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The Monster Raving Loony Unionist Party

Celebrating 100 years of terrorising the people of Ireland - the British Brown Shirts?
A Belfast McDonald’s restaurant today. The Westminster parliament tomorrow! For ‘er Britishhh fleg an’ kultur!

In the second decade of the 21st century the British people as a whole have little interest and even less regard for the last remnant of the British colony on the island of Ireland. There is hardly anyone in Britain, outside of the Far Right or ultra-nationalist Unionist contingents, who genuinely believes that “Northern Ireland” is an essential part of the so-called United Kingdom, let alone is in any meaningfully way actually “British”. Most well-informed Britons in their heart of hearts recognise their nation’s territorial and administrative presence in the north-east corner of Ireland for what it is: an early 20th century surrender to proto-fascism established and maintained through violence and the threat of violence (that is if they deign to give the matter any thought at all – which few do). Similarly those on this side of the Irish Sea who proclaim their “Britishness” through the mechanisms of Reformation-era sectarianism and racism are more widely seen in the “motherland” as an anachronistic hangover of a long-ago colonial age that few wish to be reminded of. Expecting the population of Britain to view members of the British Unionist minority in Ireland as fellow-citizens of the UK is like expecting the population of the Netherlands to view White Afrikaners in South Africa as fellow Dutch nationals. Whatever relationships may have existed in the past they are now regarded as just that – belonging to the past.

This is never truer than when it comes to Britain’s political and democratic contests. While the Conservative Party may have been willing to indulge the outliers of the “British nation” in the hopes of achieving short-term victories over their Westminster opponents during the darker years of the 20th century, such strategies more often than not have backfired on those who deployed them. The Tories are as mindful as anyone else that playing the “Orange Card” facilitated the liberation of the greater part of the Irish people and nation from foreign hegemony in the early 1900s, reducing that bloody suzerainty over our island to the present micro-colony of the “Northern Pale”.

"Belfast Fianna Fáil wish all members of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland a happy 12th of July"
Vote Tory, get literal brown shirts? Go ahead Britain – we dare you!

However, in case some demagogues of the British Unionist minority in the rump “Kingdom of Ireland” need reminding, here is a smirk-tinged report from the Guardian newspaper:

“David Cameron is guilty of “ducking and weaving” on a ludicrous scale, by encouraging broadcasters to invite a “smörgåsbord” of political leaders to join the television election debates as he tries to avoid facing scrutiny, Nick Clegg has said.

The deputy prime minister… mocked Cameron after the prime minister called earlier this week for the Northern Ireland political parties to be invited to take part in the debates.

The prime minister made his call after the broadcasters agreed to his demand to include the Greens but also announced that the SNP and Plaid Cymru would be invited to take part. The broadcasters are planning to invite seven parties – the Tories, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Ukip, Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru – to take part in two debates.

[Clegg] …told LBC: “Having expressed this truly moving and touching dewy-eyed compassion for the fate of the Greens, David Cameron has said he is now equally worried about the fate of the DUP. I suspect next week he will be worried about the fate of the Monster Raving Loony party and after that, when they are in, possibly the tea lady – why is she not in the debate as well?”

Ah yes, because in truth Britain’s deputy prime minister recognises that the idea of Unionist parties from the north-eastern corner of Ireland taking part in a series of political debates in the run-up to the next UK general election is clearly a nonsense because they – like their regional rivals – are Irish political parties and not British ones; no matter how vigorous their protestations or how disquieting their forced presence in the houses of parliament. Indeed who would want the Democratic Unionist Party, the monster raving loonies of European politics, anywhere near a modern, national television debate? Or a national government?

35 comments on “The Monster Raving Loony Unionist Party

  1. Since you mentioned ‘flegs’ somewhere, I might as well slip this in here. The incident afaik wasn’t reported at the time, so it’s news to most people.

    The point you may have missed though is that the ‘respectable’ UK establishment parties are quite happy to use these goons as a RentAMob when required.

