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Why Sinn Fein can never concede that things have changed

7 20 0

I don't suppose Twitter is a good indicator of the thinking of a cross-section of Sinn Fein voters - and I hope it isn't. First, you have to discount the trolls who can't be assumed to actually believe what they say. There may be many different reasons for anonymity on social media, but cowardice and hypocrisy have to be counted among them.

Still, one strong impression from a recent debate is that many republicans are incapable of conceding any argument to unionism. The Irish Times had published an article by Paddy Roche and Brian Barton, setting out a case for the unionist perspective, citing their conviction that their British identity is authentic and arguing that the discrimination against Catholics in the old Stormont regime wasn't as bad as made out.

There is a simple way of assessing how bad the modern Sinn Feiner has to believe things were here during unionist rule. It has to have been so bad that a murderous response was warranted.

If it wasn't so bad that any reasonable person would want to go out and shoot a policeman, or bomb a pub, in protest, or kill some farmers, then the wrong lies with the bombers and killers, not with the ideology of unionism and its expression through Stormont.

So, Sinn Fein, while remaining determined to protect a commitment to the legitimacy of the IRA campaign, can never concede that unionism, at least in the past, was anything other than a dark evil force in the land.

No one that I saw answered the Irish Times article with any generosity. No one said anything like, "You have a point there", or "Right enough, I never thought of........

© Belfast Telegraph

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