keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
There's very little left to say about Martin McGuinness that I haven't said already but suffice to say I won't be mourning him. As John Stephenson's stooge and then Provisional IRA Chief of Staff he oversaw indiscriminate bombing campaigns that did nothing to advance the cause of Irish unity but instead brought death to civilians. I don't condemn armed struggle as a motor of revolution but McGuinness's strategy of untargeted mayhem accomplished little or nothing. Then he single-handedly brought the peace process (so the obituaries will claim) and in doing so opened up a glorious future of kowtowing to monarchy whilst continuing to (occasionally) call himself a republican and administering Tory rule in the North to the benefit of himself and his own little coterie (equally true of all the parties here admittedly but Sinn Fein are the self-described republicans). On top of that he happily worked alongside a hate preacher like Ian Paisley and propped up the radical right Democratic Unionist Party in government, while also trying to court the feminist and LGBT vote when it suited him. There is also the small matter of the Fisherman business, the truth of which I really hope will come out now that he's dead (although I doubt it as the myth of McGuinness is still important in ensuring that republicans continue to serve their masters in Westminster).

I've already seen comparisons to Michael Collins and I think they're apt. Both firmly belonged to the old Catholic wing of republicanism and ensured that the left was silenced, despite courting the British left (many of whom are now wringing their hands over a man who happily signed off on Troy welfare reform and bedroom tax plans). Both also did their best to ensure that partition continued as long as they were alright, Jack and in that aim both were highly successful. In the final analysis McGuinness was no more a republican than his great mate Paisley and his major achievement was finishing off Irish republicanism and replacing it with a compliant, fiercely pro-British population in Northern Ireland, one part of which happens to watch silly games with sticks and talk a bit of Goidelic now and then. If the taming of the Taigs and their rebirth as nodding dog soft Unionists are to be celebrated then McGuinness is rightly to be lauded as a hero but a hero of Irish republicanism? About as much as Vidkun Quisling is a hero of Norway.
keresaspa: (Dare to Believe)
I really should up date this thing again at some point.

Until I can be arsed here's a waxwork of Ian Paisley:



Now isn't that the creepiest thing you've ever seen? Don't have nightmares.
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
I already gave my assessment of Ian Paisley when he retired and I stand by it now that he's dead so I'm not going to waste any words on him here, especially when the Socialist Worker has it covered for me. Equally I'm sure you can guess my reaction to Martin McGuinness's inevitable gushing tribute so I'll waste no words on that ball-licking fuckpot either. The sooner he joins him in Hell the better.
keresaspa: (Brigitte Bardot)
Despite appearances to the contrary I remain very much alive, just rather too involved to update much on here due to a combination of the continuing World Cup (which has unfortunately tailed off a bit after a blistering opening round), a return to live matches and a recent visit from [livejournal.com profile] queenmartina who came bearing cake made by [livejournal.com profile] burkesworks, renovation projects and arse whippings at Trivial Pursuit. Jolly fun all round, barring the continuing success of the Dutch at the World Cup as they have quite possibly edged ahead of England to become my most hated of all the national teams.

In the interim I have allowed the formalisation of a new unification between mainstream unionism and illegal loyalist paramilitarism, the possible collapse of the Assembly, more genocide against the Palestinians, the end of Rolf Harris and the possible beginning of the end of a cadre of perverts at the heart of the establishment to pass without comment. So to correct those oversights I'll just say hardly a surprise with the legacy of Edward Carson, Ian Paisley and Ulster Resistance but the two-facedness of the whole "Sinn Fein/IRA" shite is exposed for the hypocrisy it is, it'll never happen as Robbo and Martie love the money too much but by God am I glad I'm getting out of this shitehole over the Twelfth, as ever the world will fiddle whilst Palestine burns, slap it into you ya nonce and Knox Cunningham holds the key.

That's me bang up to date then. Nothing to this blogging lark.
keresaspa: (Trotsky)
Whilst there are those amongst us who crave above the new, the different and the strange, many of us are, to varying degrees, creatures of habit. For some of you out there a week in which egg and chips is not consumed on a Tuesday evening is a week you would rather not live, a frightening prospect that brings a shudder even at the very thought. Routine is for the most part an enemy but there are inevitably occurrences when I too feel the name to conform to a sort of pattern.

Saturday afternoon is, of course, one such time as that is the time I must be at a football match regardless of the teams in action. A spell of diluvian rain today ensured that Donegal Celtic's intended match against Ballyclare Comrades was ixnayed but, undaunted, I spent the day at Seaview watching a drab affair in which Newington YC lost by the single goal to Portstewart. A crowd of around twenty was all the match could garner, making Seaview an eerier experience than normal (and next time I bemoan the poor crowds at DC I'll remember this match), although I spent it in the company of a slightly bonkers old West Bromwich Albion fan who had got a boat over to Belfast on the off-chance of attending any live match. I doff my hat to such hardcore anorak-ism.

Saturday may be my day for football but for others routine on a Saturday means only one thing - standing outside the City Hall bleating about a flag no longer being a permanent fixture on the building. Yes, that's right after nearly a year and two months they are still gathering outside the City Hall griping about that bloody flag with the usual line-up of spides, the elderly, children and people not from Belfast (just what does it matter to "Loyalist Lisburn" is Belfast City Council doesn't fly a flag?).

