Unionists! “Surprise us with original thinking and sensible strategies: and surprise Sinn Fein, too, while you’re at it!”

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I’m not sure there is much that anyone else (in any other political party I mean) can learn from Sinn Fein. Their sheer corporate autocracy is something even a party with the DUP’s history of demagogic leadership cannot match (and, as Chris Dillow notes, history really does matter) can match.

But Alex Kane has a point in one particular regard with respect to unionism’s abysmally poor pitching of its own project

There is a pro-Union majority in Northern Ireland – a pretty substantial one by my reckoning – but you wouldn’t be able to tell that from the propaganda, poor-us press releases and picking of pointless battles by our unionist leaders and parties. Seriously guys, stop whingeing about Sinn Fein and start offering an attractive, credible alternative. Just for once – surprise us with original thinking and sensible strategies: and surprise Sinn Fein, too, while you’re at it!

That last is the crucial factor. Unionism’s problem is that it has become too easy once again to penetrate their decision making cycle. The drift the grumpy right keeps them handily disaffected from a mainstream liberal media all too ready to disregard almost any and all inconsistencies in Sinn Fein’s handling of almost any issue in which they have a vested interest.

As I noted in our post election profile of the DUP, they could do with trying something other than good old fashioned Roundhead belligerence for which they have become so reliably known:

…the opportunities to deploy any larger, longer term and, dare I say it, more generous strategies seem remote whilst there is no prospect of a genuine two party occupation of the power sharing institutions.

One way of short circuiting the impasse could be a campaign of ‘unreasonable graciousness’. Rather than submitting themselves to endless rounds of fruitless (or worse) negotiations, start putting some precious items (the Irish language, say) on the table capable of attracting popular support from all sides of the community(‘reverse the polarity’ as Jon Pertwee’s Dr Who might have said?)

Something to think about as we head into yet another stormy north Belfast summer..

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  • http://WindowsIDHotmail danielsmoran

    MF. Alex Kane isn’t the only commentator from a ‘unionist perspective who’s laying into the political parties, as in today’s Irish News, Newton Emerson didn’t mince words in describing the DUP leadership as cowardly, especially in their response to racism like the kind dished out to the Nigerian man yesterday. Robinson is just as ridiculous when claiming the picket wasn’t to be counted as racism as somebody from up the country could be treated the same way, compared to claiming it was a hate crime to express distrust of politicians. He would be better to keep his mouth shut than show himself up again so soon after his humiliation over his pal the pastor.

  • gendjinn

    Mick,

    NI21 could have been that voice, and there’s obviously votes in that space but the UUP & DUP are constitutionally incapable of executing on that strategy. They don’t have the personalities and they don’t have the appetite to reach out to themuns.

    Sure, isn’t the First Minister too busy walking back his support for racism, sectarianism & bigotry every other week.

    Their sheer corporate autocracy

    I know you keep saying it, but repetition will not supplant fact. SF policies are debated at Ard Fheiseanna and voted on by all party members. Not sure how that makes the party autocratic.

    a mainstream liberal media all too ready to disregard almost any and all inconsistencies in Sinn Fein’s handling of almost any issue in which they have a vested interest.

    Now you’re just plain making shit up. The Independent recently admitted it’s been on a decades long jihad against SF. You just sourced Keena’s ad hominem attack from the Irish Times. Where is this liberal media that are in SF’s pocket? Are Belfast Media the liberal media to which you refer?

  • Mick Fealty

    Name one Sinn Fein policy that has made the journey from Ard Fheis to departmental policy?

  • Sheugh

    My kids both got to vote for the first time at the recent elections. Having been brought up within a historically “unionist” (Deliberate small”u”) family, it was refreshing to listen to them discussing candidates that appealed to them regardless of party. Individuals within NI21, Alliance, a couple of UUP folk and even a young SF candidate figured significantly. No mention of “Flegs”, parades or “them-uns”, But jobs and future prospects did.

    I don’t know how they voted, but I do know they probably didn’t follow the usual family line of casting a ballot for the red white and blue candidate with the nicest smile.

    Their Great Grandparents must be spinning in their graves!!

    Their

  • Granni Trixie

    Robinsons “from up the country” remark gave me,at least, a LOL moment. He is becoming the gift that keeps on giving were it not that as FM he is key in setting the tone in terms of behaviour and leadership.
    What is at stake here is that people need to have confidence in a system of housing allocation which is transparently fair ie according to need. Local people for local housing or jobs lends itself to racism/sectarianism.
    Off point, when we moved ‘up the Glen Road’ from Brighton St,Mid Falls, we were considered outsiders for some time until We all merged into “WB”.

  • tacapall

    The only original thinking the unionist parties need have is think new ways to thwart the forward movement of nationalism and republicanism and that’s what they do every day, think of new ways to say no surrender, not an inch, never, never , never. Unionist parties represent British interests in Ireland, they represent the status quo, they will always be supported by the British establishment and they will always be mollycoddled by that same British establishment when the need arises. Alex Kane is wise enough to know he who pays the piper calls the tunes, its not the DUP nor the UUP he needs to direct his advice to, its the British government who pays the piper, who can if they wish change mindsets and attitudes tomorrow.

  • Mick Fealty

    Like what Tac?

  • gendjinn

    Name one Sinn Fein policy that has made the journey from Ard Fheis to departmental policy?

    Interesting definition of autocracy you’ve got there.

    I’d point to the implementation of D’Hondt in Nationalist councils as an example.

    So where is this liberal media in SF’s pocket?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Gendjinn

    ‘The Independent recently admitted it’s been on a decades long jihad against SF.’

    Did they? Do you have a link? I’d be grateful, if you could point me in its direction? Cheers.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    ‘liberal media’

    Jesus wept.

  • RegisterForThisSite

    @Billy

    “…On today’s result, the major parties are in danger of being swept aside by Sinn Fein’s seizure of the high moral ground. So far, all parties have left the heavy lifting on exposing Sinn Fein to the INM group. But we cannot continue to roll a rock up a hill alone while being subjected to the sneers of a Coalition which confines itself to cheap jibes at Sinn Fein instead of subjecting it to sustained close scrutiny as we have done for the past 30 years. In that regard, RTE needs a reality check….”

    http://tinyurl.com/qg8sk6a

  • tacapall

    Are you asking what attitudes and mindsets the British could change tomorrow if they wish Mick ?

