V Day

By Anthony McIntyre (from the Pensive Quill, Nov. 2)

The resonance of cheering voices and stomping boots drowned out the sound of angry voices and marching feet. It was embarrassing to watch. The triumphalism of the British Army regiment, the Royal Irish, on public display in the heart of Belfast this morning punched yet another gaping hole in the approved narrative of the peace process. In that narrative a draw is projected as the outcome of decades of armed political conflict. The sketch of that draw purports to show equality and shared space, orange and green in equal amounts intermingled and daubed all over the place. One of the colours on the palette must have faded. There was little green and plenty of orange in Belfast today. The space that was shared, the city centre, was carved up equally between Union Jacks and Red Hand of Ulster flags. The equality on display was one of the RIR being on a par with political legitimacy. No chance of the Provisional IRA being allowed to march in uniformed formation past the City Hall. In the official pecking order it is the child of a lesser god.

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© 2008 Irish Republican News