The DUP heartland: who are the supporters? – Video from The Guardian…

Very slick video from The Guardian, well worth a watch. From The Guardian post:

East Belfast is the heartland of Protestant, unionist politics and therefore, one would believe, the natural support for Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party. The Guardian travelled to East Belfast to meet the core support for the party – which has just completed £1bn deal to prop up Theresa May’s government – and ask what they truly believe and what they want from the DUP whose main purpose is to represent them

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  • Steven Denny

    Grand job and I will look out for it. Many thx.

  • Toye native

    The strength of the dup in the last 5 year’s comes from former conservative uup voters,
    It was only in the last election a percentage of the pul working class came out to back the dup,
    Most pul working class still don’t vote

  • 05OCT68

    Fluff! better than the hysteria of The Mail, Express & Sun re tighter EU border controls, of course it’s a plot to punish the UK for leaving the EU. The truth that heightened security & a strike has caused queues lost in the hyperbole. Yes the Guardian is weightier.

  • Korhomme

    Well, yes, that makes sense…but…

    I thought the Scots planters came from the lowlands where Gaelic wasn’t spoken, rather than from the highlands where it was spoken. So, did lowland Scots speak Gaelic, or did they learn Irish when they moved?

  • james

    Yes.

    Fluff.

  • 05OCT68

    Brexiters complaining about tighter EU border controls FFS. Do the Tory right wing press know what a reddner is?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    A bit of both.

    http://www.ultach.dsl.pipex.com/ForLearners/A%20history%20of%20Protestant%20Irish%20speakers.pdf

    it is my understanding that more than half of the first wave of Presbyterian planters were Gaelic speakers (a great deal came from Galloway).

    Some non-Gaelic settlers did pick up Gaelic in Ireland e.g. the Scots in the Rosses area of Donegal.

    By the time of the bigger population movement from the Lowlands (1690’s, famine) there would have been a much reduced Gaelic contingent.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    You might be able to get Empire on youtube.

  • james

    Not sure why you are addressing this to me.

  • Steven Denny

    Tn, surely the electioneering is the same, dished out tripe, and its effect can be seen in the %losses from when Trimble was in leadership, and when his own leadership team more or less left and switched to the DUP. This has been the general direction since the early 2000’s. Somehow, we need a coalition of the middle ground… but I do not see this happening anytime soon.

  • 05OCT68

    Apologies for venting.

  • Korhomme

    Thanks for the link.

    My ancestors came from Galloway and settled around Doagh, Co Antrim, in the early 1640s — there is said to have been a relationship by marriage to John Knox. I had always imagined that they were monoglot English speakers. Rather later, two were (non-subscribing) Presbyterian clerics who knew Greek and Hebrew; I don’t know if they knew Irish or Gaelic.

    Once again, I have the distinct feeling that the version of history that I was taught was ‘expurgated’ of all non-appropriate heresies. I really didn’t know that my ancestors could well have been Gaelic speakers.

    Yet again, I find my understanding of history to be very questionable; and not just mine, for I think that ‘loyalists’ have been as betrayed as much as have been ‘nationalists’ — their versions suitably modified to suit the politics of the time.

  • Toye native

    You could find the middle ground being even more squeezed, if the pul middle class come out another 5 percent, they will struggle to win seats,
    The Republican bogey men is helping the dup from one side, and the evangelical stance is winning them voters who were hardline uup voters from the other side,

  • Conchúr

    Irish citizenship didn’t exist a century ago because there was no Irish state. There most certainly was an Irish nation.

  • Zeno

    In a rational world people are not swallowing the nirvana story and strongly recognize the possibility they could easily all end up worse off politically and financially. So why bother, better the devil you know and all that.

  • Dónall

    You can be culturally Irish, in Irish we call this Gaelach (Gaelic) and Irish-Americans are Gaeil Mheiriceá (Gaels of America). I’m sure you can be also culturally British and god forbid culturally Chinese. You can also be of Irish descent – both groups can be called Irish-Americans.

