Tis the season of negative goodwill

Yesterday should have been one of the busiest shopping days of the year for the retailers of Belfast.

Instead, thousands stayed away and streets were blocked as a loyalist mob thronged into the city.

They were not full of Christmas cheer, but rather white trash angst.

The democratic decision by City Council to take down the Union flag in favour of displaying it on designated days has produced a releaser cue for the loyalist underclass in Belfast.

The pro-union Alliance party was the main target as they had moved the motion in City Hall, which was supported by the SDLP and Sinn Féin.

The republican party had initially moved that both the Union flag and the Tricolour have equal positioning on City hall with a neutral City Council flag being more prominent.

Loyalist street trouble in the Six Counties is normally seasonal.

It is a form of fascist midsummer madness.

However, this issue has turned the flagpole at City Hall into a lightning rod for the cultural insecurity of Norn Iron’s white trash.

Outsiders, i.e. British people, have told me of their bewilderment at this behaviour.

It was pointed out to me by a friend that a local government decision of this kind would not generate such a response in his native Birmingham.

In fact, he had no idea what flag was on any of the public buildings in his city.

He assumed that the Union flag would be there.

The key thing was that he didn’t care.

He didn’t care.

Despite the protestations of the loyalists about their innate Britishness, most people in Britain look on them as being somewhat different.

Certainly the “flegs” issue is difficult to translate for most people in England and Wales.

Only in Scotland is there something of an ethnic empathy for Sammy in Ulstur.

The fact remains that most people in Britain simply don’t get this.

Ironically, I think that the high profile visitor in Belfast this week, Hilary Rodham Clinton, would get it exactly.

The current US Secretary of State’s experience as the first lady of Arkansas would allow her to translate what was going down in Belfast.

Like the confederate flag flying from state buildings in the Deep South, the Union flag over Belfast City Hall has a symbolism and everyone within the culture understands the true message.

Loyalism is, at its root, about supremacist strutting and a visceral hatred of the out group.

When the “Scots Irish” migrated to North America they took their xenophobia with them.

Now, in the new Northern Ireland, without an ability to vent that hatred, loyalism isn’t really loyalism anymore.

Their attempts to create genuine cultural products celebrating who they are don’t really pass muster.

Yesterday, Irish journalist Brian Whelan tried to educate his followers on Twitter:

 “‏@brianwhelanhack If you need to understand the poverty of loyalist culture, this song might help “

Loyalists self-define largely by their collective ability to “stick it to the taigs”.

In the new dispensation they cannot do that in a way which would have been the norm for previous generations of their community.

In the USA, the fact that Barack Hussein Obama is the Commander In Chief was just too much to take for some.

The “birthers” and the “teabaggers” took to the street and they said that they “wanted their country back!”

The old wasp dominance in America, like the USA’s global hegemony, will probably pass into history sometime this century.

It is an impoverished psychological state when you are threatened by equality, but that is what drives the klan on both sides of the Pond.

The more they swagger with supremacism, they greater they reveal their deep cultural insecurity.

Faced with a democratic decision they do not like, they reacted in a way that will be familiar to the inhabitants of Planet Fitba.

It is not just property that has been threatened.

The Belfast Agreement is an internationally ratified treaty that states that the people of Northern Ireland have the right to be “British, Irish or both”.

Within that new dispensation, there is no place for loyalist supremacism.

Some of the protestors carried a bed sheet banner that stated Northern Ireland was British “then, now and forever”.

However, everyone, especially the protestors, knows that this is not the case.

Their day has gone.

91 thoughts on “Tis the season of negative goodwill

  1. aldobhoy67

    I’m taking a guess here but I assume you are a loyal follower of these marches or maybe a band member or even or maybe a member of the orange order it really doesn’t bother me, but don’t you think in 2012 its a bit silly to dress up as soldiers and demand the right to march through areas were you have not been granted access to at the taxpayers expense.I would prefer if marchers booked a park somewhere and marched til their hearts content.
    Never been into marching I’ve never seen the point in waking everyone in my wee housing scheme up to the sound of flutes and drums every weekend of the summer,a bit too anti social if you ask me. And you call this your heritage?

  2. aldobhoy67

    I don’t know enough about marches but if a republican band demanded the right to march into a loyalist area I think they would be denied, but I would stop them on both sides time to move on. Leave this nonsense in the dark ages.

  3. aldobhoy67

    I think the routes are agreed by locall authorities and residents of the area and the march organisers.
    I don’t know enough about ma

  4. Mac Tomas

    Are you back on here ? I thought you would be out wearing your underpants over your trackies fighting Global Capitalism. 🙂
    I’m happy to admit I have much in common with you, Socialism & an independant Scotland for starters, but your not ingratiating yourself by describing the comments on here as utter tripe. Your also, curiously mistaking sarcasm for hatred. No one here is advocating, ethnic cleansing, bombs under cars or shooting policemen. there is a democratic apparatus that both sides are happy with, and I have said several times here that I am not in favour of stripping Ulster protestants of their Britishness if they wish to retain it.
    Believe it or not most of us regard the Global economic crisis caused by capitalist banking as of supreme importance, and fully grasp the concept of divide & rule. It’s ancient knowledge ,but I accept it still applies universally. We know the Flag thing & Football are of lesser significance. I understand your frustration over this. I’d be interested to know if you have openly vented your republican socialist leanings at Ibrox, & what sort of progress you’ve made convincing your fellow bears.
    It strikes me that your heart is in the right place unlike your fellow traveler Steviegee. He gives the impression that he thinks he’s on a covert mission behind enemy lines to wind up the Taigs.
    You raise some interesting & valid points, but tarnish it a little by assuming there is a lack of sophistication on our part. Just hope your not resorting to the stereotype of the Thick Paddies.
    I saw Martin McGuiness engaged in cheerful conversation with Ian Paisley the other night on tv. Two guys miles apart, ideologically, theologically & culturally recognizing the other as a human being in a very basic, modest way. We are moving forward, but Christ it’s painfully slow.
    I’m still gonnae have a pop at your rubbish Fitba club though 🙂

