"The peace process appears to be moving at two speeds in which some communities remain caught in a perpetual cycle of poverty, sectarian asperity and intra-community devotion whilst others are shifting into less antagonistic positions. These shifts are paralleled by a decline in voting and political participation."
As Mick Fealty said:
"There are two Northern Irelands. There’s a new one that is still trying to give birth to a new way of seeing the wider world, Northern Ireland’s place in it and how each citizen might relate positively to one another. And there’s the old one, breed by at least one generation of murder, betrayal not to mention remote and dysfunctional government. Every now and then someone presses a tribal button and the door swings open on the abiding suspicion, alienation and loathing between neighbours."
"Anyone who visits Belfast realises very quickly that it is a divided city with its numerous peace walls, divided services and education. Yet at its core there has always been a population that has just wanted to get on with their lives. Go into the city centre in the evening you see pubs full to the rafters with people and thousands of tourists enjoying this culturally rich city.David then makes a critical point:
"Sadly some of the city’s politicians would rather emphasise the former aspects of this city rather than the latter."I would go further and say, as I did on eamonnmallie.com here, that while Northern Ireland is simultaneously progressive and regressive, the political representation is almost singularly regressive (typified by its permanent feudal, tribal, sectarian focus). In the face of that, you either compromise on what is most precious to you, your peace and prosperity, or you stand up, demand and vote for better representation.