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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.

Shinner-Bots: Stirring the pot in the name of Sinn Fein

 

What PIRA/SF don’t want you to know!

If you scroll through the comments section of many Northern Ireland news websites you’ll begin to notice something a bit odd. For every comment from a Unionist/Loyalist or political neutral, there will be at least twice as many from Irish nationalists/republicans. You can’t miss them. The condescending, self righteous tone. The smug sense of superiority. The hollow, disingenuous “humour”. These are their trademarks. But why are there so many Irish nationalist “cyber activists”? Where do they all come from?

The answer is very simple and thankfully many people are starting to catch on – PIRA/SF have many, many “volunteers” prepared to give up their time and energy to troll the internet, all singing from the same hymn sheet, all using the same verbose language, all seemingly sharing the same warped sense of humour. And the Provisional republican movement aren’t the only ones!

Not Nearly as Anonymous as They Think

There are other groups of anti-Loyalist bigots who engage in this sort of behavior. One such “collective” (who describe themselves as “satirists”) have well over 200 twitter accounts, 100+ Facebook accounts and dozens of other accounts on other social media platforms. These individuals, and in particular the three masterminds of this particular group, are under the illusion that they are totally anonymous, sadly for them, they couldn’t be more wrong!

Perhaps they believe their own toxic narrative, that all Loyalists are “stupid”, perhaps they themselves are the stupid ones. Either way, they are labouring under a false assumption. They would also do well to remember that what is posted online has a tendency to linger, remaining in the public domain, long after certain groups and “collectives” have dissolved into history. Nobody is ever really completely anonymous online and publicly “outing” people is a double edged sword!

Show Me The Money!

Not all of these pathetic trolls are “volunteers”. PIRA/SF have many paid activists. Extraordinary as it may seem, some of those activists are actually paid to troll the internet, leaving nasty barbed comments on anything remotely related to Loyalism/Unionism. Such is the desperation of a politically and militarily defeated movement.

It is laughable. These desperate, bitter, angry people are as far away from their political goals now as they were 30 years ago and so, rather than come up with some new, innovative approach, they resort to childlike, almost tragically comic tactics. Setting up bogus FB pages twitter “sock-puppet” accounts and fake email address after fake email address.

My advice to Loyalists: Don’t become embroiled in pointless online discussions with these “cybernats”. Ignore them or simply respond by calling them out as proxy accounts. Report any and all content on their FB pages or twitter accounts, whether or not it breaches those sites ‘ rules. Keep calm and let them rant away. They are the dregs of Ulster society, and deep down they know it.

How Far They’ve Come

I welcome the election of Mitchell McLaughlin as Stormont speaker. No doubt that some extremely misguided Irish nationalists will see it as some kind of triumph, but to anyone with a brain in their heads this is yet another sign that PIRA/SF have abandoned all pretensions of being a truly republican movement.

Not only are they happy to help govern NI as an integral part of the UK, they are quite content to become a part of the very system of government. Would the thugs who murdered former Stormont speaker, Sir Norman Stronge, approve of their political wing sitting in a “partitionist” assembly, let alone a so-called republican becoming speaker of that institution? I don’t think so. How far these fascists have come in such a relatively short time.

McLaughlin’s elevation to the position of speaker is no victory for Irish nationalism, it is yet another defeat, indeed it is a humiliation, dressed up as another blow to the Union. Loyalists would do well to remember that and refuse to allow themselves to be goaded by those who live in a fantasy world where everything is interpreted as a triumph for nationalism and republicanism. Remember, PIRA/Sinn Fein vowed for years to “Smash Stormont” now they are part of the Stormont establishment . Does that not seem like a defeat to you?

Anti-social Media

I was going to write about why I deactivated my twitter account (and the parody account I started) but a couple of childish trolls with ten or twelve equally childish troll accounts are not worth writing about. Besides which, the main reason I am no longer on twitter is due to a simple matter of time. I have had to deal with a good many trolls in my time, so I thought it would be better to examine why Irish nationalists resort to such pathetic activity.

