Unionism needs to get in tune with the zeitgeist of today’s European Union

Eamon McCann’s been reading what sounds like a fascinating book by a man who was a player during the early, and most traumatic years of the Northern Irish troubles… Eamon buys the argument that Unionism could to get itself off the tribal hook, and into an attractive, and fashionable space. He quotes Robert Ramsey here:

“To me, the most important aspect of the development of the Ulster Scots identity is that it would take (unionism) out of the internationally damaging context of religious division, into one which is not only understandable, but is even fashionably in harmony with the zeitgeist of today’s European Union.”

That strikes me as a hard sell in a space where most political parties, nationalist as well as unionist are pretty Eurosceptic… In fact the only party of the ‘big four’ that is in anyway Euro-friendly doesn’t look like it’s going to get a seat… yet the book does sound like a rattling good yarn for those of us just old enough to remember politics before 1972…

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  • Dave

    The claim to being a distinct nation of Ulster Scots is utterly cynical and also redundant since the nation of ‘Northern Irish’ has acquired the right to self-determination that is the aim of most of the stateless nations in Europe (of which the EU is just a small part) and serves as an identity that is neither British or Irish (or, oddly, both). I suspect that the real value of Ulster Scots banner is a contingency for the unlikely event of Northern Ireland voting itself out of the United Kingdom, and will serve as the basis of a claim for repartition with the ‘nation’ of Ulster Scots declaring that it has a claim to self-determination and right to its own nation-state. The farce of the Ulster Scots dialect is promoted toward this aim. If they want to work this angle then they should do it outside of the discredited EU political context where no nation is deemed to have a right to self-determination and or a nation-state except the emergent EU. They should proceed within the international context of the UN that actually has the moral authority to make such declarations about nations and states.

  • Joe

    At least 30% of Unionists have their roots in England not Scotland. There are probably more Gaelic/Irish in the north than Ulster Scots.

    But hey, keep building your walls why don’t ye. Higher and higher they go…

  • Brian Walker

    I knew and liked Robert Ramsey who at one point managed to live as a near neighbour in Belfast without suffering as much harassment as Ken Bloomfield. Like some other civil servants, he seems to equate authentic British unionism with the mores of part of the traditional establishment. His generation’s experience of Faulkner’s ” betrayal” showed them what real political ruthless was all about and left them jaundiced. But who can deny it wasn’t necessary? The Ulster Scots thing is surely a red herring. (For one thing it ignores the English dimension of Plantation). Modern nationalism though, is proving durable and seems flexible enough to accommodate itself to a diverse society. If anything become even more robust in the recession. It will be a very long time before a European identity overshadows it. Despite what Ramsey seems to be saying, Unionists should find the present settlement agreeable enough. What’s wrong with “British and Irish” and therefore also European?.” It’s a great improvement on the sort of unionism Robert Ramsey served impeccably nearly 40 years ago.

  • Rory Carr

    The trouble is that the ethnic group which best resembles the Ulster unionist tribe in the public mind is the South African Boer – dour, grimly religious, bereft of any attractive cultural traits, intolerant of all but themselves, fearful of progress and of exposure to the light of outside observation. They can’t really turn into Basques and Catalans and Corsicans overnight.

    But, like their Boer counterparts, they can realise that their days of dominance are over and they can find that it is much better to be open and tolerant and sharing with all of your neighbours and that in any case, in that phrase beloved of Mrs T., there is no alternative, so we may as well get on with it.

  • underwood

    “Modern nationalism though, …seems flexible enough to accommodate itself to a diverse society.”

    Is this specifically Irish nationalism or nationalism in general you’re talking about, Brian?
    If it’s the former, and you actually believe what you’ve written, then it’s well seeing that you live in London. If it’s the latter, then it’s well seeing that you know little about nationalism.

    “If anything [nationalism will] become even more robust in the recession.

    Doesn’t it always in such circumstances (I’m speaking here of all nationalisms)? Except, ” more robust” usually translates as even more narrow, bigoted and xenophobic than usual.

  • Underwood: “Doesn’t it always in such circumstances (I’m speaking here of all nationalisms)? Except, ” more robust” usually translates as even more narrow, bigoted and xenophobic than usual.”

    Welsh nationalism actually is stronger, historically, when the economy is good. Early incarnation in the Cymru Fydd (Young Wales) movement of the late C19th and then 1960s. The recession of the 1930s was bad for Welsh nationalism and 1980s only good in that it focussed the minds of many Welsh people who voted Labour only to get Tory governments in London.

    Equating nationalism with bigotry etc is lazy and incorrect. Maybe the problem is with the word itself. However, as we’re stuck with it, it’s best to recognise that nationalism is as diverse as the nations it represents.

  • mary kelly

    He’s on Hearts and Minds tonight.

  • John East Belfast

    Rory Carr

    “The trouble is that the ethnic group which best resembles the Ulster unionist tribe in the public mind is the South African Boer – dour, grimly religious, bereft of any attractive cultural traits, intolerant of all but themselves, fearful of progress and of exposure to the light of outside observation.”

    Absolute total bollix.

    and in who’s public mind other than your own ?

    I assume you dont live in NI because anyone who does would not view the overwhelming majority of Protestants who they probably work with on a day to day basis in such a manner.

    Infact the only mindset you are betraying is your own ugly prejudice

  • Rory Carr

    No, John, I don’t live in NI, I live in London. And it is in the public mindset of the London wherein I live, which is the cosmopolitan, liberal London in which this perception of Ulster unionists exists. I agree with you that it is not fair and I am most vociferous in making that clear but I have to tell you that it is an uphill struggle and that is a problem that Ulster unionists have to deal with, which, I think, is the point that Ramsay is attempting to make.

    I think he points unionism (or more correctly what Ulster unionism may become) in the wrong direction, but that is a matter for those who would so identify themselves, among which I imagine you might be included.

    It is not an easy dilemna which you face and I wish you well but Ramsay at least begins the debate by recognising that a problem of perception does exist. The recent brouhaha at Tesco’s in Antrim is an indicator of that and refreshes memories of Holy Cross in the public imagination and such imagery becomes linked in the public mind with aggressive racist intimidation of black children being bussed to school in Alabama. The problem for unionists is that the more they try to defend such actions by arguing, “It wasn’t like that, it was different”, all that the public sees is children being attacked by bigoted bullies and that is your difficulty and one with which you have to deal.

