you for the thoughtful
article by Brendan O'Neill. Traditional Unionism
and traditional Republicanism have passed away.
Future attempts to demonise Sinn Fein and the
DUP will not ring true. The demons have been exorcised.
People who have to meet and talk eventually shake
hands. Dr. Paisley will also die and a younger
generation of more flexible politicians will take
his place. Gerry Adams will probably be around
for longer. What will not change is the elite
group of wealthy businessmen who have controlled
Northern Ireland and their allies from within
the Conservative Party. Having a title and taking
a seat in the House of Lords may become less attractive
but wealth and power will continue to be their
God. They will be joined by wealthy nationalists
and people from the republic, tolerated at first,
but finally accepted. The working class origins
of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness will be an
obstacle for some time.
Eventually there will be a revival of the UUP
and SDLP since they are middle class and middle
of the road. Can Sinn Fein attract the Protestant
working class? I doubt it. The working class always
lack friends in politics.The growing nationalist
Catholic middle class are tolerant enough. Protestant
fundamentalism does not have a bright future.
Religion is becoming a lesser force in politics
around the world. In the USA the neo cons have
made Republicans more suspicious of religion in
Further down the track politicians will see the
need to foster integrated schools as there is
a need to rationalise where schools are and the
cost of keeping small schools open. On the other
hand the middle class want schools without the
social problems associated with the poor and disadvantaged.
If they can keep separate they will. Better to
share with other religions than cope with the
The reforms of the police force will take longer.
Close supervision and the power to deal with corruption
is essential. Corruption in the PSNI will change
from sectarian to criminal. Drugs and corrupt
police are naturally attracted. The police association
will defend even its corrupt members.
Will Northern Ireland become part of the Republic?
No, unfortunately. Brendan O'Neill is right. The
powerful people in British society will rely on
apathy to pull the teeth out of Irish nationalism.
On the other hand, are national states a thing
of the past. The young Irish are really young
Europeans. Look how readily nurses fly to Australia
for a job and vice versa- young Earthlings rather
than young Europeans.
I have painted a pessimistic picture. How does
one have a vision for Northern Ireland? It has
to be a vision for the world. At the moment young
visionaries are preoccupied with the survival
of the planet. That is a worthy goal because without
it there is no future. The battle is with human
greed and a sustainable world. Will Paisley and
Adams tackle that problem?