years on and the Good Friday Agreement is still in
limbo, waiting to lead the North to the promised land
of equality, fraternity and liberty. In the beginning
there was optimism with cavalcades of cars touring
Nationalist areas celebrating the end of the war and
the dawning of a new era.
and the British were in an uncontrollable nose dive;
they had been out maneuvered by the Nationalist parties,
the Irish and American Governments. Unionist were
in a state of shock, nationalist were accused of triumphalism
as they celebrated their victory at outwitting everyone,
as unionist scurried to gain back the upper ground.
This they achieved when a 3-month moratorium was placed
on Sinn Fein, so that the IRA cease-fire could be
analyzed as being valid. After this 3-month period
had ended with no violation of their cease-fire, Unionists
were really bothered, as protagonists began talking
to one another; middle class unionist domination through
hatred was been threatened. But in the old Unionist
tradition of no surrender they came up with a fool
proof plan decommissioning by paramilitaries, however
this mainly applied to the IRA, up till this moment
the word decommissioning had not existed in the English
dictionary nor in the GFA. But the unionist had grasped
it with both hands and the English were there to help
them. The shoe was back on the Unionist foot; they
were now in control of the situation.
aim by unionists was to destroy the GFA from within,
this they have every confidence in succeeding in doing
so, as the infrastructure of the North is totally
unionist. In doing so they can blame nationalists
for the downfall of the GFA, for not been sincere
in their rejection of voilence and adoption of socalled
the bogus raid on Castlereagh and the infamously bogus
spy scandal at stormont, not to mention the effect
of the Colombian 3 on the peace process. All charges
have been dropped against those arrested in the above
cases. This is why Nationalists have had to challenge
the state infrastructure from without.
calls for decommissioning has continued through out
the existence of the GFA, several acts of putting
arms beyond further use were carried out, but this
still did not satisfy unionists. They wanted details
exact numbers . Following the threat from the hard-line
DUP, the UUP then called for disbanding the IRA or
for the introductions of sanctions on Sinn Fein. This
it was felt would help them and the beleaguered SDLP
whom the UUP felt they could do business with. However
in the November elections both lost out to Sinn Fein
and the DUP.
last attempt was made by the British in order to bolster
up Unionists. They invented the IMC,which was appointed
by the British and was to report on so-called paramilitary
activity. Evidence was to be presented to the IMC,
presumably through hearings, however it seems that
very few got to give evidence accept MI5 and special
Branch. The result of the IMC was to legitimate the
demonizing process of Sinn Fein and it was going to
out members of Sinn Fein who were members of the IRA.
In contrast the UDA supposed to be on cease-fire but
as everyone knows isnt due the continuing attacks
on both their own community and nationalists received
no sanctions their political organization the UPRG
on which sits members of the UDA, UFF, RHC, protestant
churches and Unionist politicians received no monetary
sanction whatsoever one has to ask why. It is no surprise
that the IMC upheld prounionist and British ideology
in the south Sinn Fein vote is rising to 13% leaving
them the 3rd largest party.
is the possiblity of Sinn Fein being coalition contenders,
however, the PDs and Fianna Fail, who are also a Sinn
Fein Off shoot following the war of independence and
are allowed to this day to commemorate their IRA dead,
"the private army of Sinn Fein," not to
mention Fine Gael, the other side of the coin in the
split of 1921 also commemorates their IRA dead (private
army). All these parties are running scarred of Sinn
Fein and so have joined in the demonization process
with the former Irish attorney general (McDowell)
making uncorroborated statements of paramilitary activity,
which coincidentally agreed with the IMC findings.
British and Irish governments know the GFA is dead
in the water but are trying to salvage something.
They fear the consequences of going back to war. The
British journalists are also sensing the GFA is dead.
Suddenly editorials are being written on the status
the IRA and its capability of going back to war. Yet
these same journalist were not so long ago concentrating
their talents on claming the IRA was still training
and had a vast armory which could be unleashed at
a moments notice.
would seem to indicate that if the IRA wanted to go
back to war they could be back to prime effectiveness
within one year or less this is the amount of time
it took them in the 70s. Of course unionist
paramilitaries would then react and so we are turned
full circle as usual, it happened in the sunningdale
agreement, the Anglo/ Irish treaty and no the GFA.
GFA is probably the weakest of all these agreements
in that it was very abstract from the beginning; this
was seen as strength in that everyones aspirations
were included. However the fragility of the GFA is
demonstrated by its exclusive inclusiveness, it promises
everything and delivers nothing. Both nationalist
and unionist aspirations are included and given equality
but this inclusiveness is exclusive to each community.
There is no cross over. Instead we have circular politics
we continue to go round and round slowly moving in
one direction or another , a bit like taking 2 steps
forward and 1 step back.
encourage a United Ireland under the auspicious of
the E.U, the pro agreement nationalist parties have
not sought the inclusion of the unionist population.
Working class nationalists and unionists suffer the
same poverty, yet the trade unions do nothing, politicians
do nothing to try and persuade both communities have
more in common the divide them. Yet we are as entrenched
in our communities as we were ten years ago. No one
has taken the mantle of Connolly or Larkin to create
a united Irish working class.
someone steps up to the plate and takes a chance in
uniting the unionist and nationalist vote, and in
educating both communities of their commonality can
some semblance of a united Ireland policy start to
be worked on, through federation or confederation
or provincial as in Switzerland. Must we always wear
blinkers and not use other countries examples to improve
years on we should be out of the nationalist/unionist
forest and should be in the clearing of united Irishmen
seeking to forge our future together under one nation,
one god, one people mmm wonder where that came from.
Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews +
Letters + Archives