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Identity and the north… February 25, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Irish Politics, Northern Ireland.
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Some intriguing thoughts in Jim Fitzpatrick’s latest piece in the SBP on the North. He argues that the GFA/BA has through the particular mechanism of politicians designating themselves as unionist or nationalist created a very specific impasse (in passing he is most complimentary of Eamonn McCann, and rightly so, in warning of the problems that lay ahead). And he reasonably enough argues implicitly that this is only a reflection or expression of the broader society. But he notes that:

It made sense to state the obvious – the vast majority of the population identified as “one or the other” – but it did not make sense to effectively tie the new constitution to this evermore.

Of course the reason for this was to overcome the dangers of majoritarianism, and that circle hasn’t been squared either. But it is reasonable to see it as exacerbating the issue of identity.

Now, almost 17 years on from that agreement, the identity battles continue to rage with equal bitterness and passion. They dominate all else and are having a deeply corrosive effect on society. Those that care not for these battles have opted out, because there is no place for them in an arena defined and managed on these terms.

Even the Alliance Party, which has been forced to downgrade its own political capital by joining neither camp and therefore having no say in key Assembly votes, is defined by simply being what the others aren’t. It’s almost the flipside of the same coin, needing the sectarian to be the non-sectarian alternative.
And, as the party has to admit, it’s a diminished alternative because – lacking that tribal clout which legislation provides – it cannot sway key votes.

I think that point about ‘needing the sectarian to be the non-sectarian alternative’ while perhaps slightly overstated is something that is well worth considering. It’s a basic issue, or problem where by defining against something the danger becomes that of being defined by the thing one is against. And it’s also a problem of almost ignoring or denying significant elements of the societal dispensation and their power and how they function. In other words, a dynamic can emerge where one entirely correctly seeks to do away with sectarianism and decry it in others without engaging sufficiently with what it is and what it isn’t and offering cogent means of transcending it.

I’m not sure what the answer is to all this. Fitzpatrick notes the following, which doesn’t exactly give great hope.

Unionists consistently fail to acknowledge that nationalist identity is legitimate. They insult and belittle Irish culture and the Irish language and insist that Northern Ireland is, to misquote Margaret Thatcher, as “British as Finchley”.
Nationalists and republicans, meanwhile, seem to treat unionism as an illness. A temporary state artificially preserved by British intervention. It’s temporary nature may have lasted several hundred years, but that doesn’t seem to sway the analysis.
They imagine a mythical United Ireland where these deluded souls will recant and accept their true Irish identity once the apron strings from Mother Britannia have been cut.

I think the false consciousness approach to unionism is very mistaken. And it is – of course – simply a reflection of the Unionist attitude to nationalism. Albeit that under Stormont (the first) there was almost an attitude of hoping/wishing that nationalists would somehow go away. But more than mistaken it’s pointless. Unionists are not going to stop being unionists in any realisable time frame, any more than nationalists are going to stop being nationalists. This odd parallel, as it were, is also intriguing.

With that thought in mind note that Fitzpatrick continues:

There’s a fact at the centre of all of this which the Good Friday Agreement implicitly states, but no one dares acknowledge. Nationalists and unionists in Northern Ireland are stuck with each other. No one else wants them and there’s nowhere else to go.

If one views the GFA/BA as being a holding effort one can see how it is extremely convenient in fending off the competing nationalisms at the heart of it from their supposed sponsors. The British were clearly comfortable in diminishing their sovereignty somewhat in respect of the North (arguably that was true since Sunningdale, and the AIA was merely the first clear manifestation of same). The Irish government and polity were likewise happy enough to jettison the inconveniences of Articles 2 and 3. And the focus returned to Northern Ireland itself. No longer quite so close to the UK, and only slightly closer to the RoI.

Fitzpatrick argues that:

In reality, precious little could change in the event of a United Ireland. The unionist population would not recant or suddenly give up its British identity. So it’s highly likely that Northern Ireland in a new republic would not look significantly different to how it appears today.
Meanwhile, the nationalist population in the North – despite Martin McGuinness’s fondness for Queen Elizabeth – is not likely to start waving Union Jacks any time soon and will continue to enjoy celebrating Irish culture in different ways.

