No foreigners need apply

The display of a sign on a house for rent in the Village area of Belfast stating “not available to any foreigners” has been condemned by South Belfast MLA, Anna Lo. The issue features prominently on today’s Talkback programme. The area has witnessed many racist attacks in the past and loyalists in the nearby Donegall Pass area were widely accused of attempting to intimidate members of the Chinese community following a proposed parade in the area last Autumn. The owner of the property told the Talkback programme that a prior tenant, who was ‘a foreigner,’ had been intimidated out of the property.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Serious Point.

    I am delighted that Ms Lo has established herself as the moral champion in this sort of situation and the dull feckers behind this sort of stuff dont realise that instead of weakening the postion of the immigrant community they probably strengthen it by allowing oridnary people to show their disgust.

    Non Serious Point.

    I know the Engleze behaviour has at times been appalling over the past few centuries but as long as they keep funding Non Iron they should be allowed to stay overnight.

    Party Political Point.

    This is what the Allance do well rather than seemingly obstructing the Peace Process over Police and Justice.

  • be fair,

    Xenophobia is a terrible affliction, and the resultant suffering of others its worst symptom.

    We as a society have a duty to protect people from harassment, and the innocent from persecution. For Protestants this is an obligation.

    The problem with Chris Donnelly’s repeated highlighting this sort of problem is that it is done, not from compassion for the victims, but from malice for the community for which the perpetrator is associated. Every single post draws attention to moral failings on the part of members of the Protestant community , with the positive contributions of the community to society, or any sense of perspective or context, ignored. This can, in my opinion, only be attributed to agenda rather than moralising.

    It is important to remember that the Irish Catholic tradition induces a virulent and repugnant sense of prejudice, which Chris, in 332 Slugger posts on the subject of assorted indiscretions / embarrassments and crimes on the part of individuals within the Protestant community, has never once seen fit to address.

    Perhaps a post on this young mans experience would help to address a sense of balance and objectivity, and lessen the suspicion that these selective posts are motivated by the very bigotry they so eloquently decry :

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/courts/english-pipefitter-awarded-836420000-for-abuse-1452319.html

  • Chris Donnelly

    be fair

    Whataboutery in the second comment- truly the scourge of Slugger. Little wonder you hide behind a nom de plume.

    Oh, and I am delighted for the said individual: all acts of discrimination should be justly condemned.

    I’m also truly honoured that you’ve read all of my 332 posts to date. I should start a fan club….

  • slug

    Paula Bradshaw, from the Greater Village Regeneration Trust, said the sign “can’t be supported in any way”.

    “The vast majority of people in the area are very welcoming and recognise that people living there are also working in the hospital nearby, going to the university and contributing to the economy”

  • slug

    Chris (D)

    I am sure that you don’t need to defend youself against the improper and unjust accusation made in comment 2; you raise an important issue here.

    If you were to update your blog with Paula Bradshaw’s comments, reported in my post (number 3) it would present the community leadership of the Village area in a positive light, something with which I am sure you would be delighted to do (credit where credit is due etc.), as this important story develops.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    be fair,

    that is really bad story in the indo and its good to see him getting his chance to highlight it in court.

    Re. The above post – would you not admit that loyalism has developed links with unsavoury right wings groups because at some level there are ideological similairites in same way that republicanism has deveolped the same with unsavoury left wing groups for the same reason?

  • Greenflag

    Well done Ms Lo for speaking out :). Spare a thought for the landlord . If he rents out to a ‘foreigner’ he could be putting their life in danger . On the other hand he can’t afford to leave the place empty .

    Perhaps he could rent it out to a Fenian ? or would the latter be classed as a ‘foreigner’also.

    It’s sad but not surprising – that some in Belfast are still struggling with the concept of a common humanity ! But they have an excuse . They are protestants christians and thus God’s chosen people.

  • be fair now,

    Chris,
    Comparison is an essential part of judgement. In the instance of defamation it is an essential tool to establish context. You misrepresent the substance of the term ‘whataboutery’, which is rightly used to insinuate that equivalence is not justification. However in addressing the presentation of selected facts to create a negative perception – comparison and the expansion of the topic to incorporate positive and normal aspects of the group or individual targeted is entirely appropriate. the weakness of the misapplication of this maxim and the swiftness of your response underscores the validity of my opinion.

  • be fair

    Sammy,
    No official link exists between Ulster Terrorist groups and the British far right. the attraction of individuals to these movements, and perhaps in the minds of some confused individuals mutual support, should not be confused with public endorsement and co-operation, the Loyalist groups have always condemned racism.
    This is not to mitigate their a-class scum credentials, but the support for British socialist ethno-nationalism movements by individuals in the province has no organisational endorsement and is no different to the marginal support for such groups receive throughout the UK. so no Sam I disagree. But then that has no bearing on my actual point.

  • Steve

    Be fair

    there is no imbalance on reporting on this site

    If this had been about the sad fenian bastards Pete Baker would have atleast three threads going with 46 back links

    And as for official links Ha thats a good one the entire concept of unionism and loyalism is built on a foundation of xenophobia and violent oppresion of minorities

  • Chris Donnelly

    Slug

    I think you’ll find Paula Bradshaw’s welcome comments were carried prominently in the very first link contained in the initial post- as were those by Bob Collins (Equality Commission.)

    There is no way in which the post- nor indeed the incident of itself- could possibly be interpreted as a slur against opr indictment of the entire Village/ Donegall Pass community, and to interpret it as such is a regrettable example of the inability of some- like ‘to be fair’- to address important issues which they clearly prefer would go away.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘It is important to remember that the Irish Catholic tradition induces a virulent and repugnant sense of prejudice,’

    Reminds you of the old claim, “Im not racist….but”

    ‘No official link exists between Ulster Terrorist groups and the British far right.’

