In Northern Ireland you have to be one thing or the other, a neutral position is not accepted. Having lived in England for 17 years I found it all very depressing to come back to, the fact that attitudes haven't changed at all. The Good Friday agreement has reduced the violence but hearts and minds have not changed one iota.
Just to give an illustration, there is a big problem with obesity around here, and being Northern Ireland there is a sectarian aspect to this problem. The theory I have heard proposed by a (protestant) consultant physician is that protestants have a race memory that starvation was a catholic problem from the famine days and that therefore being fat just confirms your protestantism to the world. Sort of floored me, that one.
In our house we stick our heads in the sand and avoid the 'little local difficulty' by making sure we studiously avoid local TV, radio and news media. Like many other middle-class people here we have completely disengaged from the political process and left the loonies to run the asylum. Makes me feel guilty that. Anyway I would be interested in your views on this one and I, ahem, refute the charge that the whole post was just an excuse to post a picture of Mr. Tennant, oh no.
PS To the Whales...Whalster, you sounded very down on your last couple of blogs and now you've gone!!!! Hope you're OK. Post and let us know, please.