Economic consequences to racial attacks

By Wednesday afternoon when he filed the story below, Newton Emerson noted that the Indian Press had not yet picked it up, but that “it will certainly be reported among the families and friends of those affected”. Well it has now. The New Kerala, Yahoo India and Chennai Online have all subsequently picked it up. As Emerson notes, both India and China are becoming major overseas investors of capital so that Belfast cannot afford to sustain a reputation for racialist attacks. He also notes that some local politicians may need to get beyond narrow constituency interest and think about wider impacts on NI economy as a whole. NI notoriously loose political affliation with the law means there is little likelihood that society will do much about the offenders either.

By Newton Emerson

You could hardly imagine two stories better-timed to tell a larger tale. This week, Indian firm ICICI-OneSource announced the creation of 1,000 jobs in Northern Ireland, generating £28 million a year in local wages. The company is India’s fifth-largest outsourcing firm and this is its first major investment anywhere in Europe.

Also this week, an Indian under-19 cricket team visiting Belfast was attacked with iron bars by a mob in the city centre, then attacked again in East Belfast, where children threw stones at the team’s accommodation. The Indian youngsters were reportedly traumatised, their parents told them to get the next flight home and only an intervention by SDLP Mayor Pat McCarthy stopped everybody leaving at once.

Ashok Sharma, the local businessman who arranged the team’s trip, pointed out that the cricketers come from wealthy Indian families – but despite the announcement from ICICI-OneSource, few people made the obvious connection. Let’s hope that few people in India make it as well, because the implications are stark. Racist thuggery in Northern Ireland is about to become a very expensive habit.

So far, this week’s violence has not been reported in the Indian press – however it will certainly be reported among the families and friends of those affected. We’ll never know how many jobs this might have cost us but it could easily be thousands. India is an enormous country but it has a small, tightly-knit business community and no doubt word gets around.

Last year, Indian companies invested £5.2billion overseas, up 35 per cent on the year before. Securing just a tiny fraction of that booming wealth would solve all our economic problems at a stroke – but we won’t get a penny if Northern Ireland earns a racist reputation. Ironically, the very same scumbags who attacked the young cricketers would be the first to blame their own worthless existence on a shortage of suitable employment.

India isn’t the only new superpower packing a punch. China invested £3.7billion abroad last year and has just relaxed its foreign exchange controls, which is certain to send that figure through the roof. Chinese firms are particularly keen to expand into Europe and their offshore operations often focus on technology and skilled manufacturing. This is exactly what Northern Ireland wants – but do we want the Chinese?

Nodding alongside Pat McCarthy on television this week was Belfast’s DUP Deputy Mayor Ruth Patterson. In October 2004 she objected to a Chinese community centre in South Belfast, saying: “The Protestant community living in Donegall Pass have grave concerns about their culture, their identity and way of life.” Nobody has ever been prosecuted for the spate of racist attacks on Chinese people which took place around South Belfast at the time, just as nobody will be punished for the attacks on the Indian cricketers.

The PSNI says it is conducting an investigation – but even if the culprits are caught, will they ever be imprisoned? Of course not. Will the parents of the stone-throwing children be fined or challenged by the law in any way? No chance. They have too many fashionable excuses – like the ‘social exclusion’ they inflict on themselves through their own vicious stupidity.

When Indian call centre firm HCL came to Belfast two years ago, this is how the Times of India introduced the story: “India is shining, here in the dark heart of Europe’s longest-running conflict.” If we won’t crack down on our racist morons, that light will soon shine down somewhere else.

First published in the Daily Mirror Friday 16th June 2006

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  • all out

    Where were the players attacked in East Belfast?
    Where did the city centre attack take place?
    Anyone know?

  • DK

    Dear All,

    Themmums did it. Their community is racist, not ours.

  • fair_deal

    It seems people from both communities did “them” not it. The indian cricketers were subjected to two incidents – one where the place (in a unionist area)they stayed was attacked and one when walking through a nationalist area.

  • willis

    I’m afraid they don’t give a toss.

    Do we want the Chinese? It is our second language!

  • all out

    Some of the usual clarion calls of condemnation (fine when it gives some the chance to feel superior and align themselves with the victims, victimhood being their favourite pose) have been more muted than in other racist attacks. I’m guessing not just because they were playing the despised cricket either.

  • Sorry I double posted. Here’s two contributions from the other thread:

    From Tom Strong:

    I have been wondering when this would appear on slugger.

