Paisley film hits troubles

The Observer has an interesting piece on the new biopic of Paisley. Seemingly there may not be enough money to fund the project. Gary Mitchell the screenwriter complains that it is difficult to get funding, as “Prods aren’t sexy enough” and also noted that there have been a number of films from Northern Ireland with a nationalist perspective, which have attracted some very famous actors. The script itself has been disowned by the Paisley family and yet also called too pro unionist by others. If the film ever sees the light of day there is little doubt it will stir up even more controversy.

  • perry

    Backdrop’s obviously the wrong word there.

  • Seimi

    TAFKABO – Did you really, I mean REALLY, like the Boxer???? OMG.

    Dear Sarah is brilliant – in many ways better than In the name of the Father.

    There’s an American film called Hero, set in Boston and Belfast you should hunt out. Oh dear Jaysus, what a pile of manure! My dad and I watched it one night and the tears were streaming down our faces at it – absolute classic, with a no-star cast of wannabe actors.

    Does anyone remember a short film that was shown in the early 90s called Elephant? No dialogue, just scene after scene of shootings? Very powerful.

  • perry

    “Why have there been no films about the British Army in Norn Iron?”

    Harry’s Game.

    That curly ginger sniper guy looked like the DFM.

  • Different Drummer

    Flash Back To Flash Harry

    “I’d like to see Platoon set in the Bogside or The Deer Hunter in Crossmaglen. Or better still – Full Metal Jacket in Ardoyne.”

    My, wouldn’t that be mind-numbingly dull!

    Endless boring foot patrols over a dreary two year tour of duty in dirty drizzly grey streets interspersed with occasional stone throwing from kids getting out of school and maybe the odd sniper shot or blast bomb thrown.

    It was a low-level conflict over thirty years that barely rose to the level of civil war for a few months in the 1970’s, but we really weren’t that interesting you know.”

    But interesting enough to produce more fictional regiments:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0163495/

  • perry
  • Greenflag

    Tafkabo ,

    A good film about ‘relationships ‘ in ‘ne temere ‘ decree Ireland was the RTE film ‘A Love Divided’ which was made around the Fethard on Sea , Co Wexford ‘sectarian ‘ stand off back in 1957 .

    It’s interesting that it took until 1998 for the RC Church to apologise for the behaviour of it’s village cleric a Fr Stafford who led the boycott against local protestants during that time .

    Progress of a kind I suppose given it took them several centuries to apologise for their treatment of Galileo 🙁

  • Greenflag

    Rabelais ,

    ‘On the other hand, isn’t it time that northern Prods showed the same willingness to interrogate their own identity as some filmmakers in Ireland have. Gary Mitchell, Glen Paterson etc perhaps have begun this but I think Green Flag made a good point earlier when I think he was highlighting how politically and intellectually unionism is in trouble,and this has profound and disabling implications for any community trying to explain itself to its neighbours through cultural representations.’

    Probably the first place to start is to explain itself to itself . Roy Garland in an article in the Irish News gives some pointers to the ‘tensions’ which existed between middle and upper class Unionism and working class ‘loyalism ‘

    One excerpt from Garland’s article re loyalists stikes me as being a source for self examination .

    ‘We all know that paramilitaries are no saints but Billy Mitchell, who exhausted himself working for peace, told me that if middle-class unionists had provided genuine leadership to loyalists, much violence might have been avoided. ‘

    GF comment

    Garland here hones in on the internal contradiction within political unionism as it failed to adapt to ‘modern times’ The truth is that Unionism could not come clean with ‘loyalists’ without revealing to the latter that they (loyalists ) were ‘useful’ tools ‘ in establishment Unionism’s attempt to save itself .
    Now that the temporary ‘lifebelt’ of the GFA has been floated guess who is no longer needed ?

    Perhaps there is sufficient material in the ‘tension’ stand off between loyalism and unionism to make a few decent films . But would such films have resonance outside NI or the Republic ?

