“Twaddell Initiative”

breaking news
You’ll never believe the good news. The Orange Order
sovreign grand master
fantasy land
has offered talks with Ardoyne residents to resolve the dispute over the march
The ‘Twaddell Initiative’ promises full and open dialogue with nationalist residents
But only after Orangmen
orangeman in ni
complete the last leg of a contentious loyalist march in Ardoyne.
In other words , “you’re not going to talk to ‘Taigs’ unless you finish your march!”
unionist win2

welcome to ccc
On 12 July, the legal Parades Commission made a decision as is their job.
no way back
They blocked the march along a stretch of road separating loyalist and nationalist communities.
After the march was stopped
no orange
44 police officers were injured during three nights of rioting
For the 2013 parades the Order wouldn’t talk to residents and this parade was banned.
Don’t you remember the Orange Quadrille?

But the Orngeman replied “Too far, too far!” and gave a look askance —
Said he thanked Residents kindly, but he would not join the dance.

In response to the “Twadell Initiative” the Parades Commission said
not pass
to the Unionists and the Orders.It publicly deconstructs how it was first heard of the “Initiative” from the media.
mass media
It dismissed the grounds for a late application, commented on failure to abide by its ruling for the 12th July parade and continued breaches of its determinations.

What brought about this “generous” offer anyway? Hamza Abù?
The autumn’s coming in
autumn storm
and the Twadell Civil Rights Camp
twadell camp2
is feeling the cold and wants to up sticks?
twadell camp
No, the Haass talks
richard haas
The Orange statement:
We are also conscious that the issue of parades, flags and the past are to be the subject of intensive and ongoing political discussion. We wish to contribute to a positive atmosphere for the Haass talks and assist them to reach a successful conclusion.
pants down
Caught with your pants down eh?
The DUP leader Rt. Hon.
all about me
Peter Robinson MLA said:
The Parades Commission has failed to give due recognition to the dialogue in July this year and in previous years. The commitment and foresight of the offer of dialogue for 2014 is to be welcomed. Now they have the opportunity to do so.
too little too late
The onus is now upon nationalism
finger pointing
to show leadership and to respond positively to this genuine attempt to reach accommodation. They must face down the elements in their community who wish to drag Northern Ireland back.
The act of sharing a main arterial route for a few minutes would boost community relations in North Belfast significantly and generate a positive atmosphere for the Haass process.”
so what he’s shouting is ” help! help! Get me
off the hook

bullshit detected



No Pope Here – Never, ever, ever

hands off

Did you see the news? In Stormont assembly the other day Mr Robinson accused Mr Allister of “secretly” selling land to republicans in Co Fermanagh.
Mr Robinson added that it was “particularly sad that a member of the family wanted to buy the land and was turned down because the family decided to sell it to a republican”.
We’ve in a pretty pickle now when a good, upstanding Loyalist Protestant sells land to Catholics.
What are you talking about?
We’ve have always tried to prevent Protestant land and houses being sold to Catholics.


If someone did it the family would be sanctioned by the community
You know, friendly advice and if that didn’t work threats.
Then there were the ‘gatekeeper’ auctioneers. That’s when solicitors and estate agents withdraw land from sale if a buyer of the correct faith is not found.
no sale
Why? Surely the land should be sold to whoever offers the most?
The decision isn’t necessarily that of the man selling the farm. The pressure would come from those around him – fellow Protestants who would pull out all the stops to buy it themselves, rather than let it go to a Roman Catholic
You don’t understand anything. As far back as 1959 a resolution from Portglenone district in County Antrim was tabled at the Orange Order’s Central Committee ,
What did it say?
Any member of the Order who in future sells or in any manner whatsoever disposes of his farm house or other property to a RC [Catholic] should be expelled from the Order’
That soon put Protestants off the idea of seeking to sell our land to the highest bidder:

