Alex Kane, the unionist commentator, had an interesting article in the News Letter yesterday. In it, he aimed both barrels at Prof John Brewer of QUB and pulled the trigger.
Alex was cheesed off with Prof Brewer’s negative line on ‘conflict journalism’ and his favouring of ‘peace journalism’. ‘Conflict journalism’ – well, the name gives it away: it highlights the differences that exist between political parties and sections of society. ‘Peace journalism’ seeks for balance – looks at the efforts of those building a peaceful post-conflict society.
I have sympathy with both men. You can see why Prof Brewer might want to accentuate the positive. You can also see that Alex is right to point up the differences between communities and political parties here. It would as he suggests be Pollyanna-ish in the extreme to not do so. People and politicians here are passionately attached to their points of view, and those points of view are often diametrically opposed.
Where I diverge from Alex is in his both-sides-detest-each-other line. Like it or lump it, there is no doubt that Sinn Féin and to a lesser extent the SDLP have worked hard at mending bridges, reaching out to traditional enemies, working for a better tomorrow. Anyone looking at the last ten or fifteen years cannot but see that: the invitation of unionist politicians to take part in discussion panels (I would have been chairing one such in Derry last night, had it not been called off because of the Buncrana horror). Martin McGuinness meeting and shaking hands with the queen. Gerry Adams meeting and shaking hands with Prince Charles. McGuinness’s insistence that were Sinn Féin to become the largest party after the May elections, his first act would be to establish two First Ministers, rather than one First Minister and one Deputy First Minister. And so it goes.
What response has there been on the unionist side to this? Nothing you would notice. Arlene Foster is the only DUP politician who has been filmed shaking hands with Martin McGuinness, but that’s been swiftly balanced by putting as much physical distance as possible between herself and McGuinness on their joint missions abroad. And I’ll try not to think of Nelson McCausland or the anti-republican stance of so many southern politicians.
It’s good that people should work for reconciliation and the binding of past wounds. But it’s imperative that journalists present things as they are rather than how they’d like them to be. And yes, that applies to Prof Brewster in his call for ‘peace journalism’; it also applies to Alex Kane in his too-simplistic one-side-loathes-as-heartly-as-the-other conclusion.
The illusion of control
Michael Portillo presented a perspective about the events of 1916 on RTÉ 21.3.16. During an interview, Robert Fisk stated quite clearly that it was the actions of Pearse et al that contributed to the struggle for independence as Mr Portillo talked at length about the “roots of the mischief.” The reality remains that a handful of men and women stood against the might of the British empire, against a vastly superior military force armed to the teeth with rifles, revolvers, artillery, machine guns, grenades and a gunboat. The programme ended with a conclusion that in 2016, a united Ireland remains an aspiration. In 2016 Ireland remains a partitioned country, a deeply divided country and the British government continues to foot the bill.
Denigrating the native language, refusal to even countenance an Irish language act, refusal to recognise Easter rising commemorations, flag protests, refusal to recognise that the IRA were not the only participants in the troubles, refusal to recognise that there was discrimination before the troubles, dilution of the all- Ireland institutions, no movement on the so called border poll, little or no attempt at showing reconciliation, failure to show leadership during twaddell nightly intimidation………..I could go on, but then it is all the nationalists fault for disturbing the unionist utopia, isn’t it?
Sorry I went of on a wee tangent there
I enjoyed your wee tangent. Let me add ” gerrymandered borders, housing and workplace discrimination, state violence and state aided violence. The so called loyal subjects of Britain are quite ready to attack British forces when it suits their agenda. How many times did a Paiseley speech threaten violence, Third Force etc.
100 people were murdered by the guns the DUP’s “Ulster Resistance” brought in. Nothing, literally nothing, is said about this in the media.
I was reading more of Susan McKays book “Northern Protestants”. When UDR/UVF man Harris Boyle blown himself up while murdering the Miami Show band members (one of Boyles arms was found in a nearby field due to the explosion, a big UVF tattoo was still visible on it) his UDR company openly commemorated Boyle in the UVF magazine “Combat”.
Andy Smith is a Loyalist Susan McKay interviews in the book. He was a UDR man convicted of passing intelligence to Loyalists. Andy tells Susan that many normal officers in the RUC/UDR praised Andy whenever they could and said “at least your doing something to save Ulster”. Andy claimed to be a Born Again Christian and his “violent days” were behind him. Andy is later seen at Drumcree amongst active UVF members….
A UUP man called “Malcolm”, its a fake name because he wanted to have his identity hidden. The UUP man allows Susan to interview him in his home. He condemns those at Drumcree for the violence and calls Billy Wright “vicious”. When asked he says he wont be Drumcree and will go away to Donegal to his holiday home to play Golf. Later when the Orange men are marching out of the church at Drumcree to head down to the barrier at Gravaghy Road, Susan spies “Malcolm” with his Orange sash who smiles weakly at Susan and rushes away. “Malcolm” was saying one thing but doing the opposite…..
After the murder of the 3 Catholic Quinn children who were burnt to death by the UVF because the Orange men couldn’t get down Gravaghy Road, Susan goes to the field at Drumcree again. A young man in a suit with a walking stick is seen screaming at German reporters “What the f**k are you talking about kids for! why aren’t you talking about the kids being shot at by the RUC!” (no kids were injured by the RUC, though one loyalist woman attacking the barriers lost an eye due to plastic bullets fired by the RUC). The same young man then goes on screaming about “Orange men have been locked up without a change of clothes!” as if that’s a comparison to 3 children being murdered by the UVF. Susan then goes and listens to a pastor preaching. Amongst the crowd people are handing out leaflets. She takes one and it shows a burnt out Catholic church with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair standing with a Catholic Priest surveying the damage. Below and Above the picture is quotes from the Old Testament about the burning and destruction of idols and other things. The leaflets were justifying the dozens of Catholic Churches being burnt out by Loyalists. Susan McKay asks who printed the leaflet, a man says “None of your fucking business”. He then says a small woman who is handing them out and she says “I don’t know, I haven’t looked at them”…..
Given that most Loyalists in the field were semi literate (an article in the LVF magazine, “Leading the Way”, was full of spelling errors and terrible grammar) it is assumed the Orange men was behind the leaflet because there’s no way the average Loyalist there in that field, full of drink, drugs and sectarianism would have known particular scriptures of the Old Testament, quoted them exactly and twisted them.
“He then says a small woman who is handing them out and she says “I don’t know, I haven’t looked at them”…..
Sorry meant to type SHE then SEES a small woman who is handing them out and she says “I don’t know, I haven’t looked at them”…..
Hi Jude. Alex has a habit of saying that both sides hate each other. The thing is, Nationslism doesn’t hate unionism. You have given examples of efforts made. But it all goes back to the basic fear unionism has for its neighbours and their religion. They’re generally ignorant of our beliefs. It seems possible that Alex wants to project the hatred in his own heart. I certainly don’t recognise it amongst the people I know. Badically Unionism is an ignoble concept, based on mistreating and passifying half the population. Any neutral bystander might think that they should be bending over backwards to make amends for their years of discrimination and reaching out to their Nationalist cousins, but sadly no sign of it.
