The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Where the Wind Blows

Political journalist and Unionist Revisionist Dr John Coulter gives 'Fur Coat Brigade' Unionism a slap across the wrist for abandoning working class Protestants

Dr John Coulter • 26 June 2006

If I was a working class Prod, I'd feel like puking when I see how Unionism has treated us since the Good Friday Agreement in '98.

Now that the DUP has become the top dog in Unionism, the Paisley camp has abandoned working class Protestants.

The ordinary Prods may have tramped Northern streets in their thousands in the Carson Trails, and for paramilitary groups like the Third Force and Ulster Resistance.

But with fundamentalist Paisleyism donning the middle class fur coats once worn by the Ulster Unionist aristocracy, its clear the message from the DUP is – the working class can kiss my ass.

How many working class Prods have ended up in jail because they were conned by the religious fervour of the Paisleyite fundamentalists?

Mention socialism to the DUP and you'll be branded a commie. How many UVF members and their families have voted for the DUP, only to find themselves political outcasts.

To the Paisley camp, the UVF's political movement, the Progressive Unionists, is no better than one of communist tyrant Joe Stalin's Soviets.

And given the vitriolic rhetoric coming from the liberal middle class UUP over party boss Reg Empey's bid to bring Loyalism in from the cold, there no room in Ulster Unionism for working class Prods either.

At one time, the UUP used to boast about its unionist labour movement – but that was only a clever ploy to con working class Prods into voting for Orange dominated Unionism in their thousands.

In trying to find a niche for itself somewhere on the political spectrum, Empey has been attempting to initiate a series of policies which have earned him the nickname Red Reg because of their socialist overtones.

There is the real danger if working class Protestants continue to feel increasingly alienated from their own political parties, they may eat humble pie and turn to the 'auld enemy', the Shinners, for help on bread and butter issues.

Former cop and Orangeman Billy Leonard, now a Sinn Fein councillor in Coleraine, has already stated about the number of Prods seeking his help on constituency matters.

It may only be a trickle now, but if Unionism doesn't start looking after the working class Prods, the concept of Protestant republicanism could become a significant political force within a decade.

Nonsense, the Puritan Prods and religious fundamentalists will cry – just read your Bibles, say a few prayers and all will be well.

But such Puritans would rather indulge in the Biblical Pharisee tactics of hunting the Anti Christ, ridiculing other Protestant denominations and making moral judgements on people's lifestyles than following the true example of Jesus Christ's 'born again' beliefs and helping those less well off than themselves.

Dumped by the DUP; shunned by the UUP, and finding the fringe Loyalist parties ignored, there is also the danger the identity of working class Loyalism will be dead and buried within a generation.

Working class Prods in the present day North are no better off than the Blacks during apartheid South Africa – powerless and penniless.

While republicanism is striding forward into a movement which could have government ministers in two sovereign parliaments – Stormont and the Dail – within a year, working class Protestantism is rapidly running backwards to the politically meaningless existence which Northern working class Catholics found themselves enduring under the Brookeborough regime from 1946 to 1963.

Ordinary Catholics have a legion of working class icons to commemorate, such as James Connolly, Sean Mac Diarmada and Eamonn Ceannt.

And who have the Prods managed to scrape up from the grave? Psycho terrorist Lenny Murphy, the Master Butcher; British agent and sectarian killer Robin Jackson, dubbed the Jackal, and LVF maverick Billy 'King Rat' Wright.

But what working class Prods need is a living political icon – someone who will mobilise them into a powerful pressure group based on Patriotic Socialism.

Until that icon emerges; until working class Protestants launch their Patriotic Socialist Front, ordinary rural and urban Loyalists will remain nothing more than electoral cannon fodder for the Fur Coat Brigade dominated DUP and UUP.

The sad thing is, if the PSF became a reality, its biggest opposition will not come from nationalists or the republican movement.

The main opposition will stem from religious Puritans who will brand such working class Protestants as Godless communist, and from the snobbish Unionist Fur Coat Brigade who will dismiss them as uneducated and uncouth fascists.

Like it or lump it, this is make or break decade for the Northern Protestant working class. You task is simple – organise or go under.

Talking about organising, everyone should make a point of seeing director Ken Loach's latest masterpiece, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, about the War of Independence and the subsequent Irish Civil War.

Winner of the prestigious Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival, it is the most controversial film ever made about the 20th century Troubles since the brilliant '97 flick, Resurrection Man.

It starred Northern-born actor James Nesbitt in a bloody reconstruction of the Shankill Butcher gang led by the notorious UVF psycho and Master Butcher Lennie Murphy.

What's so gripping about the latest Loach movie is the way it evokes emotions. The scenes depicting republicans confronting the Black and Tans stoke up the most anti-Brit feeling since Mel Gibson's The Patriot.

On the other hand, the IRA takes a real pasting from the anti-Treaty forces in the civil war scenes. Republicans will cringe as their civil war forefathers are slaughtered at the hands of the Free State Army.

This flick is devoid of the romanticism of John Wayne's classic, The Quiet Man. But the anti-English bitterness seeping out of The Wind is 100 times more intense than the feeling of hatred towards England fired up in Mel Gibson's mould-breaking movie, Braveheart.















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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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Index: Current Articles

2 July 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Anthony McIntyre

Salvaging History from Defeat
Forum Magazine Editorial

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
Dolours Price

Monsignor Denis Faul: Tribute
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

Protest Continues in Maghaberry
Republican Prisoners Action Group (RPAG) statement

Where the Wind Blows
Dr John Coulter

What's Shaking
John Kennedy

Left, Right, Left, Right Wrong
Mick Hall

Irish Democracy, A Framework for Unity
Francis Mackey

The Peace Progress and the State
Davy Carlin

'The Church Brought to its Knees': Two books on Catholic Ireland's retreat
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Somme Battle Conspiracy
Dr John Coulter

March March March
John Kennedy

What's Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander!
Patrick Hurley

Sovereignty Movement Condemns Racist Attacks
Andy Martin, 32 CSM

Greens Propose Plastic Bag Tax to Help Fund Environment Watchdog
Green Party Press Release

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Introduction
Marcella Sands

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Garda Harassment & Eventual Sitch-up
Marcella Sands

Dolours Price

Judas 118 or DUP Strategy of Subversion?
Anthony McIntyre

22 June 2006

The Framing of Michael McKevitt
Marcella Sands

Foreward to 'The Framing of Michael McKevitt'
Fr Des Wilson

Demagogues and Demigod
Tommy Gorman

Getting It Tight
John Kennedy

The Restoration of Restorative Justice
Marcel M. Baumann

DUP Analysis
Dr John Coulter

Father Faul
Fr. Sean McManus

Aiden Hulme Repatriation Picket
Paul Doyle

Prison Protest Begins
Republican Prisoners Action Group (RPAG), Republican Sinn Fein, Newry

New Hero, and a Legacy
Dr John Coulter

Charlie's Angel
John Kennedy

The Letters page has been updated.

Profile: Mehdi Mozaffari
Anthony McIntyre

The Blanket, the Cartoons and the End of Left and Right
Gabriel Glickman

The Blanket and the Cartoon Controversy: Anthony McIntyre Interviewed
Martyn Frampton

A Welcome End
Mick Hall

Anthony McIntyre

Freedom of Speech index



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