Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Do nationalists have fears? If so, why can’t our journalists report on them?

Wed 1 January 2014, 12:03pm

2014 has arrived, and we’ve come through yet another of our hothouse political negotiation moments. This time, a deal wasn’t struck, and indeed the mood music and content of the final Haass draft confirms that many of the key issues of division were to be pushed further down the road anyway, as opposed to being resolved at this time.

But, in one area, this negotiation was like the many others that have preceded it in the post-ceasefires era.

Throughout the run up to, during and following on from the Haass Talks, there has been a typically narrow media focus on the desires or demands of unionists- though you won’t have heard the words ‘desires’ or ‘demands’ used. Instead, it will have been substituted for ‘fears’, ‘concerns’ or ‘sensitivities.’

I vividly recall reporting the findings of an informal ad hoc study I’d conducted during the lead in to the Good Friday negotiations to fellow postgrad students at Queens University where I was able to count just under fifty references to unionist fears, concerns, sensitivities or worries in the three local papers over a two week period.

15 years on, listen to Gareth Gordon’s BBC Evening Extra report last night here.

  • Unionists ‘feared’ nationalists rewriting history (2min 33 sec in)
  • Unionists ‘feared’ a force within a force being set up through HIU (8min 55 sec)
  • Unionists ‘worried’ people compelled to give evidence, ‘fearing’ that could apply to former police officers. (9 min 15 sec)

Naturally, nationalists and republicans did not have any ‘fears’ in this report. Perhaps nationalists collectively suffer from Urbach-Wiethe disease.

Every discussion regarding the three issues under negotiation reported that I have heard on either BBC or UTV has begun by reporting what unionists believe, want or ‘fear.’ Not once have I heard a journalist or broadcaster refer to nationalist/ republican ‘fears’ in the past couple of weeks. (I haven’t heard every bulletin obviously, so perhaps I missed a reference somewhere along the way. I doubt it though.)

Now, let me clearly state that I believe Gareth Gordon to be one of our most professional and astute political commentators. It isn’t an issue specific to one commentator or journalist, but rather a cultural bias in our mainstream media which is a legacy of our past.

However, it feeds the self obsession of unionism and inability of both the unionist political elite and grassroots to recognize the wants, needs and ‘fears’ of the Other, a real problem manifesting itself through the flags and parades protests so effectively exposed and parodied by the Loyalists Against Democracy site over the past year.

Personally, I believe the whole notion of either unionist or nationalist politicians having ‘fears’, ‘concerns’ or ‘anxieties’ over issues being negotiated regarding flags and parades is absurd. Obviously, discussions pertinent to relatives of those deceased during the conflict will give rise to a broader range of emotions, though, again, these would apply universally to not only unionists but also nationalists, republicans and others.

Unionists don’t ‘fear’ not being able to march loyalist paramilitary aligned bands through working class republican communities any more than they are ‘sensitive’ about being able to erect the Union Flag on town halls or lamp posts in predominantly nationalist town centres. These are demands and desires.

So why is it important?

Well, if people have ‘fears’ then, naturally, there is an onus on others to examine if they are indeed causing this condition to arise, acting in an inappropriate manner which has a detrimental effect on others.

The inaccurate and indeed loaded (intentional or otherwise) use of the term to describe unionist attitudes to items for discussion discourages analysis of the motivation of unionist political leaders and puts the onus on others (namely nationalists) to examine if they are acting in a manner which creates or exacerbates unionist fears.

Again, were the media to be consistent with the use of the ‘fear’ term, applying it to describe nationalist and republican sentiment, then this would be less of an issue.

I can see a New Year’s resolution in there for many members of the media……;)

Happy New Year.

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Comments (44)

  1. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    I’m pasting this from Twitter, because I think it deserves a response (I happen to know Chris is not about this pm, so I’d like to hear anyone have a crack at it):

    What do you think?
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  2. Charles_Gould (profile) says:

    Perhaps Natonalists fear articulating their fears?