Irish nationalists don’t do dissent. They can’t handle it. Their simplistic ideology is just too fragile. They close their ears and hope it will just go away. Tweet anything pro Unionist, Loyalist or even remotely pro British and wait for the inevitable replies from outraged nationalists/republicans. Most will, of course, express their smug sense of superiority. Some will deny their political inclinations, some will even try to tell you that they are in fact Loyalists. But their underlying Fascist tendencies will shine through.

In their feeble little minds Irish nationalism is beyond criticism. Indeed, many nationalists seem to believe that only Irish nationalism has the right to any kind of outward expression. Loyalism and Unionism should be “seen but not heard”. Sadly for them though, there are those of us who will never be silenced. Twitter is a limited medium, facebook is even more limited. I (for example) can reach a much wider audience with this blog than with any social media account. I can also do a lot more damage to Irish nationalism/republicanism. The best part is that this blog is virtually impossible to troll (my ‘fans’ are more than welcome to try though lol).

So, social media is out, blogging is in, at least when I get the time. You might want to stick around, my little blog is about to get even more interesting! 2015 is going to be an uncomfortable year for certain people, and I can’t wait to get started.

Normal Service Will Return Soon (Hopefully)

Due to family commitments/unforeseen circumstances, there will be no new blog posts for a few weeks. It’s Still Only Thursday will return in due course. This wee blog has been hugely successful, far beyond my modest expectations for it. In my opinion far more ordinary, working class Loyalists and Unionists need to start blogs. The truth needs to be told. Irish nationalist propaganda must be challenged. I intend to keep doing just that, though for a short while, you my dear readers, will have to be patient,.

Interview With an ex-Soldier

Introduction:

I decided a while back to conduct a series of interviews with a number of former combatants and others, including victims of the violence, political activists and ordinary NI residents, all of whom, like myself, lived through the Conflict, or at least the majority of it. I underestimated the difficulty of the undertaking. Most of my close friends fall into one or more of the aforementioned categories, however, Ulster folk are well known for being ‘tight lipped‘, and, for a number of reasons, I did not want to interview people I am personally close to. Therefore I sought out others who I felt had a worthwhile perspective and a personal story to tell. Making contact with, and introducing myself to, such persons wasn’t the hard part. The hard part was earning their trust, getting them to open up, and talk openly about their experiences. It is an ongoing process (and if you feel you would like to be interviewed please don’t hesitate to get in touch, via this blog or my twitter account), but a process I feel is more than worth the time and effort.

This first interview was conducted last week via Skype, (with everything recorded on an old fashioned dictaphone because I can’t type very fast!). I tried to ask pertinent questions, honest questions, and believe that I got honest and candid answers in return. The interviewee is a former soldier who served two tours in Northern Ireland, first in 1990/91, then in 1994/95. He is a native of Merseyside and a family man with three children. Due to security concerns, both his and my own, I will not reveal the regiment he served in, his name or a few other small details. To some, this may seem somewhat paranoid, but anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of Irish republican death threats etc, will understand the need to exercise caution, especially online. For the sake of this interview I will refer to the interviewee as ‘BH’. Questions are in italics, answers in bold. I hope you find it insightful and worth a read. 

First let me say thankyou for agreeing to this interview . Did you have any reservations about talking about your time in Ulster? BH: No, not really. It was a while ago but it’s still pretty clear in my head. To be honest I don’t really think about that part of my life too much. Thankfully I wasn’t involved in anything too bad. 

What were your first impressions of Northern Ireland? BH: Well my very first thought was how nice the place was. The countryside I mean. The scenery and stuff. When I was first over there I couldn’t really get my head round it, er, you know the reasons for all the trouble…all the killing. I suppose, like a lot of other lads I just thought it was all about Proddys against Catholics, you know, just like a religious thing. But I caught on quick that, er…that there was a lot more to it. I mean, the IRA and UVF boys weren’t exactly going to church every Sunday or saying their prayers every night, you know? I, er…still don’t know everything about the politics of it all, but I know much more than I did when I was a 22 year old kid coming to Ulster for the first time.

