keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
I've mentioned the loyalist camp at Twaddell Avenue before on here. For months now Ardoyne has been greeted with a sea of loyalist flags and emblems where gangs of thugs gather every night to wave their triumphalist reactionary shit in peoples' faces, frequently augmented by visits from battalions of illegal loyalist paramilitary movements. The camp is intimidatory, bigoted, disruptive, aggressive, threatening, has featured clashes with police and has frequently seen protesters burn Irish flags (something I personally couldn't care less about but which others find very offensive). Reaction - none.

Finally, after meekly accepting being reminded of their status as untermensch for nearly a year a few Fenians decided enough was enough and went over and tore some of the offensive crap down. Reaction - arrested for hate crimes. This place would be hilarious if it wasn't so bloody sickening.

The next time a loyalist makes the claim that the PSNI is pro-republican I hope they'll be reminded of this. Fenians are expected to put up with paramilitary-led provocation and a constant threatening presence facing their homes but if they dare to reacted they're committing hate crimes? Words cannot express just how ridiculous and one-sided this place is sometimes. For the loyalists there is complete freedom to disrupt the city in whatever way they see fit without fear of arrest but for the Fenians the slightest protest back is a hate crime. Where the right to resist is removed you have dictatorship and when you have dictatorship the only answer is uprising. No doubt Sinn Fein will condemn the three for their actions but for my part I can't commend them enough. The more you accept bigotry, aggression and hatred the more they will flourish so well done to somebody, anybody for finally taking a proactive stand against the creeping return to second class citizenship. One of the watchwords of republicanism has always been "they have rights who dare defend them" and it is heartening to see that that spirit remains alive, even if the movement's current leaders are determined to stamp it out. Long overdue.


Jan. 8th, 2014 08:11 pm
keresaspa: (James Connolly)
Shock horror! The same old story all over again - the "security" forces murder one of the lumpen and the powers that be tell them that's no problem. There was a time I would have got up in arms about something like this but frankly it's all too predictable as the cops and the army have had a free hand to kill to their heart's desire for years now. Not content with expecting people to live on air and forced labour they now want to murder at will too. Can Britain get any more dystopian? Frankly were they pass a law making unemployment a crime tomorrow I wouldn't be surprised. I've no insights to offer on this unfortunately, just "what a stinking world" really.
keresaspa: (Heckle and Jeckle)
Remember the days when the Assembly would be brought down if any of the paramilitaries even sneezed? So long ago, especially where the UVF are concerned. They can flout the law with impunity whilst the presence of their Progressive Unionist Party representatives makes no bones about it. Heck, they can even kill people and nothing happens beyond a few disapproving clucks. As such today's death threat against Conor Murphy by an organisation alleged to be on ceasefire has been virtually ignored by the local media as the UVF's violent sectarianism is now so run of the mill that it doesn't even merit reporting any more. I have little sympathy for Murphy or any of his Sinn Fein compadres because they are equally complicit in maintaining the fantasy that the Troubles are over even though the uve are still running riot as the Sinners are the ones getting the big salaries out of it. They were also the ones who rushed to get rid of their own UVF equivalent in order to get their snouts in the trough and so lost their own guaranteed protection by packing the Provos off to bed for good. Mind you, he's wasting his time making sure his mates in the cops are informed.

The UVF has east Belfast awash with drugs and has more rackets over there than Dunlop and Slazenger combined but the cops are happy to let them get on with it, afraid to touch the boys who brought this place to a standstill last Christmas with their flag protests. Frankly, the PSNI are too busy cosying up to the UVF leaders to ever arrest any of them. Hell, if Jamie Bryson had been in the IRA rather than the UVF he would have been serving a twenty stretch by now rather than some limp little ban on attending protests. As if that's not enough we have PUP spokesman and community bigwig Winkie Irvine sitting on the North Belfast policing board whilst maintaining his other career as commander of the UVF B Company in Woodvale, a group notorious for running rackets and ordering residents out of the area. How can you expect a criminal organisation to be dealt with when its top brass are running the bloody cops?! Still given that their top man is a security forces agent of long standing then it comes as no surprise that they can suit themselves.

Once again the "new" Northern Ireland reveals itself to be no better than the old, a façade of gentility placed on top of the same old festering cancerous lump that we've always had. A sectarian mafia continues to thumb its nose, knowing full well that nothing will be done to stop it as it has the law in its pocket. If this is the much-vaunted "shared future" you can bloody well keep it.
keresaspa: (Lester and Eliza)
That period of extended silence that nobody noticed round these parts was caused by my being in Leeds at chez [ profile] queenmartina. I travelled over on Friday by my least favourite method (flying obviously) on what proved to be a total bloody nuisance of a journey. I suppose the flight itself was reasonable enough but the whole rigmarole associated with flying, be it the travelling to and from vast, soulless warehouses in the middle of nowhere, all the security wank, the inevitable stabbing pains in the back of the head and the interminable hanging around really gets on my tit-end and I'm always very glad when it's over. I'm also not sure whether or not an author as intense and, frankly, bonkers as the great Gérard de Nerval was a good idea for in-flight reading as the surreal, existentialist insanity of Aurélia did rather unnerve me whilst travelling in a giant, floating sardine tin but live and learn. By the time I arrived we had already passed the eye of the day so a bit of arseing around the town was all we could manage.

