Those Marching Feet…
July 7, 2014

Working-class British nationalists (aka ‘Loyalists’) in Northern Ireland are openly talking about violence working, and imputing that they will be ‘forced’ to use violence if they don’t get their way on the Ardoyne Orange Order march issue.

They’re also getting ambiguously-coded support from the political representatives of the wider British nationalist community (aka ‘Unionists’) in NI for these threats. That’s what the phrase ‘graduated response’ really means.

‘Graduated’ does not mean either ‘proportionate’ or even ‘calibrated by people with a third-level degree’. It is a weasel word covering for ‘a series of discrete levels of organised violence, starting at widespread public disorder all the way to a campaign of lethal terrorism, against all those we deem to be our cultural, political and institutional foes.’

These British nationalists are 100% correct about the effectiveness of violence to achieve political ends, anybody’s political ends. That’s why state power moves might and main to secure and maintain a monopoly on the use of violence everywhere its sovereignty extends. It’s not always reliable, but it usually is. The Northern Ireland jurisdiction would never have existed but for the threats and reality of political violence on their forefathers’ part starting from the early 1880s right through to the early 1920s.

British nationalist violence brought down Sunningdale back in the 1970s. In 1996, the killing of taxi driver Michael McGoldrick was part of a NI-wide campaign of British nationalist violence and terror which forced an O.O. parade down Portadown’s Garvaghy Road totally against the will of the local residents. The killing of the three Quinn boys from Ballymoney in 1998 was an act of British nationalist violence too far, that horrified the great majority of NI residents, including many British nationalists. Yet, the O.O.’s spokesmen sought to deflect its responsibility in that matter (as did much of institutional British nationalism in NI in other ways: for instance the UVF’s silence at the time re responsibility was telling) and impute that the Quinn’s catholic uncle was the guilty party.

That (alas uncommon) instance of the failure of a campaign of violence to achieve its aims has meant that the loyal orders have not marched down that road since 1998. Even so, the resort to violence and threats of violence seems to be a reflex response of most British nationalists in NI when there is effective political opinion and action deployed against their triumphalist desires.

I’m no fan of Irish nationalism either. Yes I am Irish and I am comfortable enough living with that cultural identity, but my politics are anarchist and socialist/ communist and furthermore I want to live in a world where our common humanity is the identity we all cherish above all others. But I recognise that throughout modern history, Irish nationalism has, unlike its British counterpart (which has used the violence of the state and paramilitary auxiliaries as a first resort), most often employed violence as a last resort after other peaceful methods had patently failed. Within the broad political community of Irish nationalism there has been a political discourse about political violence – whether it is justified either globally or specifically, what political violence does to the politics of the wider nationalist movement, and what sort of political grounding/authorisation is required in order to employ it – going on for a very long time indeed, since before Parnell’s time at least. There is little or nothing of a comparable self-awareness that I can see in all British nationalist circles over the same period of time right up to the present, either on this island or on the island of Britain. British violence is good violence, even when it commits atrocities. It took the British state nearly 40 years to merely apologise to the relatives of the Bloody Sunday victims, and that state still refuses to co-operate fully/at all when it comes to investigating the Ballymurphy Massacre and the Dublin/Monaghan Bombings, to name but two war crimes in which that state is clearly implicated.

The 26-county Irish state doesn’t behave much better when it wrongs its own citizens, but it does not view such citizens (or their kin/legal representatives) seeking to vindicate their human rights as implacable opponents of the state and its political dispensation. Furthermore, I have no awareness of the Irish state knowingly committing or actively colluding in acts of terror outside its jurisdiction in pursuit of its domestic state security agenda. If you have knowledge or claim of different, please bring it up and let’s discuss it.

I do fear deeply for what may happen over this ‘marching season’ for in Scotland the UK state is in existential peril because of the cumulative successes of the independence movement/Yes campaign in the Independence Referendum debate, and this dawning realisation for British nationalists of all locations, classes and stripes is profoundly destabilising. British nationalism is raging against the dying of its light (and hegemonic right), and a growing tide of opinion in Ireland and Scotland is revulsed by its violent domination of political discourse in both countries for far too long. Expect trouble, very serious violent trouble on the part of British nationalists, and don’t be one bit surprised if the UK state gives in to it, or even orchestrates a significant portion of it.

