1. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Orange Order Riots

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by erebh, Jul 16, 2013.

    Just wondering what you guys think of the continued riots across the North of Ireland.

    July 12th marked the anniversary Of the Protestant King Billy's victory (with a Dutch army) over the Catholic King James II (with an English/Irish army) in what's now known as the Republic of Ireland. This happened in 1690.

    Every year since, the protestant Orange Order of Northern Ireland have marched through Catholic enclaves with Union Flags banging Lambeg drums singing songs such as God Save The Queen and Fuck The Pope.

    The 11th of July is famous for bonfire building and these guys are pretty good at it http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2359557/Catholic-King-James-defeat-celebrated-huge-Tyre-mountains-Belfast.html

    The 12th is the day for marching and here lies the contention. In order to march down any street, the marchers must gain written permission from the authorities, 99% of the time the authorities say No, it's Catholic enclave and all you are doing is inciting a riot so march down a different street. Appeals are more or less fruitless but every year the marchers try to gain entry down the streets they have been prohibited from. Police and army mount road blocks and every year sure as night follows day there are weeks of riots between the orange order and the army/police. Cars and houses burned, catholic schools and churches also torched. Most of the Catholics by the way are out of town on holiday for the two week marching season. Orangemen exploded four bombs tonight and hundreds of petrol bombs with scores of police and army injured.

    I could cite lots of news sites for you references but could be accused of bias so please, if your news channel hasn't picked this up, please google July 12th Belfast.

    I am wondering, as we approach the 20th anniversary of the last IRA bomb, 15/16th for loyalist/orange bombs, how are the rest of world viewing Ireland now, if at all.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    With the Zimmerman trial and Snowden/NSA stuff going on, I haven't seen or heard about this at all until now. It looks like it's getting pretty violent. Bricks and Molotov cocktails are being thrown.

    A part of me thinks that this Northern Ireland conflict is never going to stop.
     
  3. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    BBC, which is as divorced from Zimmerman, and Snowden now old news, Belfast still only made the fifth story (30 seconds) on the main news.

    Not sure if they are hushing it up because it's 100% loyalist/Orange trouble or because no one gives a crap anymore.
     
  4. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Ugh... don't get me started!

    Forgive any typos.. I haven't been sleeping well and I'll probably not get a chance for several hours yet.

    I'm getting a bit fed up to say the least.

    I live in a 8th multi-storey block in North Belfast, in a Loyalist enclave.

    Last night, late on, I sat down to write. I was reaching a pivotal scene, and I'd lined up several vids with the intention of stimulating my articulation when I noticed a thick cloud drifting past and in through my window, followed by the unmistakeable, acrid aroma of of petrol and tyre smoke. As you might imagine, even the suggestion of a fire in a high-rise is a very scary thing. I jumped up and closed my window. My flat-mate had just been released from hospital still coming down off morphine, and was already fast asleep, so I snuck into his room to check his was closed too. It's not healthy to breath that stuff in. I'm all too familiar with the drill.

    By the time I returned, I could see that a group of masked men had climbed over the new security fence and were making off with 8 filled dumpsters. I threw on some clothes and went down to the lobby to make sure the caretaker had called the cops already, but he was nowhere to be found.

    On re-entering my room, I heard a chopper overhead and went back into the main hallway to see what was happening out front. Six land rovers and a compliment of police in full riot gear were strategically placed between the front boundary fence and the nearby junction. A mob had set a car on fire and pulled the flaming dumpsters in to the middle of the road, to use a a barricade. The cops hands were tied as it was going to take the fire brigade's arrival to attempt to remove them. I can only assume the water cannon were needed elsewhere. By this time, my room had heated up like an oven, and I stripped down and proceeded to try and get my head back into writing mode, but just as I started to type, the chopper did a fly-by, shining the searchlight right in. That was the first time... by the third pass, I stood up and did a rather unladylike, obscene hand gesture. I generally have no need for curtains being so high up. I'm hardly part of the rioting mob, so you'd think they'd have better things to do with their resources than troll a half naked, middle-aged woman in the middle of the night.

