@BBCGMU, KKK and that interview

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Yesterday morning, BBC Radio Ulster’s flagship show, Good Morning Ulster decided to conduct an interview (1hr 36 mins in) with the leader of the Ku Klux Klan, Frank Ancona, in response to a flag that was displayed in East Belfast. Much was made by the show about the fact that Ancona had never given an interview to anybody in the UK or Ireland before, but could this not have been due to the fact that they have no presence in this neck of the woods, and even Ancona recognised in the interview himself this fact. If the KKK were such a big cheese in the UK, surely Newsnight, Daily/Sunday Politics or Panorama who regularly host voices from the extremes might have had a go at them by now?

The interview was set up throughout the show as a major scoop as illustrated by tweets like this

Tune in at 8 to hear @petercoulter‘s interview with the leader of the KKK, Frank Ancona, who claims he’s been in touch with supporters here

— Good Morning Ulster (@BBCgmu) July 2, 2014

Yet, when I listened in, I found what was essentially mish/mash from a leader of an organisation that is struggling to make head way in his own country, with an African-American President to boot.

I have heard the comparisons, well sure look at the coverage Jamie Bryson got, but during the height of the flag protests he did command a great deal of support amongst the people who were out protesting. Furthermore, let’s be honest if roles were reversed and the South Carolina legislature voted to stop flying the Confederate flag over the state house and spotted a lone red hand of Ulster in audience, I doubt NBCs first call would be to Jamie, no harm to him.

I like Good Morning Ulster and the output they bring to us every morning. Yesterday listening to that interview was honestly the first time I have felt uneasy about any of their content. To broadcast an interview with the head of an unrepresentative organisation who aside from a flag on a lamppost has no evidence of support here, I felt missed the mark.

Am I perhaps missing the point? Did Good Morning Ulster provide a public service in running with the interview? Should we have more of representatives of these types of organisations on the airwaves? Is our own Chris Donnelly right?

  • MYtwocents

    BBC ireland are promoting the racists by giving them blanket news airtime,but they cant help themselves, they see a opportunity to put down the wider pro British community by highlighting that there are some racists among them, while ignoring the obvious, there are some racists among us all.

  • Mick Fealty

    Can we have interviews with the Israeli and Palestinian Ambassadors the next time some numpty puts their fleg up on a Belfast lamppost?

  • Chris Donnelly

    Obviously I think I am.

    Let me explain.

    Like it or not, there is a strong racist undercurrent running through this society, and tolerance of it is worryingly high.

    Hot on the heels of the east Belfast KKK flag has been the racist threats stencilled on a wall in Moygashel, something that would’ve taken a considerable amount of time which implies the culprit was comfortable that he’d face little by way of reprimand if identified by locals whilst completing the task.

    It is an inconvenient truth to point out that explicitly racist/supremacist opinions find greatest expression within working class loyalist communities, and the emergence of a photograph of a loyalist wearing a Combat 18 shirt holding the Pride of Ardoyne FB Banner whilst participating in a parade (believed to be at Twaddell) illustrates the point perfectly:

    https://twitter.com/chrisadonnelly/status/484433475140063232/photo/1

    Yet it is hard to find local political or community representatives who will articulate the views clearly finding sympathy with many people.

    Therefore, it is entirely appropriate to seek out persons willing to give voice to such opinions as, to not do so, restricts the opportunity to expose the lies and prejudicial mindsets that define such people.

    Just look at how Pastor McConnell and Peter Robinson were humiliatingly forced to retreat from their initial comments regarding Muslims once they were subjected to media exposure and public opinion.

    I also think it brings home to people, in an uncomfortable way, the type of supremacist mentality they endorse by airing bigoted opinions when they are forced to hear actual Klan members speak.

    In any case, the fact that the flag was labelled ‘KKK’ is sufficient grounds to seek out an interview with a Klan member on the basis of providing information to the public on what an actual Klan member believes- in the same way, I’d like to hear Combat 18 members being interviewed to expose the rancid bigotry and racism that defines their agenda.

    It is infinitely preferable to flush out, expose and comprehensively ridicule those holding supremacist or prejudicial opinions than to merely ignore their existence as doing the latter denies the opportunity to reach those who may be vulnerable to their influence (or the influence of others sharing such views.)