Did you feel like the Army shouldn’t of been here? Did you have an opinion? BH: No. I mean I felt like it was important for us to be there. What would have happened if the Army hadn’t of been brought in? In the early days, er, at the very start, in 1969 or whenever it was…the Orange side might have wiped out the Catholics. I mean, pushed them out. Forced them out. Then later on the IRA were just killing and blowing up pubs and stuff, er…just sort of leaving like a trail of blood all over the country, so, you know, they had to be stopped…they had to be prevented from just killing at will. I think a lot of the boys felt like that.

Did you ever come under fire during your time here? BH: Yeah, once. Thankfully that was the only time. We, ah, I think we were in County Fermanagh. Out in the middle of nowhere anyhow, just sheep and fields. We were very near to the border…if I remember right. There were two or three IRA behind a hedge…in this sort of, er, farmyard I suppose you’d call it. Full of old cars and tractors and stuff. They had a machine gun and opened fire on us but they hit nothing, we were up the hill from them, er, we must have been a fair distance away and it was really stormy. They couldn’t have hit a barn door. Lucky for us I suppose. They fired off a few rounds just, like…er, 12 or 15 rounds. They just left the weapon when we came down the hill. It took us a while, you know, to edge our way round, but er…they were just gone. I remember us talking and saying that they would probably get shot for just leaving the weapon there. 

What was your honest opinion of the republican groups, the Provos and the INLA etc? BH: Well, really I always thought of them, the IRA like, as being hypocrites, you know? They said they were fighting a war, that’s what they called it, a war, but they thought that nobody should shoot back at them. I mean, what the f**k? You’re supposed to be fighting this war but you’re the only ones allowed to fire? All this ‘Shoot to Kill’ s***e and that…all these, inquiries and everything, what’s it all for? If they were at war then fair’s fair, I mean, in a war you’re going to get shot at, you’re going to lose a few boys. Even the like of the Taliban and them lot, they er…they don’t even come out with this sort of s***e, you know? 

And what did you think of the Loyalist groups, the UFF and UVF? Well, you know, I…I wouldn’t say what they did was right. They killed a lot of…er, innocent people, people just going about round town or whatever, but, er…sometimes I have to say we were relieved when they got one of the real bad guys. One of the real players…you know? I remember there was this bastard in…ah, I don’t honestly know where this was but it was out in the country somewhere…and the Prods killed this f****r, this IRA guy, and after that there were no IRA attacks for, ah…about four months after he was killed in that area. I think the ordinary soldier felt, well, happy I suppose, yeah…happy. This bastard was out of the way, and he was one of their top boys, you know? I think the RUC and UDR lads were even more happy about it. The Loyalists should have concentrated on getting the top boys in the IRA. They could do it when they wanted to. I remember one Sunday afternoon…they, the Prods I mean…they wiped out 3 or 4 IRA boys in one go, so er, they could do it…that’s what they should have done. Killing innocent people, civvies I suppose you’d say…that was wrong, nobody should have been doing that. 

When you were in Northern Ireland did you feel under constant threat, did you feel like you could have been ‘hit’ anywhere? Er…no actually. There were places, even in Fermanagh and Tyrone that were…I suppose you’d call them ‘safe places’, you know? They were either Proddy towns or else just…sort of, quiet little places. The last time I was over there I…spent a lot of time round about Newtownards and that. Round that way we [soldiers] felt we were alright. We were, sort of, safe I suppose. I loved it round there. It was so nice…sort of more relaxed than a lot of places. More laid back than most places in England anyway!

