Wednesday, April 29, 2015

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Dancing At The Crossroads

In a response to an article on TPQ by two Southampton researchers, Larry Hughes argues that they have overstated the potential for dissidents to grow in response to police violence. Larry Hughes is a Donegal based PhD candidate.

The piece by Marks Hayes and Paul Norris is a hell of a read.

Whilst seeing the logic of the article I do feel it falls down a tad by suggesting that Dissidents have identified the police as the issue which will assist them undermine the GFA. The notion that police brutality towards dissidents will garner support for them is severely flawed. Where is the evidence for this? After what was done to the civil rights marchers in 1969 fifty years of unionist Nazi rule in N. Ireland resulted in a tsunami of reaction, inflamed by the British army massacres in Ballymurphy and Derry. There is no latent anger and resentment today. This is a fracture in an otherwise good read.

People today are exhausted even 15 years into a peace process and are more than willing to turn a blind eye to dissidents getting framed shot or dying here and there on hunger-strike. The refusal to face this is as serious a failure as loyalism's inability to appreciate its own victory in the conflict.

The Adams and McGuinness brand of republicanism is nothing more now than a nationalist conduit for state stability. Both states on this island are benefitting from this. Individuals may lose seats in the Dail shortly to SF members but that is unconnected to the border issue. That is as a result of 100 years of civil war politics being unable to deliver anything but migration and austerity to the people of the 26 counties.

SF supporters will continue to delude themselves there is a bigger secret plan or scheme within the SF over-all tactic. At this stage even the most ardent SF followers know what most of us realised at varying stages a long, long, time ago. Namely that this idea was all merely a smoke screen, a myth. SF and its supporters have nowhere else to go now other than to continue the delusion and increasingly getting angry with those of us who were able to see through the smoke and mirror routine many years ago and who refuse to see the Emperor as anything but stark naked.

Demographics will either resolve the border issue in the long run or it will not. SF support for the PSNI will have no impact upon the border. As their role in Stormont has had zero impact upon the border issue or even the RUC/PSNI. Neither will any pending success in the south change this reality of disinterest in Irish unity in general.

During the failed 1950s campaign and the 1960s civil rights campaign, the border had not been the driving political force in Ireland for some time. As during the Land War in the 19th century, independence took a back seat in Ireland to tenancy rights. When will republicans learn?

The best you could say for SF is that they have learned. The problem is there isn't a word of truth nor shred of honour in the entire party set up. Desperate times ahead for Ireland. SF will take the country back 20 years. The dissidents on the other hand will take it back to the dances at the crossroads given the opportunity.

56 comments :

Cue Bono said...

Fifty years of unionist Nazi rule? Really?

You talk about what was done to the marchers. Are we talking about concentration camps, gassing, machine gunned in pits they were forced to dig for themselves? Please do expand?

The rest of your post is reasonably sensible, but you spoil it by insisting on throwing in the propaganda. Not what they will be expecting from your PhD I suspect.

DaithiD said...

Right fuckin' up 'em Larry!

Henry JoY said...

Godwin's law, Larry.

Peter said...

Cue Bono

Don't rise to him. He only comes on here to spit bile. If it's not planters then it's gays or west Brits. He clearly has psychological issues, best to humour him.

larry hughes said...

Godwin's Law hardly applies. I think the well respected Mary McAleese amongst many others also noted your family resemblance to Adolf lads.

Peter said...

Henry Joy

You nailed it!

Larry

An unopposed cult-like caudillo, dissent mercilessly crushed, innocents murdered for their creed or beliefs, war crimes, disappearances, fanaticism...nazis or provies?

Wolfsbane said...

Larry said:
'The best you could say for SF is that they have learned. The problem is there isn't a word of truth nor shred of honour in the entire party set up. Desperate times ahead for Ireland. SF will take the country back 20 years. The dissidents on the other hand will take it back to the dances at the crossroads given the opportunity.'

Sounds sensible - and very well expressed!

I have to agree with Cue Bono, though - the Nazi tag is so OTT that is demeans what actually happened in Germany and discredits the valid objections to what actually happened in N.I. before 1969.

Fionnuala Perry said...

Larry,
Nazis? I'd of thought more Klu Klux Klan.
Amongs the Nazis there were some who found wanton murder revolting, the Klan and Loyalists did not.
Your too soft Mr Hughes, it's your down fall.

Seán Ó Maoilearca said...

If one looks back at what was happening and allowed to happen in Nazi Germany from 1933 prior to the outbreak of ww2 six years later and what was taking place under the rule of the unionist one party state at exactly the same time but I might add for much longer than the twelve years of Nazi rule there are clear parallels.
Under the one party religious fascist state that unionists claim as ‘our/their wee country’ there was rampant discrimination at every turn for Catholics in jobs, housing, votes, benefits, the burning of and boycotting of catholic businesses, frequent sectarian murders, ethnic cleansings attempts of catholic ghettos, most of which were verbally encouraged from the powers to be in Stormont.

So yes a Nazi/Unionist one party state controlled by fundamental bigots is exactly what it was and there’s no getting away from it.

Wolfsbane said...

Seán Ó Maoilearca said:
'If one looks back at what was happening and allowed to happen in Nazi Germany from 1933 prior to the outbreak of ww2 six years later and what was taking place under the rule of the unionist one party state at exactly the same time but I might add for much longer than the twelve years of Nazi rule there are clear parallels.
Under the one party religious fascist state that unionists claim as ‘our/their wee country’ there was rampant discrimination at every turn for Catholics in jobs, housing, votes, benefits,'

Yes,indeed. But you think that 'rampant discrimination' was parallel to the 'rampant discrimination' suffered by the Jews in Germany??? A better parallel might be to the treatment of Protestants in the Free state.

