I didn’t hear it, but it was interesting to hear about Jamie Bryson equivocation over going to the PSNI to report criminality. Now, I’m not one of those who complains about the BBC’s tactical use of Jamie to fill a broad vacuum in unionist discourse.
[He’s blogged for Slugger when he’s had something interesting or useful to say.]
I’m not even going to criticise him for his lack of support for that much vaunted (but much ignored) principle of equality under the law. It’s no doubt reflective of a strong (if hypocritical) instinct within some areas of loyalist opinion.
It’s a particularly controversial position in the wake of the Ogle and McKee murders and one which he struggled to defend.
That should hardly be surprising since he called for the British Army to be deployed in Creggan in the wake of Lyra’s shooting. It’s all very well having opinions on anything, but there ought also to be an expectation of consistency from one week to the next.
We may have grown accustomed to the present political vacuum both in the Stormont absence in Northern Ireland and more widely in the UK through the Brexit stalemate but such conditions are not conducive to the regeneration of meaningful political discourse.
In the absence of the demands of policy focused upon real actions (rather than a metaphorical wall purporting to be a real one) the space for a humane representation of politics is driven out and foot-loose demagoguery flourishes.
What our political parties need is room to manoeuvre, admit past mistakes pay their dues and move on. But they also need an informed (and, yes a challenging space) in which to do that.
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