  • Dónall

    His ancestors were known as the Scots-Irish (Ulster Scots these days). But of course Scotland was invaded by Irish people in the early middle-ages. There has always been Scottish people living in Ireland and vice a versa and alot of Scottish people spoke Gaelic a language that came from Ireland. But perhaps the most ironic thing of all is that Scoti originally meant Irish in Latin and Scotia ‘Ireland’. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotia

    Further to my comment yesterday on the name and location of Britannia, in Irish and Scottish Gaelic Scotland is known as Alba(n) which comes from the native Celtic name for the Island of Britain Albion which is preserved in the name of football teams such as Greenwich Albion.

    Wales is known as an Bhreatain Bheag ‘little Britain’ in Irish Gaelic. Where as in Welsh an Irish man is known as a Gwyddeleg and it is from this Welsh word that the word Gaedheal (modern Irish) Gael comes. In Welsh and Scottish Gaelic Wales is known as Cymru and Cuimrigh “fellow country men”.

    Finally England is known as Sasana which unlike the name England ‘the land of the Angles’ refers to the Saxons as in the names Essex, Sussex and Wessex. It is Interesting how people define themselves and others.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I don’t have my book to hand (Ian Malcolm’s “Towards Inclusion”,which is jam packed with Protestant-Gaelic trivia or ‘Lundyness’ depending what way you look at it) but I seem to remember that for a while Presbyterian clerics were obliged to Gaelic in order to serve some congregations e.g. local ones in Antrim or garrisons staffed by Highland regiments.

    I think you’re spot on regarding the ‘expurgated’ history, good loyalists in general want to hear about Gaelic speaking ancestors as republicans wish to hear about ancestors in the British army(i.e. not very much but it does happen).

    Here’s one I cobbled together http://amgobsmacked.blogspot.hr/2013/12/foreigners-lundys-and-irish-language.html

    I’m not a historian, more of a historical bin-hoaker but as I rule I try to make my posts ‘Seaan Ui Neill proof’ in order to minimise bias

  • Devil Éire

    No it hasn’t.

  • Korhomme

    The more I learn these days, the more I’m confused and disturbed.

    I’m not a believer in conspiracy theories, but I do get the feeling that Irish has been expunged from ‘loyalist’ identity; it’s as if a new ‘loyalist’ identity has been imagined, one where Irish played no role. And if this isn’t the case, just listen to Snarlene and her colleagues on the matter of an Irish Language Act. It seems to be a denial of the past; but perhaps, like me, they were unaware of it; but they are also totally unprepared to learn afresh.

    Columbus, a Genoase, was a polyglot; he needed some understanding of half a dozen languages to master his disparate crew, and to chat up Ferdinand and Isabella. Even that ‘ould bitch’ Queen Victoria spoke German to Prince Albert, and her son had perfect French. Where did we transform to monoglotualism, and why? Is it because the nationalist shutters came down in Europe — though in border areas, bilingualism is common and necessary; is it a retreat into some sort of imagined past (think of Brexit)?

    While I find the bilingualism of my ancestors surprising, for it’s at odds with my received view of history, what I find much worse is the retreat to the present narrow insularity today, and the ‘politicisation’ of a language; and all of it based on a past that really didn’t exist.

  • ted hagan

    Among unionists, I believe, it’s the fear of humiliation, defeat and loss of pride that drives them rather than any particular dislike of the Republic.
    Loyalists have many, many flaws, but they are a proud people.
    They know that once the battle is lost the game is up for ever.
    That their identity would dissipate, as it has in the Republic.
    Republicans have never had that feeling.

  • Deplorable Ulsterman

    The entire West, doomed to demographic annhialation. You probably already are signed up from the signs of it.

  • PeterOHanrahahanrahan

    He can identify as he wishes. Were Kosovars actually Serbian all along? The Pontic Greeks were welcomed back as Greeks after thousands of years in other lands, it’s not as tayto-headed a notion as it sounds.

    “Pontic Scot” has a nice ring to it, and probably makes a lot of sense should the comparison be given more thought.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    https://www.scribd.com/document/27603/Progressive-Unionist-Party-Principles-of-Loyalism-Document Go to page 10 of 34 and read the point on “Reciprocal Loyalty” You will find that this is the point any Loyalist will try to explain ?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    ” it’s as if a new ‘loyalist’ identity has been imagined, one where Irish played no role.”