So you do have some happy memories of your time here? [Laughs] Yeah. Yeah definitely. I had some good nights over there. Second time round, er…the IRA had called the ceasefire, the Loyalists were about to, we all knew that’s the way it would be, you know? Everybody knew. So things were sort of quiet. A lot of the time anyway. That wasn’t always a good thing but. When it was like that, they, the NCOs and that would find us something to do…usually something crap. But yeah, yeah I had some good laughs and stuff. It wasn’t all dodging bullets and that, er…a lot of the time things were, sort of like, just killing time and stuff.

Were you surprised when the Provos and then the CLMC called ceasefires? Well…like I say, er, the Loyalist ceasefire wasn’t so much a surprise. Actually the first time I was over there the Loyalists had had a ceasefire for a couple of months. What was the IRA going to do, just keep killing and bombing forever? They…they had to stop sometime, they were getting nowhere fast. A lot of the lads didn’t think it would last. They thought the IRA were just, sort of giving themselves a breather or whatever, but I thought…I suppose I thought it would probably last, I don’t know, I just sort of thought that they’d have to pack it in at some point. Then the Prods had to stop, you know? They said they were…defending themselves against the IRA, so…when they stopped, the Proddys had to stop, sooner or later.

Could the Army have wiped out the Provisional IRA, had the government taking the gloves off? I dunno. Really I just don’t know. If…ah, the IRA had come out and fought we…we would’ve wiped them out. In a stand up fight I mean. But they knew that…they weren’t stupid, you know what I mean? They knew that…that’s why with them it was always, sort of hit and run style. I think the S.A.S maybe could’ve gone into all their…sort of, strongholds and stuff. Wiped them out like that, but…er…would there have been other lads coming up to start it up again? Maybe not like, but…it’s hard to say. Probably we could have, yeah. I just don’t know.

What was your opinion of the PM’s apology for ‘Bloody Sunday’? Well…er…I think probably he needed to say it. In one way I agreed with it. But the, er, the IRA have never apologised for their, er…the stuff they done. At the end of the day if them people, the ones that got shot…if ah…if they hadn’t have been on an illegal march and…er, throwing stones and that, they would have been safe, you know? But…I think it was probably for the best, the apology I mean. If it helps people over there to move forward, but like I say…part of me was a bit f****d off by it I suppose.

Do you think Irish nationalists will ever achieve their aim of an all island republic? Er…no. To be perfectly honest I don’t…no. The thing is, er…when it comes down to it, how many of them really, really want it? A united Ireland I mean. It’s like, they say, ‘oh we’re Irish, we’re Irish, we want nothing to do with the Brits’ but…ah…you know, look at how they live. I suppose I mean, er, look at their life, how is it any different to somebody over here [Mainland UK]? They go out for a drink and that on a Saturday night, they come home, they go to work, their wives or girlfriends or whatever watch Coronation Street and X-Factor and that. Most republicans support an English football team [laughs]. If they had to vote tomorrow…if they had to actually do it, how many would, er…actually bite the bullet and vote themselves out? I can’t see things changing over there. Not for a really long time anyway, you know?

If you could turn the clock back, would you still join the Army? Oh yeah, yeah. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I…ah…made something of myself, you know? I went into the Army a boy and I came out of it a man. I’m glad I joined up, it’s something…er, at the time I was scared, you know? Like when I first joined up. Not scared of getting killed or that, it was just sort of…fear of failure I suppose. Fear of not being up to it. Not being able to do what I was told to do, but I was fine in the end. It turned out well, I’m glad I joined up, f**k knows what would’ve happened if I hadn’t joined the Army.

Thankyou for your time BH, and thankyou for your honesty. It’s been interesting listening to you. I hope people read this interview and get a wee bit of insight into what life was like for soldiers serving in NI. No problem. It’s been a pleasure mate. Good luck with the other interviews.

My sincere thanks to ‘BH’ for his time and co-operation. More interviews will follow over the next few months.

 

 

July 18, 1914

WWI News Blog

SEEKS TO PLACATE ULSTER.; Asquith Negotiating with Unionist Leader and Carson.

