Democracy, Accountability, and the Search for Peace; St Clair McAlister Topical Views on Politics

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), March 30, 2001 | Go to article overview

Democracy, Accountability, and the Search for Peace; St Clair McAlister Topical Views on Politics


Byline: St Clair McAlister

Every columnist hopes that his, or her, written word will have some reaction from those who read it and that it might impart some knowledge, or even provoke some discussion.

This week it stirred Cecil Walker MP into action. He took time out to write a letter in response to my column. Read on Cecil - who knows? - You might just find out what the vast majority of the unionists feel about the Belfast Agreement.

Is it not a strange irony that those who are most critical of anti-Agreement Unionists are the same people who tell us that there is no alternative to the Belfast Agreement.

It is my contention that those who unconditionally accept the so-called 'Good Friday' Agreement are the very people who lack vision and imagination and have no grasp on reality.

I find it quite remarkable that most of the media and the establishment has suspended all rational analysis of the Belfast Agreement in the "interests of peace".

It is no surprise that those who played their part in negotiating the Agreement are keen to protect it and themselves from any criticism. If we are to move ahead, we must not shy away from taking a fresh look at the nature of the institutions that have been established.

How often do we hear supporters of the Agreement defend it on its merits? Although that must be difficult, if not impossible, because merits don't seem to exist, in any event for unionists. More often than not, the Agreement's supporters revert to the mantra, "there is no alternative".

They seek to censure anti-Agreement unionists for being reactionary, but are incapable of looking beyond the narrow anti-unionist confines of present arrangements. The knowledge that they would have defended any Agreement reached, as the only possible outcome, compounds the absurdity of their position.

For anti-Agreement unionists to jump through their opponents hoops, by providing details of their alternative strategy, would be foolish for two reasons. Firstly, it would immediately be criticised by those who wish to defend the status quo out of narrow party advantage and secondly, it would inhibit creative thought about the nature of a future settlement.

What is important at this time, is not to spell out the details of any alternative, but to spell out the principles which will underlie it. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Democracy, Accountability, and the Search for Peace; St Clair McAlister Topical Views on Politics
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.