Wednesday, 2 April 2008

When is a nationalist not a nationalist?

It is a rich irony that nationalist politicians do not believe that local politicians are capable of reaching a decision about the Bill of Rights. Both Sinn Fein and SDLP representatives have expressed a preference for this bill to be implemented by Westminster should the bill get to that stage.

Nationalists appealing to the British government to implement legislation in Northern Ireland may be ironic, but it is hardly surprising given the content of the report containing proposals for the Bill of Rights. The bill comprises sections which read like a nationalist wish list and any vote requiring cross community consensus, or even a simple majority, would be unlikely to be carried in the Assembly.

Rather than a bill which aims to protect the human rights of everyone in Northern Ireland, the proposals weld on to duplication of existing human rights law, measures which impose a duty to ignore the crimes of terrorists and a duty to fund from the public purse unnecessary services in minority languages.

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