At last the final chapter of the epic novel ’1994′ is being prepared to go to the printers. After almost two decades of training the public at large to understand that politics in the six counties is more readily comprehended when the language used is spoken, ‘… out of both sides of your mouth at the same time’, the curtain call on the reformist vision of the GFA as a route towards a united Ireland and the ending of the Nationalist nightmare is being put in place.
To date the plot has entailed the creation of a fantasy state called ‘Norn Ireland’ governed by religiously driven elites called Mullahs (shortened to MLA’s) who are selected on their ability to utter completely incomprehensible diatribes in a little known dialect called ‘double speak’. For convenience the people they represent are colour-coded as either orange or green.
Within this state things are never what they seem, yes really means no and no means yes, hence concepts such as “parity of esteem” and “equality of treatment” mean that if you are green and you decide to protest against say an invasion of your community by the orange then the mullahs have deemed that you should go to prison. However, if you are orange and decide to protest about say the decision of a democratically selected body around an issue as important as flags, then the mullahs will meet with you and offer you grant aided funding!
Similarly, if the state police decide to use 100 year old temporary legislation designed to deal with a war situation as a means of promoting peace, then this is not a regression into the past, it is a creative way of demonstrating how much things have changed!
Likewise, outdated notions of justice and trial by a jury of your peers are abandoned in favour of the much more streamline version of the criminal justice system known as internment. And once the state police have gotten you through the criminal justice system and into prison, in the interests of parity of esteem, greens are twice as likely to receive punishment and half as likely to receive home leave as the orange!
Further evidence of the improvements that have been made is demonstrated by the degree of accountability that has been achieved under the watchful eyes of the mullahs. Policing is now directed by an unknown secretive body based in a bunker in Hollywood from which they oversee the reformation of the old RUC into the new PSNI (incorporating the RUC) by means of recruiting retired members of the old RUC into the PSNI (incorporating the RUC)!
By now it should be clear that in order to fully comprehend the meaning of this latest chapter of the GFA one has to leave behind all of the old bias and bigotry of the past and embrace the new more progressive method of thinking. That is, do not allow notions of democracy, justice, equality, freedom, logic and common sense to cloud your opinion of ‘reality’ as explained to you by the mullahs and their aides. Armed with this template of how to make sense of events within the mythical state of ‘Norn Ireland’ let us have a look at the most recent example of progress towards the establishment of a united Ireland, calls for a border poll.
The TD for Louth and the president of Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams, has called for a border poll under the terms of the GFA to be held. The legislation covering this concept is contained within schedule 1 of the GFA and makes it clear who can call such a poll and under what circumstances it can take place. Now even though the legislation – which Mr. Adams helped write – makes it clear that the only person who has the authority to call a poll is the British secretary of state and only when he or she believes that they already know the outcome, this should not prevent the mullahs from calling it democracy!
Once the British secretary of state has decided that he or she wants a poll then agreement from the mullahs representing the orange (called the majority for the sake of the internationally binding legislation) can be sought. If the British secretary of state and the mullahs find agreement then the completion of this process must be authorized by the British government in Westminster!
Locally this democratic process has been termed ‘the triple lock’ and is touted as a means of ensuring that the outcome of a democratic poll is decided before the poll takes place and if the outcome is in doubt any of the three locks can be used to stop the poll!
Now, for those readers who have managed to suspend their powers of logic to stay with the argument thus far, there is a further complication. This poll only takes place within a quarter of the geographical entity called Ireland and only allows 25% of the population to take part!
In the olden days this state of affairs was called partition, which was totally undemocratic, but it has now been replaced by the revolutionary concept of the ‘peace process’ and within the fantasy state is completely democratic!
Only once this 25% have decided that they want to be Irish will the view of the other 75% be taken into consideration and if they agree with the 25% then it will be a democratic poll and if not, their view will be deemed undemocratic!
Now like any good work of fiction there is a further twist in the tale/tail. Even if all of the above is conducted under the democratic imperatives of the ‘peace process’, as explained to us by the mullahs, the triple lock that was the yard stick to implement democracy will again be used to determine whether or not the three parties i.e. the British secretary of state, the unionist majority and the British government, agree with the results of the limited poll!
So effective is this form of democracy that other world leaders such as Robert Mugabee are attempting to institute it within their own countries as a means of increasing the possibilities of peace and underscoring democracy. Strangely some of the dissidents within the British government actually object to Mr. Mugabee using their template and as a consequence refuse to play cricket with his national cricket team!
Of course all of the above is just a work of fiction and when the time comes for the democratic wishes of the Irish Nation and its peoples to be expressed they will be expressed through the democratic mechanism of a referendum on an all Ireland basis and not a partial border poll with a built in triple lock. Of course some of the mullahs will point out that this notion dates back to the internationally recognized principles of nationhood and democracy established at Westphalia in1648 and as such, within an Irish context, it represents a dissident view that ought to be consigned to history along with Galileo’s theory that the earth is round. After all the notion of the peoples of Ireland having a say in their own destiny was tried in 1918 and the result was so apparently undemocratic that it had to be militarily overthrown by the British government of the day!
Fortunately the scenario that has been outlined above is just a work of fiction that not even the MLA’s at Stormont would attempt to put forward as a form of democracy. No, democracy for the peoples of Ireland will be show when citizens and politicians alike, demand that in line with internationally recognized principles, all of the peoples of Ireland are allowed to have their say in determining their own destiny by means of the democratically recognized method of an all Ireland referendum. One Ireland one vote is the only way to recognize and respect all of the peoples of these islands, let us leave the works of fiction for escapism and put forward realistic propositions to deal with the real issues facing us as a nation and not be side tracked by the rantings of a few dissident mullahs.