'the burning of and boycotting of catholic businesses, frequent sectarian murders, ethnic cleansings attempts of catholic ghettos, most of which were verbally encouraged from the powers to be in Stormont.'

How many murders and burnings and boycottings? Similar to Germany? or similar to the Free State?

'So yes a Nazi/Unionist one party state controlled by fundamental bigots is exactly what it was and there’s no getting away from it.'

The Free State - and its Republican modification - must then was also be classified as a Nazi/Nationalist one party state
controlled by fundamental bigots. No Unionist party could ever hope to be elected, just as in the North no Nationalist party could hope to be elected. Indeed, the 'fundamentalist' religious control in Irish Catholic Ireland was much more oppressive than anything in British Protestant Northern Ireland.

So if we are casting Nazi aspirations, the Unionist State is not the first place to look. Unionists/Protestants exiled in the new Irish/Catholic State were no threat, just aliens to its ethos. Nationalists/Catholics exiled in the new British/Protestant State were a real threat to the State: most were opposed to its existence, and some resorted to arms to end that existence.

Even today, I wonder what approach a United Ireland would have to a large minority opposed to its existence,some of them resorting to arms? Any suggestions?

Fionnuala Perry said...

Wolfsbane,
You must have done some digging in the dirt to come up with that little gem.

All nonsense of course, because no way was the Free State a mirror image of the sectarian murderous little statlet that we had the misfortune to grow up in.

The proof of the nonsense is this, several years ago Protestants in the Free State were surveyed about their lives and experiences in the Free State and the outcome was not a feeling of alienation, the opposite in fact. Most of those studied felt they had more in common with Catholics in the Free State, than their Loyal brethren in the North?

Seán Ó Maoilearca said...

Wolfsbane said...

“religious control in Irish Catholic Ireland was much more oppressive than anything in British Protestant Northern Ireland”

If that was really the case please present the extremely long list of facts, figures, events, dates, names & places to back up your claim.

Tell me how many protestants were murdered in the free state since 1922?
Tell me how many were not allowed to vote?
Tell me how many were discriminated against in housing?
Tell me how many were discriminated in obtaining employment?
Tell me how many hundreds/thousands were displaced after having their homes torched?


Obviously there were incidents of sectarianism and bigotry from catholic fundamentalists in the free state and i wont dispute that but sporadic events are not the same as institutional government policy as was the case in the north and Nazi Germany.

Fionnuala Perry said...

Wolfsbane,
The Jews did not arrive in Germany and murder the native population, confiscate their lands, bar them from representation in their own parliament, threaten them with death under Penal Laws.

Are you for real!! You are on griping about a population that is around 5% and came here as the direct result of re conquest.

Murder and mayhem, evacuations and starvation of a population, a population who post conquest still numbered 85%, all of that and your on trying to justify it by saying they feel a tad isolated, which we know they do not?
Wise up !

Seán Ó Maoilearca said...

Wolfsbane, maybe I’ve read what you wrote in the wrong context and what you were trying to say is that “ religious control in Irish Catholic Ireland was much more oppressive than anything in British Protestant Northern Ireland” (because) it was more democratic and that unionists lost their all Ireland veto and their feelings of supremacy?

If it's not the above I would like to see what you are basing your theory on.

Wolfsbane said...

Fionnuala Perry said:

'All nonsense of course, because no way was the Free State a mirror image of the sectarian murderous little statlet that we had the misfortune to grow up in.
The proof of the nonsense is this, several years ago Protestants in the Free State were surveyed about their lives and experiences in the Free State and the outcome was not a feeling of alienation, the opposite in fact. Most of those studied felt they had more in common with Catholics in the Free State, than their Loyal brethren in the North?'

That is not the view of the many who left the Free State and Republic for the North. They very much felt themselves unwelcome as Unionists and Protestants. Of course Protestants who showed they had abandoned their Britishness and were supporters of the new State were more welcome that those who held to their national identity.

There were no insurrections and street violence from the minority, however - so the murder was confined to the early days after Independence. Just enough to make sure the Prods knew their place. And the Civil War moved the focus of hatred to Republican differences.

Of course less dramatic oppression still followed where Protestants in any way raised their heads. Fethard-on-Sea, for example.

Fionnuala,let me ask you: what would have been the experience of southern Protestants if they had behaved the way northern Catholics did in regard to their unwanted State?

Wolfsbane said...

Seán Ó Maoilearca said:
'Wolfsbane said...
“religious control in Irish Catholic Ireland was much more oppressive than anything in British Protestant Northern Ireland”
If that was really the case please present the extremely long list of facts, figures, events, dates, names & places to back up your claim.'

The northern State did not impose Protestant values on Catholics - well, OK, they did lock up the swings on Sunday, which Catholics thought a bit too strict for the Sabbath. But big issues like contraception and the right of divorce, Protestants in the south were denied those purely on the grounds of Catholic teaching.

Catholics in the north had their schools funded by the State, and left totally in their own control.

'Tell me how many protestants were murdered in the free state since 1922?'

Not sure - a couple of dozen? How many southern Protestants murdered their neighbours in that time? Any?

How many Catholics were murdered in N.I. by Protestants/the State? How many Protestants/State forces were murdered by Catholics in the same period?


'Tell me how many were not allowed to vote?'

Not sure - in the border counties there may have been some intimidation of voters. But as the Protestant numbers were tiny, it did not matter much.

