As Wednesday’s Battle of the Boyne anniversary approaches, the frequency of marches by Loyalist groups is increasing in Northern Ireland and further afield. In some areas of Belfast there were fourteen marches in just three days, often right through the middle of predominantly republican areas.
In addition, huge bonfires have been built to be lit in celebration of the anniversary – ‘huge’ on a scale that would boggle the mind of most British people – and ‘decorated’ with every insult to their Roman Catholic neighbours that the builders can think of:
This is the ‘temperature’ that the Tories risk increasing to flashpoint by their collaboration with the Democratic Unionist Party.
Mid & East Antrim Council has issued guidance to bonfire-builders about what they shouldn’t put on their bonfires – but it has nothing to do with avoiding sectarianism and bigotry:
Don’t put anything dangerous on your bonfire – but putting hateful language, pictures of your neighbours’ politicians and symbols of their religion? That’s ‘celebrating culture’, apparently.
The Tory-DUP ‘bung pact’ seems to have almost become normalised in Britain now, but it’s hard to imagine that the Tories have much idea of the situation they are being reckless with – or care much about how it looks to the republican half of Northern Ireland or the possible consequences of their self-interested, short-term clinging to power.
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