Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

#Flegs Protest: Blocking the highway is only one way you can be convicted…

Thu 31 January 2013, 12:48pm

For me this was the most straightforward and relevant contribution on last night’s Nolan. Peaceful protest is fine this audience member says, but who is informing the young people who are getting involved about what is and what is not legal.

Obstructing the highway has been a focus (because it is probably the most disruptive), but that is not all you can get a criminal record for. Covering your face, acting in an intimidating manner towards others are also grounds for arrest and conviction.

You might think that could or may be even should go unsaid. But given we have generations now where the law has either been brought into disrepute, or broadly set aside for political reasons, may be it could do with repeating over and over.

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Comments (100)

  1. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Indeed. Do we need to be told how to wash our hands every time we use a public rest-room? Then we certainly need to be told what forms of protest are legal.

    It may be a good idea for the PSNI to leafletize particular areas. Any leaflet should be written in short words and short sentences. No PARITY, and no MUTUAL. Simply say what is legal and what is not.

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  2. DC At a guess, 40,000 of these leaflets should do the trick, and, unlike the DUP/uup case, no small print allowed.

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  3. If anyone has (like my Dear Old Dad had) the collected annuals of ‘Carl’ Giles’s cartoons, there’s one which celebrated the women-shoppers of Ipswich — Giles was a local celebrity in Ipswich.

    The ol’ gals had stopped for a chat, and were done by PC Plod for obstructing the Queen’s Highway.

    Nearly as good as the Yorkshire miner, at Orgreave in June 1984, charged with “damage to a policeman’s boot”. That’s one they didn’t dare bring to Court.

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  4. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Thanks, danielsmoran. I don’t know where you got the figure 40,000 from, but it sounds right!

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  5. To me, David Crookes @ 1:25 pm is one of the few around here, awake and scenting the true Blue Mountain.

    I’m amazed in NI, where everyone is all too acutely aware of their “rights”, it is not fully appreciated that going around masked is a no-no (just ask why it is the fashion, for heaven’s sake!). As for “acting in an intimidating manner” … the mind boggles.

    We surely enter surrealism when the PSNI has to leaflet such trivia. I’d reckon the cognisant reading skills among the recipients is on a par with the nice one that’s come up on the BBC Sports site:

    According to our colleagues on BBC Radio 5 live, David Beckham’s press conference is behind schedule because the former England captain is being taught to read his opening statement in French. Sacre bleu. We could be here a while.

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  6. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Malcolm Redfellow, your inclusion of that link was an act of public benefaction. (I wonder if David Beckham’s French is worse than Margaret Thatcher’s.) Any leaflet has to be written in attractive language that people can understand. If it comes across like an excerpt from the AP’s 150-page Programme for Galactic Control, it will fail.

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  7. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    Oh deary deary me! Come on Slugger Admin how much more evidence do you need for an in-site ‘Pseuds’ Corner’ to be established forthwith?

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  8. David Crookes (profile) says:

    A real blinder there from Pseudonyms’ Corner.

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  9. aquifer (profile) says:

    Great points.

    People unaccustomed to protesting will not know the ground rules. Good to see the PSNI using a big illuminated sign to give people the message about not being masked.

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  10. carl marks (profile) says:

    Has anybody else noticed the complete lack of concern there seems to be among our unionist bloggers about the law being broken or young protestants getting criminal records for no good reason.
    Is it not strange that law and order only seems to be an issue when it’s the taigs doing the rioting?
    It would seem that the major problem facing unionism is that some of the posts here are too smart for them, you would think they would be used to that!

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  11. carl marks (profile) says:

    Malcolm Redfellow
    Blue Mountain, a friend give me 250grams for Xmas, AAH

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  12. Jack2 (profile) says:

    Break the law and the police will leaflet your area on how not to break the law. Is that correct?

    Where’s my leaflet on 35mph in a 30.
    I dont have masked gangs to back me up.
    I dont have politicians giving me cover.
    I dont conceal my identity.
    I actually pay taxes.

    I’m the low hanging fruit and will always be picked.
    Until someday….

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  13. 6crealist (profile) says:

    What Jamie Bryson does at 2.27 in this video clip – is that illegal?

    http://youtu.be/VzicItrLa1k

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  14. David Crookes (profile) says:

    I don’t know why SF are asking for a referendum. People who profess to be unionists are destroying what’s left of the union for them. The violent loyalists have learned nothing, because they steadfastly refuse to learn anything.

    Over the last two weeks I’ve watched all thirteen episodes of the television history of Ireland for which one Sluggerite recently provided the link. It strikes me now that in some parts of NI, nothing has changed for a century.

    Violent loyalism is loyal only to itself. If it drags us all down in a final conflagration, it will congratulate itself on its own high principles as it expires in a roar of drunken flatulence.

    If NI is going to endure for centuries to come, as certain persons believe, violent loyalism will have to be eliminated. (Anyone who finds that last sentence offensive is a fascist.)