With regards to all of this crap about flags and Orange marches Martin McGuinne$$ made a valid comment recently (well, there's a first time for everything) suggesting a grand coalition for bigotry between the Orange Order, the UVF and their PUP political arm being behind all this. Were I Curly I would have added the West Belfast Ulster Political Research Group and their associated UDA dissidents who have been prominent up at Twaddell Avenue, but otherwise the point is a valid one. The Regressive Unionists, and the increasingly Strasserite weltanschauung they have adopted under the führung of Billy Hutchinson, have their eyes on doing something at the council elections and, given that their previous flirtations with more normal social democracy got them nowhere, what better way to make the breakthrough than by marrying a message of being a persecuted underclass to one of ultra-nationalism, whilst seeking a direct alliance with the main organisation of right-wing middle-class backlash.

David McKittrick has characterised the work of the Loyalist Association of Workers and the Ulster Workers Council as a form of "sectarian socialism" and it was a policy followed to an extent by the UDA's lead spokesman in the '70s Sammy Smyth, a man who combined agitation on behalf of the Protestant working class with calls for ethnic cleansing and extreme anti-Catholic conspiracy theories and whose pronouncements became so extreme that in the end he was given a punishment beating and expelled from the UDA. It's along this path that the Regressives are now going, offering a vague version of socialism for one community whilst seeking to blame other working class people for their ills rather than capitalism. Socialism that purposefully seeks to divide the working classes and instead looks to class enemies as its natural allies? That's Strasserism in my book and no mistake. And I'm not even touching on their willingness to co-operate closely with dyed-in-the-wool right-extremists like Jim Dowson and Willie Frazer in their flag protests when I say that.

Their alliance with sections of the unionist establishment is inevitable and inevitably it will get them nowhere as they will be used by the Orange Order until they get tired of them, just as the LAW and UWC were by the Ian Paisley and William Craig. By continuing in their usual role as running dogs for the unionists, the Regressives have blown any hope of effecting change and indeed it leaves one with little conclusion to draw other than the fact the, far from wanting anything to change, Hutchinson just wants to get his and a few of his mates snouts in the trough alongside the rest of them. Given that he happily stands by whilst the UVF he represents peddles drugs and inflicts terror on the loyalist communities he claims to speak for then I can't see what else he has in mind. I'm sure plenty will be fooled and Hutchinson will get his wishes and this place will once again back bigotry and put a few more horse pedlars on the councils but let's not expect anything to improve by enshrining a divided proletariat. Same old Northern Ireland, forever and ever, Amen.
keresaspa: (Cookie Kwan)
I believe, gentle reader (whomever you are), that I have mentioned the Highfield estate before. But for those who weren't present or who share my strange obsession with the sectarian geography of Belfast I shall briefly run through it again. Highfield is a loyalist housing estate lying beyond the Shankill Road near the foot of Black Mountain, bordered on the north by the Ballygomartin Road, the south by the Springfield Road, the east by the West Circular Road and the west by the Springmartin Road. Generally a UDA stronghold, it is one of the most deprived areas of Belfast with some of the worst housing stock in the city. Its entire west side is crushed up against equally low grade republican areas such as New Barnsley and Ballymurphy and the area was the site of some notorious inter-paramilitary gun battles in the early 1970's. Even now it gives off something of an unwelcoming vibe with strangers regarded suspiciously and for a Fenian like myself passing through the Highfield estate always gives one a slight nervous thrill.

But a lack of options forced my hand. Well, I could have taken a quick stroll over to Daddy Winkers Lane and watched the mighty Orangefield Old Boys in action and I did toy briefly with a run out to Bangor to watch the match there. There was also the Irish Cup semi-final between Cliftonville and Crusaders at the Oval but I suspected (wrongly as it proved) that in the Ulster People's Forum stronghold that is the lower Newtownards Road a repeat performances of the protests that forced the abandonment of the same fixture at Seaview might be in the offing. So with those options shitcanned all that was left was Paisley Park Highfield estate to watch the erstwhile West Belfast Rangers (Albert Foundry as they are now called) in action against the famous Ardglass.

Paisley Park (which may or not be named after Ian Paisley, I really don't know) is better known as a bowling club but includes a few football pitches. Although the mercury touched ten degrees Celsius today the high, open, windswept location meant that as my made my way to Paisley the following sight greeted me:



I did take the thicko option of Single Award Science at GCSE so I claim no expertise in these matters but I was taught that water freezes at oh degrees so how the hell can snow exist at ten above nowt? Mind-boggling.

But I digress. I arrived at Paisley Park at ten minutes to two (two o'clock kick-off) and was surprised to be charged three quid for entry. Games at this level tend to be gratis but so be it. I was even more surprised to find that with a mere ten minutes to go I was the only paying customer there. Yup, just me. Given how full of their own self-importance Shankill roaders are (a trait they share with Falls roaders) and the fact that local favourites Linfield had no match today I expected a decent crowd to turn out but not a bit of it. I counted nine paying customers in total, augmented by about another twelve or so comps who came in late for a bumper crowd that was lucky to break twenty people.

As to the match itself it was frankly a bit of a mismatch. Although other clubs have games in hand Albert Foundry currently sit on top of the Northern Amateur League Premier Division (fourth tier overall) with Ardglass anonymous in mid-table. I don't claim to know much about this league but if this game is anything to go by there must be quite a gap between the top sides and the rest as Foundry were grinding Ardglass like so much horse meat from the word go. That they went in at half-time only 1-0 up was due to Foundry's inability to score rather than anything on the part of Ardglass. It would have seemed a really long journey home for their travelling support had it not been for the fact that they appeared to have no supporters. Fourth tier don't forget. The attitudes to health and diet are a little different at this level though. Every member of the Foundry coaching staff had a feg on at one point, including one old stager who was eating them, and when an Ardglass player was substituted off injured he sparked a tab on the touchline a few minutes after coming off.

During the second half there appeared to be a rather large fire raging behind the ground with smoke billowing but in fact it may just have been Foundry on fire as they turned the screws on a woeful Ardglass side. Four goals were scored to add to the one they already had, including two near the end that appeared to be scored within a minute of each other. To be honest they probably could have had a three or four more as this was an absolute hiding from start to finish.

It's difficult to assess Albert Foundry. On the pitch they are every inch a Championship 2 club in waiting and they would more than hold in their own in that division playing to the standards they did today. Their ground wasn't the ritz, although if Brantwood maintained senior status with their pit and Sport & Leisure Swifts do with their shoebox then this might just be good enough. The views are quite something as well as there are few places in the city where you can see the Holy Cross church on Crumlin Road, the shipyard and the City Hospital with just a slight turn of the head. Their only stand could probably stand to be a little larger and they would need to rip off the crumbling wooden slats and replace them with proper plastic seats but I could see Paisley Park as a third level ground without too much effort being needed. The big problem however would be the crowds, which are clearly woeful. This was a fine day for football and there is a big slice of population, all high on their own identity, for them to draw on but with Linfield not playing they still failed to break double figures on the gate as far as I could see. A lot of clubs in Northern Ireland fail to engage properly with their local communities in order to attract support (not least Donegal Celtic, whose PR is non-existent, a fact reflected in their own terrible crowds) but Albert Foundry are missing out badly as they could be drawing in decent crowds if they got their arses in gear. It remains to be seen if they will win the league and even if they do the system for promotion to the Irish League is arcane in its complexity but the raw materials are there. Cliftonville and Crusaders have shown what community engagement can do as they both attract bumper crowds now and whilst Albert Foundry aren't near that level yet they could do worse than looking to their northern neighbours for pointers in attracting those from the Greater Shankill who have an interest in the game but don't care for Linfield, can't afford the prices at Windsor Park, can't find transport to Blues games or just can't be arsed going. If they manage that they could thrive a couple of levels above their current position but if not they'll continue busting a gut in front of the sort of "crowds" that most of us could comfortably squeeze into our parlours.
keresaspa: (Tijuana toad)
I happened to come across a copy of yesterday's Daily Mirror whilst waiting for my most recent physiotherapy appointment today. Apparently on Friday between 6 and 7 PM we are to be treated to something called "Operation Standstill" where the queen's highways are to be blocked by hordes of angry flag wavers hell-bent on preventing anybody from going anywhere. Apparently the reason for this is because loyalists are sick of how they are being treated. Really? This place is being brought to a standstill because a majority of representatives that you helped to elect came to a decision within the rules of liberal democracy and you are the ones who are sick of how you are being treated. Well, everybody else is sick to the back teeth of you lot and the pointless disruption you are bringing but never mind as I suppose democracy means "give me what I want or else" in loyalist circles. Also noticed Peter Robinson is asking people not to attend protests any more. Too late now Robbo, like Ian Paisley before you you have climbed into bed with the paramilitaries to get them to do your bidding but unlike Paisley you don't know how to play them properly and they are now outside your control. It seems strange that Paisley has played no part whatsoever in all this. Happen he really is on death's door or maybe he is just that little bit shrewder than Robinson and decided not to get tangled up in the whole mess.

Elsewhere as part of these despicable protests about a piece of cloth it seems that one group of loyalists intends to protest in Dublin in a few Saturday's time. Good idea I suppose as a decision that can only be taken by Belfast City Council should have been protested in an unrelated city since the start. And who is behind this lark - why "victims rights protester" Willie Frazer of course, the who demands justice for "republican atrocities" whilst declaring his support for LVF leader Billy Wright. That's the LVF that killed 18 people, 13 of whom were civilians, and the same Billy Wright that was Brigadier of the Mid-Ulster UVF, one of the most active and notorious units of the Troubles.

It's interesting to wonder why someone who was a candidate for the late and unlamented Ulster Independence Movement even cares about a union jack flying when his membership of that party suggests that he wants to separate from the UK altogether and establish once and for all the legendary Protestant state for a Protestant people. Far be it from me to suggest that Willie just likes to cause trouble and draw attention to himself regardless of how much bullshit he is talking but the only other conclusion I can draw is that Willie's UIM membership was simply due to the fact that pro-LVF leaders like Clifford Peeples and Kenny McClinton dominated that worthless party in its death throes.

The last time WIllie took his merry band down to Dublin for a little bit of intimidation his then hobby horse "Love Ulster" got seven shades of shite knocked out of it by the local hoods. If there is still any cojones left down there the same thing needs to happen again, just so as finally some sense might be knocked in to Frazer's mixed-up head.

And whilst we are at it the flag is flying from City Hall today, apparently because it is the birthday of the fragrant and beatific Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and the Alliance insisted that this day be protected as a union jack day to pay homage to our new saviour. Good to see the republicans out protesting about such a shameful and triumphalist attack on their sensibilities. Oh.
keresaspa: (Jimmy Jewel)
I was perusing the fine website of that august journal the Ballymena Times recently (your one stop shop for Raceview results, Orange Order investitures and heroin prices) but I was forced to leave in abject shock. The reason, nobody asks? I found myself in agreement with the malevolent Ian Paisley junior. Baron Bannside's wee lad may have built his political career solely on being Baron Bannside's wee lad but he is spot on about this latest round on "consultation" (for which read "we are going to do it no matter what") on yet more draconian laws against smoking. Although the days when I enjoyed my beloved nicotine are sadly over (daddy still misses you, sweet fegs) I have eschewed the John Reid path of becoming an anti-smoker just because I choose to deny myself the pleasure of wonderful tobacco. However as an ex-smoker I do know that one thing that never ever made me want to smoke was the pretty colours on the packet. Do the law makers think smokers are magpies or something that they would actually decide not to smoke because the box was a bit dull? Good Lord, you could have wrapped my fegs in brown paper with the words "this paper was previously wrapped round used syringes and shite" and I would still have happily bought twenty of them so who this is aimed at, other than counterfeiters, is lost on me. Enough is enough. The medical profession has got its way with the smoking ban and the constant tax increases, it's time for these unelected moaning minnies to stop dictating the policy of every successive government. Besides with all this "pension timebomb" crap we keep hearing about is it not time for governments to stop discouraging things that lead to early death? Either way, well done Little P - you may be a spoilt arsehole and the very epitome of nepotism but you've nailed this one dead on.
keresaspa: (Idi Amin)
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Book Snob
 

You like to think you're one of the literati, but actually you're just a snob who can read. You read mostly for the social credit you can get out of it.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
 
Literate Good Citizen
 
Dedicated Reader
 
Non-Reader
 
Fad Reader
 
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz


Interesting result from an old school meme there. It never occurred to me that my reading was mainly for a bizarre and largely discredited economic theory to do with national dividends and printing money as devised by C.H. Douglas in the 1920s and subsequently promulgated by John Hargrave, William Aberhart, John Beckett and some Antipodean oddballs. Well that is what Social Credit actually means. Perhaps if the creator of this test spent more time reading books than making little quizzes about them he or she would have known that already. You can't out-pedant a pedant, kiddo. Now get a dictionary and look up the word "kudos" which is I believe the word you wanted. Or do people just read dictionaries for "social credit" as well?

Sorry but I couldn't let that one pass, now could I? But to other things. The wind today dragged me in the direction of Ballymena, a town to the north and one which I may have rubbished occasionally in the past on here. If I'm being fully honest I had never actually set foot in the place until today and I must say it is an odd little burgh to say the least. I'm told it is three quarters Protestant and whilst there are Catholics there they certainly need to know their place (in the middle of the loyalist Harryville estate and covered in paint being their place in this case). Well it can certainly be said to be Protestant town when they have King Billy murals in the town centre and all the second hand shops are full to bursting with copies of the entire back catalogue of the Reverend William McCrea. They even give a rare outing to Iron Maiden mascot Eddie, who once upon a time was ubiquitous in his role as unofficial mascot of the South-East Antrim brigade of the UDA but has fallen off the radar somewhat since John Gregg bought it on his way back from Ibrox. Always nice to see the old school, even if it seems odd given the fact Ballymena is nowhere near South-East Antrim really, being more in the centre or north of the county, and is the sort of Bible belt place where local boy done good Ian Paisley would normally lead his followers in denouncing Iron Maiden as agents of Satan. But despite all this, not to mention the impenetrable shit-kicker accents and the fact that seemingly every man is called Billy, I have to say I found Ballymena to be a nice enough town and as good a place as any to freeze myself to death on a gelid December afternoon. Kudos (remember that word, meme writer) to you Ballymena, I shall never criticise the City of the Seven Towers again. Well, not for the rest of the day anyway.

And once again I cross my fingers as I press post.
keresaspa: (Giant Haystacks pissed as a frt!)
A picture of your hero sporting his current comedy moustache outside Ian Paisley's own Martyrs' Memorial Church. The reason - why not? Dishy young roustabout aren't I? Oh.

Moving on, we've touched on comedy before here but something caught my eye in the news recently, in amongst all the editorialising about a foreign country dressed up as actual news. It seems that in the annual luvvyfest that is the Edinburgh Festival those who know so much more about what is funny than the rest of us (like anybody can be an expert about something as subjective as what makes you laugh) have voted for this year's funniest and least funny joke. Is it just me or is Paul Daniels' least funny joke actually funnier than the famous Nick Helm's slice of apparent hilarity? Not only that but if one is so bad and the other so great how come they are essentially the same joke i.e. a pun based on the construction of a particular word. If anything "jokes" 6 and 9 are far worse than anything as neither of them appear to be include even an attempt at humour. If they're jokes you might as well say that the statement "I stubbed my toes the other day - it hurt" is a joke!

Far be it from me to claim to know more about humour than the TV channel Dave, which after all broadcasts such truly hilarious fare as Gavin and Stacey, Not Going Out, Miranda and those bloody terrible new episodes of Shooting Stars with that woefully unfunny Angelos character (as opposed to the excellent ones from the days of Mark Lamarr), but does this not smack of that comedy ageism that determines only the young can be funny and older comedians must give up and start presenting wildlife programmes. Really does the Edinburgh festival exist for a reason other than to furnish the never-ending slew of "comedy" panel shows that the BBC constantly churns out with guests any more?

