/ Flying the Union Jack?
So being Irish, not British, I personally just see it as a bunch of disaffected thugs using it as an excuse to cause trouble. However like I said I'm Irish and the Union Jack holds no symbol to me. So do you think they're entitled to be aggrieved by this decision not to permanently fly the Union Jack? Or would you agree it's just the symptoms of some other greater more deeply seated issues that NI is currently revisiting.
I think it is sad and pathetic, but as hubby says, gone are the days of the local block leader laying down the law with the youth and them respecting the honour of there area and not worrying about what flag was flying, just that there was one.
>So do you think they're entitled to be aggrieved by this decision not to permanently fly the Union Jack?
Yes. They're entitled this or any other opinion.
It was a democratic decision but may not have been a wise, diplomatic or conciliatory decision.
As I understand it, Sinn Fein proposed the motion in council business then the Alliance Party (the only major non sectarian party in NI now) carried it on the basis that the flag only flys on Stormont on those said 20 days a year. Which, I believe though couldn't say definitively, has something to do with the Good Friday Agreement.
So in simple terms local politics and a democratic vote is the reason why it isn't flying 365.
Its a British Country why shouldn't they fly a flag? Not saying the violence is justified at all, but why take it down in the first place?
load of old nonsense, it's only a flag
If that council had anything about them, they'd respond to the riots by flying a large banner with the legend "Down with this sort of thing!".
> load of old nonsense, it's only a flag
Well, ^this. But I'm not Irish and I've never pretended to understand Northern Irish protest/ politics/ tribalism. I guess this has very little to do with a flag anymore
I live in the UK, I am British first, English second but I couldnt care less if they flew the Union Jack (or Flag - cant remember which way round this is) or George Cross over our councils. Hey, they could fly the German or French flags for all I care.
These sections in NI bear no significance to the majority. They are just a bunch of inbreds who really dont care about nationlism or loyalism. All they want to do is cause mayhem, this is just yet another excuse.
> It was a democratic decision but may not have been a wise, diplomatic or conciliatory decision.
That pretty much sums it up. Probably makes Sinn Fein more popular in republican areas for sticking it to the prods, but doesn't do much for reconciliation.
I don't see much difference between this chav scum underclass riot and the chav scum underclass riots, which blighted mainland cities in 2011. It's just bored, disaffected yoofs with too much testosterone.
Flags are very powerful symbols. Don't underestimate the use of symbols in our society.
> Flags are very powerful symbols. Don't underestimate the use of symbols in our society.
or a reinforcement of jingoistic nationalist nonsense
It's long been said of NI that anyone who thinks they have the answer didn't understand the question but anyone who thinks this is just about a flag or how many days it flies really doesn't understand the question.
i've only lived in sheffield 52 years, and i've no idea if the council fly a flag
the old issues in northern ireland won't go away anytime soon
Clearly each side is now completely entrenched in their views and there really isn't any wiggle room at all. I really can not imagine being so bitter in my views. I simply don't have enough energy.
> Flags are very powerful symbols. Don't underestimate the use of symbols in our society.
Only for those who are hard of thinking. A religious follower is still a religious follower without their respective symbols.
OK, so you might thrink twice about flying a Swastika as its not in the best taste but even then, they are just objects that often represent a time passed. Personally, I wouldnt be bent out of shape if they did. Its the same as those Islamist nuts who want to kill folks who burn the Kuran. Its just an object.
You sound like you have the solution. Maybe you should pop over there and tell them what to do! :-)
> You sound like you have the solution. Maybe you should pop over there and tell them what to do! :-)
My consultancy charges are pretty expensive though ;). But in all seriousness though, I think many of us here in the UK would struggle to properly understand the complexities and deeply seated feelings of our NI cousins. Nevertheless, I'm a simple soul and kicking off on the back of some outdated emblem of nationlism realy doesnt compute. Therefore it suggests to me that this isnt a bunch of highly regarded politicians (I know, some may view this as a contradticiotn in terms), community leaders and social philosophers chucking rocks and Molotov contails at each other but a bunch of low level criminals and thugs, hell bent of having a ruckus.