  • sean treacy

    Billy,I read the opinion piece in question.The indo called on the establishment parties to step up a gear and launch a full frontal attack on SF as the Indo had “done the heavy lifting” in this regard for decades.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “from a mainstream liberal media”

    IMO we have an almost totally useless media. Where are the investigative journalists? It’s not as if there isn’t sufficient corruption and incompetence in our governance processes – politicians, civil servants and quangoists – to keep a small army deployed :)

    It’s all too easy to criticise constitutional politicians but you’d have to look more closely at the environment in which they operate. Can they speak and make decisions freely or do they have to look over their shoulders in case there’s the likelihood of a brick through the window or a visit from the supporters of our more muscular politicians proffering ‘advice’?

    London and Dublin are also performers in our little circus yet they don’t even feature in the above analysis. It’s no skin off their collective noses just so long as fascist tendencies are contained within Northern Ireland.

    It’s far too easy to criticise or condemn the DUP and Sinn Fein but it’s not necessarily their fault that they have to operate within the confines of a tug-of-war constitutional arrangement, an arrangement that was reinforced by the change to the selection of First Minister in the St Andrews Act.

    Perhaps our grumpy liberals need a good (metaphorical) kicking. What a bunch of sad whingers. :)

  • RegisterForThisSite

    @Nevin

    “or a visit from the supporters of our more muscular politicians proffering ‘advice’?” you mean as in local housing for local people

    Your right the DUP are getting an easy right regarding their racist tendencies, ably support by the PSNI who still seem unable to put unionist lawbreakers in court. You would be mad to report a crime in NI until the red berets are decommissioned

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    RFTS, both ‘tribes’ have such supporters and you’ll probably find them in the Policing and Community Safety Partnerships – though probably not in similar bodies in other parts of the UK & Ireland.

  • RegisterForThisSite

    yeah Nevin but all we see is the bigotry and violence running through unionism top to bottom, so none of that old ‘both sides are just as bad’ codswallop, we in the middle of fleggers, racism, marching issues all created by unionist leaders and implemented by the unionist population and it’s being watched over by a police force which is more farce than force as the only arrests they’re making is Gerry Adams (any sign of that file yet) and themselves for awarding dodgy contracts

  • RegisterForThisSite

    add to that the DUP’s election pledge of a battle a day to ensure NI remains stuck somewhere around 1690, I mean last week a DUP MLA said all you need to make any law is the bible and the 10 commandments, time for unionism to be given one big ASBO

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    RFTS, now, now – hard men from the two tribes excel each other when it comes to bigotry and violence :)

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “Reverse the polarity”?

    Hmmmm, my geekiness approves.

    Another way of looking at it is this:

    In some martial arts there is an emphasis on using the opponent’s strength and force against him.

    If he pushes then you pull, it’s much easier to catch him off balance.

    If he punches, instead of absorbing or blocking the punch try to deflect it and cause the opponent to be taken by his own momentum.

    At present all I see is the unionist parties absorbing the punches and gradually being beaten down.

    Instead of the ‘from my cold dead hands approach’ to the Irish language act why not simply ‘pull’ SF as they ‘push’ the proposal?

    E.g. It could be renamed a ‘Gaelic’ language act and place more emphasis on the Scottish link and indeed the Antrim Gaelic variant of the language e.g. Antrim Gaelic for place names in Belfast and Ballycastle.

    (Sod it, maybe even secure funding for Hebridean Free P Gaelic choirs to come over and sing?)

    This will of course be of no interest to the more-British-than-British elements within unionism but it’ll finally sort the mess out, give breathing space to unionists who are interested in the language and burn the fingers of the (minority) hard line foamy mouthed nationalist types who won’t settle till the whole island resembles an O’Carroll’s gift store.

    At present, nationalists will keep pushing, unionists will keep digging their heels in and an uncompromised version of the act will come to pass.

    So, push-pull, Grasshopper….

    *AG walks out into Bonsai garden stroking his long white beard whilst treading on rice paper but without puncturing the paper. in the background the sound of ‘the Sash’ plays on bamboo flutes.*

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hey, Am Ghobsmacht, Linda Ervine is already “pulling” with east Belfast Irish language classes! And with a very, very local slant on the large numbers of protestants claiming to speak Irish between the Albert Bridge and Newtownards roads on the 1911 census. Hidden histories!

    I have rather feeble hopes that we may get sufficent numbers of our people on that side of the see-saw back to at least 1900 levels of sanity, and perhaps re-take the exam!

    And yes, the “more-British-than-British elements within unionism” are walking out of her talks and telling her that the language was made up in Long Kesh, but then there are those among them who think that our “Cruthain” ancestors spoke Queens English.

  • Jagdip

    SF’s success in the South mightn’t be “accidental” but the facts tend to show that it is the economic collapse that has boosted SF fortunes, and has boosted the fortunes of Independents even more.

    SF won five seats in the Dail in the 2002 general election, but by 2007, that had fallen to four. In 2011, it rose to 14. Far from there being an unrelenting march to power, the facts would tend to show SFers not doing so well when the economy is humming. And between 2011 and 2014, the economy has teetered between recession and anaemic growth, plus there has been a recent spate of scandals and maladministration, and introducing the detail of water charges during an election campaign is truly remarkable.

    The evidence shows the Independents have benefitted more from post 2011 events. Independents/others are now at 34% in the opinion polls, which is also akin to their performance in the recent elections.

    So, SF’s success might not be accidental, but it has certainly been assisted by economic events.

  • Jagdip

    As for the liberal meedja, we just have third rate media, some of which is liberal, some conservative, most is directionless.

    An efficient media would highlight the SF shizophrenia on local authority charges.

    Take Strabane, this is its press release in February 2014 justifying a 2.5% increase in rates.
    http://www.strabanedc.com/council/finance/rates/

    “more investment”, dealing with derelict sites, blah, blah, blah, the usual stuff, but contrast that SF with SF in the South

    This is the SF press release Wednesday this week in the South
    http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/30655

    “Local authorities throughout the state are currently being given a clear choice as Sinn Féin councillors introduce motions to reduce the rate of local property by 15% in an effort to reduce the financial burden placed on hard pressed families by this Government. ”

    Liberal or conservative media, I’d settle for media that did their job.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Am Ghobsmacht

    Great post! If I were a high-up in one of the unionist parties I’d offer you a job immediately, as you have the one thing they so desperately lack, and so desperately require: imagination.

    But they’d never have the imagination to think to hire you. Catch 22 I’m afraid!

    I’d quibble with your analogy (of course I would). You say: ‘At present all I see is the unionist parties absorbing the punches and gradually being beaten down.’

    No-one is presently ‘beating down’ unionism other than itself.