On Saturday [ profile] burkesworks and myself took off to nearby Halifax in order to slake my inevitable desire for watching 22 idiots chasing a bit of a balloon. The town of Halifax was a new one on me but I have to say it was a remarkably presentable place, teeming with grand old buildings of the type that the planners in Belfast would have "accidentally" burnt down years ago in order to replace them with glass and chrome horrors on which no sod could afford the rent. That and slightly ropey ex-England and Leeds midfield spoilers see it as a good place to set up fish-flogging emporia. Or something like that. The match itself was eventful both on the pitch and off. On the pitch Halifax Town will have been chastened by the comparative hiding they took from Stockport County, a club one level below them. Mind you given that Halifax went bust recently but have now returned to the top level of non-league whereas Stockport have gone from the second tier of league football to the sixth tier overall in just over a decade in the grand scheme of things they should feel better.

Halifax's ground, the Shay, was once proverbially ramshackle but it's had a right good overhaul in recent years and we took our seat in a well-appointed main stand, not far ahead of an odd looking individual, who appeared a cross between Necro Butcher and a scarecrow. Had we known then that we know I suspect we would have sat elsewhere but Necrocrow, clearly a local maniac, proceeded to spend the entire match talking to no-one in particular about all sorts of weirdness. It's fairly standard practice at these sort of levels that if a player has recently arrived at a club from the other end of the country and/or has been signed on a short-term deal that he is put up in a hotel locally at the club's expense. Such an arrangement can annoy supporters if the player in question doesn't perform on the pitch but for Necrocrow it went further - the player in question was, by virtue of living in a hotel, a Nazi who provided nothing but death. He was detested for the fact that his only profession was football but another player who was part-time and also worked as a barber was roundly condemned as "namby-pamby" and needing to be hit with a medicine ball as Necrocrow respected no profession other than hod carrying (although his insane ramblings, combined with his scrawny physique, rather suggest that his own money is derived solely from mental disability payments rather than carrying shovels of bricks up ladders). Other gems he told us included the fact that the world would run out of water in five years (something else that I think was somehow hotel boy's fault) and that Chelsea and England full-back Ashley Cole is afraid of grass (so what's that stuff he's been making his living on for the past fifteen years?). A chap behind us eventually tired of Necrocrow's warped stream of consciousness and, after advising him in the vernacular to "stop away, then", began throwing in expletives and threats of violence to the hotel hater. Only I doubt Necrocrow will ever stop away, being one of those bizarre supporters who goes to every match home and away, not to mention reserve and youth team games, despite publicly claiming to hate the club and everything associated with it and despite his attendance appearing to fill him with so much anger. Nutter, but he'll be at the Shay until he dies and then his ghost will come back to spend the entire match complaining about how cold Hell is and how bad Asmodeus' arse stinks.

In common with the rest of the British isles, Sunday in Leeds is a very truncated day on which things open for only a few hours so we managed only a bit of mooching before the shutters went up. It wasn't helped by the fact that the Gay Pride march was taking place that day. Put it down to a lifetime of living in Belfast and having to endure the Orange Order but all parades, regardless of their purpose, get royally on my wick and the annual rainbow flag procession is no exception. Rain worthy of the Book of Genesis arrived later on so I beat a retreat and left them to it. The rain continued through the night and into Monday although by the time we ventured out it had more or less dried up and we were able to pay a visit to Leeds Royal Armoury. I had been troubled a series of vivid nightmares the night before, the sort I only ever get when running a bad temperature (and sure enough I feel a tad on the flu side today), and as such I wasn't at my most chipper but we still managed to see the sights on offer, some of which were captured here. Some more Medieval hunting tapestries would have been a good addition as the wonky rabbit head in this one raised some ribaldry but in general it was a nice place which I must revisit at some stage when in better fettle. With the day done I took my leave for an evening flight home, a surprisingly bearable effort which, uniquely in my experience, actually left and arrived early. Wonders never cease. And at least I wasn't detained for questioning by the PSNI this time, as I was when I arrived back from London last month.

As I said earlier I'm feeling somewhat ropey now (although I put that down to a soaking I took in Ballymena in the middle of last week) but it's good to catch up with the kith and kin once again and to add another ground to my expanding list. Good show.
keresaspa: (All cops are not nice)
Banjaxed. That just about sums me up at this precise moment. Hectic. That just about sums up the day I have had, albeit in a good way.

