keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
Immediately before the election we had a statement in which the loyalist paramilitaries endorsed the DUP and now we are to be governed by a junta consisting of the Tories and these paramilitary-endorsed fascists with, worse yet, the UK about to leave the European Union and so all checks and balances on this radical right-wing rabble about to be removed. I knew this election was going to be painful but Jesus actual Christ. Happy now leave voters, you complete and absolute bastards?! If the reaction of the so-called "Republican Movement" to the British government openly realigning itself with sectarian paramilitaries is anything but any and every means of opposition then blood will be on their traitorous, collaborationist hands as much as any UVF or UFF death squad.

I'll attempt to console myself with the thought that this fragile alliance with a micro-majority is unlikely to last very long and that the hateful Theresa May is on borrowed time but right now I am about as disgusted as I've ever been.

But deep in the heart of Ireland has sunk the sense of the degradation wrought upon its people – our lost brothers and sisters – so deep and humiliating that no agency less potent than the red tide of war on Irish soil will ever be able to enable the Irish race to recover its self-respect, or establish its national dignity in the face of a world horrified and scandalised by what must seem to them our national apostasy.


James Connolly, Notes on the Front (1916)

Nedderbury

Oct. 8th, 2016 12:33 pm
keresaspa: (Gus Goose)
Such is the regularity with which I go to Edinburgh these days that it hardly seems worth mentioning.

But let's anyway )
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.
keresaspa: (Cartman)
Every time I post to this now I seem to begin with a note to excuse my absence due to the paucity of updates. What can I say, less than auspicious days recently. In the meanwhile however a standing engagement in Edinburgh took me across the sea once more and, as ever, I shall betell the events.

Lay on, MacDuff )
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
I cock an eye to the Morning Star every now and then, even though it's hardly perfect. On English issues it's generally on the money with its analysis and it does fairly well with the international scene but when it comes to the Celtic fringe it's usually wanting. The soft unionist stance they took with regards to Scottish independence (the logic seemingly being "why should the Jocks get to escape the Tories when we don't?") seemed at odds with the rest of their rhetoric whilst when it comes to this dump they same to slavishly trot out the Sinn Fein line, regardless of how much that party seems to lurch to the right. Heck, were The Hibernian still around it would probably be available in every SF "advice centre" these days.

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

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

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

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

And of course there's one other major reason why McGuinness has been so prepared to sell out his supposed principles for thirty pieces of silver and why right-thinking people should detest the slimy bastard with every fibre of their being, but were I to get into that this load of old toot would most likely be closed down and my sorry arse hauled off to Maghaberry. Frankly I Should Hope Every Reader Maybe Already kNows.

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: (Evil Timbo)
And so it begins as, once again, Sinn Fein got off the mark to fire the first shots of yet another election campaign (well, in my own sordid little burgh at least, happen the rest of you have been getting it for weeks). And what do you know, it's only bloody Millionaire Marty they've chosen as our candidate. Yet again the Sinners decide that we in south Belfast can't be trusted to think for ourselves and so parachute in somebody from their west Belfast base of operations, although they also seem to have come to the conclusion that wee Maskey is a bit too rough for us dazzling cosmopolites and so have ditched him in favour of the transatlantic, jet-setting, media mogul with the big nose. Deirdre Hargey may be a faceless apparatchik of the type that makes up the bulk of the party these days but at least she's from the Market so why she couldn't have contested what is an unwinnable seat for them anyway is a mystery to all bar the Falls Road mafia who run that party. OK, she's to be something on the new council but in the highly unlikely event that SF won South Belfast abstentionism would mean doing the two jobs would be easy anyway. Unless, of course, they're building up to dropping that policy, which wouldn't surprise me a jot after the last few years of public Liz-licking in which they have indulged.

