It’s a Protestant thing?

EU head Jose Manuel Barroso has been facing tough questions over his choice of a petrol guzzler in light of the EU’s new found commitment to tackling CO2 emissions. However, an aide close to Barroso apparently tried to explain such questions to the BBC’s Mark Mardell as ‘It’s a Protestant thing’. Allegedly ‘Protestant’ nations in Europe are less tolerant of hypocrisy among its leaders than ‘Catholic’ nations. However, Juha Sihvola, in Europe 2050, argues both positions are ‘a Greek thing’.

  • Crataegus

    Allegedly ‘Protestant’ nations in Europe are less tolerant of hypocrisy among its leaders than ‘Catholic’ nations.

    He should pay a visit to NI, or are we the exception? There again when I look South hypocrisy is rampant.

    On this island we have perfected turning the blind eye. It is part of the shared culture.

  • Glensman

    I never had a bank account when i was Minister of Finance- Popuilarity rating goes up 4%

    We’re as bad as Italy.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    “However, an aide close to Barroso apparently tried to explain such questions to the BBC’s Mark Mardell as ‘It’s a Protestant thing’.”

    How racist is that…

    On Slugger recently Rangers fans were berated by contributors who accused them of straight-arm fascist salutes. The fact of the matter is that they were giving red-hand of Ulster salutes which isn’t a big surprise considering a large percentage of the Gers support comes from Ulster and that a large proportion of their Scottish/English/Welsh support would hold strong loyalist views.

    Likewise, is anyone now going to come forward and berate Barroso and his aide for this stupid, ignorant remark which was obviously made to demean and poke fun at Protestantants and nations that Protestantism flourishes in?

    I’m only being half serious as the remark, like the EU head himself, is extremely ignorant but not overly hurtful or damaging. My point is that when “the Prods” do ANYTHING that could be twisted to make us “sectarian b1gots” or “racists”, a section of commentators on Slugger can’t wipe the peanut butter of their hands quick enough to have a jibe at our co-religionists…sad but true!

  • kensei

    “On Slugger recently Rangers fans were berated by contributors who accused them of straight-arm fascist salutes. The fact of the matter is that they were giving red-hand of Ulster salutes which isn’t a big surprise considering a large percentage of the Gers support comes from Ulster and that a large proportion of their Scottish/English/Welsh support would hold strong loyalist views.”

    There is no such thing. Buy some red paint and maybe I’ll believe you.

    “Likewise, is anyone now going to come forward and berate Barroso and his aide for this stupid, ignorant remark which was obviously made to demean and poke fun at Protestantants and nations that Protestantism flourishes in? ”

    Now it may just be me, but a failure to tolerate hypocrisy is surely a good thing?

  • pith

    Concerned loyalist,

    I don’t think the aide had Rangers fans doing the new Red Hand of Ulster dance in mind.

  • starbuck

    Aye CL,

    they were Red Hand Salutes alright and the Rangers supporters weren’t fighting with in Pamplona last night ’twas only a spot of communal Ulster Barn dancing …

  • starbuck

    – > “weren’t fighting with everyone including themselves”

  • BP1078

    CL
    Now it may just be me, but a failure to tolerate hypocrisy is surely a good thing?

    I would also have taken it as a compliment to be honest….

    Anyway, it would be more accurate to say it’s a Scandinavian thing, 5 (6 if you count Iceland) out of the top 8 “cleanest” countries come from there. The other nominally big Protestant countries (UK and Germany) struggle in comparison.

  • BP1078

    Make than “4 (5 if you include Iceland) out of the top 8”, I’m starting to invent countries now.

  • bootman

    Clearly, Irish protestanism particularly in the north is a very exceptional case.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    CL

    “is anyone now going to come forward and berate Barroso and his aide for this stupid, ignorant remark which was obviously made to demean and poke fun at Protestantants and nations that Protestantism flourishes in?”

    How is it poking fun at Protestantism to suggest that Protestants are less tolerant of hypocrisy than Catholics? Surely this is a compliment? (Albeit a ridiculously sweeping one.)