In fact few families actually sold their land. Many rented it out
are you serious
This land is our land and we are culturally the rightful proprietors,
promised land
Catholics are indiginous people in Ireland. Why can’t they buy the land if they can afford it?
I said we had a cultural right. Did you know that as far back as 1938 the Orange Order, developed a ‘Land Fund’ to purchase land for us Protestants. It exists to this day. It was for many years administered from the Orange Order’s headquarters.
well done
Where did it start?
Fermanagh but it was soon copied elsewhere
Why Fermanagh?
There was a fairly even mix of Catholics and Protestants.The Ulster Land and Property Company distributed an information pack to Orangemen. Its literature says it exists to acquire land and property for the benefit of the Orange institution, and thereby the Protestant people.
But the BBC said the Orange Order has denied any formal links with a company which aims to help its members to buy land because of concerns it could “fall into nationalist hands”.
bullshit detected
The logo on the top of the company’s presentation pack says: “Ulster is being sold – let us buy it“.
So you’re saying there’s an ‘unwritten rule’ among Protestant farmers that they should avoid selling land to Catholics because to do so would be, in Protestant eyes, to cede part of Northern Ireland to the South.
yes of course
hands off
If this is the focus of unionists to score points over one another it is clearly espousing a sectarian agenda,” said Sean Lynch,Sinn Féin MLA for Fermanagh-South Tyrone.
all legal
We don’t want themmuns encroaching into Protestant neighbourhoods.
Look at Belfast. ‘Gusty’ Spence, who re-formed the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
uvf gunmen
into the first latter-day Protestant paramilitary in 1966, justified early UVF atrocities, arguing that these were needed to ‘hold the line
hold the line
in Protestant areas against Catholic incursion
So you are saying the symbol of ‘losing’ a street to the ‘other side’ fused territory and demography in inner-city Belfast, where Protestant paramilitaries were already active.
yes of course
Have you ever heard of FEAR?
Anybody who ever lived in Northern Ireland knows about fear.
I mean F E A R. Fear Encouraged Abandoning Roots. Arlene Foster is our leader.
FEAR employed a community worker to trace the families who abandoned their homes. And it applied to the European Union for financial assistance in helping families reclaim uncultivated land and restore old farmhouses. Over five years ending in 1999 the EU hopes to spend 1.5 billion ($2.3 billion) in the Irish border region. FEAR wants some of this money to be used to help people return home. Founder Foster argues that “if we could get even some of these people back on their land, it would be worthwhile.”


References and Pics

Spoliation Sanctions: The Tide is Turning, Goliath is Smiling

Grasping the Nettle: Joined-Up Education in Northern Ireland

joined up thinking
grasp the nettle
You’ve been beating round the bush
long enough now with all this talk of education
Not really. We discussed shared features in schooling North and South of the border.
shared vision
We’ve seen the Catholic maintained schools are doing well, particularly for less well-off pupils. Catholic boys and girls see Higher Education as a much more important goal
than Protestant students. If Catholic maintained education’s not broken why fix it with integrated education? But there’s nothing to stop us adding to it
We’ve understood why Northern Ireland Loyalists are failing Protestant pupils
Now we just have to assemble the pieces
into a win-win situation
What are you talking about?
Catholic maintained schools would probably be happy to offer their pupils an alternative to GCSEs and A levels. The obvious alternatives are the Junior and Leaving Certificates
school certificate
Protestants need an opportunity to improve their children’s performance in education
So why not

something new
Set up a pilot scheme to make the Junior and Leaving Certs available in NI schools
are you serious
It would suit us as members of the European Union
It would be a bridge amongst young people across the North

lego bridge
and between the younger generation North and South
lego bridges2
We’ll not be learning Irish
You won’t have to.
All pupils whose primary education up to 11 years of age was received in Northern Ireland may be allowed exemption from the study of Irish
A lot of pupils in Northern Ireland might be happier with the new Junior Cert format that Minister Ruairi Quinn’s introducing in 2014

happy pupils
Continuous assessment and no stressful exam at the end – just an essay that is corrected by the teachers that know the pupils well. The transition year might also provide benefits for northern students
What’s that?
An optional break between Junior certificate and starting to study for Leaving certificate.
The content is left to the school to model on the local needs. Activities might include work experience placements, project work, international trips or exchanges and excursions.
transition programme
Students may participate in courses such as creative writing, sailing, film-making, public speaking , or enter competitions in science, fashion, and so on which would normally be too time-consuming for a full-time student.
transition year
Sounds like an expensive waste of time. The students will get distracted and not want to return to full-time study
Or it will give them time to grow up a little, help them make up their minds about what they want to do in their working lives. Then they can opt for the type of leaving certificate they want to do – general education, vocational or applied as well as ordinary or higher level
Our politicians will never agree
paisley 4
Why wouldn’t they? It will give the North-South Council something to build up
building blocks
it fits in with Sinn Fein’s education policy,
sinn fein
there’s nothing for Alliance or the SDLP to object to

yes of course
and it even answers the DUP’s call for integrated education
though not quite as they envisaged it!!
Come on Ministers O’Dowd and Quinn. Put on your
Roll out the new Junior Certificate north and south in 2014!
grasp the nettle

