Priapism

Feb. 13th, 2017 08:24 pm
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
I've avoided discussing the RHI scandal on here as it's just such a depressing microcosm of what a waste the Northern Ireland Assembly really is. Equally I resisted the temptation to gloat about the political retirement of the utterly detestable Martin McGuinne$$ as we always knew he would be replaced by an equally faceless collaborator who would continue on the same devolutionist-unionist path and sure enough along came Michelle O'Neill who was also up to her neck in the same scandal. Plus ça change!

But with all that having been said, the scandal has brought yet another Assembly election on our heads and the circus rolls on as ever. Well, for most of it does as the way things are looking just now I appear to have been disenfranchised for this particular one. Yet again I will find myself in Scotland on the day of the election and on that basis I requested a postal vote but the other day a normal polling card arrived at my house and, as I'll be off in my spiritual home at the time, it appears that I'm to be denied the chance to vote for a losing candidate. Quel Dommage!

I may get up in arms at the drop of a hat but on this occasion I really don't care if I don't get to vote. Since the Tories took over in England it has been clear that the Northern Ireland Assembly, already a pretty weak institution, has been relegated to the role of talking shop. Certainly, the speed with which the hated welfare reform was forced through by the Secretary of State indicates that any important decisions will always emanate from Westminster and Stormont will just have to grin and bear them (ditto Holyrood and whatever the hell the Welsh chatter-house is called, by the way). Effectively the Assembly has been left somewhere between a glorified council (I shit you not, one of its major decision was changing the layout of bus stops in Belfast city centre) and a bribe to the elites as a way for them to keep their useful idiots in line. It's jobs for the boys up there, be it MLAs or their truly pointless Special Advisers so it will continue even though it has no real function any more in a fine example of sod you Jack, I'm all right. Sacrebleu!

If by some miracle they do decide to give me my postal vote I am faced with a very limited selection of candidates from which to choose, although of that mob I would most likely go for People before Profit. Even if they won a plurality in the Assembly (not going to happen) they would still be able to do sod all but they at least talk the talk about austerity and a few more of them on the hill would be preferable to yet more Sinn Fein and DUP apparatchiks (or indeed UUP, SDLP or Alliance ones for that matter). They haven't a hope of getting a seat in "leafy South Belfast" of course (a cliché that always ignores the pile of loyalist estates we have in this constituency too) but if I get the opportunity they can have my vote anyway. Nice to see that the previously mentioned John Hiddleston is back yet again for another election. Pleased to see my exposé had such a great influence! Mind you in these days of the Azov Brigade, Brexit, Donald Trump and (let's hope not) Marine Le Pen I suppose having a past in the National Front might even help him get elected. Zut alors!

But whatever happens no doubt the same old crap will continue. O'Neill will find a way to work with Arlene Foster or possibly a replacement and the gravy train will rumble on, achieving nothing apart from feathering the nests of those involved. Meanwhile the republicans and loyalists on the ground will continue to suffer but will be content that "our ones" are in charge, despite all the major decisions being dictated by our Der Führer Theresa May (and hi Teesie, seeing as the Investigatory Powers Act means you're reading this now). Brûle en l’enfer!
keresaspa: (Cartman)
For several years since his shady, drug-related death in 2000 UDA killer Stephen "Top Gun" McKeag has been commemorated by various murals in the Lower Shankill area that was formerly his home. Rather than give you the full details of his sordid life I'll just point you in the direction of his Wikipedia article which is in this case both reliable and readable, a true classic of the website (yes, I did write the vast majority of it).

A recent bout of redevelopment saw the most recent version removed and a sigh of relief breathed by the relatives of the victims of one of the most prolific sectarian killers of the later years of the Troubles. However a couple of weeks ago a new version went up in the same vicinity (albeit not the exact location) leading to an outcry as well as the inevitable Housing Executive response of "we've no immediate plans to remove it". Well, the UDA's backs are up since Boreland and the Exec have never been the bravest of agencies at the best of times.

Leaving aside any outrage, the mural itself is one of those photo-based, screen-printed efforts that have become the norm on the Shankill in recent years where the sudden surge of ultra-nationalism that followed the horrendous flag protests and culminated in the loyalist support for the extreme right "leave" option at the last referendum (despite the EU having effectively been propping Northern Ireland up since the economic collapse, but hey - foreigners) has apparently killed off any notion of murals as an art form. Be that as it may, this is the result of their efforts:



Just take a moment to drink that in and realise that that is on the side of somebody's house, twenty odd feet high for the whole world to see. I didn't know McKeag personally (not one of the biggest regrets of my life, I must confess) but I've seen the odd picture and I'm pretty sure he had a complete head throughout his life. It does rather beg the question as to why, in that case, his photo-mural tribute has a head that stops immediately above the eyes with a little beret plonked on top, presumably to stop the world seeing his exposed, pulsating brain matter. I mean, was it really that big a rush job that the designer couldn't take a little time to actually make it look vaguely realistic? Or did they accidentally hire a Fenian who decided to have a bit of fun with it? Whatever the rights and wrongs of commemorating a piece of scum like McKeag if you're going to do it at least do it right. Whatever that is supposed to be it is an absolute laughing stock and frankly the UDA themselves, never mind the Housing Executive, should be removing that with their faces beetroot-red whilst doing so. He may have been "Top Gun" but my breath was certainly taken away by that travesty.
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
I've never been a member of a political party in my life but, unbelievable as it seems now, there was a time when I would have identified Sinn Fein as "my" party nonetheless. So long ago. As disillusionment set in that honour was handed instead to the Irish Republican Socialist Party but a combination of the INLA's totally pointless surrender (seriously, they have gained absolutely nothing from their ceasefire unlike the Provies, who at least get huge grants from Her Majesty's Government for being good little boys) and the party's gradual drift to moribundity saw me give up on them ages ago. I mean, apart from that wee office on the Falls do they do anything any more? My days of identifying with one party are long over. If I was pushed I would say that these days I most admire the effort of Eirigi but even then I differ from them on several issues and consider them the best of a bad lot rather than my spiritual brothers.