    As for hypocrisy, what government can stand blameless? What nation can stand blameless? And are the peoples of the UK and Germany really less tolerant of their leaders’ hypocrisy than people in Italy or France? (The relationship between the British people and Mr Blair takes some beating, you’d have to admit.)

    Besides, does it even make any sense in this day and age to refer to any European countries as a “Catholic country” or a “Protestant country?” Even Ireland is no longer really a “Catholic country”. I mean, is Britain really a Protestant country any more, when secularism and atheism are far more prevalent?

    Perhaps he is referring to residual cultural characteristics that are perhaps grounded in religious background?

    Either way, it seems like the kind of nonsense that only a Catholic who doesn’t know many Protestants could come out with.

  • páid

    Well I agree with Barroso.

    On the whole Prod cultures put great store in ‘saying what you mean and meaning what you say’

    Whereas Catholic cultures regard this as an admirable trait, if somewhat naieve.

    I suspect the Catholic position is a shade closer to the darkness of the human condition.

    In Ireland I have found that Ulster folk (both P &C) are more Protestant in outlook, whereas Munster is the place where you are most likely to be told what you want to hear.

    The above is wild generalising. I recall Pat Spillane, the Kerry footballer on RTÉ criticizing a ref.

    ” He’s very fat isn’t he?”

  • Metacom

    I think it’s the weather / geography rather than religion. The warmer the clime the more flexible the approach to rules in general. Just compare driving habits in Scandinavia v. Italy!

  • Crataegus

    Just compare driving habits in Scandinavia v. Italy!

    I’m still wondering if it is the same Italians that built the Roman Empire? Instead of mighty armies and awesome engineers it must have been built with side deals, buying people off and either money under the table or land for some notable’s local supporters. Sounds worryingly familiar.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Crataegus

    “I’m still wondering if it is the same Italians that built the Roman Empire? Instead of mighty armies and awesome engineers it must have been built with side deals, buying people off and either money under the table or land for some notable’s local supporters. Sounds worryingly familiar.”

    I think both parts of your description capture a flavour of how empires are built!

    Besides, you have to remember that Italy is an ancient nation. It has been through empire, conquest, ruin, renaissance, war-mongering, theocracy, democracy, nationalism, fascism, communism, clintelism, Europeanism – you name it.

    Now, someone from a relatively immature and pompous nation like the UK or USA might consider the Italians to be hypocritical or corrupt, but I think it’s more a case of a seen-it-all-before worldliness.

    (You should check out the classic scene in Joseph Heller’s Catch 22, where the idealistic young American GI is utterly demolished by an ancient and totally amoral Roman. It gives a great understanding as to why Italy has been around for two and a half millennia, and will likely be around for another two and a half, whereas the United States might not survive this century.)

  • Loncerned Coyalist

    On slugger recently we were told that the UK is becoming more of a catholic country.

    Blair sacks a minister who if an ordinary member of the public did that would be doing porridge. (Like my hero, John/Giovanni di Stefano, did)

    Sacks a minister who tries to get passport to labour backers.

    Certainly looks that way.

    It is better than becoming a Jewish state as I find Nazi saluting quite tiresome

  • stathead

    i simply say this. England = Protestant. Leader Tony Blair. End of discussion.

  • British

    “Surely this is a compliment?”

    How can reinforcing a stereotype be a fucking compliment?

  • Ondine

    Is “Concerned Loyalist” the troll of the same name we used to see on talk.politics.ni so many years ago? I think we should be told.

  • Aaron McDaid

    Blair is almost certainly a Roman Catholic. His family are Roman Catholic and there is speculation he’ll officially convert once he leaves office. He is keeping it secret because of the various laws and conventions in Britain against a Roman Catholic Prime Minister

  • Briso

    Posted by British on Mar 15, 2007 @ 09:53 PM

    >How can reinforcing a stereotype be a fucking compliment?

    The Irish are very friendly people.

  • Bill

    5 (6 if you count Iceland) out of the top 8 ”cleanest” countries come from there.

    5 Iceland is Scandanavian but Finland is not.

  • JG

    “On the whole Prod cultures put great store in ‘saying what you mean and meaning what you say’”

    Which is why Tottenham Hotspur are in Protestant England where abnning a fan for life means a life abn whereas Rangers are in ….. .