And besides all that, how seriously can you take any top ten list when it includes Sarah Millican. Apart from the "top ten most irritatingly unfunny wastes of spaces to ever be inflicted upon us" list I suppose.
keresaspa: (Reiko Ike)
Interesting angle being taken in these forthcoming elections by the self-declared Democratic Unionist Party. We have all known for a long time that when the DUP talked about democracy they always meant it in its most basic 50% plus one person model with any silly little notion like minority rights never on the agenda. Well judging by the slogan being trotted out this time it seems even that narrow definition of democracy has been whittled down even further. Now not only are Fenian votes to be disregarded but those of unionists who support somebody else don't count any more either. So the message now is the election has already been decided, we are going to win and if you don't vote DUP you are a big idiot and your opinion doesn't matter. OK the chances of the Ulster Unionists or even, God forbid, the Traditional Unionist Voice winning are slim to say the least but surely a true democrat should be happy to allow the electorate to decide rather than announcing in advance that the result is a foregone conclusion. Were there any justice the bluenoses would give these cretins a black eye by voting against them and shutting their arrogant mouths but that will never happen here so the poster will be proven right. Note too that they apparently believe spiralling unemployment with the economy dying on its arse with millions worth of cuts to essential services due and a return to daily paramilitary activity is "Northern Ireland moving forward". You would have to laugh were it not for the fact that we were guaranteed another four years of Peter "Mr. Corruption" Robinson and his grinning bastard of a sidekick McGuinness feathering their own nests and those of their cronies.

Coincidentally another avowed democrat whose commitment was shaky at best came up today with the announcement that Bill Craig has died. To be honest I had actually assumed he had died some years ago so low has his profile been but then I suppose only the good die young. Strange that I should mention his Ulster Vanguard recently with regards to the movement's similarities to fascism but there can be little doubt that if Billy boy had his way then the Taigs would now all be serving time in the concentration camps he would have set up in his independent Ulster state. Like the Nazi Party he maintained his own private SS guard in the form of the Vanguard Service Corps, his own SA style street army that he ditched when he got sick of in the form of the UDA, his own Deutsche Arbeitsfront style scab union to be used for the aims of reaction in the shape of the Ulster Workers Council, sought to build a mass party to support an elite leadership (even telling those lovely people at the Monday Club that he could call on 80,000 stooges to follow his orders), preached a form of extreme nationalism that included the palingenetic element of independence and even had his own take on the Nuremberg rallies at which this supposed democrat made it clear that he was happy to turn his guns on the Taigs whenever the notion took him.

Like his good mate and then enemy Ian Paisley he was a master of megaphone diplomacy and, just as Paisley would do with Jim Molyneaux later on, the two dominated the lacklustre Ulster Unionist leader Harry West despite his lot being the biggest unionist party. Before that as Minister for Home Affairs in the old Stormont government he was probably the harshest voice within the cabinet against any notion of Catholic civil rights. Inevitably, as always happens when one of these auld bastards dies, he will now be lionised by the unionist establishment and their BBC Northern Ireland mouthpiece but Craig was an evil man who actively cultivated a close relationship with John Tyndall and was happy to encourage National Front rallies in support of his own fascist movement. The fact that at some stage he apparently underwent a lobotomy and suddenly decided that he would share power with the SDLP, much to the ire of the rank of file in the Vanguard, cannot excuse his other crimes. And just to show that nothing ever changes around this parts I notice that the earlier mentioned Peter Robinson, who actually won his former seat in East Belfast at Craig's expense in 1979, has been amongst the first to heap praise on Northern Ireland's own version of Corneliu Codreanu. Still why would he not as, after all, this hard-line militaristic pair were always cut from the same cloth. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
keresaspa: (Ray Meagher)
Not so very long ago your author (if you can call this old guff writing) remarked, albeit with his tongue somewhere in his cheek, that the rabble of reaction known as Traditional Unionist Voice bore a few of the hallmarks of fascism in its classic sense. Whilst it was intended as little more than a jape a name has recently cropped out that might lend a bit of credence to that earlier assessment. Strolling along the Beersbridge Road the other day (the rough as pouty-oaten bit near the Woodstock Road rather than the arm and a leg mansions part that Ian Paisley lived in out towards Holywood) I chanced upon the posters for said TUV and a name thereon had me sitting up and taking notice. Sure enough a quick swing over to the otherwise useless Belfast City Council website confirmed what I had thought - the return of John Hiddleston. How charming.

A fellow of infinite jest Mr. Hiddleston's offences to decency are legion. He first came to attention in the early 1970s with the Ulster Vanguard, the most militant unionist party to ever have existed, one which maintained its own private army in the Vanguard Service Corps, effectively used the UDA as its own version of the Sturmabteilung, opposed the notion of any concessions to the Fenians with all its might, held vast rallies at which its leader William Craig openly endorsed violence and came about as close as this place has had to an actual popular fascist movement in its history. When Craig suddenly went bananas and decided that sharing power with the SDLP might be worth a go the group fell apart as only international man of "peace" David Trimble and UDA brigadier Glenn Barr backed him with the real die-hards joining Ernest Baird's United Ulster Unionist Party. Guess which group Hiddleston joined? Still before long he, like everybody else, tired of the UUUP but rather than a move to mainstream unionism Tom was off to join the National Front and was spending his time editing their local rag British Ulsterman as published by Red Hand Commando founder, Ulster independence advocate, British Israelite and paedophile John McKeague. Soon bored of that he was off to South Africa where he linked up with the Herstigte Nasionale Party, a group who felt that apartheid regime was far too liberal, as well as his old NF mate Alan Harvey. Returning to Belfast in 1983 after falling out with Harvey, Hiddleston sound found his name was mud as the New Ulster Political Research Group's cross-dresser in chief Sammy Duddy was packing the pages of Ulster magazine with all manner of anti-Hiddleston stories, mostly calling him a grass, all sent first class by his old chum Harvey. Before long he was back in South Africa crapping himself, helping to run the extreme right South African Patriot and having no involvement whatsoever in the arming of Ulster Resistance in that country, no honestly. Nor did he have anything to do with the NF's failed comeback in Northern Ireland in the late 80s and their Ulster Patriot, no honestly. Then suddenly in the late 90s he was back, active in the Ulster Unionist Party in Belfast before being attempting, and failing, to nick a seat in my neck of the woods in the 2003 Assembly election. So at some point in the meantime he has switched to the dinosaur battalion and is looking to worm his way into the council. And whilst I wrote off the chances of the extreme right in my last post a victory for this particular right-wing extremist, wearing the cloak of local unionism rather than mainland Johnny-come-latelies, would not amaze me in the slightest. I don't expect much from the TUV in these elections but a seat here and there would not be a shock and a spit and sawdust electoral area like Pottinger might be the sort of place where they could just sneak in. It does show one thing however - as big a joke as the TUV are there is a sinister undercurrent to them and no mistake.
keresaspa: (Default)
I am doing my best to resist scoring any points from the whole suicide attempt by extremely bigoted and overtly moralistic Pentecostalist woman who blew an illegal fifty grand bung on her secret lover who is forty years her junior as it would just be cruel. It perhaps says it all about politics in Northern Ireland that there is a chance (slim, let's be honest) that the whole mess could spell the end of the storied career of Peter Robinson.

