There are three persistent groups who are still in love with death:
- Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)
- Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA),
- Óglaigh na hÉireann.
The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) is in ceasefire.
Politicians are obliged to dig into the thesaurus of condemnatory epithets, starting with madmen/criminals/psychopaths, but it is more important to understand their motivations.
These are people with a single idea: that Ireland should be one nation across the whole island, purged entirely of British influence.
It is the single, total, obsessing idea that is the root of all political evil. It is not confined to terrorists. The idea of free market fundamentalism, or of individualism, or any other single ideal is just as destructive, because we live in a complex system of interlinked realities, not in some kind of bubble dominated by a single perfect concept.
Perfection is not possible. Politics is about optimising the various forces that go to make up society.
This is not to say that there are no guiding principles of political and economic behaviour, and politics should be based on the best assessment and harmonisation of the available principles.
In the 21st century, the emerging insight is that politics cannot be just based on some aspect of humanity, whether that aspect is the individual or society, the need for order or the need for liberty, but the situation of mankind as a species whose existence, like all other species, is entirely dependent on a healthy environment.
That insight resolves all the other political insights.
Am I contradicting myself by putting forward the ecological insight as the primary ideal? I do not think so, because the ecological principle is based on fact - science if you will - rather than ideals.
From the ecological insight, all the other ideas flow - the need to rely on energy income from the sun, rather than damaging use of capital energy sources, and above all, the need to co-operate with each other peacefully and creatively, rather than indulging in the cycle of destruction, hatred and death that is expressed in all militarism, from the mind-boggling magnitude of the war machines of Governments, to the merciless anger of the Real IRA.