Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Flag fury

Anyone outside Northern Ireland must be wondering what the flying fuck is going on in this country right now. They may well ask. The ongoing mayhem and anarchy makes little sense even to most of us living here.

The fascist thugs who are orchestrating the chaos would like us to believe they’re furious because a Union Jack is now flying over Belfast City Hall 17 days a year rather than 365. No, you haven’t misread that. A single Union Jack no longer flying permanently, only occasionally.

No matter that there are already thousands of Union Jacks flying across Northern Ireland every day of the week on buildings, on streets, on private homes, everywhere you look. Just drive for half an hour and you’ll see hundreds of them. But a single flag not flying so often is apparently the end of civilisation as we know it, a vicious attack on personal identity, and a valid excuse for unlimited rioting and destruction.

Ah, but it’s the symbolism, they shriek. The Union Jack symbolises everything that’s British, it symbolises our fundamental identity. Take it away and we’re nothing, our very heritage has been destroyed. Well, funnily enough, I’m British myself and I find I can assert my identity quite easily without a flag anywhere in sight.

But that’s not all. The rioters are also directly attacking the democratic institutions and politicians that made the decision about the City Hall Union Jack two weeks ago. The Alliance Party politicians who supported the decision have been subjected to a ruthless campaign of intimidation, including arson, death threats, attacks on property and verbal abuse. The flag-wavers want to smash the party and its non-sectarianism and drive it out of politics.

The senior Unionist politicians who encouraged the opposition to Belfast Council’s decision in the first place by sanctioning 40,000 inflammatory leaflets are now looking the other way and pretending the mayhem is nothing to do with them. Their reluctant and half-hearted pleas for the protests to end are having no impact whatever. The police are being equally laid-back and have arrested only a tiny number of rioters.

All the rioters are doing is wrecking their own lives and communities. The chaos is threatening thousands of businesses and jobs, driving people away from Belfast and Northern Ireland, and turning loyalism into a dirty word. But they just can’t see it. They’re convinced they’re fighting for some noble cause. Whether common sense will eventually prevail is anyone’s guess.


  1. Nick, did you see this:


  2. Grannymar: Well, that was the police plan yesterday evening but as far as I know it was unsuccessful and plenty of roads were still blocked. What will happen tonight, I wonder?

  3. Well, it's comforting to know that people are nutty about flags everywhere . . . Where you can hang them, when you should fly them, when they should be at half mast. Then there are the people still displaying the confederate flag in the south. My question is, is there a significance to the 17 days?

  4. It's always a kettle waiting to boil over, Nick. Ever thus.

    Now an effin flag, tomorrow ?


  5. Bijoux: Yes, people everywhere get so wound-up about flags, don't they? There are 17 days officially designated for flying the Union Jack, such as the Queen's Birthday. So the flag will only be flown on those days.

    www: Indeed, a flag today, a marching route tomorrow....

  6. nick
    interesting and sad
    I was only thinking the other day that we seem to be hearing more negative stories from your neck of the woods !

  7. John: The current shenanigans are quite a surprise. Up till recently things were quite civilised and Northern Ireland was finally getting a positive image. Now these morons are putting everything into reverse again.