Iolar, I don’t know about you, but I found Portillo to be excruciatingly patronising. Not once did he explore the reasons why men from an otherwise non-violent background felt compelled to die for their country.
On the one hand he spoke about the Rebels as fellow citizens of the British soldiers sent to quell them and at once went on to say that the same British military failed to understand the Irish people completely. And of course they wheeled in Kevin Myres and Declan Kibberd to reinforce their views.
Having said that, even Kibberd felt obliged to interrupt and inform Portillo that the firing squad lieutenant was mightily impressed by how those who were shot all “died good deaths”and that Thomas MacDonagh died like “a Prince.”
I agree. As he leafed through ‘intelligence ‘ files and talked about spies and informers, he tried to rationalize orders to take no prisoners. It was stated that officers did not care how many soldiers died as long as there was a supply of cannon fodder. The officers, we were told were used to battlefield conditions. Perhaps Mr Portillo should examine recent tactics in Ballymurphy, Derry, Monaghan and Dublin. An Englishman’s home is his castle which he has the right to defend. The American Constitution asserts the right to bear arms. An Irishman or an Irish woman is labelled ‘terrorist’ if he/she engages in armed resistance.
alexs right very few are listening.not a bit of wonder all they see is an animal farm play being acted out.
I have a lot of time for Alex Kane but I don’t see life as a us and them scenario. I don’t hate people per se . i just hate stupidity and plain bad manners.
It seems that it appears to be in the more rabid unionism’s best interest for their future cohesion to foment a low -level hatred or a paronoia , if you will ,as regards their political opposition ..that is anything nationalist or republican.It wouldn’t do ,to believe that you , yourself was whiter than driven snow , with no sins to remember. It has obviously rattled unionism that those clear lines of difference shpould be blurred in any way.The reason that violent opposition to anything republican or nationalist is being cultivated is that at some unnamed as yet future time there will possibly be needed , a ready and willing seedbank of intolerant headbangers ready and willing to resort to violence or armed resistance should the very idea of a united Ireland be on the cards. The main event for Sinn Fein is a political way forward to that very goal ….a way by persuasion. What happens if a majority are persuaded throughout Ireland and for argument’s sake a majority also in Norneverland. ?What if it is voted in?What if the British government and a future Irish government, possibly led by Sinn Fein and its united Ireland agenda ,agrees that change should come? Then what?
In real politics the people’s word…as they will possibly be in a future Scotland… would be heeded, but what if politics are then dispensed with in favour of armed opposition to the peoples’ will? We’ve seen that before with the “Home Rule is Rome Rule” cry. It would be difficult to raise that same cry in the 21st century but someone will dredge up another divisive slogan.
The likes of Jim Allister and Nelson McCausland and Gregory want a distinct dividing line between themselves and a growing political republican and nationalist opposition.They continue to do that by denigrating that opposition in every cultural way they can. It is more than simple politics .It verges on arrant racism and bigotry at times but it is the only way they actually know and of course it has worked very well in the past.They don’t want their potential troops to ever get the idea that there is another viable political future on the cards. They don’t want them ever imagining that they are just men and women the same as themselves. They ‘d rather they didn’t learn to think at all going by the lack of interest in education in the communities they have gathered votes from in the past.
While nationalism continues to stretch out that hand of friendship to their possible future citizens , unionism draws back. It is the one thing thay have no idea how to deal with. It makes Jim Allister et al appear boorish, foolish and oddly repetitive every time they appear on television but they know it worked in the past.It got their unquestioning followers out on the streets every time. It got the Ulster Workers Strike off and running. It got the UVF importing arms. It got people burnt out of their houses. All in all it is a great distraction from the realities of their humble lives.
It is difficult for those of us down here in the Free Southern Stateen, if not well nigh impossible, Esteemed Blogmeister, to imagine what it must be like to live in Norneverland.
Certainly where the media is concerned, going forward. Up there north of the Black Sow’s Dyke there would appear to be a tense, even polarized and barely camouflaged, situation prevailing both on the air and also on the ground of tabloid, broadsheet and Roaring Mags.
Which is quite at variance with lucky ole us Down Here who have the good fortune to be resident under the benign, even-handed Mic-tatorship of RTE.
An Abercrombie and Fitch situation even, seems to be at play here. It has always appeared to The Perkin that this is a most wondrous brandname, in so far as it just goes to show how two names with such contrasting sounds can hang together in the same wardrobe for so long as they have. Which certainly bodes well for the future communications unity of this cordial island.
Given the itchiness which lies at the heart of the Norneverland discourse, where the toggle switch is always at hand, even at the Red Hand itself ,perhaps the Fitch bit is the one more fitted to Youse Up Yon. While Abercrombie is assuredly suited to the Free Southern Stateen whose airwaves are ruled by RTE, the station for all discerning zombies, whose critical faculties are in permanent, erm, lockdown.
Abercrombie and partner are renowned for their upscale casual wear and also for their use of ‘brand representatives’ (formerly ‘models’) for advertising their goods in situ.
One example – taken totally at random by even the most downscale of casual listeners – from a shedload of similar samples from yesterday’s schedule on RTE , will suffice.
It happened on the wireless show, hosted by one of the brand representatives of RTE: Joe ‘talk to’ Duffy. The topic du jour / abhar an lae was the new , all-inclusive (gasp) Wall of Necrology to do with 1916 in Glasnevin.
We’re talking, folks// a charide,, with the Neck being put into Necrology, big and hard time.
George McCullough, CEO of the Glasnevin Boneyard was on the line, defending the decision. The surname of the CEO is remarkably apt, for a number of reasons. It is pronounced in such a way that it rhymes with ‘codladh’ the Leprechaun for ‘’sleep’ which brings the hardboiled novel by the immense Raymond Chandler to mind, the synonym for the Grim Reaper:
-The Big Sleep.
George’s Norneverland accent reminds one too that McCullough is derived from ‘Mac Con Uladh’ / Son of the Hound of Ulster, even though the image which appears on the coat of arms is a, erm, bore, oops, boar. Though the confusion is understandable ‘codladh’ and ‘bore’ are inextricably linked, since time , both memorial and immemorial.
This new wall is of black marble made. One mentions this for it may not be entirely without relevance to Mr. McCullough’s reference to the emblematic Dublin sportshop as ‘Everly’s’. It is, of course, ‘Elvery’s’, an anglicized form, in fact, of the Spanish surname ‘Alvarez’.
One of the biggest hits of the Everly Brothers was: ‘Ebony Eyes’ – hence, the possible pertinence to Mr. McCullough’s understandable and not in the least impertinent snafu.