  • cynic2

    “It is an inconvenient truth to point out that explicitly racist/supremacist opinions find greatest expression within working class loyalist communities”

    ….well they get the greatest publicity but its a shared problem – for example the attacks recently in West Belfast.

    Loyalists may have the biggest problem but if we are to sort this we need to recognise that its a shared issue in poor ill-educated communities and not just use it to attack themuns.

    Indeed, just using it in that way is itself racist

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com John Mooney

    Im not sure that there is a direct comparison between a National Flag and a Ku Klux Klan Flag.
    That sounds like Whataboutery.
    The role of the BBC is surely to tell the truth about Norn Iron and as Mr Donnelly notes reporting the racist (and indeed homophobic, sexist and sectarian) underbelly …seems to suggest that BBC is no longer prepared to act as an agent for the Stormont Executive and/or the Tourist Board.
    There is only a limited number of times that the Giro d’Italia and the Titanic can be mentioned in one news programme.
    Welcome to Belfast.
    KKK Flags …UDA Flags….Israel….Palestine….Ireland….Britain.
    Its how it is.
    “Local Houses for Local People”

    Is the BBC obliged to have a curious editorial code that there is a quota for “bad news” for each side. A bad news story with associations to say Republicanism must be balanced by a bad news story with associations to unionism?
    Again thats just Whataboutery.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “who regularly host voices from the extremes might have had a go at them by now … listening to that interview was honestly the first time I have felt uneasy about any of their content … expose the lies and prejudicial mindsets that define such people”

    If we can stomach the views of politicians linked to loyalist and republican paramilitary organisations, including their presence in government, then accommodating the likes of the KKK shouldn’t be a problem. London and Dublin would probably find a place for such guardians of the neighbourhood in our police and community safety partnerships – just so long as they restrict their activities to Northern Ireland.

  • John Ó Néill

    Are representatives of all the countries who will have their flags burnt on eleventh night bonfires to get similar parody of esteem and be interviewed alongside a representative of the appropriate bonfire committee?

    The PSNI took down the a red flag first and it was replaced by a second, blue, flag (which has now also been taken down). What is astounding here is that no-one knew the PSNI were capable of taking down flags. Are we to assume they will deploy this new-found capability towards removing UVF/UDA/UFF flags from public spaces?

  • Reader

    John Ó Néill: Are we to assume they will deploy this new-found capability towards removing UVF/UDA/UFF flags from public spaces?
    First you need a complete list of the flags that are forbidden (or allowed?). For instance, how about UVF 1912? Or UDU?
    Then the definition of ‘public space’ as opposed to ‘this house/gable’, and whether housing executive properties are public or private space.
    Then you need to decide if the local community has any say in the matter, and how it is to be measured. Even the definition of ‘local community’ is a bit iffy for large flags on Black Mountain, or on tower blocks.
    Are you ready to chair the committee?

  • between the bridges

    Has anyone interviewed cork fans re the flying of the confederate or imperial Japanese flags? Or perhaps RTE are currently lining Daisy Duke and Hiroo Onoda up…

  • John Ó Néill

    Reader, there isn’t the tiniest iota of credibility for anyone who tries to pretend that sticking 1912 on a UVF flag would somehow make it less antagonistic. Are unionists/loyalists happy for IRA 1921 flags to up everywhere (it certainly wasn’t proscribed at the time and had an official office in Belfast City Centre)?

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Out of interest why are Israeli and Palestine flags flown here?

    In relation to the KKK, the interview was and is a farce as there is no known support for this organisation in NI. The flag was simply put up to antagonise and has rightly been taken down again.

  • Mick Fealty

    It was resolutely tongue-in-cheek John.

    I should say that I am completely in favour of free (as opposed to licensed) speech and argument. And I have no objection in principle to the leader of the KKK being interviewed in public on almost any subject. Hell, I’d do myself, if I had a reason to do it.

    But my question is: does bringing in the real KKK actually address a real problem in Northern Ireland or is it one constructed largely by the media itself? Thus my tongue-in-cheek remark about ambassadors, etc..

    Unionism does seem to attract an extraordinary amount of this sort of schlocky journalism.

