Longer term threads underneath the riot

Interesting feature piece from Kevin Smith at Reuters on the latest disturbances from Northern Ireland.

  • peteb

    The interesting part, Mick, would appear to be the comments by our very own, sorry, part-share with Wales and his own constituency, Secretary of State, Peter Hain –

    “We do need to get to the root of it. These communities are alienated, they are deprived. They have not benefited from the prosperity and record number of jobs that apply right across Northern Ireland now”

    Hmm.. no mention of the corrosive contribution to the situation by his own dithering when it comes to the rule of law over this summer nor his arbitrary disregard for the rule of law when it suited the British government’s political agenda.

  • tiny

    On Talkback a nationalist referring to the new campus being built in North Belfast remarked that her community saw it as somewhere to educate their childern, the ‘other’ community saw it as somewhere for their childern to get jobs as cleaners.

  • Reader

    tiny: On Talkback a nationalist referring to the new campus being built in North Belfast remarked that her community saw it as somewhere to educate their childern, the ‘other’ community saw it as somewhere for their childern to get jobs as cleaners.

    Though, in the commuter belt, the perception may be reversed.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    A major problem in recent years has been the perceived drip-feed of concessions to republicans.
    While many can be explained as ‘normalisation’ or part of the ‘equality agenda’, they are nonetheless regarded in unionist and loyalist circles as a steady erosion of their positions.

    I’ve listed some below — I’m sure others can add more:

    RUC disbandment
    Parades Commission
    Sean Kelly release
    RIR redundancies + method of announcing them
    Terrorists in government (particularly self-confessed IRA commander in charge of education)
    Prisoner releases
    On the runs repreived
    Watch-tower closures
    Troop withdrawals
    Police station closures
    Policing ombudsman
    North/South bodies
    Public enquiries (Bloody Sunday/Finucane etc while republican atrocities quietly forgotten)
    Flags on public buildings issue
    Preservation of parts of the Maze prison for perceived republican propaganda purposes.

    Rumoured future concessions:

    Speaking rights in the Dail
    Paramilitaries in the police / community police force
    Garda McCabe killers released

    Additionally

    Very little movement on the Omagh bombers
    Colombia 3 return flaunted by Sinn Fein
    No results on Northern Bank robbery
    CAB perceived to be concentrating on Loyalist Paramilitaries more so than Republicans
    Perceived deprivation and errosion of loyalist areas.

    My personal opinion is that the violence of the last few days is completely unjustified and a massive own-goal for the loyalist community.
    The above list in no way justifies such actions.

  • overhere

    I do believe that the Unionist/Loyalist politicians have to take a lot of the blame here. They left their people in the dark, if not totally opposing the GFA, then those that did endorse it were stabbed in the back. Now the Unionist/Loyalist population have no one to look to for guidance.

    All the while the unionist/loyalist politicians were using the IRA to scare the population and using the IRA weapons as an excuse for not taking the process forward.

    Now the IRA are decommissioning and the Unionist/Loyalist politicians are left floundering with nothing to pin their obvious failure to their constituants on. They come up with, blame themuns, Seinn Fein/IRA the police, the parades commission, Seinn Fein/IRA the anyone but us, Seinn Fein/IRA, Peter Hain, Seinn Fein/IRA.

    I am not sure what this “they have got more than we have” routine is. What exactly have the Nationalists got that the Unionists/loyalists do not?

    What exactly do the Unionists/Loyalists want? I am not talking about the thugs who were out rioting over the weekend burning their own communuity to the ground and then sitting back while we the tax payers pay for the clean up. Nor am I asking those who intimidate Catholics out of their homes and deface Churches. These people (from whatever background should be imprisioned, no community service rubbish for them). But what do the ordinary Unionist/Loyalist people want.

    To remain part of the UK? Done, enshrined in the GFA as long as the majority of the population want that. Enshrined in the Irish Constitution (articles 2 & 3 removed).

    The IRA to cease operations and disarm? In progress and from all accounts about to happen very soon.

    So what more do you want?

    I have yet to hear a Unionist/Loyalist politician actually state what it is his/her people want apart from the two above requests.

    Is there a seriously right minded non bigotted Unionist/Loyalist politician out there who can seriously tell me what you want.