    We in Ireland may have to face the awful truth that our ‘struggles’ while of import to ourselves and perhaps to some of our neighbours in these islands are of little interest to the Hollywood brigade . Having for decades portrayed the NI ‘war’ as being between Irish Catholics and Protestants ( thank you HMG’s propaganda division) the average ‘punter’ in movie or film land may be unwilling to get his head around the idea that Catholics have killed Catholics and Protestants have killed Protestants and they have both killed each other . Sounds like a bad dream from the 16th century and so ‘passe’ .

    Helicopter gunships mowing down Islamic fanatics now that’s cool 🙁

  • Harry Flashman

    @picador

    “So how long were you in the Brits for, Flash?”

    Nice to see the boorish morons who are incapable of differentiating between a ball and a man are still posting on this thread.

  • rabelais

    Whey-heh, Harry Flash,
    Yer back. The old thread wasn’t the same without you.

    Anyway on the serious stuff. I think the distinction between possible unionist and loyalist representations is interesting, largely because of the ‘journey’ that individuals like David Ervine, Billy Mitchell, Gusty Spence etc made. (There are loads of others I know but these are the better known ones) And the ‘journey is the key here I think. If you’re going to make a film with a classic narrative then some sort of progression from one state of affairs to another seems absolutely crucial. On ocassions this narrative form has perhaps privileged the representation of republicans, in that they have stated goal ie. get rid of the Brits. This creates conflict, which a classical narrative needs, and characters with definable ambitions. Typically in Irish films the political ambitions of republicans and the violent means they pursue those ambitions come into conflict with their personal lives. Think of Johnny McQueen in Odd Man Out whose adherence to violent means results in him never consumating his relationship with his girlfriend Kathleen. Alternatively look at the Boxer where Danny’s rejection of political violence leaves him free to establish a home with the wife of an IRA prisoner.

    Unionism it seems to me is caught in a bind because its about defending the status quo and in classical narrative terms that’s very limiting material to work with. At least some loyalists demonstrate sufficient character development to produce a narrative of cause and effect.

    The proposed Paisley films (I think Graham Reid is working on another) are indicative in the respect that who would have been attracted to film about Paisley had he not joined an executive with the Sinners. Had he continued to say NO, to put it crudely, it would have been the same old story, therefore no progressive narrative.

  • Different Drummer

    A Flasher Surveys The Battlefield

    “So how long were you in the Brits for, Flash?”

    Nice to see the boorish morons who are incapable of differentiating between a ball and a man are still posting on this thread.”

    Stop Telling Fibs Flasher You don’t think its ‘nice’ at all….

    Flasher wants to be allowed to play the ball.

    Yes – fair enough (your piece on the dreariness of catholic N. Belfast was well written and well meant – more please!)

    And everyone has an ‘Ulsterish’ right to mimic a growling dog with a bone – not a ball.

  • TAFKABO

    Elephant is, at least in my opinion, the greatest film made about Northern Ireland, it’s available as an added extra on the bonus disc of Gus Van Sant’s film of the same name.

    And yeah, I really did like the Boxer, the final scene in which the bad guy gets his comeuppance, then the director blindsides the audience by insisting we watch his grieving widow, showed a humanity and depth of compassion rarely seen in films which purport to be about war.

    Like Alan Clark’s Elephant it tells us there’s no good guys and bad guys, just people killing each other, and fuck the rationalisation.

  • Rory

    Let’s face it – with writers of even any small note from the unionist/loyalist tradition being rarer than hens’ teeth it is hardly any wonder that their is a shortage of cinems dealing with their lives – there is simply no raw material to base a film upon with the few exceptions already mentioned.

    What might be more important is to discuss and attempt to identify the reasons for this lamentable absence of literary talent – again, as I have said, with rare exceptions – arising from within that community.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Er, CL, I suggest that you actually read the articles that you linked to, in particular the one about Maskey.

    Posted by picador on Jun 24, 2008 @ 05:27 AM……………………………………………………………………………………..

    Er, I have read them. Hence the reason I posted the links to show that both sides of the so-called “peace” divide have been behind the violence in North Belfast. What’s your point?

  • Concerned Loyalist

    rabelais,

    Anyway on the serious stuff. I think the distinction between possible unionist and loyalist representations is interesting, largely because of the ‘journey’ that individuals like David Ervine, Billy Mitchell, Gusty Spence etc made. (There are loads of others I know but these are the better known ones)…………………………………………………………………………………..

    It wasn’t just Davy Ervine and Gusty Spence of the PUP/UVF who showed the human side of Loyalism…

    On the UDA-side John McMichael ( One of the co-founders of the New Ulster Political Research Group (NUPRG) think-tank, and former Leader of the Ulster Loyalist Democratic Party (ULDP) ) and Ray Smallwoods ( Former Leader Of The Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), the successor to the ULDP ) are just as well-known for their progressive politics, their support for power-sharing when it wasn’t even on the radar of the DUP/UUP and their outreach to “the other side”, the RC/nationalist/republican community.

    John McMichael, amongst others at the forefront of UDA politics, helped pen “Beyond the Religious Divide” in 1979:

    cain.ulst.ac.uk/islandpublications/hall06-ip79.pdf

    and “Common Sense” in 1987:

    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/politics/docs/commonsense.htm

    Both documents were hailed by all sides of the community in Northern Ireland, and abroad, as progressive and forward-thinking initiatives that showed Loyalists were willing to compromise and think “out-of-the-box”, in the path to peace.

    Sadly, the UDA’s two best political strategists were brutally murdered by the Provisional IRA (Big John in 1987 and Ray in 1994) for their erudite politics and their sincere attempts to promote a positive form of Loyalism that lived side by side with people who were once our enemies. The Provies refused to give these men a chance to promote peace as they believed that it would hurt the image of physical-force republicanism worldwide if these men were allowed to continue advocating radical and progressive reform. They didn’t want the World knowing the truth; that Loyalists weren’t “the puppets of British imperialism” that republcians had made them out to be, particularly through their well-oiled propaganda machine in so-called “Irish America”.

    I will borrow a few lines from the back of “Beyond The Religious Divide” to finish:

    “He who cannot compromise is a fool.
    He who will not compromise is a bigot.
    He who dares not compromise is a slave.”

    Let that be a lesson to us all as we seek to find lasting peace in Ulster…

  • Concerned Loyalist

    My link to “Beyond The Religious Divide” is a pdf file so interested parties will have to download it if they are interested in discovering how radical a document it was. It was cerainly “before it’s time”, to coin a phrase…

    cain.ulst.ac.uk/islandpublications/hall06-ip79.pdf

    Personally I prefer the 1987 “Common Sense” document, as “Beyond…” flirts with the concept of an independent Ulster, a position I would only advocate in a “doomsday” scenario. Perhaps that is exactly what the authors were anticipating in 1979, the tumultuous year the document was published.

    “Common Sense” is remarkable in that it advocates a devolved power-sharing executive within the UK, a full 11 YEARS before the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement was signed!

  • rabelais

    You’re quite right CL.

    I directed a group of interested visitors to Northern Ireland towards the Common Sense document, which as you say was indeed ahead of its time. They exprsssed surprise that loyalist thinking was so advanced. Of course they were more familiar with media images that preferred to present loyalists as mad, bad and dangerous. And, without question loyalists have done many reprehensible things but that’s not all they have done.

    One of the things that prolonged the conflict here was the determination to see the violence as an expression of inherent malice rather than being politically motivated. This was a familiar trope in film, television drama and literature where the Irish seemed doomed to their violent fate because they had a predisposition for aggression and violence. Successive governments also applied this ideology, which effectively offered them a rationale for not talking to groups on account of those groups being inherently mad or monstrous and so beyond the pale.

    The refusal to genuinely engage with the politics of violent groups. Had two main consequences: one, paramilitaries where never really interrgated in public as to the reasons for the behaviour and two, many of the nuances and progressive elements of their thinking was missed or dismissed. (I stress here that engaging with the politics of violent elements is not the same as condoning.)

