What’s New?

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Just an editorial from the Independent.:

Riots on the streets of Belfast look alarmingly like a return to the bad old days. Indeed, the sight of an Orange band marching in circles and playing a sectarian tune in front of a Catholic church may prompt claims that nothing has changed. Not so.

The symmetry that outsiders tend to see between Northern Ireland’s Protestant and Catholic halves is superficial. The Protestant loyalist working-class community of the past was one where boys left school at 16 and moved straight into well-paid jobs in the shipyards or heavy engineering companies from which Catholics were excluded. Today, the jobs have gone but the culture, which placed a low premium on education, remains.

By contrast, the Catholic working class put much greater emphasis on schooling. With the legislating away of institutional anti-Catholic discrimination over the past decades, the Catholic community has had a lift distinctly absent in working-class loyalist areas, whose paramilitaries were behind this week’s riots.

Politics may have delivered a peace in which the economy, investment and tourism have been normalised, but there has been no big peace dividend in terms of new jobs for either working-class community. Marches and parades – and disputes about them – are the tribal badges which attach to this divide. And where politics has absolutely failed is in attempts to replace the much-criticised Parades Commission which places conditions on republican and loyalist marches. Politicians on both sides came up with an alternative in 2010 but it was shelved after opposition from the Orange Order. The politicians gave up too easily, and these riots are the price.

One positive development has been that Presbyterian and Anglican Church leaders, who have previously tacitly supported the Orange Order, have this week roundly condemned it. The loyalist unemployed need jobs. But the Orange Order also needs to know that all sides – from Martin McGuinness to the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church – are intent on moving in a very different direction, leaving its members to keep marching round in circles.

And from Macdonald in The Guardian

Earlier Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland’s first and deputy first ministers, united to condemn the violence in north Belfast but to also urge dialogue on all sides.

Robinson denied he had avoided commenting on the violence and destruction stressing he simply wanted to avoid saying anything that could raise further tensions. The first minister said he was impressed that Catholic residents in the Carrick Hill area of the city had not demanded that Orange Order and other loyalist parades be re-routed away from St Patrick’s chapel.

The Catholic church in Belfast’s Donegall Street was turned into a contentious parade route in July when loyalist bandsmen were captured playing a sectarian song outside its doors.

A large number of loyalist bands and their supporters are scheduled to file past the church again on 29 September when thousands gather in the city to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant opposing Home Rule. There are fears this event could degenerate into a major sectarian confrontation close to Belfast city centre.

The deputy first minister described the scenes over the last 72 hours in north Belfast as “deplorable, disgraceful and shameful”.

McGuinness added: “This is a time for leadership. This is a time for people to stand together against violence and particularly for the Loyal Orders to show leadership, and I think there’s been a distinct lack of leadership from them over the course of recent times.”

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  • Mister_Joe

    Robinson denied he had avoided commenting on the violence and destruction stressing he simply wanted to avoid saying anything that could raise further tensions.

    So he couldn’t bring himself to say anything that might lower tensions? In the words of his latest favourite song (written by one of The Four Seasons and covered by The Tremeloes back in 67)
    “Silence is Golden”.

  • Pete Baker

    Dewi

    “Politicians on both sides came up with an alternative in 2010 but it was shelved after opposition from the Orange Order.”

    Well, that’s the simplified version.

    The reality is rather more complicated.

    …the DUP’s Peter Robinson, in blaming the Orange Order’s rejection of the proposals for the withdrawal of the draft Bill on Public Assemblies, Parades and Protests.

    But abandoning that Bill conveniently avoids the First and deputy First Ministers having to fulfill their commitment to deliver in legislation the agreed outcomes of that working group – and their special advisers…

    The legislation they proposed was, after all, “built on ignorance of the law, plain stupidity, arrogance, and worst of all, political expediency.”

    And the draft Bill’s many critics have been lining up to point that out.

    Abandoning the draft Bill means, of course, that we’ll not get to see those wonderful amendments they promised…

    And no mention of the more recent conversations?