    I knew that if it appeared under Fair
    deals assuages those responsible would have been Catholic. if it appeared under Chris Donnely the culprits would have been Protestant. Now i am just unsure.

    useless thugs have blackened the reputation of many areas before. i believe that those who invest overseas are sophisticated enough not to be influenced by these activities.

    it has been in the australian newspapers for a couple of day. for those who read about the general assumption is that the participants would be poor unionist, as they have had a bad press for many years

    And Brian Boru:

    I think NI got a racist reputation aeons ago.

  • India will become a superpower by the end of this century so this kind of disgusting behaviour had better be stamped out very quickly.

    Just as well that this particular thuggery cannot be laid at the door of you-know-who (as far as I know), otherwise a certain party would be facing more awkward questions today.

  • Paul

    “The New Kerala, Yahoo India and Chennai Online have all subsequently picked it up”

    But not yet by Daily Ireland I believe?
    They’re usually a lot quicker off the mark with reporting these kind of incidents.
    What was the difference this time?

  • willis

    Just 94 years to go then!

    I think it will be sorted out by then. Our current stupidity is unsustainable. Thank goodness the Labour Party are making our tribalists live up to their responsiblities.

  • all out

    “But not yet by Daily Ireland I believe? They’re usually a lot quicker off the mark with reporting these kind of incidents. What was the difference this time?”

    A) Nationalists were behind at least one of the attacks so they couldn’t use it as a sectarian rod to beat the prods, and

    b) They were cricketers. And there is nothing more British than cricket.
    LIKE, DUH.

  • Paul

    all out,

    LIKE, WHOOSH!!!

  • Paul

    all out

    Sorry all out for the stroppy reply,

    You’ve explained exactly the was the point I was trying to make.

    Racism is an evil, which should be fought from wherever source it comes from.

    But too often it’s used in N.Ireland by the likes of Daily Ireland and the Republican bloggers who frequent Slugger to further their own political agenda and that’s why for example, the usual suspects are conspicuous by their absence from this thread.

    They hate racism alright, but only when it’s the Unionist version.

  • Garibaldy

    Once again Newt has hit on important issues. I wonder though if he’ll be on the receiving end of abuse for this the way he usually is for being a unionist bigot. Seems kinda hard. What I admire most about Newt is his eye for an embarassing quote, no matter how long ago it was.

    Does this new call centre mean Indians will be getting indecipherable Belfast accents whenever they need their washing machines fixed?

  • wild turkey

    Paul
    ‘But too often it’s used in N.Ireland by the likes of Daily Ireland and the Republican bloggers who frequent Slugger to further their own political agenda and that’s why for example, the usual suspects are conspicuous by their absence from this thread.

    They hate racism alright, but only when it’s the Unionist version.’

    a few quick points ( the copters are circling)

    1.with respect to political agendas i take it you are virtously above the fray and have no political agenda and attendant points to make. if so, i admire that. if no, well the play the ball rule applies and i will not go there

    2. try this on for size. a simple mapping exercise. (a) reported ( for all its inherent methodological flaws) incidents of racist violence/haraassment (b) mapped against the community background (ie 2001 census) of where these incidents occurred. Conclusion?

    well without political/ideolgocial baggage. I don’t conclusively know

    do you?

  • Paul

    wild turkey
    1.”with respect to political agendas i take it you are virtously above the fray”

    Email me on the address I’ve supplied and if “you really want to go there” I’ll supply you with the details of where I work and other organisations I’m presently a member of.
    (How’s that for trust?)

    “try this on for size. a simple mapping exercise. (a) reported ( for all its inherent methodological flaws) incidents of racist violence/haraassment (b) mapped against the community background (ie 2001 census) of where these incidents occurred. Conclusion?

    well without political/ideolgocial baggage. I don’t conclusively know

    do you?”

    2. Question.
    From whatever source racism originates, it’s an evil to be condemned and combatted.
    Agreed?
    Or are there other criteria to be applied before we condemn and combat?

  • wild turkey

    paul

    whoa, go where?

    you made what i took to be a political analysis. I responded.

    Trust is implicit on this blog. I wouldn’t ask for or want your CV. thanks but no thanks

    yes agreed racism, regardless of its origins and spatial incidence is to condemned and combatted. it does not matter a flying “*!k who the perpetrators are. full stop. end of story.

    the point re the mapping exercise raises the admittedly simpliste issue; just where are the battlefields? as a foreign national resident here for a brief 25 years I know where the bulk of the abuse i’ve encountered orginated. however, in the interest of impartiality i am willing to consign that to the oft derided ‘anecdotal’ evidence.