    Take Jamie Bryson, the great white hope of Loyalist North Down, eloquent certainly. But did he have a real world following beyond the social media world? His failure to raise the money to stand in the EP elections suggests not.

    Likewise, NI21. The mandates of two MLAs razed to the sufficiency of just one super councillor. Hardly worth the copious amounts of journalistic oil burnt on it.

    Yet, beyond the usual glib single transferable rants about unionism going to hell in a handcart, virtually no time is spent on looking at the TUV’s 12 new councillors, and what that says about the current state of unionism. Or what’s behind the odd resurgence of the UUP.

    I suppose the disquiet I feel is nothing new, or even particular to Northern Ireland. Journos follow what’s in vogue, even if it’s misleading (See Yasmine Al Rashidi at 20.50 in Scorsese’s excellent doc on the NYRB on misdirection of me too journalism at the Wall Street Journal)

  • Reader

    John Ó Néill: Reader, there isn’t the tiniest iota of credibility for anyone who tries to pretend that sticking 1912 on a UVF flag would somehow make it less antagonistic.
    You missed the point – should there be a list of banned flags? Or a list of permitted flags? Or should the decision be made on a case by case basis by a peeler with a ladder?
    I also mentioned ‘UDU’ because I saw it mentioned as a new cover name for the UDA. But how would I know for sure?

  • Charles_Gould

    Stupid from the BBC in this case. D McCann right.

  • Scáth Shéamais

    Some (trade) unionists are organising a lunchtime protest at the BBC today.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/337579809724055/

  • SK

    There is no desire whatsoever on the part of the unionist community to clean up its act when it comes to hoisting UVF flags, paratroop regiment flags, UDA flags, UDU flags, YCV flags etc. Nor is there any inclination to stop the ritual burning of tricolours or effigies of the Pope during its “cultural” events.

    Reader has done his best to labour that point on several threads now. As John has stated above, if a flag with “IRA 1921″ started popping up with similar frequency, folks like Reader wouldn’t be so equivocal.

    If unionists are not willing to tackle it’s own festering sectarianism, then it rests on others to do it for them. Interview the KKK. Photograph the racist graffiti. Film the people who piss on churches, who teach their children to cheer as the flag of their neighbour goes up in flames. Show the wider community on this island and across the water exactly who and what it is they’re dealing with.

    Shame them into changing.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    SK,

    There is a difference between IRA 1921 which was at that stage as now a terrorist organisation.

    The UVF has a proud history in WW1 notably and poignantly at the Somme – this can’t be forgotten. .

  • SK

    Joe,

    The IRA was signing treaties with the British Government in 1921, meaning it was legally recognised. Like the UVF, it is an oraganisation that predates the subsequent (terrorist) incarnations. Yet I imagine the outcry amongst people like yourself were a flag like that to become as wide visible as it’s UVF counterpart. This is because you and people like you are hypocrites.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Joe

    “The UVF has a proud history in WW1 notably and poignantly at the Somme ”

    The took the gun into the democratic process. If you do not like the vote then take out your gun.

  • SK

    “Our historical paramilitary groups are okay but yours aren’t”

    An attitude that ties in nicely with William Humphrey’s contribution while debating Chris Donnelly on Nolan: “Our bands should be allowed to march through mixed areas, but yours shouldn’t”

    It’s topped off by Peter Weir’s contribution to shared future in the Newsletter today: “our symbols are okay at Stormont, but yours aren’t”

    Whatever part of the brain it is that deals with hypocrisy is missing amongst many, many unionists. Must be the tyre fumes.

  • Reader

    SK: Reader has done his best to labour that point on several threads now. As John has stated above, if a flag with “IRA 1921″ started popping up with similar frequency, folks like Reader wouldn’t be so equivocal.
    Eh? Line up a dozen nationalists and republicans from north and south, and they won’t agree on whether the Provo’s are the same as the War of Independence IRA. There will be plenty of continuity and legitimacy arguments when the 1916 and 1921 commemorations approach. Why should unionists not also have an opinion?
    Whereas it is certain that the UVF disbanded after WW1.
    Not that I have any more faith in the credibility of the 1912 UVF flaggers than I have in the crypto-Provo tricolour flyers.
    So that peeler with a ladder is going to have to be a mind reader too, isn’t he?
    Where are you on the fundamental issue of whether to have a ‘banned’ list, or an ‘allowed’ list?

