Well, Congratulations Northern Ireland. We made it to the big 1-0-0. 100 years old. Party Time!
Is this the milestone that gets you invited to Buckingham Palace for a few pints and a scone, or is this the milestone the Queen just sends you an ‘oul shitty letter?
Either way, who knew, I mean seriously holy sh*t. We are the State equivalent of an addict with a life long heroine, coke and alcohol habit slowly destroying ourselves internally – only we’ve combined this with an effortless ability to acquire bomb making materials.
The only question is what do we celebrate first?
I know, I know, it’s obviously that time we beat Spain at football 40 years ago, or maybe that time we beat the English at Windsor Park, when it was still called Windsor Park.
So let’s do something a bit different from the standard 10 Greatest Northern Irish Achievements list. Otherwise I’ll just call this page The News Letter. Let’s do the…
5 Things Not To Mention During The Centenary Celebration 2021:
The Orange Order/Marching Season
Yep, I went there. I can already sense the faint smell of aggressive online abuse coming my way, but hey-ho. Also I know this isn’t only in N. Ireland, but that’s where its focus is, so let’s not be pedantic.
What in the name of holy shit is the Orange Order all about? It’s a lot of marching about in formal dress with drums that are unnecessarily big, and those big awkward looking flags with pictures of events that only your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great Granny and Granda would have been alive for.
It doesn’t exactly scream 21st Century, does it? If it was a bunch of older fellas marching about commemorating a battle from 400 odd years ago, I’d understand a little bit.
But what is the craic with the young ones taking part? It’s like some parallel dimension found only in N. Ireland, where the kids who are in the marching band are the cool ones.
Listen I get the ‘event’ of the whole thing, I really do…
Have it outside in July, it’s gonna be hot(ish) – I’m on board!
Call it a public holiday and give (almost) everyone a day or 2 off work – Don’t mind if I do. Gracias mi Orange amigos.
Make it socially acceptable to get pished in a big field – I’m in!
Have a midnight pre-party where we throw a load of stuff into a big pile and set it off in one giant fire – Yes! Actually, I think we might be best friends soon.
Stand around for hours watching marching bands walking along the road who are dressed like a cross between a soldier and a bus conductor – F*ck it, I’m out.
Come on ffs. Let’s bring it into the modern era! What about a samba band, or a DJ or something? Why not have a celebrity bare knuckled boxing match between King Billy and King James? Give us something to spice it up, please.
Maybe if the local nationalist residents who object to a parade from time to time knew they were going to get a DJ Shadow remix of The Sash, they might be more likely to let the marches pass by.
Aside from the whole weirdness, if a group of band nerds is going to march close to your house early on a saturday morning – Fucking let them.
Go about your day, take the kids to football, sleep away your hangover, go get a fry, or go watch the band nerds.
The day that people stop giving a shit about these parades is the day that all the hangers-on decide to lie in bed instead of traipsing down the road after the parades. When all these loonytoons piss off, then the years ahead will mean the only people parading will be a bunch of old, religious bus conductors that you see once a year.
It also astonishes me how the residents objecting to the marches have an encyclopedic knowledge of Orange/Protestant/Unionist music.
Yee-haw, welcome to Jim Crow era U-S-oh, it’s actually Norn Iron. Yep that’s right, in 2021 we are operating a policy of housing and schooling segregation.
We love to keep a good old-style tradition going. So as of right now we have significant areas of housing that are separated between what are dispairingly called ‘catholic areas’ and ‘protestant areas’.
In many, many places (more than before the Good Friday Agreement was signed) we have huge brick or steel ‘Peace Walls’ (laugh out loud moment). We also make use of business parks, abandoned buildings and wastelands of unused space to separate our 2 communities. Enough to bring a tear to the eye, but wait…
WE SEGREGATE OUR CHILDREN TOO! We have Catholic Schools and Protestant schools. Yep, seriously. As the bible famously doesn’t say ‘Our children shalt never meet children not of our kin, lest they be tainted’.
There is a smattering of integrated schools too. These schools only educate around 6 – 7% of our children, despite overwhelming public support to integrate our schools. So most people want integrated education, but it’s not implemented. Welcome to our special brand of NI Democracy.
Even more grotesque is our ‘shared education’ sham where catholic and protestant children share the same school campus (and play areas) but do not freely mix.
So kids in Northern Ireland go to school – in the main – only with children from their own religious background. Then go home to their houses in areas that are almost exclusively filled by people from their own religious background.
Is it any f**king wonder this country is such a shambles?
If those who ran this country genuinely wanted to reconcile the ‘two communities’ (which is an utter nonsense of a phrase) they would aggressively and pro-actively implement an integrated schools and housing policy.