    Gerry Adams likes to talk a lot about unionist fears.

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  3. Nevin (profile) says:

    “Again, were the media to be consistent with the use of the ‘fear’ term, applying it to describe nationalist and republican sentiment, then this would be less of an issue.”

    Chris, are you pointing at nationalist failure, in particular that of your sometime associates in SF, the PRM’s political wing?

    Sinn Fein repeatedly jumped through DUP hoops in the vain hope of obtaining the elusive prize of the devolved policing and justice ministry it failed to nail down at St Andrews — a shortcoming which itself illustrated that republicans need some fresh, legally literate pairs of eyes around the top table. .. CD, BelTel 16 Feb 2010

    What’s to stop you cataloguing nationalist fears in the BelTel or elsewhere? I’ve referred to a young Catholic friend who’s afraid to go to a strongly unionist town because she’s a Catholic whereas I’ve no fear of going to the mainly nationalist town where she works or to the mainly unionist town that she referred to.

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  4. sherdy (profile) says:

    Chris, – You make a very good point which reminds me of the old adage ‘the crying child is always lifted’.
    But possibly you are expecting the media to be impartial. Most of the TV and radio varieties are British, loyal and unionist inclined (British Broadcasting Corp) and the Irish media follow the party line of Enda Kenny who is terrified of the thought of Sinn Fein getting anything like a fair hearing on the air. He would ban them again, if he could.
    The print media, both sides of the sea, follow similar lines.

    Then there is the Sinn Fein publicity machine (aka Richard McAuley) – when did you last see him at the centre of affairs rather than just a lonely figure in the background?
    Most of the recent negotiations have been led by Gerry Kelly who appears most sanguine about the whole process? Has Gerry been affected by any new-found friends he has made over the last few years?
    Don’t know, but he never seems under pressure or unduly exercised by the thought of failure in supposedly serious negotiations.

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  5. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    Presumably during the Haass talks the nationalist position was more positive as they emerged willing to progress the draft.
    So on this occasion the fears and anxieties were emanating from unionism.
    Perhaps if we looked at the reporting of the residents protests at St Patricks, say, we would hear reference to fears and anxieties there.
    I think Chris is making a bit too much of this.

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  6. Pat Mac Murphy (profile) says:

    The OP points out bias exhibited by the media towards the ‘unionist political elite’ and subsequent ignorance towards the fears nationalists may have. I think the title is therefore rhetorical and as Chris points out there’ maybe a new years resolution for some hacks to look at the ‘other side’ for a change.

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  7. Seamuscamp (profile) says:

    Sherdy

    I suspect GK knows his best strategy is to allow the opposition to cut it’s own throat. He can say: “We are always willing to compromise; the other lot want everything their own way”. And his position will be largely untested because the other lot will run true to form.

    Chris D

    Multivariate fear is such a part of the underpinnings of NI that it has lost its force as an explanatory term. Fear of a return to the sectarianism and violence of the past cannot go away; because there is a lot of distrust in society and in the negotiators. From the outside such fears seem unfounded – but the scarring left by real life cannot be discarded by those actually scarred.

    I’ve read the H draft document and found the expected issue-dodging. We are reaping the harvest of evil and our political representative seem content with some version of the status quo. Goodwill isn’t in the rations.

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  8. oneill (profile) says:

    “Do nationalists have fears?”

    Ask any of them living beside a *peace* wall to separate them from their “Unionist” neighbours and you’ll get a very succinct answer to that question.

    But that’s the real world and it doesn’t suit the somewhat more abstract narrative propagated by SF which is of a confident community (under the guidance of a confident and astute political party obviously) progressing steadily towards its nirvana of a 32 County State where fear will disappear the next day along with the *Peace* Walls.

    Admit fear and you are admitting Gerry & Co haven’t done their job.

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  9. Scáth Shéamais (profile) says:

    Mick:
    “Personally, I believe the whole notion of either unionist or nationalist politicians having ‘fears’, ‘concerns’ or ‘anxieties’ over issues being negotiated regarding flags and parades is absurd.”

