“I Wont Be Reconstructed…And I Do Not Give A Damn”

The headline comes from a Confederate song from the American Civil War. You can listen to an excellent version by Hoyt Axton on You Tube. You may also have heard it in the first scene of the 1950s movie “Run Of The Arrow” when embittered returning war veteran (Rod Steiger) sings it. The site on which I found the lyrics mentions no author or copyrite.
It is of course relevant to our situation in Norn Iron.
The US Federal Government aided and abetted by self righteous and sophisticated people in New England tried to change the nature of Southern Society, having defeated the Confederate States on the battlefield. Nobody can reasonably deny that Southern Society needed change…but merely trying to make Dixieland in the image of the North was hardly going to work. And of course the Northerners just gave up after about ten years and let the South rot in its racist cess pit for nearly a century.
Of course I am NOT equating Irish Republicanism with Confederate Racism.
Quite the opposite…the unionists are the supremacists in Norn Iron.
We talk about Conflict Resolution like it was something new.
It isnt.
There was Reconstruction after the American Civil War.
There was the the loss of the German and Austro-Hungarian monarchies after World War One.
There was de-Nazification after World War Two.
There were re-education camps in the Vietnamese jungles after that War.
Conflict Resolution is dependent on Victory and Defeat.
The Victors impose the settlement.
In Norn Iron…we are told….NOBODY won and NOBODY lost.
We achieved Peace and therefore…so the narrative goes…We are all Victors. Hooray for us.
So why do we actually NEED Conflict Resolution. After all there is no Conflict.
Well in our terms, Conflict Resolution is essentially three things.
The first is the Good Friday Agreement and the Creative Ambiguity which was the Good Friday Agreement.
The second stage is the measures implemented by the Agreement…prisoner releases, RUC abolished….AND the measures NOT implemented such as the Bill of Rights and Irish Language Act ….AND the St Andrews Agreement which undermined the Good Friday Agreement.
And the third thing is the SOCIAL ENGINEEERING….such as Integrated Education, Shared Future etc, which sets out the procedures for Norn Iron to be a homogenous and liberal unionist society. A LetsGetAlongerist Theme Park.

I am far too old to be impressed by Conflict Resolution…If nobody won and nobody lost, I dont want Conflict Resolution imposing victory and mostly defeat on me.
I will NOT be DE-NAZIED.
I will NOT be dragged off to the South Belfast jungle…the Tropical Plant House in the Botanic Gardens…to be re-educated out of my Republican and Nationalist ways.
I am not in any way inferior to the Golden Halo of well remunerated people who are behind Conflict Resolution.

For Ireland…I DO GIVE A DAMN.
I applaud the generations of people who used appropriate means to further the idea of an Irish Nation.
I DO NOT GIVE A DAMN for a stand-alone Norn Iron. Our Wee Country should be confined to the dustbin of History.
I hold in utter contempt the supremacist, sectarian and racist nature of unionism and Orangeism. I refuse to be called a bigot by liberals, who like myself would condemn this quasi-facism in the Ku Klux Klan.
I will not repent my egalitarian ways to promote the Shared Space-No Mans Land of Norn Iron.
I will recognise the good news narrative of MTV Awards, Titanic, Derry City of Culture, G8 Summit and World Police and Firefighter Games as little more than a calculated attempt to show Norn Iron is “normal” This artificially created state is NOT normal and does not deserve to be.
I support the Good Friday Agreement. It DID bring Peace and/or Passivity. No mean achievement. But its undermining and lack of implementation means that there is nothing more than Peace/Passivity. I want no more than to sit back and watch Demographics do its work, which means opposing any letsgetalongist scheme to undermine the demographics.

Oh, I’m a good old rebel
Now thats just what I am
And for this yankee nation
I do not give a damn.

I’m glad I fit (fought) against ‘er (her)
I only wish we’d won
I ain’t asked any pardon
For anything I’ve done.

I hates the Yankee nation
And eveything they do
I hates the declaration
Of independence too.

I hates the glorious union
‘Tis dripping with our blood
I hates the striped banner
And fit (fought) it all I could.

I rode with Robert E. Lee
For three years there about
Got wounded in four places
And I starved at Pint (Point) Lookout.

I coutch (caught) the roomatism (rheumatism)
Campin’ in the snow
But I killed a chance of Yankees
And I’d like to kill some mo’. (more.)

Three hundred thousand Yankees
Is stiff in southern dust
We got three hundred thousand
Before they conquered us.

They died of southern fever
And southern steel and shot
I wish they was three million
Instead of what we got.

I can’t take up my musket
And fight ’em down no mo’ (more)
But I ain’t a-goin’ to love ’em (them)
Now that is serten sho. (certain sure.)

And I don’t want no pardon
For what I was and am
I won’t be reconstructed
And I do not give a damn.

Oh, I’m a good old rebel
Now that’s just what I am
And for this Yankee nation
I do no give a damn.

I’m glad I fought against ‘er (her)
I only wish we’d won
I ain’t asked any pardon
For anything I’ve done.

I ain’t asked any pardon
For anything I’ve done…

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18 Responses to “I Wont Be Reconstructed…And I Do Not Give A Damn”

  1. submariner62 says:

    Fitz a great piece. It sums up my own feelings beautifully, thanks for posting it.

  2. CD says:

    Dear God boys its not as though we lost.

    Nice sentiments all the same. Today I sang ‘Would you see who comes over the red blossomed heather’ to Irish Punjabis from Manchester. At their request . They knew the tune.

