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The real 'poor downtrodden'
JohnPDate: Tuesday, 2014-05-20, 12:30 PM | Message # 1
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I think in many ways the crisis of identity within Ulster's PUL community is closely tied to the socioeconomic crises that have devastated it in recent decades. Contrary to the false Republican propaganda of their disenfranchisement, a look at the cold, hard facts shows which community is really suffering.

Voter turn out in working-class Protestant areas tends to be around the 25% mark, far lower than nationalist areas. Source:

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2011/may/06/low-loyalist-turnout-northern-ireland

26 out of 30 of the electoral wards with the highest rates of truancy are in Protestant areas. Source:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19796833

Only 1/3 of NI university students are Protestant, despite being a majority of the population. Source:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-15341820

The educated Protestant community has been abandoning Ulster since the troubles began. Source:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-25449449

This trend has actually increased since the 1998 Agreement. Source:

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/features/young-gifted-and-on-a-boat-out-of-ulster/149249.article

Representation of working-class Protestants in the PSNI is almost non-existent. Source:

http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/regional/loyalist-shankill-road-rejects-jobs-in-psni-1-1866430

In some ways, these are problems that are affecting working-class (or perhaps more appropriately, 'underclass') communities across the UK. But the fact that these problems disproportionally affect Ulster's PUL community shows that there is a sectarian dynamic to these problems.

It is the PUL community that is being excluded from education, from politics, from civil society. I find it very sad to witness these things happening, while the PUL community is unable to speak up for itself.
 
CulzieDate: Tuesday, 2014-05-20, 2:59 PM | Message # 2
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Your last few lines reminded me of a man saying to me ''I shouldn't concern myself with these things we have politicians to look after that sort of stuff '' I think that comment gives a fairly good insight into most working-class unionist thinking. I myself only know of one person from a working-class background with whom I could have a discussion about politics or tradition,culture etc.

In days gone past young unionists were encouraged by their parents to get an education and this did happen, but the usual outcome of this was that they then withdrew from the working-class from whence they came. I don't think this happens to the same extent within the nationalist community.


Ulster Protestants consider themselves to be a separate nation. This nation they call Ulster
 
JohnPDate: Tuesday, 2014-05-20, 5:00 PM | Message # 3
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Very true. There's a lot of truth in the saying, "when the republicans were thinking, the loyalists were drinking". In my opinion a lot of these problems go back to the culture surrounding education and work in the PUL community. It used to be you didn't worry about education, because you knew you would get a job on the shipyards. That's what my great-grandfather did, he worked at Harland & Wolff before moving to the Govan shipyards - very much a stereotypical Prod (since then, my family have moved across the sea at least once a generation).

Catholics on the other hand, perhaps because of their stronger sense of political consciousness, recognised the usefulness of education as a means of social mobility and the role that could have in advancing their cause. They probably took a lot of their cues from the American civil rights movement and Apartheid South Africa in that regard.

The Catholics won over respectable opinion to their cause, and I think this has created a sort of reactionary defensiveness within Protestants towards academia, the media etc. They know the media hates them, they know politicians outside of Ulster hate them, so they just disengage from that whole world, from civic society in general.
 
CulzieDate: Tuesday, 2014-05-20, 5:45 PM | Message # 4
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A lot of sense in what you say. I believe you have the people and the situation summed up. There was a time when Protestants encouraged learning amongst their people as it was the way to get ahead and improve oneself. This was especially true among Presbyterians. Catholics on the other hand got religion in their schools at the expense of an education, but as you said, this has changed.

I firmly believe that the civil rights movement in America, and the unrest and protest thoughout the western world was the catalyst for what happened in Ulster and was used by Irish republicanism to launch their murder campaign. Any Protestant with even a remote sense of history knew this despite words of assurance by British politicians and others that ''the border is not an issue here ''.

You are right about the media and politicians but I believe we must continue to put forward our side of what happened and that it was not all one way. I go onto some sites where Irish Catholics are members too, and confront their claims when they make them of how they were guilty of the things they accuse Protestants of. There is another guy a unionist who knows his stuff. From what I deem he went to Queens and is well able to handle himself when debating with the other side.


Ulster Protestants consider themselves to be a separate nation. This nation they call Ulster
 
CulzieDate: Tuesday, 2014-05-20, 7:58 PM | Message # 5
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There was a reluctance among Catholics to play a part in Northern Ireland and the few who did were treated like pariahs or worse traitors. But they then turned this reluctance into a campaign of them having been denied their rights. And it worked.

To take the example of public appointments, a 1962 study suggested that the Catholic community's lower standards of education played a role - particularly when it came to the higher posts. An American sociologist working in the 1980s took this argument a stage further. On the eve of the Troubles, 9 per cent of Protestants had a higher education as compared to 5 per cent of Catholics.

This difference was identified as the reason for the minority population's lower occupational status. The reason for the lower standards of education in the first place was laid at the door of the church. Catholics thoughout the English-speaking world supposedly placed less emphasis upon education than Protestants did. This therefore accounted for 'the similarity between the position of Catholics in Northern Ireland and other countries'. Some of the Catholics who had the necessary qualifications might have been reluctant to work for their 'oppressors'.

One of the few Catholics to rise to the top of a Stormont department remembered 'that some Catholics, and especially those in Belfast where, I have been told, the Bishop had advised them against seeking Government employment, looked with suspicion on Catholic civil servants'.


Ulster Protestants consider themselves to be a separate nation. This nation they call Ulster
 
JohnPDate: Tuesday, 2014-05-20, 10:42 PM | Message # 6
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Ugh, the civil rights movement...

Much like Carson I recognize the need for all citizens to have equal rights, but that rights movement of the 60's was unashamedly Republican in its outlook. Sadly Republicans have always been great at PR. They support the far-left so we look to the far-right. They fly Palestine flags so we fly Israel flags. They always pick the good causes to score easy sympathy points through effortless gestures, while we flail around madly picking the exact opposite of whatever they pick just to prove how different we are to them. It is this self-destructive behaviour that makes me believe that we are our own worst enemies.

If you don't mind me asking, what other sites are you debating these things on? I might have a look at them myself.
 
CulzieDate: Wednesday, 2014-05-21, 5:13 PM | Message # 7
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Re other sites.Did you get the PM I sent you ?

Yes they are very adept at portraying themselves as the underdog, and people naturally have a sympathy towards the underdog. This attitude even extends to football and other sports.

I think myself there is a sympathy and admiration and an understanding for Israel among some Protestants. Of course as you have said there are others who have the attitude ' if they are against them then we are for them '

Yes we do tend to shoot ourselves in the foot. We also tend to let serious things pass by and then get all het up when the deed is already done. The flying (or non flying) of the Union flag is but one example of this.


Ulster Protestants consider themselves to be a separate nation. This nation they call Ulster
 
JohnPDate: Thursday, 2014-05-22, 9:16 AM | Message # 8
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We certainly are more reactive than proactive. That probably comes with the mindset of being on the defensive.

Don't get me wrong about Israel, I sit on the fence on that issue. Israel and Palestinians both have valid claims to statehood. The thing is the Republicans always side with what common opinion views as the oppressed. Heck, Republicans flying Palestine flags was actually a good PR opportunity for us - we could have flown Palestine and Israel flags together and said "we support peace", and by contrast making it look like the Republicans are pushing some sort of Hamas-style Palestine-only viewpoint.

I've noticed some Celtic fans employing Ukrainian imagery of late. So, rather than flying Russia or Donetsk Republic flags and becoming the bad guys, we should show Ukraine and Russian flags together and not only become the good guys, but actually make the Republicans look intolerant.

We need to get a lot more savvy when it comes to PR.
 
CulzieDate: Thursday, 2014-05-22, 12:37 PM | Message # 9
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Yeah agreed, its the way to go, but our temperament is to be up front. In days gone past it was considered a good thing to speak your mind honestly, however, now days its almost a sin to do so. I think the Irish are a naturally cunning people and they 'sell' themselves very well. But I think we should remember that they have been at this for many years. I can't recall a movie which showed the Irish in a bad light. This despite being involved in murders, bombings, torture etc. If you can do that then you have got it made. They have probably learned this from Rome who despite being responsible for the deaths of thousands (if not millions) are looked up to by people all over the world.

What you say about the flags would be a good way to play it. I think in changed times you have to cut your cloth to suit. I know a fella from S.C. who is very much a Confederate and very active in the LOS etc. I noticed they have come up with a new flag...a black diagonal cross on a white background. I'm thinking this is because the traditional Confederate flag has got a lot of flack and criticism from the 'usual suspects' racist flag etc. Whether this does any good remains to be seen.


Ulster Protestants consider themselves to be a separate nation. This nation they call Ulster
 
JohnPDate: Thursday, 2014-05-22, 4:32 PM | Message # 10
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Culzie, that wouldn't by any chance by this guy, would it?

http://ulsterconnections.blogspot.co.uk/2011_08_01_archive.html

I've read on the Ulster Nation site as well that David Kerr is quite sympathetic to Southern/Confederal nationalism in the US. I actually used to read a Kinist website that had a few of those sort on it so I'm somewhat familiar with their take on things.
 
CulzieDate: Friday, 2014-05-23, 8:51 PM | Message # 11
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Yip that's the fella John. He started that blog from a Confederate forum that I use to go onto in answer to a woman on the same forum who was asking about Ulster, and its links to the people of Dixie. He is all tied up now with the LOTS and his own Facebook page and Southern Nationalism. He has made a few posts on here as Palmettto Patriot. I think myself he is aiming to go into politics. Just a guess.

Have met David Kerr a couple of times. I wouldn't be for independence, but for a strong Ulster identity within the UK which would help to show the world that there are two different peoples on this island.


Ulster Protestants consider themselves to be a separate nation. This nation they call Ulster
 
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