Never again Father Reid

Young Unionist Peter Munce is stunned rather than angry with Alec Reid could compare Unionists to Nazis. He revisits some of his experiences of visiting Germany and puts the real (as opposed to imagined) holocaust into a personal perspective.

  • roger

    Ye, lets all vote for the ‘invisible’ Alliance party, eventhough the don’t exist in many parts of the country.

  • victor1

    IJP, Wrong ! Republicans have moved considerably, from a military campaign to a purely political one, unfortunately some here on these shores feel the need to force Republicans to crawl on thier bellys to be able to continue along that democratic route, maybe it would suit if Republicans continued with thier military campaign! As for the whataboutery, is it not true that Unionists are stalling the political process ? no whataboutery there! maybe it is themmuns that are the problem, what type of democracy allows 24.46% of its electorate to be excluded from the political process?
    So it’s long past time we abandoned both of them and looked to the future. I’d be interested to know who WE are in this instance?

  • stu

    Victor

    ‘what type of democracy allows 24.46% of its electorate to be excluded from the political process’

    It’s called first past the post, a generally recognised way of forming a strong government.

    And your line about Republicans crawling on their bellys- Republicans endorsed violence against my countrymen, regardless of religion. Unionist injustices ended in 1972. Republicanism thinks that just because it has ended an armed campaign that it should be trusted. I will agree that progress has been made. But by your figures of 24.46% that would mean that a quarter of the voters endorsed the Republican campaign, suggesting that 75.54% were against it, and therefore victims of it.

    Still bitter about crawling? You and all the other IRA apologists on this board are the enemies of progress here; do not think that the people of Ireland, North and South are blind to the hypocrisy of the Movement. ‘Themmuns’ doesn’t wash with us.

  • Yoda

    You and all the other IRA apologists on this board are the enemies of progress here;

    Followed immediately by:

    do not think that the people of Ireland, North and South are blind to the hypocrisy of the Movement. ‘Themmuns’ doesn’t wash with us.

    Irony much?

  • stu

    Please qualify that

  • Yoda

    You are playing the same game that you condemn: your “You and the IRA apologists on this board…” is a “themmuns”-type condemnation.

  • stu

    No, it’s a condemnation that highlights the very serious fact that people seem to be oblivious to the hypocrisy of republicans in general, and of those of those republicans on this board in particular.

    When I condemn IRA apologists I am singling out a particular group. They are not people who I can describe as ‘the other side’ except as on the other side of right and wrong.

    The ‘themmuns’ rhetoric is a device used in the other side has it better/was just as bad thread of debate. It is this that I condemn from either side; when I want to call a particular group on an issue I will identify them as specificly as I can, in the case I am referring to Victor as IRA apologists; if he complains that the Republican movement is having to crawl on its belly, then launches into a themmuns spiel, when taken with the undertone of implied violence (‘unfortunately some here on these shores feel the need to force Republicans to crawl on thier bellys to be able to continue along that democratic route, maybe it would suit if Republicans continued with thier military campaign! ‘) this underlines the hypocrisy of this particular position, which I am calling to question.

    The point of my post, somewhat missed, is that he complains of the minority electorate being ignored, when this minority has been granted seats in government, and in an assembly that the actions of their party had suspended (but don’t tell them that, it was the securocrats). Every legitmate question raised is brushed away, both the party and posters here. Fair_deal, TAFKABO often have our ideas carelessy brushed aside as irrelevancies or returned with themmuns examples, and that since the topic of the post was the reaction to a viewpoint about a system of not-overtly violent but palpable and immoral discrimination that ended 23 years ago and the views of people who were, in the last elections, supporters of an armed campaign that has only since ceasod, I found it a bit ironic.

  • Yoda

    No, it’s a condemnation that highlights the very serious fact that people seem to be oblivious to the hypocrisy of republicans [themmuns] in general, and of those of those republicans [themmuns] on this board in particular.

    This is more of the same, unfortunately.

    Just look at the way you are talking about “the republicans”: has it slipped your mind that they are now the largest nationalist party in NI?

    Like it or not, they were democratically elected.

    “Themmuns” like “whataboutery” is a strategy of non-engagement. It’s easier to talk at someone than talk to them.

  • stu

    Yoda

    ‘Just look at the way you are talking about “the republicans”: has it slipped your mind that they are now the largest nationalist party in NI?

    Like it or not, they were democratically elected.’

    So were the two Unionist parties. But they’re Nazis. See?

  • Yoda

    So were the two Unionist parties. But they’re Nazis. See?

    I see the deadendedness of the line of argument you were trying to pursue. Yes.

    Now, hopefully, you do too.

  • stu

    That’s another classic example of the brush off I was talking about earlier.

    Here’s my mindset here, see if you can reassure me:

    1. Fr Reid made an ill-placed and ill-thought comment.

    2. Fr Reid apologised

    3. Slug and IJP call for his apology to be accepted.

    4. United Irelander interjects with ‘themmuns’

    5. Brian Boru, maca, Oilbbear Chromaill, an seabhac siulach et al all attempt justification of one form on other, a lot of it ‘themmuns’ rhetoric.

    6. I point out that a minority group that indiscriminately supported violence against the majority of people here (and attempting to use above wrongs to justify it) is blatantly hypocritical.

    Your comments to me are more of that themmuns thread. ‘”Themmuns” like “whataboutery” is a strategy of non-engagement. It’s easier to talk at someone than talk to them. ‘ in particular show a smoke screen. Be engaging my argument as you have done, you show yourself to be a hypocrite- I explained that I singled a particular group that had a certain characteristic. Those who supported violence are my problem, not those who wish for a United Ireland, and even as the largest Nationalist party, they are still a minority.

  • Yoda

    1. Fr Reid made an ill-placed and ill-thought comment.

    2. Fr Reid apologised

    3. Slug and IJP call for his apology to be accepted.

    It’s not my job to reassure you of anything, but, for the record, I agree with IJP and Slug. Clear enough?

    My point about the “themmuns” tenor of your remarks was simply this: you did exactly what you accused the other poster of.

    Those who supported violence are indeed your problem now that they are elected and you and other unionists will need to figure out how to talk to them. It’s that simple.

    I’ll ignore the personal slur.

  • stu

    Personal slur? You’ve done it again.

    If you are in agreement with the consensus that his apology should be accepted that is fair enough. But you have continually accused me of the themmuns stylings while ignoring that I was merely pointing it out in others. Perhaps you misunderstand what I have been saying, so here it is as clear as I think I can make it at this time of the morning:

    Calls had been made to accept the apology, all well and good, no harm done, won’t affect the peace process etc etc.

    THEN, that is, after these calls had been made, the various elements I described above launched into an attempt to justify it, then accuse the unionists community, when attempting to repudiate comments that those on the board made, of being the problem holding the peace process back.

    Yet you choose to single me out, and disregard out of hand any points I would raise.

  • Yoda

    Get off the cross. Someone needs the wood.

    You need to figure out if you can or cannot live without an argument that relies on “themmuns.”

    If you can live without it, good.

    If you cannot, good.

    But you do need to think about it.

  • stu

    Yoda

    You’ve done nothing more but lend weight to my argument.

  • Yoda

    We’re through the looking glass here, people.

  • stu

    Yoda

    You have done that which i accused you of; ignoring my points and questions and again attempting to ridicule me.

  • IJP

    Roger

    When people try to justify a particular political line purely on the basis of the number of people who vote for it, you know who usually ends up getting mentioned, don’t you…?

    Don’t force me into a ‘flash of anger’, now…!

    The fact is most people vote Unionist or Nationalist. And the fact is we have political stalemate (with more and more people just refusing to participate at all).

    Draw your own conclusions.

    Yoda

    Specifically, I didn’t quite call for the apology to be accepted, but rather I suggested it was rather irrelevant.

    What should be accepted is that there are a lot of Nationalists who think the treatment of Catholics 1921-73 equates with that of Jews by Nazis. And they are wrong. And there are a lot of Unionists who think the IRA terrorist campaign is the only issue/legacy we have to overcome in NI. And they are wrong.

    We have two ‘sides’ each wanting the other ‘side’ to give everything, yet neither side has anything to give.

    I say it’s time for a new type of politics altogether, that moves us on from collective navel gazing and blame game towards a genuinely functional society.