Of course given that I live in leafy South Belfast there is no Eirigi interest in my constituency and so I am left with rather a motley crew to choose from when it comes to voting tomorrow. Sinn Fein or out of course and would have been even if their candidate wasn't the utterly despicable Millionaire Marty, unquestionably my most detested member of the party outside their two leaders. Their cohorts in that vile, Tory-lapdog rabble up on the hill- the DUP - are out of the question too of course and stick their Little Pengelly up their Stalford if they think they're getting my vote (although apparently they don't as they never canvass my area). As ever the Alliance have addressed several pieces of literature to me, apparently believing that I'm their man (or perhaps that I'm a kinsman of one of their candidate) but their support for the current set-up rules them out, as does one of their candidates' pasts as a flag waver for David Cameron. Due to their pro-Assembly and, by extension, pro-austerity stances both the SDLP and Ulster Unionists are out as well.

Which leaves me, as ever, scraping around in the bottom of the barrel to pick which losing candidate I'll be blowing my vote on. Well UKIP are running for starters. Not bloody likely. The Progressive Unionist Party are having another tilt but they can hit the road too, having lazily sent me the exact same sectarian manifesto as last time with the bit about Protestant boys bad performance at school being priority ahead of Irish Travellers and Roma, both of whom perform worse. Bigots and racists it seems. As previously covered at some length Hiddleston is running for traditional Unionist Voice but I don't vote for apartheid supporters. Ben Manton is, as ever, running for the Tories but, also as ever, he can go swive himself.

There are a couple of loyalist independents running too. Ex-DUP extremist Ruth Patterson is one option although, given that her campaign manager is fleg moron Jamie Bryson, I rather suspect she isn't really aimed at me. Indeed she seems an ideal candidate for the Protestant Coalition, our local attempt at a loyalist arm of the extreme right Britain First, but that seems to be pretty much dead these days. There's also Billy Dickson of course although his manifesto left me rather cold. A former Belfast City councillor, Dickson was a veteran of the dark days of Paisleyism, a staunch opponent of civil rights and a paramilitary on the Donegall Road. He's been through various other parties since, including the Tories and the TUV, but now claims to be leading his own party called the South Belfast Unionists. His literature stated that it was imperative south Belfast has its own unionist party but offered no reason why that was so. I'm sure it's important to him as no other party will offer him a candidacy but it can't be that important as his South Belfast Unionists are unregistered and he is competing as an independent. Next!

It's South Belfast so there are no dissident republican candidates and instead I'm left to pick amongst the debris of the lefty also-rans. There's an independent named Brigitte Anton, one of several running across the place as part of the Northern Ireland Labour Representation Committee, but I've never been a fan of the British parties setting up shop here so, whilst I still respect Jeremy Corbyn, I reckon I'll give her a swerve, not least because she didn't bother sending me any bumf so I don't know what she wants. I find the Green party generally a bit wishy-washy but Bailey will probably find her way onto the ballot, most likely in third place. That leaves me a straight choice between Seán Burns and Lily Kerr. Burns in running as an independent, although his posters say he is Cross-Community Labour Alternative whilst he is actually from the Socialist Party. Confused yet? Normally he would be nailed on but his campaign has left me rather cold. Both he and his East Belfast counterpart Courtney Robinson are mere babies and this has been a big part of their campaign but the whole "vote for youth because it means progressive" thing has never really worked for me. As I've said before Tony Benn is the classic example, given how for much of his political career he was a fairly standard Labour Party apparatchik before emerging in his older years as a radical dissident of the first water so that younger = better jazz doesn't wash with me. Also for me this election is about austerity Burns seems much more interest in other issues such as abortion and gay marriage, neither of which strike me as priorities given the "Fresh Start" agreement is about to turn this place Third World. He is the only candidate with a moustache admittedly but I'm rejecting that as a criterion, along with picking on the basis of best looking (Clare Bailey, who has a bit of a mumsy Carly Rae Jepsen thing going on). As such I'll be going with the Workers Party again, the only ones in this constituency to really hammer home the anti-austerity line as the priority it deserves to be. Burns can take second and Bailey third so commiserations in advance to all three on their inevitable defeat.

