‘The Soldiers – Belfast 1972’

This is a British TV documentary based on the life of British soldiers stationed in Belfast at Christmastime, 1972 at the height of the war with the IRA. The interviewer is not named but sounds very much like Peter Taylor who in 1972 worked for Thames TV’s This Week programme. Notice how much he frames the conflict in Protestant v. Catholic terms.

2 responses to “‘The Soldiers – Belfast 1972’

  1. It’s British exceptionalism at its most parodic. ‘The army’s here to keep the peace between protestants and Catholics,’ that is between a supremacist, ethno-nationalist state and a minority population with more or less the status of internally displaced persons. Strangely enough one group of natives appears rather more restive than the other. It must be their genes or their religion, or perhaps they’re simply pissed off after spending their meagre wages down the pub and betting shop? Who knows? Never mind, a whiff of grapeshot and they’ll be singing God Save the Queen. Oh deary me.

    • it is also the ideological/intellectual prerequisite to defining britain’s role in NI as a disinterested one, historically, politically etc, in which the brits are ‘piggy in the middle’, keeping the murderous and primitive natives from killing each other thus absolving britain of any responsibility for the situation. using the correct terms, unionist and nationalist/republican is avoided since this would convey a deeper, political meaning to the troops being in lenadoon.

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