No ‘mere anarchy’, but Northern Ireland’s weakened ‘centre’ is hardly fit for purpose…

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Second Coming – WB Yeats

Okay, I do get the flag stuff. As Unionists point out, it is perfectly proper to fly the flag of the jurisdiction we have all, north and south, consented to be part of until there’s sufficient consent to leave.

Although the Union flag may – and on occasion for good reason – be seen as provocative, it is still a symbol of something embedded in the Belfast Agreement and part of what was agreed to, nay, demanded by the SDLP and Sinn Fein in all island referendums.

Signalling it as provocative is a case of demanding you get to keep your wee piece of cake whilst then eating it at the same time.

But, it’s not quite so simple as that. Here’s the grand weakness in Belfast Unionism’s argument, from one Basil McCrea:

Lisburn City Council, which is unionist-dominated, has had designated days as its policy for a long time. Part of that is because we should be doing what is commonplace in the rest of United Kingdom. The Union Flag should not be used as a political pawn – it should be respected properly.

As for the issue about leaflets, I think that whatever the intentions of the people who put them out, acting in the manner that they did is counter-productive.

This little pearl of wisdom and commonsense comes from a politician who may shortly find himself chucked out of his own political home as a result of sharing it with us. It tells you a lot of about a set of politics which has struggled to get beyond old arguments.

The money and patronage which came with the GFA is – in the longer run at least – not enough to vouchsafe good behaviours on either side. When a party of government (ie a constituent member of OFMdFM) goes out on protest we get to see just how fragile our peace can become.

A fragility demonstrated ably by the attack on Sammy Brush’s home, just week’s after finding himself isolated by constitutional nationalist colleagues on Dungannon District Council in favour of the guy who tried to kill him back in the early nineties.

If there is no robust and civic middle then we can all be picked off, one by one…

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  • simtrib


    Sorrow and pain has nothing to do with it. So you don’t understand what I am saying at all.

  • latcheeco

    Oh I understand exactly what you’re saying- the view on the street is:
    i. it’s not fair nobody’s on our side
    ii.themmuns are gettin everything
    iii. Even if there are more of them now in Beal Feirste, and it ‘s their city as much as it’s ours, they don’t get to make democratic decisions based on equality and the wishes of their voters
    iv. The GFA means they better show due respect to the flag and symbols we’ve used as sectarian badges to bait them with for ninety years while we can burn theirs ritually without a dickiebird as part of our culture
    v. If we don’t get our way we’ll go nuts

    How was that? It might be Dee Street but it sure aint Equality Street

  • simtrib

    We know exactly what you are saying.We feel your sorrow.

    This is enough to prove that you are talking bullshit. “What I am saying” and “my sorrow” are two different things.

  • latcheeco