In Defence of Jamie – and Others like him: by Sophie Long

I have watched, with interest, the ongoing exchange on Eamonn Mallie’s site, between Jamie Bryson and Brian John Spencer. The two figures represent two, opposing camps, within ‘Unionism’, in its loosest sense. Spencer, the spokesman for the “silent majority”, is emblematic of liberal Unionism, or, as they are often called, ‘garden centre Prods’. Bryson, on…

‘Being a middle-class suburban Protestant is a lonely vigil’ argues Brian Spencer

We read to know we’re not alone. The moment when words mirror life and lived experience is stirring and emotive, even numinous. Being a middle-class suburban Protestant is a lonely thing. You’re unionist without being “Unionist Forum”-style unionist. When pro-Union sentiment is universally bellicose, belligerent and flag-flappy you can feel like Franz Kafka’s character who…

The stridently apathetic, the silently zealous

It’s an intriguing read any time a foreign journalist looks in and writes about Northern Ireland. Even the New York Times can print in error when reporting on the weird DUP/Sinn Fein Ireland. Three years on and top paper-men and women still write of the “Union jack” as though every Union flag in Northern Ireland…