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  10. Clanky (profile) says:

    Of course it’s the unionists who have fears, they are the ones with everything to lose while the nationalists have everything to gain.

    If the balance is to be redressed then the real sacrifices are going to have to come from the unionist side. Nationalists need only fear the status quo and everyone but the hardline loyalists have made it clear that the status quo is quite simply not an option.

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  11. The great thing about getting old is that you outlive your fears. (About 15 years ago I heard Dr Phil say this on the Oprah Show….I had the flu).
    Its actually true .
    If you are retired you dont fear redundancy.
    If your mortgage is paid off, you wont lose your home.
    Specifically as to nationalist fears…Norn Iron over 45 years….or possibly Ireland over centuries has been a roller coaster. Ups and Downs and likely to be that way for several more generations. It will all outlive us.
    Times since 1969 when I have been in near despair.
    Times when I have felt pretty darn good about the Future.
    Nationalism will outlive me. And thats just about all I can hope for. I dont want to go all sentimental about “the flame still burns” and all that, especially as it invites the ridicule of those who want to extinguish the flame.
    Reasonable people will say that it will burn with varying degrees of intensity.
    To be honest and even melancholic a lot depends on when you die.

    A German soldier bleeding to death in Northern France in 1940 might think it was all worthwhile. A German soldier bleeding to death in the streets of Berlin in 1945 might feel more generally fearful for the future of his loved ones.
    I dont think I have fears.
    I’m a nationalist..So I want the whole United Ireland “deal” and just because its not likely to happen in my lifetime, is no reason to abandon it.
    Around 40% of voters actually support that.
    Opinion polls dont bother me. The last refuge of the 21st century scoundrel.
    Unionists dont bother me.
    Neither side can win. We have a stalemate.
    Yet one or other side CAN lose….simply by giving up.
    And yielding to the seductive charms of….you guessed it….the LetsGetAlongerists of the disenfranchised Overclass. Kindly refer to Slugger O’Toole (passim) for a comprehensive list of people and organisations.
    A Liberal Unionist Theme park?
    Actually I think post-2011, LetsGetAlongerism has suffered some reversals. And thank God, Haass was a disaster.

    It doesn’t really matter what Nationalists SAY was on offer 48 hours ago.
    There was no possibility and SF managed to come out of Stormont Hotel looking reasonable.
    Realistically SF would have been skundered if DUP had said yes at any point. No point that the DUP could have agreed, especially on Flags would have been accepted by nationalists.
    We like it as it is….December 2012 is banked.
    Likewise the parades. Garvaghy Road…is in the bank. And theres a Civil Rights Camp at Twaddell Avenue. What’s the problem in that for Nationalists.

    Too many vested interests dont want to deal with the Past. What we have is what we know.
    Two years ago, I attended a PFC event …a series of monologues by women. Very moving.
    Stories that anyone in Derry, Ballymurphy, Shankill Road, Darkley would have known.
    These stories have been screamed for 45 years.
    The Truth was known. The Truth is known.
    Yet one man in the audience that night stood up and said…”I didn’t know about this”.
    Shame on him.
    No Truth Process….no costly Truth Process is worth setting up just to ease middle class consciences and finance the life style of the Go.den Halo.

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  12. Kensei (profile) says:

    I don’t think anyone should take a pop at the tweet question Mick, since it can only be asked if you completely misunderstand the point of Chris’s article.

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  13. son of sam (profile) says:

    Chris,presumably like the sometime poster on Slugger(Fortlands ) would insist that there is a mainstream media bias against “Republican” views.Is it not ironic therefore that the only paper to proclaim such views(Daily Ireland ) seemed to wither on the vine no doubt due to decreasing circulation?Does the Irish News not adequately reflect the views/fears of the broad “Nationalist ” community?In terms of local T V,does the individual reporter have total control over the news stories they are sent to cover?Do the editors have a malign influence over deciding what should be covered?Plenty of questions but is there a conclusive answer to any of them?

