As the Irish Times’ Deaglán de Bréadún reports, Taoiseach Brian Cowen, picking up from where Bertie Ahern left off, has been telling the Journal of Cross-Border Studies in Ireland that the political journey is what is important, not the destination. And he’s not wrong. From the Irish Times article
“The ultimate destination of any political project is a matter of time working itself out. Therefore the destination is not the thing to be talking about. That will be for other people to decide in another time maybe,” he told the latest issue of the Journal of Cross-Border Studies in Ireland.
Setting out his vision of economic co-operation between the two parts of Ireland in the era of the Belfast and St Andrews agreements, he said: “We would be working the agreements we have, recognising the legitimacy of our respective traditions – one loyal to Britain, the other looking to Irish unity as a legitimate objective, but one that will only be pursued peacefully by common consent.
“Therefore there would be no threatening, exclusivist political philosophy which would make people defensive or insular or non co-operative.
“The genius of all of these agreements is that we are all on a common journey together where we have not decided on the destination. The problem with our ideologies in the past was that we had this idea about where we were going but we had no idea how anyone was going to come with us on the journey.
“We have now all decided: let’s go on a journey and forget about the destination – the destination isn’t really important in that respect. We can all work for what it is we would like ideally to see, but this is not something that can be forced or imposed upon people on either side of the island,” the Taoiseach said.