    1. AD90

      Nah not this week, been on holiday in Berlin so I’ve had no time to fight the bankers.

      Point taken. I don’t mean to imply anyone here is thick or their points aren’t valid. I agree with lot’s of the viewpoints and ideologies people here have. My one and only issue is the tarring everyone with the same brush… I don’t assume all Celtic fans or Republicans are by default balaclava wearing terrorists. Tired of people thinking I’m some monarchy loving, bowler hat wearing monkey just because I support Rangers? Frustrating! That and the fact people seem far too preoccupied with the trivial things in life. Frustrating and depressing.

      And yes I give the cavemen who support Rangers the same sh*t! I’m not a hypocrite.

  5. aldobhoy67

    Thank you for showing us the error of our ways, I can’t say I’m well educated either just enough sense to know right from wrong.
    I don’t know were the video link you posted other than its from 12th July 2010 I can only imagine the barricades are to stop loyalist marchers from parading through a republican area in an attempt to show the taigs who s boss in that wee country.
    Not saying its right or wrong but there maybe wouldn’t be these flashpoints if the marchers chose to stick the approved route, or better still stop these pointless parades and get a life.

    1. steviegee

      stop the pointless parades does that in include parades for the easter rising ? hunger strikes? interment ? or is it just loyal order parades? and when you say approved routes is that the routes that terrorists have agreed they can march ? and for people to say theses parades are out of date ,well, scotland is going celebrate a battle to celebrate a battle (banockburn) that was fought 300 years before the boyne why no outrage? and the easter rising did not happen yesterday did it,yes you paint a great picture of what a “united” ireland would look like “one ireland many cultures” (except if your a protestant)

    2. Kevin

      Yes Stevie. Let’s celebrate the Battle of Bannockburn by marching through England every year, stopping all the traffic and saying how we’re better than them.

  6. TC

    Football ( in Glasgow) is no more a pastime than the Colliseum games were to the Romans…since the demise of Rangers FC more than one commentator has made reference to the possibility of civil unrest. Why? If there was no football at Ibrox how would the establishment control and nourish the mob? I do not mean to demean the ordinary Rangers supporter but the mob at Rangers and Belfast both highlight that there is a significant part of the community both here and in Belfast that have no wish for democratic progress.
    I was recently in Belfast staying in area now called “Hollywood” that used to be called “Holy Wood”… One of the streets is called “My Lady’s Mile” used to be “Our Lady’s Mile” and this in area that is pretty affluent and the religious community is equally divided not unlike Clydeside.
    It really is time to move on because o matter what your faith is we do not need this shit. We decry what is happening in the Middle East … Why not here?

    1. AD90

      I totally agree with you. The only difference in what I’m saying is that that “mob” mentality is alive and well on both sides. And I think it’s more complicated than football. Yes football is a vessel for idiots like this to fight over, but they would fight over anything because they are very much an “underclass”. I don’t like that word but it does apply.

      A good example of what I’m talking about is my own town. In the high street there are 3 pawnbrokers, 4 bookies, 1 money lender and 5 pubs. And right at the end of the street- for when you’ve lost all hope- the army careers office, or- “last resort”. Says a lot about the demographics of a town I think… Do you have a collection of places like this in Bearsden or Milngavie where the affluent people live? Of course not. Know what else my town has that Bearsden doesn’t? Orange walks and republican marches. Because so many people here are, through no fault of their own in many case, ill educated and ignorant and just don’t know any better. So they accept it and they turn out with their wee flags and they get drunk and they fight each other. Because what else are they going to do? Do the know the first thing about Irish history other than 1890 and 1916? No. Not a thing. They’re ignorant and they don’t even know why they’re angry. They just know they’re expected to be “cos their da done it”. And it’s no coincidence, the councils that approve these marches know exactly what they’re doing. You don’t get it affluent areas because people are more educated and just wouldn’t accept it. Up here and in NI it’s “kafflics versus proddies” mentality, in England and Wales its racial or its gang warfare etc. But people never seem to riot over the things they should. We can be plunged into a recession that is, according to news reports, seeing single mothers turn to prostitution to feed their children- but the thing that gets people angry enough to make a fuss is a piece of cloth???? What is that if it’s not ignorance and lack of education?

  7. weefergus

    @ AD90 For a guy who cannot abide religion you sure have been doing some research on it over they years

    I smell pork ( porky pies )

    1. AD90

      Knowledge on a subject = a love of a subject? Maybe in your mind. It’s because I actually have some real knowledge on it that I can’t stand it. More people should do their homework.