    Perhaps a metaphor that isn’t related to combat might be worth considering?

    Addiction, for example. The destructive behaviour, the sacrificing of civilised standards and the self-pity over self-inflicted injury will be familiar to anyone who has ever known an addict. As will the desire to blame everyone but oneself for ones own actions and choices. Or to use a trauma from the past (though certainly a real contributing factor in its own right) as a go-to excuse for destructive behaviour in the present. And the pain and suffering the addict causes to those around them.

    And of course the ultimate powerlessness of anyone to do anything about the addiction, other than the addict. (Who may not have the power either.)

    ‘…the (minority) hard line foamy mouthed nationalist types who won’t settle till the whole island resembles an O’Carroll’s gift store.’

    These people only exist in unionist ideology. They don’t actually exist in real life. To suggest that there are such people, and that they form part of the Irish language movement, is false, and has to be challenged, regardless of the ‘minority’ disclaimer.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Jagdip, it’s always instructive to compare media stories directly with the press releases that Government Departments issue. sometimes its simply a word for word transcript, sometimes a paraphrase.

    Not that there are not stories out there…….

  • Billy Pilgrim

    ‘…And with a very, very local slant on the large numbers of protestants claiming to speak Irish between the Albert Bridge and Newtownards roads on the 1911 census. Hidden histories!’

    It’s a great example of how unionist ideology is dependent on Protestants being kept in a state of total ignorance about their own history and cultural heritage, and how, as that ignorance starts to break down, all sorts of interesting things start to happen.

    Every single person who attends Ms Ervine’s course will better themselves by doing so. Peter Robinson, the OO and the UVF know this, and that’s what they’re afraid of.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    RegisterForThisSite / Sean Treacy

    Thanks for the link to the Indo article. What an amazing admission!

    After that editorial, every Indo article for the past forty years about the north can simply be dismissed as self-admitted propaganda. It has no more credibility than An Phoblacht, and admits as much itself.

    I wonder will august websites such as this one still cite the Indo / Sindo as a source? And if so, how can it justify doing so?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Billy

    One thing:

    “‘…the (minority) hard line foamy mouthed nationalist types who won’t settle till the whole island resembles an O’Carroll’s gift store.’

    These people only exist in unionist ideology. They don’t actually exist in real life. To suggest that there are such people, and that they form part of the Irish language movement, is false, and has to be challenged, regardless of the ‘minority’ disclaimer.

    Thon Ruaidri Ua Conchobai over on Jude Collins’ blog is a classic example of the type I’m referring to.

    I don’t doubt that he’s a nice chap and certainly has a passion for restoring the language but he gives the impression that it has to be ONE WAY and one way only.

    So you can’t say it’s in our imagination, I ruddy well waste my time dealing with such folk.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “eg Antrim Gaelic for place names in Belfast and Ballycastle.”

    Interesting suggestion, AG. Can you provide the one for Whitehall Grange – or are you just bluffing and blustering? ;)

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Seaan

    Probably you know this already but this is one of my favourite Gaelic-proddy tit-bits:

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/census-1911-belfasts-shankill-had-as-many-irish-speakers-as-falls-28733198.html

    Billy Pilgrim

    “Every single person who attends Ms Ervine’s course will better themselves by doing so. Peter Robinson, the OO and the UVF know this, and that’s what they’re afraid of.”

    I agree, I think that’s why we should try and drown out all the anti-Irish propaganda from the likes of Bryson and various DUPers as it’s based on ignorance (although there are other things but I can’t be assed with THAT argument again…).

    If you’ll allow me to indulge, this one was concocted specially for Jamie Bryson:

    http://amgobsmacked.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/foreigners-lundys-and-irish-language.html

  • carl marks

    AG,
    Could not agree more, Unionism quite simply has never understood real politics.
    The concept of “when in a position of strength compromise” then you get the compromise that is best for you.
    How many times in the past has Unionism been in a position of power and instead of using that power to reach a deal which it could live with it, has dug its heels in and shouted NOT AN INCH only later when that power has been reduced have they been forced to the table and made to accept a deal that made them even weaker.
    Civil Rights, Sunningdale, when they held the balance of power in Westminster, The Fleg, and Drumcree are all classic examples (and a far from exhaustive list) of the inability of Unionists to see beyond “ NO SURRENDER” normally followed public by disorder and violence when the rest of the world moves on.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    ‘…he gives the impression…’

    All I would say is that impressions are both given and taken.

    ‘…So you can’t say it’s in our imagination….’

    I didn’t say it was in your imagination. I said it was in your (ie unionist) ideology. Which isn’t the same thing at all.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Nevin

    I’m merely throwing out ideas.

    My knowledge of Gaelic (Scottish version) is minimal.
    I’m learning at the rate of continental drift.

    BUT there are people out there who are ‘on it’ with regards to Antrim Gaelic:

    http://rathlingaelic.blogspot.com.au/

    Interestingly, I am given to understand that there is a lady in Sydney who learnt Glens Irish from her mother and grandmother.

    I’ve been trying to meet her, but, no success as of yet (I really hope she doesn’t read SO’T….)

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Carl Marks

    You have to understand that when we talk about ‘unionism’ we’re talking about an addict.

    When you see it in those terms, you understand the irrationality, and see the futility of appealing to the addict on rational grounds.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Billy

    You said they don’t exist.

    Thon fella is a clear example that they do.

    Ergo, they exist.

    Schroedinger’s overly nationalist cat has been observed and is alive and therefore exists.

    Imagination/ideology/potato/tomato. Christ….

  • Billy Pilgrim

    AG

    You talked about ‘foamy mouthed nationalist types who won’t settle till the whole island resembles an O’Carroll’s gift store.’

    Now, such a person would, for example, take a dim view of Linda Ervine’s class, what with it being nowhere near ideologically pure enough to mass muster.

    Does the internet poster you cite oppose Ms Ervine’s class

    Does anyone from the Irish language movement have anything to say about Ms Ervine’s class that isn’t adulatory?

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    AG, so it was just a little bit of bluff and bluster ;)

    I’d suggest you could be missing the point. Were your suggestion to be adopted nationalists, in pursuit of their dream, would simply find another anti-unionist scab to pick. You’d probably also upset the Ulster-English Tyrone cowboys who’d expect their version of Gaelic to be used in the Holylands :)

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Billy

    “Now, such a person would, for example, take a dim view of Linda Ervine’s class, what with it being nowhere near ideologically pure enough to mass muster”

    I disagree.