But Millionaire Marty it is and once again Sinn Fein show their commitment to working class politics but saddling us with a candidate who is anything but. But in Northern Ireland that's increasingly the way they're going these days. They may make a song and dance over the border about supposedly being a democratic socialist party but that's certainly not the case here where they now promote a pro-capitalist, anti-welfare agenda combined with a fairly conservative set of social attitudes (well, in a wider context as admittedly they're ultra-liberal by the standards of the SDLP and the two unionist mobs). MM is typical of what they're about these days, a slick, sharp-suited tosspot with plenty of money in the bank who looks to the USA for his inspiration and sees the grassroots of republicanism as a bunch of nodding dogs who exist only to rubberstamp him and his ilk every election (not far wrong there, to be honest). He's already been exposed as a liar who tried to justify Sinn Fein's support for Tory cuts and the bedroom tax by pretending it had trade unionist support but what the hell eh? You could stick Michael Stone in a Sinn Fein rosette and there are plenty who would vote for him these days so lying about enshrining poverty into law is hardly going to cost him anything.

I wouldn't ever claim that there aren't decent individuals active within Sinn Fein but unfortunately in Northern Ireland it is very much under the thumb of the party's right-wing, as typified by the likes MM, Mitchel McLaughlin, John O'Dowd and of course McGuinne$$ himself. Even their recent decision to repudiate the massive cuts they agreed to seems to be motivated solely by self-interest as they must have realised it would cost them some votes as surely not EVERY republican voter can be a total idiot. It'll probably work too, even though after the election they will most likely sign up to pretty much the same thing but as George W. Bush so rightly said "there's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again".

Still, if, as I suspect, they're hoping that by leaving it this late they can delay any renegotiation until after the election in the hope that the Tories will be gone then they're playing a very dangerous game. I wouldn't like to call this election for various reasons but if they've judged wrongly and the Tories get back in they can expect them to seek revenge in any future negotiations and demand even more stringent cuts. These last five years of Tory rule have been absolutely horrible, with people's lives shattered in the name of repulsive ideological monetarism and that's with the supposed break being put on their vile excesses by the Liberal Democrats. To see an even more extreme version of that brought to Northern Ireland to teach us a lesson doesn't bear thinking about but it might well prove the outcome of SF's half-arsed attempt at politicking. Were that to be the case, and bearing in mind that Northern Ireland has far too few MPs to make even the remotest difference to anything a Westminster government does, open armed rebellion would be the only answer but of course Sinn Fein has spent the last decade or so making that impossible by surrendering their arms to the enemy and helping to turn the Provies into an unarmed bunch of old alcoholics who either drive black taxis or are on the DLA (which they soon won't be thanks to David Cameron's war on the weak and the vulnerable). And don't even bother thinking about the so-called "New IRA" as it's a real chocolate fire-guard thanks to its archaic structure and the fact that it has so many grasses that their gatherings end up looking like the pitch at the Hawthorns. Things could be set to get a lot bleaker in the not to distant future barring a minor miracle.

But to return to my original point, Sinn Fein posters have gone up on my road, the candidate is multi-millionaire with no links to the constituency and he has about as much chance of getting my vote as he has of winning Miss World. Having looked at the provisional list of candidates on the always reliable Wikipedia I suspect my vote will go in the direction of the hitherto unknown (to Me) Lily Kerr of the Sticks and I can keep up my record of always backing the losing candidate. Given that the unionist pact didn't extend to us McDonnell will probably hold the seat and we will retain an MP whose absence from Westminster can be put down to the fact that he's too busy making money elsewhere rather than any ideological reasons. Ye Gods, what a shower of bastards.
keresaspa: (Karl Marx laughing)
I think we can finally lay aside any notion that the ConDem junta is acting for any reason other than a slavish ideological devotion to monetarism given their decision to turn down free money. Social Darwinism at its most extreme there, folks. Never mind that that money might alleviate suffering, the poor must be made to pay for being mentally subnormal.

Of course a major part of their little experiment has been Iain Duncan Smith's Workfare idea, taking a massive dump on the victims of the economic collapse by forcing them into slave labour and simultaneously preventing them from selling their labour, the only way to make money in a capitalist system when you are a prole after all. Hell, with their forced labour and Big Society and internships they seem determined to not only abolish social welfare but to abolish paid work, effectively reducing as many as possible to role of impoverished slaves incapable of anything (especially resistance). Social engineering at its most extreme there, folks. A nation of drones cowering under a cosy alliance of the political and monied elites, surviving off scraps whilst breaking their backs to make private companies even richer.

