United front shows way forward
The recent events on our streets have underlined how a minority of dissidents continue to live in the past and are out of touch with the vast majority of people on all sides in Northern Ireland.
Further proof of this was demonstrated in Friday's bomb alerts, which disrupted normal life over a wide area and caused the maximum inconvenience to many thousands of people who were going about their daily business.
The lame excuse put forward by those who made the hoax bomb claims was that it was a protest against the recruitment drive for PSNI staff in a number of different areas. This is the kind of total stupidity which characterises so many of the dissidents and their actions.
The inconvenience and anger caused by Friday's bomb alerts was totally out of keeping with the current mood of people in all parts of the Province.
On Friday there was a great and shared glow of achievement following the Northern Ireland soccer team's tremendous achievements in getting to the finals of Europe, and then topping their group, after decades of failing to reach the last stages of a major international competition.
The Northern Ireland supporters included people from both main communities who were intent on supporting and applauding positive achievements, compared to those in our midst who can only hark back to a sterile and dark past.
The dissidents are yesterday's people, who are constantly reminding us balefully that they have not gone away.
They threaten to kill people if they don't get their way, and they continue to cast their menace across the Province, with an ideology which will literally lead to murdering people.
What a stark contrast this is to the goodwill of so many ordinary people, who only want to share the best things in life with their families and friends, including rare and impressive sporting victories.
It is depressing to be reminded again how backward these dissidents are. They need to be left in the past, while the rest of us move on to build a more hopeful and prosperous society.
In that respect, our Stormont politicians need also to move on.
Political vacuums are dangerous and assist only the men and women of darkness. Our people on all sides are demanding a political settlement, and the sooner it comes, the better.