  • stu

    Apologies, IJP, your call for an acceptance of the apology was inferred, wrongly it seems.

    Agreed that there are a lot of issues to overcome, and that a functioning society should be the goal, and should have been the goal all along.

  • Whatabout

    Just read all the above. Phew! Lot of anger going on. Let’s just accept we all make mistakes. We need to accept this before we move on.

    Interesting conspiracy theory in the middle of it all, Posted by: Too late at October 14, 2005 03:00 PM. The theory will only be proven when a mainstream unionist comes out with an ‘apology’ for unionist government actions. Any bets as to who it will be?

  • Keith M

    My but this thread has gone off in several directions. I’m going to make two comments, one of “discrimination” and the other of Reid’s status as a witnes after this week.

    Regarding discrimination in Nothern Ireland, there are few that would deny that it existed. However what upsets me is that comments like those made this week by Reid, only serve to stiffle any debate (if indeed it is something that needs to be debated), as it makes reasonable discourse impossible as people are starting from a position of trying to sustain or deny such an obvious lie.

    If unionists are prepared to accept that there was discrimination and that it was wrong, are nationalists/republicans willing to admit that 30 years of terrorism was not the way to counter it?

    One of the main reasons for this discrimination was the nationalists never fully engaged in politics in Northern Ireland. Instead they clung on to the obviously misguided idea that a “united Ireland” was just around the corner (heaven help them, but some still do). Few Catholics joined the Unionist parties (despite the fact that thousand of Catholics prefer NI to remain in the UK) and the Unionist parties were left to run N.I. by successive U.K. government, self content that after several centuries the “Irish problem” had gone away.

    In a situation where one section runs the state without an effective oppostion for 50 years, there is bound to be favouratism and consequently discrimination. This is human nature. Look to any state where one party or group has ben in power for so long, and you’ll see the same thing happened.

    What triggered the troubles 1960’s in N.I. was not some increase in “Protestant fundamentalims” as somebody has fancifully suggested, but rather a global uprising with saw the civil rights movement in the USA, the student riots in France and surges in support for the left in most of Europe. This inspired the original civil right movement in N.I. If you want evidence, then follow the history of the song “We Shall Overcome”. Unfortunatly the NICRA was very quickly hijacked by republicans (they may not have been Provos but let’s not forget that this predated that split). The authorities knew this, so were initally not willing to make the necessary changes on equality. Of course when the government doesn’t act there are those who choose other means, and thus the increased paramilitary activity by loyalists and republicans, and we know the rest.

    Discrimination in the IFS/Eire/Republic, also existed but in a very different way. The IFS was a Catholic state for a Catholic people. Within the first few years of leaving the UK, the IFS government had banned divorce (previously leagal in Ireland) and brought in the most repressive censorship in western Europe. The Catholic church basically ran the country on all issues of personal morality. In 1932 in one of the most obvious displays church power there was the Eurchistic Conference.

    For people like my father (a Church of Ireland child in Limerick) this only demonstrated that while he was Irish, he was not the “Irish” that was being defined by the new state. It got worse under DeValera who tried to cut any remaining ties with the UK and who try to create a monocultural isolated society, the like of which is only seen in places like North Korea today.

    It comes as no surprise that one of DeValera’s early acts once he came to power was to wipe out the Senate which in its original form was to be a place that protected the interest of minorities. The 1938 Constitution (which was drafted with the “help” of the arch-conservative Catholic arch-bishop of Dublin) recognised the “special positio of the Catholic church. It also constitutionally enshrined the ban divorce which ironically in turn led to the referendum campaigns of the 1980s and 1990s which served to undermine the position of the church, in a more enlightened time.

    All of this led to huge alienation within the Protestant community. Many left the country, leaving only thise that had sufficient assets here to make a move undesirable. This in turn led to the perception of Protestants being a monied people and in turn more Catholic resentment. When my (Catholic) mother chose to marry “a Prod” some of her friends saw it as disloyal. When my father was forced to sign a document that all children would be raised as Catholics he was ostracised by his family.

    I haven’t even started on contraception, or the Catholic Church running schools and hospitals. Yes the Republic has got a whole lot better in the last 20 years but for the first 60 years it was every bit as bad as Northern Ireland, when it came to treating people equally.

    That A Catholic proiest should come out with the statement he dids this week is not only offensive, it is downright disgusting, for above all alse it is the Catholic church which has abused people on this island for most of the last century. Reid would be best to re-read the bible and forget about politics. He might find an interesting line “Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone.”

  • Modertate Unionist

    Keith M
    Well said.

  • Baluba

    Keith M, me oul china plate, I dont have time to address your entire post, but let me just say that in general it is at best inaccurate and at worst nonsense.

    I agree that the Catholic church had an unhealthy prominence in the 26 counties and that de Valera was a fool (but probably for many different reasons than you), but to suggest that the same level/type/scope of discrimination existed there against Protestants as existed here against Catholics is wrong. Nonsense altogether.

    “If unionists are prepared to accept that there was discrimination and that it was wrong, are nationalists/republicans willing to admit that 30 years of terrorism was not the way to counter it?”

    Again here you completely are off the mark. It is not for nationalists/republicans as one entity to ‘admit’ anything of the sort as very many were absolutely opposed to physical force the whole time. Ever heard of John Hume or Séamus Mallon? Those who were pro-physical force (to differing degrees) incluiding SF have said that they regret much of the violence.

    “One of the main reasons for this discrimination was the nationalists never fully engaged in politics in Northern Ireland.”

    It’s a tad difficult when in your gerrymandered constituency your religion often excluded you from the right to vote. And anyway, does being disenfranchised or disengaged in the political process mean that you’re fair game for discrimination or that if you are discriminated against, it’s your own fault? Nonsense. Discrimination existed because of bigotry.

    All your examples of alleged discrimination, illegal divorce, contraception etc can hardly be called Catholic specific discrimination against Protestants. That’s just nonsense too frankly. Don’t you realise that Catholics mobilised against it to have it overturned and don’t you remember that it’s Paisley et al who are all for it up here!?! Who’s running the campaign against ‘sodomites’ and ‘family planning’ etc.

    Religion has no place in the political running of the company. I agree completely there, but seriously, re-read your own post there and don’t be too harsh on yourself when you realise that it’s a load of bull.

    Reid shouldn’t have said what he said. You will argue he shouldn’t think it either. I don’t think he does believe it since he himself called them ‘foolish words’, I suspect he was trying to express frustration and did it badly.

    However, Catholics have been labelled ‘subhuman’, ‘animals’,’scum’ etc off an on for a long time. My native language has been completely disrespected as has my choice of vote etc etc etc. Both sides have and do sling mud. All this ‘righteous anger’ that is coming from the DUP is absolutely laughable.

    He shouldn’t have said it. He apologised. Let’s stop the name-calling and engage with each other.

    Oh yeah, that won’t happen because the main Unionist party calls the party I vote for and their voters ‘subhuman scum’ so they won’t talk to them (except for every day, day in day out at council meetings etc).

  • Baluba

    Keith M, me oul china plate, I dont have time to address your entire post, but let me just say that in general it is at best inaccurate and at worst nonsense.

    I agree that the Catholic church had an unhealthy prominence in the 26 counties and that de Valera was a fool (but probably for many different reasons than you), but to suggest that the same level/type/scope of discrimination existed there against Protestants as existed here against Catholics is wrong. Nonsense altogether.

    “If unionists are prepared to accept that there was discrimination and that it was wrong, are nationalists/republicans willing to admit that 30 years of terrorism was not the way to counter it?”

    Again here you completely are off the mark. It is not for nationalists/republicans as one entity to ‘admit’ anything of the sort as very many were absolutely opposed to physical force the whole time. Ever heard of John Hume or Séamus Mallon? Those who were pro-physical force (to differing degrees) incluiding SF have said that they regret much of the violence.

    “One of the main reasons for this discrimination was the nationalists never fully engaged in politics in Northern Ireland.”

    It’s a tad difficult when in your gerrymandered constituency your religion often excluded you from the right to vote. And anyway, does being disenfranchised or disengaged in the political process mean that you’re fair game for discrimination or that if you are discriminated against, it’s your own fault? Nonsense. Discrimination existed because of bigotry.