  • DK

    Well wild turkey, since most of the ethnics live in protestant areas, no wonder most of the attacks are in protestant areas. You might ask why they live in protestant areas rather than nationalist ones?

  • “most of the ethnics live in protestant areas”

    Source?

  • Greenflag

    ‘You might ask why they live in protestant areas rather than nationalist ones? ‘

    Could it possibly be that nationalist areas are the only ones where vacant properties can be rented or bought ? Nationalist areas are reputedly bursting at the seams ?

    To the main issue, Chinese and Indian people together make up almost 35% of the world’s population . Attacking their nationals would seem to me to be an even more productive and efficient way of further excluding Northern Ireland from the global economy than the lame brained efforts of the UUP/DUP over the past generation.

    Good man Newt . Now yiz all know why Bertie Ahern has made State visits to both India and China accompanied by business interests from both North and South .

    Now when did the leaders of the UUP or DUP ever visit either ? SFAIK only Paisley ever made it to the Philippines where he received an audience with former disgraced President Marcos . Wonder what they discussed ? Baroness St George’s shoe size ?

  • DK

    “most of the ethnics live in protestant areas”

    Source?

    Census. Mixed areas and protestant areas.

    Could be because nationalist areas are “bursing to the seams”, but I don’t think that is the whole story. There is probably also the preconception of people moving to Northern Ireland that the nationalist areas are dangerous, the police don’t operate there, and the schools are catholic.

  • all out

    The nationalist community are just as racist as the loyalist community. The perpetrators of such incident should be condemned equally and punished severely. The sheer cynicism of republicans regarding this attack and others like it is shocking, but not surprising. Where was the Daily Ireland editorial lambasting the attackers? Where was the stream of Sinn Fein press releases smugly pointing the finger?
    They are simply incapable of seeing anything which happens in Northern Ireland not through the prism of their own squalid tribal sectarianism. What better example does one require?
    The higher incidence of racist attacks in unionist / mixed areas is a consequence of more ethnic minorities living there. The police should be apprehending those responsible and the judges throwing away the key. Personally, I’d deport them to Rockall, but that’s just me. Scum.

  • Paul

    wild turkey

    “the point re the mapping exercise raises the admittedly simpliste issue; just where are the battlefields?”

    Yes, the mapping exercise would probably point the worst areas out, but that obviously doesn’t excuse racism when it occurs beyond their parameters. That’s the core point I was making, there isn’t Unionist racism or Nationalist racism, just racism, and people who remain silent when it originates from their “own side” are as big a part of the problem as the scum who are actually carrying out the attacks.

    DK

    “There is probably also the preconception of people moving to Northern Ireland that the nationalist areas are dangerous, the police don’t operate there, and the schools are catholic”

    I’d reckon the vast majority moving here have no real preconception of how dangerous or not nationalist areas are. I’d even go so far to say that very few would care or even have any idea who the two sides are.

    “Do the police operate in this area or is it controlled by the paramilitaries ?”, again is not a question that the average newcomer is going to think of asking the estate agent.

    Re the schools question, I’d guess this wouldn’t put off Polish people and those from places like the Philipines from moving into nationalist areas.

    The simple fact a Greenflag pointed out is that expatriates anywhere in the world will move where there is vacant, affordable housing and in our own particuliar case in Belfast, that is more often than not, in Unionist areas.

  • Greenflag

    ‘There is probably also the preconception of people moving to Northern Ireland that the nationalist areas are dangerous, the police don’t operate there, and the schools are catholic.

    Obviously then the 400,000 immigrants who have settled in the Irish Republic have less preconceptions to be concerned about, that those going to Northern Ireland . Even the protestants amongst them have few problems with living in predominantly Nationalist and Catholic areas in the Irish Republic :)? I wonder why ?

  • Rory

    There is a strain running through this thread that seems to imply that foreign nationals are attacked becuse they choose to live in unionist areas. Must be their own fault then for flaunting the proud cultural traditions of these areas that it is not only their right but their God-given duty to launch vicious attacks on anyone who does not share their delightfully holistic world view.