    BUT said gent did talk about a British-Irish hybrid culture and an ensuing culture war.
    i.e. he’s opposed to any reintroduction (NOT introduction) of Scottish culture in the north as if this somehow tarnishes the purity of the culture.

    Go through the history books and we’ll see that the Scottish influence has always been part of Antrim culture, even before the plantation.

    Antrim is the belt buckle joining the Gaelic worlds of Ireland and Scotland yet he spoke of reintroducing (or even just ‘encouraging’) Scottish aspects as some abomination that needs to be resisted at all costs.

    That’s nuts.

    “Does anyone from the Irish language movement have anything to say about Ms Ervine’s class that isn’t adulatory?”

    Not that I’m aware of. I never suggested that they did.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    AG

    Fair enough. I don’t think there’s a lot of disagreement here. I don’t know who this gobshite is that you’re referring to, nor have I ever met anyone like that. All I can do is shake my head.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Nevin

    I confess that I didn’t know what you meant by ‘b & b’.

    But just because I can’t speak the language (and street signs and place names are hardly the stuff of academic toil) doesn’t make the suggestion any less valid.

    “Were your suggestion to be adopted nationalists, in pursuit of their dream, would simply find another anti-unionist scab to pick.”

    Right.

    People, do you see what Nevin said?

    Once again the spectre of Irish being associated with nationalism rears its head.

    Anyway Nevin, so what if they do?

    By implementing the ‘Gaelic act’ it chops down one of SF’s main totem poles to whoop around.

    The sting of using ‘Antrim Gaelic’ could (in theory) be soothed if the various Ulster-Scots got their act in gear.

    Antrim Gaelic was meant to be almost identical to some of the Scottish dialects (e.g. Arran variant).

    A few bus loads of Gaelic speaking Free P’s could also help a bit.

    There’s no accounting for the fleggin’ classes but what’s the alternative?

    Stamp feet, cry no surrender and then wait till the IRISH act is passed anyway and a non-Antrim variant is applied?

    Makes no sense to me.

    Jeez Nevin, I’m under the impression that you can probably see Scotland from your living room, do you not fancy beefing up the historical links a wee bit?

  • David Crookes

    BP: “Every single person who attends Ms Ervine’s course will better themselves by doing so. Peter Robinson, the OO and the UVF know this, and that’s what they’re afraid of.”

    Here is a truly profound observation. The main doctrines of loyalism — not an inch, what we have we hold, this we will maintain — constitute a barbarous corset that makes it impossible for the wearer to better himself.

    Sure what would you want to better yourself for? Catch yourself on. Away down to Big Willie’s tattoo parlour and try to act like a real man.

    Thanks, BP.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Billy

    I suppose that’s the problem with extreme cases, one head case can drown out the sensible concerns of a dozen other citizens.

    I’ll duly note that he is very much a minority/anomaly.

    As for fleggers, no matter how much I wish they were just a foamy mouthed minority who won’t be happy till the whole land is decked out like a Rangers shap….

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Billy

    ‘Antrim is the belt buckle joining the Gaelic worlds of Ireland and Scotland’

    I think that implies a kind of separation of Antrim from Ireland (ie it’s no more Irish than it is Scottish) which can’t be justified.

    It also implies that Ireland and Scotland are, though closely related, still separate ‘Gaelic worlds.’ But, as you know, ‘Scottish’ actually MEANS ‘Irish.’

    You shouldn’t think it a solution that PULs should have a rival ‘Gaelic’ culture. Irish and Scottish Gaels don’t think of themselves as separate, though of course there are distinctions. But we have been doing our own things and sharing them for centuries, whether in music, literature, the arts, sport – or whisk(e)y. You name it!

    It’s a pity that unionist Ireland took its ball home a century ago. Hopefully that cultural nose-amputation can be undone. But ‘Ulster Scots’ isn’t the answer. ‘Ulster-Scots’ travesty is too forced and politicised to be culturally nourishing. It will die when it no longer has political currency as a stymieing agent against Irish language and culture, and (shortly thereafter) when the money runs out. It is and has been not a cultural phenomenon but an anti-cultural phenomenon. It deserves the mountains of ridicule it has received.

    The Irish revival had Yeats, Gregory, Hyde and Russell. Ulster Scots has Nelson McCausland and John Laird. Marx’s joke about history repeating itself as farce seems justified here.

    Who’ll you support, AG, if you find yourself in Inverness when there’s an Eire/Alba hurling/shinty international?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hey Billy Pilgrim, the Irish Cultural Revival also had Frank Bigger, Joseph Campbell (“Seosamh Mac Cathmhaoil”) , David Parkhill (“Lewis Purcell”) Harry Morrow (“Gerald Macnamara”), Sam Waddell (“Rutherford Mayne”),Alice Milligan and her sister Charlotte Milligan Fox, Florence Mary Wilson, Peadar Toner Mac Fhionnlaoich (Cú Ulaid) and hosts of others from our own grim wee place. Before partition we held our own cuklturally with the rset of Ireland, so you have no need to call in Yeats as we can tip the scales against the Ulster Scots with a lot of “Ulster-Scots” extraction Irish Cultural Creatves of our own.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Seaan

    Sure didn’t I mention Russell?

    Great post though. Such an abundance of riches.

    These are the kinds of people that the likes of Ruth Patterson and Jamie Bryson could look to as role models, were it not for unionism.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Nor the other Theosophists from the north such as James and Maggie Cousins and Ella Young. “AE” Russell told my grandfather to “Start buying Yeats…” in 1906.

  • gendjinn

    Billy Pilgrim,

    got involved on the other thread, glad others had the link to hand. It must be popular :)

    I wonder will august websites such as this one still cite the Indo / Sindo as a source? And if so, how can it justify doing so?

    Wolfowitz, Kristol, McCain, Graham and the 2001 Iraq war gang are back on the teevees telling us how bombing Iraq iwilll solve the problem this time.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Billy

    “Antrim is the belt buckle joining the Gaelic worlds of Ireland and Scotland’

    I think that implies a kind of separation of Antrim from Ireland (ie it’s no more Irish than it is Scottish) which can’t be justified.

    No it doesn’t Billy, you are reading into things like an ex-girlfriend.

    In many instances the halfway point is often regarded as, well, ‘the halfway point’.

    And for most of history Scotland was closer to the Antrim coast than most of the rest of the island.

    You see ‘rival’ Gaelic culture, I see ‘complimentary’ Gaelic culture.

    Why do you have to be so confrontational?

    This is why I think nationalism is bullshit, you make enemies and rivals where non exist.