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  14. Charles_Gould (profile) says:

    Gerry Adams (back when he was on the NI media more) would talk *a lot* about unionist fears, I remember quite honestly thinking he wanted the media to put out a message that had unionists being “afraid of change” etc.

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  15. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    There certainly are a few things that nationalists would fear, specifically a return to the practices of discrimination and exclusion in the past. That “fear” will come up in the context of any discussion around reforming the system of government at Stormont.

    But the two political cultures we are talking about are very different. John Major called it “phantom fear”. Unionism has been about promulgating fear and distrust since it got started. Even during the heyday of the old Stormont parliament elections were all about fear.

    Peter Robinson tried to pretend that unionism had become strong and confident in the post-2007 era but the flegs business has exposed all of that as a house of cards. It’s still obviously very easy to manipulate unionist voters by scaring them and promising impossible pipe dreams.

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  16. DC (profile) says:

    Journalists would no doubt report on them if the SDLP and SF spoke about them?

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  17. Brian Walker (profile) says:

    First my declaration of interest as former BBC.

    Might it be that the News in reaction to the breakup was about the unionist reservations about the document and their “fears” of republican/nationalist gains -a real phenomenon whether justified or not — and the declared, repeated broad satisfaction of Sinn Fein and the SDLP with the document?

    No more than that?

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  18. looneygas (profile) says:

    I, for one, am happy to hear that Nationalists are less fearful than in the bad old B-Special days.
    Of course the Unionists are fearful. They’re like the bully whose big brother used to back them up. Now big brother is older and maybe grown tired of backing up the little bully.
    The big fear is of eventual abandonment by big brother.

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  19. If News is defined as Man Biting Dog….then it is not News if Unionists are fearful.
    The headline “Unionists are fearful….” Could have been written any day in the last 45 years and presumably every day for the next 45 years.

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  20. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    I imagine that nationalists have fears just as much as unionists do. To have fears is a human reaction to the unknown. What the media is getting at though is the fears of the establishment that loyalists will disrupt the peace. The same fear used to be expressed about Republicans until they decommissioned. Loyalists are seen as the equivalent of the dissident republicans still conducting the armed struggle–beyond the control of any of the parties in the Executive. The Ulster Democratic Party is now defunct and the Progressive Unionist Party not far behind with no Assembly representation. So the mainstream unionist parties very imperfectly representative the mass of working-class loyalists who either do not vote or who mostly vote for the DUP without feeling really represented by the party. If the dissident republicans prove to be more than just bumblers than the media will go back to worrying about them as well as they once worried about the Real IRA.

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  21. SK (profile) says:

    “They’re like the bully whose big brother used to back them up. Now big brother is older and maybe grown tired of backing up the little bully.
    The big fear is of eventual abandonment by big brother.”
    _____

    This.

    They are frightened of being treated the way that they nationalists.

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  22. Reader (profile) says:

    SK: They are frightened of being treated the way that they nationalists.
    But Chris listed three specific fears that had been reported, before insisting that those fears and others were either not genuinely held or not actually fears. Now you come along and say that unionists really do have fears, without actually being specific about what they might be.
    So how about you telling Chris exactly what unionists are afraid of, and then letting him know whether you think the fears are realistic?
    But I expect you won’t actually be able to undermine his campaign against the new mopery.

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  23. DC (profile) says:

    ‘Unionists don’t ‘fear’ not being able to march loyalist paramilitary aligned bands through working class republican communities’

    Correction Chris – to march past, not through.

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  24. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Thanks, Chris, and happy new year to you as well.

    If you express a fear which you know in your heart is fatuous, you are lying.

    It should be part of good journalism to expose lies.

    I was depressed to learn tonight that the TUV leader has made the following statement.

    “It is certainly no surprise to me that the Haass process is putting pressure on unionists. It was never designed to do otherwise. All such international involvement has the same tilt, because the Dublin/London/Washington nexus, which drives the process, is consciously anti-unionist. It was the same when Mitchell was the frontman.”

