It shouldn’t be let pass the murder of Prison Officer David Black without some comment here on Slugger. Early indications are that official responses are largely of the type Sinn Fein used to dismiss as ‘the politics of condemnation’.
Some republicans are even starting to toy with the idea that the security forces (with their supposedly blanket infiltration may even have had some ulterior motive for letting this happen.
The truth is that for 200 years there have been generations of Irishmen who believed that killing other Irishmen would lead to the end of British occupation of the island of Ireland.
That that strategy, particularly in the 90 years since partition, has drawn a blank has hardly been a deterrent to would be revolutionaries.
The unremitting focus on the past almost to the exclusion of any consideration of the future is exacerbated by an ongoing financial crisis in which local politicians are more like passengers.
Listening to RTE this morning, and in particular some of the deliberations from Kilkenny and the Kilkenomics festival the contrast with the south could not be more stark.
The Republic may not have much of a future, but the open competition of its political system at least has the virtue of forcing its politicians to confront it.
The tragic death of David Black is being treated more like an embarrassing detail that no one wants or looks for an explanation . Doubly so, since this is a tactic straight out of the Provisional IRA playbook of twenty years ago.
So we are left with the once despised ‘politics of condemnation’.
No matter that it began life as a construct to prevent SF having to condemn the latest atrocity of the IRA, it seems for politicians of the Peace Process era, that’s all there is…
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