With a ticket to the League Cup final secured, a 5:35 kick-off decreed by the Sky Sports cameras (FA Cup weekend so they're really hard up for live matches) and a bunch of Intermediate Cup matches kicking off at half one I decided, for reasons I have long since forgotten, to attend two separate matches in one day. I had two choices - Bloomfield or Immaculata - and I reasoned that east Belfast on a Saturday is a write-off warzone and it is nowhere near Windsor Park so the only option was Immaculata v Islandmagee. High end stuff.

Rolling out just after midday I took the bus down to the city centre but was forced to alight early to get to a Post Office and fire off a late ebay sale. Getting off at Shaftesbury Square I ran into the Sandy Row massive on their weekly pilgrimage to the City Hall, hauling all manner of union jacks along with them. SO much for the filth supposedly taking a harder line with road blocks as the mob marched along the road the whole way and the PSNI did sod all except provide an escort for them. Traffic couldn't move of course - if that's not blocking roads then I don't know what is.

Immaculata play on the Grosvenor Road in what is essentially an all weather pitch in a leisure centre. No covered standing or nothing, which was a real pity as it pelted with rain from start to finish. Islandmagee, meanwhile, is a cacky little place on the Antrim coast between Carrickfergus and Larne and known only as the scene of the last witch trial in Ireland. They are however at a higher level than Immaculata, playing in the Premier Division of the Northern Amateur Football League, with Immaculata two divisions down in the NAFL 1B. For all the good it did them, mind you, as the Grosvenor mob triumphed 2-0 to advance to the fifth round, much to chagrin of the actually quite large crowd of Islandmagee supporters and associated culchie hangers-on, many of whom had made the trip because the lousy weather had wiped out a huge chunk of the card on the local football scene. The standard of play was appalling (particularly Islandmagee's number nine, a portly chap who seemed completely incapable of staying onside) but I suppose it is to be expected at this level.

With match one done and dusted a strolled back down the Grosvenor to Great Victoria Street train station and hopped the rails up to Balmoral, as the boys in black had decreed all Cliftonville supporters had to access the ground via Stockman's Lane and the Boucher Road rather than the more usual (and easily accessible) Lisburn Road. Balmoral station is about a mile and a half from Windsor's North Stand, nothing to me normally but a hell of a trek in torrential rain. Having steadfastly refused to yield to the smartphone craze I was effectively bereft of all information and thus was riddled with anxieties about postponement as I wended my way along the bland and featureless pedestrian-hating eyesore that is the Boucher Road. When I finally made it the match was still on but the rain was still pissing down non-stop and the two goalmouths were already glue pots. Things weren't helped by the on pitch compère, whose attempts to force the atmosphere for the cameras was unwelcome and annoying. It was a north Belfast derby at Windsor Park, we really didn't need some tosspot to create atmosphere the place was heaving on its own.

The game kicked off in atrocious weather conditions, with things slippery underfoot and parts of the pitch throwing up spray. Things were fairly evenly matched in the early going with both teams having half chances but then it all went wrong for the Crues as Diarmiud O'Carroll and Joe Gormley scored in quick succession to put Cliftonville 2-0 at half time. Bad to worse for the Shore Road shites not long into the second half as Paul Heatley got a straight red for a brutal tackle from behind on George McMullan. I've not seen it since but it did look a TV red card to me i.e. the sort of challenge that would see you sent off in a Sky Sports match but in the Irish League would normally be a yellow. I could be wrong of course as I just saw it in real time but by local standards it looked a bit harsh. Crues were toast by this point with two sweet strikes, one from Gormley and one from bald-headed midfield stopper and unsung hero Ryan "Cats" Catney, killing them off. Gormley, who had a belter of a match, might even have completed his hat trick late on but in the end there was to be no more as Crusaders surrendered meekly in losing 4-0. Given that Crusaders are second in the table behind Cliftonville a more competitive match was anticipated but they never got going and in the end the Reds were more than worthy winners. As the final whistle blew the rain, which had continued bucketing down throughout at levels that abandonment seemed a distinct possibility at times, suddenly stopped as if God himself had looked on and saw that it was good. Verily if this Cliftonville team does not go on and add the title to this League Cup triumph then something will be seriously wrong as they were at times imperious here.