  • Mister_Joe

    that’s the simplified version.

    Pete,

    It really was that simple. For us mere plebs of course.
    But, the proposed Bill was stupid in the extreme and would have been impossible to enforce to deal with these situations.
    When it came to the final stage, FM &DFM, unable to agree, they would have had to appoint a panel to decide. What’s that you say? You mean a one-off Parades Commission?

  • Moderate Unionist

    re.
    “Politicians on both sides came up with an alternative in 2010 but it was shelved after opposition from the Orange Order. The politicians gave up too easily, and these riots are the price.”

    The DUP pretended that they had a resolution to the parades issue as a ‘clever ploy’ and quid pro quo to cover their embarassment over accepting (under considerable pressure from 3 goverments) to agree to the transfer of police powers to Ireland.

    Their cunning plan consisted of effectively giving SF rather than the parades commission a say in where the Orange Order marched and not suprisingly the OO took one look at this cunning plan and told the DUP to feck off.

    The PC is not a bad deal at all for the PUL community and the OO – as the brethern over in Scotland would attest having had, or shortly to have their ‘right’ to march withdrawn completely.

  • dwatch

    “The Protestant loyalist working-class community of the past was one where boys left school at 16 and moved straight into well-paid jobs in the shipyards or heavy engineering companies from which Catholics were excluded.”

    Dewi, this is republican PR nonsense “WELL PAID” what utter rubbish. I worked in the shipyard in the 1950′s my wages were 32 & 6 pence a week. I couldn’t leave quick enought to go to sea and earn four times the wages. It was there I met a number of Catholics from both the Markets and Short strand areas of Belfast. Most has all worked in the docks before hand.

  • http://WindowsIDHotmail danielsmoran

    Mr Joe. That, coming from Robbo is telling, in that he stayed quiet until yesterday so as not to risk raising tensions, which means he knew that his views weren’t even aimed at lowering tensions so he’s walked straight into that.
    Perhaps he’s not as bright as is claimed.

  • DoppiaVu

    Like Dwatch, I have difficulties with that part of the article.

    I grew up in working class N. Belfast in the ’70s and went to a primary school with a majority working class protestant catchment. We were all encouraged to do well educationally. There was no expectation of walking straight into a job in engineering or anything else.

    My protestant dad and brother, both of whom were in the building trade, struggled to find reliable work throughout most of my childhood. If only someone had told them that well-paid jobs for protestants were ten-a-penny in the shipyards!!

    Oh yes and btw, the only person that I knew from my childhood that worked in the shipyard happened to be a catholic. Hardly statistically significant, but a fact nevertheless.

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    As a “West Belfast” Catholic, who lived in a “mixed area” in the 1950s/60s….I have to go along with what some people have already said.
    I dont think my Protestant friends had any feeling of entitlement to a job and that enabbled them in some way to slack at school.
    A lot depended on whether the “man of the house” had a trade. And there might well have been an expectation that the son would follow the same line.
    Now that might have been a different expectation in East Belfast.
    I did have a summer job in a (then) large Belfast Corporation Dept which seemed to mostly employ from East Belfast and certainly there was a father-son thing going on there…….but the nature of the trade involved apprenticeships for which the young lads would have been educated.
    Like all clichés there might well be an element of fact involved but I think it has too often been over-hyped.
    Dawn Purvis seems to have had a fairly good approach to this…..but it didnt do her much good in May 2011.

  • Greenflag

    What’s new ?

    From BBC NI

    Royal Black Institution apology to St Patrick’s Church over march

    Most bands defied a ban on playing music while passing St Patrick’s Catholic Church

    A Protestant loyal order has apologised “for any offence caused” to clergy and parishioners of a Catholic church in Belfast.

    During a Royal Black Institution parade last month, loyalist bands played music outside St Patrick’s Church in defiance of a ruling by the Parades Commission.

