A FEW hours after I blogged about the absence of progress by our leading parties on an agreed community relations strategy, the DUP published the working draft of the seemingly aborted OFMDFM policy. I’ll have a proper read of it later, and in the meantime, maybe commenters can compare and contrast it with Sinn Fein’s unilaterally-published strategy. For his part, Conall argues that Sinn Fein – who “say you must have equality before you can have good relations” – need to “to recognize that equality can only be truly achieved when there are good relations”.
All this raises a few questions. Is Sinn Fein putting the cart before the horse? Are there real inequalities that must be tackled before dealing with a shared future? What are they? Should there be be a ‘twin-track’ approach? Does equal mean separate, rather than genuinely integrated? Is the limit of our ambition to live safely on one side of a wall? Is that really desirable? Do political parties have a vested interest in preventing more integration?
Now everything is finally out in the open, surely some common ground can be found by the bickering parties. A head of steam has been building up over this debate; let’s keep it going, as it would be a shame if it were to dissipate into the ether once again.
Living History 1968-74
A unique, once-in-a-lifetime 10-week course at Stranmillis University College Belfast featuring live, in-depth interviews with leading figures from this tumultuous era in Northern Ireland’s cultural and political history.
Live interviews with: Bernadette McAliskey, Austin Currie, Brid Rogers, Baroness Blood, Dennis Bradley, Baroness Paisley, Lord Kilclooney, Tim McGarry, Danny Morrison, Sir Kenneth Bloomfield and others…