The hike back to Balmoral was a little easier in the dry although in the dark the Boucher Road seemed somewhat interminable and the long wait on the lonely platform was a tad eerie and the train only left me two miles from home but the walk back up was easy as I had a spring in my step that comes only from the communal sharing of triumph. This was only the second time I personally had watched Cliftonville in a final - the first being the anti-climax of the Irish Cup defeat to Glenavon in 1997 - so to finally see them taking a trophy in a one-off match in the flesh was elating to say the least. Certainly a hard old slog but well worth the effort for a bit of early grass roots fun followed by a historic and emphatic win for the Reds.
keresaspa: (Tijuana toad)
Once again conflagration has broken out in Northern Ireland. Let the Assembly conspire with their masters in Westminster to dismantle the welfare state, punish the poor, wipe out the DLA that supports the ex-paramilitaries and slowly but surely kill off the NHS and the boys will happily sit on their hands (a criticism equally relevant to both sides, admittedly). But pass a law saying the symbol of one side should not fly permanently over the council chambers of the capital and once again the loyalist hordes come out in force, channelling the spirit of Ulster Day, the Ulster Workers Council and the Ulster Clubs by bringing intimidation, violence and disruption to all until their intransigent demands are met. I mean it's not as if the council has voted to hoist the starry plough from the City Hall but still the usual fascist response ensues as the working class Protestant hordes, stoked on by their upper middle class master in the Unionist parties, take to the streets to bully their way to what they want. Where but Northern Ireland would people take to the streets and attack political offices for something so bloody conformist as flying the union flag? Other countries get their "springs" we get an uprising in favour of hierarchy and dominance with a section of the working class unleashing violence in order that they might now their place a little bit more.

Of course the RUC will never go against their own, no matter what they call themselves these days. In England peaceful protesters with genuine grievances are treated like dirt, corralled like cattle and baton charged into a bloody pulp whilst if the Fenians went around smashing up buildings and attacking the filth the plastic bullets would be out quicker than you can say "Robert Hamill" but loyalist mobs are, as usual, free to do what they please when they please. Meanwhile the response of homophobic young earth creationist and hospital closer-in-chief Edwin Poots? Punish the violence by giving them their precious butcher's apron flying from Stormont too. Christ, if he worked for free his wages would be too high! If all those Egyptian protesters still haven't worked out that the difference between dictatorship and democracy is that in the latter you get to pick which inept, corrupt, power-hungry idiots get to order you about then let them look to Poots for confirmation.

In the interest of balance however I will give a rare bit of credit to Peter Robinson for at least attempting to offer a moderate, reasoned response. However I noticed he stopped short of condemning it, no doubt mindful of the votes he'll be seeking in East Belfast in 2015. Good to see that Hilary Clinton has condemned the violence though. Yup, nothing better than some bigshot American breezing in to pat us on the head and tell us how we should all get along with one hand, whilst giving a thumbs up to Israeli genocide with the other. Bugger off home, Hil, you're input is not needed and you've had your run in the pity job that Obama gifted you after wiping the floor with you in the Democratic primaries.

I must admit my sympathy for the Alliance is limited in this issue. They have followed the lonely path of well-heeled moderation previously followed by the Ulster Liberal Party and the Unionist Party of Northern Ireland but, as Humpty-Dumpty so succinctly demonstrated, when you spend all your time sitting in the fence (or wall in the Eggman's case) you will eventually have a great fall. Naomi Long might be seeking to portray herself as a great heroine but, whether by choice or not, she owes her seat in Westminster to the UVF as, without the endorsement of Stephen Matthews at the last election she would still be parking her ample rump on the cold benches of the City Hall rather than the plush loungers of the Palaces of Westminster. Matthews could just as easily have roused his supporters and stooges on the Newtownards Road, Sydenham, Dundonald and the rest to vote for Trevor Ringland or David Vance in order to force Robbo out but he anointed Long and obviously in return it was expected that she and her party would play ball. They haven't and so the special relationship is over. David Ford's decision to leave Marian Price to her fate means that the Alliance have already made republicanism their enemy so by falling foul of the loyalists they have painted themselves into a corner. But them's the breaks. They've been as complicit in the cuts-happy cosiness of the Assembly as anybody else so sorry about your damn luck.

So, plus ça change really as some silly little concession is made, loyalists react like mindless animals and bugger all is done to stop them. It would be funny if the whole thing wasn't so depressingly interminable.
keresaspa: (All cops are not nice)
As per my usual patterns this season today was time for my weekly football jaunt. A distinct lack of options faced me, caused by a combination of away games, totally unsuitable Friday night on the outskirts of west Belfast matches and an unexplained postponement of the entire second tier card, meaning that I was left with only three choices - the "Big Two" at the Oval, Crusaders v Ballinamallard at Seaview or last week's mob Sport & Leisure Swifts away against the bloody PSNI at Newforge Lane. Glentoran-Linfield was out from the word go - rival gangs of loyalists beating the crap out of each other holds no appeal and even if it did that's about the only guaranteed sell-out in the Irish League so no chance. I considered Crues-Mallards until the very last second when, largely due to considerations of cost, I swung a left at Sunnyside Street and wended my way to the home of the erstwhile RUC FC.

