Jude Collins

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Ruthie, Doublethink and Castlederg

My dictionary defines ‘double-think’  as “the acceptance of or mental capacity to accept contrary opinions or beliefs at the same time, especially as a result of political indoctrination”.  I think that summarises rather nicely what’s going on over the proposed republican parade in Castlederg. 

“It is an outrage that Sinn Fein in west Tyrone has even organised such an event in this community” says the DUP’s Tom Buchanan. I don't think Mr Buchanan has expressed his views on the 20+ loyal order marches through the centre of Castlederg every year but I’m  going to go out on a limb here and say he is vigorously in support of them. So our lot commemorating and even celebrating a battle in which at least 1500 died is commendable;  that lot commemorating a conflict in which IRA volunteers died is ‘obnoxious’. QED.

And then there’s Ruth Patterson. The DUP councillor made her Facebook comment on a make-believe account of a loyalist murder attack on named republicans involved in the Castlederg commemoration parade. “Would I shed a tear? No. Would I loose (sic) a night’s sleep? No, would I really worry about what anyone else thought? No.”  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Ruthie is vigorously in support of the 20+ loyal order marches through the centre of Castlederg every year. Of course, you might decide that her later apology for her ‘lapse of judgment’ disqualifies her as a double-think  representative but I must respectfully differ. My guess is that the DUP hierarchy leant on Ruthie and she was left with no other choice but an apology. 

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: conflicts, battles and the dead of same can be commemorated without doing the restless-legs thing and parading about.  But if unionism sees it as perfectly reasonable/time-honoured to march through a town 20 times  (not to mention the 3,000+ marches throughout the north every year),  it’s entering  Doublethinkland when it gets all outraged about one republican parade through - no, actually avoiding the centre of -  the same town. 

Please, tell me there are unionists out there who disown such mental knuckle-dragging.


  1. And the people of Castlederg? Is their opinion of any relevance?
    Or must they just suffer on while republicans prove they are as unpleasant as loyalists?
    Jude 20 orange parades in Castlederg is not good, but this little incident does not show republicans in a good light either.
    Also do you see any difference between battles which took place hundreds of years ago and events involving families still living and remembering?

  2. Thanks for thoughts as always, gio. As I say, I'd be in favour of suspending all marching/parades. And I'm sure there are people in Castlederg who will feel aggrieved, especially those who have lost loved ones. There are others - maybe even a majority, although that's just a guess - who would not feel aggrieved or who would even support the idea of honouring those IRA volunteers who died. Yes, there's a difference between parades commemorating battles hundreds of years back (even to say it shows how absurd such things are) and those commemorating conflict within living memory. But none of that seems to bother those who yearly honour the British forces who died in all conflicts, including those here. Is there sensitivity there? In fact, nationalists and republicans are castigated for not attending these commemorations. My piece focused on doublethink. QED.

    1. Jude
      I agree about the doublethink. Odd to hear Arlene Foster talking about the PSNI enforcing Parades Commission determinations when Orange parades show scant regard for such determinations.
      Fair play to Mairtin O'Muilleor, today, for how he coped with more ugly behaviour.

  3. Doublethink?

    I agree about Ruth…

    But then Gerry talks about the Republic being in the control of ‘elites’ whilst receiving healthcare with money donated from William J. Flynn (National Committee on American Foreign Policy, chairman emeritus of Mutual of America, chairman of the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy and president of Flax Trust America). Martin welcomed the NYSE’s to Northern Ireland, hardly compatible with Martin and Gerry’s stated positions on almost anything.

    Others in Sinn Fein talk about a new era in policing while ignoring the huge MI5 base in Northern Ireland. MI5 being current/ex-combatants and completely outside the accountability of new policing structures and still very much in business in Northern Ireland. The police are subservient to MI5 so what has changed exactly with the introduction of Stormont 2.0?

    The civil rights push for equal employment and housing by the likes of Oliver Kearney in America seems to have netted his family a place at the table (in fact they pretty much are the table) but what of the rest of West Belfast? How many of them work in or around the NI Assembly again? Perhaps you could do an article on how much the employment prospects of the average person in West Belfast have changed in the forty years Sinn Fein have been in charge?

    Demanding the truth about state murder while covering up the details of many disappeared victims and trying to justify it by saying it helps ‘peace’? Whose peace? Certainly not the victim’s families.

    Doublethink: I would say that once you examine what is being done as opposed to what is being said it is all entirely consistent and to plan. IMHO they need the bigotry to cover the real business of Stormont. No bigotry, no secrecy, no secrecy, no ability to cover shady backroom deals.

  4. I despise Patterson's bigotry, but at least she was fantasising about an imaginery terrorist attack. This parade celebrates a real one. I wonder if there would be as much support for the parade had the attack succeeded? Or whether there would even be a town centre to march through. Republicans used to make a virtue out of leadership, but seem to have abandoned it in exchange for some leverage in the Haass talks.

  5. Caastlederg is now a majority nationalist town with a sigificant unionist minority. Year on year there are countless loyalist parades, all of which pass through the commercial town centre with no objections from nationalists, this includes rememberance Sunday and UDR rememberance parades, the last one of which passed through a Nationalist area of the town.

    The last time republicans applied to demontrate in the town was 1994 when they were calling for the release of political prisoners and they were banned from entering the town centre on that occasion by the RUC.

    There have been 17 unionist parades in the town this year so far since January with TWO more due the day before the republican parade, one of which has been incredibly given unrestricted access to proceed through the contentious area of Ferguson Crescent, Priest's lane and Killeter road.Black Saturday is also due to be held in the town at the end of August which will have full access to the town centre unopposed.

    Why should the town centre of Castlederg be the preserve of loyalism and the Orange order when Nationalists have to tolerate so many loyalist parades?

  6. Interesting aside to Patterson story The day the story broke on virtually every media outlet UTV FAILED to let its viewers know what Patterson actually said.When I phoned to complain I was told the old excuse of legal reasons.When I asked how the BBC were able to publish I was met with the answer ;ask the BBC; SEEMS UNIONISM DIDNT DEPART UTV WITH MIKE NESBITT