What’s good for the goose…

Following on from the Equality Commission’s statement criticising Omagh District Council for not acting against the erection of a republican memorial in Dromore, Sinn Fein MLA Paul Butler has criticised the commission for its failure to speak out against plans by Lisburn Council to provide land for the erection of a monument to the UDR in the centre of Lisburn.The issue of the erection- and maintenance- of contentious monuments could become a fierce political battleground, given the plethora of British war monuments throughout the north in city, town and village centres, as well as those erected by republicans in the more recent past.
An interesting feature of the Equality Commission ruling was in its determining what constituted the marking out of territory:
“…the political nature of the Memorial, and its high level of visibility on a site that is synonymous with Dromore, may have the effect of marking the village out as being Nationalist or Republican, and may not be conducive to good relations, and therefore the matter did have sufficient equality implications to be fully considered by way of an equality impact assessment.”

As one commenter noted on a previous thread here, the most prominent monument marking out territory in the six counties is undoubtedly Carson’s statue in the grounds of Stormont- a case for Bob Collins and co?

Let’s see if it fits the criteria: political in nature (Yep), high level of visibility (you could say that), on a site synonymous with Belfast (given that it’s the site of proposed shared government, another affirmative answer) marking out the area as unionist or loyalist (another Ta) and finally not conducive to good relations- whadd’ya think, Bobby?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    JEB: “The long grind for legitimacy among Republicans keeps turning – but you will never be afforded legitimacy from me – nor will the so called loyalist terrorists. ”

    And there lies the difference. All Republicans are terrorists in your book, whilst the only pro-Union problem you conveniently give another name.

    JEB: “On the Loyalist side it is the various racists, white supremacists and other assorted bigots who ‘supported’ them.”

    You for Unionist politicians, JEB, who treated the Loyalists like useful tools, to be discarded when they possessed no more utility. Paisley has made a career out of whipping the Loyalist mob into a frenzy and look where his demagougery and scare-mongering has gotten him.

    JEB: “Any comparison between the internationally recognised fight for freedom in World War 2 and the nasty terror campaign designed to achieve what could not be done so in elections within democratic borders, recognised in International Law, is ludicrous. ”

    Historical perspective is not an absolute, JEB. The victors have the luxury that they write the histories. A great many sins get swept under the rug in triumph. One hears very little, for example of the excesses of the Red Army in the conquest of Germany, in the history books.

    JEB: “PIRA/INLA/UVF/UDA etc were not engaged in War but were criminals – they should always be remembered as such. ”

    Funny how this struggle was / was not a war as the argument at hand requires.

  • Aaron McDaid

    Dread,
    Attacking unionist politicians, including Paisley, is not a valid substitute for dealing with JEB’s own particular opinions, or for discussing unionism in general. In particular, JEB has said he’s not a DUP supporter so why talk about Paisley? (Even if he did support the DUP, it would still be a weak argument)

    This is a problem in general on this board, there’s always some person or some sockpuppet who has lost the argument and thinks they can attack person A’s argument by attacking person B, despite there being no link between A and B other than possibly a similar “designation”.

    JEB: “PIRA/INLA/UVF/UDA etc were not engaged in War but were criminals … that is what the Good Friday Agreement was about”

    The GFA wasn’t about this. The GFA clearly did not in any way shape or form retrospectively criminalize the republican military campaign. You might wish that it did, but it is incorrect to say that it actually did. There are many valid ways to criticize the PIRA, but quoting the GFA isn’t one of them.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Aaron: “Attacking unionist politicians, including Paisley, is not a valid substitute for dealing with JEB’s own particular opinions, or for discussing unionism in general.”

    Isn’t it? These are the folks Unionists elect, are they not? If I cannot judge their politics based upon the choices they make, how else should I judge them?

    Unionism is inconsistant, in that it allows Unionism to have its channels to paramilitaries, whilst decrying the Republicans for much the same behavior. As such, this distance is a polite and pleasent fiction, meant to allow “ordinary decent” Unionists to sleep at night, assured that they are “right thinking.” JEB’s post is rife with this hypocrisy, artificially severing Loyalism from Unionism, yet tarring *ALL* Republicans with terrorism.

    Aaron: “This is a problem in general on this board, there’s always some person or some sockpuppet”

    As someone who claims to be one and consistantly defends the other, you should watch where you aim that “sock puppet”

  • Aaron McDaid

    Dread,
    Unionism is inconsistant
    True in some ways (in my humble opinion), but that doesn’t mean that individual unionists are personally inconsistent. Also, every movement or party, whether unionist or not, is in some sense inconsistent as they are usually coalitions of different interests who unite around a subset of issues in the form of an agreed manifesto.

    The particular suggestion here is that all unionists all secretly did/do approve of all loyalist paramilitary violence.

    If somebody is incorrectly tarring a group of people with one brush, they should be clearly brought up on it. I don’t think anything is gained by responding in kind. Answering a lie with a lie?

    JEB’s post is rife with this hypocrisy, artificially severing Loyalism from Unionism, yet tarring *ALL* Republicans with terrorism

    Can you not assume for a minute that JEB is genuine in not supporting the loyalist paramilitary violence? Then the severing is quite legitimate, and is not artificial. You accept that tarring all Republicans (republicans?) with terrorism is wrong, but somehow you use this to justify tarring all (U/u)nionists with support for loyalist paramilitarism.

    The ‘sock puppet’ thing was not aimed at anybody in particular. I don’t use sock puppets (not that you’re claiming I am, nor am I claiming that you do)

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Aaron McDaid: “Can you not assume for a minute that JEB is genuine in not supporting the loyalist paramilitary violence?”

