The whole Northern Ireland low-intensity civil war theme is such a source of content we have to keep milking it for all it is worth.
Today, The Troubles. If you talk to the unionists, they pine for the days before the Troubles began, when they could march their Orangemen marches and the Catholics would come out and join in and everyone was happy. If you talk to the nationalists, they tell you how they'd stay in their cottages on the Garvaghy Road, in fear of the marches. From their perspective it was their attempt to mimic the US Civil Rights movement -and the unwillingness of the opposing party to adapt- that led to them adopting that other popular US idea: firearms, and so The Troubles proper began. What is key is this: attempted assertion of legal rights led to 30 years of armed conflict.
Here in Montpelier, 20 Feb 2009, something happened that may well be as significant. The PCSOs are going round ticketing cars. Here is Brook Hill -three cars on the pavement have notes on their windscreens telling W763VBO and VA53LVC amongst others to stop parking there.
They are not alone. On the corner with York Road, more cars have leaflets
This is persecution. The cars WR56YZM and DY02UXL have historically acquired the right to park on the pavements and on corners. Yet, here, on Fairfield road, all around this quarter of the city, the leaflets are out. And more than just the leaflets, the tickets.
What has happened? According to conversation with the PCSOs someone -and we think we know who they are- has been complaining to the police about the issue, and the police -not Bristol Parking Services- has come out to act.
This is exactly the kind of assertion of rights that leads to trouble, or even worse, The Troubles.