Dispelling the Myths Sustaining Loyalism’s Grievance Narrative: Part One

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During last week’s The Nolan Show, the host, Stephen Nolan, travelled to a working class loyalist area of north Belfast to talk with members of a loyalist flute band, the Pride of Ardoyne. This was a result of numerous complaints purportedly received by the programme from loyalists about perceptions of how their community was being treated by Stephen Nolan and other media figures during a summer in which loyalism had once again been in the spotlight following the shameful scenes outside St Patrick’s Catholic Church and subsequent rioting in the Lower Shankill area.

The discussion that followed was as depressing as it was illustrative of a deeply ingrained sectarianism fuelled by paranoia and erroneous perceptions of the status of the working class protestant community in our modern, post-Troubles society. To the assembled band members, their culture was under threat, being jeopardised by their triumphalist catholic neighbours who were reaping the benefits of a peace process that had delivered little for their community but yet the spoils of victory for those across the peace walls.

When a clearly incredulous Stephen Nolan challenged those responsible for articulating the barely credible allegations, he was met by yet more hyperbole as the picture of a loyalist community pitted against the wall, facing a republican friendly media and police service was painted by those assembled -with one enraged loyalist even claiming that the PSNI were in “the taigs’ pocket.”

It was depressing stuff, made all the more so by the realization that the enduring loyalist grievance narrative is one that is not being checked by a unionist body politic that has historically struggled to provide responsible and effective leadership to its working class communities.

It can’t have helped that the scourge of unemployment that is ever-present in working class communities was clearly hanging like a dark cloud over those assembled, bringing with it the sense of despair, helplessness and disgruntlement that provides a fertile base for the type of extremist opinions exhibited on the night.

Of course, we’ve been here before.

Last summer, the UVF attack on the Short Strand precipitated another cursory media analysis of the issues affecting working class loyalists, with prominent loyalists like Jim Wilson being given a platform to once again articulate the case for the loyalist cold house narrative.

And in 2005, following the UVF/ Orange Order rioting at Whiterock following the rerouting of a loyalist parade in the area, we heard similar arguments being forwarded to explain loyalist behaviour and attitudes.

Loyalism’s grievance narrative would appear to run along two overlapping threads. One asserts that working class protestants have emerged as the losers of a post-Agreement(s) modern society, jilted of the benefits of peace which have been funneled in the direction of a socio-economically more advantageous nationalist community.

The second thread contends that unionist culture and values are being eroded and under threat as a result of republican aggression which remains relentless in spite of the guns falling silent some 18 years ago.

These two arguments will provide the focus for a short series of blogs in the coming days, beginning with an examination of the validity or otherwise of the contention that the catholics are faring better in a socio-economic sense.

 

The inconvenient facts regarding socio-economic deprivation

Whilst it would appear quite easy for loyalists and their supporters within political unionism, the Loyal Orders and loyalist paramilitarism to make assertions regarding working class unionism being the fall guys for the peace process, what is utterly irrefutable is that the objective evidence from every source available points conclusively to the fact that working class catholic communities remain disproportionately represented amongst the ranks of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the north of Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) produced The Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure 2010, and it is viewed as ‘the official measure of spatial deprivation in Northern Ireland.’ It collates data relating to the status of individuals residing in every one of the 582 wards in Northern Ireland, using these figures to rank the status of each ward in relation to a range of domains including Income, Employment, Health Deprivation and Disability as well as Education, Skills and Training amongst others.

Whilst separate rankings exist for each domain, an accumulative overall multiple deprivation measure ranking is also provided. From this comparative analysis, a pretty coherent picture can be painted of the profile of the most socio-economically deprived communities:

  • 14 of the 20 most deprived wards are predominantly catholic, including 8 of the most deprived 10 wards when assessed across all criteria.
    • Predominantly Catholic:  Whiterock, Falls, New Lodge, East (Strabane), Clonard, Creggan Central, Ardoyne, Twinbrook, Upper Springfield, The Diamond (Derry), Collin Glen, Water Works, Creggan South, Brandywell
    • Predominantly Protestant:  Shankill, Crumlin, Duncairn, Woodvale
    • Demographically mixed: Greystone, Ballymacarrett
  • 16 of the 20 most deprived wards assessed on Household Income are predominantly catholic.
    • Predominantly Catholic:  Whiterock, Creggan Central, East (Strabane), Falls, New Lodge, Ardoyne, Collin Glen, Clonard, Creggan South, Shantallow East, Westland (Derry), Brandywell, Twinbrook, Upper Springfield, The Diamond (Derry), Ballycolman
    • Predominantly Protestant:   Shankill, Crumlin, Duncairn
    • Demographically mixed: Greystone
  • 16 of the 20 most deprived wards assessed on Employment are predominantly catholic.
    • Predominantly Catholic:  Whiterock, Creggan Central, East (Strabane), Falls, New Lodge, Ardoyne, Clonard, Creggan South, Shantallow East, Westland (Derry), Brandywell, Twinbrook, Upper Springfield, The Diamond (Derry), Ballycolman, Water Works
    • Predominantly Protestant:   Crumlin, Shankill, Duncairn
    • Demographically mixed Greystone
  • 12 of the 20 most deprived wards assessed on Education, Skills and Training are predominantly protestant.
    • Predominantly Catholic: Falls, Whiterock, New Lodge, Upper Springfield, Collin Glen, East (Strabane), Corcrain
    • Predominantly Protestant:   Shankill, Crumlin, Woodvale, Dunanney, The Mount, Duncairn, Shaftesbury, Ballee, Woodstock, Tullycarnet, Glencairn, Northland
    • Demographically mixed: Ballymacarrett

Interestingly, a couple of demographically mixed wards also feature prominently amongst the most deprived neigbourhoods- Ballymacarrett in east Belfast and Greystone in Limavady (both approximately 50% catholic and 50% protestant at ward level.) Whilst the former is rigidly segregated, the latter can be recorded as the most deprived non-rigidly segregated mixed ward in Northern Ireland (not really any consolation in that though.) It is also worth noting that, although Diamond in Derry is more than 80% catholic, it also includes a sizeable minority protestant population.

The Peace Monitoring Report 2012 made reference to the facts regarding greater catholic levels of deprivation, an enduring feature of northern Irish life, when it reported that “the proportion of people who are in low-income households is much higher among Catholics (26%) than among Protestants (16%).”

The figures outlined above collectively point to a conclusion that, across the range of poverty and deprivation indicators, it is not sustainable to suggest that working class protestant communities are losing out to their catholic neighbours, who continue to predominate the range of lists ranking the most deprived communities in the State.

It is only in the field of Education and Skills that working class protestant communities appear to be faring even worse than their catholic counterparts, and this has been highlighted by unionist politicians and others throughout recent years (who are somewhat more reluctant to highlight the figures relating to overall deprivation, employment and income however.)

Indeed, education was back in the news yesterday with the revelation that 26 of the worst 30 wards for school pupil absenteeism are predominantly protestant, and this theme of educational underachievement and low attainment formed the basis of an excellent piece of research conducted by controlled sector educationalists, academics and some political figures, including Dawn Purvis, entitled Educational Underachievement and the Protestant Working Class: A Summary of Research for Consultation.

Their primary focus was on highlighting the worryingly bleak levels of performance by many protestant pupils in working class communities. Amongst their many findings was the revelation that “At Key Stage 2 in English and Maths, 11% of (mainly Protestant) controlled schools were designated Lower than expected (LTE) as against 3% of Catholic maintained schools.”