    Whenever and wherever you are unfairly attacked I will lend my voice in explanation, if I am able, but I cannot defend the indefensible nor should you or anyone else.

  • Fert

    Unionism could to get itself off the tribal hook, and into an attractive, and fashionable space

    Oh right so unionists inventing an “Ulster Scots” volk will “get itself off the tribal hook” rather than the basis of nationhood in Kant and Locke and the social contract that underlay the Ulster Covenant in the same manner as the US Declaration of Independence.

    Yes let’s abandon nationhood as a contract of loyalty and define Britishness as it would be defined by the BNP. In your genes or in your ethny. Then we’ll be “fashionable”.

    Nonsense on stilts.

    National rights are the collective sum of individual human rights, of ongoing contracts between men and women, not the product of some ethny like the Gaelic of the GAA that have some kind of rights independent of actual individual men and women.

    Yes multiculturalism is fashionable, as is it’s inevitable mirror image, an increase in the BNP vote. That doesn’t mean it should be.

  • John O’Connell

    Quite a dour man on Hearts and Minds. But he is advocating the stuff of civil wars if he thinks that when all fails with Britian, the unionists can simply become a minority grouping in Europe.

    Have these people no consciences? Why not realise that your identity is an artificially created one that has drifted back into an Old Testament mindset.

    Unionism must act to redeem itself through embracing New Testament politics (Do onto others…) rather than acting on its Old Testament chosen people (an eye for an eye) tendencies which will simply create an obnoxious state here in the North, at war with its neighbours, and hostile to the open democratic traditions of Europe while living like a parasite off their backs.

    The problem for Nationalists is that Sinn Fein may actually back them in this European lark just to get the Brits out. Then we have the ultimate disaster for Ireland, an Israelite state destabilising the region just as Israel has done in the Middle East.

  • Fert

    John O’Connell

    Have these people no consciences? Why not realise that your identity is an artificially created one that has drifted back into an Old Testament mindset.

    Artificial is a spin word, but taken literally there is no such thing as a non-artificially created identity.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/artificial
    1. made by human skill; produced by humans

    Unless you’re saying that one has existed since before we evolved to be Homo sapiens.

    What is not artificial is the binding loyalties of men and women. You might say through some kind of blut and boden that Germany or Denmark or Turkey are less artificial than the USA or Australia or Argentina but their reality is their existence.

    The first step for those who REALLY want a united Ireland is to abandon any notion of a Gaelic, Catholic pan Ireland state but rather a pluralist one. Without that, to blame unionists for not being nationalists is absurd. With it republicanism becomes an ethnic land grab, like Serbs trying to retain Kosovo as their ancient province.

  • John East Belfast

    Rory

    The only place I have ever heard the Ulster Unionists being described as akin to South African Boers is on Slugger by republicans referring to seige or laager type mentalities.

    However what is really going on is they are looking for one of the more obnoxious regimes in living memory and stretching it to tarnish unionism.

    However it has no basis in reality.

    For starters the Boers were rapidly anti British and in that had more in common with Irish Republicans and indeed there were Irish Brigades in the Boer army in its war with the British.

    The whole notion of separateness for a people based on ethnicity and race has more in common with Irish Separatism than a Union advocated between the Scots, Irish, Welsh and English.

    There is no evidence of outright racism based on colour in any Northern Irish Protestant church or even loyal institution – indeed the notion is a basic blasphemy of Christianity.

    The Boers wanted a separate State using the blacks as cheap labour whilst Irish unionists wanted a United Kingdom of many ethnicities and religons with the rights of all protected. Unionism took no glee in Partition – it was a last resort.

    Modern unionists advocate a Union with a very different Great Britain of colour and ethnicity than their forfathers but their zeal for that Union is none the less.

    As for us being

    “dour, grimly religious, bereft of any attractive cultural traits, intolerant of all but themselves, fearful of progress and of exposure to the light of outside observation.”

    Speak for yourself as we can be the life and soul of the party as much as any Irish happy go lucky.

    George Best, Alex Higgins, Eddie Ervine, Jimmy Nesbitt, Christina Blakely, Rory McIlroy, David Healey, Colin Murray….. are just the celbrity Northern Irish Protestant and people would laugh at you by drawing comparisons with South African Boers. They are not exceptional but they are what the typical Northern Prod is like.

    I know a lot of english people too and such a caricature has never been voiced and I am sure if it cane their way would be considered seriously.

    So perhaps it is your perception or a small circle of the people with which you circulate.

  • John O’Connell

    Fert

    So the Plantation was not an artificial creation of an identity? My “artificial” embraces man-made definitions and transcends them to God made. Unnatural might be the word to use rather than artificial but you’d probably throw the dictionary at that too.

    to blame unionists for not being nationalists is absurd.

    I’m saying that they have embraced the Old Testament as in chosen people, Israelites and all that goes with it and rejected Christ. That is why they appear different and why they really are different to the Nationalists, the Scots, the Welsh, and the English and all of the rest of Europe. Their nearest neighbours are Israel.

    With it republicanism becomes an ethnic land grab, like Serbs trying to retain Kosovo as their ancient province.

    I agree. But I am not a republican.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    JEB

    Have you met a single mainlander who had a good word to say about Orange ‘culture’ and who didnt view the OO as an outdated and bigoted organisation?

    It may seem terribly unfair to you – but Prods just dont do public relations very well – the fiasco in Tescos is a classic example – you can just see how that outright religious bigotry would play out in middle-england.

    The individuals you mention – are just that – individuals most British people think they are simply Irish. Can you name a single famous Prod who actually returns to the province and walks on the 12th of July – i.e. is actually proud to be a Prod.

    Prod ideology is like the Afrikaner ideology in that it is based on a siege mentality from being in hostile territory surrounded by the natives who dont want them there which undoubtedly fuels the sectarianism and the racism respectively.

  • John East Belfast

    Sammy

    One minute you say that the very Northern Irish people you refer to are considered as just Irish and the next minute you are telling me middle England has an acute understanding of Orangism.

    The absolute opposite is true of course.

    Most of England havent the faintest clue about your own pet obsession of the Orange Order but I think they appreciate Northern Irish and the difference with Irish more than you think. It is written in bold on the front of their passports every time they go on holiday for a start and they recognise a Northern Irish accent just as much as a Geordie, Scot or Welsh one.