    Absolutely!

    From what I can gather there appears to be several ‘junctures’ where Protestants lurched from all things Irish; namely partition and the rise of Irish nationalism (e.g. Douglas Hyde and the Gaelic League and the ‘Orishness’ that followed island-wide) and the onset of the troubles.

    Pre-troubles my grandfather and his brothers (all B-Men and very hardline unionists) would have played trad music at village meetings in what is still a predominantly unionist village.

    On the other side of the family, their Orange hall was constantly hosting dances of the folk variety. The Orange halls of Co central Down had a rich fiddling culture.

    It was summarised for me by John Taylor who in an effort to show how ‘non-Irish’ Protestants declared “that we don’t dance at crossroads” (like themuns do, presumably) when any cursory glance at Ulster culture would show that Protestants had been doing so in Ulster and Scotland for centuries.

    The communist party couldn’t pull off such successful acts of cultural re-programming

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Read this, it’ll blow your mind:
    https://www.booksireland.org.uk/store/all-departments/5793-2

    I lent it to a local Orange big wig, he soaked it up.

    Though I imagine that many other Orangemen would treat it like Necronomicon…

  • Am Ghobsmacht

  • Jeremy Cooke

    Don’t underestimate the impact of the 1581 Covenant on Loyalists; it’s not history on the Shankill or Markethill. There is a fear and distrust of treacherous governments of whichever hue; and a hard-headed knowledge that if they are betrayed by the Crown then royal heads can be severed from Royal shoulders again.

    I’ve heard PUL refer to themselves as Covenanters.

    It’s the bargain between the Crown and Loyalism but still keeping the powder dry.

  • Jeremy Cooke

    “If all else fails, I will retreat up the valley of Virginia, plant my flag on the Blue Ridge, rally around the Scotch-Irish of that region and make my last stand for liberty amongst a people who will never submit to British tyranny whilst there is a man left to draw a trigger.” – George Washington

    Not sure if the above quote is true but then that doesn’t matter if people believe it.

  • Korhomme

    “cultural re-programming”

    Indeed it is; shades of 1984.

  • Timothyhound

    But would their identity dissipate as much as they think? Sure – the British state would be gone which is pretty fundamental. However I believe there is a genuine change in the South – now more liberal, cosmopolitan and globally focused. Flags, anthems, Irish language obligations, even a reformed Commonwealth are up for grabs.

  • Timothyhound

    Interesting post. Any more insights to share?

  • NotNowJohnny

    Do you read both The Guardian and The Sun?

  • Steven Denny

    Jim, you have hit the nail on the nail on the head in terms of mindset/mentality vs. culture. The Irish, in general terms, have emigrated to new shores as a result of economic migration and necessity… and quite happy to assimilate and integrate into what was there already… but still maintain “cultural” indicators. The “British” mindset and mentality within Ireland and many other parts of the world, has as its main proponent, one of “Civilisation”, “Superiority”, “Conquest”, “Military” and “Power” etc… This is all very well… until it actually unravels and is not true… leaving behind remnants that are unable to hold back the tide of change. The other aspect to this, is that it is also fairly stagnant/distant from the “cultural mothership” and becomes something of an unrecogniseable distilled version to the faster paced centre.

  • 05OCT68

    “While the framers of the Solemn League & Covenant professed loyalty to the Crown they made it clear that their first loyalty was to wishes of the people of Ulster.” I don’t know the year of the covenant, but they clearly did’t anticipate the present political reality. If unification was voted for in Ulster would Loyalism respect the wishes of the people of Ulster? “Thus our loyalty to the Crown is conditional upon Parliament endorsing and protecting the wishes of the people of Northern Ireland to maintain inviolate their British citizenship” What if the people of Northern Ireland vote for unification & British citizenship is protected does that square with the conditionality? If British citizenship can’t remain protected & inviolate outside of the UK, then Loyalism has to recognize Irish Nationalism’s assertion that unification is the best guarantee of our citizenship.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    “What if the people of NI vote for unification & British citizenship is protected does that square with the conditionality” ? But this is not what we are seeing from the behaviour of SF at zero ground level who are still pushing an ethnic wipe out agenda of all/anything britishness. It is a cultural war ! Even that headbanger from the Short Strand recently critised the News Reporter Paul Clarke for commentating on the British (Irish Members) Army in Afganisatan. The Nut Job could not even shake the hand of a young girl who was a member of the British Gadets at a BCC function. I think Republicans need to seriously go away and have a soul searching review of such tactics and ask themselves is it working ?

