The British Blundering Corporation strikes once again…

… or something altogether more sinister??!

Whatever; licence payers in British Ulster have a right to know why they have been unilaterally handed over to the Republic without so much of a squeek about “consent principles”, “Belfast Agreements”….etc

(Hat-tip to the Campaign for an English Parliament)

 Update:

All now sorted, from a N.Irish point of view anyway:

North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds has received a letter from BBC Director General Mark Thompson apologising for the incorrect use of a Republic of Ireland tricolour to denote Northern Ireland in a recent BBC programme. Nigel Dodds wrote to the Director General after being contacted by a constituent who pointed out that in the BBC4 programme “Back at Sea”, presented by Timothy Spall and broadcast in August, a map charting the boat’s journey featured Welsh, Scottish, English and Manx flags, but used a graphic of a Republic of Ireland tricolour for Northern Ireland.

I guess after Nigel’s sterling efforts, it would be churlish to point out that England was actually represented by the Union flag and not the Cross of St George as he implied…

 

  • Thanks for drawing my attention to this.
    I have posted a comment on the website.

  • HeinzGuderian

    ‘Actually the Irish flag seems to be planted a short distance from my house. I am ok with it. ‘ fitsy’s comment…..

    Ach sure,we are all part of the British Isles,aren’t we !! 😉

  • Neil

    Happily a large and growing number of us here in NI can continue working to end this deplorable situation and bring NI up to the high standards of the rest of the world’s expectations.

    I’m British!

    Is you on holiday then?

  • Dec

    I’m still waiting for someone else to notice that the border has been erased.

  • JR

    Ireland with a Tricolor. Slow news day

  • JR,

    30th of August, commonly known in European journalistic circles as the end of the “Cucumber Season” as in “we’ve absolutely nothing newsworthy to report today but instead you can look at a story about some monster cucumber an old dear has grown in the back of beyond”.

    Count yourself lucky, it was either this story or the one in the News Letter about how much safer unionist drivers are than shinner ones… http://tinyurl.com/3cnfahj

  • I watched the programme. There is a second presentation of the map 17+ minutes into the programme when the Irish tricolour is again shown as the flag representing Northern Ireland.

    I have met many English whose knowledge of Irish matters is lacking but the representation of England with a union jack leads me to suspect that this was somebody’s statement, not a mistake. Still, the editor should have spotted it.

    The programme is still available on the iplayer today.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b013rknf/Timothy_Spall_Back_at_Sea_The_Bit_in_the_Middle

    If you can ignore the sloppinness over the flags, the programme is actually quite an enchanting. Towards the end of the programme, Spall visits Belfast propping up the reputation of the Europa hotel as the most bombed hotel. He also gives a wonderful plug for the Crown pub across the road.

  • Cynic2

    Given that he recently had to be rescued by the RNLI after sailing the wrong way up the Solent and his renowned lack of direction and navigation skills in the programme, how can we be surprised.

  • HeinzGuderian

    ‘I’m a proud irish republican’

    Yeah,but you live in part of the United Kingdom !!

    Is you on holiday then ? 😉

  • Neil

    I live in Ireland Heinz. The little bit on that map with the lovely flag sticking out of it,

  • HeinzGuderian

    You live in The United Kingdom Neil. The City Hall has the lovely flag sticking out of it !! 🙂

    If you are still confused,check the coins in your pocket.

  • JR

    Ah well O’Neill, I suppose no news is good news. While wars are more interesting, cucumbers are more harmless. (unless they come from Spain.)

  • Neil

    Jeez this could go on all day. I live in Ireland. You presumably accept this simple fact.

    The reason the Ali G. joke was funny, or part of the reason, was that these delusional tattooed, skinheads from NI think they’re British. But they don’t live in Britain. The clue’s in the Act of Union, dig it out and have a read sometime.

    So the Ali G. joke is obviously – you call yourself British but don’t live in Ireland. Is you on holiday.

    While your ‘joke’ – you call yourself an Irish Republican. But but but you live in, um, Ireland haw haw haw. Funny.

    Good to see though further confirmation of the fact that the English view your lot as an embarrasment and one they fail to understand, thanks to such PR masterstrokes of protesting outside chapels, throwing pipe bombs at primary school children who walk through ‘your area’ etc.

    Given a bit more time Heinz and you’ll have to get used to seeing that flag a lot more often, thanks to the old and dying Protestant population and the young vibrant Nationalist community that Horseman used to blog about.

  • PaulT

    Is you on holiday then ?

    Ali G’s retort to Sammy Wilson I believe Heinz.

    Although I’m surprised that unionists haven’t commented on the comment regarding the English displeasure of being represented by the union jack and not the st george flag

  • SK

    Oh God the oppression!

  • northbelfastview

    I take it all the flags were on lamp posts???

  • Limerick

    Ali G to Sinner: “Why does you insist on speaking a homosexual language?”

    Sinner: “What?”

    Ali G “Gaelic.”

    🙂

  • “Although I’m surprised that unionists haven’t commented on the comment regarding the English displeasure of being represented by the union jack and not the st george flag

    Actually PaulT, the English are less likely than the Irish to become obsessed over a couple of boobs relating to their flag. Then again …….

    http://nicentreright.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=706

  • The Raven

    “Good to see though further confirmation of the fact that the English view your lot as an embarrasment and one they fail to understand, thanks to such PR masterstrokes of protesting outside chapels, throwing pipe bombs at primary school children who walk through ‘your area’ etc.”

    You of course meant “some of your lot”, yes?

  • Rory Carr

    It’s even worse than you think, O’Neill, for as a contributor to the Little Englander blogsite, “Geoff, England” commented,

    “It’s almost certainly done deliberately, as an insult to the English people.”

