Nesbitt entrenched in his illiberal views

Letters to Editor
Letters to Editor

With boring predictability the animated Ulster Unionist MLA Mike Nesbitt (SF cannot meet challenge on past, September 12) expressing reservations about proposals on dealing with the past accuses nationalists who seek justice for state-sponsored violence perpetrated against them of taking a disproportionately unfair, imbalanced and partial position.

This statement suggests that the family of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane should not seek a public inquiry into his killing? It appears, according to Mike Nesbitt’s’ logic, that the Finucane family have a right to be angry but not to justice.

So, to appease both unionists and the British government the 11 innocent civilians shot dead in Ballymurphy in 1972, the savage murder of solicitor Rosemary Nelson, the victims of the Shankill Butchers, the Loughinisland massacre, McGurks bar bombing in 1971, the Stevens Report on collusion and the Stalker/Sampson Report on security forces shoot-to-kill policy, are to be quietly shelved in case we wake up the rough beast of unionist sectarianism.

Mr Nesbitt has remained consistent to a singular viewpoint, that of support for the political position of unionists in a squalid state and reserves his invective almost exclusively for nationalist victims of state sponsored murder.

Mr Nesbitt has emerged from a unionist monolithic culture, with its carefully cultivated territorial and demographic carve-up and a policy of sectarian patronage in jobs and housing and whose definition of democracy was a sectarian headcount.

The monolithic combination of unionism and the Orange Order rendered moral and social responsibility obsolete in their treatment of almost half the population of the North from 1921 until Stormont was prorogued in 1971. For half a century, Catholics/nationalists were imprisoned in politically constructed ghetto’s, were denied equal access to jobs, and to ensure the unbridled continuation of this odious policy, were denied equal voting rights. I take it Mr Nesbitt wasn’t sufficiently offended by this behaviour as unionists merrily rode the sectarian bandwagon. How can one so entrenched in illiberal and sectarian views, criticise others or indeed offer wise counsel?

Tom Cooper, Dublin