Friday, August 15, 2008

When apples still grow in November

Mick on the future of nationalism in Ireland. Very comprehensive, nothing that isn't very obvious really, when you think about it, but something that appears to have eluded the green part of Northern Ireland's political class for a long time.
"If the limit of Sinn Féin's ambition ..... is to simply to be the bigger fish in the smaller of two Northern Irish ponds, then adopting a Millwall-like "Everybody hates us and we don't care" attitude, may be sufficient to get its short term troubles over policing and justice and assorted other "house-keeping" matters pertaining to the past.

Yet it will not take nationalism over the win line on the one issue that apparently matters most. For that they will need willing Protestant votes from willing Protestant people. But, as Bertie Ahern argued towards end of his term as Taoiseach, that requires the willing civilisation of what remains a profoundly uncivil space..."

It begs the very real question: What, exactly, motivates politicians in Northern Ireland? And is - as Peadar Kearney's lament implies - Irish nationalism partly dependent upon long term failure for its survival?

1 comment:

Bob Piper said...

On your final point, why should it? Scottish nationalism seems to have thrived without having to rely on long term failure.

If anything, I suspect the support for the union amongst those who say they vote for the 'nationalist' parties i.e. Sinn Fein or SDLP is likely to be based on a rejection of the corrupt politics of the South rather than any great love of the union.