    As to any insult caused (whether deliberately or not) to the loyal citizens of Northern Ireland, it appears that the BBC, frankly, my dear, just don’t giveashit (as Rhett Butler might have put it).

    p.s. I thought that was Fitzjameshorse’s house. I recognised him standing in the garden, saluting the flag of the Republic (yet to be realised).

  • HeinzGuderian

    Neil………..A Notion Once Again,huh ? 😉

  • As to any insult caused (whether deliberately or not) to the loyal citizens of Northern Ireland, it appears that the BBC, frankly, my dear, just don’t giveashit (as Rhett Butler might have put it).

    How disappointing that would be Rory if true and who would have thought it of *our* patriotic and well, *British* Broadcasting Corporation?

    Thin end of the wedge- next you’ll be telling me that The Guardian’s respect for the values underlying our United Kingdom may also be wavering

    Makes me almost want to consider not paying my license fee this year.

  • lover not a fighter

    In fairness to the mainland british the only reason that they have any idea about the british living in Northern Ireland is because they are paying so much to subsidise the Northern Ireland british and everyone else in Northen Ireland.

    They must ponder on how “High Maintenance” some british are !

  • Rory Carr

    “Makes me almost want to consider not paying my license fee this year.”

    Phoarr! Bit of the old economic terrorism then, O’Neill ? You are a one.

  • vanhelsing

    I love Neils state of denial! No matter how much republicans talk about the ‘north of Ireland’, there is no such place rather than in a geographical context. The irony of course is they betrayed their own beliefs and agreed to Northern Ireland staying British for as long as we want!

    Of course Neil can be ‘A citizen of the Irish Republic’ but he still lives in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and NI. God save the Queen:)

  • huntsman

    The Beeb was only slightly ahead of itself, merely getting ready for the future or maybe they were taking the GFA seriously about the need for parity in symbols and emblems. Leave it there for a few years and it will be accurate.

  • Reader

    huntsman: Leave it there for a few years and it will be accurate.
    That’s what you said 90 years ago, isn’t it?

  • Neil

    No matter how much republicans talk about the ‘north of Ireland’, there is no such place rather than in a geographical context.

    Dear me, can you furnish me with the names of some other ‘places’ that exist outside a geographical context? Geography tends to be the language used when discussing ‘places’.

    The irony of course is they betrayed their own beliefs and agreed to Northern Ireland staying British for as long as we want!

    You ever hear of ‘the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’? You may want to be British but that actually refers to that big island to the east. Not being much for using geography when talking about, um, geography, I can see where your difficulty lies and am pleased to help.

    Of course Neil can be ‘A citizen of the Irish Republic’ but he still lives in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and NI.

    As I said on post one, at least we can work towards ending this deplorable state of affairs. It’s my firm belief we will do so.

    We have a long time to achieve it (and anyone who thinks anything is impossible over that long a time frame is, in my opinion, thick). We (Republicans) only have to win (a referendum on the border) once at some point in our future, you have to win every time, for once we win, Unionists will represent a minority interest group in terms of the 9 million people on this island.

    I understand the constitutional situation here, I don’t support the dissies, I’m happy enough that we can, in the current situation work to end the union, just like the Scottish folks are doing at the minute.

    If we can get the English on board (and why not, they don’t want to pay for us any more) then so much the better. Looks like that’s beginning to happen too.

    God save the Queen:)

    Whatever floats your boat baby.

  • sonofstrongbow

    Yep vanhelsing you smoked out the usual (only) reposte: it’s goin to happen ye know so it is.

    The ‘end’ will come by way of a Nationalist birth explosion, the “English” saying go, for God’s sake go or the most fanciful, and offensive, the unionists waking up one day and seeing the errors of their ways and embracing Irish Republicanism.

    Interesting that the old Provo slogan has been revamped – the old ‘yousyins have to be lucky all the time so ye do’.

    On one level it’s all rather sad. On another thread some are sagely discussing the value of the Irish Republic’s el presidente as if those in Northern Ireland had anything to do with the office (squatter-in-residence of the viceregal lodge). Someone even postulated the appointment of Mary McAleese was to say to “the North” that they were part of the ‘Irish family’. So much part that they can’t participate in the electoral bun-fight. As I said, rather sad really.

  • pippakin

    Neil

    Serve you right I thought only juvenile delinquents bothered with Ali G.

  • Gingray

    sonofstrongbow

    Nobody knows what will happen in the future, but we can look to the past and learn from it.

    Northern Ireland was set up as an artificial sectarian state, designed to provide a ‘Protestant’ majority over the ‘Catholic’ minority. Since its inception it has faced several failed uprisings, each one failing, but after each one the other side gained more and more equality. The old unionist northern Ireland died – symbols gone, marching curtailed, police and UDR reformed, republicans in positions of power. Indeed the ‘Protestant state for the protestant people’ has gone and has been replaced by powersharing, ensuring nationalists have equality in all areas.

    Some unionists seem to take pride in talking up the ‘smashing’ of the IRA, but miss that the IRAs loss gave us the GFA, which forced the unionist population to accept the Irish nature of northern Ireland.

    From this we get unionists agreeing to a reunited Ireland if the majority of people in northern Ireland voted for it – 100 years ago unionism had the power and force of arms to reject such a vote and set up a sectarian state. They don’t anymore.

    I accept that you look at it and see northern Ireland as a stronger place now than it has ever been. I think you are wrong. I look at all that and see one thing – the step by step end of northern Ireland.

    But can you or any unionist answer me this – I am Irish, like all the people of Ireland. To my mind both the UK 100 years ago and today was made up of English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish people. British to me is a catchall, and a passport. So as a unionist, what are you?

  • sonofstrongbow

    “what are you?” I am lots of things but to confine it to the constitutional question I am a British citizen. I was born on the island of Ireland; do I have any difficulty identifying as Irish? Not in the slightest. However I would hazard that I am not ‘Irish’ in the same way as you are: what I have called in the past Irish and Oirish.

