Dangerous ideology hasn't gone away
The latest display of republican paramilitaries openly parading in Londonderry is most disturbing. The fact that the police allowed this blatant spectacle to take place under their watchful gaze is in sharp contrast to the grim news from Co Armagh, where militant republicans tried yet again to murder some of their PSNI colleagues.
The paramilitary "jamboree" in Derry runs contrary to the claims from security experts and others that these people are only a "tiny minority".
How many people believe the police claims that militant republicans have no significant support, or access to arms and ammunition?
How does this square with the fact that shots were fired over the coffin of the veteran republican Peggy O'Hara in Derry last week?
To make things worse, the latest footage actually shows the police watching the procession file past their Land Rover, and people are entitled to ask why they allowed this to happen.
For example, would the PSNI stand by and watch a bank-robber break the law? Yet nothing is done when republicans break the law by wearing paramilitary uniforms.
If the Chief Constable is employing a softly-softly policy, then he should spell this out, and also tell us why he believes that a clear breach of the law is not really an offence .
It is a very disturbing situation when the police in Derry tolerate a glorification of violence, and yet a murder bid is being carried out on other PSNI officers elsewhere.
In Derry, there was a clear indication for the whole world to see that there are still too many republicans, including young people, who are prepared to use violence to achieve their political ends.
The attitude shown by all these people is disgraceful in a country where the vast majority of citizens want to live by the rule of law, and not the bomb and the bullet.
The appalling scenes in Derry have shown yet again that militant republicans are still the enemies of peace, and that they continue to have a dangerous ideology which is being systematically kept alive.
That threat has not gone away, or changed one iota, since the signing of the peace agreement.
That is all the more reason why we all need to work together to root out this poisonous ideology, which offers nothing but more injuries, destruction, misery and death.