  8. aldobhoy67

    Seems they don’t like democracy eh, but then again we already knew that.
    ad90 why do you insist on argueing with everyone about this if there are more important issues to worry about.
    As far as I can see an angry mob has gathered to cause mayhem and bring terror to the streets and should be dispersed as this is what would happen in any civilised city.
    This is no peaceful protest this is an underclass from the past trying pathetically to flex its muscles.
    What you fail to grasp is that we all want peace but this lot can’t let go of their inglorious past.
    Time to catch up with the modern world.

    1. AD90

      What you can’t seem to grasp is I’m trying to say both sides of the divide are as bad as each other ad people who come on to this blog need to “get with the times” and realise this. As long as idiots on both sides persist with this “we’re good and they’re bad” crap the trouble of the likes we’ve seen in belfast recently will never stop. I don’t think that’s an offensive statement to make? I’m not siding with the loyalists or saying they’re right. Neither am I siding with the republicans. I’m taking a totally neutral standpoint and simply trying to make people rethink their black and white attitudes to the world.

      By the way- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_WG4Vbh9EY

      I thought republicans didn’t do things like this…???? I’m confused… Isn’t it only Loyalists that riot like thugs…?

  9. droid

    NoPretender! on December 10, 2012 at 4:06 am would that not be a case of pimp ma pride? Bloody good analogy though. Serious case of Scottish Whataboutery has broken out here, accept our failings and celebrate the good we share

  10. Stevie Reid

    AD90. Loyalists are not interested in matters of equality and civil rights for catholics. ‘the we arra peepul’ mantra says it all. They deem themselvs to be some sort of superpower, the master race. Their ignorance knows no limits. Why can’t they live in peace and live together with equal rights as their catholic neighbours ? Their catholic neighbours have been treated like second class citizens throughout the years, that’s in the past, and that’s where it should stay. If the unionists want to stay british, then fine, keep their british passports. But, they can be british living in ireland.

    1. AD90

      Ok I get it. Loyaists, bad. Republican, good. Me tarzan, you jane. Very good.

      It must be nice living in a world where you only see shades of black and white. Ignorance really is bliss.

    2. YermanfromMK

      Part of the problem lies in the fact that those whom the state was engineered to advantage are losing that advantage.

      The recent census clearly records that Catholic students outnumber Protestant students by some 43K and whichever area of the education system you look at its being replicated, even Queens University has nearly 2k more Catholic students.

      The Protestant state lauded as being established for the protestant people has forsaken its very own.

      The Catholic population treated as 2nd class citizens for so long have educated themselves and out-thought and out-achieved those who’d put them down.

      We now have a reality where those who misused the levers of power to disadvantage the Catholic population have to recognise the new vista and they’re still in denial.

      The mystique of the dominate Protestantism is still in place in some areas but it is slowly but surely crumbling.

      The big, big question is will the new Catholic ascendancy treat the protestant population as they were treated?

    3. AD90

      I would guess no. We live in a very different time now. Black people have become equal with white people in south africa and the deep south, not many of them treat their white neighbours they wa their ancestors were treated. Because it is a different time and people learn from mistakes of the past (or they should).

      Listen, the bottom line is if the population of Ulster ever demands a referendum on a united Ireland, and it is voted for through democratic process by the majority of the citizens. I will be the first to congratulate them. My point is it must be what MOST of the people want. I’m not sure it is at the moment.

  11. AD90

    Just watching the news and heard one of the rioters arrested was a 13 year old boy.

    Does no one else think this is something to be depressed rather than angry about? Or am I, again, alone in this? 13 years of age. He should be at home playing the xbox not out rioting with a scarf wrapped round his face. This is what you’re dealing with here. You’re talking about generations upon generations of ignorance here. It is an education issue- not a political or religious one. I guarantee a quick look at the backrounds of the rioters will tell you most are more than likely from the schemes and estates of Belfast. These are people with little education, probably little hope as far as prospects go, and little stability in their lives. I only know this because level headed, intelligent people with stability and support in their lives just don’t feel the need to behave that way. Does anyone here really believe these people even have any real idea what they’re angry about? Are we seriously to believe these guys have Phd’s in politics and Irish History? These people would fight you over whether white is really actually white. They’re angry, ill educated, hopeless. And the issue of Loyalism/Republicanism/Catholic/Protestant is a convenient excuse for them to act like morons. You see it all over the world. Granted, you don’t see that kind of rioting just everywhere. That seems to be an Ulster tradition. But the people on the bottom rungs of societies always find a way to vent, and it’s always through criminality of some kind. You’d pity them if they weren’t doing so much damage.

    I think this is a wider issue than “what colour of flag will we fly”. This is a socio-economic issue. These people need better education, better jobs, better homes, better standards of living. As well as a better understanding of what they actually believe in and why they “hate” the “other side” so much (that can apply to certain people on this blog too I must say). Until that happens the petty point scoring and “my dads bigger than your dad” attitude will never go away.