For whatever its worth (sod all), that's how I'll be going but I fully expect the same old sectarian shite to rule the day and us to be faced with another five years of money-hungry Sinn Fein and DUP scumbags doing whatever the Tories order them so long as they can protect their own interests. Meanwhile their potless voters will be much worse off, having once again followed the same old "keep the other side out" line regardless. Heck, there's so little between the five main parties that they might as well all merge as their all cheeks of the same (admittedly very deformed, given there are five of them) arse. As ever grim prospects lie ahead thanks to England and their propensity for forcing the Tories on us.

Lon-done

Jul. 17th, 2015 09:43 pm
keresaspa: (Reiko Ike)
Is this thing still on? Only one way to find out I suppose:

London )
keresaspa: (Jimmy Edwards)
It was hardly Tony Turner against Alexander Raven Thomson at Kensington Town Hall in '46, was it? Heck, it wasn't even the Duchess of Atholl demolishing Lord Queenborough's Bolshevik plot theories ten years earlier after her sudden, temporary, lurch to the left. No, this generation's great left-right debate ends up being a bunch of common room sparring between a greasy snake oil salesman who seems to have won over the lumpenproletariat by showing them nothing but contempt and a painfully unfunny "comedian" with a Messiah complex. A typical episode of the increasingly execrable Question Time in other words.

The sudden rebirth of Russell Brand as the self-appointed leader of the revolution has been one of the most disheartening things I've witnessed in years and is further proof of just how low the stock of the British left is these days. He might have the beard, the hair and the smouldering good looks (apparently - don't see it myself) but it takes more than that to make one into Che Guevara. Whatever they may say about Che he practised what he preached. He called for direct revolutionary action, so he carried it out, getting himself dirty and placing himself in the firing line in Cuba, Angola or wherever else it was going on. It's a far cry from turning up at the occasional protest for a photo opportunity in between harassing old men or cosying up to right-wing tossers like Adam Sandler.

Brand may have recycled the odd half-decent, fourth-hand idea in his most recent booky-wook but that that is supposed to suddenly make him a spokesman of resistance for a generation shows just how devoid of inspiration this generation really is. When even the notion of revolution is turned into yet another arm of celebrity culture then it really is a sad indictment. Blame Tariq Ali if you will, but even he paid his dues once upon a time before disappearing up his own hole. As for Brand's supposedly amazing line that Farage is a "pound shop Powell" - a) he already used the alliterative reference to pound shops when singing the praises of the unlamented racist bully Jade Goody and b) as much I hold Enoch Powell in the utmost contempt he was in other ways an intellectual giant and much more sophisticated than a cretin like Farage. Powell's racism slots into the academic strain running from Hans F. K. Günther to Richard Lynn, Farage's racism is the pub bore line trotted out by street corner loudmouths like John Tyndall based solely on their own illiterate prejudices and the constructed misconceptions they have derived from the gutter press.

Let's face it, Brand is every bit as self-publicising and arrogant as Farage. Both men practically achieve orgasm whenever they look in the mirror and they are both in their respective games for the same reason - me, me, me. Russell Brand is no more the future of the revolutionary left than Bernard Youens is the future of the Bolshoi Ballet and if anything his ill-thought out, soundbite-driven take on the left makes it that much easier for the gutter rags to bash otherwise sound ideas as the ravings of a self-absorbed, subnormal, wannabe rockstar, hippy bastard. Charlie Brooker is hardly an intellectual heavyweight and, as far as I'm aware, is not right-wing but even he had Brand on toast when they both appeared on Have I Got News For You so how can that be embraced as the one to bring deliverance?

Farage will go eventually, the same way all his extreme right predecessors have gone before him and if anything the wheels already seem to be starting to come off the UKIP juggernaut. Certainly I don't expect them to do anywhere near as well as they have suggested at the general election. But when he does go can he take Brand with him, please? The left needs its guiding lights but a sixth-form narcissist like Brand is not, cannot and should never be one of them.
keresaspa: (Anti-Nazi)
So a fond farewell then to Nick Griffin who turned the BNP into the most successful extreme right party in terms of holding electoral office since the British Fascisti only to blow it all in the standard orgy of in-fighting and bitching that characterises such morons. That and the emergence of the batrachian Nigel Farage who completely stole his thunder by a combination of populism, balancing blatant racism with token ethnics and convincing gullible idiots that a privately educated commodities trader is the definition of an ordinary joe.

As much as I hated Griffin I suppose you have to give him props for knocking it out rightly for so long, be it his Evolan mystical days in the early 80s with his close personal friend Patrick Harrington, his International Third Position days of harbouring wanted terrorists (turned MEPs), his spell on the sidelines spewing out anti-Semitic bilge for Combat 18, his BNP opposition days of conspiring against John Tyndall or his leadership in which a dyed-in-the-wool Holocaust denier suddenly decided he quite liked Jews and hated Muslims. In the meantime he has seemingly alienated everybody he has used on his way up, be it Derek Beackon, Sharron Edwards, Mark Cotterill, Richard Barnbrook, Sharon Ebanks, Eddy Butler, Lawrence Rustem, Mark Collett, Andrew Brons, John Bean, Jim Dowson or several others and, after leading his party to unprecedented levels of representation (albeit a handful of councillors and a couple of MEPs), saw them sink like a stone.