    • You’d think by now that the “UK” authorities would know that creating “martyrs” is no surer way of creating deeply-rooted opposition to the state’s goals and objectives. Arresting those girls and creating a flurry of interest around them (especially amongst many young Yes-voting people who might otherwise have abandoned their beliefs and politics post-referendum) has created a small pool of of “hardened” nationalist supporters. The lack of interest in the case by the mainstream Scottish and British press will have only enhanced the feelings of solidarity amongst the group. From such seeds revolutions do grow. The next UK elections will be interesting. Let’s hope that they live up to (the poll-inspired) expectations. First-pass-the-post is a democracy killer for smaller parties since it is loaded to perpetuate the lead or dominance of established groupings. If Britain had Ireland’s PR system the Westminster parliament would be a fascinating place.

      I wonder if the SNP will try and wrest electoral reform for Holyrood from any minority Downing Street administration or is the SNP happy with the present half-and-half arrangements?

      • Holyrood already has a reasonably fair PR system, designed in fact to prevent the SNP ever getting a majority. As for the polls look at the graph here ;

        Clearly something drastic happened following the referendum, there has been a complete change in voting intentions and the figures have remained steady in all 10 polls since; SNP in the 40-50% range, Labour 25-30% range. The press talk of an “SNP surge”, but this isn’t a surge it’s more like a seismic shift. No sign of a Labour come-back, and the campaign is only just beginning. There may be something like 10 SNP activists to every ‘Scottish’ Labour one. The poll figures suggest that the SNP will easily get a majority of Scottish Westminster seats, with Labour having at best 20, on average maybe a dozen, and at worst (for them) less than the fingers on one hand. And one survey I think pointed out that there was likely to be a greater swing in some of the traditional Labour strongholds, where there was a high Yes vote. Hell, why not go all out to win every single Scottish seat? Think of the message that would send 🙂

        As for the Unionist riot, which seemed to have been particularly well orchestrated, I’m wondering if the authorities feared that some sort of occupy-style resistance camp might have developed in George Sq. once the kids had got over their initial shock of losing the referendum. In which case bringing in the Orange thugs would have immediately ruined the peaceful mood of the assembly and of course given the police the prefect excuse to clear everyone out and end the party. Just a thought …

        • Marconatrix, just on the PR system for the Edinburgh parliament I’m not sure I’d agree. The mixed FPTP and PR d’Hondt system is an odd mix (and apparently quite a confusing one for voters). As far as I know Scotland uses PR/STV for local government elections (city councils, etc.) so voters are already familiar with the single-transferable-vote. Then again I agree that the original electoral system was set up by Labour to shut the SNP out and keep Labour in. And complaints about it only came to the fore in the mainstream media (and from Unionist-leaning “reform” lobbyists) when Salmond overturned expectations and achieved an SNP government.

  2. Graham Ennis

    You forgot to mention the Monster Raving Tory Party, (Provisional Wing) and the Monster Raving Labour Party (American Wing) as this is pretty much how a lot of UK people now regard them. The coming Westminster Parliament can only be described as a bizarre Zoo of factions, rumps, and splits. It will not last the five years it is meant to. People will be voting on the mainland, (Except in Scotland and Wales) in a spirit of malice and hostility towards the mainstream parties, or simply not bothering. I think this will be the most fascinating Parliament since 1945. I do not expect the SNP to be in the Parliament if it ctually lasts until 2020. I see them doing a UDI, quite possibly, or withdrawing, as they realise it is all pointless. History is happening.

    • I expect the SNP are waiting to see if London pulls out of the EU.
      If that happens they will use that as reason to call a second vote..A vote I would expect them to win. I don’t see UDI on the cards. The unionists are using the price of oil against the Nationalists.. If the price of oil had of doubled I doubt the BBC etc..Would be putting out bulletins of how Scotland would have been richer if it had of voted YES.

