“Progressives” coming across as callous on victims’ issues

I will return in due course to a subject I raised on Queen’s University’s Compromise after Conflict site here, about how “Progressives” (SPL – “Secular, Progressive, Liberal”) are almost becoming a third “pillar” in Northern Ireland society (versus “PUL” and “CNR”).

I would consider myself one. Yet I also hinted in that piece (and in my response to this one over on Slugger) that “Progressives” can be just as bigoted in some of their views as anyone else. Increasingly, one obvious example is victims issues – although to be clear, the lead “Progressive” party, Alliance, has maintained a highly fair and sensitive stance.

Other “Progressives” have not been quite so sensitive, unfortunately. Some jumped on the figure of £190 million to police the past as “evidence” that we should move on without even looking for the truth. The notion that justice and the truth have a price tag is difficult enough, but for victims (who have already given so much) to hear this is disgusting.

I have cautioned other “Progressives”, particularly new to politics, that they are simply coming across as callous. Being involved in politics or the civic sphere generally in Northern Ireland requires a degree of sensitivity – including about what may and frankly may not be advocated publicly. I fear some new to the game are missing that, and causing further pain as they do so.


7 thoughts on ““Progressives” coming across as callous on victims’ issues

  1. Kieran says:

    If there is one thing we do well in Northern Ireland it’s victimhood. It doesn’t take very long for for the slightest bit of controversy to manifest itself as outrage. The victims of the sectarian war need a process to cope with their clear and apparent hurt, but it should not be holding any political processes in NI back. It should be a side issue and not the main issue as it is today. This Country is forever looking backward and its rearward viewpoint is being facilitated by politicians being paid to keep the fires of misery stoked.
    We already have a victims commission, let them do their job an make the politicians work for the people they are supposed to represent. Give me jobs, give me a better education system, give me a first class health service but do not give me continual transportation to the past. There will be no truth and there will be no widespread justice, so lets do the best we can for those that were affected and lets move on for the sake of our children, lest we return to the dark days of the past.

  2. harryaswell says:

    Nonsense! Until justice is done, and seen to be done, we cannot move forward. To forgive and forget is indeed nonsense and particularily fromSinn Fein and also Alliance. You say Alliance is progressive? I think not! It is full of wooly thinking part time politicians more interested in PC than getting their acts together and persuading Republicans to follow their own advice.

    • Kieran says:

      Where will the justice come from? We let all the prisoners out of jail and created legislation that says you cannot use forensics in body or weapons finds in cases before the GFA? Do we sit on our hands and hope the baddies confess? A wee bit of sack cloth and ashes? Well said Attorney General and those like him.

      • harryaswell says:

        To give in to bullies is to lose out to bullies! Or, in this case, to murderers. What planet are you on? Republican’s have NO intention to any sort of agreement except on “their” terms. It does take two to tango! Courage is what is required, not mealy mouthed aquiessence.

  3. Kieran says:

    I’m on this planet Harry and that is why i pointed out to you, Justice is unachievable due to the legislation that already exists in this Country. Stamping your feet and crowing about standing up to the bullies is little more than lip services to a flawed ambition. Justice is not coming for some! It is unfortunate but nevertheless it is reality.

    • harryaswell says:

      HEH!! I doubt that anything anyone does is going to please you Kieran! You are talking about “people”, NOT robots! – Of “course” people will remember the troubles, and also all the hardships that they were forced to undergo. The decision to take up arms and go to, sic “war”, was entirely a Republican Movement decision, made totally undemocratically. The end result of which is the situation we now find ourselves in. You will never, ever, get a fair and satisfactory peace until you stand up and fight for your principles. Sinn Fein/IRA negotiated a peace with the full understanding that we ALL forgive, forget, and respect each other and each other’s cultures. This has not and is not happening. Sinn Fein, instead, spend their time preparing crafty traps for the unwary, particularly aimed at the Protestant community and forcing a United Ireland upon us willynilly regardless. They only agreed to a peace because they were finished, with no support. They are indeed bullies. I have always fought against bullies in any shape or form. You can sneer all you like and call it lip service to a flawed ambition if you so wish. Smart ass comments such as those are merely unhelpfull. What we want is genuine and honest participation in talks that result in agreement and genuine participation with all hands pulling together in the same direction. So far, no sign of that. Giving in to extremism is decidedly NOT the answer.

  4. Kieran says:

    If i could hand the victims justice Harry i would. The thing is, if we are truly honest then we must accept that Republicans, Loyalists and the Government committed atrocities here and this reason alone is why we will never have justice or the truth. That’s why the truth and justice wagon needs to be an integral part of our move into the future, but it must not be a hurdle for us to cross before we go move toward the future.
    Pointing the finger of blame at one section of our community does nothing to help, it only serves to make the other side develop their own entrenched positions and the ultimate outcome is continuing conflict. We need off the carousel and start running this Country properly. Failure to do so is another decade or two or tit for tat politics or worse, some idiots will think that they can achieve their aims with violence.

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