Cyprus Mail
CM Regular Columnist Opinion

What the naysayers really want

By Johan van den Kerkhof

THIS IS a rant. And it’s not going to be impartial. Like-minded folks may nod in affirmation, the rest will mentally swat these scribbles like an irritating bug and go on about their business.

Preaching to the choir doesn’t really help, but what else to do? So here it is: to anyone who doesn’t want the Cyprus problem solved, or doesn’t give a damn either way – have the cojones to say so.

Stop hiding behind your finger. You ain’t fooling no one.

The naysayers this side of the island began beating their chests even before the peace talks got underway, banging away at the scaremongering drum. But even a five-year-old can see right through them.

The lady doth protest too much. You know, the usual gang of professional worriers are so transparent, it’s absurd. Don’t they know that we know what they’re all about? And what they are about, quite plainly, is against a settlement.

Any settlement, period. It’s not that they want a solution with the ‘right content’. No, that fairy tale isn’t going to fly any more. Whining about the talks even before they begin is about as pathetic as it gets. And there’s a clear difference between criticism and whining.

And to think that, supposedly anyway, it’s the Greek Cypriots – the side that has been ‘wronged’ – which is keener for a solution.
Again, I don’t have a problem with you if you’re against the talks and against reunification.

Just man up and spell it out. Your reasons may or may not be valid, but at least stop making excuses. This goes out to politicians and ordinary citizens alike.

Like another commentator in this publication has pointed out, does anyone really get what the heck ‘virgin birth’ and ‘residual powers’ mean? Even constitutional experts can’t agree on this stuff, or on the real meaning of the words in the joint declaration.

Now this may be dumbing it down somewhat, but what the average Joe and Jane wants to know is whether the united Cypriot state will be functional and stable.

You want to live in peace, right? You want yourself and your family to be able to prosper, you want rule of law, civic rights and all that jazz. Be honest: is it really going to ruin your day should – heaven forbid – the two constituent states be endowed with sovereignty ex post ante?

The point is, neither you nor I can wrap our heads around this legal mumbo jumbo. No matter how much you dissect the joint declaration, or the peace plan – if it comes – at the end of the day you’re going to vote (mostly) on a gut feeling.

This is what happened in 2004, and it’s going to happen again. If you’re predisposed for a solution, chances are you’ll be willing to let slide some negative aspects and cast a vote for peace.

Conversely, if you’re the other type, no matter how ‘awesome’ a peace plan is, you’re most likely going to reject it anyway. There’s a caveat, sure.

Should a peace plan turn out to be so awful and lopsided, then even the ‘yes’ people won’t go for it. But let’s wait for the negotiations first, shall we? Give talks a chance. Don’t be a hater.

Apart from being boring, the killjoys – DIKO, EDEK, the Lillikas crew, the Greens – are guilty of a far more grievous sin: simulation. These concerned trolls know full well that in the event of a solution they’re going to become irrelevant, toast.

Indulge me for a second. When someone says ‘DIKO’ or ‘EDEK’ in a sentence, what springs to mind? Personally, I draw a blank. For the life of me, I still haven’t figured out what these parties stand for.

Oh wait. I do know what they stand for. Two things: political favouritism, aka rusfeti, and the good ‘ole Cyprus problem. Now, all parties bar none are guilty of rusfeti. And all like to talk up the Cyprob.

True. But when it comes to DIKO/EDEK, that’s it. Were you to pull the plug on the Cyprus soap opera, well, there goes their entire intellectual foundation.

This is, in my view, the core issue. Like Moses at the Red Sea, a solution would sweep aside these losers in the blink of an eye. Think about it: they’ll grumble about the settlement for a few months…and then what?

This is why I beg to differ with some commentators who say that the DIKO/EDEK ilk want partition. Partition means closure, but closure is what they hate with a vengeance.

No, what they want is the status quo. It’s the perfect recipe: moan about the Cyprus problem, serve up platitudes and self-righteous indignation, and when the poop hits the fan, you thwart a settlement, the problem is perpetuated, then you can moan some more.

And of course all the time you were merely acting in the country’s best interests, a better peace plan is on the horizon, blah blah. Beautiful.
But here’s the thing. This time, if talks go to a referendum, a ‘no’, especially if coming from the Greek Cypriots, would likely set in motion a de jure partition of the island.

So to all you folks out there who are already dead-set against a settlement, be warned: actions have consequences. This isn’t psychological blackmail. You may vote for partition if you like.

And to be honest, partition, though not desirable, may not be the end of the world after all. If the majority of Greek Cypriots don’t want reunification – as I suspect but hope I’m wrong – then so be it. But enough with the bunk. Know that you can’t have it both ways.

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