Years ago…pre Good Friday Agreement I believe, David Trimble signed unionists up to Parity of Esteem.
I dont recall if I actually punched the air at the news. But I am pretty certain that I said “Gotcha!” because signing up to Parity of Esteem signed away Unionism.
Unionists dont do Parity.
Of course REASONABLE people believe in Parity of Esteem…Equality is RRASONABLE. Republicanism is a product of the Age of Enlightenment… Egalite, Liberte, Fraternite…loyalists wont go aux barricades mes amis for anything like that but re-route an Orange parade hardly a product of the Enlightenment and they go ballistic.
The question Republicans ask themselves is whether unionists should be educated out of their blind stupidity (the nice option favoured by decent people) or the other option, relying on and exploiting unionist stupidity. Decent people are appalled at this option. Not being a decent person, I much prefer this option.
We NEED Ruth Patterson.
We NEED William Humphrey.
Even the very best kind of unionist does not really beleve in Equality.
I have not heard any unionist proclaim that the Irish National Flag should have parity with the British Flag. They favour Parity of Esteem up to the point that unionism is given just a little more parity. Which of course undermines the entire concept.
Which is very bad for Norn Iron. And great news for nationalists.
Thus we can rely on the Flegs protestors and we can rely on the Orange Order…to screw everything up for themselves.
Build an elephant trap….put a great big sign beside the elephant trap which says “Beware of the Elephant Trap” and unionists will still throw themselves in.
They cant help it. They are just incredibly stupid.
Take Castlederg. The 60-40 (at least) Catholic village in West Tyrone. You dont actually have to be a unionist to think that a Sinn Fein parade to honour “IRA martyrs” inluding two who died transporting a bomb into the town, is “insensitive”.
Sinn Fein is obliged to do this sort of thing to keep its core (as it is eupemistically called) on board. A reminder that the Leadership and scores of youthful advisors, all wearing suits up at Stormont, have not forgotten.
The parade is of course controversial.
And unionists are particuarly enraged.
Then the Organisers of the parade announce they have listened to local opinion and quietly re-route the parade.
Unionists made to look stupid and intolerant, because of course Orange Order demands to walk where it is plainly not welcome.
Nationalists take the high ground.
Meanwhile Mairtin O’Muilleoir gets to be Mayor of Belfast. From a Sinn Fein perspective he is an excellent choice. Grammar School, local media owner, journalist and kinda sophisticated. A Renaissance Man.
Appointing a Poet Laureate for Belfast is of course risible nonsense.
But with just about every academic and artsy person in Belfast overloading Twitter to congratulate the Mayor on his vision…the Mayor is on the high ground.
Announcing the Poet Laureate nonsense in the week of An Feile (the republican and anti racist anti imperialist) festival centred on West Belfast is a master stroke.
It might be a cliche…but its true.
Its tempting to think that the Mayor got lucky with the whole World Police Games. But I wonder if his selection as Mayor for 2013-14 was sealed by this event. He is the perfect “new” Sinn Fein face…no whiff of cordite about him, nothing scary. Therefore he can amble about Belfast and get his photo taken with police officers from Chicago, Munich and Johnannesburg.
He can even turn up at a memorial service at St Annes Church of Ireland, …a service for fallen police officers and firefighters. No sense of irony at all because the great and good are all letsgetalongerists and on message with the new narrative.
And frankly Nationalists and Irish do the whole “failte…welcome” thing better than those dour Unionist Ulster-Scots.
Internationally with the Police Firefighter Games.
Or just locally like yesterday when tiuring Belfast City Parks.
DUP councillors welcomed into the Dunville Park in the heart of the Falls Road.
But our poetry-loving Mayor was jostled when doing the whole ” I am the Mayor for all of the City” thing at the Woodvale Park on the Shankill.
Eight police officers from the PSNI were injured.
And police officers getting injured did not …we are told….go down well with those thousands of police officers from around the world. The story they take back…and Sinn Fein wont be sorry …is that loyalists are very bad people standing in the way of progress.
The Mayor who likes to tweet his entire day is re-tweeted across the wold by Sinn Fein followers and the Belfast artsy crowd.
The Mayor in the Woodvale Park. Someone should write a poem.
Of course Conflict Resolutionists will tear their hair out.
We are supposed to have parity of esteem. We are supposed to be equally good and equally bad.
That analysis defies History.
Imperialism is not the moral superior of Anti-Imperialism.
It is not even the moral equal.
Unionism is not the moral superior of Nationalism.
Anthropologists, Historians and Political Scientists ….REASONABLE people ….prostitute themselves to come up with an alternative analysis.