    I just offered a (faintly) plausible way of reintroducing Gaelic culture to NI unionists and you’ve started picking it off as a ‘rival’. Do you want a united Ireland or not?!

    “. Hopefully that cultural nose-amputation can be undone”

    No offence Billy, but, if it is to be undone could you please stay away from the patient?

    “‘Ulster-Scots’ travesty is too forced and politicised to be culturally nourishing. It will die when it no longer has political currency as a stymieing agent against Irish language and culture, and (shortly thereafter) when the money runs out. It is and has been not a cultural phenomenon but an anti-cultural phenomenon. It deserves the mountains of ridicule it has received.”

    I partly agree.

    As would (believe it or not) Willie Drennan.

    The current aberration that is Hawf Nelson McCausland’s version of Ulster-Scots is vomit inducing.

    When it is off the radar the door will be slightly ajar for the intrusion of Scottish Gaelic culture (or old Antrim culture if you want to go all archaic).

    So, I can bid my time with auld Nelson, like you say, when the money runs out….

    But if we can make a Gaelic presence felt in some parts of the unionist community then Billy, please, I beseech you not to see us as ‘rivals’ or such like.

    ——————————————-

    As for the hypothetical shinty/hurling match:

    I used to practice shinty at a Scottish university.

    I love the St Andrews X and feel very much at home in Scotland.

    I am (just about) learning Scottish Gaelic.

    I lived in Scotland for most of my adult life.

    BUT, that being said, I can sometimes have that nostalgiac Irishman abroad moment as demonstrated by the Chevallier in the movie Barry Lyndon.

    So back to the home land I go.

    Then some one pulls out a tricolour.

    Who do you think I’m going to support in that instance?

    A country that nurtured me and has no conflict within itself (anymore) or one that still tries to force one vision upon another part of itself?

    ‘Oh flower of Scotland….when will we see….yer likes again…..”

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    TITS!

    Correction:

    “And for most of history Antrim was practically speaking closer to Scotland than it was to the the rest of the island….”

  • Delphin

    AG your broader view of Gaelic culture and identity does not sit well with the ‘deatheater’ parties on either side of the Sruth na Maoile. This insular attitude is a far cry from the zeitgeist of original Caelic people whose culture and technology changed a continent.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-27803630

  • gendjinn

    Then some one pulls out a union jack.

    Who do you think I’m going to support in that instance?

    A country that nurtured me and has no conflict within itself (anymore) or one that still tries to force one vision upon another part of itself?

    Hold up a mirror, for the love of god.

  • Zeno

    “Do you want a united Ireland or not?!”
    AG

    That’s actually an interesting question. Any Republican will say they do, but at the same time a lot of them work against their own aim by alienating anyone who isn’t a republican.

  • carl marks

    Billy,
    Antrim Gaelic is closer to Scottish Gaelic for the historical reason that it was much easier (before the days of the motorcar and the road network) to get to the glens from Scotland by boat than it was to get there from Belfast (or most of the rest of Ireland) this has given the glens a closer connection (historically) with the west coast of Scotland and the isles.
    This connection existed long before the plantation, listen to the old legends of the area and you will be regaled with stories of Scottish princes and princess, our own Finn had an encounter with a Scots Giant not a Kerry one
    The Scots are Celts just like us and I like to think of them as the Irish clans who can’t make whisky as good as the stuff we make on this side of the stream.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    gendjinn

    “Then some one pulls out a union jack.

    Who do you think I’m going to support in that instance?

    A country that nurtured me and has no conflict within itself (anymore) or one that still tries to force one vision upon another part of itself?

    Hold up a mirror, for the love of god.

    The question was Ireland v Scotland based, not Ireland v UK.

  • gendjinn

    Am Ghobsmacht,

    my apologies I misunderstood the context. *awkward*

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hiya Carl Marks,

    “Antrim Gaelic is closer to Scottish Gaelic” and just to confuse the issue even more, although historical use of gaelic had almost died out in the Glynnes by the early twentieth century, it was revived across the community by Conradh na Gaeilge classes supplied by timire (travelling teachers of Irish) coming from from Belfast, who had usually been taught Donegal Ulster-Irish by Peter Toner MacGinley(Cú Ulaid).

    So Antrim Irish is kind of Donegal Irish……

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Seaan

    I mind you saying that before.

    In which case does that mean that Glens Gaelic mk II was different from what Shipboy-Adam wrote about?

    As in he testified at how it was identical to Arran Gaelic (or Galloway Gaelic, I can’t recall exactly).

    Curiouser and curiouser….

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “Jeez Nevin, I’m under the impression that you can probably see Scotland from your living room, do you not fancy beefing up the historical links a wee bit?”

    I live in a cave, AG ;)

    I’d like to see a greater separation between politics, religion and culture, notwithstanding the notion that our mindsets contain a combination of these three plus other stuff. We’ve already got Irish language and Ulster-Scots language political eejits running amok in the realm of place names so I wouldn’t be minded to support a Scottish Gaelic counter measure.

    I prefer the apolitical approach that I’ve seen in some Scottish books on place names where all linguistic influences are not only considered but also shown a great measure of respect, irrespective of their overall preponderance. I also practise the subtle approach.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you Nevin for the “subtle approach” link to the Lagadrade/Logenadoaid/Log an Droichid article. Although this name allocation appears to be straightforward enough, the issue of what townland names actually mean is exactly where the knowledge of Irish comes into its own.

    I was doing a talk at Connor/Kells about place names and discovered that few of my audience had any knowledge of Irish. In explaining Lisnawhiggle, (lios na coigile, “the fort of the distaff”) I pointed out that the distaff was probably figurative. Although it might have implied a fort in land controlled by a woman, it might also have used the image of a wild hank of wool or flax that suggested that the owner could never get his hair straight, left his land to get so out of heart that it was a mess of brambles and nettles, or that he was all over the place in his head. Irish, unlike English, has few abstraction words outside of loan words from other languages, and accordingly uses vivid, highly concrete comparative images when describing anything. This habit of vivid comparison means that the language has an undercurrent of satiric comparison that is entirely lost when you look over these very literal translations of words that are given as townland meanings.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Yes, Am Ghobsmacht, the older dialects of the Glynnes that Robert Shipboy MacAdam noted were sustained by the continual contact by sea between them and Kintyre and Arran (notably the first earl of Antrim was Randal MacSorley “Arranagh”), but with the waining of the older forms during the nineteenth century, the new form of Irish taught owed most to Donegal, even though the many local versions of Donegal Irish are not the only element in Ulster Irish. I seem to remember Cú Ulaid was a Bluestacks man.

    But I’m your last man for requiring any hard and fast authenticity, as culture to me is a changing pattern re-made in each personal experience, and I’d feel that the Glynnes learners of “Gaelic MkII” just before 1914 were just “making it new” as Ezra Pound would say.

  • carl marks

    Hey SeaanUiNeill
    I’m not sure if your agreeing with me or not, if your saying I’m wrong and since you seem to know a lot more about the history of Gaelic than myself I will concede the point of where the glens dialect comes from, but I stand by my point about the Glens having historically a closer connection to the west of Scotland than it would have had to most of the rest of Ireland.
    The Kingdom of Dalriada which occupied land on both sides of the Irish Sea springs to mind as a example.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    So, to loup back to Micks original theme, Unionism might just benefit if it began to think of itself as a living flame to be passed on rather than as a museum piece to be preserved.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hey Carl, agreeing and disagreeing all at the same time.

    Depends waht you mean by “Scotland” and “Ireland.” As nation states these entities have become packed with meanings since the inception of modern nationalism in the nineteenth century that would not have been there for Dalriada.

    But its important to remember that as you can easily read in either Arthur O’Neill’s “Memoir” or the section on Denis Hempson in “Annals of the Irish Harpers” Erinn and Alba were one quite regular cultural continium even as late as the eighteenth century. (See: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Annals-Irish-Harpers-Charlotte-Milligan-Fox/dp/1909721018/ref=la_B00KRN9DYO_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403345635&sr=1-1)

    So the modern desire to slot characteristics a single Gaelic culture into ‘Scots” or “Irish” is simply an other instance of what Faucault is so scathing about in his “The Order of Things.”

    So yes, Antrim is physically nearer Scotland, and had a lot of local interplay, but this does not make either more or less “Irish.” The highlanders were, after all called the “Irish of the Highlands” in the seventeenth century.

    I’m reminded of Frank Bigger trying to tell my sceptical grandfather that the kilt and bagpipes both originated in Ireland…….

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Seaan

    “Unionism might just benefit if it began to think of itself as a living flame to be passed on rather than as a museum piece to be preserved.”

    Indeed, but I think we’ll need a tractor trailer load of cultural Sunny Jims to keep that flame alive the way things are going.

  • Alan N/Ards

    I’m afraid that political unionism is stuck in the past. There might one or two individuals who have a notion, but the dinosaurs will hold them back.

    Until someone comes along, to drag us out of the 1900′s, I’m voting SDLP.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Alas, Am Ghobsmacht, despite the sterling efforts for the union of such stalwards as our local “Sean Bui”, Son of Strongbow, I am compelled to agree with you.

    The greater part of the current breed are a very, very far cry from the subjects of poor Newbolt’s “Vitaï Lampada”. The only “breathless hush in the Close to-night” is amongst those trying to avoid their neighbours, and who, Peter tells us, are not really experiencing racism…..

    But, seriously, I’m delighted to see that the UUP is still able to accomodate couragious men like Jeff Dudgeon.

  • David Crookes

    Sorry to harp on an oft-plucked string. If traditional unionist thinkers actually thought, they would be interested in serious art, serious music, and serious literature, but they don’t, so they aren’t. Their doctrine is dead. Its no-questions catechism is an ossuarian gradus of crumbling phrases like not an inch, no surrender, and this we will maintain. Any move in the direction of urbanity is forbidden. Everything has to be 4yokels. Beat the drum, fly the flag, and scowl continually.

    I shouldn’t be so hard on them. Some of my liberal unionist friends are equally illiterate. Their idea of ‘culture’ is a globate universe filled with abortion clinics, mobile phones that tell you when to go to the toilet, oversized televisions, oversized bungalows, and oversized vehicles that belch out poisonous black filth. They will happily live on a cultureless corner of a treeless island whose shores are washed by a poisoned and fishless sea.

    I hope that my own unionist folk will come to see their future in a cultured unified Ireland. At present neither the traditional nor the liberal unionist leaders have any commitment to genuine culture, BECAUSE THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT CULTURE IS. Culture in its heart is spiritual. As long as we believe that human beings are merely intelligent animals with bodies and minds, we shall have dead political doctrines, and no culture.

    What passes for religion on my side of the fence is often bound up with drum-beating, with flag-waving, with a hospitable warmheartedness which is strictly 4locals, and even with hatred. That form of religion will have to die.

    A big job is waiting to be done, as big as the job that Patrick did. The status quo is such a stinking quagmire that I am hopeful for the future. Some day soon, intelligent and spiritually hungry people may clamber out of the prison-house.

  • Alan N/Ards

    David
    There are a lot of religious people in our land. Probably not to many Christian people if we’re honest. Don’t worry, I can see myself bouncing between both groups from time to time. I’m far from perfect.

    I’m interested in how we clamber out of the prison house into a workable freedom. If that makes sense.

  • David Crookes

    Thanks, Alan, and I’m further from perfection than you are, but good things will happen when we all get thoroughly sick of a prison-house whose ‘great and effectual’ door is already open. Anyway, it’s not all up to us. I reckon that Patrick got a bit of help!

    When you watch the RK ‘Ireland’ series you see the same old tripe that we have today, with longer hair and sideboards. Surely the same old tripe can’t go on for another hundred years.

  • Alan N/Ards

    David

    I absolutely agree with what you are saying. Mind you, I struggle with which potion will cure us of the prison – house.

    Many prisoners become instutionalised after a lengthy imprisonment.
    It’s all that they have known and the world outside that door is scarey. They need help and encouragement to adjust when they leave. Many of us, myself included, need encouragement to step outside of our comfort zones.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “Their sheer corporate autocracy”

    I’m not sure what this means but I suppose a vernacular rendering might be, ‘thugs in suits’.

    “Surprise us with original thinking and sensible strategies”

    and this suggestion comes from someone who IIRC told us he wasn’t going to vote!

  • David Crookes

    Bless you, Alan, we all need encouragement. To a large extent I was a never-never-never boy for the first forty years of my life

    Stepping out of the old certainties takes time, especially if you have a lot of friends who believe that stepping out is treacherous.

    Of course the old certainties were never all that certain. The union has always been a frail plant in reality. At present it is potbound.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    David, thank you for “At present neither the traditional nor the liberal unionist leaders have any commitment to genuine culture, BECAUSE THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT CULTURE IS. Culture in its heart is spiritual.”

