I think this underlines how difficult it is to deal with the past. If the police didn't arrest Gerry Adams after evidence procured from the Boston tapes one could accuse them of doing so for political reasons. Alternatively arresting him does activate suspicions that old forces are at work again. I think to look at it objectively it is impossible to tell. This writer hopes rather than knows that this arrest is 100% impartial in its origins because if it is not it would represent a huge setback in the process of developing a universally supported civic and accountable police service. If as Martin McGuinness suggests that there is a residual cabal fighting a rearguard battle similar to that which launched the fraudulent Stormont raids, then i would hope that his party would be mature enough not to throw away all the progress made on the policing front by withdrawing from policing structures. This would be tragic in its undermining of the undoubtedly progressive forces within the PSNI that have worked hard in creating a new beginning in policing. Having said that i really don't know whether dark forces are at work or whether these allegations are any more than political spin in the mouth of an election. Hopefully this society has matured enough to not jump to conclusions based on a well worn reflex more suited to the days of the troubles.
You know I don't see this as a stunt at all. If you look at a lot of what NI 21 are doing they are trying to break from the anti-irish anti-catholic unionism that entrenched sectarianism here for decades. I know John Mcallister for example was publicly rooting for Co Down against Cork in an all Ireland final years ago. I have always wondered why traditional unionists have felt the need to p**s on all things Irish to prove themselves. If you look at the Unionist versus nationalist debates in England Scotland and Wales Unionists there wouldn't see any contradiction in being British and Welsh Scottish or English. It is only here that Unionists fear any connection with the Irish part of their heritage. I say fair play to NI 21 I think what they have done is brave and i hope that they don't suffer electorally for it.
I think the Greens with their internationalist beyond borders credentials, and their intrinsically diverse identity give people here an opportunity to support values and issues led politics whatever their community background. The reality is that whether we are talking about climate change, resource depletion, economic policy, etc there is a huge international dimension to all of this and the Greens are the only party that are organised on an international basis. With dozens of MEPs in Europe they are the only party in N.Ireland that actually is in a position to legislate in the European parliament. Electing 2 or 3 MEPs on whether they support or don't support flying 'flegs' in the context of a European election is such a waste.
@Stephenn500, The 8 hours you refer to is more like 5-6 hours on a home charger overnight. These slow chargers are now backed by publicly available rapid chargers which give you an 80% top up in 20minutes. In other words you will always start the day with a full tank (around 100 miles on most electric cars) and for that once in a while journey that is over 100 miles you may have to pull in have a cuppa and wait 20 mins before you tackle the next 100 mile journey. The reality is that most of the time the car will be close to full all the time as you simply leave it hooked in every evening. With many cars costing £100 to fill, the 80-90% lower fuel bill not to mention much lower maintenance bill (hardly any moving parts) will start to gain traction as the public becomes aware of benefits of electric motoring. http://www.ecarni.com/charge-point-map
Thousands of Republicans went to prison and hundreds were shot, it is simply not true to say that their crimes went unpunished. On the other-hand despite copious evidence of military involvement in numerous cases of wholesale murder there is no accountability. Why else do you think the pychos interviewed on Panorama felt comfortable enough to brag about murdering unarmed Catholics. I have yet to see a provo going on air and smirking while bragging about killing unarmed protestants.
While there were many honourable people in the RUC and British army doing their best in a desperate situation, it serves nobody and especially not the peace process to cover up and deny the fact that the system was broken and fatally compromised by British Intelligence. By supplying arms and intelligence to loyalists, by operating covert murder gangs who terrorised catholics in the guise of the MRF, by reserving lethal force for dealing with Republicans while taking (at best) a more judicial approach to loyalists, by targeting defence solicitors for assassination, by setting up a military unit 'the FRU' to coordinate collusion and more specifically by the use of Brian Nelson controlling the targetting of the UDA which itself was legal, by tolerating if not encouraging dual membership of loyalist paramilitaries and the UDR, they drove catholics in their thousands into the arms of the Provos. For many a point came where the state was seen as sinister corrupt and ir-reformable and lead with tragic consequences to the conclusion for some that the only option was it's violent overthrow. Moderate anti-violent catholics lived in despair as they lost their youths to the hatred engendered by these programmes and those on the other side who wanted a peaceful future, including in many cases security force members that weren't privy to or part of the covert war, were marginalized and betrayed by the setting aside of democratic and legal norms. To acknowledge all of this would not threaten but instead strengthen the peace process as everyone knows the bulk of the truth anyway and are capable of forgiveness, it is the continued denial of the truth that locks people in the past. All sides have a duty to this society to admit their mistakes instead of denying or justifying them. That includes the Provisionals, for their actions too deeply damaged this society and only added to its tearing apart. Denying their complicity in the Kingsmills slaying of protestant workers after an act of trying to protect their catholic workmate from what they thought were loyalist gunmen is but one heart breaking example of the ultimate futility and hopelessness of their strategy to 'unite us'. We all lost the plot and should just bloody well admit it!
too cynical our fella, there are good people in every street, to assume that those who returned the statue are no different to those who defaced it is a mistake.
Better to light a candle than curse the dark. Fair play to whomever did the noble and right thing and undid a great insult. i hope this deed gets as much attention as those that displayed their base hatreds to the world yesterday. I feel sorry for the wee local orange parades that go to the field for their ice cream and day out with no hatred in their hearts. The hooligan element are a torture to all of us.
Just when you think that you couldn't see anything in Irish History as stupid looking as the flag protestors the dissidents win back the dumb as a box of bricks award having been denied it since the city hall changed its flag policy.
Well said, i think comments like yours are important as too many from the nationalist side of the house may make the mistake of thinking that this mindset displayed by the flagmen is representative of all protestants when nothing could be further from the truth. Because of the high level of segregation in N.Ireland far too many of us still have untested notions of what the other 'crowd' are like. These protestors have most in common with the dissidents who are almost entirely disowned by nationalists/republicans/catholics. It doesn't stop the dissidents from harming community relations however as many still making the mistake of thinking that nationalists in any way support them.