    Sadly none of us knew the lyrics to the ‘Smashing of the Van’,

    Its not quite finished yet but the battle for ideas is over.

  3. Fitzjames – well said that man. They can shove their peace process up their holes too

  4. By the way anyone who construes the GFA as a win needs their head looked. The British won that hands down. They even got the south to sign up to their position.

    • anewdawn says:

      The Unionist veto was guaranteed by the Brits GFA or no GFA. What was the alternative?
      At least now we have equality and a say in how we are governed something we’ve never had before.
      Just look at how uncomfortable they are with power sharing. Defeating them at the ballot box is now the priority.

      • The point about the Good Friday Agreement is the Ambiguity.
        Everyone congratulated themselves in 1998…
        It was…we were told “Creative”. Now it just looks like a Big Lie.
        Nationalists bought into more than Unionists and on balance the Nationalists got it right. It DOES favour nationalism more…but thats been fatally undermined by St Andrews and the lack of implementation.
        What it id no was hold the ground until Demographics kicked i.
        What nationalists have to resist is liberal unionists and letsgetalongerists undermining the Demographics.
        Bottom line is that …and state militia …is all the unionists had
        nationalists now have the Demographics.

        When Nationalists demanded SHARING, Unionists rejected it in the 1930s 1940s etc.
        Now Unionists demand it in 2013.
        They merely want it cos they have lost the numbers.
        They only want peer sharing in councils when they loses the seats.
        I have zero sympathy for unionists and contempt for the letsgetalongerists who seek to bail them out from their belief in their supremacy.

      • anewdawn says:

        It remarkable how the change in demographics have narrowed the gap. I read a quote somewhere by Terence O’Neill who said the high Catholic birthrate was what Unionists feared most.
        Its sickening to think how they played with peoples lives and used positions of power to discriminate.
        They’ve a lot in common with the supremacists you mention. The KKK and the OO. We had partition they had secession. Anything to secure majority and privilege.
        Even after the ACW and the abolishment of slavery they did all they could to resist equality with the Jim Crow laws. Unionism in its heyday would fit in nicely with those folk.

      • The hypocrisy of liberals and liberal unionists is breath-taking.
        The KKK is exactly the kinda organisation that we should rightly despise.
        Yet somehow, we are oblidged to tolerate Orangeism.

  5. RJC says:

    Beautifully put FJH

  6. Billy Pilgrim says:

    Well said FJH. (Except perhaps for the line: ‘I will not be de-Nazied.’ All the context in the world can’t stop that line from sticking out like a sore thumb.)

    If you think about it, it was probably always quite predictable that if and when the day came that unionism no longer had the numbers and the militias, it would fall back on propaganda. (Unionism still has a stranglehold on the cultural/intellectual/ideological institutions.) Letsgetalongerism is that propaganda offensive. It’s unionism’s attempt to divert the attention of nationalists from unionism’s historic weakness and nationalism’s growing strength. It’s smart (even Machiavellian) unionism, and should be recognised as such.

    But nationalists should also remember that Letsgetalongerism is unionism’s last throw of the dice. It’s good that (a section of) unionism is attempting to make nice – but only on unionist terms, and only because unionism has lost its capacity for domination and coercion.

    We should take heart from Tocqueville: ‘The most dangerous moment for a bad government is when it begins to reform.’ Letsgetalongerism is unionism’s most dangerous moment. If it should fail, it’s by no means inevitable that the bastard state of NI will reach its centenary. So nationalists shouldn’t be too wowed by the ‘Our Time, Our Place’ guff.

    • Thanks Billy.
      I worried myself about the “de Nazi” coment but I left it in because it was contextualised. I had highlighted three historic references to Conflict Resolution.
      And wanted the balance.
      ” I wont be reconstructed” was factual.
      ” I wont be de Nazied” was rhetorical hyperbole.
      The South Belfast jungle reference…was deliberately “light” and although that reference might be partly lost on American readers, it will resonate with Norn Iron readers because of the QUB-Botanic Gardens connexion.

      There is a holier than thou strand in letsgetalongerism.
      ” I was born and raised in West Belfast but now I live in Carryduff”
      “My father was an Orangeman but I married a Catholic”
      “I went to St Malachys but my son goes to Lagan College”

      It is said with the same enthusiasm that the Harry Enfield “German” tourist character went around London apologising to Londoners for the actions of Germans in World War Two.
      Of course we should all strive to BE OURSELVES and none of us are clones of our parents.
      But one of the most amusing factors in letsgetalongerism is not just the pride they take in rejecting their tribal (as they see it) values but also the animosity they have to those of us who have not felt the need to make the same journey.

  7. Pingback: Ireland’s 800 Year Culture War | An Sionnach Fionn

  8. factual says:

    WIse words from a wise woman:

    The Good Friday Agreement brought much peace to our very troubled land. I think the challenge for us all now, fifteen years on, is to face our divided, troubled past with courage, and to take every opportunity in our individual lives, whether through prayer, community work, politics, economic development or social activity to work for the common good, to bring an end to the politics of division, and to create a shared society. Above all, perhaps, we have to acknowledge that ultimately peace is made in the hearts of men and women who must live side by side, and who need to be able to recognise the goodness in each other. It may not be easy but we do not want our children to experience what we knew, so we have to keep trying to build a different future for them for them and for our country.

    Nuala O’Loan 2013

  9. factual says:

    I actually think that more WOMEN are needed north of the border in politics for things to move on, up there.

    • Fear Feirsteach says:

      Too true. Look at Margaret Thatcher’s immense contribution to peace, understanding and murder here.

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