There’s a lot in that. I can’t see a united Ireland emerging without some sort of federal arrangement and one which just as the GFA/BA has allowed for a diminution of UK sovereignty would likewise require a diminution of RoI sovereignty allowing east west political and representational links perhaps in perpetuity. There’s just no way around it. In other words nationalism would have to become accustomed to the reality not just of Unionism but a unionism that was expressed with regular visits from the monarch, with political representation of some form in London, with the union flag flying across the North in tandem with the tricolour (or perhaps not depending on where), and so on and so forth. That’s the only way such a deal could be sold because national identity, like it or not, is not going to undergo a phase shift just because – say – 51 per cent of the population in the North supports a UI.

And that makes me wonder whether it wouldn’t be more sensible for nationalism to start working through that and getting together a package that would not so much offer that, but make it clear that it will as a minimum in any future dispensation seek to uphold national identity and cultural and political rights for Unionism even at the expense of full sovereignty.
But all that is blue sky thinking, really, given where we are today. The prospect of a significant change in the next decade or two seems remote.

So what is the solution? He proposes that:

A basic acceptance of that fundamental fact coupled with a little bit of respect for each identity and ultimately a change in the sectarian rules at Stormont might be too much to ask for. But it’s what is needed. And needed soon.

Respect is such a simple term. In some ways that’s always been at the heart of this. It was what Stormont from 1920 onwards could not gift, the societal pressures within Unionism being too great to do so. And yet had that been done it is just barely possible that the conflict might have been avoided. But even to phrase it this way is to wonder how feasible it is. The memory of the conflict is perhaps too raw, the sectarianism at this point too deeply embedded. And how would it manifest? An acceptance of all parades and flags? An acceptance of the Irish language? Would that be possible, and if possible enough, or nearly enough?

I’m not optimistic. I’d put good money on the status quo being the status quo for quite some time to come, staggering from one crisis to another, never getting as bad as it was, but never getting as good as it could be.

Comments»

1. roddy - February 25, 2015

I dont have a problem with an interim arrangement to assuage unionist fears in the event of a UI. A continuation of the Northern assembly for say a period of 20 years for example.However If the Jim Fitzpatrick that you quote is the BBC journalist and whose family owns the “Irish News” ,I would not regard him as a reliable source on anything Northern.Anyone who would hold that the Alliance party is anything but a middle class Unionist party is divorced from reality.Rising through the ranks of BBC NI can only be achieved by holding a line which would be at odds with the people in W Belfast or the Bogside.

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WorldbyStorm - February 25, 2015

Absolutely, it’s useful to know where people are coming from, but I think the ideas are useful to throw about in terms of ways forward. That’s an interesting idea about an interim retention of the Assembly.

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WorldbyStorm - February 25, 2015

Just on Alliance, I wonder, they’ve certainly downplayed explicit unionism (though they are de facto unionist) in recent years. I think you’re right re their base being very middle class, though whether it’s exclusively unionist?

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Michael Carley - February 25, 2015

Do you really think twenty years would be enough for ordinary Unionists/Loyalists/Protestants to get over their issues with the PIRA?

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WorldbyStorm - February 25, 2015

I don’t think unionism can even be boiled down to an issue with the IRA (and I’m certain that’s not your meaning). Unionist national identity is going to take generations to change – even in the context of demographic changes that allowed a majority nationalist/Republican vote. Possibly centuries. Perhaps never. In other words, it would require Republicans and nationalists facing up to a British dimension, in much the same way as the British and Unionists (though to a lesser extent) have had to face up to an Irish dimension in terms of the political and cultural dispensation. Twenty years of an assembly wouldn’t even begin to address that side of it, though in a transitional period as other aspects were developed (including east west ones) it would probably be a necessity.

I wonder too do people look at the experience of unionism in the South and misread the near total collapse of unionism and its assimilation into the Free State? There it seems to me they were a much more marginal population.

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Dr. Nightdub - February 25, 2015

This impasse goes all the way back to the start of the last century and Home Rule. Leaving aside the experiences of northern nationalists who have had to contend with all the day-to-day tribalism since partition, the myopia of southern nationalists regarding the nature of the north and of unionism has probably never been better expressed than by Michael Collins:
“A large portion of her fair province has lost all its native distinctiveness. It has become merely an inferior Lancashire. Who would visit Belfast or Lisburn or Lurgan to see the Irish people at home? That is the unhappy fate of the North-East. It is neither English nor Irish.”
No crumbs of comfort for nationalists living in Belfast or Lurgan there.

As regards WBS’ last point about the end of southern unionism, David Fitzpatrick (yeah him, mentor of Peter Hart, etc, etc – but hold your fire for a moment) has written about this, concluding “The spectre of Protestant extermination has distracted debate about revolutionary Ireland for too long, and should be laid to rest. The inexorable decline of southern Protestantism was mainly self-inflicted.”

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WorldbyStorm - February 25, 2015

That’s a fascinating quote Dr. Nightdub. There really wasn’t a clear engagement by most in the south with the actuality of the North, or either of the communities.

And that’s a very interesting quote from Fitzpatrick. A lot of truth in that too. Just to expand on my point above I was thinking about the decline of the unionist population in the south as not being indicative of how matters might go in the North, not addressing the specific reasons for that decline.

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shea - February 26, 2015

are so called lords who inherit hereditary titles with historical links to geographic area’s in this jurisdiction allowed to sit in the house of lords, think they are, if britain if it still exists as a political entity in this future scenario wishes to continue to let mps from the north continue to sit in westminster or as most countries do bar us and the brits, have an ex pats list then thats an issue for them but personally would think it would be ok for a united ireland to be completely separate constitutionally.

in the last 100 years the majority of people of this island have supported parties that claimed as a stated aim to want a united ireland and break the link with britain. In the last 100 years the minority view in so far as it tallies with that of britain has won the day. i don’t think that has been particularly healthy for politics in ireland in the 20th century. Is there really an urgency that given a choice this continues?

My gut feeling is that in the event of a majority in the north voting for a united ireland, choice won’t come in to it and something along the lines you are aiming for or repartition would be the out come. Why, because British guns cast a shadow on real politic on this island. They are the party to this question that has the ability to effect every other party to this question in the greatest manner. Unionists never turning into nationalists is a consideration but british guns is a bigger one.

Broad nationalism imo goes about the issue of reunification with in the paramators of what is possibly allowed by britain. In the downing st decleration and the GFA the british government said they would leave if a majority in the north willed it, that has to be tested, but i could see broad nationalism pre emting britain and making concessions before they are asked with in real politic. Personally would like this daftness put to bed and maybe once give self determination ago.

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Michael Carley - February 25, 2015

Unionism can’t be boiled down to an issue with the Provos (it long predates it, clearly), but a UI would involve Unionists, however defined, seeing SF in government (realistically, wouldn’t it?) as `winners’. Given the long memories NI has, would Unionists say `don’t worry about Enniskillen|Kings Mill|XXX, we’ll let bygones be bygones’, anymore than people would forget Bloody Sunday III?

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WorldbyStorm - February 25, 2015

I think that’s true what you describe, but given the realistic timescales of a UI maybe it’d be less important given we’re talking perhaps half a century to a UI?

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2. roddy - February 25, 2015

Saying a UI of some sort came into play in 10 years time.Add 20 years to that and the IRA campaign would have been over 50 years.The free state parties were fit to operate a viable state within 10 years of the civil war ending but of course Northerners are really beyond the pale in every sense of the world.

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WorldbyStorm - February 25, 2015

More homogenous population in the Free State. It’s not that people are beyond the pale simply that the dynamics are radically different. I’m fairly certain that it would be possible for unionism to function in a UI, but I still think we’d have to accept strong links east west even in that context.

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Michael Carley - February 26, 2015

Neither side in the Free state was big enough the other could crush it so they had to find an accomodation; nationalists in NI were small enough to keep down but not small enough to beat; Unionists in a UI would be too small to hold some power but too big to ignore.

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3. roddy - February 25, 2015

WBS, Alliamce’s base is confined exclusively to unionist areas.Any catholics in it would be of the “Castle” variety who live in areas where even support for the SDLP would be regarded as dangerously rebellious.

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WorldbyStorm - February 25, 2015

So presumably not exclusively unionist even if overwhelmingly so. I see by the way that AP/RN has an interview with Alderdice in the current issue.

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4. Brian Hanley - February 25, 2015

Both sides in the Civil War agreed in principle on some form of independence – Unionists don’t. Neither was it a war based around communal identity in any way. Plus a large chunk of the population stayed out of it.
Though had there been a united Ireland in 1921 then I don’t think southern Unionism would have disappeared so fast. The existence of a large Unionist bloc from the nine Unlster counties (a Unionist topped the poll in Donegal in 1923, an ex-Unionist topped the poll in Monaghan in 1927) would have encouraged Dublin’s Unionists (who won a Dail seat in 1918 in Rathmines) and those elsewhere to remain active. They would have had a constant Dáil presence, with all the potential for disruption you can imagine. But when you talk to people about what would have happened if the British left the island in 1921 they rarely mention Unionist Dáil deputies.

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Eagle - February 26, 2015

If there had been a United Ireland in 1921 would there have ever been a “Republic”? I think it’s doubtful. The upset such a move would have caused in the northern counties would have rendered that move far less likely.

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Dr. X - February 26, 2015

And in response to Eagle – there would still have been a Statute of Westminster, presumably, and there would have been pressure from the non-Unionist majority (or sections of it, at least) to parlay that into a full republic.

One thing a larger Unionist population in a united Ireland would have blocked would have been departure from the Commonwealth.

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Dr. X - February 26, 2015

Alvin Jackson records that by the late 20s the rump of the Unionists in the Free State had folded into Cumman na nGael. Did they play any role, or “remain active” in any way after that?

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5. CL - February 25, 2015

Unlike the U.S there is no separation of church and state in the U.K. Sectarianism will exist so long as the state supports sectarian schools.

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6. rockroots - February 26, 2015

Certainly the structure of the Northern Executive is very unhealthy for democracy, but it has also permanently altered the party political dynamic. In one sense I’d be interested to see where it could evolve, or whether it can evolve. It has institutionalised a contest within Nationalist- and Unionist-aligned parties, in addition to the contest for the all-important overall largest party, which is completely at odds with either democratic convention or with the original Stormont government. It might be optimistic, but perhaps in time these contests could become based more on class politics than on which party is the most unionist/nationalist, like, for example, the spectrum of parties operating separately in the Flemish and Walloon regions of Belgium.

Another quick thought on a future united Ireland is whether all the concerns of the unionist and nationalist communities are directly opposed to each other. Beyond a straight-forward allegiance to one government or the other, what are the underlying priorities for the unionist community (freedom of religion in a UI? religious control over schools? corruption within the Dublin government?) and for the nationalist community (equal opportunities? Westminster austerity? cultural/heritage rights?) – these are matters that will not be solved just by changing the flag and currency in the north, but could be tackled by those wishing to win over one side or the other.

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7. CL - February 26, 2015

Niall O’Dowd and Tim Pat Coogan have been asserting for years that partition will end inevitably and in the not too distant future by Catholics out-breeding Protestants.
No doubt this is based on scholarly work by reputable demographers; a citation of such studies would be useful.

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Dr. X - February 26, 2015

I’m sure I remember reading a Garret Fitzgerald column in the Irish Times where he applied his famous mental powers to this one and concluded that the nationalist community would come close to a majority but wouldn’t quite make it.

And don’t forget that there’s always been a fraction of the NI minority who were either indifferent or opposed to reunification.

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8. Joe - February 26, 2015

Identity and the north. It’s complicated innit? Absolutely fascinating too, for me anyway. The identity of Northern Protestants/unionists – British? Irish? Ulster? A bit of all three but it depends who’s asking. Paisley on the Late Late emphasised his Irishness. The recent conflict in the north has separated the two communities more starkly than ever has it not?
Anyway, it’s fascinating, probably much more interesting than class politics to me at this stage of my life.
Here’s an excerpt from the Epilogue to “The Character of Ireland” by WR Rodgers, a Presbyterian minister and poet from Belfast. He died in 1969. I just love this:

I am Ulster, my people an abrupt people
Who like the spiky consonants in speech
And think the soft ones cissy; who dig
The k and t in orchestra, detect sin
In sinfonia, get a kick out of
Tin cans, fricatives, fornication, staccato talk,
Anything that gives or takes attack,
Like Micks, Tagues, tinkers’ gets, Vatican
An angular people, brusque and Protestant,
For whom the word is still a fighting word,
Who bristle into reticence at the sound
Of the round gift of the gab in Southern mouths.

Now in case anyone takes offence. It’s a part of a much longer poem. It’s poetry. Art, indeed. He’s a great poet. To quote Derek Mahon: “His work contains an unusual mixture of humourous religiosity and sexual high jinks.” Like I said, it’s complicated.