    Even as I type this, a chopper is in search mode proper, most likely helping the cops chase down any stragglers intent on causing trouble again tonight. The noise is deafening and it's nearly 2.30 in the morning.

    I was almost proud of the dignified way the locals appeared to go about celebrating the 12th this year, even going to the local 11th night bonfire to take some snaps. (I have a bit of an obsession with taking photographs of fire and water.) It was something I'd never ordinarily consider doing.

    I will however dispute some of what Erebh says. I don't need to lift a newspaper or scan the net, I can see what's going on with my own two eyes.
    I hope you'll forgive me for saying so but this inaccurate. The Orange Order, since the backlash against the Drumcree protests, have lost a lot of support. In many the eyes of many Protestants they have became figures of ridicule, and they have made a concerted effort to distance themselves from acts of violence. Yes, they still adhere to the belief that they have, "The right to walk the Queen's Highway" but even at the Ardoyne shopfronts, on the evening of 12th, men in Orange sashes were seen to try and calm the crowds, even alongside members of Sinn Fein. Bad publicity is the last thing they need. I'd also like to state, for the record, that I was brought up in an atheist household and have no religious or political affiliations. I like to think of myself as an impartial observer.

    What the Orange Order needs to understand is that their actions don't end with them. They throw down the gauntlet and it's picked up by those with a blinkered mob mentality. These people aren't true members of the Order, they are thugs—nothing more, nothing less. I believe that the marching issue is a difficult one, because the Order are in a position where there is no way to save face. The simple solution all round would be to simply not go where they are not wanted, but their tradition precludes this.

    So they didn't let you parade past a neighbourhood that doesn't share your political viewpoint? You think they impinge on your rights? Boo, Hoo!—Dry yer eyes! What about my rights, what about the rights of the majority of the population who have suffered enough and want these attention-seeking activities to end? I can't speak for the other "side" but something tells me that behind the sensationalist headlines concerning dissident groups and breakaway factions, lies a community that is just as aggravated by it all.

    If I'm sounding annoyed it's because I am.

    ps. To the OP: You might not be aware of this, but a large percentage of the Protestant population make a point of escaping the country during 12th fortnight as well. It's been something of a tradition since the advent of package holidays during the '70s. These days, the biggest worry decent people have are the lowlifes from their own communities. Sad, but true.
     
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  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The mainstream news here sucks, big time. But at least if Democracy Now doesn't report on it, HuffPo and AlJazeera will:

    Belfast Riots: Molotov Cocktails, Bricks Thrown In 3rd Night Of Northern Ireland Violence
    [note: I don't know where the audio is coming from on that site. I just muted it. If someone else can find the source, let me know. Thanks.]

    Dozens wounded in Belfast Orange Day riots

    Hooray for the actual liberal media. I'm going to predict Democracy Now will have a piece on it by week's end.
     
  6. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's always bugged me, what exactly are you celebrating? The victory of a Protestant King over a catholic King 323 years ago? And why do the marchers have to make a point of trying to dance through catholic areas singing fuck the pope? Is it really about the queen's highway? Are they still giving out medals for Gervaghy?

    By week's end says it all Ginge - no one gives a shit about Ireland anymore. Well not the news agencies anyway.
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    So HuffPo and AlJazeera equate to "no one"?

    Try again. The mainstream media that produces a news commodity and does not produce informative news did not cover this important story. And for bringing it to more people's attention, I salute you. But stop equating the conservative half of this country with the whole country. In cased you missed it, the rest of us (the 47% to sometimes >50%) live here too.
     
  8. Michael O
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    Michael O Contributing Member

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    Erebh...Calm...I want to tell you something.

    I have not watched, listened nor paid attention to "news" for years. In fact I have made an effort to avoid TV, radio and paper. What do you think has changed in my hiatus? Strife turmoil, war, it's always there. What good comes to my life by being informed of events I can not change nor offer nothing constructive other than to form an opinion? Can I even consider an opinion constructive? I think not so I fish. Nothing like the natural world void of freak-a-zoids and all that follows them.

