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Opinions on the situation in Belfast re the flag sought from UK mainland.

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Initial post: 19 Dec 2012 19:58:46 GMT
Charlieost says:
I do not know how much coverage has been given to the riots in Northern Ireland over the flying of the Union Flag at certain times rather than all the time at Belfast City Hall but because of the fear of violence many traders in the city are reporting fewer people shopping in the centre and subsequent loss of trade in the all important run up to Christmas.

PSNI Officers have been injured, taxis attacked, a politicians office who supported the motion raided and smashed, meetings disrupted by men shouting abuse, a coach from the republic carrying tourists had windows broken, petrol bombs and paving stones thrown, the cities reputation falling to pieces again.

I am just curious how you view this behaviour on the mainland. Do you think it is justified? Would you support it? Do you consider the Loyalists represent the way you think about this part of the UK?

Best wishes all. Charlie.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Dec 2012 20:51:01 GMT
Pipkin says:
Hya Chas,
I have to admit that I havn't heard anything about this....
I was surprised that you didn't join the ''The Collusion of the English State'' thread, which covered the troubles.
Me personally I couldn't care less who or where the Union flag was flown, because I have never experienced the troubles... But I do wonder what is the 'point' of flying the Union flag and what would be the result if the IRA flag was flown?
So in view of the fact that flying the flag is seen by some as provocative, because I am presuming that both Protestants and Catholics live where the flag is being flown? I think the idea should be scrapped. Because, if you know for a fact that 'flying flags' offends and upsets people, 'WHY' in God's name would anyone in their right mind want to do it, and risk inflaming the troubles again?

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Dec 2012 20:53:19 GMT
gille liath says:
No? I'm surprised it hasn't been covered by Russia Today...

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Dec 2012 20:55:46 GMT
gille liath says:
Clearly the decision not to fly the Union Jack continuously is no more than common sense and, frankly, long overdue. I guess the reaction is what you get when people fear the loss of a privileged position; but it does make you wonder what these people think the flag stands for.

Posted on 19 Dec 2012 21:00:48 GMT
Roma says:
Hi there has been a lot of coverage and it seems that there is great disappointment at the re emergence of violence after a of relative peace. There is a certain irony to the situation as it was a democratic decision which led to the limited flying of the flag as it is precisely the democratic process which has always supported NI loyalists. However. although it was the Republicans right to implement a democratic decision I believe that the decision to do so was misjudged. I most certainly do not want to see a return of the troubles, while still defending the rights of both sides to make their arguments and argue their beliefs. Life is really difficult enough without adding more pain to it.


In reply to an earlier post on 19 Dec 2012 21:03:24 GMT
Pipkin says:
I've just looked this up, and felt that these people had the right idea:

POLICE SAY THAT in the region of 1200 people turned out for a peace rally in Belfast today.

The rally was organised by local artist Paul Currie to promote peace, and took place outside Belfast City Hall from 11am - 12pm.

There was a two minute `no silence' at the event, where people were encouraged to clap, make music and cheer in a peaceful way. The event was PSNI-approved, and had no politicians speaking or speeches.

A flier circulated online said that "Our numbers and our presence will be our message" and that the aim was "To show our neighbours and the world once and for all that we are not about two communities at war, but that Northern Ireland has moved on"...

People were asked NOT to bring flags to the event......


In reply to an earlier post on 19 Dec 2012 21:14:40 GMT
Hi Charlie. Tony of Manchester. There has been coverage of the riots on all three of our news channels, extensively on channel 4. I believe that violence, whatever the cause is not justified. all it brings is the situation you described and at very worse, death. I would support any move that encouraged peaceful co-existence. I would not support the actions that have been conducted in the name of symbolism. I am one of those who wants to see peace through out Ireland. I not consider the loyalist actions as representative of the Irish people they claim to represent as I not consider the other side as representative. I am remember the shocking scenes on "Sunday bloody Sunday" and was appalled at the role of our "brave" British forces. I despair at the divisions that exist in the name of religion and politics, and heartened at the protest of those who no longer wish to see a continuation of the recent violence and destruction perpetrated in the name of Loyalism. My hope is that this sort of tribalism will marginalise and end this.

Posted on 19 Dec 2012 21:21:32 GMT
Hi Charlie,

The flag protests have been in the news every day - latest being the bullets sent to Sinn Fein and Alliance politicians. I can't speak for everyone, but as far as I can tell most people don't understand the situation and just see it as another manifestation of the sectarianism that led to thirty years of violence. Most people aren't familiar with the history. Personally, I'd ask why both the tricolour and the union flag can't be flown. It doesn't make sense that only one should fly, but then again this move (by Sinn Fein and the SDLP, backed by Alliance) has obviously caused a lot of upset and, in that context, might be seen as provocative.

Posted on 19 Dec 2012 23:20:10 GMT
Roma says:
Hi i . thought i d share with you a lighthearted moment regarding irish politics. The english prelim one year was based on the easter uprising in dublin. The first question was

How long did the rebellion last?

One pupil had written

One and a half hours.

Bemused, I later asked him to explain his answer. His reply was
Please,miss, cos it says it started at half past nine and finished at eleven o clock. Yes he felt very foolish when i pointed out that this referred to the length of the exam. Still makes me smile.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2012 01:30:07 GMT
Molly Brown says:
Funny when the Tories are back in power "the troubles" start again? Is that because when the Tories are in unemployment rises, young people with nothing else to do? Even Buckingham Palace only has the Union Flag flying a few times in the year if I recall, isn't it when old Queenie is in residence or something.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2012 01:31:11 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Dec 2012 01:33:05 GMT
Molly Brown says:
It has and on Al Jazeera too I think. I think the rest of the world think it's all a bit weird really.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2012 10:28:31 GMT
gille liath says:
Hi Molly, Happy nearly-Christmas to you.

I think the rest of the world understands it as a situation analogous to Cyprus, Palestine or the old South Africa (albeit one which, in recent years, has seen much better progress). We're the only ones who don't seem to be able to grasp that, probably because we're too near to it - and too much implicated.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2012 11:24:17 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 16 Jul 2013 11:40:18 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2012 17:13:21 GMT
C. A. Small says:
Hi Charlie it is very widely reported. It seems certain sections of an otherwise affable nation are intent on stopping peace at any price.

P.s. did you see the travellers were convicted of keeping slave labour? ( I seem to remember you didn't believe they would be convicted).

If we do not converse before the festive period, a super solstice to you and your family.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2012 18:19:31 GMT
Charlieost says:
Hi Margaret. I deliberated on responding within The Collusion of the English State thread but such issues are just to raw for some of us in the republic. It came as no surprise because we knew about the collusion all along. I will say no more.

Best wishes. Charlie.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2012 18:22:56 GMT
Charlieost says:
Hi Clive. Re the travellers, I saw some of the footage of the bullying and admit that I was wrong in my original assertions. Gulp.

Now how often does that happen on this forum.

All the best. Charlie.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2012 21:23:38 GMT
Pipkin says:
Hya Chas,
I know somethings are too raw, when you have to live with them. And I also know, or feel that I know, that you would always want to be non partisan.
Like me really... despite a Catholic heritage.. I have no affiliations or sympathy for anyone who would want to harm. maim, or take someone elses life.. regardless. Which according to some that leaves me betwen a rock and a hard place, because I will not take sides... except with the innocents.
I wish for a very Happy Christmas, and a Healthy, Peaceful New Year, to you and yours.
Margaret x

Posted on 20 Dec 2012 22:28:34 GMT
Charlieost says:
There will always be people on both sides of the divide who will look for an excuse to come out onto the streets and cause or instigate mayhem. And all the books and articles that I have read which have been written by impartial observers both during and after the troubles have emphasised what good people they find on both sides. It has taken a lot of time and hard work by both sides for Belfast to regain a reputation of being a place to visit. It seems an awful shame that all that hard work can be undone over a matter of days by something as insignificant to me as a flag and the days it is flown. It obviously means a lot more to some people but these are hard times on both sides of the border.

But a majority voted for peace and the constitution of the republic was altered to affect this. I think that most of us hoped that the actions of the hardliners on both sides would cease but I suppose we can only hope for them to be contained. But at least there is a determination on both sides not to go back to the awful thirty years of war, destruction and hate.

Happy Christmas all and I do hope that the New Year brings peace throughout the world. One final few words from a letter in todays Guardian. The writer noted that peole killed and were killed in the name of their religion. No one kills in the name of atheism.

So it is off to midnight mass for me on monday night. The one occasion in the year when I attend a church service. I do it for the missus and choke back the nonsense words of the carols. "God in three persons, blessed trinity". Yeah whatever.

Best wishes. Charlie.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2012 22:37:09 GMT
Pipkin says:
''So it is off to midnight mass for me on monday night. The one occasion in the year when I attend a church service.''
Me too normally Charlie, but this year the children and their families are coming for supper, because one of them is going to his Father in Law for Christmas Dinner.

Posted on 21 Dec 2012 11:56:47 GMT
Dan Fante says:
I love Belfast. Great place with lovely people. The vast majority of them don't deserve this rubbish. When I worked there the people over there literally couldn't do enough for you.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Dec 2012 15:30:20 GMT
Pipkin says:
Hi Dan,
That's the Irish for you,,, generous to a fault.

Posted on 21 Dec 2012 15:37:27 GMT
Dan Fante says:
It was like a home from home ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Dec 2012 18:00:36 GMT
Pipkin says:
Hi Dam,
I can imagine... My heart yearns for Ireland, even though I have never been, the connection is so strong thanks to my Grandparents.
I still sing Irish Lullabies to my Grandchildren, and it makes me cry when my little two/nearly three year old sings them back, and I hear my dear little Granny, who stood only 4'10' and had seven children?.

Posted on 21 Dec 2012 19:03:20 GMT
Kate says:
I don't believe there is any justification for the behaviour which we have observed. A quiet protest as in every one is entitled to free speech on any subject but those who behave like thugs let themselves down.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Dec 2012 20:34:01 GMT
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Discussion in:  politics discussion forum
Participants:  33
Total posts:  256
Initial post:  19 Dec 2012
Latest post:  19 Feb 2013

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