Where Geo the CEO didn’t make a gaffe was in his affable reference to the relevance of the iconic sportshop in question – it was at this same location that one of the 40 children killed during the (risible) Rising met his death.
-About whom, of course, you wrote a book, Joe (to whom he was talking at the time).
Was Mr. McCullough’s thoughtful though minuscule addendum. A similar, and not in the least biteen ugly plug (as some infernal caitiffs might outrageously infer) was made by another caller in, or rather called upon.
One who had been obviously given a bell by the one of the innumerable back-room staff of the phone-in show, on account of the fact that he had to beat a hasty retreat ‘to his day job ‘. Once the going got touch by the relatives of the Rising dead on the other side of the line.
That would have been Mr. Alvin ‘You can call me All’ Inclusivity, the Big Kahuma of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Society, one ‘ who, indeed, was its sole torchbearer when it was neither profitable or popular’, as, Uncle Joe, in turn, reminded his fateful listenership. A ewe pull mine and I’ll pull your’s, kinda deal.
Confucius say: one good churn deserves an udder.
More and more this Wall of Necrology, which contains all the 488 names who fell in Easter Week, including those of the gallant British squaddies who were on the side of Goddie and whose Empah elbows were so heinously ambushed by the noses of the gnat-like Nationalists, is seen to be only beginning.
Beginning, that is, to resemble ‘the chest of,yes, f My Brother Sylves, who had a row of ( 40 (1) medals on his chest, big chest, plenty of room for you and me’, in the words of the beer-belly ballad. The ubiquitous name of even Uncle Tom Cobley, nicknamed ‘Pit-bull terrier, the terror of the Terrorist’, late of the Royal Staffordshire Rifles is rumoured to be in the process of being chiseled into the black marble of the Wall of Necrology, even as we writhe.
And some snide folk, Barnaby Rudge and the Begrudgers amongst the usual suspects, carp at the salary of Uncle Joe Duffy; a mere 300, 000 smackerooney’s from the back pocket and front purse of Shawn and Shauna Saoranch.
If any man earns his corn it is Uncle joe, (see above) the father confessor of the Free Southern Stateeen surely does. Any one who claims that the wheatfields of North Dakota don’t come close to the corn which Joe gets, even if he does not, erm, earn it, , knows more than an iota of which he speaks.
Especially, when one considers how the detached Duffy manfully combines his onerous duties as Consul General of the SDLP south of the Black Pig’s Dyke with the obligations of his transcendentally neutral talk-show, from which they are scarcely distinguishable .
If we ever get to Heaven, we bet, the first face we’ll recognize (with his ebony eyes), will be Uncle God Himself, and He to be bearing more than just a passing resemblance to:
-Joooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooe Duffy !
Talk to us, Joe.
You’re getting worse, Perkin – I mean better.
GRMMA, A Fhiosraigh, a chara.
Further to the above, and if your reader’s digestive system is in the mood for the best medicine – laughter – you might well do worse than catch up with the same Joe D. to whom Ray D. was talking on the latter’s eponymous show last Satur D. on the telly side of RTE.
Be warned though: It was belly laugh time from beginning to end, as most of these not infrequent and ferocious grillings of each other by the RTE souper-stars of the new national Knorritive tend to be.
Ray D, of course, is Ray D’Arcy. He whose face resembles quite remarkably his surname to the extent that when he, erm, cracks a smile it stretches from ‘ere to ‘ere. No botox required from those buttocks, for sure, and indeed Ray has much to be smileyfaced about in these less than harrowing, wheelbarrowing days. (See below, at the bottom line).
Truly, may it said of him, that scarcely in the history of humanoid-kind has a first name ever gleamed more luminously through the back end of a surname, not least in the named one’s self-estimation.
The first item to catch one’s attention was the dress code of the duo: the contrast was between the formal and the informal in these two legendary anchors of A-list shows on RTE.
Whereas the lankier host opted for a banker’s dark three-piece suit from Louis Copeland the guest plumped (the operative verb) for designer, open-necked casual, as becomes one who frankly likes to hanker after the old days as a Ballyfermot boy from (quoting from Joe D. heself here ) ‘6, Claddagh Green’ (the devil is in the detail).
And if this precise address rings a bell, it ought not to; only posh folk in nearby snobbish Palmerstown boasted push-button bells on their hall doors. Joe D, as befitted one who knew a thing or three about the hard knocks of life in his early days, was ‘born, bred and buttered ‘ in a modest Corpo house with a knocker on the front door.
And yet there was, according to the implying and employable guest, a sort of Noblesse Oblige about this No-bell Nobility. The filially pious Joe’s idols remain his parents who were never idle.
-Ever morning of his life at six on the dot, the Da would head out the door , clutching his plastic statue of St. Joseph in his calloused right hand.
-Y’know: the patron saint of the proletariat.
-Every afternoon at four after the six of us chiselers had come back from skool, the Ma dressed up in her blue smock and went out to work as a cleaner in the local Semperit tyre factory.
(Whether Ma Duffy ,blessedly still with us, has, erm, retyred was left unsaid, the only devilish bit of detail omitted. One likes to think she has. Her name, according to her adoring son, incidentally, is Mabel. So, more blue smock, less Blue Label).
Working class fambily , don’t you know: d’Duffys opted to work rather than snooze, and in so doing, oozed class.
Re-spect. Retrospective re-spect.
(Louis Copeland, incidentally, is the aptly named bespoke tailor to the unspeakably glamorous coping classes in the Free Southern Stateen).
The first guffaw (in this viewer’s case, at least) was the tint of the tight-fitting crushed velveteen trousers which the guest opted to wear: wine-coloured. Restrained Burgundy, mind. Defiantly not the flamboyant purple of those accursed downtrodden grapes which fertilized the battlefields of Eastern France in WW1– the blood-coloured stuff which that guff-merchant Pawdrig Pearse so longed to wallow in.
The topic under discussion was not just (gulp) the guest’s buke (Ballyfermot pronunciation) about the 40 children who suffered the ultimate abuse, i.e., getting killed during Easter Week but more to the p., the Donnybrookementary of the buke which is to be shown on (all days) Easter Sunday, bunnies. On, of all stations, (gasp) RTE.
Here is a sample of the tough, uncompromising Castlereagh Catholic-style interrogation which lasted twenty minutes or so:
-And the sales. How are the sales going?
-The hard back of the buke hasn’t been out of the top five best sellers since it was published.
As the guest modestly replied to the host’s thoughtful prompting.
The cross cross-questioning by the addresser of the addressed continued unabated. One almost used the term ‘de-briefing’ but that mot might have been less than bon or even juste in the circumstances. Joe D, among his many verbal ticks, and his ticks are ticker than most, perhaps the one that ticks most boxes, is the one where he pronounces ‘why’ as:
Now Y he continues to do this, long after he has swopped the grim, neo-grotesque , Uncle Joe Stalinist anti-architecture of Ballyer, for the leafy cul-de-sacs of Clontarf is not for us to reason Y. Perhaps, he likes to put his days as a model, oops, brand representative for a certain style of Y-front, erm, behind him?