    I have lived my life listening to Irish Republicans proclaim the imminent end of Northern Ireland. You simply join the throng going on to settle the future whilst at the same time stating that “nobody knows what will happen in the future”.

    You have a view of the antecedents of Northern Ireland with which I fundamentally disagree. Northern Ireland exists because of those who were murderously pushing for Home Rule choosing to condescendingly ignore the wishes of the majority in some of the northern counties. That Catholic nationalist condescension, masquerading as ‘Republicanism’, manifested, at best, in a sort of cultural fascism and at worst in murderous assaults on fellow Irish people.

    On reflection I was unkind in my first post. I should have tread more softly and confined myself to the comment: dream on.

  • JR

    “choosing to condescendingly ignore the wishes of the majority in some of the northern counties.”

    Why was it bad when nationalists tried to do it but good when unionists actually did it?

  • JR

    SOS,
    you do know that the logic in your statment calls for a 2 county northern Ireland?

  • sonofstrongbow

    JR,

    Is it a single thought every three minutes?

    Unionists at the beginning of the last century did not seek partition. That solution was forced on them by the murderous activities of militant nationalists. They made the best of a bad job and the nationalists within the state didn’t do so bad. That population increased whereas the unionists in what was to become the Republic…………

    As a easterner I could live with two counties if it would stop Nationalist moping and murdering. However I very much doubt it would; so as I’m sure someone once said, what we have we hold.

  • Gingray

    sonofstrongbow

    Just sticking with the initial post – the BBC (and British people from Britain) quite often forget the 6 counties of Ireland still part of the UK. I think the lack of identity for some unionists who only identify as British is part of the reason.

    You too seem to be only British, but our celtic cousins in Scotland and Wales have their own vibrant identities as do the English. They all seem to fit under the British umbrella too, but having their own national identity makes it easier to see Ireland as Irish, rather than the vague notion put forward by unionists.

    Also, your comment about having what you hold, do I take that to mean you would use violence to defend it and would that include violence if a vote did go in favour of a united Ireland? Thanks to the GFA there will be no new partition, so no new ‘Protestant state for a Protestant people’,

    As I said before, we quite happily disagree with each other. You have the status quo on your side, I have the slow but steady disintegration of northern Ireland from a protestant unionist state, through a direct rule state, into a state where unionists have no choice but to share power with irish republicans (and former terrorists). I could be wrong, time will tell

  • Light23

    In regards to the silliness over “Britishness” and Northern Ireland…

    As a disclaimer, I should note that I consider myself both Irish and British. And Northern Irish too I guess.

    When we say we’re British we obviously don’t mean we’re from Britain, and that’s an incredibly (and probably intentionally) obtuse way of looking at it.

    To look at another example, Hawaii is not part of the North American continent (according to Wikipedia). They only joined the USA in 1959. Yet for some reason, Hawaiians are called “Americans”.

    “But they’re not part of North America!” I hear you cry. Well, that’s just what you call people who are citizens of the USA. Similarly, Northern Ireland is not part of Great Britain, and nobody is claiming it is. But it IS part of the United Kingdom, whose citizens have to be called something. Traditionally, that is “British”.

    Unless you propose that we invent a new demonym for UK citizens (UKish or “you kiss!”) you should probably accept that it’s quite logical for people in Northern Ireland/The UK to call themselves “British”.

  • sonofstrongbow

    Now now Light23 don’t be bringing common sense into the discussion. I’m sure Gingray is not being intentionally obtuse and I’m sure he/she will soon enlighten us as to what constitutes an ‘Irish identity’.

    Seemingly I don’t make the cut; is it becoz I is unionist?

    I too can quite happily disagree with anyone. Unfortunately Irish Republicans had some difficulty understanding plain English. The graveyards are full of folks who disagreed with them. Happy about that are you?

    Now the Catholic state for a Catholic people didn’t seem to work out too well. It was buggered, literally. So time perhaps to step down off that high cultural horse cowboy.

    Lastly, you and me both will have suffered our own “slow and steady disintegration” long before NI goes the way of all flesh so I hope you are a patient kind of soul.

  • Neil

    Unless you propose that we invent a new demonym for UK citizens (UKish or “you kiss!”)

    No, I’d suggest the other traditional nomenclature of English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish. Now there’s only one tiny little group (making up less than 1/60 of the population of the UK and Northern Ireland) who’d have a problem with that. Can you guess who it is?

  • sonofstrongbow

    Well at least this thread has reached a conclusion. The flag was wrongly placed, Northern Ireland is part of the UK and its inhabitants are British citizens.

    Job done!

  • Gingray

    Light23

    My point is that for many unionists in northern Ireland British is their only nationality. I have no problems with that, but it does make it more difficult for outsiders, even in the UK, to follow.

    I don’t think nationality is limited to just one type, nor to one specific region. There can be different cultural aspects of any nationality, be it English, Irish or American.

    sonofstrongbow

    You can be as irish as you want to be and in whatever way you want to be. Am still not sure – you don’t appear to be stupid, but you seem to insist irish republicans are to blame for all our woes. It takes two sides, and if you cant even see the faults on your own then there is no point talking to ya

  • Well…er actually aside from the Poles, Chinese etc, the inhabitants of Norn Iron are actually British subjects or Irish citizens.
    Some choose to be both (which seems a bit greedy to me)

  • sonofstrongbow

    fjh,

    Something at the back of my mind tells me that the term ‘British subject’ refers to a very narrow group of people. Folks in the UK, and as someone born in NI I’m one of those, are UK citizens.

    Gingray,

    I’ll avoid your petulance and say that for someone who bigged-up the alleged sectarian formation of NI you too seem to accuse a single perp as responsible for “all our woes”. However I’m more than familiar with Irish Republicans’ hypocrisy. So fill your boots laddie.

