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I watched it last night, missing the first two performances but I don't think I missed anything either when I saw the re-runs. Not a bad show at all this year. I thought Germany put together an outstanding stage and arrangement of the show. I thought it was a good idea to show the performers in the background as they waited for the results.dave brum wrote:Anyone got their eyes on Eurovision this year? (I know you like a bit of le Pays Bas, sept points once a year markymark!)
Unfortunately the winner, Azerbijan, was as confusing as ever. Was everyone trying to put the poor little country into backruptcy by making them host the Eurovision during a major international recession? After all, a country located just above Iran can hardly be considered European!
We weren't able to vote for UK obviously because of the telephone arrangements but the Eurovision voting arrangement and the confusion Northern Irish people feel are a sympton, shown in many other areas in society, of the undefined way in which we are governed as well as showing our astranged relationship with the rest of the UK. Northern Ireland is very much the poor relation among the four Kingdoms. We don't even have a say in who becomes the next Prime Minister - the rest of you in the remaining 'Kingdoms' decide that for us. Our teachers remain the worst paid in UK. We do not have a recognised flag anymore (unlike Scotland, England and Wales) since the desolution of the Northern Ireland Government in the 1970s. The Flag of the Northern Ireland government (the red hand of Ulster with the Crown above it) is now viewed by some, within and without Northern Ireland, as nothing more than a rebel flag, when its orgins are rooted in Northern Ireland's governing history. Do you remember that abnoxious lecturer from Strathclyde kicking up that fuss about Miss Northern Ireland choosing the red hand banner to represent Northern Ireland when she appeared on Blue Peter a number of years ago? He claimed that it was a "Unionist flag" - how ignorant do they come? He compared the Ulster flag as having a similiar status to us as the Nazi flag had to Germany (iow, expressing a political rather than national standpoint). The Ulster banner (the orange one with the red hand is still used sometimes in official settings) is still around but it represents the nine counties of Ulster within the context of the other Irish counties, and not representing the six counties of the present Northern Ireland.
One year, my school worked with the Commenius project which linked us with other schools across Europe. We were linked up with a school in Germany and another one in Spain. We all took turns to host representatives from each school. When representatives from our school were invited to Spain, the school had displayed a large welcome sign, displaying three national flags to honour each country. The staff from our school was horrified to see that the people were genuinely confused as to how to represent our country in flag form, for the German flag was there as was the Spanish flag. The "Northern Irish flag" was not a union jack or a tricolour but some other melange, not at all recognisable. I think they may even have based our flag on a completely different country! It's one thing to have an internal insecurity about your national identity but it is an entirely different issue when the rest of the world doesn't recognise you and I don't believe that that is our fault.
These days, Northern Ireland is only tagged on to the end of Great Britain when it suits. Consequently, Northern Ireland is a mixed up nation, leaving its people not really knowing who to relate to sometimes; to one who is keen to have us join with them and the other who finds our association with them uncongenial or at least not worth involving. So from my perspective at present, if Northern Ireland's vote did cause those infamous "douze points" for Ireland in the Eurovision, then it is just a welcome backfire - you can't have you cake and eat it.
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