It is right, as some have suggested, that republicans/other Irish nationalists should not respond to British nationalist provocations, because the loyalists and the unionist parties alike are spoiling for violence, as they think it will create the necessary chaos for their nasty ludicrous dream of ‘re-partition’, prompt open UK military intervention, collapse the suspension of major political violence that’s miscalled ‘the peace process’, and ultimately bring back the halcyon days of Stormont Mk I. Unfortunately for unionists and loyalists, the laws of thermodynamics imply that you can’t re-create the past exactly as it was, even in microcosm, so they’re pissing against the wind out of sheer wilful ignorance of how the universe works, which is ironic since the great physicist William Thomson (aka Baron Kelvin) was an Ulsterman of their own stock. Also, ‘No Surrenderism’ and the inability to see beyond their own sectarian fences will destroy ‘Protestant Ulster’ as a viable cultural complex, the good along with the bad and the manifestly ugly. It’s a tragedy that’s been going on since 1912 and the foundation of the UVF and its arming in 1914: Unionism has refused since to meaningfully negotiate a shared culture and politics for this island with all the others who live here regardless of ideological affiliation, and all that time they had useful opportunities for serious influence over such matters were they only willing to cut reasonable deals and drop the supremacism.

The UK’s erstwhile status as a world power gave British nationalists the political cover to shout the cultural odds for the rest of us on these islands without any meaningful budging on British nationalism’s part, and these fools believe that that balance of political and cultural power in the Atlantic Archipelago is going to last forever. By the time the penny drops with Unionism/British nationalism in NI (and in Britain too), its community will have almost nothing of value to bargain with and their overall influence in Ireland (even up there) will be marginal at best. It’s a tragedy almost entirely of their own making – choices made and not made by Unionist leaderships, roads walked and not walked by Orangeism, and no-one to shout ‘Hang on a minute!’ for fear of being ‘Lundied’.

And finally to add, when a mob of people are rabidly trying to burn down the street you live on, as happened when the last ‘troubles’ broke out, it’s hard to exercise restraint, possibly too hard. The violence in NI this summer could potentially be extreme, as British nationalists really need their Irish counterparts to join the eschatological tango. And there’s any number of loyalist nutjobs out there praying for the ‘End Times’ thinking they’re some kind of political ‘Second Coming’ – for instance take a look at Jamie Bryson, the walking farce who wants to follow on from the Carsonian/Craigite/Paisleyite tragedy.

 

Kid Ryder 6th July 2014

(Extracted and edited from the thread of the same title on the Political World forum)

 

 

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How Do You Achieve a United Ireland ?
February 14, 2013

The idea of reunification is a fallacy. There never was a united Ireland. There never was a High King of Ireland. Even the various kings of Ireland wouldn’t support the idea of having Brian Boru as High King, as paying tribute to him and recognising him as such would have taken from their own legitimacy, and would have interfered with their own political objectives.Geographically speaking: millions of years ago, Ireland was two separate islands. Down around the current latitude of South Africa, they slowly drifted upwards with the rest of what’s referred to as the British Isles, to avail of the shittiest climate possible. Ireland’s two islands fused together, north and south in the middle of Ireland. Are we finished in our geographical sojourn? Nope.

Culture. I love this one… Hurling is a game of warriors. My father was a warrior as was his. It’s a game that should be played all over the planet. Of course, it’s been pussified somewhat, what with helmets and rules. Before that, it was pussified by developing teams. Aye, I yearn for the days when villages went to war against each other in this warrior’s game. Culturally speaking, who gets to say what hurling is and what would pass as a definitive example of it? Fuctifino. Football on the other hand, is shíte and I don’t particularly care what cultural mafioso gets to impose a definitive description.

But the language… “Beidh.” Tis pronounced “buy” you uncivilised monkeys from the east. Enough with your “beg.” That’s a freudian slip, not an example of either language or culture.

Things get very strange for me when I discuss the idea of nationalism with my fellow anarchists. It becomes complicated beyond reason when I try to explain to anarchists from around the planet the differences between the global understanding of nationalism and the Irish version of it. In Greece, for example, the Golden Dawn is the primary nationalist party and best fits the global understanding of nationalism.