But that may merely belong to the realm of feckin speculation. Still, a pity he wasn’t given the opportunity to namecheck on the show one of the pivotal places on the WW1 (‘where two of me grand uncles soldiered’ ):
Despite the thumbs up which both host and guest are on record of giving to the all-inclusive Wall of Necrology in the Glasnevin Golgotha and the concomitant bum’s steer to the naysayers:
-We support Humanity Utd !
Nonetheless the two virtual rivals continued to go at each other, hammer and thongs.
One of the bitterest exchanges between the pair of crown-wearing , erm, communicators was when they went toe to toe on which of them has the more workable working class and condescending credentials:
-I had a paper round – at the age of 9 !
Jabbed the Paper Tiger.
-I was the lift-operator in the Metropole – as a 12 year old.
Rejoined the Elevated Ego.
The A-listers awesomely came into their own when the A-word came up for discussion.
Fascinating to see host and guest battle it out to see whose impression of Eamon Empathy was the better. Please note the spelling here of Eamon: one ‘n’ is the only spelling. Two n’s in this context would be wholly inappropriate, making, as it does, erm, n’s meet, would be incongruous in the context.
This contest between host and guest, btw, was a male equivalent of Dame Dosh Finucane and Yawnya Lawlor going handbag to handbag for the titular name of Emma Empathy whenever Austerity is under discushy discuss on RTE. Unlike lawn tennis, the balance sheet here is in formidably in favour of the female of the s.
A discernible hush fell upon the audience who were so content to be allowed into the studio, free, gratis and for eff all (allegedly). A hush of bovine contentment, may it be pointed out.
But perhaps the most telling set-to between the two broadcasters (one substantially broader than the other) was when the host thudded the guest who had inflated the studio with an aura of self-congratulatory and smirking goodness which was not in the least irksome, with:
-If you were alive in 1916, would you have sided with the rebels ?
The bespectacled Ballyfermot Buddha, as befitted a backstory of wood-hewing ancestors, prevaricated : humming first and then hawing as if he were unwilling to alienate any potential buke buyer out there in Tellyland. His beady from buke reading eyes said it all, first the right one, then the left:
-Sales ! Sales !
No such pussyfooting could be detected in this riposte from the top-grossing host:
-I was a boy in the 70s when the violent news every night frightened the living sh/te out of this D’Arcy. It made me physically sick. (We know the feeling,Ray).
He did not put a tooth in it, despite being spoilt for choice from his toothsome grin:
-I would not have supported the rebels. I would not have been on the side of violence.
A second declaration to the nation which chimed with that, was heard this time on the host’s afternoon radio show yesterday as the news from Bruxelles , the crux of which was the futility and inhumanity of violence, began to unfold in all its untold inglorious and gory details:
-I watched the Portillo programme last night.
From which he imaginatively extrapolated this following bit of courageous pillow-thumping; Fisk, rebels, 1916, ISIS.
License-payers,in the free seats, give that Id-repressing D’Arcy his anything but farcical due:
I use to tweet with Alex and always found him mostly respectful. But recently Alex tweeted an article about a United Ireland and how Sinn Fein should be allowed a border poll to show “how far away it really is”. It was a pretty despiteful tweet, something not common with Alex, it was like something the DUP would tweet. When I tweeted Alex I couldn’t help but get the a whiff of “Loyalist flegger” from him and that’s the first time I ever sensed that from Alex. I asked a simple question and he simply replied back: “Still no United Ireland :)” along with the smiley face. I had to double check if it was a fake profile but it wasn’t. That was the last time I tweeted with Alex, one thing I didn’t have him down as was a “flegger” but I think his mask slipped on that occasion, the respectable reasoning and approach he previously had was gone. Other Republicans tweeting with him agreed with me.
Unionism has done nothing to promote reconciliation. They have shunned the many attempts by Sinn Fein and the SDLP to reach out and progress into the future. Instead of endorsing mutual respect for each others cultures, traditions and views, Unionism has chosen to deliberately disrespect the Republican tradition and culture. This is reflected in reference to the Easter Rising. Instead of reciprocating what Sinn Fein has done, they choose to attack the Easter Rising, attack Republican parades, attack the GAA, attack and try to deny Republicans their narrative of the past.
This isn’t all done by just the DUP, so called “moderates” in the UUP are also engaged in this. Its all playing to the bigot gallery within Unionism. Mike Nesbitt wont commemorate the Easter Rising but he does want to go out of his way to lay a wreath in Dublin to the British soldiers who were killed and only the British soldiers. Unionist dominated councils refuse to provide funding to Easter Rising events in their areas, effectively discriminating against the minority Catholic/Nationalist community their meant to work in the interests of but they can find money to fund bonfires on 11th July, many of which are well known to burn Irish Tricolours, effigies of Catholic Priests and Catholic statues.
Not only is this refusal from Unionism to reciprocate immoral and counter productive, its also very dangerous. Many young, educated Republicans see politics as a waste of time because of political Unionism, they think they will never change or go forward, so what’s the point of sitting down with them? And in many ways they have a very valid point, Unionism simply isn’t compromising or reciprocating. But this leads these same young people open to the influences of dissident republicans and whether people like it or not (and I’m not a dissident supporter btw) but if dissidents really had such a tiny amount of support as we often hear they have then they simply wouldn’t exist. The reality is they have more support than we like to admit. When Gerry Adams said the infamous “Equality will break the bastards”, that’s the question he was replying to: “What’s the point of sitting down with Unionism?” They wont reciprocate, they wont compromise, they wont progress and they certainly won’t listen and reflect on the other sides point of views. This sets some young Republicans looking in the direction of dissidents.
The media have a big part to play but many in the media have their own agenda. You cant expect anything positive to be said about political Unionism because as I’ve just explained there’s nothing positive to write. The media does need to have a more positive tone but you cant expect them to be positive when there’s nothing to be positive about….but one thing I would urge the media to do and that is portray things as they really are. Some within the media pursue a tone of “Both sides are as bad as each other” in reference to Unionism and Republicanism, that’s simply untrue.
I think your well-reasoned synopsis deserves some thought Ryan. i have to say that i agree with much of your conclusions.Certainly unionism appears to have absolutely no real idea as to how their behaviour in government for some fifty years was perceived outside their own voting community.
MT talks of the nationalist community needing to catch up in terms of outreach while ignoring in its entirety why there was a conflict in the first place ..as though we all previously lived in a little paradise and a few malcontents messed it all up. There were complex causes and unionism has not begun to even consider them or even mention how they might be addressed. They have consistently disparaged almost half of the population and appear to believe it is the proper way to advance peaceable politics and social cohesion…Somehow i don’t think so ….so what is the real agenda?
Given the appalling record of the Provos, Sinn Fein has a lot more outreach to do than any of the unionist parties. That might explain it. They’ve a longer journey to travel to get on to the normal political ground.
“Given the appalling record of the Provos, Sinn Fein has a lot more outreach to do than any of the unionist parties”
MT, your like many of those interviewed in Susan McKays book. They had an attitude of “revisionism, denial and suspicion”. Not my words, hers.
Your also missing the key point that I made MT (not for the first time….) Sinn Fein are reaching out but its being rejected by Unionism. That’s the point. Unionism refusing to reach out is bad enough but to reject moves of reconciliation is counter productive and dangerous. Its not just that Unionism is refusing to reach out to Sinn Fein or Republicans (who wont be losing any sleep, I assure you) but its a refusal to reach out to normal Catholics as well, despite all the hot air from Peter Robinson 4 years ago.
Take the potential of Pope Francis visiting Belfast, Unionist politicians made clear they are uneasy about it. I think it was the UUP’s Jim Rodgers who said on the Nolan Radio Show that he thinks Pope Francis would be better off staying down south because there’s more Catholics down there. The message from political Unionism was clear to Catholics: No Pope Here.
“They’ve a longer journey to travel to get on to the normal political ground.”
MT, Sinn Fein are the largest political party in Ireland. They will eventually hold the Office of First Minister in the North. There is no “longer journey” to make….
BTW, what does “normal political ground” even mean? and does it apply to political Unionism? Is it “normal” for Unionist political parties to be dominated by a Protestant only organisation called the Orange Order? Is it “normal” for Unionist political parties to gerrymander boundaries in order that nationalist majority areas ended up with Unionist representation? Is it “normal” for Peter Robinson, just a while ago the Leader of Unionism, to say he wouldn’t trust Muslims but he might trust them to “go to the shops” for him?
“MT, your like many of those interviewed in Susan McKays book. They had an attitude of “revisionism, denial and suspicion”. Not my words, hers.”
“Your also missing the key point that I made MT (not for the first time….) Sinn Fein are reaching out but its being rejected by Unionism. That’s the point. Unionism refusing to reach out is bad enough but to reject moves of reconciliation is counter productive and dangerous. Its not just that Unionism is refusing to reach out to Sinn Fein or Republicans (who wont be losing any sleep, I assure you) but its a refusal to reach out to normal Catholics as well, despite all the hot air from Peter Robinson 4 years ago.”
I already accepted that SF were reaching out more than unionists: that’s why I offered the explanation.
Out if interest, though, what specific SF outreach are you referring to that has been rejected?
“MT, Sinn Fein are the largest political party in Ireland. They will eventually hold the Office of First Minister in the North. There is no “longer journey” to make….”
There is. PSF being the only party that was connected to a terror movement they’ve had a long, long journey to make.
“BTW, what does “normal political ground” even mean?”
It means ground thst doesnt involve supporting and legitimising terrorism.
“and does it apply to political Unionism?”
To the PUP, yes.
“Is it “normal” for Unionist political parties to be dominated by a Protestant only organisation called the Orange Order? Is it “normal” for Unionist political parties to gerrymander boundaries in order that nationalist majority areas ended up with Unionist representation? Is it “normal” for Peter Robinson, just a while ago the Leader of Unionism, to say he wouldn’t trust Muslims but he might trust them to “go to the shops” for him?”
No, but unionists have largely moved on from that, much of it was much longer ago than the Provo campaign, and none of it was aa bad as the Provo campaign.
The old house training adage of Trimble tones being thrashed out again I see!! Very well thought out there MT, what a wide berth of knowledge you’ve displayed. Fíor mhaith.
“The old house training adage of Trimble tones being thrashed out again I see!! Very well thought out there MT, what a wide berth of knowledge you’ve displayed. Fíor mhaith.”
Poor answer, that fails to address the point.
MT, you have repeatedly failed to address the points I’ve raised….
“MT, you have repeatedly failed to address the points I’ve raised….”
MT , you’re like the proverbial hinge that needs oiled…..trivial and superficial but annoying after a while . Others on this blog try to rationalize and put things in perspective…. basically attempting to explain the illogical behaviour and attitude of Loyalism/Unionism ,with cerebal reasoning …..but you are on a continual ,usually ill-researched , one-sided rant about Republicanism. Have you ever studied Irish history….say from 1169 through to the present day…..The several attempts at ethnic cleansing , the trade in Irish slaves , the land clearances of the native Irish for mercenary planters , the constant dehumanizing and caricaturization of the Irish persona etc etc. Perhaps you could learn a lot in civility and tolerance and some entente cordiale from those you wish to demonize !!!
“MT , you’re like the proverbial hinge that needs oiled…..trivial and superficial but annoying after a while ”
I’m not. But Ironically this post of yours is.
” Others on this blog try to rationalize and put things in perspective…. basically attempting to explain the illogical behaviour and attitude of Loyalism/Unionism ,with cerebal reasoning …..”
No different to what I have done. I gave a rational explanation for the relative lack of outreach by unionists. I was merely pointing out the elephant in the room.
“but you are on a continual ,usually ill-researched , one-sided rant about Republicanism.”
I’m not. Though Ironically many, if not most, people on this forum are on such a rant about unionism.
“Have you ever studied Irish history….say from 1169 through to the present day…..The several attempts at ethnic cleansing , the trade in Irish slaves , the land clearances of the native Irish for mercenary planters , the constant dehumanizing and caricaturization of the Irish persona etc etc. Perhaps you could learn a lot in civility and tolerance and some entente cordiale from those you wish to demonize !!!”
I have studied Irish history, probably more so than most on here. Perhaps that’s why I’m able to contextualise it, unlike most here.
“Anyone looking at the last ten or fifteen years cannot but see that: the invitation of unionist politicians to take part in discussion panels (I would have been chairing one such in Derry last night, had it not been called off because of the Buncrana horror). Martin McGuinness meeting and shaking hands with the queen. Gerry Adams meeting and shaking hands with Prince Charles. McGuinness’s insistence that were Sinn Féin to become the largest party after the May elections, his first act would be to establish two First Ministers, rather than one First Minister and one Deputy First Minister. And so it goes.”
I think you’ve inadvertently hit the nail on the head there i.e. ‘any one looking’.
That, to me is the point.
When the cameras are there then SF stand-up and shake hands and make what they would deem to be sacrifices (or at least convince the world that they’re big sacrifices).
That’s not outreach that’s propaganda. It makes SF supporters feel good about themselves and (perhaps more importantly) earns them mega-brownie points on the international ‘good-guys-o-meter’.
This also is very important with regards to the elections in the Republic.
There was a similar hollow gesture with the Provos’ policy of ‘targeting combatants’.
It shocks me the number of people who still fall for that hokum.
A more honest way of labelling it would have been ‘we’ll ostensibly target combatants but if we’ll not make too big an effort to avoid Protestant civilian casualties because if that were paramount then we wouldn’t use explosives and car bombs and lets just forget about those times when we just shot people who weren’t combatants at all (https://itsstillonlythursday.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/pirasinn-fein-a-movement-without-morals-part-6/) ‘.
But no, some apologist will just point at the statistics and compare them to loyalist psychos and say “see! Not as bad as themuns so it’s ok then!’.
Back to the point, unionists don’t give a stuff about who SF shake hands with. Citing this as outreach is very weak, it’s an utterly empty gesture that unionists (big and small ‘u’ alike) simply don’t believe.
To me it’s an extension of the ‘McGuinness vs Magennis’ debate where Martin offered his hand to Ken and came out smelling of roses.
There are many meaningful gestures that SF could make such as McCreesh Park, not complaining about wee union flags on Sainsbury poultry or not moaning about Big Macs not being translated into Irish or refusing to meet cadets on their big days.
THOSE gestures would be deemed real and taken as signs that SF aren’t all about stoking the fire when the cameras aren’t looking.
But because these gestures might not be to SF’s liking then when someone mentions it OPERATION: WHATABOUTERY commences (see Ryan’s endless references to Susan McKay’s book, can we replace Godwin’s law on this site with McKay’s law instead please?) so we are left with the most hollow of gestures.
I admit unionism’s outreach has been almost non-existent but at least they’re honest about it, but this lauding of SF’s majestic outreaches takes cynicism to such a level that I think even Futurama couldn’t match it.
Sorry to be so dark sounding Dr C but if I was trying to outreach to a celiac, diabetic neighbour who hates chocolate I wouldn’t bake them a chocolate cake and then boast about it in front of the cameras (or in SF’s case let their fans do the boasting for them).
Well, AG, I only hope you don’t get your wish. There are quite a few republicans and nationalists who are saying “What’s the point?” In, that is, reaching out to unionism. I don’t consider myself a stupid person or easily gulled, but I have always believed SF, rightly or wrongly, were sincere in their efforts to heal past divisions and to bring unionists and republicans/nationalists together in the common name of Irishman (or woman). When I read you, whom I’ve always thought of as an open-minded person and certainly one that I respect, dismiss all SF’s gestures as strictly for the birds, and that the IRA used the cloak of ‘combatant’ to simply kill Protestants/unionists, then I just about despair. If that’s the response of someone whom I’ve always thought of as a reasonable unionist, then God help us all. And I’d be tempted to agree with Dr M H and say ‘Forget it, guys. There’s no point’. Which really is a recipe for disaster. You have plunged me into deep gloom, AG. And I mean that.
Sorry to be the herald of gloom Dr C but I’m just pointing out a few hard facts.
The truth is that I feel SF and the unionist parties to be impediments to their respective constitutional ambitions.
SF I feel ride too many horses and wear too many masks.
I understand why they appeal to different groups e.g. young people and the more socially-fair minded would be drawn to their more modern and progressive view points, republicans drawn to their republican credentials and nationalists to their nationalist stances and people might praise them for their ‘gestures’.
However, what’s the point in talking about equality and healing wounds and then advocating de facto divisive policies?
For example, naming a park after McCreesh is divisive.
That’s a fact.
No way around it.
However, rather than concede that the discussion becomes a matter of perspective (a favourite technique of NI political commentators) and all of a sudden we find that street names (which have until recently just been street names) are now being painted as bones of contention in order to justify McCreesh.
Street names are now being divided up into ‘names for themuns’ and ‘names for ussuns’ just to justify McCreesh.
I’ve always seen the Morning Star and McCracken’s as just pubs, now am I going to have to take on board this new way of thinking and be retrospectively offended that they have republican origins? (no, obviously).
Cromwell Road, Londonderry and Craigavon I can understand but the rest are pretty much just ‘street names’ that one finds all over the anglo world, including in republics that had campaigns against the British e.g. Georgetown, Malaysia (or numerous states in the US named after European monarchs, inc the Carolinas, Maryland, Georgia, Louisiana and the Virginias).
To me it’s like justifying a small, annoying brush-fire in one’s backyard to a pernickety neighbour by setting fire to all the fields that surround the village just so that the neighbour can now no longer complain.
It’s difficult to preach healing whilst clearly sowing the seeds of discord. You can’t be seen as a bridge-builder if you’re only going to flood other roads.
By all means they should make gestures but if they’re only going to offset these gestures by creating other issues where none exist (I mean is it REALLY such a big deal that there’s no Irish translation for Big Mac in the Belfast McDonalds? There’s not one in O’Connell st or Grafton st either. I’ve been on every continent (except Antarctica) and to my memory in every country I’ve been to I seem to recall a ‘Big Mac’ was always called ‘a Big Mac’ or ‘биг мак’ ).
That’s my point Dr C, gestures require substance behind them not PR gain and I can’t think of a SF gesture that didn’t have a PR bonus.
So, in a manner of speaking there is no point as long as SF continue their eye-poking, at least that way it’s more honest.
As for unionists, I do despair; there’s too many parades, too many flags, too many memorials, to much acceptance of paramilitary paraphernalia, too much intolerance to anything ‘Irish’ and too many jaw dropping comments of a narrow-minded nature, but, at least you know where you stand with them, one can’t blame a shark for biting one.
And whilst they may in general be aging sharks with less and less teeth they’ll never be mistaken for an Angler Fish which is how SF’s gestures are seen as by many.
To my mind SF are making it difficult for themselves (in the same way unionist parties are making it difficult for themselves too):
If they were to re-name McCreesh, create a separation between ‘equality’ and ‘anti-British jihadism’, publically distance themselves from the Irish language, put their money where their mouth(s) is(are) on ‘duplication of services) (e.g. education) and stop moaning about anglo-Big Macs and wee chickens on Sainsbury poultry then it would be much easier to take their gestures seriously.
Sorry Dr C, I’m happy to kick political unionism till the cows come home, but SF bovines are equally viable for a booting too and I hope I’ve highlighted why.
(OH! I forgot to say, the remembrance day gesture WAS a good one that did come across as genuine (I forgot about that) and it was indeed ruined by some clampett from the TUV).
“If they were to re-name McCreesh, create a separation between ‘equality’ and ‘anti-British jihadism’, publically distance themselves from the Irish language, put their money where their mouth(s) is(are) on ‘duplication of services) (e.g. education) and stop moaning about anglo-Big Macs and wee chickens on Sainsbury poultry then it would be much easier to take their gestures seriously.”
Renaming the McCreesh would also be divisive. I would be annoyed if that happened and very unimpressed with Sinn Fein if they as much as contemplated it.
It would be a snub to someone who gave his life for the cause he believed in regardless of what anyone else thinks of it.
Whether we like it or not, we are a society that is emerging out of a bloody conflict and both sides have to be considered equals, not one side condemned more than the other. We need tolerance of the past not vilification, especially when the main protagonist is covering up its actions with national security and therefore hiding the truth.
I am more concerned with not seeing more causes for vilification in the future so both sides will just have to live with things we don’t like.
Reconciliation needs to be between both parts of this island, not simply between two or more communities in the north.
That way we can still move forward even if unionism does not want to be part of the process which is how it looks.
I also want to see more the Irish language about the place, on street signs and such not less. I look forward to my children speaking it and hopefully I will pick up a word or two myself.
I want to see the Irish flag on council buildings instead of lamp posts.
I want to be able to vote in the next irish presidential elections in the north.
I want to see an all island education system, with children learning with other children around the country not simply integration between protestant and catholic kids in the north though I would like to see all children educated together in an all island system.
Those are just some of things that are important to me and I am sure many Sinn Fein voters.
They do seem to listen to their electorate so that is the direction I hope we are moving in.
What a list of demands!!!
“If they were to re-name McCreesh, create a separation between ‘equality’ and ‘anti-British jihadism’, publically distance themselves from the Irish language, put their money where their mouth(s) is(are) on ‘duplication of services) (e.g. education) and stop moaning about anglo-Big Macs and wee chickens on Sainsbury poultry”
And if all that was to happen what will Unionists/Loyalists offer in exchange?
Silencing catholics chit-chat at work in the NI Civil Service?
Insistence on maintaining all their usual well-known, long-tested, hallowed Hallmarks of Unionism/Loyalism?
Well that’s the thing about outreach Ben, if you mean it then you have to give meaningful gestures, e.g. the Remembrance Day one (that the TUV muppet ruined) that mean something to the target group.
For gestures to work they have to strike the right chord, the rest of the gestures SF have given have been the equivalent of a bunch of flowers bought at a 24hr petrol station.
I imagine Unionism would probably offer very little in return (other than small ‘u’ unionists) but then the current amount of whinging about the lack of unionist reciprocation would be warranted, at present it is not as the gestures are the equivalent of a box of chocolates from Lidl.
Once the gestures reach a level of Quality Street or Cadbury’s roses then you’d be on to something.
For what it’s worth I want unionism to change a lot of things too: http://amgobsmacked.blogspot.hr/2013/05/10-things-that-unionistsprotestants-do.html
i have to say Am Ghob , that i agree with Jude on this one .I actually believe that Sinn Fein are not being propagandists on this reconciliation thing. they always knew that to have a functioning new united Ireland for all that unionism had to be convinced that it might be a good idea to have a united Ireland back once again, but this time without the British ruling it from Westminster and with the ir “unionist concerns” being represented by about a quarter of the electorate in this spanking new ideal.I really don’t believe they are being cynical about this because it would not make any logical sense. it’s a fact that the current unionist mindset would have a huge voting bloc in a new regime. On the other hand unionism is still at ground Zero as far as reconciliation with about half of the current Norneverland population are concerned. The hatred is of comedy proportions….steam hissing out of ears etc…
The whole idea is to have a legitimate political point of view and have that view respected .Certainly republicans were drawn into a mad conflict after the Civil rights movement was crushed on the streets but there were two sides to that dirty conflict and we all know that…but somehow it had to be ended….and Sinn Fein played a big part in that too. The conflict was …twenty years ago and it’s gone…a generation has grown up without it… except for the die-hards who somehow think that low-level violence will re-invent another “war”. it’s hardly feasible in the modern world with ISIS and such.
Anyone can see that the only way is the political way now..otherwise we just end up with troops on the streets again …and that would certainly end badly for everyone… Sinn Fein certainly don’t want that again…that’s for sure .
So what is unionism thinking if they don’t believe Sinn fein are for real, Am Ghob? Have they really lost the plot and can’t see the political gains that Sinn Fein have made without violence?Like Jude ., I enjoy your take on it Am Ghob, but if even you can’t see through the smoke , is there really any hope for a viable “normal” future ?
My main point Paddy is that there’s little point in making gestures if you’re just going to stoke the fire when the cameras aren’t looking.
Sure, unionists and loyalists shamelessly stoke the fire in full view of the cameras and are somehow unashamed of it but at least what you see is what you get, SF on the other hand will offer a handshake but just as quickly sow seeds of discord so how can people believe them?
I think they’re just smarter in the PR stakes and perhaps even believe their own speels.
I would truly love for a group of Swiss diplomats, a psychiatrist and a few marketing gurus to come in, sit down and explain to everyone how harmful their actions are as it seems that people aren’t aware of it anymore (or in the case of unionists just don’t really care).
Jude this suggestion Unionists come off with that the IRA simply wanted to kill protestants doesn’t make sense.
If the IRA simply wanted to kill protestants then why didn’t they use UVF/UDA tactics and just wait at interfaces and randomly murder protestants? They could’ve judged who was a Protestant the same way the UVF/UDA judged who was a Catholic: by the area the person was walking into or a house in the area they maybe lived in or were simply seen going in and out of. The IRA could’ve killed 10 times as many people by using this tactic but they didn’t because it simply wasn’t their agenda. It was clearly the agenda of the UDA/UVF/RUC/UDR.
If the IRA wanted to strike fear into the Protestant community why not just do what the Shankill Butchers did and randomly kidnap Protestants, torture them and then dump their bodies? Indeed the Shankill Butchers even mowed down with machine guns innocent Protestants thinking they were innocent Catholics, that’s how amateur and random their attacks were, just like the UVF/UDA’s. Lenny Murphy was the main gunman who shot those protestants dead and when he was back home afterwards he eagerly waited by the radio for the news to report his deed but then became enraged when he realized he had murdered Protestants. His fellow butchers reported that he angrily swore he would kill 10 times as many Catholics because of HIS mistake.
The IRA didn’t do any of this. Of course Unionists can point to one or two incidents like Kingsmills but that was 1 or 2 incidents out of thousands of non-sectarian incidents over a 30 year period that the IRA was responsible for. Kingsmills was in reply to numerous UVF sectarian murder sprees. One of those apparently involved said “We didn’t want to do Kingsmills but it had to be done. It stopped anymore Catholics being murdered”. But there’s question marks even over Kingsmills, with the sole survivor Alan Black believing the British Govt had some sort of involvement. Files and documents to do with the massacre have been “lost”, have been destroyed in a mysterious fire just when they were being sought and there has been repeated delays in releasing whatever files that remain…..
Around 30% of the IRA’s victims were Protestant/Catholic civilians. Most of those killed by what would be deemed an “accident”, usually from bombs with warnings. Some were killed for being informers or accused of being such, like Jean McConville.
The rest of the IRA’s targets, the 70%, were RUC, UDR, British Army, UVF, UDA, etc. It didn’t matter what your religion was, Catholic or Protestant, if you were a servant of the state, you were a target. That may be seen as wrong in many Unionists eyes but its not sectarian.
