Flags:The Way Out

So …what exactly happens next?

Well…the nationalist parties do not have to do anything. It’s not really a nationalist problem. Yet there are I think three distinct problems.

The Unionists have a problem. The Flags vote is a defeat.And in moments of crisis, unionists circle the wagons. That is what the unionist “Forum” is. The DUP wagon is there. The UUP wagon is there….but both must be a little unhappy to see that the PUP wagon is there….and the TUV wagon….and the UDA wagon. Those minor parties must be delighted to have the respectability of walking down the staircase at Stormont….John Kyle, Jackie McDonald and even Winkie WhatsHisName…..lapping up the prestige of it all.

Peter Robinson and Mike Nesbitt….should feel slightly uncomfortable. This is the unacceptable face of Unionism. There was no “liberal” unionist on view….no John McCallister And no Basil McCrea. And of course no Alliance Party faces. Unionist “outreach” to Catholics is now in tatters. When Push comes to Shove….Robbo and TV Mike see more in common with Kyle, McDonald and Winkie.

Unionists need a “victory”. They need to have something to show.

Where is David Ford, the leader of the Alliance Party? He is after all the Minister for Justice. He claims a mandate from the Assembly but in effect he is little more than the creature of the DUP-Sinn Fein coalition. If he had any er…..testicles he might actually take his party out of the coalition but he has simply gone missing in recent weeks. On the other hand, Naomi Long DOES have er….testicles.

The Alliance Party need…something. They are on a hook and they need to get off it. They would claim that they are there because of their principles. I tend to think they are on that hook because they screwed up and/or because they fell into well organised traps set by unionists and/or nationalists. Long established as the Norn Iron’s Office favourite party, they might well be looking to the British Government to get them off the hook.

And of course there is the continuing problem of continuing street violence.

The phone calls, messages and private conversations between unionists and the NIO and the NIO and the Alliance Party…as would the briefings prepared for Theresa VillIers.

Now what happens next…bearing in mind that Villiers has called for “bold moves”.

Well….is it possible that the NIO propose a solution where the flying of the flag is taken out of the hands of councillors…perhaps issue an edict that the flag flies on designated days in EVERY council area. Not just Belfast, Lisburn and Craigavon….but also in Newry, Derry and Omagh. this would have the effect of off-setting the effect of the “greening” of the west and the South.

This would be something that the unionists could sell to their people, including the likes of Willie Frazer who I would suggest take more pleasure from seeing the British flag over the town hall in Newry on nineteen days than he would take from seeing the same flag over Belfast City Hall all year round.

This would also get the Alliance Party off the hook as they could proclaim that they set up the situation…they were the catalyst for it all. They would be rehabilitated as liberal unionists who are responsible for the British flag flying in all six counties.

But surely this would be unfair on nationalists. Well the liberal unionist/letsgetalongerism position is that nationalists need to face up to the “reality” that Norn Iron is part of the”uk” and that British and unionist symbols take precedence.

Obviously I oppose this so-called solution. I don’t necessarily think that it WILL happen. I merely suggest that it is on the agenda.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Flags:The Way Out

  1. sammymcnally says:

    There would probably be legal implications and probably legislation required which would be subject to judicial review and Theresa VillIers would have to endure not having me praise any further for doing a really good job up until now by playing an entirely straight bat.

    Drumcree still has protests(ongoing) no bone was thrown for that and no bone should be thrown on this either or they will ismply move on to the next issue e.g. some parade or other into the City.

    Also if it became known that this suggestion was made by (or could be pinned on ) an SDLP suuporter who had then disappeared to Texas in case there was any fall out then SF probably would use it to their advantage and you might have to stay over in Yankee land in case lynched by the party(SDLP) faithful.

    Advice: Read the next bit below and then delete this blog immediately.

    What should be done by the SDLP is to raise a motion in the house of commons which calls for all protests to be suspended indefinitely and that would get unnamimous support – except for the DUP and a few Tory loons. I dont think Nats should go to Westminster but if you are going to go you may as well do something worthwhile.

    Motion: “The British parliament disagrees completely with the protest over the flying of the flag on designated days on the City Hall in Belfast and calls on all those taking part to stop their protests immediately and start to behave in a way consistent with the principles of a shared society as set out in the GFA.”

    • factual says:

      You expect the SDLP do to something useful? LOL

    • There would have to be added to the very long line of Alliance members who want to lynch me 🙂

    • Sammy,

      I do love this use of the phrase ‘straight bat’, it’s like your new favorite phrase.

      Question: how the hell is she playing such a thing when she appears to be floundering and coming up with nonsensical phrases from the WI? Where is her leadership on this whole matter? She is pro-consul here after all yet what has she done outside of the usual condemnations?

      • sammymcnally says:

        footballcliches,

        re. “I do love this use of the phrase ‘straight bat’, it’s like your new favorite phrase.”

        Ok, as you, like many Irish (Nats) are (embrassingly) obsessed with English Premier League Ladyball….