    All your examples of alleged discrimination, illegal divorce, contraception etc can hardly be called Catholic specific discrimination against Protestants. That’s just nonsense too frankly. Don’t you realise that Catholics mobilised against it to have it overturned and don’t you remember that it’s Paisley et al who are all for it up here!?! Who’s running the campaign against ‘sodomites’ and ‘family planning’ etc.

    Religion has no place in the political running of the company. I agree completely there, but seriously, re-read your own post there and don’t be too harsh on yourself when you realise that it’s a load of bull.

    Reid shouldn’t have said what he said. You will argue he shouldn’t think it either. I don’t think he does believe it since he himself called them ‘foolish words’, I suspect he was trying to express frustration and did it badly.

    However, Catholics have been labelled ‘subhuman’, ‘animals’,’scum’ etc off an on for a long time. My native language has been completely disrespected as has my choice of vote etc etc etc. Both sides have and do sling mud. All this ‘righteous anger’ that is coming from the DUP is absolutely laughable.

    He shouldn’t have said it. He apologised. Let’s stop the name-calling and engage with each other.

    Oh yeah, that won’t happen because the main Unionist party calls the party I vote for and their voters ‘subhuman scum’ so they won’t talk to them (except for every day, day in day out at council meetings etc).

  • Keith M

    Suitably coffeed and sleep fully washed from my eyes, I’ll cover Reid’s role as a witness.

    First a preamble on decommissioning. What seems to have been forgotten in the wrangling of the last 6 years is that decomissioning was put into the Belfast Agreement to help SF/IRA. It would have been much easier (and in hindsight probably better) for that Agreement to have proposed a power sharing executive which only had representatives of the biggest parties (at the time the UUP and the SDLP) from each community. When it was decided to go for the “inclusive” version which gave every party achieving 10% of the MLAs a place on the executive it meant that SF/IRA would have to prove that they were an exclusivly democratic party, or at least were willing to become one. This meant that there had to be a credible decommissioning process, and here the Agreement fell down. It did not expressly make decommissioning a pre-requisit of places in the executive. Instead it was cloaked in fuzzy ambigous language.

    Within weeks of the referendum, the IRA were in “not a bullet, not an ounce” mode and this completly undermined the executive and consequently destroyed the whole agreement. However this a huge own-goal by SF/IRA, as not only did it collapse the only ever agreement to which they were a party, but by showing the flaws in the agreement, pushed unionists into the DUP camp (as the only party which had been unequivical in its opposition to the agreement).

    Eventually the penny dropped and SF/IRA realised it had to make moves on decommissing, but they did so in such a grudging and non-transparent way that instead of being the confidence building act which had initially been intended it was seen as the act of a group who were reluctant to give up the bullet for the ballot box. So we are now in a position where SF/IRA may or may not have fully decommissioned, and people still don’t believe that they have made that choice. The only thing we can be pretty certain of, is that there won’t be any future act of SF/IRA decommissioning, so its use as a confidence building measure has all but evaporated.

    And so we come to the point at hand. To have had any credability whatsover, the recent act decommissioning needed to be as transparent as possible. The fact that one of the witnesses is so obviously a SF/IRA stooge only serves to make people believe that once again the wool is being pulled over our eyes. Add to that is the fact that the Protestant churchman was not the one nominated by the DUP, and the whole things reeks to high heaven (pun intended).

  • Brian Boru

    “Unionist injustices ended in 1972. Republicanism thinks that just because it has ended an armed campaign that it should be trusted. I will agree that progress has been made. But by your figures of 24.46% that would mean that a quarter of the voters endorsed the Republican campaign, suggesting that 75.54% were against it, and therefore victims of it.

    Nonsense. The security-forces colluded with Loyalist terrorists in the killing of Catholics – including Pat Finucane. The RUC was over 90% Protestant. Even now the PSNI is 85% Protestant. Not to mention the sectarian marches and laying siege to Catholic areas in order to rake up the past regarding 1690. So backward looking…

    “One of the main reasons for this discrimination was the nationalists never fully engaged in politics in Northern Ireland. Instead they clung on to the obviously misguided idea that a “united Ireland” was just around the corner (heaven help them, but some still do). Few Catholics joined the Unionist parties (despite the fact that thousand of Catholics prefer NI to remain in the UK) and the Unionist parties were left to run N.I. by successive U.K. government, self content that after several centuries the “Irish problem” had gone away.

    In a situation where one section runs the state without an effective oppostion for 50 years, there is bound to be favouratism and consequently discrimination. This is human nature. Look to any state where one party or group has ben in power for so long, and you’ll see the same thing happened.

    What triggered the troubles 1960’s in N.I. was not some increase in “Protestant fundamentalims” as somebody has fancifully suggested, but rather a global uprising with saw the civil rights movement in the USA, the student riots in France and surges in support for the left in most of Europe. This inspired the original civil right movement in N.I. If you want evidence, then follow the history of the song “We Shall Overcome”. Unfortunatly the NICRA was very quickly hijacked by republicans (they may not have been Provos but let’s not forget that this predated that split). The authorities knew this, so were initally not willing to make the necessary changes on equality. Of course when the government doesn’t act there are those who choose other means, and thus the increased paramilitary activity by loyalists and republicans, and we know the rest. “

    Keith M, the kind of system that existed in NI was overtly sectarian from Day 1, not simply because it was in power for 50 years. From Day 1 Unionist ministers were telling their people not to employ Catholics e.g. Lord Brookeborough said “I recommend those who are Loyalists not to employ Roman Catholics 95% of whom are disloyal”. The West of the Bann was gerrymandered by Unionists and Catholic unemployment was far higher. Get real please.,

    You seem to be implying that because most Catholics did not support partition, that this somehow justified them being discriminated against. This relfects the authoritarian mindset of much of Unionism that does not accept the right of Nationalists even to aspire to a United Ireland. Northern Nationalists who want a UI are going to continue to aspire in that direction and you have to accept that just as they accept that you are going to continue supporting the Union. Political-opinion should not be trotted out as an excuse for discrimination.

    I do not accept that NICRA was hijacked by the PIRA. That was just propaganda from the Unionist authorities to distract attention from NICRA’s demands for an end to the bigoted suppression of the Catholic community, including discrimination in housing – partly intended by Unionists to reduce the Catholic vote at elections – the business-vote – intended by Unionists to increase the Unionist vote, and the brutally partisan behaviour of the RUC, B Specials etc.

    “It comes as no surprise that one of DeValera’s early acts once he came to power was to wipe out the Senate which in its original form was to be a place that protected the interest of minorities. The 1938 Constitution (which was drafted with the “help” of the arch-conservative Catholic arch-bishop of Dublin) recognised the “special positio of the Catholic church. It also constitutionally enshrined the ban divorce which ironically in turn led to the referendum campaigns of the 1980s and 1990s which served to undermine the position of the church, in a more enlightened time.”

    The Senate was gotten rid of because it was determined to keep the hated Oath of Allegiance to the British monarch that Irish Dail members had to take. In the 1920’s the Constitution forced on us by Britain required such an oath to be taken. It also allowed for a referendum to be held to change the Constitution if a certain number of signatures petitioned for constitutional change. De Valera in the 20’s refused to enter Dail Eireann because of the Oath. His Fianna Fail party started to collect signatures for a referendum on the Oath, by the Cosgrave Government then changed the law to prevent this (at the time the Dail had the power to change the constitution). After De Valera and Fianna Fail came to power in 1932, he passed legislation in the Dail to abolish the Oath, but the Senate rejected it. This behaviour by the Senate explains why De Valera changed the rules in 1937 to replace the veto power of the Senate with a 9 month delaying power. It ensured that an elected house would not be bossed around by unrepresentative aristocrats like the British House of Lords.

    Keith, if the Northern state was so keen on protecting minorities why did it abolish Proportional-Representation for Stormont and local elections? This system was in the Government of Ireland Act in order to protect minorities. We have retained this system in Southern Ireland to this day.

    While I agree that until the 90’s, the Southern law and Constitution contained too much of Catholic social-teaching, e.g. ban on divorce, homosexuality, contraception, and a reference to the Catholic Church’s “special place”, these are now gone. And in any case, all of this was far from the overt persecution of Catholics in NI where the security forces were beating up Catholics in tandem with Loyalist mobs. Our ministers never went around telling Catholics not to employ Protestants. If our state was only for a “Catholic people” then why did we have 2 Protestant presidents? And why were Protestants in senior positions in government, e.g. Ernest Blythe from Co.Antrim was our first Finance Minister.

    You have to refer to the past for evidence of discrimination. However, I don’t have to go all the way back to the Old Stormont for evidence of discrimination. You can talk about 1932 if you want. But that is a hell of a long time ago. I am amazed how much Northern Unionists ‘know’ about my State having never been here or if they have been here have not come across anti-Protestant attitudes. At least mny state doesnt ban Protestants from becoming Head of State, unlike the UK ban on Catholics becoming the monarch.

  • Brian Boru

    By the way Keith, we never had a law down here requiring Protestant parents to raise their children as Catholics.

  • Baluba

    Nonsense Keith M.

    “Eventually the penny dropped and SF/IRA realised it had to make moves on decommissing, but they did so in such a grudging and non-transparent way that instead of being the confidence building act which had initially been intended it was seen as the act of a group who were reluctant to give up the bullet for the ballot box. So we are now in a position where SF/IRA may or may not have fully decommissioned, and people still don’t believe that they have made that choice. The only thing we can be pretty certain of, is that there won’t be any future act of SF/IRA decommissioning, so its use as a confidence building measure has all but evaporated.”

    Confidence should be built that at very least a very significant amount of killing apparatus is gone. No transparency could ever completely convince that every bullet and every ounce was decommissioned. How could that be done really?

    Fr Reid is hardly an IRA stooge. That’s insulting. The man, if you care to actually find anything out about the man instead of just jumping to the idiotic DUP tune, is and always was 100% anti-violence.

    So, because the DUP didn’t select Harold Good, what he saw was not good enough. What the hell gives the DUP any right to do the picking?

    Either you think Good is a man of integrity or you think he’s lying. You obviously don’t think that Fr Reid is a man of integrity. That’s regretable.

    DUP can posture about it all all they want. Progress will be made and SF will continue to push things forward as they seem to be the only ones who give a damn about the working class who are being shafted by Unionist and Nationalist intransigence.

    The guns are gone whether you like it or not.

  • Keith M

    Baluba..”but to suggest that the same level/type/scope of discrimination existed there against Protestants as existed here against Catholics is wrong.” I didn’t say that what I said was “Yes the Republic has got a whole lot better in the last 20 years but for the first 60 years it was every bit as bad as Northern Ireland, when it came to treating people equally.” That is something I don’t think you can argue against, if yoy speak to people who lived through that time.

    “Ever heard of John Hume or Séamus Mallon? Those who were pro-physical force (to differing degrees) incluiding SF have said that they regret much of the violence.” Hume is the very man who when he issued statements about IRA terrorist acts, always put in a caveat. This is the difference between honourable men like Gerry Fitt and John Hume. I’m not suggesting for a moment that every nationalist supported SF/IRA terrorism, but people were aquiesant like so many unionists in the 1921-1971 period.

    “It’s a tad difficult when in your gerrymandered constituency your religion often excluded you from the right to vote.” First of all there was no gerrymandering of constituencies. There isn’t one Westminster MP elected from N.I. since partition that was elected thanks to gerrymandering. Secondly it’s hard to take lectures on geryymandering from people who when elected, do not take their seats and choose to disenfranchise every one of their constituents.

    “Discrimination existed because of bigotry.” Some did, some didn’t. Much of the discrimination came because some people were favoured above others. Blankey generalisations don’t help the debate here.

    “All your examples of alleged discrimination, illegal divorce, contraception etc can hardly be called Catholic specific discrimination against Protestants.” When one religeon allows divorce, contraception etc., and one doesn’t, making an act of private morality illegal is religeous specific discrimination. The same applies to Paisley and gay rights. What he tried to do was wrong.

    We seem to agree that what Reid said was wrong, but these are not the ramblings of an irrelevant figure, they are the beliefs of someone who was supposed to act as an honest broker and that is clearly not the case. That is the longterm implication of this week.

  • Keith M

    “Fr Reid is hardly an IRA stooge”. Who but an SF/IRA stooge would believe that they were not involved in the Northern Bank raid.

    “What the hell gives the DUP any right to do the picking?” Because they are the party that are being asked to share power with SF/IRA.

  • Baluba

    “Much of the discrimination came because some people were favoured above others.”

    Great euphemism.

    Can you explain to me where this institutional discrimination was and what form it took? You keep referring to religious related issues. Are you seriously comparing some unhappy Protestant married couple being unable to divorce with people being denied employment, housing and democracy!?!

    Seriously mate, wise up.

  • Baluba

    Well KeithM, I don’t believe they did it and most of the people I know don’t either, because we prefer to hear some, what do you call that stuff, erm…evidence.

    I must be a stooge then. (I hope I can be Mo).

  • Baluba

    How come when Reidso says something stupid he should be immediately thrown to the dogs, but the DUP can go on doing it week in, week out and still enjoy your support (sorry if that’s a presumption, but I am under the iumpression that you’re a bit of a fan of Doddsy and the Punt etc).

    Is there not a double-standard there?

    As I said, many people have said many regretable things, why don’t we take on Maskey’s suggestion of the other night to undertake to stop the name-calling (even though Ian Jr refused point blank – it’s all he’s good at.)

    Well, I’m off to buy some great organic produce from St George’s market – I especially enjoy Churchtown farm’s meat – it’s so good I have to plug it here in a completely irrelevant forum!

  • Brian Boru

    Those Unionists using Fr.Reid’s remarks to try to undermine the credibility of the decommissioning process should remember that Rev.Good was also a witness and that no reason exists as to question his credibility. Or John de Chastelain, the Finnish general and the American witness. Unless everyone is involved in some massive international “Papist” conspiracy against you of course, including Protestants. 🙂

  • Keith M

    “Are you seriously comparing some unhappy Protestant married couple being unable to divorce with people being denied employment, housing and democracy.” Yes I am. Try living in an unhappy relationship, knowing that you can never legally get out of it for the resrt of your life. Try being branded as a criminal because you bring birth control into the country. As I said it was a different type of inequality but it was just as intrusive and just as misery making.

    “I must be a stooge then.” If the cap fits.

    Please don’t fall into the trap of beliving I’m a fan of the DUP, simply because I took the same position on the 1998 agreement.

    Brian Boru “we never had a law down here requiring Protestant parents to raise their children as Catholics.” I never said we did, but yet that is what happened in 95% of of “mixed marriages”. You don’t need laws when peer pressure is at work in a society.

  • Biffo

    IJP

    “What should be accepted is that there are a lot of Nationalists who think the treatment of Catholics 1921-73 equates with that of Jews by Nazis.”

    There are very few nationalists who would think that. It’s patently ridiculous (unless you were talking about the penal laws or plantation of Ulster).

    Nobody is claiming that that Stormont regime systematically tried to exterminate Nationalists.

    What Reid believes is that protestants and unionists attach a different value to the lives and feelings of catholics, and in their own modest way they echo Nazi thories of superior and inferior races.

    Take prisoner releases as an example. Unionists have continuously talked about the pain and the hurt caused exclusively to protestants by those releases. Unionists claim it was a difficult process uniquely for protestants.

    Do unionists genuinely believe that prisoner releases are more difficult for protestants?

    Do they believe that catholics don’t experience a full range of similar of human emotions as protestants? Are they saying that Catholics are sub-human?

    If not why continuously make such a ridiculous, offensive claim?

    If you want to understand what Reid means, that’s the kind of place he is coming from. It’s just run of the mill sectarian insult like nationalists and unionist do everyday – and it illustrates the main problem in NI right now, everybody suffers from an excessive amount of self-righteous indignation.

  • Biffo

    Keith M

    You suck.

  • stu

    ‘Nonsense. The security-forces colluded with Loyalist terrorists in the killing of Catholics – including Pat Finucane. The RUC was over 90% Protestant. Even now the PSNI is 85% Protestant. Not to mention the sectarian marches and laying siege to Catholic areas in order to rake up the past regarding 1690. So backward looking…’

    I presume you’re referring to yourself there. More whataboutery. That’s the 3rd mythical figure about PSNI composition I’ve been hit with this week. Remember 50/50 and stop complaining. Protestants are discriminated against in the PSNI application process; we accept that as part of the move to a more representative force. And I would suggest the threat of IRA terror against Catholic officers had a lot to do with that composition (one example off the top of my head; Gabriel Mullally, February 1989).

