The commentary on the Stephen Nolan Show last week ignored the massive elephant in the room that is the absolute lack of democracy in the Six Counties. Equally feeble in expressing this were Pearse Doherty and Claire Hanna. The North has some of the most deprived areas in Western Europe, overall poverty is extremely worse than any other region on these isles.
Asked about hope in a panel discussion a while back about the future of this island, the Irish News columnist Patrick Murphy said there is absolutely none for the Six Counties, as there is no way of overcoming the stalemate of the current status quo, with the current set-up condemning the North to much more of the same in perpetuity.
The trade unionist Robert Heatley predicted this stalemate in a pamplet ‘Breaking the Deadlock: A way out of the Northern Impass’ as far back as 1991. Foreworded by Clare Short MP, the likes of Monica McWilliams signed up to the priciples set out in it as well as a variety of other human rights and trade union activists, with musicians, poets and students seconding it also.
The long and short of the pamplet was that nothing short of United Ireland would bring about a permanent resolution to the conflict and a chance of real democracy across this island, that continuing undemocratic influence from Westminster would only lead to further problems down the road.
The only way the North can prosper is to hand democracy back into the hands of the people, to give us a chance to rebuild this society for the betterment of generations to come, that another generation does not have to suffer the pain and strife that those before them have been condemned to.