Ulster will fight, but is it (far) right..?

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.

  • Beowulf

    Professor Miller: the Nazi’s took an ancient sanscrit symbol which was widely used in many cultures, reset it a proportion of their own and used it to symbolise a link to Aryan cultural descent. The Nazi swastiki is offensive because of what it means, it represents Hitler’s ideal of an Aryan nation.

    Loyalists don’t attach any other meaning to the Red Hand than that which it already has, they don’t set it to their own proportion to claim it as their own. The context of the symbol on a loyalist mural is offensive, the symbol itself isn’t. cf The Red Hand on IRA murals.

    But then you’d know all this, being an expert.

    (And that line about how you didn’t understand the furore drives me up the wall. What sort of an expert on matters Northern Ireland doesn’t know how we like a furore?)