Friday, 25 October 2013

Have We Forgotten How to Remember?

There's an awful lot of remembering going on at the moment.

More than I can remember there being for this time of year.

And there's more to come in early November and, baby, this is just the warm up, 2016 is approaching fast..

So far, this spring, summer and autumn we've remembered dead terrorists (or volunteers or soldiers or murderers or whatever title you prefer); we've remembered (as usual) bygone battles but forgotten who was playing; who was on who's side and why the battles were even fought in the first place (because of banks or because of themuns?).
We've remembered massacres and we've remembered those who committed the massacres.
We've forgotten about the economy and sometimes who's in charge.
We've remembered dead rebels and butchered battalions.
But we've forgotten the true principles of what they all died for (throwing stuff at police it ain't).

For the hell of it I've decided to see what I could commemorate today, October the 25th.

So far, I could salute the following fallen:

The Battle of Agincourt

The charge of the light brigade during the Battle of Balaklava in the Crimean War.

The 'liberation' (annexation/daylight robbery) of the Transvaal

The Bolshevik Revolution (depending on which calender you use)

Nelson Mandela's prison sentence

Out of the above list, I'm sure I could find some some reason for solemn contemplation and reflection or just drunken revelry.
Everything is catered for: British Imperialist 'Glory'; the fightback of the working classes; the galvanising of a world leader or even just a spot of 'giving the froggies ten of the best'.

But I won't.

I do have an annoying French neighbour, and the temptation to drunkenly recite "we band of brothers" prior to unleashing to a volley from English longbows is great indeed.

My French neighbour

But live and let live and all that jazz.

Now - garden-fence obsessed, irritating Frenchmen notwithstanding - were I to use any of the aforementioned events as a reason for exhibiting some sort celebration/commemoration, I would nonetheless take into consideration the feelings and reactions of those around me before I started toasting to the memory of Cecil Rhodes or the death of the oppressive yoke of bourgeois (sic) imperialist tyranny.

If I had Afrikaner/Boer neighbours, I'd reconsider the flying of Union flags and blasting out 'Land of Hope and Glory' to celebrate my country's stealing of their (also stolen?) land, or if I were commemorating Mandela, well, I'd be as sensitive as possible.

If my neighbours were from the former USSR, well, I'd dip my toe in the proverbial vodka to see how such proceedings may go down.
(You'd be surprised; I have been bombarded with drunken fact-attack as to why 'Uncle Joe' was a great and strong man courtesy of a Georgian family that I lived with)

Joseph Stalin: Not as unpopular as you might think

However, were I living next door to a veterans' retirement home, namely one belonging to the 11th Hussars (Prince Albert's Own) I'd be straight over there with a bottle of gin and a few Union Flags.

As with many things, commemoration is a right, but not necessarily always 'right'.

There is (literally) a time and a place.

(A fitting place is the copied collection of 'The Books of the Dead' in St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast. A small statue of a soldier standing over a cabinet. 
The cabinet contains books which record the names of every Irish man killed in WWI. 
On the panels there is an engraving "As gold in a furnace he tried them")
The Books of the Dead

                                             But is there always a need?

Remembrance and commemoration in Northern Ireland has also been sat upon the great see-saw of themuns and our-uns; if the see-saw goes up and themuns are on it, well, it is probably offensive to our-uns.

"Let's not investigate the matter but go with the flow!"

One of the many casualties of the sectarian see-saw is the poppy.

For the record, I wear one when I can.

I do anxiously feel like I'm a coward as I don't like to wear it in nationalist areas but the truth is I'd happily take a beating for the poppy (I'm not much to look at anyway, so it's not like it'll do my looks any harm) but I don't like the idea of needlessly winding people up.

The great Northern Irish Matrix that we're born into won't permit us to see the other side's point of view, so a proud bearer of a poppy can't think why themuns would have any logical objection to commemorating young men who were sacrificed to the great meat-grinder when the time came.

Likewise, some of themuns can't see beyond the blood-red of the poppy itself and the sanguine attachment of memories and departed loved ones.

As usual neither side can (or rather 'will') see the view point of the other.

For those of us who have chosen 'the red pill' and escaped the Ulster Matrix (what a movie that would be!) this is yet another frustrating example of the defiance of logic in our land.

Are you offending someone? 
Well, then you don't HAVE to do it? 
Or perhaps be a bit more discreet/sensitive?

Not sure what Bruce Willis is commemorating...

Are you being an over sensitive and easily offended d*ck? 
Then perhaps back off and let the citizen remember, is it really going to ruin your day if he/she wants to remember the dear departed?

I do wear a poppy with pride.

I do think of the hell that all those young men and women went through, as needless as a lot of it was.

But I am in Australia for the time being.

The nearest victims of Bomber Command are quite some distance away.

In Belfast, the victims of the British Army, the IRA and the Loyalists are in the city centre every minute of every day.

Wear your poppy with pride by all means, but spare a thought for those who see it as a gloat as opposed to a token of respect.

It's supposed to be a respectful symbol but people such as the Protestant Coalition are helping to ensure that it can't be seen in this way.

This hijacking of the poppy has effectively shut many people of a Catholic background out of the remembrance house.
Many Catholic men from Ireland took up arms for the Imperial Army and were slaughtered.

But the way in which we handle the matter of remembrance in Northern Ireland has relegated their memory to mere ghosts.

And Unionists are doing little to bring them back in from limbo.
Remembering them...

...NOT them!

As for the Shankill Bomber Begley's plaque and the public commemoration?

I struggle with that one.

Whilst some people may see him as a soldier, at the time of his butchery (or collateral damage as dead Protestants were known back then) Sinn Fein had a very modest fan base so only a minority saw him as such.

Seeing corpses on the news with one's breakfast every other day left a very sour aftertaste for most of us.

But, that being said, a soldier is how some in Ardoyne and indeed throughout Ireland may see him.

However, unlike Bomber Command and their monument in London (the popular choice of comparison) Begley's victims are within walking distance of his memorial.

That commemoration alone may have extended the life span of those nearby peace-walls by a generation, as did his actions.

Even longer if a tradition has become of it.

Is the commemoration really worth such a price?

We talk about the future yet focus on the past with great intensity.

If these actions are defensible then why even speak of a future for there quite clearly is none?

It is secondary to the past.

A past that none of us want to revisit and a past that has left many of us angry.

Very f*****g angry.

You don't have to be a world-class shrink to know that bottling up anger is bad but it is all we can do till 'carnival' season arrives and people let off steam by throwing heavy things at the police.

It's time for society (not our politicians - hell no, they've been found wanting bar a praiseworthy few) to think about the damage our defiant pride and hunger for remembrance does to each other.

The see-saw goes up and down and every one of us feels that heavy crashing judder when it's our turn to clumsily land.


BTW: Part way through this rant I came across this rant of a similar theme:

Never before have I been so glad to see my work bested so convincingly by another (it happens a lot, I'm just seldom okay with it).

Sunday, 20 October 2013

"A shared future. As long as WE get the bigger share..."

There's been a spot of hullaballoo as of late:

Jamie Bryson arguing against any changes in Loyalism lest it become more 'cuddly'
How Jamie sees 'New Loyalism'...

Various politicians digging their heels in against any changes to grammar schools or the segregated school system.
Apartheid: Generally thought of as a bad idea.
Except in Northern Ireland.

And now former Derry GAA player Joe Brolly defending the right of GAA clubs to name themselves after whomever they please.
Kevin Lynch: Stuff happened him
Then he happened other people
'Good bloke' or 'terrorist', he's still a sensitive topic.
Why not handle it sensitively?

It makes me wonder, who exactly are we supposed to be sharing the 'future' with?
 Are we just to be part of the Leonard Cohen song?

As long as the Loyalist band scene clings to its darker drunken side then it'll be sharing with no one apart from like minded folks in Scotland and Liverpool.

The apartheid that we have in Northern Ireland's education system does a good job of making sure that we don't share a lot of space, sports or culture during our most formative years.

