Council rapped over excessive flag-flying

Objecting to the erection of flags during the ‘Marching season’ can be a precarious occupation, as an elderly gentleman discovered last week in Articlave, but the Equality Commission has censured Lisburn City Council after it was found to have ignored the findings of its own Equality Impact Assessment into its policy of flying the union flag 365 days a year. The ruling is likely to have an impact in other local councils, where a similar policy has been adopted by unionist councillors.

  • fair_deal

    Maybe Lisburn’s mistake was doing an EIA. They could have followed the example of Derry City council, adopt a policy on the city’s name, ignore the need for an EIA and spend thousands of ratepayers money on a court case without the Equality Commission saying boo.

  • tiny

    So the UUP were right and the DUP were wrong?

  • Harry

    Stop whinging about the Derry city name change. You’ve had 400 years of supremacy, is your appetite never sated?

  • Cahal

    “Maybe Lisburn’s mistake was doing an EIA. They could have followed the example of Derry City council, adopt a policy on the city’s name, ignore the need for an EIA and spend thousands of ratepayers money on a court case without the Equality Commission saying boo. ”

    Extreme whataboutery. Typical.

  • smirkyspice

    fair deal that was crap bringing derry into the thread. let’s stay with lisburn. the commission recommended 17 days…lisburn could have stayed at 19 days to be cheeky…they could even go to 24 days and do it twice a month, oooh… but no, it’s up 365 days a year and that says a lot…this from the same council whose rep went to seattle and waved a union jack during a st patty’s day parade, knowing full well what a stir that would cause… stir stir stir…

  • SM

    The Lisburn City Council story got me wondering…does anyone know what the skull and crossbones flags cropping up around Lisburn are about? Do you know what the ideology is behind them, or are they to advertise the new Pirates of the Caribbean film coming out this weekend perhaps?

  • Rory

    Can’t help you with the reasons behind the flying of the Jolly Roger I’m afraid, SM.

    Though, come to think of it, perhaps it is a ‘trailer’ intended to introduce the Skull ‘n’ Crossbones as the new flag of the Union. Very appropriate too, to my mind.

  • Bemused

    Ah yes – back to the good old days. These moronic half-wits will of course try every trick in the book to excuse, explain and justify this puerile bit of ‘yah, boo, sucks’ politics (I’ve already heard one DUP cretin on the radio this morning trying to insinuate that because Bob Collins is from the South, the Equality Commission’s finding is somehow inherently ‘anti-British’). Still though, at least this is just another re-run of a variety of skirmishes that Unionism has already lost in spectacular fashion in the late eighties and early nineties (see Mairtin O Muilleoir’s excellent “Belfast’s Dome of Delight” for further entertaining details). Yes it’s pathetic that these dullards have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the nineteenth century but hey, who cares, it makes for very satisfying entertainment. Bring on the High Court rulings, costs orders and surcharges!

  • Rory: The Union Jack is flown at sea. And the founders of the British navy were all pirates so maybe it is getting back to base.

  • ulick magee

    jeffery the donalson ……….sure we are only displaying the one flag to avoid lisburn being litered with flags

    As a catholic i feel so much safer that they have done this. Now it centralisies the murders of catholic as in the case of the young catholic murdered there and forgotten about

    Jeffery catch a grip – the best thing to come out of lisburn is any road away from the sectarian dump

  • martin

    no matter how nicely you dress it shit still remains shit, the boyos in Lisburn need an extended holiday, pref outer-mongolia, although the mongols have never harmed anyone here so they would probably not deserve those wasters foisted upon them

  • barnshee

    “the mongols have never harmed anyone here so they would probably not deserve those wasters foisted upon them ”

    never heard of Genghis Khan then??
    broadly typical of the levels of accuracy here

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Fair_deal: “Maybe Lisburn’s mistake was doing an EIA. They could have followed the example of Derry City council, adopt a policy on the city’s name, ignore the need for an EIA and spend thousands of ratepayers money on a court case without the Equality Commission saying boo.”

    I just love the smell of whataboutery in the morning… it smell like… futility.

