Revisiting a 2014 BBC report by Jon Donnison

https://wp.me/p2tuZQ-6Va

Excellent work as by BBC Watch. The same kind of bias is amply demonstrated by the nauseating BBC when they describe deceased members of Irish republican murder gangs as being a “community worker” or, even worse, as a “human rights lawyer”.

The BBC, which is a corrupt and dysfunctional organisation from top to bottom, has an unfortunate habit of praising dead terrorists, just as long as those terrorists share the same Far-Left, “Anti-Imperialist” and “progressive” agenda as them.

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Abortion; an open letter to the critics of Northern Ireland

Dear critics of NI, abortionists and other “useful idiots”

I understand that you have many questions in the wake of the Irish Republic’s referendum on abortion. Please allow me to answer those questions in a thoughtful, concise and polite manner.

NO. No we do not “need” to legalise abortion on demand because any other nation, or any other constituent country of the UK has legal abortion on demand. In case you hadn’t noticed (you probably hadn’t), the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a (supposedly) democratic, decentralised state within which each constituent country has considerable devolved powers, and within which are three separate legal jurisdictions, Northern Ireland being one of those jurisdictions (look up that word, you’ll find it useful later on).

NO. We will not justify our position within the United Kingdom to the historically illiterate and politically ignorant. We are not part of the UK due to the benevolence of England, but because our forebears successfully fought for our right to remain part of the UK. Our membership of the Union is not up for debate. It is not dependant on us “acting like a part of the UK”. The United Kingdom is not a centralised, unitary state. It is a devolved, decentralised Union. The Ulster people have an inalienable right to self-determination, a right we have fought to uphold. We will not forgo that right in order to placate a section of the English population which wishes us to amend our laws on abortion because it is the “current year”, or because some vapid, moronic “TV personality” has issue with our laws.

NO. We will not succumb to bullying, pressure tactics or your pathetic attempts to scorn us. Quite frankly, the people of NI couldn’t care less about the opinions of virtue signalling, social acceptance seeking, has-been “celebrities” desperately trying to seem relevant and fishing for Facebook likes and positive reinforcement. We take our politics seriously. We don’t like bullies and we tend to laugh at people who try to threaten us! You want to take us on? Really? Lol. Take a good long look in the mirror, then ask yourself if this is a fight you can win. It isn’t.

NO. We won’t be doing anything simply because the Irish Republic does it. The Czech Republic significantly relaxed their gun laws a while ago, we won’t be following them either. Northern Ireland isn’t Hertfordshire or Northumberland. We are a separate legal jurisdiction (remember that word?) with considerable devolved powers. Many, probably the majority, of NI citizens believe that abortion on demand is morally reprehensible and will oppose it, vehemently. Others, such as myself, are ambivalent or undecided on the issue but we will not allow ourselves to be browbeaten, lectured, badgered or vilified by ignorant, conceited, self-obsessed, botox filled, drug addled, ridiculous, pompous and morally bankrupt media rejects. That I can promise you!

Derry/Londonderry (or ‘How Monty Python named Ulster’s second city’)

Picture the scene

BBC television centre, 1971, comedy group ‘Monty Python’ have, for reasons unknown, been tasked with naming Ulster’s second largest city. John Cleese wants to call it ‘Derek’, but is dismissed by the others as a “lumbering buffoon”. Chapman, Idle and Jones want to name the city ‘Derry’, but Gilliam and Palin think the name should be ‘Londonderry’. The Pythons are bitterly divided. Michael Palin has been holding Eric Idle in a sleeper hold for almost an hour. Terry Jones has adopted the role of a sniper, viciously firing a homemade slingshot at Palin, Gilliam and the supposedly neutral Cleese, from behind the cover of an overturned desk. The BBC tealady, a Mrs. Edith Runnymede of Peckham, has refused to enter the room, likening the scene to the Battle of Salamis in 480 BCE.

After many hours of comedic warfare, and with the belligerents exhausted, a compromise is agreed. Dismissing Cleese’s suggestion as “the deranged utterance of a gigantic, moustache wearing fruit-bat”, the group decide, in typical surrealist fashion, to simply give the city both names. From then on, the second largest city in Northern Ireland would be known by the unlikely moniker of ‘Derry/Londonderry’.