I happened to be going through a few old books the other night and I came across an interesting piece about Workfare from some years ago. It seems Duncan Smith is not the first one to seek to apply this malevolent idea to Britain as he was beaten to it by around fifteen years by someone else. Allow me to quote:

As a test of an unemployed person's willingness to work, I am in favour of the Workfare system.... I was in fact advocating just such a system in pamphlets and articles in the 1970s, before I and most others had heard of its introduction anywhere else. The system is that all welfare benefits, except in the case of the old, sick or disabled, are given only in return for work.... The scheme has two benefits: one is that it is good for the self-respect of those involved; the other is that it discourages welfare spongers by demonstrating to everyone that there is no "free meal", that no-one gets "something for nothing".


The author stops short of going as far as IDS by stating that they would only seek to employ the system in a full employment situation and also by stating that the disabled would be free from the harassment wrought on them by the aforementioned Duncan Smith.

So who is the author of this piece? Thatcher? No. Norman Tebbit? Nope. Friedrich Hayek? No siree, Bob. In fact the above extract comes from page 327 of the Albion Press edition of The Eleventh Hour, a combination of autobiography and political testament that came from the pen of none other than John Tyndall. Yup, the Tories, ably supported by the Liberal Democrats, are now more extreme than a dyed-in-the-wool neo-Nazi. If they win the next election and the EU vote goes their way I genuinely fear the dystopian nightmare that Britain faces.
keresaspa: (Cartman)
So what's the new baby going to be called then. Judging by the reaction of the press I suspect it will be Jesus as it's clearly the Messiah. And on that topic I will say no more as there has already been far too much ink spilt over something that happens thousands of time every day.

Who remembers the Tories in opposition? The constant attacks on the nanny state and interfering government, the whole David Davis resigning his seat over civil liberties stunt. Who remembers the Liberal Democrats as the gripers on the sidelines? So libertarian in their outlook were they that Murray Bookchin and Benjamin Tucker would have left their conference shaking their heads, saying "nah, a bit too libertarian for us". Their latest wheeze as a chimera government - blocking online pornography automatically. Because we must think of the children. Yikes.

Now don't get me wrong I'm not for one second suggesting that child or rape pornography are acceptable but they are separate issues as legislation exists for the one and could easily be extended to the other so that's just a question of enforcement. Nor am I standing up for porn (no pun intended) nor positioning myself as a libertarian. But seriously, come on. This is one of the most knee-jerk, half-arsed ideas I have ever heard in my life. If people choose to look at consenting adults in various stages of undress, or if Jenna Jameson, Ron Jeremy or whoever choose to show what they had for their dinner on the internet then what business is that of David Cameron or anybody else in the government. Certainly I fail to see how getting internet users to effectively sign a new sex-offenders register will accomplish anything, unless of course it is yet another way for the government to spy on its subjects online (which, of course, it is).

Online pornography may well be "corroding childhood" but the Helen Lovejoy argument simply doesn't wash any more. Even a Luddite like me has been a regular on the internet since the late 1990s and whilst there may still be a few veterans who are completely ignorant of the mysterious worlds available inside computers they are not of the age to have children. If you don't want Jonathan and Charlotte looking at muckies then monitor their use, stick in firewalls or set up blocking software but forcing a ban on everybody just because some lazy parents can't be arsed keeping an eye on their progeny is not only stupid but sets a dangerous precedent. Let's face it any blogging or social networking site you care to name will have porn on it somewhere so will we be forced to register as dirty bastards just to read livejournal? There's also the issue that the day we accept a government restricting something online is the day restrictions begin, not end. How long before anything connected to "terrorism" (for which read criticism of the system) gets the same treatment? How long before you have to opt in to read this journal (don't all rush at once)?

I would love to say that such a daft idea will never happen but I'm sure it will. Every frankly stupid idea this government comes up goes ahead just because they can and I fully expect this one to do so. But in the interests of freedom of expression, the independence of the internet and the God-given right to have the odd shufty at boobies it will be imperative that we all opt in. It really is time for parents to look after the children they create and stop expecting totalitarian laws to do it for them or do you really want a return to them finding mucky books in the woods?
keresaspa: (Stan Ogden)
Bloody rain! Too much rain leads to waterlogged pitches which in turn leads to the football card being wiped out and in turns leads to me kicking my heels trying to fill up a boring Saturday. How the hell did I used to survive this day before I went back to the football? Strictly speaking I might have went anyway as there is one game on due to Seaview having a plastic pitch but Crusaders-Linfield was ruled out because (a) it's too loyalist, (b) I hate both teams and (c) it might well have been all-ticket anyway.

