That comment about malign agendas… July 20, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, Northern Ireland.
This, this puzzles me from last week…
PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins warned yesterday against complacency and “a false comfort zone of amnesia” where the Northern Ireland peace process was concerned.
He emphasised that those “with malign agendas” must not be allowed “rewrite history and perversely undermine” the progress that had been made.
Who precisely is he talking about? Is he talking about Republicans – who have shrugged aside, if not entirely off, parts of the history of the past thirty years and more, or perhaps Unionists who have managed something of the same as regards the years before the last forty odd years. Or both? And what of the British? We’re told all is changed, changed utterly since a visit or two in the past twelve months or so. And let’s not forget the disinterest and the passivity of the South across much of a century?
This issue of memory and forgetting is interesting because it is so clearly politicised and it so clearly has political outcomes. Now I think there’s both good and bad reasons for remembering, and I think I’d tend to tilt to remembering as long as it doesn’t hobble progress and developments the future. But that’s a tricky call.
In a way the question is not who was malign, but who wasn’t – even accepting that there were different levels and forms of malign acts.
Though I guess that this nebulous language is the very stuff of Presidential speeches.