Real Loyalism vs. Pantomime Loyalism
Who really represents Loyalists? Is it the likes of Wully Frazer, Jim Dowson or Jamie Bryson? Or is it ex-combatants, the UPRG and the Progressive Unionist Party? I can tell you who is doing valuable work in working-class communities, who is striving to improve the lives of ordinary people. But if I really have to tell you then this blog is probably way over your head anyway. Only an absolute imbecile looks at people like Frazer and Bryson and assumes that they are representative of Ulster Loyalism. An imbecile or someone with a pernicious, dehumanizing, hateful agenda that likes to portray Loyalism and Unionism as some sort of extremist fringe.
Anyone with an ounce of sense, with any political maturity, can see that the Loyalist community has many genuine grievances, any many genuine concerns. Loyalists do not follow demagogues anymore. We do not allow ourselves to be lead by 3rd rate Carsons, or at least most of us don’t. “The Troubles” have taught both Loyalists and republicans some harsh lessons. One lesson it taught Loyalists was to be wary of those who shout loudest but rarely get their hands dirty.
Real Loyalists can see straight through the hysterical rhetoric of these reincarnated Hugh Hannahs. We are not obsessed with the issue of flags and emblems, we do not wrap ourselves in the Union flag. Modern Loyalism is typified far more by people like Izzy Giles or Cllr. Russell Watton than by anyone from within the ranks of ‘Prod Co.’ or the UPV (although let me be clear that I harbour no hostility towards such groups)
Loyalism is not the stereotype some would like to portray it to be. For the time being, Loyalists are content to take a back seat, applying political pressure as and when needed. The Union is secure. Irish nationalist terrorism has been defeated. Those who maintain that Loyalists are running scared or that we feel our ultimate defeat is imminent, are foolhardy and naïve. Real Loyalists are leaders, not followers. We are content to work quietly, in the background if necessary. We sometimes shun the glare of publicity, nonetheless we will always be ready, always patient, always vigilant, always thinking ahead. Leading, not following.