  • FJH

    Well…er actually aside from the Poles, Chinese etc, the inhabitants of Norn Iron are actually British subjects or Irish citizens.

    Well…er…wrong actually. Post the British Nationality Act of 1981 people born in Northern Ireland are automatically British citizens not subjects. If they send a letter to the Home Secretary they can renounce that right. Irish citizenship, I believe, is a right to anyone born in N.Ireland but not an automatic one from birth, it has to be claimed.

    Some choose to be both (which seems a bit greedy to me)

    Depending where you work (Saudi Arabia?) or want to holiday (Israel?) having two passports can made complete sense for pragmatic reasons. The ROI’s government do however seem to be a bit slow in letting their citizens take real political advantage of that citizenship by permitting them to vote in the ROI’s elections… but there you go, can’t have everything in life can you?

  • sonofstrongbow

    o’neill,

    Thanks. You’ve jogged my memory. I knew there was some legislative base for UK citizen as opposed to ‘subject’.

  • Pleasure sos, should have really included the link as well:
    http://tinyurl.com/3q7v3uf

    Re our right to regard ourselves as British, if that’s what we so desire- as I’ve pointed out it’s enshrined in this legislation (later confirmed in the Belfast Agreement).

    Plenty of people in the rest of the UK would also regard their fellow British citizens who just happen to have a different skin colour or religion to themselves as not *really* British. However such prejudice doesn’t determine that individual’s national identity- the law and your own personal decision is the deciding factor.

  • Im happy for ONeill that he is no longer a “subject” and that he is the equal of all (?) his fellow British people such as mrs Windsor who is presumably also a ……er citizen. Citizen Windsor as I feel I should now call her….Id hate to offend her or any of her fellow British citizens.

    Ive never renounced my non-existant Britishness but my passport seems a particuarly good guide.

  • sonofstrongbow

    o’neill,

    Indeed. I’ve always been bemused by Irish Republicans’ cutting (in their minds) remark that the British citizen status of Northern Ireland born folk is somehow dependent on the approval of the those in the rest of the UK. I’ll refer to it as the 1/60th paradigm.

    The Belfast Agreement simply revisited older legislation and confirmed for those who are British in NI their existing and continuing right to be so. Not that I think it was ever in question.

    As an aside it’s interesting to note Irish Republicans’ reliance on the arguments employed by the more odious elements of the British far right as to a given individual”s ‘Britishness’.

  • vanhelsing

    ONeill,

    Interesting thread – good discussion and thanks for the heads up on the Nationality Act – I didn’t know about that [perhaps I’m stupid to admit such].

    Good job all round,

    VH

  • Im happy for ONeill that he is no longer a “subject” and that he is the equal of all (?) his fellow British people such as mrs Windsor who is presumably also a ……

    Technically because of my birthdate and birthplace I have never been a subject and technically my British citizenship is as valid as anyone’s living in…say Finchley.

    Ive never renounced my non-existant Britishness but my passport seems a particuarly good guide.

    If you’d engage your critical thinking faculties for a minute you’d see that I have never accused you of possessing “Britishness”, you are however a British citizen.

    How much value you put on that status is up to you.

  • Rory Carr

    I have to admit that Light23 put forward a terrific argument in favour of those Northern Irish who designate themselves UK citizens quite reasonably being seen to be ‘British’ rather than ‘Irish’ or (given his own happy acceptance of his Irish identity) perhaps more accurately, just simply ‘British.’

    “Damn it! “I thought, “the bugger’s absolutely right. He’s got us all there. I’ll just have to eat crow and admit it. But what’s a fellow to do when the other guy’s right?”

    It was the bit about UK citizens being known by and large by the generic term ‘British ‘just as all US citizens, including non-continental Americans such as Hawaiians, being known as ‘Americans’ that did it for me. “The geezer’s right and no mistake,” sez I to meself, “Q.E.D. an’ all that.”

    This was all earlier this afternoon when I first read his post but, as I had just returned from a rather gruelling session with the dentist, I was unable to reply straight away as I had taken some codeine and was a bit woozy. So I had a nice little snooze and woke up to a nice cup of tea and…

    “Bingo! Hang on a minute, ” says my now not-so-woozy inner voice, ” English, welsh and Scots are certainly known as ‘British’ citizens, but ask any of them individually and they will invariably claim first that they are English, Welsh or Scots first and , yes, of course they are British citizens or subjects (“And proud of it,” they might add) but their identity, their nationality, their race, their tribe, whatever is English, Welsh or Scots. Indeed some Englishmen will even go so far as to identify themselves first and foremost as Yorkshire men or Cornish rather than English (the Yorkmen not at all denying their Englishness merely claiming to be a better class of English, whereas among the Cornish while some will also claim to a better class of Englishness some will claim to be Cornish rather than English and some would deny any taint (as they would see it) of Englishness whatsoever. And much the same holds true of Hawaiians. First Americans go even further and do not see their nationality as ‘American ‘at all but rather as Cree or Sioux or Nez Perce or Sans Arcs or whatever their tribal designation happens to be. It is the White Eyes, the interlopers, who are the Americans.

    So there you have it Light23, I am sorry to say that your argument does not really hold. You are a UK citizen (or subject if you will), a ‘British’ citizen or subject if you like but, if born on the island of Ireland to parents born on the island of Ireland (perhaps even having grandparents, great-grandparents… you get my drift) there is nothing for it but that you are Irish, a ‘Paddy’, a ‘Mick’, a ‘Bogtrotter’, a ‘spudhead’. Just like me in fact.