Top Secret Fact: Now whisper this, but it could be suggested that our Politicians don’t want integration, because they depend on division for votes. Sshh! Wink Wink Nudge, say no more.
Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls I give you Sinn Fein and the DUP – The two biggest parties in Northern Ireland! (APPLAUSE!)
One of these political parties continue to commemorate those who murdered and killed innocent people for 35ish years, and the other lot support those brought to trial for murder, and want a law passed preventing ex-armed forces members accused of murder to be brought to trial.
Both are particularly loyal to those from ‘their’ side who carried out murders here, but carry a particularly pure form of hatred towards murderers from ‘the other side.’ This is called hypocrisy, friends.
Seriously, these are the 2 biggest parties in the assembly. These people run our government. How does that make you feel inside? I hope you’re angry.
Actually think about it some more.
In one corner we have the Marriage equality hating, gay conversion therapy supporting, Loyalist terrorist ambivalent, the earth is 15 minutes old absolute moonbeams of the D.U.P.
In the other corner we have the ‘socialist’ Let’s rubber stamp civil service redundancies, sell off public land, produce a Catholics v. Protestant election leaflet, refuse to light up city hall for unionist celebration, kingsmill anniversary loaf on the head PR masters of Sinn Fein.
If these 2 parties were written into a film the critics would call it unbelievable. Slapstick. Like a carry on film with lots of sectarianism and populism thrown in.
Well Done Northern Ireland for continuing to vote for these muppets in such consistently high numbers. If voting for them was some sort of piss take then I’m here to tell you the joke is old. Really old.
Murals and Flags
Piggybacking on our Segregated housing section is flags and murals.
Flags are extremely important to many people in Northern Ireland. Do not mess with their 5ft x 3ft piece of coloured cloth. These mass produced items are absolutely precious.
Flags also ensure that it is clear whether your area is a catholic/protestant one, and to signify that no catholic/protestant (delete as applicable) should ever consider living here. Often when new housing areas are built then people will come and fly flags around the area to ‘claim’ it as ‘theirs’. Much the same way dogs piss on trees and claim them.
The agreed etiquette is that they should be on as many lamp posts as possible. Please also note that the next street to yours will take the piss out of you if your street doesn’t have as many flags as theirs.
There was once a quaint little tradition – that may still operate in some areas – that meant if you didn’t have a flag flying from your house then the boys with woolly faces would come round and politely ask you to put one up. If flags weren’t really your thing, then they would ask for a little financial donation to ease their troubled hearts over your anti-patriotic front garden.
Murals. Well, what really can you say about these. Admittedly there are some murals in Northern Ireland showing images of our history. They’re pretty amazing.
But lets be honest, our most famous ones are the ones with balaclavas and guns. Now, Republicans have a tiny flickering light bulb in their head and their most outwardly public murals normally portray their heroes with long flowing hair and a half smile showing the good nature of Republican gunmen. This is good when the tourists come calling. If you want the real AKs and balaclava murals normally you have to travel deeper into housing estates, where they probably think no tourists are likely to end up.
Loyalists on the other hand couldn’t give a flying fiddlers. They’re happy to portray themselves as skeleton-headed gun-toting maniacs for anybody who wants a look.
They try to show their soulful side sometimes – ‘Prepared for Peace. Ready for War’. Reading between the lines though most of us see ‘Prepared for EU Peace Money. Ready to build a criminal enterprise, mainly around drug dealing.
Needless to say the majority of the flags, murals, kerbs painted are insecure territory marking. This is obviously linked to the segregated housing mentioned earlier.
So, how exactly are people allowed to fly flags supporting terrorist organisations? Who was it gave the OK for terrorist organisations to be glorified on the side of a gable end house?
Why is there no talk of removing all this shit? Because… … come on…. you can get it… Yes! That’s it! Because this is Northern Ireland were painting the face of terrorists on the side of houses is the done thing. Of course that is totally 100% normal. Totally.
So yeah, anyway, let’s keep the whole marked out territory thing out of the Centenary discussion.
So I was trying my best to ignore this part, but it turns out that’s impossible. So ignoring the whole bloodshed that took place before our modern day ‘troubles’ – we shouldn’t mention the troubles. It’ll put a real dampener on the 100 year birthday party we’re going to have.
For nearly 30 years, Loyalists, Republicans and the security forces murdered people. Some have more responsibility than others for the deaths but whatever background you were from, you were a legitimate target for somebody. Bloody Sunday, Shankill Bomb, Greysteel, Kingsmill, Collusion, Omagh. Murders.
What has any of it achieved for anyone? What does the sh*te our Politicians still go on about achieve for anyone?
Thousands of people died over which colour of coloured cloth flies over government buildings.
100 year celebration? Celebrating what?