Unionism at another crossroads:Monday was the birthday of partition. It was a century since the Northern State formally came into existence with the passing into law on May 3, 1921 of the Government of Ireland Act. Unionist parties, the British government and some others tried –unsuccessfully for the most part – to turn this into a birthday celebration. The British government’s colonial office in Belfast, the NIO (Northern Ireland Office), not the Executive or Assembly, was given the task of organising this. Some bright spark came up with the idea of using Seamus Heaney and Mary Peters’ images under the tagline “Our Story in the Making: NI Beyond 100”. It was supposed to be all about “the spirit of inclusivity, mutual respect and optimism.” It backfired. No-one had asked the Heaney family. The NIO claimed that the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University had given its permission for the portrait to be used but this was denied. There was outrage and uproar with many quoting Seamus Heaney’s own words: “Be advised, my passport’s green/No glass of ours was ever raised to toast the Queen.” Israel still enforcing apartheid:I make no apologies for returning again to the plight of the Palestinian people living under the yoke of Israeli apartheid laws and policies. Last week Human Rights Watch published a 224 page report on the policies and actions of the Israeli state.