    What should they have membership cards or a secret handshake? I take it now because no offical links existed between the IRA and other international groupings that you’ll give them a clean bill of health in respect of the same.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    I think his point is that u only ever report stories that shed loyalist areas in bad light. More balanced blogging by your good self Chris would enhance your integrity on this site IMHO. That said, Pete Baker balances your posts out lol so I guess it’s fair digs…

  • be fair

    Chris, my desire to publicly challenge this behaviour is irrelevant, and your disingenuous use of them a props for defamation is what has been called into question, perhaps you could include your disclaimer about this incident being no reflection on the Loyalist community, as well as the quote, in the original article to nullify the accusation ?

    If your post could in no way be interpreted as a generic commentary why was the term “Loyalist” employed ?

    (in fact lads, aren’t we prepared to disrespect the bereaved in order to not unfairly attribute outrageous actions to Political tradition ? I wonder if we will see consistency on this ?)

  • Press Watch

    Released from Sinn Fein.

    Sinn Fein’s Alex Maskey, MLA, for South Belfast and Policing Board member, has called the posting of a sign on a house in Donegal Road, which indicates that the house is not available to rent to “foreigners”, as “Racist” and “Unacceptable”.

    “I totally condemn this action by a local landlord, which in my view is racist and therefore unacceptable. Landlords and the business community, as well as public figures need to condemn this shocking action by an individual landlord.”

    “Intolerance cannot and will not be accepted by this community, and I know that the people of the Donegal road do not condone this, and I applaud the community activists from the Greater Village Regeneration Trust for condemning this incident. This should send a strong message to those in our community that seek to damage community relations, and to engage in forms of discrimination.”

    “New communities in Belfast play a valuable part in our city’s economic and social life, and bring with them cultural traditions and languages which add to the rich and diverse nature of the new Belfast. We welcome the new communities to Belfast and must do everything in our power to ensure that they receive equal treatment.”

  • RepublicanStones

    But is racism, particularly racist attacks not more prevalent in unionist/loyalist areas?

    Can anyone explain this trait or the reasons for it?

  • rabelais

    Sammy McN,
    Loyalist links to the British far-right have never been formalised. I have heard of organisations like the BNP and NF making overtures to loyalist paramilitaries and there are reports that during moments of tension in NI they have sent over supporters. There have (thankfully) been a number of stumbling to closer links among them loyalism’s expressed affinity with Israel – the display of Israeli flags in loyalist areas and Johnny Adair’s dog walking up and down the Shankill resplendent in a t-shirt with a Star of David was more than some on the far-right could countenance.

  • rabelais

    Sorry that should have read

    There have (thankfully) been a number of stumbling blocks to closer links with the far-right, among them loyalism’s expressed affinity with Israel etc

  • What about justice for landlords

    Instead of castigating the Landlord, please spare a thought for the landlord he has both to protect his property and his tenants. These posts seem to forget that there are bad on both sides people who just cannot let others live and others earn a living and that includes people of all religions and none.

  • Paul McMahon

    “No official link exists between Ulster Terrorist groups and the British far right”

    Depends how you define official BF. Have you seen this?

    http://www.drypool.net/cgi-bin/system.pl?id=ulstergb&cmd=view&page=1

    Also Google Frank Portinari

  • Tfbtfo

    That said, Pete Baker balances your [Chris Donnelly’s] posts out lol so I guess it’s fair digs…

    As we in the SDLP like to suggest, there’s a little unionist bigot inside every Sinn Feiner trying to get out. Keep proving us right, Chris.

    You’re the same, only the colours are different.

  • “justice for landlords”?

    jeez, people will be looking for justice for publicans and politicians next.

  • wild turkey

    ‘But is racism, particularly racist attacks not more prevalent in unionist/loyalist areas?

    Can anyone explain this trait or the reasons for it? ‘

    Firstly, one racially motivated attack, wherever it occurs, is one attack too many….

    and now climbing off the moral high horse,

    RepStones, good question, with no easy answer.

    If the propensity for ‘foreigners’ is to live in predominantly loyalist areas, then it might follow that the there is a greater likliehood for racist attacks in these areas.

    an admittedly crude example, say if 90% of ethnic group X lives in loyalist areas, then 90% of attacks against households of ethnic group X may occur in loyalist areas. That said, back to the point at the top, any attack is unacceptable and inexcusable.

    My own impression. The district I live is essentially nationalist/catholic whatever. A few years ago in the are there were attacks against the households of ethnic minorities working in the health service. There was a prompt and well attended local demonstation in support of the effected people and against racism.

    Question, how many racist attacks in loyalist areas have resulted in the local community actively demonstrating their support of ethnic minorities and condemning the attacks?… hmm

    shit, my daughters high school musical crystal ball has just flashed ‘ B Ware of B Fair’

    Ciao

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘If the propensity for ‘foreigners’ is to live in predominantly loyalist areas, then it might follow that the there is a greater likliehood for racist attacks in these areas.’

    Because there are more racist attacks in loyalist areas, it does not mean there are essentially more foreigners present. Thats akin to saying an area infamous for rape attacks is an area with a high ratio of women living there. In a word, nonsense.

  • rabelais

    Arguably loyalism, in its ideological constitution has an element of imperialist superiority about it. That’s not to say that all loyalists are supremacists but there is a tendency…

  • fair_deal

    WT

    “how many racist attacks in loyalist areas have resulted in the local community actively demonstrating their support of ethnic minorities and condemning the attacks?…”

    The 2004 attacks in the Village resulted in a multi-agency roundtable on racism being established (of which the most useless was the PSNI) It built up working relationships between community organisations and migrant worker and minority ethnic groups which contributed substantial reductions in attacks. It put in place an highly effective early warning system i.e. dealing with issues when a minor incident occurs rather than a full-blown escalation.