We will not be the generation that fails Ulster –You’re just the generation that fails exams in Ulster

how dare yoiu say
We didn’t use to need qualifications to get a job. One of the family or a friend would just speak for you . Probably the Orange still can, if they would
let me tell you
Clothing and textile companies have closed. The shipyard’s long gone,
but those jobs were ours
Shipbuilding and textiles have declined throughout Europe. New technologies have been developed. The economy is being restructured worldwide.
It’s all due to Sinn Fein and the IRA. They brought in those new Employment Laws to give the Taigs our jobs.
bullshit detected
You still don’t realise that “your” jobs are not there any more – not for you and not for anyone.
no way back
I’ve already shown you there is a significant pattern of lower attainment in all controlled (de facto Protestant) secondary schools
its not true
Did you know that working class Protestant boys said they didn’t do well in school because of on-going sectarianism,
increased levels of racial conflict
and being fearful of paramilitaries.
They haven’t gone away, you know
Young Protestant students  feel
from their communities
They could see the difference between what they were being taught and modern life and the hate-filled reality they lived in.
Then there is the ‘drugs’ culture and the lack of ‘anyone caring’
dont care
if they drifted out of school with mediocre qualifications.
They can get a trade
What if they want something different?
They feel disconnected from the peace process
no way out
So you’re saying we need to stop allowing our children to get worked up over flags and marches
and get them to focus on their education?
yes of course
And how do you expect that to happen?
What if they are not interested in education?
What if they just can’t cope with the demands of GCSEs?
fail exam
Tell you tomorrow.
To be cont


In the Beginning was the Empire

I’ll tell you a story in the language you will understand
sit down
In the beginning the Empire created state primary education.
british empire
And in Ireland the schools were without organizers, and teachers; and ignorance was upon the face of the children. And the Christian Churches moved to take over the schools which became denominational.
national school
And men said, Let there be rebellion: and there was rebellion.
And the Empire saw the rebellion, .
govt ireland act
and divided the North from the South.
And the Empire called the South the Free State, and the North it called Northern Ireland
And darkness fell upon Catholics in the North.

And the Education Minister of a Protestant State for a Protestant people said, Let there be state education in the midst of the 6 counties, and let it divide Christians from Papists.
And Protestant churches transferred their schools to state control and Catholic churches maintained control over their schools
dark shadow
And it was so.
And the Minister called the Catholic schools maintained schools .
And demands for civil rights were the second day.
civil rights
And the ex-Empire said, Let the people in the province be gathered together under Direct Rule,

direct rule
and let Power-sharing appear
power sharing
and it was so.
And Power sharing said
orange no
to a Bill of Rights and
paisley 4
to the Gaelic Act,
to the Equality Agenda and to a Racial Equality Strategy,
to the North South Consultative Forum
to a victim centred truth and reconciliation process,
to the Weston Park commitment and
what part no
to The International Maze/Long Kesh Peace centre
And the DUP and the Loyal orders saw every thing they had done since the St Andrew’s Agreement, and, behold, it was very good.
But Examination Boards said maintained schools bring forth more passes than controlled schools, yielding more university students,
and it is so.
And the DUP and Loyal Orders saw that it was not good
not good
And DUP leader Peter Robinson said the Northern Ireland education system as a “benign form of apartheid which is fundamentally damaging to our society”. Britishness was being chipped away.
And Loyal Orders saw that it was not good
not good
And Peter Robinson decided that his majority was shrinking and said “Catholic Outreach‘.
And the Assembly said, Let there be lights in the firmament of Stormont to abolish the maintained schools; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
and the DUP and Loyal Orders saw that it was good

great job
And Peter Robinson espoused integrated education for every living child that moveth, which the schools brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every traditional Unionist/Loyalist after his kind: and Peter saw that it was good.
well done
Let the Union bring forth abundantly the Catholic that swears allegiance, that Unionists may fly above the earth in the Stormont Assembly
And the evening and the morning of the Flegs protests
and Twadell Civil Rights Camp
twadell camp2
twadell bear
were the third day.

And the evening and the morning of the Haass talks were the fourth day

DUP and Loyal orders have ensured Catholics got little from the GFA and decided to take their schools away from them
DUP espousal of the primacy of children being educated together is as “political” as the intent of their Unionist forebears nearly a century ago .
DUP is required to do something they have not done before; make the union attractive to large swathes of Catholics who would self-identify as Irish, a demographic they have traditionally done their utmost to antagonise.