    1. MacTomas

      That’s disingenuous tosh & you know it. It might have been schemies throwing the rocks but it was orchestrated by the UVF. The underclasses always fight the wars on behalf of their educated masters that’s not exactly a helpful observation. It was a clever attempt to avoid dealing with the wholly invalid loyalist position in Ulster.
      However it is heartening to know that there is a hippy with a modern studies standard grade now watching Sevco 🙂

    2. AD90

      Not at all Mac Tomas, theres nothing disingenuous about it. It’s a very much genuine belief. There are most definately more pressing matters in the world at the moment. All this crap is a distraction from the real issues. “Keep them distracted and divided and we can rob them blind and exploit them” seems to the order of the day at the moment. It’s happening all over. And it’s not new, governements and churches have been doing it for as long as there have been governments and churches! If you want my honest feelings on the subject, I think the “underclass” and working classes should stop constantly fighting with each other and open their eyes to the real issues around them. I’m currently far more annoyed at the fact bankers can destroy a worlds economy and walk away with millions while the people at the bottom are struggling to feed their children. That annoys me a touch more than what colour rag is flying on some building, or whether some football club is old or new or both or…? I don’t care. I assure you this is not a distraction or whatever you like to call it, I just happen to think that more people should be talking about real issues like this than the pointless never ending tripe I see on this blog. Football is a pass-time, nothing more. Social class issues are real life. And I live in the real world.

      And I’m not keen on the word hippie. More neo-socialist I’d say. 😉

  12. Dal

    You’ve earlier gone on a diatribe about historical misdeeds. Why not keep up with the present? In Belfast a member of the BNP addressed a lynch mob and spewed out vitriol. That’s what Nazis do ofcourse. Civilisation is watching you. People are not stupid and know what they’re witnessing.

    1. AD90

      Yet another who has missed the point by a country mile. Astounding. Answer me this honestly: Do some sections of the catholic republican community not commit acts of criminality and violence? Do they not have archaic, outdated views? Are some of them not narrow minded and bigoted? What are your honest thoughts on these questions? Do you genuinely believe that the issues of bigotry, ignorance and intolerance are exclusively Loyalist problems? My “diatribe” was not meant as a history lesson or an effort to smear the church, it was supposed to make people like you realise that each and every society- including yours, has it’s ugly side.

    2. AD90

      And btw society is not “watching” ME and the insinuation I am even closely related to those idiots in Belfast is frankly offensive. I am not a loyalist, or a unionist, or a monarchist, or a protestant, or a racist, or a bigot. Just because I do not lap up the same propaganda as other people here does not make me any of these things. I am a nationalist, I hate the monarchy, I can’t abide religion of any kind and I don’t have a racist bone in my body. I simply have a mind of my own and the ability to draw my own conclusions. Just because I happen to disagree with a lot of what is said here does not make me one of your “ancient enemies”.

  13. steviegee

    some good points AD90 ,it seems it is easy to point the finger at big bad proddys through history while ignoring,airbrushing other peoples history i do not believe most catholics are mass killers or bigots and the same applies to muslims ,jews ect but as has been said the catholic church had certain individuals who were bloodthirsty bigoted killers and some of the biggest mass killers in history were born roman catholics including every leading nazi and facist during ww2 but maybe that is abig bad proddy lie.

  14. Antonious F

    Saturdays rally addressed by former BNP fundraiser Jim Dowson, while Billy Hutchinson demands to know who gave out the details of the Alliance party members, rather than condemning those involved in the attacks and the rioting.

    i wonder if he got that idea from a certain football manager.

    I dont need a flag on my house, in my street or on a public building to know my identity.

    Mob rule, so predictable

  15. Stevie Reid

    AD90…atrocities committed by catholics, you then proceed to mention dates…hundreds of years ago. Jeez ! Get with the times. That’s the point people are making. The protestant underclass over there are stuck in the past. The times are a changing. Come summer time may i suggest that the knuckledraggers over there forward their calendars by 300 years, as well as their clocks by an hour. Another suggestion, why don’t they fly a flag above the city hall that represents all the community in the north. A flag that has green for the republicans, orange for the orange community, and white in the middle for peace.

    1. AD90

      Well I could give more recent examples of intolerance, the views toward homosexuality, other faiths, abortion and attitudes towards women in general etc. And the most recent example was 1942, hardly hundreds of years ago. And get with the times? You mean the way people who frequent this blog do when the bang on about the plantation of Ulster hundreds of years ago? This couldn’t possibly be another case of double standards could it?

      Aside from that we seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet here. I’m just trying to show people here that every group of every society has its ignorant morons and zealots. I could have easily listed muslim or jewish atrocities but a quick glance at the demographics told me using the catholic church would hammer the point home more effectively! I’m not for one second suggesting this type of behaviour is unique to the Vatican. The people on here just seem to have some worrying, and frankly dangerous, views on how Loyalists and Protestants are the root of all evil and are the only “knuckle draggers” (good description) in the world. My “diatribe” was supposed to challenge these views and make some people see that it is simply not that black and white.

  16. patrick

    Phil how can they define identity in a positive way? I am a Celtic fan and in no way does the Union flag offend me and if its not flying over the council building I don’t feel like burning cars. Oldco/sevco or the so called “loyalists” don’t represent all things British.

    Why would they lay waste to a major UK city?
    Do they know any of Britain’s history apart from one date?
    Where were they at Danny Boyle’s excellent vision of Britain?

    I saw suffragettes, Jarrow marchers, the industrial revolution, we has a mini, listened to the Jam, the Who and the Sex pistols we had all aspects of a modern Britain, and not a bowler hat in sight, nothing of the quintessential football club now defunct nada, nowt, nothing because they don’t and never have represented Britain.

