There’s a point being missed regarding the Daithi McKay/Jamie Bryson debacle over Peter Robinson and the NAMA scandal.Put bluntly …It’s the unusual pragmatism involved in an ultra -loyalist sharing a stealth assault on the leader of the unionist DUP with a member of Sinn Fein…..any member of Sinn Fein! The fact that he actually took instruction from the “enemy -camp” and was schooled in the details of presentation by a Sinn Fein member too, is unprecedented. What I mean is that if Jamie Bryson and Sinn Fein can communicate and devise strategies at this level, why has no -one commenting in the media, shown any surprise at this level of cooperation and intrigue between two such ,very opposing viewpoints.How did the introductory conversation go, for example?…..
“I’v e got some dirt that I want to dish on Peter Robinson…How do I go about presenting it properly, Daithi?…You’re a bright guy …any ideas?”…..and what should the response have been to that?
If that kind of talk had been translated across our society to form an alliance of the underdogs , what kind of a proper political thrust for social change that might bring, eh?If the underdogs could be weaned away from the foolishness of blunt, stupid symbology and the following of fools whose sole purpose is to manipulate them into staying compliant and low-bred , what difference might be made?The loyalists have been forgotten apparently and so have those in the nationalist camp who didn’t buy int to the Sinn Fein strategy.
You can argue that in Peter Robinson ,Jamie and Daithi had a mutual enemy at that exact moment in time . It’s funny when you consider that Peter Robinson has been all but completely forgotten within a few mere months…some legacy, eh? This has revived his ghost once more.Many ultra -loyalists or ultra-unionists argue that the DUP, or unionism generally, has no sense of themselves at all ,and should have no business in sharing Stormont with the old republican enemy . They see it as a step too far. They see that as a betrayal of their unionist roots ,at base, and would never have accepted it had they not neen politically manipulated into that invidious position by the Good Friday Agreement and then the St Andrews Agreement that followed it.The fact is they had nowhere else to go other than to accept Joint-Direct Rule from the UK and the Republic of Ireland. They’ve always been manipulated anyway. Now they have to accept it or lose any semblance of power…not to mention their wages.There’ll be much huffing and puffing about bringing Stormont down…much banging of their spoons on the table too, but the DUP will swallow their bile and carry-on .
There is surely no love lost between Mr Bryson and the republican movement. Whatever Mr Bryson’s politics are, they can hardly be described as “republican”. Come to that I have no real idea what Jamie Bryson’s actual political thoughts are about anything. Think about that for a moment.Has he talked about socialism, for example , or any other kind of political ideology …or is he a simple working-class unionist conservative? What we know only is that he is termed ,what is colloqually known, as a “loyalist” but that in itself is not really a “political” stance…nor is the obsession with flying union flags which brought him to local prominence.That’s only a form of tribalism .
.Even the word “loyalist” is very much open to so many interpretations. In Norneverland , Ireland, a “loyalist” is first and foremost a loyalist with loyalty to only six -counties of the nine -county Ulster. The loyalty ends at a very specific imaginary line on the map of Ireland and is not shared with the other three counties. The “loyalty switch” literally turns off at specific places as the roads and rivers run across the land , entering the Republic of Ireland. The same “loyalty” does not actually stretch to a loyalty of England and Wales or even Scotland. it is a very specific contained loyalty that really has no more respect for the UK Government at Westminster than does the republican movement, as exemplified by Sinn Fein , who refuse to attend there as ministers.The “loyalists” that Mr Bryson represents have no real political representation , at all ,in this respect.Their “loyalty” is a unique thing to them alone.
The “loyalism” of Norneverland loyalists is sometimes reported only to be associated with a specific German/English/ Greek /Danish family nominally known as “the Windsors” (Of the Royal House of Windsor), currently figureheads of an English monarchial throne . How someone living in a cramped terraced house on a sink-estate or a Belfast side-street can equate themselves or even identify with this particular family of privilege is one of the mysteries of life here, but they’ll annually refresh the kerbstones in the colours of red, white and blue and fly flags as an odd badge of honour. The saying goes that “there’s nought as strange as folks” and it is truer here in Norneverland , Ireland than in many other places on our planet.
The “House of Windsor” was named thus in 1917 , a year after the Irish rising of 1916 and at the height of the carnage of World War 1. As Britain engaged in a pointless war with Germany and 17 million ordinary folk across Europe were killed and another 20 million were injured , Britain somehow , due to a series of prior alliances, found itself siding with Russia, France and Serbia and opposing Germany. It was the world’s first properly industrial conflagration and a great chance to try out the new war -paraphanelia that factory owners were churning out in great quantities., it was deemed somewhat unpatriotic for a ruler of German extraction to maintain a German name and ethos in England during a time when his subjects were being slaughtered by Germans.Anti-German sentiment at the time would have created many problems for such a monarchy. Again, pragmatism was the key.Better to call the family something rather more innocuous that wouldn’t frighten the horses, than to remind the country -folk of their rulers’ true Germanic origin-story.
“Windsor” is still the royal house of the United Kingdom of England, Wales, Scotland and latterly Northern Ireland.(The twenty six counties of the Irish Republic ,having escaped its influence, since). It also encompassed those other old Commonwealth realms from the times when Britain ruled an imperialist world empire. The dynasty is of German descent on the male side and was originally a branch of the old Germanic House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, itself derived from the House of Wettin, which succeeded the House of Hanover .They provided suitable Germanic monarchs to rule the lesser-beings of the British Empire. Queen Victoria died in 1901 ,at the beginning of the 20th century, out-living her German husband Albert, the Prince Consort. The houses of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Windsor have since provided five British monarchs to date, including four kings and the present Queen, Elizabeth II.She married a Greek/Danish consort so you could only call the family genetically or racially “British”, in a very loose sense of the term.
This brings us back to Jamie Bryson and his loyalist followers.Being thoughtlessly loyal to a Germanic dynasty is one thing , but being unfaithful servants of her faithful Westminster government ministers ,to the point of siding with the traditional republican enemy takes some gymnastics of thought, given that images of the leaders of that movement are regularly burnt to ashes on loyalist bonfires. Taking instruction from Sinn Fein in pursuit of this just stretches notions of credibility and understanding to the limits of well-chewed , chewing-gum.