    Therefore as for your
    “Have you met a single mainlander who had a good word to say about Orange ‘culture’ and who didnt view the OO as an outdated and bigoted organisation?”

    I have never met one who had the faintest clue or passing interest in Orangeism.

    “Prod ideology is like the Afrikaner ideology in that it is based on a siege mentality from being in hostile territory surrounded by the natives who dont want them there which undoubtedly fuels the sectarianism and the racism respectively.”

    I am not in hostile territory – this is my home and I am not under seige by “natives” – if that is how you refer to Irish nationalists.

    As I said your comments and Rory’s initial language is more in common with the Afrikaaner. separatist, racist and mono culture tripe than the multi cultural and ethnically diverse Union advocated by unionists.

    I think Boers and Irish Republicans have more in common with one another than you think

  • jaffa

    “I think Boers and Irish Republicans have more in common with one another than you think”

    Arthur Griffith fought with the Boers and founded Sinn Fein. Can’t get much more in common that that.

    Does that make me a Zulu?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    JEB,

    that was a very poor repsonse.

    There are many negatives about Nationalism but being like the Afrikaners is not of them – Uninonist have to take on board their own shortcomings (everybody cant be wrong all the time about them) and try to move on whilst highlighting those that relate to Nationalism – it really is schoolyard stuff to simply repeat the allegations that are levelled at Unionism.

    Any famous Prods yet who like to go marching about on the 12th?

  • John East Belfast

    Sammy

    You obviously havent read anything I posted.

    I came on here because somebody made the ludicrous statement – which you later confirmed – that unionism was akin to Afrikaanerim.

    I feek I trashed that and indeed showed that actually Irish republicanism had more in common with an anti British, mono culturalist and separately ethnic mindset than did unionism.
    Indeed as Jaffa has since pointed out SF was founded by someone who fought along side the Boers.

    Therefore I am not reverting to the school yard tactic of saying “you smell too” but infact you are effectively taking the classic 10 year old retort of “No it isnt”.

    That unionism has its short comings true – but we dont lie awake at night worrying about the “natives” – basically we dont believe our own bad publicity.

    As for who marches on the 12th I havent been in 20 years and havent the faintest clue or even care. You seriously need to lighten up on your OO obsession though

  • PaddyReilly

    Funny John Junor of the Daily Express wrote an article comparing NI Prods, White South Africans and Falkland Islanders: three unfashionable but decent upstanding causes, according to him. No-one from NI wrote in complaining on that occasion. But he also seemed to think that they were all small businessmen, whereas Falkland Islanders are mostly shepherds in the pay of the Falkland Island Company, and NI Prods are statistically much more likely to be in state employ than your average Irishman or Englishman.

    Irish Nationalists have nothing in common with Afrikaners, except that they have been in conflict with the British Empire: but who in the world hasn’t? Alas, the Irish were never in charge of anything, certainly not millions and millions of bleck men. I would say your Afrikaners were more like the UDI brigade and the DUP and your English speaking South Africans more like the UUP.

    The loyalty of the Scots-Irish needs to be bought by making an appropriate covenant: in America the Scots-Irish led the Rebellion.

  • jaffa

    When were the sort of people who vote for the DUP ever “in charge” of anyone?

    If we don’t mind stretching our South African analogy to buggery maybe the DUP are more like the Inkatha Freedom Party than the Boer, threatened by a Xhosa dominant liberation movement (I believe the Zulu and Xhosa are Bantu relations much like us Scots and Irish Gaels) and government they seem unsure as to whether to claim independence in their area of regional majority or to try to manipulate some advantage in their relations with the colonial administration.

    Of course the English settlers in Ireland have an interest in telling the Scots-Irish prod that he’s just another colonialist like them (even though a prod with a Mac in his name is as natural a phenomenon on the Western shores of the North Channel as the East.) First, it suppressed his presbyterian revolutionary United Irishmen/United Scotsman tendencies and second the Scots-Irish of Greater Belfast provide a demographic counterweight to the nationalist majority across the Bann so helping to protect the position of those English decendents who really were planters (unlike the east Ulster Scots-Irish settler). On another thread Derryman Brian Walker is claiming Scots-Irish identity is a “red herring”. I wonder is he a relation of yorkshireman and Derry Governor George Walker?

  • EyeOnTheNorth

    John East Belfast

    Many’s a time I have met British people – that’s British as in ‘Great Britain’, you know, that big island next door?- and they have not been able to distinguish my Belfast accent from a Dublin or any East Coast brogue.
    I can’t tell the difference sometimes between a Leicster accent and a Suffolk one, or whatever, even to people from tose regions their accents are blatently distinct.
    The point is that while many Brits may know a bit about the differences (politically and religiously) between northerners and southerners, they still consider us ‘Irish’, and in some cases would view the classic Northern Irish identity (To quote Alan Partridge, ‘Men in platform shoes beining arrested for bombings’; also dark humoured stubbly Guinness slurpers, wisecracking street thugs, pipe smoking politicians etc), as their premier understanding of the term ‘Irish’.
    You say British peeps know the difference betwwen ‘Northern Ireland and Ireland’, but you fail to see the common link there, ie: Ireland.
    Smart Prods and loyal Ulstermen would do well to take advantage of this and revel in their unique Irish identity. It would help the outside world get a view of the great culture it could be if the undercurrent of bigoted, seige mentality violence was removed.
    A united, federal Ireland, which even retains Stormont as a Ulster regional parliament (perhaps one for Munster et al too), and which is not all gothical catholicism, Gaelic whittering and fiddly dee nationalism, would be the solution for everyone.
    Ireland has two traditions – Green and Orange, hence the tricolour, and like Belgium (admittedly not a great example due to mild friction between Walloons and Flemish peeps) can be one identity with two sub identities.
    Perhaps the US is a better example: One country with many, many common themes, but many different cultural identities….all American.
    Also, as compensation for the true backwoodsmen Royalists….we join the commonwealth as a tribute to the fact that we are brothers with Britian….our companian in this corner of Europe…..and to the big outside world, we are as different as Korea and Manchuria….ie: different,but cut from the same cultural cloth. You know it makes sense.

