A point of priniciple or just jumping up and down in muddy puddles?

It’s been on Stephen Nolan’s show and TalkBack, and finally Slugger… One Unionist friend calls it ‘jumping up and down in muddy puddles’ (sorry, tried to get a Peppa Pig video to reference and failed)… For two parties banged up together in the Scottish Baronial style of Stormont Castle, it’s a perfect opportunity to have a good old fashioned faction fight… What’s the problem? Sinn Fein controlled Newry and Mourne Council have been playing ‘let’s wind up the local Prods’, again…As the Newsletter notes, the trouble began with a presumably quite innocent request from Irish national gymnastics team when they asked the council to relax its strict “no flags or emblems” policy on council property for an event in the city’s sports centre planned for May.

That would be the island (ie ‘here’ and ‘there’) team, not just ‘Ireland‘ (aka ‘there’):

Newry Sinn Fein Councillor Pat McGinn said it was time to review the matter and develop “a new forward-looking and challenging flags and emblems policy” which would promote “equality and good relations”.

He was also adamant that the Newry gymnastics event should not be drawn into debates in other councils. A national sporting championship “is not the type of event that should be drawn into or equated with the more complex and highly sensitive argument in relation to the flying of flags and emblems throughout the north of Ireland,” he added.

Not surprising that the local representative does not want this to be read across to other areas. It would take another wrecking ball to those much vaunted equality provisions that are supposed to be protecting the rights of minority communities across Northern Ireland…

It is likely that the Dublin headquartered gymnastics organisation (much like the IRFU) simply does not understand the general feeling of Northern Irish unionists on this matter…

But, in any case, it has proven a nice (electorally advantageous) break from the tedious civilities of living cheek-by-jowl in the Castle for both Sinn Fein and the DUP…

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  • Mack

    Willowfield –

    On the boundaries of the nation the Constituition does not exclude external areas, that is correct. No person or group outside of the aforementioned boundary is included in the nation as a birth right. The diaspora is cherished, rather than included as a right. Think of it as a whitelist, rather than a blacklist. The constitution names the children of the nation rather than listing those who are not.

    The possessive “its” doesn’t take an apostrophe. I thought I already told you that?

    You may have – I object to that particular special case and reserve the right to apply the general grammatical rule! Language is alive, we need to let it live, evolve.

    You don’t seem to understand that the 26-county constitution applies only to the 26 counties

    We are talking about organisations headquartered in the 26 counties are we not?

  • skullion

    Mack
    When you say “both forms of Irishness” i presume you mean Irish and Britsh.

    Willow

    “All Ireland institutions”

    You mean like the gaa which you despise so much?

  • Mack

    Skullion –
    I’d prefer a Northern Irish ‘hereness’, that would encompass Britishness and Irishness, as the symbolism could be reused in both British and Irish contexts.

    If Britishness, specifically Irish Britishness – the type that exists on this island. But then you’d need Irish symbolism (representing Northern Irish Irishness) for British events?

  • skullion

    Mack

    Excuse my ignorance but what the fuck are you on about?

  • I’d prefer a Northern Irish ‘hereness’, that would encompass Britishness and Irishness, as the symbolism could be reused in both British and Irish contexts.

    If Britishness, specifically Irish Britishness – the type that exists on this island. But then you’d need Irish symbolism (representing Northern Irish Irishness) for British events?

    Jesus. Willow, what have you done to this man?

  • Mack

    Lol. Fair enough, very badly worded.

    I just mean Northern Irish symbols, representative of both communities – if you push it too far one way or the other they’ll become unacceptable.

  • skullion

    Mack

    St Comgalls Gaa club has as its emblem a tower.Apparently people find that offensive.I don’t hold out much hope for your symbols.

  • Mack

    Skullion –

    Given the culture and history neither do I.

  • Reader

    Mack: You may have – I object to that particular special case and reserve the right to apply the general grammatical rule! Language is alive, we need to let it live, evolve.
    Fair enough – general rule: hi’s, her’s, and it’s.
    Oops!

  • Mack

    Reader – Her’s doesn’t look too bad, his would be his’ probably. Sentence formation is a little awkward..

    The book is her’s | The book is hers
    The book is his’ | The book is his
    The book is it’s | The book is its

    Juries out as to which looks better for me. I prefer her’s and it’s. Doesn’t arise in the context I used it’s though. Either way I think the meaning is clear, it’s mostly a style issue.

    It’s grammar was terrible
    His grammar was terrible
    Her grammar was terrible

  • Quagmire

    “I’m delighted the southern association wants to organise a big event in Northern Ireland. But they come with the usual degree of cultural illiteracy that southerners often bring to their understanding of things northern.”
    Posted by Mick Fealty on May 07, 2009 @ 11:41 AM

    I’m northern and have no problem with it. There are more than just Unionists living in them thar hills Mick. All things northern are not Unionist you know. Indeed, far from it.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Its’ grammar was terrible????????????

  • Mack

    Pancho’s Horse – That would do to.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Not only would it ‘do’, Mack but it is the only correct one.

  • willowfield

    MACk

    We are talking about organisations headquartered in the 26 counties are we not?

