Excellent piece, Gail. Nail on the head. It is an interesting phenomenon whereby, on many issues, there are middle-class unionists who will simply stay silent when they hear anything too political for the sake of politeness. I have often witnessed this, with some self-loathing PC liberals, or nationalists, in the room wrongly taking this as approval to be vocally self-righteous.
Most unionist people that I know are unhappy that the Union flag was taken down and view the campaign to remove it as yet another unnecessary and petty act in the tit-for-tat world of Northern Irish politics. However, we also accept that there was a fair vote in the council and that nothing is going to change the result, especially not a bunch of morons throwing stones.
Ed Curran: All share blame for flags crisis
Please explain how nationalists' values are different to unionists'. The only people to 'blame' are those who are using violence at their protests.
Most normal people here are embarrassed by this part of our hate-filled history. I don't want to depend on tourist money to support our communities. We want real jobs that can afford decent housing and give our youth some hope for a better future.
Bombs, bullets and murder were never monopolised by one group or side in this part of Ireland. We have all been deafened by past horrors. The hard part is now making compromise and working towards a shared, inclusive future for us all. The extremists on both sides will not listen. A shared future is in the hands of the peace-loving majority.