'Tell me how many were discriminated against in housing?'

I don't recall any of the exiles mentioning housing - but I assume discrimination if it existed was a personal anti-Protestant thing rather than State-colluded. Again, no reason for the southern State to bother gerrymandering.

'Tell me how many were discriminated in obtaining employment?'

Same as above. Though the case of the Protestant librarian suggests a widespread attitude:
"I refer to the case of Miss Dunbar Harrison in Mayo who was appointed by the Local Appointments Commission as a librarian. When she had opted to work in Mayo she was told that 24 out of the 26 members of the library committee would not have her. She was a Protestant and a Trinity graduate. Later someone said that it would be all right if she was handing out books but that she might recommend a book to somebody and no less a person than Mr. de Valera suggested that Mayo people were entitled to have someone they wanted handing books out to children”
—Michael D. Higgins Seanad Éireann Debate, 8 July 1986

'Tell me how many hundreds/thousands were displaced after having their homes torched?'

A few dozen? But again, the figures do not parallel the similar events in the North, only because the southern Prods did not pose any threat or engage in civil disorder. In the north both sides engaged in riot and murder.


'Obviously there were incidents of sectarianism and bigotry from catholic fundamentalists in the free state and i wont dispute that but sporadic events are not the same as institutional government policy as was the case in the north and Nazi Germany.'

It was not the northern State that engaged in murder and intimidation, as the Nazis did. It was inter-ethnic. The State colluded in discrimination, in order to protect its vote - and indeed as it saw it, its existence. They were not trying to purge the nation of non-British, just trying to ensure the non-British did not collude with their fellow-countrymen in the south and destroy the northern State.

I grew up with a mainly Catholic community - and I know the anti-State feelings of all I talked with were not based on discrimination or their experiences in the North. It was based squarely on their belief that Northern Ireland was theirs and they would take it back.

It's the same mentality I see from many here, and the One Ireland, One vote folk. Nothing to do with N.I.having been a 'sectarian murderous little statlet' or not.

Wolfsbane said...

Fionnuala Perry said:
'Wolfsbane,
The Jews did not arrive in Germany and murder the native population, confiscate their lands, bar them from representation in their own parliament, threaten them with death under Penal Laws.
Are you for real!! You are on griping about a population that is around 5% and came here as the direct result of re conquest.
Murder and mayhem, evacuations and starvation of a population, a population who post conquest still numbered 85%, all of that and your on trying to justify it by saying they feel a tad isolated, which we know they do not?
Wise up !'

So southern Prods deserve what happened to them and I have no right to point it out. Them deserved it, the Jews did not, so the Prods were worse than the Nazis. Yes, that shows the dark interior of militant Irish Nationalism.

Wolfsbane said...

Seán Ó Maoilearca said:

'Wolfsbane, maybe I’ve read what you wrote in the wrong context and what you were trying to say is that “ religious control in Irish Catholic Ireland was much more oppressive than anything in British Protestant Northern Ireland” (because) it was more democratic and that unionists lost their all Ireland veto and their feelings of supremacy?
If it's not the above I would like to see what you are basing your theory on.'

Seán, I addressed that in a subsequent post - the State imposed Catholic morality on the fundamental issues of contraception and divorce. I could have mentioned the oppressive and unchallenged role of the RCC in the reformatories too.

Fionnuala Perry said...

Wolfsbane,
There isn't any comparability between your two examples,
militant nationalism may have been a contributory factor in the Protestant experience in the Free State but it was not the main cause.

Unlike the Jews, Protestants were planted here as the result of re conquest and those a tad trifled were ancestors of those who carried out murder and pillage against the host nation.

As I already stated, those whose cause you are championing feel more compatability with Free State taigs than Northern prods.

Wolfsbane said...

Fionnuala Perry said:
'Wolfsbane,
There isn't any comparability between your two examples,
militant nationalism may have been a contributory factor in the Protestant experience in the Free State but it was not the main cause.
Unlike the Jews, Protestants were planted here as the result of re conquest and those a tad trifled were ancestors of those who carried out murder and pillage against the host nation.'

Yes - so you are saying they got what they deserved, as the guilty offspring of the oppressors of your people. The murder,intimidation, discrimination, abolition of their national identity and exile faced by southern Prods after Partition is understandable to you, and insignificant anyway.

I appreciate your candour. Northern Prods have that in mind when Republicans talk of their vision of a United Ireland.


'As I already stated, those whose cause you are championing feel more compatability with Free State taigs than Northern prods.'

No, most of those whom I have spoken for left the Catholic Gaelic State. The others either kept their heads low and abandoned their Britishness, or became good castle Prods.

But that was not the concern of my post - rather it was to object to the equation of the Catholic experience in Northern Ireland with that of the Jews in Nazi Germany, for that demeans the terrible suffering of the latter and grossly overstates the suffering of the former. Both parts of Ireland had their problems with sectarian/ethnic grievances, but neither ever approached Nazi proportions.

larry hughes said...

There was never democracy in the 6 counties. Think the first President of Ireland was a prod. Elections were free and open. Democracy and British values hardly pertained in the planter/unionist psyche. Still doesn't. FG is the Anglo Irish party and if I'm not wrong they are in power at the moment.

Stormont is a puppet trough for local pigs from both communities in the north. London calls the shots, the MLS fill their pockets. Same in the south. In all honesty, sectarian pain and bitterness aside, none of them are worth a second of anyone's time. I see nothing new on the horizon either, sad to say.

Peter said...

