Normalisation and the politics of protest

Garibaldy in the comments on this thread noted how the politics of protest are not in the interests of the Stormont parties wedded firmly to political office. Though it isn’t completely off the Irish agenda as the recent protest against a proposed English royal visit shows. (discussed on RTE’s Seoige and O’Shea below)

With normalisation of British influence in the 6 counties so progressed that a visit by Elizabeth Windsor can be announced in advance for the first time in 50 years, street protest refuses to go away as éirígí will be on the streets of Armagh to voice opposition on Holy Thursday (March 20).

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    “normalisation of British influence”

    more perhaps the decline “of British influence” means it’s not so much a big deal.

  • The Truth

    The only big deal here is that we have on this island, slaves who give their allegience to these monkeys. Very distasteful.

  • harry

    so sinn fein are not organising a protest against the queen’s visit to armagh? not even the local Ogra?

  • cut the bull

    ahem I seriously doubt that will happen

  • Seimi

    So the Queen of England is coming for a visit? So what? I think she should be treated with the same respect as any other visiting foreign head of state. Of course this will mean loads of bunting and flag-waving, which is annoying. Normalisation? In these days of ‘parity of esteem’, it is laughable that the streets will be bedecked with Union Jacks, yet the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations across the north and especially here in Belfast will have no Tricolours on show.
    And before the usual wave of ‘The flag of the Unino is the flaf of NI’ nonesense, St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. The tricolour is the national flag of Ireland. Tricolours will be on show all over the world on the 17th, but not here. Parity of esteem? We are all equal, but some are more equal than others…

  • Seimi

    ‘The flag of the Unino is the flaf of NI’
    oops.
    Of course, this should read ‘The flag of the Union is the flag of NI’
    Dont want any pedants having a go 🙂

  • circles

    Not to be flippant or so – but thank goodness for eirigi!
    Well done people – keep up the legitimate protest.

  • Star of the County Down
  • Mike C

    The tricolour is the flag of the Irish Republic. St Patrick is the patron saint of the island of Ireland. The tricolour has nothing to do with St Patrick.

  • Seimi

    The tricolour has nothing to do with St Patrick.

    I know this. However, on the day of celebration of the country’s patron saint, it is traditional to display the flag of that country, which in this case is the Tricolour. What flag would you suggest?

  • elvis parker

    How about no flag?
    St Patrick is not the patron Saint of the Republic he is the patron Saint of the island you idiot

  • harry

    all this craic about the patron saint being Patrick. sure thats all nonsense stemming from the 640s when armagh were looking to promote themselves as the chief monastery in ireland.

    the patron saint should be Columba (colm cille)

  • Mark McGregor

    While a discussion on flags is inevtable in the run up to St Patrick’s day, can it not be kept for a topic where it has some relevance?

  • cut the bull

    If Patrick had’ve missed the boat we would all be celebrating St Palladius day. Palladius was his stand in.

  • Greenflag

    St Patrick was a Brit .

    Whatever happened to ‘Brits Out’ ?

  • I noticed on the RTE News some people supported Betsy’s visit, so I wondered if you guys could do us all a favor and keep her there.

  • cut the bull

    Aye but he said, I come in peace. he did’nt murder any one as far as i know and he did’nt steal any land.

  • harry

    will the sf representatives in armagh be on hand to meet and greet the queen? surely they can’t all have other things to do that day.

  • cut the bull

    I think they may be busy out chasing snakes

  • harry

    well it would be bad form, if sinn fein were to go to protest against a visit from their new paymaster.

  • cut the bull

    Patrick chased the snakes out of Irealnd all 32 counties hundreds of years before partition.

    I wonder did any snakes return after partition with the new political dispensation and all that.

    Snakes are no longer banned, all snakes welcome ha ha

  • darth rumsfeld

    “I think they may be busy out chasing snakes

    Posted by cut the bull on Mar 13, 2008 @ 12:00 PM”

    No need to look beyond their own organisation….

  • Rory

    It is probably recognised by other contributors that I am no cheerleader for royalty and I have a tendency at times to fondly reminisce of the prospect of the tumbrils creaking anew but while I respect éirígí’s right to protest against Her Majesty’s visit I am as offended as any monarchist would at the language they use to refer to Queen Elizabeth.

