Veto must go
Once again this week there have been conflicting versions of the truth between republicans and the British government with regard to the Peace Process. Once again, the British have been found out. Rather than admit that he was set upon his course of suspending the institutions to appease unionism, Peter Mandelson claimed that he was unaware of the IRA initiative which formed the basis of a second more positive de Chastelain report, an assertion which he was later forced to retract.
Rather than see this process in a logical way, ie. silent guns are no threat, the British government has chosen to align itself with unionist demands, to the extent that it has breached an International Treaty, ignored the wishes of the Irish people as overwhelmingly expressed through referenda North and South, and has caused a breach with the Dublin government.
There were hopes that this Labour administration may have been willing to seriously engage in attempting to find a real and lasting peace settlement in Ireland. Unfortunately, the unionist writ still runs deep at Westminster and when push comes to shove, backing the Orange veto is still the option of first resort. News as we go to press of British plans to disregard their own consultation process with all the groups involved in the sectarian parades issue merely reinforces this opinion.
This move will have widespread consequences for this year's marching season and could facilitate Orange parades through isolated nationalist areas, despite the wishes of residents.
The traditional British policy of upholding the unionist veto, whether on the Ormeau Road or in the wider political arena, must end if this peace process is to ever work.