    This is the entire problem of why it is proving impossible for contemporary Unionism to be anything but a negitive force. For a real culture to exist, it is necessary for the people who must nurture it to love something beyond themselves, whether it be a place, a history, the formal arts, or even just other people. Despite the presence of genuinely committed and good people in every political party, the loveless, all too “knowing” cynical narcissism of our entire political culture is just too arid a desert for anything lasting to take root in.

  • David Crookes

    Thanks, Seaan. Many of my fellow-Protestants are in miller-of-Dee mode at present: “I care for nobody, no, not I, for nobody cares for me.”

    Nobody wants us, they complain.

    Well, who in his right mind would want them?

    Scripture tells us that people who want to have friends must show themselves to be friendly.

    Surely a time will come when the dog will get fed up with returning to its eternal vomit. Unionism doesn’t need new ideas. It needs to get a life. It needs to create a world in which our children will wake up excited every day, wanting to do things, and make things, rather than merely have things, and get things.

  • Kevsterino

    David, I think Unionist ‘leaders’ have fallen into something of a mud pit when it comes to the remaining unresolved issues. I use the term ‘leaders’ liberally here to describe a style that doesn’t pull their constituents into an improvement of their circumstances, but is pushed back into the muck whenever they deign to dignify their folks with a thought outside of the box.

    That phenomenon destroyed Trimble and even forced Ian Paisley of all people off the helm of the Unionist ship.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Unionism excels at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory; this is the key aspect that republicans rely upon in order to make it feel uncomfortable.

    If unionism wants me to think about voting for it, here are the changes I’d need to see :

    - abandon the extremes to the TUV and UKIP.

    - Approach parades controversies by asking “resident groups” to specify their criteria for permitting a march. This flushes the resident groups onto open ground where the public can see what their agenda is.

    - abandon the Twaddell 12th parade. It’s lost and it isn’t coming back.

    - propose, or get behind, an all-out security policy aimed at flushing out paramilitary organizations for good. Paramilitaries must be told to clean up and abandon their activities, or face prison.

    - stop trying to defend the practices of burning flags; or the right to erect paramilitary flags.
    - Stop defending the burning of tyres and household rubbish at bonfires.
    - Stop defending bonfires being erected across public roads.
    - Come out against intimidation and racism and stop trying to defend it as free speech and peaceful protest.

    I don’t hold out for the prospect of any of the above happening.

  • David Crookes

    Kevsterino, that is hard to quarrel with. Are we in an infinite loop?

    CS, I’ll vote for all of that. Thanks for setting it out.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Over on another blog, I forget which but will try and look through the browsing memory on my work computer, someone suggested that NI would benefit from the introduction of equality legislation to the process of selecting political candidates. After Peter’s sponsorship of the “A Sense of Belonging: Delivering Social Change through a Racial Equality Strategy for Northern Ireland 2014 – 2024″ consultancy document:

    http://www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/racial-equality-strategy

    perhaps the DUP could take a lead and in future offer a field of candidates equally selected from both traditions? I’m sure they could steel a march on the UUP and even the forward thinking elements of Sinn Féin with this opportunity to show the world that their poor international reputation is entirely unmerited.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Comrade
    Great post. I agree with everything that you said. Spot on.
    We had a flute band parading near our house until about 10:30 last night. I’m not sure how close they where to us but it was annoying. My wife was going to phone the police at one stage. The band had no consideration for anyone. We had to close our daughters bedroom window so she could get to sleep. It took her a while to get over. How I love loyalist culture.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Alan N/Ards

    “How I love loyalist culture.”

    Its not “loyalist culture” at fault but policing culture which is at fault.1 No point in complaining about their actions when you did not make the call.

    I am not saying that the police will actually do anything but it will at least be noted. The PSNI are losing a lot of credibility due to their inaction on such matters.2 We need to do what we can to make them take action.

    1
    “A spoiled child is one who’s demanding, self-centered, and unreasonable,” says Harvey Karp, MD, creator of The Happiest Toddler on the Block DVD and book.

    2
    PSNI chief Matt Baggott will appeal judgement that force was wrong to allow illegal and violent protest marches.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/loyalist-flag-protests-psni-chief-matt-baggott-will-appeal-judgement-that-force-was-wrong-to-allow-illegal-and-violent-pro

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “an all-out security policy aimed at flushing out paramilitary organizations for good.”

    CS, APNI has the justice portfolio. What actions has the minister taken to remove paramilitaries, elected and unelected, from our governance processes? Would he not require the acquiescence of both London and Dublin to do so?

  • Alan N/Ards

    McSlaggart

    I’m assuming the parades commission sanctioned the parade last night, so maybe the police had no choice. My gripe is with those who insist on annoying everyone in a half a mile radius, in the name of culture.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Alan N/Ards

    “I’m assuming the parades commission sanctioned the parade last night, so maybe the police had no choice.”

    That is why its important to ring the police and establish the facts.

    I would assume that any formal parade would be over before “10:30″.

    ” My gripe is with those who insist on annoying everyone in a half a mile radius, in the name of culture.”

    I would think the band had a good time. Hell a few cans and pretty girls/boys admiring your talents as you play your tunes. What is their not to love from their perspective.

    You need to tell them that they are “annoying everyone in a half a mile radius” either directly or though the police.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Nevin,

    You have a point. I’m reluctant to criticize the justice minister without knowing what the facts are, but I’d like to hear more on the subject. I am sure there are reasons to do with anti-terrorist policy not being devolved, and the fact that the police are controlled from the police board.

    No, the acquiescence of Dublin and London are not required; and if he gets stopped, all he has to do is say so. There would be a minor constitutional crisis if government ministers in either jurisdiction tried to prevent the justice minister from acting. But this is unlikely; the mood in London and Dublin is different from five years ago. It is the DUP who have the ear of the Prime Minister, not Sinn Féin. And SF’s expansion in the south brings with it the hostility of the parties whose seats they are threatening.

    That aside, I see no reason why they shouldn’t be putting an organized crime bill through the assembly. Something which, say, requires the Police Board to set up a committee to deal with this specific matter and to report regularly on the status of activities aimed at disrupting paramilitaries. And of course the other matter that needs sorting out is the question of the National Crime Agency not having jurisdiction here; this is being blocked by nationalists at the moment.

    Alan,

    Yeah I agree. I can cope with marching and the disruption around the season. But the open disrespect for others is a problem that needs to be confronting. This, and things like the setting up of union flags up the Ormeau Road, appear to me to be attempts at provocation; they’re pushing the boat out as far as it will go, to the most unreasonable possible extreme, in the hope that there will be a reaction, which they can then cast as an attempt to ban their culture.