  • John East Belfast

    EyeOnTheNorth

    Thanks for that but everything you say about a United Ireland above I also say about a United Kingdom of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.

    ie there is more that unites us than divides us which is what makes me a unionist and not an Irish separatist.

    I would have no problem with such a united Ireland within a United Kingdom

  • maybe the DUP are more like the Inkatha Freedom Party than the Boer, threatened by a Xhosa dominant liberation movement

    Jaffa,

    your South African ethnic politics is, like, soooo 1994. The new ANC President, Jacob “Bring Me My Machine Gun, I can’t get AIDS I had a shower after sex” Zuma is Zulu. Hence the ANC trashed Inkatha in KwaZulu-Natal in last week’s elections. Inkatha’s remaining voters are largely rural and old and I doubt they’ll exist in 10 years.

    COPE don’t come close to winning a majority of any ethnic group’s votes but they do best among Xhosa voters. Or, more accurately, they do well in the Eastern Cape, where they were basically formed – among urban Xhosa voters in places like Cape Town, Pretoria and Joburg they don’t seem to do much more than getting the 5-8% “I think Zuma is a nut but also think the DA are too white” vote COPE got among voters of all black ethnic groups. The ANC’s most dominant vote shares (90%+) come from rural voters in the north who are mostly from smaller ethnic groups like the Tswana, Pedi and Venda. Zuma fanboy, ANC Youth leader and general nutjob Julius Malema is a Pedi.

    I’m not a big fan of the ANC in its current incarnation but they can legitimately claim to transcend ethnicity, at least among the black population. As far as the rest of the population go, what white vote they have shrinks with every year and the substantial coloured vote they picked up in the Western Cape in ’99 and ’04 has defected en masse to the DA, even in the scuzziest Cape Town shanties, with Patricia de Lille’s Independent Democrats having performed the sort of half-way-house role for coloured voters switching from the ANC to the DA that Bob McCartney carried out for UUP to DUP switchers here. And even I’m not nerdy enough to know what way the substantial coloured vote in KZN behaves – it has a very different racial mix and cultural history to the Cape Coloured vote.

    Just so you know.

  • EyeOnTheNorth

    John, E Belfast

    If you have no probs with a federal Ireland, then why wish to link it politically with a Union that is fracturing like a Polar ice shelf? Scotland is packing its bags on England and preparing to leave the bitch for a new life as an independant commonwealth state. However, even if the UK breaks up,Ireland and Britain will be as culturally linked as Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. Better if we do our own thing but stay friendly.

  • Sammy,

    Do you reckon that’s the best way to look at South African politics, in a tribal light? I mean, we’ve just seen those seeking to improve the conditions of the working class oust a leadership that was regarded by the ANC base – including the CP – as too right wing. There may be a tribal element to the popularity of Zuma and the demise of Inkatha, but that is a wholly inadequate framework. As in fact you say yourself about the ANC transcending these divisions. I think that we in the west like to look at other countries in this light because it confirms our stereotypes, and helps us ignore the actual political content. I saw people talking this way about Gaza for fuck’s sake during the recent Israeli onslaught.

  • jaffa

    Thanks for the briefing Sammy. I think I should have said “seemed” rather than “seem” but we were buggering about with analogies so did the tense really matter?

    Last time I was in South Africe I got a lift from a proper Afrikaner mate (beard, dutch name, belly, army past) across the city from Sandton. It was like Old Detroit from Robocop. He said he’d stopped carrying a gun in the car as it would just get him killed. I just watched a new item on the elections showing a city full of people, a murder rate a 1/10th of the rate when I was there and city centre penthouses being sold for €3 million. Changed times.

    Re Zulu ethnicity and content based politics there an interesting response to a Sunday Times editorial here from Prince Buthelezi. It’s a defence of past actions, a claim to post-ethnic political legitimacy despite a regional, ethnically based following, and an appeal for people to keep voting Inkatha on the basis of policy despite Zuma’s Zulu appeal.

    http://www.ifp.org.za/

    He sounds like one of our new Tory unionists.

  • Wilde Rover

    One gets the feeling that those trying to use the Boers to bash unionists have never even heard of the Irish Transvaal Committee. A sad state of affairs.

  • PaddyReilly

    Never even heard of the Irish Transvaal Committee?

    You can of course prove anything by association. James Connolly was seven years in the British Army, for example. Éamonn Ceannt’s father was in the RIC, Tom Clarke’s father in the British Army, Plunkett had Protestant Unionist relations.

    Given the sort of selective quotation you allow yourself, I can prove conclusively that the Easter Rising was a Protestant directed Imperialist conspiracy. The part is not the whole, and never has been.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “George Best, Alex Higgins, Eddie Ervine, Jimmy Nesbitt, Christina Blakely, Rory McIlroy, David Healey, Colin Murray….. are just the celbrity Northern Irish Protestant and people would laugh at you by drawing comparisons with South African Boers. They are not exceptional but they are what the typical Northern Prod is like.”

    Sorry, but I don’t want to get into the religious argument thing…. what folk in the north just love,… But BTW John East Belfast… Rory McIlroy is a Catholic.

    http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/people,2173,rory-mcilroy-a-legend-in-the-making,81271

    Besides, you seem to miss the point of that the folk you mention, who have become worldy and successful, and who have traveled abroad, mixing with and absorbing other peoples culture, although still proud of their roots, yet, seem to have transcended the petty religious quarrels and differences that trouble the wee country back home. BTW, Eddie Irvine, George Best, Alex Higgins etc…would hardly be held up as prime examples of good Protestant Christians, now would they, which Unionism seems to espouse. And the same goes for the Catholic folk too, not only in the north but throughout Ireland, whose changing attitudes have led to the decline of the Catholic Church and the practice of the Catholic canon throughout the island.

    BTW,must include other notable Protestant Northern folk such as Van Morrison, the Dunlops, Darren Clarke, Kate Hoey etc…

  • underwood

    “Can you name a single famous Prod who actually returns to the province and walks on the 12th of July – i.e. is actually proud to be a Prod.”

    So by not walking on the 12th of July, all of the aforementioned “famous Prods” are indicating their shame at being a NI Prod? How fantastically lunatic and ludicrous does your wishful thinking get?
    How bigoted a mind do you have to have to come up with that sort of crap?

    Are Denis Taylor, Seamus Heaney et al ashamed to be Catholic then just because they don’t march with the AOH?

