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In any great organization
it is far, far safer
to be wrong with the majority
than to be right alone.
- John Kenneth Galbraith



The Status Quo Is Never An Option


Tommy Gorman

I would like if I may respond to the piece by Paul Fitzsimmons carried last week. I have to say that I had to wade through his overuse of emphases, quotation marks and parentheses several times to get some handle on what he was saying. He doesn't exactly set the right tone when establishing his historical bona fides and is going to have to accept that there are a few of us who have lived the situation in Ireland for a bit longer than his "mere two decades of formal and informal study".

Paul's attitude is strikingly similar to that of Sinn Fein spokespeople when dealing with criticism. Gerry Adams on the one hand emphasises the need for analysis and criticism and when someone actually offers an analysis that is at variance with that of the Provisional leadership they are branded "nay-sayers, cynics and armchair generals". Paul Fitzsimmons would have us as "whiners" or "bar-room rebels". What is a person to do? Does he allow for any opposition at all to the status quo?

I speak up because I have invested a substantial part of my life in the struggle for social economic and political emancipation. That which the Provisional leadership has settled for falls well short of that. That I have been part of the "movement" and have spent time in prison for my efforts, however, does not give me any more right to speak out than any other citizen of Ireland. If today's political arrangements are about shaping the destiny of everyone on this island then everyone has an equal right to speak out. Like others I have availed of this inalienable right and will continue to do so. The status quo is never an option.



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