keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
One of the few half-decent legacies of the outpouring of bollocks that accompanied the centenary of the Easter Rising is the Belfast finally has a statue of James Connolly to call its own. I've passed it plenty of times on the bus on my way to the match but, until today, I hadn't actually viewed it in the flesh. Still, here it is for all to enjoy.



Long overdue. Heck even Chicago has had one for years and the Americans are so right-wing that they label bloodthirsty capitalist monsters like the Clintons as leftists. Still everyone's a critic and I'm no exception. Inevitably it reflects the hobby horses of the modern "republican" movement so there's a whole bit about the Irish language tacked on to make sure it gels with Sinn Fein's only policy these days (seriously, since becoming leader has Michelle O'Neill done anything apart from witter on endlessly about Erse whilst standing around looking like a hot milly?). Given Connolly's at-best lukewarm reception to the Gaelic movement and his actual preference for Esperanto it seems rather irrelevant but I suppose the Sinners aren't going to include expositions of syndicalism while they were busy administering Tory rule. But I digress.

One other thing - is it just me or does the way the statue is modelled make him look like he was about four and a half feet tall? OK, photographic evidence suggests he was by no means tall (although Jim Larkin was a huge man for his time) but equally he looked about average otherwise and had a stocky build from his years of soldiering whereas the statue has him like a wee scrawny leprechaun. OK, it's in west Belfast and I know blokes are smaller up there (I'm about 6'3" or so but I feel like a seven footer on the Falls sometimes) but let's aim for accuracy. Mind you, I'm sure I could have done a lot better, I don't think.

Still either way, notwithstanding the tacked on Irishian stuff or his tiny, frail body it's good to at last have a statue of Irish republicanism's best ever adherent in my own town and I'll proudly salute my comrade when I pass. Well, something good had to come out of last year, didn't it?!
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
I cock an eye to the Morning Star every now and then, even though it's hardly perfect. On English issues it's generally on the money with its analysis and it does fairly well with the international scene but when it comes to the Celtic fringe it's usually wanting. The soft unionist stance they took with regards to Scottish independence (the logic seemingly being "why should the Jocks get to escape the Tories when we don't?") seemed at odds with the rest of their rhetoric whilst when it comes to this dump they same to slavishly trot out the Sinn Fein line, regardless of how much that party seems to lurch to the right. Heck, were The Hibernian still around it would probably be available in every SF "advice centre" these days.

Seven months ago Martin McGuinness appeared in the pages of the aforementioned paper to announce that he wouldn't abandon the vulnerable. Yesterday he did just that, bowing down to Theresa Villiers and accepting the deep and invasive cuts that the Tory government government has already rent on Britain. At a time when poverty and unemployment are on the rise, McGuinness happily signs off on deep cuts to welfare and tax credits, plunging more and more people into deeper and deeper poverty. Still, it'll have no impact on him and his coterie of stooges, whose big money from the Stormont gravy train is now protected for another few years. With the local health service at breaking point and crisis being declared on a weekly basis he happily signs off on big NHS cuts and public sectors redundancies. None of which will apply to the nepotism factory that is Stormont, where money will continue to be blown on "special advisers", whose only expertise appears to be possessing the same DNA as Assembly members. Meanwhile the so-called republican has also signed off on increased spending on police activity against dissidents who, as Martin claims, are a disgrace to the ideology and should be joining him by showing their republicanism through praising the British queen, upholding and celebrating the British soldiers who butchered our people and participating in an arm of the British government and delivering the demands of the Conservatives.

Don't get me wrong, all five parties are as culpable for this but Sinn Fein's crime is the greatest. The Unionist duo make no bones about being right-wing, the Alliance are the local arm of the cuts-happy Liberal Democrats and the SDLP have been trotting out the "business before people" line for so long that their name is a complete joke but Sinn Fein, when it suits them, still claim to be of the Left and indeed down south are campaigning for election on the very basis that they are democratic socialist. Yet in the North they have once again crapped on the very working classes that elected them in the first place and have delivered them to further and deeper crushing poverty just so as they could protect their own interests. Hell this current "fresh start" is actually a much worse deal than the already egregious Stormont House Agreement that McGuinness rejected recently. How this cretin has lasted so long is beyond reason.

Let's face it, the Assembly has been an unmitigated disaster from start to finish, a bloated, toothless talking shop in which a bunch of completely powerless children can spend hours squabbling over flowers and street names but who, when it comes to the crunch, defer to their masters in Westminster at all times. That I personally voted no to the Good Friday Agreement is cold comfort because all of us are now reaping the thorns of that particular surrender. Resistance is the only option, although it has been made all the harder by the headlong rush that McGuinness and that great Pontius Pilate Gerry Adams made to disarm and castrate the IRA, leaving behind only a poorly armed and informer-riddled dissident rump.

