Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Town Bloody Hall?
The News Letter reports that Belfast City Council — crucially, with the support of Alliance Party councillors — has voted down an attempt to apply for Foras na Gaeilge funding for an Irish-language officer.
Although the Blether Region haes its douts that the post came close to being worth its proposed salary of £40,000, it's difficult not to conclude that the affair typifies some of the most egregiously depressing elements of language politics in Northern Ireland: the reflexive opposition of Unionists to anything Gaelic; the fact that, in this case taking their lead from no less than one-time Ulster-Scots activist Lee Reynolds, they were prepared to oppose the move in the full knowledge that they might well scupper the chances of an Ulster-Scots officer being appointed; and the casual prostitution of the Alliance Party as it attempts to ingratiate itself with moderate — or, as is becoming increasingly clear, not-so-moderate — Unionists.
Remember: the Alliance Party's Máire Hendron was the one who supported the idea of taking down the Union Flag from City Hall — where no one actually noticed it — and as a quid pro quo favoured putting one up permanently over the Cenotaph — where it would have been in full view of everyone, one or two at least of whom would have been likely to vandalise a war memorial as a result.
They don't think.