    “Twenty years on, Elizabeth Windsor, the woman who masquerades as the ‘Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’”; and slighting references to Her Majesty as “Windsor” and “Elizabeth Windsor”.

    “Masquerades as Queen….” they scream. What masquerade? She is the queen. No masquerade is necessary.

    This language is simply offensive and is intended so to be and does no credit to those who employ it. It is the language of saloon bar braggarts that tells more of the users than of the subject they seek to denigrate.

    As a republican it is monarchy I oppose and I oppose it implacably but while the citizens of the UK choose to retain a monarchy that monarch is entitled to the repect that using her correct form of address signifies. The extending of common courtesy requires no motive and illustrates only a baseness of character when absent.

    Is this what the new republicanism is to be reduced to – the name-calling antics of vulgar schoolgirls? Shame on éirígí.

  • cut the bull

    Oh darth you’re so hurtful

  • “the name-calling antics of vulgar schoolgirls”

    A tad sexist, Rory?

  • cut the bull

    Rory

    Gerry Adams often refers to her as Mrs Windsor is that an improvement.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    I think it only fair that the Queen gets to visit occasionally as the proper head of state(s) Mary Mac is in and out of Non Iron all the time.

  • Willowfield

    I awoke this morning to see the light, thank you God. This windsor woman can go kiss my ass, I mean there I was calling her your majesty, what kind of an idiot was I. Lets hope she gets banged good and hard when she comes to Ireland.

  • RedHaze

    Rory,

    Whilst the people of Britain may indeed choose to have a monarch, although I’m not entirely sure that they have had an opportunity to choose recently, there is no obligation upon others to use titles which spring from divinity in relation to her.

    Any republican which could bestow such title and honour and honour on anyone who represents inhereited priviledge and sueriorty isn’t much of a republican.

    By this logic, republicans who happened to live in France pre-revolution would have been morally required to use titles which, in their eyes, legitimised and illegitimate form of rule?

    Back to the books with you.

  • RedHaze

    * apologies for the typos – I inadvertantly sent the post before proof reading.

  • Harry Flashman

    Spot on Rory, the Daily Telegraph used to refer to the late Cardinal Tomas O’Fiach as “Thomas Fee”, it was petty, offensive and showed small mindedness on their part, they were rightly castigated by Irish nationalists for such churlishness.

    Calling Queen Elizabeth “Betty Windsor” is equally puerile, as is calling Pope Benedict “Ratzinger” as some idiot poster did on these forums the other day.

  • Democratic

    “Whilst the people of Britain may indeed choose to have a monarch, although I’m not entirely sure that they have had an opportunity to choose recently, there is no obligation upon others to use titles which spring from divinity in relation to her.”
    Obviously this same token applies to that funny wee man in Rome with the nice line in comedy hats too…..In all seriousness though I would hope that Mr Ratzinger and Mrs Windsor are both afforded the respect any visiting dignitaries expect whilst on any theoretical future visits to ROI/Northern Ireland – It’ll be interesting to see exactly who lets the side(s) down!

  • Harry Flashman

    And bang on cue up pops Democratic!

    RedHaze do you refer to Spain’s King Juan Carlos as “Johnny Bourbon”?

  • joeCanuck

    Well said Rory.

    From another republican.

  • Seimi – despite the Tricolour being one of many flags i possess, my own preference for St Patricks Day would be the largely apolitical St Patricks Cross which to the best of my knowledge has never been hijacked by any political organisations/parties or paramilitaries or left hanging in tatters from lamposts for months on end – save the Church of Ireland who i think fly it on the 17th March. Just because the rest of the world fly the Tricolour around now is no reason in itself why should. Dare to be different.

  • Harry Flashman

    *St Patricks Cross which to the best of my knowledge has never been hijacked by any political organisations*

    Except of course for the United Kingdom government which incorporated it into their national flag.

  • Democratic

    “And bang on cue up pops Democratic!

    RedHaze do you refer to Spain’s King Juan Carlos as “Johnny Bourbon”?”

