17 February, 2008
The flags, of course, are those of Albania and the enthusiastic celebration is for the Kosovar unilateral declaration of independence. So far, I haven't seen any celebratory (or indeed, opposing) Serbian flags. In the light of this turn-out, one does have to wonder how many Albanians and Albanian Kosovars live in wonderful hyperdiverse London, and if the demonstration, for such it is, was unauthorized, where are the police to restore order to the streets.
I freely admit that I do not know enough Balkan history, from whomever's perspective, to form a view, but my instinct is that the EU, USA and NATO's keenness to get the Kosovo issue "off their books" is going to lead to tears, most definitely well before bedtime. How long before Kosovo (or Kosova) declares its intention to integrate into Albania? How long before the remaining minority Serbs, Bosniaks and others are driven out? How long before the Basques, Catalans, Macedonians in Greece, Northern Italians, Corsicans, Abkhazians and all the rest are making renewed demands for "independence"? How long before the Pakistanis of Bradford and Luton demand their own ministates?
At about 16:30 I walked back down Charing Cross Road to Trafalgar Square. Flag-waving cars are still cruising round, causing traffic chaos and incipient gridlock. The Old Bill are beginning to take a bemused, indulgent and decidedly hands-off interest. There are relatively few police in evidence. In the Square itself, the numbers of "demonstrators/celebrators" has risen to perhaps one or two thousand, in my entirely untutored estimation. Certainly they fill the paved area in front of the NPG. As well as Albanian flags, English (St George), Union and very occasionally US flags are on display. What this betokens I am not entirely sure, but my instinct is to regard it as a provocation and an insult. If they are thanking "us" for our support for Kosovan independence, that is an affront to those who do not support it. If they are displaying their dual allegiance to the UK as well as to Albania/Kosovo, that also is an affront. Do not attempt to associate people like me with your foreign cause.
The episode is disgraceful. By all means let the Albanians and Albanian Kosovars celebrate to their hearts' content in Tirana and Pristina, but leave London out of it. Let us enjoy our city in peace and let our traffic circulate freely. Kindly fuck off.
There will definitely be tears as the tiresome denizens of the Balkans and their diaspora once again inflict their tedious internecine and intertribal squabbles on Europe and Russia. Oh well.
You are right you have NO knowledge of balkan history, or anything to do with the massacre that took place in kosovo. Maybe you have nothing better to do then write pointless paragraphs on the internet but we will celebrate AS MUCH AS WE WANT TO.
That's a ridiculous point - it is government policy to support Kosovar independence, and the UK is broadly democratic, so therefore it's reasonable of Kosovars to thank the people of the UK for our government's support.
I imagine that Oswald Moseley wasn't mad-keen on kicking the Germans out of the Netherlands in Market Garden - nonetheless, it was entirely fair of the Dutch to be grateful to the British for their liberation...
there was another celebration today. there is nothing you can fucking do about it. So fuck off
It is particularly ill-mannered of you to sloganize on my blog in Albanian, a language of which the only words I understand are Shqipere and Shqiptar. Either comment in English or, to borrow your own favorite expression, fuck off. I prefer to operate a hands-off approach to comments, but comments in languages I do not understand and cannot therefore assess will be deleted.
I look forward to developments when the unsustainable ministate of Kosovo, having driven out the remaining Serbs, tries to merge into your homeland of Albania. Even though the Serbs are currently held back by the fear of NATO and by their desire to suck up to the EU, I can't see them standing for that.
During the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, I did try to improve my background understanding of Balkan history, but was daunted by the fact there are as many mutually contradictory Balkan histories as there are Balkan tribes. The one thing I did learn is that you hate each other with same mutual venom as the two "communities" of Northern Ireland.
I am aware of the deliberate programme of ethnic cleansing of Albanians from Kosovo by the Serbs, though I wonder whether the NATO/EU intervention was more a response to the prospect of of all those Albanian refugees turning up in Western Europe than anything else.
Ethnic cleansing has been going on since tribes existed. Ask a Silesian or Sudetenland German or an Eastern Pole after WWII.
I have no doubt the Albanian Kosovars would happily have done the same to the Serbs, as indeed the KLA would have done after the NATO intervention had NATO not restrained them.
We all have grievances, and calling out "My victimhood's bigger than your victimhood" doesn't solve anything.
Those who have so abusively and illiterately celebrated the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo in these comments are deluding themselves.
There will indeed be tears before bedtime.
Thank you for having the courtesy to comment non-anonymously. I'm not sure what to make of your point. HMG is indeed democratically elected. It also participated in both of the recent invasions of Iraq. Does that mean that those who protested against those invasions did so illegitimately?
By all means let the Albanian Kosovars thank the UK Goverment. I just rather they didn't thank me, that's all. Frankly I want as little as possible to do with them or their Serbian opponents.
The remark you tried to make about Kosovars waving the union jack flag as a Insult is a RIDICULOUS REMARK you tried to make to prove a NON EXCISTENT point.
They displayed both the english and american flag with their own to show how thankfull they where that both the USA and Britain had helped them get their independance.
They did NOT help Kosova get its independance so they could relieve their shoulders of her ' AS YOU SAID'
BUT YOU OBVIOUSLY WOULDN'T UNDERSTAND BECAUSE YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT BALKAN HISTORY AND WHAT THE USA AND BRITAIN YOU STUPID CUNT.
And as for the celebration not being an organised one. I guess your FUCKED THEIR BITCH. Because IT WAS.
Why do you think you saw a helicopter? BECAUSE IT WAS A FUCKING ORGANISED EVENT AND POLICE WHERE EMPLOYED TO SAFE GUARD IT.
ALSO THEIR WHERE MANY SPEECHES BY VARIOUS MP'S AND ALBANIAN POLITIONS ; OF WHICH WOULDN'T HAVE TAKEN PLACE IF IT WASN'T A FUCKING ORGANISED EVENT.
AND YOU STUPID TWAT. IF ENGLAND WASNT FUCKING INDEPENDANT FOR WHATEVER REASON AND IT GOT ITS INDEPENDANCE, DON'T FUCKING SAY THAT YOU WOULD PARADE DOWN THE FUCKING STREET IN THOUSANDS TO CELEBRATE IT. WHATEVER COUNTRY YOU WHERE LIVING IN YOU STUPID MUG.
I try to apply an open comments policy on this blog. You are free to disagree with me here or even simply to abuse me if that's what takes your inarticulate fancy. Empty abuse in itself communicates something about the writer. If I were one of those people who deleted comments which simply had the audacity to disagree with my opinions, there would be no point in opening up the comments facility at all.
Of course it's my blog and I can delete what I like, but generally I will delete only spam or otherwise gratuitously irrelevant material and comments which are obviously, or might in my view, be illegal.
Additionally, I will delete anything in a language which I don't understand. I expect the last two lines of your comment were little more than a boastful slogan celebrating the anniversary of the declaration of independence, but I really can't be arsed getting it translated, so I have deleted it.
If you're going to post comments here, please post them in (preferably literate and coherent) English.