Paisley Jnr in sensible comment shock

I've finally got around to reading that interview with Ian Paisley Jnr and, while his comments about gays and lesbians are every bit as vile as reported, I was surprised to find a bit of sense rarely seen in Irish politicians - north or south, republican, nationalist, unionist or other. Asked about segregation in schools, Baby Doc said:

Believe it or not, I went to an integrated school. I believe parents should have the choice, but I believe that if you want to have the choice of a religious, exclusive school then you should pay for that choice - it should not be paid for by the State... I understand that the churches have a huge input into all this, but I think the churches need to stand back and the sooner the better.

I continue my long wait for Sinn Féin to adopt such a sensible, progressive position.

Incidentally, toward the end of the interview Paisley Jnr also refers to the problems that could arise in the event of abortion law liberalisation in the South. Is he bothered by the potential deaths of Irish "babies"? Does he worry that it could encourage similar moves north of the border? No, his specific issue is solely to do with the existence of different laws in different parts of the island. Er, isn't that part of what unionism is all about?


Ciarán said...

In terms of an "exclusive school" perhaps Ian Óg should be asked what his position is on state funding for Irish-medium education.

Also, while it'd be ideal that religious schools receive no state funding there's a particular problem in terms of the six counties where traditionally only the CCMS offered an alternative to state schooling, and can you blame nationalists for not wanting to send their kids to state schools in the six counties over the past 80 years?

The integrated education system in the North-East is also organised on a strongly Christian basis. The truth is that at the minute in the occupied six counties your best chance of getting secular education is to go through the Irish-medium schools. There are only two or so that are run by the CCMS, the rest are independent of them.

Wednesday said...

I don't blame nationalist parents at all, I blame those who created the system that made state schools = Protestant schools (and it should be noted in this that all the churches in the North were highly resistant to early attempts to create integrated schooling). It's simply a principle. I don't accept that the answer to Protestant domination of state-funded schools is to create separate state-funded Catholic schools. The answer is to eliminate that domination.

Besides, whatever about the North, there's hardly any justification for it down here.

Ciarán said...

I agree with you completely. I do believe in principle that religious schooling, any private schooling for that matter, should not receive a penny in support from the state. I was just stating above why there'd be resistance to the idea from certain sectors.

Another issue in this discussion is that unionists would often consider Irish-medium schools and catholic-maintained schools to be one and the same; it makes it easier to browbeat people over the Irish-medium sector's funding.

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