The Union Jack-The Butcher’s Apron.
The Butchers Apron otherwise known as the Union Jack drips in the blood of many a nation exploited by the British Empire The British ruling elite now play second fiddle to U.S. imperialism, its flag appropriately, fly’s alongside the stars and stripes in its never ending “war on terrorism”.
Ireland and Union Jack
There are many in Ireland who would still like to see the Queen’s bloody apron fly the length and breadth of this island of Ireland. Indeed after her much hailed visit last year there has been a tidal wave of articles proclaiming the wonders of The House of Windsor. Of course most of this grovelling comes from those who lord it over us in these austerity times, alongside the chattering classes who use there pen or voice to tell those below them how lucky we are. Alas for me I prefer the men and women who tried to establish a better Ireland by the burning of the Butchers Apron and everything it represented. The men and women of 1916 sought to destroy this empire bigger in its day as powerful as U.S today, in particular Connolly. Their sacrifice was not what Connolly wished the outcome to be but what they started eventually brought down the Butchers Apron in southern part of this island, while given hope to millions under its jackboot in its colonies.
North of Ireland
While in the Northern part of the island it continues to fly despite the protests by loyalist otherwise. There plea to maintain the flying of the butchers apron over Belfast city hall everyday of the year is an example of the mind set of loyalism if you’re not one of us your under our jackboot. This has not changed since the British set up this artificially sectarian stat-let. These mostly poor protestant working people were used as a means to prevent a united Ireland. To this very day they continue to see themselves as defenders of the King and country or in their case expressed through defense of flying the flag. It is not that in the north of Ireland the butcher’s apron cannot be seen on the contrary it is seen on the curbstones, on wall ends. flown from windows, in areas were protestants live. In many respects the Protestants of the north are more akin to the whites of South Africa trying to maintain a system which is indefensible, furthermore there masters have little use for them anymore. There masters who are presently taking the chainsaw to the social fabric of Britain through massive cuts. They have no appetite even if the money was available, to continue its present funding of the north of Ireland. In situations like this fascists like the British nationalist party certainly try to gain a foothold. This is not new of course the U.V.F./R.H.C./ U.D.R.(loyalist paramilitary groups) has had contacts with these far right groups. Indeed most of these groups received their weapons from South Africa.
These groups still exist and reportedly are still influential in events taking place. The new dawn promised by Gerry Adams (Sinn Fein) when with the help of U.S/ U.K. imperialism and their “Good Friday agreement” everything his dead and imprisoned comrades fought against. If ever there was an example of the bankruptcy of nationalism it is the politics of the I.R.A. The peace agreement reinforced the status quo on the streets, with its “Berlin walls” dividing off Catholics areas from protestant areas. Having maintained the link with BRITAIN, Sinn Fein then entered the North’s talking shop Stormont and the Republics talking shop the Dail. In Stormont it implemented the cuts sought by the conservative Government in London, while in the Republic it poses as the alternative to the Government of the day, all within the accepted rules laid down by the bourgeoisie. They have proven their worth in the north of Ireland. They have nothing to offer working people the north of Ireland is their example of their politics when in power.
The flag waving by the protestant youth led by the die hard right wing thugs have in the most part no idea what has gone before. At one time their fathers fought for flag and a job over the Catholics, now it’s only the flag. If it continues down this route Gerry’s” Good Friday Agreement” could end up in tatters and the outcome could be worse than the butcher boys of the Shankhill.(A group of loyalists who used to cut up their victims.) Under this rotten agreement money is pumped into the war lords of the various groups who have an interest in maintaining the status as it is. Only a break from the politics of nationalism and the retrograde politics of protestant sectarianism, is there a way forward. It was attempted in the past republicanism itself was founded by many protestants and some continue to play a role in the modern movement. While the labour movement has examples of unity though few and far between. The best example is 1932 Belfast outdoor relief struggle which created a tenuous cross class unity against the B.SPECIAL attacks. This evaporated quickly with no revolutionary party able to cement that unity with a programme of demands to move forward. At the height of the troubles, the Victoria hospital strike brought together both Catholic and protestant workers.The Republican congress Shankhill banner calling for “Down with Capitalism” These are brief moments in time if not grasped by a revolutionary party, are lost to our class, giving an extended lease of life to those who wish to preserve the present system. Those moments in history do come around and they can be taken but only by those who say what is. Some like the socialist party who invited the then leader of the U.V.F. to speak at one their meetings in Dublin at the time of the “Good Friday Agreement”, clearly lack such a revolutionary programme.
What Could Be
A way forward for those of “no Property” neither the Butchers Apron, nor the Tricolour, but as James Connolly said a Workers Republic.
In his pamphlet “Ireland on the Partition Table” If Ireland is partitioned there would be a “carnival of reaction” it still goes on. Only now with the help of “Sinn Fein” alongside the Unionists of the D.U.P. Paisleys party
These Protestant youth now raising the butcher’s apron know little of the past or of their great grandparents who died in the trenches in WW1 for the same flag and not much else. As for those who wish their identity to remain British I have no objection but better under a different flag one whose colour is red. It can unite the workers of these isles of all religions and none.
Only the destruction of the state-let in the north of Ireland alongside the regime in the Republic, tied by a thousand strings to British capitalism and its house of Windsor, offers any way forward for the working class of this island. Only then shall we end the flying of the Butchers Apron and those who grovel to the House of Windsor.