Moving away from ‘bloodied’ to ‘full blooded’ politics…

First of a couple of pieces on the succession of Paisley by Peter Robinson. For a man who has been in politics just about as long as his now middle aged party, it’s unlikely he will come to symbolise ‘change’ any more than Gordon Brown was able to after Blair. But there is a dilemma facing both himself and Martin McGuinness. How to create conditions for a full blooded politics, that yet transforms the mercilessly uncivil politics of war? And not least of their concerns must be overcoming the residual condition of that war: what Russell Weigley terms “recalcitrant indecisiveness”.

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  • Mick and folk I want to point out a Serious issue. Go to the link http://www.castlebar.ie It has been closed down due to some postings.

    Sorry for using this thread.
    The media and Ireland needs to know whats going on here.

    Thanks

    Mayo Man

  • Greenflag

    In France in 1789 nobody wanted ‘war’ or ‘revolution’. The same could be said of Northern Ireland in 1968. Revolutions begin as wars often begin not because people positively want them, but because people want ‘other ‘ things that in the circumstances of the time implicate them in the subsequent revolution or war because those ‘other things’ were denied them in a time of peace. Once the guns go off then anything can happen to make matters worse and usually does . This phenomenon is not restricted to NI.

    There had been in Northern Ireland through the late 1950’s and 1960’s growing criticism of the Unionist regime symbolised by the UUP. The forces of change i.e the educated nationalist middle class with ‘new’ideas of equal voting rights , civil rights , an end to religious discrimination ,etc came up against the forces of continuity i.e the remnants of landed aristocracy – the UUP -and the rest of the Unionist establishment . The result of the collision between above forces led to violent conflict mainly because those ‘other’ things which people (mainly nationalists) wanted could not be delivered or were not delivered in time to the people by the Government of the time.

    What Northern Ireland has now is the forces of continuity and the forces of change ‘united’ in the one Government at least for now . The DUP represent the forces of continuity – pro UK union anti any UI . SF represent those who favour a UI .

    Assuming that the vast majority of the people of Northern Ireland want to avoid further conflict and a return to past violence what are those ‘other’ things which people might now want which will /can/might be deliverable by the new power sharing government ?

    Peace ? Economc growth ? Better public services ? Reduced public sector dependency ? Significant levels of foreign investment ? No terrorists or former terrorists /freedom fighters in Govt ?

    When I look at the above short list and then look at the ‘powers’ of the NI Assembly I don’t see how they can succeed longer term apart from winning the peace .

    Anybody looking in from outside never mind those looking from within -will not be too surprised if the best ‘intentions ‘ on the part of both main parties fail to ‘square the circle’ . Most of us will just hope that people will be patient with the ‘recalcitrant indecisivness’ for a long enough period to a) get used to it and b) to make a return to the 1970’s unthinkable .

    Those already jumping on the bandwagon of ‘exporting’ the NI solution to other conflict divided communities around the globe might want to hold their horses until their solution gains some more weight and somewhat more endurance than a year or two .

  • aquifer

    Political parties are not adequately funded to retain policy expertise or to reach the public, so we get spasmodic sectarian rows as dysfunctional pleas for attention, relayed and amplified by the media.

    But can we take the extremes seriously any more?

    Lets have an election and find out.