But within their report, the authors correctly acknowledged that a majority of those pupils failing to achieve the basic minimum threshold of 5 GCSE grades (A*-C) were in fact catholic, underscoring the reality that educational underachievement and low attainment is a factor affecting both communities, a point reiterated in The Peace Monitoring Report 2012: “proportionately more Protestant than Catholic males leave school without five good GCSEs (49% versus 46%), because of the larger number of Catholics in this age cohort, there are in absolute terms slightly more Catholic than Protestant males under- achieving at this level (2,608 versus 2,363).”

The pattern of educational underachievement and low attainment straddling the two communities is once again underlined by an analysis of pupil attendance at grammar schools from working class communities. It may come as a surprise to some to learn that a higher number and percentage of pupils from Shankill attend grammar school than those from the New Lodge ward and more from Glencairn than Falls and Whiterock (based on Year 8 pupils, 2009/10 data.)

Hence the despair when political parties seek to sectarianise a genuine attempt to address low attainment across the school sectors as was the case when the DUP’s 2011 Assembly election manifesto included the pledge to “Develop a strategy to assist Protestant working class boys who tend to have the lowest level of achievement, addressing issues such as aspiration, parental involvement and the value placed on education.”

Note the complete absence of interest in the plight of working class catholic boys who form the majority of males failing to obtain the basic minimum threshold of five GCSEs (A*-C.)

There is a real need for political leaders and the statutory agencies they control to address the genuine needs of those most vulnerable within society, and amongst this number can be counted thousands of residents of the working class protestant and loyalist estates across the north of Ireland.

But seeking to sectarianise poverty and pit the poorest against one another by peddling a false narrative which perpetuates ghetto warfare and harms the prospect of a developing accommodation and reconciliation between the working class communities who bore the brunt of the conflict can not and should not be allowed to proceed unchallenged.

It represents the manifestation of a sectarian mindset being brought to governance, and is also ironically counterproductive to the longer term ambitions of political unionism- namely, to prove itself capable of embracing those from outside of the traditional PUL base.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Interesting piece Chris.

    What I take from this using your stats, is that in the working class republican/nationalist areas, areas that Sinn Fein are the main republican/nationalist representation. The shinners are failing their electorate.

    I see that Roy Beggs in now asking the Sinn Fein education minister (if fact there has not been any other education minister than a Sinn Fein education minister at stormont) to take action on low attendance to improve the unionist/loyalist low education attainment.

  • between the bridges

    so is this what you were trying to say on the telly!!

  • Mick Fealty

    Very good Chris. Well worth the time you’ve taken to put it together. (Let me know if you want any extracts from the show?)

    It’s worth mentioning Lee Reynold’s response which I thought was measured and precise. That is that in the Glenbryn area (where he lives), there is a problem with getting the houses built to house the folk there.

    It’s a problem that they share with greater part of Ardoyne, which is Catholic. Without trying to create imaginary rainbows, is there not a way in which we can just start charting need and trying to serve proportionate to that need, regardless of what the overall figures say?

    We’ve already seen some hints at collective action in the west… And some evidence of resource sharing across community boundaries in north.

  • Backbencher

    With regard to the media having an anti prod bias I noted this headline at the weekend

    ‘Unionists march through Catholic streets’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2210577/Bitterly-divided-Belfast-stays-peaceful-30-000-Unionists-march-Catholic-streets-clashing-protesters.html

    Since when did the streets of Belfast become Catholic streets?

    With regard to the feeling of being worse off than their Catholic counterparts I guess this is reinforced by the sight of the Catholic paramilitary leaders sitting in power while theirs are on the dole.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “the manifestation of a sectarian mindset being brought to governance”

    This seems to be one of those shared experiences, Chris. A friend and I have just had a short conversation about post primary provision:

    The Minister commissioned the Education and Library Boards, working in close conjunction with the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools and engaging extensively with other school sectors, to develop collective strategic plans on an area basis.

    However, this isn’t happening. The ELBs are consulting on area plans involving the controlled and integrated sectors and CCMS are doing likewise for the maintained sector. There are a few cross-community proposals (eg Ballycastle) but AFAIK there will be no joint submission from the providers to the Minister for, say, Coleraine.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick
    To be honest I was disappointed with Lee, whom I personally rate highly as one for the future. Perhaps it was because it was his first exposure to the big stage, but I thought he’d have been better moving out of the defensive pose and actually conceding that ‘the other’ have needs worth addressing as well- the very message those from the flute band based in Glenbryn clearly need to hear.

    But you’ve hit the nail on the head regarding basing all policy on the criteria of ‘objective need’- something which should form the basis for a political programme which all could sign up to.

    And, as I stress in the concluding note above, it is something which both nationalists and unionists need to prove a willingness to so do in order to genuinely have any prospect of expanding the appeal of their constitutional and political visions in the years to come.

    Nationalist reps have shown a willingness to so do in places like the Village in South Belfast, but such baby steps need followed up and expanded upon on a constituency by constituency basis.

  • George

    Very informative post, it would be great to hear what suggestions there are, if any, being suggested by those in a position to effect change to combat the problem.

    Or is it simply a case of all people highlighting the problem within their own community without even thinking of the larger picture?

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    I see that Fanke Dempsie form Carrickhill does not think there is an issue with housing at his end of the town.

    He has been given a grant for a sports pitch and a Leisure at the former two acre PSNI station on North Queens street. Maybe the area at Girdwood would be better utilized as Leisure centre to facilitate the republican/nationalists for north Belfast.

    http://www.belfastforum.co.uk/index.php/topic,45785.msg1159726.html#msg1159726

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/community-telegraph/north-belfast/news/residentsrsquo-group-secures-funding-for-games-area-15001364.html?r=RSS

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Sorry typo it should read

    He has been given a £45K grant for a sports pitch and wants a Leisure at the former two acre PSNI station.

  • Neil

    With regard to the feeling of being worse off than their Catholic counterparts I guess this is reinforced by the sight of the Catholic paramilitary leaders sitting in power while theirs are on the dole.

    Sitting on the dole? Or being members of still active paramilitary organisations who occasionally pop up to murder people in broad daylight? You see the ‘Catholic paramilitary leaders’ you refer to are in fact former Catholic paramilitary leaders of a now gone organisation. Unfortunately the UDA and UVF are very much alive and well. Slight difference there.

    If you can get those Loyalist organisations to wind up, then jump through the pre requisite hoops demonstrating support for the rule of law (like not rioting, obeying PC determinations, condemning Loyalist violence and so on), as SF were required to do, then maybe they can join the party.

  • BluesJazz

    “Note the complete absence of interest in the plight of working class catholic boys who form the majority of males failing to obtain the basic minimum threshold of five GCSEs (A*-C.) ”

    Probably because GCSE’s, as Michael Gove has well proven, are absolutely useless exams. They are meaningless, apart from Maths, Science and English, which are absurdly easy to pass or resit.

    And btw, can you give the figures for Atheist children, given that you seem to assume everyone in Northern Ireland believes in Vatican creation mythology or Calvinistic creation mythology.

  • BluesJazz

    Neil
    Good that you realise the PIRA and INLA were Catholic (ie sectarian) paramilitaries. Which they were. Religion poisons everything.

  • jthree

    If there’s a problem with housing in Glenbryn perhaps Lee should get on to Nama who have just taken possession of a big site there. Peter could give Frank Cushnahan a shout – he seems a very effective operator.