    And if you come to live in beloved Britain (perhaps even in the Heart of the Empire here in lovely London) you will soon find that your accent (even if partially disguised by the type of strangulated vowels employed by the likes of old bygone Bill Craig or John Taylor or dear, dear Jeffrey) will betray you simply as another Paddy. And if your children then go to school here they will get a rough time initially with their ‘bogtrotter’ accents and appeals to their classmates that they are not, they are really British will only result in even more scorn, and maybe a few kicks, being heaped upon them for such audacious, lying presumptiveness. (I will admit though that the last three words will not necessarily be among the type of language employed as they belabour your poor little ones.)

    But do not worry unduly. Londoners are a good lot really and all this is just a bit of a baptism of fire, an initiation ceremony, a rite of passage sort of thing and it won’t be long before you will be happily trading openly racist insults with the many friends you will have made from many different ethnic backgrounds ( the kids will adapt much more quickly than you in this regard) and the depth of your friendships will be capable of being measured by the strength of the insults exchanged.

    However this will only happen if you drop any chip on your shoulder as to your Irishness and will not happen at all if you attempt to deny it and claim a British identity as a sort of superior cloak over this unfortunate Irishness. Then you simply would not be trusted and people would rightly be wary of you.

    There is an exception to all this of course. You might wish to try your luck among those lower middle class, aspiring upwardly mobile tweed-jacket-and-club tie, working class Little Englanders. The need for labels and grubbing for self esteem in an imaginary heritage that never belonged to them is important to them and they might go along with your desire to be ‘British’. They won’t trust you either of course and will have scornful things to say behind your back. Don’t let that trouble you – you won’t trust them either!

    Isn’t life wonderful?

  • sonofstrongbow

    Ah! Some of us, me included, really should have tread more softly. Our dream-bruising size 10s have raised some obviously traumatic memories.

    I can only offer my apologies and implore the afflicted to seek immediate counseling in the hope that longer term damage can be avoided.

    I’ll have to reflect on how best to conduct myself in the future. Should I deny reality and NI’s constitutional position as an integral part of the UK? Perhaps seek a refuge in Irish Republicans’ mythology of ‘the North’, the ‘Six Counties’?

    At the very least I’ll have to think about being more parsimonious in throwing around the ‘B’ word. The thought of those weeping over their keyboards is almost too much for me to bear.

  • Mike the First

    Rory Carr

    Ten paragraphs and the Northern Irish identity didn’t even occur to you.

    To busy telling other people what their identity should be and desperately trying to peddle a hoary old myth about what English people think.

    Wouldn’t hurt to engage your brain just a tad more before launching into the next post, hmm?

  • jonno99

    Ten paragraphs and the Northern Irish identity didn’t even occur to you.

    Probably because defining yourself as haviing a British identity or a “Northern Irish” identity amounts to the same thing?

  • Probably because defining yourself as haviing a British identity or a “Northern Irish” identity amounts to the same thing?

    Much better to leave it up to the individual to define their own identity, some might think NI and GB identity is synonomous, some not.

    What we do not need is the Communal Group Think telling people what their permitted choices are.

  • Gingray

    “desperately trying to peddle a hoary old myth about what English people think”

    Whether you like it or not, a lot of English people don’t give a fiddlers about northern Ireland and to many the name is synonymous with Ireland – it’s the same island after all with a very small population. Some wonder if they need euros to come visit. Its something which becomes apparent the further south in England you live.

    Scots on the other hand seem to know the situation here very well, I was over at Inverness recently and folks I was working with could name some of our politicians, and wanted to know about things here.

    Oneill, I agree wholeheartedly about not limiting choices, and its great in practice. I have my own version of being Irish, which includes my English heritage.

    The thing about northern Ireland however is that we have a large section of the population who identify as being only British (see the life and times survey for a breakdown on this), as is their choice, but to some English/Scottish/Welsh in the UK that makes no sense, which is why everyone here being frequently labelled Irish.

  • Old Mortality

    ‘And if you come to live in beloved Britain (perhaps even in the Heart of the Empire here in lovely London) you will soon find that your accent (even if partially disguised by the type of strangulated vowels employed by the likes of old bygone Bill Craig or John Taylor or dear, dear Jeffrey) will betray you simply as another Paddy.’

    Rory
    In my experience, that’s not always the case. People who have attended the better sort of public school and university tend to be able to differentiate.

  • Mike the First

    In my experience (having lived and studied in England) there’s quite a range of outlooks from “English people” on Northern Ireland.

    There are those who are familiar with all the intricacies of identities in NI. There are those who will naturally refer to NI and all its people as British. There are those who are aware of the difference between North and South and will refer to Northern Irish and Irish/Southern Irish accordingly. There are those who will refer to everyone from NI as Irish, while also being aware that NI is in the UK and applying the British label. There are those who have no concept that there’s a border in Ireland or that NI is part of the UK. There are those who know there’s a Northern Ireland but aren’t fully aware of its status. There are those who will refer to all Irish people as British, and group “English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish” together in that way. There are those who are vaguely aware that the “Irish” to whom they refer when talking in a UK context are different to the “Irish” they refer to in terms of the euro crisis.

    “The thing about northern Ireland however is that we have a large section of the population who identify as being only British (see the life and times survey for a breakdown on this), as is their choice, but to some English/Scottish/Welsh in the UK that makes no sense, which is why everyone here being frequently labelled Irish”

    I think there’s a lot of people in GB for whom the label Northern Irish makes sense, and there are many people in NI who naturally go by that label. It will be interesting when the census is collated and we see what proportions subscribed to the labels British, Northern Irish and Irish, and perhaps more interesting again, what combinations these are in. (and indeed how these compare with what passports people hold)

  • Gingray
    The thing about northern Ireland however is that we have a large section of the population who identify as being only British (see the life and times survey for a breakdown on this

    If this is the question you’re speaking about, then it’s fundamentally flawed in forcing people to choose one and one only:

    http://www.ark.ac.uk/ylt/2009/Identity/NINATID.html

    I also recall there was a hoohaa in Scotland re the most recent Census question because the SNP were trying to drive an either/or question: Scottish or British.