    The Institution said its anger was not directed at the Catholic church.

    the full story

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19499049

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    The apology (with a side-swipe at the Parades Commission) is only one part of the story.
    The equally important part is the apology being “welcomed”…”step forward” etc etc.
    The choreography is in place to enable the Covenant Parade to go ahead……..it was simply too big an event (a once in 100 years event) not to go ahead.
    In other words some supporters of Orangeism…….behaved badly……twice……and got away with it.

  • Greenflag

    But then the Royal Black state

    “Parading is embedded in the DNA of the Protestant community but the Parades Commission has shown an appalling lack of understanding about what that means.’

    Next they’ll be telling the scientific community that there is a genome for parading , and another one for wearing a bowler hat and another one for dressing in black (very prevalent in the RC church ) and another for brick throwing .

    Somebody should do a DNA comparison or study between a Royal Black member , a loyalist rioter and brick thrower , a protester against these parades an injured PSNI officer and a random sample of Protestants who are non members and non paraders and another of random RC’s non protestors and non parade watchers and see if there is any fact behind the Royal Black’s ‘embedded ‘ theory ;)?

    And then this absurd statement from the Royal Black

    “They consistently pander to the demands of people who have gone out of their way to be offended and whose aim is to remove all traces of the Reformed Christian Faith and cleanse Protestant culture from society.”

    Maybe they should also search for an embedded ‘paranoia ‘ gene among RB members ? :(

    And finally most ludicrous of all for an organisation which wishes to parade the public highway in full regalia etc

    “We have always had good lines of communication with the Roman Catholic Church and we would intend to continue to maintain and consolidate these, away from the public gaze.”

    Why so ? Away from the public gaze ? really ? I suppose they may have reasons but it does seem more than odd and just lends further credence as if any was needed that this RB lot just like other associations and institutions with a preference for dressing in black and telling others how to live their lives prefer to do so behind closed doors ?

    Ah well -I’m sure if there’s any other institution in Ireland /Northern Ireland, who will have some sympathy for the Royal Black’s aversion to the public gaze the RC Church has to be top of the list :(

    Jesus wept once again and so it goes!

  • Greenflag

    @ fitzjameshorse ,

    ‘The choreography is in place etc ‘

    Of course I would’nt have doubted it for an instant .These people are such practiced liars and hypocrites that they would’nt recognise the truth if it bit them in the arse :(

  • Moderate Unionist

    re.

    “but the Parades Commission has shown an appalling lack of understanding about what that means.’

    I think it fair to say it is exact opposite of that – the PC knows exactly what it means.

    The attack on the parades commssion by the OO and the DUP is complely ridiculous as any alternative is likely to involve SF at some level. Which they will no doubt absolutely love.

    The PC is as good as it is likely to get for the PUL community.

  • http://andrewg.wordpress.com Andrew Gallagher

    “They consistently pander to the demands of people who have gone out of their way to be offended and whose aim is to remove all traces of the Reformed Christian Faith and cleanse Protestant culture from society.”

    Maybe they should also search for an embedded ‘paranoia ‘ gene among RB members?

    Just because they’re paranoid doesn’t mean that nobody’s out to get them. There is a tiny minority who wouldn’t have a Prod about the place, but its effect is magnified through the distorting lens of mutual incomprehension. The way out is for moderate nationalists to demonstrate goodwill (which to be fair many are doing), and for the loyal orders to dial down the rhetoric.

    In the long run, however, I can’t see Belfast’s sectarian flashpoints getting any better if they are treated on an individual basis. One interface is apparently “solved”, and before you know it the trouble reappears somewhere else. It is the trouble-makers that need attention, not the trouble-spots.

  • Reader

    Moderate Unionist: The PC is as good as it is likely to get for the PUL community.
    Who would have thought I would have agreed so much with a ‘Moderate Unionist”?
    I’m shocked that the loyal orders found it so unbearably difficult to keep their noses clean for a couple of years on the trot. Most of the rest of us have to try to keep our noses clean for the whole of our adult lives.

  • Sraid Marx

    On the subject of what’s new and good old fashioned Belfast sectarianism I wrote this last week -

    http://irishmarxism.net/2012/08/29/sectarianism-in-belfast-whats-new/

  • BluesJazz

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/19506648

    Maybe Russia striker Alexander Kerzhakov should be invited to the upcoming parade.