  • jimbob622

    I agree, you expand the point really well!

  • Steve

    I think again the problem is that the Unionist identity is defined as much about what its people are not as what they are. Therefore, anything which threatens that black and white view of ‘us British, them Irish’ is supressed and ignored.

    Life is always more complicated than such simplistic views of identity.

  • Steve

    That’s a link to a book about fiddle playing in Co Down ?

  • Steve

    The concept of any sort of ‘bargain’ between the English monarchy and Ulster loyalism is about 300yrs out of date. The Windsors know little and care even less for the loyalists of Ulster, and would happily sell them down the river without a second thought.

    Loyalism is the equivalent of still worshipping the first girl you ever kissed thirty years later when she’s moved away, got married, had kids, and can’t even remember your name any more. Unrequited love is just self destructive

  • Steve

    I think you’re underestimating the bogeyman status of the Republic amongst unionists/loyalists. A large number of them have still never even set foot in the place.

    Also – why would their identity dissipate ? Unionist identity in the Republic declined after partition, largely because of the very small numbers involved and their lack of geographic concentration. But it’s worth noting that Orange Lodges do exist south of the border, and the Orange Order have been free to march in Donegal for years with their British flags etc without the locals batting an eyelid. A reconfigured Ireland comprised of north and south would see Unionists/protestants constitute over 15% of the population, and with a very clear geographic concentration. How then would their identity dissipate ? If anything I suspect a new post-partition Ireland would go out of its way to accommodate PUL identity, and have it enshrined in its constitution as a founding principle of the new arrangement e.g. a return to the Commonwealth. It would probably do more to enable their identity than Westminster ever does.

  • Steve

    Can you explain how you think the people of Northern Ireland – the most state-dependent part of these islands, containing some of its most economically and socially deprived neighbourhoods – would be worse off as part of a new Ireland than they are currently ? And there has never been a nirvana story of the south. There has, though, been a longstanding story of it being a coven of Rome, which is laughably out of date these days.

  • Steve

    The ROI economy has made a remarkable recovery from the crash, and has paid back its bailout to the EU.

    It is also part of the world’s biggest economic block of 350m people, whilst the UK is shrinking from that size to one of just 62m. Less again if the UK itself unravels.

  • james

    I have read both, certainly, and even to this day I come across the odd online article from one or the other.

    I wouldn’t waste my time reading either regularly since both are, in my personal view, stuffed with juvenile, naive and half-baked content.

  • Steve

    All countries cook their own economic figures/indicators – it’s not the preserve of the ROI. And it’s certainly not a sport the UK is unfamiliar with.

    Reports also show that 3.7m working households in the UK are in poverty. That’s households btw – the combined number of people within them will be much higher.

    And amidst the UK’s claims of continually falling joblessness and approaching full employment, reports assert that 5.4m people – or 18% of those of working age – are not actually in work.

    Pointing out the splinter in the Republic’ eye whilst ignoring the piece of 4×4 in the UK’s gives one a rather jaundiced view of the reality.

  • Youboy

    You mean Germany, Italy, a bunch of hangers on, and a bigger eastern group that are diverging from the project already, and I’m not even mention the term ‘Ponsi Scheme’!

    Ireland has very greatly benefitted from joining the EU, but now it’s a nett contributor, things aren’t quite so good.

    How long will the EU last in it’s current form, and will they EVER get a set of accounts passed are two important questions.

  • 05OCT68

    The fear & distrust of treacherous governments is a result of Loyalism never having influence in Parliament & knowing the old Stormont regime was a sideshow. How to convince them that they would wield real influence in Dublin in a unified Ireland.