    The vast majority of Prods that I know, famous and otherwise, don’t march on the 12th, does this make them all secretly ashamed of their religion and/or background?

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “ie there is more that unites us than divides us which is what makes me a unionist and not an Irish separatist.

    I would have no problem with such a united Ireland within a United Kingdom”

    Oh indeed, there is far more that unites us than divides us, and for starters we are already part of the UK Union, which Unionists always fail to realize, an economic union between these islands of Ireland and the UK …..as well as greater European Union.

    What folk don’t realize is that we are great trading partners and besides, just look at all the folk from the south of Ireland travelling north to the UK to do their shopping and contributing 500 million English pounds to the UK economy and Gordon Brown’s pocket. No wonder Tesco’s (that are to be found throughout the island of Ireland) profits are up.
    And we all just seem to love and enjoy, here in Ireland, north and south, our daily dose and absorpion of anglocentric culture ie.. Man Utd, Coronation Street, Posh and Becks, Jade Goody, etc..etc..
    Yet, most Irish folk don’t want the trappings of an English Queen and anthem again, as well as dominating anglocentric opinion in Irish affairs. The Scots and Welsh have rediscovered such feelings too. Why? Probably the history is to blame.
    Being on an equal footing with our English neighbours was always the preference, hence Home Rule for Ireland. Initially, it wasn’t the intention to leave the UK Union, but just be given some autonomy, by looking after our own tax affairs etc…but there was no accomadtion for the poor paddy papists. The fact is that Ireland and her people were driven away from the UK Union!
    Today most Irish folk on the island are not anti English in any way but at the same time do not want to be overshadowed by England or be part of an Anglocentric club as before where London calls the shots and we all jump, which some folk still find cosy enough today.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Underwood,

    Oh dear, I think you may be misunderstanding simple English.

    I was enquiring if there was a single example of a famous Prod displaying pride in Unionist Orange culture – the fact that they do not – if they do not – does not mean they are ashamed – they well be neutral for all I know – but we have no evidence that they are Proud. Simple.

    I suggest you re-direct your energy from your misguided self-righteousness towards actually reading what was written.

    Most Nationalist/Gaelic cultural activities, such as traditional Irish music, Gaelic Football are secular in nature and by definition are more attractive and appealing to a wider audience. You see 17th century anti-Catholicism may have its fans but just doesn’t seem to cut it in the early 21st century? Funny old game.

  • underwood

    Greagoir

    I like what you write and usually agree to some extent with what you say, or at least can see where you’re coming from, but this is stretching it a good deal: “Today most Irish folk on the island are not anti English in any way…

    The fact is most people even in the Republic are anti-English, even if for most it’s only in a vague sort of way. Try watching the English national team (any English national team) in a bar, for a start. The British anthem is turned down and then when the match or game starts everyone, to a man and a woman, is cheering the other side.
    Anti-Englishness is a default position in the South.

  • underwood

    Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Oh dear, oh dear. Are you a bit miffed because your sectarian shift was momentarily on show.

    The simple question you asked in simple English is quoted precisely below.
    “Can you name a single famous Prod who actually returns to the province and walks on the 12th of July – i.e. is actually proud to be a Prod.”

    It was you who equated unionism with Protestantism, and by your very question (particularly the ” – i.e. is actually proud to be a Prod”) you suggest that “famous Prod[s]” not returning to the province to walk on the 12th of July is a sure sign of their lack of pride in their religious roots. No mention of Orange culture there, you only thought of that later after you were challenged.

    Earlier, I was pointing out how stupid you are. I deliberately didn’t mention your sectarianism, but do now.

  • fin

    Underwood, true(ish) but its also prevalent in Scotland and a bit in Wales, in England everybody goes a bit rabid when England is playing France or Germany in soccer, particularily Germany with lots of WW2 references everywhere from the tabloids to the stadium.

    Pretty much every country has another country or nationality as a hate figure. I also know from my experience of living in London if the Welsh, Scottish and Irish stopped been anti-English it would really really annoy the English.

  • fin

    Underwood, true(ish) but its also prevalent in Scotland and a bit in Wales, in England everybody goes a bit rabid when England is playing France or Germany in soccer, particularily Germany with lots of WW2 references everywhere from the tabloids to the stadium.

    Pretty much every country has another country or nationality as a hate figure. I also know from my experience of living in London if the Welsh, Scottish and Irish stopped been anti-English it would really really annoy the English.

  • underwood

    fin
    You’re right, of course. It’s a common enough phenomenon. The smaller(est) of neighbours usually resent the larger(est), particularly where only small difference is concerned. Canada/USA, New Zealand/Australia are good examples.
    In Ireland, though, not much beneath the surface, it’s a lot more bitter.
    History? Yes!
    But also an inability to “get over it”. Similar in Scotland, but to a far lesser extent.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Underwood,

    So having your previous statement debunked you now come up with some other nonsense based on some very poor pinhead dancing.

    Some more reading practice for you below – it may also help you to stop making the same mistake again and help explain why Irish attitudes and culture are so popular throughout the world – except (because of the politics and the sectarian mindset) in the north eastern part of our own country.

    *****
    As we chat, my eye is constantly lured to a mounted hurl in a frame above the fireplace. It is flanked by two photographs. The photographs are black and white. Two smiling men are hurling. One of them is a young Eddie Keher and the other is Muhammad Ali.
    “Yes,” says Eddie smiling, “I met Ali in 1972 when I was 31. He had come to Croke Park to fight Al ‘Blue’ Lewis and I was asked to come along and teach him a bit of hurling for a photo shoot. He was a quiet man. He was out running when I went to meet him at this hotel and he came in wearing his tracksuit and sat down and we talked for a while. Ali said he had seen hurling on television. ‘That’s a dangerous game,’ he said,’ says Eddie laughing. “He signed the hurl as you can see and I was at a sports night a couple of years ago in Dublin and I happened to mention that I had a hurl signed by Ali and the guys at the table went mad,” says Eddie, throwing his hands in the air.

    ****

    re. The English.

    Cracking obsrvation regarding people not liking English teams – and yes there is a very unpleasant element which should be totaly condemned if directed at individual English people – but when you go around giving countries one-up-the-jacksie over a period of centuries and all over the world – thats the price you sometimes have to pay you pay for your murder and mayhem and to be fair the average Briton knows they have to take their medicine for their states past shocking behaviour and by an large dont (correctly) take it personally.

  • fin

    Yes Underwood (and Sammy) it is a bit more extreme with us (although I have been shocked at some newspaper headlines for German games, and all the WW2 stuff is actually a bit embarassing 60 years on) but I disagree with Sammy I live in London and the English people I know far from taking their medicine revel in it all, and will actually get a bit peeved if I support England in their games against others, and say in rugby react to England playing (losing to Ireland) as no different to France or Wales.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    fin,

    so you are suggesting that the English do actually like it up ’em – as opposed to the Germans – who as the popular WW2 sitcom suggested – actually dont.

  • fin

    Sammy, in a word, Yes. The obession with WW2 here doesn’t exist elsewhere, so it shockes un-English people abit.

    As for the Irish and Scottish thing the English like it, its very much ‘you hate us because we’re superior to you’ haha. Hence their annoyance when I root for England.

    Although the best putdown I ever had was from a random old English chap at the bar in a pub on the south coast who asked me what part of Africa was I from, I thought it was v.funny but he confused my missus.

    I’m re-reading Orwell’s essays, all written circa 1938 – 1948 and its a handbook on dealing with, and understanding English, and to a lesser extent British people including unionists.

    Really, once you understand them they can be a very pleasant race of people

  • underwood

    “Can you name a single famous Prod who actually returns to the province and walks on the 12th of July – i.e. is actually proud to be a Prod.”
    Your inference being that once they become “famous” they become ashamed of being a Prod.

    No matter how much wriggling you do, Sammy, that line of yours shows how stupid, bigoted and consumed with sectarian hatred you are.

    I think citing the Ali stuff above, and the numerous other little vignettes that are thrown up by people like you on every possible occasion to “show how popular” the Irish are around the world, is actually indicative of an astounding immaturity and lack of self-confidence.
    Compliments like those are just part and parcel of people being mannerly. Virtually every visiting dignitary to another country comes out with similar stuff (guff). In those other countries the locals like to hear this sort of thing, of course, but they just as soon forget it because they’re mature enough to realise how shallow it all is. But the likes of you cling to it like a comfort blanket, and constantly recite it as though it’s sound proof of something or other.
    It’s a bit like comforting yourself for the rest of your life with a throwaway compliment someone gave you as a child, regardless of reality.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    fin,

    “Really, once you understand them they can be a very pleasant race of people”

    I’m a big fan mself – as long as they are not on an overseas jolly in uniform.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    underwood,

    Your inference being that once they become “famous” they become ashamed of being a Prod.

    That is complete jibber-jabber you great twit – they might not have had any interest in the OO in the first place.

    If you keep saying 2 and 2 is five often enough it does NOT make it so.

  • underwood

    “Really, once you understand them they can be a very pleasant race of people”

    They same could be said of we Irish, as long as we’re not engaged in planting a no-warning bomb in a crowded pub or a shopping centre.

  • fin

    I’m probably going soft Sammy, but I actually feel sorry for the poor buggers, when you watch documentaries on Afganistan and Iraq and see that from planes to vehicles to weapons to even basic kit nothing works properly, this christmas their families where told not to send them fodd and clothes parcels because the postal system was uverloaded. When the yanks took over Basra their comments where very unkind, apparently yanks wouldn’t live in those conditions for a week let alone 5 years. They treat their troops terribly, I can’t understand people and politicans who support war yet treat their squaddies as cannon fodder

    Underwood the Irish are liked for different reasons also, for instance Irish dancing and music is very popular with Russians, they were taught about Ireland in schools under communism and its continued. I personally found the same in North Africa some years ago, the locals struggled to recognise Ireland and then would go ‘Ah Ireland, Michael Collins’

    Because of Michael Davitts influence on Gandhi, Ireland is also well regarded in India.

    Than you start on the countries where the Irish moved to in great numbers over the years.

    In fact the place most hostile to Ireland and the Irish is very much closer to home………

  • underwood

    Sammy, why the reluctance to repeat what you said?

    Here it is, just in case you had forgotten: “Can you name a single famous Prod who actually returns to the province and walks on the 12th of July – i.e. is actually proud to be a Prod.”

    The inference being that those “famous Prods” who don’t march on the 12th of July are somehow ashamed of being Northern Protestants.

  • fin

    Why does just about everyone now refer to themselves as Irish, the GFA was about having the equal right to consider yourself Irish or British, but people calling themselfs British seem to have disappeared.

    Whatever happened to the UUPs ‘as British as Fish&Chips;’ from a few short years ago although I suppose ‘as Irish as Fish&Chips;’ would work just aswell for alot of the people who seem to be adopting the mantle of ‘Irish’

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    fin,

    after they kicked some Iraqi to death in Basra the British army said they were going to review the ‘training’ for new recruits – presumably up until then did their training did not include the advice ‘not to kick the locals to death’

    I dont think they bothered to keep count of how many Iraqis they killed – though it would be many multiples of the number of British killed during operation Fox’s tail or whatever silly name it had.

    The British are no better or worse than any other soldiers but they do get sent by their government to do more killing than most other countries – though the ‘Germans’ (in their many manifestations) historically may hold the edge – but its having to listen to the sanctimonious clap trap being delivered so pompously that probably makes them seem as if they are.

  • fin

    Underwood, Lets be honest regardless of religion what well known people in politics, sport or entertainment show up on stage at a Orange march?

  • underwood

    “Underwood the Irish are liked for different reasons also, for instance Irish dancing and music is very popular with Russians, they were taught about Ireland in schools under communism and its continued.”

    Really? I spent a few years in Russia and have to admit I never noticed it, and never told about it.

    BTW, in most parts of Africa, as with most other places, Ireland is defined by its proximity to Britain – that is, ordinary people don’t know where in hell you’re talking about until you mention Britain and how close you are to it. Same with India.

    As for this blinder of yours, “Than (sic) you start on the countries where the Irish moved to in great numbers over the years.” Yes, ask any black person in the USA about the abuse their people took (and still take, albeit to a somewhat lesser degree) from the profoundly racist Irish police officers in New York, Chicago, Boston etc.