    Kerzhakov reportedly told a press conference that he had only recently been informed of Northern Ireland’s existence.

  • Red Lion

    Bluesjazz – Alex will know ‘we exist’ when he comes to Windsor Park!

  • salgado

    I saw Kerzhakov at the Euros – it didn’t look like he’d been informed of the goals existence either. He was pretty shocking.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    He will be totally bewildered if some one tells him that one of the tribes will be holding a large demonstration to celebrate the threat to take up arms against the UK government in a couple of weeks and that the other tribe will be doing exactly the same in 3 1/2 years time. He will then probably take up cricket because surely he will be stumped.

  • Moderate Unionist

    Mister_Joe,

    If the PC sticks to its principles then the large demonstration would not be a celebration of a threat but an actual threat.

  • The Lodger

    A threat to what?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Moderate Unionist:

    The attack on the parades commssion by the OO and the DUP is complely ridiculous as any alternative is likely to involve SF at some level. Which they will no doubt absolutely love.

    It is ridiculous on another level that nobody seems to have picked up on.

    Normally it is Sinn Féin who argue that the Secretary of State has no right to make decisions in Northern Ireland. Now the DUP and other unionists are arguing that the Parades Commission has no legitimacy and no mandate because it is appointed from Westminster. I would like to understand exactly what the word “unionist” means if the practitioners of same are arguing for civil disobedience against decisions taken by British ministers. What are they going to do next, take up arms and call for national self determination ?

  • Moderate Unionist

    The Lodger,

    If the PC stick to its principles and punish those who flouted its regulations, i.e. reroute the march at the end of the month then Unionism in all its varieties will threaten absolute (sirpatrick)mayhem in Ulster.

    So a massive threat to law and order would follow – wouldnt you agree?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Regarding the apology, I think it’s quite funny.

    You can clearly tell it was written either by Peter Robinson or someone close to him, just after he came home from his holiday (notice in the recent interviews he’s clearly been spending some time in the sun). I can just imagine the meeting that must have taken place between Robbo and the OO/RBP representatives. I imagine he told them in plain English what he thought of the damage they were doing.

    The other fascinating contradiction is that the RBP apologize on one hand for offending Catholics, and then go on to condemn the Parades Commission for preventing them from offending Catholics.

    But all that aside I do hope things are going to calm down, and with a bit of luck the centenary stuff will go ahead as planned without there being any trouble.

  • Comrade Stalin

    MU,

    I think frankly that nobody wants to talk about that nightmare scenario which will go badly for pretty much everybody. I would hope that if a deal can be reached which has the approval of the residents and the marching bodies. If that happens, the Parades Commission does not need to act as there is a local agreement in place, however it can of course monitor a parade for breaches.

  • Moderate Unionist

    CS,

    re. “I would like to understand exactly what the word “unionist” means if the practitioners of same are arguing for civil disobedience against decisions taken by British ministers. ”

    The New Secretary of State should get some Yes man to ask her a question during the next Northern Ireland Questions having previously paid a few other Tories to actually turn up for the duration – and to voice their opinions on the the relative merits of Orange Order and the Parades Commission.

    It might provide a wake up call to those within the PUL community who think they should be able to behave in Ulster in a way that would be totally unaceptable on the mainland.

  • The Lodger

    “If the PC stick to its principles and punish those who flouted its regulations, i.e. reroute the march at the end of the month then Unionism in all its varieties will threaten absolute (sirpatrick)mayhem in Ulster.”

    By doing that they would be going against the wishes of the Priest and parishioners of St Patrick’s chapel. So unless they are absolutely dense I doubt that will be the outcome. Though I can sense your disappointment from here.

  • The Lodger

    “I would like to understand exactly what the word “unionist” means if the practitioners of same are arguing for civil disobedience against decisions taken by British ministers.”

    Being British has never entailed a slavish obedience to the government of the day.

