Friday, 12 September 2008

The power of tribalism

Via Pete Baker at Slugger, a particularly pertinent article (given the debate carried below) by Henry McDonald on the Guardian politics blog, has come to my attention. McDonald addresses the vehement derision with which many nationalists greeted Mark Durkan’s suggestion that designation might one day become unnecessary and that cross community, voluntary coalitions might spring up.

“In essence, the criticism, much of it venomous, directed at Durkan illuminates the power of tribal politics in Northern Ireland. By merely daring to gaze into the future and hint that perhaps one day there could be sufficient respect and trust to produce a government of volunteer parties Durkan faced accusations that he was not only naive but in addition disloyal to his own tribe.”

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