    And of course there can be no unified Ireland of any kind until violent loyalism is eliminated.

    I should prefer to see the energies of loyalism transforming themselves into something creative and urbane. Call me stupid, but I’m enough of a dreamer to believe that the transformation is possible.

    Whatever happens, fascism has to lose, and civilization has to win.

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  15. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    The relevant legislation is the Public Order (Northern Ireland) order 1987.

    Under this legislation not only is it illegal to cover your face or block a road, it is illegal for a person to conduct him/herself in public in any way which “seeks to wilfully [..] hinder any lawful activity”. By my reckoning, the protests outside Alliance offices, which cause the office to close and prevent people accessing the services therein, are illegal on that basis. The protests being held in Belfast city centre are also clearly hindering the lawful activities of retailers, tourists and shoppers in the city centre.

    In addition, anyone who is either committing or may be about to commit such an offence fails to give a name or address on request to a police officer, that is itself an offence.

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  16. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    CM,

    “AAH”. It’s actually spelt ‘aargh’ in English. Nevertheless I can empathise with your dismay when you fired up your bong.

    Hopefully you didn’t waste the entire 250 grams.

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  17. ‘Has anybody else noticed the complete lack of concern there seems to be among our unionist bloggers about the law being broken or young protestants getting criminal records for no good reason.’

    It’s funny alright Carl, but all too familiar (Nelson last summer anyone?).

    ‘Peaceful protest is fine this audience member says, but who is informing the young people who are getting involved about what is and what is not legal.’

    There may be a few grey areas for some of the young, and I do think that the police and magistrates may be lenient (depending on facts and circumstances of course) with them, but let’s be honest here, in many circumstances the young people KNOW they are breaking the law and don’t give a monkey’s, that’s the real problem here, not lack of knowledge.

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  18. [Please ignore this posting: it's way off-topic, and irrelevant.]

    However …

    sonofstrongbow, in his trollishness, has been seeking to undermine things throughout. In this case, and this posting he may have succeeded.

    His ignorance of the reviving effects of Blue Mountain is shown by mis-associating “Aargh!”. That applies to White Manhattan (also known as “New York City Silver”). And thereby hangs a tail tale.

    Back in the late ’70s, it was well-known in NYC, when the Federales came calling, you flushed your stash down the john. Around the same time there was a craze for keeping baby alligators in vivaria. When they grew too big, you could try passing them off at the Bronx zoo, or save yourself the Metro fare and send them the same route as the Mary Jane.

    It’s a foetid, fertile environment down there in the sewers, and it was generally believed that both the plant-life and the reptiles prospered, and grew to gigantic proportions — not unlike the infamous Beast from the East, should you need a local comparison. Of course, in the darkness, the hemp lacked chlorophyll — hence the moniker “White Manhattan”.

    The only problem was how to harvest this potent weed.

    The solution was to drop a bottle of White Lightning down a convenient manhole. The equally legendary New York wino would take the bait and go down after it. And, hence, the frequent pained “Aargh!”

    [Source: John Algeo (editor), Fifty Years among the New Words: A Dictionary of Neologisms 1941-1991, Cambridge University Press, 1991, page 59 — heavily adapted and improved.]

    Nowadays, of course, if you’re one of “us”, you can get your kicks by approaching the neighbourhood UVF retail outlet for Colombian marching-powder. Which may have a passing relevance to the continuing disturbances.

    Recommend that to Pseuds’ Corner, hey?

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  19. Young immature kids do very stupid things. Many of us oldsters did so when we were young. I just hope that over there they have something similar to Canada’s Young Offenders Act whereby, except for the most heinous offences, records are sealed for those under 18 and they don’t have to carry the criminal record for the rest of their lives.

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  20. GEF (profile) says:

    “For me this was the most straightforward and relevant contribution on last night’s Nolan.”

    Agreed 100%, in fact the very first protest at the back of the City Hall on 3rd Dec 2012 (the evening when BCC took a vote) in itself was a total breach of the law. The mob of angry loyalist protesters from the Shankill, East Belfast & Sandy Row had been incited to congregate there by the dropping of 40,000 anti Alliance leaflets organized by Belfast Unionist councillors in those said loyalist areas. The orchestrated mod of a 1000 or more, supported by at least one Unionist MLA completely blocked the whole road for the evening and eventually broke into the back of the City Hall after the vote went against their wishes. What were the PSNI doing? Nothing except to stand and watch the whole charade unfold.

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  21. carl marks (profile) says:

    sonofstrongbow
    You do know Blue Mountain is a coffee, I may not be able to spell AArgh but I don’t put coffee in a bong (as a matter of fact I don’t own one) i use a cafeteria.
    If its bong filler you want I believe the UDA/UVF are the people to see.
    Now anything to say about the law breaking on the streets and the young protestant boys and girls, who will end up with criminal records,
    Where is your oft stated respect for law and order, every time a catholic riots or breaks the law you quite rightly speak out however now that it is protestants doing it you seem a lot quieter (don’t worry you’re not alone most unionists seem to share this strange affliction with you) do you think ignoring this is really doing your cause any good.
    When nationalists protest over the marching season any complaints from you (and many other unionists) will result in your silence in this matter pointed out to them and the word hypocrites will no doubt be used.

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  22. Reader (profile) says:

    carl marks: You do know Blue Mountain is a coffee, I may not be able to spell AArgh but I don’t put coffee in a bong (as a matter of fact I don’t own one) i use a cafeteria.
    Do you have your own cafeteria or do you just visit one in the neighbourhood?

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  23. carl marks (profile) says:

    GEF
    I thought that the ignoring of loyalist violence by Gregory was the most telling.”
    Imagine this, Nationalists stage a series of protests where the city centre and many main routes are blocked, large scale violence follows including arson and attempts set fire to a police constable.
    A nationalist politician and a spokesman for one of the major groups involved in organising the protests insists that we only talk about the peaceful (but still illegal) protests taking place.
    Imagine the reaction from all right thinking people!
    Also Gregory was quite open about his attendance at a protest despite his party leader calling for them to end, it does not appear that he has been disciplined, and there can only be INHO one of two reasons for this,
    Pete call for the protests to stop was for the sound bite only and not meant to be taken seriously,
    Pete’s leadership is weak, those members of his party who disobeyed him are challenging him in the traditional way with the mob, (paisley and snowballs, Faulkner and the UWC) is Gregory the Heir apparent? or just the Assassin,
    Will Pete be uttering the words “et tu Brutus”

    Whos future is on the line Pete’s or Gregory’s?

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  24. Reader (profile) says:

    carl marks: Where is your oft stated respect for law and order, every time a catholic riots or breaks the law you quite rightly speak out however now that it is protestants doing it you seem a lot quieter (don’t worry you’re not alone most unionists seem to share this strange affliction with you) do you think ignoring this is really doing your cause any good.
    What actually needs to be said? In the weeks that the protests have taken to date, only – I think – three posters have expressed any level of support, and I don’t think any of them have endorsed violence. Compared with the rush to defend Kingsmills as an unfortunate neccessity illustrating the merits of tit-for-tat killing, the likes of even DC and UPC are positively angelic.

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  25. carl marks (profile) says:

    aah reader,
    It could be said that pedantry in the last refuge of a lost argument.
    Excuse my inferior spelling; a wise man would look at the argument and not the grammar or layout of the letters. Anything to say on the subject or shall we put you in the same pigeon hole as SOS.
    Feel free to correct my grammar or spelling if you have nothing else to add to the discussion!

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  26. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    Oh Reader you touched a nerve there! It seems that the Carl boy is only comfortable with calling others intelligence into question, as he did in the final paragraph of his 11:35 posting last night.

    You also make the more pertinent point. What indeed is to be said? Marks, and others, are misguided in their belief in the importance of their pontificating on this and other subjects. Perhaps they truly believe that the yobs on the street scan the blogosphere to make an assessment of their popularity and then plan their next foray onto the public highway accordingly?

    As to “pedantry in the last refuge of a lost argument” [sic] perhaps Marks should review the nationalist bunfight that occurred on this site over the literary merit of the ‘Fifty Shades of God’ book. There again perhaps he was one if the few gleeful usual suspects that refrained from commenting?

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  27. Reader (profile) says:

    carl marks: It could be said that pedantry in the last refuge of a lost argument.
    I don’t normally go for correcting people off-topic, but you started it!

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  28. Neil (profile) says:

    See someone posted on the fleg FB page:

    3 dup councillors attended the peaceful protest in coleraine tonight

    Reckon Gregory’s on solid ground.

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  29. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Thanks, carl marks. One of the signs that political unionism is finished is the acquiescent impotence which characterizes its response to loyalist violence.

    One unionist politician who made a great fuss about an Italian flag has been less than vocal about the riots of recent weeks. The same goes for several gentlemen who until recently represented themselves as the sternest exponents of rectitude.

    “Nothing that is morally wrong can be politically right.” Remember that one?

    “Integrity.” Remember that one?

    Haw squared. Nothing that is intellectually dead can be politically alive, and nothing that is intellectually barbarous can be politically civilized. Political unionism should have denounced lawless violence and supported the police robustly. What did it do instead? It set up a ludicrous ‘forum’ of elected and unelectable persons.

    Unionism needs to stop blocking the highway of history.

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  30. carl marks (profile) says:

    sonofstrongbow/Reader
    still waiting for your opinion on the post.

    but if niether of you feel you can deal with the subject of the post then by all means vent your spleen on me.

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  31. carl marks (profile) says:

    Oops spelt neither wrong, get in there Reader, It’s your big chance!

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  32. Nevin (profile) says:

    “Violent loyalism is loyal only to itself. If it drags us all down in a final conflagration, it will congratulate itself on its own high principles as it expires in a roar of drunken flatulence.”

    David, violent loyalism and violent republicanism, violent unionism and violent nationalism have probably got quite a lot in common.

    “Call me stupid”

    Slugger ‘rules’ disallow this but a ‘one-eyed’ view of history is associated with a lack of perception ;)

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  33. carl marks (profile) says:

    Reader
    “What actually needs to be said? In the weeks that the protests have taken to date, only – I think – three posters have expressed any level of support, and I don’t think any of them have endorsed violence.”

    Will you take that line if and when Nationlists riot.

    All that is required for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing,
    Forget who said it but perhaps you could take it on board.

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  34. carl marks (profile) says:

    Nevin

    Since this post is about Unionism and loyalist violence, it is not surprising that David did not mention republican violence, perhaps you could show us were he has posted supporting republican violence or are you just trying to muddy the waters with a bit of whataboutry?

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  35. Nevin (profile) says:

    “are you just trying to muddy the waters with a bit of whataboutry?”

    Carl, just deflating an anti-unionist rant, just trying to bring a little perspective to the conversation. It’s an ongoing struggle, especially when some bloggers and commenters are more intent on attacking ‘themuns’ than in articulating the merits of their own cause.

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  36. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    Carl Marks,

    It seems I’ve hurt your wee feelings and you’re wrapping your victim blankee about yourself. My apologies. Have a cup of coffee and chill.

    As you seem very exercised about knowing my personal opinion this is just for you: I condemn any and all lawbreaking. Indeed as regards the ‘flag’ protests I believe that I previously commented that these yobs (condemnation alert!) excite nothing but contempt in the majority of unionists. The relatively small numbers involved supports this view.

    Although I don’t put obstructing the public road on a par with pipe bombing the police they are both on the lawbreaking spectrum.

    I am not my brother’s keeper and should any adult chose to break the law I am not going to waste my time second guessing another’s life choices.

    That being said as you seem to believe that your reprobation will have a damning influence with the loyalists; despite your opinion on their alleged limited IQs which might not endear you to them. I therefore leave the field open for you to deploy your withering critique.

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  37. carl marks (profile) says:

    Seems that a split has taken place in the UPV, Willie Frazier wants to keep things going with the road blocking protests ( is that not a offence encouraging people to break the law) while Jamie wants white line protests.
    It would appear that we have a provisional UPV and a continuity UPV, next we will have an “I don’t believe it’s not the UPV”.
    We could look upon this group as a parable of unionism, no agreement on what it wants, egos abound and the only common denominator is anti-Catholicism and ever shrinking as more of the community it claims it represents walks away in embrassment.
    We can see that anti-Catholicism and not pro Protestantism is the focus, as a post dealing with the negative effects the protests are having on protestant youth only draws either trolling or whataboutry from our unionist contributors.

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  38. carl marks (profile) says:

    sonofstrongbow
    Although I don’t put obstructing the public road on a par with pipe bombing the police they are both on the lawbreaking spectrum.
    Do you believe it’s on a par with trying to burn policewomen to death, How about arson, death threats, rioting, intimidating elected politicians.
    Notice unionists seem to be eager to forget those and as in your post minimise loyalist violence.

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  39. Nevin (profile) says:

    “It would appear that we have a provisional UPV and a continuity UPV, next we will have an “I don’t believe it’s not the UPV”.”

    Carl, you seem to be reinforcing my point that the opposing unionist and nationalist factions ‘have probably got quite a lot in common’.

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  40. carl marks (profile) says:

    Nevin
    Point taken and agreed with, republican assholes(please show me when I have said anything different) are the same as loyalist assholes. Anything to say about what this post is all about.
    Why do unionists have so much trouble sticking to the point of this thread, are they afraid to admit that there side is wrong and the actions of their side is causing harm to their own people, do they think that facing up to any of these things will bring the whole house of cards crashing down around them.
    SOS tries to pretend that the worst that has happened is a few roads are blocked and then gets self righteous about dissident violence!
    Not a Inch, No surrender, our side right or wrong what is it, someone please tell me.

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  41. Reader (profile) says:

    carl marks: Will you take that line if and when Nationlists riot. All that is required for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing,
    I see you finally found my 11:00 post.
    Firstly, I have actually said at least as much about the Loyalist protests and rioting as I did about the Ardoyne protest and rioting.
    On your second point, I’m not actually clear what you have *done* that I have not *done*. Maybe I would need to taunt, insult and abuse loyalists more than I have, if only to match your high standards. Presumably that’s what Burke would have done?

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  42. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    My kindly nature persuades me to put Carl Marks’ flip flopping down to mere foolishness. My acquired cynicism leads me to conclude that he dissembles, poorly, his anti unionist hysteria.

    How else to explain one comment in which unionists “walk away (from the protests) in embarrassment” (although there have been relatively few present or in support even at the height of the disturbances) and yet another contends that “unionists……are afraid to admit there [sic] side is wrong”?

    Unless one concludes that the unionists walking away are doing so in support of the protestors there is a dichotomy of thinking by Marks. Explained, IMHO, by his underlying sectarian nature bubbling to the surface.

    Finally one wonders does he know what ‘spectrum’ means? The lawbreaking curve travels through obstruction stopping at intimidatory picketing, riot, assault, petrol bombing, pipe bombing, attempted murder along the way and onwards to murder. But I suspect he knew that but just couldn’t resist the urge to spin a sectarian lie.

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  43. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Many thanks, carl marks, and thanks also to Nevin. I must be very stupid. I mean to say, trying to talk about one thing at a time. Let me bore you with a little vignette.

    FIRST CITIZEN Slieve Donard is a wonderful mountain.
    SECOND CITIZEN I agree. It has a powerful dignity.
    FIRST CITIZEN I have climbed it three times.
    SECOND CITIZEN So have I!
    FIRST CITIZEN Someone told me that you’re writing a book about the Mournes.
    SECOND CITIZEN Well, I am, but it’s early days…..
    THIRD CITIZEN Let me bring a bit of perspective in here. What about Slemish? I know the Mournes are in County Down, but Slemish is in Antrim. What about Slemish? Hey?

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  44. carl marks (profile) says:

    A very confused post SOS,
    Of course when you said,
    “Although I don’t put obstructing the public road on a par with pipe bombing the police they are both on the lawbreaking spectrum.”
    You were not being selective in any way.
    As to the rest of your post as i said,
    “but if neither of you feel you can deal with the subject of the post then by all means vent your spleen on me.”
    I see that you have taken my advice.

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  45. Nevin (profile) says:

    “Why do unionists have so much trouble sticking to the point of this thread”

    Carl, I think the problem can be found within the thread. It is set in the context of ‘the law has either been brought into disrepute, or broadly set aside for political reasons’ but the example, in this instance, is taken from the unionist family. It illustrates the weakness of – in David’s words – ‘trying to talk about one thing at a time’. In term’s of David’s vignette, exchanges on Slugger are very good at transforming molehills into mountains :)

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  46. carl marks (profile) says:

    Really Nevin you think young men getting criminal records is a molehill?
    But I know one thing you are very good at avoiding the question, and at trying to change the subject.
    How many times have I tried to get you to stay on track, and I know I’m not alone in that.
    However when loyalists riot you try to shift the topic to republicans, you never do the reverse when republicans riot, this is typical of many unionists you do the mote, beam eye, see thing very well.
    At least this time you have left your website out of it.

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  47. carl marks (profile) says:

    sonofstrongbow
    How else to explain one comment in which unionists “walk away (from the protests) in embarrassment”

    since you seem to be quoting me where did i say this, i cant seem to find it.
    you would’nt be making it up as you go along now would you.

    Heres what i said
    “We could look upon this group as a parable of unionism, no agreement on what it wants, egos abound and the only common denominator is anti-Catholicism and ever shrinking as more of the community it claims it represents walks away in embrassment.”

    As you can see protests are not mentioned indeed I am referring to the shrinking amount of unionists bothering to vote,
    I would have thought that was obvious even to you, but then again you managed to miss a awful lot of loyalist violence and only noticed roads being blocked so I suppose anything is possible.

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  48. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    I’ll just add ‘vent your spleen’ along with ‘spectrum’ to Carl’s ‘I really don’t know what the hell it means’ lexicon.

    And an ad hominem attack on Nevin? What is it with you nationalists and your disregard for collateral damage?

    Lose one fight at a time for God’s sake!

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  49. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Good shot, Nevin, and that’ll teach me to talk about mountains. It’ll probably horrify you to learn that you do a very good job of acting as my bad-boy Protestant conscience.

    Behind much of the politically flavoured lawlessness that is found on both sides of the fence, there lies a great emptiness. Nearly all of us want to address that emptiness, even if we differ about means. I get impatient with people who try to address it with a PC Lexicon of Abstract Nouns, but I don’t impugn their good will.

    How may frustrated loyalism begin to transform itself into a vibrant political movement? I don’t know. An all-day Saturday craft course, somewhere on the Newtownards Road, might be a start. For ten men and ten women. I’ll stop now before I go off-thread.

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  50. Nevin (profile) says:

    “you do the mote, beam eye, see thing very well”

    Carl, you’re forgetting my references to the Peter and Martin Show and to the ‘reaching out’ nonsense from both. As you will probably recall, I promote the accommodation of the two aspirations, in so far as that is possible. In earlier times, I didn’t dance to either the Paisley or the Hume tune.

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  51. carl marks (profile) says:

    sonofstrongbow
    “Lose one fight at a time for God’s sake!”

    Who says I’m losing, you’re the one being forced to make quotes up to stay in the game, ‘
    “vent your spleen’” mean’s get it out of your system, all the little rude bits here are some
    “CM,
    “AAH”. It’s actually spelt ‘aargh’ in English. Nevertheless I can empathise with your dismay when you fired up your bong.
    Hopefully you didn’t waste the entire 250 grams.”
    “Oh Reader you touched a nerve there! It seems that the Carl boy is only comfortable with calling others intelligence into question, as he did in the final paragraph of his 11:35 posting last night.”
    Carl Marks,
    It seems I’ve hurt your wee feelings and you’re wrapping your victim blankee about yourself. My apologies. Have a cup of coffee and chill.”
    A lot of spleen there!
    As for Nevin he a big boy and can look after himself,
    Now have you admitted to yourself that the loyalist violence over the last few months is at least as bad as throwing pipebombs at police(and before you start i think that is disgusting as well)

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  52. carl marks (profile) says:

    SOS
    im going out now we can resume this at a later date, perhaps when you have calmed down a bit,
    try breathing deep and thinking calm thoughts.

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  53. Nevin (profile) says:

    David, I did find your ‘people of no culture’ reference just a little bit horrifying; it reminded me of the cartoonesque put down of Irish culture from an earlier era.

    Have we not had enough of vibrant political movements in this small contested space? They tend to drop into the familiar tramlines that lead to bloodshed – or the highway to hell, in the lingo of AC/DC.

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  54. David Crookes (profile) says:

    OK, Nevin, that was broad-brush primary-colours stuff, but it was addressed as much to some of my graduate unionist friends, who take genuine pride in never reading, as to anyone else. I apologize wholeheartedly for using the vulgar word ‘vibrant’ (nearly as bad as ‘leafy’!). Should have said ‘lively’.

    Nearly everything is capable of being improved. The short band-flutes which presently play in unison could be made to generate a sturdy and potent form of three-part harmony. Things like that raise the cultural bar for everyone.

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  55. David Crookes (profile) says:

    For the latest sensational turn-around, copy and paste into Google:

    #Flegs pic.twitter.com/iKZFgRTe

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  56. GEF (profile) says:

    Looks like what UPF chairman Jamie Bryson stated on the Nolan show about protesters adapting a white line policy has only been heeded by about 50% of the protesters.

    “No sign of protests flagging”

    http://news.google.co.uk/news/url?ct2=uk%2F1_0_s_6_1_a&sa=t&usg=AFQjCNHGHyCSrvKUnzii9XHtGNDQZdjMSg&cid=-6328038770996010082&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.newsletter.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fheadlines%2Fno-sign-of-protests-flagging-1-4749053&ei=CkYMUaDUGI2S8gPnogE&rt=SECTION&vm=STANDARD&bvm=section&did=-6328038770996010082&sid=-6084232833988203619

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  57. David Crookes (profile) says:

    From the BBC NI news site:

    A group set up in the wake of the union flag protests has cut its ties with one of its main spokespeople.

    The Ulster People’s Forum has said it “no longer validates Willie Frazer as a spokesperson”.

    The forum said Mr Frazer had made recent statements to the BBC that were contrary to its “views, plans and agreed policies”.

    It added that Jamie Bryson was the “only” official spokesperson of the Ulster People’s Forum

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  58. David Crookes (profile) says:

    From today’s BBC NI news site:

    “The Irish Premiership match between Crusaders and Cliftonville is called off on Saturday due to {sic] a loyalist protest [sic] outside the ground.”

    I don’t know the best way to say in one sentence that fascist thugs prevented a football match from taking place, but the word PROTEST has no place in the sentence.

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  59. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    David
    Agreed
    The response of Nigel Dodds (“deeply disappointing”) is pathetic.
    A match cancelled due to bad weather, say, would be disappointing Nigel.
    This was a disgrace.

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  60. I know, I know, David Crookes @ 1:14 pm and babyface finlayson @ 1:54 pm. You have all the decency, propriety and morality on your side.

    But it is the Hatchetmen and The Reds of whom we speak. So, only the hardest-hearted cynic would mutter:

    We still have judgment here, that we but teach
    Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
    To plague the inventor.This even-handed justice
    Commends the ingredients of our poison’d chalice
    To our own lips.

    And I the only such mutterer?

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  61. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    Regarding calling off the game, it makes me wonder if these people are really as stupid as they seem. I forget where I read it, but “The believable appearance of stupidity is covertly genius.”

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  62. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    babyface,

    It’s even worse than that. In his press release Nigel and Nelson blamed the Cliftonville supporters and the police.

    The reality meanwhile, is somewhat more sobering. The two football teams had worked on this match for some time. Their community relations work was destroyed because the flag protestors (including Willie Frazer, who is not a local resident of North Belfast) chose to block the away team entrance to the Crusaders football ground.

    This is nothing to do with flags or grievances, this is a plain and simple direct attack on football teams trying to do cross-community work – from people who came from outside the area to stop the football match from taking place. The DUP should be utterly and completely ashamed of themselves for moving to try to place the blame other than where it belongs.

    It now seems more clear than ever that the DUP are firmly on a trajectory that leads them to support efforts to undermine and destroy efforts to build cross community consensus. Fred Cobain is well-known for being a big Crusaders fan. I sure hope he’s proud of how his newly-adopted party chose to handle this.

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  63. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Kevsterino,

    It goes beyond stupid into something much worse. They saw that an effort to reach across the divide between Crusaders and Cliftonville was taking place, so they chose to step in to try to destroy it. These people are the enemies of everyone in this country.

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  64. DC (profile) says:

    Comrade, this is strange, how does north belfast relate to the east belfast constituency if we are to believe alliance that this was just about naomi’s seat?

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  65. DC (profile) says:

    Wrong analysis, wrong decision.

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  66. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    I feel sorry for the poor guy who just wanted to take his boy to a football match, had a whole day planned around it. How would he go about explaining it to his son?

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  67. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    DC – your patheticness is beyond words that I can grasp at the moment. This is clearly nothing to do with flags.

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  68. DC (profile) says:

    Wrong analysis again, if you think i support this behaviour, i am observing and just seeing a lot of pictures of people with union flags and identifying the location as not being east belfast.

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  69. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    Lots of people with union flags is not exactly a new thing, is it?

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  70. DC (profile) says:

    Not recently anyway!

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  71. DC (profile) says:

    But to be fair I will give alliance some backing, the point i am making is that once that leaflet went out it was pretty much impossible from a good relations point of view within the unionist community to take *any* decision that would change the status quo. But alliance went on and did it anyway.

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  72. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Malcolm, your quotation from the Scottish play is spot on. Comrade Stalin is right to say that these people are the enemies of everyone in this country. If George W Bush was here he would say, ‘You are either with us, or with the terrorists.’ The statement of Mr Dodds has made it clear that he is not with us.

    What we were up against yesterday was fascism. When the match is rearranged, the PSNI should be invited to promise that it will be allowed to take place.

    Forget about flags and the East Belfast seat. Fascist thugs are trying to paralyze normal life, and yes, Kevsterino, they really are as stupid as they appear. The trouble is that some of those who rule over us are neither much wiser nor much braver than the thugs. As C S Lewis once wrote, the dwarfs are for the dwarfs.

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  73. DC (profile) says:

    the union flag occupy movement?

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  74. DC (profile) says:

    Just popped on to the irish league supporters forum and people at the game say the police outnumbered the protesters by about 4:1 and that there were around 20-25 protesters only, wondering why a game that attracted 2,500 or so had to be called off for that.

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  75. SK (profile) says:

    DC,

    If the police moved in against those 25 protesters and cleared the entrance, folks like yourself would be squealing about brutality. A case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t for the cops in this instance.

    Meanwhile the response of the DUP has been predictably disgusting. How the Punt made his “let’s reach out to themmuns” speech while keeping a straight face remains a mystery.

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  76. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    Malcolm
    Thanks for that wee bit of culture. I feel smarter already.
    Continuing your theme, my question is;
    must the protesters ‘blow their horrid deed in every eye’?
    Meanwhile Cliftonville and Crusaders must be wondering;
    ‘when shall we two meet again?’

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  77. DC (profile) says:

    I think I’m having an auditory hallucination, I swear i can hear Jim McVeigh laughing, piss off Jim!

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  78. Bangordub (profile) says:

    Do these idiots realise the embarrasment and shame they are causing to others? I mean other Unionists, at least the ones I know

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  79. David Crookes (profile) says:

    When the Troubles were still going on, I was able to attend matches at Seaview and Solitude without any bother. What happened yesterday? Nothing really new. A little group of fascists was allowed to paralyze normal life, again.

    Any new party that wants to lead us away from fascism should take a public stand against it. Only an unprincipled weakling will be content to say ‘deeply disappointing’.

    Whatever the future holds for NI, exponents of the mob culture must either learn how to behave, or be taught how to behave. Lawless violence is like torture: how you react to it shows what you are. Anyone who chooses to defend yesterday’s absurdity is a disciple of Goebbels.

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  80. Bangordub (profile) says:

    David,
    Is Deputy Dodds really that scared about losing his seat? Is this what his inane response was about?

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  81. Bangordub (profile) says:

    ”When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a Bible.” Sinclair Lewis

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  82. DC (profile) says:

    David, don’t wait for others to do it, go ahead yourself.

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  83. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    David Crookes: When the Troubles were still going on, I was able to attend matches at Seaview and Solitude without any bother…

    You obviously aren’t a Linfield fan then.

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  84. DC (profile) says:

    I don’t know if they still gather outside Alliance on the upper newtownards road but if this is confirmed as so i expect to see you there holding a counter-protest.

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  85. Bangordub (profile) says:

    UPC,
    I believe what you are referring to is when Linfield fans were banned from Solitude in the 1970′s after a match against………Ballymena Utd.

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  86. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Bangordub, you’re right on the money!

    DC, thanks for the encouragement. Does speaking on Slugger under your own name count as speaking in public?

    Correct, UPC, in those days I had the honour to support Ballymena United.

    Any Sluggerites fancy going to the rearranged match, and meeting for lunch beforehand?

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  87. DC (profile) says:

    David, not really as Slugger is more like CCTV than BBC public broadcast, you need to get out there and impart your views and interact.

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  88. Bangordub (profile) says:

    David, I’m on for the pre match lunch as long as the pints are on yourself ;-)

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  89. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    Bangordub:

    UPC,
    I believe what you are referring to is when Linfield fans were banned from Solitude in the 1970′s after a match against………Ballymena Utd.

    But the violence was started by local residents living in the streets around Solitude…..

    Try harder.

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  90. Sorry to quibble. And go off-topic (did I ever?).

    Bangordub @ 9:48 pm has one of those quotations that ought to be. Alas! No one has every fully authenticated this one.

    In It Can’t Happen Here [1935]:

    But he saw too that in America the struggle was befogged by the fact that the worst Fascists were they who disowned the word ‘Fascism’ and preached enslavement to Capitalism under the style of Constitutional and Traditional Native American Liberty.

    The most likely source of the non-quotation is a report in the NY Times [12 September 1938] of a sermon given by Professor Halford Luccock of Yale at Riverside Church, NYC:

    When and if fascism comes to America it will not be labeled “made in Germany”; it will not be marked with a swastika; it will not even be called fascism; it will be called, of course, “Americanism”.

    And, I think, we all know how that might apply to being a “true son of Ulster”.

    For what it’s wrath, the Riverside Church is Baptist (and some other non-conformist denominational) establishment. From 1930 to 1946 the guiding force was Harry Emerson Fosdick, a notable progressive and liberal. Such personages do exist in the Baptist community (Though none south of DC).

    P.S: I know it trespasses on recent grief; buy any chance of a return of the preview?

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  91. See what I mean? No quotes and wrath=worth; buy=by.

    Shucks!

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  92. Bangordub (profile) says:

    Malcolm,
    How can I argue with such well researched rebuttal? Although I did note this gem (With apologies to Baptists everywhere)
    “Fascism wants Baptism coast to coast.”
    Ken Kesey
    UPC,
    Eh, care to back that one up? Also it was the RUC that banned them by the way. Try a bit harder yourself

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  93. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    Bangordub: UPC,
    Eh, care to back that one up? Also it was the RUC that banned them by the way. Try a bit harder yourself

    I’m getting sick educating some of you muppets.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/1998/nov/21/newsstory.sport4

    “But there were vicious skirmishes outside the ground afterwards involving Linfield fans and Catholic locals.”

    No mention of Linfield fans fighting Ballymena fans….

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  94. Bangordub (profile) says:

    UPC,
    Thank you for the (1998) Report. Your reference to me and others as Muppets, though amusing and revealing of your mindset, is nevertheless offensive.
    I wasn’t actually there in 1970 but I might remind you that I didn’t initially challenge your version of events, I tried to help you along the road by asking was that what you were talking about. Your answer confirmed it was. You then proceeded to engage in peurile insults. Am I wrong?

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  95. Ulster Press Centre (profile) black spot says:

    I think you need to re-read your earlier posts.

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  96. Bangordub (profile) says:

    UPC,
    I did and I read yours again as well.
    Where did I say Linfield fans fought with Ballymena fans?
    I await my education….

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  97. David Crookes (profile) says:

    If you boys play five-a-side the way you sift evidence, I’m going to buy a pair of shin-guards before we have our first match.

    Really old Sluggerites will know the answer to the following question. Who once played at Seaview in the morning, and at Solitude on the afternoon of the same day? First correct answer wins £20 on PayPal.

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  98. Bangordub (profile) says:

    Shamrock Rovers!!! ;-)

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  99. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Sorry, Bangordub, and it wasn’t Partick Thistle either. (Who was it once said that when he was young he thought their full name was Partick Thistle Nil?)

    Cruel and utterly untrue old story about the Crues from the days when they were accused of having a very poor gate for home matches. A teacher phoned up from Seaview Primary School, and asked if they would hold him fifteen tickets at the gate on Saturday for his P7 boys. No problem, he was told. Thanks, he said, and by the way, does the match start at half two or three o’clock? Well, sir, came the reply, you’re bringing fifteen people to the match. When would YOU like it to start?

    Old ones are the best.

    Great night outside: no snow, and as far as I know no #flegs. Daniele Ganser is talking about NATO on the machine upstairs, so I’m away to bed.

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  100. David Crookes (profile) says:

    PS Meant to thank UPC for the link to that story.

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