And now a sportsman/sports commentator, though speaking of his own accord and NOT for the GAA comes out with this little bombshell:
"It's nobody else's business - it's as simple as that," 
"People can either like it or lump it."
 "That's the way societies and communities work. Kevin played hurling for Dungiven and for Derry, and the hurling club was named for that reason. We're very proud of him.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is jolly well that. Seemingly.

It is yet another example of people not willing to put their money where their mouth is with regards to making Northern Ireland an easier or better place to live.

As we are all boringly aware, nearly everything can be a bone of contention; what church you go to, how you say the letter 'h', what football team you support.
A big deal or cause for suspicion can be plucked from the most minute detail.

We all know this.

Yet when our backs are up and we're on the defensive about something then we adopt a more cold black & white tone:

An Orange march through an area where it's not wanted becomes "men walking the Queen's highway to their place of worship"

Flying all manner of flags to mark out the tribal territory becomes "an expression of culture"

Naming clubs after men who did some pretty awful things becomes " nobody else's business".

With all three examples it is a case of being simultaneously 'true' and 'utter bollocks'.

It's a common tactic in the grim North to be all reasonable, emotional and plea for empathy when one is asking for something.
The normal response to this is a cold logical rebuttal that removes emotion from the scenario.

I wish that both sides would stick with their principled empathy based arguments and stop changing their faces depending on whether  they are doing the pleading or the refusing as is the case currently.

The GAA has put a lot of emphasis on its cross community work:

So, on one hand 'good'. Well done. Hat's off. Nice one Cyril.

On the other hand, the aforementioned 'bollocks'.

We all know what the main obstacles for Protestants are:

* The perception of Nationalist and Republican imagery, reverence and symbols.

* The sometimes too-close-for-comfort association with Republicanism and Republicans. Or, as many Protestants prefer to label some hallowed dead Republicans - "murderers"

* Rule 1.8, the flying of the 'National Flag'. The national flag to Unionists in the UK is the Union Flag.
 End of.
Not up for discussion.
You know this. I know this.
The wee Roma gypsy fella who used to play the violin with funny gramophone horn in Belfast city centre knows this.

You cannot extend your hand in friendship to the Unionist community with this arm-lock to follow immediately after.
Wee Roma Busker: Knows his flegs

I lambaste, plead, cajole, beg, whinge, grip, argue, bore Unionists and Loyalists to wise the bap when it comes to the offensive and unnecessary imagery and pageantry that some of their number endorse and fly with aggressive pride at some of their parades.

I ask again and again how would it be the detriment of Loyalist culture if paramilitary trappings were removed, if songs about killing Catholics were taboo and if Chapels were treated with respect.

Naturally, I am met with silence.

By a similar, but not so aggressive token I would ask the same of the GAA:

Nationalist Perception

Unionist Perception

Their main priority is sport and the community.

How would it be detrimental to the sport and any community in Northern Ireland (as saying there are only TWO communities grows ever more false with each passing day) if they could maybe keep the Tricolour in the broom cupboard in the event of a few non-nationalists joining a club or even coming to watch a game?

What harm would there be to community relations if Unionists weren't under the impression that they'd be forced to stand for/sing the Soldier's Song?

Sharing a space means exactly that, sharing. Not dominating.
 The worst flat-mates are those who impose their way on others.

The GAA: Awful flat-mate?

50 years of a Unionist 'way' was too much for a lot of people and it all erupted in the late 60's.

Surely there must be people within the GAA who remember what it was like not to be treated as an equal?

Yet, here we find that there is not much support within the GAA ranks for treating others as equals.

For there is no other way to interpret it, clinging to the Tricolour and Soldier's Song in an environment as sensitive/paranoid/bitter/mental as Northern Ireland or 'the North' if you so desire (yes Chris and John, I said it) is about domination.

Perhaps not so much when there's no Protestants in your village to dominate but for those Protestants who would perhaps give it a go, well, this makes it almost an impossibility.

From my own point of view it's why I took up Shinty when I moved to Scotland, it was the closest thing to hurling that I 'could' participate in.
I even tried to join the University's GFC some years later but the club fell foul of University requirements.

There's a lot of head in the sand and defensiveness in the GAA regarding their way of doing things.

I for one thank Joe Brolly for at least speaking as if he were a defiant Orangeman speaking 'logically' about men walking the Queen's highway to their place of worship.

It shows that not all GAA follower's are so concerned about the shared future, well, at least about sharing it properly.
I can't write Mr Brolly off completely:

His final paragraph sticks out:
 "The reality is that the two cultures remain firmly segregated and sectarianism is rife. An invisible wall separates the two communities’ schools, sports, religions and social lives. The sooner the GAA spreads into the Shankill, Tigers Bay and Lurgan, the sooner we’ll have a civilised society. "

Great sentiment, now explain where the Tricolour has a place in such a plan/outreach?
Indeed, where do religiously separated schools come into in such a civilised society when one 1/2 of the education system has hegemony over the sport in question?

But, the apartheid of our schools is a different topic.

If people want the nonsense to stop then they have to be willing to go the whole nine yards, not just cherry pick.

The GAA has to accept that its Nationalist ethos is incompatible with many Northerners.
 It's fine to think of Ireland as one nation when you're dealing with Northerners from South Armagh, West Belfast, West Derry or whatever.

Things are a bit more complicated once you spread outwith these zones.

What's good for Kerry is not necessarily good for South East Antrim.
South East Antrim: Not the same as Kerry

The one size fits all approach failed in Northern Ireland Mk I.
It'll fail equally (or rather has failed equally) in a pan-Irish GAA approach.

The Unionists did nothing to make the Union appealing to the Catholic community.
Now they are paying the price.
Whist nationalism may not pay the overall price for the GAA's failures that's not to say that peaceful society won't pick up the tab.

Many Nationalists and Republicans will argue that in the name of equality that Belfast City hall should fly the Tri-colour alongside the Union Flag.
I accept this argument though with a slight amendment (on the principle of equality) in that a 3rd flag to represent the 'Northern Irish' Nationalists should be flown too.
Everyone has a bite of the sour cherry then.
By the same token though, I would ask should the GAA, in the name of equality, acknowledge Sinn Fein's valid argument and reciprocate accordingly by flying the Union Flag at clubs? (or a similar gesture?)

                                                                 "No!" you say?

NO!: Some people just don't like mixing...


 In that case refer to the earlier conclusion of "utter bollocks" and speak no more of trying to improve the situation of Northern Ireland for you don't mean it.

Making sacrifices for peace doesn't mean that only Unionists have to wise up their act or that no longer blowing people up is enough of a 'sacrifice'.

Sacrifices have to be made by all.

That includes the GAA, Nationalists and the wee Roma gypsy with the funny violin thing.

British AND Irish: WTF?!!!!

ADDITIONAL: I forgot to mention, it's not necessarily 'their' money that they would be putting where their proverbial mouth is, the GAA receive millions of tax pounds.
Surely that makes it everyone's business?

ADDITIONAL: Some input from Twitter: "how about no flags at GAA games except of course the counties flags that r playing. That would make most sense to me" - Cheers GOH!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Jamie Bryson and the Northern Irish 'Serbs'.

"I hold fast to the motto of our forefathers - For God and Ulster" - Jamie Bryson


"With Faith in God for King and Fatherland" - Serbian Chetnik Motto


I don't have a vendetta against Jamie Bryson or anything like that, but his bull-headed insistence on destroying Unionism by taking it through the Carsonian graveyard and digging up the bones of old dead Unionism to assemble a Unionist Frankenstein is quite frankly alarming me.

And he's done it again.

Well, rather I did first.

 I added his blog to my list and now the temptation to read it is just too much.

His most recent contribution is by and large 'fine'.
He's talking about the rights of independent Loyalists to put themselves forward to represent people.


Nothing wrong with that.

I do fear that it'll force the DUP further to the right, but, that remains to be seen so knock yourselves out.