    There have also been a variety of sustained and continuing diversity programmes by community organisations in the area. Then there is how individual actions breakdown stereotypes and build relationships, last month, a migrant worker resident became one of the keenest bonfire builders in Roden Street.

    Plus the issue the racists leeched on, housing, has seen progress as well.

    Other actions include a ‘best practice’ model going on in the Loyalist Old Warren estate; a community led initiative in East Belfast; Loyalist Commission anti-racism campaign.

  • Greenflag

    The sign is now gone so we can all ‘relax’

    Well can’t we :)?

  • Chris Donnelly

    FD

    Thanks for that info. I knew of a good- and very pro-active- initiative by loyalists in Old Warren welcoming and working with minority communities which has impressed many people in Lisburn and beyond.

    The housing element is also an important factor as the chronic housing waiting lists in predominantly catholic/ nationalist districts in Belfast has meant that there is more capacity for housing minority communities in predominantly protestant/ unionist areas and, therefore, potential for the latent racism pervading society to become something more dangerous.

    However, I also believe that there is work to do in confronting the supremacist/ intolerant tendencies of loyalist organisations, which have a historic link to some extremist outfits in England and elsewhere.

    That’s not to say that such intolerance/ bigotry/ racism isn’t to be found in catholic areas- such an assertion would be absolute nonsense.

    I vividly remember, upon moving to Belfast at the age of ten from the States, being shocked by the fact that I alone in a class of more than 30 p7 pupils was alarmed by a school teacher using the word ‘nigger’ to depict a black person.

    I think the difference is that there isn’t any organisational support (as of yet) promoting racist views in nationalist districts like there clearly is in certain loyalist districts, and obviously the work of some in such communities in confronting and marginalising such groups and opinions is to be welcomed.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    *Drags large elephant from the room*

    There are plenty of links between loyalists and the neo-nazis. And unionist councillors were involved in the racist and sectarian rallies in the Village area a few years back. Remember the “Sandy Row is Sandy Row” banners? Remember the track-bottomed women complaining about “outsiders”? Remember?

    Or how about Samuel “Skelly” McCrory and Johnny Adair et al at the NF rally sniffing glue outside the City Hall in the 80s? Was that official enough? Or the links at football fan level between Rangers, Chelsea and Linfield? “The Blues Brothers”? Is that official enough?

    Perhaps Peter Robinson pictured with an Uzi at an electrified fence built by the government when on a fact-finding mission to Israel sent his community a clear message about how to treat foreigners. Was that official enough.

    Are loyalist people more racist than nationalists? Probably. The objective evidence – officially reported levels of attacks would seem to support this. Anecdotally, the graffiti in loaylist areas is exclusive, defensive and hostile. “White Power” (Shankill) and of course “Sandy Row is Sandy Row”. And in any number of loyalist areas “BNP” is a common slogan on walls. Ulster is White was all over the Shankill in the 80s and early 90s.

    Unionism is naturally inclined towards notions of Empire, a glorious colonial past and a sense of supremacy. So too are Tories hence Boris Johnson’s “picaninnies” remarks.

    Some nationalists/Irish are are racist too, of course, but many nationalists are, for historical reasons, supportive of the “underdog”. How else to explain everything from the Irish response to Liveaid, to pro-ANC and Palestine murals and perhaps most tellingly of all the Palestine flags on one side of the Limestone Road and Israeli flags on the Loyalist side a couple of years back?

    How else to explain the large numbers of the Labour left, T.O.M members, Basques, Palestinians and lefties at Feile, the anti-internment rallies? And last week loyalists were yet again on the Falls Road discussing politics like Donaldson, Ervine and many others before them. The simple truth is, reciprocal visits are hardly ever contemplated let alone arranged.

    But one only needs to look south to see that Irish Catholics can be racist, too, and, of course, the Irish Government is more than happy to look for blacks and ‘foreign-looking’ types coming into the country.

    It may well be that nationalist areas, or people living therein, will become more overtly racist as blacks and Asians “take” the jobs and housing but as it stands, the left-leaning views of SF and the SDLP have given a cue to nationalists to display a more positive attitude to people from abroad. Economic pressures will start to play a role and then we’ll see.

    For now, a parade of people on the Falls Road whose only slogan is (a nonsensical, defensive and ominous) “The Lower Falls is The Lower Falls” standing outside apartments which happen to contain “foreigners” and Protestants is not likely to happen any time soon. That parade was one of the most graphic examples of the failure of leadership working class Protestants have to put up with. The local councillors should have told the people of Sandy Row that blacks and Poles etc should be welcomed. More, that they have every RIGHT to be there. I can’t imagine any nationalist politician repeating Stoker’s disgraceful political cowardice in the face of bigotry. They certainly wouldn’t show at such a rally (whether SF or SDLP).

  • Doctor Who

    “But is racism, particularly racist attacks not more prevalent in unionist/loyalist areas?”

    “Can anyone explain this trait or the reasons for it? ”

    Posted by RepublicanStones on Aug 12, 2008 @ 05:20 PM

    I suppose as the vast majority of ethnic minorities choose to live in predominately Protestant areas, the level of objection from racists is going to be greater.

    The inuendo that it doesn´t happen in Catholic areas is false, members of the Travelling community for instance have been subjected to intimidation from republicans for years.

    As fair deal has pointed out a lot of good work has been done to counteract this vile racism.

    Have you ever wondered why immigrants feel safer re-locating to Protestant areas.

  • Dewi

    “a migrant worker resident became one of the keenest bonfire builders in Roden Street.”

    God help us.

  • Driftwood

    Can someone give me a working definition of what a ‘foreigner’ is? In this context specifically although there are wider issues.

  • fair_deal

    CD

    “there is work to do in confronting the supremacist/ intolerant tendencies of loyalist organisations, which have a historic link to some extremist outfits in England and elsewhere.”