    Let me make my position clear: As a democrat I respect the constitutional views of everyone in this country; if they consider themselves Irish, Northern Irish, British, an Ulsterman, a Welshman, an American, it is so. But I do not have to, and will not, respect those that support violence against my countrymen. Nor will I hear criticism of the composition of the PSNI, when, given its current attempts at being more inclusive, being used as a stick do beat it, especially given the implied insult of sectarianism in the Protestant demographic.

  • Seán

    Fr. Reid is no Republican. Republicanism has never been assisted by Catholicism. From the Fenians onwards, Republicanism has never found any parallels in a reactionary church organised on openly monarchic principles. Lets not forget that Maynooth priest training college was funded by British government money. Apart from one or two “maverick” priests (Wilson, Murray) who were barely tolerated by the Catholic hierarchy, Catholic priests and bishops instinctively favour the status-quo. It’s how they’ve been conditioned. When they step out of line, as with Latin American liberation theology, the Church disowns them.

  • TAFKABO

    Fr. Reid is no Republican. Republicanism has never been assisted by Catholicism.

    I know a father Chesney, who might disagree, if he were alive.Not to mention the church that harboured him.

  • TAFKABO

    As for the issue at hand.

    It seems pretty instuctive to me that father Reid made the remarks when on the defensive.
    One of the biggest problems we have is in coming to terms with the ills “our” side has visited upon “their” side.

    From my perspective, the discrimination that catholics undoubtably suffered can in now way justify the violent rection to that discrimination.
    The deep seated need for nationalist to equate their experiences with the treatment of jews at the hands of te Nazis stems from their need to justify what the IRA did.
    If it was justified by what happened, then they would argue this point, but instead they have to exaggerate what happened.

    I’ve heard similar styles of MOPPry from prods, who claim that all catholics are part of a conspiracy to undermine and overthrow the state, as if this justifies their unfair treatment, not to mention the slaughter visited upon them by the loyalist scum.

  • Alan McDonald

    Regarding republicanism (with a small r) and the church (any church), isn’t the concept of republicanism that developed in the Enlightenment inherently anti-clerical?

    I ask this because, over here in America, we have right-wing Catholics and right-wing Evangelicals in lock step trying to undo the secular state we established in 1787. For just two recent examples, see Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights president Bill Donohue’s MIERS’ RELIGION ALREADY UNDER FIRE and Focus on the Family chairman James C. Dobson’s Transcript of Dobson Comments on Miers.

  • George

    Argument on the Irish Times letter page saying the unionist mindset in Ireland was similar to that of the Third Reich.

    “The Nazis behaved as they did towards other groups because of an inherent belief in their own superiority. Unionists too have been guilty of this attitude towards the nationalist community. This is the bald truth and something that unionists need to engage with … Apologies allow unionists to disengage from their responsibilities and give credibility to their outlandish belief that they were the only victims.”

  • Whatabout

    “Ref- err – eeee!!”

  • Biffo

    TAFKABO

    “The deep seated need for nationalist to equate their experiences with the treatment of jews at the hands of te Nazis stems from their need to justify what the IRA did.”

    Unionists should be aware:

    1.Nationalists don’t equate their experiences with the treatment of the Jews.

    2.Nationalists equate Unionists with Nazis.

    Take the example of Unionists equating republicans in particular with “fascists”. That’s not very controversial, we’ve heard it a million times.

    Do unionists believe the aim of Republicans was to take over as much of the world as possible and turn it into some kind of “Greater Ireland”
    – like the way the Italians invaded Africa.

    Of course they don’t, but they still use the term even though it’s complete nonsense, just like Alec Reids comments.

    Also, by using this kind of language nationals are not exagerating to justify what the IRA did. They are insulting Unionists and painting them black.

    Tafkabo, you’ve said were a member of UVF/PUP. So, you’ll be well versed in the justification of murder, whether it’s a “measured military response” or a “legitimate target”.

  • Fishfiss

    Reid’s comments are disgraceful. Mind you, so to is the absence, after all this time, of any serious, measured, rational, respectful acknowledgement that the old Stormont treated non-unionists as equal citizens. It also treated sections of the unionist working class disgracefully which is commonly unacknowledged by catholic bigots. The GFA did not in any sense give recognition to the causes of conflict and this has still not been debated in adult fashion by most of the maian parties. How can there be a solution until the nature and reasons for the conflict are debated and some baseline consensus reached upon why we are where we are ? Meantime, the cacophany of idiocy continues.

  • TAFKABO

    Tafkabo, you’ve said were a member of UVF/PUP. So, you’ll be well versed in the justification of murder, whether it’s a “measured military response” or a “legitimate target”.

    Biffo

    It’s regrettable that you choose to engage in this style of debate.
    If you had taken all of my post into consideration, you could see that I wasn’t trying to play the game of themmuns and ussuns, but pointing out faults common to both sides of the divide.
    I have never been a member of the UVF and take great exception to be accused of such a thing.
    I did briefly belong to the PUP a few years back, for about six months, but when I mentioned this, I also clearly stated that I left as soon as it was apparent that the UVF were still engaged in violence, and not making moves towards soley peaceful methods, as I believed they were when I joined.
    I have levelled far worse criticisms at the PUP than I have at any other political party.
    I do not, and have not, ever sought to excuse or justify what the UVF have done, please let’s not get into this game of smearing each other in lieu of being able to argue a point.

    Slugger is one of the few places that is above this kind of thing.

  • barnshee

    “your religion often excluded you from the right to vote”£

    Once again we have this claptrap trotted out -everybody in N Ireland had THE VOTE. There was a property qualification for votes in electing town councillors. This affected both prods and micks -so no discrimination there.

    The catholic community insisted in its own education system -controlled by the Roman Catholic church so no dicrimination there.

    33% of places were reserved for RCs in the police service-(some discrimination there?)– they refused to take them up.

    The catholc community took full advantage of the benefits of thye british state at the same time giving active a and tacit support to IRA murder gangs (who have operated in every decade in the past 100?300? years).

    The sad fact is that the old jib not loyal to the crown but loyal to the half crown( a coin worth 12.5 p for the younger element) had some basis.

    Having spent years trying to wreck the state it takes a real brass neck to complain about state treatment. The catholic community has an exact analogy in the child who murders his parents and then expects special treatment because he is an orphan

  • IJP

    Biffo

    That’s not what Fr Reid said and it’s not what he meant and you know it. He equated treatment of Nationalists with treatment of Jews. That is a ludicrous and indefensible parallel.

    There is, as George suggests, a legitimate underlying parallel (although this must be mega-carefully stated). But again George puts the blinkers on – the truth is that all sorts of Nationalism assume the superiority of one group over another (whether this be expressed through claiming a superior culture, claiming a greater right to a specific territory, or whatever). This is yet another reason that both Irish Nationalism and Ulster Unionism are outdated and have nothing to offer us in the future.

  • Yoda

    IJP,

    Specifically, I didn’t quite call for the apology to be accepted, but rather I suggested it was rather irrelevant.

    Thanks for clarifying. I would still argue that Reid’s apology should be accepted, though. I also agree that a new way of doing politics is needed, but I disagree that the old political positions can be swept aside. The only hope seems to me to lie in reworking those positions. I won’t bore you with the details here, but I’ve made numerous suggestions of how I think this could happen on this board.

    stu,

    You have done that which i accused you of; ignoring my points and questions and again attempting to ridicule me.

    *sigh* I have no interest in “ridiculing” you. You need to get over it.

    I’ll try to spell this out for you. Your “points” and “arguments” essentially boil down to a series of rationalisations for a refusal to engage with elected republicans because you see them as having supported the use of violence. This is not a new argument. It’s rebuttal is not new either.

    You couched your arguments in the rhetoric of “themmuns” which you dismissed when it was used by another poster.

    So, your argument is one heard a million times before. And look where it’s gotten things. In short, I think your points are not constructive because they simply retread a bald argument: you don’t want to talk to “themmuns.”

    I also suggested that from the point of view of how you make your arguments, you need to decide whether or not you can do without the strategy of blaming “themmuns.” Judging by the evidence you cannot. I’m not slagging you off: very few (I’m being generous) political arguments can do without scapegoating someone. It’s a community builder.

