UVF protests signal anxiety over pending supergrass trial?

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This morning on RTE Tommie Gorman put his finger on something that’s been little talked about in the wider media so far regarding the unanticipated levels of street protest.

In fact it has little to do with the politics of City Hall and everything to do with the HET putting a tight squeeze on the UVF.

In particular minds in that organisation are being concentrated by the re-emergence of the supergrass trial format. In particular the position of Gary Haggarty:

In January 2010 he agreed to become an assisting offender under the terms of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA).

Some 30,000 pages of material and 760 interview tapes have been amassed from interviews conducted with him.

Mr Haggarty’s lawyers successfully applied for bail during a brief hearing at Belfast Magistrates Court.

Mr Haggarty’s case is due to be mentioned again next month, with committal proceedings expected next year.

This would be a second pass on north Belfast UVF with a pair of supergrasses, the brothers Robert and Ian Stewart, just last year. It failed after 71 days in court.

There’s a school of thought which believes that was in part a dry run for a future for trial based on Haggarty’s evidence: and one of the key reasons that the UVF have taken to the streets.

Given the PUP’s position on flag flying was more Alliance than DUP, there appears to be some logic in that… Paramilitary tail wagging the political dog…

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  • Stephen Blacker

    Anne Warren,

    So if I cant explain my Britishness in this forum I and those who think the same are anti-Catholic? do you think that is not an insult??

    Because I try to stick up for flying the flag of the UK in the Capital City of this region I am irrational? You are very partonising.

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

    Stephen,
    Where exactly, did anne state that that?
    Please stack up your point

  • Gopher

    @Stephen

    I should really know better than post on a thread about flags. My interest is in statistics. Statistics show that the protest against the flag removal is patchy to say the least but even a small display has a serious effect out of all proportion to its size. I would wager most of the protesters did not even vote. I am tired of the protesters and I’m tired of the politicians. Was out on Saturday night before Christmas and the collective stupidity killed the place stone dead. It was not 1690 it wernt the famine it was not partition but collective stupidity in 2012

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

    Gopher,
    My interest too is in statistics as you may know if you have ever visited my site. Agree wholeheartedly with your comment

  • Stephen Blacker

    Gopher,

    I was surprised at the amount of protests myself especially at this time of the year, they destroy everything around them and kills any argument about the issue itself. The worst thing is the damage that has been done to relationships between the two main communities and I think they will be felt more when cross community events and contacts dont take place.

    I am also surprised at people wondering why there is so much anger at taking away the symbol of Britishness here in Northern Ireland.

  • Gopher

    @BangorDub

    Put a link up and ill check it out

  • Stephen Blacker

    Bangordub,

    Carl Marks @10.57pm
    My reply @11.12pm
    Anne Warren @11:40pm

    Anne has a problem with me and she made that clear with what I felt was partonising comment. She said I insulted Carl Marks by, I think, saying he “was thinking like a blooded republican” To me I was not insualting, I was trying to get across that to do what violent republicans did they would need to de-humanise their prey and to think that all British were anti-catholic would give them a mind set to act.

  • anne warren

    “people wondering why there is so much anger at taking away the symbol of Britishness here in Northern Ireland”

    There are several reasons why people are surprised at this “anger”
    First – the Flag was not “Taken away”
    Belfast city council decided to conform with UK policy, as is done at Sormont and municipal buildings in other parts of the UK and NI
    Second – If the Flag is important as a symbol, why is respect not shown to symbols of other communities?. The Flag was not burnt like Polish and ROI flags. It was lowered respectfully and will be raised respectfully on the designated days.
    Third – If you want people to understand your position, you need to explain your terms of reference – starting with a definition of this oft-vaunted Britishness.

    Enough for this evening
    I bid you all Good Night and Sweet Dreams!!

  • Stephen Blacker

    Anne Warren,

    Thank you for you’re reply.