In his classic 1978 psychological study of National Front members Fascists (excellent book, horrendously unimaginative title) Michael Billig demonstrates the tendency of one of the NF members he interviewed to what he describes as "meaning-shift". The man in question talks consistently about his support for voluntarily repatriation but when asked to describe what he means unequivocally endorses compulsory repatriation and yet refuses to alter his language, despite clearly stating that participation in the scheme would be mandatory. The phenomenon of meaning-shift has become an increasing part of the mainstream in recent years, where we have "volunteers" who are forced to work for nothing under threat of the withdrawal of social security or we’re told how we're all in austerity together where "all" actually means just those with very little money to begin with. So let it be the same here now as a bleak future looms for us all, apart from the folks on the hill who have pulled up the drawbridge and ensured that, like their Westminster masters, when they say "we're all in this together", they mean all apart from them and the big companies they have chosen to favour. Dark times all round and Irish republicanism as an ideology is on life support right now. I await the rank hypocrisy of the Easter Rising commemorations next year not so much with bated breath but with an air of morose resignation.

And of course there's one other major reason why McGuinness has been so prepared to sell out his supposed principles for thirty pieces of silver and why right-thinking people should detest the slimy bastard with every fibre of their being, but were I to get into that this load of old toot would most likely be closed down and my sorry arse hauled off to Maghaberry. Frankly I Should Hope Every Reader Maybe Already kNows.
keresaspa: (Ivy the Terrible)
There is an old saying about living by the sword (no shit, Sherlock) so permit me if I shed no tears at the death of Eugène Terre'Blanche. He's had it coming for a long time so no sympathy from me!

However there are more important things than one less fascist in the world, as satisfying as that is, like Albion's seemingly inexorable charge to promotion. Despite some questionable recent results Leicester are the very definition of "no mugs" so to duff them up 3-0 remained a smashing result, with credit again due to Robert Koren on another of his superhuman performances. A shame for poor old Nigel Pearson, who made the best of a bad hand in his brief spell as caretaker after the glorious day when Bryan Robson was kicked out, but them's the breaks Nige and good luck in the play-offs anyway. Nice work by Bristol City too on taking a point from that wee git Billy Davies and his mob of tree huggers to leave Albion looking almost dead certs. Of course the title is almost definitely the property of Newcastle United but who cares really as the reward for second is the same and I want the comedy club to get promoted too, just for a laugh.

Fingers crossed that if and when Albion do go up they will do better than Burnley. I happened to catch their match yesterday and by God were they ever abysmal. I suppose it's to be expected when you build your defence around a dufus like Albion reject Brian Jensen but I can't remember seeing a team look so out of their depth in the top flight as Burnley did in the first half against City. OK one City player cost more than the entire Burnley squad but that is no excuse for complete capitulation. I should also point out that, whilst I suggested the Clarets looked a decent prospect to stay up in my annual predictions post, I was referring to Owen Coyle's Burnley rather than the current shamble under that mouth-breather Brian Laws. Coyle is a decent manager and I have no doubt that he will keep up a Bolton Wanderers side who were heading down hard under Gary (no longer 'the Ginger Mourinho') Megson but without him Burnley were always going to struggle whilst appointing a man who had just taken Sheffield Wednesday into the relegation zone of the division below and who is only known for brawling with Ivano Bonetti was suicidal. For me Laws, like Megson, is one of those crappy little managers in the Stan Ternent mould whose only tactic is a good smack in the eye, the sort who should have been driven out of the game long ago. As for Burnley, it is tough on their supporters who gave a good account of themselves, but under Laws there is only one way they can go.

And finally this being the time of year, let us take a minute to remember the gallant men of 1916 and the true message of Connolly.



And to all a happy Easter.
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
Relegation for the Albion is all but confirmed. Southend and Plymouth next season! I've been expecting it since the end of January and the sudden appearance of dodgy money at Portsmouth so I've been resigned to it for a while now. Still, bum and poo!

Beyond that, I can't go without a mention to a glorious Irish failure, the Easter Rising, which occurred 90 years ago to this day. Who would have thought that the noble intentions of the men who gave their lives would have led to the rubbish that all Ireland has become now. Remember the Proclamation and the supreme sacrifice of the dead, rather than Bertie Ahern and Mary McAleese besmirching their memory for cheap political point-scoring. Connolly go brách.

EDIT: A meme type thing from [livejournal.com profile] vulcanlolita

This is how it works: Comment on this entry and get a letter.
Write ten words beginning with that letter, including an explanation what the words mean to you and why.

J for me, apparently )

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