The unionist hissy fit over Alex Maskey saying he would protect his home by throwing stones at attackers and their response to the flag protests speak volumes about the hypocrisy at the core of their world view.
Let’s take Nigel Dodds firstly, speaking on BBC’s The View.
After saying that the Union was safe, the North Belfast MLA went on to claim: “It’s clear that Sinn Fein, through some of some of its tactics, has decided to wage some kind of cultural war, it seems to be, in terms of some of the symbolism and some of the issues that are dear to unionists hearts and in that way have stirred up some sort of hornet’s nest.”
Nigel is obviously unaware that the cultural war in Ireland began with the Normans and continued by various kings (and Elizabeth I) for centuries in England’s political and cultural conquest and colonisation of Ireland. But I digress.)
A hornet’s nest, according to the first internet definition I looked up is “a violent situation or one with a lot of dispute,” so what Nigel appears to be saying is that if nationalists press for equal expression of their Irishness, it will be met with violence.
Hornets are only doing what their nature dictates while those throwing petrol bombs. blocking roads, threatening people – even serving British soldiers – are just following the call of their political DNA faced with change they don’t like. Yesterday’s News Letter told us that: “Since the first Home Rule Bill of 1886, unionism has been drilling and arming itself” for the purpose of, as it states in the Ulster Covenant, “using all means which may be found necessary to defeat the present conspiracy to set up a Home Rule Parliament in Ireland.”
The author, Quincey Dougan, says of the UVF, “the people’s militia” that it “provided unity in purpose and approach, leadership and an outlet for frustration and anger.” Ring any bells?
Last year saw the centenary of the Covenant and the most respectable Unionist breast puff out with pride at their defiance if their own British government.
At least Quincey, unlike most other unionists, mentions the violent intent behind the anti-Home Rule movement should they not get their way.
24,600 rifles and 5 million rounds of ammunition were brought into Larne by Fred Crawford and Wilfrid Spender to further their treachery and to defy one of the most important symbols of Britishness, its Parliament. Unionists can attack the symbols of Britishness, but nationalists can’t, it seems.
Now let’s listen to Sammy Wilson speaking in Stormont.
Sammy blamed Sinn Féin and the Alliance Party for the violence that has been plaguing the north since before Christmas. What he said was illuminating.
Pointing the finger at those on the other side of the House, he asked: “Did they not know what the reaction was likely to be across the community?”
“There has been a grave responsibility on those who provoked this situation,” he went on.
Perhaps Sammy didn’t notice, but by and large, people “across the community” have got along with their business wherever possible.
Given that what Wilson possibly meant by “across the community” was “amongst loyalist paramilitaries” this can only be seen as a threat.
I’m not suggesting for a moment that Sammy or Doddsy are advocating violence, they are just saying if you do anything we unionists don’t like, the bogey men will come and get ye.
If you take a decision that some hardline unionists disagree with, there will be violence and it won’t be the fault of the petrol bombers or the rioters or anyone else, it will be on “those who provoked this situation,” so the DUP is speaking out of both sides of its mouth, feebly condemning the rioters but saying it’s not really their fault. It’s the fault of those who “provoked the situation.”
Again, there is the threat inherent in this that if you do anything to displease unionists, there will be trouble.
In blaming Sinn Féin, the SDLP and Alliance for the sickening and continuing violence because, Unionists opposing what they see as a diminution of their Britishness in the only way they know. On this occasion, however, Pavlov’s dog is barking up the wrong tree.