  • Zeno

    I was just making the point that the ROI is not the glowing wealthy Nirvana some people think it is.
    I didn’t say the ROI cooked their figures. The figures are exactly right given the rules of measuring them. The problem is the big multinational corporates are skewing to figures to such an extent that they have no value. Google a few years ago booked 17 billion in European and Australian sales through their Irish Office. That 17 billion is added to GDP and even made them Irish exporter of the year.
    They don’t manufacture anything in Ireland, they didn’t sell this 17 Billion from the Irish Office. They just booked it there for Tax purposes.
    That is just one example of why the figures are nonsense.
    https://www.stubbsgazette.ie/news/google-is-ireland-s-no-1-exporter

  • Steve

    It seems the Irish ‘brand’ became – or was allowed to become – at least as much of an expression of politics and culture than just a simple national identifier. Especially for a people who define themselves as much by what they’re not as by what they are.

    Though I note that hasn’t stopped hundreds of thousands of Ulster protestants from proudly roaring on Ireland and considering themselves Irish when it comes to rugby over the decades.

  • Zeno

    We don’t pay 50+euro to go to the Doctor.
    We don’t pay if we go to Hospital.
    We can’t afford to lose jobs in the public sector.
    Ireland doesn’t look like it can afford the Block Grant we get.
    We can’t see any advantage is a United Ireland.

    Here is a peculiar thing: despite GDP levels, household spending in the Republic of Ireland is in fact below the European Union average; whereas household spending in Northern Ireland is nearly 20% above the European Union average. This would explain why visitors to both parts of Ireland – on one side of the border there are more BMWs (and indeed cars generally) sold, more money spent on eating out and more money spent on household goods, and yet it is not the side of the border you would expect according to the GDP figures. So the word “poorer” requires care – it would be better to specify “lower GDP per capita”.
    Ian Parsley 2015.

  • Nevin

    It’s a little more nuanced – as you will have noted in 1998/1999:

    http://www.irishrugby.ie/images/content/clubcommunity/UlsterHCupWin1998.jpg

  • Korhomme

    Denial and rewriting history by the ‘victors’.

  • NotNowJohnny

    If you really were a Sun reader then it’s hard to know what else to say.

  • Jeremy Cooke

    Can’t disagree with that but how are you going to woo them away?

  • Jeremy Cooke

    If I was a Southern politician the first thing I’d do is sort out their access to healthcare ‘coz that sort of thing really matters to many people.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Yes! And it is packed with eye popping trivia about pre-partition culture.

  • james

    I didn’t say I was a Sun reader. I said I had read both the Sun and the Guardian – not that I read the sort of simplistic crap served up by either on a regular basis.

    Your point is that if someone has read an issue of the Sun at any point in their life then they cannot be admitted to a serious discussion?

    If so, that’s rather a stupid point. If not, what point are you trying to make?

  • dcfcsteve

    Unionists definitely need to be ‘wooed’ to see the creation of a new Ireland as in their best long term interests. That is no easy task, & it’s made harder by unionism in general being very closed-minded about the need for any such change. You can’t woo someone who refuses to even acknowledge you as a suitor.

    There is also the risk that Unionists could find a wholesale change in their situation forced upon them by the British anyway. Hence why they should start at least exploring the idea now, & ideally negotiate from a position of relative strength for any such change

  • 05OCT68

    No doubt about it the NHS has been the UK’s greatest achievement & is the envy of the world, particularly in the Republic a country more familiar with the system. Now I (and I’m not an economist) would hope that economies of scale would improve affordability if 1.8 million persons entered the Irish health care market. I’ve checked my tax summary for last year & nearly 40% of my tax was spent on health & welfare in the UK. I’d imagine the boost to the Irish exchequer from the NI workforce could make an Irish NHS viable.

  • 05OCT68

    Can’t disagree with you T.E but mon it’s not all wan way traffic.

  • NotNowJohnny

    I’m trying to figure out if you’re a guardian reader or not.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I’d wager you’d be disappointed…

  • james

    Not very perceptive, are you.

    As I said (as with the Sun), I have read it and (as with the Sun) I found it to be journalistically inept, suffering from an alarming lack of self awareness & critical thinking, and largely formulated for a one-dimensional readership.

  • NotNowJohnny

    I’m surprised you expected anything else with the Sun.

  • 05OCT68

    If it’s done correctly the notion of won or lost has to be changed to a notion of offered and or accepted.