    Whether or not they are headquartered in the 26 is not the pertinent point. The point is whether or not their remit extends to the whole island or just the South.

  • Reader

    Mack: Juries out as to which looks better for me.
    Well, you originally invoked a general rule. Does the general rule actually apply to pronouns, in your opinion?

  • Mike

    Dec

    “Glad you specified ‘British citizen’ to Bonar Law there – being a pedant I hate when Irish-based British citizens confuse that citizenship with actual British Nationality. It leads to all sorts of delusional posturing.”

    If you’re a pedant, you’re not a very good one!

    British citizenship is one type of British nationality, the most common type.

    My passport says “Nationality: British citizen”.

    British nationals include British citizens, British Overseas Territories citizens, British Overseas citizens, British subjects and British Nationals (Overseas).

    Holding British citizenship means you have British nationality.

  • willowfield

    Yeah, but nationality in a legal sense. Personally, I distinguish between nationality and citizenship, although I recognise the terms are often used interchangeably.

  • Dec

    Holding British citizenship means you have British nationality.

    Quite – it doesn’t say Nationality: British. Why should it – you’re not from there.

  • willowfield

    Awful, chauvinistic attitude displayed by the bigot, Dec.

  • Dec

    Willowfield

    If I’ve reduced to one word sentences ending with accusing of bigotry I’ve clearly done something right. For the record Mike can consider themselves whatever they want and that’s fine by me. I was merely providing some sauce for Bonar Law’s gander. Reality is a two street.

  • Mike

    “Quite – it doesn’t say Nationality: British. Why should it – you’re not from there.”

    Bizarre ‘logic’!

    It says “Nationality: British citizen” because “Nationality: British” would imprecise – there are other types of British nationality in addition to the most common type, British citizenship.

    As I’ve told you above (surely you were able to read it?), British nationals include British citizens, British Overseas Territories citizens, British Overseas citizens, British Nationals (Overseas) and British subjects.

    And actually I am from “there” – I’m from the United Kingdom. British nationality applies to the whole territory of the UK, indeed it applies to the whole of the British Islands.

  • Mike

    Willowfield

    Yes indeed, a person’s nationality in terms of how they define themselves can be subjective – e.g. people seeing their nationality (or part of it) as Scottish, for example. I’m very much for respecting that.

    It’s just odd that in relation to the legal definition of nationality (tied up with citizenship, as it normally is), Dec is insisting that British citizens from Northern Ireland don’t hold British nationality.

    The “reality”, Dec, is that there is no British citizenship separate from British nationality – there are no British citizens who aren’t British nationals.

  • Mack

    Reader –

    I’ve very few opinions on specific grammar and I’m not particularly consciously aware of all the rules. I just prefer it’s to its (and I hadn’t even thought of his or hers until you brought it up). I read recently that its was the proper form having seemingly been oblivious to this fact previously (can’t remember if that was via Willowfield or somewhere else entirely). I think the meaning is clear either way, but ownership is maybe slightly more emphasised via it’s.

    I think the codification of grammar rules follows use, rather than vice versa (at least in dynamic languages like English as opposed to invented monstrosities such as Esperanto) – the web and mobile technology is probably forcing another evolutionary phase on us now. Not that my preferences for it’s will have any impact at all!

  • Mack

    Oops – the web and mobile technology are probably forcing an ….

  • Mack

    Willowfield –

    Whether or not they are headquartered in the 26 is not the pertinent point. The point is whether or not their remit extends to the whole island or just the South.

    Or the nation?

  • Barnshee

    Surely the best thing to do is for any prods attending to remain seated during abf and ignore the flag?

    That way everybody gets offended

  • I just prefer it’s to its

    “I just prefer the incorrect version to the correct version”. Dan Quayle preferred potatoe to potato. FUCKING HELL!

  • Mack

    Chekov – No need to shout mucker 😉

    “I just prefer the incorrect version to the correct version!”

    Yes – and? I’d wager (though I can’t be bothered looking it up) that at one stage in history it’s was ‘correct’ and its wasn’t, language changes and evolves much to the disappointment of pedants everywhere…

  • willowfield

    MIKE

    Yes indeed, a person’s nationality in terms of how they define themselves can be subjective – e.g. people seeing their nationality (or part of it) as Scottish, for example. I’m very much for respecting that.

    We’re in agreement, then.

    It’s just odd that in relation to the legal definition of nationality (tied up with citizenship, as it normally is), Dec is insisting that British citizens from Northern Ireland don’t hold British nationality.

    He’s wrong on two levels, then – both in terms of the legal position and in terms of identity.

  • willowfield

    MACK

    Or the nation?

    If they claim to represent only the “nation” (as understood by you), then they deliberately exclude unionists.

  • Mack

    Willowfield –

    The wording specifically includes everyone on the island, but it’s not something unionists feel comfortable with, hence the reason we have partition I guess. Your suggestion of new all-Ireland symbols would be a step in the right direction to including unionists within the nation – but my guess is this is not where they actually want to be. If it is, they’re more than welcome.

  • willowfield

    If cricket and hockey can do it, why not gymnastics?

  • Mack

    Willowfield –

    True. Or soccer.

  • Brian MacAodh

    Who cares. It’s a frickin gymnastics competition no one will go to.