I spend a pathetic amount of time thinking of where unionism has gone wrong, how much Irish culture has been lost (or abandoned)on the Protestant side of the fence and generally how can we mend things in the grim north?
I sometimes despair that people can't (or won't) see the correlation between playing anti-Catholic tunes in a Catholic area and the general resentment that this causes:
"But it's only a song about how great things would be if there was no Pope! It's nothing personal".
Wise. The. Bap.
Or how people can't see that using a flag much loved by loyalist paramilitaries might not be the ideal fleggy representative for Northern Ireland.
I spend a fair whack of time criticising unionism and of course have been labelled a republican or a Lundy for my trouble.
Examples of my 'treachery' include:
or even this rambling piece:
Fair enough, it's to be expected.
AKA "yours truly"
I assumed things would be much more clear over on planet Nationalism.
We'll soon see.
Here are a few things that I believe (only an opinion like) that nationalism (or at least a fair whack of nationalists) have missed:
|The Nationalist Plan: It's cunning|
1/ That the 'plan' might be flawed:
Simply put, Northern Ireland exists despite the following factors:
a/ That Unionists are outnumbered by 4-5 million people on the island
b/ The mother ship sees NI as an expensive and very bothersome black hole that it would do better to be rid of.
c/ The unionist leadership is bereft of vision and long term pragmatism
d/ Worldwide sympathy for the Irish nationalist cause
e/ A small but significant percentage of the unionist voting base are open to the idea of a united Ireland
Is there no other way that could maybe involve proselytising voters of a Protestant background (start off with a weekend in Galway maybe...?)?
|Celtic Warrior: "Cool"|
|Celtic Warrior: "Cool"|
|Keltic Kevin: "Not Cool"|
This is even more sensitive as there are many people who have worked hard over the generations to keep the language alive.
Not easy when it is permanently in the cross-hairs of unionism's gutter snipers, QED in a David McCann interview with Edwin Poots:
"On his time as Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure he (Poots) told me that his greatest achievement was ‘burying the Irish language act’ as he believes there was ‘precious little demand for outside of republican circles’... "
It is unfair.
But it's not entirely unpredictable.
One of the main obstacles regarding the widespread acceptance of the Irish language is it's opportunistic usage by Sinn Fein.
|This is why we can't have nice things...|
You need to hear this.
(Though I am given to understand a fair whack of people resent SF sticking their oars in and using the language as some sort of republican fashion accessory).
If SF members want to work for the Irish language behind the scenes then great, the more the merrier in fact.
They can still work heroically behind the scenes for the language whilst diluting their public association with the language.
It's the public face of the Irish language that they blemish (in the eyes of many unionists and Protestants).
In the business world such a PR handicap would not be tolerated.
People say it's daft that a language can be a thing of offence but it's not unique to Ireland.
Look east and in the eastern Croatian town of Vukovar there is a similar controversy.
Vukovar was smashed up by in the wars that followed the fall of Yugoslavia.
Destruction, massacres, the works.
|Vukovar: 2 cultures|
On one hand, fair enough.
On the other hand, it evokes painful memories to the resident Croats who were traumatised by the fall of their city and its destruction.
(I'm not taking sides either way!!!).
Many see it as a politically crafted 'get it up themuns'.
I think this is unfair but it is also how things are.
If we want Irish to belong to all Irish people then there is definitely room for a very frank discussion and examination of Irish as it is handled now.
Ignore this if you must, doesn't make it any less true.
6/ Two Flags or No Flags
( Just indulging now: http://amgobsmacked.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/three-flags-real-compromise.html)
Yes, I'm calling the bluff.
(NOTE: I don't actually want to see Union Flags at Lansdowne or wot not, but I'm just trying to point out that the idea of 'equality' that is argued for by nationalist politicians might not be so easy to stomach when applied to other spheres e.g. the Irish rugby team is meant to represent everyone on the island and the GAA claims to be inclusive)
Not if you're from the Western Isles of Scotland...
(Which there is BTW)
9/ Confusing Irish Nationalism for Irish Culture/'Irishness'
They're not the same thing.
For example, the Tricolour is AN Irish flag.
As are St Pat's Cross, the Ulster Fleg, the Independence Flag and the 'Erin's Harp' (even though they may have had foreign influences, just like the Tricolour)
|Not 'Irish' enough?|
Accepting the Tricolour is not accepting Irishness per se, merely an aspect of Irishness.
To have problems with Irish nationalism is not (necessarily) to have problems with Irish culture.
For example, James Joyce.
He is an icon of Irish culture and disliked (aspects of) Irish nationalism to the extent that he never gave up his British passport and refused to get an Irish one.
|James Joyce: A 'hater'?|
Or maybe he had a point...?
Brian John Spencer in particular seems to attract the occasional screamer.
For those of you who don't know, he is a man of a unionist background who (like an increasing number of us) is coldly critical of knuckle dragging loyalism.
He considers himself Irish and writes many articles about backwards unionism.
Yet even he can be branded an 'uber Brit' if he says anything remotely critical of nationalism
As well as this little snipe at the pair of us:
Ruaidri Ua Conchobai @****_*****
@brianjohnspencr @AmGhobsmacht You can't deny you're anti-RC & anti-Irish forever demonising both using historical material
If the Roman Catholic church sometimes gets it in the neck too well then so be it.
I'm not religious and if I think any of the churches have done anything to compound matters then I'll say so, people shouldn't be scared to criticise wrong-doing, regardless of what 'holy men' may say
I don't so much cherry-pick historical facts as pick up the ones that have been chucked away by supporters of the nationalist and unionist narratives.
Don't blame me that Edward Carson spoke Irish, that a Pope was King Billy's ally or that some priests behaved terribly during the Potato Famine, it just happened and I'm highlighting it*
I just happen to think that there are some in nationalist quarters who are equally baffling.
Life up north could be much improved if the fleggers could be calmed.
Same applies to the hysterical quarters within the ranks of nationalism.