  • Joe_Hoggs

    SK,

    That is pure whataboutery and you conveniently ignored the point I made.

    The UVF of 1914 – 1918 fought in a global war to ensure freedom for ALL and sustained heavy losses as a result.

    How can you compare the IRA for any era with this?

  • carl marks

    Reader
    How about this, no Flags at all on lampposts anywhere, that makes it easy!
    No Burning Flags anywhere.(don’t forget that the other side will have input in solving this issue so pissing them off is not a great idea) why else would you Burn somebody’s flag but to offend them.
    Joe Hoggs,
    Your reaction to the 1921 IRA flag is the same reaction that nationalists have to the old UVF flag , and on your point about the UVF fighting in WW1 you should be aware that many nationalist fought with honour in WW1 and joined the IRA when they returned home (my Maternal Grandfather was one) now the “old UVF “ are put up by the PUP and they are linked with the UVF ,we see the PUP dressing up like the old UVF in parades and we see murals celebrating the old UVF beside those celebrating the new UVF (I’m sure you can give similar examples re, nationalism, they are wrong as well) so can you not see how nationalism have issues with that flag.

  • carl marks
  • Joe_Hoggs

    Carl Marks,

    My question was and is whEN did the IRA fight with distinction representing all people of the island as the UVF did in WW1?

  • John Ó Néill

    I’ve just went over the British Army’s order of battle for the Great War and don’t see the UVF listed anywhere.

    Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place. Did they fight for the Germans (after all, it was the Germans that supplied their guns)?

  • declan_allison

    I don’t see what the pubic interest was in interviewing this man. Perhaps if the interviewer had asked probing questions to expose his irrationality it would have been productive, but that didn’t happen. Instead he was allowed to spout his evidence-free nonsense without serious challenge. There was no news, no exposé, no new information. It served no purpose and simply gave the KKK a public platform.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    John O’Neill,

    You seen no3 reference to the 36th Ulster Division which included the UVF?

  • carl marks

    Carl Marks,

    My question was and is whEN did the IRA fight with distinction representing all people of the island as the UVF did in WW1?
    Individuals from the IRA fought in WW1 as did individuals from the UVF fought in WW1 as has been pointed out to you there was no UVF division.
    Another point, WW1 was not a war fought for freedom (WW2 was as the Nazis were intent or making everybody else either dead or slaves interesting that the BNP who just love Adolf has Flags flying) it was fought over resources, the proof of this is the subsequent liberation struggles that took place in the British and French empires after the event.
    Irish men from both sides where used as cannon fodder by incompetent leaders in a war to decide which cousin would have the most turf! It was nothing to do with freedom that was the lie that was told to get young men to charge machine guns.

  • http://fitzjameshorselooksattheworld.wordpress.com John Mooney

    Mick….
    The extent to which Journalism should turn its attention to the underbelly of unionism (or for that matter …nationalism) is interesting.
    There is a school of thought….indeed there is one based at (I think) Park, Missouri , USA…which says that journalists have a civic responsibility to report good news stories.
    I hope I have not misrepresented their views. There was a seminar on the subject last December. It was a view broadly shared by Prof John Brewer, Duncan Morrow and William Crawley and rejected by people such as Alex Kane and Malachi O’Doherty.
    Again I hope I am not misrepresenting them. Alan covered the seminar here on Slugger (late November or early December 2013). As indeed did I on my own blog.
    In fairness this is NOT the point you are making Mick.
    Rather you think that too much weight is given to two KKK flags in East Belfast or Jamie Bryson.
    Again thats a reasonable point but for a nationalist/republican blogger like myself two KKK flags in East Belfast is gold dust.
    The view might be put forward by mainstream unionists (and Peter Robinson ????) that the KKK flag or “local houses for local people misrepresents unionism/loyalism but there are others entitled to say that it is not atypical at all.
    To what extent should BBC report it?
    Clearly it embarrasses mainstream unionism and “letsgetalongerism” but surely it cant be the case where Journalism holds unionism to a schoolboy standard….like a club rugby third XV scrum playing seasoned professional scrum.