  3. I can think of few things worse that a Conservative/UKIP/DUP coalition government in Westminster, so let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. There is a part of me though, that would love for the DUP to be involved in these debates, and find themselves with the full glare of the British media upon them. A bunch of bigoted, homophobic, racist creationists on Newsnight? Now that I’d like to see 😉

  4. Northsider

    I disagree with the premise of this article – that very few Britons have any strong wish to maintain British rule in Northern Ireland. The hardline pro-Unionist lobby in the British media is highly influential – especially among the Neocon contingent close to Cameron – numbering the likes of former Daily Telegraph (and Spectator) editor Charles Moore, Matthew D’Ancona, Dean Godson, Paul Goodman, et al among its ranks – as well as “Paleocons” like Peter Hitchens – a man who claims quite ludicrously (and without ever offering a whit of evidence) that the British government “surrendered” to the IRA. Likewise the Murdoch press has always been extremely supportive of Unionism – as has the BBC. Then of course there’s the Daily Mail…

    By the same token, and contrary to general Irish perception, even plenty of leftist Guardianistas are distinctly hostile to Irish Repubicanism – and even to constitutional Irish nationalism – John Lloyd, Julie Burchill, Martin Kettle, to name just a few. Of course some might argue that the media and political class don’t necessarily represent the views of the broad mass of the British public on Ireland, but personally I’m not sure even this is true.

    I remember listening to an episode of the BBC Radio live current affairs discussion programme, Any Questions in the week Ted Kennedy died. When, in response to a question on the late Senator’s political merits, Michael Heseltine denounced Kennedy for “supporting the IRA” (a complete whopper needless to say) the audience cheered him to the rafters, and loudly booed Yasmin Alibhai Brown for very mildly demurring. Nor was this an isolated incident – I’ve seen or heard similar atavistic responses on the part of British audiences again and again when the subject of Ireland is up for discussion. Also, check out the anti-Irish bile on the Guardian’s Comment is Free combox, whenever ANY issue relating to Ireland is up for discussion. Doubtless much of this is generated by full-time trolls – but it nonetheless gives the lie to the common Irish rose-tinted misperception that the English are generally uninterested either way in the Irish question. If anything I’d say that as a nation they’ve become much more belligerently jingoistic since the peace process began. Not that the British establishment was ever exactly Hibernophilic. I once heard Eamon Dunphy recall on the radio being told when he joined Millwall that as an Irish Catholic he could expect a rough time of it in a club owned and run by Freemasons.

    • Well put. I never heard of any of the Journos you mentioned but the condescending British Media is something I recognise.
      Also, I have seen a poll in Britain which showed more support to keeping Ulcer after the Peace Process than before.
      As for Kennedy incident..That is completely sickening of the Brits considering they funded/ armed/ trained Unionist terror gangs.
      A little bit rich of them to condemn Kennedy in that manner when they are as guilty as sin.
      But that’s the Brits all over.
      I once read a comment bemoaning the French who were pouring money into their motor industry.

      • Northsider

        Very true. After every IRA attack in Britain, the “Irish” (I use the word in the loosest possible sense) media always worked overtime to try and generate shame and self-loathing in the Irish public. For example after the Warrington bombing in 1993 I remember the front of the Irish Times showing a sign outside the British embassy in Dublin bearing the legend “Ashamed to be Irish”. Strangely I don’t recall ever seeing any British media outlet urging the British people to express national guilt or shame over the many atrocities of the British state funded and directed Unionist terror gangs you mention.

        • Do you think that the Irish should be proud of the IRA’s actions?

          • Northsider

            It depends on the actions. I never believed the PIRA’s war was winnable – at least in the way it was fought – and an unwinnable war is obviously pointless or worse. It always seemed to me that if Republicans neglected to fight the takeover of the southern Irish media, culture and academia, by Anglo agents, a war in the north would be not only pointless but positively counter-productive. The pen really is mightier than the sword. On the other hand if the IRA had not been around in the late 1960s and early 1970s northern nationalists would have faced massive and bloody ethnic cleansing at the hands of the RUC, the B Specials and huge, very well armed loyalist mobs. Nobody should forget how a handful of volunteers forced a combination of these forces into a humiliating retreat when they tried to burn out the small Catholic enclave of Short Strand in East Belfast in 1970.

            But since, true to form, your question is ludicrously loaded, I’ll lob it straight back at you: do you think the British public should be proud of the actions of successive British governments who covertly ran loyalist British murder gangs – not to mention torturing prisoners, and operating shoot to kill policies?

    • But according to the Good Friday Agreement opinions of the Great Britain’s population don’t matter.
      Only the NI’s population can decide whether to stay or leave the UK.
      Just like it was in Scotland a couple of months ago.

      • Well. I am no fan of the GFA..But this argument is more to do with the Brits believe they have an entitlement to occupy Ireland.
        And we need to educate them that they don’t.
        It’s the Brit media lies.
        Just like the hagiography over Charlie Hebdo anf free speech.
        And the non reporting of the fact that they sacked one of their team for anti semtism.
        Media lies are all around.

        • Well – the DUP are no fans of the agreement either so you’re in a good company.

          No country in the world recognises Northern Ireland as an occupied territory. It’s not even a disputed territory any more, because Ireland has removed any claims to it from the constitution.

          It’s a rightful part of the UK until its population decides otherwise. And it’s recognised as such by the international community as well.

          And the fact that both countries are part of the EU and the Common Travel Area and that there’s no border and they both are 100% English speaking makes the issue even less relevant and makes the IRA murder campaign to look even more pointless than it already was.

          • Northsider

            Do read up a bit before making absurdly uninformed comments – the DUP are administering the Good Friday Agreement in conjunction with Sinn Fein.

    • Northsider, I agree with a lot of that and I’ve always been amused by the efforts of some of the “Liberal” British media to out-do their “Conservative” peers when it comes to anti-Irish sentiment (not simply anti-IRA sentiment). Latent racism towards Irish people is incredibly virulent in some regions of Britain, and I speak from over a decade of experiences garnered during business and personal trips to the UK. Even causal, almost patronising bigotry is fairly common. Some of the stuff British people will say to you is just astonishing, even when they think they are being “funny”. The lack of knowledge about Ireland, whether contemporary or historical, is simply jaw-dropping.

      However we should remember that we see Britain through the lens of some 40 years of radio, TV and newspaper “cultural colonialism”. We know Britain in the way the British will never know Ireland, simply by being exposed to decades of British acculturation.

      That said I believe a majority of British people would be content to see “Northern Ireland” cast adrift. There is simply no perception of it as being “British” in popular culture in the UK. That is highlighting by the part-comical, part-quizzical take that has been taken across the media on the suggestion that parties from the north-east of Ireland should be allowed to participate in the UK election debates. Even the Rightist press has raised an eyebrow at the idea. Parties in Britain, yes or maybe. Parties from a de facto part of a foreign country? No thanks.

      “Northern Ireland” is not the Falkland Islands or Gibraltar and the British know it.

      • Northsider

        ASF: I don’t disagree with most of that. I don’t believe every Englishman is a raving jingoist-Unionist. A fair proportion are actually considerably more prudently sceptical about media versions of the world than the average Irish punter – who tends, sadly, to take the outpourings of Joe Duffy, Fintan O’Toole, Brendan O’Connor, Marian Finucane et al., as the equivalent of the secular Gospel. However I do believe the political and media culture of England is so obviously ultra-nationalist that it goes unnoticed, not least by the English themselves – hidden in plain sight as it were. Is there any equivalent, for example, in Ireland, of the extreme jingoism of the (English) Sun and the (English) Daily Mail? Is there any equivalent, come to that, anywhere in the West – at least any equivalent that shifts as many copies every day? Julie Burchill used to be the highest paid journo in Britain, and she specialises in jingoistic rants, not just against the Irish, but against the French, the Germans, Arabs, Muslims and so on. And she has written for everything from the trendy left-wing rock music paper, the NME, to 80s style mag, the Face, to the Guardian, to the Mail on Sunday, to the Sun, to the Sunday Times, to the Observer, to the Spectator. That CV covers just about the whole spectrum of the British media. Only last Saturday I read a column by Michael Henderson in the Daily Telegraph which illustrated this point perfectly. In the first section he engaged in some national self-congratulation – claiming, rightly or wrongly, that Britain wasn’t afflicted in the same way as many European countries with anti-Semitism. Further down he launched into an anti-French tirade, beginning with the words “The Frogs Are At It Again”! This extremely silly piece ended by ridiculing the “Frogs” allegedly pathetic war record, going all the way back to Crecy and Agincourt (no mention, needless to say, of Hastings – when the “Frogs” conquered England, or indeed the fact that Crecy and Agincourt were only battles in a long war that the “Frogs” actually won. Or that the so called Glorious Revolution of 1688 was in truth a successful invasion of England by French Huguenots exiled in Holland) That this kind of infantile national chest-thumping gets regularly published in supposedly quality newspapers in England doesn’t say much for the maturity of the media culture there. And sad to say I think it tends to colour approaches to the Irish question – amongst other things.