    However, your argument brought nothing new to the discussion. Your posts might have attempted to suggest ways of engaging and talking, but they did not.

  • Yoda

    IJP,

    This is yet another reason that both Irish Nationalism and Ulster Unionism are outdated and have nothing to offer us in the future.

    If you have the time, could you tell me what you think should replace them?

    How would it appeal to both communities?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Alan Mc Donald: “I ask this because, over here in America, we have right-wing Catholics and right-wing Evangelicals in lock step trying to undo the secular state we established in 1787. For just two recent examples, see Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights president Bill Donohue’s MIERS’ RELIGION ALREADY UNDER FIRE and Focus on the Family chairman James C. Dobson’s Transcript of Dobson Comments on Miers.”

    A secular state? Only in so far as the central government was not to annoit a NATIONAL religon. The several states could and did establish state religions, up until the late nineteeth century. A side note is that the decision that brought up the phrase “seperation of church and state” does not appear in the constitution, but derives from a mid-nineteeth century NY State decision denying state support to parochial (read RC) schools, since a perfectly good Protestant education was available in the public school system. The United States was never intended as a secular state, it was meant to be one free of the problems found in the United Kingdom that had led to the waves of colonization in the first place.

  • IJP

    victor1

    I’ve only just noticed an earlier response of mine.

    For some reason you say I’m wrong, and then you say that Irish Republicanism has moved. Yet that doesn’t contradict me!

    I specifically said ‘Unionism and Irish Nationalism’. And by ‘WE’ I meant ‘the people’.

    I do not recognize SF in its current form as an Irish Republican party – it has adopted Irish Nationalism almost wholesale for the sake of votes. It’s easier to get votes based on ‘tribe wars’ than on principle – as I would know! 🙂

    However, Irish Republicanism in its true, traditional form is fundamentally a progressive, democratic movement. Link that with the tradition of British Liberalism (likewise progressive and democratic) and you have two concepts which, despite competing national affiliations, are forward-looking and capable of mutually beneficial compromise.

  • IJP

    Hi Yoda

    I’ve actually accidentally more or less answered your question in my previous post, despite the fact I wrote it before reading yours!

    There are minority strands within both the SDLP and SF which adhere to the true Irish Republicanism I talk of. And there are strands certainly within the Ulster Unionists which are fundamentally Liberal (capital ‘L’). Those two groups, both also represented in ‘Centre’ parties like my own, need to work together to deliver a genuinely progressive political movement based on sharing territory not because that’s morally the thing to do, but because it is genuinely mutually beneficial to do so.

    The alternative is a (Ulster Prod or Irish) Nationalist zero-sum game based upon the blame game and tribal trade-off. That delivers nothing by distrust, ignorance, and hatred, the like of which we’ve seen illustrated by both sides this week.

    We should stop focusing on a single individual (Fr Reid), and focus on the reality that the poison of bigotry is if anything growing rather than declining in too many areas – he has merely represented that, but he alone is not responsible for it. Deep inside we all have our grievances. But we also have our futures. We all need to think about that.

  • stu

    Yoda

    If you mean that I refuse to engage with those who support terror; even though they mave a minority electoral mandate, then you’re right. A vote for Sinn Fein in the last election is the same as a vote for the IRA. It would be churlish to argue otherwise. Anyone who wanted to express their Nationalist tendencies could have voted SDLP, like I did, but they chose not to. The last time I checked, we were in a majority rule, and the majority did not vote Sinn Fein, a fact that seems to be ignored everytime someone claims they have a mandate. Until a government can be formed, there is no mandate.

    Do not presume that because I am Protestant that I am not prepared to engage with my fellow countrymen who are commited to peaceful methods. If the Monitoring Commission declares an end to criminality by the IRA I will be first in line to demand the DUP get round the table and get devolution back up and running. I would like to see this happen now as well, and would be perfectly willing to see SF in government if they form a coalition to establish one; but if the largest returned party doesn’t want to form a government with them, they don’t have to, and they don’t have to form one with any party they don’t want to.

    If you think that calling attention to hypocrisy among the aforementioned on this board is a cry of ‘themmuns’, then you’re entitled to your opinion. I would argue that given your refusal to engage with my points past those which served your own argument, and your reason for doing so (‘However, your argument brought nothing new to the discussion. Your posts might have attempted to suggest ways of engaging and talking, but they did not.’) Read the board title. When a thread is started about engagement, you’ll see me there, lobbying for it.

  • Yoda

    IJP,

    Thanks for that. I suspect that we are largely in agreement on looking for the best in strands of political ideologies that can all-too-easily be stereotyped and dismissed. I firmly believe those strands should be fostered and encouraged. It’s the only way (well, short of a big comet or global thermo-nuclear war) that the political landscape and political imaginations can be changed.

    It takes a great deal of fortitude to look past our grievances if they form our most treasured sense of identity. It’s even harder if we believe that we’re being suckered into renegotiating our identities by the “other side.”

    stu,

    If you mean that I refuse to engage with those who support terror; even though they mave a minority electoral mandate, then you’re right.

    I know.

    Do not presume that because I am Protestant that…

    I did not presume anything about your background or what you will or won’t do. I simply read your post and, as it turns out, I was right.

    I would argue that given your refusal to engage with my points past those which served your own argument…

    Look, for the last time. I get your argument. The problem is that there is nothing to engage with in it aside from yet another series of rationalisations about why you don’t want to talk to “themmuns.”

    I’ve already said that there will always be a “themmuns” (I am truly getting tired of this word) who are “responsible” for the ills of society: the travellers, the unmarried mothers, the freeloading jobless, the underclass, the immigrants, the criminals, etc. The trick is to be vigilant and to spot it when it’s happening. It’s not always easy, but it’s the only way to bring about an inclusive society. It can sometimes take the form of showing to opposed groups how similar they are.

    I’d argue that talking to “themmuns” is always educational (for BOTH sides) and a useful avenue for bringing to bear the social pressure for change. I’m not suggesting it’s easy, but it beats impotent “moral” outrage anyday. “Moral” outrage is usually very selective: a bullshit rationalisation for letting things stagnate. Talking about mutual benefit is better.

    I’ve been hearing your argument for years. It’s sterile, it’s arid, it’s stillborn. It’s bad for my nerves and gives me hives. It is, in the immortal words of Therapy?, “Goin’ Nowhere.”

  • stu

    Yoda

    You’ve somehow managed to turn my observation of irony and ever-so-slight hypocrisy into a defiant political statement.

    In my first post I predicted the familiar issues to be drawn into an irrelevant debate (securocrats, themmuns etc)

    A serious of posters from Henry to Victor to ASC etc make those very noises, the whole while blaming unionism for the ‘themmuns’ thing. A word, incidently, I’m also sick of. I point out the hypocrisy there. This is called wry humour. You have your little stab. And off we go on the irrelevancy tree until somehow my post was all about why I woulnd’t engage with themmuns. WHich was the point of my post all along, wasn’t it?

    I predicted a series of noises and responded when they came up, then you jumped in with two feet and dragged the issue around to try and twist what I was saying. I understand I shouldn’t have bitten. But you’re good, and I understand that. I won’t be drawn again.

    The point of my posts was ‘why I won’t talk to Sinn Fein’ it was ‘Why are people justifying his statement after he’s apologised and we’ve accepted that? I bet this gets spun onto how this whole mess started and all kinds of stupid parallels get drawn. I bet securocrats (or the work thereof esp. in connection to Northern Bank, allegations of criminality etc.)’ And it was.

    All that can be quite easily drawn from my first posts. Until you brought it up yourself, whether or not I thought the Unionist community should talk to SF was not raised.

  • Biffo

    TAFKABO

    “I also clearly stated that I left as soon as it was apparent that the UVF were still engaged in violence.”

    Fair play to you.

    IJP

    “That’s not what Fr Reid said and it’s not what he meant and you know it.”

    That statement is untrue. I can’t find any blow by blow account of what happened at that meeting, there is nothing quoted about what was said from the floor, I don’t know what the provocation was, if any.

    I didn’t feel the need previously, but I’ve just checked out exactly what he said.. from..

    http://www.breakingnews.ie/2005/10/13/story225166.html

    This is what he said:

    “You don‘t want to hear the truth.

