Been away for a few days, so there’s a few things, I think, that are worth catching up on. Most of the summer has been quieter than we’ve become accustomed to. Indeed some of the late summer controversy has been depressingly shallow in nature.
The objection to the words used by Kildare band The Druids, despite what they claim to the Leinster Leader are probably fairly commonplace with audiences of a strongly Republican bent.
“As we stand here tonight in Ardoyne we’re well aware that here in the occupied six counties of Ireland there are still over five thousand British soldiers parading around the streets of Ireland as if they owned it.
“It’s about time that they took down their little Union jacks, it’s about time that they got all their Orange comrades together, it’s about time that they loaded up the bus and it’s about time that they all f****d off back to England where they came from.”
Jim McVeigh, leader of the Sinn Fein group on Belfast City Council found himself stranded somewhat in front of his own party lines when he tried to parsing the remarks into acceptable and unacceptable clauses: First bit good, second bit bad:
“We all have to be careful about the language we use. The remarks about the Orangemen were inappropriate, the other remarks about the British Army were fair enough. That’s fair political comment as far as we are concerned. We want to see the army withdrawn from this part of Ireland.”
The party’s own record quietly dropped the councillor’s decidedly off piste remarks… As a footnote, for his part, the man who made the remarks, claimed that [these]…
…wouldn’t be our normal comments as such [during a gig], but again it is taken out of context. That was an isolated incident within our set…
Performers, eh? They just can’t help giving the crowd what it is they
think know it wants. [A metaphorical taste of Orange blood? – Ed].
According to the Leinster Leader the band which had been heavily involved with Sinn Fein (as a band) had made “the decision to step away from becoming involved in party politics” last March.
Ah, whatever sectarian remarks are said in Kildare may stay in Kildare, but in North Belfast every damned thing is recorded and may be used against you.
Best tweet on the matter from SeamyC…
Any band that tells "Orange" people to "fuck off back to England" are no better than bands that play the Famine Song outside Chapels. Sin é.
— Seamus Clarke (@SeamyC) August 25, 2014
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty