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Proving a Point July 12, 2012

Posted by Garibaldy in Sectarianism, Workers' Party.
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This is a photograph of a bonfire in east Belfast for last night. At least they are putting some class in their ash.

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1. Roasted Snow - July 12, 2012

And not a shinner poster in sight! I assume the Stoop candidate was an immigrant of recent years? Puts it all in context. Great post!!

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Garibaldy - July 12, 2012

I think the SDLP candidate is from Poland.

The weirdest thing is that someone must have had those in their attic for over a year, and looked after them properly so that they would be pristine to burn. I wonder if they have enough stored until the next elections.

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2. Roasted Snow - July 12, 2012

Wee Marty and Gerry A will be pleased. Looks like they’ve got a thing going with the Loyalists. Lol!! Sorry that the WP has been consigned to this particular bonfire. You guys really work hard to bring class politics to the people, as do the SP and CPoI in the north. Got to laugh though, no shinner for the bonfire!

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3. Roasted Snow - July 13, 2012

BTW, who desinged the WP poster? I like it and it’s politically right, the prod prole didn’t! Long way to go. As always comrades, but greetings to you lot and you do your best!

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Garibaldy - July 16, 2012

The poster was designed in-house Roasted Snow. Not the first poster to provoke a lot of comment either, especially in a culture where most posters consist of a photo of the candidate in front of a union jack/tricolour. In the 1990s, one of the columnists in the Belfast Telegraph responded to one of a little girl looking bored with a slogan like Fed Up? This time I’m voting Workers’ Party by asking why it was the WP was the only party to go in for clever advertising. Not that it helped much in terms of votes of course.

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4. Jim Monaghan - July 13, 2012

Obviously health and safety concerns count for little.Near a building as well. I wonder about the damage to health of burning tires.

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5. Ciarán - July 13, 2012

The WP are really enjoying getting noticed by the protestant proletariat.

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6. eamonncork - July 13, 2012

Wbs, are you legally liable if I do myself an injury while laughing hysterically at witty comments like the one above? I just want to check, before my sides split.

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7. fergal - July 13, 2012

There seems to be a real charm offensive for the Orange Order(OO) in the south.Drew Nelson is in the Senate,Leo Varadkar goes up to Enniskillen to soak up an Orange parade,Michael D has an bash in the Aras and The Irish Times has a very soft piece on the OO.
Wonder if Dublin wants to cash in on trying to get some tourists over on the tails of the OO?
What happened to the reactionary,male,reformed religion,nationalist(in a six county sense) OO ?Are they still around?
The poor ole WP posters go up in flames,and they’re great posters too!What’s that about?
It’s ironic how those formerly in the WP and many others were determined to move “beyond nationalism”(and rightly so)only to become Unionist nationalists,Harris,De Rossa,Bruton,the Cruiser et al.

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eamonncork - July 13, 2012

It has a bit of a retro feel to it, somewhat reminiscent of the days of the nineties where there seemed to be an effort in certain quarters to make common cause with Unionists, contrasting them to the barbarous Nationalist hordes. The willingness to understand the Unionist position seemed to go hand in hand with an unwillingness to accept that Nationalist concerns were driven by anything other than bolshiness and perversity.
I think the current drive in this direction may have something to do with the rise of SF.
There’s nothing at all inherently wrong in an attempt to understand Unionist political concerns. The problem is that the people you mention never seem to subject these concerns to the same scrutiny they trained on Nationalist ones. And the result is that Unionism ends up being embraced not in its own right but merely as another weapon in the fight against Republicanism. On this reading the Orange Order is welcomed simply in order to piss off Sinn Fein and settle off scores.

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Ramzi Nohra 1 - July 14, 2012

yip all good observations.
I saw Marc Coleman had a bit of a bash on the oo-love in on twitter recently, fwiw. dont know if what will be taken up more widely by the establishment commentariat. i doubt it.

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8. Garibaldy - July 16, 2012

Speaking of the Orange Order, this whole thing reflects just how much things remain the same

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-18852864

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9. EamonnCork - July 16, 2012

I wonder if any of the fawning Senators will have anything to say on this incident. I wouldn’t expect anything better from the Orange Order to be honest but there is something of an onus on people eager to embrace them as some kind of positive force to explain why this kind of stuff still happens.
Had republicans partied in the precincts of an unoccupied Protestant church while singing rebel songs I don’t think McCausland and his ilk would have been too happy with the explanation that, ‘it was just an empty building.’

