TONIGHT’S BBC Spotlight poll, about unionist feelings towards the flag protests, makes sobering reading.
Despite the trouble, despite the traffic disruption, despite the damage to trade, almost half of unionists supported further protests.
That tells of deep alienation among Ulster Protestants.
Even unionists who supported the Belfast Agreement in 1998, and who have accepted further reforms since then, are tired and frustrated at a slow but seemingly relentless flow of concessions to nationalists.
It is almost comic the reflex way in which nationalists cite “equality” for every move to chip away at Britishness.
They are so used to shouting this word, and seeing a trembling Downing Street jump, that they seem not to understand its meaning.
Constitutional equality is impossible. The Belfast Agreement enshrined the principle of consent, which means that Northern Ireland is British so long as a majority want it to be so — and that majority is overwhelming.
Nationalist Ireland thinks that this only means that London pays for the Province.
Simultaneous to the cries of equality, the past Northern Ireland is being depicted as an apartheid state in which IRA terror was a fair response.
As today’s report on the SDLP’s blocking of the crime agency shows, moderate nationalists typically fall into line with Sinn Fein’s key demands (in this case ensuring that republican criminality can continue).
Even unionists who shun the politics of east Belfast community worker Jim Wilson will have agreed with his comment on the recent, controversial Nolan TV show that the Belfast flag removal was “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.