"The irony is that in general terms, sectarianism is on the slide, and mixed marriages are up and the wider population is beginning to adopt a more open view of how the world works than many of their most senior politicians."Politicians stand as fountainheads for the most extreme: talking singularly about the past, parades and victims. Yet, as Brian Rowan said of the parading stalemate of summer 2013, "The standoff is in one part of Belfast, and here and everywhere else, people have other worries - food, bills, jobs, education."
The effect of this cause is apathy and indifference which only sustains the bogus cause. A negative and hideous feedback loop. Taking a line from Alex Kane, moderate unionism and nationalism has been replaced with opt-out-couldn't-care-less-about-the-whole-thing-anymore unionism and nationalism. We need to break and replace the negative with a virtuous feedback loop.
This requires a two strand remedy and the dismantling of the older order. Northern Ireland needs a new generation of journalists and new politicians.
A New Generation of Journalists
Micheál Martin leader of Fianna Fáil said:
Alex Kane said:
"Fundamentally, a public discourse once solely focused on conflict has not evolved a new approach. There are only a handful of journalists who pay any attention to the wider cultural, social and economic dimensions of relations within Northern Ireland and between North and South."A New Generation of Politicians
"Northern Ireland needs a new political generation, a new agenda and new political parties. It needs people who will work together to make Northern Ireland a success. It needs a generation of politicians who will refuse to accept that stalemate, mutual veto and same-old, same-old elections are the best we can hope for."Previous posts on "The Two Worlds of Northern Ireland" series here, here, here, here, here and here.