    Lighten up Harry FFS!! – it’s all a bit tongue in cheek……..

  • Rory

    I find myself in the unusual position of being of the same mind as Harry Flashman on this issue and Harry has rightly pointed to the Daily Telegraph’s long campaign of slight against Cardinal O’Fiach by continually choosing to refer to him as “Thomas Fee”. Republicans, catholics, nationalists, Irish language enthusiasts – all were rightly offended by this campaign. We do ourselves and our cause and tradition a great disservice when we take to emulating behaviour which we find offensive when directed at us.

    To reply to Cut the Bull, I do not approve of Gerry Adams’s sometime references to Her Majesty as “Mrs. Windsor”. It is not only puerile and offensive it assumes a familiarity which he does not have and one, I can only presume, that as a republican he would not choose to have were that at all possible.

    Éirigí argue that they are protesting against “Windsor” who “masquerades as queen” becuse she is titular head of the armed forces who shot dead three volunteers in Gibraltar. I oppose the monarchy not for that reason – it would make no difference to me if Her Majesty showered bounty of chocolate and fine wines on all republicans – I would still oppose the monarchy. It is the institution
    of monarchy to which I am opposed.

    However, despite my best efforts, the monarchy remains and the office of monarch holds a title which I use if am am referring to that monarch, whatever of my personal opinion of the title which attaches to that office.

    I have no problems at all with the cruel and merciless humourous banter to which the monarchy and indeed the Royal Family are subject on stage, on radio and television and I heartily laugh along with everyone else at the QE lookalike sliding across the banquet table spread legs revealing her knickers in Naked Gun – 331/3 (or whichever) because that lampooning of the monarchy by its own citizenry is healthy and has a long tradition in England as Hogarth and Gillivray the cartoonists and many essayists and broadsheet writers have demonstrated. But when taking a public stance of opposition I owe it more to my own dignity than to the monarch’s to always use the form of address that attaches to the office.

    If the tumbrils again begin to trundle I would possibly take the monarch to the guillotine but I hope that I would escort her with tender grace and ask her to “Step this way, if you please, your majesty”. Only a lout hurls abuse at his enemy.

  • RepublicanStones

    the tricolour predates the partition of this country, and represents all the people of Ireland, though some choose to ignore this. The tricolour is the IRISH flag, and so will more than suffice for St Patricks day. I wonder if those buckos will feel the need to fly the union jack from the flagpole at custom house square on St Patricks day again this year, like they did last year.

  • Democratic

    “I wonder if those buckos will feel the need to fly the union jack from the flagpole at custom house square on St Patricks day again this year, like they did last year.”

    Any reason why they can’t Republicanstones – Irish only symbols allowed is it?

    “The tricolour predates the partition of this country, and represents all the people of Ireland, though some choose to ignore this”

    No it doesn’t as you very well know……..

  • Mark McGregor

    While I find it a tad odd those proclaiming themselves Republicans find the major issue with a protest over a royal visit is not enough deferance is being paid to the English monarch, I find it even odder that they will then complain about the abuse in this lack of deference while calling others ‘vulgar schoolgirls’ and ‘louts’.

  • RS, you can’t argue that the Tricolour represents everyone in Ireland any more than the Union Jack does because it has the Cross of St Patrick.

    In both cases the intention was to be inclusive. You know as well as I that in both cases, the result has not been as intended.

  • Steve

    Rory

    Calling her Mrs. Windsor is not assuming familiarity and treating her with respect afforded an equal. Calling her bettie is assuming familiarity that is not proper unless invited

    Calling her “her majesty” is affording her status above a common person and as a republican it should be an anethma to afford anyone respect they have not earned.

    therefor Mrs. Winsor is the correct thing to call her unless you are invited to call her bettie

  • harry

    “What is monarchy? From whence does it derive its sanction? What has been its gift to humanity? Monarchy is a survival of the tyranny imposed by the hand of greed and treachery upon the human race in the darkest and most ignorant days of our history. It derives its only sanction from the sword of the marauder, and the helplessness of the producer, and its gifts to humanity are unknown, save as they can be measured in the pernicious examples of triumphant and shameless iniquities

  • Democratic

    You’re not a fan then Harry?