A tad picture heavy )

Oh and apparently it has been snowing a bit too. There has been less here than on the 'mainland' but there has still been a decent fall compared to what we had the other week. Again let me demonstrate:

More pictures )

Sex on TV

Sep. 15th, 2009 06:44 pm
keresaspa: (Robb Wilton)
I think it's fair to say that the Ulster Unionist Party are not the force they once were. The figures speak for themselves on this one - from 10 MPs elected in 1997 they are now stuck on just Sylvia Hermon and from 30 out of 110 to leave them as the biggest party in the Northern Ireland Forum in 1996 to 18 ut of 108 at the last Assembly election. Nope, I reckon it's fair to say that the days of the leadership of Jim Molyneaux, whose very tight-lipped silences and subordination to Ian Paisley still raked in the votes, are long gone and that the Official Unionists are now firmly in the second fiddle role in loyal Ulster. As such I suppose one can hardly blame them for trying different things to win votes. However the latest scheme to come out of hillbillyland, sorry Tyrone, is taking the piss. OK, use whatever you can in a crisis but basing your campaign on "vote for me because I am morbidly obese and have failing eyesight and so I resemble a cartoon character" is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. I also think that the good councillor Hussey might want to watch the show once or twice before committing to this idea. If he did he would quickly notice that Peter Griffin is a Catholic Irish-American and thus hardly a role model for Ulster Unionism as I have yet to meet a Catholic Irish-American who hasn't jumped on the Irish nationalist bandwagon. Besides if being fat and wearing glasses makes you a Peter Griffin lookalike then about 90% of politicians here would qualify. The UUP should look further and discover that they have a much better alternative - step forward ex-Tory and church choir enthusiast (two phrases that combined equal excitement) Esmond Birnie and Mort Goldman. Just give Es a perm and he would be there. Well, how badly do you want to get elected?!

Lord Jim

Jul. 21st, 2009 08:53 pm
keresaspa: (Default)
I was reminded recently of the words of Rolão Preto, a little Portuguese inter-war shithead who attempted to pervert the working classes to his own brand of twisted syndicalism that was actually nought but fascism. After falling out with António de Oliveira Salazar, Preto wrote whilst in exile that "a fascist leader must be forcefully inspired by two watchwords: imagination and courage". It may perhaps be a tad over-egging the pudding to label Jim Allister a fascist but he's not a million miles away given that he leads a purposefully sectarian group that has no concept of minority rights and that is tied up in a sort of nostalgia dell'avvenire for the "good" old days of the Protestant state for a Protestant people established by James Craig. However if indeed the two watchwords of fascist leadership are to be "imagination and courage" (rather than "exploitation" and "eventual, inevitable defeat") then it seems clear that Ulster's own future leader has been ignoring Preto's advice as he seeks to build his own Estado Novo.

As such it is certainly heartening to see the beginning of the end for his little vanity project in the Traditional Unionist Voice. I had always felt that the TUV had something of a cult of personality about it but for that very same reason it was doomed to fail as the one thing dear old Jim lacks is a personality (which is kind of a prerequisite in such circumstances). Charlie Tosh (a man who could only be more well named were he called Dick Wanker) is hardly the sort of man whose talents will be missed but in his departure and his savaging of Jim it is clear that the rest of TUV wont be far behind, unless they have some fetish for being dicked about by a bald man from Crossgar. Allister really should have learned from the past and realised that these one man bands have a tendency to go tits up. Robert McCartney briefly had his moment in the sun but in the end even he, a man of considerable more intellect and presence than Allister, couldn't sustain a party based around himself and so lost most of his followers to the equally short-lived NIUP. And, unlike Allister, McCartney at least had something a bit new to offer in his devotion to full integration rather than Jimmy boy's obsession with turning the clock back to the days of John Miller Andrews. Perhaps Allister should have looked to his namesake in Kilfedder and kept his ambitions small by seeking one constituency to make into his personal fiefdom (and no, I don't mean the public toilet cubicle) but in attempting to ape the only man to ever build a party around himself, Ian Paisley (quite possibly the closest Northern Ireland has ever had to a Salazar of its own), Jim was always doomed to fall short. Hard luck, old son, but it looks like the fat lady is already doing her scales. Not a moment too soon I might add.