Its been going on since the 3rd December. The press was doing a good job of not giving any air time to the I am English and live next to City Hall in Belfast and I couldn't care less about whether the flag is there or not. I am yet to meet someone who cares either. There is a minority who do care but they are not the ones rioting. Its just young idiots who have an excuse to riot. As always they are attacking the psni who need to take a harder line when it comes to the protests and riots. Every day there are protests during rush hour which block major roads heading in and out of Belfast (when I say protest I mean 4/5 people blocking off a road).
The psni need to stop the protests from happening and take a harder line with the rioting.
-- Arrest more people - over 3000 people were arrested over 4 days during the london riots. 86 have been arrested in belfast in 30 days. Anyone caught rioting
-- Make parents accountable - A large number of the rioters are under the age of 18. Make parents accountable for the actions of their children
failing that replace water in the water cannons with blue paint. Anyone who turns up to sign on looking like a smurf looses their benefits
Hurrah - at last, a sensible suggestion! :-)
I always remember reading a skit on NI years ago suggesting that another good way to wind up the unionists would be to use the Pope's own holy water cannon.
This is about economies and unemployment/poverty. In recent years there has been hardly any trouble because the future was bright.
Now - rise in unemployment, no prospects, hard times - breeds disaffected people. In NI you the factions will channel that into sectarian hatred.
There are currently 3 x more deaths of males under 25 in NI that at any point in the troubles, and the vast majority are suicides.
> Now - rise in unemployment, no prospects, hard times - breeds disaffected people. In NI you the factions will channel that into sectarian hatred.
> There are currently 3 x more deaths of males under 25 in NI that at any point in the troubles, and the vast majority are suicides.
I couldn't agree more. There has been a marked rise in activity of both loyalist and nationalist extremist groups in NI, and also as a corollorary down south for the republicans, in recent years. It's pretty much impossible to deny that this increase in aggrieved sentiments and additional troubles whether it be "recreational rioting" of disaffected youths in either community, increased hardline loyalist activity or dissident republican organisations combining and starting to increase targeting and attacks on security services is as a result of anything else other than the collapse in the NI economy.
Whilst it's impossible to see NI ever returning to the lows of the troubles, especially with SF/PIRA having officially stood down, I also worry for the future there as there is no light on the horizon for the economy in NI at present. Personally I can't see anything else other than prosperity, or at a bare minimum not austerity, lifting the region out of this situation it's regressing into.
> Only for those who are hard of thinking. A religious follower is still a religious follower without their respective symbols.
> OK, so you might thrink twice about flying a Swastika as its not in the best taste but even then, they are just objects that often represent a time passed. Personally, I wouldnt be bent out of shape if they did. Its the same as those Islamist nuts who want to kill folks who burn the Kuran. Its just an object.
The Union flag has very little to do with religion to most Irish folk. There is a lot of history between England and Ireland that most Brits have no idea about it because they arenít taught and donít discuss Britainís past in Ireland, and the Union flag is hugely symbolic. I am English my girlfriend is Irish so I am sympathetic and well read on the history. A flag is a symbol, and a symbol can be hugely evocative.
The Hilton down the road is flying flags of all the countries in the EU......
This could be the start of the invasion.....lets riot.
*Pedant alert* Its only the union jack when flown from a ship. Sorry don't get to do that often.
Is the problem on of integration/lack of?
Kids learn their parents views, if those views are re-enforced at school rather than challenged there will be no soulution.
I disagree, to a point, in the past the vast majority of hardcore republicanism in the republic was confined to very specific areas. These were usually rural areas, often close to the border or the poorest urban areas where getting involved with the Ra was another option to becoming an organised criminal (not that that's any different). This still largely remains the same just with the ceasefire the PIRA is now gone so the numbers involved are even smaller. Only real difference is perhaps 10/15/20+ years ago most people down south would probably think they'd like to see a united Ireland at some point in the future whilst nowadays we're generally of the opinion that yous can keep it as it's more trouble than it's worth. In the long term now I can sooner see NI becoming an independent country of it's own than a united Ireland.
> The Union flag has very little to do with religion to most Irish folk. There is a lot of history between England and Ireland that most Brits have no idea about it because they arenít taught and donít discuss Britainís past in Ireland, and the Union flag is hugely symbolic. I am English my girlfriend is Irish so I am sympathetic and well read on the history. A flag is a symbol, and a symbol can be hugely evocative.
If you read my post then I was drawing attention to the fact that the flag to me is merely a symbol and that I am whom I am whether the Cross of St George is flying or not. I wasnt asserting that the flag has religious connotations (whether it does or doesnt) but I can see that my example of a religious symbol could be confusing and was perhaps a poorly chosen one.
Whilst the flag might be evocative to some I believe that the symbolism of the flag is being used by the rioters in order that they can carry out their pointless activities with a reason.
To commit this nonsense for these reasons is, to my mind, so lame as only to conform that its being done by idiots.
I think it is much deeper than that. It is not only the view of parents, but the view of your next door neighbours and everyone you know. Such extreme views in some parts are the norm and accepted.
When the local residents are prepared to go as far as painting the curb stones of their street red, white and blue
you know you aren't going to be able to hold much of a rational balanced discussion about it.
Sorry if this spoils it for you, but the vexilologists would beg to differ:
"It is often stated that the Union Flag should only be described as the Union Jack when flown in the bows of a warship, but this is a relatively recent idea. From early in its life the Admiralty itself frequently referred to the flag as the Union Jack, whatever its use, and in 1902 an Admiralty Circular announced that Their Lordships had decided that either name could be used officially. Such use was given Parliamentary approval in 1908 when it was stated that "the Union Jack should be regarded as the National flag".
''Only for those who are hard of thinking''
With reference to a flag being a powerful symbol. It is, to many people and with good reason.
The Union Jack was the idea of a Scottish king.....king rules Britain and Scotland, England and Wales join in the union of crowns....no mention of Ireland
Northern Ireland should maybe rule it's self as a separate independent country....
so please tell me what the RED cross represents??? the red plus is the UK, the Blue is Scotland and the Red cross is ireland
i refere you to http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.wardsbookofdays.com/index_files/UJ2.JPG&imgrefu...
So do you think they're entitled to be aggrieved by this decision not to permanently fly the Union Jack? Or would you agree it's just the symptoms of some other greater more deeply seated issues that NI is currently revisiting.
>> Aren't they the same thing?
The flag of ulster and the Northern Irish flag are similar but not the same.
Ulster contains 3 counties from The Republic as well as 6 from Northern Ireland.
> So do you think they're entitled to be aggrieved by this decision not to permanently fly the Union Jack? Or would you agree it's just the symptoms of some other greater more deeply seated issues that NI is currently revisiting.
Lots of people in lots of places are aggrieved by lots of democratically made decisions on a regular basis. In fact you can be sure it's pretty much an occurrence somewhere in the world all of the time. However most people don't use it as an excuse, and in this case a pretty poor one at that not like say having your means to live/work taken off of you, to start rioting.
Interestingly, for Scottish Government buildings with just one flagpole, the Saltire is generally flown in place of the Union Flag., with the exception of a few flag days - but not St Andrew's Day. I believe most local authorities usually follow the same protocol.
I remember the rioting we had about this. Oh wait...
> I disagree, to a point, in the past the vast majority of hardcore republicanism in the republic was confined to very specific areas. These were usually rural areas, often close to the border or the poorest urban areas where getting involved with the Ra was another option to becoming an organised criminal (not that that's any different). This still largely remains the same just with the ceasefire the PIRA is now gone so the numbers involved are even smaller. Only real difference is perhaps 10/15/20+ years ago most people down south would probably think they'd like to see a united Ireland at some point in the future whilst nowadays we're generally of the opinion that yous can keep it as it's more trouble than it's worth. In the long term now I can sooner see NI becoming an independent country of it's own than a united Ireland.
Sorry didn't see this earlier. You may well be right, don't seem to be too many RA heads in my GF group, guess they wouldn't tell me, however, we have some good chats though. I sympathise with MC and Easter uprising PIRA not so much. Ay, as far as I am concerned I'd like to see united Ireland, for the same reason, too much trouble! I had a mate at uni from Dundalk, he was a BIG RA head. I think it's destine for the union flag more than pure Anglophobia.
flags are boring. what they need is a huge tv screen so they can broadcast real propaganda.
I don't really have any connection to the Union Flag either, the British Nationalists round here (and there's a good few of em, don't fly the Union flag no more, it's all Saint Goerge these days. As flags go tho' least we get a pretty white rose on a blue back ground.
Agreed - I find that whatever sentiment behind the protests has disappeared, and now it is simply thugs disguising their actions as "protesting." Protesting about something you feel passionate about is grand, and is something everybody is entitled to do (Student Fees/Miners/Civil Rights Marches etc). However blocking roads off, disrupting the life of Belfast City Centre (as we saw over the Christmas period), attacking and attempting to murder police officers and issuing death threats, that is not exercising your right to protest, that is criminal activity. I agree with "tprebs" (and not simply because I know him) - the PSNI need to be more firm with the protesters. People need to be held accountable for their actions. The comparison with the riots last in 2011 across England only strengthens this point.
I wholeheartely agree as well with regards to parents being held responsible for the actions of their children - children as young as 12 being arrested and charged with rioting is disgraceful. However it's unlikely to happen given that criminal responsibility is from 10+ years old (I think - correct me if I'm wrong).
Everybody is entitled to hold a grevience if they don't agree with something. However I would like to point out several things.
Firstly, under the Good Friday Agreement, the citizens of Northern Ireland are entitled to choose a nationality - to be either British or Irish. Furthermore, a recent census indicates that the societal split in Northern Ireland is approximately 48% Protestant, 46% Catholic and 6% Other. Approximately half the population do not consider themselves British. They do not believe that the Union Flag represents them. Did they protest? Did they riot because they were angry at this? No, they lobbied through their local politicians and a motion was put through the Belfast City Council to remove the flag from flying 365 days a year. They carried out a democratic process, and through an amended proposal put forward by the Alliance Party, the flag was only allowed to fly on designated days.
Secondly, this is not the first city council in Northern Ireland that has allocated the flying of the Union Flag on designated days. Lisburn City Council passed such a motion a few years back (with a majority Unionist council) - why? Because the politicians there realised that such an issue was moot. There are more important things to be worried about that the flying of the Union Flag 365 days a year, which incidently is not even protocol in Britain (Buckingham Palace does not fly the Union Flag 365 days a year - if the Queen doesn't do it, why would we?).
If by deep-seated issues you mean unemployment, education, social welfare then this is probably that. However, instead on confronting these issues, politicians in Northern Ireland debate about a flag. Instead of making decisions that can affect peoples lives in a positive way, Unionist politicians launch a smear campaign against the Alliance Party in the hope of retaking the East Belfast MP slot.
And you wonder why people hate politicians...
However I would not attempt to use these as justification for the riots - just because you are pissed off that you can't get a job, or because you don't like school, or because you don't like the Catholics/Protestants up the road doesn't mean you can go out and riot for the sake of it.
The blue paint is a great idea - can just see a line of smurfs signing on the dole! Brilliant.
An alternative was something my brother told me when he was over in the Middle East - he says rioting is controlled by the use of "skunk water" which is essentially raw sewage shot out of a high powered water cannon - we have the cannons and a sewer system... why not?
So they say. It would be interesting to know to what extent this love is reciprocated. Might help if loyalism translated a bit closer to loyalty.
Haha that made me laugh: Um, never and never will. I have no doubt that you are right, if you read my previous post I believe flags to be hugely powerful symbols especially the Union flag; both good and bad, but sadly it is not a popular flag. I have studied the history between UK and Ireland, so I can hold views informed by my reading and my many visits to ROI, I am not ignorant. Yes, I am ambivalent, I can see it from both sides and strongly side with neither. I have made no comment on the subject of Protestant NI, and for that mater would not, it is something i could not empathise with and haven't tried to. You are rude
They already have that at City hall but it currently broadcasts BBC...
I am tempted to climb city hall while they lure the police away with rioting in short strand and put up the Yorkshire flag
In some ways, I am pleased that the real creators of the Ulster Troubles are revealing themselves to the British public.
No longer can we see trouble in NI as being about some imagined catholic nationalist menace.
These flag defiling fascists are the real menace: just as they were when they were gun-running 100 years ago and just as they were when it took them several decades of stirring the pot before things kicked off in 1969.
These people believe they are part of some twisted form of England that never existed. Until church is thoroughly divorced from state in the UK, we will have to put up with these nutters kicking off every decade or two.
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