The bit that did stick with me is this:

"The political views carried by those such as myself have recently been described as 'extreme' by those that wish to mould loyalism into a cuddly, re packaged brand that is more friendly and welcoming to those that are offended by every aspect of our cultural and religious identity..."

What fresh hell is this?

All the criticism leveled at Jamie might have been too in depth for him to absorb and I'm sure he's a busy chap, so, I'll keep this brief.

First of all, 'cuddly'.

I detect the Loyalist filter again.

We say "less offensive" or "less songs/banners about killing people" and he hears "Berlin Love parade"
Is this the 12th with the drinking removed? Not likely.

I highlighted before that (in theory) a Protestant can be a Republican. 

Though once common enough it is now very rare but still, it is possible.

This is in stark contrast to Jamie's Loyalism which would not do anything to remove Loyalism's obstacles to Catholics: The Lanark Way bonfire, bands with paramilitary regalia, songs about killing Catholics etc.

Even if they did remove them it's highly unlikely legions of Catholics would come knocking at the doors of Orange Halls to join bands.

BUT, what harm would it do to level the playing field a bit?

How can removing these elements result in a 'cuddly' creature that would destroy Unionism?

Also, who are these people who are offended by EVERY aspect of Loyalist (or Unionist or Protestant culture)?

From what I see most of the direct calls come from moderate Unionists NOT seasoned Republicans, they seemingly only stick their oar in  whenever there is potential political capital.
 Indeed, why kill the goose that lays the golden eggs?
If Loyalism's underbelly and sometimes vulgar displays make Unionism a cold house for Catholics then that makes life easier for those who would see Northern Ireland cease to exist.

But what of the majority who just have SOME irks with Loyalism that could easily be addressed?

Or does binary Loyalism not allow for the recognition of such middle ground?

Poor Show

Methinks he's just hearing what he wants to hear.


The complaints are clear, they allude to a small part of Loyalist culture, not its keystone:

a/ Excessive drinking at some parades

b/ Songs about the murders or deaths of Catholics

c/ Inability to respect places of worship

d/ Paramilitary trappings
(Of course there are more such as attacking police with masonry and swords, but baby steps as they say...)

All could be clamped down upon with a bit of effort. 

The Loyalist band scene is more disciplined than what people give it credit for.

But There is a lack of will.

'Leaders' like Jamie are loath to encourage such will as they either see nothing wrong with this behaviour (which would beg the question how much of the Holy Bible has he actually read?) or they're digging their heels in as they resent being told what to do.

If that's the case then allow me to be the first to apologise.



I'm sorry you think that you have no option but to dig your heels in under the pressure.

I'm sorry if you think I'm talking down my nose at you from some aloof position that exists only in my arrogant mind.

I'm sorry if I/we give the impression that we don't care for working class Loyalists.

That's simply not true, but it's very hard to convince them of that.

Some of us see things differently and are denounced as Lundies for our different views (you'd think a Martin Luther inspired religion could appreciate speaking out against drunkenness and ungodly behaviour?) so we have to apply pressure in order to be heard.

The pressure isn't there to see the end of band culture.
On the contrary, if any one is presenting the case for banning parades altogether it is the Orange Order and your mates like Wille Frazer and the camp at Twaddell.

I'm/we're not asking you to change these things out of spite or for the sake of Getalongerism.

I'm/We're asking you to help change these things because they are, when judged on their own, fundamentally wrong. 
Comparing them to the Provo's murder campaign might make them seem 'good' but that's a pretty low bar to compare one's behaviour to.

I'm also asking you to do it because it's killing Unionism.

The Queen: Not amused by Loyalism
Our support in Britain shrinks evermore.

People are embarrassed by 'our' actions.

You aren't a fan of Sinn Fein.

Yet you seem oblivious to the fact that every time Loyalists kick off it detracts from whatever 'Republicans' might be up to.
 The SpAd Bill was a red face for Sinn Fein and it happened only a few months ago, but since marching season kicked off it's now ancient history and SF have recovered from it.

Loyalism, in theory, should be the bulwark against Republicanism.