    “The reality is that the nationalist community in Northern Ireland were treated almost like animals by the unionist community.

    “They were not treated like human beings.

    “They were treated like the Nazis treated the Jews.”

    You can take whatever you want from his words, but I know he doesn’t think that unionists engaged in a “final solution” to exterminate nationalists of the face of the earth, that’s just ridiculous.

    What he believes is that unionists were engaged in doing things like unfairly manipulating the democratic processes to consolidate and bolster their own power, inventing the most draconian legislation in the British Isles directed exclusively against nationalists, discriminating against nationalists in jobs and housing. Revelling in beating nationalists off the streets when they finally got around to demanding “civil rights”

    Strictly speaking those are all kinds of things the Nazis did.

    But the Nazis did them on a scale that is hard to imagine and Nazis were brutal on a scale you just couldn’t comprehend.

    I don’t know if father Reid was around Clonard in 1969 and the burning of Bombay Street when the RUC were accused of standing back while loyalist mobs burned whole streets down.

    That’s what he’s talking about.

    The above article goes on to report:

    “Fr Reid told the audience that the nationalist community would have acted in the same way, had the roles been reversed”.

    Maybe he was then trying to extricate himself from the shit he got himself into and is unconvincing.

    Maybe he believes that, and given the right circumstances, nationalists would have behaved like unionists and been the Nazis.

    There are even contradictions in his accusation. The Nazis didn’t treat the Jews “almost like animals”

    What people like yourself and unionists like Peter Munce are reading into this is unfortunate. But please read my previous comments about prisoner releases. Unionists continuously use the derogatory insult as well. That is what we have here – we don’t have equation between Stormont and the holocaust.

  • Biffo

    Sorry for being so long-winded – this is my summary.

    The provocation he faced was probably OTT. (Willie Frazer!!!)

    His retaliation was OTT.

    Unionist reaction is OTT.

    Your interpretation of nationalist opinions is OTT.

  • George

    IJP,
    “But again George puts the blinkers on -…”

    The quote I put up was from the Irish Times, which I thought might be of interest to people on this thread. I never put it forward as my view.

  • IJP

    George

    Fair enough – the Irish Times put the blinkers on. Although sometimes blinkers aren’t such a bad thing, mind!

    Biffo

    They were treated like the Nazis treated the Jews.

    Sorry, you’re tying yourself in knots. You yourself accept we can only go by what he said. And the words are clear enough (and indeed were not withdrawn). He wasn’t talking about ‘attitude’, he was talking about ‘treatment‘.

    The truth is that a significant number of Nationalists in the North genuinely think their grievances from the past are comparable to those of Jews under the Nazis, when the fact is that parallels even to blacks in Apartheid South Africa are plainly ludicrous. That is the issue. When are Nationalists going to rid themselves of this ridiculous grievance culture and get on with the future?

    The Unionist reaction is not OTT, it’s just wrong. Because the truth is many, perhaps even most, Unionists believe that the only legacy we have to recover from is an IRA bombing campaign. That is equally ludicrous. When are Unionists going to accept their fundamental role in creating the legacy from which we all have to recover?

    But yet it’s very difficult for Nationalists not to overplay the past while Unionists turn a ludicrously blind eye to it altogether. And it’s very difficult for Unionists to accept their role when Nationalists ludicrously overplay it. More important still, it’s impossible for either ‘side’ to stop the exaggeration while votes fundamentally depend on it.

    The ultimate truth in Northern Ireland is we are all waiting for the ‘other side’ to admit its wrongs while trying to claim the moral high ground for ourselves (‘We all have our histories’, ‘At least Protestants don’t vote for Loyalist parties’ etc). But none of us has a right to the moral high ground historically – some of us supported blatant disparities, others backed (to various degrees) the worst post-war terrorist campaigns in Western Europe.

    We should stop competing on the past, otherwise we’ll never move on to the future.

  • Biffo

    IJP

    I am not tying myself in knots. I have made it pretty clear what I believe to the case about what he said and what he means by it.

    “They were treated like the Nazis treated the Jews.”

    Nazi’s controlled the functions of the state and discriminated against Jews.

    Unionists controlled the functions of the state and discriminated against Catholics. Fr Reid is right if that’s what he meant.

    Nazi’s also tried to wipe European Jews off the face of the earth.

    Unionists did not try to wipe Northern Irish Catholics of the face of the earth. Fr Reid is wrong if that’s what he meant.

    “They were not treated like human beings.”

    Have you looked at how the RUC and B Specials treated people like the civil marchers in the 1960’s? Those people were protesting for rights that are not controversial, that we all now take for granted. They were treated them like animals. Look what happened at Burntollet.

    Is this clear enough for you? Can you see the consistency of my point?

    Calling unionist Nazis doesn’t equate to the holocaust. Similarly Unionist claims about the impact of prisoners releases, if you take them at face value, suggest that nationalists are sub-human (please read my comments above). I know that’s not what unionist believe but if I wanted to I could put it too you that that is exactly what they believe because that is exactly what they say.

    Fr Reids comments are wrong, they are intemperate and insulting and out of all proportion. It’s an everyday occurance in Northern Irish politics.

    Now Willy Frazer is going to bring a prosecution under “incitement to hatred”. Arlene Foster is involved and she believes they have a strong case. The matter is in the hands of the PSNI.

    They haven’t a hope in hell.

    (how do you do bold type, by the way?)

  • Alan McDonald

    Biffo,

    less than symbol B greater than symbol
    word(s) to be bolded
    less than symbol slash symbol B greater than symbol

    #B%word(s) to be bolded#/B%
    where # = less than symbol
    and % = greater than symbol

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  • Alan McDonald

    See also Boldface in the HTML Code Tutorial.

  • wild turkey

    To Mr Bigglesworth, Keith M and others

    I think it was Napoleon who said ‘ What is history but a myth agreed upon’

    The reaction to the remarks of Fr Alex Reid is dismaying. and totally true to form. If you want to travel on, you are gonna have to pass thru checkpoint reality at some point.

    Robert Fisk wrote In Time of War: Ireland, Ulster and the Price of Neutrality 1939-45 (Gill & Macmillan)
    ‘When Belfast suffered its 1941 calvary, the morale of its bombed survivors collapsed while the Northern Ireland home affairs minister, the mean-spirited and alcoholic Dawson Bates, urged the opening of camps for thousands of refugees whose “personal habits . . . are sub-human”. No wonder the moderator of the Presbyterian church was to warn that “if something is not done now to remedy this rank inequality, there will be a revolution after the war”. Brooke intended to avoid any such civil unrest, whatever the cost to Britain’s wartime allies. Secret communications – I found them in the Northern Ireland Public Record Office in 1978 but they were swiftly closed afterwards – show that Brooke was fearful of British plans to farm out thousands of Polish troops to the North after the war. The Poles had fought alongside Northern Irish regiments at Monte Cassino, but could not return to their now-Communist homeland. Brooke refused to have them. The Poles were Catholics.’

    ‘Sub-Human’ ?
    ‘Camps’ ?

    Doesn’t sound a thousand miles away from Germany circa 1935-1945. Does it?

    What has been ignored in the misplaced and misleading response to Fr Alex Reid’s remarks is simple. It is this.

    Unionism, not the unionist or protestant people, is seen by many, including reputable historians and journalists, at its most fundamental to be a racist supremacist ideology.

    In turn the sad fact is that the wider unionist community/family is seen to have endorsed, or at least acquiesced to, this political belief system based on racist supremacy. And why not? They clearly benefited from it.

    However, until this ongoing dysfunctional denial is confronted and addressed, no one benefits.

  • Reader

    wild turkey: urged the opening of camps for thousands of refugees whose “personal habits . . . are sub-human”.

    I see you picked up on a couple of key words here. The camps were to be refugee camps. Jonathon Bardon also described the evacuation from Belfast in his history of Ulster – he describes the ‘personal habits’ that were such a problem to the people offering shelter to some of the refugees. But there’s nothing to say whether the habits were the exclusive preserve of one side of the community. It’s not nearly so sinister now – is it?

  • Biffo

    Alan McDonald

    Thanks

  • Padraic

    And of course no one is prosecuting Willie Frazer for incitement to hatred?
    His own website compares the Irish state with Nazi Germany and even places the Irish flag next to the swastika. Willie Frazer should ring up Arlene Foster and get her to prosecute him too.