  • Covenanter

    “Note the complete absence of interest in the plight of working class catholic boys who form the majority of males failing to obtain the basic minimum threshold of five GCSEs (A*-C.) ”

    This doesn’t fit in with the narrative that I have heard being pushed out on Radio Ulster this week. In summary: “Protestants were guaranteed jobs in the shipyard etc, but catholics weren’t and had to educate themselves to progress and this (uneducated Prods and educated catholics) is the end result.”

    It does howevere fit in with another narrative that I have seen being forwarded. In summary: “It is in the best interests of Sinn Fein to ensure that republican areas remain deprived, as that ensures that they have a continual dependancy class electorate who will vote SF.”

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Below is an article from Ex-provo Anthony McIntyre’s site The Pensive Quill. The article highlights some of the questions you ask, and what have the shinners done for us???

    “The new republican newssheet The Proclamation produced by the Sean MacDiarmada Ardoyne branch of the republican umbrella group ‘1916 societies’ exposes much of the contradictions implicit in the politics of the republican movement today. In the front page article it asks the question: ‘Where is Our Leisure Centre?’ The article goes on to contrast facilities in the working class catholic & protestant areas of Belfast. The key section reads:

    after more than thirty years of constitutional politics and representation, the nationalist people of North Belfast have very few benefits to show, particularly in the way of leisure or sports facilities. It is now time for the politicians who claim to represent the interest of people from Ardoyne, Marrowbone, Mountain View, Ligoniel, New Lodge, Carrick Hill, Newington, Little America, Glandore and Bawnmore to deliver on the promises they make every election time and finally get a leisure centre and other sports facilities built. While there are Leisure centres in Ballysillan, the Grove on York road, the Shankill leisure centre and the Valley leisure centre, all Unionist areas of North Belfast the people of Tiger’s bay, Rathcoole, the Shankill, Woodvale and Ballysillan are well taken care of by their public representatives!

    While as anarchists we clearly agree that politicians promise the earth at election time and have delivered very little to working class communities apart from betrayals and disempowerment this is true across the sectarian divide. To frame this common class issue as one of Orange and Green or even ‘nationalist v loyalist parties’ is sectarian and reactionary playing to a populist agenda based on fear and scapegoating of the ‘other side’. This ignores the reality of living in this rotten capitalist society which fosters exploitation, inequality, deprivation and state repression.

    Articles such as this are a reflection of the contradictions within Irish republicanism which here amounts to little more than a form of ‘catholic nationalism’ – in some quarters with a strong sectarian communal dynamic. Such a strategy with its ridiculous assumptions that ‘all unionist areas of North Belfast are well taken care of by their public representatives offers no attraction to those who do not share the romanticised myth of Ireland gaelic and free. Not only is such an assumption false and incorrect it also completely misunderstands underlying divisions in protestant working class areas”.

    http://thepensivequill.am/2012/09/republican-contradictions.html#

  • Covenanter

    “You see the ‘Catholic paramilitary leaders’ you refer to are in fact former Catholic paramilitary leaders of a now gone organisation.”

    Neil,

    That hasn’t been tested to any degree. If the dissidents attempt to move against the SF/PIRA control of republican areas then we will find out if the Provos have gone away or not.

  • Clanky

    Chris, a very interesting piece. For me the problem for unionists seems not so much to be in the statistics that you have quoted, but more in the trend (or possibly perceived trend) in the fortunes of the 2 communities.

    It would be interesting to compare the figures you have quoted for the present and for 20 years ago, but regardless of the actual figures, it probably appears from a unionist perspective that catholic communities have gained more from the peace process than unionist ones and with the status quo so stacked in favour of unionist communities they simply want more of the same.

    As for “responsible and effective leadership”, the only direction that unionist politicians are interested in leading working class protestants is to the ballot box to cast their votes every so often and the grievance narrative that you describe is a very effective way of doing that, as has been proven by nationalist politicians for years.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    The only party with any left wing credentials is SF and it is riddled at the top with fascists. And totally understandable why few “Protestants” will vote for them. Any brave souls willing to try to resurrect the Northern Ireland Labour Party given that the UK Labour Party seems wedded to the SDLP because of that currently misleading “labour” word?. The left wingers it had such as paddy Devlin long ago left or, in some cases, were pushed out.

  • BluesJazz

    Clanky et al (including Chris Donnelly)

    For those of us (a sizeable and growing number) who are not members of the protestant or catholic ‘communities’, should we be included in any figures?, or just, like the majority who no longer vote, be regarded as aliens.

    But I guess that’s outside some people’s comfort zones.

  • oakleaf

    Blue Jazz could you deal with the issue at hand and remove that massive chip from your shoulder.

    Interesting stats Chris. Keep up the good work. Bad parenting and family breakdown has a lot to do with a lack of good school results.

  • Mick Fealty

    @Chris,

    I think it’s a bit like the stand off in England between pols and the press… the obvious solution outlined by John Lloyd in his What the media are doing to our politics, is a return to decent behaviour between what ought to be a slightly strained rivalry between press and the government..

    Everyone know it makes good sense, but they are also wondering what the pay off is going to be… and whether they are going to get any if they actually do behave decently (for once)…

    I suspect we need a different model of politics for that to work..

  • BluesJazz

    oakleaf
    The Secretary of State (real one) for education, Michael Gove, is dealing with the issue of qualifications. And how pupils can learn real demanding qualifications rather than puerile ‘making a cup of tea’ ‘key skills’ nonsense.

  • Better Together

    Chris

    The experience might well be very localised, the one consistent across all indicators that isn’t teased out is that the Protestant wards in North/West Belfast are the most chronic in terms of need in that community. Couple that with the sectarian patchwork quilt of interfaces and tensions around parades, this helps make North Belfast an exceptional case.

    Rebuilding community infrastructure in loyalist North Belfast appears to be a pressing problem to help defuse tensions within that area, but there is equally a need to address the Ardoyne issue every year from within the nationalist community.

  • USA

    Covenanter,
    In suggesting a political party (SF) would deliberately set out to fail it’s electorate in order to keep the electorate voting for them, you have finally lost the run of yourself. It is therefore not surprising you continued and began to rant on about a fictional conflict between the IRA and dissident elements. Hardly inspiring contributions when Loyalist paramilitaries have continued killing people, feuding, drug dealing and organizing large scale civil disorder for the last decade.

    Chris Donnelly, very good work. Facts are the inconvenient truth surrounding PUL’s sense of grevience.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Chris Donnelly: The second thread contends that unionist culture and values are being eroded and under threat as a result of republican aggression which remains relentless in spite of the guns falling silent some 18 years ago.

    .
    I’m not sure what planet you’ve been living on Chris, but violent Irish Nationalists have been responsible for at least 116 deaths in the last eighteen years – including 83 catholics.

    Probably not the ‘right sort’ of catholics, eh Chris?

    Frank Kerr (c)
    Malachy Clark (c)
    James Seymour (p)
    Mickey Mooney (c)
    Anthony Kane (c)
    Paul Devine (c)
    Francis Collins (c)
    Christopher Johnston (c)
    Martin McCrory (c)
    Ian Lyons (c)
    Gino Gallagher (c)
    Inan Ul-haq Bashir
    John Jeffries (c)
    Edward O’Brien (c)
    John Fennell (c)
    Barbara McAlorum (c)
    Dessie McCleery (c)
    Jerry McCabe (c)
    Francis Shannon (c)
    Hugh Torney (c)
    Sean Devlin (c)
    James Bradwell
    Larry McCartan (c)
    Stephen Restorick
    Darren Bradshaw (c)
    Roland Graham (p)
    David Johnston (p)
    Billy Wright (p)
    Jim Guiney (p)
    Brendan Campbell (c)
    Robert Dougan (p)
    Kevin Conway (c)
    Cyril Stewart (p)
    Trevor Deeney (p)
    Mark McNeill (c)
    Andrew Kearney (c)
    Breda Devine (c)
    Fernando Baselga
    Rocio Ramos
    James Barker (p)
    Oran Doherty (c)
    Sean McLaughlin (c)
    Frederick Whyte (p)
    Bryan White (p)
    Esther Gibson (p)
    Olive Hawkes (p)
    Brenda Logue (c)
    Gareth Conway (c)
    Jolene Marlow (c)
    Alan Radford
    Elizabeth Rush (c)
    Philomena Skelton (c)
    Veda Short (p)
    Ann McCombe (p)
    Geraldine Breslin (c)
    Aidan Gallagher (c)
    Samantha McFarland (p)
    Lorraine Wilson (p)
    Julia Hughes (p)
    Deborah Cartwright (p)
    Brian McCrory (c)
    Mary Grimes (c)
    Avril Monaghan (c)
    Maura Monaghan (c)
    Sean McGrath (c)
    Eamon Collins (c)
    Brendan Fegan (c)
    Paul Downey (c)
    Charles Bennett (c)
    Edmund McCoy (c)
    Patrick Quinn (c)
    Joe O’Connor (c)
    Trevor Kell (p)
    Ronnie Hill (p)
    Christopher O’Kane (c)
    Paul Daly (c)
    David McDowell (p)
    Thomas McDonald (p)
    Charles Folliard (p)
    Matthew Burns (c)
    David Caldwell (p)
    Keith Rogers (c)
    Gareth O’Connor (c)
    Danny McGurk (c)
    Michael Magee (c)
    Brian McDonald (c)
    Seamus Hogan (c)
    Nicholas O’Hare (c)
    Patrick Quinn (c)
    Gerard Moran (c)
    PJ Judge (c)
    Joseph Foran (c)
    Thomas Byrne (c)
    Josie Dwyer (c)
    Mark Robinson (c)
    Jimmy McGinley (c)
    Robert McCartey (c)
    Bobby McGuigan (c)
    Keiran Smyth (c)
    Eric Shorthall (c)
    Kevin McAlorum (c)
    Martin Conlon (c)
    Joe Rafferty (c)
    Denis Donaldson (c)
    Edward Burns (c)
    Joe Jones (c)
    Paul Quinn (c)
    Andrew Burns (c)
    Patrick Azimkar
    Mark Quinsey
    Stephen Carroll (c)
    Jim McConnell (c)
    Kieran Doherty (c)
    Ronan Kerr (c)
    Andrew Allen (c)
    Brendan McCafferty (c)

    .
    As for the rest of your post, all it does is prove how much of a total failure Sinn Fein have been – both to the mugs who go out and vote for them at every election and the young schoolchildren of Northern Ireland who have had to suffer the results of inept and clueless Sinn Fein education ministers.

  • abucs

    Chris do you know if there is any information in “The Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure 2010″ that schooling or living standards have improved from say 25 years ago?

    If they have, does it say by how much and has the improvement been roughly equal across the divide?

  • HeinzGuderian

    ‘But seeking to sectarianise poverty and pit the poorest against one another by peddling a false narrative which perpetuates ghetto warfare and harms the prospect of a developing accommodation and reconciliation between the working class communities who bore the brunt of the conflict can not and should not be allowed to proceed unchallenged.’

    The hypocrisy of that statement is breathtaking !!!

  • Starviking

    On the subject of The Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure 2010, it is by ward, so it would be good to have population data to compare.

    It should also be noted that in the 2005 study, Shankill was the most deprived, which might go some way to accounting for a Loyalist feeling of grievance in Belfast.

  • GEF

    “It’s worth mentioning Lee Reynold’s response which I thought was measured and precise. That is that in the Glenbryn area (where he lives), there is a problem with getting the houses built to house the folk there.”

    Indeed Mick, but I wonder why the DUP MLA Nelson McCausland was not present to give his view. Was he asked by Nolan but declined the invite?

  • tiger feet

    While I can accept what is stated as it stands I don’t know if taking a tiny slice of 20 wards from one end of the total bell curve is telling us that much about the entire bell curve.

    As I understand it Catholics in employment in greater Belfast earn more than Protestants in employment in greater Belfast even when a greater percentage of Catholics in greater Belfast are unemployed than Protestants. This is suggestive to me that Catholics may have a wider bell curve for some and perhaps all of these measures. Taking the bottom 3% of the curve in terms of total wards may be doing something that hides a bigger picture. What happens when we take the bottom 40, bottom 60, bottom 150?

    With fine differentials one might also question what we are actually measuring using the Multiple Deprivation Measure. For example higher crime rates on the Falls than on the Shankill contribute to these figures, but are crime rates a measure of unfair treatment by government?

  • sonofstrongbow

    It is somehow comforting that Shinners are putting so much effort into rubbishing the socioeconomic profile of some of the (obviously wrong sort) working class.

    Setting aside how bizarre it is for any political party to trumpet its own abysmal failings in lifting its electorate out of poverty would it not have been simpler to try to copyright ‘MOPE’?

    Given that the “Part 1″ in the thread title indicates that we are to suffer more sectarian commentary on, cough, those who are allegedly trying to “sectarianise poverty” can I make a plea for a more snappy title?

    Referencing CD’s previous work, what about ‘Prod Watch’?

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    As long ago as 2008 questions were being asked not only of Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein but also of the whole republican moment, on what have they achieved for the people of their heartland and base of west Belfast.

    The question on the underachievement, of Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein was form the Andersonstown News, a shinner media outlet.

    Almost as soon as the article was published they had it removed, and the writer Squinter was told to give a grovelling apology to Gerry, which he duly did.

    Since then Gerry has jumped ship and given his crown over to Paul Maskey.

    Maskey electoral coronation was confirmed with. 70.6% of the vote, there were 16,211 votes and turnout was 37.53% one of the lowest I believe for Northern Ireland.

    Another resounding Sinn Fein west Belfast victory, since Maskey has come to office have things changed have they improved we wait and see???

    Why has the current Sinn Fein education minister John O’Dowd only now start to tackle pupil absenteeism after it emerged that more than 20,000 pupils here have less than 85% attendance. He said “We know there is a clear link between deprivation and school attendance” If he knew why has he and the other Sinn Fein education ministers allowed this situation to get to such dire quantities.

    Sinn Fein has held the education portfolio in every Stormont assembly from 1999, and they have constantly use the under achievement of Unionist/Loyalist children as a justification to abolish the 11+.

    Did they allow this situation of pupil absenteeism to continue and use the figures as a tool in their dogmatic campaign to abolish the 11+?

    John O’Dowd the Sinn Fein education minister said,
    “We know there is a clear link between deprivation and school attendance. The data shows that attendance rates tend to be lower in schools with high levels of free school meal entitlement (FSME).
    “Post-primary schools where less than 10% of pupils were entitled to free school meals had an overall absence rate of 4.6%, compared with 11.7% for schools with more than 50% FSME,” he said.
    “Schools obviously have a very important role to play. They must provide a support system for those who are most vulnerable, and they must encourage a culture of regular attendance by everyone. When that is not happening, we need to ask why and we need to look at what we can do to support the schools,” the minister added.

    Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/education/education-minister-john-odowd-in-push-to-cut-levels-of-truancy-16219129.html#ixzz28Jtyr2FV

    So from as far back as early December 1999 when Sinn Fein deputy leader Martin McGuinness was education minister then after him came another Sinn Fein education minister Caitriona Ruane and now O’Dowd.

    For 12 years Sinn Fein have had the education portfolio and only now when a Unionist gives details of the figures on pupil absenteeism. Which go to the heart of pupil under achievement and exposed them to the assembly has the Sinn Fein education minister decided to acted.

    This is an appalling situation, as I said Sinn Fein have been in control of education in Northern Ireland for 12 years and only now are they “encouraging a culture of regular attendance”? As soon as they had these figures in 1999 they should have acted not 12 years later. How many children have past through schools and been let down by these appalling statistics.

    Is Sinn Fein playing politics with our children’s future???

    “Adams has been the West Belfast MP for 20 years.
    If a week is a long time in politics, then 20 years is the Upper Palaeolithic Age. It is in that same 20-year period that the slow, steady decline into chaos in certain parts of West Belfast began, and it was on his watch that it has gathered pace to become the runaway train that it is today.
    …there are many people and many agencies to blame for the state of the lower Falls … But while Adams can and does point the finger at some or even all of the above, Squinter has to say that he has never heard Adams accepting any responsibility for the fact that large parts of his constituency are no-go areas …
    Who’s to blame for the failure to press home the Harry Holland momentum? Gerry Adams is to blame, that’s who.

    Gerry Adams is the MP, has been for 20 years. He’s supposed to know
    how to marshal and direct; he’s supposed to give us the ideas and the leadership; he’s supposed to make things better. When he asks for and gets our votes he accepts a host of very onerous responsibilities, and the most basic of those responsibilities is to make his constituency a good place for decent people to live and for parents to bring up their families. In that he has failed terribly.”

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2008/03/20/gerry-must-go/

  • Paulk

    So here we have a piece which, dispels the myth of massive and widespread deprivation of only the unionist working class community (the line which the unionist parties have been peddling) and tells us that both protestants and catholics suffer the same level of deprivation (catholics suffer a little more, but what the hell!).
    What do we get from the Unionist posters on here?? how can we blame this on Sinn Fein? Don’t get me wrong Sinn Fein has made a mess of Education, the 11+ etc.. but why have no unionist party taken on the eduction portfolio? you know since they’re so concerned with the unionist communities lack of success in this area? why are the unionist community not asking questions of their representatives? The attempt by the Unionist parties to make this into an “us versus them” issue should be seen for what it is, and the sooner both communities realise they are being used and manipulated by both nationalist and unionist politicians the better, there are more issues that unite nationalist and unionist working class communities than divide them realise it – it’ll terrify them.

  • anne warren

    “here we have a piece which, dispels the myth of massive and widespread deprivation of only the unionist working class community ”

    Indeed Paulk

    Howard Senior, (Orangeism in Ireland and Britain, Routledge Press, 1966) believed Orange Lodges were formed, as secret sectarian societies, because “the poorer Protestants were sensitive to any rise in the status of the Catholics”

    So what’s changed in the envious mindset and who or what perpetrates it?

  • anne warren

    Sorry no editing function last question should read
    So if nothing has changed changed in the envious mindset, who or what perpetrates it?

  • Reader

    anne warren: So if nothing has changed changed in the envious mindset, who or what perpetrates it?
    Maybe it’s based on articles and reports like these:
    http://sluggerotoole.com/2011/03/27/educational-underachievement-and-disadvantaged-pul-males/

  • Neil

    Maybe it’s based on articles and reports like these:
    http://sluggerotoole.com/2011/03/27/educational-underachievement-and-disadvantaged-pul-males/

    We can see there’s an issue with both communities re: education, a point underlined by Dawn Purvis in the report you link. I would suggest it’s the tip of the iceberg as there are so many young people now who’ve dropped out around 12 years old and who you just know are on no voting roll or census.

    Why do you think that envy stretches to areas where Unionists are actually better off like housing and employment?

  • andnowwhat

    Anne Warren

    Indeed. Reminds me of when Paisley et al were branding equal civil rights as letting in papism. As ever, I assert the wisest in then place is the ever growing crowd who do not vote at all. I couldn’t bring myself to put down an ex to give these pile of eejits a payday, let alone the generous pension they get, above that which they deny us. But that’s for another thread.

  • ranger1640

    “The second thread contends that unionist culture and values are being eroded and under threat as a result of republican aggression which remains relentless in spite of the guns falling silent some 18 years ago”.

    Glad to hear the republican guns have been silent for the last 18 years the 17 rounds from a republican AK47 on the 12 July were pretty loud to me but they don’t count.

    But anyway the BBC are reporting that a substantial bomb was made safe by Army Technical Officers the device was in Jamaica street Ardoyne.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19839248

  • Toastedpuffin

    “As long ago as 2008 questions were being asked not only of Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein but also of the whole republican moment, on what have they achieved for the people of their heartland and base of west Belfast.”

    I’ve often wondered why RTE haven’t run a series entitled “What Did the Irish Republicans Ever Do For Us?” It would have, as I see it, two main selling points:

    1. It would cost anything to make
    2. It wouldn’t take up any time on the schedule, thus leaving more time for the Angelus

    Up Nart, I think an even more interesting series might be entitled “Why Are Irish Republicans Obsessed With Working Class Unionists?”. It would be considerably more costly to make as the subject matter is gargantuan, though the reasons are easily summarised. I mean, why deal with the tricky subject of the multiple shootings on Friday night (by the “silent guns”, no doubt ;)), when you can draw attention to a loyalist bandsman’s penis?

  • http://sluggerotoole.com Belfast Gonzo

    I must admit to finding it odd for a party to be trumpeting its own failures…

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    On the topic of inept and clueless Sinn Fein ministers…

    Commuters have been suffering all week from Conor Murphy’s ludicrous 2010 decision to try and force cars away from the area around City Hall (without improving the routes they expect drivers to take). Rush hour this evening went on until after 7.30pm with heavy congestion in May Street, Victoria Street, Great Victoria Street and College Square East.

    Everyone’s favourite bigot launched the ‘Belfast On The Move’ scheme in 2010 and said this:

    “Around 30,000 vehicles per day travel through the city centre on the streets either side of City Hall. About 60% of this is through traffic, with no final destination in the city centre causing needless congestion. This Traffic Masterplan for Belfast aims to substantially reduce those traffic levels and provide more road space for public transport, pedestrians and cyclists.”

    What he forgot to do during his catastrophic reign as Minister for Regional Development was to improve the Westlink and Outer Ring which were supposed to absorb this diverted traffic!

    How can you force cars onto other roads which are already over-capacity during rush hour??

    Given how Sinn Fein politicians are quick to moan about The Twelfth costing city centre retailers money, Joe Jordan, president of Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce, has pointed to a “noticeable downturn in footfall” in city centre shops since the Conor Murphy-approved system began.

    “New bus lanes have brought chaos to the morning commute by creating bottlenecks in many parts of the city centre,” he said.

    Another Sinn Fein success story…

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    insulting, very shocked, horrified, insulted, belittled, nothing has changed in decades, 2nd class citizens, republicns do what they want if we are insulted tough, and I couldn’t believe it, anger, venom, sectarian, hatred, horrified, and shaking.!!

    This is some of the things people of Unionist Ardoyne said to me last night after hearing that another huge Irish republican bomb was defused by Army Technical Officers in the republican part of Ardoyne. Glad the guns are silent in Adoyne in the last 18 years

    If only they could learn to play a musical instrument they don’t
    kill people bombs kill.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    I heard another mistruth peddled from Sinn Fein in Ardoyne. Sinn Fein councillor said on radio Ulster this morning (I paraphrase) “that the micro groupings who plan these bombs have no support”.

    Really, the Ardoyne republican grouping that are anti peace process and are aligned with physical force republicanism were able to bring over 2500 supporters into the streets on the12th of July this year.

    Hardly a micro grouping with no support, but why let the facts and the truth get in the way of a good Sinn Fein sound bite.

  • Paulk

    Anne Warren sorry for the late reply internet issues! I believe both parties perpetrate various faux outrages for their own ends. I mean Chris has done a little research and has been able to show that actually both communities are as worse (or as well off) as each other, surely we should expect the same level from our political “leaders” before they speak on such things.
    The one thing i will agree with the bandsmen in Glenbryn is this: Stormont is a joke. They’ve made a mess of every change they’ve tried to implement (or rather civil servants have drafted for them) and to deflect from their own uselessness they pick up half truths and use them to keep communities divided. When they say working class protestants can’t get a job can people not realise that thats the same case for a working class catholic too? I just wish the people who turn out in droves to vote for them every election day would realise this and stop swallowing the sectarian divisive politics they use to keep their vote up and the communities they claim to represent in the gutter. Its about time we started to hold our politicians to account for the rubbish they spout, tell them to stop using Stormont as a talking shop, and demand real change and real help for both communities rather than blaming one side or the other for the shape our reps have allowed us to be in. I hate to sound like Karl Marx here but the working class don’t realise the power they hold if both communities realised that the unionist and Nationalist parties wouldn’t know what to do – i live in hope!!

  • ranger1640

    ‘Tragedy’ avoided as Belfast bomb found

    A substantial viable device found during a security alert in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast was primed to KILL, police have said.

    “Once again the community of North Belfast have been disrupted and the lives of residents put at risk by an element intent on causing as much LOSS OF LIFE and disruption as they can.”

    He said those responsible showed “A CALLOUS DISREGARD for the lives of everyone in our community”.

    “I am sure the residents in the area and the wider public will be just as angry as I am about this discovery. They have EVERY RIGHT TO BE OUTRAGED however what we need now is information about who left the device there in the first place.”

    “This is a residential area and we could have been looking at serious tragedy here. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT THAT THIS DEVICE WAS INTENDED TO MURDER”.

    Ch Insp Andrew Freeburn.

    http://www.u.tv/News/Tragedy-avoided-as-Belfast-bomb-found/398842ba-6fd4-4cfc-b673-7715d74c5b4c

    I’m glad the only bang heard in the republican part of Ardoyne is the bang from a big drum; at least a big drum has never blown anyone up.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    I’m so glad physical force republicanism stopped their activities 18 years ago Chris. The prople of Unionist Ardoyne will rest easy in their beds tonight.

    Hold on the story below must be some kind of aberration.

    GARDAÍ BELIEVE they have uncovered a facility that has been making pipe bombs for supply to the criminal fraternity and to the so-called Real IRA dissident republican group.

    A man suspected of directing the pipe bomb-making operation was in Garda custody last night after he was arrested when gardaí raided a large halting site in Darndale, north Dublin, from first light yesterday.

    Teams of armed uniformed and plain-clothes detectives moved in on the Tara Lawns site, off the N32 near Northern Cross and the Malahide Road, as part of an investigation into worsening feuding between the Real IRA in Dublin and gangs in the city.

    Last Thursday night and in the early hours of Friday morning three pipe bombs were planted by the Real IRA outside houses in north Dublin as part of the feuding, with two exploding.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/1005/1224324910278.html

  • andnowwhat

    Just heard that the bomb was left in the outside of an elderly woman’s house who lives on her own.

    What a friggin shower

  • JR

    Interesting reading chris, I have a few thoughts but I don’t feel like wasting my time trying to articulate them. I personally find my self increasingly less likely to engage on this website beacuse regardless of the subject of the post the threads beneeth are filled up with the same wateboutery points. When less than 50% of the comments on a thread are even related to the post and the same tangential points are made again and again day after day it kills any debate.

  • andnowwhat

    JR

    Couldn’t agree more. Just as I posted my last comment, I remembered the topic of the thread. The thing is, is all this irrelevant nonsense by unionist posters indicative of a malise in their community?

    I remember, on another site, unionists defending the UVF painting over a positive mural in the Lower Newtownards Road with a UVF one. We even had Belfast’s eternal First Citizen, Jim Rodgers ( a supposed Glentoran man, the team to which the former mural was dedicated) obfuscating on the issue and trying to play the 1912 card even though it was immediately apparent that the mural was off the modern organisation.

  • HeinzGuderian

    ‘Interesting reading chris, I have a few thoughts but I don’t feel like wasting my time trying to articulate them. I personally find my self increasingly less likely to engage on this website beacuse regardless of the subject of the post the threads beneeth are filled up with the same wateboutery points. When less than 50% of the comments on a thread are even related to the post and the same tangential points are made again and again day after day it kills any debate.’

    Interprets as: our nat/rep MOPEry is being challenged at every turn,and I have no answer for it,so I’m offski.

  • Neil

    You couldn’t make it up heinz. You suggest we’re saying we’re oppressed because Unionists are giving it large on Nolan about how ‘the fenians get everything’ and poor Unionists are being oppressed at every turn. Even though this oppression is clearly debunked by a cursory glance at the actual statistics.

    Now, how are those Unionists not engaging in the ultimate mopery – themmuns are oppressing us even if the stats show otherwise. You’re genuinely funny sometimes.

  • HeinzGuderian

    neil………’giving it large’ ? :-)

    The only ones ‘giving it large’ are the nat/rep community,getting their panties in a twist over a Beach Boys melody,and a chap having a wee,wee.

    Ah,if only our ‘easily offended’ nat/rep chums could get so upset about pipe bombs ?

    Yes neil……..s’funny how you ignored that one ?

  • andnowwhat

    Why Heinz? Did you comment about the Former DUP candidate in Antrim who has been charged in connection with a pipe bomb?

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/exdup-candidate-linked-to-bomb-hoax-phone-box-16069926.html

  • DC

    Are there any stats available showing household size and actual household income.

  • paul kielty

    I watched that ‘Nolan show’ and found it quite unsettling. One would have to wonder, does it suit upper/middle class unionism to ‘regulate’ this apparent status quo? Is there a unionist working class alternative to this right wing agenda? If not, then the unionist working class have only themselves to blame, and not ‘them taigs’!

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    The man arrested in connection with the substantial bomb was using Chris’ “The second thread contends that unionist culture and values are being eroded and under threat as a result of republican aggression which remains relentless in spite of the guns falling silent some 18 years ago”. Was 3 years old when allegedly according to Chris “republican aggression which remains relentless in spite of the guns falling silent some 18 years ago”. Therefore this man would have no recollection of the “troubles”. My neighbours and me are delighted to see that sectarianism is not ingrained in the republican part of Ardoyne.

    Maybe if there were more bands in republican areas to give young men an interest in their culture it might keep men like this out of the hands of IRA godfathers in republican Ardoyne.

    I wonder what this guy’s education attainment is, as the PSNI stated, “This is not the first time such a device has been recovered by police in Northern Ireland, but it is a WORRYING INDICATION OF THE CAPABILITY AND INTENT of those individuals or groups who seek to bring death and injury back to our street”

    “A 21-year-old man has been arrested in north Belfast following the discovery of a bomb on Thursday, police said.
    The man was detained on Friday by detectives from the PSNI’s serious crime branch and has been taken to Antrim for questioning”.

    Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/man-held-over-mortar-bomb-discovery-16220718.html#ixzz28YfWsA3X

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    That should read “The second thread contends that unionist culture and values are being eroded and under threat as a result of republican aggression which remains relentless in spite of the guns falling silent some 18 years ago”.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    A man has been charged with terrorism offences after the discovery of a mortar-type bomb in north Belfast.

    The 21-year-old, who has not been named, is due before city magistrates later, after his arrest on Friday.

    He is accused of preparing terrorist acts and possessing explosives with intent to endanger life.

    More than 30 homes were evacuated following the discovery of the missile in Jamaica Street, Ardoyne, last Thursday night.

    Officers initially arrested the suspect on suspicion of dissident republican activity as they took him into custody.

    Following the discovery, the PSNI said the horizontal-type mortar device was “substantial” and “viable”, and had put people’s lives at risk.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19867344

    This leads nicely onto whatever happened to this case how is this case progressing???

    “So, is it true that the IRA has not really gone away?
    A ban on naming those before a judge begs the question: what are the Provos up to now? Alan Murray reports
    The charging recently of three men and two women with IRA-related offences dating back more than a decade raises as many intriguing questions as the decision to impose a reporting restriction on publishing their names.
    The directive by a judge at Laganside Courts a few days ago to keep from public knowledge the identities of the quintet is one of the most unusual reporting restrictions ever imposed here.
    Witnesses have been protected both in terms of identity and appearance at inquests and at tribunals but seldom has the identity of an accused been banned from publication.
    All of which adds to the intrigue surrounding the charges preferred which relate to events around 1999/2000 when the ink on the Good Friday Agreement had well and truly dried.
    The IRA though was still active then and has remained so since the turn of the century which begs the question – why did the PSNI decide to process perhaps new information but certainly information relating to ‘old’ matters.
    Proceedings in Laganside Court last week indicated that the five against whom charges were preferred deny committing the offences which include belonging to a proscribed organisation “namely Provisional Irish Republican Army” between specified dates”.

    Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/news-analysis/so-is-it-true-that-the-ira-has-not-really-gone-away-16197977.html#ixzz28hNmMqAh

  • SK

    Ardoyne Unionist,

    Dissident Republicans are violent fanatics who deserve nothing but contempt from all right thinking people. They represent no one.

    But, with respect, what does the above copy-and-paste job have to do with Chris’ initial contribution?

    There must come a point whereby legitimate critiques of the Loyalist community cease to be met with the now almost pavlovian response of “whatabout the IRA?”. No community can hope to evolve without occasionally casting a cold eye upon itself. The loyalist habit of pointing the finger elsewhere has become a substitute for genuine introspection, which is completely self-defeating.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    SK, Chris, is making a big play on the assertion that republican guns have been silent for 18 years, when quite obviously they have not.

    “The second thread contends that unionist culture and values are being eroded and under threat as a result of republican aggression which remains relentless in spite of the guns falling silent some 18 years ago”.

    Now we have this. Maybe Chris can give his his view on how Protestant, Uninonist and Loyalist are being discriminated against by the Roman Catholic church and or the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS)

    “a retired civil servant who asked for information about the law which exempts Roman Catholic schools from fair employment legislation has now filed for leave for judicial review after more than 300 days passed without a response – far beyond the legal time limit of 20 days.

    While appeals to the Information Commissioner, who polices the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, are common, this is the first time that a Stormont department has faced High Court action for failing to answer a request for information.

    It is understood that it may be the first time that such a legal challenge has been mounted anywhere in the UK”

    “I remain surprised that no-one else, especially from the human rights and equality industry is in the slightest bit exercised over the legitimation and continuance here of employment discrimination in so many well-paid jobs.

    “If they don’t join the campaign to reform the law, they are colluding in unfair employment”.

    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/local/stormont-facing-freedom-of-information-legal-battle-1-4343272

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Campbell left the bomb in his grannies shed.

    “Ardoyne, Belfast, mortar bomb: Brendan Campbell in court

    Police sealed off Jamaica Street while army bomb experts made the bomb safe
    A Belfast man has been in court charged over the discovery of a mortar bomb in the Ardoyne area last week.

    Brendan Joseph Campbell, 21, from Flax Street, is accused of preparing terrorist acts and having explosives with intent to endanger life.

    The bomb was found in his grandmother’s shed, Belfast Magistrates Court heard”.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19867947

    I wonder what Chambell’s educational attainment is, not very high by the looks of things. I wonder was he always going for a loaf for his granny???

  • SK

    Ardoyne Unionist,

    Chris was highlighting the fact that much of the “marginalised Loyalist” narrative is simply not supported by empirical evidence. Rather than discussing that point on its own merits, you have opted to go down the whataboutery route.

    Do you not recognise that you are proving Chris’ point in the process?

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    What I am proving is that when he made the statement that republican guns were silent for 18 years and he then accused the band members of being sensitive for thinking that their “unionist culture and values are being eroded and under threat as a result of republican aggression which remains relentless in spite of the guns falling silent some 18 years ago”. He was wrong on so many levels.

  • Tomas Gorman

    Ardoyne Unionist,

    When Chris says “Republican guns”, he’s referring specifically to PIRA weapons which to my knowledge have only been used on other Republicans in recent years. The other incidences (few and far between as they may be) have arguably strengthened opinion against dissident republicanism rather than for it.

    Now, as is becoming traditional here on Slugger, lets try and get back to the point. Do you believe that there is some structural or institutionalised discrimination against the PUL population and if so, who is responsible for it?

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Tomas, Its great to know that you know what Chris was thinking when he did his article. I have mentioned this before of other republican posters. In that they have this ability to know what people were thinking when they put up a post, marvellous.

    But anyway. “When Chris says “Republican guns”, he’s referring specifically to PIRA weapons”.

    Where in Chris post does it specifically say only PIRA??? And why shouldn’t other republican groups not be included are they not an issue for the Protestant Unionist Loyalist communities???

    “he’s referring specifically to PIRA weapons which to my knowledge have only been used on other Republicans in recent years”.

    So what does it matter if the provo’s have been doing a wee bit of republican house cleaning, the auld green on green killings, is that what you are saying.

    So by that logic all the republicans on here who berated the UVF for killing Bobby Moffitt, were in your terms wide of the mark. As this was to coin a phrase, an orange on orange killing much like the green on green killings the provos carried out!!!

    Have we now to say, PIRA good, all other IRA’s bad, how credible is that???? It’s physical force republicanism that effects the Protestant Unionist Loyalist community, just like that in the republican part of Ardoyne at the weekend and at the 12th, don’t you get it???

    Now republicans want the Protestant Unionist Loyalist community to make a distinction between the various brands of republican terrorism.

    Now that is incredulous!!!

    “Do you believe that there is some structural or institutionalised discrimination against the PUL population and if so, who is responsible for it”?

    “The law which exempts Roman Catholic schools from fair employment legislation”.

    Is that enough of an institution that is discriminating against the Protestant, Unionist, Loyalist community.

    I would hate to imagine the levels of republican MOPE’ry would get to, if that particular school shoe was on the other foot.

  • SK

    AU,

    More whataboutery.

    “Is that enough of an institution that is discriminating against the Protestant, Unionist, Loyalist community.”

    So the Loyalist community is in this self-defined state of perpetual alienation because they don’t have the right to teach in Catholic Schools? Are you not scraping the barrel a bit?

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    SK, you can whine on about wataboutery all you like.

    The facts of the matter are, that the Protestant Unionist Loyalist community are being discriminated against.

    As the article states:

    “I remain surprised that no-one else, especially from the human rights and equality industry is in the slightest bit exercised over the legitimation and continuance here of employment discrimination in so many well-paid jobs.

    “If they don’t join the campaign to reform the law, they are colluding in unfair employment”.

    Is that hard for you to grasp.

    It would be interesting to hear Chris’ take on this.

    As I believe Chris works in this sector, so he would have a unique insight into the workings of this sector?

    Chris being a good republican would be appalled at such discrimination, and like a good republican if he was aware of it I’m sure he would have brought it to the attention of this site.

    Maybe he can tell us if he was aware of this discrimination, within Roman Catholic schools, and does it extend to St Mary’s teaching college on the Falls road, do they have the same practices???

    All those well paid jobs denied to people from within the Protestant community, who may also be Unionist and Loyalist, is in my view nothing short of despicable

    Puts playing outside an empty building well and truly into perspective.

    Here are some of the feelings I have at the moment,
    shocked, horrified, insulted, belittled, horrified, and shaking!!

    To coin a phrase, its all about respect???

  • Neil

    Seems like you’ve found a point you can labour away at indefinitely without actually discussing the topic in hand. Loyalists on TV were certain that their community were worse off in job, education and housing. The figures show that they were wrong, but that’s of not interest to you.

    You can keep the discussion off topic and away from those Loyalist’s misapprehensions by seizing on a point and spamming the thread with it.

    What Chris actually said was ‘the guns’ fell silent. He didn’t bother attributing those guns to either side, almost sounds like a cliche, like someone might say ‘the guns fell silent in May 1945′ and someone popping up to argue that a couple of Germans didn’t stop that day. It’s certainly a phrase that’s been used by others to mean the end of a war, 3 millions hits on google confirm that.

    Finally, so you can further derail the thread, you insist that Protestants are actively discriminated against in employment despite the figures showing that not to be true. But you’ve honed into one of a very few areas where Protestants need not apply – presumably as they’ve not completed the course required to be a Catholic school teacher. It makes no odds as it’s simply an excuse for you to litter a thread about how Unionists think they’re discriminated against when they’re not, with references to discrimination against Unionists. And without a hint of irony (you see, you’re confirming that you, a Unionist feel discriminated against. And you’re not. Lol).

    It’s simple diversionary tactics to avoid the factually correct title of the thread. Some in your community are stuck in a paranoid siege mentality that makes them think ‘fenians get everything’ but the facts show they don’t. Care to discuss?

  • Tomas Gorman

    AU,

    The situation where an education department can discriminate on grounds of religion is wrong in my opinion. I, perhaps like you, am a secularist. It’s one of my republican traits.

    However, it’s one facet of our society that doesn’t quite describe wholesale institutionalised discrimination against protestants, loyalist and or unionists.

    Quite the contrary, catholic males (fellow british citizens in your view) are, and have been for quite some time, over twice as likely to be unemployed than their male counterparts. The causality needs to be examined and dealt with. Are you angry about this too?

    Historically, Catholics have been discriminated against throughout the history of the Northern Irish state, this surely you must admit is undeniable. As is the fact that the old Stormont regime disenfranchised thousands of working class Protestants from local elections to protect border constituencies. Are you indignant about this? Are you indignant about how young Protestant males are educationally underachieving compared to their catholic counterparts? Again, who are you angry at?

    Honestly AU, I feel that your anger and indignation is really about the fact that there are Republicans elected to political leadership roles who you just plain abhor. I think you need to get over this and look at the issues a bit more constructively.

  • SK

    “All those well paid jobs denied to people from within the Protestant community, who may also be Unionist and Loyalist, is in my view nothing short of despicable”

    ________

    AU,

    So that’s it?

    When pressed to elaborate upon the institutional disadvantage that Loyalists suffer, this is your ace in the hole? Case closed, by the looks of it.

  • UserAinm

    AU

    I know that facts spoil a good MOPE but it should be pointed out that there is no proof of discrimination (as yet), he may well be correct but we don’t know yet.

    I remember in my own school years, which were spent in Catholic schools, teachers who were not Catholic so I’m guessing here that the law wasn’t/isn’t always used in this way.

    A quick nip on to direct.gov cites an example of where Catholic schools can expect applicants for an RE teacher to be baptised Catholics whereas this would be less important for say an IT or Geography teacher.

    Nor have we any examples of members of the PUL community having been discriminated against in this way. Have you proof this has happened and they’ve specifically been knocked back because of their faith or lack thereof?

    But it’s not as much fun or as big a deal if we look at things this way.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Tomas, there we go again republicans telling me how I feel and think, what is it with republicans that they feel they need to feel and think for Protestants Unionists Loyalists.

    “I feel that your anger and indignation is really about the fact that there are Republicans elected to political leadership roles who you just plain abhor. I think you need to get over this and look at the issues a bit more
    constructively”

  • UserAinm

    AU

    I believe it’s called empathy.

  • Tomas Gorman

    AU,

    What Userainm said.

  • HeinzGuderian

    ‘Why Heinz? Did you comment about the Former DUP candidate in Antrim who has been charged in connection with a pipe bomb?’

    In October 2011 ? ( Super Trolling/Super Whataboutery) If the story was covered by Slugger,I have no doubt I left a comment,old dear.

    But hey,why get your knickers in a twist over a mortar bomb in Ardoyne,when Sloop John B,the relief of Bandsman,and 4 middle aged men,carrying a Union Flag will ‘offend’ the nat/rep community to the very core ? ;-)

  • andnowwhat

    Fek sake Heinz…only takes Santa saying Happy Christmas in Irish to start the unionist lobby in city hall off on one

  • andnowwhat
  • andnowwhat

    Meant, loyalist and loyalism

    iPad issues

  • Paulk

    Lads i think you’re onto a loser with AU no matter how many facts you give him/her, no matter how many different ways you put the argument to him/her its still themuns fault people in the PUL community can’t get a job.
    Don’t ask him/her to look at the Unionist Parties role in all of the half truths (and down right lies) they spout regarding jobs, eduation, and poverty. Definitely don’t ask him to challenge them on it, don’t ask him to look at what they’ve done in the past to help their community in education and jobs to help get them out of the poverty they find themselves in. Don’t ask him to tell you why if unionists are so marginalised they manage to occupy only 6 from 20 of the deprived wards (and only 2 of the MOST 10 deprived wards). No you won’t change his/her mind because its Sinn Fein’s fault because the guns haven’t fell silent, its them there dissidents they’re are still shooting, making mortars etc. thats why we can’t get a job and are still in poverty etc etc etc. i think the DUP/UUP have done quite a number on AU. Jesus Wept!!