    Merry Christmas to all.

  17. yogibhoy

    a “teabaggers” protest totally boggles the mind phil . dirty bhoy !
    i think the term is “tea party ” activists .

  18. iain

    what has issues in belfast got to do with a west of scotland football club ….nothing you bunch of halfwits …people like yourselves should hang your heads in shame nothing but illiterate bigots who have no place in a decent society …tell them phil its an irish problem nothing to do with scotland …

    1. Blogiston

      I was at the markets on Saturday, outside the Belfast City Hall.
      A group of a few hundred youths chanting like the Zulu army ran along Wellington Place in a well thought out maneuvre. About half of them were wearing Rangers attire and Sevco attire, i.e. tops and tracksuits. After they were addressed by Jim Dowson, a west of Scotland BNP activist, they all went into a crazy chant of, We Arra Peepol – which lasted about twenty minutes. They were peaceful, however there were many of their activists who were milling around on the periphery staring people down. One near me on Donegal Square West shouted up to people at a window, “What you fucking staring at?” Ironic, or what? The PSNI kept their distance as is their operational tactics here…decent people drained out of the city centre very quickly. It felt dangerous – as dangerous as the time I was chased along the Broomielaw by Rangers fans after we had just beaten them at Ibrox.

  19. Dal

    Perhaps you’re trying too hard to comprehend this. It’s the ethos, mentality and malevolence that draws comparisons between Loyalist lynch mobs and the KKK. Ulster’s brethren, white hoods in the deep south and the BNP are so intertwined.
    Surely you are not blind and able to see the obvious.

    1. AD90

      It says my other comment is “awaiting moderation” in other words full of too many home truths for Phil to handle. If you could see it I’d refer you to it. It’s a short list of atrocities committed by members of the Catholic faith. The point? Not to try and say Catholics are bad people but to try and show that contrary to the belief on this blog, protestant loyalists are not the only racist bigots in the world.

  20. AD90

    In fact never mind, I think I have it. It must be that both groups share a protestant lineage, no? By all means correct me if I have the wrong end of the stick but the ONLY similarity I can see between the two groups is they are (as you say) WASPS, white, angle saxon, PROTESTANT. So, again your message here seems to be: protestant = bad, racist, facist, intolerant, bigoted. Yes?

    I’d like to say again at this stage that I cannot abide any religion, whether it be christianity (of any shape or form), Islam, Judaism etc. So I have no affiliation to any of them. In my opinion the world would be a better place without them. Anyway…

    If protestants are the only bad, racist, cruel people in the world, what about the crusades? Commanded by POPE Urban II in 1095- millions of Muslim men women and children slaughtered. Or what about the Inquisition and wider “heretics” issue- the Albigensians- a christian group who refused to convert to catholocism and were exterminated by POPE Innocent (sic) in 1209 in what was the largest pre nazi mass murder. It’s said close to a million Cathars alone were also wiped out for refusing to convert to “the faith”. The modern day Inquisition is known as “The Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith” and your man Pope Benedict was the head before he was pope. Granted he doesn’t torture people into belief anymore, just brainwashes them. Then there are the good old sectarian wars you’re all experts on. Were any of you taught about the 20,000 Huguenots killed at the command of POPE Pious (sic)? Or the sack of Magdeburg in which 30,000 protestants were killed (17th century Germany makes the troubles in Ireland look like a tea party!) And who could forget the Jews? Long before Hitler started wiping them out the Catholic church had been doing it in record numbers for years! An interesting example is Seville- where Archbishop Martinez commanded the slaughter of 4,000 jews and sold 25,000 as slaves. Most interesting about this tale is the jews being made to wear “badges of shame” to identify them… Sound familiar? Oh and don’t let me forget the more recent Croatian Catholic extermination camps of 1942- this is where the Ustasha practised burning Jews alive in kilns. They even had special children’s camps. Funny that isn’t more widely known isn’t it?

    I could go on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on… The list of atrocities committed by the Catholic church over the centuries would make Hitlers toes curl. And the death toll is astronomical. You’re talking millions.

    However, I know full well most Catholics are good, decent people and not crazed, bigoted murderers. Shame that attitude isn’t applied to others eh?

    If you know your history indeed.

    1. MacTomas

      As a Catholic myself with an appetite for history I cannot argue that our history is inglorious, in fact it’s appalling. Although you have been a touch selective with your examples of atrocities. The Covenanters & Oliver Cromwells barmy army did their best to remove Papists from the mainland, but we could go on all day with this & it doesn’t move us forward.
      The ‘Flag Issue’ in Belfast is as much one of ethic strife as religious. The simple, mundane, prosaic truth is that Belfast, Derry, Enniskillen, Drumcree etc are not in Britain they are on the island of Ireland. Because one bellowing group insist the contrary does not alter the plain facts of history. There was a massive illegal landgrab in Ulster by the English & Scots & there has been a disgraceful, shameless abuse of the indiginous Irish ever since.
      Look ! you can keep your flags, bonfires & your marches who gives a s***, but spare us the wailing about the loss of your culture & liberty. The institutional protection of loyalist superiority was a State bribe to ensure loyalty to the crown, it’s not a human right !!!!
      1690 is gone. The Reformation has gone, it led to greater religious freedom & to huge reforms within the Catholic church which was great, but lets get on now.
      I really do sense a theme within the loyalist mind that you can defy reality by saying loudly the opposite is true.
      I wonder if you guys still believe in Santa ?. Or perhaps you can advance the theory that Santa is real & it’s “The Holding” Santa company that has been liquidated !
      Rangers , Gone !
      The British Administration in the 6 counties, is ENDING !

