THE Second World War seems to have provided plenty of ammunition to unionism’s critics, with Professor David Miller’s ‘Red Hand/Blue Peter’ comments and President McAleese’s remarks causing much offence this week. Miller was speaking at Queen’s University last night, and the News Letter caught up with him to ask about his comments. Miller said he was surprised by the furore, adding that he knew of the red hand’s use in GAA and denied he was making a comparison between unionism and fascism. He said it was the paramilitary misappropriation of a symbol that he had likened with Nazism, using the swastika, “which has innocent uses in Hindu culture”, as a comparable example.
Unionism often defines itself by the role it played in WW2. But now it is almost as though unionism’s critics are accusing it of having been on the wrong side – something that causes huge offence, and never seems to result in the introspection or debate within unionism that the critics perhaps intended.
I won’t even mention that Johnny Adair’s first post-release visitors to Bolton were a group of German neo-Nazis.