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sonofstan - February 26, 2015

I had a n interesting day in East Belfast yesterday – I was given a lift from from deep within the industrial complex along the Airport Road, back to the Odyssey and on to the Titanic to meet a family member who works there. The guy who gave me the lift was the sort of local history buff we all know and fear who, despite me protesting a certain familiarity with the city, proceeded to tell me all about it anyway. As he monologued about H&W and Shorts’ and so on, it did strike me that this is the shibboleth of protestant workng-class Belfast – the industrilal heritage of a city that really was a powerhouse in its time. The fact that its their history rather than an inclusive history of the the whole working class in the city is of course part of the problem, but it needs to be understood too – it’s not all about the OO or the flags or that – there is a deep cultural attachment to a particular history of the place from which nationalist are somewhat detached (and yes Roddy, I know why and all)

Oh, and the Titanic was under lock down because Prince Edward was visiting, though I got n for a look later.

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shea - February 26, 2015

if anyone has access to jstor, i don’t at the moment, there are some interesting articles on ultra protestant identity pre and post the act of union in dublin in the late 18th and early to mid 19th century, going through different classes from aristorcats, merchants, artisans to a concept of an aristocractic poor, one of the theories as to why it didn’t survive in to mid 20th in dublin, independence would be a part of it but so would the lack of industrialization comparable to belfast. There was lodges in dublin at the start of the 20th century, a dublin volunteer force, protestant only workmans clubs same politics as belfast to a degree but protestant tradesmen working for themselves in competition for employment a job in dublin didn’t have the same pull as protestant workers belfast the lodge a way to a factory job. The cross class alliance in dublin wasn’t sustainable in 20th century dublin but it was in 20th century belfast.

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9. roddy - February 26, 2015

People often go for the simplistic analysis that sectarianism in the North is due to the lack of integrated schools.Integrated schools are de facto unionist schools where the British ethos rules supreme.They celebrate Royal births,spuriously claim that WW1 should be commemorated as it belongs to us all and allow the sale of poppys.Both the RUC and British army were allowed access during the troubles and British army recruiters are still acceptable at careers events etc.Any pupil wearing an easter lily would get short shift and any republican view of history would be nil.I have attended a post secondary college to do a course and worked in integrated workplaces ,making good friends from all backgrounds in both places but the day that anyone belonging to me arrives home wearing a poppy or wielding a British army leaflet will never happen.Those on here who peddle the line that the North can be transformed by integrated schooling need to ask themselves would they allow their children to be “poppyised”

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Joe - February 26, 2015

That sectarianism in the North is due to the lack of integrated schools certainly is a simplistic analyis.
In much of the north it’s not just schools that are segregated. People from the two communities live separately, worship separately, drink and socialise separately, marry separately and so on. Moreso now, after the Troubles, than before.

Your description of the ethos of integrated schools in the north sounds a bit, well, biased, to me, Roddy. But I have no experience of them. Is there anyone else reading this who might have a different take?

Integrated schooling is a good first step in my opinion. Serious challenge I guess would be to set up integrated schools with an ethos that would be equally acceptable to people with strong nationalist/republican beliefs and to people with strong unionist/loyalist beliefs.

Just thinking. Heard a great story from a comrade who was in the official republican movement in Belfast in the late sixties, early seventies. Interned, the lot. He was married to a Protestant girl. A meeting was held at which it was stressed that the movement needed to make inroads into the Protestant working class. The top table asked for suggestions as to how this could be done. “Maybe we could all marry one of them”, says my buddy.

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rockroots - February 26, 2015

You’ve just reminded me that poppies were sold in my school in Mullingar in the 1980s – it’s possible this was some form of solidarity with Enniskillen, I don’t remember. Point is, that seemed pretty innocuous (virtuous, even) to us as kids and was apparently uncontroversial to our teachers and parents at that time, to the extent that I’d completely forgotten about it. With hindsight I wonder how that came about, and whether it would still happen post Iraq War. Still, I’m reminded of the spectacle of Irish entrants in Britain’s ‘X-Factor’ contributing to a charity single in aid of Iraq/Afghan war veterans, without much controversy.

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shea - February 26, 2015

poppy month is seasonal fodder for the maturity debate in this place. more contentious pre iraq when british soldiers where more visible up the road would have taught.

