UK news Northern Ireland riots: Responsible political leadership is the only answer to unrest last news
MetiNews.Com - The shocking and depressing scenes witnessed over the last week reflect abject longer-term failures of political leadership. So many that it is difficult to know where to start.
Breaking News ! "The shocking and depressing scenes witnessed over the last week reflect abject longer-term failures of political leadership. So many that it is difficult to know where to start. Let us begin at the top, with the Prime Minister.Many of us observers at the DUP conference three years ago winced as Boris Johnson whipped up his audience, denouncing any form of Brexit which involved an Irish Sea border. Whilst politics is rarely bereft of cynical actions, this was as reckless and crass as it gets. Johnson was entirely self-interested, using one party to launch a leadership bid in another, without the slightest regard for the consequences. The inevitable betrayal of the DUP and unionism more broadly was not long in coming. Boris Johnson might think it acceptable to use and abuse people in this way, to fulfil his personal ambition. Others might see his performance as utterly unedifying and downright dangerous.That Arlene Foster, as First Minister, failed to see the Prime Minister’s U-turn coming displayed an extraordinary absence of political antennae. And the mistakes have kept on coming, extending beyond Brexit. Foster was atop the moral high ground on Covid, critical of rule-breachers and emphasising the need for difficult collective sacrifice.As Northern Ireland burned, the First Minister — albeit only briefly — adopted the extraordinary position of not meeting the Chief Constable.The Loyalist Communities Council, the political arm of loyalist paramilitarism, could have an audience, but not Simon Byrne, a man who wanted prosecutions after the Storey funeral but was overruled by the independent Public Prosecution Service.Whilst the PSNI’s policing and culpability can fairly be questioned, calling for the Chief Constable’s head at this time hardly helps a difficult situation.Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill’s ‘sorry but not too much’ approach since the Bobby Storey funeral has also invited derision. Whatever confusion existed over Covid regulations, they definitely did not contain a clause saying it was fine to put thousands of mourners onto the streets. The display sent out a message that Sinn Fein controls the local state. Loyalists have taken cues and engaged in shows of strength in theirs.Loyalist paramilitaries continue to exercise influence, 23 years after a deal was supposed to put them out of existence.
. There is no credible armed republican threat to Northern Ireland, the status of which can only be changed via a democratic vote. So why, according to intelligence reports, are there still loyalist paramilitary groups with a collective membership some 12,500 strong?What would constitute better leadership? The Executive and Assembly emergency meetings represent a start. The parties must show willingness to cooperate. External brokerage from the United States helped produce the Good Friday Agreement, and the Biden administration will be willing to help this time, but not to negotiate away the Protocol. Relations between unionism and the Dublin government are in urgent need of repair.The EU needs to recognise the gravity of the situation and accept that the UK is not seeking to undermine its Single Market. That means light touch applications of the Protocol. Brexit was not desired by most Northern Ireland citizens, dragged out of the EU against their will and fearful of a harder border on the island. But the survey evidence shows they are not keen on a GB-NI border either. So, the EU-UK Joint Committee needs to analyse how the protocol should be safely managed, on a minimalist basis.Immediate blame for recent events lies with the bus burners and rioters. Ask them to articulate knowledge of the protocol, Article 16, or export declarations and they might struggle. There has been a lot said about how violence, or its threat, is futile and changes nothing. Well, up to a point. The implicit risk of its return from republicans contributed to the protocol. It is just that not many observers considered the possibility of loyalist violence. Responsible political leadership will diminish that threat. It is time for such leadership to begin."
Source = MetiNews.Com