An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Tuesday, October 11, 2005  

Loyalist violence

Here's part one of an excellent essay on the reasons behind loyalist violence in the North. I used to try and rationalise their failure to progress politically on a number of grounds, for instance, that their might feel justified in feeling that Sinn Fein were conning everyone. But when they started attacking the Chinese, I thought, to hell with them. The Chinese are such a hard working, polite, modest people, that anyone who starts hunting them out of their homes must be a complete degenerate.

My Belfast born husband says its quite simple. When he was growing up, the working class Unionists saw certain professions as their's by right. The RUC for example was a safe option. Harland&Wolfe, all the traditional industries. In his Queen's graduating class, the few Catholics went abroad for jobs; all the Prods walked into establishment firms in Belfast. So now, they don't want equality at all. They cannot understand why people that they consider to be their inferiors are "taking their jobs" - the PSNI is just the last straw. The older industries have closed down and the professions have opened up to Catholics. They are simply incandescent with rage that while the working classes unionists may have had little, at least they had more than the catholics. Now they still have little and the Catholics are getting ahead. They are just inarticulate with outrage. They will just have to learn to get educated and earn jobs rather than get them as of right.

Thanks to P. for the link. Here's some great quotes:

"Belfast, its youth and its working class had a great deal in common with similar cities “across the water”. Many of its characteristic features were shared with English, Scottish and Welsh industrial centres. It was intensely localised, with social networks and loyalties focused on very small, usually densely inhabited urban neighbourhoods.

It was often seen as an anti-educational culture: even more so than was the norm for English or Scottish working-class communities reliant on heavy industry; where the expected post-school route was not to social mobility via education, but to a secure position within the community through apprenticeship in a skilled manual trade."

posted by Sarah | 11:42 1 comments
There's been a good deal of bull written by Myers & Co. trying to blame the example of the IRA for the recent Orange Order/Loyalist violence.

As the Colonel surely knows well, there is form for the recent rioting in the Ulster Workers Strike in the '70s (as well as others), which puts a rather large question mark over his motivations in advancing this argument.
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