    But you raise another point about which I have been thinking..the extent to which the local blogging community is being informally “regulated” and some voices marginalised (Jamie Bryson perhaps) while others …mostly academics and journalists …seem to be promoting each other.
    Perhaps this leads to better quality. Or just a group think.
    But while some voices seem DIRECTLY marginalised, their filtered views make it into academic papers.
    Academia has certainly re-asserted itself in the local blogging world.

  • Framer

    Two KKK flags in East Belfast may indeed be gold dust to Republicans but it is not the job of the BBC’s NI news website (paid for by us all) to major on them for days and in effect to stoke up tension.
    It should be regarded as a very minor item of news on a par with an armed robbery or street assault which never get more than a mention.
    The Beeb’s judgment is proved wanting by the attempt of GMU to capitalise on what it assumed is news (because it was so prominent on the website) by running a silly interview with the Chief Wizard.

  • SK

    Reader.

    This waxing lyrical over the difficulties of defining an offensive symbol etc would end pretty quickly if flags emblazoned with “IRA” started appearing in similar number as those horrible purple UVF things and well you know it. Your sophistry would be nowhere to be seen then

    What’s that nordie phrase? “More faces than the Albert Clock”?

  • SK

    ‘The UVF of 1914 – 1918 fought in a global war to ensure freedom for ALL and sustained heavy losses as a result.”

    And the IRA of 1921 won a republic. Freedom for small nations and all that.

    You demand that nationalists show tolerance for your interpretation of history and for your exhalation of those groups who you lionise. But ask a unionist to extend a similar courtesy to nationalists and he suddenly develops a face like a smacked arse.

    You are utter, utter, hypocrites. It oozes from you.

  • SK

    Framer,

    Context is everything. These flags appeared at a time when unionists are picketing a black mans house (“locals only”) and the unionist First Minister is under fire for xenophobia. They appear at a time when racist graffiti is being daubed in unionist areas and unionists are physically attacking ethnic minorities.

    If these flags represented an isolated incident, then the media coverage could indeed be characterised as excessive. Thing is, they’re not an isolated incident, are they?

  • Joe_Hoggs

    You are utter, utter, hypocrites. It oozes from you.

    ———————————————————————-

    Careful SK as you lose the arguement your mask slips.

  • Mike the First

    There goes SK making sweeping, insulting statements about each and every unionist again.

    This happens rather a lot on Slugger – usually from posters who are keen to tell everyone what a horrible bunch of bigots themmuns are. Oddly.

  • SK

    A productive retort, Joe.

    Imagine two individuals on opposite sides of a road. Each of them are atop a ladder, attaching a flag to a lamp post.

    One of them finishes fixing his flag, and spots the other man doing likewise. Outraged, he screams to his opposite number: “you can’t put that flag up there, it’s offensive!”.

    That’s currently the level you’re operating on, Joe.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    The tricolour is not offensive it just has no place in NI.

  • SK

    I would love nothing more than to be proven wrong in what I say, Mike. Genuinely.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    sk, you have been – you hated it.

  • Congal Claen

    Now that territory scent marking is firmly on the political agenda via low level “community” flags/kerbs should the islandwide high level state sponsored territory marking, via Gaelic/UlsterScots street furniture, not also be on the table?

  • carl marks

    Joe_Hoggs (profile)

    3 July 2014 at 1:24 pm

    The tricolour is not offensive it just has no place in NI.

    So with one fell swoop you say my culture (Irish whose flag is the Tricolour) has no place in NI, and at the same time you demand that your culture is respected!
    Seriously Joe do you not see a problem there, the nationalist community is not going to magically disappear it makes up nearly half the population and is growing.
    You are going to have to face up to that fact as the old days of unionists doing what they want and to hell with how the taigs feel about it are over.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    carl marks,

    You are going to have to face up to that fact as the old days of unionists doing what they want and to hell with how the taigs feel about it are over.

    Basic geography, it is wrong to fly the tricolour in NI just as it is wrong to fly the Israeli and Palestine flags.

    I am happy to reach accomodation but there is a need for common sense.

