48 4 mins 9 yrs

And another post from Seimi on your soaraway ATW!

“The contoversy over flags just doesn’t seem to go away. The Alliance party have suggested a solution to the ongoing problem of flags which remain erected on lampposts around Belfast.

The party have suggested that a deposit be paid for every flag erected, which is returnable only when the flag has been taken down again.

The DUP have been quick to respond, with former lord mayor Gavin Robinson stating that now is not the time to raise the issue, preferring instead to wait until US diplomat Richard Haas arrives later this year for all-party talks on flags, protests, emblems, symbols and other related matters. He says,

“I think it is unhelpful because if anything, when you force people through regulation and enforcement, you do unfortunately get a negative and inappropriate reaction.”

He continues,

“I also think the appropriate forum is for September and that is the time to have it.”

I disagree. Most of these flags, and in this instance I am specifically talking about P/U/L flags (though I know there are many C/N/R areas which are as bad), have been up for months already. They hang from every lamppost, sometimes two, three or more, in some wierd game of one-upmanship. They are destroyed by the wind and the rain. They are left in ragged tatters, and are only removed in order to be replaced with a new one, which then goes through the same, disrespectful, antagonistic ritual.

And disrespectful it is. I may not personally identify the Union flag as the flag of my country, but even I can see that to leave it hanging in tatters from a lamppost, above or below a flag which celebrates a terrorist organisation, is showing not just disrespect for the flag and what it stands for, but holds it and its values in utter contempt. These same people who erect these flags are the same ones who adorn their bonfires every year with Irish flags (although in recent years other countries seem to have been selected for this particular show of contempt, e.g. Poland, and for reasons probably only known to the flag burners themselves, Mexico and the Ivory Coast). This in itself is insulting to Irish people (as well as Polish, Mexican and Ivory Coast people too, presumably), but I wonder what people in England feel, when they see their ‘countrymen’ treat their own flag like this?

The Alliance party solution is probably not practically workable, given the huge number of flags in question, but something should be done now to clear this flag business up. They should be removed now, and dialogue on how to resolve this matter should be started now, rather than wait another month and a half.”

DV ADDS…!!

The DUP are hypocrites of the highest order. This country has too many flag, all marking territory. I don’t support Alliance but I do small Gavin Robinson’s duplicity a mile off.

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48 thoughts on “HANG ‘EM HIGH…

  1. There’s actually another post I wrote, based on the link kateyo posted.
    Can you put it up, David?

  2. I see what you did there, Seimi. It’s all very reasoned and polite, with a “they should be removed now” sneaked in.

    Give them a reason and space to remove them. You can’t spend 51 weeks a year voting for republican terrorists and terrorist apologists, excusing republicanism, cheering nationalist policies, pushing for the ever more cross-border programmes (we know what that’s about), voting to remove the Union Flag from Stormont and all the rest of it – and then act surprised when unionists cling to their British symbols.

  3. Give them a reason and space to remove them.

    What reason and how long do they need Pete when flags that go up for the ‘marching season’ still flutter tattered and torn from lamposts months later?

  4. Pete, your comment is so completely wrong, inaccurate and blatantly untrue for so many different reasons, that I’m wondering if you actually read what I wrote.
    Unfortunately, I’m in the middle of something at the minute (family stuff), and can’t comment at length just yet.
    Give me a few hours and I’ll get back to you, fair enough?

  5. The flag-waving by the super duper patriots from hell isn’t exactly new, Pete. You think that it just started with the GFA?

  6. Pete’s list of faux grievances is just another MOPE of those who are traumitised by equality.

  7. Lots of people here yearn for ‘good old days’ of various kinds, when Catholics, black South Africans, gay people, and others knew their place and weren’t so uppity.

  8. I agree with Pete, there is a ‘now’ in there that shatters the politeness. It’s subtle but it’s there.
    I’m all for following protocol regarding flags, in that they should be flown in a dignified way or not at all.
    There are too many on both sides, but agree wit the DUPGuy that it could wait for discussion until September when Hass gets here.

    Hass is a shrewd guy, plus it gives some time for the marching season to blow over, and perhaps allow for discussions that won’t be heated.

    If given time and room politics could show how it can be the art of the possible…

  9. Apologies for my tardiness in getting back to this. It’s impossible to put a time limit on family stuff. Anyway;

    I see what you did there, Seimi. It’s all very reasoned and polite, with a “they should be removed now” sneaked in.