    Whether I’m personally described as solely “Irish” seldom bothers me- the only problem is if it is a deliberate attempt to remove the other elements of my identity.

  • I should also say if that Life Times figures are accurate then it is only 25% of the population who describe themselves as “British” when pushed to choose one identity. That is small segment of the population and may even be a minority of pro-Union folk.

    It would be interesting to see similar figures for the other 3 parts of the UK

  • Rory Carr

    Old Mortality,

    I am intrigued by your contention about those who have attended the “better sort of public school” (presumably ruling out such oiks the likes of Evelyn Waugh, who only managed Lancing, and perhaps even Old Wykehamists such as Richard Crossman and Geoffrey Howe?).

    In what way do they have an “ability to differentiate” ?

    How, in your experience, is this ability exercised ?

  • Mike the First

    oneill

    Indeed – that’s why the census, with its choice of as many or as few as the respondant wants from among British, Irish and Northern Irish, will be very interesting when the results are in.

  • Gingray

    oneill
    ONS have some stuff from a few years back, think it was called Focus on ethnicity&identity, the gist was that most scots and welsh think of themselves as scots and welsh, 60% odd of english think of themselves as english first, 30% as british first with about 10% identifying with a part of england (london, cornwall, yorkshire etc).

    If I remember correctly children from immigrant families (pakistani/indian/chinese etc) stongly identified themselves as british (75%+) rather than english scottish or welsh.

    No census results until September 2012 tho

  • Rory Carr

    Now the results of that census, Gingray coincides pretty much with my own crude empirical observation.

    In particular I have found it striking the number of 2nd generation offspring of Asian, African and other immigrant communities who identify as British but not as English even though they might claim such through circumstances of birth.

    I was thinking that my own observations do not bear out the results of the census in the number claiming to be British first but then I realised that I was thinking of white English in that regard and had forgotten to consider those English-born of immigrant stock who describe as British.

    Perhaps those NI citizens of Ulster Scots lineage who describe themelves as ‘British’ first do so because like the 2nd generation on Chinese, Polish, Pakistani community they identify as yet being of immigrant stock even after all this time.

    Odd. Still, their choice really.

  • Light23

    “So there you have it Light23, I am sorry to say that your argument does not really hold. You are a UK citizen (or subject if you will), a ‘British’ citizen or subject if you like but, if born on the island of Ireland to parents born on the island of Ireland (perhaps even having grandparents, great-grandparents… you get my drift) there is nothing for it but that you are Irish, a ‘Paddy’, a ‘Mick’, a ‘Bogtrotter’, a ‘spudhead’. Just like me in fact.”

    Yeah, I know. I definitely consider myself Irish first. But I’m also definitely British.

    I would consider everybody in Northern Ireland “Irish”, but it’s a touchy subject. “Northern Irish” is a good way to please everybody.

    The thing is, you can be Irish without having ROI citizenship (“Irish citizenship”). They don’t have a monopoly “Irishness” – the region that makes up NI was Irish before partition and it is Irish after. You can be Irish and not favour a United Ireland.

    Maybe if staunch unionists realised this, they wouldn’t be as reluctant to identify as being “Irish”.

  • Limerick

    Isn’t one of the great achievements of 20th century Irish republicanism the manner in which they managed to make northern Protestants reject their Irishness?

    That was pretty damned good going given that republicanism was invented in Ireland by Protestants and the Irish language was saved from obscurity by Presbyterians.

    Modern republicans managed to make them baulk at all things Irish by murdering them and making their towns “look as if they had been bombed from the air.”

    Now they spend all their time trying to convince them that they are Irish after all. Bizarre.

  • Old Mortality

    Rory
    Perhaps I should have said willing and able to differentiate. Crossman was probably well able to dsitinguish but might have preferred not to.
    I have had occasional social contact with such people but I have had no contact with other social groups: right-on comprehensive teachers from North London, for example. I have no doubt that they would incline to the view that ‘they’re all Irish’. And of course the average Londoner usually has very little knowledge of people who live beyond a 20 mile radius of the city.

  • If I remember correctly children from immigrant families (pakistani/indian/chinese etc) stongly identified themselves as british (75%+) rather than english scottish or welsh

    Gingray,

    Why was that do you think?

    My own theory is that too many of them have suffered from the different versions of the Tebbit Cricket Test to identify too closely with the particuliar and narrow definition of the nation or region where they were born

    “Britishness” on the other hand offers them a more mosaic form of identity, one accommodating many different varieties of colour and shape, each contributing towards the worth of the greater whole.

    “Irishness”, despite the best efforts of the likes of Baz McElduff, has the potential to do the same but only if Irish nationalism has the self-confidence to widen the traditional parameters.

    I’m proud to be both Irish and British within the framework of the United Kingdom.
    Does that make me less of an Irishman?
    Rhetorical question and I know that’s not a point you were making but it follows on from the logic of what you were saying regarding the identity of British Asians

  • lamhdearg

    I am British, it says so on my passport.When i go to spain most English i talk to ask if i am Scotish, i tell them i am an ulsterman, none to date has been confused by this, and none to date has called me paddy, the English (like all people’s) are a diverse lot and (without drink taken) very polite. I find it hard to understand how, if you are from the island of ireland (part of the British isle’s) you must be irish, but if you are from the island of Britian, you can be English, Scotish, Welsh, or any thing that you choose to be so long as your mum or dad was from that place, i find it harder to understand, now the same people who say “if you are from Ireland you must be Irish” also spout support for the Basque people’s right to be Basque’s, even if they are from Spain or France.

  • lamhdearg

    sorry oneill, i do not believe it a blunder, but deliberate.