Wolfsbane said:
"I appreciate your candour". Indeed, republicans speak with fork tongues when they say that republicanism is for all. Republicanism is gaelic and catholic, and we will always be planters who are not welcome. It is useful to have Larry and Fionnula's candour to remind us of that.

larry hughes said...

Peter

cart before horse on your part. Planter mentality continues amongst the unionist community. At what point will you declare allegiance to this island if you are being mistakenly held to account for planters sins, rather than keeping them alive in PUL 'culture'? Cake and eating it springs to mind. And you lads are very articulate on here too, so 'pray-do-tell'.

Cue Bono said...

This guys PhD will be great crack.

Seán Ó Maoilearca said...

Wolfsbane

When I compared the northern state and its treatment of Catholics within it I wasn’t necessarily
comparing Catholics with Jews in the holocaust rather the sentiment of the Nazis towards ‘undesirables’ and Unionist feeling towards Catholics.


If you look back around the time of the Belfast riots in the 1930s and the official policy of the Ulster Protestant League which stated, “Neither talk to them nor walk with, neither buy or sell, borrow nor lend, take or give, or to have any dealings with them at all, nor for employers to employ them nor employees to work with them”. which inevitably led to 2000 Catholics being driven out of their jobs at the shipyard. While unionists may not have said so publicly their agenda was to rid the six counties of Catholics by making their lives so miserable they would leave on their own accord, 99% of the unionist party in the 1930's were anti Catholic Orange Order members.
Even today Protestants still adhere to parts of the UPL policy especially when it comes to selling land in Ulster on both sides of the border.

Move on into the 1950s/60s Catholics were still being discriminated against in employment and housing and had to revert to living in disused US army camps where 8-10 families shared a tin hut surrounded in a field with many families occupying the other huts, while a young single Protestant mother with one child was often allocated a 3 bedroom house. And look what happened when Catholics complained in the late 1960s they were battened off the streets.

My first introduction to sectarianism happened in the mid 1970s when I was around 9 or 10 while on holiday with my family in Donegal. I made friends with another young lad called Frankie who was around the same age and on holiday with his family nearby. Anyway, one day Frankie asks me would I like to go fishing with him and his dad, being keen to fish back then and still am I was delighted. As things went the three of us set off in Frankie’s dads car with me in the back and father and son in the front heading to our destination, then out of curiosity Frankie’s dad asked me where I was from?, when I told him he immediately jumped on the brakes did a u-turn in the road and drove me back to the caravan site, I don't remember seeing Frankie after that.


I have to agree with Fionnuala, I don’t think there’s too many Protestants living near me in Donegal who would trade places with anyone on the Shankill road, my neighbour directly across the street is usually the first on the street to plant a Donegal GAA flag in his front garden when Donegal are playing in the all Ireland final, and the elderly Protestant lady who lives directly next door to me has had frequent visits from the local catholic priest in her hour of ill heath.
And Fionnuala's also right in that there’s no comparison between the treatment dished out to southern Protestants and northern Catholics, you have to live it to experience it and you clearly haven't.




































.

larry hughes said...

Cue Bono

Thank you so much for that extensive insight and typically single brain cell loyalist response. Wonderful start to my morning seeing that. You must have been in the 'teligence' department....whaa!?

Sean O

the most amusing thing is they genuinely believe they are the victims of Irish history. Honestly, they not only come with a Nazi health warning but you need pain killers to get over the laughter cramps.

Peter said...

Sean O

You have fallen for the old tactic of history rewriting to justify subsequent actions. According to republicans all catholics in the north faced discrimination and lived in hovels while prods all lived in wee palaces and worked in the shipyard. Not so. Many prods faced discrimination and poverty too. Dr Connal Parr released some great research last year on the clashes between socialists and the UUP, poverty levels on the Shankill and Tiger's Bay and protestant activists going to fight against Franco for the Spanish republic. I've no doubt catholics suffered under the rule of the old UUP but they didn't all suffer and didn't suffer alone. Your anecdotal evidence merely highlights your reductive argument for what it is.

Larry

I've been over all this before with you but if you really must hear it again...republicanism doesn't know if it is of the left or right, socialist or nationalist, secular or catholic that is why it is such a failure.

larry hughes said...

Peter

If you read anyone's posts other than your own you would see we are in agreement on republicanism. That doesn't detract from the Nazi complexion of the N. I. state since it was founded. The fact nationalists withdrew support from the state merely facilitated what was going on. During the troubles 40% of employment was 'security' related and less than 60% of the population(prods) were engaged in that. Yes a Nazi state and whilst not all RCs suffered and not all prods struck it rich, I'm inclined to think that if you were a prod couldn't do well with such a stacked deck in your favour then you must have been in the Cue Bono IQ bracket. Suck it up.

Sean O'

East Donegal has a prod majority and you are totally correct, there is no issue here. The Ulster Scots pipe band leads the St Patricks day parade each 17th March with pride and they are terrific. There is never any tension and on the 12th they hit Rossnowlagh and by all accounts along with Derry it is the best parade of the day. For some reason they don't insist on marching past Catholic houses nor round in circles in front of Letterkenny RC Cathedral. Go figure.

Seán Ó Maoilearca said...

Peter said..

"You have fallen for the old tactic of history rewriting to justify subsequent actions"

You're wrong Peter, just stating the facts. My mother and my widowed granny and siblings lived in one of those huts for years while young single Protestant mothers with one child were getting the houses,99% of those in the huts weren't republicans just destitute working class Catholic families.
Here's another fact, my granny lived in a mainly protestant area before she took to living in a hut, tell me why she felt the need to make the change?