    Caught about 30 shell crackers today, one was ~ 3 pounds, an 8 minute fight on light-tackle, state record is ~5. A beautiful fish in the Sun Fish Family, proper name is a Red Ear Sun Fish because its gill covers are bright red. Their common name is earned because their jaws are strong enough to crunch through the shells of mussels.

    Game wardens came by with a grey fox. They netted him on a stump. No doubt the little fellow was caught by the current and they saved him. Said he didn't even resist the net, just laid calm and they carried him to shore.

    Saw a momma crow come hopping out of the bushes down to the shore and two smaller ones chased her screaming for something. We could actually see her "little-shits" driving her crazy. Never seen juvenile crows before, biologists are beginning to recognize their intelligence. Up there with dolphins, maybe smarter. Wasn't long before dad flew in and everything changed. The big guy gave a verbal ass-wupping to his little ones. You could see the body posture change, they were busted. He told them to get their asses back to the trees. So cool, so funny.

    The first thing Game Wardens always say to me if boys are with me, "Thanks for bringing the boys out to fish." Lot of open spaces here in the States. Looking forward to hearing about your "neck of the woods" when you get here.

    “If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.”
    -Doug Larson, Columnist
     
  9. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Well, if it's one thing liberals are good at, it's lying.

    40% of Americans describe their views as conservative, compared to only 21% as liberal.

    Also, the biggest portion of independents (that other 39%) describe their views as moderate, while significantly more identify as conservative than as liberal, 35% vs. 20%.

    Man I'm glad I'm on this forum because it gets pretty deep in here sometimes. Glad I brought my waders.

    Oh, somethings going on in Ireland? Weird, Rush Limbaugh usually keeps me pretty up-to-date on most things newsworthy.
     
  10. Kita
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    Kita Senior Member

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    I was brought up in a protestant home but have since converted to Asatru so I consider myself outside the conflict. I'm not meaning to bash you here Erebh but it seems you are a little biased here. Both sides cause trouble. For example, a group from the Catholic community in Lurgan threatened to petrol bomb any Sainsburys lorry that passed through purely because of their orange trailer and logo.

    Personally I believe this is a conflict that has gone on far too long and it is really the minority of the population that keeps it going while the rest of us just want it over and done with.
     
  11. chicagoliz
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  12. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Me personally? Nothing. I'm far more interested in where I am going, than where my ancestors have been, or what they believed in. My mind is my own. I'm sure there are people here would be aghast to hear me to say it, but it's true. Any pride I felt, and really I hesitate to use the word pride, came from the realisation that rather than turning into some pseudo-paramilitary show of strength, (Hey look at me , I've got a gun!) the 11th night this year where I live was calm and peaceful. For a moment I let myself believe that the elements I take such exception to had finally been reined in.

    Again, I can't answer that. To me religious belief, or lack thereof, is an extremely personal thing. It disgusts me that this occurs. No one has the right to ridicule anothers beliefs in this way. Many of the people shouting this kind of abuse, will cite the corruptions of the Holy Mother Church from years gone by, but that's a crock. Much like the mob mentality I spoke of earlier, these people don't value personal freedoms and yet they would be the first to proclaim that their freedom is being thwarted. They are completely blind to their own hypocrisy.

    There are people here that cling to their history like a drowning man to a plank to of wood, but beyond that, I just don't know; I don't share their mentality. But what I do understand is what these elements do to our community a whole. And when I say community, I mean all that live in Northern Ireland. I see this coming from both sides, I just happen to live in close proximity to the Loyalists. I never allow myself to get caught up in it all, I wasn't raised that way. I don't like to debate the politics of either side. To me both positions are flawed, being as entrenched in the past as they are.

