What exactly is the Good Friday Agreement and Parity of Esteem? We were told that nobody won and nobody lost. We are all entitled to our Identity….British, Irish and I understand those terms….and “Northern Irish” (no I dont know what it means either but in the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement, I have to accept some people identify with that concept)
We were told there would be an Irish Language Act. There isnt one. Unionists have scuppered it. Sinn Féin pay lip service to the notion but wont do anything principled like walk away from the duopoly with the DUP.
So the District Council down in Newry…nationalist obviously….would like signage in Irish and English ….seems reasonable enough. But Malachi O’Doherty, LetsgetAlongerist and journalist, writing in the Belfast Telegraph does not think this is good at all.
“Why are we encouraging people to amplify their sense of identity? We should be encouraging them to tone it down, to reconcile and interact rather than to draw boundaries between each other.”
To be honest, I dont get it. Malachi is a serial LetsGetAlongerist. But what is all this “we” business. “We” is obviously a plural so Malachi his referring to himself and at least one other person. Surely Malachi would not presume to speak for “Society”.
Clearly he doesnt speak for me. I am not part of his “we” in the sense of “you and I”.
This really is the problem with LetsGetAlongerists. They feel that the middle ground is the moral high ground. The Good Friday Agreement said that it is not. It is just another position of equal status with unionists and nationalists.
This is the problem with Conflict Resolution. Thankfully the Peace Process and the Good Friday Agreement ended bloodshed here. But it did so on the basis of Nobody Won, Nobody Lost. We are all Winners. Hooray! But this is not good enough for Conflict Resolutionists who need to go to the next level and impose Victory and Defeat on two tribes. Frankly, they have no right to do it because the Good Friday Agreement is unfinished business. Where is the Bill of Rights? What happened to Victims? What happened to the Irish Language Act?
Yet the use of the word “we” intrigues me. The “Royal We” where Mrs Windsor always apeaks in the plural? Is Malachi turning into Margaret Thatcher who announced to her subjects “we are a grandmother”?
Is it LetsGetAlongerist plural?
Is it merely the arrogance of the newspaper columnist?
Or is it The Lone Ranger use of the word “we”…..as in “Sioux to the North of us , Apache to the South of us Pawnee to the West of us and Cheyenne to the East of us…..Tonto we are in trouble”. As Tonto said “what do you mean WE are in trouble?”