Sixteen years on and still verbally re-fighting the past


Once upon a time there was a small ‘country’ on the fringe of Europe.

People were divided about their national identity and about their hopes for the future.

Some wanted to be part of a larger country to the east.

Others wanted to be independent.

The divisions involved protests, killings by state forces, flag waving, turmoil for politicians, marches, stand-offs, the military occupation by a foreign country of part of the ‘country’, a wrecked economy, arguments about languages and belligerent statements by leaders in other countries.

There! There’s no need to write about Ukraine now.

A piece about this place covers the situation.

Former US President Bill Clinton says our peace process has been imitated all around the world.

So, couldn’t they sort out the Ukraine with a mandatory coalition of the main parties?

Then, they could keep their national aspirations, with everyone agreeing to put the past behind them, respecting each other’s culture and language from now on?

Sorry, I’m getting carried away. That’s taking the analogy too far.

I’m just mocking the Stormont arrangements out of frustration that we have the Good Friday Agreement’s structures, however, sixteen years on, we still spend far too much time verbally re-fighting the past.

It would be great if we could move on.

Isn’t it long past time for Stormont to deliver something of substance?