    2. AD90

      Mac Tomas Cromwell and and the Covenanters were monsters in different colours! This is precisely the point I’m making. Please don’t tell me you’re another one who has missed the point?

      My own personal belief is that Ireland should have been left alone, English and Scottish people were entitled to migrate by all means, but not colonise. That was wrong on every level and should never have happened. But you’re right, lets get with the times. There is no good saying “it should never have been”. Too late unfortunately, it is. You cannot turn back time and change it. Like it or not you have about 400 years worth of settlers who WANT to remain British. While I wholeheartedly agree the British are b*astards fro what the done in Ireland, it is too late to alter history. Are the loyalists of today now to be disposed of THEIR identity for the sins of their forefathers? And how far back are we to take this? Should we oust the “scots” nationality from Scotland because originally it was a Pictish nation? Or perhaps all the Anglo Saxons should stand back for the native Celts of the island. Or even more recent, should the white South Africans make leave to make room for the indigenous black population. Do you see what I mean? Fairness and equality for all sections of a society- yes. A complete restructuring… less feasible. Like it or not, whether it is right or not, there is a massive chunk of Ulster that just does not want to be Irish. They want to be British. And you cannot take that away from them just because 400 years ago their ancestors didn’t play fair. History is full of examples exactly like this. Where does it end if we begin down that route?

    3. AD90

      And quit it with the “you” and “your” and “you guys”! Read my other posts. I’m quite in favour of the break up of the union if that is what a democratic process in 2014 leads to. I’m no loyalist. Don’t confuse me with one just because I don’t agree with you on some issues.

  21. AD90

    I’m sorry… I must be missing the point… But can someone please explain to me what the loyalists in Ulster have to do with deep south racists…? Are they the same people? When Europeans were colonising America was there some unspoken agreement that Ulster protestants would be the ONLY demographic that settled in the deep south? And that no Irish catholics were allowed? I must have completely missed this chunk of history at school…

    1. steviegee

      no they are not the same people but it fits in very nicely with some peoples views to tie them up , i have heard many racist bigoted comments not just from protestants so there are good and bad on both sides hitler ,mussollini (spelling!!!) and franco were not exactly left wing .

    2. Ben mcginlay

      It’s called comparison, nothing to do with history. It’s the attitude of the people. The Deep South had a deep hatred for the coloureds and this is where the Ku Klux Klan were formed. In certain parts of NI there is also an intolerance for everything Catholic and certain organisations and individuals do everything they can to show their hatred. You entered the history class instead of the English one..oh well.

    3. AD90

      Oh I see… so NI loyalists and deep south rednecks are the only groups with a history of intolerance? Don’t make me laugh. The Catholic church is top of the league table of intolerance and bigotry. A long and proud history of hanging, drowning, burning at the stake and torturing anyone with a different belief from themselves. If you want REAL examples of hatred and intolerance than look no further than the Vatican. Whether it be homosexuals, people of colour, people of other faiths, women- you name it, everyone has been a victim of the Catholic holy wrath at some point in history. Yet those who call themselves catholic have the audacity to comment of the tolerance levels of others? Reminds me of a saying about people in glass houses…

      If my other post ever sees the light of day on this “unbiased” blog I urge you to read it to see some real examples of “tolerance”.

  22. DJ

    Pearsey, this time of year always brings with it a touch of sadness as children everywhere lose a little bit of innocence as their parents explain to them about santa at christmas.
    but thanks to the mob you and others have been left with the unenviable task of having to take that a step further and explain to your children a very sad truth.
    tomorrow the world becomes a far different place to these children than it was when they woke up yesterday, and a little bit more of that innocence hs gone forever.
    God bless you and your family and all these children who im sure will become balanced and productive members of society who will raise their familys in a far beter place in the future.
    unfortunately i don’t have the same confidence in the future generations spawned by the mob, but i hope i am wrong.
    Phil, great work as always. keep the truth coming out.
    Go raibh maith agat dhearthair…..

  23. paulmac

    It was interesting to see the main cheerleader at the Belfast loyalist protest was a man with a very strong west of Scotland accent…

  24. Beeegajay

    Just ‘moderated’ my own comment there. It was all about inclusion and modern Eire and the differences in preconception and reality of a modern European State. Doesn’t matter. They are so frustratingly dumb and stuck in the past over this flag business. It is very sad and dangerous, but a neccessary step. Wish they’d cop on to themselves.

  25. droid

    Sad though the minority response has been, we need to look at the numbers of people who remained in their homes respecting local democracy.

    There is such great hope going forward after much progress over the past 10 years – don’t let fragmentation on BOTH sides bring it down with short term egoism.

  26. Dal

    Your ignorance also disturbs me. Even neutrals know that these Loyalist lynch mobs are a barrier to progress. Alienating and bullying the nationalist community is not allowed anymore. Try to accept that and do something about your own lack of knowledge.

