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more archers talk...

Heh, I hadn't thought about what sort of "background" Northern-Irish Ian in the Archers is from, but they basically revealed it in Monday night's episode, which I just listened to now. Ian was talking with Adam about living in other countries, and said "I haven't been outside the UK..." Then he said "even going to London was like emigrating". I wonder was that an intentional thing, or was it just that the presumably non-Irish scriptwriters thought that all Northern Irish people would consider themselves part of the UK? Of course, maybe some non-unionist people would say that, but I wouldn't think so.

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
biascut
Feb. 25th, 2004 06:33 am (UTC)
I sort of noticed that, but I also thought that whilst non-unionist Northern Irish people wouldn't say that whilst they lived in Northern Ireland, it might well be the sort of thing you'd start using after you'd been in London for a while. I never thought about my use of UK, Britain and England until I went to live in Germany, and you start to get a bit more conscious when you move around. It seemed quite likely that he'd adopt "UK" since it makes for a cleaner expression of his lack of travelledness than "never been out of Northern Ireland or Great Britain" would do.

I suppose we need jinxremoving for an authoratitive judgment here!

(Isn't that conversation so sweetly transparent, though? It's such a blatant "oh look, aren't THEY getting on nicely!" thing!)
stellanova
Feb. 25th, 2004 06:39 am (UTC)
The thing is, a lot of non-unionist Northern Irish people wouldn't even say they were from the UK at all, because as far as they're concerned, they're not. They would say "Ireland and Britain". My Northern relatives (who all emigrated, what with it not being a good place for middle-class Catholics in the '70s) would say they were from "Ireland", not even "Northern Ireland". And they weren't even particularly nationalist at all! jinxremoving would probably know more about this than me, though.

But yes, that conversation was very - not flirtatious, but "hmmmm, what a nice new friend I have found!"
biascut
Feb. 25th, 2004 06:59 am (UTC)
I see. I was thinking that if Ian was from a Nationalist or Catholic background but wasn't particularly politically inclined, then he might have got into the habit of saying UK once he'd lived in England for a while.

I suppose I tend to associate being Nationalist with being actively anti-British, so that you simply wouldn't move to England if you were that bothered about not being part of the UK. But I can see that that's maybe just very lazy thinking: presumably, it's perfectly possible to want to live in England, not have strong feeling about "Britain" either way but feel on principle that Ireland should be united.
stellanova
Feb. 25th, 2004 07:14 am (UTC)
presumably, it's perfectly possible to want to live in England, not have strong feeling about "Britain" either way but feel on principle that Ireland should be united.

This is true, and it's even more complicated than that - non-unionist people might not even feel on principle that Ireland should be united, because that's a huge big issue which most sensible people here know is simply not feasible. But they might just not like being part of what to them seems like a foreign country. It would be as if you were told you were part of America (which might please Tony Blair, but not many others). Most moderate Northern nationalists, like the SDLP, aren't blindly anti-British - they just don't feel British, and don't like being part of what they consider a colony.

Also, it wasn't a very fairly run colony - for years there was such outrageous discrimination against Catholics (which is why all my relatives there emigrated), including gerrymandering votic districts, that if you weren't a Protestant unionist, you really were a second-class citizen. This is such recent history that it's barely history at all, and it's one of the reasons why people from Catholic backgrounds who aren't necessarily Republican would be very, very unlikely to be unionist, which would make them nationalist by default, and hence unlikely to consider themselves part of the UK. But that doesn't necessarily make them anti-British, or that they would hate to live in England - which is where a lot of the Catholic emigrants went. Only rabid Republians hate "the Brits" en masse.
biascut
Feb. 25th, 2004 07:28 am (UTC)
I remember listening in horrified awe to that incredible interview sometime in the late nineties on the Today programme, with the officer in charge on Bloody Sunday. In the tones of upper-class England he refused to believe John Humphries that there could be a distinction between terrorist and non-terrorist Catholics. It was absolutely stunning to listen to: all the extremist anti-Catholic sentiment which hadn't dared speak a name for decades was suddenly right there on breakfast radio in all its glory. Amazing.

Thanks for that: definitely some things I hadn't considered before. It'll be interesting to see how the character of Ian develops!
jinxremoving
Feb. 25th, 2004 03:14 pm (UTC)
hmm, i'm not sure how to answer! i think it probably does indicate that he is from a unionist background, but on the other hand, it might simply indicate that he's from a non-nationalist background. what seems odd though is not the london bit, but that he apparently has never been to the republic of ireland!

i'm excited to hear they have a northern irish character. we are few and far between.
stellanova
Feb. 26th, 2004 01:02 am (UTC)
Heh, yes, I thought it was pretty surprising that he'd never been down here - but then, I know plenty of people who've never been to Northern Ireland, so I didn't think it was too unbelievable!
biascut
Feb. 26th, 2004 02:18 am (UTC)
i'm excited to hear they have a northern irish character. we are few and far between.

Hee, that's just what stellanova used to say about Siobhan's middle-class Dublinness, but she turned out to be an evil marriage wrecking adulterous temptress!! I wonder whether Ian will fare any better?

jinxremoving
Feb. 26th, 2004 04:10 am (UTC)
i remember years ago, the man who plays (played?) the northern irish character in coronation street was on a talk show in which he was asked whether he thought his character, as a wife-beater, gave northern ireland a bad name. he replied that he thought people shooting each other and blowing each other up probably gave northern ireland more of a bad name.
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