    I remember back in the late sixties or early seventies when Harland & Wolff had been pressurised by Westminster to open their employment to Catholic workers and the shipyard trade unions negotiated a “dilution bonus” to compensate the existing workforce for this dilution of their protestant hegemony within the workforce. Perhaps the good citizens of East Belfast might be calmed by a similar bribe to compensate for the terrible cultural shock of meeting strange brown and yellow faces in their midst. There might need be differing levels of compensation of course. If, for example, a Pakistani face was deemed twice as upsetting as a Chinese face then the compensation for having a Pakistani family living in your street might be, say, £2,000 per family whereas only £1,000 per family would be awarded if the family were to be Chinese.

    Who knows it might work. Before long even as the bills for the HD tv’s began to arrive and the local bar was threatening to call in the slate people might start advertising for ethnic minority families to move into their street and start being ever so nice to them so as to stop them being poached by rival streets.

    Sounds too easy. There must be a flaw in my reasoning somewhere. I am sure I can rely on other kind contributors to point it out.

  • Paul

    Rory
    Regarding your main thesis, I’ll leave that to
    others to address.

    You, however, seem to have missed what I felt to be the main *strain* of the thread, that we *all* should condemn racism from whatever source it comes from,whether or not that condemnation fits in or furthers our own narrow political agenda.

    Your thoughts on that particuliar point?

  • lib2016

    As an regular poster with a republican point of view I’d like to

    1/ recognise that there are lots of bigots on all sides of politics here

    2/ denounce bigotry wherever it originates

    3/ point out that I know of no instance where a pubic representative from a republican background has made sectarian or racist comments without facing immediate criticism from within his/her own party.

    I haven’t posted before because I thought of this as a trolling exercise but on reflection this is too serious an issue to let pass unchallenged. There is of course bigotry on the republican side but it isn’t considered to be acceptable behaviour as it apparently is among certain sections of unionism.

  • Garibaldy

    Lib2016,

    Are you serious about the sectarian part of point 3? What counts as sectarian in your view?

  • lib2016

    Garibaldy,

    Entirely serious – I’ve heard plenty of republicans making sectarian remarks about Protestants and racist remarks about immigrants at a personal level. I fully accept that republicans are no saints in this as in so much else but then neither is anybody else. We all just do the best we can.

    Nevertheless at a public level republicans, both Shinners and the SDLP do seem to behave better in this regard. IMHO.

  • wild turkey

    paul

    ‘Yes, the mapping exercise would probably point the worst areas out, but that obviously doesn’t excuse racism when it occurs beyond their parameters. That’s the core point I was making, there isn’t Unionist racism or Nationalist racism, just racism, and people who remain silent when it originates from their “own side” are as big a part of the problem as the scum who are actually carrying out the attacks. ‘

    i’m in full agreement with the above.
    furthermore given increasing immigration into Ireland, NORTH and SOUTH, it is an issue that requires a concerted strategic effort by govt, private sector, trade unions, and especially education. the sooner the better.

    DK et al re the mapping exercise. a suggested refinement, rather than where the incidents take place, hows about the postcodes of the perpetrators? yeah i know two obvious flaws with this (1) so few perpetrators are caught never mind successfully prosecuted (2) on reflection it probably doesn’t matter a %!*k where the perpetrators live. racists are racists are racists. time to wrestle the scum to the mat.

  • slugger

    When I was last flying back from India I was reading about Medieval times. We had some interesting concepts in those days. Perhaps we could update the concept of banishment. Should we support people who do not conform to the basic standards of our society? Behave beyond the strictures of civilised society and for a period of time you loose your ability to benefit from the services of that society. Or perhaps we should run our prisons in the form of Medieval monasteries, grow your own or go hungry.

    Let’s see what else, the stocks!

    Seriously; disgraceful behaviour, I have good links with India and have always found it to be a safe place to be. You can be surrounded by dire poverty and be utterly safe. The people have some integrity that our louts don’t. The ethos of the place does not condone the behaviour we accept here.

    There comes a time when society really does need to assert its will. Law is about retribution, and ensuring that re-offending does not occur. It is also meant to be a deterrent. In many ways Policing and the Legal system here are not functioning effectively and it is to the disadvantage of us all.

  • Crataegus

    Above posted by me not slugger?

  • Garibaldy

    Lib,

    I think it’s fair to say that the SDLP and PSF do see themselves as somehow in solidarity with immigrants at an abstract level as victims of prejudice etc. I can’t see them reacting to racist attacks the way Ruth Patterson did in the stuff Newt quotes. Nevertheless, as you say yourself massive racism persists across all sections of our society.