    McSlaggart,

    The reason why the police aren’t acting is because they don’t have the political support to do so.

  • tacapall

    Comrade in regards to the NCA surely you can understand nationalist objections to a governmental body that is answerable to no-one except a British minister. We have learned through experience that no matter how many promises of transparency and equality within the law, abuses by British controlled police will always occur, any British crime agency operating in Ireland will never be acceptable unless it is answerable to the assembly, nationalist insistence on that acceptance by the British is I believe non negotiable.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Comrade Stalin

    “The reason why the police aren’t acting is because they don’t have the political support to do so.”

    I do not know if you wrote this as some sort of support for the PSNI or a condemnation of their inaction? Thrasymachus 1 may have supported such inaction but I do not see “lack of political support” as any sort of defense for inaction in the face of law breaking.

    1
    “justice is the advantage of the stronger” Thrasymachus{ Republic}??

  • DC

    ‘- abandon the Twaddell 12th parade. It’s lost and it isn’t coming back.’

    Why do you believe that?

    The list you make above contains in my view micro unionist issues not macro ones Orangeism used to be mainstream but the reality is it has broken away from the orange state as the orange state is no more, so are the associated jobs and privilege that it used to bestow on its middle class – Orangeism today is aligned more so to class-based unionist culture, loyalist culture. So I can see why a middle class Alliancer has no time for it what so ever and how an Alliancer can easily align him or herself to wider cross-class ethnic nationalism on the issue of parades. I can see why an Alliancer has no time for instance for bands in particular who are still networked in loyalist communities and give local young men and older men something to do.

    Personally if the parade succumbs to Parades Commission regulations and plays no music, no hymns, no drums, no triumphalism as is the charge, I see no reason why the parade and counter protest should not happen together.

    The incongruous thing in a would-be liberal democratic society and context is the banning and preventing of something from happening and therefore you would need to convince me why I should just come to terms with “it’s lost it isn’t coming back”. For if the parade is regulated so that it proceeds in a manner that is deemed OK in the eyes of NI’s liberal elite, in a manner fitting for the 21st century than the 20th, i.e no drums and banging and overt crude Protestantism, which catholics don’t like and don’t want to see progress down a main road very close to them, then I would say that’s more an issue that nationalism would need to address.

    Even taking the crude nationalist view that the parade is sectarian and outdated and not fitting for today’s society nor suited to their area or whatever, the nationalist community needs to look across the water to England to see that extremist Islamic preachers and protests can take to the streets without banning so they need to know they aren’t going to have it their own way simply because they view something as sectarian and outdated and backward.

    In my view given the regulatory powers the Parades Commission has and based on bands and parades following those rules set down the nationalist community in respect of the crumlin road are very privileged to have things banned for them, very lucky indeed, it’s the same sort of mindset that removed the union flag too, the flag position was defined in a way that it was made out to be excessive and offensive, so Alliance acted in sympathy of nationalist bigotry and did the needful.

  • Kevsterino

    David, I don’t know if I can call it infinite. Hell, even I can’t get so vain as to speak for infinity. But for the life-times of those who read this, it will probably be so. I just don’t see where the motivation for change can arise from Unionism as currently constituted. I mean, all change is treachery in that universe.

    Trouble is, who can enjoy the precious Union while it lasts when in permanent siege? So what is the Union worth? Nobody ever talks about the benefits of the Union, even while vociferously promoting it. Like an end in itself where the benefits are understood by those who enjoy them, and those who don’t? Who cares what they think, anyway…

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hello Mick, what’s this Cárta Buí actually for? Unless I have some idea as to why it has appeared against me, in a run of what I’d imagined to be entirely innocuous posts, I cannot refrain from possible mischief in future posts even with the very best will to admonish, inform and entertain, rather than to offend taste or sense.

    I do not dispute that the dash of mild malice in my flights of inconsequentiality fully deserves reproof, but for exactly what has this appeared? Please tell……..

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Mick! Just checked my email, read the deserved admonishment, and……. point taken! But then I was always the one the high master noticed drawing caricatures in prep…..

  • Mc Slaggart

    DC

    You do know that Unionism does the most objecting to people marching? For example:

    http://www.belfastdaily.co.uk/2013/08/09/updated-news-republican-parade-re-routed-over-violent-loyalist-protests/

  • DC

    @mcslaggart

    That’s what happens when the liberal democratic model is not upheld or seen to be applied fairly.

  • tacapall

    ‘- abandon the Twaddell 12th parade. It’s lost and it isn’t coming back.’

    Dont be surprised when there is agreement for a parade to pass in the morning and no return parade the scene is being set for this to happen.

  • Comrade Stalin

    tacapall,

    I do understand nationalist concerns, but a way needs to be found to deal with them. Otherwise NI will become a crime haven. NI is, for example, the only place where there is no active assets recovery agency in place.

    DC,

    The opportunity to resolve the issues of marching in Ardoyne came and went 10-15 years ago. It is too late now for unionists to be talking about face to face talks and compromises as everyone knows they are only doing this because the Parades Commission blocked the parade past the shops. I don’t necessarily like this fact, but this is now a lost cause and all they’re doing with the Twaddell protest is making it worse.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    DC

    Out of interest could you clarify if you disagree with any CS’s list of things that could be tackled?

    Regardless of the effect on ‘the middle class’ how would it negatively affect working class loyalist areas IF they were banned from burning noxious substances or were encouraged to respect the rule of law etc

    You seem to forget that some people who were very much into marching and parades et al have turned their back on said culture not because they are now coffee drinking, plimsoll wearing jessies but because marching culture has sank so low and all attempts to raise the standard are met with indignant resistance.

    It is out dated and now a major cause of discord.

    What is wrong with a spot of modernisation?

    And as for letting the parade commence:
    Surely that would be the height of stupidity?
    It would justify ‘fleggerism’ and the harder right elements of unionism.

    It might even encourage them to have another stab a Drumcree.

    Fleggerism must learn the hard way what it means to burn bridges and one’s own fingers.

  • Zeno

    Pat Doherty MP has joined Twitter. So far he has discovered that 72 people want a United Ireland.
    https://twitter.com/PatDohertyMP

  • Morpheus

    And……..?

  • Zeno

    It will be a good eye opener for him.

  • Morpheus

    Yeah, I am sure he will be blown away by the science of it all because God knows a shout-out for a retweet from a new user on Twitter is the same is a referendum – he might as well pack up and go home :)