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rockroots - February 26, 2015

Fair point! As I say, it’s a vague memory lacking context. It might have had more to do with some sort of Enniskillen bombing symbolism than with any conscious support for the serving British army.

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10. CL - February 26, 2015

“Issues like segregated schools and housing, lack of jobs and opportunity — symbols of history that are a source of pride for some and pain for others — these are not tangential to peace; they’re essential to it,” Mr. Obama said.

“If towns remain divided — if Catholics have their schools and buildings, and Protestants have theirs — if we can’t see ourselves in one another, if fear and resentment are allowed to harden, that encourages division. It discourages cooperation,” he said.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/20/obama-remarks-about-catholic-schools-spark-new-fig/?page=all

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11. roddy - February 26, 2015

Joe,as someone who lives in the North,I only have to open my local paper to see the WW1 lauding,poppy wearing ,royal celebrating nonsense that happens in integrated schools.As I told you before I engage with my protestant neighbours as neighbours do everywhere.I would NEVER call at their houses wearing an easter lily nor would they ever wear a poppy visiting mine.Despite the bollocks spouted about the poppy “uniting us all”, people who get on with their neighbours know it to be bollocks.However these symbols of British imperialism and everything else of that nature are regarded as “no problem” in the integrated sector.For the record the most sectarian party in these islands ,the DUP, is now jumping on the integrated bandwagon.Are you telling me that they have now embraced secularism and liberalism.They have my arse,they see it as a way of ramming British imperialism down childrens throats and diluting any rebelliousness among the “taigs”.I’ll back integrated in the morning under the following conditions.No union jack, no royalty, no poppys,no imperialist view of history,no British army recruiters.

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Joe - February 26, 2015

“I’ll back integrated in the morning under the following conditions.No union jack, no royalty, no poppys,no imperialist view of history,no British army recruiters.”

Right, that’s the “acceptable to nationalists/republicans” bit of the ethos sorted. Now for the “acceptable to unionists/loyalists” part…
I presume they’d insist on: no tricolour, no Easter lilies, no Irish republican view of history ….

I think it’s doable. Seriously. We made the PSNI. Surely we can make integrated schools that people from both traditions can support.

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Dr. X - February 26, 2015

Given that this is a site that attracts people of a socialist persuasion (for various values of “socialist”) maybe the question is what sort of history acceptable to socialists should be taught in the integrated schools of the future.

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Joe - February 26, 2015

That’s stage 2, Dr X. Do you not know the old song: “One stage at a time, sweet Jesus…”?

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WorldbyStorm - February 26, 2015

I’d be like Joe, no poppies, etc, and no badges of national identity either. Keep schools neutral as far as possible. History, now that’s a different issue again, would that be stage 1.5? Perhaps get some sort of curriculum where it can be taught in a dispassionate way with no jingoism?

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12. roddy - February 26, 2015

Yes,ill accept total neutrality but the unionists never will.Even the so called equality commission bowed to unionist pressure to give the poppy a special exemption.

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WorldbyStorm - February 26, 2015

Actually that means the three of us, Joe you and me are singing from the same hymn sheet on this one. Think you’re right re unionism as it happens. Still, over time… over time…BTW, that is extremely irritating to put it mildly re the exemption for the poppy. And if so what about the Easter Lily, is there an exemption for it? I’ll bet not.

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13. roddy - February 27, 2015

No they ruled against the lily but “allowed” the shamrock if you dont mind,making a false equivalence between it and the poppy.

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Jolly Red Giant - February 27, 2015

And meanwhile another austerity measure gets passed.

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rockroots - February 27, 2015

Paisley – in particular – was very much in favour of St. Patrick’s Day becoming a public holiday in the north, on the basis that both Protestants and Catholics could trace the origins of their religion back to the saint. In which case, if you take the shamrock as his symbol, it’s not much of a concession at all.

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WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2015

I’d forgotten that re the shamrock. A false equivalence indeed.

+1 rockroots

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14. Jolly Red Giant - February 27, 2015

And in the meantime while they are all wearing shamrock the Executive decides not to ban zero-hour contracts.

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WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2015

Not sure that’s a done deal. Farry who is by the way Alliance is bringing the proposals to the Executive. SF’s position on this will be important to watch and any pressure that can be brought to bear must be.

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Gewerkschaftler - February 27, 2015

Agreed – that will be indicative of SF’s real economic policies.

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