  • 05OCT68

    Here is a peculiar thing: despite GDP levels, household spending in the Republic of Ireland is in fact below the European Union average; whereas household spending in Northern Ireland is nearly 20% above the European Union average. Could the NI block grant, a 33% public sector workforce that has a further 35% of the workforce indirectly dependent said public sector explain the 20% above average household spend. What is the % GB household spending compared to the EU average?

  • Reader

    Korhomme: I might be a mongrel, but I prefer ‘cosmopolitan’.
    Orthogonal concepts I think. You could be a purebred ‘whatever’ with cosmopolitan inclinations; or instead you could be the ultimate mongrel and a real homebody.
    I think you are suggesting that you haven’t immersed yourself fully in one of the local tribes?

  • Reader

    The Saint: Not quite, if Dublin had partitioned the Island then maybe I guess.
    “Abandoned” does seem to be the right word for winning the War of Independence then signing the Treaty.

  • Korhomme

    Perhaps I’m an ‘outsider’, an observer more than a participant.

  • Jeremy Cooke

    Not sure if I agree – there’s a lot (I believe) of small “u” unionists who don’t vote but would be open for a UI if they knew what terms were on offer; people can’t eat aspirations.

    Any wooing has to be based on actualities not woolly thinking – is a UI going to have: a health service free at the point of use; maintain public-sector employment; guarantee state pensions at or better than UK levels etc etc? Address those with concrete proposals and the results may be surprising.

    Wibbling on about building bridges doesn’t cut the mustard.

  • ted hagan

    A return to the commonwealth is a non-starter. Any party that tried to push it through would be trounced at the polls.

  • tmitch57

    I picked blacks because their cultural ties to their lands of origin are the most tenuous in terms of language and customs, largely because they were forcibly made into a subculture of the dominant white European culture. But what you say does apply also to many white Americans.

  • Annie Breensson

    Even if the hypothesis reported in The Torygraph is correct, Morocco was in Africa at time of writing.

  • Zeno

    I don’t really care about it. It was just a tongue in cheek post.

  • Mark Petticrew

    Unionism’s “not hard enough” dimension holds a more prevalent stake within unionist circles than I think most people perceive. Though the TUV have, at best, only ever mustered percentage shares of 3.4% and 3.9% in Assembly and Westminster elections respectively, the party’s identifiable brand of not-an-inch unionism retains a greater number of sneaking regarders than the lowly figures of 3% suggest.

    For instance, in a January 2017 LucidTalk poll, over half (57%) of a “unionist only” sample gave a favourable rating to Jim Allister, making the TUV leader the most popular amongst unionists polled ahead of Mike Nesbitt (49%) and Arlene Foster (29%).

    Furthermore, despite only ever cobbling together 3 or 4% in Westminster, Assembly and council elections, the TUV performed notably better in elections to the European Parliament. With NI being treated as a single constituency, it’s a straight vote for each party’s candidate across the 6 counties, as well as the fact that unionists in EU elections don’t have to consider the possibility of a Sinn Féin First Minister or a Shinner taking such and such’s MP seat.

    Not hamstrung by these worries, unionists can effectively vote as they please in such elections, and, low and behold, the TUV was able to garner 13.7% and 12.1% shares of the vote in 2009 and 2014 respectively; taking roughly a quarter of all unionist votes in both 2009 (27.9%) and 2014 (23%). In light of this, the numbers of those who consider the DUP to not be hard enough are evidently in plentiful supply, with the spirit of not-an-inch seemingly being very much alive and well in contemporary unionism.

  • Reader

    ted hagan: The key thing is they have America in their title.
    You know, the place they emigrated to.

    Like the Ulster-Scots, then.

  • ted hagan

    Who identify as American first and Ulster Scots second.
    America, you know, the place they emigrated to

  • Tochais Siorai

    African Americans can have a complex mix of identities too and there’s quite a bit of Irish in there.

    Black Irish Identities

    In the mid 19th century there was a significant amount of inter racial relationships and marriages between Irish and African Americans, both on the bottom rungs of the American society. Such relationships only became widely socially taboo towards the later part of the century and into the 20th as the Irish progressed up the social ladder,