So that's the last we'll see of Griffin as I'm sure he'll follow the lead of Oswald Mosley, Arnold Leese, Colin Jordan, Martin Webster, Michael McLaughlin, Tyndall, Brons and the rest of the rabble into quiet retirement. And pigs'll fly. No doubt he'll be back before long, griping about something or setting up some silly little vanity project bearing a name previously held by some Social Credit-supporting groupuscule in the early 1930s to absolute indifference from all except a few wizened old has-beens. In the meantime the BNP can continue their lurch into oblivion, no doubt with a bitter divisive feud over the leadership, featuring the standard raft of allegations about the sexuality of each candidate. Their time is over, their position taken by UKIP and, to a lesser extent given their own highly divided nature, the English Defence League and the time for old One-Eye to make his way to the scrapheap of history is long overdue. Ta-ta, Nicky and thanks for the memories. Until your big comeback in a few years with a "think tank" or "journal" make sure you close the door on your way out.
keresaspa: (Cartman)
I've been desperately trying to take some crumb of comfort from these election but I can't. Swept on by the biased "reporting" of the BBC and all the tabloids bar the Mirror, those hateful shits of the UK Independence Party have come top in the European elections and done fairly well in the council elections (although their head cheerleader Nick Robinson is talking shite by calling 163 councillors out of 2,101 an "earthquake"). If there's any justice they will follow the lead of the now virtually irrelevant (outside Pendle at least) BNP and become victims of their own success. After all the BNP's brief period of success in the early to mid 00s led to to them splitting into several little factions and saw their thuggish, frequently barely literate, councillors make total prats of themselves at every opportunity. Mind you, the BNP were fighting against a cordon sanitaire, something UKIP won't have to worry about given that they had the sense to get in some tokens in advance. I swear if I see Nigel Farage's hateful, smug, buck-toothed, squinty-eyed, batrachian face once more I'm a gonna kick this screen in! And an especial boo to all the Rangers-supporting knuckle draggers in Scotland and all the forelock tuggers in AndWales for following their English masters in electing that rabble too. Pish on the lot of you.

Elsewhere Little Miss Le Pen has come top in France to show that the British lurch to the extreme right is not unique. Given France's unusual history with right-wing extremists (along with Italy, it's the only Western European country where being a self-declared neo-fascist is no bar to a leading role in public life, as the likes of Alain de Benoist and Dominique Venner have demonstrated) and the mess both major parties have made of government it's no surprise but still a real shame. Meanwhile in Finland the rightist Finns Party have added an extra seat, the Poles have returned their usual quota of hardcore Catholic racists who claim the label "centre-right" with straight faces and even in Greece a left-wing victory has tempered by three seats for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn. Stygian gloom the continent over.

Locally we are still waiting on the final results of an election held last Thursday but so far, as I predicted, Sinn Fein have topped the poll and Anderson is back in, with Diane Dodds likely to follow soon. Ho-hum. beyond that it's pick-a-dick between Jim Nicholson, Alex Attwood and Jim Allister for third place with Anna Lo not in the running and bloody UKIP even managing twenty odd thousand votes here. In the local elections the Sinn Fein vote pretty much held and, whilst the DUP shed support, it all seems to have gone to the Ulster Unionists (for reasons unknown) or rewarded the bigoted Strasserism of the Progressive Unionist Party or the reactionary High Toryism of the Traditional Unionist Voice. In among all that the dissident republican campaign got nowhere, with Eirigi, Republican Network for Unity and various independents getting almost nothing (OK, one exception but I'm not much of a 32 County Sovereignty Movement fan personally). Hell even bloody UKIP managed to get three seats here and the total mess that is NI21 took one. If I am to finally take that one crumb of comfort I spoke of earlier it will be from the good people of Black Mountain electing Gerry Carroll, a man I very vaguely know, to Belfast City Council instead of yet another faceless Sinn Fein nobody. On his own and stacked up against the cabal of the big five I can't see him being able to make any real impact on the new council when it finally splutters into life next year (that's right, the old council is continuing for another year in a colossal waste of money) but the fact that somebody, somewhere was prepared to vote against oppression and for the people is heartening anyway.

Now if you'll excuse me I think I'd like to find a pile of coats to hide under for a while.
keresaspa: (Henrietta emo)
You all knew.

You all knew about the racism. You all knew about the homophobia. You all knew about the misogyny. You all knew about the massive expenses claims, the corruption, the xenophobia, the sheer bloody lunacy of the whole shower of them.

And yet you still voted for them. You still made the choice that these maniacs were the people you wanted to represent you locally and on the European stage. No longer can Britain claim to be an oasis of tolerance and no longer can it sneer at continental Europe for it has now given a sizeable mandate to a party whose entire basis is intolerance. Even Alan Sked has recognized that the UKIP monster he created has abandoned its sole purpose as an anti-EU party to make a landgrab from the BNP and yet the British electorate happily endorsed that shift. Never mind the hatred, feel the protest. All the scandals, all the warnings, all the evidence that this is a party of bitter, hate-filled extremists counted for nothing in the end a nation of bigots played its hand and demonstrated that the radical right is what it wants.

We've been forced to endure four years of brutal monetarism and now something even worse is being endorsed by the voters. A future of a Conservative-UKIP coalition looms, with the NHS gone, human rights abolished, the police given a free hand to discriminate at will and unemployment an imprisonable offence, all because you can't stand the immigrants.

The need for a united Ireland and a path away from this unfeeling cruelty has never been greater. The thought of Northern Ireland under a Cameron-Farage alliance is too grim to countenance. A Union Jack flying from every building, the Stormont Parliament restored, Fenian enfranchisement scaled back and every republican area subject to permanent curfew with army bases a fixture. If this is the future then it's time to rise up and reclaim our destiny by any means. Scotland, take your chance and run from these lunatics while you can.



My sentiments exactly.

Wiki-woo

May. 6th, 2014 01:30 pm
keresaspa: (Chaplin Modern Times)
It was ten years ago to the very day that I first pitched up on Wikipedia. Well, that's not strictly true as I had been dabbling as one of the anonymous IP address horde (well, more like a platoon back in those days) but it was 6 May 2004 that I finally accepted Jimmy Wales' (non-existent) shilling and enlisted as User:Keresaspa. Quite why I decided to get involved in what was at the time still a fairly modest proposition I'm not sure, although as I can recall I had suddenly gained a load of new knowledge from the first year of my PhD and I was conscious that this little site claiming to be an online encyclopedia was very weak on the British extreme right.

Over the years I have knocked about on and off and through my edits have inadvertently helped to introduce Anglophone keyboard warriors everywhere to the joys of National Bolshevism (it didn't exist on Wikipedia until I arrived) whilst having also indirectly inspired the birth of neo-Nazi nonsense-fest Metapedia. Yes that was all my doing. Well, probably not but I'm sure my edits helped. I branched out into other areas (notably loyalism in recent times - you must have noticed it replaced the extreme right as my main source of political griping on here in the last few years), frequently lost my mojo, seriously contemplated retirement once and generally became disillusioned with the free for all nature of the whole project, somewhat ironic given that that was a major part of the reason I was attracted to it in the first place.

Yet there I remain ten years later, feeding my inner nerd whenever I get the notion. I've never gained, nor sought, any office of responsibility and have generally beavered away in anonymity, eschewing any nonsense of Wikipedia as a social network, an unfortunate side route that seems to have crept into the site in the last few years. Certainly I have never, nor will I ever, attend any of the gatherings as my inner nerd prefers to be internalised and the thought of fallolloping around the Ulster Museum with a bunch of boring weirdos when I could be doing something constructive like watching Rathcoole play Carniny Amateur in the Crawford Cup (nothing weird or boring about that obviously) holds no appeal.

I've long since given up asking myself why I'm still there. One's words get butchered and twisted by any passing roustabout and contributing earns you no respect anywhere and yet I persist. Perhaps I just enjoy sharing knowledge on some level, maybe it's an introverted form of vanity, some sort of hipster affectation or perhaps it is the thought that, without me, people's first point of reference would have nothing to tell them about Gyearbour Asante or David Bobin. Either way ten years down and here's to many more. Unless I get another moody and decide to give up for real this time.
keresaspa: (Cow)
There's one thing we can probably say without fear of contradiction - Yulia Tymoshenko has quite nice hair. Generally the notion that conventionally pretty women don't belong in prison (venomous harridans are fine, but not babes) and as such the outpouring of bollocks about the woman is perhaps understandable. Let's call it Eva Peron syndrome, as I'm at a loss to explain why otherwise sensible people are reacting with orgasmic fervour to the news that an admittedly corrupt President is about to be replaced by a billionaire oligarch whose political stock in trade has always been populist conservatism. That this woman, who made billions by buying up precious natural gas reserves that could have served the people rather than the individual, worked closely with Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko to increase her fortune, a man subsequently convicted in the United States for his corruption and who happily collaborated with Viktor Yushchenko in the Orange Revolution despite the leading role played by the anti-Semitic extreme right and who in 2009 signed a gas deal with Russia without consulting the elected government, is now being hailed as a wonderful heroine, a shining angel in the holy war against Russia, is laughable. I expect the inevitable fawning tone from the BBC, who have been the organ of state since Hutton and who now trumpet the NATO apologist line of William Hague as if it were gospel but seeing more considered people anointing this witch as some latter day Joan of Arc is a real disappointment. She's a right-wing populist and will no more benefit the Ukrainian workers than Russophile predecessor. And clearly she's happy to jump into bed with the extremists too:



So that's what the new Ukraine will be like is it? A historic statue of Lenin tore down and replaced by the symbols and slogans of the SS. Nearly 4 million Ukrainians, Jewish and otherwise, killed by the SS and their Einsatzgruppen during the Second World War and the return of their symbolism is hailed by the West as a great dawn for democracy. Despicable.

I'm certainly no fan of Viktor Yanukovych but he and Tymoshenko are two sides of the one coin; the bureaucrat being ousted and replaced by the monopoly capitalist. That people are giving their lives to replace dominance by one crook with dominance by another is the real tragedy here, not that some blonde-headed bint had to do a bit of stir. Being dictated to by Yanukovych and cosying up to Russia or being dictated to by Tymoshenko and cosying up to NATO - what's the sodding difference? As usual it will be the people who suffer whatever happens whilst those in charge fill their boots. Really not worth dying over, no matter how long somebody's plaits are.
keresaspa: (Cow)
As a consequence of Donegal Celtic's continuing extended hiatus from all football, combined with the rainfall levels that suggest it really is Sodom and Gomorrah times again*, I was able to continue my tour of the backwaters of east Belfast on Saturday. My travels took me to Sydenham, deep in the arse of the east, to witness the spectacularly named East Belfast take on Derriaghy Cricket Club (who play football, despite their name). I'm not sure if the UVF's Jamie Bryson, an extreme right candidate in the upcoming elections now too, was playing for his club side or not but if he was it made sod all difference as Derriaghy wiped the floor with East Belfast, winning 6-0 despite having a perfectly good goal disallowed and a penalty saved.