    Immaterial. Its an artificial differentiation that exists solely in the imagination of some Unionists to allow them to sleep at night and not in any real way.

    Firstly, JEB also tars *all* Republicans as terrorists. This use of absolutism, combined with his attempt to claim an absolute seperation between Unionism and Loyalist shows a level of self-delusion. Unionist politicians shared podiums with Loyalist killers and used Loyalist mobs to do their dirty work, have the sanctimony to beat their breasts about SF/IRA and yet claim there is a bright line between their politicians and their bastards? This doesn’t strike you as the least bit disingenuous?

    Aaron McDaid: “You accept that tarring all Republicans (republicans?) with terrorism is wrong, but somehow you use this to justify tarring all (U/u)nionists with support for loyalist paramilitarism. ”

    Actually, Aaron, I expressed my disdain for the obvious hypocrisy. I never said it was an all or nothing equation; JEB did. I simply said that those who embrace the fiction that there are *no* ties between Unionism and Loyalism are lying to themselves. That’s not nearly the same thing. Try reading what I write, as opposed to what you wish I had written.

  • John East Belfast

    Dread

    I am sure there are Republicans who do not support PIRA violence so I cant see how you think I have ‘tarred’ all Republicans

    I have always opposed Loyalist terrorism including my own Party’s recent alliance with the PUP.

    I have never in my recollection put an X beside a DUP candidate in my 25 year voting history.

    There is nothing hypocritical in my post.

    I am simply saying what the entire civilised and democratic world believes – ie the 69 to 97 PIRA campaign was illegitimate.
    Indeed you dont have to go to far to find that view – ie the 26 County Government still have some of them in prison for bank robbery and murder.

    On that basis it would be preposterous to have state aided memorials to such people – any more than Post War Germany would have been erecting such memorials to the Nazis.

    Of course if there had been any legitimacy in their own eyes then you have to ask why messrs Adams etc now accept the Consent Principal ? – dont tell me the struggle has moved on.
    If the CP is right now then it was right then and hence even the SF leadership acknowledge by default it was illegitimate ?
    either that are they lost – but they cant have it both ways

    Aaron

    “JEB: “PIRA/INLA/UVF/UDA etc were not engaged in War but were criminals … that is what the Good Friday Agreement was about”

    The GFA wasn’t about this.”

    If you read what you have replaced with … you will see that I meant the GFA was about acknowledging that certain people were sucked into violence and hence that led to the Prisoner release scheme.

    However the PRS was not an amnesty.

  • Aaron McDaid

    JEB,
    I had not intended to misquote you using the ‘…’ and I don’t think I did. But nonetheless, apologies if I did.

    You’re right that the GFA’s prisoner release scheme wasn’t an amnesty. The prisoner release scheme was simply a prisoner release scheme. The GFA didn’t say anything about whether their activities were right or wrong, or whether they were criminal or not. It just said they were to be released as long as they remained on ceasefire and that the ceasefires should be continued.

    So support for the GFA in no way requires knocking down these republican memorials. A lot can be said for and against these memorials, but nothing in the GFA is relevant to the discussion of memorials.

    I forget who first mentioned the GFA in this thread but it’s not related to the main topic of this thread, memorials.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    JEB: “I am sure there are Republicans who do not support PIRA violence so I cant see how you think I have ‘tarred’ all Republicans ”

    How about when you posted “The long grind for legitimacy among Republicans keeps turning – but you will never be afforded legitimacy from me.”

    JEB: “I have always opposed Loyalist terrorism including my own Party’s recent alliance with the PUP.”

    That is all good and speaks well of you, but that does not mean Unionism is not free of any and all ties to Loyalism, JEB. There is no bright line between the two, as one stands in service of the other.

    JEB: “I am simply saying what the entire civilised and democratic world believes – ie the 69 to 97 PIRA campaign was illegitimate.”

    Not actually the case, seeing as the United States has a devil of a time repatriating even INLA killers, unless you intended to imply the United States was neither civilized or democratic. But, then, that is what you get when you talk in absolutes.

    My main point, JEB, is that the matter is far murkier than the Zoroasterian “Light vs. Dark” scenario you put forth. Both sides had their bastards, both sides had their dirty deals and for *ANYONE* to stand up and proclaim anything more than their individual hands being clean is hypocritical. I will cheerfully accept that your personal hands are clean. I have difficulty countenancing that there were absolutlely no back-door ties between the DUP or the UUP and Loyalism.

    JEB: “Indeed you dont have to go to far to find that view – ie the 26 County Government still have some of them in prison for bank robbery and murder.”

    And the US has imprisoned others for the crimes the committed locally. But, as I said, there have been those who have argued successfully against extradition, with the support of segments of the U.S. Congress. That suggests some level of sympathy, that it be expressed even in the halls of Congress.

    JEB: “Of course if there had been any legitimacy in their own eyes then you have to ask why messrs Adams etc now accept the Consent Principal ?”

    As I have no affiliation with SF, you’d have to ask him yourself. I would suspect that, in light of other events during the period in question, it was deemed that remaining terrorists was antithetical to their ultimate political aspirations. Ergo, it was time close up the military shop, accept the tactical defeat — the sting of which has been dulled by the long time between the cessation of active conflict and the decommissioning of arms — and concentrate on playing politics, where they could still play to a sympathetic audience.

  • JG

    ” fight for freedom in World War 2″

    Let us not forget that there were more Dutch in the Waffen SS than there were in the Dutch resistance.

    History is a fickle mistress.