    Steve Bruce’s writings got the closest to the truth on this stuff. The significance given to linkages by the media are far greater than any influence they have in the real world.

    The kids/persons who drift to extreme groups and politics to act the hardman/for a sense of identity/basic attention seeking would have had drifted to loyalist paramilitaries but as they decline in kudos this audience starts to drift to right wing groups. I would presume in nationalist areas this type gravitates around dissident groups.

    Beyond attitudes there is the undiscussed legacy of the troubles, a generationally ingrained culture of violence.

  • fair_deal

    Dewi

    When in rome 😉

  • joeCanuck

    Driftwood,

    For “foreigner”, read “visible minority”.

  • Driftwood

    What do you mean “visible” Joe. Would someone from Switzerland be of such a category?

  • joeCanuck

    I stand corrected, Driftwood. Visible or audible minority.
    Do I really need to spell out “visible”; colour or eye slant would be a good start. But black Americans or Canadians are probably excluded. Swiss would probably be included if they were black or had slanted eyes.

  • Driftwood

    I know what you mean Joe, so it’s nothing to do with geography. I wouldn’t care who I rented to as long as they took good care, but I wonder if I had stated “No Students” would I be a bigot? or simply wary?

  • Dewi

    Dewi

    When in rome 😉

    What have the Romans ever done for us?

    Seriously – FD please don’t take pride in an in-migrant taking part in the hate fest – it’s such a blasted bore.

  • Napoleons nose.

    When is someone going to ask the real question: was he a catholic landlord or a protestant one?

  • joeCanuck

    And if he/she (the landlord) were Polish, for example, who would he/she be referring to?

  • fair_deal

    Dewi

    “please don’t take pride”

    It wasn’t written as a prideful statement. It was to exemplify how the actions of an indiviudal can have an impact. If I was told once about this person’s participation I was told a dozen times. There was certainly more talk about that than any of the cultural diversity training sessions held in the area.

    “part in the hate fest”

    Shakes head. I honestly expected better.

  • Driftwood

    Joe, was that directed at me?
    I think there can be a certain class snobbery involved in letting, not racist or sectarian, just subconcious prejudices surfacing. Personally I think all of us have a bit of prejudice in us to a certain degree (you may disagree).
    In my own mind for instance, if the potential renter said they were Colombian, I would instantly stereotype before thinking further. Just a thought.

  • Dewi

    “There was certainly more talk about that than any of the cultural diversity training sessions held in the area.”

    I’m sure there was. Shame.

    “part in the hate fest”
    Shakes head. I honestly expected better.

    Please don’t celibrate newcomers getting involved in the old, old nonsense – it’s so depressing.

  • Dave

    Driftwood, according to the judgement of the Irish Labour Court when asked by IMPACT to qualify if the term “foreign bases” as used by Aer Lingus included Belfast, anyone from Northern Ireland is legally a foreigner in the Republic of Ireland, so you can take it that it means someone who isn’t native to a particular sovereign justification. It isn’t a racist term even if it suits a political agenda to obfuscate two separate meanings with each other in order to stick it to the prods.

  • joeCanuck

    No, Driftwood. it was directed to Napoleon’s Nose.
    I’m with you; all I would care is whether or not the tenant took reasonable care of the property and paid the rent on time.
    I would be a bit wary of students given that a small number of them give the impression of being uncivilized.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    FD: I’m really not sure what point you are trying to make but this: “last month, a migrant worker resident became one of the keenest bonfire builders in Roden Street.” is a shocker. Apart from the logic or otherwise of collecting for bonfires the fact that so many people are talking about it suggests that it’s an exception.

    And did the loyalist who breathlessly told you of this (literally) remarkable fact use the term ‘migrant worker’? I’m guessing not. – unless the bonie was built by social workers and those with Section 75 training.

    When the fact that he is a migrant worker is NOT noticed let alone commented on then you can call it progress (although we could then ask him what the hell he’s playing at! Did he place a tricolour on the fire? Did he daub KAT on a prominent bit of wood.

    Your post only throws up the contradictions currently besieging loyalist/unionist communities.

    And there’s a lot to be said for the “when in Rome” remark. It’s a crude way of describing the most popular strategy for those new to this country – conflict avoidance. That is, don’t get into conflict with those among whom you live.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    Foreigner is a strong and sometimes emotive, offensive term. (Context is everything though.)

    The case for the defence: “We don’t want Johnny Foreigner telling us what to do.” etc etc

    And “no foreigners need apply would certainly seem to taint anyone in the Village area who wasn’t white, english speaking and local. “Sandy Row is Sandy Row And It’s For Local People”

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    “I would be a bit wary of students given that a small number of them give the impression of being uncivilized.”

    Oh dear. And what about “uncivilised” foreigners – a common complaint in Britain? If a small number of foreigners “give the impression of being uncivilized” would you assume that they all are? Isn’t that the problem with the logic of racists.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    >>Steve Bruce’s writings got the closest to the truth on this stuff. The significance given to linkages by the media are far greater than any influence they have in the real world.< >Hate-fest<

  • earnan

    What percentage of NI is non-native (not born anywhere in the British isles)? Is it as high as 5%?

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    earnan: The official stats are hopelessly out of date as they’re culled from the census. Many people have only arrived from Eastern Europe and elsewhere in large numbers in recent years. I’ve done some work on this issue.

  • joeCanuck

    No, Billie-Joe.
    That’s why I said “a bit..”
    That would be a small bit indeed, given my belief, having been a student, that it is an exceeding small number who seem to be uncivilized. Those few could come from anywhere.

  • PaddyReilly

    Well a friend of mine near Coleraine let her house to a family of Pakistanis connected with the University. It wasn’t that they were bad people, but they thought the way to clean the floor was to pour buckets of water over it. This may work in Pakistan, but very soon the house was covered in green mould and they moved out, saying it was too damp. I think she had to remortgage to pay for the damage. She said that half the people who let to the Univeristy specified ‘No overseas’ for reasons like these.