    As for sectarianism, I think that’s a different matter. It really does depend on how one defines the term. Sectarianism is much wider than saying something like “Protestants should be killed at birth”. There’s a clear tendency in statements from both the SDLP and PSF to downplay the extent and even the existence of sectarianism among Catholics. On top of words, there’s the point of actions, which speak a lot louder in my opinion.

  • Rory

    Paul,

    I absolutely agree, without qualification, that racist and sectarian attacks must be condemned from what ever quarter they arise. It is indeed even more important that we condemn such attacks all the more strenuously if and when they occur in the community that we are part of and that we must insist that the leaders of our own community should be most proactive in creating a zero-tolerance policy for such behaviour and take steps to educate the rising generations of its total social unacceptability.

    Any community where the leadership fails in that duty bears a heavy responsibility for these actions by default.

    I would be much more condemnatory if I were to learn of such attacks springing from the catholic/nationalist community because that it is not the standaed of behaviour or the mindset that should be part of that community and because I am of them it would shame me.

    I have to admit that such actions by the protestant/unionist group do not shame me, nor indeed do they even shock me. Sadly I have come to expect it as more or less that is what they do and I dearly wish that that were not so and that a more enlightened leadership was available to them. Unfortunately I see little immediate hope for that prospect.

  • Crataegus

    Rory

    such actions by the protestant/unionist group do not shame me

    No Rory we are one community with different perspectives and aspirations, all actions of this nature shame us all. All acts of violence threaten us all. All of us are equal with equal rights and equal responsibilities.

  • Garibaldy

    Rory,

    Have to say I’m with Crat on this one. All of us are part of the same community. I find myself agreeing with much of what you say across the various threads (particularly about George “I’m a scumbag” Orwell), but I simply cannot understand how someone who sees themselves as seriously of the left can simultaneously view themselves as being part of a self-consciously religiously-defined bloc.

    Surely the left’s first job is to unite the people of Ireland, as it was in Tone’s day, not write a fifth of them off as outsiders?

  • all out

    Rory, if you are not having a larf here and actually don’t recognise that your view of unionists / protestants it hopelessly, poisonously sectarian, then I genuinely feel sorry for you.

  • Harry

    It’s unionists who define the situation as one of ‘self-consciously religiously-defined blocs’. For Irish people this is an issue of irish and british. Unionists use a vocabulary to define the conflict that is riddled with religious sectarianism, perhaps because they know consciously or subconsciously that to define it in broader terms immediately weakens their position by bringing the question of the whole island into view. They therefore stick to the most local, most self-favouring definitons possible to freight their supremacy on.

  • Garibaldy

    Harry,

    read Rory’s post, and how he describes himself in it. You’ll see it’s not only unionists who think in religious terms.

    And I thought it was a matter of divided Irish people, a consequence of Britain’s presence here.

  • Rory

    The consequences of Britain’s presence here are a people divided by religion – but, more pertinently, the establishment and entrenchment a British supporting section of the population that are able only to define the whole community by religious and hence political terms.

    Tone could make his appeal for the unity of catholic, protestant and dissenter because each of these groups shared a common interest to oppose the tyranny of the established church. That condition no longer applies and we are left with a minority in Ireland who, having held unfettered power in a small part of the island for fifty years which depended on sectarian appeal to create coherence with its constituency, have as a result, engendered endemic sectarianism within that constituency that at times seems almost sociopathic.

    Pious appeals to the no longer applicable ideals of the founding fathers of Republicanism will simply not wash. Nor, I imagine, are exhortations from 18th century Republicans likely to have great appeal to present day Ulster Loyalists.

    I have encountered the odd Republican convert from the unionist community over the years who, when in their cups, would passionately declaim fine words from the Tone tradition and defiantly point out that “a good Presbyterian wrote that”. And indeed a good Presbyterian had but there always seemed an underlying sadness as of one who, having betrayed his roots, was now not whistling but crowing in the darkness.

    The old shibboleths of the left will not work here and it is incumbent upon us all to rethink what best contribution we might make, first of all at least, to an ending of the grosser manfestions of our shared history before we may even begin to have an audience for more progressive ideals.

    I am afraid I do not yet have an answer.

  • Garibaldy

    Rory,

    I’d say the struggle to create a democratic republic where all citizens are equal and where religion has no place in politics remains entirely applicable today.

    Certainly you’re right – neither nationalists nor unionists seem much interested in Tone’s message.
    It doesn’t mean that it’s not the right message.
    We all suffer as a result of sectarian division, and none more so than ordinary workers, as the death tolls from the Troubles attest.