Wolfsbane said...

larry hughes said:
'There was never democracy in the 6 counties.'

Nonsense. It was a solid majority v a solid minority over many years, but that's the way democracy works in polarised situations. Yes, there was also gerrymandering - but that is not unknown in the USA and Britain either. But still we can say democracy was the rule.

'the first President of Ireland was a prod.'

So? A token Prod, and a Nationalist one at that. Not one who maintained a British identity, or stood up for Protestant liberties.

'Elections were free and open.'

Why would they not be, since the chance of a Unionist victory was non-existent?

'Democracy and British values hardly pertained in the planter/unionist psyche. Still doesn't.'

You must have a peculiar definition of democracy in mind, as most of the planter/unionists I know believe in both. For us democracy means the will of the majority of a nation, with accommodation as far as possible with the minority. For us British values chiefly means civil and religious liberty.

'FG is the Anglo Irish party and if I'm not wrong they are in power at the moment.'

Anglo Irish is not British. We PULs have a British identity. And I doubt if FG regard themselves as anything other than Irish.

'Stormont is a puppet trough for local pigs from both communities in the north. London calls the shots, the MLS fill their pockets. Same in the south. In all honesty, sectarian pain and bitterness aside, none of them are worth a second of anyone's time. I see nothing new on the horizon either, sad to say.'

So both Stormont and Dáil Éireann are mere puppets of Westminster? That's hardly fair on the Dail - Brussels or Berlin is the likelier puppet-master.

As for Stormont, it depends entirely on Westminster for its finances, so of course is not its own master. N.I. is an interdependent part of the U.K. The Executive is indeed led by some who may well be in the care of MI5, but such is life for revolutionaries in a losing war. As I see it, even the best and honest of the Republicans saw their armed struggle was disastrous and going to get very much worse, and called it a day. Their key presupposition - that the PULs were either cowards or Irishmen in denial, and that violence would intimidate both Westminster and them to surrender - was seen to be false.

So they are pursuing Irish Unity by politics alone. An Irish Socialist State is their goal - but they will be happy to run an Northern Irish capitalist state until that is achieved. And if it means running it in partnership with the PUL leaders, so be it.

I'm not happy with the slowness in good governance that throws up - but I'm happy with the mutual veto, as it offers assurance that neither side can do the other down.

I have no hope for a better life in an Irish Socialist State, for we've seen how Republicanism defines its socialism - either the East German or the National Socialist type. Neither should be welcome to any Irish or British democrat.

Wolfsbane said...

larry hughes said:
'At what point will you declare allegiance to this island if you are being mistakenly held to account for planters sins, rather than keeping them alive in PUL 'culture'?'

If I may give my answer to your question to Peter..
I would consider joining with the Irish if my own people (the British)lost their British values and the Irish could be relied upon to keep them. Civil and religious liberty is my prime concern.

I do see Britain in danger of losing that, and I see that Ireland has come a long way from its Imperial Catholic past - but both Ireland and Britain seem to be heading into a new totalitarianism. For example, an anti-Christian secularism is demanding not only freedom for LGBT folk, but also that everyone must agree that LGBT ideology is correct.

Whichever nation will give me liberty of conscience, that will be the nation to which I will give my allegiance.

Wolfsbane said...

Seán Ó Maoilearca said:
'Wolfsbane
When I compared the northern state and its treatment of Catholics within it I wasn’t necessarily
comparing Catholics with Jews in the holocaust rather the sentiment of the Nazis towards ‘undesirables’ and Unionist feeling towards Catholics.'

OK, that's more understandable.


'If you look back around the time of the Belfast riots in the 1930s and the official policy of the Ulster Protestant League which stated, “Neither talk to them nor walk with, neither buy or sell, borrow nor lend, take or give, or to have any dealings with them at all, nor for employers to employ them nor employees to work with them”. which inevitably led to 2000 Catholics being driven out of their jobs at the shipyard. While unionists may not have said so publicly their agenda was to rid the six counties of Catholics by making their lives so miserable they would leave on their own accord, 99% of the unionist party in the 1930's were anti Catholic Orange Order members.'

Yes, no doubt about that. They did have real temptations toward that attitude, of course, with a large minority seeking the destruction of the State. But they should have shown a lot more Christian forbearance and made big efforts to make N.I. attractive to Catholics/Nationalists. They could have went a lot farther in making N.I. a united Ulster nation - for that's what we all had in common.

But most of the Unionist leadership and most of the Orange were not Christians in other than name, so they did not make the effort. They took the easy course of giving as little as they thought might work, and relied on the power of the State to keep things safe.

'Even today Protestants still adhere to parts of the UPL policy especially when it comes to selling land in Ulster on both sides of the border.'

Again, they see themselves as being the encroached-on minority, and try to keep things 'in the family'. They have seen how it goes, how by natural majority encroachment their community gradually disappears. Maybe some are just anti-Catholic, but I suspect it is more about preserving one's own community.

'Move on into the 1950s/60s Catholics were still being discriminated against in employment and housing and had to revert to living in disused US army camps where 8-10 families shared a tin hut surrounded in a field with many families occupying the other huts, while a young single Protestant mother with one child was often allocated a 3 bedroom house.'

Yes, disgraceful. Such is the abuse of power everywhere - especially when those in power gain votes because of it. That applied to Catholic/Nationalist controlled areas of N.I. too - discrimination in favour of one's one voters. I never had running water until I was c.17 - we carried the water from a communal pump, and had an dry outside toilet. My mum & dad had no local council vote because we did not pay rates.