    Someone else rented to Canadians. They were bad people. They wrecked the house and only left after court action, having paid not a penny of rent.

    The advantage of natives is that they have some idea of how things work here, and if they haven’t got the money, you can get them to apply for housing benefit: sometimes hard work, but effective. It’s a lot easier to track them down too if they leave without paying.

    So all in all there are a lot of reasons to prefer natives which are not xenophobic, merely business sense. We have to bear this in mind before we condemn.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    “So all in all there are a lot of reasons to prefer natives which are not xenophobic, merely business sense. We have to bear this in mind before we condemn.”

    Jesus Tittyfuckin’ Christ! GET OUT!

  • Napoleons nose.

    Paddy I agree on a human level if someone gets a bad experiece of letting their property to a person from a particular group then they tend to be wary next time. I know a relative let his house out to a one parent family and now he won’t let to one parent families as the house was left in a very bad way. Furniture was destroyed, cigarette burns and mattress which had been bought new had to be discarded, carpets and wooden floors relayed. Once bitten and all that….

  • Driftwood

    I was going to ask “define native” but I could see where that would go. Dave I was hoping we could leave the British/Irish thing aside. like Joe,I think it’s of no significance who you let to if they look after the house and pay the rent.
    Common sense would come in to this. Surely no-one defines British/Irish/Northern Irish as foreign, except on technicalities.
    Immigration is an economic issue as well as on the lumpenproletariat racist agenda. And it affects the bottom strata of society (if I can use that term) the most.
    All hatred is born of fear, ignorance as well, but fear feeds on ignorance. The idea that prods are more racist than catholics,or atheists, or whatever is laughable. We are dealing with fear and ignorance here?

  • fair_deal

    PE

    You are falling into lazy thinking ie racist manifestations must have a linkage to the presence and activities of far-right groups. They don’t. If they did they would be much easier to counteract.

    “Downplay all you like, the links are true and long lasting.”

    Yawn. I did not say links were untrue I argued they lacked “influence”.

    The NF ran a candidate in Local Government elections in Newtownabbey in 1989. The DEA included the loyalist rathcoole area. The candidate polled 41 votes (1.2%). The same person ran under the banner of “Ulster Third Way” in the 2003 Assembly election in West Belfast. He got 16 votes (0.00005%).

    The BNP claimed it would run candidates in elections in 2003, 04 and 05. They didn’t produce a single candidate. Northern Ireland is presently the only part of the UK that has not had a BNP candidate stand for election.

  • Tenant, Leinster House

    >So all in all there are a lot of reasons
    >to prefer natives which are not xenophobic

    Is that how we welcome people to Ireland? The rest of the people in that neighborhood are new on the island too, don’t they deserve a house?

  • PaddyReilly

    Jesus Tittyfuckin’ Christ! GET OUT!

    Well here we have the problem. Political correctness sees everything only in terms of wicked prejudice, but landlords are looking to make a profit and not a loss the same as anyone. Some of the conclusions they draw may be ridiculous: I was ripped off by a tenant who limped, so I’m not letting to anyone who limps, but who cares? Down the road is a landlord who won’t let to anyone who doesn’t limp.

    Also I should point out that having seen any amount of advertisements for accommodation written in Polish, Chinese, Portuguese, etc, that these people are effectively discriminating against natives who do not understand these tongues.

    You must realise that some landlords are poor people who are hoping to make a few thou, and some of those who condemn them are social workers drawing £25,000 per annum of public money.

    Maybe the place in question was such that only someone on HB would want to rent it, and the landlord wanted to make sure that the tenants would be eligible for same. It would save a lot of time if we could all specify who we wanted to rent to.

  • Driftwood

    Personally, I would not allow anyone from Killyleagh, or the Isle of Man a tenancy. They tend to be a rough lot!

  • PaddyReilly

    The rest of the people in that neighborhood are new on the island too, don’t they deserve a house?

    The Village, you mean? I don’t see that owning a house in the Village makes one obliged to act as a welcoming committee to Ireland. The owner may have had reasons, valid or invalid, for prefering a native. Those who are not so blatant as to their preferances waste an awful lot of people’s time. Someone who is determined to have cross-eyed homosexual from Leitrim as tenant but hasn’t the guts to say so will waste a lot of time interviewing everyone else until he finds one.

    The amount of my life that has been wasted chasing landlords who didn’t wish to rent to me and attending interviews with people who had already given the job to someone else!

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    ‘Not available to any foriegners’…….oh dear, what foreigners would they be then? ….members of the British Commonwealth? …or the local Irish Nationalist folk?

    But think of all the ‘Johnny Foreigners’ who fought in the major world wars of the last century…..the Africans, the Asians…ie the Gurkhas etc…and don’t forget the Europeans either like the Paddy Irishman etc…all fighting for Britain and the British values of freedom, democracy, civil rights for all etc…

    ‘Civil rights for all’…sure isn’t that what the British Commonwealth is all about?

    Is all that lost in NI? Was it ever discovered?

  • hobnob

    “Northern Ireland is presently the only part of the UK that has not had a BNP candidate stand for election.”

    Why vote for an English bigot when there are so many home grown varieties to choose from?
    Anyone got any figures for the distribution of the immigrant population before we start inventing excuses for the high number of racist incidents in unionist areas?

  • rabelais

    Billie-Joe,
    Your comments on page 2, no. 4 were interesting and thoughtful.