    While republicans seem to have managed to change their media image over the years loyalism is still in the doledrums. And the fact that republicans seem so much more media savvy, I am sure, feeds the sense of dissaffection in working class protestant areas. In fact I know it does.

    I was working with a group of loyalist community workers whose frustration at how they are portrayed in the media was a particularly sore point. The complained in particular about the Holy Cross dispute where they felt they had a genuine grievance but all the media wanted to do was show pictures of crying children. I asked them what they had expected? Did they really think that blockading a primary school in the name of any cause was ever going to look good on the TV? They agreed but said they just didn’t know what do do to get the issues that mattered to them taken seriously by the media and broader public.

    From Holy Cross to Drumcree the behaviour of loyalists looks simply monstrous on our television screens. And those sorts of images are the ones that have come to be associated with loyalism, not the intelligent and open contributions of some sections of the protestant working class. Please CL don’t come back and say, but look at all the awful things that republicans did. That is without question but simply engaging in another round of whataboutery will not help working class Prods out of the hole they are in. Yes, the media is biased! No, not in favour of republicans because journalists I know hate repblicans and loyalists equally and adopt the consensual politics of the institutions that work it. But yes, republicans are better at ‘working’ the media.

    I wish I thought there was an easy, painless solution for loyalists with regards these issues. But I rather think it will be a hard road to renewal. The protestant working class and the more forward thinking sections of its middle class really need to debate their future in a frank and open way. Perhaps for the first time in years that opportunity exists because I suspect that in the past the debate I referred to above between a loyalist community group and myself probably would have concluded with me getting a kicking at best. Instead I found the men and women in the group frustrated and angry, certainly, but also willing to engage in a degree of self-examination.

    If loyalism is to change its image and reputation then it needs to think about its relationship with the media. It doesn’t have to like the media but it will have to start presenting itself differently. This can’t be merely a cosmetic exercise (which would be quickly exposed under the media glare). Doing your politics differently means changing the substance of your politics.

    Please don’t mistake this as a case for northern Prods suddenly becoming good Irish nationalists. Protestants have made very clear their sense of difference from their Irish nationalist neighbours and I think that has to be respected. But if northern protestants are not just to be a community defined negatively, in opposition to Irish nationalism, what do they propose to be in a era when the UK is disintegrating and political reputations are made and broken under the media spotlight?

  • Charlie

    Culturally speaking, notable Northern Prods who have made their name in the last hundred years have included (off the top of my head) Sam Hanna Bell, Louis Macneice, James Galway, Derek Mahon, Van Morrison, Henry McCullough, Maurice Leitch, Stephen Rea, Derek Bell, CS Lewis, Glen Patterson, Kenneth Branagh, Jake Burns, James Nesbitt, Tim Wheeler…
    Not one of these talents, as far as I’m aware, would ever consider themselves to be affiliated to Unionism, indeed, if they were politically-inclined at all, I’d imagine they’d broadly be much closer to a left-leaning Dissenting tradition…

    Blanket generalisations about what constitutes Northern Protestant culture (ie. the notion that Prod culture automatically equals Orange/Loyalist culture) and sniffy assumptions about Northern Catholics being inherently more ‘cultured’ are divisive and provide inadequate understandings about how culture manifests itself in the North…

  • perry

    CL, you’re on to something there.

    Does this plot sound familiar?

    Young man, angry at unprovoked (or perhaps wildly disproportionate) violence against his people develops a hightened sense of his community’s distinct identity and joins a militant organisation dedicated to it’s defence.

    He serves a jail sentence (slightly out of order here but bear with me), benefits from progressive influences whilst in prison, gets an education, comes to renounce violence but refuses to renounce his community. He tries to raise that community’s consciousness with reasoned and integrationist political positions.

    He’s attacked both politically by venal demagogues who wish to maintain existing divisions for their own political purposes and physically by the killers he first took up arms to oppose from the other side of the divide who want to prevent his community from developing a more lucid, reasoned (and by implication politically effective) voice. He’s also undermined by the corruption of his community and the failure of liberals to see the intent of and restrictions on his actions.

    Where’d I hear something like that before?

