I thought I may aswell start the post-holiday blogging with Northern Ireland, its well-being and position within the United Kingdom still two of my very strongest convictions. I can’t believe the row over the devolution of policing and justice powers is still going on. After years of first enacting threats courtesy of an arsenal of guns and bombs, followed by making threats on the return of such weaponry unless their wishes were granted by the government, it must be hard for the followers of Sinn Fein/IRA to have to face a different scenario. So what do they do? They act like spoilt children by constantly threatening the end of the Stormont Assembly unless progress on the issue is expedited. Tell you what, lads, go and bring the whole rotten edifice crashing to the ground. There’s few in the pro-Union community that will mourn its passing.
At the vanguard of Provo support is the ever-present Brian Feeney, whose earnings as a lecturer at St Mary’s College coupled with the money he makes from being such a miserable, poisonous cretin in his role as a sometime ‘journalist’ proves, without a shadow of a doubt, that when it comes to the real meaning of ‘justice’ in the Northern Ireland context, there’s precious little of it. His latest offering to the Irish News once more makes the DUP the sole scapegoats for the stand-off. Again, Nigel Dodds is referred to as ‘Depooty Dawds’ indicating that whilst Feeney has bigotry and hatred in spades, he has originality and humour in minute dribbles. As for insinuating that the supporters of the TUV, such as myself and David, are somewhat lower than ‘cave dwellers’, at least we in our cosy caves can rest assured that we have never pledged support to any political movement that took the lives of thousands of innocent people. That’s a charge which Feeney, a true caveman now ensconced in his morally degenerative ivory tower, would have a hard time dodging.
At the centre of Feeney’s so-called analysis is the paradox Irish nationalism always throws up an attempt to portray Unionists as uncompromising. In one breath he says nationalists ‘hold no brief for the north (sic)’, yet in the next he states that Unionists are failing to provide the foundations on which nationalism can view Northern Ireland as a ‘viable political entity’. He knows full well that the nationalist minority in the Province has been treated with a degree of largesse by the British State in all sorts of ways that minorities in other countries (and I’ve been to enough to know) can only dream about. Yet most show not the slightest inclination to make Northern Ireland stable and enduring. In fact they vote in droves for the very party that for thirty years waged terrorism to bring it down, and now plays poker terrorism in the casino that is the Northern Ireland Executive. Feeney knows any move to bring devolved justice would be pocketed by Sinn Fein as another move towards their mythical ‘united Ireland’, not as a step to include nationalism within the fabric of the Ulster polity, so why should Unionists show any accommodation?
In a different scenario the same is true of the SDLP. Margaret Ritchie wants to reach out to Unionists in her bid for the party leadership. Simultaneously she seeks to pursue the end of the Union, something which is guaranteed to create anger and mistrust between her party and the Unionist community. For so long as the SDLP and others are hell-bent on destroying the Union, rather than carving out an Irish cultural niche within it, then for so long will you have stalemate, hatred, peace walls, mutual veto, Provo thumb-sucking, Executive instability and dissident terrorism. Finally, let me remind Feeney and his entourage that there is no mention in the St Andrews Act of HM Government unilaterally forcing justice devolution in the absence of cross-community support. Like the Belfast Agreement of 11 years ago, Irish nationalism should show a greater knowledge and awareness of the political and constitutional tenets of agreements they sign up to.