    And then this, “In fact the place most hostile to Ireland and the Irish is very much closer to home………”
    I presume by this you mean the place you’ve chosen to live. Not hostile enough to drive you back home then?
    In the course of this discussion, have the old enmities so overtly displayed by Sammy suddenly been re-ignited in you? You have begun to display a profoundly Irish trait, also much noticed around the world. The ability to smile and suck up to people while quietly resenting and even hating them. No doubt, reading your last remarks, this is something you employ in your dealings with the people you have chosen to live amongst and socialise with.

    BTW, it is England you’re talking about, not Japan. We all get the documentaries, news programmes and newspapers that you alluded to – talk about over egging the pudding.

  • Kurt

    Underwood,

    Most Nationalist/Gaelic cultural activities, such as traditional Irish music, Gaelic Football are secular in nature and by definition are more attractive and appealing to a wider audience. You see 17th century anti-Catholicism may have its fans but just doesn’t seem to cut it in the early 21st century? Funny old game.

    Anti Catholic Church domination was reasonable and sound in the context of facing a hostile takeover by a country where selling rubber johnny’s was a criminal offence. If it is less reasonable now then it is because Catholics have stopped paying attention to the mutterings of the Catholic church, i.e. the Catholic Church lost the fight.

    The Gaelic revival was however ethnic which unionism was not. Hence it is divisive at an even more fundamental level, i.e. you can change your religious opinions but you can’t make yourself descended from Gaels. It places Protestants as a analogue of the Kurds who have to be “Turkified”.

    One route to a united Ireland way well be an abandonment of this Gaelic ethnic nationalism. Already about 30% of the people on the island are not the descendants primarily of Gaels. It seems unlikely that a Bangladeshi “citizen of the world” would want to have their children spend precious time learning a dead language that none of their ancestors ever spoke.

    If and when the descendants of the Gaels shrink below 50% on the island as a whole I think that northern unionists would feel a lot less antipathy to a united Ireland, provided they could see that their children were not going to be force gaelicised like the turkification of Kurds. But then again, if not for ethnic nationalism then what would be the point of independence for Ireland anyway.

  • Smug O’ Toole

    JEB

    For starters the Boers were rapidly anti British and in that had more in common with Irish Republicans and indeed there were Irish Brigades in the Boer army in its war with the British.

    So? There were Irish regiments from the British Army there too. The Royal Dublin Fusiliers fought there. A quote from Winston Chruchill: “My earnest congratulations on the honour of the Dublin Fusiliers more than any other Regiment have won for the land of their birth. We are all wearing the Shamrock here.”

    The whole notion of separateness for a people based on ethnicity and race has more in common with Irish Separatism than a Union advocated between the Scots, Irish, Welsh and English.
    Enlighten us on what lay at the heart of ‘Irish Separatism’? Was it that we just couldn’t stand those of a different blood, or was it that we were just sick of being treated like criminals for who we were/are and being treated like 2nd class citizens in our own country? Tell me, in this grand coalition of the secular society which existed back in the day, how many prime ministers of the UK came from this island?

    Irish unionists wanted a United Kingdom of many ethnicities and religons with the rights of all protected. Unionism took no glee in Partition – it was a last resort.
    Just as long as those pesky papists knew their place! Catholic emancipation could only occur after the union of 1801, as the Prods in Ireland were scared shitless of being in a minority. “wanted a United Kingdom of many ethnicities and religions with the rights of all protected, as long as it didn’t interfere with Protestant dominance” is more like it. I didn’t realise that Ladybird publications were doing kiddie friendly versions of Irish history.

    Unionism took no glee in Partition – it was a last resort To home rule? There was a brief window in history when it would have been possible to keep Ireland as a whole in the UK. But unionists here and the House of Lords over there wouldn’t have anything to do with it. Last resort me hole. 1916 could have been avoided completely. And tell me, was there any glee when they went against the border commission findings and the will of Tyrone and Fermanagh county councils when they created the border?

    “dour, grimly religious, bereft of any attractive cultural traits, intolerant of all but themselves, fearful of progress and of exposure to the light of outside observation.”
    I wouldn’t agree with that statement myself. Unionists are people like the rest of us and I avoid racial and sectarian stereotypes (probably from historically being on the wrong end of such things for a few centuries has made me sensitive).

  • underwood

    Ah, yes, I see the old bile has been raised in you all right, and you’ve decided to throw in you’re lot with the Neanderthal Sammy.
    So much for Moderate Man, waxing lyrical about Orwell’s essays on England – that didn’t last too long!
    Don’t forget to paint the smile back on, and to dig out the ever so nice character, for the English friends you so resent.

  • fin

    Underwood, the place much closer to home I was referring to was northern Ireland, I suggest you re-read your posts to see where I’m coming from.

    England and particularily London (from my experience) is very Irish friendly, the St Patricks day parade gets bigger and bigger every year, and a silly amount of Londoners claim Irish heritage.

    Good grief, Irish cops abusing black people in the US, FFS underwood its 2009, and considering the abuse handed out to black people by representives of the UK, I’d say you where on thin ice with that one, the current President of America would agree with me I’m sure.

    I’m surprised regarding Irish culture in Russia, in only 2 weeks in Moscow I came across it in a number of bars, here’s a taster http://www.russia-ic.com/culture_art/music/737/

    In between all your travels have you managed to come up with even a Z list celeb who has been associated with the OO,

  • Smug O’ Toole

    Underwood

    The fact is most people even in the Republic are anti-English, even if for most it’s only in a vague sort of way. Try watching the English national team (any English national team) in a bar, for a start. The British anthem is turned down and then when the match or game starts everyone, to a man and a woman, is cheering the other side.

    Are you sure you aren’t confusing us with Scotland?


    Anti-Englishness is a default position in the South.

    Poppycock. If sports is your only example, you’ve scrapped your way through the bottom of the barrel. Can you tell me what is the largest ethnic group living in the ROI? And can you also tell me how many of these have publicly stated the abuse they get while living and working here?

  • Greenflag

    Actually I like the English 🙂 They got an awful hiding at the hands of the Normans and are only now recovering finally from that abuse ;)?

    Where would we be without Shakespeare ? Maynard Keynes , Magna Carta, the Premier League, the BBC , and Winnie the Pooh 😉 ? .

