Those of us of a certain age will be aware that Catholic religious statues and pictures sometimes are sometimes placed on Twelfth bonfires.
In the olden days like the 1950s and 1960s it was a common enough sight which had the desired effect of offending passing Catholics.
The difference in 2013 is that the ever-present camera-phone captures the annual acts of hatred like the placing of Irish, Polish and Palestinian flags on bonfires and of course the effigy of a recent (Catholic priest) suicide victim on a bonfire.
Thanks to Twitter, Facebook etc the images are posted online within minutes.
Indeed the hate-filled scumbags who place these icons on their bonfires are often the very ones who publicise their hatred.
The enduring images of 12th July 2013 is the effigy of Fr Matt Wallace on a bonfire at Rathcoole and a statue of the Virgin Mary on a bonfire in North Belfast.
Curiously the latter was handed into an Ardoyne priest and the tale of it journey to and from the bonfire has elicited a lot of comment.
In a curious post today, the Absentee Editor of another website refers to the priest who received the statue from “community workers” and a story in the Belfast Telegraph, the letsgetalongerist rag.
Its been a bad Twelfth for letsgetalongerists. The myth that Norn Iron is changing has been blown out of the water.
Back in the very bad old days the discredited Royal Ulster Constabulary had a richly deserved reputation for keeping an “open mind” and giving loyalist murderers the benefit of too much doubt. BBC and UTV would routinely report such cases and the phrase “the RUC are keeping an open mind” lost credibility with Catholics and Nationalists.
Sometimes things in Norn Iron are not exactly as they seem.
But in the vast majority of cases, they are exactly what they seem.
Raising and reporting UNREASONABLE doubt lets the hate-filled scumbags off the hook.
The case of the Virgin Mary on the bonfire is to most people a pretty obvious example of being exactly what it seems.
It was not a photo-shopped image.
Nor was the effigy of Fr Matt Wallace in Rathcoole.
The reputation of the RUC suffered in the 1970s by being overly “open minded”.
So did the BBC reputation.
A lot of the historic and expensive enquiries…Saville, McGurks Bar among them have shown that British and RUC briefings were slavishly endorsed by the BBC. The Truth was known at the time.
It does no credit to the Media that they were part of it all.
Indeed our problems with Historic Truth is in part due to the Media failing to stand up for the Truth decades ago.
The RUC and the Media lost all credibility in Catholic-Nationalist eyes by casting doubt on open and shut cases.
It even led to a tasteless joke.
“This morning the RUC discovered the body of a Catholic man on the (loyalist) Shankill Road. It had forty stab wounds and thirty gunshot wounds. The RUC have not ruled out an accident or suicide”.
A reputation is hard to win and easy to lose.