‘Occupied’ Northern Ireland?

Something of a furor has apparently erupted around the BBC referring to Kashmir as being ‘Indian-occupied.’ The brouhaha resulted when a Hindu film director Shekhar Kapur, quoted in a RT article, posed an irate question to the BBC asking why, if they call Kashmir ‘Indian-occupied’, they don’t also refer to Northern Ireland, or Ulster, as ‘British-occupied.’

First of all, Mr. Kapur is simply trying to score a rhetorical point against the BBC or Britain itself, calling “hypocrisy”, because Kapur himself is a Hindu loyalist, though he is described in the RT article as a ‘British-Indian.’ There is no such thing; he is British or he is Indian. Choose one.

According to Kapur’s biographies (there are several online, with differing information) he was definitely born in India, and educated there, then went to London. Some sources say he lives in New York. Or he is reported to live, or have lived in the Philippines, or to be back in India. It appears to me he is one of those ‘world citizens’ who jets back and forth between various countries. Where are his allegiances? Judging by this controversy he identifies with is birthplace, India, as he is defending that country vs. Kashmir.

But Kapur is drawing parallels between the India-Kashmir question and the Northern Ireland/Ulster situation. Some online commenters say that Ulster is ‘under British occupation.’ Well, if that is so, then the United States is under European occupation, with its ‘Native American’ inhabitants lacking their rightful sovereignty. After all, the ancestors of the Ulster folk, (who are mainly descended from Scots and English border-county settlers), have been in Ulster for about 400 years — as long as those of us with early colonist ancestry have had a presence on this continent. So if Ulster is ‘under British occupation’ then so is this country ‘under occupation’. That’s a much closer parallel than the Kashmir-India situation.

I’ve often wondered why the Irish so insistently claim that the ‘Brits’ must get off their island because the Irish were there first. The American Indians could make the same claim, and some do. Are we prepared to renounce our claims and go back to Europe? Do you think Europe wants us all back?

The way of the world has always been that those who can hold and keep a place are the rightful owners, not just those whose ancestors were there first. Maybe an ideal world would not be thus, but this world has never been perfect and — news flash — it never can be.

The English, or more properly the Anglo-Normans have been in Ireland since the 12th century. The Twelfth Century. That’s what, nine centuries ago? Nearly a millennium. Nine hundred years.

And if four centuries is not enough to consider the Ulster folk as natives, then just how many centuries, or millennia, does it take? Stubbornness is one thing, but this goes beyond stubbornness.

There is an Irish Republic only because the British got tired of being harried by Irish uprisings and agreed to give them a Republic — which the Irish are now, ironically, willingly ceding to Third Worlders. Ironic in the extreme, and exasperating. How are the present colonizers of Ireland preferable to the Anglo-Normans or their English successors? Apparently their presence is more agreeable to the Irish, so I can’t waste many tears on the fate of Ireland since they are willing to be colonized and overwhelmed numerically, eventually.

The fact is, I happen to like the Irish as people but I fail to understand the mindset at work there.

In my opinion the Ulster folk have a long-established right to be in Ireland. Where would they go? They are much like the Boers; what country would take them in? Not the USA because we give preference to third worlders, as does Canada, and the rest of the Western World. The Ulster folk have a right to exist and Northern Ireland has been their home as long as this continent has been the home of my lineage out of Britain.

Americans for some reason — perhaps because of the very vocal presence of so many Irish-Americans — tend to have a knee-jerk reaction in favor of the Irish, with no regard for the actual history of the conflict there, with little awareness of what the issues are.

One more postscript:with all due respect, to me it’s almost as strange that so many English or British harbor a hatred for Normans and anyone of known Norman descent (which includes many Americans, if they only knew it). I say the same thing here: 1066 was a long, long, time ago, long enough to count the Normans and their descendants as belonging in Britain as much as anyone else. If people of Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Manx, Cornish, can be included, why not those of Norman descent? The Normans, after all, were close kindred genetically, and apparently there is no easy way to distinguish those of Norman descent based on DNA.

When one’s country is being inundated with very disparate peoples it would seem an inopportune time to ‘Other’ the people who have been part of the population for a thousand years.

If it’s still acceptable to hate the Normans for whatever reason, then I guess the Irish can go on hating Strongbow and those who followed him, after all these centuries. How long can these hatreds be kept going? Wouldn’t burying the hatchet be a good move in this troubled time?

I suppose, if millennia-long grudges are the thing, then the American Indians have a right to hate Whites and to demand the whole North American continent back because — it isn’t fair that the other guys won.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kapur, the ‘British-Indian’ director, in trying to make a point in favor of his actual countrymen in India has made a historical faux pas; if only people could learn some historical lessons by this silly controversy.

Ulster and Dixie

Every year on this day, July 12th, the people of Ulster — or at least the Unionists, celebrate the Battle of the Boyne, which was a victory for King William of Orange, and a defeat for King James II.

“The Battle marked a turning point in Protestant history in the country. Over the years the day has also been marked by sectarian violence between pro-Unionist groups and pro-Republican forces.[…]

Why is there often trouble surrounding Orange Day?

Ulster’s population is split roughly in half between those from the Protestant and Catholic communities.

For Orangemen, this almost a sacred day has been associated with violent scenes almost since the beginning. Starting before the Twelfth, the Orange Order and other Ulster loyalist marching bands hold large parades along routes decorated with British flags. Huge bonfires are lit. Many Protestants argue the marches are a cultural event.”

This history is not taught much in American schools, so the many Americans of Ulster ancestry are often not conversant with it. It should be better-known so that people here in the States might understand the history of the conflicts there through the centuries. Most Americans have simply heard that it’s Irishman-against-Irishman, with the only differences being over religious doctrine. That isn’t strictly true, because the conflict, though having a religious component, is more about ethnic and historical differences. Put most simply, the ‘Celtic’ Irish see the Ulster Protestants as interlopers, being descendants of those who came to Ireland as part of the Ulster Plantation, which placed Protestants from Scotland and the border counties of England in Ireland as colonists.

Many people in the Southern states claim mostly Ulster ancestry, or at least partially, and it is good to see that there is increasing awareness about the South’s links to Ulster. As I’ve tried to demonstrate on this blog, the Ulster folk were not all Scots, nor were they mainly Irish as we understand Irish; they were in many cases English, that is, of Anglo-Saxon descent, though few Americans seem to know this.

It seems as though there is an increasing awareness of these roots on the part of many people from Dixie, and it’s gratifying to see this. At the Ulster Awake blog, there’s a nice piece about the bond between Southron Americans of Ulster descent and the Ulster folk. It’s encouraging to see the photos of the murals and other tributes to their common roots.

It’s good to see that the Confederate Battle Flag is being displayed there by some Ulster folk as a mark of their solidarity with their Southron cousins, and I hope they continue to stand up against the propaganda onslaught, which apparently is taking place on that side of the Atlantic as well as on the American side.

Solidarity amongst all the Anglosphere peoples is a good thing; I hope it increases, but in order for that to happen, more of us have to become aware of our roots and our commonalities.