Tuesday, 17 February 2009
The colour of oppression...
Back to Northern Ireland. Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff has apologised to the Northern Ireland Assembly for defending young republicans who were painting post boxes green. He said he was "strictly opposed to the imposition of British symbols" in Ireland, but apologised for words which had broken the code of conduct for Assembly members.
I remember walking up the ultra-nationalist Falls Road in West Belfast and seeing one of these green postboxes - perhaps the very same one - and, as you can see, felt compelled to take a picture. Strangely, the one symbol that clearly demonstrates the box's British origins remained intact. Can you spot it?
I saw something similar on a trip to Dublin too; there, right in the heart of the capital city of the Republic, was a British coat of arms on the outside of the Bank of Ireland.
Given the violent nature of Ireland's independence, it was certainly surprising to see British symbols of the type condemned by Mr McElduff alive and well in the heart of the Republic. It certainly didn't seem to be having much effect on the day to day running of the country the Sinn Féin man wishes Northern Ireland to become part of.
Are red post boxes symbols of British oppression? Or are they symbols of Northern Ireland's right to choose to remain a part of the United Kingdom? You decide...