But the way you and other Loyalists are so predictably reactive and easy to manipulate means that time and time again Republican blunders are forgotten about and that Loyalists can be counted on to flair up when desired e.g. Richard Haass is on his way to town so Republicans organise a few parades and people like yourself go ape and then Mr Haass gets to see who the 'bad guys' are.

Alban Maginness is the one who makes
Loyalist Monkey dance?! Who'd have thought?!


If you despise the 'cuddly' idea of Loyalism, then do the Orangemen at Rossnowlagh disgust you?

Rossnowlagh 12th: Nightmare?!

Do peaceful parades with no paramilitary trappings offend you?

Does the idea of a Catholic voting for the Union and going to a Northern Ireland football game make you shiver in dread?

If not, then what's your reason for not supporting some changes and a giving Loyalism a new lease of life?

What of this Bible based morality that you wish to entwine with Loyalism? Surely drunken behaviour, murderous songs and disrespecting the law are incompatible with Christian teachings?

Or do you intend to overlook those aspects?

Times have changed and it's now no longer just Nationalists who are against Loyalism, people like you are turning Protestants and Unionists against Loyalism too.

You're drawing a line in the sand that many can't cross and before you defiantly beat your chest and say that you don't need them, that a smaller group of determined people is better without dead-weight then please click on these links below:

You'll see what happened to a group of red, white and blue fleg loving non (anti?)-Catholics when they went against the wishes of their 'mainland' and what happened them at the hands of their numerically stronger Catholic neighbours (whom they pissed off at every opportunity despite pleads for co-operation) and how they preferred to stay within their 'Union' (Yugoslavia) even though the Union was clearly disintegrating:

or indeed

3-400 000 people fled to the 'mainland' in
 a single WEEK thanks to the narrow
 minded nationalism  of their politicians


The Republic of  the Serbian Krajina
The area in red.
Bigger than Northern Ireland.
A self-declared partitionist state
Many of their ancestors were 'planted' here to act as a military buffer
Paranoid of Catholic majority due to bloody history & political fear mongering
Defiant of international opinion and latterly their 'mainland' capital.
Became an economic burden to its mainland state
 Wiped out in less than a week...

Could lessons be learned?

1389: Battle of Kosovo, Serbia against the Ottomans

These guys love to celebrate battles from hundreds of years ago too...

Sound familiar?

KOSOVO: Is to Serbs what the Siege of Derry is to Loyalists

 They also have difficulty admitting that they don't control 'hallowed ground' anymore...

Sound familiar?

 It should be, for Jamie's rhetoric and visions are frighteningly similar to those of the  Republic of the Serbian Krajina ("Krai-eena").

And like the Republic of the Serbian Krajina he's on the overtly nationalistic, flag-covered, defiant, truth-denying, partisan road to destruction. And he (with others) will potentially take Northern Ireland with him.

Belgrade Sons of William?

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Jamie Bryson's Blueprint to Destroy Northern Ireland?

I stumbled across Jamie Bryson's blog the other day.

Methinks that I have deliberately given his blog and twitter account a wide berth as I (believe it or not) have things to do and don't need any more distractions to take me from my other thangs.

However, this eye opener can't be left alone:

There's two ways of interpreting what he means:

a/ The first option is that Loyalism needs to be further entwined with Protestantism.

If this is what he means then it is a blueprint for the end of Northern Ireland.


It rules out the theoretical possibility of 'Catholic Loyalists'.
 Contrast this to Republicanism which at least is 'theoretically' still open to Protestants (although bar the very odd exception it is pretty much a Protestant-free zone thanks to the IRA) and further reduces the chances of Catholic Unionists.

Without Catholics voting for the Union then NI is toast.

In theory some one who cherishes NI's place within the Union would do whatever it takes to preserve this position.

'War', murder and mayhem get palmed off as necessary 'defence' for Northern Ireland.

But making NI presentable to the taigs is a bridge too far; 'no' to admitting that the Ulster flag is unpalatable (and redundant as of the early '70's), 'no' to having an NI anthem at football games (it's deemed as 'de-Brit-ising' NI, but it's OK for the Commonwealth team to have an NI anthem, somehow), 'no' to having a flag-flying policy in line with most of the rest of the UK, 'no' to having a common sense approach to parades, 'no' to reducing drunkenness at parades...

