent enemies who have deeply traumatised friends and relations” has been the hardest part of the “Peace Process” to cope with.
    Like Feeney and the various non-unionists who’ve commented on this thread, I’m obviously only expressing an opinion on this, the difference is that, unlike them, I’m actually a unionist, so I’d reckon I’m in a rather better position to judge.

    According to JEB for Republicans and Nationalsist

    “- having to accept a partitionist settlement is I believe more painful to them than the fact that there were loyalist terrorists in action.”

    Well, is that true or not?

    If it wasn’t, then what is the hard part of “sharing our future” for nationalists?

  • austin

    According to JEB for Republicans and Nationalsist

    “- having to accept a partitionist settlement is I believe more painful to them than the fact that there were loyalist terrorists in action.”

    “Well, is that true or not?”

    No Anna , surprising as it may seem to JEB and you, the hardest part for nationalists is having to do business with previously and indeed still violent enemies and in particular the Rabblerouser in Chief who egged them on.

  • Anna Dale

    OK, fair enough Austin, it was a genuine question.
    If that’s indeed the case, then Morrow has clearly got it wrong.

  • Seems to me that, while Anna and JEB overstate republican violence, they completely ignore unionist violence directed at the innocent. And, so does Morrow.

    For the record, according to Sutton, the loyalist paramilitaries — the unionist death squads — killed some 873 civilians, i.e. innocent bystanders. out of a total of 1,020 victims. And. Sutton further identifies 715 of those killings as “sectarian”, i,.e. for which the primary motive was the religious belief (real of perceived) of the victim.

    So, that’s 873 killings of Catholic civilians by the death squads with the active assistance of the security forces and the blessing of the unionist community.

    It seems that this murder campaign waged against the Irish/Catholic/nationalist/republican community is really of no concern to unionists is the opinion of all three.

    WRONG!!!

    On the other hand, they complain about civilians killed by the PIRA, all 516 of them, of which 406 were Protestants and 134 identified by Sutton as killed for their relgious belief.

    Sorry, Anna, JEB, but until you address the very real issue of terrorism by the death squads and HMG, you really have little of value to say on the matter of what nationalists have to or should accept.

  • Anna

    Obviously, Morrow got it wrong.

  • Anna Dale

    “On the other hand, they complain about civilians killed by the PIRA, all 516 of them, of which 406 were Protestants and 134 identified by Sutton as killed for their relgious belief.”

    Bob
    That “all 516 of them” comes across as very callous, these victims obviously don’t count in your own black book of sums and calculations.

    Quite frankly with the kind of attitude you have displayed on not just this comment but previously, I believe there is “little value” in me engaging with you in any further kind of dialogue.

  • John East Belfast

    I think some people on here are starting to actually believe their own propaganda.

    What part of the equations

    SF = TERRORIST VIOLENCE

    SDLP = UUP = DUP = CONSTITUTIONAL POLITICS ?

    Are do actually you believe that every unionist leader from O’Neil to Trimble and every British Prime Minister from Wilson to Blair were in cahoots with loyalist paramilitaries to murder catholics ?

    Morrow didnt refer to nationalist suffering at the hands of the UVF et al because in the context of what he was talking about the SDLP and SF are not being asked to go into Govt with the PUP and the UDP

    Is that so difficult to comprehend ?

  • austin

    JEB,
    You clearly cannot deal with the fact that the suffering of nationalists is the same as the suffering of Unionists.

    You have also chosen to believe that nationalists should have no qualms about going into government with the DUP whose leader,to use Anna Dale’s words,is a b1got.

    Has the DUP played no part in stoking the sectarianism and all of it’s ugly and terrible manifestations over the last 40 years?
    Clearly many loyalist terrorists think that they have, given the many on the record references such as ‘being marched up the hill’ ‘filling the jails on behalf of others’ and ‘doing the dirty work of certain politicians.’
    However in JEB’s world, these facts do not matter and nationalists should have no qualms about entering government with unionists leaders whos hands are so clean and lillywhite..

  • Duncan Morrow

    This may be digging the hole deeper, but I want to clarify some things about my views.

    1. the quote was drawn from a launch in Parliament buildings and was made specifically in relation to current politics of devolution, where it still appears to me that the big issues to be dealt with are policing and working Northern Ireland for republicans while the big one exercising Unionists is permanent power sharing with Sinn Fein, which they associate directly with the IRA. I still stick with this analysis. Am i wrong on this?

    2. I did not refer to the sectarianism that Catholics faced both for decades/centuries and since 1969, not because it does not matter or I want to underplay it but because it seems to take second place in most of the political points I still hear being made by republicans, nationalists and Unionists. On top of the question of partition itself, I am working on the basic premise that the reason why working within Northern Ireland is such a challenge to nationalists is precisely because of its sectarian structure, and the Catholic experience of exclusion and discrimination living in it. Furthermore, the list of atrocities and injustices after 1969 where Catholics were the victims of bitter sectarianism stretches from Internment, Bloody Sunday and the Shankill butchers to the Quinn Boys, Danny McColgan and Michael McIlveen. I apologise for any inferrence or implication that this experience does not matter or is less important than others. It was certainly not intended – nor does it shape a CRC agenda.

    3. I also did not refer to all sorts of things which make Unionist views more complex than stated. This was not intended to insult or to degrade.

    3. A shared future is intended to underline a reality – short of ethnic cleansing we have to share this place, in whatever jurisdiction. If such a concept is to have any meaning it must be agreed and subject to consent, power must be shared, public life must be directly and unabiguously supportive of equality and human rights. Any meaningful deal will also build North-South and East West relations and provide a purely political mechanism for resolving disputes.

    Political progress is critical to any long term vision. the point of the speech was to encourage parties to take the issue of inter-relationship and partnership seriously. The role of CRC is, at best to promote, support, learn and provoke this agenda. On a grants budget from the government of £2.1m per annum ( £1.21 per person) I am not sure that we can do more than that. A Shared future is meant to go far beyond this by putting this issue at the heart of decisions on policing, planning, housing, education,culture, local government etc. It is an agenda that is meant to keep going alongside rather than instead of all discussion about the border and will still be a challenge however that one works out.

    From my perspective, A Shared Future is not a cunning plot either to destroy or copperfasten the Union, but an attempt to set a tone and emphasises reciprocity and inclusion as central to democratic values. And it is certainly not a soft soap way to avoid discussion of equality issues. Good relations is not a harmony agenda based on niceness but an attempt to create strong enough relationships for honest difference and debate which do not destroy equality but create a real basis for progress in any and every jurisdiction.

    Anyway, enough digging.

  • Garibaldy

    Duncan,

    Fair play to you for coming on here. I think there was some wilful misinterpretation of what you were saying. It would have been clearer had you specified DUP and PSF, because it seems to me effectively that’s what we’re talking about, when discussing the things political representatives have to face up to.

    Having said that, the whole problem with the CRC is its acceptance of the very notion of two communities. But that’s a horse of a different colour.

  • Anna Dale

    [i]”That “all 516 of them” comes across as very callous, these victims obviously don’t count in your own black book of sums and calculations.

    Quite frankly with the kind of attitude you have displayed on not just this comment but previously, I believe there is “little value” in me engaging with you in any further kind of dialogue.[/i]

    And YOUR attitude, Anna? You totally ignore the 1,063 innocent civilians killed by the security forces and the death squads of which 848 were Catholic and another 65 thought to be Catholic.

    Totally callous, it seems to me and totally hypocritical.

  • IJP

    Thanks, Duncan, and welcome to Slugger!

  • Anna Dale

    Duncan
    That’s made it a bit clearer, well done for plunging in here!