I most certainly do not intend to have the same conversation here!

I had an interesting childhood (as did we all I’m sure). My father’s family was from the west, from around Limerick and Tipperary. My mother was a lass from Belfast. Her mother was from an extremely nationalist family (the Irish version of nationalism). Her father wore a sash. That’s love for you… Anyhow, I spent a considerable amount of time up North. I was there when nationalist families were burnt out of their homes and the British army was brought in to protect them (which they obviously failed to do).  I was there for the formation of the Provisionals.  Many members of my mother’s family ended up in Sweden and elsewhere because of their leanings.  Some of them ended up in Sweden and elsewhere because they were effing sick of either side trying to force them to choose sides. That said, I support wholeheartedly the need for the Provisionals and what they did. But I realise and respect that there are equally valid views on this. To further this thought of mine, I supported the need for the Provisionals because of the need to fight back.  I never gave a toss for politics.  Being ruled by wánkers from Dublin or wánkers from London? It’s the wánkers I hate. I don’t care where they’re at.

There is no political solution to the North. When you unite folks under a political banner you set polarities. Two like poles repel and opposite poles accelerate factions together into a cataclysmic annihilation.

The only solution is community. Or rather the only satisfactory solution is community. Enough of the fúckwiths shouting “think this,” or “think that.” Methinks that most of them have seldom pondered anything beyond their bellybuttons anyway.

__________________
Seán Ryan  February 2013

Discussion on Politicalworld.org : “How Do You Achieve A United Ireland” 

The Banned Flags and the Hang-Rags
January 8, 2013

…that your poor old Grandad  had to fight so you could fly.

Well let’s establish what we all already know to be the facts. The entity comprised of the six north-eastern counties of this island, officially known as Northern Ireland, is the home to one and three quarter million religious zealots, divided fairly equally in to two warring camps. One side is as bad as the other and no matter how much evidence to the contrary exists on any given dispute, it is imperative that we spread the blame for the ensuing violence and disruption equally. Equally that is, apart from understanding that, at the root of every disagreement is the evil, unprovoked and on-going terrorist campaign of the Provisional IRA.

In the current dispute, triggered by Belfast City Council’s democratic decision to restrict the flying of The Union Flag to designated days only, the largely Vatican controlled (and at the same time Communist) media have tried to portray opposition to the move as somehow backward looking and sectarian in nature. No one ever wants to hear the voice of the true Loyalist who has stood meekly by for four decades as the Republicans set about destroying the utopia which existed.

With that in mind, we spoke to one decent, Christian protester in an attempt to ensure that the views of this downtrodden majority might, at long last be heard.

So, why have Unionists of so many shades been protesting, intimidating, blocking roads, stopping people going about their lawful business, singing sectarian songs and attacking Nationalist areas and the Police.

Simple, it’s cause the Fenians tore down the flag of our country off our City hall!

But Nationalists didn’t tear it down; they wanted to remove the flag completely but agreed to an Alliance Party compromise which decided to fly it on designated days, in line with equality guidelines and in line with the vast majority of British councils, public buildings and royal palaces.

Alliance is Fenians now too. It’s our City Hall, we let themmuns in and now this is how they repay us!

But surely the Councillors are democratically elected and entitled to ring changes to reflect the views of everyone living in the Belfast City Council area?

Yes but they only got elected because they committed electoral fraud and our people didn’t come out and vote in sufficient numbers.

But if Unionists don’t come out and vote, you can’t blame Nationalists?

I don’t, I blame the Unionist parties who have let their people down.

How?

By letting this happen and doing nothing to stop it.

But how can they do anything about it if Unionist people didn’t elect them in sufficient numbers?

They are the ones who agreed to sit down with terrorists.

And surely you know that it was in fact The DUP and UUP who started this protest with the delivery of 40,000 leaflets over the city, attacking The Alliance Party’s decision?

Aye, I blame The Alliance Party.

But Alliance stopped the Union Flag from being removed altogether!

I blame the Fenians.

You can’t blame Catholics or Nationalists or Republicans for the violence which has accompanied the protests, they have largely ignored them despite the difficulties they have caused.

Well, I don’t. I blame the Police for that! But it’s about more than flags anyway.

Really? What else is it about?

Everything!

Specifically?