    1. I understand the flag has not gone but it would have if the Nationalist / Republican party’s had there way and that is what is making Unionists I talk to very nerves. I really do not understand the venom against the Alliance Party but they did have the 4th option of keeping it 365 days, saying that they were in a no win position. Here is a link to the Flag Institute website that encourages the flying of the Union Jack all year.

    http://www.flaginstitute.org/index.php?location=14

    2. The flag is a very important symbol of a connection to the UK for many and it is treated with respect but no one can argue that disrespect is shown by those who leave it to get torn or dulled by the weather or on occasion flown upside down which I find distasteful and disgraceful. There are lots of flags burnt on bonfires and I would imagine that will increase this coming year, this has started to be common practice and it is disrespectful to whatever community it is directed at. These things are carried out by a minority in either community but the problem is heightened when no one does anything about.

    3. On Britishness I think DC made very good points in his posts. I do not think I should be classed as anti-catholic or anyone else for professing to be British as has been implied on this thread, just like no Irish person should be classed as anti-Protestant. Now if someones actions proves otherwise then that is different.

    This is part of the GFA and as I read it it should be illegal for the Flag to be taken away completely from the main civic building in Belfast while it is part of the UK even if Alliance were not needed in a vote, the Nationalist / Republicans have made it clear they want to take it away totally.

    (iii) acknowledge that while a substantial section of the people in Northern Ireland share the legitimate wish of a majority of the people of the island of Ireland for a united Ireland, the present wish of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland, freely exercised and legitimate, is to maintain the Union and, accordingly, that Northern Ireland’s status as part of the United Kingdom reflects and relies upon that wish; and that it would be wrong to make any change in the status of Northern Ireland save with the consent of a majority of its people;

  • galloglaigh

    the present wish of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland, freely exercised and legitimate, is to maintain the Union

    Who told you that? A man down the pub’s cousin’s dog?

    That argument is dead in the water, and no amount of internet searches can back it up definitively…

    You over looked the part of my post where I said discrimination was deplorable. But of course us blooded republicans, scum of the Earth to people like you, are the only people causing trouble. We even burn our own national flag to completely confuse ourselves.

    Just on the point of ‘Britishness’:

    Given that I am a citizen under British jurisdiction, surely my national flag should be recognized as much as the Scot’s, Welsh, Manx etc. flags are? Until nationalism is shown respect under British jurisdiction, we will not, nor should we be expected to, respect any other tradition that openly refuses to respect me or my symbols, traditions, and aspirations.

    It’s as simple as that, and Stephen, DC et al better get used to it. Unionism had its chance to change. It hasn’t done so; nationalism in future will force change through democracy, if unionism likes it or not.

  • Stephen Blacker

    Galloglaigh,

    The quote that you highlighted in your last post is wording from the Good Friday Agreement not the man down the pub’s cousin’s dog.

    I never overlooked any of you’re post, the comment you made implied that DC should not have highlighted Sinn Fein discrimination as a valid arguement without balance.

    If you are a “blooded” republican please give details to the HET and at least give some family some kind of rest. I do believe the first and many references to scum on this thread came form those highlighting protesters.

    As regards flying the flag just like Scotland, Wales etc. I certainly would have no problems with you demanding the Northern Ireland flag to be flown instead, fill you’re boots!

    I must ask about these Irish symbols and traditions, flag, shamrock, Easter lily, GAA, AoH, music and language what else is there?

    Aspirations cannot be taking away and I believe you live them every day as the word itself suggests.

    I understand fully the last bit and as I said before I do not look forward to that day when Nationalist / Republicans do not need the Alliance Party.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Problem is, there is no “Northern Ireland Flag”. There’s the Flag of the Government of Northern Ireland which personally I couldn’t abide, I’d rather have the Union flag.

  • Stephen Blacker

    Comrade Stalin,

    Thank you for that piece of information, I never knew Northern Ireland has had no official provencal flag since March 1972.

  • galloglaigh

    SB

    The GFA is 14 years old. The old sausage of the ‘present wish of a majority… is to maintain the Union’ is outdated. No one knows the extent to which people want the Union maintained, as it is an unknown quantity.

    And no I’m not a blooded republican, but to most loyalists, we all are – taigs that is.

    And again you fail to recognize my right as an Irish citizen, to have my national flag recognized. We’re going round in circles, with a recurring conclusion from yourself and DC, that my flag has less of a right to be legitimized as your beloved Union flag.

    Like I said before, either show me respect, or my elected politicians will put manners on your politicians.

    With your attitude to my national flag, you’d better get used to the latter!

  • Stephen Blacker

    G,

    Ok!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Stephen,

    To my knowledge said flag was never a provincial flag, it was the flag of the Government and ceased to have official status when said Government was prorogued in 1972.

  • Reader

    galloglaigh: Given that I am a citizen under British jurisdiction, surely my national flag should be recognized as much as the Scot’s, Welsh, Manx etc. flags are?
    You could get the ROI to go for Crown Dependency status like the Isle of Man and lever your flag into the frame that way. Get your MPs to sign up here and you could be well on your way:
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmallparty/register/flags-and-heraldry.htm
    However, until you make that move, or something similar, the problem with your proposal is that, while England, Scotland, Wales and NI are part of the UK, only the first three have recognised flags. And the Tricolour isn’t one of them. And unlike the NI parliament flag so beloved of SB and DC, it never was a recognised UK flag. I suspect you prefer it that way! In the unlikely event that the more recalcitrant republicans ever seek to have an agreed NI flag, they won’t be able to get cross-community consensus for the Tricolour.
    So since you hate the old NI parliament flag, better manage without or to pin your hopes on St Patrick’s cross or the Flax emblem:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NI_flax_V1.png
    Or you could manage with the approach taken by a lot of people – hold a personal attachment to one or more flags while not expecting anyone else to pay any heed to them. Quite clearly no western European country is going to oblige people to respect any flag in the 21st Century.

  • DC

    No the Ulster flag is not something I am sentimental about, the union flag is different it is about something bigger than regions or single nations, it is the union that helps to pay the bills both publicly and privately.

    Stephen – re Gallog, just ignore him, I think he’s a wind up merchant.

  • DC

    I have come across another video, fascinating video of Gary McMichael confronting Ian Paisley at Lisburn Orange hall around the time of the GFA – also, Minister Poots is there being very aggressive even challenging McMichael to a fight, then Ian Paisely Jnr turns up in a leather trench coat, fascinating – it ends with Big Ian saying he will go to the grave standing by his principles (which hypocritically he didn’t do):

    http://youtu.be/HN7mDna7y20

    Here is a clip of the PUP’s Billy Hutchinson (again) challenging the way the UVF was carrying out terror at the time and reflecting on things and encouraging change, which I think is fascinating as well:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZx-sKpDX5M

    It just goes to show that working class unionist areas should have major second thoughts about trusting mainstream unionism!

  • carl marks

    Just for the record, great book great whisky, and decided that SB was degenerating into sectarian stereotypes and was actually not able to define his own Britishness’s, strange from someone so upset about it being threatened.go figure

  • galloglaigh

    The few dozen protesting loyalists who aren’t bored yet, have been filling in their time over the Christmas period constructively – drawing school boy pictures of their beloved flag. No doubt Santa has gifted some of them markers and crayons. It’s a pity they didn’t allow the adult protesters make their banner though, as it’s all gone a little Pete Tong :) :)

    It makes a mockery of the protest, and the fleg!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Are you referring to the upside down flag in the picture, gallog ?

  • galloglaigh

    Yeah but it’s not upside down, it’s totally wrong. The flag in the link can’t be upside down. That’s up there with this Muppet.

  • carl marks

    There good folks we have it.
    No matter what the majority want the union flag must be flown,,
    Anybody who asks awkward questions is a terrorist (blooded republican),
    The disrespect shown to Irish symbols is nothing to do with this,
    I’m British but don’t know why,
    The PUP are nice guys (the UVF drug dealers are a different group from the UVF terror group),
    We respect the union flag because of the brave soldiers fighting for it (even if we have tried to kill them in the past)
    Alliance are bastards for voting the way they promised their electorate,
    If alliance had voted different then those pesky rebels would have come begging for a compromise.

    Can’t help wondering if the tooth fairy helped draw up all these wonderful and weird ideas,
    Also I can’t help thinking that our unionist posters think a mandate is a night out between two consenting males and not what a winner gets after an election, I suggest we prepare for more pathetic tantrums as the democratic process kicks in

  • Comrade Stalin

    I see it – the red stripes don’t “counterchange” or whatever they call it.

  • galloglaigh

    Yep, it’s to mark Ireland’s entrance to the Union. The Cross of St.George is the prominent cross, showing superiority over St. Andrew. St Patrick’s Cross must always sit below St. Andrew’s Cross, showing superiority over St. Patrick. Every day’s a school day.

  • latcheeco

    Carl Marks
    “I can’t help thinking that our unionist posters think a mandate is a night out between two consenting males and not what a winner gets after an election”

    Classic sir!

  • DC

    Carl

    The peace process removed majority vote at Stormont because nationalists couldn’t live with it now or in the past, so let’s not start marvelling at democracy especially whenever such a system isn’t in play at Stormont to keep you guys happy, and to stop the bombs.

    Re the flags and accuracy, you guys are letting perfect get in the way of good.

  • DC

    If alliance had voted different then those pesky rebels would have come begging for a compromise.

    Now now Carl, let’s stop going round in circles here.

    1) Alliance could have blocked the original motion of full removal.

    2) SF & SDLP would have gone back to think again.

    3) SF & SDLP initiates a new motion of restricted days themselves.

    4) That motion carries 24:20, with Alliance abstaining due to its non-sectarian, no national identity politics position.

    That is not begging – that is working, you want the flag down? Yes – then do it yourselves, you had the maths there in your favour.

  • galloglaigh

    I thought I’d share this comment from the UTV link I posted last night:

    I was talking to a few overseas relatives over Christmas and they are baffled and bemused by these ‘protests’ and this ongoing Unionist/Loyalist assault on democracy. An Aussie relative asked “Why are these so called ‘British’ protestors attacking ‘British’ police officers and threatening ‘British’ politicians? An English aunt said “British Protestors?… that’s an insult to modern day multi-cultural Britian…they should come over to REAL mainland Britain and see races, creeds and faiths of all kinds living together and not attempting to take ownership of Britishness for their own narrow, insular, bigoted mindset”. That’s words from a highly educated, proud, middle class English woman. Those taking to the streets still don’t get it and the rest of us are suffering, especially the business community, because of them. Most people in Britain, Ireland and abroad see this simply as Unionist/Loyalist anarchy against democracy and they have no time for it. It is time the Flat Earth Society and The Moon is Made of Cheese brigade within Unionism/Loyalism came into the 21st century. The vote on the flag has been cast and there is NO WAY this side of Doomsday that Belfast City Council are going to change it. Accept democracy and if you don’t agree with something then try to argue within the democratic process. The world outside has no time or patience anymore for your self pitying, sectarian, medieval nonsense.

    Says it all really.

  • DC

    Pity northern nationalists couldn’t appreciate the plurality of people under the union flag than stick with its centuries old take of it, perhaps it is about moving on together?

    But nope, fat chance, instead let’s remove it totally was the cry.

    SF Conservative Party.

  • Comrade Stalin

    DC, you’re trying to wind me up.

  • galloglaigh

    DC

    than stick with its centuries old take of it

    OK let’s take a look at that shall we. While you’re 100% correct that we have a centuries old take on the Union flag. But the question you’d need to ask yourself before making such a brash statement, is whether or not the centuries old take on the Union flag is justified in today’s terms.

    Let’s put it into context and start with the discrimination that existed under unionist ‘democracy’ in Stormont for 50 years, all under the noses of the British government and its supposed glorious Union flag.

    Step in the 1st Battalion the Parachute Regiment in 1972, and the murder of dozens of innocent and mostly peaceful protesters, akin to your Union flag loving comrades in the PUP/UVF. These murders were carried out under the protection of the unionist Stormont ‘democracy’, the British government, and its supposed glorious Union flag. You don’t need me to outline the actions of further British army personnel, who under British government ‘Direct Rule’, were allowed to shit on those innocents they murdered, by claiming their finger slipped inside a sanger, or the innocent person was holding a weapon (which more and more reports are coming out dispelling those lies). All of this under the plurality which the Union flag supposedly espouses to.

    Add to the mix the unionist terrorist organisations, similar to those Billy Hutchinson is linked to, and the contempt shown by British Crown Forces to innocent Catholics who, under the plurality of Union flag, should have been protected from the likes of Billy Hutchinson and his gang of murderers, not laid out for death by RUC Special Branch and MI5. All of this under the noses of the British government and its supposed glorious Union flag.

    Now to give this line some contemporary analysis, we could go on for day about the British government, and its MOD, whose army, fighting under the supposed glorious Union flag, are doing what they’ve done for the best part of the last 10 centuries: colonising and terrorising innocent people across many continents and high seas – All of this under the plurality which the Union flag supposedly espouses to.

    So it would be quite right to conclude, that the centuries old take on the Union flag is justified in today’s terms.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’ve explained to him several times why I think he is wrong. Rather than respond he just keeps re-asserting his same broken opinions.

  • SK

    “That motion carries 24:20, with Alliance abstaining due to its non-sectarian, no national identity politics position.”

    ______

    There would have been 40,000 more leaflets printed the very next day, condemning Alliance for “standing idly by”, blah, blah, blah.

    The electoral trajectory of Belfast City Council is such that unionists need to find a better way of dealing with defeat.

  • Stephen Blacker

    I love these self-righteous posts! Keep them coming.

  • DC

    Comrade, I guess there is no right or wrong way – but just different ways, maybe if Alliance had blocked the removal motion it could have lessened the likelihood of this.

  • galloglaigh

    or this

    or this

  • Comrade Stalin

    DC, you are completely correct. If Alliance had surrendered to loyalist thuggery, then yes the riots would not have happened.

  • DC

    Well I don’t know about that, I think Alliance mismanaged centrist politics.

  • carl marks

    Stephen Blacker

    Hi Steve, you have made many wild claims on this thread,
    We will let pass your completely unfounded claims that protestant schools are underfunded in the republic, and that I am a terrorist (really when someone asks you to define your britishness accusing them of being “blooded Republicans” does your case no good at all) but perhaps you or DC could explain how a group calling itself the United PROTESTANT voice can be seen as anything else than deeply sectarian, and why is it not being condemned as such by yourself and other loyalist/Unionist commentators.
    Is the union flag only for Protestants, are there no British Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Jews, Catholics etc, or do they just not count.
    As regards to
    “The British people here are very proud of our soldiers and some are being killed over seas and taking away the Union Jack from the main civic building in our Capital is seen as letting them down.
    It’s a pity in the past when unionists where trying to kill British Soldiers that they didn’t think of that, and do Lady Police officers not serve the crown and flag that loyalists claim to love.
    And by the way i still think that your inability to define your Britishness is because when you strip it down to its bones, it’s not what you are for that defines it for loyalists and many unionists its what your against (Catholics) that defines it for you.
    DCs notion that he is not opposed to the 15 days as such but is offended that the decision was made by Catholics and all would be fine if the taigs had to ask permission first seems to say it all (straight out of the Baldric school of cunning plans)

  • DC

    Carl

    To remove the flag as originally proposed by the combined nationalist bloc in BCC indicates to me that attitudes are still as hard as they ever were, which is not a good thing given the ‘peace accord’ was signed back in 1998.

    I really do think we all need to redouble our efforts in transforming mindsets, transform the conflict and to be seen to move away from ‘absolutist’ positions.

  • galloglaigh

    Yep, absolutist positions like defending sectarian and racist actions, carried out by bands that are linked to armed unionist terror organisations.

    Maybe a good old absolutist position by the combined nationalist bloc on BCC, will perhaps teach the combined forces of flat earth unionists, armed unionist terror organisations, and elements of the British far right, that what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

  • carl marks

    DC
    Perhaps you could point out where unionism has moved from absolutist positions, of course I’m talking about moves made voluntarily and not forced on them by exasperated governments both British and Irish.
    Maybe you could point out the compromises made over marches etc.

    by the way could I point out that the decision to let the flag remain (for the time being) was what is called a compromise and not absolutist,

  • DC

    I think it would be unfair to rule out those moves taken over the heads of people here as the resultant outcome has been one of people having to come terms with change in order to facilitate the demands of others.

  • carl marks

    DC (profile)
    30 December 2012 at 7:30 pm

    “I think it would be unfair to rule out those moves taken over the heads of people here as the resultant outcome has been one of people having to come terms with change in order to facilitate the demands of others.”

    So let me get this right, when unionists have to be forced (anybody remember NEVER NEVER NEVER or Ulster says no) to be reasonable that proves they are reasonable people,
    It’s a bit like saying that a person is a vegetarian because we took his meat away.
    Could you maybe try a bit harder come on show us where unionism has moved away from their absolute position on contentious parades etc,
    Maybe answer my question about the UPV why has no one inside unionism condemned these people for their naked bigotry and sectarian stance.
    Sorry DC but you seem (along with SB) to be actually avoiding the hard questions.

  • anne warren

    DC you’re almost there!

    And I do hope Stephen is keeping up with this masterclass
    We don’t want to have to go through all this again!

    Just one small wordchange
    I’ve fixed your sentence for you

    “the resultant outcome has been one of people having to come terms with change in order to facilitate the RIGHTS of others”

  • DC

    So unionist majority control at Stormont was removed and corrected by a ‘rights-based’ approach which brought in power-sharing instead in order to make sure no one got the better of each other; however, it is OK for Belfast City Council to pull off a majority vote that to all intents and purposes removes the flag, save for the 15 days that the Alliance party rescued?

  • carl marks

    The unionist majority government was closed down in the seventies by Britain because of its sectarian policies and treatment of the catholic population, which where simply not acceptable to the civilised world.

    A compromise called the Sunningdale agreement was set up and voted by the majority population but was overthrown by a combination of unionist hardliners and loyalist terror groups who used intimidation and murder to overthrow the democratic vote (similar to what’s being attempted today) i fail to see how this helps our argument.
    Now come on answer my questions your avoidance of them speaks volumes

  • DC

    You are asking me to comment on particular individuals out there doing street protests plus orange parades, these are outside party politics and wouldn’t have good insight other than to say that there are issues there in unionist working class communities which need looked at. As there are in republican ones.

    I would imagine that most people in working class unionist areas would have appreciated the flag staying in place and probably hurt at it coming down in the manner that it did; I imagine some will view the Alliance as just another party that has shat on them, joining the long list of OUP, UUP and DUP etc.

  • carl marks

    ou are asking me to comment on particular individuals out there doing street protests plus orange parades, these are outside party politics and wouldn’t have good insight other than to say that there are issues there in unionist working class communities which need looked at. As there are in republican ones.

    These our outside party politics!
    Then kindly explain how so many unionist politicians (including Party leaders) get both themselves and their party’s involved in the parades issue, and as I pointed out before the OO is at the centre of unionism most unionist politicians are OO members and unionist politicians as a matter of routine turn up at contentious parades promising the support of the party they belong to for the right of the OO to ignore resident groups.
    Not even a good try that time.

  • carl marks

    Notice that you didn’t include the PUP in the list of parties that have shat (your word) on them.
    So giving political cover to people who sell your kids drugs, run brothels and protection rackets is not shitting on people in loyalist areas.
    I think most people would find that a very strange idea.

  • anne warren

    DC – I see you are back to running round in the same circular arguments as before

    “it is OK for Belfast City Council to pull off a majority vote that to all intents and purposes removes the flag, save for the 15 days that the Alliance party rescued?”

    The majority vote was not “pulled off”.
    In a democratic election a certain number of representatives were elected to Belfast City Council
    If your grouping did not hold a majority, well that’s the way the cookie crumbles in a democratic election. Parties do not hold the majority just because they want to, feel they are entitled to, don’t want other parties to, don’t feel other parties have the right to.

    “that to all intents and purposes removes the flag” – this did not happen. Stick to the facts

    “probably hurt at it coming down in the manner that it did”
    In a democratic vote Belfast city council decided to conform with UK policy, as is done at Stormont and municipal buildings in other parts of the UK and NI.
    Why are Loyalists hurt? Why should they or anyone else feel hurt? What hurt is being inflicted?

    “the 15 days that the Alliance party rescued”
    If the Alliance Party “rescued” 15 days why aren’t you grateful to them?
    Why were its offices attacked and burnt out and its MP and MLAs issued with death threats?
    Why are they just “another party that has shat on” the Loyalists?
    Alliance adhered to its election manifesto and mandate as dictated by the people who elected Alliance Councillors as their representatives

  • carl marks

    OH sorry i forget are still a active terrorist goup

  • DC

    Anne – NI is not like the UK so that UK position doesn’t wash with me, this is post-ceasfire politics we are dealing with here and issues such as flags need to be dealt with sensitively which the Alliance may have thought it had done, but it ignored how it was able to bring its policy about, off the back of a negative nationalist motion.

    Listen if we want to go down the route of majority vote politics then bring back majority vote at Stormont, let’s have it like that till the ‘realisation of the inevitable’ happens?

    Yes unionist hardliners brought down Sunningdale but the IRA was never onside and was only ever going to stop its war once it was negotiating directly with the British and getting terms favourable to it.

    Although the ironic thing was that it was labour politics that brought Sunningdale down, unionised workers, albeit not organised along Marxist/socialist lines.

  • carl marks

    issues such as flags need to be dealt with sensitively

    And we Nationalists greatly appreciate the sensitive way that unionists treat our flags,
    Again DC your inability to comment on the disrespect shown to nationalists by you side yet at the same time going into mope mode about a perfectly reasonable compromise about your symbols is classic unionist BS,
    Again not even a good try!

  • DC

    10 years too soon re the flag, I reckon.

  • carl marks

    Although the ironic thing was that it was labour politics that brought Sunningdale down, unionised workers, albeit not organised along Marxist/socialist lines.

    NO it was organised by loyalist terror groups along sectarian lines, and just to be clear THE UNIONS OPPOSED THE UWC LOCKOUT AND THE INTIMADATION OF THIER MEMBERS.
    The UWC lockout was perhaps the most disgraceful event unionism was involved in since its rebellion against the majority votes in the last all Ireland election, when Carson formed a private army to oppose the elected will of the Irish people.
    DC answer my questions and stop the BS

  • Stephen Blacker

    This is brilliant watching these posts – a masterclass in brow-beating but repeating things that are untrue is laughable.
    http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/education/latest-news/cuts-prompt-protestant-schools-to-seek-talks-on-offering-free-education-3255617.html

    Carl Marks is one of the funniest and with the backing of his minions continues to pedal lies! I have asked you before to read my posts butr it is obvious you will not o cannot see what I wrote. You say I said I called you a blooded republican – not true – I said you were “THINKING” like one.

    You also stated that I said Sinn Fein members were involved in crime – not true – one of you’re minions was talking about SF ‘assocates’ and I replied mentioning ‘ASSOCATES’. Not one of my posts mentions any sectarian remarks uness they are twisted by corrupted thinking.

    Again you repeat that a dislike for Catholics defines my Britishness I find this insulting and you should have a look at you’re own prejudice. The issue of the Flag has gone round in circles a number of times and this thread has been exhusted in my opinion.

  • DC

    …I wonder if Mick ever managed to reach Billy Hutchinson, would be good to get on one of his ‘hangouts’…

  • carl marks

    Again you repeat that a dislike for Catholics defines my Britishness I find this insulting and you should have a look at you’re own prejudice. The issue of the Flag has gone round in circles a number of times and this thread has been exhusted in my opinion.

    Please define your britishness then,

  • carl marks

    By the way i am delighted to hear that i have minions, tell me do i have a super villians lair as well!

  • anne warren

    Stephen
    I am not one of Carl’s minions- I am not anyone’s minion. Please remember this simple fact
    on reply to DC
    “NI is not like the UK so that UK position doesn’t wash with me”,
    So you are not the voice of people who claim they are part of the UK?
    Why are you waving the UK flag at your protests? What is the political position of Unionists/Loyalists? Other groupings have set out their stalls – SF, Republicans, UUP, SDLP, Alliance, DUP, TUV. What’s yours? And what about defining this special “Britishness” which doesn’t conform to the rest of the UK while you’re preparing your pitch

    “this is post-ceasfire politics we are dealing with here”
    See the GFA/Belfast Agreement for guidance
    “and issues such as flags need to be dealt with sensitively which the Alliance may have thought it had done, but it ignored how it was able to bring its policy about, off the back of a negative nationalist motion”.
    No point in crying over how the milk was spilt. Knocked off the table? Spurted out of the carton? Boiled over on the stove? Deal with it.

    “Listen if we want to go down the route of majority vote politics then bring back majority vote at Stormont”,
    See the GFA/Belfast Agreement for guidance

  • DC

    Anne – NI is not like the UK for obvious reasons. Now, there remains no legal way to fly a flag so the number of days remain open for debate, not just what the UK does. It is also not clear that following the UK and its 15 days of the union flag would that another national flag would be up there instead flying all the time, than simply a mast with no flag up at all. For instance, perhaps the flag of St George or the Saltire would always be up on the mast with union one there only for 15 days.

    Re your GFA, same to you re Belfast City Council, seems like you are all in praise of democracy except fail to see the connection of the peace process and power-sharing element underpinning it in terms of no one pulling off a majority vote to the detriment of one community.

  • DC

    Or better phrased – the UK may only opt to fly the union flag for 15 days or so from certain council buildings but it isn’t clear whether there is another flag – St George’s cross or Saltire flying instead, given NI has no agreed regional flag that kind of defeats the 15 days approach because nothing can fly in its stead which might be what is happening in the UK, eg another flag might be up there flown all the time.

  • carl marks

    anne warren

    Anne i took it as a complement that someone as well versed as you would be considered a minion of mine.
    I think the Stevie rather strange post shows how bereft he is of any real argument and repeatably has to resort to personal attacks.
    However if you are were looking for a job as a minion i would only be to happy to consider you for the job,

  • DC
  • anne warren

    DC thanks for your reply
    I agree there is no legal determination on the number of days,
    Designated days is UK practice
    I presume nothing else will be flown at the City Hall on other days.
    Why should it be?
    Is anything else being flown now? Not as far as I am aware

    “no one pulling off a majority vote to the detriment of one community.”
    This did not happen.
    No majority was “pulled off”
    There was no detriment” to anyone
    If there was, please explain what it was/is
    I have already asked what the “Hurt” was and got no reply

    I see you have avoided defining your concept of “Britishness”

  • DC

    Well I guess the hurt could be that in certain unionist areas there is a sense of pride around the flag which might not be the case in dinner party middle class unionist circles.

  • anne warren

    Thanks for the job offer Carl.
    Means a lot in these straitened times!
    Unfortunately I don’t think I’m a suitable candidate Minionism has never been my forte!!

  • DC

    And there was a majority vote 29:21? in favour.

    In Stormont there would have been a petition of concern requiring cross-community consent which would have stopped the removal of the flag because there wouldn’t have been any unionist backing.

    Whereas in BCC there is no such mechanism, a majority vote carried the day 29:21.

  • anne warren

    “in certain unionist areas there is a sense of pride around the flag which might not be the case in dinner party middle class unionist circles”
    OK DC

    So in terms of a class issue what does “pride around the flag” actually mean to working class Loyalists?

  • DC

    Why?

  • anne warren

    Why?
    Because if you want people to understand your point of view you have to state it.

    Once it is stated, people can discuss it rationally and respectfully and I hope that would be the case here

    If it is never stated other people like the mainland UK population, the middle-class “dinner party Unionists” SF, Alliance, Republicans and so on can say what they deduce from your actions and behaviour
    And you can’t complain they don’t understand you
    Nobody is a mind-reader

  • DC

    It’s a bit like Tony Blair calling war against Afghanistan and Iraq, it’s OK for him seeing as neither of his sons Euan nor Nicky were on the frontline.

  • anne warren

    So in terms of a class issue what does “pride around the flag” actually mean to working class Loyalists?

  • DC

    I think i’ve given you an idea as to where a sense of pride might come from, let’s hope that Mick can get in touch with Billy Hutchinson, as he would be in a better position to give you an insight as to what that means.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Billy Hutchinson doesn’t have any more insight than you do. He’s whipping up the issue like the rest of them are.