LONDON, Saturday, July 18. – The Government is making strong efforts to reach a settlement in the Ulster problem.

Two Cabinet councils were held yesterday and Premier Asquith had an audience with the King, and was in communication with Andrew Bonar Law, the Unionist leader, and Sir Edward Carson. In fact, the whole day was occupied in conferences between the various party leaders, but without definite results.

CHOPS A MILLAIS PICTURE.; Militant, Caught in National Gallery, Damages Portrait of Carlyle.

LONDON, July 17. — A militant suffragette today slashed with a butcher’s cleaver the portrait of Thomas Carlyle, the Scottish historian, painted by Sir John Millais and hanging in the National Portrait Gallery. The woman was arrested after a severe struggle with the attendants, and at the police station gave her name as Anne Hunt.

OLD LASSEN KEEPS AT…

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BBC’s Simpson admires Hamas engineering ‘feat’ and ignores its intended victims

BBC ignoring the victims of terrorism

BBC Watch

A filmed report for BBC television news from July 21st – supposedly one of the BBC’s never abundant but now increasingly rare ‘Israeli point of view’ pieces – was presented by John Simpson and it appears on the BBC News website’s Middle East page under the title “Clashes go on as Israel holds funerals for the dead“. Simpson, we are told in the synopsis, “sent this report from Sderot on Israel’s border with Gaza”.Simpson Sderot 21 7

Kibbutz Nir Am – which was the target of the attempted terrorist infiltration addressed at the beginning of Simpson’s report –  is within easy walking distance of Sderot but nevertheless, Simpson apparently saw nothing newsworthy in going to talk to any of the people there who have been living under the terror of missiles for well over a decade and who now face the new threat of underground terrorist infiltrations – literally in…

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THE TRUTH ABOUT ‘PARTITION’

WHY NOBODY CALLS FOR A ‘UNITED HISPANIOLA’

Partition is not unique to this island (Ireland, a term I use only geographically), throughout history many regions/islands & landmasses have been ‘partitioned’. Borneo, Cyprus, St Martins, Hispaniola, the Indian subcontinent etc. Yet if, as Irish republicans claim, partition is a natural injustice, an artificial imposition on the ‘sacred soil’ of a historic nation, why do the peoples of these other partitioned lands not campaign for the ‘reunification’? Why, for example, do the people of Haiti & the Dominican Republic not call for a united Hispaniola? Quite simply, it is because the people of those other partitioned lands recognise political realities & realise that it is simply not feasible (or morally defensible) for them to lay claim to the entirety of the landmass on which they live.

Irish republicans supported partition of the island of Timor but oppose it at home

Irish republicans supported partition of the     island of Timor but oppose it at home

That Irish nationalists (or expansionists?) do make such territorial claims, says much about their mindset. Irish nationalists/republicans aspired (originally) to devolution within the UK, then to quasi-independence within the British Empire, once that was achieved they moved the goalposts yet again, reneging on previous agreements, to lay claim to the entire landmass of this island. Yes, Irish nationalists have always considered (rather childishly) that an island equals a nation & yes, they have historically laid claim to Ulster, however, in 1921, the leadership of the nascent Irish Free State were content to abandon those claims & gave de facto recognition to Northern Ireland, concerning themselves only with the demarcation of the border between the two new polities. That recognition was eventually withdrawn & the old national chauvinism re-emerged. Some republicans will no doubt claim that the Irish Civil War was fought over the very issue of partition, in reality though, the Irish Civil War was more about the issues of Republic vs Dominion status, the oath of allegiance & the fact that King George V would remain head of state in the new Irish Free State.