  • Moderate Unionist

    CS,

    “I would hope that if a deal can be reached which has the approval of the residents and the marching bodies. If that happens, the Parades Commission does not need to act as there is a local agreement in place, however it can of course monitor a parade for breaches”

    I agree -I presume the sticking point will be if the parade organisers will agree not to play ANY music going past the church.

    Dont want to sound too flippant but surely Ulster wont be plunged into complete chaos over whether a hymn is played or not?

  • The Lodger

    Have the Priest or the parishioners of St Patrick’s chapel demanded that no music be played going past their church, or was that demand created by the Parades Commission?

  • Moderate Unionist

    Lodger,

    the parade certainly deserves to be rerouted (as does the Nat one in the area next year) but I think we have to be flexible here – my vote on the PC will be going for local agreement.

  • The Lodger

    “the parade certainly deserves to be rerouted”

    On the basis of what?

  • Moderate Unionist

    The Lodger,

    The residents, who seem like a sensible bunch have talked about ‘respect’ – what that translates into I dont know – but the Orange or Black or whatever can count themselves very lucky that they seem to have rubbed up very reasonable people the wrong way. If the residents dont want any music then it would be very wise for the paraders to agree.

  • Moderate Unionist

    On the basis of what?

    Flouting the PC determination.

  • The Lodger

    It might have been wise for the Parades Commission to take the trouble to find out before they issued their unenforceable decision on the matter. It just serves to emphasise how useless and out of touch they are. Now they are going to look like idiots at the covenant parade.

  • The Lodger

    “On the basis of what?

    Flouting the PC determination.”

    As far as I know the Orange Order did no such thing on account of them not being involved. You want to reroute a parade by one organsiation because of the behaviour of another. Where is the sense in that? How is rerouting a sensible and proportionate response to a minor peaceful protest anyway?

  • Moderate Unionist

    Lodger,

    “Now they are going to look like idiots at the covenant parade.”

    The Black today apologised for playing music outside the church, the very thing they said they should have been allowed to do.

    Unionists were sold a pup by the DUP about abolising the PC in order to give themselves a figleaf for transferring police powers to Ulster.

    The PC if and when it is replaced (which I doubt) will be replaced by at least some people from SF – how in the name of all that is holy is that going to improve things for marchers?

    The PUL community are demanding the removal of something that is actually giving them a pretty good deal.

  • Moderate Unionist

    Lodger,

    “How is rerouting a sensible and proportionate response to a minor peaceful protest anyway?”

    If you cant pass the BeachBoysTest then you dont deserve to march past somwhere you have misbehaved and or flouted a restriction. Simples.

    It is simply outrageous that the DUP and the OO can pedal this embarassing nonsense.

    Serioulsy are you not embarssed by their denials?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Lodger,

    Being British has never entailed a slavish obedience to the government of the day.

    Indeed not, but that’s not it.

    The problem is that civil disobedience is being justified on the basis that the Commission is appointed by someone who is not elected in Northern Ireland. That is fundamentally a republican argument.

  • BluesJazz

    The new (very posh) SoS should abide by the golden rule.
    What would Reggie (Maudling) do/have done?
    And take advice from the Army brigadier in charge of land forces here, Baggott is useless.

  • BluesJazz

    Remember Maudlings (controversial but apt) theorem
    *An acceptable level of violence*
    That’s as true today as then.

  • Comrade Stalin

    MU,

    Lodger here was one of the ones parroting the denials, along with Nelson McCausland and a number of other leading unionists.

    The Black statement today is a clear break from this, and is clearly the work of Peter Robinson. I wonder if there are any bent ears at DUP HQ.

  • http://bangordub.wordpress.com/ Bangordub

    Comrade,
    Well observed, If I may add, It was the heads of the Presbyterian and COI Churches who first called it, The Black statement is a follow on to that and welcome it is!
    Leadership at last

  • BluesJazz

    Peter Robinson put his name to an inflammatory letter and headed off to Florida or another luxury destination.