Themmuns have got everything out of the ‘so called’ peace process and we have got nathin! They get all the money and the jabs!

Well official statistics would suggest that Catholics are still much more likely to be unemployed, in lower paid jobs and under-represented in senior posts within almost every branch of the public service?

That’s just cause they’re lazy, work-shy bastards on DLA.

Are you unemployed?

Yes, I haven’t been able to work since I hurt me back lifting a tree across the road during Drumcree 3. Ah that was a good year. Back when we had a proper Police force what knew who the good guys were. Now they’re all Fenians and most of them are from the south. Some of them is just Gardas that are here unofficially you know?

Again, the fact is that the vast majority of Police officers are still from a Unionist or Protestant background, only a tiny percentage are from the Republic and none of those are also members of the Gardaí.

They still have 50/50!

What’s 50/50?

It’s a rule what says all Protestant Policemen have to retire at 50 and must be replaced by 50 ex-IRA men.

That’s a ridiculous, uneducated falsehood.

Uneducated? Is it any wonder? The IRA took away our 11+ and closed 7 schools in East Belfast alone!

That’s just because it’s inefficient to have secondary schools with fewer than 18 pupils.

Only cause Protestants are too busy working to have big families.

Have you and your wife any children?

I have seven children, two of them with her. But you keep trying to get me away from the real problem.

What is the real problem then?

Pat Finucane!

Pat Finucane?

Yeah, him and all the other inquiries  Our soldiers killed anyone and they demand an inquiry  Look at Bloody Sunday, a pile of rioters shot and now the soldiers is all going to spend 30 years in jail! What about Bloody Friday…and Bloody Monday and bloody all the other ones?

Surely the difference is that everyone knows it was The IRA who carried out Bloody Friday and no one is claiming that those who were killed were anything but innocent civilians? Nationalists want inquiries to establish the innocence of the victims and prove that the government was complicit in and even directly responsible for the murder of hundreds of people? In some of the cases for which  you demand the truth, the guilty parties have already been found, tried and have served their sentences!

And now they are in government. We want to know the truth about all the murders.

All of them?

Every one!

That’ll require a truth commission where Loyalists, Unionists and the British Government will have to tell the truth about the violence in which they were involved?

No! We don’t have to cause we didn’t start it.

Well The IRA didn’t either, The UVF were killing Catholics before ‘The Troubles’ even began.

Only cause they knew what was coming. But you are deliberately taking me away from the real problem again.

I thought you said it was Pat Finucane?

Nah, that’s what you’d like to believe.

So, once again, tell me what the real problem is?

Easy, the Unionist leaders don’t care about us. That’s why we have had to rise up of our own free will.

But it was The DUP and UUP who brought you out on to the street?

Maybe so, but now we have our own leaders. They are just ordinary Christian Protestants who have taken all they can take and have decided that it’s now time to make a stand.

But your street leaders are not ordinary people, they are a mixture of Loyalist paramilitaries, public tit-suckling community workers, failed politicians, mentally ill, sectarian motivated campaigners with years of experience agitating on the periphery, former glue-sniffing, extremely suspect pastors and semi-literate, self-publicising, would-be authors and indeed, senior members of both the DUP and UU.

Aye, they’re a great bunch a lads! Oh could you take out that bit about ‘authors’? Makes them sound a bit gay.

Is respect on all sides the answer?

They don’t respect our flag!

This is the flag that flies in tatters outside chapels, is wrapped around the faces and shoulders of looters, has slogans scrawled across it in felt-tip and is incorporated into everything from comedy hats to neoprene jump-suits?

Does your heart proud to see it but you’re trying to get away from the real problem again aren’t you?

And (sighs) what is the real problem?

Rangers!

Thank you.

 

And there we have it in the world’s largest nut-shell. The cause of the protests is ever-changing and therefore, cannot be addressed. The reason it changes is that it is a skimpy piece of red, white and blue cloth which is being pulled in several directions at once in an attempt to cover up the paranoid sectarianism at the root of something which is not new at all. It’s the same festering, malignant sore that brought us Holy Cross, Drumcree, Ulster Resistance, The Third Force, The UWC Strike, Burntollet Bridge and the decade by decade pogroms which have blighted this artificial state since its undemocratic inception.

 

5intheface – 08/01/2013

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