    Dublin/London/Washington! It’s a wonder the Illuminati and the Bilderbergers and the reptilians aren’t in there as well. What’s more, the process wasn’t ‘designed’. PR and MMcG asked for it.

    We need to be careful. Whipped-up fatuous fear may combine with lunatic self-importance so as to generate fascism.

    In case some readers find that offensive, let me give an example of a fascist. Someone who tries to burn a policewoman alive in her car. Or, someone who prevents a man from visiting his terminally ill wife in hospital. Or, someone who refuses to condemn members of his own tribe when they engage in lawless violence.

    It is becoming more and more clear to some of us on the unionist side of the fence that the doctrine LET’S SHOW HOW REALLY NASTY WE CAN BE has been deliberately appropriated by politicians who are thinking of repartition. I know it’s stupid, but then so are they.

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  25. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    DC:

    Correction Chris – to march past, not through.

    Clifton Street is most certainly “through”.

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  26. sherdy (profile) says:

    Isn’t it great to have such a kind New Year message from Jimbo? How lucky we are to have such ‘Christian’ leadership.
    Had there been any meaningful engagement there would have been pressure on all sides – that’s the nature of negotiation.
    But the DUP went in with no intention of finding a solution. They just played the game right up to the deadline. The UUP seemed to have no idea of what was going on or Mike Nesbitt would never have made such a fool of himself before the last day’s business by declaring, with such a self-satisfied grin on his face, that he was 90% sure of a successful outcome.
    As I have said previously Sinn Fein, led by Gerry Kelly, certainly felt under no pressure as they realised the game DUP were playing, and they only wanted to exit the talks looking like the good guys.
    I’m afraid SDLP and Alliance were only bit-players of no real consequence.
    But then, such is politics.

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  27. Republic of Connaught (profile) says:

    I don’t think nationalists have many real ‘fears’ anymore. They know that the Orange state has been busted; they know that in the coming years there will be a Catholic majority, which means the fate of the northern state will be in their hands. Keep it if they like its new ‘equality based’ makeover or vote for unification if they don’t.

    The Unionist community is having to deal with not just decades, but centuries of Protestant hegemony over the province being eroded year on year.

    Those more 21st century minded Protestants, the silent majority, won’t have any fears because they know the world has moved on and both Britain and Ireland are not enemies anymore, but friends. The backwoodsmen Protestants, of which there are still many, will rage against the end of their age old sectarian domination of Ulster. But there’s no turning back time, so they will have no option but to adapt to those changes, or emigrate.

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  28. Still waiting….

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  29. Nevin (profile) says:

    “Still waiting….”

    Waiting for Dodot? ;)

    Nothing to be done.

    I’m beginning to come round to that opinion. All my life I’ve tried to put it from me, saying Peter/Martin, be reasonable, you haven’t yet tried everything. And I resumed the struggle.

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  30. Chris Donnelly (profile) says:

    Dissenter
    I fear you have missed the rhetorical nature of the question (pardon the pun….)

    As I stated, I don’t believe ‘fear’ is the appropriate term to be employing to depict positions regarding either the constitution, parading or flag flying.

    In any case, the failure to use it universally to depict attitudes of nationalists as well as unionists somewhat gives the game away.

    As someone said above, everybody has fears, regardless of religious or political views.

    Nationalists, like unionists, have a list of potential political outcomes which they would dislike- strongly in some cases, and these relate to all three areas under discussion at the Haass Talks.

    But the media’s failure to discuss these in the same detail as the potential outcomes which would fail to find favour with unionists (ie those unionists apparently ‘fear’ or ‘worry’ about) once again underscores the point being made regarding the default bias.

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  31. Nevin (profile) says:

    “However, it feeds the self obsession of unionism and inability of both the unionist political elite and grassroots to recognize the wants, needs and ‘fears’ of the Other”

    Chris, you’re giving the game away too by falling into a groove similar to that which you decry. Nationalist and unionist are interchangeable in that sentence. LAD or RAD – just plain SAD.

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  32. streetlegal (profile) says:

    The local reporters at the BBC and elsewhere seem to be very dependent on feeds from the DUP Press Office. This office has effectively taken over the role of spoonfeeding journalists – like Brian Rowan, Mark Devenport and their UTV equivalents – with an editorial line. That is an ‘establishment line’ which consistently sets the news agenda.The DUP has been very successful in this – there is no critical reporting of politics at a day to day level on the mainstream media in Northern Ireland.

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  33. Greenflag (profile) says:

    “What the media is getting at though is the fears of the establishment that loyalists will disrupt the peace.”

    Once upon a time the British establishment feared the Black Shirt Fascists of Oswald Mosley. So much so that they took a decision to give London Metropolitan police protection to the Fascists who decided to march through a predominantly Jewish street in London’s East End . It took 100,000 Londoners , and street barricades to keep the Fascists from marching through . The London police tried to force the protesters back but they failed .

    Thereafter HMG passed a law -outlawing fascist marches in paramilitary uniform in Britain . The battle of Cable St led to the end of the homegrown British Fascist threat to the establishment . The establishment quickly learned that the threat of brick throwing mobilised and organised British anti fascists was an even greater threat to order and thus the required legislation was passed .

    Which Government- will stand up to Northern Ireland’s Flag Fascists ?

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  34. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @ Fitzjameshorse,

    ‘The headline “Unionists are fearful….” Could have been written any day in the last 45 years and presumably every day for the next 45 years.’

    Could have and was .And that’s a problem . It’s Peter crying wolf. Nobody is listening because nobody believes .

    The next 45 years may have to add a bit more zest to the wail to get more than cursory attention

    2016 :Unionists more fearful than ever .
    2017 : Unionists anxiously fearful over unknown .
    2020 : Unionist fear unknown unknowns ,
    2022 : Unionists demand repartition .
    2023 : Unionists demand recognition for South Antrim /North Down Federation with it’s twin capitals of Carrickfergus & Bangor .
    2024 . UK refuses recognition as does EU , USA and the Vatican and Moscow . Turkish Republic of North Cyrus & Israel give qualified recognition to new Federation .

    and so on ad on until

    2060

    Remaining Unionists now 8% of Ireland’s population wonder what all the fuss was about 45 years and 140 years ago .

    and so it goes or probably will .

    2014 the 100th anniversary of the War to end all Wars :(

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  35. DC (profile) says:

    Well it looks as though Nationalists feared designated days. Couldn’t put the flag up from zero to 18 days, 5% increase like that would have ‘hurt’. Bigots.

    Nationalists only care for designated days when it reduces the union flag but couldn’t care less in nationalist-run councils because using it there would produce, not reduce, the union flag. So designated days is completely ignored.

    Maybe nationalists need to be more emotional or emotive on issues up for negotiation and compromise, communicate how you feel to us all, rather than be all brave and bold and proud in the face of Unionism fretting and fearing. All bold and brave like true heroes lololol!

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  36. DC (profile) says:

    I was only joking about the lol bit there btw, you guys are heroes among your community I am sure.

    But maybe Nationalists should give us all a sense of how they feel about things as it would be helpful to see just how much certain things mean to nationalists and showing emotions is a good way of doing that.

    There are compassionate unionists out there so don’t worry no one is going to laugh or make fun.

    Also re ‘Unionist fearing’ all the time well I am going to put it like this, I think I would be a bit fearful negotiating with someone who had shot someone dead and hadn’t really revealed his true emotions about that, perhaps he may have none or loads and be regretful and sympathetic now today? Who knows?

    If that person has none – no real emotions about it today – remains stone cold about what he did then that might make certain persons fear all the more during negotiations!

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  37. Nevin (profile) says:

    “Every discussion regarding the three issues under negotiation reported that I have heard on either BBC or UTV has begun by reporting what unionists believe, want or ‘fear.’”