Londonderry. Northern Europe’s forgotten jewel

Fast forward to 2018

Ulster’s barbarian tribes have been warring since time immemorial. They fought over which flag to fly. They fought over which language everyone should be forced to speak, and they fought over what exactly their second city should be called. The Green tribe, known for their love of strong drink and their propensity for blowing up small children, insisted that it be called ‘Derry’. The Orange tribe, known for their love of synchronised walking and their propensity for shooting people in the face, insisted that the correct name was ‘Londonderry’. For decades, both tribes stuck to their respective choice, then unbelievably, the freshly installed High Chief of the Green tribe, the fabled warrior queen, Mary Lou, uttered the ‘L’ word, calling the second city ‘Londonderry’!

The Green tribe was sharply divided. Some, perhaps mellowed by years of alcohol abuse and sad folk ballads, argued that it was ok to call the place Londonderry sometimes. Others though, incensed by the addition of two extra syllables, argued that Mary Lou had committed an inexcusable act of treason and could no longer be High Chief of the Green tribe. Meanwhile, most of the Orange tribe merely smirked and went back to beating their very large drums with very thin sticks, whilst the civilised tribes to the south and across the narrow sea to the east, scratched their heads and wondered just how they had ended up being the neighbours of such clearly insane people.

A section of Derry’s walls

Seriously though

The furore that erupted recently over Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald’s use of the term ‘Londonderry’, was tragically comic. I was born and raised in County Londonderry. I use the terms Derry and Londonderry interchangeably. The Orange anthem ‘the Sash my Father Wore’ calls it Derry. The Apprentice Boys of Derry call it Derry (shocker!). In all honesty it is simply not that big an issue for most Loyalists and Unionists. An official name change is a different matter, although personally I would not be that bothered. It would seem though that for Irish nationalists and republicans this is a much more touchy subject.

Derry is both historic and modern

The reaction of some Irish republicans has been hilarious. To see the usually well rehearsed and polished republican propaganda machine scrambling to try and bury this “controversy” has been highly amusing. These are the same people who made much of the fact that (some) Unionists and Loyalists placed such importance on flags and emblems. Is the word ‘Derry’ not a verbal emblem? I hope, although I don’t expect for one moment, that the numerous ‘satirical’ groups (lol) on social media have lampooned hardline republicans over this issue in the same way that they used the flags issue to try to belittle and mock the fringe elements of Loyalism and Unionism. Of course, that would be too much to ask. After all, one cannot be the drinking buddy of certain north Belfast republican dissidents, and then use one’s multiple social media accounts to lambast and laugh at republicans. Better to just trot out the same old bile you’ve been vomiting out since 2012 (there might still be a few £ in it yet ;).

And finally…

You see, this is why I was reluctant to start blogging about N.I. politics again. Whilst I’ve had a chuckle at the pettiness and insecurities of Irish republicans, the whole episode has also been slightly depressing. Twenty years after the signing of the Belfast Agreement and Ulster remains as divided, and as ridiculous as ever.

Between 1969 & 1999, more than 30,000 Ulster-Scots were “ethnically cleansed” from Derry’s west-bank

If you are one of the many foreign readers of this blog, please don’t let the infantile squabbles of extreme Irish nationalists put you off visiting our beautiful little nation, and visiting Londonderry in particular. Derry is a wonderful, charming, vibrant city. The most well preserved walled city in western Europe. It is historic, picturesque (mostly), welcoming and inexpensive to visit. In fact, whatever you like to call it, it’s the greatest little city in the whole British Isles!

Beautiful and historic Londonderry

J. M. Andrews; Ulster’s forgotten Prime Minister

https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/j-m-andrews-ni-s-second-prime-minister-got-the-job-a-decade-too-late-1-8479933

A superb piece from the Newsletter on the subject of John Miller Andrews, second Prime Minister of Northern Ireland and something of a forgotten figure in Ulster history.

Andrews served as MP for Mid-Down (and before that as MP for Co.Down). He served as Minister of Labour from 1921 to 1937, and as Minister of Finance from 1937 to 1940. When Lord Craigavon died, in 1940, he became leader of the Unionist Party and the second Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

In April 1943 dissent from backbenchers forced him from office. He was replaced as Prime Minister by Sir Basil Brooke. Andrews remained, however, the recognised leader of the UUP for a further three years. Five years later he became the Grand Master of the Orange Order. From 1949, he was the last parliamentary survivor of the original 1921 Northern Ireland Parliament, and as such was recognised as the ‘Father of the House’. He is the only Prime Minister of Northern Ireland not to have been elevated to the peerage; both his successor and predecessor received hereditary viscountcies.

