Well there it was . Lisa McAlister was standing in on the Nolan morning show as Mr Nolan headed off to the USA. Naturally enough  at this time of year the conversation was the flags obsession. Nothing new there you might think. Here we are nearing Groundhog Day again and as sure as the dandelion finds its time to blossom by some cosmic symmetry , how the bluebell and the  buttercup join the queue and    blossom follows some weeks later, so too, at some unannounced signal , overnight the lampposts will miraculously be festooned in flags { or “flegs” , if we are being dictionary correct.}.

There are none now as I write, but as sure as “eggs is eggs”, one morning I will get into the car and as I drive towards the town centre,I’ll suddenly be in a corridor of flapping woven polyester ,  surrounded  by  a new blossom  that heralds the coming Marching Season. In tandem, the kerbstones will blush red , white and blue as though weeping in sympathy with the lampposts. That’ll be it for the entire summer or longer until the tatterdemalion threads are shot to pieces and the “flegs” as our Belfast cousins have  noted them, hang forlorn and wasted like  the dying threadbare leaves of autumn.

Well and good, then .We are all well used to this annual  outpouring of tastelessness, but what  I was  not expecting was the abrasive , misogynist  attack by the PUP  loyalist leader Billy Hutchinson  on the aforementioned Lisa. Finding   Nolan’s chair vacated and  his show represented by a” mere female” , he thought  the time was right to attempt to bully her .There, right before  the listeners in aural 3-D were all the reasons why Northern Ireland is in the situation it is . The true  face of loyalism could not conceal its contempt for civility and outright hatred of anything or anyone with an opposing viewpoint. There was to be no pretence at debate .The feral teeth were bared , the blood was aboil  and it was to be his fascistic way or no way.His Putin obsession was in the ascendance The contempt for law and order or even the concept of democracy and fair play were being written large.This Neanderthal behaviour has been allowed to fester in the shadowy streets of the ghettoes but there it was , looming as large as life itself on the radio, armed with the backing of his own constituency.Hitler and Mussolini got their start like this. .

 It only took Mr Nolan’s leaving to expose it for what it truly is…

 We can’t let these uppity women dare to talk us “real men” down …especially when its about our “flegs”.


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