The Bonfire

BBC 1 Northern Ireland are broadcasting a documentary tonight at 2240 BST which explores the eleventh night bonfires. The program focuses on the Springmartin estate in Belfast where unemployment is as high as 70%. BBC 1 NI should also be available to all Sky Digital subscribers throughout the UK & Ireland.

218 thoughts on “The Bonfire”

  1. I always thought actions spoke louder than words Alan2… and Wright’s actions seemed to involve the death of a number of Catholics at the time.

    The fact that the DUP and LVF had a common political agenda at the time is probably only mere coincidence. It’s no good talking about this like it was an isolated incident. Many DUP members were happy to associate with loyalist terrorists at this time, some of whom I listed above.

  2. Thanks for the clarification Gonzo. I believe only the first two of your suggests.

    “As for talking to terrorists, quite what anyone thought they could achieve by talking to Wright, who had formed the LVF precisely because he didn’t want a ceasefire, is anyone’s guess.”

    Ok. Was he against the ceasefire or the GFA? THere is a difference. That is the same thing that was thrown at the DUP..that they were anti-peace when in fact they were campaigning against the flawed agreement not against A agreement. Similarly without wanting in anyway to lend credence to a terrorist organisation…didnt the LVF decommision weapons?

    Maca –
    “What I find truly distasteful is the incident years ago when Paisely read out the names of catholics living in the area to loyalists. Another 20 years of preaching won’t cleanse his soul.”

    The other side of the coin is that their were Catholics present at the opening of Paisley`s Martyr`s Memorial Church way back when…

  3. Whats with all the talk about William McCrea sharing a platform with Billy Wright? At least he did’nt turn uip at the funeral as pallbearer. Albert Reynolds disgraced himself by turning up and standing beside IRA thugs at Joe Cahill’s funeral.

  4. At least he did’nt turn uip at the funeral as pallbearer.

    I think you should do some research, mucher.

  5. Ok. Was he against the ceasefire or the GFA?

    Are we talking about McCrea? He was certainly anti-GFA. McCrea may have been a useful fool to others, but he was idiotic at best to share a platform with one of the most evil, sectarian killers that ever set foot on this island.

    However, the LVF was still ‘at war’ and was the only loyalist group that could be ‘relied upon’ to keep the pot boiling. Wright was anti-ceasefire and anti-GFA.

    IMHO, the DUP were getting desperate. The ‘No’ campaign, while strong, ultimately failed to prevent a ‘yes’ vote, and LVF violence was seen as destabilising.

    The LVF decommissioning was the most token, pathetic and self-centred gesture I’ve ever seen. It was designed to get certain people lenient sentences, remember?

    Let’s nail this on the head Alan2. In all my years here, I have never come across any organisation that was as deluded, bigotted, sectarian, evil, mindless, sick and criminal as the LVF. I mean ANY organisation, from the Real IRA to the UFF. Death, drugs and misery follow the LVF like a plague, and the DUP did nothing to discourage any of this.

    The big question that we can’t prove is, did they do the opposite?

  6. Slackjaw, I did’nt say he did. He did turn up
    and stand BESIDE the pallbearers which is as bad as being one of them. I don’t remember William McCrea at Billy Wright’s funeral but we all saw Albert showing his approval and support for Cahill.

  7. mucher

    When I suggested that you do some research, I was alluding to this.

    The context of the discussion is the DUP’s stance on terrorism. It is being judged by its actions alone. If you have something relevant to contribute to what the DUP should say or do on the matter, please do so.

  8. *The whole point of the 11+ is to ensure the academically strong can flourish in an environment that challenges them, regardless of whether or not they can afford to pay for it.

    The fact that culture in areas like the shankill dictates that to try and better yourself is pointless – that is the issue that needs to be addressed and it sounds like that headmaster should take a long hard look at himself before blaming the system!*

    The principal concerned was talking clear sense. The 11+ stem is biased against people from deprived areas. Look at Gardiner’s speech that was prepared for the recent Westminster Hall debate, but was never made due to unionist filibustering – its at http://www.deni.gov.uk/pprb/pdfs/westminster_hall.pdf

  9. “What I find truly distasteful is the incident years ago when Paisely read out the names of catholics living in the area to loyalists. Another 20 years of preaching won’t cleanse his soul.”