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    “Anti Catholic Church domination was reasonable and sound in the context of facing a hostile takeover by a country where selling rubber johnny’s was a criminal offence”

    Kurt, so you think a bit of sectarianism is acceptable – no suprises there – but regarding birth control – doesnt the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act makes all abortions illegal in Norn Iron still? lol

  • fin

    The Normans still hold sway Greenflag, Parliament is opened in Normandy French,

    can’t believe cricket and real ale didn’t make the list.

    Wasn’t Shakespeare’s family the focus of a bit of secratarianism

  • Smug O’ Toole

    Kurt

    The Gaelic revival was however ethnic which unionism was not.

    There was probably more Anglo-Irish involved in the Gaelic revival than actual pure blood Gaels!!

  • fin

    FFS Eoin Morgan’s been selected for England, that is just downright F’ing thieving

  • underwood

    “And can you also tell me how many of these have publicly stated the abuse they get while living and working here?”
    Try reading a recent essay by Naoise Nunn, published I think in Lives Entwined. Or read what Graeme Norton has to say about growing up as a Prod in the South.

    And are you seriously trying to tell me that anti-Englishness isn’t strong in the South? I live there, FFS. I’ve grown up with it. From the one-sided history teaching in the classroom, to the snide comments at every opportunity from priests, parents, teachers, politicians and every other fucker of influence that could grab someone’s ear.

    It’s typical that you all presumed I am a northern unionist – we don’t usually do much in the way of self-awareness do we.
    As I said earlier, time to grow up and let go of the comfort blanket of self-pity. Or are we all going to remain just like Sammy, like a spotty teenager, grabbing at every compliment and using it as cover for our own lack of self-confidence.

    Good evening, I’ve got work to do.

  • underwood

    Forgot to mention, as well, Tony Booth and his latest wife being driven out of Ireland as the victim of an anti-English campaign against them.
    Booth of all people.

  • Smug O’ Toole

    Underwood

    No self pity with me matey! I was cringing reading some of Sammy’s ‘sure aren’t we great’ posts.

    I didn’t realise that because Graham was Protestant, it made him english, despite being born here. Are all Protestants on this island the property of England then?

    Please state where I claimed you were a nordie? I disagree with you not because I was under the impression that you were a unionist, I disagreed with you because I’m a very sociable person by nature, I get around and through meeting with many, many English people living and working here,and hearing from them how they are getting on I refute your claim. Of course, I can’t speak for your personal experiences, but there are naturally un-likeable people out there who get a raw deal from everyone.

  • Smug O’ Toole

    Underwood,

    Yes the English get a terrible raw deal in this country.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/apr/28/daniel-day-lewis-freedom-of-wicklow

    Imagine being made freeman of Wicklow! They’re practically forcing him back on the boat.

    Poor old Jeremy Irons is practically being hounded out of his pink castle!

    I must warn my English mates that there’s an angry mob on the loose hounding english people…

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Underwood,

    just a tip – if you walk like a duck and post like a duck then some people will probably think you are a duck – but where you are from is irrelvant – but being able to sustain an arguement without coming over all emotional should perhaps be a target you set yourself.

    Smug,

    re. “Please state where I claimed you were a nordie?”

    in defence of the boy Underwood (more shocking asumptions as he/she may well be of a female disposition) he did not say you/we had claimed he was a Unionist he said “presumed I am a northern unionist ” If you are going to diss me I shall have to pull you up for shoddy posting.

    ps Would pompous dick be a fair translation of your moniker?

  • underwood

    Smug O’ Toole

    You’re seriously deluding yourself. And anybody with an ounce of honesty and wit who grew up in this place knows that you are.
    Granted, the greater Dublin region is fine, but then it mostly always was.
    Out in the sticks, though, things remain much as they always were.
    Very seldom outright violence, but always that brooding, nasty, outcasting type of intimidation that we excel at. The sneaky petty vandalism at night sort of stuff – where nobody ever sees anything – that eventually wears people down.

    Anyway, I do have a load of stuff to do.

  • underwood

    Oh I nearly forgot – Goodnight Sammy, do try to move on and grow up, there’s a good lad.
    “It must be cos I is Irish” gets a bit tiresome as an excuse after so many centuries.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    underwood,

    I suspect you may have a few bad experiences and they may be colouring your judgement a tad. There are intolerant feckers everywhere – its just that in some societies and ideologies such behaviours are not only tolerated but encouraged – most Irish and British commentator would agree that in the Orange/Unionist ideology that is in fact the case.

    Oiche mhaith.

  • Do you reckon that’s the best way to look at South African politics, in a tribal light?

    No I don’t – although it’s not a complete irrelevance. I was pointing out precisely that ethnic allegiance (I avoid the culturally loaded word “tribe”) is of only limited utility in understanding SA voting behaviour.

    I think seeing Jacob Zuma as a class warrior is sort of funny though. Has anyone actually read his argument that what he did wasn’t rape? He may not be a convicted rapist but he is by his own admission a sleazebag who claims he can tell when women are “asking for it” and thinks a brisk shower after sex absolves him of his responsibility to take precautions against spreading HIV. Class warrior he may arguably be but he’s a disaster for working-class women.

  • Rory Carr

    “Where would we be without Shakespeare ? Maynard Keynes , Magna Carta, the Premier League, the BBC , and Winnie the Pooh 😉 ?” – Greenflag.

    I suppose, Greenflag, we would be somewhere west of the island of Britain, at one edge of the Atlantic ocean, wondering what our mammies might be cooking up for the tea (or dinner more likely for Pooh type people).

    Later we would revise punctuation for our English examination. .

  • eranu

    meanwhile back at the ranch…. everyone else found all this talk pretty silly.

  • OC

    ‘as Irish as Fish&Chips;’

    Posted by fin on May 01, 2009 @ 03:49 PM

    Perhaps the most profound utterance on Slugger ever!

    Questions for Irish nationalists:
    In the event of a politically unified island of Ireland, would Civil Service be limited to Gaelic speakers?

  • John K Lund / Lllamedos / Suchard

    The whole of this string is made up of totally irrelevant spherical objects; and further more I wish that all people in secret societies would get a life and stop trying to bore to death the vast majority of sensible people with their ante deluvian and sectarian biggotted drivel. The only conclusion a sane person can draw is that perpetrators of this totally xenophobic plate of potage must have giant chips on their feeble shoulders as a well as an infinite inferiority complex.