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 startled 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.