  • Rory Carr

    I have had occasional social contact with “such people” myself, Old Mortality, as well as North London schoolteachers and East End market stall holders and fishmongers from Kilburn (though not, alas, Henry Root) and bricklayers from Hammersmith and nurses in Hampstead, and actors in the the Almeida Bar in Islington and chancers and scribblers and and tarts from Dean Street and Finsbury Park in the Coach and Horses, and accountants in Notting Hill, and AIDS counsellors in Clerkenwell, and… , but I have not noticed that “such people” (of the better class of public school variety) were any more gifted with an ability to differentiate that which was explained to them.

    But maybe the fellows I met were the type who were expelled for nicking postal orders from another chap’s locker or caught rogering the Polish housemaid instead of…

  • Rory Carr

    “Isn’t one of the great achievements of 20th century Irish republicanism the manner in which they managed to make northern Protestants reject their Irishness? ” – Limerick

    Aw, diddums. Ye poor wee dears to be so frightened of those big, bad Republicans that you hid the very fact of your Irishness which you had so cherished until these bogeymen came along and stopped you singing real Republic songs of the derring-do of Tone and Russell and Henry Joy and chattering away by the fireside as Gaeilge and dreaming of the day when the Republic would be fully realised.

    They are very naughty boys, that’s what they are.

  • Limerick

    Rory,

    Not so much naughty boys as stupid boys. Republican actions around the Irish language and unionist identity with being Irish has been totally counterproductive. That seems to be dawning on them now with their ‘outreach’ programmes etc, but it hasn’t quite filtered down to the drones. Hence we have Sinners making tolerant noises on TV whilst their followers are busily trying to incinerate Apprentice Boys.

    Idiotic.

  • aquifer

    The PIRA campaign aimed to prevent Unionists becoming culturally irish within a British state, because that would have left Northern Nationalists with no reason to remove a border they are on the right side of, aligned with capitalism, secular social democacy, the huge and wealthy English speaking diaspora, Nato, and with the US, the only remaining superpower.

    Incapable of attacking the Catholic Church that maintained cultural divisions between peoples on the island, PIRA victimised the protestants of Ulster.

  • Limerick

    aquifer,

    I’m always amused by the republican admiration of Wolfe Tone. A man who intended to replicate the French revolution by dissolving the Catholic church in Ireland. Something which would no doubt have led to him being lynched by the forefathers of the current crop of admirers.

  • diarmaid

    lamhdearg I am confused at your comment that when you say Ulsterman to English people they are not confused.
    Either

    The English education system is rather better than the school you went to and educates English children, that six counties of the Irish province Ulster are in the control of the United Kingdom and its residents are entitled to both Irish and British nationality (passports) and those who choose British ones can be determined by the accent, or

    You are ignoring those who are born in the 3 counties of Ulster in the Republic or Ireland, and so are Irish citizens.

    Just to clarify, Ulster is 9 counties.
    3 of those counties are in the Republic jurisdiction, and so those born there are Irish (providing your parents have an entitlement to Irish citizenship),
    and
    6 of those counties are controlled by the United Kingdom government, and those born there are entitled to Irish citizenship (providing their parents are) and are also entitled to British citizenship.

    And there are those born here who are entitled to the citizenship of their parents who may originally have been born in a different region of the world.

    BOTH ARE ULSTERMEN/ ULSTERWOMAN!

    I would not presume to determine the choice the former category made as per their accent, or geographical position of domicile.

    Therefore lamhdearg without you further clarifying to those who ask are you Scottish whether you are Irish or British (or indeed Chinese, Scottish, Canadian, American or any other nationality of person that is born in the 9 counties of Ulster every year)

    The English people you are referring to, in making the assumption that Ulstermen are British, are making an inaccurate assumption of the nationality of any person who describes themselves as an Ulsterman without further clarification their actual nationality. That is outdated and quite frankly one of the main problems with the Union. It is also contrary to my dealings with English abroad, or at home.

    Your comments of ‘you must be Irish if your are born in Ireland’ are on the verge of being based on racism/sectarianism (depending on which side of the debate by the equality commission you fall on) and you comparison of that to the Basques show you clearly do not understand either conflict. Your assumption that when you say you are an Ulsterman, and that when everyone else who says they are an Ulsterman, is British, is the same as those you claim to fail to understand who say ‘if your are from Ireland your Irish’, as you clearly do not understand that if your from Ulster you can be Irish, British etc.

    I also happen to believe that if those born in Ireland who identify as British (namely Unionists) accepted that being born on the Island, and supporting, as many do, Northern Ireland and teams in the Irish League, the Grand Orange Order of Ireland, Irish rugby etc, that they are part Irish (as Ian Paisley proudly announced), (albeit Northern Irish), then maybe the problems that I (and I can only speak for myself) have with the Union, and its determination to be intolerant of anything Irish, could be overcome much quicker.

    For myself, I do believe everyone born on this Island has a place in Irish history, and is entitled to Irish citizenship. I believe you (not you personally, but the ‘royaL you’ also have the right to be anglo-Irish/ English-Irish, Chinese -Irish etc.
    I dismay at those who cannot accept that there are Ulstermen there who are Irish, and choose not to identify as British.

    As for your comments re the British Isles. Have you ever visited Venice? In the Doges Palace there hangs a tapestry, older than I care to remember, but from the time of the great city-state of Venice. On it, it has Hibernia. Until this Island was conquered by its neighbour, it was known in the Latin world as Hibernian. It is only from recent history (in comparison to the Roman Empire and achient world) that this island has been included in the term ‘British Isles’, and this was by English and British map readers of the government and Sovereign of that neighbour (GB). Therefore, arguing that the Irish people are British because map readers include Ireland as part of the British Isles would be like calling Alaskans Russian because in the past Russian maps featured it as part of their territory. The difference being Russia lost in that one. Ireland as an island, and a concept of a united people (albeit with regional Kings and rulers) is more ancient than the 90 yr calamity of Northern Ireland, or the use of British Isles by British map companies. Indeed this Island existed as Ireland, under a British King/Queen longer than Northern Ireland has existed.