  • mac tire

    Basic geography, Joe? I’d say basic GFA. I’m sure you know of it.

    I’m also interested in your fighting for the freedom of all in WW1. You should expand on that.

  • Hopping The Border

    Joe Hoggs,

    With one line you sum up everything wrong with Unionism’s attitude to nationalists in NI.

    What’s more surprising is that this attitude apparently comes from a Fermanagh man.

    Since the foundation of NI Unionism’s attitude has been to suppress the Irish identity of Irish men northern of the border. Clearly you still haven’t learned.

  • Reader

    SK: This waxing lyrical over the difficulties of defining an offensive symbol etc would end pretty quickly if flags emblazoned with “IRA” started appearing in similar number as those horrible purple UVF things and well you know it. Your sophistry would be nowhere to be seen then
    Just like your list then. Where is your list either of (a) acceptable or (b) unacceptable flags?
    In any case, any IRA supporter will tell you that the Tricolour is the IRA flag, and doesn’t need any text to say so. Nationalists who are not IRA supporters will either object or disagree. Unionists also have the right to an opinion on this – correct?
    As I suggested before, the peeler with the ladder will need either a list or the ability to mind-read. In short, he needs your help.
    And once he gets down the ladder with the forbidden flag, how should it be disposed of? Fire?

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Hopping The Border,

    Explain your solution.

    mac tire

    Are you no free and I didn’t support the GFA.

  • sitarman

    Since a Nazi swaztika flag was displayed by fans at the Brandywell in Derry on Friday night ( http://m.derryjournal.com/news/nazi-flag-row-at-the-brandywell-1-5259343 ) I wonder will Good Morning Ulster be scouring the phone book for any remnants of the Nazi regime to ask about the rising fascism problem within nationalist areas?… Or failing that they could interview a representative of one of their war time allies…. Hello? Is that Mr. Adams?

  • sitarman

    Scrap that, just realised the date was this time last year!

  • SK

    Before we get too far down this socratic rabbit hole… “what is a flag, anyway? how can a police officer decide what is and isn’t a flag…”

    Might I ask what your own opinion is on those purple UVF things? Should they be hanging from lamp posts or should they not?

  • sergiogiorgio

    All unionist representatives have judged turned their backs and walked out of the joint meeting using a single contentious OO parade as their “excuse”.

    Joe – do you support their decision?

  • mac tire

    “mac tire

    Are you no free and I didn’t support the GFA.”

    Joe, you ask mm I free? Tbh, I’m not sure. But I get what you are saying. However, it makes no sense. WW1 had nothing to do with the freedoms you spoke about fighting for. Are you seriously suggesting that Britain and Ireland were about to be invaded by the Germans or Austro-Hungarians?

    I merely asked for you to expand on your previous assertion.

    The GFA recognises my Irishness. Whether you voted for it or not is neither here nor there. So the tricolour has its place here.

  • Hopping The Border

    Joe,

    Solution to….?

    Reader,

    “In any case, any IRA supporter will tell you that the Tricolour is the IRA flag, and doesn’t need any text to say so.”

    Ludicrous statement; any idiot can claim that a flag represents something, that does not make it true, nor does it change the fact that that flag remains the national flag of Ireland, which is it’s sole official function.

  • Barney

    “The UVF of 1914 – 1918 fought in a global war to ensure freedom for ALL and sustained heavy losses as a result.”

    No they did not they fought to maintain the dominance of an Empire which is the exact opposite of democracy. The propaganda was “the rights of small nations” that was clearly small nations that were not colonised by the British.

  • MYtwocents

    Now there is a link (see below) between ISIS and irish nats will the BBC be interviewing al-Baghdadi about said links?.

    From UTV

    “The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has confirmed they are investigating whether a man from Northern Ireland has travelled to Syria.

    It follows reports earlier in the week that a man from Londonderry joined rebel forces in the country.

    The BBC understands the enquiries follow searches at a house in Melmore Gardens in Creggan on Thursday night.”

    so if a flag flaying from a lamp post is proof that loyalists support the KKK.
    then this must prove that irish nationalists support ISIS.

    both bloodthirsty, as I claimed a few days back.

  • Scáth Shéamais

    The report doesn’t say anything about him joining ISIS.

