Somewhere in a dimly lit room ,a collection of high -browed, egg-headed scientists and various academics have been tussling over the solutions to a series of upcoming and annually recurring problems in Norneverland .They have been locked in deep consultation for many months and like oil-rig workers, we’ll assume ,they are only allowed home on a rota basis .Six weeks on and six weeks off, to decompress and clear their minds for yet another brainstorming assault on the problems of the day…. Some of these profound ideas which torture their sleepless nights, might seep into the public conciousness on a gradual, slow- drip basis ; sometimes “leaked” out into the media to gauge public concern or possible compliance and some are simply hoisted ready-made onto a generally disbelieving public to like it or lump it, as it were.. The public have become so used to this kind of thing from politicians and public servants that they are quite prepared to believe just about everything and anything, such has been the level of slow political brainwashing in Norneverland.
It has long been assumed by these great thinkers that the so-called “Peace Walls” will soon become an irrelevance, for example, and are no longer being discussed at any level at all . They have been set aside almost like an old unfashionable piece of clothing. Like marching in the streets, the practice of which will have died away entirely within another generation because as everyone will weigh around twenty five stones in weight from general malaise and creeping obesity, they will generally not want to leave their homes at all for any reason ; any exertion will be anathama and food and services will be delivered directly from huge supermarkets by robot vans. They will exist, to live, primarily ,in a cyber- universe, in any case…. communicating over the world- wide- web with other room-entombed friends and possibly dipping into television to see what other human beings are doing in such contrived situations as “I’m a Celebrity Down A Disused Coalmine …Get Me Out Of Here”. The art of walking or marching down streets will become an ancient artform consigned to a long-forgotten past, practiced like Morris Dancing by micro -groups of rabid adherents .People will wonder why there was such a brouhaha about all that marching backwards and forwards.They will scratch their collective heads in wonder.
Likewise, the towering Peace Walls which divide and protect communities, will also become an irrelevance in an age when anyone can buy and own their very own radio-controlled drone and will use these flying machines for spying on their neighbours or whatever other nefarious actions their fertile minds can concoct. Lest the idea of a roomful of political boffins gathering their mental resources to alleviate our current problems should stretch your unbowing credulity to its fullest extremes,an even more recent innovation by the Canadian, Catalin Alexandru Duru ….. this past May, might give you further food for thought. Montreal inventor Catalin Alexandru Duru broke the world record for the longest personal hoverboard flight by a man.Duru took to the skies standing aboard his craft and James Bond-like ,flew up to five metres above a lake for a distance of 275.9 metres aboard his homemade, propeller-powered hoverboard in a trip that lasted more than 1½ minutes.


31-year-old Duru and his company, “Omni Hoverboards”, are already working on a secret, next-generation version of the device as I type. He will doubtless soon begin marketing his designs to all and sundry and Santa’s sleigh could soon be loaded with these new generation machines ,much as the market was flooded with “Quad bikes” a few years ago . I should imagine the ownership of a personal flying machine might make a barrier such as a Peace Wall…a barrier no more.
Some are already tossing the odd wilding idea into the social mix to see whether or not it might find wings while tumbling from the nest. I picked up on a recent piece on local radio which was, apparently,  first essayed on the Slugger blogsite.
“Is it time to consider giving Loyalists special group rights?”
“Sophie Long” , a graduate student at the School Of Politics, International Studies And Philosophy at Queens University in Belfast thinks there might be a case for this. She bases her thesis on action research undertaken with Loyalist communities .Her arguement runs that the rest of us should somehow get together and equip Loyalists with the necessary power and resources to compete as equal participants in Norneverland politics.She is basically saying that they can’t do this on their own behalf because the political system has somehow conspired to leave them behind and without a voice.There is an assumption in this that none of this is actually their fault in any way and is not of their own making. That might sound like an interesting way to look at a group of people , apparently isolated, like a small unique species of creature within our local society.The argument seems to be that none of the unionist parties in power, and certainly none of the nationalist-leaning parties,actually represent them at all and that they seem incapavble of installing any representatives of their own.Given that only about half the population actually vote at all , they might not be so unique , though.

In other countries certain groups are granted “special case” rights and are granted seats in government by right but would that work when the actual “state” of Norneverland was artificially created in the first place , providing a counterfeit majority of unionists, by speciously drawing specific border arrangements to that effect, in some hoped-for perpetuity. Over time that man-made majority has been whittled back to a point where the balance between unionists and nationalists is actually beginning to draw level and might tip over the balnce at some future date . Sophie Long argues that if the small virulent “Loyalist” groupings which see themselves as more unionist than the unionism that is regularly accruing votes , cannot ,or are incaple of entering the political world by fair means , then they should be also ushered in similarly artificially. Well we know already what happened eventually with the artificial state that was created and what would this kind of action achieve or do to our already tenuous , unique form of democracy?
The argument develops thus…
“Not all groups are suitable for these special measures. In order to qualify for “special group rights”, most political theorists …{they’d be the boffins in that small dark room}… insist upon certain criteria being fulfilled.
These are:
1.The group has a common character and culture.
2.People growing up amongst the group will have their tastes and interests shaped by the group.
3. You are a group member if a) you recognise yourself as such and b) other group members recognise you as such.
4. It is a historically significant group with a common understanding of history.
5.There is no need to ‘qualify’ for group membership, as outlined above.
6. There are often a set of shared interests and common goals.”

The idea being floated seems to be somewhat akin to proposals such as have been made in the case of the Australian aborigines or possibly the Native Americans whose traditional way of life have been forever destroyed by the encroachment of another incoming civilisation’s new ways of life and new ideas for living.That kind of thing has always happened to groups throughout world history ….. should that be Homo Sapiens driving out or subsuming the Neanderthals or the disappearance of the Denisovans. That’s like saying that the traditional peripatetic life of the “Plains Indians” who followed the buffalo herds was destroyed by the swathe that immigration burnt through America within a short span of years.That is exactly what happened and those left behind would have to learn to adapt or wither away .You might say that the hunter-gatherers of the African plains had to finally abandon a lifestyle to become the first farmers or that the Travelling People of Ireland and Europe will eventually have to become forever settled because the modern world is not the same as it was one hundred years ago and nobody really needs an old lady coming around their door anymore selling home-made wooden clothes pegs and handing out curses to reluctant housewives. The world changes and ideas change and it is up to all of us to manage to change with it or be left behind.There are many who refuse to apply themselves to learning anything about modern technology who will make themselves more and more isolated.Loyalists have manged to do this all by themselves.
Well…are “Loyalists” some special racial or cultural group, possibly lost in time, like those Plains Indians? The proposal appears to posit the idea that Loyalists should be represented in government whether they are “officially” voted in or not.In fact the idea is that some kind of special voting provision should be made to bend the current sytem to better represent this unique micro -grouping.There is no doubt, that for many of us ,these “Loyalists” appear as some curious lost tribe locked in a timewarp, especially when some of their more illogical behaviour becomes apparent on the streets , but is it not a timewarp of their own making? Their idea of “Loyalty” is also something that doesn’t really bear close scrutiny in the 21st century. Are they any more unique than say, Hippies, Punks,White Witches, Druids,Shoe- Gazers, Mods, Skinheads or Goths? Should each little micro-tribe be allowed its place to shine in the sun and should provision be made to allow its specialised characteristics to vocalise its particular social voice in government? Are these any different than the “special” groups in the six points criteria above?
Meanwhile …back in that dimly lit room the boffins continue to churn out idea after idea in the hope that at least one will seep out and catch fire, giving some credence and credibilty to their monthly pay- cheque.