NOT PARTITION, JUST SECESSION

The arrangement now retrospectively referred to as ‘partition’, was not so much a partition as a secession. The predominantly Unionist people of Ulster had wanted to remain within the same constitutional framework in which they had lived & worked for over a century. Within that constitution they had lived with the Irish as they had lived with the English, Scots & Welsh. They were prepared to go on doing so. Ulster had never been, in any meaningful modern sense, politically unified with Southern Ireland, except under British rule. The symbols & definitions of the new Southern Irish republican nationalism were quite alien to it & positively excluded it. The Articles of Agreement, which enabled the Free State’s establishment, had left it up to the Parliament of Northern Ireland to accept the same relationship to Eire has it had under the 1920 Act to the UK government, or alternatively to vote itself out of any such arrangement & continue as part of the United Kingdom. The latter option was promptly chosen. The new Irish Free State had seceded from the UK, Ulster chose not to. A parallel can be drawn with the Confederate States of America, which during the American Civil War laid claim to the border states of West Virginia, Kentucky & Maryland. The CSA claimed these states were part of their ‘natural territory’, the fact however, is that those border states had not gone down the road of secession & had exercised their right to self determination, choosing to remain within the Union. Had the CSA somehow survived, would people now refer to an American ‘partition’? Somehow I doubt it. The simple truth of the matter is, Southern Ireland chose to (partially) secede from the United Kingdom. Ulster did not. 

TWO NATIONS, NOT ONE

To assert that Northern Ireland is an artificial construct, without precedent or historical antecedence, is to ignore historical fact, cultural reality & ethnic difference. Northern Ireland is the successor to the ancient nation of Ulster. Indeed one could say that NI is the contemporary expression of something far more subtle. That Ulster is a separate nation has been noted throughout history by many observers. Nassau Senior had perceived two nations on this island, remarking on the difference felt when passing from one into the other. Lord Macaulay had opined in the 1860s that Ulster ought to be recognised & treated differently from the rest of the island. Even the dishonourable Ted Heath is quoted as saying that: “There is no historical or logical justification for saying that it [Ireland] must be one country. You might as well say that Spain should absorb Portugal”. Another former PM, Lloyd George, said on the 31st of March, 1920, that “Ulster is a not a minority to be safeguarded. Ulster is an entity to be dealt with. It is a separate & different country”. In the same year, Chief Secretary of Ireland, Ian MacPherson, referred to: “A feeling that if what was described as ‘a fairly solid homogenous & loyal population in Ulster, alien in sympathy, alien in tradition, alien in religion’ desired to govern themselves in complete loyalty to the Crown in their own way, it would be an outrage, in the name of self-government, to use the Prime Minister’s word, to place them under the remainder of the population”. 

PIRA/Sinn Fein are incapable of tolerance & respect for other cultures

PIRA/Sinn Fein are incapable of tolerance & respect for other cultures

Irish nationalists argue that Ulster is a mere province of Ireland, no different to the rest of the island. This is, at best, wishful thinking. At worst it is the deliberate obfuscation of the facts. If there is no difference between the Irish of Dublin or Cork & the Ulstermen of Belfast or Armagh, then the word ‘different’ must mean something to Irish nationalists & republicans that it does not mean to the rest of the world. Of course, nationalists & republicans will never recognise Ulster’s separateness, for to do so would be to concede that there are two nations on this island, not one. Irish nationalism is incapable of embracing difference. It is a narrow & restrictive doctrine. One which discourages acceptance, or even tolerance, of anything which is not Irish, Gaelic & anti-British. The Irish/Gaelic nation achieved self government in 1921, Ulster chose not to become a part of that nation. That choice needs to be respected. Political & historical realities need to be recognised. If Irish nationalism/republicanism is incapable of facing up to reality, then Ulster Loyalists should perhaps re-examine the policy of recognising the aspiration of Northern Ireland’s destruction (as a political entity) as being a legitimate one. Put simply, if Sinn Fein, the SDLP et al cannot bring themselves to recognise NI as a separate state, perhaps Loyalism & Unionism should refuse to recognise Irish nationalism as anything other than a form of delusional megalomania. After all, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander!