Downfall. How Ulster Loyalism self-destructed

After the kulchurr comes the clean-up.

A sixteen year old girl requires surgery and her hopes of a career hang in the balance.

The chaos wrought by this seasonal celebration of Britishness is rather expensive.

The man charged with her attempted murder is a leading Orangeman.

Of course, he has the presumption of innocence and this is a live legal case.

However, the jury is not out on the cost of this annual festival of fascism.

Not just in policing costs, the drain on the resources of the fire service and court time.

The reputational damage to the Six Counties is significant.

The New Northern Ireland wanted to tell the world that the Troubles were over and that it was open for business.

I pity anyone trying to lure inward investment into the Six Counties after those images viralled across social media.

Now an unnamed loyalist group has posed with weapons and stated that they considered PSNI officers to be “legitimate targets”.

Apparently these chaps are so British that they will demonstrate it by killing British policemen.

However, they think their only crime is loyalty.

So they obviously  get a pass on ripping off ears and biting fingers…

This is a self-harming sub culture that is spiralling into a pit of historical irrelevance.

Everyone else can see this, but they can’t.

A key part of the new dispensation that ended the armed conflict in the Six Counties was that the public space of Northern Ireland would be shared.

Central to that sharing was parity of esteem for both traditions.

Burning effigies of elected Sinn Féin representatives on 11th night bonfires is hardly respectful.

The public space of the old Orange State was a British monoculture and anything associated with Irishness was verboten.

Now, slowly, that is changing.

The vast majority of people in Northern Ireland realise that the future has to be shared and that the public space has to reflect that new reality.

Sinn Féin, like all other political parties, must be respected on the basis of their democratic mandate.

What the world has witnessed over the past few days is a sub-culture that is angry that the future will not exclusively belong to them.

Rage against the mainstream.

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