        Although it is early doors, the girl Tezza(the Viceroy) has done good. She has shown she has a good engine which helps her (NIO onion) box to (Westminster despatch) box game.

        Although many of the home fans (including yours truly) dont take well to overseas players Tezza has shown good defensive qualities and has dealt with a number of awkward balls into the penalty area(on flags and playgrounds) and has done good under pressure – unilke her predecessor, the boy Patters, who was sold off in the previous transfer windown and who was given to lapses in concentration(Old Tory shire Unionist bluster).

      • Sammy,

        I am sure that was a lot funnier in your head than on paper.

        As you do not like answering questions posed directly to you (above and other cases being great examples) I will simply ask:

        i) What ‘defensive’ qualities has she shown?
        ii) How has she done well under pressure as it is apparent that her little speech of ‘this is terrible and must stop’ hasn’t been too effective?

        Of course, once you get an ‘idea’ in your head you are loath to get rid of it, you instead simply repeat yourself until someone like myself is bored of dealing with a brick wall.

      • sammymcnally says:

        fc,

        re. “I am sure that was a lot funnier in your head than on paper.”

        You English ladyball supporters are always bitching.

        “Of course, once you get an ‘idea’ in your head you are loath to get rid of it, you instead simply repeat yourself until someone like myself is bored of dealing with a brick wall.”

        One reason someone like yourself needs to have things repeated to them is that they keep asking the same question just because they dont like the answer.

        You know me though – always patient up to a point..

        Tezza has dealt fairly – for a Tory and a Unionist – not only with questions on the flag but also on the playground issue near Newry and so far has not looked like playing the Orange card – hence the cricketing term. She has not bowed to the pressure which must be coming her way from the NIO and Unionists.

        No she hasn’t singlehandely solved the flags issue but as long as she sticks to the principles of the GFA then I think it fair to suggest that Tezza the viceroy is doing a good job.

      • Sammy,

        ‘You English ladyball supporters are always bitching.’

        Ooh Sammy, that’s me burned, ay mate, but then I try not to descend into whiney name calling, keep it up mate.

        ‘One reason someone like yourself needs to have things repeated to them is that they keep asking the same question just because they dont like the answer.’

        And the reason I keep asking the same questions is you duck answering them. Let’s take for instance the questions I asked in my post above, I await your answers to the following:

        i) What ‘defensive’ qualities has she shown?
        ii) How has she done well under pressure as it is apparent that her little speech of ‘this is terrible and must stop’ hasn’t been too effective?

        What has become apparent is that you come out with something, someone like myself asks you to explain a certain part of your ‘theory’ as their is a lack of evidence to support your opinion or it is intellectually inconsistent, you come back with your original point ‘thinking’ you have answered the point when in fact you have merely repeated yourself, I again ask you for answers, you come back with some poor attempt at an insult and still refuse to answer the questions raised, I find it funny and at times wonder if I have passed away and this is some Irish version of a classical Greek notion of hell where I am dealing with someone incapable of ‘playing a straight bat’, I get on with my life and check in now and again to see what nonsense I am to reply to in the near future.

        ‘Tezza has dealt fairly – for a Tory and a Unionist – not only with questions on the flag but also on the playground issue near Newry and so far has not looked like playing the Orange card – hence the cricketing term. She has not bowed to the pressure which must be coming her way from the NIO and Unionists.’

        How has she dealt fairly with these questions then Sammy? What great insight has she provided beside saying this needs to be sorted out which to someone like myself is stating the obvious. How quickly did she come out and answer questions posed and do you think this would be the same kind of response as one would expect in the South or over in England as she seems to be tolerating the whole matter rather than offering leadership

        ‘No she hasn’t singlehandely solved the flags issue but as long as she sticks to the principles of the GFA then I think it fair to suggest that Tezza the viceroy is doing a good job.’

        You do ‘think’, don’t you Sammy? Needless to say, I disagree and seeing as you like ducking answering things and then repeating yourself without answering any further questions posed we’ll have to leave it at that.

      • sammymcnally says:

        fc,

        I guess that anyone reading the above exchanges would view it as very boring.

        My policy on ‘man playing’ is simple – I dont do it unless and until it is done on to me and then I (must confess) I do enjoy a bit of scrap.

        My initial contention was that herself is doing her job well and is “playing an entirely [insert cricketing term]”. This was based on the reasons I gave above including answering questions on Flags and the playground in a fair and balanced way, not bowing to pressure from NIO and Unionsts, not playing the Unionist card and looking better(fairer) at her job than her predecessor(who sounded more like a shire Tory at times than a SOS).

        i dont expect most/many/some people to agree with this – but I do expect most people to understand it.

      • Sammy,

        ‘I guess that anyone reading the above exchanges would view it as very boring.’

