Belfast Telegraph

Powers that be have accepted Sinn Fein myth that bigotry is synonymous with unionism or Protestantism

By Samuel Morrison

The fact that Gerry Adams used a swear word to describe unionists isn't surprising.

The republican movement spent years bombing and shooting people because of their political and religious opinions.

Unionists are all too well aware of the contempt in which they are held by republicans. Many have the literal, physical and emotional scars which prove how much they hate them.

What was more interesting in what Adams said were his comments about equality. He described it as “the Trojan horse of the entire republican strategy”.

This will confirm the belief of unionists that equality is a code word for attacks on the Britishness of Northern Ireland.

The Royal Ulster Constabulary went in the name of equality.

Orange marches are stopped in the name of equality.

The Union Flag was removed from Belfast City Hall in the name of equality.

Even democracy – which means that we have the right to vote a party out of government and the right to an opposition – has been dispensed with in Northern Ireland in the name of equality.

Understandably this one way process has built resentment within the Unionist community as they see symbols of Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom pushed to the margins or consigned to the history books.

The predictable reaction has taken the shape of street protest and the erection of flags across Northern Ireland. This has been met in many quarters with sneering comments about 'flegs' and the demonisation of loyalists as nothing but thugs who want to drag Northern Ireland back.

Contrast that reaction to people who take pride in their flag in Northern Ireland with the outcry when Emily Thornberry posted a photograph which appeared to look down on a working class family in Rochester which hung England flags out the windows of their home.

Ms Thornberry was forced to resign and Ed Miliband was at pains to stress how outraged he was. Patriotism, the Labour Party emphasised, was a positive virtue rather than something to be mocked.

Yet in Northern Ireland those who dare to display the flag of their country are treated as Neanderthals. Those who attempt to march in areas where they have walked for generations without objection are told simply they need to get with the times when suddenly they are no longer permitted to parade in that area. They are branded bigots if they dare to question that decision. 

Why? Because in large measure the powers that be and the media have accepted the Sinn Fein myth that bigotry is synonymous with unionism or Protestantism. They have, wittingly or unwittingly, fallen for the republican Trojan horse plot.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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