    Maybe Denzel Washington could play the lead!

  • Paul McMahon

    Interesting read CL however both years old. How can you expect anyone to take the current UDA seriously when their latest initiative is named after such a “progressive and forward-thinking” individual as the notorious Taig hater John Gregg?

  • willowfield

    KENSEI

    Whether the Brits in the film were the RIC or Regular Army or Auxiliaries is really irrelevant to the film, or to the argument.

    The RIC was made up of Irishmen, not “Brits” (as you would call them).

  • Martin

    As they were part of the British Empire at the time they would have been Brits just as part of the UK Northern Irish people are British and not Irish!

  • martinneedsreprogrammed

    “As they were part of the British Empire at the time they would have been Brits just as part of the UK Northern Irish people are British and not Irish!”

    Sshhh…you’re not supposed to say that. “Brits Out” doesn’t refer to Irish people who prefer a British passport.

    Didn’t you get the memo?

  • willowfield

    As they were part of the British Empire at the time they would have been Brits just as part of the UK Northern Irish people are British and not Irish!

    Zzzzz

    Try reading the phrase in parentheses.

  • Butcho

    …and off the thread goes on another pointles round of Willowfield inspired pedantry.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    It is a matter of no small concern that you would use Slugger O’Toole as a platform to advance the ‘politics’ of unionist murderers like John McMichael and Ray Smallwoods[the man who showed his human side when he gunned down the Catholics frequenting Sean Graham’s].

  • perry

    “[the man who showed his human side when he gunned down the Catholics frequenting Sean Graham’s].”

    Where’d you get that exclusive from Con?

  • Greenflag

    Rabelais,

    Excellent post above No.16 on Jun 25, 2008 @ 09:45 AM.

    What Northern working class loyalists ‘face ‘ in terms of their community problems is not too dissimilar except perhaps in degree from what similar class communities are and will be facing over most of the developed world . Whether they are ‘sink estates ‘ in the UK or ‘deprived’ areas in the major cities of the UK , Republic or the USA what is happening is an unhinging of the male white working class from the new ‘economy’. Gone and not coming back are the old manufacturing jobs -going if not yet gone is the power of unions . With more women now actively involved in the labour force wages in the private sector are subjected to downward pressure which pressure is augmented by large numbers of immigrants only too willing to work for less than the locals . Lacking in verbal and literacy /computer age skills the loyalist section of society is being ‘decimated’ economically and socially . The growth of single parent families and the inability of many males to provide a ‘traditional’ standard of living for wives and children leads to the kind of anti social behaviour we have seen in the past i.e Holy Cross /Drumcree etc . Unless they ‘escape ‘ physically from their enviroment or unless there is major private sector investment in these areas many of these people and their children will be condemned to a lesser future than others within Northern Ireland

    What makes the situation more poignant from the loyalist perspective and this is something which I believe John McMichael was certainly aware of , is the fact that added to the above ‘list’ is the addition of ‘political uncertainty’ re their constitutional future .

    Their Republican opposites were seen as ‘winners’ and in the inevitable zero sum game that is NI then loyalists must be seen as ‘losers’

    A mountain to climb I’d say and with no guarantee that at the end of the climb the ‘mountain ‘ may have moved on elsewhere.

  • TAFKABO

    Blanket generalisations about what constitutes Northern Protestant culture (ie. the notion that Prod culture automatically equals Orange/Loyalist culture) and sniffy assumptions about Northern Catholics being inherently more ‘cultured’ are divisive and provide inadequate understandings about how culture manifests itself in the North…

    Posted by Charlie on Jun 25, 2008 @ 12:01 PM

    Excellent point, well worth repeating.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Concerned Loyalist

    It is a matter of no small concern that you would use Slugger O’Toole as a platform to advance the ‘politics’ of unionist murderers like John McMichael and Ray Smallwoods[the man who showed his human side when he gunned down the Catholics frequenting Sean Graham’s].

    Posted by Concubhar O Liatháin on Jun 25, 2008 @ 05:38 PM……………………………………………………………………………………..

