We read with interest that Hilary Clinton and the Russian Foreign Minster are heading into Dublin to discuss the terrible ongoing tragedy that Syria has become. Perhaps whilst they are there they can help restore a little peace in Northern Ireland.
The latest outburst of violence has stemmed from a decision regarding the flying of the Union flag. This Union Flag which is the flag of the UK is obviously important to those protesting. Would any English person care so much should the Union flag be flown less often on a local council building? Would they Hell.
So what is all of this about?
Earlier this week a decision was made regarding the flying of the Union flag on Belfast City Hall. It was decided that it would not be flown daily, as a matter of course, but instead the members voted that it be flown on 15 designated days each year. Since then violent disorder has followed.
In Northern Ireland the Protestants.loyalists, and the Catholics, republicans, have their own important symbols. In what will seem ludicrous to many people on mainland Britain any changes in tradition are not accepted. Marches clelebrating a long ago fought and won Battle continue to antagonise the opposition each year. Both sides want to hang on to what is important to them and often like a red rag to a bull to the other side.
That is their choice. Of course it will no doubt be a minority who choose to kick off and turn to violence. In doing so old hatreds resurface and true peace remains elusive.
This week we have been pondering such historical hatred with many countries in mind. Palestine and Israel both have current gripes but more of their differences lie in the past. Hanging on to old hate and history is not often a good thing. Yes we all need to accept what has taken us to a certain point in life but then we need to let go. That is what people such as the Irish, Israelis, Arabs and Palestinians need to do. Simply raking up old history is non productive.
Plenty of countries in anger have voiced thoughts that a particular nation may no longer exisit that does not mean that it is necessarily true now. The USA actually trie to bring Japan to its knees or blow them off the face of the earth at the end opf World War Two.
Of course it could be true now for some but for many it is time to move on.
The people of all of these countries deserve better.
You can argue that those who want the flag flown should have a voice. Well if that it the case put it to a costly referendum and act on the result but surely there are more important matters to address?
The Union flag flying high may offer comfort to some but to those on the opposite side it will not. Should our flag be used for such political ends? No it should not. Whilst we understand that some who support the Union want to display the flag this storm in a teacup is nonsense.
What it does prove though is that for some in Northern Ireland peace has never arrived. Nor will it unless both sides offer compromises.
Based in Yorkshire, in the middle of the UK, almost, this blogger offers her own unique perspective on life in GB
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