Having let Faha loose with this blog over the last few weeks and, may I say, he has done a fine job focussing on exactly the principles that I intended when I started this blog, I felt I should write a piece myself as we approach the traditional season of peace and goodwill that prevails hereabouts during the long hot summer months.
Apparently they (and I’m referring to loyalists here) are ordering extra large ones this year. (Mine is bigger than yours seems to be the message). Of course we all know that that the flag waving competition is simply about marking territory except that it is no longer a competition if only one team is on the pitch. As any general will tell you it is not a great strategy fighting an already lost battle on a shrinking field.
The interesting change this year revolves around the PSNI deciding to designate the erection of further union flags in the upper Ormeau rd as a breach of the peace”. Of course this is a result of demographic change. What was previously an overwhelmingly unionist area, eh, isn’t anymore. In fact it’s now a majority nationalist area (67%). Likewise, we have the same story in Finaghy. I have noted with interest the necessity in unionist areas to write the words “Ivory Coast” across their national flag lest it be confused with that other green white and orange tricolour. So much for geography teachers and the respect for “others” I thought everyone voted for in the good friday agreement. Of course the devil will be in the detail. Enforcement. The PSNI blinked the last time this chestnut came up. They will be tested again this time.
Language, the use and subtleties of it, the application and means to which it is put. As George Orwell says: “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as if it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink” I honestly believe there is a doctoral thesis waiting to be written on the use/misuse of language in these parts. I need hardly recite the litany of double names for pretty much everything. In fact I’m not going to because it would be pointless. My point, such as it is, is that we are never going to agree on a commonality of language and terms. We should simply accept that we each have our own interpretations. Lets just leave it at that?
Ok, two names, this week anyway. Nelson and Peter. I’m not even going to attempt to critique the Minister for “keeping Deputy Dodds North Belfast Seat” antics. It’s beyond satire. Peter Robinson is a different matter. He is supposed to be the First Minister. That means that he acts in the interests of ALL the population of these six counties. Not the DUP electorate, not the Unionist electorate, all of us.
He is not speaking for me for a start. We have had to listen to his excuses for the prehistoric fundamentalist preacher who decided Moslems were the source of all evil, then a defence of the ladies in deckchairs outside the house in East Belfast with their blatantly racist bedsheets. The irony of them claiming to complain about unfair housing allocation completely lost on pretty much everyone.
Unionism is an ideology built upon the twin tenets of superiority over the natives and loyalty to a ruling power. It is a contradictory, colonialist mentality. That is why the recent comments of Peter Robinson are so ridiculous. He is, when presented with an opportunity for leadership, as sure footed as a mountain Sloth.