'And look what happened when Catholics complained in the late 1960s they were battened off the streets.'

Again, a common tactic of police in support of the authorities everywhere. Not justifiying it, just saying that it would be as true for Garda or NYPD in the same circumstances.

Wolfsbane said...

Seán Ó Maoilearca said:
'My first introduction to sectarianism happened in the mid 1970s when I was around 9 or 10 while on holiday with my family in Donegal. I made friends with another young lad called Frankie who was around the same age and on holiday with his family nearby. Anyway, one day Frankie asks me would I like to go fishing with him and his dad, being keen to fish back then and still am I was delighted. As things went the three of us set off in Frankie’s dads car with me in the back and father and son in the front heading to our destination, then out of curiosity Frankie’s dad asked me where I was from?, when I told him he immediately jumped on the brakes did a u-turn in the road and drove me back to the caravan site, I don't remember seeing Frankie after that.'

Yes, a sad wake-up to a young conscience. I had similar incidents myself - we generally got on well with each other in the countryside, but raw sectarian hatred was more evident in the towns. I was physically threatened as a primary school kid because I could be identified by my school uniform as being a Prod. My classmate was actually beaten up a few times by Catholic youths on his was home from primary school.

'I have to agree with Fionnuala, I don’t think there’s too many Protestants living near me in Donegal who would trade places with anyone on the Shankill road,'

I wouldn't trade places with anyone on the Shankill road! Maybe a Prod village or townland might have more attraction to him?

But I take your point - most Prods in the south nowadays have come to terms with never being British again. Those who didn't wish to go that way left long ago.

'my neighbour directly across the street is usually the first on the street to plant a Donegal GAA flag in his front garden when Donegal are playing in the all Ireland final, and the elderly Protestant lady who lives directly next door to me has had frequent visits from the local catholic priest in her hour of ill heath.'

Yes, so he's adopted a new national identity. Not many are happy to do that in any nation.

'And Fionnuala's also right in that there’s no comparison between the treatment dished out to southern Protestants and northern Catholics, you have to live it to experience it and you clearly haven't.'

I lived in a Catholic majority are, and had relatives in Prod majority areas. Outside the urban areas, most got on fine. As to what was meted out otherwise, I suppose it depends what value one puts on the erasure of one's national identity compared to discrimination in housing. Both are wrong. What we can see is the the Catholics in the north emerged from their discrimination with their national identity intact , whilst the Protestants emerged from their discrimination with their national identity wiped out.

Henry JoY said...

Larry you ended your article by saying that Sinn Féin would bring the country back twenty years ... don't know about the country but you seem to have brought yourself and a proportion of commentators here back that distance all on your own.

The thrust of your well-stated commentary about the efficacy of Irish Republicanism has been lost in all this retrospective 'whataboutery'. Of course you brought this about with your unfounded and extreme comparison of Unionism to Nazism. It holds just about as much water as claims made by some that attacks on part-time members of the British security forces in border areas were an attempt at ethnic cleansing. Yes, the six county state was much more than just 'a cold house' for Nationalists but to compare our suffering to that of the attempted extermination of Jews, gypsies and homosexuals under Nazism is a gross and unfair exaggeration. Its not just deceitful its deluded and could be perceived as hateful.

One would reasonably expect more from an educated man. Then again an educated man would know that any thinking arising from an emotionally aroused position is most likely to be flawed.

larry hughes said...

Wolfsbane

You make decent points and on the secular issue of todays society, and PC bullying I find impossible to disagree with you. My wife and I were agreed on the same sex marriage until recently. A gay canvasser left me with much to reflect upon. I came to the conclusion that regardless of my fears regarding adoption, it is not my place to deny anyone happiness. I will vote yes, the wife remains unconvinced and will vote no.

As for democracy and unionism, penal laws, ascendancy of a tiny minority, partition and gerrymandering (Derry etc) simply flies in the face of your otherwise spot on sentiments to my mind. For a minority to continue to be facilitated in poisoning this island, a minority that still refuses to attempt to belong to it is criminal in 2015.

Henry Joy

I haven't brought the country 'back' anywhere. As for emotive verses rational academic debate, this is not a blog for submission of official finalised research. I enjoy my debating with others and the craic on here. It is as good as therapy at times. I have no intention of spending 7 years at university to live in dread of expressing an opinion at the end of it. Either my observations will prove sound or ultimately be found to be flawed. We have far too many plastic academics and parrots. Not to mention lemmings in SF.

Cue Bono said...

"During the troubles 40% of employment was 'security' related and less than 60% of the population(prods) were engaged in that."

Dear oh dear oh dear. I'll give you a bit of advice for free Larry. When you find yourself in a hole. Stop digging.

Henry JoY said...

Larry, yes you have a right to express an opinion as do those who wish to offer a counter opinion.
I'd certainly hope that you'll continue to express yours regardless.

I didn't suggest you'd brought the country back anywhere. What I observed was that you'd brought yourself and a section of commentators on here back 20 years.

The main thrust of your position as I saw it in your article, i.e. the ineffectiveness of Irish Republicanism has not garnered even one response.

But as long as your having the craic Larry, so be it. Its a grand old fall-back position.

larry hughes said...

Henry joy

no fall back position required, no siege going on here, real or imagined. Cue Bono reminds me of a loyalist I had a chat with one time about H+W. No amount of reasoning could convince him the yard was running at massive losses and was a glorified Orange dole. He was convinced the 'losses' were incurred on purchase of materials and on completion of contracts the yard was the best wee yard on 'planit Erff'...actually how he pronounced it too.

Yourself and Peter on the other hand seem quite educated and plausible. Dangerous men!

Question; if you could afford a big detached villa with a pool, would you feel safe living in Spain?

Peter said...

Larry

Long may you continue expressing your opinion but when you are vindictive and personal it massively weakens your argument.

Henry JoY said...

Lorenzo, sin gran villa para mí ... pero sí me da una pequeña casa de campo o una casa vieja de la ciudad en uno de los hermosos pueblos blancos de la sierra del Alpujarra.

The people there lived and adapted to the ebb and flow of empires, Phoenicians, Romans, Berbers and Moors; Christians and Muslims did battle here over the centuries.
Even after Franco's Nationalist victory in 1939 dissident forces (Somatén) continued a relatively successful campaign against the Guardia Civil for a further three years here. Any defiant Ulster-man could find a spiritual home there!

(Oh, by the way Larry, I've a couple of flights in and out of Shannon this month. Should I be worried?)

Wolfsbane said...

larry hughes said:
'Wolfsbane
You make decent points and on the secular issue of todays society, and PC bullying I find impossible to disagree with you. My wife and I were agreed on the same sex marriage until recently. A gay canvasser left me with much to reflect upon. I came to the conclusion that regardless of my fears regarding adoption, it is not my place to deny anyone happiness. I will vote yes, the wife remains unconvinced and will vote no.'

Larry, I'm glad we both recognise the threats to liberty in our society. Eternal vigilance and all that.

Your other comment:
'As for democracy and unionism, penal laws, ascendancy of a tiny minority, partition and gerrymandering (Derry etc) simply flies in the face of your otherwise spot on sentiments to my mind.'

There were many steps in bringing about our modern democracy - not just the Catholic Irish were oppressed in Ireland or Britain. Common folk had a long way to climb to universal franchise.

I'm certainly not describing penal laws, ascendancy of a tiny minority, and gerrymandering as democratic. But I do say Partition was - for democracy presupposes a national consent. We don't just take a majority vote of all the world and insist every nation in it must abide by the wishes of the global majority.

Ireland contained two ethnic nations - the Gaels and the Ulster Scots (to keep it simple, I disregard the much smaller Anglo Irish). When the majority in Ireland decided to break with the U.K., it was overwhelmingly the Gaelic nation who did so, and the Ulster Scots nation who did not.

I say the Gaelic nation were being democratic in their decision to leave the U.K., exercising their national right of self-determination. But the Ulster Scots nation were also being democratic in their decision to remain with the U.K.

So what we had was not a negation of democracy, but competing national claims on a part of the land.

'For a minority to continue to be facilitated in poisoning this island, a minority that still refuses to attempt to belong to it is criminal in 2015.'

That is to confuse the land with the people, the island with the nation. Nations exist regardless of their location. They may have more right to a bit of land than another nation - but that has to be shown. I hold that the Ulster Scots have right to some of the island of Ireland, a right to be respected without them losing their nationhood.

Accommodation is the key to competing interests. It could have been worked out much more happily than it did at Partition, but it can't be happily done if one side demands all.

Same goes for Northern Ireland and its two nations today. We have opportunities to find an agreed State, and demanding it all our way is not the answer.

BTW, I do appreciate your openness and willingness to engage. Thank you.



larry hughes said...

Henry Joy

lol absolutely not, unless the yanks encamped there try to rendition you!

Henry JoY said...

Larry, watch yourself that with that Wolfie buck ... I think he became such an influence over Táin that he went off to some monastery ... seems he's taken a vow of silence.

Either that or he's slipped in the boning hall?

larry hughes said...

Wolfsbane

can't agree with your take on nationhood. Irish Americans are not a separate nation in the USA nor indeed in the UK or Australia. Things got way out of hand over Home Rule-devolution here in 1912. Giffiths the founder of SF wanted Ireland to remain under the monarchy. McGuinness and Adams look determined to fulfil his vision. I find it difficult to see Ulster Scots being able to live with anyone as long as there's anything worth keeping to themselves. Poor COI got well shafted for self interest in E. Ulster. More than happy to sling the odd comment about, and you lads are a welcome addition on here, fair do's.

larry hughes said...

Henry joy

steady on I'm struggling for breath laughing, in danger of regaining my 6 pack.

Wolfsbane said...

larry hughes said:
'Wolfsbane
can't agree with your take on nationhood. Irish Americans are not a separate nation in the USA nor indeed in the UK or Australia.'

Yes, as it was in Ireland before the Gaels forced independence. No need to make a big issue if the country you live in is working OK.

But let's say the USA, UK or Australia came to have a radical Muslim majority - would our Irish exiles be willing to abandon their Irish American identity in an Arabic Islamic state? Or would they raise to the fore their ethnic identity, their national identity as Irish Americans/Irish British/Irish Australians?

If majorities trump nationalities, then all the Brits had to do was import enough planters for the Irish to lose their right to self-determination. Surely you don't hold to that?

'Things got way out of hand over Home Rule-devolution here in 1912. Giffiths the founder of SF wanted Ireland to remain under the monarchy. McGuinness and Adams look determined to fulfil his vision.'

Ireland under majority Gael rule would not be acceptable to us, even with HM as head of State. The same issue of denial of national identity would be there. Unless the Irish recognised that two nations exist and organised the constitution to value that, especially regarding civil and religious liberties.

'I find it difficult to see Ulster Scots being able to live with anyone as long as there's anything worth keeping to themselves.'

Selfishness is a universal human trait. But it's not that that drives our opposition to a Gaelic Catholic/Socialist republic. It's common sense.