Newforge Lane is a couple of miles from my house and is quite possibly the poshest street in Belfast. Every house is a mansion,every vehicle a four wheel drive and car ownership is presumed to the extent that there is no pavement, only road. The filth's ground is actually one part of what amounts to a coppers' country club and I had my ID checked by a surly old man on the gate who, rather bizarrely, suddenly became all smiles and matey banter the very second he approved my card. The ground was not unlike Glen Road Heights except (a) it was part of a country club and (b) the pitch was an absolute bowling green rather than the raggedy mountainous affair in the west. Quite narrow seats that really didn't agree with my stupidly big mincers but that's a problem I have long since gotten used to. A bumper crowd packed the place out - there was easily forty people there, only a quarter of whom were club officials. I was surprised to see that the PSNI actually had some supporters. Why? Even if you are a rank unionist who loves law and order surely Linfield would still be your football club? Things even got heated in the crowd with two older gents an ace away from coming to blows. Nose to nose at one point - whatever makes them feel young I suppose.

The game itself was a bit of a bust. Swifts keeper played well and their number six was decent but otherwise they were awful, playing a forward at centre back due to a total lack of players, with a number having departed for the rarefied environs of Immaculata, a team several levels below in the Northern Amateur Football League Division 1B but still apparently preferable to poor old Leisure. The cops went 2-0 up in the first half in a slightly bitty match in which one of the Peelers took a swing at a Swifts player only to escape a booking, much less a red card (the incident sparking the near melee in the crowd). It was more of the same in the second half with a Swifts player sent off for two bookable offences and a second given a straight red for a foul in the box, with PSNI scoring the resulting penalty. The pigs-slash-brutes added a fourth late on, having also hit the bar twice in what was a bit of a gubbing really. The result put Leisure joint bottom with the mighty Killymoon Rangers (me neither) and they look a team in a real slump. Desperately short of players, they'll be doing well to avoid a last place finish if they don't rope a few more bodies in soon. Still, I'm sure I'll check them out again before too long as it's hard not to feel a bit sorry for the poor sods.
keresaspa: (Percy Sugden)
The Bank of Ireland building has stood at the corner of Royal Avenue and North Street in Belfast city centre for as long as I or anybody else can remember. Of course the name is a misnomer as it hasn't actually been a Bank of Ireland branch for some time but rather has lay derelict for the last lot of years. Until today that is when I happened to pass by and chanced upon the following sight.

Yup, the "Occupy Belfast" mob who had been ensconced round the corner in their little tents facing Saint Anne's Cathedral had decided to occupy somewhere indoors. I've already covered my thoughts on the Occupy movement previously and I stand by them despite some childish name-calling but the Occupy Belfast brigade made the London event look like the storming of the Bastille. A few tents and a couple of signs about 99% stuck between a block of flats and a place where skateboarders congregate registered precisely nothing on the annoying the powers that be scale and frankly looked absolutely pathetic after the initial posters had announced a grand scheme to occupy the headquarters of Invest NI. They are now holding a derelict building which is not exactly causing a wave of disruption but to their credit they were blaring music, have erected large banners (although I don't like the "o" in their sign - far too much like Oswald Mosley's flash and circle for my taste) and had managed to attract a smattering of curious gawpers, as well as forcing three or four of the pigs slash brutes to muddy their boots standing around rather than leaving them to spend a whole shift fannying about in Musgrave. Of course were they to make any real difference the place to occupy would be Stormont but unfortunately these sort of protests are far too bloody nice to break the law and so I suppose this move has to be seen as a big step forward. So well done boys and girls although in my day we occupied buildings that people actually used. Still made no difference as tuition fees not only remain but are higher than ever but at least we had a go.

And here's another picture (also taken by my own fair, and very shaky, hands) just for fun:

Painting the address to which a wheelie bin belongs in huge letters is a perfectly good idea but you really might want to consult the sign at the end of your road before doing so. Well I suppose "street" is a very long and esoteric road so there is no shame in getting wrong. "Steet", I ask you?!
keresaspa: (Signor Rossi)
A couple of great surprises in the news today. Surprise one comes from the fact that a military government is a bit reluctant to give up power. Yes people power, Arab Spring, demawkracy and so forth but what exactly did the Egyptians expect? If you get into bed with military power you can hardly act all shocked when they decide they would really rather cling onto it for a bit. It happened in Thailand when Thaksin Shinawatra was sent packing so did the Egyptian protesters really think that their generals were going to be different? I know patriotism is a concept that I can't really grasp but does it really make people presume that their military strongmen are somehow nobler than everybody else's? If it does then it is neither the last refuge of the scoundrel nor the virtue of the vicious but clearly a form of mental illness. King Farouk and Nasser anybody? Grow up folks, generals are power hungry and you let them in so learn to pick your friends a bit better in future.