  • Carson’s Cat

    “.does anyone know what the skull and crossbones flags cropping up around Lisburn are about?”

    Apparently they are on the logo of the local football team and have been adopted as a kind of ‘unofficial flag’ of the area.

    No-doubt someone will take offence.

  • Carson’s Cat

    “I just love the smell of whataboutery in the morning… it smell like… futility.”

    I love the smell of someone ignoring all the other ‘whataboutery’ but picking on one particular piece when it happens to suit your ‘argument’ to ignore it.

    The fact is that Lisburn Council actually carried out an EIA whereas F_D was pointing out that they clearly could have got away without bothering themselves – helpfully providing an example of another Council which has taken just that approach. Anyone know what the timeframe for these things to work their way through the process is?

    After all, an appeal, delay, another appeal (is that possible) and you easily wend your way through to when Lisburn will disappear under the RPA and then problem will be solved.

  • martin

    bamshee mo cara I think you will find that the bould Genghis Khan never set foot on Irish soil ,much the pity though I hear he would have had those wasters in Lisburn/Lisnagarvey for breakfast

  • ulick magee

    As a matter of principle can we all applaud the loyalist, protestant communities for supporting:

    •The economies of Vietnam, Philippines and China by purchasing large quantities of flags of them each year. Let’s keep them in employment.

    •for managing to remove every piece of shitty rubbish for their bonfires and polluting the atmosphere and contaminating the ground for years to come.

    •For showing to the world that Nazi’s and Klan’s men aren’t the only people to March up down, carrying flags in areas were they aren’t welcome.

    •By reminding every ethnic and religious tradition in the country that colour an religion has nothing to do with the Orange Order …why not ask our members like mobutsa o’shea

    •By wasting taxpayer’s money and council money cleaning up after their waste.

    •For keeping the valiant emergency services of this country and not wasting their time.

    •To show to all that orange is a popular colour even though few except Dutch people wear it.

    •By encouraging large numbers of northern Irish people to flee abroad thus supporting foreign economies through the 12th week.

    •By showing that Oranges aren’t the only fruit ….oh yea Paul Berry has left the DUP

    •By allowing the BBC to clearly waste time and effort filming farmers with long nose hairs and interviewing men who whistle when they talk.

    •Finally for holding back a nation so eager to embrace the 21st century but stifled by moron politicians from all sides

    Thanks

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Carson’s Cat: “I love the smell of someone ignoring all the other ‘whataboutery’ but picking on one particular piece when it happens to suit your ‘argument’ to ignore it. ”

    To boil it down, FD is whinging “but themmun’s didn’t do it!” Frankly, I don’t care if the Derry / Londonderry city-father wrapped themselves in saffron robes and chanted Hare Krishna whilst waving incense sticks. It has nothing to do with the topic at hand. If Fair_deal was really interested in a discussion on the inquities of the Derry city fathers, as a blogger, he has the power to start his own thread on the matter, on this very board. That he has not done so suggests that he purpose is simple “whataboutery,” adding nothing to conversation save a little obfuscation on matters in Lisburne. Seperate issues should have a seperate thread, particularly by those empowered to do so.

  • Reader

    Dread Cthulhu: That he has not done so suggests that he purpose is simple “whataboutery,”
    Surely Fair Deal’s point was an entirely fair response to the initial blogger’s opening remark:
    “The ruling is likely to have an impact in other local councils, where a similar policy has been adopted by unionist councillors.”
    After all – it was Chris Donnelly who opened the discussion up to include equality issues in councils besides Lisburn – wasn’t it?

  • Chris Donnelly

    Carson’s Cat

    As far as I’ve been led to understand- from a loyalist source in Lisburn- the ‘Jolly Roger’ has been adopted as the unofficial emblem of the local UDA in Ballymacash (where that leaves the football team I don’t know…)

    As to the matter of an appeal, I’m not aware if that facility is even available regarding determinations made by the Equality Commission- though you may be right.

    Reader
    You’re perfectly entitled to raise the matter of other councils, though I believe FD was being a bit ridiculous in comparing the Derry name-change to the matter of flag flying. (Why not have an Equality Impact Assessment on the name itself as currently stands?)

