In the light of comments on my blog
‘It’s well past time to move on’
the majority of which were favourable one comment made me think. The writer accused me of being idealistic.
What is an idealist? : someone who believes that very good things can be achieved, often when this does not seem possible…
It made me think. Was he /she right?
What I want to achieve is to leave the past behind where it belongs. It is gone, can’t be retrieved, what is done can’t be undone. We should have learned from it of course but many haven’t. We need to compensate the victims and then plan for the future. We are where we are and the present and future is what we need to concentrate on.
My ideal future is a non-sectarian society where religion is a personal matter; where we live and let live; recognising that others views are to be respected; where nationalism and loyalism and those who are neither can co -exist without sniping and harbouring suspicion of the either side; recognising each other’s aspirations and using legitimate arguments to persuade voters. And where we stop harping back to the past.
But how to get there? Looking at the current situation I see both main parties stuck in a quicksand, sinking deeper and deeper. Every taunt, every jibe and they sink a bit further. The smaller parties are on the edge and aren’t influential enough to reach the sinking parties. But then an election will come along and lo and behold voters arrive and give the two main parties a helping hand. Tribal politics wins out again.
What if we allowed the two main parties to sink and voted for those who want to live side by side and practice real politics? But hold on! The problem then is that in NI there is no way that some voters will opt for a party that doesn’t have a view on the union and so the stalemate continues.
Our only hope is that the younger generation will opt for non- sectarian politics. But then my generation had high hopes for that also. Would this mean a United Ireland or a revamped Northern Ireland secure in its own identity.? I don’t know. Personally I see myself as Northern Irish and am happy that Northern Ireland remain as part of the United Kingdom.
I don’t know what is going to happen but realise it won’t happen in my lifetime but maybe my grandchildren and the next generation will help to break this vicious cycle and the past will be just what it is the past. So, yes, I am idealistic but there’s no harm in hoping.
I realise I could have written this 20 years ago, even 10 years ago as nothing much has changed.