Jake O’Kane is getting a lot of flack for ‘wading into’ a debate about children being involved in parades. I think he’s 100%, 100% right that is in this case, he’s definitely not a 100%!
I am not a bigot, I don’t even class myself as being Irish or British anymore. I am from a Nationalist Republican background but I knew by my mid teens that Tribalism was causing too much hurt and pain for me ever to be able to lend my sympathies to it. The problems in this country are coming from two main sources:
1. National Identity
2. Religious Identity
I put National Identity first because it is more subtle and more accepted and I think more dangerous and this is mainly because the influence of Religion has changed somewhat in the last 20 to 30 years. The recent Flags issue and the new rise of dissident Republicanism has shown very clearly that the past ‘hasn’t gone away ya know’!
Jake reckons we need about ten years without marches here and I partially agree with him but I think we need to ban parades and ban flags altogether, that’s all Parades and all Flags! The furore surrounding Jakes comments come from him drawing very clear parallels between people complaining about children being dressed as IRA men at an Easter Parade. When something like this happens here in Northern Ireland shit gets divisive! Nigel Dodds starts slobbering about it being wrong, about it being Republican child abuse but you didn’t hear him doing any slobbering when the Orange Order was under fire for marching in circles outside St Patricks did you? Some of the other side are exactly the same they are all up in arms (excuse pun!) about the ‘uneducated Loyalists’ causing mayhem but they don’t mention the Republicans (probably educated) trying to kill Peelers. We’re a fucking joke but the joke ain’t funny.
The AOH and the OO may believe that because they are apparently ‘respectable’ that they have a right to indoctrinate children but they’re wrong. Over zealous pride in both National Identity and Religious Identity are causing the problems here. It is just as wrong to march in a collaret (of either colour) as it is to dress kids up in war uniforms. If you have too much pride in being either Irish or British you are part of the problem, I don’t care if you’re a middle class doctor or a spide, the principle is exactly the same. We need to get away from both these caustic identities because combinations of either or both of them are causing widespread Tribalism which is in turn causing perfectly rationally minded people to lend their sympathies to the support and fostering of out of control intolerance.
Something else is being forgotten here that is much more important. We buy little boys toy guns, we buy them Modern Warfare and other ultra violent games and we teach them to be soldiers, we teach them not to be emotional and basically give them the beginnings of an angry and intolerant character which they then think is normal and which they carry into adulthood.
As I have said many times before when these things happen either one from either side gets very vocal about “Them’uns” and what “they’re” doing and saying but they never look at their own side because they are bigots who believe they’re right.
If it isn’t alright for one side then it isn’t alright for the others either. The problem here has always been that we excuse violence and intolerance because “Them’uns” started it but you CANNOT justify wrong doing by somehow making it acceptable to do something to others that you didn’t want done to yourself. Nigel Dodds and people like him FROM BOTH SIDES need to wise up, they are and always have been simply helping their respective communities become further entrenched because they are bigots.
And to end I have a great idea never mind how we dress the kids up maybe we should stop allowing bigots to dress up as Politicians, now that would really make a difference here!
As for Jake O'Kane, fair play to him, he has a high profile and he should be applauded for having the balls to say it like it is. Get it Outta ya!
Peace and Love.