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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Equality or Equity

 

Michéal MháDonnáin • 19 November 2006

Recently Peter Robinson [was quoted in] an article, Hain pressed over IRA sanctions (by Alan Murray, Nov 12 2006, Sunday Life). He claimed to have a number of sanctions that his party wanted to be imposed if any party was to have committed any wrong doing. He also claims that these proposals are reasonable which all democratic parties and electors can support.

In the dictionary definition, democracy "is government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system." In the phrase of Abraham Lincoln, democracy is a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Freedom and democracy are often used interchangeably, but the two are not synonymous. Democracy is indeed a set of ideas and principles about freedom, but it also consists of a set of practices and procedures that have been molded through a long, often tortuous history. In short, democracy is the institutionalization of freedom. For this reason, it is possible to identify the time-tested fundamentals of constitutional government, human rights, and equality before the law that any society must possess to be properly called democratic.

In Mr Robinson's definition of democracy, equality is replaced with equity whereby diversity is recognized, without providing a reason for discrimination; what his party proposes is that all nationalist and constitutional republican parties are to be treated without favor to one another while the unionist parties remain in an ascendancy .

This equitable ascendancy will permit nationalist and republican parties to participate in political decision making under certain predefined conditions. These conditions are to apply to all other parties except unionist parties. Evidence of this is the precondition on the constitutional republican party, Sinn Fein, to support the PSNI; any deviance of this support could result in sanctions being imposed on Sinn Fein if the DUP is successful in its proposals

However, Unionist support of the PSNI is conditional on the PSNI’s support to the unionist cause; when the PSNI attempts to enforce the law equally (e.g. during the Whiterock riots last summer) its actions are rebuked by the unionist political machine as being heavy handed, without any sanction, with the end result being millions of government dollars been spent in loyalist areas. Similarly the riots that broke out in Ardoyne by nationalists were seen as being mindless and the action of thugs and was coupled with immediate calls for Sinn Fein to support the police, the end result being no financial aid to this impoverished area because it was a republican district.

Under the ancient regime of absolute ascendancy, the PSNI was the strong arm of the unionist political machine. Both worked hand in glove to ensure the all forms of opposition to the unionist political machine was quelled by any means.

While under the nouveau regime of an equitable ascendancy, underwritten by the GFA and St Andrew, dictats support for the PSNI is assumed by the unionists and demanded of all other parties. However, although this support is assumed, it is conditional on how the police act, in equally applying the law with regards to unionist interests. In other words, the police should enforce the law equitably rather than equally. Whereas for Sinn Fein, support of the PSNI is a precondition, and must accept the equitable approach of the police with regards to nationalist and republican interests. Rather than the constitutional republican party supporting the police, the police should give a solid commitment to support reform and transparency and earn the support the peoples of the north.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Index: Current Articles



19 November 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

The Bogeyman
Anthony McIntyre

Believe It Or Not
John Kennedy

Contra Con Artists
Anthony McIntyre

The Wrong Kind of Republican?
Ivan Morley

Equality Agenda: British Rhetoric and Reality
Martin Galvin

A Deal Done By Quislings
Mick Hall

Realignments
Dr John Coulter

Deadline? Pull the other one!
David Adams

Political Policing
Martin Ingram

It's Not The Taking Part
Anthony McIntyre

Who Can Get Dr No to Say Yes?
Dr John Coulter

Equality or Equity
Michéal MháDonnáin

Federalism
Michael Gillespie

Revolutionary Unionism
Dr John Coulter

Who Needs Enemies
John Kennedy

The King's Threshold
Robin Kirk


7 November 2006

When It's Time for Change, No One Is Irreplaceable
Mick Hall

Date Fixed For Flawed Landmark Case
Michael McKevitt Justice Campaign

Souper Sinn Fein
Eoghan O'Suilleabhain

Boo!
Dr John Coulter

St Andrews Agreement & 'the Left'
Davy Carlin

Shotgun Wedding
John Kennedy

...and to create the space for a diversity of views...
Noel Dolan

'Undo the Great Betrayal, Free the Occupied 26'
Dr John Coulter

The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Anthony McIntyre

Power & Powerlessness
Patricia Campbell

The Constantine Institute
Terry O'Neill

Mary Robinson Spotlights Human Rights Abuses in Darfur
William Hughes

Fearless Speech
Anthony McIntyre

 

 

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