The ideological positions of republican and unionist political parties in Northern Ireland on academic selection and grammar schools has been dissected by the chairman of the National Grammar Schools Association, Robert McCartney QC during an interview on the BBC Daily Politics Show. (at about 14 mins in)
The interview and discussion on the Northern Ireland selective system was broadcast on the day prior to the first unregulated 11-plus transfer tests. It pitted the Education Minister’s pointman Sinn Fein’s John O’Dowd against Robert McCartney QC former MP and MLA, since retired from politics. Mr McCartney is the current chairman of the National Grammar Schools Association http://ngsa.org.uk Mr McCartney highlighted the absurdity of those paramilitary groups with links to political parties such as Sinn Fein and the IRA and the Progressive Unionist Pary and the UVF, both of whom wreaked havoc, terrorised and murdered the parents of primary school pupils. Mr McCartney pointed out that their political leaders now claim to be looking after the interests of socio-economically deprived children by abolishing grammar schools and academic selection. The NGSA leader suggested to BBC viewers that this claim is the ultimate ironic claim from terrorists.