Limavady neutral environment? Don’t give the cat a seizure

William Ferguson Massey

Gerry Anderson says he longs to live somewhere else because of arguments over them, John Hume’s da said you couldn’t eat one, and last night Councillor Boyd Douglas (TUV) brought one into a meeting of Limavady Borough Council. The union flag displayed by Councillor Douglas was contrary to the no-flags-in-the-chamber policy of the council,  so a vote was taken and the meeting was abandoned.  When he was asked about his actions on the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster  programme this morning, Councillor Boyd, who’s been around for fourteen years,  said he didn’t know there was a no-flags policy.
I think Limavady council has made a mistake in banning all flags. Their idea is to create a neutral environment in the council chamber but of course that’s never going to happen. Councillor Boyd says he’s all for a neutral environment and doesn’t see how the flag of his country violates that. He probably doesn’t see how the statue of William Ferguson Massey at the entrance to the council offices breaches neutrality either. For him WFM was big in New Zealand and big in the Orange Order,  and wasn’t it great he was both?
A neutral environment in the six counties is impossible. Everywhere you look, you see monuments and statues and symbols which remind you that you are in a British state. You may favour their removal or you may think removal  abhorrent, but either way they won’t be moving.
So since unionists like Boyd won’t allow the creation of a no-flags-no-symbols policy  – a  neutral environment –  the only reasonable alternative would be the display of Irish flags and statues and symbols alongside the many British already in place. After all,  around fifty per cent of the population here see themselves as Irish rather than British. It seems reasonable that they should be free to display  those symbols that matter to them, alonside the emblems which their unionist neighbours hold dear.
There is a third alternative.  Those who believe in the free display of flags and  emblems, along with those who believe in a neutral environment, could bow  their heads and accept that their views and their loyalties don’t matter in this north-east corner. Maybe that’s the answer.

17 Responses to Limavady neutral environment? Don’t give the cat a seizure

  1. Anonymous June 8, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    Anal retentives…btw is that hyphenated…?tee hee…I put it down to bad potty training…!

  2. Anonymous June 8, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    I thought Seamus Moore was the 'Tractor Man'… not Tangosaurus Titanicus…?

  3. Jude Collins June 8, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    Anon 11:00 – Thanks for pointing out another example of my sloppiness. Have amended, made an act of contrition and a firm purpose of amendment…

  4. Anonymous June 8, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    Yep…he's definitely got the X-Tractor…
    As for an act of contrition… I would have thought a Sorrowful Mystery at the very least…
    Speaking of which…bizarre notion… the idea of prayer as a punishment…?
    Mind you it's been a while since I looked at my Cataclysm…
    I'm in the mood for mischief today

  5. Kilsally June 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    Removing things like the Massey Ferguson statue is NOT the way forward – its part of this place`s history like it or not. What is probably needed but unlikely to happen is for all sides to come together and have a flag for Northern Ireland that everyone can claim as their own, leaving aside the Irish Republics flag and the British flag.

  6. Jude Collins June 8, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    Interesting idea, Kilsally, but if support of the NI football team is a pointer…

  7. Anonymous June 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. Anonymous June 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Anon 14.50
    Sexist and ageist…!
    That guy (I use the standard masculine format) needs therapy…!
    I find the repeated use of vulgar obscenities for female genitalia offensive and would be grateful if you would remove/not publish them this poster…

  9. Jude Collins June 8, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    Sorry adults – I had to expunge another underage eruption at 14:50. On the other hand, I see where Professor Laurie Taylor has a programme on Radio 4 starting at 4.00 pm about dirt in all its forms, so…

  10. Anonymous June 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    That statue deserves a caption competition…

  11. Jude Collins June 8, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    It looks similar to the Carson statue at Stormont – or is that just bitter, twisted me?

  12. Anonymous June 8, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    It does so it does…you're twitter and bisted so you are…think I might be goin' bamboo..!
    I seem to remember some wag came up with a good one for the statue of Daniel O'Donnell(u know who I mean!)…something about giving directions…
    Oh and your penance…Leonard Cohen…can't decide between 'Sisters of Mercy' which at least has a religious theme or 'Suzanne'… which might push you over the edge…about which I've got a good anecdote but… another time…
    Has Kilsally had a Damascene moment..?

  13. Jude Collins June 8, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    Anon 21:09 – you're a word-juggling wordsmith – thanks so much for your contributions. I'm watching 24 hour A + E on telly – aggggggh. Bleaaaakkk.

  14. Doloras LaPicho June 9, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

    Bloody hell, if you think the memorial to Massey is bad in Limavady, look what they built for him in the country where he was PM:

  15. Jude Collins June 10, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    I think they should have kept on calling it the Maoiri 'To eat jellyfish' name, Doloras…

  16. Anonymous June 11, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    @JUDE 21.39
    I am so I am…mon plasir! Whoops gone a bit..u know who…!

  17. Anonymous June 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    Thank you for kind words jude much appreciated…
    I return the compliment…
    Unfortunately I think my contributions have been rumbled…I notice many of the comments made here reproduced by parasites of the press elsewhere…so it seems this very pleasant little interlude as part of your very enjoyable blog has come to an end…