Republicans and nationalists seem to have very thin skins. This readiness to take offence is almost impossible to address, least of all politically, in a civil society. In Northern Ireland, Republicans have been adept at turning an emotional response to something misunderstood (deliberately or by default) into a political cause. ‘Resident’ groups have regularly claimed the great offence taken at Loyal Order Parades, without any great examination or challenge as to the nature and cause of that offence. There has followed the “right not to be offended”, again almost taken as read.
The summer interview with Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty by the Economist (below) will not have been welcome in Republican Nationalist circles.
Around 12 minutes in, Ms Chakrabarti says: “I would say to people of faith, and to people who are not of faith, that the one right that none of us should ever have is the right not to be offended”.