Throughout his life he was deeply involved in the Orange Order; he held the positions of Grand Master of County Down from 1941 and Grand Master of Ireland (1948–1954). In 1949 he was appointed Imperial Grand Master of the Grand Orange Council of the World.

J. M. Andrews as a young man, with his parents and family, including his brother Thomas

Andrews was a committed and active member of the ‘Non-subscribing Presbyterian Church’. Regularly attending worship in his home town of Comber. Andrews served on the Comber Congregational Committee from 1896 until his death in 1956 (holding the position of Chairman from 1935 onwards). He is buried in the small graveyard adjoining the church.

Fire Up The Time Machine

The blog is back

Ok folks, I’m back. Almost three years since I took an enforced sabbatical from the heady world of blogging. On a personal level, things have changed. I have changed. At least in some ways. Sadly though the same cannot be said for Ulster politics. Twenty years after the signing of the Belfast Agreement, the political landscape in Northern Ireland still resembles a battlefield. The DUP and Sinn Féin still thrive on confrontation and contention, much of it wholly manufactured, whilst the majority of the population grit their collective teeth and try to get on with their lives.

The Loyalist community is supposed to be absolutely outraged at the prospect of a Gaelic language act (legislation to protect a minority language? Arrgggghhh, the horror, the horror!), whilst Sinn Féin voters are supposedly weeping and gnashing their teeth because of how oppressed and downtrodden they are. Well, that’s Northern Ireland according to Arlene and Michelle anyway. Personally I couldn’t give a monkeys if the toy-town parliament up at Stormont is ever restored or not. Don’t get me wrong, in principle I believe in devolution, indeed, I believe in the radical decentralisation of power, far beyond what the N.I. assembly delivers, or rather doesn’t deliver. In Ulster though, devolution has become a soap opera. A repetitive, stale and formulaic soap opera, rehashing the same old storylines again and again. Direct rule is hardly an attractive proposition, but at this point no alternative to the present self-perpetuating stalemate should be off the table. I’m sure I speak for many Ulster folk when I say that I have simply become bored with the whole DUP/Sinn Féin charade, which is why I’m now going to move on to the important bit—

An unenthusiastic return

In all honesty, I wasn’t entirely sure whether It’s Still Only Thursday would ever return. As I said, since 2015 I have changed personally.
I am still, as I have been since my mid teens, a militant Ulster Loyalist. I maintain the position that Ulster, in it’s modern six county form, constitutes an ethnic nation with an inalienable right to self-determination, and furthermore, that the Ulster-Scots people, like every other national community, have an inalienable right to defend themselves in the face of violence, aggression and attempted genocide. I make no apology for my political persuasion. I am not, nor have I ever been, a “loyal to the crown” Loyalist. My loyalty lies with my people, my ethnic cohort, I offer no loyalty whatsoever to the institution of the monarchy (an institution I am at best ambiguous about) and no loyalty to the UK state, or any organ thereof. To quote the old Ulster folk song, ‘the Armagh Brigade’, “Ulster is my heritage and Ulster is my cause”. The overwhelming majority of people here wish to maintain the Union, therefore, although I am personally agnostic about the benefits of continuing that Union (Loyalist not Unionist) I am obliged to accept that most Loyalists, and many others besides, see the continuation of the Union as being beneficial for this country (whatever non-Loyalists wish to call it). My politics remain unaffected by the passage of time, although it would be disingenuous of me to pretend that I, as a human being, have remained untouched by the relentless march of years.

I would now describe myself as being very much in “post conflict” mode. I have, to wax lyrical, been overtaken by normalcy. The world I once knew; a world of conflict, violence and intercommunal tension, has long disappeared. So-called “legacy” issues notwithstanding, the Northern Ireland of 2018 has settled so firmly into relative normality as to be almost boring. That can only be a good thing. For me at least, politics has faded into the background. Whilst continuing to engage in community activity (or is that “activism”?), I have firmly relegated politics to the backburner, which is why I was unsure whether or not to resurrect this blog.

Had it not been for the surprising popularity of this blog, and no one was more surprised by it’s popularity than me, I honestly don’t think I would have returned to it. However, because it was/is far more popular than I could ever have imagined, and because of the almost universally positive feedback I received, I decided that I couldn’t just let it die, or rather, allow it to become a sort of cyber ghost, forever floating in the internet ether, untended, ignored and more or less forgotten. For some reason, some people (and in some very unusual places) found this blog informative, entertaining, or otherwise enlightening. I therefore felt I had something of an obligation to return to blogging, although to be frank it is an unenthusiastic return. A blog, like a small child, requires a lot of attention, although fortunately it requires only a modest investment of energy. I could put that energy into some other endeavour, but I’m here now so I might as well get on with it!

It’s Still Only Thursday might not be exactly as it once was. I will be covering issues beyond the usual fray of Ulster politics; futurism, the environment, economics etc., although I will still return to the politics and history of Northern Ireland regularly. I have written a fair bit about such things already but, as is so often the case in this troubled little corner of Europe, there is always much more to say. Unfortunately, the historical revisionism of the Irish republican propaganda machine shows no sign of abating, therefore I will no doubt feel obliged to address some of their more outrageous fabrications, however I intend, as always, to focus on being pro-Loyalist as opposed to being merely anti-republican. Hopefully my old readership will continue to read and enjoy It’s Still Only Thursday, and hopefully we will pick up a few new readers too. I can’t say that I’m enjoying writing again, yet, but we’ll see. I have a sneaking suspicion that I might. Soon.

Your Offence Offends Me

Institutionalised Offence

It seems that there is an element within Irish nationalism that is offended by everything the Loyalist/Unionist community does. They’re offended by parades, offended by bonfires, offended by certain historical facts, offended by the names of a small number of bands, offended by the sight of Orange men walking to Church, offended by flags, offended by red-white-and-blue bunting, offended by almost everything.

Where did all this ill-feeling come from? Why all the intolerance? Well, let me start by saying that yes; there are some things that Loyalists and Unionists’ could do differently. Stop burning tricolours and Roman Catholic paraphernalia on 11th night bonfires? Yeah, I’d be open to that. Indeed, I would encourage it. Voluntarily rerouting a small number of so-called ‘contentious’ parades? Yes, I would support that too, but there has to be give and take on both sides.

PIRA/SF must take responsibility for their actions. It is the Provisional republican movement that has whipped the nationalist/republican community into a frenzy. It is PIRA/SF that carefully created yet another flashpoint at Carrick Hill. It is PIRA/SF that is insisting that their constituency has the god-given right to go through life without ever being upset or offended by anything or anyone. The Provos have institutionalised offence. Made it into something that it’s not. Causing offence is not a crime. It is certainly not a ‘hate crime ‘.

Change Comes From Within

No amount of lecturing, of haranguing, of carping, of constant hysterics will force Unionists/Loyalists to suddenly drop centuries old tradition and heritage. Loyalist youth will not be bribed, nor bullied, into drastic changes to their annual bonfires. The OO will not just decide to disband, however much republicans want them to. Change will only come from within. It can’t be dictated, it can’t be forced.

The really unfortunate thing is that the more Irish nationalists stamp their feet and cry about being “offended”, the more Loyalists will simply dig their heels in. Indeed, as has been seen in some areas already, a generation of angry young Loyalists, sick of constant and over-the-top criticism, will actually go out of their way to offend nationalists and republicans. Sticking two fingers up to the world and deciding to carry on regardless.

If Irish nationalists were not so easily offended, if they were not seemingly bent on a campaign of cultural genocide, then a real dialogue could be opened up to address the genuine concerns of both sides of the community. For example; If nationalists are serious about being offended/intimidated by a small number of bands being named after Loyalist activists, then perhaps the nationalist/republican community could take onboard the U/L community’s concerns about the naming of GAA clubs, competitions and grounds after dead PIRA and INLA killers.

Like most other things in Northern Ireland, such things must be balanced and both sides must be treated with equal respect. But respect for U/L traditions and heritage is in very short supply among nationalists and republicans. Compromise is not in their vocabulary. I doubt if even half of these so-called “concerns” are genuine. It is cultural warfare. Not genuine concern. And as per usual, the more PIRA/SF and their fellow travellers kick and scream, the more stubborn and intransigent Loyalism will become. Community cohesion will be sacrificed for petty political gain. Once again, the whole of Ulster society will be caused to suffer for the sake of Irish nationalisms twisted games.