  • cut the bull

    Fair play to you Rory you are entitled to your opinion,but I myself care little for titles no matter what they are and no matter who they are bestowed upon.

  • cut the bull

    Wllowfield you dont sound like your useual self

  • Willowfield

    I’ve changed, I’ve seen the light. Praise Jesus.

  • Mark McGregor

    I have contacted Mick to take action against over troll on this thread.

    The above is not ‘willowfield’ but another contributor using a sock-puppet.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    If Willowfield has turned – surely the Union cannot be safe?

    Is this the usual spelling with 2 LLs ?

  • cut the bull

    aye alright now Idont mind calling him Lord but thats where Idraw the line

  • cut the bull

    He’s been kidnapped and sent to an education camp in the Donegal hills and taught by beardy men with waistcoats.

  • joeCanuck

    Civility costs nothing.

  • harry

    no sinn fein posters to come on a spin away their party’s lack of effort to protest?

  • cut the bull

    yes joe but a bit of craic is priceless, lighten up its only a bit of banter

  • joeCanuck

    yes joe but a bit of craic is priceless, lighten up its only a bit of banter

    I’d like to hope so, ctb, but, alas, I think some take it seriously. It’s them I’m referring to.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    “The tricolour predates the partition of this country, and represents all the people of Ireland, though some choose to ignore this

    No it doesn’t as you very well know……..”

    I’m afaid it does Democratic.

    Thomas Francis Meagher is said to have flown the first Irish tricolour from the Wolfe Tone Club on March 7th 1848 in Waterford.

  • Democratic

    “The tricolour predates the partition of this country, and represents all the people of Ireland, though some choose to ignore this

    No it doesn’t as you very well know……..”

    I’m afaid it does Democratic.

    Thomas Francis Meagher is said to have flown the first Irish tricolour from the Wolfe Tone Club on March 7th 1848 in Waterford.”

    So this means that the Tri-Colour represents me how exactly?
    As another poster pointed out – The Union Flag contains the Cross of Saint Patrick so does that mean that……..

  • Democratic

    Actually just realised that we may have misunderstood each other Greagoir – my original point was regarding RepublicanStones claim that the Tri-colour represented everyone in Ireland not the date of first sighting.

  • cut the bull

    Thre have been two real queens on this site all day. The two with the shamrocks painted on their faces. They’re real queens in my eyes

  • Garibaldy

    I have to say I don’t think the protest is the most effective way to get across a socialist message, but it will get them on the TV and thus achieve its agitational purpose, so I can understand the attraction of such a protest.

    What I find more difficult to understand is Rory’s attitude. Perhaps his tongue is firmly in his cheek, but if not it looks a lot like an overreaction based on kneejerk hostility to anyone attacking his chosen party line from a similar point of view.

  • Rory

    My tongue is most certainly not in my cheek when I comment upon this, Garibaldy. Nor do I and nor have I ever before expressed or indeed felt any antipathy towards éirigí. Indeed although I feel that both Republican Sinn Féin and the 32 County Sovereignty Movement are both in grave political error and that the IRSP is simply not to be trusted that it is healthy that there appear a left Republican pressure group that offers a critique of Sinn Féin in office.

    My abhorrence is of the language employed. It is that if one demeans and belittles one’s enemy and somehow manages to win out over them what has been defeated? An enemy that you yourself have determined is mean and little. Not much of a victory.

    Surely any time spent in the school playground would have acquainted anyone with the petulant cowardice and pettiness of spirit that is the hallmark of the name-callers.

    It is best for those who engage in politics to ever speak in the formal language of diplomacy and even when at war to temper their public statements to the terse recitation of the facts. At one time IRPB press statements were a model for such literary discipline.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Any reason why they can’t Republicanstones – Irish only symbols allowed is it? ‘

    I would like to know why they felt the need to fly the union jack on St Patricks day, knowing the main celebration was being held at custom house square. I have been to custom house square several other times and never noticed the union jack flying.
    So Im just wondering why did they put it up especially for St Patricks day. Good old fashioned siege mentality or something else?