Of course last year Sydenham was all over the news after a mural of George Best was replaced by one of the UVF, resulting in a lot of hand-wringing by those in the media and politics who still like to continue with the canard that the UVF ceasefire is genuine. It's not an area of Belfast I regularly visit so it was only Saturday that I finally saw it with my own eyes:



Disappointed to say the least. Given the fuss that had been kicked up I was expecting it to be a massive triumphalist epic covering several buildings but in the end it was a crappy little thing about ten feet high on the side of a tiny little outhouse.

Leaving aside the nonsense of the message (if loyalists are being oppressed it is by the government, which is part of the British state apparatus, so blind loyalty is frankly the daftest reaction going and with their savage beatings and drug dealing there are few oppressing loyalist communities more than the Uve) I think the fuss was all pretty nonsensical. Regardless of their message, I'm something of a fan of the paramilitary murals and am generally left rather cold by the "community mural" crap that goes up in their place. We all know the loyalist paramilitaries run their estates so for me it makes sense to have their stuff on the wall rather than covering it with some old crap about Ulster Scots (which nobody in the loyalist estates of Belfast speaks anyway) or CS Lewis (whom nobody in the loyalist estates of Belfast reads anyway). As spontaneous outpourings of dissent and examples of outsider art I love the bones of them and frankly one of the great shames of recent years has been the way Sinn Fein has taken control of the walls in the republican estates and are plastering in them in all that "cultural" crap that has become their obsession now that they're lurching increasingly to the right. Apart from anything, were there something really worth getting worked up about it would be the fact that the nearby Belfast City Council-owned park and sports facility is plastered in UVF insignia too but nothing was said about that.

In and off itself this mural is hardly anything to write home about but I for one would rather see it than some fantasy of smiling children or, worse yet, yet another one about the bloody Titanic. And as for the argument that a paramilitary mural will dissuade tourists from visiting Sydenham, frankly any tourist that visits Sydenham is bloody mental anyway. Let's face, the UVF is as active as it ever was so why pretend otherwise? If the Fenians have a problem then resist Sinn Fein's dominance and put up murals in support of the New IRA but getting all precious about a statement of fact (that the UVF remains armed and active) is just silly.

* I appreciate that Sodom and Gomorrah were totally separate from Noah and his flood and were destroyed by fire and brimstone rather than rain but the New Creation didn't bother recording a song about Noah and their Jesus Freak craziness deserves a bigger audience.

From a purely aesthetic point of view my favourite loyalist murals are this one, this one and this one (subsequently removed), although I rather like this one too because I made money out of the picture.
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: (Maurice Bishop)
Oh God Albion, no! Don't become just like Liverpool by defending a player for endorsing hatred. Nicolas Anelka claims he doesn't know what the fuss is about and then says it is a private gesture to his friend Dieudonné M'bala M'bala. That's the same Dieudonné M'bala M'bala whose close associates down the years have included leading Holocaust deniers such as Robert Faurisson, Serge Thion and the Neturei Karta, extreme rightists like Bruno Gollnisch, Thierry Meyssan and Alain Soral and who thinks the Holocaust is ripe for making comedy songs about. I consider myself to be a strong critic of Israel but being an opponent of Israel and Zionism is not a licence for anti-Semitism, a form as racism every bit as vile as any other, and it is certainly not a justification for denying or attempting to relativise the Holocaust. If Nicolas Anelka chooses to associate with hatemongers like Dieudonné M'bala M'bala then that's up to him but whilst he is representing West Bromwich Albion FC things like that must be kept away from the club. Sunderland rightly copped a lot of flak for their decision to employ a self-declared fascist and frankly if Albion continue to attempt to dismiss this then they deserve the same vilification for standing by a man bringing the stain of Holocaust denial to the club. I said from the word go that Anelka would be more trouble than he was worth but frankly even I wasn't expecting something as horrendous as this.

The club needs to step up now and condemn the gesture and deal with Anelka appropriately, preferably in a way that leads to him reviving his earlier threats of retirement. As it stands I'm ashamed to be an Albion supporter right now.
keresaspa: (Mikado)
So, once again on Saturday the centre of Belfast is to be off limits to all as it is taken over by loyalist marchers, this time an outfit calling itself Loyal Peaceful Protesters, essentially the UVF, sundry hangers-on and a bunch of young junkies threatened with having their drug debts called in if they don't march.

As leader of the Progressive Unionist Party and nominal leader of the protest Billy Hutchinson argued that yet another unwarranted disruption of people's lives over a piece of cloth and the right of sectarian bigots to celebrate UVF murderers in front of their victims "is legitimate and lawful and will also highlight the other issues that are impacting on working class Protestant communities, including increasing poverty." The most depressing possible thought is that Hutchinson actually believes that although I suspect it is just what he has to tell himself to get through the night.