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Garibaldy - July 16, 2012

One of the many major problems with McCausland’s versions of events is that there is clearly a reason why some of the bandsmen don’t want the incident being filmed, and attack the guy doing so. They know what they are at (and you can hear some singing in the background).

Unfortunately, this is the type of low-level sectarian confrontation that both the big two thrive on, despite the rhetoric of reaching out on a macro-level. This is more reflective of the basic attitudes that persist.

I think Mick Fealty has a good take on the Orange Order, where he draws a distinction between those, often rural people, for whom it is primarily a traditional family and religious thing, and those for whom it is primarily a means of asserting gut sectarianism.

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10. Jim Monaghan - July 16, 2012

There is no difference.It was the rural bigots who attacked at Burntollet. the order is sectarian through and through and is even in Scotland. To say other wise is ahistorical and apolitical.Wishful thinking does not lead to change.

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Garibaldy - July 16, 2012

Fealty never suggested that there weren’t rural bigots, but simply that there are those in the Orange Order for whom it is mainly a family tradition and a religious thing, and that a high proportion of these people tended to be in rural areas. Fealty has given examples of Orange halls in rural areas being used across the denominations for Irish dancing classes and the like. Fealty’s point as I understand it is that instead of using broad strokes which insist that everyone in the Orange Order must be the same, we should be alive to the fact that there are differences within its 100,000-strong membership, and that it can mean different things to different people. I don’t think it’s an outrageous suggestion, nor does it close off the possibility that the Order as an institution is a reactionary one, like all branches of religious nationalism.

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Jim Monaghan - July 16, 2012

The religion thing is fairly awful remember it is an extreme example of bigotry. Expulsion if you marry a Catholic. In the USA South you get reenactment events where they celebrate the Confederate South. These are all “family” days and officially former slaves(descendants) are welcome. The Fealty thing feeds into the narrative that before 1968 everyone celebrated and it was republican agitators who destroyed this lovely day. I remember Butlins being filled with Northern Nationalists getting away from it all. Roisin Ingle goes in for this nonsense in the IT.
On the 100,000 thing.Every mass movement has different classes. This does not affect the essential nature of various beasts. Why do these people insist on parading where they are not wanted? It is coat trailing.
Even in Scotland it is a bigoted org.It used to be strong in Liverpool. I hope it disappears here as well.

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Garibaldy - July 16, 2012

No-one here is trying to defend the Orange order, but I’m not so sure that in every case a belief in the wrongness of another religion represents bigotry as opposed to theological disagreements. The Catholic church excommunicates people who marry a divorced person. That may be bigotry, or it may be an example of theological rigour. Take your pick. Again, when it comes to a large and diverse movement with many different religious tendencies there is no simple rule. Look at the Presbyterian church, for example, which is deeply split over the question of ecumenism. There are people who don’t believe in ecumenism for theological reasons who aren’t bigots in the sense we are talking about here.

I’d agree with you of course about the myth of the pre-1968 12th, but I don’t buy that American comparison for the issues Fealty is addressing, which are much more recent. The tendency to adopt this comparison reminds me of those who choose to compare the GAA to the Orange Order, and take some club in Derry giving out medals named after a hunger striker as proof that the entire organisation across the island is made up of mad provos who supported violence. Or indeed that when rule 21 was in operation, it meant the same thing..

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Joe - July 16, 2012

I spoke once with a Catholic woman who grew up in rural Antrim in the twenties and thirties. She had quite happy memories of the Twelfth. I remember her describing it as “the best day of the year for us” because they sold a lot of produce to their Protestant neighbours on the day. And she spoke happily of having a bit of banter with her Protestant neighbours as they made their way to the march. “Will ye not walk with us Sheila?”. And she said she and her siblings would walk a piece of the road with the Protestant neighbours for a laugh.
This is not to imply the everything around the Twelfth was like that in the twenties and thirties but to show that there are many sides to the story – naked sectarianism for sure but, in some instances, harmless (indeed positive) community celebration.

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11. Garibaldy - July 16, 2012

I see from BBC Newsline that the band involved has issued an entirely believable statement that its members didn’t realise they were outside a church, and apologising for any offence caused.

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