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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

The Progress From Peace


Davy Carlin • 26 July 2007

As with many of those commentators who had thought that the world would freeze over before the DUP and the Shinners would govern together, there are now those who have and do say that it will never last. They reality though has shown that not only have they started to govern together, but also that that governance is going from strength to strength. Indeed there was a time when the DUP and the Shinners had both fought tooth and nail to wreck such institutions, through various methods. Now though, I believe that they will knuckle down to see that such institutions and governance is worked through.

Yet, this should not be of major surprise as they are where they for long in thought, mind, and more recently in louder voice, had wanted to be, and that is, to be in ‘power. With the issue of the War, over, with the continual seeing through of the implementation of the Agreement and the DUP onboard working it, with the Parades issue being sorted and a quiet marching season, much is being achieved. And with the Shinners signing up to policing and that recent historic meeting of Gerry Adams and Sir Hugh Orde of the PSNI held in the estate that I live, much therefore of such ‘key issues have and are being addressed. Indeed many of the key issues that could have caused instability of such governance have and are being dealt with. Therefore it was not a case of them, {if much was sorted}, not sharing such power, {as that is where they had wanted to be}, but more of a case of how to get to that point while avoiding turmoil within their respective parties and constituencies. And with now being in that position of governance and to where they had wished to be, I believe that it will take an awful lot for real instability to occur. And therefore for us outside of governance or no belief in such, our task is to organise with and within the working class against that now ’United Capitalist Parliament for a wealthy people’.

Of course there will be issues of what school or hospital ward will open and close in who’s ‘community, or what community gets funding etc, this known in ‘circles as the ‘Sectarianism of issues. But one has to remember that there is an awful lot of difference to being radical outside of governance and being ‘pragmatic within governance. Financial constrains and the realities of governance, over time, will increasingly be spoken to whatever ‘community loses out, in many cases by those very people who have been elected by that community, and who now sit in such governance. 

Yet the assembly had already seen its first test, as water charged and flooded through the streets, and citizens by and large thought they had coped well with that issue. And after yet more consultations and reviews there will eventually be issues that will be more difficult and more testing to deal with.

Yes it will be time for – Real Politics.

The first such issue is that of water charges, in which, over time, many thousands I believe will either refuse to pay or will be unable to pay. On this matter there is no need for a review as many such politicians told us they were opposed to charges, this, before the recent Assembly election. If so, then they should scrap them now, and while they are at it they should reel back the privatisation of the water service. As an active member of the 'We won't pay campaign',  which will, I believe, become a movement of citizens in time, we are aware that the most effective way to pressurise those with hands on governance, and with the purse strings, is through mass cross community non payment. If they don’t deliver, well, I believe many citizens will eventually speak and mobilise, on masse, for their rights promised, and then denied.

Then there is the issue of the unscrupulous  landlordism, the profiteers, and the ridiculous planning agreements that are causing havoc to working class communities in regards to housing. On this matter, much more social and association housing needs to be build in agreed sites in areas of need. Yet there needs to be no Ghettos built, areas ruined, or apartment upon apartment built into the sky. Consultation with communities is essential and on that matter, that blot, that is proposed to be dumped at the once site of Andersonstown Barracks, well that is totally and utterly unacceptable.

And on the past, the issue of Truth, Justice and Closure is essential, as is dealing with the issue of collusion, and when a state and its agencies had moved to murder its own citizens.

Finally, there is that of the perceived Nationalist versus Unionist issues, with the first being the issue of Academic Selection and the 11 plus. I have long stated that the privilege of birth should not dictate the educational opportunity of life and that the old boys club guarding the chalice of privilege should not be allowed to stand in the way of social justice and educational equality. And with that I have come to an understanding that rather than the 11plus being an accurate gauge between ‘the gifted’ and the ‘not so gifted’, it can in many instances be used as a gauge between poverty and wealth.

Indeed an issue that will be brought more to the fore in the time ahead.

The last point on this matter is the issue of the Irish Language. Indeed, Culture and Identity is nothing to fear, it is but part of the progress, as with the West - East and South – North, firmer and closer workings. Having been founding member and chair of the Anti Racism Network, one is well aware how differing cultures can be used to bring forth the politics of fear. And with that, I had yet again found that when one is prepared to reach out and attempt to understand - then a new beginning can await for all.









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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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Index: Current Articles


14 August 2007

Other Articles From This Issue:

Desecration of More Than the Grave
Ciaran O Cuinneagain

"Banner" Headlines Obscure the Reality?
W. Harbinson

Operation Re-Write
Mick Hall

Back to the Future
John Kennedy

The Telling Year
Pól Ó Muirí

West Belfast Snores Back
Anthony McIntyre

Yes or No Minister
John Kennedy

Whither Thou Goest
Dr John Coulter

The Progress From Peace
Davy Carlin

Back From Palestine
Mazin B. Qumsiyeh

Reading Group Announced
Saerbhreathach Mac Toirdealbhaigh

8 July 2007

Jobs for the Boys
John Kennedy

Truth & History Repeating Itself
Mick Hall

The Workers Centre
Patricia Campbell

Invasion of the Stadium Snatchers
Brian Mór

Hats Off
Dr John Coulter

Launch of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Press Release

New Police Ombudsman
John Kennedy

Oration at the Graveside of Theobald Wolfe Tone
Francis Mackey

Bodenstown Address
Republicans Network for Unity

Ex-POWs' Name Change
Danny McBrearty

Some Recent Sinn Fein Positions
Brian Mór

Gusty Calls It A Day?
Anthony McIntyre



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