    Frazer’s own Nazi accusations

  • IJP

    wild turkey

    What you say has a lot of merit (although Reader has rightly picked you up on your selective use of certain terms).

    But again it is not the point. Reid said that the treatment equated with that of Jews by Nazis. It is true ‘Most Oppressed People Ever’ stuff. And it is, to use a technical term, bollocks.

    And again, all Nationalist discourse is ultimately supremacist, including Irish Nationalism. It is about one people having more rights (be it to territory, righteousness or whatever) than another. That pervades nearly all political thought in NI right across the Board

    It is accurate but also easy for a Nationalist to say Unionists have to tackle it. But are Nationalists prepared to accept, fundamentally, that Nationalists too have to tackle it, at its very core? That’s not the impression I’m getting, but that is the issue.

    Padraic

    You are entirely correct that by his own logic, Mr Frazer should be sued for what appeared on his own site. I am truly sorry about what he and his family went through, goodness knows what that would do to you, but the stuff on there is really disgusting (I make no apology for using that word).

    It is accurate but also easy for a Nationalist to say Unionists have to tackle it. But are Nationalists prepared to accept, fundamentally, that Nationalists too have to tackle it, at its very core? That’s not the impression I’m getting, but that is the issue.

    Padraic

    You are entirely correct that by his own logic, Mr Frazer should be sued for what appeared on his own site. I am truly sorry about what he and his family went through, goodness knows what that would do to you, but the stuff on there is really disgusting (I make no apology for using that word).

  • darthrumsfeld

    why exactly were the electoral boundaries of Donegal county redrawn in the 1960s . By a strange coincidence the bizarre realignment of the constituency boundary through the Barnes Gap had the no doubt unintended consequence of severing the Protestants of the south from those of the east, and the independent TD (i.e. Protestant) that had hitherto been returned since 1921 was no longer electable.

    Brian the civil rights organisation took a march that wasn’t wanted through a host community without engaging in dialogue with that community ( sound familiar?) It sought confrontation with the state apparatus . It is now widely accepted that before it left Maghera for Londonderry members of the IRA were present , but instructed not to offer violence if attacked. maybe these things were justifiable in the context of the times, but the NICRA were no cuddly innocent wide eyed students. They had a radical agenda which was not supported by the majority of the population

  • forest

    dathrumsfeld-They had a radical agenda which was not supported by the majority of the population

    Yes your right.The majority of the population didn’t support it because it was campaigning for catholic rights.Something which still to this very day is abhorred by unionists.So what did they do at the time.They used violence because they knew they would get away with it.Resemblences of murders in the deep south where members of the police were in the kkk or judges and juries were as well spring to mind

  • Brian Boru

    “the civil rights organisation took a march that wasn’t wanted through a host community without engaging in dialogue with that community ( sound familiar?) It sought confrontation with the state apparatus . It is now widely accepted that before it left Maghera for Londonderry members of the IRA were present , but instructed not to offer violence if attacked. maybe these things were justifiable in the context of the times, but the NICRA were no cuddly innocent wide eyed students. They had a radical agenda which was not supported by the majority of the population “

    Darthrumsfeld, there is no comparison between a march celebrating a battle, and a march against gerrymandering, discrimination in housing, the absence of one-man-one-vote, and discrimination in employment.

    Of course most in NI probably didn’t support NICRA. After all, NICRA was demanding equality, something that the Unionists were stubbornly opposed to.

  • mucher

    I was glad to read Willie Frazer website. I never realised how many Nazi supporters there were in the Republic during the years 1933 – 1945 and the continuing support and devotion to Sean Russell by Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald.

  • Brian Boru

    We didn’t support the Nazis. The IRA was illegal at the time so the Irish government is in no way accountable for the actions of Russell. And I can safely say on behalf of the Irish people that the vast majority of us had no truck and have no truck with what Russell did.

    We were neutral in WW2 because we had no option. We had no defence capability with which to resist a Nazi invasion. Hence we wished to avoid provocation – as did Switzerland and Sweden – though unlike Sweden we did not allow Nazi troops onto our soil. Our wartime neutrality wss in reality biased towards the Allies. For example, the date of D-Day was chosen on the basis of secret weather-reports passed by the Irish government to the British government. Also, German spies and soldiers were interned whereas British soldiers who were captured were allowed escape to the North.

    The only alternative to our neutrality would have been a second British occupation of Southern Ireland, from which extrication after WW2 would have been very difficult. It had only been 16 years from Irish independence to the start of WW2 and as is the tendency when a colony liberates itself from the imperial power, a period of mutual distrust ensues.

  • Brian Boru

    And anyway, more Southerners fought on the Allies side in WW2 than Northerners (60,000 Southerners to 50,000 Northerners).

  • darthrumsfeld

    actually the majority of Roman Catholics also didn’t support the Civil Rights Association, as Eamonn Mccann will cheerfully tell you, but how predictable of Brian and forest to use that fact as an excuse to bash the prods again.

    The NICRA was infiltrated by the IRA, but it is impossible to say how much that influenced its agenda. The leading lights were mostly trendy lefties of the student set, and have continued to plough their lonely red furrow-all except dear wee Bernadette who was calling us fascists years before it became fashionable

    “Darthrumsfeld, there is no comparison between a march celebrating a battle, and a march against gerrymandering, discrimination in housing, the absence of one-man-one-vote, and discrimination in employment”
    Quite so, and obviously free speech should only be afforded to people who think like you , because you know best. Even though you don’t seem to understand that the Drumcree parade is a) a church service B) commemorates the dead of World War I and c), unlike the NICRA route which targetted areas like Antrim to pass through, followed the route that for almost a century had been fields, and until 20 years ago not a republican area.

    Can’t stop-off to practise my goosestepping now

  • Brian Boru

    Darthrumsfeld, you are just yet another example of a Unionist in denial over the discrimination inflicted on the Catholic community by the unapologeticly sectarian Stormont regime of 1920-72.

    Agitation was the only way to end these abuses and the IRA did not control NICRA, whatever you and others say.

    During the 1960’s in the US Deep South, the White politicians there similarly tried to smear the Civil Rights movement there as “Communist”, so I guess some people are learning from the tactics of others.

  • Brian Boru

    And if the majority of Catholics didn’t support the NICRA then why did so many of its leaders get into Westminster, e.g. Bernadette Devlin, John Hume, Gerry Fitt.

  • barnshee

    “Now Willy Frazer is going to bring a prosecution under “incitement to hatred”. Arlene Foster is involved and she believes they have a strong case. The matter is in the hands of the PSNI”

    Its win/win for willie-if reid gets admonished win
    if no action wille can bleat on about the attitude of tha psni/courts/government to victims win

  • b13

    given that most republicans support the slaughter of innocent jewish men , women and children in israel, it comes as no suprise to hear, yet again, people like alec reid trivialise such events as the holocaust.

    shame on them

    feel the love

    b13xxxx

  • greg

    It is worth noting that DUP Balmoral ward, Belfast city council cadidate, Jim Kirkpatrick, had his nomination papers signed by and was proposed by former National Front member and former UUP man John Hiddleston.

    Also one of Michael McGimpsey’s key supporters in the S. Belfast UUP, Stuart MacKinlay, is also a former member of NF.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    B13: “given that most republicans support the slaughter of innocent jewish men , women and children in israel, it comes as no suprise to hear, yet again, people like alec reid trivialise such events as the holocaust.”

    Assumes facts not in evidence, B13. As a matter of fact, care to guess who taught the Stern Gang and the Haganah the finer points of assymetric warfare?

  • forest

    darthrumsfeld-drumcree is a peaceful church parade?Then why the quinn children get burnt alive because of it?

  • Brian Boru

    “given that most republicans support the slaughter of innocent jewish men , women and children in israel…”

    They don’t. But they support freedom-fighters. Israel is violating international-law in its occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. Its expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Arabs from their homes since 1948 and their replacement with Jewish settlers amounts to ethnic-cleansing and those in the Israeli military and political establishment should be sent to a war-crimes court along with Palestinian suicide bombers who targeted civilians.

    However, if you are illegally occupied and attack the soldiers that occupy you, then that is not terrorism but “war”.