    Moderators, you should remove the above post. Ray Smallwoods had nothing to do with the Sean Graham Bookie’s killings. His only connection to the killings is the fact that he was from Lisburn, the same South Belfast UDA Brigade area that the bookmakers is situated. The Lower Ormeau residents themselves believe that a local UFF Active Service Unit from Annadale Flats in Ballynafeigh were responsible. Conversely, the police believe that the East Belfast UFF were responsible.
    Incidentally, one man from the East was arrested in relation to the killings for possession of weapons, but no-one has been convicted of the actual killings.

    To accuse Ray Smallwoods is a libellous slur against a dead man who cannot defend himself. Never before has his name cropped up in relation to the killings. Show me your evidence or stop your sick smear campaign…

  • Concerned Loyalist

    rabelais,

    I found your 9:45 a.m. post on Page 5 of this thread to be a genuine and well-thought out discussion on the difficulties being faced by my community.

    I actually agree with you on every point. Our community’s spokesmen have been getting “media training” so that their public speaking is more clear and concise, to enable their points to be put across better to a television audience. This needs to be continued.

    Regarding our future; who knows is my honest answer! I’m not sure where exactly we fit into a 21st Century Northern Ireland with a devolved government which has no direct “Loyalist” representation. The middle-class unionists have the UUP, the middle-class nationalists have the SDLP and the hardline/working-class nationalists/republicans have the Sinners.

    We are relying on the DUP to step up to the plate and properly represent us, something I believe they are capable of doing if they have the appetite for it. I will keep an eye on the initiative announced by Peter Robinson, today.

    I don’t believe the Ulster Unionists are interested in us, plain and simple. Trimble used the loyalist working-class to win the UUP Leadership contest during the 1995 Drumcree dispute. Then as soon as he had the keys to Cunningham House, what did he do? He treated us with disdain and bascially ignored our plight. Reg Empey is a little better but he doesn’t have the stomach to throw his weight behind any kind of initiative aimed at bettering grassroots loyalist communities by improving their living conditions and by improving the prospects of the young people of these communities, whether it be through education, sport or community work.

    We desperately need “our” local representatives to start earning the money we pay them. They need to work for the communities they claim to represent and work towards ending the decades of under-investment in loyalist communities. It’s in everyone’s interest as, quoting from an age-old proverb;
    “Working men don’t throw stones”.

  • perry

    CL,

    I’m not sure what part of town you’re from but from an eastern perspective you’re being unfair to Naomi Long and Dawn Purvis.

    The DUP can’t represent working class prods. They’re a party of small self serving capitalists and reactionary legalism (religious and otherwise). While Dawn Purvis tries to deal with the stigmatising effect of our education system the DUP scoffs at her “socialism”.

    You criticise Trimble for cynically using the protestant working class. In what way are the DUP any different?

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Culturally speaking, notable Northern Prods who have made their name in the last hundred years have included (off the top of my head) Sam Hanna Bell, Louis Macneice, James Galway, Derek Mahon, Van Morrison, Henry McCullough, Maurice Leitch, Stephen Rea, Derek Bell, CS Lewis, Glen Patterson, Kenneth Branagh, Jake Burns, James Nesbitt, Tim Wheeler…
    Not one of these talents, as far as I’m aware, would ever consider themselves to be affiliated to Unionism, indeed, if they were politically-inclined at all, I’d imagine they’d broadly be much closer to a left-leaning Dissenting tradition…
    Posted by Charlie on Jun 25, 2008 @ 12:01 PM

    ………………………………………….

    Jimmy Nesbitt comes from a staunchly Unionist family and is proud of his culture and heritage. I went to school with one of his nephews and expressed my disappointment at Jimmy playing the role of Ivan Cooper in “Bloody Sunday”. I told him that it had an overwhelmingly nationalist bias and I expected little else from Director Paul Greengrass, who is known to be symapthetic to the Irish nationalist “cause”.

