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16/11/2014

Comments

Peter

Our communities are constructed as "aguments". We have yet to internalize the invitation of the Belfast Agreement, which is not only to craft a future but to cultivate the conditions (and the language) that will enable us to do so.

For both communities, the relationship to and understanding of power and the other is key. These dispositions draw on archetypal responses:

see: Manfred Halpern
http://alt.sagepub.com/content/12/1/5.refs

Jason Blean

A society built on entrenched positions backed up with the force of private militia cannot move forward unless its "enemy" is defeated. The DUP put themselves in this position by starting out to "Smash Sinn Fein and destroy Republicanism". Now they face Sinn Fein as NI's largest party (in % vote terms) across the chamber as a daily reminder of their failure. Leading DUP and UUP politicians made a cold calculation in 2012 to "celebrate" the Ulster Covenant (rather than reflectively & constructively commemorate) which placed them into their impossible position today as political partners of SF. In this calculation they asked was political power more important than building community relations. Ignorant, violent and sectarian behaviour has reaped rewards for Unionists since 1912 (or at least its support, both private and public). Why should they stop now? NI is still, at root, a sectarian and bitter society and politicians cynically play on that(including Republicans, though to a lesser extent). The word "protestant" in this context has become for most of our political leaders and indeed the whole society simply a political label rather than something of spiritual and eternal significance which could transform the situation.

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