    You’re right that we need to soften the worst aspects of sectarianism. That’s exactly why I canvassed for the GFA, despite concerns about the sectarian split of the Assembly. However, I don’t think viewing ourselves as belonging to one side or another instead of as part of a people who have much more culturally that unites us than divides us in the way we live our lives helps that process at all. It reinforces sectarian attitudes I would argue.

    If we can forge a communal indentity, be it through notions of active citizenship or the ideas of socialism, then we’ll be well on the way to defeating sectarianism.

  • Paul

    “I would be much more condemnatory if I were to learn of such attacks springing from the catholic/nationalist community”

    Sorry to be pedantic and I actually agree with a lot (esp. the lack of courageous leadership within political Unionism on this question of what you’ve said in the rest of your piece) but if you read further back in the thread one of the attacks on the young Indian cricketers more than likely originated from nationalists, or at least people who came from a nationalist area.

  • Paul

    Sorry that was for Rory.

  • Harry

    The effort to ‘forge a communal indentity’ is another way of saying ‘accept a british presence for another hundred years’. That is unacceptable, for Ireland will never achieve its potential while any part of the island remains a tool for british strategy. Thus to talk about the ‘need to end sectarianism’ is frequently a form of vocabulary which implies, and seeks to gain, an acceptance of some level of continuation of british sovereignty over this island. It is a political compromise which is forced on you, almost surreptiously, in the name of a moral compromise; it is a form of vocabulary which flatters the sentiments while aiming to deceive in the name of british interests.

    It is a profound political act which we are being seduced to accept but which it is not in our interests to agree to. Britain must leave.

  • Shore Road Resident

    The British must leave? Why don’t you get the iron bars out and make us?

  • Harry

    I mean the british, not the northern irish.

  • Crataegus

    Harry

    Just accept that there are people in NI who see themselves as British. Easy really and makes more sense that trying to deny their existence.

  • Why

    “Craigavon Ulster Unionist Party Councilor Fred Crowe recently went public with a number of nazi-style statements against the planning application for a mosque in the town. He was applauded by his Democratic Unionist Party peers.

    After Crowe’s outburst, attacks and intimidation against Muslims in the area mushroomed and the White Nationalist Party launched a leafleting campaign. Protests and thousands of signatures on an Anti-Racism Network petition to get the DUP leadership to remove the councilor fell on deaf ears.

    Links between loyalist paramilitaries, Combat 18 and the White Nationalist Party, which claims to have over 100 supporters in Northern Ireland, have been common knowledge for years.”

  • Harry

    Just accept that there are people in NI who see themselves as British. Easy really and makes more sense that trying to deny their existence.

    I have accepted that, what of it?

  • Rory

    Let’s all end all sectarianism and live in harmony and unadulterated happiness and joy together forever. Well, I’m certainly all for that. But who holds the magic formula to the elixir that will so transform the disturbed patient?

    “forging common identity through ideas of active citizenship” sounds terrific until we discover that some people’s idea of “active citizenship” is to mount attacks on primary schools and burn and vandalise churches and generally terrorise any manifestation of the “other side”. Perhaps a wee bit less “active citizenship” might better be called for especially during the next few months.

    As for promoting the idea of socialism – go on then! Do it!

    Some groups seem to think that if they ask a section of the population, who would normally cheerfully hang from a lampost anyone they suspected of being a “Red”, whether they thought having a pay rise was a “good idea” and they get a positive response that they then have cracked the secret of how to unite and galvanise the masses. I do not. But I am happy to listen.

  • Garibaldy

    Rory,

    Nobody said it was easy. I like your illustration of the limits of an economistic understanding of the class struggle. None of this means that surrendering to sectarianism is the right thing to do.

  • Reader

    Rory: declaim fine words from the Tone tradition and defiantly point out that “a good Presbyterian wrote that”. And indeed a good Presbyterian had…
    Not if Tone wrote it. He was C of I, not Presbyterian.

  • ND

    I never understand how these incidents in Belfast are always national and international news. London police stations, courts and prisons are all full of criminals. It’s crazy i know, there are thousands of criminals here! There are loads of racial attacks, murder is at least a weekly occurence and there are a lot nasty incidents.

    Yet like all big cities they keep the hat on it and the city is not reported as a place full of criminality. Belfast just loves to tell everyone about its bad side.