It’s January 2013, it’s cold, it’s raining, it’s Belfast. It’s been raining for forty days and forty nights, and before that. On the streets of this backwater the natives are restless, again. What this time? Some upset about a flag, not just any flag of course, the union flag beloved of one section of our community, and loathed by another. The police play pig in the middle, the politicians play politics, while the rest of us play dead. Alternatively you can speak out and receive your free bullet-in-the-mailbox, a generous gesture practiced by all non-democratic movements and dictatorships.
A population of 1.5 million souls is N.Ireland, an extended family where the notion of six degrees of separation does not register above 0.00 something. We have made it to the world stage many times mostly for our bigotry, sectarianism and violence, yet pride ourselves on our hospitality. Quarantine and quarantine for all the bigots on the planet to review the flag, the sash, the beret, the burqa, the turban, and all manmade textiles that cause human beings such difficulty. Naturists have got a point and they could probably hang a flag on it.