The Unionists refuse to allow Sinn Fein to join the executive, as required by the agreement. Their basis for this refusal, that decommissioning must first start , is not a term of the agreement.
All reasonable people agree that arms decommissioning is an essence of democracy. But to say that it should be a precondition for entry of elected representatives to the executive is to exercise a strange selectivity. Another essence of democracy is a truly fair police force. Yet there is no demand to advance the reform of the RUC. This part of the agreement is deferred and still subject to review by Chris Patten.
Rosemary Nelson's work , including her recent attempts to obtain an inquiry into RUC collusion in the murder of a nationalist boy , was founded upon her belief in peaceful action in a legal, democratic framework.
The risk of a return to more violence, such as that of Nelson's murder, has been greatly increased by the refusal to introduce the framework of democratic cross-community government. It is daft to continue this stalemate on the grounds of decommissioning.
Coulsdon, SurreyReuse content