Tag Archives | identity

Unionism’s anglophobia


The slogan used to be ‘Brit’s Out’. It marked a gross misunderstanding of the people of Northern Ireland. As Conor Cruise O’Brien wrote of the Easter Rising: “Irish-Ireland wrote and talked as if it assumed that the battle would be over once Dublin with its garrison of dentists’ wives had surrendered.” The “British” of Northerm more…


Catholic, Erin and virtue. Protestant, Saxon and guilt.*

planter and the gael, Brian John Spencer

    Watch this video, it punched me in the sternum – ‘momondo – The DNA Journey’: We divide people in two. Native or immigrant. Authentic or blow-in. We want certainty, especially in Northern Ireland – Protestant or Catholic, us or them. Catholic is Erin and virtue. Protestant is Saxon and guilt (and “imperialistic blood-suckers” more…


Ian Paisley – “We are Irish!”

Ian Paisley, Brian John Spencer (1)

    Of the DUP membership, 1.4% self-identify as Irish. Yet the founder of the DUP was 100% Irish. This is not speculation or conjecture or troublemaking, this is a statement of fact based upon unequivocal and repeated testimony from Ian Paisley. Ian paisley wrote in 2012 on the centenary of the signing of the more…


Protestant Identity, Vulnerability and Bonfires.

Chris Jenkins writes for us about his experiences touring some bonfires last summer…. The cameraman runs up towards the bonfire. The wooden pallets tower over him. Teenagers begin to light the colossal structure with flaming torches. “He’s gone too close”, I think straight away. The fire started to move quickly, and the young men lighting more…


How Would Rory McIlroy Vote?  And why that’s important.


Predicated as it is on avarice and greed and standing as a monument to the necessity for mandatory wealth re-distribution, the most useless supplement of the year reappeared last week. The Sunday Times Rich List likes to rank all the people in the country who have more money than you. And expects you to pay more…


Who cares about Voting and Identity? Nicholas Whyte explains the stats … #ImagineBelfast15 (updated with charts)

nwbrux voting identity 52

Nicholas Whyte spoke at a lunchtime event being run under the umbrella of Imagine!2015 The Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics in the Ulster University’s Belfast campus: Who cares about Voting and Identity. You can listen back to his half hour presentation and follow along with the slides below. He broke down census results for more…


Friday thread: Flags make a difference to how we think and feel…

Via Peter Curran with a h/t to Phil Mac Giolla Bhain. Fascinating piece of quick and dirty research on the Scottish Sunday Politics Show regarding the effect of flag displays during a detailed online questionnaire from last week… It’s well worth watching the whole way through, but the findings themselves are at the beginning and more…


Why Northern Ireland is becoming less ‘Northern Irish’, and more divided.


I want to illustrate a few concerning features of the Northern Ireland Life and Times survey (NILTS) data that haven’t yet received media attention, particularly in regard to cross-community contact and the Northern Irish identity. There are some trends that exist which suggest Northern Ireland is becoming a more divided place, especially for young people more…


Cartoon – ChristmHaass carve-up

Haass carve-up, Brian John Spencer

Enjoy the cartoon and have a Merry Christmas and happy new year. Full acknowledgements to James Gillray and his infamous piece, ‘The Plumb Pudding in Danger’. Martin Rowson also gaves his take on it recently here. Morten Morland has his take on it with Cameron and Osborne here.


On Ireland’s strange romance with ‘Euronationalism’….

Ever wondered why nearly all our Northern Ireland MEPs have been Eurosceptic (with the exception of the SDLP) whilst those in the south have been almost universally Europhile? John Coakley on the remarkably protean nature of Irish identity, and it’s willingness to engage with wider notions of European identity… It may well be the case more…


Northern Ireland: Who Are We Now?

Northern Ireland: Who Are We Now? was broadcast on Radio 4 on the eve of Derry~Londonderry taking on the mantle of UK’s City of Culture. Presented by William Crawley and produced by Claire Burgoyne, the half hour programme used the national identity census results as a way in to discuss possible shifting self-perceptions and the more…


Here’s to a united Ireland on the morrow (though not necessarily the day after)…

irfu logo

There’s something deeply gratifying about the way Ireland coach Declan Kidney has melded an unexpectedly powerful sporting force from three of Ireland’s historic provinces. There’s always one missing! We may have Eddie O’Sullivan to thank for drawing the provincial successes of Munster and Leinster upwards into the Ireland squad, but tomorrow’s team performance will (win more…