  • Mark McGregor

    Gari,

    éirígí are a Socialist Republican party. You should expect Republicanism along with the Socialism.

    Rory,

    I also used the name Elizabeth Windsor along with the 6 counties and 32 counties in my blog. I’m a Republican in both senses of the word and have no respect for monarchy or the British state’s role in Ireland. It’s a deeply held ideology that I don’t feel any reason to hide, that would be dishonesty. If I had wanted to be abusive I could have found terms that really were.

  • Garibaldy

    Mark,

    That’s fair enough. As far as I’m concerned the two are the same. Not of course that we might think they mean the same thing 🙂

    Rory,

    That’s fair enough. However, the language of politics is often filled with cut and thrust. And I can think of worse examples of belittling opponents than this one. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of referring to all monarchs by their names rather than their titles.

  • cut the bull

    I remember when the royal family came up in two conversations once when I was in Glasgow and another time when I was in Newcastle.

    Glaswegians refered to her in unflattering terms such as “Pissy Lizzy” and the Geordies strangely refered to her as the “oul hag in Bucky palace The queen of the south”.

    She does’nt seem to get much respect over there either.

  • Mark McGregor

    Gari,

    “Not of course that we might think they mean the same thing :)”

    Not sure about that, never seen any reason to assume we disagree on very much of substance than tactics.

  • cut the bull

    I just could’nt resist this,

    Mrs Windsor

    And here’s to you, Mrs. Windsor,
    Ulster loves you more than you will know.
    God bless you, please Mrs. Windsor.
    Heaven holds a place for those, who lived tax free on high pay,
    Hey, hey, hey

    We’d like to know a little bit about your for our files
    We’d like you to see how we live our lives.
    Look around you all you see are sympathetic eyes,
    Stroll around the grounds until you feel at home.

    And here’s to you, Mrs. Windsor,
    Ulster loves you more than you will know.
    God bless you, please Mrs. Windsor.
    Heaven holds a place for those, who lived tax free on high pay,
    Hey, hey, hey

    Hide in the hiding place Buckingham Palace where no one ever goes.
    Put it in your pantry with your cupcakes.
    It’s a little secret just the Windsors affair.
    Most of all you’ve got to hide it from the kids.

    Koo-koo-ka-choo, Mrs. Windsor,
    Ulster loves you more than you will know.
    God bless you, please Mrs. Windsor.
    Heaven holds a place for those, who call you Queen, Mrs Windsor or just Lizzy,
    Hey, hey, hey

    Sitting on a sofa thinking about Ireland this afternoon.
    Your visit’s causing a debate.
    Laugh about it, shout about it
    When you’ve got to choose
    Every way you look at this you lose.

    Where have you gone, Ian Paisley o,
    Our Ulster turns it’s lonely eyes to you.
    What’s that you say, Mrs. Windsor.
    Irate Ian has left and gone away,
    Hey hey hey.

  • anne warren

    “calling Pope Benedict “Ratzinger” as some idiot poster did on these forums the other day”.
    Actually he is often called Nazinger or Pope Nazzi !!

  • RepublicanStones

    only by sectarian bigots anne, only by sectarian bigots.

  • anne warren

    really not only by sectarian bigots. By Italians. I know. I live in Italy! And many Italians can’t stand his reactionary views- particularly young people.

  • RepublicanStones

    right so Italians are incapable of being seactrian bigots. not only that but it seem you have talked to every single Italian too. you sure do get around.

  • anne warren

    No. Like lots of other people I read Italian papers, watch Italian TV, am in contact with students and surf the net. Being reasonably well informed on my part does not mean “having talked to every single Italian too”. I said many (not every single)Italians are annoyed by his reactionary views. As they are often not pleased with his attempted ( usually successful) interference with the Italian parliament, laws etc.they invented the nicknames.
    I’m sorry you can’t listen to another point of view without accusing me and many Italians of being a sectarian bigot – which speaking for myself is neither true nor justified.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘really not only by sectarian bigots. By Italians..’

    it seems you forget what you write. and just because you share someones view, does not mean they aren’t a bigot.