Latest Results in Education
PROTESTANT children continue to lag behind their Catholic counterparts when it comes to academic achievement in schools right across Northern Ireland, according to new data released by the Department of Education.
In 2011/12, 59.1 per cent of Catholic school leavers achieved two or more A levels compared to 51.8 per cent of Protestant school leavers.
Equally, 63.5 per cent of Catholic school leavers left with at least five GCSEs at grades A* – C or equivalent including GCSE English and maths, and 78.8 per cent left with at least five GCSEs at grades A* – C.
The corresponding proportions for Protestant school leavers were 60.2 per cent and 73.8 per cent respectively.
And 19.7 per cent of Protestant boys entitled to free school meals achieve at least five GCSEs at grades A* – C or equivalent including GCSE English and Maths compared with 33.2 per cent of Catholic boys entitled to free school meals.
Catholic girls entitled to free school meals (43.8 per cent) outperform Protestant girls entitled to free school meals (32.4 per cent) in achieving at least five GCSEs at grades A* – C or equivalent including GCSE English and maths.
When religion of pupil is considered 39.2 per cent of Protestant school leavers enter Institutions of Higher Education compared with 45.2 per cent of Catholic school leavers.
Last October the Sentinelreported how just 25 Protestant boys in receipt of free school meals who attended non-grammar schools throughout Northern Ireland went to university in 2011.
There were even fewer (23) Protestant boys from deprived backgrounds who progressed from grammar schools to university. http://www.londonderrysentinel.co.uk/news/local/protestant-pupils-still-lag-behind-catholic-counterparts-at-gcse-1-5350314

(to be cont)


Well done

Re-uniting Ireland – What would the education system look like?

What would the education system look like?
Not very different.
conflict zone
Don’t mention schools to me. They’ve been a bone of contention
bone of contention
in Northern Ireland since Partition
Hardly surprising.
orangeman in ni
Did you realise schooling in Northern and Southern Ireland share many features?
Stop chipping away at our Britishness

Like the rest of the UK, pre-school education in Northern Ireland and in the Republic is non-compulsory
but free places are available for about 90% of children (NI) and 100% (Republic) in their immediate pre-school year. Children start primary school aged 4 or 5 and can leave school when they are 16.
school out 2

School holidays in Northern Ireland are considerably different from those of Great Britain, and are more similar to those in the Republic. Often Northern Irish schools don’t take a full week for half-term.
schools out
Usually the summer term doesn’t even have a half-term break. Christmas and Easter holidays sometimes last less than two weeks.
summer holiday
Summer holidays are much longer, with the end of June and all July and August off.

Both parts of Ireland have schools offering Irish-medium education.
Pupils are usually taught most subjects through the medium of Gaelic but English is taught through English. Gaelscoils were started in the 20th century and are now firmly established as an effective form of bilingual education. In the South there are nearly 4,000 preschoolers attend 278 Irish language medium Naíonraí.
irish nursery
Almost 10% of school children in the Republic attend 368 primary and post-primary Gaelscoils. In Northern Ireland there are 21 stand-alone schools and 12 Irish-medium units attached to English-medium host schools.There are two independent schools teaching through the medium of Irish. These are Gaelscoil Ghleann Darach in Crumlin

and Gaelscoil na Daróige in Derry City.

Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta(CnaG) was set up in 2000 by the Department of Education to promote, facilitate and encourage Irish-medium Education and to extend its availability to parents who wish to avail of it for their children.
We have English-medium only integrated education in Northern Ireland
integrated school
whose primary focus is to provide a religiously mixed environment capable of attracting reasonable numbers of both Catholic and Protestant pupils.
irish muslim
In the South we have multidenominational schools which are often opened due to parental demand and students from all religions and backgrounds are welcome.
jewish school
We also have single faith schools
You’re talking about minorities

No, listen! In June every year in Ireland North and South students have exams.
In Northern Ireland for boys and girls aged around 16 they are the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examinations which mark the end of compulsory education. Currently English and mathematics are compulsory as well as other subjects.
In the South students do the Junior Certificate in all subjects – English, Irish, maths and science (unless the student has an exemption in one of these)
as well as a number of chosen subjects, like the GCSEs. Subjects include Art, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Ancient Greek and classical studies, music, business studies, technology, home economics, materials technology (woodwork), metalwork, history, geography, Civic Social and Political Education (CSPE), and religious education. The selection of optional and compulsory subjects varies from school to school
In Northern Ireland at age 18-19, pupils do GCSE A Levels in three or four subjects and success in these can determine acceptance into higher education courses at university
student during exams
In the South they sit for the Leaving Certificate (Ardteistiméireacht) in six to eight subjects, including English, Mathematics and Irish (exemptions available) and usually a foreign language, There are three distinct programmes that can be followed. each is intended to reinforce the principles of secondary education; to prepare the student for education, society and work.
Yes, but they’re not the same thing. Our A levels are worth a lot more than their Leaving Cert
On June 8, 2004 it was decided that a Leaving Certificate (higher) subject is worth two-thirds of an A-level (UK, except Scotland).
Anyway you’re avoiding the issue of segregation in Northern Ireland
Not really, I think it is a red herring
red herring
But we’ll talk about that tomorrow!
(to be cont)


Education & Talmud Torah