Meanwhile the second big shock comes from a bit closer to home. Apparently, the Orange Order is bigoted. You spent that research grant well, Professor Tonge. An organisation that is open to Protestants only, that bars its members from even entering Catholic churches (witness the furore over Tom Elliott and Danny Kennedy attending a Fenian copper's funeral), which has consistently attempted to force itself into areas where it is clearly not wanted and which never attempted to discipline members who danced and displayed five fingers in front of the site of an RUC-supported massacre of five Catholic civilians is bigoted. Well, there's a shock. I look forward to Professor Tonge's next piece of research entitled In the Woods: Ursine Defecation in Forested Areas.

It really is one of those days where you would not be surprised to see "Boy Duped in Beans Scam - Cow Lost" appearing as a headline. Except these days I suppose we would be informed that the bean trader was an asylum seeker in receipt of twenty grand a week in benefits. Still there is one genuine surprise being reported as apparently boffins have developed lenses that send e-mail direct to your eyes. Great idea - "Derek re: contract signing. Can you interface with Mary vis a vis touching customers in blue sk" THUD! Derek wraps his silver Ford Focus round a sycamore tree. If nothing else it will at least be a genuine surprise and two out of three aint bad.

Yup, slow news day.


Nov. 9th, 2011 06:01 pm
keresaspa: (Ivy the Terrible)
Isn't it interesting that as soon as the wondrous David Cameron decided to get involved in this whole England football team poppy débâcle that suddenly the militaristic hordes that make up the English electorate suddenly forgot all about his hottie-in-chief Teresa May making such a balls-up over the super-tight no welcome borders that the Tories promised? Yup, knocked that off the front pages good and proper with a little bit of jingoism, despite the fact that England made no bones about playing without poppies for the last nine years, given that the rule was brought in ten years ago. Still, I suppose the FA hadn't been told to get stuffed in England's bid to corner the market in hosting the world's sports events and so didn't have to look for any excuse to grind an axe with FIFA. After all if a bunch of multi-millionaires running about a field, including one under investigation for racial abuse, hadn't worn poppies it would have been a greater slur to our brave heroes than taking a crop on the Cenotaph. And now that baby has his bottle I expect Dave will welcome the Argentinian national team to Wembley and encourage then to display symbols commemorating those killed in the Falklands. Meanwhile I see the police have been stoving heads in at yet another protest. Still our exalted leader won our boys the right to wear a bit of plastic and we all know you can't have a football match without having the army and wars rammed down your throat these days. Smokescreen of the worst kind.
keresaspa: (Nana Mouskouri)
I happened to overhear a most unusual snippet of conversation today when a lady turned to her paramour in a shop whilst they looked at a range of CDs and asked "she does look like a man, Dave, doesn't she - Nicole Slazenger?" For my part I detected three things wrong with the statement: (1) Slazenger is, I believe, a manufacturer of tennis equipment with said chanteuse actually being called Scherzinger; (2) clearly the answer is no but Dave felt the need to let the slur pass lest every argument end with "let Nicole Slazenger make your bloody dinner then"; (3) the lady who made the plainly wrong observation was herself hardly femininity defined, having as she did a voice several octaves below my own (no mean feat given my Johnny Cash tones and the fact I'm presently nursing a sore throat). Whatever makes you feel better, I suppose.

And speaking of people being made to feel good about themselves through self-delusion I do believe this St Paul's business has gone on long enough. Everybody knows my thoughts on capitalism but what the hell is picketing a church proving? To me the only thing it has demonstrated is that the so-called occupiers didn't have the balls to do the occupying that they claimed they would in the first place. The cops said don't go into the Stock Exchange but instead of defying them and charging the bastards anyway they pitch up on a church and disrupt one of the few public institutions to have been critical of excess in recent years. Meanwhile the stock market continues to trade as always, capitalism rolls on unperturbed and well meaning vicars are forced out by the sort of trustafarians who would be just as happy being part of flash mobs (one of my most hated of modern innovations) as supposedly battling capitalism. When the moment came to "occupy" the "occupiers" bottled it so either grow a collective pair and rush the scum in their stock exchange headquarters or piss off home and stop annoying people who are not to blame. The day capitalism falls I shall rejoice but if these are the vanguard of the revolution then exploitation is here to stay.
keresaspa: (Tiger Jeet Singh)
Does this bloody site ever work now? Being the technophobe that I am I have no idea what "Varnish Error 503" means but I am sick to the back teeth of looking at it. I don't know if it is yet another bloody Russian attack or if they are STILL updating their servers but it is ridiculously irritating. I'll waste no more of my words as I fuly suspect this post to disappear for the next few hours and I'll end with this.

One for RonnieB )
keresaspa: (Julius Nyerere)
Much earlier in the life of this august journal we touched upon the concept of Madhouse Britain as favoured by that somewhat less august journal Spearhead as produced by the unlamented John Tyndall. Well a story caught my eye today that seemed to be the very definition of the concept of Madhouse Britain. It seems a man in a shopping centre near Glasgow was detained by police for taking pictures. Of his own daughter no less. Now we all know that you are never more than three inches from an evil terrorist no matter where you are in Britain but this is ridiculous on so many levels. For starters if a guy can't take pictures of his own daughter then who can he take pictures of? For seconds if a shopping centre has a no photography policy surely the only sanction they should be able to level is throwing the perpetrator out of the building as there is no way that the police should be allowed to enforce shop policies that have no legal backing. And thirdly if we are actually at the point where taking pictures in a shopping centre is an act of terrorism then we might as well end everything as you would be as well saying that going to the bog is an act of terrorism. My condemnation of these silly po-mo Facepoop campaigns is well documented but this time they are right - boycott Braehead shopping centre until some sanity returns. As a dedicated urban photographer (for which read no mark with a camera who reckons taking crappy snapshots of empty shops on the Woodvale Road makes him terribly arty) I consider the freedom to take pictures of areas open to the public to be sacrosanct and that a man is actually questioned by the filth for doing so makes my blood boil. Madhouse and no mistake.

And to register my own protest here is a picture of the interior of the Westwood Centre on Kennedy Way. I await my immediate arrest under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Dead hard me, aren't I? Oh.
keresaspa: (Gorilla madness!)
It says on Wikipedia (so you know it must be true) that on top of his weekly wage from Manchester United Wayne Rooney is paid by Nike, Nokia, Ford, Asda, Coca-Cola and Electronic Arts for the privilege of using his ugly mug to shill their various wares. The same Wikipedia also adds that Roo forked over four and a quarter million for a (no doubt very tasteful) house, several thousand on a hair transplant (which he immediately followed by getting a suedehead haircut) and even one and a quarter thousand for a bloody dog. Elsewhere it is even reported that he splurged the princely sum of 200 knicker on a packet of fegs after enjoying the company of some or other lady of the night. With all that in mind is there any reason why Roo fils could not provide Roo pere with a Bart Simspon-style pity income so he could at least be seen around Liverpool with a different shell suit for every day of the week, a sovereign ring for each finger and a diamond studded collar for his pit bull. It's got so bad that he has had to get involved in betting scams to make ends meet. Well, after all what's the point of having a super-rich son if you can't sponge off him for the rest of your days. Shame on you junior, forcing pop-pop to go out and grift like that. You can take the boy out of Croxteth....

Meanwhile I see Labour has appointed a new shadow secretary for Northern Ireland in the shape of Vernon Coaker. Not a name that means anything to me personally although a brief bit of digging reveals that he is a cop-loving liar and, just as worryingly, a Tottenham Hotspur supporter. Mind you he could be a fully paid-up member of the Chicken Molesters Society of Glencairn for all it matters as the way Labour are going at the minute his chances of ever actually ending up Northern Ireland Secretary look negligible at best. And now that Shaun Woodward has been ditched can we expect him to take his butler-owning self back to the Conservative Party where he belongs? Who knows, he might be back here sooner than we think.
keresaspa: (J Wellington Wimpy)
Scary times coming. First we have the wonderful plan to evict rioters and stop their benefits, thus leaving them with no alternative but crime but now we have the solution in curfews. Presumably those made homeless by the government will be sent to prison for breaking curfew, prompting another round of complaining about prisons being overcrowded. To think of all the hot air expelled by our "progressive" government about how it was to be the libertarian alternative to the nannying of New Labour. Libertarian economics certainly but the same old authoritarianism as before, only with a mission of crushing the poor into the dirt added, with more and more power heaped on the unelected and bigoted police to ensure that aim is carried out.

And in other, if slightly related news, I noticed something on a brief trip to Sainsbury's today (besides their ridiculously high prices that is) - you can now buy bacon for our brave boys. Yup, Help for Heroes now has its own line of bacon. So it seems you can't even get high cholesterol now without militarism being dragged into it. Did I miss something or has Augusto Pinochet come back from the dead and taken control of Britain with his poor-despising and military-loving ways? Scary times indeed.
keresaspa: (Piggy Banks)
I'm not going to waste too many of my words on the riots going on over the puddle. After all when Belfast breaks out in its annual carnage session nobody over there bats an eyelid so why should I worry myself when the reverse is true? I will just say that it is truly shocking what has happened over there? I mean who would ever have thought that if you spend years treating people like worthless animals that they might then turn round and act like animals? Mind-boggling. And by all means send the army in against them as it is the duty of a government to turn its killing machine on its own citizens rather than listen to any grievances they might have. It's not the revolution either unfortunately - no proper cause or a figureheads to provide direction, too many hoods turning against their own rather than the government and filth and too many wannabe bourgeoisie tut-tutting at these "yobs" and supporting the establishment that is screwing them too. And one other thing - will the papers stop using the headline "Anarchy" for all this. I'm not an anarchist but the punks have a lot to answer for by ensuring that the unrelated concepts of anarchy and chaos have now become synonymous in the "minds" of tabloid hacks. True anarchy would be a utopian paradise where law and domination are not needed rather than chaos. Still, just as well the powers that be only read Shitter and Facepoop and don't bother with Livejournal or else I might be arrested for inciting violence through this post. You've gotta love our masters and it's disgusting that anybody should dare disobey them. And yes hoods are bad eggs before any Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells decides to hurl their ire in my direction (assuming anybody reads this crap any more).

