Thursday, 13 June 2013
So NI21 has arrived with all the technological razzamatazz expected of Team Jasil. Did we learn what they stood for, not really – we learned that while John thought a decision on gay marriage was one for individual conscience Basil made it clear, as leader, that support for gay marriage was the first item in their policy portfolio. It was also noticeable that their policy on gay marriage now reflects the Alliance position which also calls into question just how much clear blue water can they create between them. The first couple of days were however dominated not by #Freshpolitics but by an inability by Basil to rule out support for polygamy when challenged on the Nolan show. While the subject was a strange one to get hung up on the core issue was Basil’s belief in Libertarianism as his key political philosophy. Such is Basil’s belief in the right of the individual to determine his or her values and morals he rejects the right of the state to interfere or in the case of the Union in certain circumstances the right of the state to govern. This attempt to reject the morals and values of a developed society is reflective not of a carefully considered political movement but more of an anarchistic desire on the part of a semi-charismatic leader to gather support from amongst those who reject society. For Northern Ireland, at this time in its development the most concerning quote from Basil came in his speech at the party launch when he asked “Am I alone in thinking that I do not need a peace and reconciliation process because I didn’t kill anybody, or support anybody who did.” To date the progress that has been made in Northern Ireland has been made on the basis that we all have a role to play in moving forward. Basil’s rejection of any culpability or responsibility to be part of that process opens the way for some in society to opt out, to wash their hands of the problems in society and live as I, myself and me. Whether it is in addressing social deprivation, poor health outcomes, educational under achievement or any other issue that divides us libertarian anarchism offers no solution other than allowing some in society to escape their responsibility. NI21 will offer a home for the discontented, but as they develop they will need structures and rules, all determined by Basil, as these are put in place those who have flocked to hear his message will realize these are the very rules and structures they rebel against. The seeds of NI21’s destruction are woven into the anarchic foundation of its creation.