    Give them a reason and space to remove them. You can’t spend 51 weeks a year voting for republican terrorists and terrorist apologists, excusing republicanism, cheering nationalist policies, pushing for the ever more cross-border programmes (we know what that’s about), voting to remove the Union Flag from Stormont and all the rest of it – and then act surprised when unionists cling to their British symbols.

    I’m afraid you have misunderstood me, Pete. I stated, quite clearly, I thought, that I was talking in particular about PUL flags, but I added, in brackets, (though I know there are many C/N/R areas which are as bad). There were two reasons why I focussed on PUL flags.

    1. The article I linked to focussed on the Alliance Party council member’s suggestion, and the DUP councillor’s response. One might say ‘Unionist-lite’ and ‘Unionist-extra’, therefore the focus, for at least one, if not both, would have been on PUL flags. That’s my reading of the article anyway. I can’t imagine a DUP member being so measured in his response, if it were the Irish Tricolour being discussed, given the founding member of that party’s history concerning that flag.

    2. The focus of the past couple of weeks has been on Unionist violence, brought about by their displeasure at a decision made regarding marching routes. This decision was again and again diverted back to the ‘erosion of our Britishness’ argument which emerged after the decision to limit the amount of days the Union flag should be flown over Belfast city hall. It therefore made sense, when taking both of these points together, to focus on PUL flags.

    For the record, I don’t agree with Irish flags hanging in tatters from lampposts either. I think it is deeply disrespectful to the flag and the ideals behind it. I do hope that is clear.

    You can’t spend 51 weeks a year voting for republican terrorists and terrorist apologists, excusing republicanism…

    I would like you to show me just one instance, anywhere on these pages, where I have said that I voted for terrorists or terrorist apologists, of any sort. Also, show me where I have ‘excused republicanism’, whatever that means. Either that or withdraw what you have written and apologise.

    ‘…cheering nationalist policies…’

    So being a nationalist, or agreeing with nationalist policies is a crime now!? Please explain how?

    pushing for the ever more cross-border programmes (we know what that’s about)

    I don’t. In fact, at this point, I haven’t really got a clue what you’re talking about. Please explain what you mean by ‘we know what that’s about’.

    voting to remove the Union Flag from Stormont and all the rest of it

    Was there a vote to remove the Union flag from Stormont? I must have missed that one. Or perhaps you haven’t actually got a clue what you’re on about. Did you mean the vote to limit the amount of days the union flag would be flown over city hall? If so, then perhaps you should also be told that I personally didn’t have a vote on that. It was the council who voted on it, not the people of the city.

    and then act surprised when unionists cling to their British symbols.

    Who is surprised? Me? Only by your complete and utter failure to grasp what I was actually talking about, Pete.

    I wasn’t talking about, nor did I ever mention, the complete removal of the Union flag or any British symbol from anywhere. I was talking about the removal of the tattered, dirty, threadbare rags that adorn thousands of lampposts here. That was what I was talking about when I said they should be removed NOW, and that dialogue shouldn’t have to wait until some diplomat arrives in September, it should start NOW.

    The flying of the Union flag, whether it be 365 days a year, on designated days, or even never, is the subject of a completely different post, but here is my opinion on it. Belfast is no longer a Unionist city, however there is a significant percentage of its citizens who identify themselves as British. Therefore, it is only right that their identity be recognised and respected. The idea of ‘Shared Space’ is a tricky one, which is bound to make people on both sides unhappy, but the bottom line of it seems to be compromise. Sinn Féin originally wanted to remove the Union flag completely. The Alliance Party disagreed, but suggested the compromise of designated days. SF and the SDLP agreed, and so, when it came to a vote, designated days won. It’s called democracy. Unfortunately it appears that some people only agree with democracy when it’s in their favour. Personally, I would love to see, someday, an Irish flag fly over city hall, even beside the Union flag, but I am a realist, and understand that at the present, that would be a step far too far for a lot of people, so I’m reasonably happy with the designated days approach for now.

    But I would be totally opposed to the complete removal of that flag from anywhere where the majority did not wish it.

    kateyo

    I agree with Pete, there is a ‘now’ in there that shatters the politeness. It’s subtle but it’s there.

    No there isn’t. Hopefully my response to Pete has cleared that up for you.

    I’m all for following protocol regarding flags, in that they should be flown in a dignified way or not at all.

    So basically, you agree with Pete and with me.

    but agree wit the DUPGuy that it could wait for discussion until September when Hass gets here.

    Why? Why wait that long? Why not take these tattered rags down now? Or is Haas bringing a ladder with him to do it himself? His job might be a lot easier if both sides showed some willingness here and started doing things themselves, rather than waiting nearly 2 months for him to come here and say, ‘You should take those flags down. They’re in tatters.’

  10. I don’t think Pete deserved your lengthy and considered response Seimi. I doubt he will have the remotest respect for any other viewpoint or identity other than the 100% British flag waving unionist/loyalist ethos.

  11. Colm, I asked him to be patient, as I was busy with the family, which he agreed to do.

    I do feel that he completely misunderstood what I had written, and I hope my clarification helped.

    I wouldn’t want anyone here thinking that I was ‘demanding’ something which I wasn’t, other than the removal of tattered rags from lampposts, and dialogue to start sooner, rather than later.

  12. //So being a nationalist, or agreeing with nationalist policies is a crime now!?//

    //I don’t. In fact, at this point, I haven’t really got a clue what you’re talking about//

    etc.

    I think Pete was quite clear, and made a few good points.

    He is saying that Nationalists seem to think they can act in a vacuum, and claim rights and gain advantages (all justifiable IMO), without there needing to be any effect on the Unionist side.

    That’s naive at best. Nationalists for their part have in the past reacted, sometimes ..er… strongly) to political advantages benefiting Unionism, and should be able to understand Unionism reacting the same
    Of course he didn’t say pursuing Nationalist policies is a crime. But you can’t elevate Sinn Fein – the head of a movement that wants to destroy Unionism and until recently was attempting just that through guns and bombs – to the top of government in NI and expect Unionism not to react.

    For what it’s worth, I’m glad Sinn Fein is in govt in Northern Ireland. I think the place was a political pigsty before and during the Troubles, and a lot of the progress made by Republicans has also just been righting former inequalities.

    Unionist reaction is also testimony to SF success. Unionism has over the past two decades been successfully outmanoeuvred and divided by Republicans. It has also been effectively deserted by the British government and the British people. It must be painfully aware that it just doesn’t have the calibre of leaders or dedicated activists that Republicanism has.
    All of this leads to its obsession with symbols and tokens. Republicans should be glad that Unionism is so disoriented and immature that it dissipates its energy in such trivia. See it as yet another victory.

  13. I think Pete was quite clear, and made a few good points.

    He is saying that Nationalists seem to think they can act in a vacuum, and claim rights and gain advantages (all justifiable IMO), without there needing to be any effect on the Unionist side.

    Noel, that might be true, and might well be a good and relevant point to make, had I been trying to say otherwise. Pete made an argument where there was none. I wasn’t coming at this from a Nationalist perspective. I was arguing for the removal of tattered flags from lampposts, and used PUL flags as the example for the reasons mentioned above.

    Of course he didn’t say pursuing Nationalist policies is a crime.

    No Noel, he stuck it in amongst things like ‘You can’t spend 51 weeks a year voting for republican terrorists and terrorist apologists, excusing republicanism, cheering nationalist policies, pushing for the ever more cross-border programmes (we know what that’s about), voting to remove the Union Flag from Stormont and all the rest of it…’ thus giving the appearance that to have Nationalist views is somehow on a par with supporting terrorists.

    But you can’t elevate Sinn Fein – the head of a movement that wants to destroy Unionism and until recently was attempting just that through guns and bombs – to the top of government in NI and expect Unionism not to react.

    Very true, Noel. Can you show me where I argued that? The only time Sinn Féin were mentioned in what I posted was in the article I linked to, and then it is a criticism by the Alliance that SF and DUP ‘had been “unwilling to show leadership” on the matter for “quite some time now”.’ That was in relation to the removal of threadbare flags, not ‘the erosion of our Britishness’.

    For what it’s worth, I’m glad Sinn Fein is in govt in Northern Ireland. I think the place was a political pigsty before and during the Troubles, and a lot of the progress made by Republicans has also just been righting former inequalities.

    In a debate about the merits or otherwise of SF being in govt it would be worth a lot and would be an extremely valid point. This wasn’t a piece about SF being in govt though. Pete misunderstood the post.

    Unionist reaction is also testimony to SF success. Unionism has over the past two decades been successfully outmanoeuvred and divided by Republicans. It has also been effectively deserted by the British government and the British people. It must be painfully aware that it just doesn’t have the calibre of leaders or dedicated activists that Republicanism has.

    Again a valid point, but unrelated to this piece. I think Paul McMahon made a similar point in regards to the OO and the working class PUL community recently, and I know that I have said it myself.

    Republicans should be glad that Unionism is so disoriented and immature that it dissipates its energy in such trivia. See it as yet another victory.

    This isn’t about Republicans and Unionism. It’s about removing threadbare flags.

  14. I think one clarification is probably needed. Pete’s remarks were aimed at Nationalists/Republicans in general but Seimi, I think you read them as personally directed to you.

  15. Spot on Noel. I would add that Unionism has no real history of dealing with opposing ideology in a political forum. Its no surprise, when there is balance in the system, that committed politicking can run rings round them. They are used to asymmetric power structures.

    The flag issue is not even just a simple partisan issue. Im a from a “prod” background and a very unionist family. Our streets are capped head to toe in flags. I find them offensive too but i dont get a say either.

    Its a declaration for everyone to put up with whatever these people deem to be acceptable. But most importantly its an admission of weakness within the wider community.

  16. //It’s about removing threadbare flags//

    To be honest, Seimi, your concern for any lack of respect shown to British symbols doesn’t quite ring true 🙂

    I think British symbols in Ireland are absurd. I think tatters is the state they should rightly be in. Let them be shredded, I say.

    On the other hand, I also said here recently that a clean and neat burgeois Tricolour doesn’t have nearly the same romantic appeal as one that’s torm and battered. But that’s because, while the Union Jack is the flag of imperialism and money, our flag was born amid desperation, smoke, shot and fire.

  17. I support clearing all this crap from all places in all communities. It perpetuates problems and despoils the landscape.

    Forget about Haass. He is a think tanker but not a good thinker. It is obvious this crap tacked up all over the place does no good so get rid of all of it once and for all.

  18. Seimi –

    Understood.

    To avoid going round the block on every point, I’ll say that Noel Cunningham seems to have got what I was trying to say. If any group pushes against another then you’ll get some kind of blowback.

    I didn’t mean to suggest that supporting nationalist policies is a crime. What I meant is that nationalist policies or acts (regardless of legitimacy or legality) will, in the end, motivate (some) unionists to cling to their symbols. Nationalists have always said that unionism/protestants/the Orange Order etc, in building a state for themselves, sparked nationalist reactions. Well that kind of thing works both ways.

    I don’t think that unionists will rush out with brooms to clean up the neighbourhood if nationalists take it easy, but over time they might take it easier themselves if they don’t feel under siege so much.

  19. Pete

    What is meant by necessary? It was my opinion ,no less relevant than any other posted here.

  20. Yeah, just your opinion, as is mine when I post something objectionable, or when Allan@Aberdeen comments on jews or blacks. They’re just opinions, as relevent as any others.

  21. Colm, it’s never good to try to speak for someone else’s motives and ideas. That’s what makes Agit8ed such an annoying ass, as he thinks he can read minds when he can’t even read English.

    I did the same at 10:36. But I have the excuse of being right.

    Basically, you’ve been a bold boy. As penance, and because it’s Friday, I ordain that you provide some really strong jokes before the day is out.

  22. Pete

    I agree with your 1.15pm.

    Noel

    See Agit8ed’s last comment on the recent ‘conservative values’ post. I don’t think any of my ‘strong jokes’ could top that.

  23. One of the facts surrounding the annual culture fest of fleg flying conveniantly overlooked by the authorities is that it’s willful defacing of public property.

    It’s a continous act of vandalism on a massive scale

  24. But that’s OK, because the vandals feel like doing it and will face down anyone who tells them that they can’t do this, or anything else that they feel like doing.

    Bully culture, practiced by bullies.

  25. I don’t think any of my ‘strong jokes’ could top that

    You’re probably too busy erecting a flag pole to post anyway.

  26. Colm, do you mean this?

    /marriage cannot be reduced to a social convention. It is more like a feature of the natural world,/

    That’s a good one all right.
    But I’m sure you can come up with something funnier than the idea of two pigs, two fleas or two trees getting married.

  27. Paul

    When the source is agit8ed’s ludicrously and unintentionally hilarious stream of conciosness comment as on that thread, sarcasm is probably the only repsonse possible.

  28. Pete,

    I agree with what you say in your 12.42. Can you see that wasn’t the point I was trying to make though?

    To be honest, Seimi, your concern for any lack of respect shown to British symbols doesn’t quite ring true 🙂

    Noel, for the purposes of this particular post, I was attempting to be neutral. That said, I do believe in parity of esteem, and am sincere as well when I say these tattered rags are an eyesore and do nothing but show contempt for any flag.

    I did the same at 10:36. But I have the excuse of being right.

    Lol! If ye were a Mars Bar, ye’d eat yerself, as they say around these here parts! 🙂

    /marriage cannot be reduced to a social convention. It is more like a feature of the natural world,/

    Whu?

  29. As for the business with flags on lampposts – they should be regarded as litter and the authorities should just remove them.

  30. Hopefully my response to Pete has cleared that up for you.

    No.

    I agree with Pete, there is a ‘now’ in there that shatters the politeness. It’s subtle but it’s there.

    No there isn’t.

    yes there is, here it is…

    The Alliance party solution is probably not practically workable, given the huge number of flags in question, but something should be done now to clear this flag business up. They should be removed now,

    See the ‘now’, there’s two of them. Heres the thing Seimi, if you want something done and done ‘now’ get a mandate, otherwise you cannot make demands, unless you want to lobby or create a lobby group? ‘Now’s’ are bad for negotiations, and bad for community relations, they’re bad all round.

    Relax, you’ve taken some stuff not aimed at you personally, in a very personal way and gone out of your way to defend a POV that isn’t completely right, but one view among others.

    me thinks you protest too much 🙂

    Besides why would union jacks in tatters bother you? To quote a shinner .. so what?

  31. Also, the issue of flags cannot be discussed or dealt with in isolation from the wider problem of marches and counter protests, as I said above.

  32. It really boggles the mind, that people can be so confused over two separate issues.

    I didn’t, at any point, call for Union flags to be removed. I said that the tattered rags that hang from lampposts for months should be removed now, and that dialogue should be entered into now, in order that this doesn’t happen every year.

    The article I linked to said the same thing, yet some people still seem to think that I am ‘demanding’ the removal of ‘all’ Union flags ‘now.’

    I never said that.

    It was also suggested that my ‘concern’ for the ‘lack of respect’ shown towards the Union flag ‘didn’t ring true’.

    And then I am told that I have taken some things written here ‘personally.’

    No, I haven’t, honestly 🙂 In fact, the only thing that has annoyed me on this post, and even that, only slightly, is the apparent willingness on the part of others, to read into what I wrote a completely different meaning to what I meant.

    What it has taught me is this: Be clear in what you write, because even though it might make perfect sense to you, there’s bound to be someone who will misunderstand it.

    Now, I’m off to have a Polish vodka, support FDR, endorse gay marriage and pay a doctor’s bill 🙂

  33. Seimi

    You can be as clear as a shiny new untouched piece of pure cut glass and we will still see a sheet of mud. That’s how the best ATW arguments are fuelled 😉

    PS – Noel’s 10.08pm is the best contribution to this thread 🙂

  34. Pete has a monopoly on popcorn?

    I have made a conscious decision to not comment on the purely NI soap operas debates, as so many of you here are of Irish/NI heritage, so you have every right to enjoy picking over rights and wrongs, historical/current/real or imagined…

    It keeps people off the streets I suppose.
    😉

  35. ‘I have made a conscious decision to not comment on the purely NI soap operas debates…’

    says the serial NI commenter… 🙂

    Pass the popcorn…

    From a man who crowbars religion into nearly every post, that is truly rich.

    You can be as clear as a shiny new untouched piece of pure cut glass and we will still see a sheet of mud. That’s how the best ATW arguments are fuelled 😉

    I know, Colm, I know. Sean scéal agus meirg air – an old story with rust on it 🙂

  36. Troll made that pledge too, and he has broken it many times…

    And, considering that troll is probably the only person here with even less of an insight into the situation here in NI than you, you’re in pretty poor company, Agi 😉

  37. Agit8ed has made a rod for his own back. Everytime he mentions something Irish (which he will do, often) we can remind him off this statement.

  38. ” From a man who crowbars religion into nearly every post, that is truly rich.”

    “Agit8ed has made a rod for his own back.”

    Self flagellation holds limited appeal for me. I’d much rather flagellate someone else..

    🙂

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