    Then comes back and is all ‘wh’appen?’. It was no big deal but neither is parading. The ‘Royal’ Black is about 3000 geriatrics and the issue was about the UVF, not them.
    95% of the population had/have other more pressing issues.
    x factor is back on tv and there will be no more riots.

    What’s new?

    Nothing.

    No ESA, no DEL replacement, no RPA,
    I could go on….

  • BluesJazz

    Well the silly season is over, but the ‘cuts’ will really kick in over the next 5 years (they haven’t started yet), and Belfast Met (to name but one) is inundated by thousands of kids trying to bet on a course -any course- to stave off the dole.
    And the political focus is on a daft parade of old people.
    plus ca change

  • http://bangordub.wordpress.com/ Bangordub

    Bluesjazz,
    I see your point!
    It’s a pity some of those kids sent out to riot are unlikely to be the ones trying to get into Belfast Met.

  • BluesJazz

    Bangordub
    I don’t know, a few of them may be. But a criminal record for the few that are caught or convicted puts them in a world of shit.
    However, to see the desperation of kids (some from grammars) with decent A levels desperate to repeat, to get to a university, any university-some with pitiful GCSE’s trying to get on a course, any course- because there is no alternative. No jobs. There is a waiting list for Poundland.

    And the news? A parade. Forget all the aesetics of bands and residents and political showmanship. Below the surface is a generation of waste. But hell we’ve a parade to deal with. Beats the sightings of that big cat in Tyrone I suppose. What’s news? Indeed.

  • http://bangordub.wordpress.com/ Bangordub

    Bluesjazz,
    Well put. Cant disagree with you.
    I wish we were discussing the economy instead but just look at who’s viewing what posts here.
    The reality is that NI is becoming what I call a “Call centre economy” rather than a “Value added economy”.
    If the Corpo Tax argument was properly put, that would be a game changer.
    eg: Politicians are bemoaning the brain drain but where are the high income potential jobs?

  • BluesJazz

    Bangordub
    ‘It’s the economy stupid’
    The much said statement of any REAL politician or journalist.
    Twas ever thus.
    But there’s no getting out of this one. They can populise ‘the Our Place, Our Time’ farce until we face the inevitable BIG cut in the Westminster subvention 2015.
    No hiding place then , and it wont matter if its DUP/SF or Alliance/UUP/SDLP
    It will be the former, mostly, and the reality is that it will be much worse than now. Even a Labour administration is going to take the Harold Wilson ‘Spongers’ reality check. The top performers at schools will leave for opportuniites elsewhere.
    Where that leaves us…..

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    The backbones of any economy are the young entrepreneurs (wish the French had a word for that, quoting Dubya). They are going to leave, in droves, if they can’t bring their children up in a society that isn’t at each others throats for 3 or more months of the year.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    And, of course, the economy isn’t everything. We need lots more to have a good life. Artists, musicians, writers, jesters, trades masters, handyfolk to fix our broken stuff, gardeners, , contrarians, and (spit) even politicians and a whole bunch more.
    How many are Northern Ireland losing?
    Where does Mick live? (Delete as appropriate.)

  • andnowwhat

    Joe

    Often the best way for a better society is to look back at better limes. There was a time when being a hood, no matter how minor, was something to be ashamed off. Living in the Falls, I personally saw the transition of hoods from being a pariah, to becoming mainstream, to actually dominating certain areas.

    There’s something seriously mucked up when the elderly and vulnerable fealt more secure in the troubles than they do today. Funny enough, I just heard on the radio that a judge in England said that it requires a certain amount of courage to

  • andnowwhat

    Cont…

    break in to a house. Ok, he’s been reported for it but once again, the question of the judiciary rises again. On the same show, a man was on who had been the victim of a tiger robbery at gun point. Not all of the five culprits involved were arrested but one got 2 1/2 years for his part.

    Respect, commonality and empathy are all at an all time low for modern society.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Respect, commonality and empathy are all at an all time low for modern society.’

    Some truth in that but then what else should you expect ?.Look around at society’s institutions ? The RC Church , the corrupt banksters , the bought politicians of all parties , the ease which the financial sector looters can evade prosecution .
    The hoods in the hood are just following the example of their so called ‘betters’ a tad cruder perhaps but then if you don’t have several million pounds it’s kinda difficult to buy the services of others to do the dirty work .

    Trees rot from the top down .

  • HeinzGuderian

    Quebec.

  • JH

    My Granda travelled the length of GB putting rivets in ships because he couldn’t get a job in one of the biggest shipyards in the world just across the town from his house on Leeson Street.

    My Granny, his wife, was stopped on the way out the door of a successful job interview, after having been told she had the job, and asked what school she went to. When she replied the English interviewer apologised profusely but said that he had been instructed not to employ a Catholic.

    I always wince when reading articles like that Independent one but while it is painted in broad strokes I do think the point about the Catholic value of education and the realisation that no-one owed you anything as a Catholic member of this society drove an entire generation and that the effects are still around today.

    I think it’s a disgrace that politicians on the Unionist side have failed to deliver on this, specifically for working class young people from Protestant backgrounds. There’s a deficit to make up there for sure.

  • The Lodger

    “My Granda travelled the length of GB putting rivets in ships because he couldn’t get a job in one of the biggest shipyards in the world just across the town from his house on Leeson Street.”

    JH,

    Where did he serve his time?

  • arsetopple

    God help us but this thread is depressing me.

    Would the last person leaving N. Ireland please switch off the lights.

    Good luck and may your God go with you

  • andnowwhat

    Greenflag

    Those at the t were ever thus but ( as is alluded to in Wall Street two ) they used to be producers of something real, something tangible and productive and the ordinary man’s part was honest labour for an honest pay. Even in the dark days of the Victorian era, employers and employees was exemplified by those companies who provided housing and such for their workers getting loyalty in return. To this day there are brass bands and social clubs who’s very names are a testimony to the old unwritten social contract.

    The national parties are pretty much all the same as Labour’s admission that they would keep on the cuts testifies

  • Greenflag

    ‘To this day there are brass bands and social clubs who’s very names are a testimony to the old unwritten social contract’

    True .

    Even in the dark days of the Victorian era, employers and employees was exemplified by those companies who provided housing and such for their workers getting loyalty in return.

    True .

    Guinesses in Dublin being one example and Jacobs another that comes to mind .

    But that world is gone . Large multinational corporations have no loyalty to anything bar the bottom line -Not for communities nor their country of origin -all that matters is the ROI (return on Investment ) and the rest i.e the social and community costs are considered as just collateral damage . I recently came across a case of a hard working lady in her mid fifties who had worked for 30 years with the same corporation and who ‘dispatched ‘ with several others because their services were no longer considered necessary which was/is of course bull***t in this particular case . It’s just that they are outsourced to cheaper labour costs abroad.

    The race to the bottom to see who ends up with the most emisserated and reduced ‘middle class’ in the developed world is on and it looks like the USA is in the lead with the UK and Ireland in close contention.

    The harsh truth i.e re Labour’s admission it will keep the cuts is that in truth our elected politicians long ago sold their ‘souls’ to the Friedman doctrine and the ideology of Wall St where the winners take all .

    Just don’t be surprised if this trend eventually leads another tyranny of extremism of the right or left .

  • andnowwhat

    I watching Russia Today’s Crosstalk last year And they had an Americam, a German based in Hong Kong and a third guy who I cannot recall. The German told the yank that all they wanted from America was wheat. The yank went pale.

    I don’t think an American would know the definition of the middle class if you slapped them in the coupon with a chart. I hear people calling in to C-span who define themselves as middle class but clearly are not.

    I think Ireland’s saving grace will be, among other things, it’s very small population. Man alive!! They partied like an alco with a tax return during the tiger days and still do not get it. How beautiful was The Proclamation of Independence? How ugly was its betrayal?

    Like America, the UK’s goose May well be cooked but luckily enough for both nations, they have populations who are in a political stupor of apathy.