These are apparently unacceptable. Particularly because 'themuns' don't change anything.
'Themuns' aren't in danger of losing their country thanks to shifting demographics...


b/ Perhaps he means that Loyalism should adopt some old school Protestant principles.

As much as I'm not religious I have to say that I can't disagree with this one.

Let's explore some old school Protestant practices and their potential.
Old School Protestant: Francis Hutcheson.
Presbyterian. Philosopher.
Father of Scottish Enlightenment.
Icon of Liberals worldwide - LUNDY!

Respect for the House of God - Now, I'm sure that in the eyes of many Loyalists Catholic chapels are not considered true houses of God.
However, it's never been fully explained to me how playing extra-loudly when marching past them, urinating on them or even just stopping and playing outside them at all is necessary to the survival of Loyalism.

All Loyalist bands take rests on parades.
How much of a loss would it be to make chapels the designated rest points for bands?
The flutists can catch their breath back for a wee minute.
No one loses.

How many Catholics have been converted to Protestantism by hearing bands march past their church while worshipers on the inside can't hear any part of the christening or confirmation?

Are they likely to think "Man, can they not just back off for a few minutes" or are they likely to think "I have seen the light!"?

The Protestant appetite for proselytising has waned somewhat, they seemingly want  Catholics to convert neither to Protestantism nor Unionism.

Or at least that is the impression one would get from the Belfast OO and various Loyalist groups.
Old School Protestant: Edward Carson.
Father of Northern Ireland.
Leader of Anti-Home Rule movement
A co-founder of the UVF
Spoke Irish - LUNDY!

Sobriety - If the OO, bandsmen and various Loyalists were to insist upon sobriety at parades, festivities and protests then life in NI would be different.

11th night bonfires would be less intimidating.
Same for many of the marches.
It would give the OO's stance that it is a religious organisation some credibility.
Families at 'the field' would be less intimidated by louts and a better day out could be had by them (families, not the louts, they'd be rather miffed I imagine).
The potential for violence would be much reduced.
As would the credibility for anti-OO protests. To reduce drunkenness, violence and intimidating behaviour would be to rob 'residents groups' of their chief arguments.

As a consequence there would be less images of 'Loyalist bad guys' beamed around the world.

Not to mention less ammunition for satirical publications and web pages.

Why give them so much ammunition so freely?

Old School Protestant: Lt Col Blair Mayne
SAS hero in WWII
Irish rugby player
Loved Irish culture - LUNDY!

If Jamie is indeed calling for a more 'Protestant' attitude to Loyalism by taking in the above points then I for one would welcome it.

As would liberals, Catholics, the Police, the Media, the British Government and indeed most people in Northern Ireland.

He may not be calling for sobriety and civilised behaviour in which case I would ask him to expand on his points.
But, if this is what he is suggesting and calling for then it begs a question.


My own suspicion for such a contradictory standpoint is the old 'Loyalist filter'.

I used to have one too.

It's a mechanism in the brain that ignores everything some one says if they are deemed to be critical of any aspect of Loyalism, Unionism or Protestantism.

It has no sense of perspective and will not take into consideration the background, standing, intelligence, loyalty or CV of the accuser; once they have spoken their Lundy-like words will be re-arranged into a format that is easier to digest and throw back.

For example:

Catholic resident on marching route: "Lads, I have no problem with ye's having yer big day and all that, but do you have to play the Billy Boys, piss up against my wall and take pleasure in letting on-lookers call my weans fenian bastards as they're playing in the garden? Plus I don't much appreciate that UVF fleg on the lamp-post, they killed my cousin..."


Interpreted as: "I hate you Proddy bastards and want to see you driven into the sea. You have no right to be in this land and we'll be waiting to strike in the night like it's 1641..."


"You were able to tolerate 30 years of IRA murder and ethnic cleansing of my people and now you want to strip us of what we have left!? Why can't you just respect our culture and right to march??!!"

