Top Issue 1-2024

12 February 1998 Edition

Resize: A A A Print

No sop to unionist supremacy

THE story of the political regime introduced to the Six Counties with partition in 1921 is one of failure, tragedy and farce.

Failure in that it did not meet the social, economic and cultural requirements of all the people of this island; tragedy on account of the instability, death and upheaval it heralded; and farce in that it contorted every modern concept of democracy and justice.

With at best the acquiescence of the British government, the Unionist Party systematically discriminated against nationalists and constructed a state of injustice which made even the architects of apartheid jealous.

And even after Britain was forced to prorogue the parliament at Stormont, in the local councils throughout the Six Counties and in the daily pronouncements made by unionist spokespeople the same mentality of supremacism exists.

In Belfast City Council, the most notorious example, Sinn Féin, the largest single political party in Belfast, is excluded from every key position on every single committee.

This is the contemporary experience of nationalists living in the Six Counties.

It is therefore the republican analysis that any return to a Six County assembly would be disastrous for Ireland. Sinn Féin has not been convinced by any of those involved in the talks process that this analysis is incorrect.

A unionist-controlled assembly cannot be a serious option for any nationalist. But Seamus Mallon is proposing just this. He will find he is out of step with the rest of nationalist opinion on the ground.

The fundamental point Mallon is missing is that it is not up to some future generation to challenge injustice and frame a lasting resolution to the conflict in Ireland. That remains our duty today to those future generations.

Opposition to attack on Iraq

AS Britain and the US gear up for a military strike against Iraqi installations, it is important that republicans join with other groups opposed to a further Gulf War.

Despite boasting of smart bombs, in the last Gulf War thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians fell victim to Western technology.

Boasts that this technology has been developed further and that the missiles of 1998 are smarter than those used in 1991 is not only highly dubious but misses the point.

Not only are all opposition groups both inside and outside Iraq opposed to any attacks but the US and Britain are supported by only a tiny fraction of world opinion. Their claims to act as the world's policemen have never been more clearly exposed as a desire to protect their global interests. Rarely has there been a more morally feeble excuse to go to war.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1