    1. steviegee

      the barriers to peace are terrorists killing innocent people and bigots that are outraged that British people wish the Union flag on public buildings can you imagine the outcry if the tri-colour was to be taken down in dublin because it offended people? or the stars and stripes was taken down for the same reason?

  27. pat

    As stated in a previous post what is being witnessed currently in regard to the union flag issue in Belfast is the outworking of a seasoned supremacist/seige mentality nurtured by historical distortion and a sense of entitlement based on political and economic superiority which predates the establishment of the northern statelet in 1920.Irrespective of the new political dispensation which recognises social and cultural equality,real change,peace and prosperity,will happen only when the loylist/unionist community actually accept that they are no longer the dominant and superior group in this part of Ireland.Real change will occur but this will take at least a generation and beyond to achieve.In the meantime innocent Nationalists and their property and places of worship will continue to be the targets of this mob as always.

  28. Pearsey

    Drove into centre of belfast tonight with my 2 kids for our annual shopping day. By the time I had got to the city centre had passed about 20 armoured land rovers & ended up driving past the Christmas market & lights as my 10 year old daughter was too frightened to get out of the car. I was angry & pissed off but then she started to ask me why these people got on like this & what was wrong with Protestants !!!! Ended up shouting at her there’s nothing wrong with Protestants & driving home in silence. I’ve just spent 2 hours explaining the troubles to my daughter something I was hoping I would NEVER have to do until she was older – ruined my day out with the kids & really saddened me to be honest. Maybe this is why despite living less than 3 miles from the city centre I only go in once a year !!!!!!

  29. Buffythecat

    An excellent piece of writing and analysis Phil. Its great to see the Alliance parties agreeing over issues that are progressive regardless of what the anachronistic mob demand. Its heartening to see Belfast beginning to assert itself as a democratic region of Ireland at last. It will only be a matter of time before the mobs children assert themselves and tell their silly parents to shut up and behave themselves.

  30. MacTomas

    You actually read “He Man” , Jeezuz !
    When a united Ireland comes along the rights of protestants & loyalists will be fully protected. In fact you’ll almost certainly be able to keep your own British passports, fly your flags & walk your walks. In fact you can have your very own “Ministry of Funny Walks” if you fancy it.
    The age of Parochial Fascism is not quite over in your twee little Queendom but it’s the beginning of the end. Time to start acting like an adult about it.
    I do agree with you on one thing. Rangers wont die coz you cant die twice !!!

  31. Diarmuid

    It’s not “cultural insecurity” it’s identity confusion. These ‘loyalists’ rage on about being ‘British’ but they don’t live on the island of Britain. There is nothing ‘cultural’ in the loyalist orange modus operandi, unless you include racism and violence.

  32. James

    Phil I could be wrong .but, years ago I read Harry’s game. And at the end of it the statement was in 20-25 years time we will not need the bullets or bombs we will beat them at the ballot box. As you said yourself they can’t handle wee siobhan with her degree.

  33. Dal

    You almost have to pity the unwashed souls, bedecked in Union Jacks. It has all the hallmarks of BNP/EDL (not to mention their white brethren in the Deep South)
    They’ve lost all credibility ofcourse. When their is nowhere else to turn…whip up patriotic hysteria. Poor ignorant buggars.

    1. steviegee

      ignorant buggars? poor unwashed souls? you have a fine way of describing fellow humans , your attitude and viewpoint are the very reason that their can and will never be a united ireland .

  34. neil

    Loyalism is being left behind because you lot are stuck in 1690.
    You are actually showing yourselves up live on TV and the whole world is either shaking its head or sniggering.
    Try and keep up with the rest of the world.

    1. steviegee

      how can you assume what the rest of the world thinks ? your arrogance and narrow minded view has me shaking my head and sniggering but i can not speak for the rest of the world unlike your superior self.

    2. Neil

      Not Superior just better read, listen to what the seasoned political leaders are saying….dont forget what I said….watch this space.

      Now just before I go, here is a supremacist saying and maybe you can tell me who says it ….”We arra peepul”?? ring any bells?????

  35. neil

    Sounds very familiar to a certain section of Scottish society who celebrated being 6 months old yesterday, but deep down knowing that their day has indeed come and definately gone.

    1. Ben mcginlay

      Says it all Steviegee. Do you believe everything you read in the papers ? Next you will commenting on how you totally trust and believe Chick Green and Mike Ashley, because they are pulling the wool over your gullible eyes. You don’t care about the ins and outs of any the finances that goes on with your NEW club. You believe all the spin from the New club and the MSM. You declare you are the peepil. I am so glad I’m not of your ilk. I live in the real world, not in a drummed up fantasy to appease the Ibrokes hoardes. I would be ashamed and embarrassed of my club in the same predicament…Chick Green knows exactly what he is doing, and you are all falling for it. And for the record I would love it if you all disappeared completely. Collectively, you have no remorse, humility or class( that you always claimed to have).

  36. The world is square

    Ally , that great leader of men said John Greigs return to Castle Greyskull(remember him who deserted a sinking ship without alerting THE PEEPLE) inspired NEWCO to victory over the worst team in Scotland….Roy of the Rovers stuff.

  37. Kevin Gallagher

    They are becoming increasingly irrelevant, and I’m glad to say, at a faster pace than I thought.

    Equal rights for everyone.