    As fair deal rightly points out there are initiatives in loyalist areas to combat racism and I think the PUP puplished election material in Cantonese a few years back (perhaps it still does). These are all laudable but what loyalism needs to do is begin to consider its ideological affinity with far-right politics. This began as expression of imperial notions of supremacy but in recent times sections of loyalism have begun to put forward an aggressive ethno-nationalism. Sections of the UDA (associated with the journal Warrior) have in the past expressed their admiration for Serbian nationalists and Arkan’s Tigers. The proponents of Ulster nationalism and independence have been around along time but in political and electoral terms they have made no impact of any significance. Yet at a cultural level sections of loyalism seem to be flirting with ideas of ethnic-difference and sepratism. The Ulster-Scots language is a case in point. For some it is clearly the cultural expression of difference from the rest of Ireland but the ‘discovery’ of a language can sometimes presage the invention of nationalist traditions and sepratist ambitions. This might not be the intention of those loyalists and unionists who support Ulster-Scots traditions but once the genie is out of the bottle…

    Most of political leadership of loyalism and unionism is sleepwalking through the terrian of contemporary politics. Others like the TUV seem to be using rather outdated maps. Both are entirely introverted in their perspectives taking little or no account of the international, European and national forces which they really should be engaging with; immigration among them. At the moment loyalism is ideologically and intellectually poorly equipped to deal with Others and ‘outsiders’. As you say, tensions may develop between northern Catholics and immigrants if there is the perception of competition for jobs and housing. But at least at an ideological and intellectual level republicanism offers an historically progressive approach these issues.

    However, if reports of republicanism’s death have not been exaggerated then we may have lost an important internationalist and social perspectives just at the time we needed them most.

  • Democratic

    Anyone got any figures for the distribution of the immigrant population before we start inventing excuses for the high number of racist incidents in unionist areas?

    Posted by hobnob on Aug 13, 2008 @ 07:59 AM

    Excellent question – may well show some interesting demographics especially in the Greater Belfast area.

  • An Amateur Anthropologist

    To Paul McMahon,

    Can you (and others) please post a health warning in future if you are going to post links such as the one you posted above (the content of the linked web page was pretty unsavoury, to say the least). Some of us are at work!

    AAA

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    >>You are falling into lazy thinking ie racist manifestations must have a linkage to the presence and activities of far-right groups. They don’t.< >Yawn. I did not say links were untrue I argued they lacked “influence”.<

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    “Anyone got any figures for the distribution of the immigrant population before we start inventing excuses for the high number of racist incidents in unionist areas?”

    Sadly, no, I don’t think this area has been examined and not on any large scale. The rapid and sudden nature of the changes, especially from Eastern Europe would certainly cast doubt on any figures over 5 years old.

    There is a myth, perpetuated on this thread that immigrants are concentrated in unionist areas. However, they may be some association that for a small amount of pioneer groups (the Vietnamese and Chinese perhaps, that they settled in loyalist areas because the Union Jack was familiar to them whereas they may have thought nationalist areas were more dangerous because of “terrorism”.

    Just how well that worked out for said groups in say Donegall pass and Sandy Row is there for all to see. It is not totally clear cut and I would argue more a question of emphasis. Nationalists are more keen to present a welcoming attitude (not always and not consistently) than people in unionist/loyalist/protestant areas.

    The sense of loss in the Unionist community: Our wee country, the ship yards, the ability to parade where and when they like, “our” security forces, our shipyard and our areas being overrun with fenians and outsiders have all led to a siege mentality that hardly creates the mindset to embrace change or difference.

    A few years back there were other posters in Sandy Row warning not blacks but fenians to stay out.

    Sandy Row is Sandy Row.

  • Napoleons nose.

    Theres now a new sign in the window which says:

    I am renting this property to any one without prejudice in the whole wide world. BUT please be aware, there are a number of criteria suitable clients must pass before being eligible to rent this property.

    Anyone with too much time on their hands can contact whom ever they like even the broadcasters or press.

    I am looking for tenants whom the neighbourhood will like who will keep their nose down and who will not draw attention to themselves.

  • Wilde Rover

    Attacks on persons should be condemned and should be dealt with equally. The disturbing increase of this “hate crime” nonsense has turned previously rational people into self gagging idiots.

    The people who engage in these criminal acts should be punished for committing criminal acts against people, not (INSERT RELEVANT SUB DIVISION OF HUMANITY) people.

    And if there is intimidation that is not covered by criminal law, let the malcontents and the attention whores be tried in the court of public opinion. Is this not the island where the boycott, formerly dealt with under Brehon Law, was conceived? Why so many people are in such a rush to don a ball gag is a complete mystery to me.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/education/2261307/Toddlers-who-dislike-spicy-food-racist,-say-report.html

    Honestly, sometimes I think Harry Flashman is the only one around here who can see the wood from the trees.

  • Democratic

    “There is a myth, perpetuated on this thread that immigrants are concentrated in unionist areas.”

    Is it a myth or is this just your opinion – I mean isn’t that the whole point of the question being asked B.J – that of figures to clarify the truth from fiction?
    I might also remind those who are crowing merrily about Ulster Unionism’s “historical” links with dodgey far right British extremists to mind allegations of “historical” Irish Republican links with dodgey far Left Marxist Guerilla type millitant extremists in some of the hotter climates….

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    >>has always been an unstated(though not always)<

  • Driftwood

    I wonder if the sign had said “No Gays need apply” what the reaction would have been?

  • Democratic

    The one that got me Prionsa was after extolling the plain links between the British far right and Ulster Unionism you upped the goal posts and ran off with them after Fair Deal gave you evidence of the performance of the British far right electorally in Unionist areas in the past (right in some of the worst years of the troubles too)…yeah sure the National Front types weren’t extreme enough for them anyway – nice work!….

  • rabelais

    Democratic,

    You refer to ‘…Republican links with dodgey far Left Marxist Guerilla type millitant extremists in some of the hotter climates…’

    It percisely the sort of affiliation with national liberation and anti-racist groups that gives republicanism in Ireland some semblance of internationalism, as oposed to the general parochialism displayed by unionism.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    Democratic

    Are you saying that my response does not have merit? If you are then it seems that I am not the only one recovering from too much swally. Why vote for strange fascists when your own are seemingly good enough. Or perhaps in your view the rejection of dissident Republican candidates in nationalist areas was somehow a rejection of Republicanism?

    Anyhow I don’t think you understand FD’s main point re links and influence. or if you do you have ignored them because my subsequent riposte pertained to that. Context and aw that. You also missed the bit where I said that it was a wonder that Unionism was not more affected by fascist influence………….ah well!

  • IJP

    There is a tendency among nearly all of us to fear (and eventually hate) those different from ourselves. I think we’re all in the greenhouse, we should look at ourselves first.

    Sammy McNally

    Your very generous view that only Alliance is fit for ministerial office is not, sadly, shared by 94.8% of the electorate according to the last election.

    Maybe next time?

    Meanwhile, I think the DUP, SF, UUP and SDLP should stop holding the process back by one of them taking the new Justice Department, don’t you? They got the votes from the people, after all.

  • Democratic

    “It percisely the sort of affiliation with national liberation and anti-racist groups that gives republicanism in Ireland some semblance of internationalism…..
    What? – in whose eyes exactly? what good does it do the Irish Republican movement to have alleged links in the media with the like of noted Human rights campaigners FARC, ETA, various Palestinian and middle Eastern extremists (Gaddafi- sic?) etc, inside the mainstream?

    Prionsa – that’s weak mate – at the end of the day – BNP/NF policies have never found fertile soil in Ulster Unionist areas and your attempts at diversion from something you reckon was plain to see is ridiculous – why vote for outside yo-yo’s when you have your own homegrown ones then! – that’s what you moved onto – so nah not good enough for me I’m afraid…

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    IJP,

    “Meanwhile, I think the DUP, SF, UUP and SDLP should stop holding the process back by one of them taking the new Justice Department, don’t you? They got the votes from the people, after all”

    I think you mean the – DUP should stop holding the process back – the reason AlLiance is being proposed to my knowledge is to ease the Peace and Justice medicine for the DUP.

  • Mike

    rabelais

    “Arguably loyalism, in its ideological constitution has an element of imperialist superiority about it. That’s not to say that all loyalists are supremacists but there is a tendency… ”

    On the other hand, nationalism has a nasty tendancy to develop ethnic/racist/volkisch manifestations. In Ireland, one could cite for example writings by Patrick Pearse and others.

    On the subject of links with fascism, as has been brought up on this thread one party and ‘movement’ on this island were allied to the Nazi Reich during the Second World War, as it perpetrated the Holocaust. Worth bearing in mind when talking about ideological tendancies, perhaps.

  • perry

    “I think you mean the – DUP should stop holding the process back – the reason AlLiance is being proposed to my knowledge is to ease the Peace and Justice medicine for the DUP.”

    What’s formed that knowledge?

    I haven’t heard a DUP objection to an SDLP minister.

    The DUP would object to a SF minister but that’s not on the cards.

    If the proposal is still that the post should be subject to 50:50:50 approval that would allow any party to take the it with SF, DUP and Alliance approval. To my knowledge Alliance are happy to endorse the SDLP.

  • Suilven

    “I might also remind those who are crowing merrily about Ulster Unionism’s “historical” links with dodgey far right British extremists to mind allegations of “historical” Irish Republican links with dodgey far Left Marxist Guerilla type millitant extremists in some of the hotter climates…. ”

    Not to mention the IRA’s chief of staff attempting to raise an Irish brigade to fight for the Germans during WWII…

  • rabelais

    Democratic,
    You might also mention the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and Che Guevara etc; much more attractive causes and figures which Irish republicans have associated themselves with.

    Irish republicanism, irrespective of how it acted here in NI, how its violence was experienced or the consequences of that violence, has been able to associate itsef rather successfully with national liberation movements and anti-imperialist struggles around the world, which certainly, once upon a time, was attractive to an international liberal-left, if not to you. Unionism has never enjoyed this sort of international support or, it might be argued, sought it. As I said unionism is rather parochial. In some respects that parochialism has served it well enough at home but it has meant that Ulster unionism is neither not much loved nor understood abroad. But there is an odd contradiction here, for weren’t the economic foundations of unionism rooted in the service of British Empire, the one on which the sun never set. Ulster unionism once depended on its economic links to the wider world, yet it show little curiosity about that world or any sense of its interdepedency with regards it.

  • Steve

    “There is a myth, perpetuated on this thread that immigrants are concentrated in unionist areas.”

    Is it a myth? Or is it just the outworkings of the prejudiced housing authority that keeps nationalist estates over crowded and unionist ones with lots of empty houses going to waste. So when an immigrant arrives where are there houses for them? Why lots in the loyalist estates where they are more welcome than fenian bastards, but not welcome all the same

    If you really want proof read this site or any of the news sites in nIreland

  • fair_deal

    IJP

    “Your very generous view that only Alliance is fit for ministerial office is not, sadly, shared by 94.8% of the electorate according to the last election. Maybe next time? Meanwhile, I think the DUP, SF, UUP and SDLP should stop holding the process back by one of them taking the new Justice Department, don’t you? They got the votes from the people, after all. ”

    When was it ever agreed that the P&J;ministry would be determined by D’hondt?

    Alliance doesn’t work, political risks are for other people 😉

  • rabelais

    Mike,
    You’re right about Pearse, of course. And the general point that Irish nationalism has some very unpleasant right-wingers and ideas rattling around in its attic. But then again all nations and communities offer competing versions of themselves – some progressive others not so. Isn’t the key here to be discriminating? I think Pearse was an idiot. I would prefer to live in the Ireland envisaged by James Connolly. Both were leaders in 1916, an uprising I doubt I would have supported at the time. History and politics are full of such contradicitions. Just don’t let those contradictions fuel the whataboutery-games.

  • Democratic

    Steve – so what are you saying – do you reckon immigrants ARE concentrated in Unionist areas then – disregarding the reasons why you think this might be as irrelevant to this particular conversation?

    “Democratic,
    You might also mention the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and Che Guevara etc; much more attractive causes and figures which Irish republicans have associated themselves with.”
    Of course I could mention them Rabelais – but it doesn’t make the out-weighing (IMHO) nasty stuff go away though…your points about Unionism’s lack of interest in the “outside” world though is well made and have merit i’ll give you that – it certainly could easily come back to haunt….

  • perry

    “When was it ever agreed that the P&J;ministry would be determined by D’hondt?”

    When was it agreed that it wouldn’t?

    The 50:50:50 guarantee works fine for Justice as a sensitive minsitry without any need for a departure from d’hondt. The only caveat is that the Justice ministry would need to be sought early in the round by one of the mutually acceptable parties. If there is no mutually acceptable party but Alliance then that’s flattering for Alliance but unsustainable and Alliance would be wrong to pander to such nuttiness.

    If the DUP are happy with the SDLP and it’s only SF that are preventing this then I think we should be told.

    What’s the DUP view on an SDLP Justice minister?

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    IJP,

    I take it you agree that it is the DUP that are holding it up – ie they have a problem with the transfer?

    For any agreement on this the DUP will seek to minimise the damage to themselves (whether its the Alliance or the SDLP who get the ministry) with Jimbo and the TUV ready to shout sell-out fom the sidelines.

  • Steve

    Democratic(sure whatever)

    Just for you the relevant bit

    lots in the loyalist estates where they are more welcome than fenian bastards, but not welcome all the same

  • Democratic

    Hi Steve,
    “lots in the loyalist estates where they are more welcome than fenian bastards, but not welcome all the same” I’ll take this badly worded tirade as a yes then shall I – along with the inescapable conclusions this brings on the disparency of racist attacks in Unionist areas due to the over-concentration in those areas compared to “themmuns” estates – I mean that’s where all this has been headed from the start anyway isn’t it….a chance to point score…..

  • Steve

    No democrat it is just statement of fact but since you mentioned it when was the last time there was a racist attack in a nationalist estate? The only ones that seem to appear on the news all occur in loyalist estates.

    Is that a prejudice of the press?

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    Democratic

    >>Prionsa – that’s weak mate – at the end of the day – BNP/NF policies have never found fertile soil in Ulster Unionist areas and your attempts at diversion from something you reckon was plain to see is ridiculous – why vote for outside yo-yo’s when you have your own homegrown ones then! – that’s what you moved onto – so nah not good enough for me I’m afraid…<

  • Democratic

    “No democrat it is just statement of fact but since you mentioned it when was the last time there was a racist attack in a nationalist estate? The only ones that seem to appear on the news all occur in loyalist estates.”

    Perhaps you didn’t follow me Steve – if you agree that Unionist areas have a much larger concentration of Immigrants in their midst than Nationalists do – wouldn’t that account for the fact that most racist attacks would occur in the Unionist areas affected? Do not confuse this with sympathy or explanation – merely as you put it a simple “statement of fact”
    I have no desire to research racial attacks in Nationalist areas any more that I have in telling you “My Da is bigger than yours…” If you were interested in the answer though you could start with Derry/Londonderry were from memory there was a bit of a problem for a while a year or so ago.

  • fair_deal

    Perry

    “When was it agreed that it wouldn’t? The 50:50:50 guarantee works fine for Justice as a sensitive minsitry without any need for a departure from d’hondt.”

    The suitability of D’hondt is a different debate. The comment did not argue it should be subject to d’hondt but implied it already was. To imply that Alliance is barred from the ministry on the basis of D’hondt is mistaken at best plain false at worst..

    Either he was uninformed that there is no such barrier when he made the comment (unlikley) or the comment is to create imaginary barriers as some poor excuse for Alliance saying No.

    “What’s the DUP view on an SDLP Justice minister? ”

    Don’t know

  • Democratic

    Prionsa,
    Off with the goalposts again eh – you are telling me that Unionism is a fascist motivation – I say no – you say yes. I mean do you expect me to simply go along with this or something as a given? You quote me Ulster Vanguard as evidence of Fascism and even go as far as to invoke Godwin and stick Hitler in for dramatic effect – I mean come on.
    You seem to equate fascism with the desire for self-determination but only for the Prods of course – not I’m sure for the Provo’s who to many in NI were fascist nationalists in their own special wee way…. As for the Loyalists (paramilitaries)- yeah they have their links with the far right in Britain – but I’m sure you didn’t mean to lump us all in with them now did you….

  • Ms Wiz

    The re-worded sign is almost as offensive as the original. The criteria in question would no doubt be something along the lines of being ‘local’ and British/Northern Irish.

    It also stipulates ‘tenants…who will not draw attention to themselves’. In other words, make sure you’re the right colour and don’t stick out like a thumb.

    The Village. A local area for local people.

  • Ms Wiz

    Sore thumb even…

  • Steve

    Democratic

    Perhaps you didn’t follow me Steve – if you agree that Unionist areas have a much larger concentration of Immigrants in their midst than Nationalists do – wouldn’t that account for the fact that most racist attacks would occur in the Unionist areas affected?

    No democratic if the racism in both communities was equivalent then I would expect there would be proportional attacks on the “outsiders”

    As for this land lord After reading several things about him it would seem to me he was not being prejudiced he was just trying to protect future residents from being harrased by the local nitwits by not renting to non-white non-protestants. He would have been better not putting up the signs and just disqualified them after the interview, I suppose he thought it would save time setting the rules out clearly in the begining.