Flegs protest now global news

It’s January 2013 and I had hoped that with a new year would come some new resolutions and politics, yet the ‘flegs’ issue continues on without any obvious signs of slowing down.

I was watching the news here in Australia on Channel 9 (the lovely Davina was looking very serious) and what do I see, only further rioting back home in Belfast. I thought this had died down, alas, it seems to have gained some legs all of its own and has massively gotten out of hand by now. My housemates were flegsstartled with what they saw especially as we had been on the deck and I had been telling a new friend how he should visit Belfast for it’s second to none night life and pubs such as the Duke of York.

This was the first time I had seen it reported on the regular news here and unfortunately this type of news story appears to be the only thing most outside of the North get to see of Belfast. People here in Australia ask simple questions as is the case everywhere else but it boils down to this, has everything died down regarding all that trouble you had? People don’t want answers of nuance, they simply want a straight answer and telling them this is largely confined to a few areas and is massively sporadic does not reassure many to be honest. Belfast and the North is taking a hammering in the news at the moment and really doesn’t need it.

Fitzjameshorse has noted how the rioters are now targeting other politicians, in this instance Claire Hanna of the SDLP who fortunately was not in her home when the attack occurred. As will come as not surprise to those from the North, children as young as 10 have also been spotted at some interface areas where rioting has been taking place. This is a terrible state of affairs and I wonder when will we see an end to it?

What’s the end game here, the flying of the flag 365 days of the year above City Hall, because that ship has sailed a long time ago or is it something a lot more Machiavellian? Who knows, but what I am certain of is that the summer marching season doesn’t look like it will be a pleasant one where sides will be looking for compromise.


14 responses to “Flegs protest now global news

  1. The “Machiavellian” thing has me wondering as well. Is there something else going on? All these theories about the DUP leading the UUP into an electoral trap, while neutralising the Alliance, may be true. But what about the PUP and those around Frazier, etc? Have the DUP gambled on locking down UUP and Alliance votes but then had a misfire with the flags issue spinning out of their control?

    Or has the 2011 Census results given some in the DUP a fright? A vision of things to come, and now they are circling the wagons and rallying the troops? As I think several of us have said, the flag is not the issue.

    • Who knows SoS but the DUP is now in some danger as the protesters seem to be of the anti-establishment sort. Did the vote in previous elections? Who knows and I know I am not willing to pull up with a clip board and start to go over a questionnaire with them to find out but something makes me think something much more sinister on their part is brewing.

      The flag really is not the issue, you are correct. I think we are dealing with a part of society that is in decline numerically and also in relation to it’s cultural symbols where there politicians have not taken the time to speak to grass roots and others about what to expect. All I know is that people on the Falls would not be caught out like this.

  2. Sinn Fein desperately trying to claw back some credibility after the so called “policing agreement” debacle. Alex Maskey was unable to tell me what we had gained from it.

  3. Seven Million pounds it has cost to police these flag protests. And the CBI in the North say some foreign investors have lost interest in setting up shop in the Six Counties. So much for the New Northern Ireland.

    • You know HR, I used to think that investors would look past something like this and say ‘oh, its largely contained to a small area’ but now I simply don’t think so. The North really doesn’t need this at the moment yet here we are, retail outlets in Belfast stand at 25% unoccupied and probably rising and I was speaking to a recruiter here in Brisbane yesterday…from Fermanagh of all places and there are more and more coming out here, it’s pretty shocking tbf.

  4. In line with the previous comments I strongly believe that the damage being done, particularly within Unionism, is huge. I also believe that they have largely brought this upon themselves by failing to prepare the ground for the changes taking place.

    • Nothing to disagree with there BD, the DUP have definitely pushed some middle of the road voters to the garden centre or APNI while the angry guys are who MAY have voted for them (many would not vote for them whatsoever tbf) will not vote for them or vote for someone like the BNP or someone better organised than the PUP.

  5. The assortment of “Leaders” of this debacle are somewhat odd to say the least. Mad pastors from North Down, Willie Frazer etc.These guys are opportunists with no discernable agenda other than self promotion. I know this sound patronising but I actually feel sorry for them

    • I know what you mean BD re the pity thing but I have little for them, it’s all gone from me.

      I can see this burning out by the end of the month; January is a slow news month and they have the air-waves all to themselves. They are poorly organised and they don’t even know what they are protesting for or how to get it so expect this to fizzle out, otherwise we are in slightly uncharted territory.

  6. FC, I agree. There is no strategy, no defined outcome except the unachievable one of the fleg going up again, and no policy other than blaming just about everyone else. In other words, they have chosen their battle poorly, they have no General (except Willie, ahem) and they haven’t a clue about what war they are fighting and how to win it

  7. Pingback: Gerry Adams on the Flags Protest and Change. | footballcliches·

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