Old School Protestant: Henry Joy-McCracken
Rebel leader - LUNDY!

Ordinary NI citizen with non-partisan points of view: "Chaps, do ye's have to put up so many flags? Come winter time they look like crap and they don't make any sense. Why's there an independence flag beside a Union flag? That's a contradiction. And WTF the Israel flag? Did they not used to send British soldiers home in body bags?"


Interpreted as: "Being as some one who does not participate in marching (anymore) I have done the only plausible thing for anyone to do which is to inexplicably turn into a lundy and pursue a vindictive campaign against loyalist culture as I'm sensitive as to how the fenians feel.
It is the only path to take because as far as loyalism is concerned 'you are either with us or against us' and as I have voiced an opinion different to yours I must therefore be against you."


 "You liberal types are the cancer that has created this mess in the first place! By trying to please every one you have robbed loyalism of its pride. Your weakness will spell doom for Ulster! Vile traitor! Lundy!"

Old School Protestant: Arthur Wellesley
1st Duke of Wellington
Leader of Allied armies at Waterloo
Hero of British Empire
Oversaw Catholic emancipation
Valued his Catholic Irish soldiers - LUNDY!

Local business owner whose business is adversely affected by a particular parade: "Is there anyway we could arrange things so that people aren't intimidated and don't head off to Dublin/The Canary islands for a couple of weeks? Or even just have a good vibe for tourists? Things are hard mate, Belfast's rates are ridiculous and the landlord bought this building during the boom and has a big mortgage to pay off so I have to cough up the dough, plus I've protection money on top of that..."


Interpreted as: "I don't care how much money your stupid parade brings into the city. According to the Newsletter it is £5 000 000 000 billion but I don't care such is my hatred for your culture and religion. Even though I may or may not be a Protestant and/or Unionist. Take your charity parade else where for I shall feed my children on hatred of you alone and shall pay my rent and rates from a special secret trust fund created by the IRA and their American friends"


"Months of hard work and discipline go into the creating of this parade and you ingrates are so blinded by hatred and greed that you would see us march in a ghetto just so you can sell coffee and wine to liberals and homosexuals! Just give our culture respect and you will see it is inclusive! Why must you hate so much!"

Robert Lundy
Cleared by Parliament of treachery
Hero of Battle of Almansa, 1707
Thought Derry was indefensible and was suspected of loyalty to his unfairly deposed British king - LUNDY!

Psychologist: "You do understand that if you removed offensive symbols such as UDA flags from parades and stopped playing songs that advocate sectarian murder then it's less likely that people will take offense? While you're at it, the inconsistent messages given by current practices at NI football games make it a cold house for Catholics and give them even less incentive to support NI football team"


Interpreted as: "A United Ireland would be much easier for us to achieve if you removed certain symbols. They act as magical talismans against unification and are the only thing holding back the papist plot to over throw Ulster"

HENCE TYPICAL RESPONSE: "You wish to strip us of our Britishness!"

Quite simply, you're either with us or you're a Republican.

There is seemingly no middle ground.

Needless to say such a wacky digital view of the world has made us a topic of ridicule, a great example is that of Harry 'The Provo' Enfield with his William Ulsterman sketch:

William Ulsterman: More reasonable than a real Ulsterman...

If Jamie sincerely wishes to bring a Godly inspired sense of discipline, respect and sobriety to Loyalism like the days of old (such is the perception) then this would be a great thing for all, except for perhaps some Republicans and people who love to take the piss out of Loyalism.

But then maybe some Republicans will start to react accordingly and satirists will bring their cross-hairs to bear on them to fill the vacuum.
But in the meantime, hard-line Loyalists are hogging the limelight with their contradictory messages, imagery, fleggery and violence and as such are low-hanging fruit that quite frankly deserve ridicule

First of all, if Jamie can whip everyone in Twaddell into shape, free from loyalist dogma & hypocrisy then he might be destined for the history books as a figure for good as opposed to fodder for comedy material.

Over to you Jamie