    That’s disgusting… do you have a link to a story about this anywhere? Not that I would doubt it given Paisley’s track record, but it would be nice to be able to reference it some time.

    “Secondly, plenty of children have additional 11+ lessons paid for by their parents.”

    As do plenty of GCSE/A-level pupils and in fact pupils sitting pretty much any major exam, it’s what those who can will do. Scrap all exams then?

    “Thirdly, where is your proof that grammar schools outperform the top ability stream of comprehensive schools i.e. those where the top students in the catchment area are not creamed off by grammar schools. “
    The fact that Northern Ireland consistently produces better results than England and Wales which are both largely comprehensive, I believe, is an indicator that our system is better. The fact that we also have the most children leaving school with nothing is a reason to invest more time and effort into fixing secondary schools. You don’t fix the system by getting rid of the better performing parts, you try and bring the base standards up!!

  10. OK, I am about to read the speech, haven’t yet. But I should point out I’ve been mistakenly promoting the 11+ when what I should have been talking about was Academic Selection. The implementation may be flawed but I believe the principle to be sound.

  11. As do plenty of GCSE/A-level pupils and in fact pupils sitting pretty much any major exam, it’s what those who can will do. Scrap all exams then?

    No. But it is wrong to argue that the 11+ gives children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds the same opportunity of success as those from more privileged backgrounds.

    The fact that Northern Ireland consistently produces better results than England and Wales which are both largely comprehensive, I believe, is an indicator that our system is better.

    It may be a Daily Mail indicator that your system is better, but the fact that, as you point out, so many children leave with nothing, could equally indicate that your system is worse.

    It’s a fair enough question though: Grammar schools cream off what – 25, 30% of the top achievers? It’s surely only fair that their performance be measured against the top 25, 30% of achievers in a series of comprehensive catchment areas.

    As a matter of interest, is there anyone out there from NI who didn’t go to a grammar school, but who is in favour of their maintenance?

    I take your point about academic selection, but the reality is that most comprehensives have ability streams these days. Yet a comprehensive system does not involve the labelling of children as failures at age 11.

  12. I disagree that it labels kids failures but I’m reluctant to carry on the debate on a thread about bonfires. Having read the report mentioned above, it’s clear the government have made up their mind. lol

    The problem is that nobody is neutral on this really, since we’ve all been influenced by our own experiences. People who have seen the benefit of grammar schools recognise their positives, whereas those who haven’t seem to feel like they’ve been missing out on something.

    I think the most interesting views would come from the minority who get to experience both at one point, either by transfer during junior school or post-GCSE.

  13. My sincere apology to you Slackjaw. I was unaware that William McCrea had conducted the funeral service for Billy Wright. You are completely right, I am not fit to post on this site. I bow down before your superior intellect and research methods.
    I will sign off now and will no longer post any comments to Slugger.
    P.S. I thought the topic was the bonfire programme?

  14. Gonzo – I have no problems with your analysis of the LVF. All paramilitaries need to go out of existance as ASAP

  15. Alan,

    I’m glad to see Barry Gardiner is useful for something.

    beano,

    ‘I disagree that it labels kids failures’

    While this may not be the intention, this is the effect.

    ‘The problem is that nobody is neutral on this really, since we’ve all been influenced by our own experiences.’

    There’s no need to be neutral (perhaps you mean objective) but different perspectives do enlighten. I suppose I was wondering out loud if the 11 plus has been retained for so long precisely because so many of those who are responsible for keeping it in place attended grammar schools.

    whereas those who haven’t seem to feel like they’ve been missing out on something.

    I haven’t. Did I miss anything? 🙂

    Fair enough if you don’t wish to continue the discussion, but I think it’s an example of how unionist politicians fail the most disadvantaged in the communities they would claim to represent.

    mucher,

    ah c’mon, no need to be like that. I just thought your introduction of Bert Reynolds into the matter being discussed was a bit whatabouterish.

  16. Gee thanks you guys! It makes me choke up just to know you care. No, really Slackjaw, no offence taken. I am not fit for this site, i cant even spell! Adiou

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