    You could use their respective complaints services, Chris, but you might get little satisfaction. Newton Emerson got the boot when the SDLP complained but when I invited the BBC to put its ‘Dick Spring briefing’ into the Drumcree archive I got a point blank refusal.

    The briefing was quite illuminating: it showed that the BBC could be rolled over by people of power or influence, that a Secretary of State could issue a statement that was untrue and that an Irish government was prepared to assist the Athboy conspiracy. The same Secretary of State had been exposed some years earlier in the run-up to the Downing Street Declaration.

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  38. Still waiting for that list…

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  39. ayeYerMa (profile) says:

    You’ve got to laugh at the mythology that Republicans seem to manufacture on a daily basis. Gerry Adams doesn’t even represent a constituency in NI (not that he ever did much “representation” in the first place) any more, yet every time he farts it’s on the BBC news. At this very instant, some meaningless rambling from Adams is in the top 3 BBC NI stories.

    We don’t live in a Republic, the population doesn’t want a Republic, so time for the media to stop this excessive pandering to Republicans.

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  40. DC (profile) says:

    I think I have found some ‘emotion’ after all!

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/mod-apologises-for-raf-recruitment-billboard-placed-next-to-bloody-sunday-massacre-site-in-derry-29884050.html

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  41. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    DC

    “But maybe Nationalists should give us all a sense of how they feel about things as it would be helpful to see just how much certain things mean to nationalists and showing emotions is a good way of doing that.”

    They do but unionists do not want to act on what they say.

    The arrival of the modern phone is something which may in the end sort out much of the outstanding issues for nationalists. One idea I have heard is the idea of taking down flags from “public” property if they have been up over a week.

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  42. ArdoyneUnionist (profile) says:

    Let me recall a time when republicans did express fear, the fear of being represented by Gerry “I was never in the IRA” Adams. The fear was put in a local west Belfast publication but after interventions by Adams and the republican movement. The fear of being represented by Adams and the shinners/IRA, was repressed and removed. However with Chris’ post I suspect those fears still exists. Or is it, they just doesn’t have a vehicle or a person strong or brave enough to express those real fears.

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

    The fears expressed dealt with Adams and the shinners/IRA’s lack of leadership at ground level, in dealing with the murder of Harry Holland and the loss of jobs under Adams and the shinners/IRA’s stewardship.

    And after the revelations of the Adams sex case, the murder of Robert McCartney and Paul Quinn and the accusation of other republican/shinner/provo sexual abuse cases there seems to be a definite lack of fear from republicans in these regards. Yet there is a irrational fear of bill boards advertising jobs in the RAF. Go figure!!!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/07/international/europe/07ireland.html?_r=0

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brutal-murder-revives-paramilitary-fears-in-border-bandit-country-395433.html

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  43. Reader (profile) says:

    Greenflag: The establishment quickly learned that the threat of brick throwing mobilised and organised British anti fascists was an even greater threat to order and thus the required legislation was passed . Which Government- will stand up to Northern Ireland’s Flag Fascists ?
    You don’t seem to be able to follow your own logic. You say that the Government gave in to the greater threat of force back then. Is that what you are advocating now? And in which case, where does the greater threat of force come from this time round?

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  44. Dixie Elliott (profile) says:

    Why can’t or won’t journalists report on the vile online comments of a certain SF Cookstown councilor?

    He recently referred to victims of suicide as “death wanters” who “think they are to important to live”

    the quote marks are his comments…

    The only reason I don’t publish his name here is in case it gets the site in bother.

    However his comment using the name michaelhenry can be read here….

    http://thepensivequill.am/2014/01/suicide-narrative-makes-no-sense.html

    On my facebook page and on the comments below his on the Quill I point out who he is. In fact any fool could find out who not least in his username which is his 1st and 2nd Christian names…

    http://www.cookstown.gov.uk/corporateservices/councilmembers/

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