Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Saying nothing can be the best policy

It is difficult not to have sympathy for David McNarry’s views on the Irish Language within the Assembly. It must be galling to have one’s time wasted and patience exhausted by an exercise in political posturing by Sinn Fein.

To then be accused of anti-Irishness, simply because you refuse to play along with this charade quietly is a further preposterous indignity.

Making an issue of his frustrations, however, is playing into the hands of Sinn Fein who are intent on stirring passions on this issue and turning it into a specious equality agenda. I have indicated before that unionists need to maintain cool heads on this issue and not succumb to anything which can be perceived as a gut reaction to the Irish Language.


Kloot said...

Have any of the Unionists parties actually got a policy on Irish ?

We know they are all against the Irish act, but have they any positive polices towards the language.

If it were the case that Unionist parties were to formulate polices on the language that were positive and progress in tone, I think nationalists would be less likely to retort with the "Anti-Irishness" jibes.

Unionists claim SF are politicising the language. If so, then why not side track them by meeting with Irish language groups and showing a willingness to engage with the language and to understand the needs of those speakers and supporters of the language. Use these engagements to formulate a positive policy towards the language and propose it in the assembly.

Just saying no will not resolve the issue.

Chekov said...

I can't disagree with those observations Kloot. I think you raise a very fair point.

Kloot said...


The same reciprocated approach from SF and nationalist with regards to Unionist concerns would go along way to breaking down barriers

Chekov said...

In an ideal world that would certainly be the case.

It takes somebody with some bravery and vision on either side to push such an approach and recognise that ultimately it would be beneficial to their position.

Unfortunately the fevered tone adopted by some Irish Language groups for example, or by some members of the loyal orders on the other, proclaiming their inalienable human rights with all the self-righteous pomposity of true MOPEs, does not help to foster an environment where it is easy for the parties to do this.

I would love the UUP to take the lead and formulate a coherent policy for the Irish Language, promoting its cultural values whilst advancing the view that there is no need for it in the public sphere. A constructive approach like that would certainly sieze the initiative. Unfortunately under pressure from the DUP and unsure how to respond to that pressure, I can't see it happening soon.

Kloot said...

It takes somebody with some bravery and vision on either side to push such an approach and recognise that ultimately it would be beneficial to their position.

Couldn't agree more. Sadly, it doesnt appear that this leadership exists at this moment in time.

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