  5. I’m not sure that some people in the rest of the U.K., particularly in England, are even aware that N.I. is part of the same political entity. I recall a work conversation I had with a young woman in the S-E of England : when I rang her to order some item and explained where I was, her response was, “does that belong to us?!!”

    • Exactly, it might as well be the backside of the Moon for all most people down there know or care. When you think about it, it’s hard to see why British governments went to so much trouble and expense to prop it up for so long, given that when they do think about NI it’s frankly a bit of an embarrassment.

      • Northsider

        These comments are purely anecdotal and no hard evidence is offered to support them. The very fact that the British government HAS poured billions into propping up northern Ireland and many more millions into influencing southern Irish opinion in a revisionist anti-nationalist direction proves that the people who matter in Britain care deeply about Ireland.

        • All the British Establishment seem to care about is lining their own pockets and increasing their own personal power, so what was/is in it for them? Why for example send over British soldiers to kill and be killed when the Irish have proven time and again that they’re perfectly capable of killing one another with at most a little encouragement/provocation, and often with none. No offence intended, BTW, I’m just trying to show you how it all looks to most people this side of the water.

          • …the Irish have proven time and again that they’re perfectly capable of killing one another with at most a little encouragement/provocation, and often with none.

            Marconatrix, those killings took place in the context of 800 years of occupation and colonisation. It is like conservative Americans blaming African-Americans for living in ghettos when the ghettos are simply the historical legacy of what European-America did to its African-American communities. The British created the environment in which all of the military/political/communal/national violence over the last 800 years occurred in Ireland. These things did not spring from some innate sense of blood-thirstiness in the Irish character. That explanation comes straight from the pages of Punch, c.1880.

            Since 1923 the only sustained violence in Ireland as occurred in relation to the continued British occupation in the north-east of our country. As a nation we have engaged in NO other wars or conflicts, and that for nearly 100 years.

            How many wars and conflicts have the British engaged in over the last 100 years? Fifty? Seventy? Ninety?

            The British seem to be the ones with the propensity for killing. At least that’s how it seems to us on this side of the water. Though admittedly several centuries of first-hand experience of British “civilization” might make us prejudiced in that matter…

            • You were just damn lucky that the Brits shielded you from the Nazis and the Soviets during WW2.

              • The Germans shielded us from the Soviets during WWII, and the Soviets and Americans defeated the Germans during WWII not the British. The latter were eager to invade and reoccupy all of Ireland during WII and Churchill had to be repeatedly talked out of “rash” plans in relation to Ireland by his advisers during 1939-44. We would have suffered a British re-invasion and reoccupation followed by an American/Canadian/Australian occupation. Technically we would have been at war with the Allies as the Finns were. Including the Soviets.

              • Their plans made sense at the time.
                There was a possibility that the Germans would use Ireland as a base to attack the UK.
                De Valera even expressed his condolences when Hitler died.

              • De Valera did that because he was adhering to the accepted diplomatic conventions of the time, not because he admired Hitler or supported him. Several other leaders in Europe and elsewhere did the same thing.

                Churchill, Roosevelt and Truman “repatriated” 2 million men, women and children to the Soviets in 1945-46. They knew perfectly well what awaited those alleged “Soviet citizens”, including Latvians . By 1950 a majority of the 2 million had died through murder, starvation, mistreatment, disease, etc. in the Soviet gulags. Please don’t hold up the Allies as the embodiments of virtue and morality in WWII or its aftermath.

