One of the most unfortunate aspects of Political Life over the past few years is the presence of a class which I desribe as “Liberal Dissidents”.
We have of course got Republican and Unionists and the underbelly of these traditions ”dissidents” who are not wedded to the Peace Process are dangerous. Liberalism is also of course honourable but it also has an underbelly which is in opposition to the Good Friday Agreement and their dissident activity is in its own way as dangerous as a terrorist bomb.
Basically Liberals were (prior to the Good Friday Agreement 1998) in favour of Peace. To some degree this was because……like us all……they imagined that the shared future would have the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and SDLP leading the “unionist tradition” and “nationalist tradition” in government”. It was fully expected that the “extremes” Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin would be brought to heel.
The UUP and SDLP effectively blew it after 1998. David Trimble’s fractious UUP and Mark Durkans complacent SDLP lost ground to the DUP and Sinn Féin. Liberals who thought they could hitch their wagon to the UUP-SDLP-Alliance respectability have been disappointed. Devastated even. The middle-of-the-road and allegedly non-sectarian Alliance Party is now firmly part of the new regime.
Journalists and Commentators who cheer-led for the Good Friday Agreement have now turned against the Peace Process, mostly on the basis that it wasnt supposed to be like this. These are the people I call “Liberal Dissidents” and I refer to their self-serving, malcontent statements as “Liberal Dysentery”.