    It could be argued that there will be never be a complete cessation for as long as there are factions determined to unify Ireland. That somehow, that act will make everything right. I've had it said to my face, that Ireland will be united and I'll be slung back to Scotland to where my ancestors came from. These people are way too caught up in the past to make history worthy of of our Grandchildren. To the Loyalists, despite the cessations of violence on the part of the majority of nationalist factions, there is still enough distrust as to believe that agenda is a real as it ever was. Trust is a hard thing to come by, especially when there is little respect.

    To me it's the refusal to look at the situation here in a balanced light, combined with long entrenched grievances, that impact on my life in a way I find disturbing. For to make any headway old rivalries need to cease. and the only way to do that is if the majority take the attitude, live and let live, to heart. And we have. I've noticed a marked change since the days when I was a child, when every paper, every news bulletin read like an obituary column.

    You have me curious though. Do you think it possible that your own take on the situation here is clouded by your own religious belief? Again, I mean to cause no offence, but the position you appear to be taking is all too familiar to me. When I first read your post I considered that although you live in France you might actually be from here, or possibly the south. If that isn't the case, I wonder why you are coming across to me as you do. The questions you ask appear to be so one-sided, that I've really got to ask myself why? If you are not from here, contemplate for a moment why you feel as strongly as you do? It's my experience that religious belief and politics prove to be a volatile combination. And that is in essence is what kicked the ball rolling in the first place.

    I've really got to go to bed. I just want to say before I go, no matter how the media are portraying the situation here at the moment, these riots are not the acts of freedom fighters or those wishing to hold on to their identity. This isn't war being waged; it's the wanton acts of criminals and vandals, who enjoy tossing a petrol bomb in the way adrenaline junkies likes jumping out of a planes. To them it's a leisure pursuit.
     
  13. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Thank you Kita, I needed to see that so I didn't think it was my imagination.
     
  14. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Do you ever cite any sources for your claims so we can evaluate them?

    The 47% was an infamous Romney faux pas so I thought that was an obvious sourced number and the >50% had to do with the fact Obama was elected and re-elected. Even GW Bush only barely won, indicating this country is split pretty close to in half.

    There's no way Limbaugh represents any more than a vocal minority but by all means, provide us some evidence, I am curious. I'm not surprised 40% consider themselves conservative. But liberal only 21%? Is that a Fox News poll? Who knows since you haven't given us a source we can see for ourselves.
     
  15. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    What are you talking about? Who's equating conservatives with the whole country - go hijack something else. You said Dem Now doesn't report it, Huff Post and Al Jaz will - maybe its your bad tense that threw me.

    Hi Kita, of course I'm biased but I tried not to let it show. I am well aware there are violent mindless idiots on both sides - My OP was about the rest of the world's attitude, if they had one, to the North of Ireland-and that Sainsbury's thing is just ridiculous - not you saying it but the actual threat.

    Even if it was completely peaceful every year, what exactly is being celebrated? A victory of one over the other? It will never be anything but contentious. Don't the Orange Order have anything good to celebrate? Maybe something they everyone can join in on? St Patrick's Day for example is not celebrated by the loyalists even though Ian Paisley wanted a bank holiday declared - His famous words "St Patrick was a protestant you know!"


    Of course there will always be a Nationalist agenda as long as Nationalists live their - at least now, reunification is being fought with the ballot rather than the bullet.

    Not sure how old you are but even in the late 80s early 90s the news read like a score card, Prods dead 10 Taigs 10 - extra time is being fought. Crass but true.

    I'm Catholic Nationalist from Dublin, however I've been long enough outside the tent to get a better clearer view of the situation. Like I've mentioned I intended not to show bias but have obviously failed. Still, the OP may have sounded one sided because the whole July 12th is one sided. I wanted to know what the rest of the world thought rather than starting a debate.

    Which is what I wanted to know...
     