              • Janis..I have heard this Churchill saved the Irish from Nazis talk time and time again.
                I don’t believe it because the German Navy Kriegsmarine had no Naval Forces to do the hob.
                Yes the Nazis had operation sealion..But you know about D Day.
                How many ships did the USA have on that one?
                They had all sorts of specialist craft such as LST Landing Ship Tanks..the Higgins boat which was designed by an Irish American etc..etc.
                In 1940 the Kreigsmarine had none of this..The Germans had only a Half Complete aircraft carrier the Graf Zepplin.
                So my point is they had no logistics to attempt Sealion.
                Furthermore after the fall of France Hitler SLOWED down War production,He felt that without consumer goods the German people would turn against his war. Sound like the actions of somebody preparing a Cross channel assault??? No me neither.
                Yes Hitler moved Rhine River Barges to the channel coast..But ask yourself this..How many Rhine river barges were in the first waves of the US assault at Omaha ?
                Also, after Norway the Kriegsmarine suffered devasting losses to their naval destroyer fleet..The Falll of Norway led to the end of Neville Chamberlin…before Churchill.

                so The myth you are repeating is an English myth.

                Let me end this long post by talking a bit about the US Navy.
                The USA is the world’s only superpower and the US marines are bigger than today’s entire British army.
                so, Today the US navy/Marines have a force capable of lauching a 35,000 man strong force on an over the Horizon Amphious operation..and that is all..It’s NOT very much with the USA having a 300 ship navy..far in excess of anything.
                I admit amphious operations are out of fashion..But still the point should not be lost.
                The German Kreigsmarine in Nazi Germany was the poor relation in manpower equipment to the Wehrmacht and Luffwaffe.
                To quote Hitler.himself
                “On land I am hero at seaI am a Coward”

                Last point.
                Today is the day 6th army surrendered at Stalingrad..Compare and contrast Hitler throwing the 6th army to the Dogs with his attemts to preserve the Tirpitz battleship in Norway…It barely went out to sea.coz Hitler didn’t want to lose it. He wasn’t fraid of risking/losing whole German armies.
                Sound like the mind of a man capable of staging an invasion of Britain?

              • Yes – there were some shameful “repatriations” unfortunately, but a lot of Eastern Europeans managed to escape safely to the West too and no one “repatriated” them anywhere.

                That’s why we have a sizable Latvian diaspora now – especially in the English speaking world.

                Even some war criminals like Viktors Arājs managed to escape and hide in West Germany for a while.

              • some people think that DeValera may have been Autistic.
                That was why he was a stickler for the details. without having any awareness of the consequences.
                I don’t like the man. or his wretched party. But I can find myself easily believing this.
                Don’t have any hard evidence mind.
                And i suppose these days there are many conditions which are used to explain poor performance.

              • Douglas Hyde, as the President of Ireland, paid a separate visit to the German delegation to express his condolences so it was merely an idiotic adherence to a diplomatic nicety that both foolishly indulged. In my opinion at least. History Ireland as a good article on it that is well worth a read: De Valera, Hitler & the visit of condolence May 1945

              • Northsider

                Also it’s only a few days since the British lowered flags to half-mast as a mark of respect for the recently deceased and extremely despotic ruler of Saudi Arabia. Not to mention Mrs Thatcher’s government bestowal of a gong on Ceaucescu. When the Chinese Premier visited China during the Blair era his aides demanded that all human rights protesters be forcibly kept out of his line of vision. Blair’s government meekly obeyed. And then there’s the small matter of Anglo-America’s sponsorship of Hitler in the first place – Granddaddy Prescott Bush being very much in the frame here.

                In truth Dev’s observation of the diplomatic niceties obscured the fact that Ireland’s “neutrality” was very heavily weighted in favour of the allies. John Turi’s book on Dev, “England’s Greatest Spy” argues that we weren’t really neutral at all. I don’t necessarily agree with Turi’s charge that Dev was an English spy (he doesn’t present nearly enough hard evidence in my view) but I do think he’s right in saying Dev’s nationalism has been seriously exaggerated as part of a straw man narrative – in the same way that the Dublin Four Anglo-Irish media endlessly promote the ludicrous fiction that the only sources of corruption in Irish politics were Charlie Haughey and the “Fianna Fail builders”.

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