Many groupings and movements in the North claim to be actin in the name of ‘the people’.
Over the years all kinds of actions, including some of the worst atrocities carried out during more than 30 years of conflict, have been both excused and condemned by invoking the name of the people.
The trouble is, ‘the people’ are not and have never been an amorphous group.
A number of issues, however, can secure agreement on all sides.
One such issue which has consistently united communities is the condemnation of attacks on those who help others, for example, the emergency services and medical professionals.
In these more peaceful times, those who help the most poor and vulnerable in our society against attacks from poverty and austerity should also be included in this category.
Debt counsellors, benefit advisors and those who help the unemployed play an essential role in serving the community. They are on the front line in the fight against deprivation and poverty.
Attacks on those carrying out this work, and their premises, should be condemned in the same terms as attacks against other essential services.
In this city, once such community advice service has been targeted 14 times in the last six months. This is an outrageous situation and must be unreservedly condemned by all.
Those who would seek to politicise the work of those who help the vulnerable and marginalised in areas of high deprivation in order to somehow advance their own misguided views are compounding the poverty they would no doubt claim to oppose.
They are certainly not acting in the name of the people.