    His nephew, a unionist, agreed that the film portrayed Protestants in a negative light, but that it was an opportunity Jimmy could not turn down. He said that his Uncle (Nesbitt) was angry and upset, however, at comments attributed to him by sections of the media. They misquoted him as saying that the Orange Order were doing ordinary Protestants a disservice by their behaviour, and that they should be ashamed of themselves, or something along those lines. His nephew told me that Jimmy had said nothing of the sort. In actual fact he told me that Jimmy Nesbitt’s father/grandfather, I can’t remember which, was an Orangeman, and that Jimmy was proud of his roots.

    In otherwards, you’re talking a load of Michael Ballacks, “Charlie”…

  • Donnacha

    “To accuse Ray Smallwoods is a libellous slur against a dead man who cannot defend himself.”

    CL, in law you cannot libel the dead, so while this might be a slur, it’s not libellous. As for James Nesbitt’s opinion on anything, who cares?

  • flycatcher

    Jimmy Nesbitt-the voice of a lost loyalist people-sorry I mean the voice of a thousand money-spinning adverts.

  • Charlie

    A bit of nit-picking about Jimmy Nesbitt having a Unionist family (never suggested that he didn’t) doesn’t make my point about misleading generalisations regarding Northern Protestant culture ‘Ballacks’ though I understand that you may not like the notion of ‘fellow Protestants’ not singing from the same hymn sheet as you – and I can assure you that many of them don’t…

  • perry

    Charlie; the thread’s about representing people from loyalist communities. All you’ve done is point out that there are lots of nice cultured suburban protestant grammar school boys in Northern Ireland. That’s already a given I’d say.

    CL’s tried to point out that loyalism and/or traditionally loyalist communities have their own stories and their own characters. They may not be as pretty or as simple as we’d like but they’re not all stories of barbarism and idiocy and there may even be stories which are of value or interest to wider society, even some concerning real or representational characters we’ve been programmed to despise.

  • Greenflag

    perry,

    ‘You criticise Trimble for cynically using the protestant working class. In what way are the DUP any different? ‘

    The same way that the TUV will be ‘different’ . Unionism has no other strategem to maintaining it’s ‘position’ in NI except the inevitable recourse to competitive outhating the ‘nationalists’.

  • perry

    “Unionism has no other strategem to maintaining it’s ‘position’ in NI except the inevitable recourse to competitive outhating the ‘nationalists’.”

    True

    Coming down the Albertbridge Road this morning and looking at all the marching season bunting I saw the usual union jacked banners advertising local conservative unionist politicians. This time local UUP MLA Michael Copeland).

    Relics

  • Charlie

    I’m sure the likes of Van Morrison and Stephen Rea would be surprised to hear that their creative expression is that of “cultured suburban protestant grammar school boys” and that if you’re a Prod who doesn’t subscribe to Loyalism your culture is automatically of that risible middle-class ilk…still, sorry for digressing, Perry

  • perry

    I didn’t say there was anything risible about being middle class or cultured Charlie. Where’d you get that idea? I just wanted to see if we could try harder to find something worth saying about those communities and people stamped loyalist other than saying that not every prod is one. In fact saying that not every prod’s a loyalist seems a bit like writing off those that are.

    And I’m not criticising any of the people you mentioned. I was at school with one of them myself.

    I’ll give you Van Morrison. Out of school at 14, shipyard workers son. Perfect repost to any inverted snooty “middle class” jibes.

    Stephen Rea certainly can’t be pinned down but then expressing ambiguity seems to be his calling. He’s a credit to his very middle class Belfast High, Queen’s and Abbey Theatre education.

  • Charlie

    Sorry if I misread you Perry…guess it’s just a bugbear of mine that Northern Protestant culture is nearly always defined as a conservative, Unionist one but when you look at those Northern Protestants who have made their cultural mark (plus of course the massive impact of so-called Scots-Irish culture in America) that narrow definition is innacurrate, misrepresentative and sells Northern Protestants insultingly short…

    But I take your point, Loyalist communities deserve to have their authentic voices heard…it’s largely a PR thing that Northern Nationalists have proved to be much more canny at…

  • RepublicanStones

    It seems that turd is still waiting to be polished.