The creed-crazed fanatic has made Northern Ireland a byword for backwardness. Mad-men and the violent crowd have been long-nurtured, indulged and never checked in their ways of hate. And that is where Jamie Bryson has been very, very wrong - it is he, and the barking-mad like him, who have been "appeased."
Northern Ireland is simultaneously exceptionally progressive and incredibly regressive. The real scandal is that regressive fanatics have for so long got away with their summer temper tantrums and their sectarian babbling, at the cost of ruining the economy and stability of the country for everyone else.
Where in England, Scotland and Wales, authorities have managed to isolate and contain the sweatiest fanatics, our politicians have acted as aiders, abettors, enablers and apologists for barbaric vandals. And this is the comparison that's never made: that Jamie Bryson, loyalist "civil rights" protesters and their surreptitious republican counterparts practice the same strain of marooned, racist politics as the BNP, White Pride the EDL, the Golden shower in Greece and every other xenophobic populist party in Europe.
The Bryson babble that masks for political philosophy is a cheap plagiarism of 1980s Paisley. A clean lift from BNP and EDL press releases. The Bryson babble is a re-run of Enoch Powell and his 'Rivers of Blood' nonsense as he divines a day where "the [republican] man will have the whip over the [loyalist] man." The Bryson babble is the same hysterical wing-nuttery of the 1970's - "taking our jobs", "taking our women" and "eroding our culture" - National Front vomit that caused race riots in England.
Bryson and his type are making tremendous claims. This is the recrudescence of something very sinister, very hostile and very nasty. This needs challenged don't you think? We can look at his two most dangerous and sinister articles.
The first on the QUB blog (here) by the title, 'The way I see it...... [sic]'. In this instance Bryson outlines his opposition to the current power-sharing settlement under the Good Friday Agreement.
Bryson employs the most hyper-inflated, conspiracist and alarmist language to paint a picture of the rise of republicanism to the demise of unionism and loyalism. Using words like "culture war" and offering the solution as "unarmed resistance", loyalistspeak for despicable thuggery.
Bryson is living in an age of amnesia. He has resurrected, reheated and regurgitated the hideous mob-inciting political gruel that not long ago was handed out by the most destructive British-Irish politician in living memory and his minions. Now Bryson is purveying the politics of clinical intransigence that destroyed power-sharing in the 1970s and oversaw three decades of death. The politics that ran this country into beggary, bankruptcy and misery.
Sinn Fein is not in government by some dreadful accident. They were put there by the public. The elementary rule of the democratic model is compromise and of being governed by those you don't like. The all-party Stormont coalition is not perfect but it gives us the platform to drive home real change. Its downfall would be all of our downfall.
It's OK to be against Sinn Fein. By all means take take them on and challenge their views through good process and reasoned argument. Present an alternative vision to the electorate and let them decide. But don't call for the dissolution of the agreement which was endorsed by the people of Northern Ireland. Unfortunately this isn't possible. You can't have a sensible debate when Bryson and his type cannot even accept the good faith of their opponents.
The irony is that Bryson is the vice-versa of the republican freaks who oppose the Good Friday Agreement and who hate Sinn Fein for their "appeasement" and for being "administrators of the "occupying British state". The babble on both sides is breathtaking.
This is the recrudescence of something very sinister. This needs challenged don't you think?
On the second back-of-the-envelope-stuff article (here), Bryson sets out his vision for loyalism: the rebirth of a religiously Protestant British nationalism. In these days of enlightenment it stands as hideous degeneration of a terrific order.
With a little retrospective awareness you would think that people would understand that the fusion of religion with politics and nationalism is the perfect recipe for death. The perfect recipe for stripping minorities of their civil rights. The perfect recipe for taking Northern Ireland to hell in a handcart.
The whole world is opening and Bryson wants to slam the door. Bryson is a hardline Christianist with a single world view, and he cannot rest until his fundamental Christianist view of the world is adopted by society. We know by now that when you run society out of a holy book society grinds to a halt. His type have done us an tremendous harm by this type of demagogy. Incubating more mad-men and encouraging them not to give an inch of what they have because they have a god-given, messianic license and warrant to do so.
We know by now that we cannot give any religion a privileged position in society. We know by now that we need to protect and defend religious freedom, but as a private matter of faith, not a matter of public policy. I have every compassion for loyalism. Loyalists need help. But we cannot allow a fanatical bombastic preacher of hate, division and nonsense to lead loyalism astray.
Bryson and his type are making wild claims. This is the recrudescence of something very sinister. This needs challenged don't you think?
To conclude. On both points, opposition to power-sharing and religiously-inspired-nationalist-politics, the experiment has been tried before. Are you going to let them repeat it on you? It's quite clear that Jamie Bryson and similar loyalists and republicans suffer from a very horrible disease, a type of paranoia known better as sectarianism. It's impossible to mentally and morally well if you suffer from this disorder.
These men are is just the latest in the long line of religious frauds and rip-off artists who share a great tradition of intolerance. Now they're trying to build a career as sponsors and purveyors of bigotry, hysteria, suspicion, superstition and flat out non-sense. They should be shouting from the side of the street, calling the end of the earth and selling pencils from a cup, not standing in front of TV cameras and making headline news.
The whole charade is fraudulent and it has to stop right now. It has to be repudiated. It has to be vanquished. It has to be put to an end with good argument and good sense. We are witnessing loyalism's descent into madness at the hand of religious-political nut-cases. You cannot afford to be a spectator of stupidity. You have to stand up and speak up. You cannot afford to be ignorant or indifferent when there's a clash between fundamentalism and civil society.
The ravings are incompatible with modern Northern Ireland. The ideas must be heard but they must not be left unopposed. They must be challenged and countered with better ideas. Like the Quilliam Foundation on mainland Britain, we need to listen to the young people (including Bryson) who hold radical, reactionary views and debate with them calmly, show them that the current arrangement is actually an incredible achievement and that they can participate in this new society and that they can protect their culture but in a open, shared and inclusive way.
These radical views cannot go unchallenged. On this line we will take a stand and fight.