Belfast Telegraph

Home Opinion Letters

Culture of conflict being exploited for votes

THE parades issue, as with the battle over flags, has revealed that what appears to be happening in this society is that, as in the past in communist and fascist organisations engaging in conflict, things are stirred up on the streets so as to allow the DUP and Sinn Fein to step in and be the all-conquering heroes.

The argument then appears to be that this society cannot do without the hardmen at all levels. We are called then to support the hardmen in Government, who won't let us down.

In the case of the DUP, some of the hardmen tend to be loyalist paramilitaries, whom they are loath to criticise. With Sinn Fein, it's the usual suspects. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, where an uninformed public are made aware that the natural vote for them at all levels must be for those who will fight battles for them and they then reject the moderating forces, which play by the usual ethical rules.

In essence, the DUP and Sinn Fein carve out a niche for themselves by having almost a battle a day with each other, with either side often refusing to back down.

This "culture of conflict" at Stormont results in conflict in society that is harnessed by agitators and results in things like the absurd flag protests and irresolvable parade disputes.

This stirs more conflict in Stormont, which is how the DUP and Sinn Fein maximise their vote. The rotation sees endless conflict, with DUP and Sinn Fein rule.

JOHN O'CONNELL

Derry

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph