Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 1) – Paul Burgess on the battleground in contemporary NI

Mon 9 December 2013, 8:30am

Back on Friday 22 November, a symposium exploring the “Northern Ireland Culture Wars” was held at the University of Ulster, Belfast. The organisers are sharing the day’s talks on Slugger, and there’ll be a post each day covering the programme.

- – -

PSA Culture Wars group shotThe theme of culture wars was chosen because of the on-going (sometimes violent) role which debates about culture often play in contemporary Northern Ireland society, evidenced by sporadic outbursts of violence centred on flag protests, parades and public commemoration on both sides of the communal divide.

Panels at the event asked whether or not Northern Ireland is experiencing a culture war. Themes explored during the event included intra-republican debates between dissidents and Sinn Féin about legitimacy, the unionist party politics of culture, and the flying of flags as part of present-centred commemoration rituals. However, the event also focused on how culture wars affect minority ethnic groups in an increasingly multicultural Northern Ireland, and explored aspects of polarised debates concerning abortion and equal marriage, which have been a feature in other Western societies such as the United States since the 1960s.

Paul Burgess CorkThe opening address was given by Paul Burgess, Senior Lecturer in Applied Social Studies at University College Cork. He was also on the frontline of Northern Ireland’s culture wars, as a founding member of Belfast punk band Ruefrex! Paul’s presentation on Cultural identity: the new battleground in contemporary Northern Ireland society argued that the Protestant working-class community needs to reclaim ownership of its sense of Irish cultural identity as a way of challenging the notion that Britishness is incompatible with Irishness.

The symposium was organised by the Political Studies Association Specialist Group on Britishness (based at the University of Huddersfield) in collaboration with UU’s Institute for Research in the Social Sciences.

Share 'Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 1) – Paul Burgess on the battleground in contemporary NI' on Delicious Share 'Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 1) – Paul Burgess on the battleground in contemporary NI' on Digg Share 'Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 1) – Paul Burgess on the battleground in contemporary NI' on Facebook Share 'Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 1) – Paul Burgess on the battleground in contemporary NI' on Google+ Share 'Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 1) – Paul Burgess on the battleground in contemporary NI' on LinkedIn Share 'Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 1) – Paul Burgess on the battleground in contemporary NI' on Pinterest Share 'Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 1) – Paul Burgess on the battleground in contemporary NI' on reddit Share 'Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 1) – Paul Burgess on the battleground in contemporary NI' on StumbleUpon Share 'Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 1) – Paul Burgess on the battleground in contemporary NI' on Twitter Share 'Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 1) – Paul Burgess on the battleground in contemporary NI' on Add to Bookmarks Share 'Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 1) – Paul Burgess on the battleground in contemporary NI' on Email Share 'Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 1) – Paul Burgess on the battleground in contemporary NI' on Print Friendly

Comments (72)

  1. BifterGreenthumb (profile) says:

    “…the Protestant working-class community needs to reclaim ownership of its sense of Irish cultural identity as a way of challenging the notion that Britishness is incompatible with Irishness.”

    There is a lot to be said for this position but I’m not 100% sure how realistic it is. I know plenty of people from PUL backgrounds that completely reject the idea that they are ‘Irish’. The fact that the tricolour is seen as the Irish flag rather than just the flag of ROI shows the extent to which Republicanism and nationalism have been able to define irishness in terms that exclude pro-union/protestant cultural traditions. Getting PUL people to buy into, or even recreate, an expanded, inclusive irishness will be difficult. A first step may be the ‘Northern Irish’ identity and the development of shared NI symbols and flag. The Northern Irish identity doesn’t exclude being Irish or being British and so may help hard core Fleggers and the like move towards a version of Irishness and help nationalists move away from exclusive, republicanised, sectarian forms of Irishness.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 1
  2. Mainland Ulsterman (profile) says:

    I’ll be interested to read some of this, Arthur Aughey wrote a powerful piece about the Kulturkampf several years ago and I’v just been reading Kirk Simpson’s ethnographic work which makes the same point. At the very least there is a very strong perception this is going on. Certainly from a Protestant point of view, many of us feel the promises made by nationalist politicians in 1998 to accept British identity and drop combative anti-British language has not been followed through by either them or the grass roots.

    Indeed the pages of Slugger are evidence of that. As an Alliance-leaning, left of centre unionist posting on here, it amazes me that it is routine for even someone like me to routinely get ad hominem personal abuse from nationalist contributors – usually for even suggesting an alternative worldview to the one found within Irish nationalist circles. It’s hectoring, even bullying stuff that often veers towards the nakedly sectarian – and I’m not surprised many of my fellow Prods just don’t bother even trying to engage.

    Nationalism didn’t exactly cover itself in glory in the Troubles, but it seems to be now adding insult to injury with regular chauvinistic attacks against any element of British culture they think they can hang a thread on. This, against a people still recovering from a 30-year nationalist terror campaign. It is breath-taking in its insensitivity.

    Unionism’s look at itself in the mirror has been long and critical over the last 20 years. The attitudes of many ordinary people (not necessary those who brave these pages), especially towards wrongdoing by the security forces and of course by Loyalists, would probably surprise nationalists. I don’t sense a lot of appetite to lay into ordinary Irish culture in Northern Ireland. But the same can’t be said the other way around.

    Maybe I would say this, but reading Simpson’s work and talking to people myself, the Kulturkampf does seem pretty one-sided. It feels vengeful and I can only think it is motivated by an ignorance of the true facts about the balance of violence during the Troubles. Because after all that, there really is very little left to avenge that hasn’t already been avenged twice over in blood.

    It’s simple, no nationality is “better” than any other, no culture is “better”. If you’re pluralist, as I hope we all try to be, then you need to accept the Other for what it is, not what you would like it to be. And recognise in our context that all we can ask of the cultural practices of other cultures is that they are peaceful and law-abiding. Beyond that, to seek to interfere in them or attack them smacks of intolerance, arrogance and an aggressive homogenising instinct that is inconsistent with a pluralist society.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 1
  3. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    BifterGreenthumb

    Could you explain how you come to the conclusion that the Irish tricolour is not an “Irish flag”?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  4. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    Mainland Ulsterman

    Most nationalist like British culture?

    The toleration that nationalists show towards “orange” culture is from my perspective much greater than it should be.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  5. BifterGreenthumb (profile) says:

    McSlaggart,

    I didnt say that the tricolour wasnt an Irish flag. I said that people see the tricolour as the flag of Ireland rather than just the flag of ROI. My point being that their are two jurisdictions on the island and the tricolour is only the flag of one of them. The fact that all over the world on St Paddy’s day people run round with tricolours wrapped round them shows to what extent nationalist republicanism has been able to define what irishness is i.e. catholic, nationalist and republican thereby excluding protestant, loyalist and unionist symbols and traditions from Irishness.

    I am aware that the OO, DUP and other loyalist organisations and individuals have been complicit in this exclusion for their own political reasons.

    But green, white and orange irishness is not going to appeal to many red, white and blue PULs. It will be much easier for PULs to move towards an expanded irishness by adopting the NI identity first.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  6. Mainland Ulsterman (profile) says:

    BifterGreenthumb,
    “It will be much easier for PULs to move towards an expanded irishness by adopting the NI identity first.”
    But why would you want us to change our British identity, if you accept it and treat it as equal to Irish identity?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  7. Brian Walker (profile) says:

    One lesson from Derry this year is that the “cultures” as I suppose we must call them are, both recognised as part of the heritage by both sides. The British/unionist/ military traditions are a big part of the Derry story.

    But Derry is different because (a) the heritage is so physically present in old stones and mortar and can be exploited as a commercial asset i.e. tourism: and (b) communal tensions are more easily containable because most Prods are across the river and offer no challenge to nationalist dominance.

    I

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  8. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    ” BifterGreenthumb”

    ” I said that people see the tricolour as the flag of Ireland rather than just the flag of ROI. ”

    Yes? Its a fact just learn to live with it. For example the main sporting organisation in northern Ireland is the GAA. The tricolour is the flag they would use and its all perfectly legal and above board.

    Tyrone is no longer a “jurisdiction” but people still put up the red and white.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  9. Brian Walker (profile) says:

    Can anyone tell me did if Protestants did much to embrace events such as the return of Colmcille – (clearly part of the Cof I tradition. My godfather skippered the curragh sailing in the opposite direction in the Columban year of 1963) – and the Fleadh Ceoil ?

    Real cross -over is much to be desired and is discreetly championed by among others the BBC. The trick is to take small steps, not to make a big fuss about it, just invite people to events and make them feel welcome and then try something jointly. This is happening isn’t it?

    Academics tend to be idealistic about the working class. It may be heresy to say so but maybe they should work on the middle classes first- and all classes in rural districts where social pressures are sometimes less – before tackling Greater Belfast. Or am I too pessimistic?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  10. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    Brian Walker

    “most Prods are across the river and offer no challenge to nationalist dominance.”

    Apart from “Greater Belfast” that is the case. How do you explain the fact that the nationalists of Tyrone have not stopped the endless orange order and band parades in their county?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  11. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    BifterGreenthumb

    I honestly do not think you understand the Irish of Tyrone are happy just being themselves. They do not want anyone to be less anything. Its not a competition! If you want to be “British”, “French” then get on with it.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  12. BifterGreenthumb (profile) says:

    “But why would you want us to change our British identity, if you accept it and treat it as equal to Irish identity?” (Mainland Ulsterman)

    My point isn’t that PULs should give up their British identity. It is that both PULs and CNRs need to stop seeing Britishness and Irishness as mutually exclusive and hostile identities.

    The whole culture war thing exists because the objective conditions for armed struggle are no longer present. CNRs have all the same rights as PULs and so there is no longer any moral or pragmatic reason for a united Ireland. The culture war allows sinn fein to maintain relevance by stirring up sectarian tension thus ‘proving’ that NI doesn’t work. It also suits the DUP as they can claim to defend unionist/british culture from republican attacks and so don’t have to think about how to actually govern in peaceful circumstances. Both parties benefit from it as the mutual hostilities keep the people in the traditional tribal categories and therefore voting on tribal lines thus keeping the 2 parties in power.

    The Northern Irish identity allows people to be both Irish and a British citizen and stops us seeing each other as radically different tribes. Once we are all Northern Irish we can then have a rational debate about the constitutional question that isn’t based on irrational tribal loyalty; we can make a decision based on what’s in our best interests rather than what tribe we were born into.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 1
  13. BifterGreenthumb (profile) says:

    Mc Slaggart, I’m not trying to tell people from Tyrone what to be. I’m just responding to the article’s suggestion that working class prods should reclaim their irish cultural heritage. My point was that a lot of PULs dont identify with certain irish cultural symbols because of their association with Republicanism and/or nationalism and before PULs can feel Irish there needs to be an expanded, inclusive irishness that doesn’t prioritise nationalistic, catholic, republican traditions over other irish traditions.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  14. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    BifterGreenthumb

    ” there needs to be an expanded, inclusive irishness”

    ????

    “working class prods should reclaim their irish cultural heritage.”

    They already do its called band culture.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  15. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    BifterGreenthumb

    “The whole culture war thing exists ”

    no it does not!

    Go on give me examples of this great “war”

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  16. BifterGreenthumb (profile) says:

    McSlaggart, I agree that the culture war isn’t a real thing (beyond current political discourse). Forgive me for clumsiness of expression. I should perhaps have said the ‘so called culture war’ or whatever. But over the past year or so you can’t deny that both the DUP and Sinn Fein have been banging on about parades and flags and the names of play parks and the need for mutual respect for each other’s cultures etc. All this talk serves to maintain sectarian division which benefits both the DUP and Sinn Fein.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  17. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “working class prods should reclaim their irish cultural heritage.”

    They already do its called band culture.”

    @McSlaggert,

    I agree, as an outsider the whole marching season tradition strikes me as much more Irish culturally than British. In America the Ancient Order of Hiberians holds St. Patrick’s Day parades in all major cities with large Irish-American populations. I think loyalists practice Irish culture–they just don’t acknowledge it as such. I suppose they would claim that painting murals of balaclava-clad figures on the ends of gables is an old British tradition.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  18. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    BifterGreenthumb

    I think Unionists want their to some sort of cultural war. Band parades in empty streets is the norm in Tyrone (Check youtube).

    In some way i think orange culture needs nationalists to care. Indifference is somehow taken as an attack.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  19. Chinook (profile) says:

    Agree with most of the comments from BitterGreenthumb 01.13.and Mainland Ulsterman 01.21.

    Personally,like many of my friends I have no sense of Irishness at all.I was born in NI as a Protestant and my culture reflects that ie,Scottish/English.

    Regarding the Tricolour – Personally I see it as the flag of ROI and in that context I have no problem with it but when in NI ,I see it as a” Bloody Rag” belonging to the IRA and I want no part of it.

    Quick rewind to 1966 – My sister and her two cousins (girls aged 6 – 8yrs) all protestant,decided to take up Irish Dancing.My aunt,a bit of an amateur dressmaker, made all the costumes and found a local dancer to teach them.Everything was fine,the girls loved learning,dancing and competing right up to 1970.Enter the IRA,and Irish culture was erased forever from the Protestant psyche.Well done lads!.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  20. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    Chinook

    ” I have no sense of Irishness at all.”

    No reason why you should.

    “Regarding the Tricolour – Personally I see it as the flag of ROI”

    Good for you.

    Having your culture of Scorttish/English can you explain why they do not have the same view of the flag as your good self? For example they are happy to see the Tricolor on ST Patrick’s day.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  21. Chinook (profile) says:

    Mc Slaggart,

    “No reason why you should”.Does that apply to all Prods born in NI?

    “Good for you”.Thank you very much!

    I’m sure that you are quite aware of the “Troubles” and in the context of NI, a Tricolour would make what is essentially supposed to be a neutral parade extremely intimidating to non catholic children and their parent/s.SF in particular seem to attempting to turn St Patricks Day into a Republican Day.Look what happened in Downpatrick in 2011.Now there’s neutrality and respect!

    Nothing to say on my 3rd point,I see!

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  22. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    Chinook

    I know lots of “Prods” and i tend to treat them as people. I do not see why anyone should be forced/need to have a sense of being Irish.

    They had the “Troubles” in England. The parades in London are they not neutral in your eyes?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  23. Barney (profile) says:

    MU wrote
    “Kulturkampf”

    “Protestant point of view”

    Enough of the self flagellation, there is no war on British identity in any part of Ireland to suggest there is is to tell a lie.

    What has been happening is that equality is being introduced, the flag policy is being brought into line with the rest of the UK, the tiny amount of contentious parades is being dealt with.

    To suggest that Orange culture is synonymous with Britishness or unionism is both self defeating and an insult to the majority of unionist people who are not members or supporters of the Orange order. The term “Protestant point of view” is equally self defeating. Driving away half of the people of The six counties in a self exclusionary huff.

    Perhaps you could give us an example of this “Kulturkampf”….for people who dont know the word describes the Prussian suppression of Polish identity when they attempted to colonise part of that country. It was characterised by the attempted removal of the native language and the suppression of Polish religious practices, sound familiar?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  24. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    Chinook

    “Quick rewind to 1966 – My sister and her two cousins (girls aged 6 – 8yrs) all protestant,decided to take up Irish Dancing.My aunt,a bit of an amateur dressmaker, made all the costumes and found a local dancer to teach them.Everything was fine,the girls loved learning,dancing and competing right up to 1970.Enter the IRA,and Irish culture was erased forever from the Protestant psyche.Well done lads!.”

    I both love and loathe to hear stories of this kind.

    It really seems that when the Provos kicked off a cultural demarcation occurred.

    Tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Protestants switched from being ‘Irish’ to ‘British’ and culture was shattered and I think Protestants got a bum deal in terms of a trade off.

    My grandfather and his brothers (all B specials and with political views that would find unpalatable given my weak liberal stomach) were serious ‘folk-heads’. They organised gigs and ceilis and dances and wot-not in Protestant villages.

    Sinn Fein don’t seem to get that their embrace of Irish culture acts as a serious deterrent for people of a Protestant background.

    It makes life very difficult for fools like me who would like to see some sort of cultural ‘renaissance’ for people from a Protestant background.

    I tip my hat to Linda Ervine.

    Having said that, when people say they embrace their Scottish culture, well, that’s just embracing Irish culture by the back door.

    ‘Scot’ – From the Latin for ‘Gael’.

    And as for that Ulster-Scots Agency outfit? Don’t get me started:

    “We’re of lowlander descent, no Gaelic stuff for us”

    “Then why are you wearing kilts? And playing bag pipes? And supporting highland dancing? And….”

    “We’re closed!!!”

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 1
  25. Mainland Ulsterman (profile) says:

    BifterGreenthumb,
    I quite agree – British and Irish identities, while important, are not everything. We need to create more background noise with local and regional identities (and other identities) so they don’t dominate quite so much.

    But I think wishing for more of a feeling of there being one Northern Irish people, which I’d like too, isn’t likely to make it happen. It’s not in the interests of Irish nationalism, ultimately. But it is the obvious way forward and worth encouraging – and the last census gave some hope on that score.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  26. Mainland Ulsterman (profile) says:

    Barney,
    On your denial of the existence of any such thing as a cultural war or struggle: Prof Aughey wrote “Irish Kulturkampf” back in 1995 (and it hasn’t gone away, you know). He picks out a Ronan Bennett article in the Guardian in 1994 as an example from that period. Bennett wrote of Ulster Protestants as having “an intolerable mental world” and how Protestant culture was limited to “little more than flute bands, Orange marches and the chanting of sectarian songs at football matches”. Bennett then refers approvingly to Marie Jones’s laughable “A Night In November”. Aughey then refers to a debate with southern Irish artist Robert Ballagh, who came out with similar Brit-hating nonsense.

    Aughey’s point about Bennett and Ballagh could be applied to many of the “critics” I have heard in recent years of Ulster Protestant culture. As he explains:
    “Their great error is to fail to distinguish what is distinctive from what is representative … What may be representative of cultural life in all its diversity – Carson’s poetry, Reid’s plays, Bew’s history – is either ignored as peripheral or denounced as a great betrayal.” He goes on: “The experience of cultural humiliation and communal disparagement has been so common for Protestants that they have almost come to take it for granted.”
    This rings true for me for sure. Some of the smartest, most urbane nationalists I know have still come out with the “you guys have no culture” fallacy. To some without intimate knowledge of the ordinary Protestant life, we are as we are portrayed in film and in hostile commentary: Orangemen, in flute bands or just plain bigots. At best we might be stolid and God-fearing but basically stupid. It’s there in all those film portrayals of Northern Ireland in which the only Protestant characters are men in uniform. Do you think we don’t notice when we watch dramas about Northern Ireland (with only a few exceptions) that we’ve been made the bad guys?

    It’s a bit out of date now but Prof. Brian McIlroy of UBC’s “Shooting to Kill” about film-making and the Troubles is a good review of the general anti- Ulster Protestant character of the bulk of the film and tv output. As he put it, “… the prevailing visualisation of the ‘Troubles’ in drama and documentary, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s [he writes in 1998] is dominated by Irish nationalist and Republican ideology … the Protestant community is constantly elided by both British and Irish film-makers and videographers, who prefer to accept the anti-imperialist view of Northern Ireland’s existence.”

    The Kulturkampf against us is no new new phenomenon; but as Dr. Simpson at the UUJ has recently pointed out, the sense of frustration and injustice many Protestants now feel about it is becoming very acute indeed. To deny it is to miss probably the most significant feature of the psychological topography of Northern Ireland at this point.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  27. kol2 (profile) says:

    Are the by now near constant references by unionist spokespersons to the island, or all-island issues when they mean Ireland, or all – Ireland, part of the campaign to denigrate the very concept that Ireland is a nation (albeit one currently made up of two states).

    If this is the case then there really is no longer much point in pretending that the PUL community would wish to be thought of as Irish, or claim Irishness. From their perspective they are merely British islanders existing in an island off the ‘mainland’ which is Britain.

    The rest of us should start to insist on using the term Ireland at all times and in every context. N Ireland is merely a peninsula in the north east corner of our country – which is of course an island nation.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  28. Barney (profile) says:

    That is just crap, there is no campaign to remove the cultural identity of unionist voting people, if there was we would be reading about it.

    Your post is a fine example of what is wrong with this place everyone is looking to be the victim and whining instead of taking responsibility for themselves.

    The flag crowd attempting to define protestant culture are a disgraceful bunch of neo nazis who want representation but do nothing about achieving it. If they want their voice heard why not form a political party and have people vote for you but they prefer to whine.

    Because no one made a film with Andy Tyrie as the hero does not make kulturkampf, for god sake get a sense of proportion.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  29. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “Perhaps you could give us an example of this “Kulturkampf”….for people who dont know the word describes the Prussian suppression of Polish identity when they attempted to colonise part of that country. It was characterised by the attempted removal of the native language and the suppression of Polish religious practices, sound familiar?”

    @Barney,

    The term “kulturkampf” is usually applied by historians to Chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s policy of picking fights with the Catholic Center Party that represented German Catholics from central and southern Germany in order to united the Protestant Germans from Prussia and northern Germany. It is also applied to his policy of picking fights with the German social democrats over economic policy. It was basically politics about who controlled the German parliament.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  30. Barney (profile) says:

    Mitch

    Sorry to say but you are wrong, I think you need to go back to the history books…….MU used the correct term in the wrong context.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  31. BifterGreenthumb (profile) says:

    “To suggest that Orange culture is synonymous with Britishness or unionism is both self defeating and an insult to the majority of unionist people who are not members or supporters of the Orange order.” (Barney)

    Couldn’t agree more. The OO, the DUP and other PUL right wingers obviously have a vested interest in conflating orangism with Irish protestant culture. While most PULs I know have nothing to do with the OO the DUP want to maintain the troubles politics of unionism defending itself from nasty republicans by making out that liberal objections to neo-fascist orangism is a republican attack on British identity.

    “I think wishing for more of a feeling of there being one Northern Irish people, which I’d like too, isn’t likely to make it happen. It’s not in the interests of Irish nationalism, ultimately.” (Mainland Ulsterman)

    I like to be more optimistic in hoping that younger people are less likely to feel as strongly divided into the old tribes as people who lived through the troubles. But I do agree however that the NI identity is problematic for nationalist fundamentalists in that it legitimises NI as a state. Many republicans would rather continue sectarian division and all the trouble that goes with it and continue pushing for a united Ireland than have some kind of hope for a shared identity and non-sectarian future.

    “…there really is no longer much point in pretending that the PUL community would wish to be thought of as Irish, or claim Irishness.” (kol2)

    While this is true for lots of flegger types I think that many PULs, especially the”letsgetalongerists” are much more open to some kind of Irish identity although I think that it would need to be an inclusive irishness that doesn’t concentrate on republican and nationalist caricatures of irishness and it would probably be easier on PULs if it was mediated through the NI identity first. If being irish didnt mean being republican then Irish prods would have no problem with an irish identity.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  32. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @ Mainland Ulsterman,

    An interesting post above -9 December 2013 at 11:51 pm. Perhaps the fact that you are self designated as “mainland Ulsterman ” is a clue to your perception of a “kulturkampf’ being waged against what you call Ulster Protestant Culture ?

    From the ‘mainland ” Ireland and all it’s Provinces including Northern Ireland may be close geographically and economically and in terms of popular and sporting cultures etc family connections etc -but from another perspective i.e the British secular perspective and a political culture perspective -the island i.e Ireland might as well be Albania .

    It should come as no surprise that any Ulster Protestant Culture just as much as an Irish Catholic Culture would rank far down the field in any British hierarchy of cultural or political interests . The tail may be part of the dog but unless it’s seen frantically wagging it’s hardly ever noticed .Irish culture being more numerous and having a slight niche of uniqueness gets more noticed simply because it doesn’t offend the anglo american audience – well at least not the anglo part . American popular TV may ‘get ‘ Downton Abbey’ but apart from a small minority their religious and linguistic sensibilities would find Father Ted offensive . There is no Baptist or Jewish equivalent of Father Ted nor is there ever likely to be .

    The fact that you may perceive Ulster Protestant culture as under threat /attack by the general secular media be it British, Irish , American ,European is I think perhaps a little paranoid.
    .
    But at the same time I would disagree with Barney above that it’s all “crap’. I can see how from an NI Protestant perspective that they are the ‘bad guys ‘ -which of course is not entirely true but then popular culture tends not to dwell too long on fine distinctions unless they “sell” . Like the good news -good Ulster Protestants don’t sell .

    As to Kulturkampf -Bismarck et all ? whatever happened to Poland’s Protestants ? And yes there was a Polish Protestant minority at one time – there still is but much reduced in number in 2013 – Once upon a German expansionist time they were much influenced by German economic dominance and modernist values etc . Courtesy of WW1 & WW2 this forgotten religious minority became one of the Kulturkamp’s forgotten victims as they ended up on the wrong side of history as their fellow countrymen saw them as ‘traitors’

    Coincidentally current German Kanzlerin Angela Merkel’s maternal grandfather was a member of that Polish protestant minority

    As to regional identities be they within Ireland or Britain these are part of collective history . Whether Ireland ever becomes united politically or no I take it as a given that Ulster will always have a regional identity which will distinguish it from the rest of Ireland and Britain . I don’t subscribe to the view that that identity is so strong that it justifies a separate political existence from either the rest of Ireland or Britain for that matter.

    I’ve always accepted there is a British minority in the north east of Ireland . How that minority responds to the cultural challenges facing them is no different from the same challenges posed to Scotland , Wales or Yorkshire or indeed the Irish Republic or England .

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  33. Nevin (profile) says:

    “‘Scot’ – From the Latin for ‘Gael’.”

    Am Ghobsmacht, I have an alternative theory about a possible link between names associated with our two islands: Alban and Scot. The Greek skotos relates to dark and the Latin alba to white. Perhaps the two names merely differentiate between east and west.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  34. Mainland Ulsterman (profile) says:

    kol2,
    Well that’s the first time I’ve heard Northern Ireland described as a peninsula.

    As for the ‘island nation’ thesis: a nation involves people, does it not? Not just territory. And we all agree now (with the sole exception of Republican dissidents) that there are two national groups on the island. So the island is not the nation. It can only become the ‘nation’ in the sense of being a single people if my lot agree to change our stripes. Which we we’re not going to – why would we – so game over.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  35. Mainland Ulsterman (profile) says:

    @greenflag
    “The fact that you may perceive Ulster Protestant culture as under threat /attack by the general secular media be it British, Irish , American ,European is I think perhaps a little paranoid.”

    “Paranoid” suggests there is nothing to complain about in reality. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

    The problem is that too many artists with nationalist sympathies have sought, for whatever reasons of their own, to denigrate us as a people. Some of us just shrug and say fair enough, we’re a bit rubbish – which we are – but the thing is, so is everyone else. Why is it that our particular ways of being rubbish have been focussed on so much and others’ failures – on the face of it, at least as bad – are glossed over? This creates the imbalance and the element of cultural aggression. So it’s not the accuracy of the critique often, it’s the failure to apply it more generally.

    But there are also some outright attempts to dehumanise the Ulster Protestant and/or depict our values as worthless. For example, our depiction in countless dramas in which the good Protestant is one who realises the error of his or her ways; or more frequently, the simple omission of ordinary Protestants from the story altogether, or their reduction to the role of policemen, prison warders or loyalist terrorists in a ‘Troubles as poor Catholics rebellion against oppressive state’ narrative, in which we are cast as violent stooges of the colonial power. Plays well in Hollywood, the only problem is it betrays a deeply sectarian line of thinking. You could blame us for not making our own films; or the people who made the slanted ones; I’d blame both. When the people making or writing these pieces come from the other ethnic group on the island, they need to think very carefully, I would suggest, about exactly what they are doing. A Croat drama about a wrong-headed Serb would not expect to be taken seriously outside Zagreb (or even in it); not would a white British drama about that took Jamaican culture to task. Yet some Irish artists (and artists informed by the Irish nationalist cause) get away with stereotyping Ulster Protestants in appallingly illiberal, chauvinistic ways.

    From this cultural desert peopled only by hatchet-faced B Specials emerged somehow Louis MacNeice, John Hewitt, CS Lewis, Michael Longley, Stewart Parker: the list goes on. Disparate artistic visions, often not politically unionist at all; but they don’t quite fit with the meat-head Ulster Protestant image we see reflected back to us in the wider culture – the one perhaps some nationalists would prefer to nurture for their own reasons.

    And as I mentioned, Prof McIlroy’s book goes through the visual output up to the late 90s pretty thoroughly in “Shooting To Kill” – worth a read. If you don’t believe me, he goes into proper chapter and verse.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  36. Barney (profile) says:

    Greenflag

    I did dismiss MU post for the very simple reason that it is not a reflection of reality. The only “kulturalkampf” is in his mind, where is the dismissal of Wilde, Yeates, Burke, Butt, Swift the list goes on. Sadly this is the first time I have ever thought of those people in religious terms.

    There is no oppression of protestant people anywhere in Ireland. Wanting to be a victim does exactly nothing to promote whatever cause you think you have.

    Polish protestants briefly…….
    At the start of the 30 years war about 60% of the Polish Nobility the Szlachta were of the reformed faith mainly Lutheran but we all know how that turned out. As disastrous as the 30 years war was for Poland the Deluge (Russian and Swedish invasions) that followed was even more harmful to Poland and its protestants. Though a lot of the Szlachta were Lutheran the Polish serfs were staunchly Catholic. Of Course the eastern part of the Commonwealth was (outside the towns) majority orthodox Ukranian and Belorussian speakers. There is still a tiny protestant community in Poland mainly lutheran.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  37. Barney (profile) says:

    MU wrote
    “Louis MacNeice, John Hewitt, CS Lewis, Michael Longley, Stewart Parker: the list goes on.”

    Can you give examples of these people being downgraded? I have never heard anyone starting a conversation with the words

    “see that bastard Louis MacNeice……….”

    Can you also give some examples to illustrate this sentence

    “Yet some Irish artists (and artists informed by the Irish nationalist cause) get away with stereotyping Ulster Protestants in appallingly illiberal, chauvinistic ways.”

    While we are at it could you give some examples of the ethnic differences you repeatedly write about but refuse to illustrate?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  38. Barney (profile) says:

    In the absence of anything else to spend amply funded research grants on its no surprise that the “anthropological study” of the North has degenerated to this……….

    Sorry for the repeat posts but I’m at work squeezing posts in between cups if coffee

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  39. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @ Mainland Ulsterman,

    “Well that’s the first time I’ve heard Northern Ireland described as a peninsula.”

    It’s only part of a peninsula -the archipelogical part of the European peninsula which is attached to the Asian mainland .

    Anyway back to your comments

    “The problem is that too many artists with nationalist sympathies have sought, for whatever reasons of their own, to denigrate us as a people. ”

    Which artists would these be . Are they mainly Irish ? English ? American ? European ? .I have to admit I tend to avoid films or movies which have anything to do with Northern Ireland or it’s troubles and I suspect I’m not alone in that so I’m probably not best placed to make any judgement .

    BTW I’m not suggesting that there’s no truth at all in your viewpoint just that perhaps from your perspective it may appear more than it actually is . I’ve been around enough of the world to know and understand there are ‘meatheads’ everywhere and that ‘dehumanising ‘ particular groups in any society is a recipe for eventual conflict .

    I haven’t read Prof McIlroy’s book yet but I will check it out and see his ‘evidence ‘

    For myself I can claim in all sincerity that not all Ulster Protestants or Catholics are meatheads . But some are of both denominations . The same is true of English /Irish/German /American protestants and catholics and jews and muslims .

    I’ve worked with Ulster Protestants both in the Republic and overseas and apart from one complete idiot I found them all to be fine people and no different from the rest of us Irish or English . I recall at one point having to deal with three Ulster Protestants at the same time . One was an accountant the other a mid level manager and the other a maintenance worker and all were employed in a small town not far from Dublin during the mid 70′s . The accountant invited a number of people to his home for a party at which he displayed his fathers ‘medals ‘ from WW2 and his grandfathers from WW1 which were in a cabinet on the wall . Everybody somehow then remembered where some of their relatives had fought during those wars. The middle manager was married to an Ulster Catholic but had served with the British Army in south east asia . He saved my personal bacon on one occasion when I might have come undone in a fracas . He had moved south because of the lack of opportunity in Northern Ireland in his trade and also because his neighbour was an RUC man whose house was being shot up by the Provos too frequently for comfort . The third Ulster Protestant was a working class Belfast man and a gregarious fun loving boozer who started his own band with some locals (all Catholics I think ) .

    I doubt if anybody ever messed with the third man in terms of his ‘ethnicity or religion . In fact he was extremely popular from what I recall with everybody although social distance was maintained with his fellow Ulster Protestant professional .

    The Irish are of course not unaware that in their past they too have been ‘meat headed’ by the dominant Anglo culture for centuries and even into more recent times . Which I guess is where all of this started . What goes around comes back I guess albeit warped or bent to suit modern circumstances .

    The situation you refer to re the above is just another facet of the politics of the place i.e Northern Ireland . I would’nt be unduly perturbed by it . It too will pass . Until then I’ll enjoy Louis Mac Niece and Longley and Hewitt etc.

    Once the politics are finally sorted Ulster’s protestants will probably suffer from a cultural renaissance of the kind that “plagued ‘ Irish nationalism at the turn of the last century . no doubt . It’s their politics is what’s holding them back imo.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  40. SK (profile) says:

    “Their great error is to fail to distinguish what is distinctive from what is representative … ”

    And whose fault is that?

    Ulster Protestants have an unfortunate tendency to give the more illiberal and chauvinistic amongst their number free reign when it comes to public discourse. You never seem to see the moderate prod. Where is he? When the Orange Order are picketing the Pope in london, or Edwin Poots is telling us all how abominable gays are, there’s never a exactly a landslide of “ordinary, decent Prods” showing up to register their disdain.

    Even on this site, opportunities for magnanimity are enthusiastically shunned. Case in point- a year or so ago, Mick started a couple of threads, one aimed for each side of the tribal divide, where he asked a simple question:

    “what do you admire about the other side”.

    I recall the nationalists getting very much into the spirit of it, while our unionist chums used it as another opportunity to put the sectarian boot in. That’s how it is, that appears to be the default setting, so please spare the us the “why are you so mean to us” spiel.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  41. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @Barney ,

    ‘There is no oppression of protestant people anywhere in Ireland.”

    I believe MU was referring to the protestant culture in Northern Ireland (1969-present ) and not to Irish Protestant culture generally which is a horse of a different colour altogether and one which achieved world wide authenticity and resonance .

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  42. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @ Am Ghobsmacht

    “Having said that, when people say they embrace their Scottish culture, well, that’s just embracing Irish culture by the back door.”

    True enough . It doesn’t matter which door it is – back or front or side door as long as it’s not the same door ;)

    ‘Scot’ – From the Latin for ‘Gael’.

    And as for that Ulster-Scots Agency outfit? Don’t get me started:

    “We’re of lowlander descent, no Gaelic stuff for us”

    “Then why are you wearing kilts? And playing bag pipes? And supporting highland dancing? And….

    LOL :))

    At the risk of being accused of whataboutery whatever happened to the ‘English ‘ element in the Ulster plantation ?
    They seem very quiet . Have they all gone native or what ?

    If I’m not mistaken -please feel free to correct me anybody out there -the Scots made up less than half of the so called planters the other half were’nt Welsh were they ? :)?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  43. Chinook (profile) says:

    Am Ghobsmact,

    Glad you liked the story,sadly it is all true.

    As for the Provo campaign,it was directly responsible for a massive culture switch.The Prods were made aware,in no uncertain terms,that if they supported the union there was no place for them in Ireland,they no longer belonged therefore they simply changed from a Scots Irish culture to their older Scots culture,which has now transformed into an Ulster Scots culture.

    When the girls were forced to give up Irish dancing through mistrust and a sense of not belonging,they all became Drum Majors and Highland Dancers and the boys became drummers and pipers.

    On GHB,kilts and dancing – Border pipes were played in the Lowlands for many,many years as were the Northumbrian pipes.Both are closely related to the GHB and to a lesser extent Ullian pipes.Personally,being an ex Piper,I love any kind of pipe music and due to the likes of Terry Tully and Richard Parkes Irish reels and jigs are commonplace in Scottish Pipe Band medleys.

    A small point on the Highland culture – Highlanders moved to the Lowlands,Borders and Ireland during the Highland clearances and they brought GHB and Highland dancing with them.The only thing left behind would have been Scots Gaelic,which unfortunately suffered the same fate as Irish Gaelic and there seems to be,in the former case anyway,a lack of interest in its revival.I think Irish Gaelic would have had greater support if the driving force behind it would have been less political.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  44. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    Mitch

    “Sorry to say but you are wrong, I think you need to go back to the history books…….MU used the correct term in the wrong context.”

    @Barney,

    Here is the link for the Wiki citation on kulturkampf, which supports my claim:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kulturkampf

    And here is from the Free Online:

    Kulturkampf – definition of Kulturkampf by the Free Online …
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Kulturkampf Cached
    Kul·tur·kampf (k l-t r kämpf) n. 1. The struggle (1871-1883) between the Roman Catholic Church and the German government under Bismarck for control over school and …

    And here is from Dictionary.com
    Kulturkampf | Define Kulturkampf at Dictionary.com
    dictionary.reference.com/browse/Kulturkampf Cached
    noun the conflict between the German imperial government and the Roman Catholic Church from 1872 or 1873 until 1886, chiefly over the control of education and …

    So exactly which history books was I supposed to look in for your version?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  45. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    Mainland Ulsterman

    ” a ‘Troubles as poor Catholics rebellion against oppressive state’ narrative, in which we are cast as violent stooges of the colonial power.”

    No. Unionism took the gun in the Irish democratic process all on their own.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  46. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    in should “into” in the above.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  47. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    Chinook

    “I think Irish Gaelic would have had greater support if the driving force behind it would have been less political.”

    Absolutely.

    Shinner-drones are oblivious to this ‘does not compute’ statement. (Or they don’t care, I can’t work out which…)

    BTW – I recommend you have a look at “Handed Down” by Nigel Boulier
    http://journalofmusic.com/listing/07-08-13/handed-down-country-fiddling-and-dancing-east-and-central-down-nigel-boullier

    A wonderful insight into musical and rural cultural life before the troubles.
    It’s tragic also, I’m sure manys a young bandsman would upon viewing these photos immediately dismiss them as ‘themuns’ instead of thinking that Protestants took part in (and influenced) folk music.

    Ho hum.

    We can argue the case for a culture war, but we shouldn’t forget the cultural-amputation.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  48. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    Am Ghobsmacht

    I know Protestants still are very much part of the Irish music/folk music in Tyrone. They haven’t gone away you know.

    Any cultural amputation was self inflected.

    BTW:

    I have never met a “Shinner-drones” but if I do your message will be passed along.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  49. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    Mc Slaggart

    “I know Protestants still are very much part of the Irish music/folk music in Tyrone. They haven’t gone away you know.”

    Glad to hear that. Genuinely.

    “Any cultural amputation was self inflected. ”

    That was my point, I should have worded it better, thankyou.

    “I have never met a “Shinner-drones” but if I do your message will be passed along”

    Much obliged.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  50. Barney (profile) says:

    Tmitch wrote
    “So exactly which history books was I supposed to look in for your version”

    Any that deal with the partitions, these laws were used to try and make the Polish population into Prussians.

    I’ll explain more tomorrow…..

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  51. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    Greenflag

    “At the risk of being accused of whataboutery whatever happened to the ‘English ‘ element in the Ulster plantation ?
    They seem very quiet . Have they all gone native or what ?

    If I’m not mistaken -please feel free to correct me anybody out there -the Scots made up less than half of the so called planters the other half were’nt Welsh were they ? :) ?

    Actually, I’d like to hear the lowdown on that from some one more learned about such things.

    The first Ulster plantation (well, the Crown scheme anyway, not including Montgomery and Hamilton)from what I can gather had a fair whack of Gaels (conveniently forgotten).

    As for the other half being English, well, perhaps, but it would appear that they didn’t hang around to the same extent plus the famine escapees in the 1690′s would have swollen the number of lowlanders far in excess of the other groups.

    I’m open to correction on this.

    You raise an interesting point though.
    I think many of us are guilty of cultural cherry-picking.
    For example, as much as I’m into my Gaelic Scottish culture if I was so inclined I’m sure I could root out an Anglo-Irish big wig from my family tree and adorn all the habits and behaviour of a typical Anglo-Irishman.

    Apart from the writing.

    Or the sponsoring of the arts.

    Or owning property.

    Or speaking well.

    Maybe if I had seen Downton Abbey before my wedding I might have got married in a top hat instead of a kilt…

    Ho hum.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  52. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    BTW, to whom it may concern.

    If you find yourself looking at the above traits of a ‘typical anglo-Irishman’ and feel like adding things like

    “or evicting poor people from their homes”

    “Or living a life of luxury whilst the impoverished suffer”

    “Or living as an absentee landlord”

    Please, for once, just refrain.
    Taking every opportunity to exercise this bitterness really can’t be healthy, so instead do something else, like slag me off for wearing a kilt or whatever, I’m sure Mick won’t card ye for it if I’ve painted a bullseye on my back….

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  53. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Am ghobsmacht,

    “I think many of us are guilty of cultural cherry-picking.’

    True . All the same ye’ll never get me into a skirt – sorry kilt ;) Scots Gaelic language yes , Irish yes -Ulster Scots a bit but the skirt wearing ? a line in the sand I won’t cross . It was the Irish dancing ye see . For the girrls it was fine but for us it was ‘sissy ‘ stuff . To be avoided at all costs if one was to maintain one’s emergent manhood at least when I was of that age ;)

    In these more ‘enlightened days ‘ or so they say anything goes and to be accosted at a wedding by kilt wearers is not as unheard of as it used to be ;)

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  54. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    Greenflag

    ‘Scottish-gaelic’ if you please, not Scots-Gaelic.

    Actually, the spelling of Gaelic is different but it’s too much for me.

    But they do get cross at the ‘Scots’ thingy.

    And don’t mention William Wallace, ruddy lowlander…

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  55. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Allright- then Scottish Gaelic -I was unaware of sensitivities re Scots -I thought Scotch was the no no word except for whiskey drinkers ? I shall try to adhere to the new politically correct nomenclature . If Dewi ever returns to slugger (6 nations time ) I will enquire as to whether Welshish is more sensitive than than Welsh ;)

    I’ll not mention Wallace then but I’ll just say that the Irish Army/Defence forces never looked better on the day , and I know some enjoyed themselves tremendously when they got the opportunity to dress up for the Braveheart extras parts and in 14th century style .

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  56. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “Any that deal with the partitions, these laws were used to try and make the Polish population into Prussians.”

    @Barney,
    I don’t dispute the fact that the Prussians suppressed Polish culture–all three of the great powers who partitioned Poland in the 18th century did this, merely that this was the origin of the term kulturkamp.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  57. Barney (profile) says:

    Mitch
    Austria didnt suppress Polish culture, their partition contained a lot of Ukrainian speakers and were often given protection by the Habsburgs against their fellow Catholics because there were a lot of Orthodox elsewhere in their empire.

    Bismarck was the arch pragmatist and the policies Prussia was following were extended to his Empire only after Prussia had beaten Austria. It was an attempt to impose prussian ideals on all German states. There is no doubt it was born in the Polish areas they occupied. The Catholic and Jewish Poles without citizenship were expelled because they represented a threat to Prussian hegemony

    The Sorbs, Kashubian, Gorale and Silesian people were not treated in the same way even though they were Catholic but treated as Volksdeutsche.

    Its very complicated but massively interesting however the long and short is that there is no Kulturkampf here.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  58. Barney (profile) says:

    Correction The Gorale live in the southern highlands and at the time were not discriminated against by this Prussian policy they were in the Austrian partition.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  59. gaygael (profile) says:

    So all.
    Any particular thoughts on the passing of yesterday’s sexual orientation motion. Was hoping there would be a piece on it and other recent lgbt issues and how they have been bruising for dup and very much central to any. Idea of culture wars.

    http://aims.niassembly.gov.uk/plenary/details.aspx?&ses=0&doc=174097&pn=0&sid=vd

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  60. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “Its very complicated but massively interesting however the long and short is that there is no Kulturkampf here.”

    Barney,

    See my entry on part 2. I think there is a kulturkamp–it just isn’t what most people think it is.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  61. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    Greenflag

    “but the skirt wearing ? a line in the sand I won’t cross ”

    It’s ‘liberating’. :)

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  62. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @ Am Ghobsmacht,

    I’m sure it is for some but not all I would think ;) In any event I’m liberated/liberal enough as it is . I can imagine on a freezing night in the highlands with the air temperature below zero th’oul kilt provides a less than liberating air flow to the dangly parts . Brass monkey and balls are words that are combined with some others to deliver the appropriate idiomatic expression commonly used in aforementioned circumstances .

    On the other hand in Kalgoorlie or Copacabana I can imagine the kilt’s climactic advantages ;)

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  63. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @ Barney ,

    The Austro-Hungarian Empire was a polyglot of nations with Austrians on top and Hungarians in the number 2 slot of it’s hierarchical society . Prior to WW1 and in the latter part of the 19th century the Austro Hungarian Empire was and had become a more egalitarian society at least in many more respects than say the Russian or British empires .

    This fact upset Hitler so much that he quit Vienna for it was intolerable for Adolph that so many different nationalities could all somehow be accomodated relatively peacefully in the one State /Empire.

    It would at the same time be wrong to assume that ergo Austrians did’nt discriminate against Poles or Jews or Croats or Slovaks or Ruthenians or Bosnians or Montenegrins or Serbians etc etc . And if they did’nt the Hungarians took up the baton . In fact the Hungarians in the end were more despised by the other national groups in the Empire than the Austrians .

    Mercifully all these peoples now have mostly their own states and are or are becoming members of the EU and are slowly amending their ancient time consuming habit of hating their neighbours and worse .

    A lesson there perhaps for others closer to home ?

    PS
    The “predatory ‘class/classes ‘ always predate wherever and whenever they can . Their ‘nationality ‘ or ‘religion ‘ is immaterial . The wolf will find a way to devour the lamb one way or another . Some wolves use money -others use race -others use religion or history or any and all kinds of pseudo scientific bilge to make ‘legal’ what they need to do to ‘grab ‘ the loot, resources , land , whatever ‘ as Nevin commented earlier on .

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  64. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Oops did’nt end that properly

    As Nevin commented earlier on ‘Who guards or will guard the guardians ?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  65. Barney (profile) says:

    Greenflag
    Indeed however a small correction, the Hungarians are viewed positively by Poles despite siding with the Axis in WW2.

    The suppression of the Polish language and their religion was worst in Tsarist Russia and the Prussian partitions. Austrians did attempt Germanisation policies however the whole scale attempt to absorb Poland (partition) by Prussia was perhaps more akin to the British Empire’s attempt to absorb Ireland. Like here the policy was doomed to failure but has left its mark. Poles remember the expulsions and immigration and the terrible events later in the last century.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  66. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Barney,

    Poles may remember the history of their country over the past century as it in turn was dismembered by Russians and Germans etc .

    As to the British policy to ‘absorb ‘ Ireland being doomed to failure ? It was never doomed and in fact up to 1912 it had an excellent chance of succeeding . What doomed it was the 1912 Ulster Covenant , failure of the Home Rule Bill , and the fortunate /unfortunate arrival of WW1 .

    It may horrify some but there were those at the top of the British & Irish establishments political , military and religious who were very much relieved by the onset of World War 1 -if only for the self preservation of the UK being able to avoid it’s own civil war due to the ‘Irish Question ‘ . With important elements within the Army , aristocracy and empire jingoists threatening ‘war ‘ over Ireland being given Home Rule and with the Government committed to implementing Home Rule -WW1 was ‘blessed ‘ happen stance . All those British & Irish soldiers who died for the Empire & Home Rule in Flanders field might instead have lost their lives in a UK uncivil war instead . .

    Polish immigrants in Germany started arriving en masse in the mid 19th century as Germany began it’s ‘Industrial revolution ‘ Even today in the Ruhr Gebiet there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of Germans whose names are Polish . Some even fought and died for the German Empire in WW1 and even in WW2 .

    The Poles have always looked to the west more so than the east . Despite WW2- Polish nationals like Podolski & Klose opt to play for the German national team .

    The Poles as a people have every right to be somewhat embittered at their historical treatment by both Russians & Germans alike but choose in the main to look forward not back .

    It looks like the Ukraine is the ‘new ‘ Poland . While the vast majority of Ukrainians want closer relations with the EU and to join it their Russian ‘blood brothers ‘ are using every economic threat they can muster to prevent that situation arising .

    The ‘oul ‘ blood brother ‘ diversion has been around a long time . Used successfully by the Serbs pre WW1 to draw Russia into the quagmire of a World war and by Austrians to drag in Germany . When politicians start using terms like blood brothers you can almost guarantee that ‘real ‘blood will soon follow ‘

    Having a ‘blood ‘ uncle however doesn’t count in North Korea where the latest communist hereditary monarch has just had his uncle executed for reasons which are still unclear . One hundred years on from 1913 /1914 and it’s the same old story eh ?

    Apart of course from the technology .

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  67. Mainland Ulsterman (profile) says:

    SK,
    “Ulster Protestants have an unfortunate tendency to give the more illiberal and chauvinistic amongst their number free reign when it comes to public discourse.”
    On the other hand, the freedom to speak your mind – whatever the sh** that is generated as a result – is kind of fundamental to Western democracy. And surely to be preferred to homogeneity, discipline and control, despite the downsides? It’s a difficulty for unionism that Ulster Protestants do tend to have a fierce sense of personal independence and autonomy. But maybe something that has also been under-valued too? And certainly something widely missed in outsiders’ caricatures of P/U/L people.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  68. SK (profile) says:

    “And certainly something widely missed in outsiders’ caricatures of P/U/L people.”

    _

    Possibly because the “PUL people” (loathe that term, by the way) have a tendency to destroy anyone who puts their head above the parapet and question the status quo. From Terence O’Neill to David Trimble, “Lundy” is a word that has no nationalist equivalent, and it makes a mockery of your “Prods as free thinkers” motif.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  69. It is sad that the Irish language has become a political football and not as a result of anything the speakers of the tongue did.
    It’s also passing strange the attitude of some unionists given that many if not most planters likely spoke the cousin language from Scotland. Poots’ pride perhaps describes it.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  70. Charles_Gould (profile) says:

    It has been interesting to read Mainland Ulsterman’s comments, as well as Mr Burgess’s audioboo, spoken as a protestant. Very eloquent and well expressed.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  71. lamhdearg (profile) says:

    I have a copy of one by one, org in its picture cover, having read (admittedly only the gist of) Monsieur Burgess’s above i.e. ” the Protestant working-class community needs to reclaim ownership of its sense of Irish cultural identity”, I am more inclined to part with it, any offers?.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  72. Charles_Gould (profile) says:

    I found both commentators MU and Burgess have put their thoughts forward in thoughtful and straightforward way.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Copyright © 2003 - 2014 Slugger O'Toole Ltd. All rights reserved.
Powered by WordPress; produced by Puffbox.
334 queries. 1.683 seconds.