    The ‘flag flying’ case will resonate through other councils which have adopted similar positions on flags to that of Lisburn. It is certain that Sinn Fein- and indeed the SDLP- will seek to have Equality Impact assessments carried out across local councils like Ballymena, Antrim and Newtownabbey, to name but a few.

    The interesting part will be when the Council’s appointed Equality Officers, acting along with the Chief Executives, are compelled to issue recommendations. Failure to recommend as Lisburn has done – i.e. to remove the policy of flying the union flag all year round- will likely result in legal cases due to the requirement upon public authorities to create neutral working environments.

    Subsequent failure by Councils to implement the recommendations will likely incur the wrath of the Equality Commission.

    But, and this is where we are today in Lisburn, if the Council challenges the authority of the Equality Commission to rule on such matters, what happens next?

    Either the British government weighs in behind the Commission, thereby underlining its authority, or it effectively destroys the credibility of the Equality Commission by exposing its impotence.

    Interesting times ahead…

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Reader: “Surely Fair Deal’s point was an entirely fair response to the initial blogger’s opening remark”

    Its a stretch, for starters. Changing the name of a place doesn’t change the place anymore than painting a wolf brown makes it a cow.

    Its as simple as “Ussuns and Themmuns,” although I was suprised and heartened to note that F_D didn’t come up with some ridiculous bit of bureaucratese to refer to the current kerfluffle… “Insufficiently balaced fabric hangings” or some such, to go with his “poorly managed bonfire sites” and “parade management issues.” It provides no light and no heat, only a little smoke.

  • Reader

    Dread Cthulhu: Changing the name of a place doesn’t change the place anymore than painting a wolf brown makes it a cow.
    You seem to be at odds with Chris Donnelly, who has suggested (post 20) that the current (300+ Year old!) name of the city might potentially be subject to an EIA. When the two of you have decided whether the name of the place is an issue worthy of some care and attention (and money), get back to us. But for the moment, I feel like I’m nailing jelly to the wall.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Reader: “You seem to be at odds with Chris Donnelly, who has suggested (post 20) that the current (300+ Year old!) name of the city might potentially be subject to an EIA. ”

    What, you assume all Nationalists think alike and agree on everything? Pretty ignorant notion — I mean, were I so suggest that all Unionists think alike, you’d think me mad, or at least ignorant.

  • gg

    I’d just fly the council’s own banner of arms (the content of the shield from the coat of arms – on a flag) and have done with it. It’d show civic pride and save so much bother.

  • Carson’s Cat

    C D
    You maybe have a greater insight into the Lisburn UDA than I do. However, even if it is the UDA who have decided to adopt the symbol (doesnt rule out the football option – but possibly hi-jacked by the hoods), then is it an offensive flag?

    I.e, can you suddenly be offended by something which you might have been walking/driving past for weeks without knowing of any particular significance but then suddenly be offended once you are aware of some supposed meaning behind it?

    I’m not suggesting that you or anyone else has actually suggested any offence but I am interested just how much some people seem to actually seek out offence.

  • Reader

    Dread Cthulhu: What, you assume all Nationalists think alike and agree on everything?
    Hardly. And I hope there will be no feuding over the difference. It’s just that, if you don’t think that changing the name of the city to Derry is worth a bit of time and effort and ratepayers’ money and aggro, you’re a bit of an outlier in the nationalist community.

  • idunnomeself

    Chris,

    You EQIA a policy. The Derry CC Policy is to Change the name, not to choose the name. You can’t EQIA a policy decision made hundreds of years ago.

    It does distract from the thread, but is an interesting point I would be interested in more background on

    There’s a lot of bile on this thread, it does not make pleasant reading and does just reinforces the impression that republicans are blinkered and engaged in self-reinforced delusion.

  • sty01

    I know for a fact that the skull & crossbones has not been adopted by the local U D A,
    it is on the badge of the local football team and the flags were put up as a local prank, so basically its a load of yaping over nothing.