Editor's Viewpoint: In this charged atmosphere, some children of the ceasefire generation seem intent to repeat the errors of their elders
Going to university is an opportunity to broaden one's horizons, learn new information and challenge accepted verities. But obviously that is a message which has failed to get through to the youth wing of Sinn Fein at Queen's University.
Instead, they decided to repeat tired old mantras and insult some of their fellow students by putting up a poster bearing the slogan Brits Out.
Everyone knows that Sinn Fein aspires to an united Ireland. That is a legitimate political ideology, but the youth wing forgoes logical argument and instead merely tells the majority community in Northern Ireland that they are not welcome.
Of course it should be pointed out that their Brits Out slogan is far from original and the party's president proudly marched behind a banner with the words England Get Out of Ireland at a St Patrick's Day parade in the United States.
Where is the parity of esteem in such slogans? Where is the acknowledgement that those with British and Irish allegiances share the same piece of earth and that any future political arrangement is dependent on compromise?
The Queen's University students are supposed to be the children of the ceasefire generation which it was hoped would seize the peace and help create a more stable and inclusive society. However, in the febrile atmosphere engendered by Brexit, sectarianism, rather than inclusiveness, rears its head often. Sadly, some young people seem intent on repeating the errors of their elders and instead of seeking a new society are simply creating the same divisions as their parents and grandparents endured.
What we need are politicians who will show leadership and statesmanship and make sectarian comments like Brits Out a thing of the past.
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