  16. Mackers
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    Mackers Contributing Member

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    The violence over the 12th has been very depressing. The leadership of the Orange Order have engaged in some shocking sabre-rattling. In particular I heard guys like Mervyn Gibson talk about 'wars' and 'battlegrounds' being fought, and some other very senior Belfast Orangeman stand outside the HQ of the parades commission shouting 'No surrender!'. The orange order has the run of Belfast and loads of other places for their marches. They get to march in the vast majority of parades with a couple of restrictions on a few contentious ones. They were allowed to march past Ardoyne in the morning but weren't allowed to walk back in the evening. To me that is some compromise. 50-50. For troublemakers to cause rioting for three or four days afterwards is the unreasonable of the unreasonable. Once the violence predictably snow-balled the OO wash their hands of it and say they can't be held responsible. If this is the kind of leadership the OO provides in light of a decision which they don't like, then the future is quite bleak.

    All this stuff about the perpetual erosion of British culture is just bollocks. Utter bollocks. There were well over 500 Orange parades in Northern Ireland over the 12th, thousands over the marching season. I walk past Sandy Row in Belfast after work every day and there is a union jack flag hanging from every lamp post. All the kerbs are painted red, white and blue. There is the mural of William of Orange and I walk over a bridge beside it called "Boyne" Bridge (obviously signifying the battle of the boyne) And that's just one small area. Belfast is awash with names of streets with British connotations. Up home in Tyrone I live beside a little Unionist village where Union Jack flags drape every single lamp post also. The siege mentality is in full flow. There's an insecurity, an almost collective paranoia among loyalism whereby giving more equal space to nationalists equates to a 'chipping away' at their culture. I respect their culture and all I ask is some little respect in return. I can tolerate their marches, their flags, even their sectarian songs, I couldn't give a shit. As long as I have my Irishness respected I don't care. But it seems some elements in loyalism won't even entertain the idea of Irish culture standing alongside theirs, never mind respecting it.
     
  17. matwoolf
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    I thought it was the working class expression of Loyalism and Britishness against papist/nationalist/all things Irish - two fingers to consensus, Protestant forever and all Catholics be damned? Yes to umm, pride..? no to priests. A reaction to PCNI, progress and all DerryLondonderry type engineering.

    Bigots on both sides, and on...

    It's a writing site though. Lots of Ulster detectives being written at the moment and the bandits, villains and intrigue on both sides is a rich vein to mine. Usual characters will wave willy here, but the interest lies in the first hand account of life in the towerblock. Definitely stretch that out for an account whilst it's fresh and I'll swap you my terrifying Notting Hill carnival 'stuck in Big Daddy Kane mosh pit ordeal.' First and last time I kissed a police horse.

    ***sorry Erebh - your willy's fine, I was foaming at the mouth, creative...
     
  18. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not sure if my fine willy and your foaming mouth should be in the same sentence there [MENTION=36860]matwoolf[/MENTION] :)
     
  19. matwoolf
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    Erebh, was a gift. No peacewalls in the mangrove.
     
  20. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Gosh people... it's now after 5 in the afternoon and I'm finally awake, although still completely shattered, the past days events completely messing with my sleeping patterns. Please forgive any incoherent rambling from last night. And especially to you Erebh, apologies for straying from your original post, but the vein of it touched a nerve in me. For the record, I'm 46... long enough lived to have lived through the 70's here, and to view them through a child's eyes. You mention the '80s and 90s- they pale in significance compared to the events of the prior decade.

    I think what started me off, was the mention of the burning of catholic schools and houses. Whilst getting extremely off subject I wanted to relate my own experience from just the night before, to highlight the fact that the catholic communities aren't the only ones suffering through this. In fact, my Catholic flatmate and I have been putting up with the last days events side-by-side. Yes, he's a Catholic living in a loyalist area. He has never been victimatised or ostricised, so despite what the media would often have us believe, there can be a spirit of co-operation and inclusion, even in the most hard-core of enclaves.

    From my own experiences when reading and watching the media, none, no matter whether they be obviously biased or liberal, portray an accurate picture of what goes on here. For the most part interest in these shores only manifests when there are seen to acts of violence and thuggery, and in no way are representative of the situation as a whole. So as much as I hate to say it, the viewpoints of those beyond these shores hold little value to me. They are not in full possession of the facts.

