Brown backs RIR parade

Gordon Brown strongly backs the RIR parade and the devolution of policing and justice. This suggests it won’t be scaled down – just in case anybody thought it might be.

Mr. Peter Robinson (Belfast, East) (DUP): Will the Prime Minister join me in welcoming the decision by the Army to organise a homecoming parade in the city of Belfast? ŅWill he urge everyone to do nothing to drag us back to the bad old days?

The Prime Minister: I want every Sunday to be a peaceful Sunday in Northern Ireland…..
“…. and I want us to work together to ensure that we can undertake the remaining stages of the devolution that will make stability for the longer term possible. I also agree with the right hon. Gentleman that the troops in our armed forces deserve the support of every community from which they come. Where there have been parades in the different cities and towns of this country, not only have they been peaceful but large numbers of people have turned out because they want to give support to our troops and show them that they have the confidence of the British people. I want that to be a feature of our life in every part of the United Kingdom for many years to come.”

  • pacman

    I’m curious – will they carry the Irish Tricolour alongside the Union Jack to represent the Irish men and women in their ranks as well as the British? And if they do, who will they be offending most?

  • Many thousands of Irish people feel represented by St Patrick’s cross in the Union flag. I’d imagine that will suffice.

  • pacman

    You obviously know many more thousands than I do then Chekov.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Many thousands of Irish people feel represented by St Patrick’s cross in the Union flag’

    Would you be willing to bet there may be a few million who don’t?

  • perry

    I’m sure a detachment of IDF with a tricolour would be very welcome. As are the Naval Services everytime they visit.

    There doesn’t seem to be any confusion here about the IDF’s presence or purpose in Afghanistan.

    http://www.military.ie/overseas/ops/asia/isaf/index.htm

  • KieranJ

    Perhaps it’s time for the IRA to have another look at 10 Downing Street. If you know what I mean.

  • Big Maggie

    Personally I’ve always liked the rondel of the Air Corps. There’s something pleasingly yin and yang about it. Unlike the RAF rondel, which looks too much like a target for anyone’s comfort.

  • Oilifear

    “Many thousands of Irish people feel represented by St Patrick’s cross in the Union flag. I’d imagine that will suffice.”

    I (personally) don’t know any Irish person that would feel represented by “St. Patrick’s” “cross” – never mind IN THE UNION FLAG! – although that doesn’t preclude me from imagining and respecting any Irish person that did.

    The bearing the tricolour during Sunday’s parade would be inappropriate. Just as they didn’t carry the tricolour onto the beaches of Normandy, those Irishmen (and women) from the 26 counties that choose to serve in regiments of the British army do so under the flag of that army. The Irish Defence Forces serve in Afghanistan under the tricolour and those that choose to serve with the Irish Defence Force should bear that flag. Let’s not confuse the two. It would – literally – send mixed messages.

  • Billy

    Chekov

    ““Many thousands of Irish people feel represented by St Patrick’s cross in the Union flag. I’d imagine that will suffice.”

    Any evidence for this? – I am an Irish person and I’m certainly not represented by the Union flag and I don’t know any other Irish person who feels that it represents them. The Tricolour represents Ireland and Irish people. The Union Jack represents British people. I think it’s fair to say that many of the people who have replied to your comment have better insight into how Irish people feel than you do – hardly difficult.

    Although I disagree with the war in Iraq, I personally don’t think this parade is worth protesting about. If people don’t like it, then just don’t go.

    However, Pacman raises a good point. It would be a nice gesture to have the Tricolour to recognise the sacrifice of Irish members of the Regiment.
    Frankly, I doubt it will happen as it would undoubtedly just start another round of Unionist whinging.

  • dunreavynomore

    I passed through Portadown today and saw a big banner saying “Welcome home to our british soldiers.”
    Would such a banner be found anywhere in Britain? Would the people in Britain find it necesary to use the word ‘British’ in such a banner and does this tell us something about the nature of this dispute?
    Personally I find it funny that S.F. who can cheerfully meet george Bush or Gordon Brown, especially Bush if it is the war they are protesting about and especially Brown if it is the British Army they are protesting about. The hypocrisy is boundless! The shinners have accepted the British presence in Ireland for the forseeable future, through the g.f.a., and their supporters are beginning to realise this so a wee spat on the streets is needed.

  • Comrade Stalin

    KieranJ:

    Perhaps it’s time for the IRA to have another look at 10 Downing Street. If you know what I mean.

    Advocating terrorism, Kieran ? I think in the USA this is probably an offence.

    Billy,

    The orange bit of the tricolour represents the section of the community which largely identifies itself with the union jack.

  • ellie

    Pacman, with regards to the Irish Tricolour being flown besides the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – there is no need. Should the Irish men of the Republic of Ireland be honoured prehaps it should be in Dublin with their flag the tricolour being flown.

  • Billy

    Comrade Stalin

    I have no argument with your comment about the Tricolour – that’s why it was designed with those 3 colours.

    However, Chekov was trying to say that “thousands” of Irish people feel that the Union Jack represents them because it has St Patricks cross in it.

    That’s nonsense – I respect the Union Jack as the flag of the UK + it’s citizens (which frankly is more than a lot of “loyalists” do). However, it does not represent me any more than the Tricolour represents someone who is British.

    You are either British or Irish – not both. If you’re Irish then the Union Jack does not represent you or your country – the Tricolour does.

    By the way, I notice that (contrary to your opinion) Gordon Brown again took the opportunity to push for the devolution of P&J;. Robinson tried (as Dodds did last week) to crudely get the PM to launch an attack on Sinn Feinn and again it failed.

    While supporting the parade (fair enough) Brown also took the opportunity AGAIN to put pressure on the DUP to get on with devolution.

    Are you still persisting in your fantasy that the DUP have the support of the UK govt in their current intransigent stance or do you now accept that they are pretty plainly telling the DUP to get on with it?

  • Billy,

    … You are either British or Irish – not both …

    No, you are wrong. You are wrong both in law and in fact. In law a person from NI can have both nationalities if he/she wishes. But in addition, people from NI who choose an exclusively British nationality are still Irish in the same way that a Scot is Scottish or a Welshman Welsh.

    Even as a republican I understand Chekov’s pov on this. He is utterly British in his identity, but he is a Brit from Ireland and thus also Irish in ways other than legal nationality.

  • Big Maggie

    dunreavynomore

    I passed through Portadown today and saw a big banner saying “Welcome home to our british soldiers.”

    The banner had of course nothing to do with welcoming soldiers of any nationality, but everything to do with (yawn) annoying nationalist neighbours. Ten will get you twenty that the person who painted it wouldn’t be able to locate Afghanistan on a map.

  • Driftwood

    I am totally supportive of the British Army (as some people may have surmised) although in posts way back I wrote that a parade may not be what the squaddies wanted. I hoped it wouldn’t become a party political issue (extreme naivety)and some means of recognising the RIR’s courage could be found. Alas we find our politicians have jumped on to this as an excuse to revert to type. And here we all are. (BTW I’m far from convinced of our reasons to be in Afghanistan). We can only hope this all goes off peacefully. Futuring about Sunday is pointless. I think this issue has become so heated is the hopefully remote possibility that someone could get badly injured or worse. But it does show up how fractured NI is at this moment and the sheer impotence of our politicians to engage in any meaningful manner.
    Doesn’t look good for the Assembly.

  • dub

    Billy,

    As a republican i say to you, what are you talking about?????? Of course you can be Irish and British… that is the very essence of civic unionism in ireland. it would be great if all the unionists thought themselves exclusively irish but they don’t and that is just a fact. many of them do not even consider themselves irish. many people do consider themselves irish and british in ni as i am sure many people did in the 26 counties before independence. and this is legally recognised in the gfa. pushing people into either or boxes will mean that unionists will shun irishness altogether… is that what you want? strange kind of nationalist if so…

  • dub

    billy,

    also britishness is an “umbrella” nationality so british people will always be British and something… and that something for unionists is irish or northern irish or ulster depending on individuals. legally though they are all irish in irish law as well.

  • Oilifear

    “Welcome home to our british soldiers.”

    “… You are either British or Irish – not both …”

    Join the dots.

  • cynic

    You can be British, Irish or whatever combination you feel you want to be…. and good luck to you.

    That protection is both enshrined in the ECHR and is one of the benfits of being a citizen of a modern, tolerant democracy like the UK.

  • OC

    “Personally I’ve always liked the rondel of the Air Corps. There’s something pleasingly yin and yang about it.”

    Posted by Big Maggie on Oct 29, 2008 @ 06:53 PM

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triskele

  • picador

    Where there have been parades in the different cities and towns of this country, not only have they been peaceful but large numbers of people have turned out because they want to give support to our troops and show them that they have the confidence of the British people. I want that to be a feature of our life in every part of the United Kingdom for many years to come.

    Does this mean that in addition to Orange parades we are going to have to put up with British military parades every year!?

  • Oilifear

    “… for many years to come.”

    “Does this mean that in addition to Orange parades we are going to have to put up with British military parades every year!?”

    No, it that there is no way out or either Iraq or Afghanistan.

  • meh

    What utter nonsense that the Tricolour should be flown along with the Union Jack to represent those from the Republic who have served with the R.I.R. at this parade – fact is they should be stripped of their citizenship for the treachery of swearing an oath of allegiance to a crown! the Green White and Orange is no longer those soup takers flag..

  • This island Nation

    I think that the parade is very poorly received and this is exactly the type of thing that could lead us back to the ‘bad old days’ of war. The nationalist community in the north of Ireland will not accept the legitimacy of the English armed forces who have brutalised and murdered Irish people for centuries. The century old struggle will continue and continue until fully completed. The only way it will stop will be if the Irish people cease to exist.

    I urge all true republicans to go out and peacefully protest against the English army and their illegal prescence in Ireland.

  • Billy

    Dub

    Fair enough – a poor choice of words on my part.

    What I am saying is that Chekov’s contention that “thousands” of Irish people feel represented by the Union Jack because it has the St Patrick’s cross in it, is total nonsense.

    I respect the Union Jack but it does not represent me and I don’t know any other Nationalist who feels that it does.

    Likewise, I know many Unionists who respect the Tricolour but, again, it is NOT the flag of their country (as they see it) and therefore it does not represent them.

    Personally, as I was against the war in Iraq, I don’t really care what flags they fly at the parade.

    I am merely pointing out that Chekov’s contention about the Union Jack being representative of Irish members of the RIR is simply nonsense.

    The Union Jack represents GB, the Tricolour represents Ireland.

  • Driftwood

    urge all true republicans to go out and peacefully protest against the English army and their illegal ‘prescence’ in Ireland.

    1. Leaving aside your spelling (lack of) Sinn Fein agreed to the BRITISH Army (It includes Scots, Irish and Welsh) being garrisoned here in NI
    2. Their presence is entirely legal. Indeed they are here to back up the civil power (PSNI) in an emergency
    3-“The century old struggle will continue and continue until fully completed.” The Final Solution! – Which is when, Heinrich? Or is it Reinhardt?

  • the future’s bright the future’s orange

    I think you’ll find the IRA have murdered more catholics that the Brits so maybe you should be protesting against them???

  • Man Spider

    Old Heydrich was some guy alright.

  • Ri Na Deise

    Driftwood
    ‘The Final Solution!-Which is when,Heinrich? Or is it Reinhardt’

    Oh The Irony!

  • “What I am saying is that Chekov’s contention that “thousands” of Irish people feel represented by the Union Jack because it has the St Patrick’s cross in it, is total nonsense”

    Many thousands of Irish people are unionists and feel represented by the Union flag and the St Patrick’s cross is the part which acknowledges the Irish component of the UK. It’s clearly a concept that most nationalists get, but you do not.

    Btw may a take this opportunity to say BRING BACK WILLOWFIELD! Where’s he gone?

  • 2050

    So the Million+ people who marched against War in London & millions elsewhere pre Iraq & Afghanistan were wrong then?

    They should never of been out there in the first place! It was all based on lies and rooted in Money.

    Let them have a parade in thier barracks where there family and friends can welcome them back.

    The rest of us (vast majority) don’t actually care and have plenty of other concerns.

  • ggn

    What I have to say is that the attitute of the British Government in this is baffling to me.

    Sure, they want to put it up to the Sinn Féin leadership but surely only dissident republicans can benefit from this.

    The parade, complete with flypast, seems to me to be an act of aggression and certainely will put the Taigs in their place.

    I dont think the Sinn Féin protest is a good idea at all but the actions of the British seem to be a deliberate attempt at incitement.

    I am baffled all round.

  • ggn,

    … the attitute of the British Government in this is baffling to me

    Remember the 42 days, and the price that ‘wasn’t’ paid.

  • ggn

    Horseman,

    Good point.

    Another one would be Peter Robinson saying to Broon, look give us a victory parade and we will look again at policing and justice.

    It is about the DUP / TUV.

    Sinn Féin and Éirigí especially would do well to remember that.

  • “Another one would be Peter Robinson saying to Broon, look give us a victory parade and we will look again at policing and justice.

    It is about the DUP / TUV.”

    What a load of bollocks. It’s about recognising the bravery and the safe return of troops.

  • Billy

    Chekov

    Don’t presume to lecture me about how “most Nationalists” feel. Having been born and raised in the heart of West Belfast, I have more of an affinity with and understanding of Nationalists (my community) than you ever will.

    I wonder how many Nationalists you actually know – clearly not very many.

    I certainly don’t miss Willowfield with his puerile comments and downright lies. However, I do hope that he is OK.