On the other hand the UVF/UDA’s targets were almost completely Catholic civilians. 85% of Loyalist victims were Catholic civilians. They made no secret of the fact normal Catholics were their target. Gusty Spence said: “If you cant get an IRA man, get a taig”. When cameras went into the Loyalist prisoner wing it was wrote on large writing on the wall: “Yaba daba doo! any taig will do!”. The DUP/UUP were flirting and even co-operating with the UDA/UVF during their sectarian murder sprees of Catholics, like in the 1974 strike and other times. The remaining 15% of Loyalist killings were mostly of Protestant civilians, fellow loyalists and Republicans. Loyalists actually killed far more fellow Loyalists than IRA men. Indeed it could be argued that fewer than 5% of Loyalist killings were of active Republican paramilitaries.
So the facts don’t back up what Unionists claim was the “ethnic cleansing” and even “genocide” of Protestants by the IRA. No to mention there were Protestants in the IRA, even one of the founding members of the INLA was a Protestant!….
It makes a lot of sense.
The IRA I would say had a more mixed bag in terms of recruitment from people who were genuine about a united Ireland, to people who were concerned for Catholic defence to people who had an axe to grind and wanted to kill Prods.
They have always been a lot smarter than their loyalist counterparts and depended more on American dollars and pitching to the world an image of ‘our fight is right’.
This can’t be done by adopting UVF tactics but it could be done by ‘targeting combatants’ with the most pathetic of excuses on standby should (or rather ‘when’) they killed a Protestant e.g. was Norman Stronge a combatant? No. Was he a man nationalists didn’t like (understandably so)? Yes.
So, he got a bullet to the head (along with his ‘combatant’ son) and had his home burned down around him. So, one combatant, a pensioner and a grand house.
How can we think of that as anything other than sectarian murder?
I used to have to check under my scoutleader’s car because he was a ‘combatant’. Over the course of the years TWO were found; one under his elderly father’s car (a NON-combatant) and one under his own car (by his 3 year old nephew).
Apologists see dead scouts and Protestant pensioners as ‘collateral’ anyone with a conscience would see this as callous murder.
So, in short, I think the Provos were just smarter and more disciplined with SF to back them up in the inevitable event of sectarian massacre.
It’s just very easy to smother the above facts with whataboutery and comparisons to the loyalists.
I think the time has passed now for any further out-reach from the nationalist community. Can you even begin to imagine the shock on the unionist psyche if nationalists started to treat unionism with the distain and disrespect that they espouse. Imagine, the “no-not an inch” to anything remotely British, no flegs, no statues, banning AGAIN the Orange Order, every single march, every piece of funding to their “terrorist shrine” of a museum or any cultural identity, Street names and parks renamed one by one to remove anything British, zero respect of British culture in the north east, blatant in your face Gregory Campbell levels of bigotry! Perhaps even a unified approach to ‘bending the rule of law’, restricting tax collection, wide-spread manipulation of benefits, embargos on British imports, wide-spread ‘acceptable’ fuel laundering and “new traditional routes” for republican marches…
Perhaps that’s the only way forward, it would at least produce some liberal unionists!
But then again, its all over anyways, the war was won, not on the streets with the bomb or bullet, but in the bedrooms of west Belfast, Foyle, Derry and soon the once dominated unionist councils of Craigavon, Antrim, Lisburn….. Unionism is kicking against a tidal wave of ‘non protestant, non unionist’ demographic. “Ahhh but just because you’re a taig doesn’t mean you will want a UI the collective unionist voice will cry as they pump out sindo/ BT lucidtalk poll after poll ….”
Well I haven’t seem many unicorns on my journeys and I would imagine that with the huge demographic changes that are happening, they will become an issue of folklore, possibly even a best seller penned by Jamie Bryson. People and particularly the media are down-playing the demographic changes, its simply not sporting to rub ones nose in it. Those in the know, know its over, and has been for some considerable time. Do yourself a favour and draw one ‘X’ on a blank page using a red and green pen! …………. Go on take a minute…………. Now you see it!
Many people cite the GFA as some sort of protection that the bogeyman wont come if I don’t vote for it in a referendum. Awww such cute innocence and naivety makes me giggle and smile as though I am watching a baby make its first steps. A UI is already happening around you, the only people dumb enough not to notice are fleggers. The unionist politico know every push back they do is simply an effort to stall momentum. But more importantly, “IT IS MOMENTUM”, it cannot be stopped or destroyed, it will always transfer into another energy, another effort, another way forward, another uppity croppie that wont lie down! Many of us will be going about our daily business as a UI comes about, the withdrawal of the British will be decided by the lovely generious tax payers of London, not by the shinners or even the fleggers in the peoples Un-Democratic Republic Of Ards. In all likelihood there will never be a definitive date for when it “happened”, maybe some will cite the common currency alignment date, maybe some will cite administrative changes in tax calculations. One things for sure, life will go on, even for the settlers!
your first paragraph there is what they fear,
Dr M H, an erudite piece of joined-up thinking….personally ,and mostly to no avail , I’ve been haranguing everyone who would listen with my conviction that the ” war ” was won in the 1960’s…..why else the ” raison d’être ” of an arch bigot of Paisley’s ilk…..why else the remuneration to Mr Gusty Spence to begin a sectarian war with the sole purpose of eradicating the emerging Catholic majority or driving them southwards as initially happened. Terence O’Neill made small but meaningless overtures to Sean Lemass with the assumption that if you give a Catholic a half-decent job and a better hovel to live in they would behave like Protestants. ( i.e. Brits )That was an erroneous presupposition ….it may have quelled that latent anger temporarily but centuries of murder and mayhem from their neighbours ,compounded by a ” Protestant apartheid regime ” viciously thrust upon a defenceless and vulnerable people guaranteed that rebellion ( when numbers were sufficient ) would undoubtedly ensue…..Loyalism/Unionism unwittingly released the genie and it will never be contained again !
Massive increase in Fleggerism
Massive increase in Orange Order parades
Massive increase in size and scale of 12th July Hate Pyres
Massive increase in Unionist fury and outrage over existance that catholics exist
Massive increase in Unionist mopery
Massive increase in Sindo style Poll Spinning Propaganda
Massive increase in rectum pulling figures for NI subvention
Massive increase in Protestant childrens academic failure
Massive Increase in Protestant students settling in the ‘motherland’
Massive increase in Flegs Flegs Flegs
Massive increase in outright bigotry
Massive increase in outright discrimination
Massive increase in being offended that another culture exists
What we are witnessing is an “Extinction Burst”
While extinction, when implemented consistently over time, results in the eventual decrease of the undesired behavior, in the short-term the subject might exhibit what is called an extinction burst. An extinction burst will often occur when the extinction procedure has just begun. This usually consists of a sudden and temporary increase in the response’s frequency, followed by the eventual decline and extinction of the behavior targeted for elimination. Novel behavior, or emotional responses or aggressive behavior, may also occur
All the above while theres a massive decrease of Protestant/Unionist population that shows no sign of abating and an exponential increase in Catholic/Nationalist population that has no emotional ties to Britain whatsoever.
Yeah the Union has never been safer lol …………. Vótáil DUP/TUV/UUP/BBC/HeyLookAtMe 🙂