  • overhere

    Gerry

    RUC disbandment (reformed Gerry to relect the whole community)

    Parades Commission (Which is also used by the Unionist/Loyalist community)

    Sean Kelly release (Why was he arrested in the first place, no explaination given)

    RIR redundancies + method of announcing them (Agreed method was bad but what need for the troops)

    Terrorists in government (particularly self-confessed IRA commander in charge of education)
    (This will also happen in the Unionist/Loyalist community and if you say no ex terrorist should be in any government then South Africa would not have a government)

    Prisoner releases (Again in both Communities)

    On the runs repreived (Again in both Communities)

    Watch-tower closures (Why would they be needed if there is no threat, have you ever lived beside one of these things?)

    Troop withdrawals (As above, do you not want a normal society)

    Police station closures (Ineternal Police decision)

    Policing ombudsman (Same as in Britian)

    North/South bodies (Do you not want some sort of economic normality)

    Public enquiries (Bloody Sunday/Finucane etc while republican atrocities quietly forgotten)
    (Hardly see how this is a concession have you asked your local politician to bring up the atrocities)

    Flags on public buildings issue (They do fly on official holidays)

    Preservation of parts of the Maze prison for perceived republican propaganda purposes. (Perceived Gerry again looking at the worst situation)

    Rumoured future concessions: (says it all Rumoured)

    Gerry read my last entry and let me know someone who will give me some of the real answers.

  • smcgiff

    ‘Garda McCabe killers released’

    I’m confused. What’s the official unionist stance on this again?

    When the ROI government said they would not release Garda McCabe’s killers they were denounced as two faced by backing the release of NI terrorists.

    Now it seems to be the case that their release is a concern. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. The killers of Garda McCabe will shortly have served their entire sentence for “Manslaughter”, so there won’t need to be an “early” release.

    Maybe it’s the luxury of distance, but I can’t really see how most of the above can be concerns unless great effort goes into convincing oneself that they are. (Overhere has developed this point further).

    But, to my mind, it would need to involve the mentality that every small development in the peace process is a giant leap towards a United Ireland.

    BTW, Gerry,

    I think you left out one concern under Rumoured future concessions:

    Londonderry being changed to Derry

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Overhere — my post was to highlight concessions to republicans as perceived by the unionist & loyalist communities. I’m not here to defend them — merely highlight them. Whatever your or my personal take, they are perceived as largely one-sided concessions.
    Regarding your previous post, I’m one of those moderate unionists you’re looking answers from — and I’m going to be totally honest — I don’t particularly want anything else. The union is secure through consent, articles 2 & 3 have gone and the provos appear to have (at least for now) wound down their murder campaign. Like the vast majority of unionists, I want to get on with everyday life within Northern Ireland as a UK citizen.
    Sadly, it’s obvious that neither Sinn Fein nor the DUP are happy with this scenario, and we can look forward to decades of whingeing, MOPEery, sporadic rioting, random murders and general instability because it suits the extremes to keep the pot boiling.
    If we had some strong voices in the political middle ground, then things might settle down a bit, but neither Reg nor Mark Durkan inspire much confidence, and while the moderates stay at home on polling day, the extremes become ever more galvanised.
    SF in particular are masters at stirring the pot — a recent example was their public protest at a British military band playing in Botanic Gardens — it’s perfectly obvious that they have no intention of accepting even the most innocuous parts of the ‘other culture’ and the DUP are little better.
    ‘What I want’ overhere, is an acceptance by ALL the main parties that NI will remain part of the UK for as long as the majority wish — that means no undermining the state and whingeing about every vestige of Britishness, and equally no trampling the nationalist people under marching feet or forcing innocents from their homes.

  • smcgiff

    Gerry, re your 10:29 post – Oh!

    Sorry, thought we’d a ‘live one’ to discuss the above.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    SmcGiff: See my post above to overhere regarding the concessions issue.
    Granted the Garda killers will soon be eligible for release anyway — but the SF demand (and apparent previous acquiesence of Bertie at one point) merely indicates to unionists that whatever SF demand they get. The previous Bertie stance was ‘under no circumstances’ would they be given early release under the GFA.

    ”I think you left out one concern under Rumoured future concessions:
    Londonderry being changed to Derry”

    Ever heard of the Apprentice Boys of Derry?

  • overhere

    Sounds like a plan Gerry, can you not get some like minded people and get your own party going. Shame the Alliance cannot get to the point you are at.

  • Reader

    overhere: Prisoner releases (Again in both Communities)

    A lot of people don’t regard either set of releases as a plus – Two-Nil to the bad guys, in fact.

    overhere: On the runs repreived (Again in both Communities)

    As above, except that I don’t think there are any loyalist OTRs – where would they run to? Irish-America isn’t going to shelter them.