  • anne warren

    Irony is not your strong point!

  • anne warren

    irony is not your strong point

  • Harry Flashman

    *but I myself care little for titles no matter what they are and no matter who they are bestowed upon.*

    Is that a universal dislike or only with regard to British titles ctb? Would you address the president of Ireland as “Mary”, former president Clinton as “Billy Jeff”, your local parish priest as “Mister” or the consultant surgeon about to perform your triple bypass surgery as “Hi, you”?

    As joe says above courtesy really costs nothing, being an oaf merely demeans oneself.

    Rory would prove himself be the man of style that I have always thought him to be if he did indeed take HM’s dainty hand with a slight bow as he showed her the correct way to place her fine white neck on the chopping block, no doubt he would even proffer a silken cushion, not like those French bumpkins who martyred the fair Marie Antoinette.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    RebelPebbles,

    re. Sectarianism.

    I’m not sure that because someone is anti-catholic ( or protestant ) means they are a sectarian bigot provided they have arrived at that position from observing the facts and not because they are adherents to another sect which competes with it for theological truth or reccruits.

    I’m not too keen on the catholic church because of their birth control policy and its impact on the 3rd world but dont consider myself sectarian as I dont like Ballymena style stuff either.

    Re. the qaurefellah in the vatican – as he was a member of hitler youth ( even if only for 5 minutes and under duress ) then I’m afraid a bit of teasing is to be welcomed.

    It may be just me and my age, but in the sexist world we live in, to suggest that a female ( named ) poster gets around a bit may give the impression of a rather catholic view on female sexuality.

  • cut the bull

    Harry its a universal dislike with a slight caveat added. If I met a surgeon Iwould him/her their first name and ask them if they would not mnid being addressed using their name.

    I speak to clergy on first name terms.

    Believe it most people would rather be addressed by their name as opposed a title.

    Would you call your solicitor by his /her name or call or address them using the term solicitor or lawyer vwho ever.

    I would usually refer to my doctor by his first name and I have met Mary Robinson and when speaking to her, I did this on first name terms.

    How would you address MLA’s or indeed ministers by their first names or as MLA or minister who ever.

    That to me is not being an oaf most titles are well over played.

  • circles

    Ahhh but theres a slight difference Harry.
    Presidents are elected, Doctors earn their titles, and priests….. well even they studied and worked to get where they are (à la the bloke from Reggie Perrin).

    The british monarch got the job through an accident of birth. She desevres no more or less respect than any other british citizen (even if one finds the manner in which her family attained its wealth distasteful). As a republican I could not address her as “your majesty” – she has done nothing to merit the title. She is an aging lady with loads of cash. She deserves the same respect as anybody else.
    Mrs Windsor it is.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Ah Mrs Windsor, aka Mrs Saxe Coburg Gotha, aka Queen of England, Queen of Scotland, Queen of Canada, Queen of Barbados, Queen of Kenya, etc…etc…glorious god fearing regina, pure and devine, reign forever over her many minions and subjects….. what a title, what a handle, what a woman!

    However, go raibh mile maith agat for the Englishman Thomas Paine who awakened the world from such ideological slumber of slavery!

  • Democratic

    How do you refer to Mr. Ratzinger yourself Cut The Bull – if I may ask? Would you display piety to him perchance? I’m interested…..

  • cut the bull

    Yeah no problem you can ask.

    I would call him the head of the catholic church.

    If speaking to him directly I would ask him would he mind if I spoke to him on first name terms, and to be honest, I dont think he would have a big problem with that.

  • cut the bull

    I know a lot of people who attennded and some who still attend Irish language schools. All of those schools have a policy that students refer to teachers on a first name basis.

    It actually generates respect and does away with the nonsense of Miss or Sir, Master and such titles.

  • Democratic

    Fair enough Cut The Bull – fair play to you.

  • cut the bull

    Talking about titles I remember when I was at primary school. We had a male teacher called Bates now you can imagine the fun and embarrasment that this created.

    When he was refered to as Master Bates. All the pupils including myself had no problem at all using his title.

    I think this in a small way heps to prove that titles are as well being left to the side.