A few weeks ago, a taxi driver told me a story. One of his neighbours took off his shoes and socks and walked twelve miles on a cold night to a hospital…where he was detained as being a person at risk.
Thats sad of course…but the good news is that he won his “tribunal” and had his Disability Living Allowance restored to him.
The taxi driver thought there was a connexion..
Perhaps we only thought this kinda thing happened in fiction. After all Captain Edmund Blackadder tried to use that old Sudan trick…wear our underpants on your head, stick two pencils up your nostrils and say “Wibble”.
So Willie Frazer goes to court dressed as Abu Hamza, the Islamist preacher…the man with the eye patch and hook for a hand. His alleged point is that he is being treated worse than an Islamist extremist. The “good law” which he supports was not designed for a “Protestant from Norn Iron”. He is offended.
Perhaps he should have said “Wibble”.
He…and the broader “Civil Rights Camp” loyalists are of course an embarrassment to Unionism. Should Nationalists care? Well seemingly “liberal” unionists seem to think that we should care.
They suggest that Willie Frazer, in particular is a man who has suffered a lot and may be unstable and even “fragile”.
They want us to believe that the Fleggers …subject of much humour…are in fact untypical of Unionism and that they are at best a sideshow. Nothing to do with the great battle of ideas between Unionism and Nationalism.
This is of course nonsense. Unionism has never been shy about using the unacceptable face of extreme loyalism. The “liberals” are at heart no different. After all didnt one of the leading apologists for so-called liberal unionism use the vilest of words to describe the SDLP.
The Unionist stance that we should not judge Unionism by the standards of behaviour and discourse of the lowest element in unionism is bad enough…but to claim a bye ball…a pass for Frazer and his cohorts on the grounds of unproven “fragility” seems risible.
Certainly most Nationalists cant stop laughing at Unionism.
But rather like a football team playing its fiercest rival cant be expected to worry that the opposing left back has an injury problem and sportingly decide not to expose the weakness….then it is not for Nationalists to do the sporting thing and avoid attacking Unionism at its weakest point…Willie Frazer, Jamie Bryson and the rest of them.
I am not qualified to say whether any individual should be in Court or “up a tree in Purdysburn” (as the politically incorrect Belfast folks would say)…but nor is any liberal unionist qualified to say.
As Frazer is a very public advocate for Unionism and is not restrained from public statement, then he is fair game.
Liberal Unionism is not so much concerned with Frazers fragility but with the realisation that the underbelly of Unionism is exposed. And that mainstream Unionism is exposed.
Shrill cries from the apologists for “liberal” unionism to leave their Willie alone (in a manner of speaking) cuts no ice.
Rather like “liberals” in the American Republican Party complain that the media concentrate too much on extreme conservatives who are outspokenly Islamaphobic, homophobic, sexist and racist…its fair to say that excessive GOP tolerance of tea-party extremists …has had consequences.
Likewise Unionist tolerance of aspects of Loyalist Culture has consequences for Unionism and they should not be allowed to distance themselves from the Fleggers.
The Greeks would probably have a word for this. I see that several members of the quasi-fascist New Dawn Movement, inluding members of the Greek Parliament have been rounded up by the Greek police. A response to levels of violence and civil unrest there…seemingly organised by the Far Right.
Has there been a swoop on Far Right politicians in Norn Iron in recent months? Is David Ford the Alliance Minister for Justice planning one with Chief Constable Baggot?
Have we no credible response to street violence? Other than pussy-footing around with Far Right street thugs because they must be facilitated and made to feel “included” because they are so uncertain of their “identity”?
Meanwhile a woman is recovering from gunshot wounds in East Belfast. The newspapers hint that it is a “domestic” incident not unrelated to a previous relationship with a local thug.
To what levels do we really have to be dragged for the so called Common Good of the Peace Process?