11.04.08, More Politics.

Political Ironies and political apathy. Politicians in Northern Ireland,England, Eire and America are celebrating the first 10 years of the Good Friday Agreement. It is ironic because it was the Westminster politicians who foolishly sent in the Paras on Bloody Sunday. The whys and wherefores of that day have been rumbling on for 39 years, costing millions and getting nowhere. It is ironic because some of the very people who are doing the celebrating in all those countries, were physically taking part in, financially and advisedly contributing to, sympathetic to or turning a blind eye to, a conflict that caused the death of so many innocents, to a greater extent than their efforts in the final agreement. We, Catholic and Protestant, but the silent majority, who felt we had got it made in 68, had it taken away from us, and if truth be known it is still rumbling on, like a dormant volcano. People are still being killed, politicians wrangle and fight their corner, the police, the fire service, and the ambulance service,are all being stoned and petrol bombed by would-be freedom fighters for excitement, parentally unchecked. The silent majority knew from the outset that there would be no outcome, they had seen it all before. What definitely started out as a legitimate grievance, ultimately became a gangland war with money not the righting of grievance as the main objective.We have seen the same thing happen in the Balkans, in Africa and elsewhere.Be wary of political apathy

Political Overstatement. In the past, I have been critical of our parliamentary system, but I have been very unjust to those MPs who work on our behalf, under the strict direction of those at the top, or to those who are small in number, but represent a large electorate. When a party is in an unassailable position, it is open to mismanagement, and misdirection by those in control. We in Northern Ireland have had the most amazing political transformation, whereby a party which was virtually unassailable, and had a high representation in Westminster, suddenly lost all but one of its seats, with the result that one person is having to carry the burden of a very high proportion of the electorate, because political apathy allowed the number of people voting to drop so severely that it caused this reversal. I’m sure that there are many more of the 646 members of parliament who are also there either singly or in very small numbers, representing large electorates, and working hard. To these I offer my apologies for some of my sweeping statements.

Can overstatements be legitimate? I’m writing about the disparity between a statement put out by the IMF, and those made by Alistair Darling about the state of our economy. I suspect that the large differential is as much to do with the face-saving of the Prime Minister, our last Chancellor, as it is to do with preventing some sort of financial crisis through panic. I remember when France fell Churchill made that wonderful speech which in effect made no bones about our dire situation. I believe that it is totally wrong for people in charge to make statements which, with the level of background expertise and real knowledge they can call upon, are misleading to the level that we are discussing here. If anything the IMF statement was such a shock, that it alone was enough to cause panic in some areas. Have you noticed how many flyers are coming through the door giving incredible discounts because cash flow is drying up?

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