In more important news (for me anyway, unless that bonfire I saw on Divis Street was the start of conflagrations here too and I could use a new cooker come to think of it) I see that Albion have signed Shane Long. He's not a player I know a lot about to be honest but I suppose we do need somebody to take the pressure off Odemwingie a bit. Mind you defence was the problem last season and there is still no sign of anybody coming in there. Woy's still the man at this stage but I really hope he has something lined up on that score as some of the goals Albion let in last season were just awful and as the Tatters will testify bringing in a forward from Reading is no guarantee you wont struggle. Unless of course the whole season has to be cancelled because of a few riots and then the entire issue will be moot anyway. Nowhere copes with a crisis quite like England!
keresaspa: (Terry-Thomas)
Hello again. I arrived back from London yesterday and now the inevitable load of waffle about what I dided must follow. So sit back and enjoy or run along and play, whichever you prefer.

Cut for length )


May. 27th, 2011 07:00 pm
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
If it's Friday and it's the big junction near the bottom of York Road it must be a bomb alert. I'm not sure what it is that makes that area ever so attractive to "suspect devices", bar the possible proximity to the Alexandra Bar, formerly the favourite hangout of the Shoukri brothers, but once again the area round Yorkgate shopping centre, where the careful shopper can stock up on cheap salmon, has attracted the supposed bombs.

Around 1974 a series of letters were sent to the press, purportedly from the Ulster Citizens Army, in which this supposed loyalist group claimed to have endorsed left-wing beliefs on paper headed with the starry plough emblem favoured by our own James Connolly. Rumours circulated that the Ulster Citizens Army was in fact the UVF under a different name and that they had adopted communism, a dirty word in the right-wing world of unionism and loyalism. Despite the fact that this was one of those rare occasions that the National Front had made the UVF their best mates over here (instead of their usual pals in the UDA) the rumours stuck and the UVF's attempts to organise their own Volunteer Political Party floundered before they had got off the ground. It subsequently turned out that the Ulster Citizens Army never existed and that the letters were the work of the dirty tricks department of the British Army as at that point a politicised UVF did not suit the government's agenda.

I mention all this because my own belief in the veracity of these bomb scares that keep cropping up is not really registering with me. At a time when Northern Ireland is preparing for the full brunt of the malevolent cuts from their DUP and Sinn Fein masters one would think that an easy way to save money would be to ditch some of the thousands and thousands of cops that the Troubles saddled this place with. If they need a place to start might I suggest the short-arsed little shit who stopped me entering Dock Street today. The sort of little turd who reckons himself a hard man because he is carrying a machine gun but whom you could destroy in a bar fight in ten seconds.

But what better way to keep these thugs in uniform in work than a slew of suspect devices, none of which has so far turned out to be an actual bomb? I'm not suggesting that the dissident republicans are nothing more than an establishment canard (although I do wonder for some of them) but isn't it also convenient that the same day the wife of our great dictator Peter Robinson is cleared of all shady dealings (despite the fact that the dogs in the street know she gave public money to her young lover) a bunch of "bombs" suddenly take top spot in the news? Another way to save money - stop all these pointless inquiries when the outcomes are decided in advance. If the state wasn't involved in the deaths of Rosemary Nelson and, as much as I was glad to see the back of him, Billy Wright then I'll eat my hat. A little bit too much nonsense going on to keep the establishment in work at the expense of everybody else if you ask me.
keresaspa: (All cops are not nice)
Well, surprise surprise, a black man has died during a police raid. Of course Smiley Culture should not have been involving himself in cocaine but isn't it funny how when cops are about black guys always seem to die? And isn't equally funny how a guy who made a song about police treatment of black people died at the hands of police? All a coincidence of course. As always.

And because it's post midnight here's
Day 16 )
keresaspa: (Ray Meagher)
It's funny the things that can make you feel like you are back in your childhood again. My peregrinations today took me to the northern outskirts of the city centre where, upon exiting one of those seedy underground walkways frequented by glue sniffers, dragon chasers, national Bolsheviks and similar human carrion, in order to cross from Whitla Street to York Road I was greeted by the below sight.

Fun for the whole family )


keresaspa: (Default)

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