At heart I suspect Hutchinson is a genuine man of working class politics but he has completely painted himself into a corner down the years and is now flailing around in a desperate attempt to justify to himself his decision to crawl into bead with the extreme right. The protests are about flags on City Hall and the fact that republicans don't want Orange Order and paramilitary flute bands passing their houses and have sod all to do with increasing poverty, an issue that impacts upon both communities equally and which is being ignored by the major parties and the British government overlords to which Hutchinson is avowedly loyal. If he really believes that poverty can only be solved by a sectarian approach then maybe Hutch has willingly gone over to the extreme right and is seeking to position himself as the Otto Strasser of loyalism.

In a way his options are limited. There was a time when Hutchinson was a big cheese in the UVF but these days he is cocky on the biscuit tin, flailing around desperately trying to gain some influence but increasingly ignored by the true leaders. He preaches working class politics and the fact that loyalists (and no one else) are suffering poverty but yet he happily hitches himself to the UVF and its drug dealing empire and intimidation of the same loyalists, counting UVF commanders like Winkie Irvine amongst his party colleagues. Billy can soothe his conscience all he wants with fantasy stuff about flag and march protests being about social issues but he knows fine well they aren't and that they amount to nothing more than nakedly sectarian shows of strength by the UVF.

The increasingly irrelevant Martin McGuinness recently broke his silence on the affair by suggesting that the protest was being orchestrated by the UVF before adding that he had heard rumours about Francis I being a member of the Catholic Church, but frankly his opinion is of no consequence as he has happily allowed it to go on. The same goes for the execrable Teresa Villiers - if Belfast is indeed open for business then how about you put in an appearance on North Street on Saturday afternoon, Teesy? Thought not. Interesting too that what is increasingly taking on all the trappings of fascism and has the vocal support of the BNP, National Front and other fringe extremist groups is being totally ignored by Anti-Fascist Action and the rest of the self-declared hard men. But that's the way it always has been here - a privileged group sees aspects of its dominant position eroded and it screams no fair and rises up, completely unopposed by the republicans who, as usual, are satisfied with the merest of scraps from the master's table.

Is there poverty in loyalist areas? Yes, but how is that going to be addressed by stupid and pointless rabid nationalism and flag waving? Poverty didn't suddenly appear the day the union jack came down from city hall and if it went back up tomorrow it wouldn't suddenly disappear, no matter what cloud cuckoo land ideas Billy Hutchinson might be trying to convince himself of. Take your concerns to the DUP, disrupt their lives and above all stop voting for them and stop welcoming a rabid monetarist like Nelson McCausland to your protests when his stated desire to copy the frankly evil policies of Iain Duncan Smith will only push those already in poverty further down instead of wasting all your energies on bigotry. And above all stop attempting to make poverty a sectarian issue and instead reach across the religious divide to the underprivileged of Ballymurphy, Turf Lodge and the rest of the republican sink estates instead of emphasising the constructed differences that your masters made to keep us all down in the first place. Or to put it in more simple language, fuck flags and fuck marches, stop being such lumpenproletariat idiots and then you might start to see poverty being tackled.

The whole "shared future" argument is a load of old bollocks, an attempt by Peter Robinson to neutralise the Irish unity argument by downplaying the sectarian aspects of the British dimension. Yet it's somewhat ironic that the loyalists, who, after all, are the ones who trumpet the importance of Britishness the loudest, are the only ones to vocally object whilst Sinn Fein continue to buy into the whole farce, despite the clear contradiction that a future cannot be shared by two communities who want diametrically opposed conclusions to their situations. On Saturday, once again, Loyal Peaceful Protesters will assert their ethnocentrist identity and I'm sure they'll live up to their name as the event will no doubt pass off peacefully as it is difficult to initiate clashes when you are completely unopposed.

Edmund Burke may have, for the most part, talked wall to wall crap but he was onto something when he opined "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing". Now, by no stretch of the imagination is McGuinness a good man but alas it seems that the few good men republicanism has left are happy to follow his lead in doing absolutely nothing in the face of rabid sectarian hatred. The bigotry and hatred is something you get used to - it's always been there and always will be. But when resistance dies what is left? Sickening.

WATP

Oct. 14th, 2013 08:59 pm
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
For the past several weeks a loyalist bivouac has existed at Twaddell Avenue, a street that links the Crumlin Road to the Woodvale Road near the top of the Shankill. Twaddell and its encampment face the republican Ardoyne area which has been the sight of a number of controversies regarding loyalist marches recently. The Parades Commission has determined that triumphalist loyalist marches past the republican area are not acceptable, which seems perfectly reasonable, and the response has been to have a round the clock presence right in the faces of the Ardoyne residents, to remind that we are the people and this is our turf.





The Progressive Unionist Party showing plenty of progressive thinking there as usual. But I digress. Time was the Ardoyne yahoos would have been on that rubbish like a tom-tit on a horse-turd but the response now? Nothing. Nothing whatsoever. Just take a moment to drink that in. A naked display of extreme nationalism, hatred and provocation right in your face dressed up as civil rights (I'm not sure where it is an enshrined civil right to intimidate and threaten people with extreme right political marches glorifying UVF murderers but you can't expect logic from these idiots) and the response is nothing. I wouldn't mind but this is Ardoyne, an area that has always prided itself on its reputation for resistance and yet their response to this sort of provocation is to stand around like a bunch of gongoozlers. Hell, can you imagine if a republican flute band wanted to have a parade commemorating Lawrence Montgomery and Frankie Donnelly past the Woodvale? The UVF would have Ardoyne set alight before they could beat one tattoo out.

