Here’s tae us, wha’s like us? Damn few, an’ they’re aw deid!

Let us see if we can find some disturbances in the Force. Here’s something from our old friend Titus Oates of the National Sanderson Society:

The first thing I want to say is that the Protest the Pope campaign is not anti-Catholic. Some Catholic bloggers have tried to portray us as some kind of off-shoot of the Orange order, but this simply isn’t true.

That’s right, the leader of the most bigoted anti-Catholic organisation in the British Isles is upset because some people may think that his latest anti-Catholic campaign is, er, anti-Catholic. Wherever could they have got that idea? Perhaps by reading the NSS website? Or being aware of Mr Oates’ habit of conducting personal vendettas against even the most humble papist who hoves into his line of vision?

I do notice, incidentally, that over the last couple of weeks the No Popery Coalition has been featuring disclaimers on its propaganda claiming that it isn’t anti-Catholic. This rings a little hollow, since the Coalition hasn’t withdrawn any of its wilder assertions or toned down the Guy Fawkes language, but a month ago they weren’t even bothering with a token disclaimer. Evidently a nerve has been hit.

Oh yes, there was this other comment from none other than Ma Pepsi:

Catherine Pepinster, editor of the influential Catholic weekly the Tablet, offers a more nuanced assessment. “If you developed an interest in British Catholicism by reading the various ‘Catholic’ blogs that have sprung up in recent years, you would conclude that we are in the midst of vicious cultural wars,” she says. “But when you get to the parishes, nobody seems to be at anyone else’s throat.”

Well, there was that unfortunate episode in Blackfen, of which Ma Pepsi is well aware. But beyond that, and yes, we do know that the Peppermint Spinster is in the habit of railing against these pernicious “web-logs”, but could this be Ma admitting that she actually reads them? Presumably she means the destructive role played by blogs like this one, or this one, or indeed this one here.

Finally, while we’re in trumpet-blowing mode, the Dale fella has been releasing his big list of the most popular blogs in the sphere. The safest bet there is for Slugger to top the Norn Iron standings, which it deservedly does for yet another year, but it’s with great aw-shucksitude and no little astonishment that your humble host finds himself in the runner-up position. Do take a look at some of the others on the list, for there’s some powerful stuff there:

1 (1) Slugger O’Toole
2 Splintered Sunrise
3 (3) A Pint of Unionist Lite
4 (2) Three Thousand Versts
5 (5) A Tangled Web
6 Open Unionism
7 (14) Lord Belmont in Northern Ireland
8 (10) 1690 & All Thon
9 (7) Bobballs
10 (6) Ulster’s Doomed
11 Ultonia
12 Bavarian Orange Order
13 (8) Devenport Diaries
14 Alan in Belfast
15 Hand of History
16 (18) O’Conall Street
17 Jeff Peel’s Diary
18 Burke’s Corner
19 (20) The Dissenter
20 East Belfast Diary

Notable that much of the energy in our local ‘sphere is with moderate unionism, a political creed that’s nain too healthy in meatspace. But if it’s providing some good reading on the blogs, I’m not complaining.