  38. stef

    The Times They Are a Changin’ sung famously by Bob Dylan in 60’s was soon followed by Civil Rights Marches in the North of Ireland. The Protestant statelet engineered by Lord Carson and other Unionists in 1921 deliberately took 6 out out of the 9 counties of the Province of Ulster as their own as they believed that is would remain dominately Protestant… Their luck has run out.. I fully believe that we are watching the end game taking place and history will confirm this. No matter your political views, Ireland as an island needs to fully include all people from all faiths and cultures… the Unionists are worried their identity is going to disappear.. their politicians are proactively targeting middle classed Catholics voters in the North… it is a lingering death for the statelet and those of Unionist persuasion and I fully believe that although we are not seen to be gloating them, that they are given assurances that they can celebrate their culture within the Republic of Ireland. The mobs running riot during the week bring shame on the Unionists and the eyes of the world will frown upon them once more. Tick Tock….

  39. Ben mcginlay

    The dinosaurs will fight all the way to extinction. Will not happen overnight. They will probably blame Catholic schools and Neil Lennon.

  40. steviegee

    as soon as people understand there will never be a united ireland we can move on as has been said how can i million protestants fit into a country that is controlled by a alien church? again 30,000 British soldiers struggled at the height of the troubles can the guards or the irish defence force cope if tragically violence broke out ? some people believe in the myth of ireland as united but ulster has a history/capital and culture of its own what about germany and austria? or holland and belgium ? canada and the stataes ? common languages and in some cases culture but countries in their own right .

    1. gazthechef

      Steviegee, I know its difficult, but you need to accept that Eire is and always has been one country.just because there is a border doesnt mean much at all.I visit Derry frequently, and Derry people visit Donegal frequently.Different currency, same people, same language.I dont even consider the border to be there any more.The simple truth is that the vast majority of people have moved on.also,any comparisons to the USA or other countries are absurd.go back to vanguard bears.

  41. Buddy Morrisey


    Its easy to say that “deep cultural insecurity” is a driver for those supremacists.

    I am not sure culture is that deep in anyone’s psyche but how do you suggest that those who see themselves as British and or European first achieve their cultural confidence within Northern Ireland and also Scotland?

    Is it all just small nation nationalists?

  42. Angie Gallagher

    Now Then and Forever!! That sounds very familiar Phil. Anyway I am supposed to go shopping in Enniskillen this week but I can tell you now if this continues I will be doing no shopping. Do these idiots not realise what damage they are doing to their own economy? All over a stupid fleg. I hope the British Government do not give in to this blackmail. Why dont they just leave the fleg where it is and fly the Irish tricolour next to it!!!!

    1. steviegee

      because its an foreign flag why dont they fly the Union flag beside the tri-colour in dublin? you really have to get the fact we are talking about separate countries and when this is taken on board we can move on.

  43. Johnny the Fox

    This inability of the klan to accept the new reality in Belfast- is perfectly mirrored here in their football bretherens patent inability to accept what liquidation means.

    For the events in Belfast the media,are properly condemning the thuggery.

    Except that here, the press are blithely playing along by reporting on the 140th ‘birthday’ of RFC 1872-2012. Black is now white, up is down, Rangers did not die…

  44. Island Mac

    According to the Royal British Legion, the union flag should be flown on Government buildings on 18 occasions in any given year. I understand that the Belfast City Council agreed to fly it fifteen times, so not much difference there you would have thought. However, when you look at the list you will see that it includes such memorials such as;

    20 January; Birthday of the Countess of Wessex

    10 March; Birthday of the Earl of Wessex

    Phil, have you not considered that if the above dates have been omitted then righteous anger from those loyal to these esteemed members of the monarchy might be expected, in Belfast, but not anywhere in Great Britain.

  45. TommyBhoy

    Phil,it’s either a very brave,or very stupid man to put such an honest view on the goings on in the wee emerald Isle-yes,no matter what anyone says,it is still Ireland.
    I read your posts from far away lands and,well,my heart feels like it’s on a roller-coaster.I’m elated with humour,saddened by truth,warmed by the wisdom and insight you bring.I scratch my head sometime’s and wonder-what will it take.Regardless of faith,colour or creed,all people deserve equality,and from looking at some of the networking sites I don’t see a way forward anytime soon.Lots of these folk are are so deeply engrained in a bitter single-mindedness that they’ll never want or have peace or true happiness in their lives-only a tunnel visioned,visceral disregard for anything that isn’t Royal or Orange……

    I end by saying this…………..

    You”re a brave man my comrade.

  46. franco

    Im surprised that the pondlife over here havent jumped on the “Ulster is British” keek bandwagon & had a couple of wee demos on the streets of Bonnie Scotland…maybe threaten,bully or intimidate some innocent people who dont conform to the loyalist views…maybe the “herrenvolk” over here have had the stuffing knocked out of them re the death & demise of RFC 1872-2012.
    Maybe Wull-yum realises that the old way of life is changing & people want change for the better over here in Scotland…must be weird for Wull-yum to see change happening in Belfast;-)
    I genuinely feel sorry for the shopkeepers/traders who are losing a lot of much needed money from lack of trade due to these loyalist thugs.

    Hope all ends well for the decent people of Belfast.

  47. Dannybhoy1976

    2012 has been a memorable year for many, although the loyalists will likely pretend it never happened, much like the goings-on at a certain (now defunct!) football club…


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