Tis Sunday a day of rest and reverie and as such that is what I am doing with the help of Faure’s Requiem – a great piece for a Sunday morning at the end of a bad week.
The week was fractured locally by a continuing unrest here in Norn Iron over flags and their importance. It occurs to me that we are not learning that we should really try to value people over things. The “things” can be possessions, politics, religion, fame, traditions or anything that we feel defines who “we” are and most importantly defines who “they” are, the other ones, the ones we don’t like.
At home here in Norn Iron we have this whole flag furore where a piece of coloured cloth defines one group to the point where we have riots, threats of riots, bomb scares, burning cars and buses, injured police persons and a new spate of tit for tat death threats issued against public figures on either side.
The removal of the flag did not start some form of republican rapture where Loyalists were sucked into limbo by the giant spectre of Éamoon de Valera weilding an enormous green white and gold Vatican vaacum cleaner. No flag on Belfast City Hall has not made the Loyalists any less loyal, it has not made the Republicans any less republican.
So why the unrest?
The flag is just a thing .. but it is a thing that represents something else. It is a territorial marker that defined the building it flies from as “ours” not “ours” and definitly not “yours”. So the last two weeks have basically been the barking of old grey dogs that have found they can no longer piss on the lamp post a the end of the street.
So where is this the striving for a “shared democratic future?” It sure as fuck isn’t happening at Stormount! MLAs are chronically indisposed to the idea of sharing, having said that what they ARE good at is engineering miracles – for who but a group of MLAs can actually make a mountain out of a mole hill and do it every fecking day, day after fecking day and on each occasion make it about “Us” vs “Them” ? … and the worse thing about the whole bollocks is this – we elected them so in a way it is all out fecking fault!
If we are to have a future at all we need to have a sound economic grounding which brings jobs which in turn need education and health none of which our vaulted democratic representatives are showing any inclination to achieve .. but disrespect a flag, open a sexual health clinic or suggest dinosaurs did not frolic with Adam and Eve in the garden of eden and they rise up out of their traditional slumbers frothing spleen, full of vim and vigour – Since democracy is meant to bring benefit to the scoiety that elects it I can safely say on the evidence of the last 40 years this democracy is as useful as a chocolate fireguard or tits on a bull.
As we ramp up to Christmas can we just try for 2 weeks to be nice to each other, accept that we have different aspirations, aspirations that we do not have to respect but we should at least tolerate. There is no Loyalist Ulster where the skies are always blue or an Ireland that is united – we are where we are – so instead of prancing around looking like complete brain dead numpties let’s be pragmatic and try something different in 2013 and for the love of (*insert diety or secular idol here) wise the fuck up!