And speaking of bald headed men who don't quite have the ability to match up to their ambitions (no, not me, you cheeky gits) it seems that a certain Mr. Eriksson is about to turn up in the Fourth Division. Considering Notts are apparently minted all of a sudden and there are few things that Svennis likes more than a good wad of the folding stuff it could prove a nice little link-up. One can't help but feel however that, if it does happen, the real work will be done by some lower division journeyman like Graham Barrow or Roy McFarland whilst Sven jets off here and there on "scouting" missions that are really free holidays to the exotic locations that he loves. Nice work if you can get it. Lock up your daughters, Nottingham!

Now if you'll excuse me I must head on as for the last few days my nose has been running and I've had a sore throat. As such it seems almost inevitable that I now have swine flu so "enjoy" these posts whilst you still can!
keresaspa: (Enoch was wrong)
Ordinarily I wouldn't bother my arse talking about Brown getting his 42 days pet project through. Having seen at full stretch the heavy handed brutality of successive British governments turned on my community it is no surprise to me that they are now turning on somebody else in largely the same manner. If they used internment here it is hardly a shock that they are setting in motion the steps to bring back internment for their new bugbear. However this place has played a role in all this and in a way which has left a very sour taste in my mouth. Gone, of course, are the days when the Labour Party was noted for its sympathies with Irish nationalism and I have no reason to assume that Gordon Brown's militant unionism with regards to Scotland is not repeated with regards to Northern Ireland. As such his reliance on the DUP is no surprise to me. He is a dyed in the wool unionist so why should there be any surprise? The one who really has rankled however has been Nick Clegg. Clag Knot had claimed in the run-up to the vote that the DUP should oppose the motion because of their proud record of defending civil liberties. What???!!! You bloody, sanctimonious, public school idiot. This is a party that grew out of the hard-arsed edge of the Ulster Unionists who were determined not to give an inch to the civil rights protesters to the point that Ian paisley and Major Ronald Bunting launched physical attacks on marches for the civil liberties that Clegg claims they have defended. Yes, they've defended the rights of the Orange Order to march wherever they want, taunting people about murdered relatives on the way and have defended the rights of loyalist assassins to carry on their work but when it came to a sniff of a right for the other side, forget it! If Clegg knows nothing about Irish history then he should keep his Westminster School mouth shut but is he that much of an idiot that he doesn't even know about last week when a high profile member of the DUP and the wife of the now leader suggested that gays could be counselled into heterosexuality. I wonder what the likes of Simon Hughes, Stephen Williams, Brian Paddick and Marc Ramsbottom would make of their great leader's endorsement of such 19th century nonsense as being part of a proud record of defending civil liberties. Talk about a slap in the face to the people who have suffered years of exclusionary bollocks from the DUP. Remind me about this if I ever consider placing their stooges in the Alliance on a ballot paper again. As for the resignation of David Davis, well it's a nice gesture and all that but has no chance of having any impact.

Meanwhile, a few words on the Euro 2008 developments lest I go mad from my anger at that twit. Portugal-Czech Republic was a fine piece of work between two teams who were evenly matched until late on. Cristiano Ronaldo had a decent but quieter game than some of what he has served in the league. Perhaps this was largely due to the fact that the Czechs were not in awe of him and Tomas Galasek in particular coped well by putting in good tackles on the diver and using the ball well after doing so. Ultimately, of course, Ronaldo scored a good goal and I would be lying if I said he wasn't a supremely talented footballer. However as usual the ugly side of his game came to fore as he went down like he had been shot after a Czech defender touched him on the top lip. These are the reasons he will never be the world's best. Also interesting to note that it was the 41st minute before David Pleat managed to use the phrase "Czech Republic". After starting on the long defunct "Czechoslovakia" he realised he was doing something wrong and soon corrected himself with the just plain gibberish "Republic of Czechoslovakia". Never mind, Pleaty, we love you anyway! Turkey-Switzerland was a lot better than it should have been, largely thanks to the downpour in the first half which turned it into a comedy of errors and ultimately a bit of a bloodbath. Neither team was very good and they both knew it but they made the best of it by playing the sort of blood and thunder match that used to keep the Irish League interesting of a Saturday. The rest of you rubbish teams please take note.
keresaspa: (Default)
So at long last Ian Paisley is buggering off. Only about thirty years too late but what are three decades between friends? I happened to catch a bit of BBC Newsline, a show I don't normally watch given BBC Northern Ireland's virulently pro-unionist stance, in which they interviewed a sample of people from the Falls and the Shankill for their reactions to the news. The Shankill mob all largely said "good riddance to bad Lundy" but I was sickened by the reaction of the Falls crowd who, to a man, all said he was a sad loss on the basis of his participation in a power-sharing government for the last year or so. From then on we have been hit with a bunch of insincere eulogies from New Labour lovies and Sinn Fein collaborators about how great the big man is. Bollocks! Methinks it's time for a bit of realism about that old tosser. In truth Paisley's career has been one based on militant populism, religious extremism and Janus-faced hypocrisy of the worst kind.

Paisley likes to present himself as a man of God but in truth his religion has been of the fundamentalist sort that is so bigoted that even a 16th century Anabaptist would have thought him too extreme. Paisley based his entire act on a complete denial of any say to Catholics and was summed up best by his verbal attack on John Paul II, a childish outburst from a man supposed to be a statesman. Paisley hounded Terence O'Neill out of office because he had the temerity to hold talks with a 'Papist' like Sean Lemass and stood completely against the civil rights movement, making a mockery of his claim to be a democrat by opposing OMOV. Indeed he even went as far as to lead gangs of armed bastards to attack their marches, making him no better than the redneck morons who attacked Dr. King and his followers. Paisley's attitude was summed up in 1966 when he and 11 stooges set up the Ulster Constitution Defence Committee to protect "Protestant Monarchy" and to ensure that the fenians didn't get a sniff of anything. As for power-sharing, forget it! Even hard-liner William Craig was dropped like a hot potato when the Vanguard leader suggested sharing power with the so middle class it hurts SDLP.

A Doctor by virtue of being awarded the title by his good mate Bob Jones, Paisley launched Save Ulster from Sodomy, a campaign to ban homosexuality, in 1977 despite having happily had John McKeague, a UDA founder member whom the dogs in the street knew was gay, as his bodyguard and despite turning a blind eye to the Kincora House scandal and the antics of his friend, gay pederast and founder of the Tara terrorist group William McGrath. Surely as a man of God one would expect mercy, but not from Doctor P. When the UDA murdered retired Sinn Fein activist Maire Drumm in her hospital bed in 1976 his reaction was to gloat about it. What a righteous man he is.

Paisley's other big thing was "Sinn Fein/IRA" and how much he hated supposed terrorists. Odd coming from a man who was so closely associated with loyalist paramilitaries for most of his career. It's on record from the likes of Gusty Spence, who should know a thing or two about this, that Paisley's rhetoric was the main recruiting tool for all the loyalist groups but even ignoring that he had plenty of direct connections that are never mentioned. However much he may say that he had washed his hands of them Paisley was the founder of both the Ulster Protestant Volunteers in the 60s and Ulster Resistance in the 80s and they were both responsible for bombing campaigns and stockpiling illegal weapons. In the 1974 and 1977 Ulster Workers Council strikes Paisley worked closely with the UDA and became their effective political voice, using them to ensure compliance by Protestant workers in his strikes to the point where four of them were killed by the loyalists in the second debacle. Add to this was the further hypocrisy of Paisley, a regular preacher at funerals where full "military" regalia was used in the ceremonies, turning on the UDA after each strike and dropping them like a tonne of bricks to the point where UDA leader Andy Tyrie even wrote a play in 1982 about what a wanker Paisley is.

OK in the last couple of years he has changed the habit of a lifetime and took up in government with a castrated Sinn Fein, but so what? Devolution is not an end in itself, it is merely a souped-up form of local government and should only be considered a triumph if it starts to deliver results. So far, Paisley's administration has done bugger all except bring in water charges and provide opportunity for his corrupt son to feather his own nest with shady deals. Alongside this, Paisley gained his support from being anti-Agreement yet he is working fully within that Agreement so the Shankill mob are perfectly within their rights to denounce him as a hypocrite. Above all, his time in charge has exposed just how poor the local shower are at real politics and how much they are elected on the basis of tired old rhetoric and bigotry. So excuse me if I don't shed any tears about the resignation of this man but for me it's good riddance to bad rubbish. As for his probable replacement Peter Robinson, I doubt there will be any improvement there as, despite his delusions of being a commando in his youth, he sums up the bitter blandness that characterises right-wing unionism in this dump.

In other news, a fond farewell to Gary Gygax. I haven't role-played in years but when I was a lad I was quite the aficionado of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons and took hours of pleasure out of Uncle E. Gary's stuff. Amarast, old friend, see you in Elysium.

And so on

Nov. 16th, 2006 05:22 pm
keresaspa: (Mr. Grainger)
So, today's meeting with the honcho proved fairly productive and we managed to get through a lot of stuff without me running out of things to say. On the downside I do have a new chapter to get going from scratch for the middle of next month but I suppose I can't complain as I've been going doolally having nothing to do.

Elsewhere, what catches my eye? Well, I did see that the biggest waste of space walking (OK, it doesn't actually walk but that's how we express things in this part of the world), the Northern Ireland Assembly, is to have another election which smacks of desperation more than a little. Plus, even though I stopped supporting Sinn Fein years ago, I still think it would be a sell-out too far, even by their own shaky standards, to actually go in to a government as the junior partners to the DUP. Never mind Paisley and his mob bleating about the Provo connection, their own close involvement in Ulster Resistance and the like as well as the involvement of individuals such as Ulster-Scots inventing bushface Nelson McCausland in collusion should make them untouchable for any republican movement. Still, I do so enjoy a nice election, even though I have yet to vote for a candidate who won as it gives me the chance to drive woolly liberals like the Alliance from my door and feel ever so worthy by voting for some no-hoper pedalling a socialist line. Yes, these are the things that keep me happy.
keresaspa: (Mr. Grainger)
So Montenegro, the place that gave the world dodgy Kilmarnock goalkeepers, sweet smelling corpses, oddball sculptors, poet-prince-bishops and the Montenegrin cap is to become independent. Fair play to them I suppose and with Milosevic gone the time seems right for them to go ahead and do it. Of course it opens the door for Kosovo and Vojvodina to start up again now that the independence carrot is once again being dangled. I also await the first utterance of 'obviously we're happy to come away from Podgorica with a point, Garth' from a future England manager. Just what we need, somewhere else where it is 'awkward' to go!

Closer to home that pillock Jack McConnell was in Belfast spouting about how great devolution is. Yes, for Scotland maybe Jack, where it is an opportunity for people to convince themselves that they are getting to control their own destinies but in divided Northern Ireland it has been tried umpteen times and has invariably fallen apart. It might be a nice little game for Labour and the Liberals to play in Edinburgh but in this neck of the woods what's the point when Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams just want to sulk. Tosser!

Enough ranting from me. Keep on truckin'.

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