  • MYtwocents

    A flag on a lamp post doesn’t say loyalists support the KKK, but many on here, say it does.

  • Submariner

    The UVF of 1914 – 1918 fought in a global war to ensure freedom for ALL and sustained heavy losses as a result.

    Yet another Unionist myth. The UVF as an organisation played no part in WW 1 what happened was member’s of the UVF enlisted in regiments of the British army in much the same way as Redmonds Irish volunteers did .There is a massive difference.

  • Reader

    Hopping the Border: Ludicrous statement; any idiot can claim that a flag represents something, that does not make it true, nor does it change the fact that that flag remains the national flag of Ireland, which is it’s sole official function.
    “Official” – useful word, isn’t it? Every time two men in ties sit down with a pencil they seem to produce something official. But I think I see what you mean. According to the constitution of the State of Ireland (26 counties), the Tricolour is the flag of that state. Other people, equally nationalistic, but less official, think it is the flag of a hypothetical / prospective / actual 32 county state. And the IRA regarded it as the flag of *their* republic for many years while they didn’t recognise the ‘official’ republic. The coffins of dead volunteers had the Tricolour, the gloves and the beret on them.
    What do you suppose that same flag meant to the people who spread the flag across Black Mountain? Or those who fly it from tower blocks in North Belfast? Isn’t it a seriously unofficial territorial claim on behalf of a State whose own constitution recognises its official 26 county boundaries? (Boundaries for the State, the Constitution, and the Laws)
    It’s the same with the 1912 UVF flag. It has an ‘official’ meaning, which is at odds with the intentions of many of those who use it. That’s why I made the comparison.

  • MYtwocents

    has anyone any more info, on the Irish nat from Derry, who is over in Syria, liaising with ISIS, on behalf of the IRA.

  • carl marks

    MYtwocents (profile)

    6 July 2014 at 6:33 pm

    has anyone any more info, on the Irish nat from Derry, who is over in Syria, liaising with ISIS, on behalf of the IRA.

    Your info that he is liaising for the IRA is most important to national security, this is the first anybody has heard about it.
    You must bring your evidence straight to MI5 (if you don’t know how to contact MI5 ask any UVF member for his handlers number) of course you know that paranoia, make believe and a deep hatred of all Catholics plus a wiliness to believe any oul crap fed to you at the knee breakers is not either evidence or proof of any kind.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Mick

    ‘…beyond the usual glib single transferable rants about unionism going to hell in a handcart, virtually no time is spent on looking at the TUV’s 12 new councillors, and what that says about the current state of unionism.’

    I think what it says about the current state of unionism is that unionism is going to hell in a handcart.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Mytwocents

    ‘…has anyone any more info, on the Irish nat from Derry, who is over in Syria, liaising with ISIS, on behalf of the IRA.’

    While of course this is pure fantasy, what’s striking is your palpable desperation that this should be true.

    A scenario such as this would mean the destruction of the political process. Chaos and bloodshed would likely follow.

    You actually want this, don’t you?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Reader

    To clear up your confusion, flying ANY flag from a lamppost is illegal. Police have an obligation to remove them and to arrest anyone erecting them.

    When flags have been removed, their owners could choose to come forward and reclaim them from police. After they have served their sentences, the flags can be returned to them.

    Flying a flag from one’s home, while rebarbative, should be one’s right, regardless of whether the home is privately-owned or HE. The exception of course is for flags of proscribed organisations.

    And as a point of information, the IRA has never claimed ownership of the Irish national flag.

  • Son of Strongbow

    To clear up the “confusion” what offence is committed when a flag is attached to a lamppost?

    A reference to the act and section would be helpful.

  • MYtwocents

    Ira support for Islamist groups is well know, they even display it upon the walls of there heartland of irish nationalist west Belfast, their problem is that know that the world of Islam is split, which side do the irish nats support, their (the ira) previous love affair with the sunni (small s) PLO, must be tempered, as they dare not upset the Iranians. what to do.

    Carl, you like to put it out that a KKK flag atop a lamp post in “loyalist” east belast was proof that loyalists/unionists/protestants support the group, you cannot then dismiss, what is time stakingly painted upon walls in (nationalist) west Belfast, as, non representative. well you can but it just makes you look more of a hypocrite.