'Poor COI got well shafted for self interest in E. Ulster.'

Life often gives difficult rather than ideal choices. Better to lose 3 counties than 9.

'More than happy to sling the odd comment about, and you lads are a welcome addition on here, fair do's.'

Thanks, my friend.

larry hughes said...

Wolfsbane

The country was a nightmare for the majority under colonial rule and prod ascendancy. I think the real fear of a united Ireland is the fear in the unionist community of getting something similar in retaliation. Something, believe it or not, I don't think anyone would see any point or reason for.

Wolfsbane said...

larry hughes said:
'The country was a nightmare for the majority under colonial rule and prod ascendancy.'

Yes. Not great for many of the minority either.

'I think the real fear of a united Ireland is the fear in the unionist community of getting something similar in retaliation.'

Yes again. 'Home rule is Rome rule' encapsulated that. Were the Unionists of 1912 mistaken? Did we not actually see that is how it worked out for Independent Ireland? A Gaelic Catholic State.

Not the gross oppression of previous centuries, of course - not in the north or the south. But a decidedly discriminatory State.

'Something, believe it or not, I don't think anyone would see any point or reason for.'

The Nationalists I grew up with in the 50s and 60s were happy with the idea of a Gaelic Catholic State that would tolerate Prods but still be ruled by the Church.

The one guy I knew who openly was Republican and willing to talk said the same. And none of them, as far as I could grasp, even remotely thought about accommodating the Britishness of the Prods.

Are you saying all that has changed?

larry hughes said...

Wolfsbane

I can't say what would happen. Tempers are capable of fraying so whilst republicans are a dead duck at this stage who could guarantee anything? But the shoe is very much on your foot in the wee 6 still. You have a second chance to show everyone the benefits of the British connection. You are pushing at an open door with many taigs I'm forced to concede. Do try not to fuck it up this time 'old chap'.

Wolfsbane said...

Larry, I do hope and pray we don't fail you this time. If we can ditch the triumphalism on my side and the insistence on a United Ireland on yours, we will have a great chance at a happy future. It's big ask, of course, requiring a lot of mutual trust and forgiveness of past offences.

Henry JoY said...

Wolfsbane: Amen to all of that.

larry hughes said...

Important that the triumphalism is identified as a boil needing lanced. Fair do's lads.

Tain Bo said...

Henrietta,

I presume the adage out of sight, out of mind does not apply, you appear anxious in your day-mares and accompanying nightmares.

I will take a stab at addressing your pitiful inquiry considering I seem to stick in your mind.
It is endearing my absence causes concern for you and your imaginations squeamish disposition.

I told you a while back not to enlist others to champion on your behest and on this one, I have not been bantering yet you suggest Wolfsbane sent me off to the monastery. Unlike you, Wolfsbane is honest on his position, whereas you squeak from the back navigating retreat.

Your pansy theatrics are as entertaining as the recent Mayweather vs Pacquiao, dancing love match!
I doubt you missed my ranting and me and assume my nonappearance on the Quill probably induced a wee bit of Henrietta paranoia. The happy imaginary shite that feeds nightmares the argument is over as unpleasant it is for me to know I dwell in your mind I should reciprocate but that would be impossible as you only exist in my world when I spy your surrender monkey opinion’ here.

Slipping on a boning knife is dull; I would prefer the historic tradition of Seppuku. Your problem with me is 99% imaginary obtuse nonsense.
I told you before once I close the Quill I return to my preoccupation of life beyond the interweb and fortunately, for me you are nonexistent.

For future reference, unless I am tatey bread, my absence should not concern you but if you ask, like the shopkeeper in Mr. Ben I will magically appear.
Now, piss off, in case I decide to leave the monastery and go Berserker for amusement, in other words do not involve me when I am not involved.

Now, you and your paranoid squeamish imagination can go play safely with the buses, as it is disturbingly creepy that I dwell inside your head.

Henry JoY said...

Not in a monastery and definitely not tatey bread. The smelly old fart is back!

Tain Bo said...

Henry,

Profound

Tain Bo said...

Donncha,

Come into the parlour, said the spider to the dinosaur…

That is an invitation to explain your confusing comment on twitter here where you are not limited to a brief set of characters.

Let us dissect your fragmented sentence. The Pensive Quill the “republican blog” whose sole purpose in life is to attack Sinn Fein. (No full stop needed) you could have considered, its sole purpose or just its purpose but that would take away from the dramatic.

The blog being inanimate without human input reveals the true target of your sinister remark Anthony McIntyre whose blog you blame for the action of individuals unknown.
Without a doubt, you seem to swim in the same cesspool in the deeper end, the added dressing of mediocre writers and contributors being a blanket to hide the implied threat.

Your comment is cowardly and dangerous, murkier in its intent than that which you without base or validation freely exploit for reasons other than the acts of unknown people who magically spawn in the cesspool of the Quill.

I challenge you to provide evidence not once have I read anything here inciting physical force be used against SF or anybody else. There is a difference between physically attacking and deconstruction.

A method of analysing texts based on the ideas that language is inherently unstable and shifting and that the reader rather than the author is central in determining meaning. The French philosopher Jacques Derrida introduced it in the late 1960s.

What is the difference between your cesspool and the imaginary one you blame on the Quill and by the Quill, we both mean Anthony McIntyre.

Nothing wrong with being mediocre one day you might achieve it but walt away with your bad self and the party policy of being above the people perchance that arrogance may not sit well with those in the cesspool but let’s continue blaming the Quill for the social and economic deprivation.