    Just another lovely wee point of trivia, that same map has Derry on it. No London, just the Derry bit. I think it is a great example of how history is distorted by those who write it!

  • lamhdearg

    “The English people you are referring to, in making the assumption that Ulstermen are British, are making an inaccurate assumption”
    dairmaid,
    could you please point out where said “assumption” is made/claimed in my comment.

  • lamhdearg

    Having reread your comments directed at me, i can only assume all i wrote has been lost in translation, as what you seem to have gleaned from my comment, and attributed to my thought process, bears little semblance to what i was/do think, on the subject.

  • diarmaid

    Well you start with ‘I am British’ and also describe youself as an ulsterman. With just these two statements the English people ‘know’ ( as you are arguing against the, i presume, the previous comments that the english do not understand the intricities of the national character in the north) that your are as your passport describes British, and not scottish as previously stated.

    If this is not the assumption the English made, my point is still valid, as Ulsterman does not clarify Irish/British etc .
    It just clarifys you are from Ulster, somewhere that doesnt have a passport, and that is in two jurisdictions!

  • lamhdearg

    “as you are arguing against the, i presume, the previous comments that the english do not understand the intricities of the national character in the north” i argue that the “English”(i do not accept putting a diverse people such as the English under one preceived mindset) do not just hear my accent and think paddy.

  • Mike the First

    diarmaid

    If we’re making arguments from other people’s ignorance, as others were doing above, then to a great number of English people the terms Northern Ireland and Ulster are completely synonymous.

  • When does the silly season end?
    Someone at the BBC is either ignorant or mischievous.
    What is the problem with most of the unionist population in N.I. considering themselves to be British?
    Bah.

  • diarmaid

    joe there is no problem with that. the problem is that those who consider themselves to be british reject the idea of those who consider themselves to not be british.
    silly season has always existed in the bbc – have u ever watched newsline – like seriously family focus – thats not news worthy and if they went 25 miles from belfast they may run out of petrol!

    and mick you have sorta hit then nail on the head. english people associate ulster with ni, whereas that is not physically, legally or socially correct, and lamhdeargs claim that most english know when he says ulsterman what he means is nonsense, as ulsterman doesn not mean british or irish, it can have many meanings (although ultimately ulster is a province of ireland, rather than a british region of the united kingdom)
    also the fact that many english equate ulsterman with ni does not constitute the asumption that ulster is ni. its that wrong, im not even sure where to start on that one! and just because the ignorant believe something does not constitute it to be fact!

    lamhdearg i am simply sayin that when u say u said im not scotish im an ulsterman, and you claim the english ( i didnt first group an entire province of the uk like this, i took it from your earlier post) know what you mean, i was simply clarifying that how can an english man know what you mean when you say im not scottish, im an ulsterman, when ulsterman can have many different meanings, and is not an nationality of its own, has no passport, and describves people (from what i assume you would agreee) two different jurisdictions. indeed those who assume an ulsterman is anything other than an ulsterman, and decides to apportion a natonality, are making presumptions beyoynd that they should resonable make – ulstermen/ woman may be as i previosuly eluded irish, british, and all the other nationalities that are born in the 9 counties that make up ulster.

    the failure of unionism (and this is not directed at you but a general observation) to appreciate that ulster is not ni, that irish is not anti-british, and that unionist (in the ni sense) is ultimately not british but an irish phenomenon, has resulted in the distorted, revisionist history that propagates in them circles. Indeed the DUP when compared to unionist views in Scotland and wales are anti-unionist (in comparison), as they believe that ni should be british ruled overall, but also strongly believe in an ni government. Indeed the biggest protest against direct rule in the seventies was the Ulster unionists, who lost their government role.

    I have what may sound as a simple question, but why are unionists so afraid of a united Ireland where they would have 20 pc (gestimate) of the electorate, an opportunity to become president, an opportunity to shape properly the future of that country, and govern. Currently in the UK system unionists are an add on in times when majority government is not possible, or numbers are needed for war. The people of England Scotland or wales are not as devoted to the crown as unionists in Ireland are, and do not have a problem with being catholic and british, protestant and british, etc.

    A community that devotes itself to being anti anything that doesn’t agree with it is doomed to failure – no matter hoe long they are artificially propped up by the british government, and tolerant others.

  • lamhdearg

    diarmaid
    “When i go to spain most English i talk to” how is that the same as saying all english are the same.
    The English to which i refer are in the main ex pats, they meet other expats from the British isle’s and after exchanging words, will ask if you are from x,y,z, in the main (with me) they hear my accent and think scottish, when i say i am from Ulster/i am an Ulsterman, they appear to know where thats is and what i am,maybe this is because if they ask other folk, they get the reply “i am Irish” and only get the “i am an Ulsterman” from people who in the main do not see themselves as Irish(how would you answer?), thats what i am saying in my post, i am not saying that another Ulsterman/woman can not be Irish, so please do not claim that i am.
    “I have what may sound as a simple question, but why are unionists so afraid of a united Ireland”
    I, as an Ulster nationlist am not the ideal person to ask, but being afraid of somthing and not wanting it are two different things, also you in part answer the Q yourself, “not as devoted to the crown as unionists in Ireland are” would they get to keep the crown as their head of state?.
    ps “A community that devotes itself to being anti anything that doesn’t agree with it is doomed to failure ”
    i do not think you thought that through, i am sure if you think again you will find, that the reverse is true, god help us if the community of anti fascist’s had thought that way in the 1930s.

  • Post now updated with the Beeb’s apology.

    Always said it was one of *our* greatest institutions 😉