  • carl marks

    Mtc try this I posted it on 6 July 2014 at 9:30 am

    “Nationalists are moving on (evolving) that is another unfinished Job; we are going to have to take a long look at our flags and emblems, we perhaps think of doing a bit of evolving there.
    Irish language for everyone (Bobby Sands Bursary)
    Paramilitary murals making a comeback in West Belfast!”

    You were saying, bet you feel a bit silly now!

  • carl marks

    Son of Strongbow
    Does it matter, surely it’s wrong to stick flags up as sectarian markers, and you’re probably right the confusion about who is responsible seems to point to ambiguity in the law, but I suspect that is maybe a lack of will and more to do with the threat of unionist violence against the police or the workers who would remove them.
    Unionists ability to go ape if you oppose its right to offend people and stick flags up on public property and leaving them there to rot is well documented.

  • Son of Strongbow

    carl marks,

    “Does it matter”? Well only in regards to the important point of challenging the partisan observation that the police can simply “arrest” those putting up “illegal” flags.

    The Flags and Emblems (Display) Act 1954 is repealed, there is no such thing as an ‘illegal’ flag and it is not as straightforward a matter as some suggest to deal with the issue of flags, or ‘flegs’ as those who take pleasure in mocking those who’s accents may suggest, to some, that they are from the poorly educated working class.

    Depending on the circumstances, and in pursuit of a complaint (the required basis of much of police action), offences may be disclosed under the Harrassment Order, the Public Order Order, or even the local authority by-laws regarding fly posting.

    It would be an interesting exercise to see if police action could be effective and make a charge stick at court. I’d like to see them have a go, notwithstanding I understand their reticence not to get into what is a grey area. It is after all a ‘community’ issue.

    As to that issue, flags in the public space, it of course needs to be addressed. However even if political agreement could be reached the legal draughtsman would be faced with an interesting task in getting an enforceable law down on paper.

    Personally I deplore the disrespect shown to the Union Flag by those who cable tie it to lamp standards; and it should never ever be used as a sectarian totem. Unfortunately, unlike the Stars and Stripes in the USA, the Union Flag has no protections to ensure it is treated with decorum in public.

    Paramilitary emblems are simply a contemptuous eyesore, as are the single pole multi-flag style that suggests an abundance of flags in the supply chain (a style now being aped by nationalists as the permanently displayed Irish tricolour at the M2 at Bawnmore has now been joined by a green flag with the logo ‘Irish Republic’ on it – shamefully rendered in the tongue of the Saxon Foe ;) ).

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Why are French flags now being flown in some Loyalist areas?

  • carl marks

    SOS

    Well we seem to agree on the flying of flags from street furniture is wrong, be it in Bawmmore or East Belfast! Regardless of the flag flown, interestedly your feelings when you see a Union Flag flying inappropriately mirror my own when I see a Tricolour flying inappropriately.
    You’re probably right about the law as well (it’s all very confused and I claim no expertise) I suppose my point is that if both side agreed just to cut it out, say starting with those flags on interfaces and paramilitary flags and support the police/DOE/council or whoever is tasked to take down whatever goes up.
    That surely is better than a legal wrangle?
    You will probably point out now that I am being a letsgetalongist fool for thinking our politicians and community leaders should act like adults and again you are probably right

  • carl marks

    MYtwocents (profile) yellow card

    8 July 2014 at 5:39 pm

    guess what Carl, I don’t feel silly. wrong again.

    well you should, your sprouting complete nonsense!

    “Ira support for Islamist groups is well know, they even display it upon the walls of there heartland of irish nationalist west Belfast, their problem is that know that the world of Islam is split, which side do the irish nats support, their (the ira) previous love affair with the sunni (small s) PLO, must be tempered, as they dare not upset the Iranians. what to do.”
    Nationalists by in large support Palestinian freedom that is a long way from support for Islamist groups in the way you imply,
    But I know asking you to prove what you’re saying is a waste of time but I will try, where these displays to ISIS and Al Qaeda on Nationalist areas are?.
    I should not be surprised that your ignorance of politics is not confined to this place; it is indeed global in its range.