I passed this latter-day Blackshirt rally the other week and there was two old men in charge of it and today there was nobody and yet nothing was done, it was left untouched without a single hood going over and tearing stuff down or writing a bit of graffiti. Hell, even if they're prepared to tolerate such hatred then what is stopping them replying in kind by sticking a bunch of republican insignia on the Ardoyne shops facing Woodvale? Sauce for the goose and all that. But still nothing.

I was pretty surprised by the lack of response but not as amazed as I might have been as the grubby hand of Sinn Fein is clearly at work again. They know that if they show even the slightest bit of balls then their big money appointments in Stormont will go for a Burton and the green of the scrouse is all that Martin McGuinne$$ and his cronies care about these days. What is disappointing is that the republican people on the ground are happy to be cast in the role of helots who will happily accept anything thrown at them so long as their masters get their thirty pieces of silver from the Westminster overlords that they claim to oppose so much. As much as the loyalists are increasingly sickening me with their lurch to the extreme right I have to admit that they suit themselves no matter what the consequences for the unionist politicians. It's a real shame that the republicans are happy to live on their knees rather than treat their self-proclaimed masters with the same disregard. A proud tradition of defiance and a refusal to bend to masters lies in tatters today.
keresaspa: (Türkan Şoray)


OK, I'm sure you've all seen this by now but frankly I can't get enough of watching the extreme right making idiots of themselves. Mind you given the knuckle-draggers who vote for this sort of trash I doubt it will do much harm to her chances.
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
It is fast becoming a tradition in Belfast that whenever some or other of our masters deign to put in an appearance the dissident republicans take to Black Mountain in order to set up a brief protest that will be visible to the whole of the city (presuming that the population of Belfast outside of the Falls is made up entirely of eagles and other birds of prey that is). Fair play to them as those setting up these statements will often run afoul of the loyalist inhabitants of Highfield and Lyndhurst and fisticuffs have often ensued although as yet I've heard nothing to suggest today's example ended with any claret being tapped. Either way however today's effort was certainly one of the more eye-catching examples:



Now it says more about the amount of time I've wasted watching cheesy wrestling programmes rather than reading the works of Pat Robertson and David Icke but I must confess my first thought on seeing the above was "I know Hogan and Nash were past masters at the backstage politics games but calling them war criminals is coming it a bit". But still, I suppose at least it makes something of a visible statement of defiance, even if it is one that the G8 leaders will struggle to see from some 90 miles away in Enniskillen. Perhaps something at the Lough Erne resort itself would have been more noticeable but I suppose that would be impossible, given that the dissident republicans are so riddled with informers that the security forces know when they took their last shites. Word of advice, chaps - if you're going to ape extreme right concepts like the New World Order have a wee duke at leaderless resistance while you're at it and maybe you will finally see an end to the constant round of arrests after every pointless graveyard rally.

But never mind eh? At least Saint Barack still loves us so we can all rest easily in our beds now.
keresaspa: (Edwige Fenech)
How much of a homophobe must somebody be to blow their own brains out in the middle of a cathedral because France is about to legalise gay marriage? No tears from me for Dominique Venner, the fascist historian who did just that. A doyen of the neo-fascist Nouvelle Droite tendency of the French extreme right, Venner was a member of the Organisation de l'armée secrète that launched attacks during Algeria's struggle for independence before becoming a big wheel in GRECE, a think tank that sought to unite Europe as a racist superstate and still has a big influence on the self-declared "intellectual" extreme right to this day, not least the National Front in Britain during its weirdo 80s period under Nick Griffin and his pals. Subsequently dropping out of active politics to become a revisionist historian his recent bugbears seemed to be gays and Muslims and seemingly the rights about to be afforded to the former proved a little too much for him. Poor diddums. Inevitably the ever so moderate Madame Le Pen was the first to rush to his praise like the good, gentle, compassionate conservative that she claims to be these days. The apple hasn't fell far from the tree there.

But enough about those rotters for something much more newsworthy happened today.

He was a four time holder of the European Middleweight Championship, with one British title and two British Welterweight titles to his name. He was one of the few British wrestlers to find his way into the prestigious Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame despite not competing on the American circuit. His rivalry with Jackie Pallo kept the fans interested for years before eventually spilling over into real life as his old school sensibilities were offended by Pallo's kayfabe breaking autobiography. Even long after his retirement he was a regular at independent wrestling shows up and down Britain, his presence lending credibility to any card on which he appeared. Not to mention that he possessed the blackest hair known to man well into his 80s and steadfastly continued to appear in public in just his trunks even when his physique went west. Yes if anybody summed up all that was good about the grand old days of the British scene (and thus was the antithesis of Big Daddy) it was Mick McManus who died today at the age of 93. A true legend of wrestling. Let's all enjoy him wrestling a long-dead Jimmy Savile lookalike.

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