    I remember with some annoyance, the coverage prior to the signing of the Good Friday agreement, when there had been a procession of foreign diplomats, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and the like, coming here to "sort us out." From my perspective, it seemed that the world believed that we had been taken in hand when the truth of the matter was that the general populace had enough.

    Mackers:

    A great post, thank you for expressing your viewpoint; I can totally relate to your description of places like Sandy Row and the Unionist village, and rather than quote your every word, I'm simply going to choose to agree with everything you have said. When you speak of the erosion of British culture, I find my asking what does that really amount to? We for good or ill, are still tied to London, the Parades continue, even the promotion of the Ulster-Scots dialect tell me that this is simply not the case.

    It's an unfortunate fact, that so many choose to celebrate their identity, by clinging to the likes of the Orange Order. You are quite right when you describe their actions as "Sabre-rattling." As I've said in an earlier post, they have lost much support, but many people lack the imagination to forge an identity that is not centred around the military actions of the past. They simply do what their Fathers and Grandfathers have done. (Not meaning to be sexist... consider it a figure of speech.) Whilst many would oppose violence, in my opinion, their continued involvement, even when they don't necessarily agree with the Orders ethos, gives the Orders hierarchy the belief that are much more important in terms of British Identity than they truly are. Surely this identity amounts to more than the hanging of flags, painting of kerbstones and remembrance of age old battles would suggest? Or maybe that's just it, maybe this Idea of Britishness is a fallacy in itself.


    Matwolf:
    Cheers for that. I was just exhausted with all the goings-on, and getting thoroughly fed up. I cannot express how annoyed I felt, when I had finally cleared my backlogue and found myself the time to do what I love, only to have it spoiled by the the wicked little shits with no agenda but their own. (Not that having any other agenda would have made those actions right.) It's a bit hard to write a sensual piece of erotica while breathing in tyre smoke and being blinded by overhead searchlights. But perhaps, like you suggest, it's possible for me to turn my negative experience into a positive one, by stowing my emotional reactions and impressions to churn out at some point, later on down the line.
     
  21. GingerCoffee
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    You say:
    I say the actual liberal media does.

    You say:
    I ask:
    And I remind you again that the news commodity (aka mainstream news) isn't the same thing as the actual investigative news that one can still find online.


    You say:
    Bad tense? I'd be happy to clarify what I wrote if it confused you.

    I read your posts (past and current) as equating the mainstream news with the whole country. You equate the US government with the whole country. Maybe you don't intend to conflate all things you think are wrong with the US with everyone in the US, but you say it nonetheless.


    Which makes this an even more inconsistent thing to say:

    But it's your thread, so I'll take my leave and keep in mind you only want to know what some of the rest of the world thinks. I don't believe there is a One World Government conspiracy but rather, I see too much corporate power and influence. But for some reason you haven't noticed I am sympathetic with many of your other views.
     
  22. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I really don't know who pee'd in your coco pops today but it wasn't me - the original post was basically, are news channels around the world showing the latest spate of bombins in Ireland and don't they give a crap anymore?

    But you read...

    I blame the USA for far out conspiracy theories aimed at bringing down my country - Obama is evil and anyone who voted for him has lizard eyes and eats live babies soaked in ecoplasm.

    It's amazing how many writers can't read.
     
  23. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think what the Oranges are doing is barbaric. I am so sorry the Irish have to put up with that. Every normal. English person agrees. I think that until the English leave Ireland to the Irish, the problem won't stop.
     
  24. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nobody will ever admit this but unless they find oil in the North Atlantic close enough for Ireland to claim, we could never afford another 1.2 million people, especially seeing as half of them wouldn't comply and it would just cause generations of tit for tat. Sad but true. Complete independence, a new name, a ban on all marches and contentious parades, a name change for every street, and a wipeout of all physical memories and the next generation of people will get on, in my humble opinion.
     
  25. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, if only that was possible... Unfortunately, a lot of areas have these ethnic tensions and drawing a line (border) is problematic. And tiny states that are independent but have these ethnic tensions don't tend to do well economically, in the long run.
     

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