        I do find it boring dealing with you when you won’t engage so count me in the column of those who are bored with dealing with you or reading what you have to offer. If it is any consolation to you, I treat many like this when they don’t give decent answers to questions asked, equivocate or simply repeat themselves, ask Andrew Gallagher when he decided to make things up as he went along over on Enda’s blog. (http://endgameinulster.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/fianna-fail-republican-party.html)

        ‘My policy on ‘man playing’ is simple – I dont do it unless and until it is done on to me and then I (must confess) I do enjoy a bit of scrap.’

        Oh, the ‘you started it’ argument, very grown up indeed, again, where did this happen or by my merely noting you do enjoy using a certain phrase a lot does this now count? Again, don’t let facts get in the way of whatever goes on in your head 🙂

        ‘My initial contention was that herself is doing her job well and is “playing an entirely [insert cricketing term]“. This was based on the reasons I gave above including answering questions on Flags and the playground in a fair and balanced way, not bowing to pressure from NIO and Unionsts, not playing the Unionist card and looking better(fairer) at her job than her predecessor(who sounded more like a shire Tory at times than a SOS).’

        She merely did what every SOS has done since the GFA, don’t kid yourself she has done any more or less. Again, how long did it take for her to come out with a response Sammy? You have again refused to answer questions asked so I will put them in black and white below for you as you seem to have forgotten them Sammy

        ‘How has she dealt fairly with these questions then Sammy? What great insight has she provided beside saying this needs to be sorted out which to someone like myself is stating the obvious. How quickly did she come out and answer questions posed and do you think this would be the same kind of response as one would expect in the South or over in England as she seems to be tolerating the whole matter rather than offering leadership’

        ‘i dont expect most/many/some people to agree with this – but I do expect most people to understand it.’

        How can we ‘understand’ your point of view if you are unwilling to elaborate on points when questioned?

        Sammy, do not kid yourself that you are even remotely contrary, you are merely repetitive and unwilling to elaborate on your thinking; why, who knows but maybe it’s because you do not like being scrutinised?

      • sammymcnally says:

        fc,

        “Oh, the ‘you started it’ argument, very grown up indeed, again,

        lols (not in the Davey Cameron sense).

        Lets reurn to again to the original crime scene of this now (amusing) bun fight.

        Lets give the ladyball analogy another bash.

        Football Fan 1: I think Tezza is playing well.(initial contention that she is playing with a [insert cricketing term])

        Football Fan 2: “how the hell is she playing such a thing (actual quote)?”

        ..and she is no better than the player she replaced.

        Football Fan 1: Because, she is a good defender(holds her position when under pressure from NIO and Unionists

        …and she deals well with awkward balls into the box( fair and balanced response to questions on flags and playgrounds)

        …and she plays the game fairly (doesnt play the Orange card)

        …and she is a better player than the last fecker(obviously Irish fan) we had in this position. (improvement so far on Patters given bouts of old Tory Unionism)

        Football Fan 2: “how the hell is she playing such a thing (actual quote)?”

        Football Fan 2: “how the hell is she playing such a thing (actual quote)?”

        etc, etc

      • Morning Sammy,

        Return to your attempted football analogy, it is pretty boring tbf.

        I asked you ‘how’ she has showed these qualities and you listed what an SOS is supposed to do, nothing out of the ordinary. I asked you how quick did she get on top of this whole affair, do you feel that she got on top of this matter quick enough and was her response in line with what we should expect in the South or over in England, again, no reply.

        All you have wheeled out is that she is ‘doing well’ in the face of assumed pressure from the NIO and pressure from unionists, as if this pressure could come to bear on her.

        Do you get it now, you have come up with something and I have asked you to elaborate on it, you simply repeat a cricketing term ad nauseam and then revert to name calling when I place your opinions under scrutiny.

        Looking forward to what bit nonsense you come up with next as I know you will not engage and actually elaborate on your opinions or answer any questions.

  2. factual says:

    There should be perhaps a dialoguging to get progress on CSI, flags, parades, etc. CSI is vitally important.

  3. bangordub says:

    Ok. Tonights events regarding the elderly gentleman who was blocked from getting to his dying wife have changed this dynamic. As always it is a human story that has revealed the truth. A non democratic compromise via alliance or a pan unionist alliance is now a non starter. Sometimes you need to talk and try to reason with unreasonable people. When they go beyond a certain point you need to stand firm. You know which camp I am in now. That of that poor man.

    • This is a direct consequence of not facing down the rioters before now.
      To some extent previous violent campaigns have petered out after SHAME kicked in….the murder of Michael McGoldrick…the Lurgan taxi driver put the Drumcree protests in context.
      Or indeed the deaths of the Quinn children in Ballymoney.
      SHAME is a powerful thing.
      But the almost accidental recording of one elderly mans story….is merely representative of a lot of unrecorded stories.
      But the truly shocking thing is that SHAME might have done the job that the PSNI manifestly failed to do.

  4. bangordub says:

    Agree 100%.
    I am now angry whereas before I was an observer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s