Still, if nothing else it gives me time to clear up two of my annual traditions in one go so read on or hit the road, whichever suits you.

Top 10 albums of the year )

2012 thing )
keresaspa: (Pam Ayres)
One of the greatest philosophers of our age Laurie Pike, a woman caught between the two stools of being the thinking man's Katie Puckrik and the non-thinking man's Karen Krizanovich, once spoke one of the greatest truths of our age when she opined "you cannot push your luck, otherwise click hello goodbye". Were the ginger American giantess (who may have actually been Canadian and not tall) here today she could deliver those self-same words to Edward Samuel Miliband and be right on the money for these local elections that are happening everywhere (except Northern Ireland where we seem to elect our councillors once every 87 years for some reason) are put up or shut up time for a man who has been pushing his luck for a little too long now. A government that has set about decimating public services, plunged tens of thousands of people into poverty, attacked the most vulnerable in order to bolster the richest and demanded more in return for less from the masses is a government that should be taking an absolute kicking at the local elections. Quite frankly anything less than a huge swing to Labour will have to be seen as a failure for them and must surely spell an end to the stuttering, sweaty, charisma-free interlude of Milibandery. Or as Pike would say "click hello goodbye".

For my part anything other than a bloody good hiding for the Tories will be hugely depressing and a clear indication of the selfishness of the English in happily backing a party that is going out of its way to make life miserable for so many. On the other hand anything other than a hiding fro the Liberal Democrats will be an absolute bloody miracle as I am mystified as to why anyone would vote for them right now. After all if you are the selfish type who thinks this malevolent government is somehow doing good then why would you vote the monkeys rather than the organ grinders? Alternatively if you think the government is the great pile of steaming mince it so obviously is then voting for the junior partner is out the window. Frankly I'm amazed that they'll get any seats as I had been led to believe lunatics weren't allowed to vote but there you have it.

Of course it all remains to be seen how it will pan out but the vultures must be sharpening their talons just a little bit lest the prophecies of Pike finally catch up with Miliband. Rout the Tories royally or agitate the gravel and make way for Dennis Skinner.
keresaspa: (Fidel Castro)
I'm not sure what is worse about today - finding out that yet again France has gone over to the far-right by tossing a shitload of votes at daddy's little girl (and I swear I will scream if I read one more ill-informed right-wing Anglophone tosser practically ejeculating over how great and totally non-racist she is) or finding yourself agreeing with the malevolent Nadine Dorries for the first and, hopefully, only time. God my head hurts.
keresaspa: (Captain Mainwaring)
There was a time I enjoyed April Fools Day (at least I think there might have been) but it has become such a drag due to the sheer overkill of it all. Lying stories by media outlets have become so ubiquitous now on this day that I find myself doubting absolutely everything. OK so some are obvious, not least the Guardian's effort (like Shaun Ryder could have associated himself with David Cameron and ever shown his face round Manc again, unless he actually wanted his melon twisted for real), but so much that you read and hear has a grain of doubt to it that you find yourself questioning it all, afraid to look foolish lest it turns out to be some overpaid hack having a terribly original joke at the expense of the worthless plebs. Sure, I'm absolutely disgusted at the complete hypocrisy of the Conservatives and especially the Liberal Democrats but is it worth getting too worked about in case Chris Huhne pops up tomorrow to say "just kidding"?

Let's face it, like everything else, April Fools Day has become too contrived, too expected, too bloody commercial. The days when people genuinely got away with elaborate hoaxes like the spaghetti tree are over because, quite frankly, the whole format has had the arse torn out of it. In this digital age can they not just set in place filters to allow buzz-kills like myself to banish all this crap from our screens as quite frankly I'm not even convinced Falkirk actually won the Challenge Cup much less anything important. Bloody nuisance.
keresaspa: (Daffney)
If there is one thing guaranteed to get royally on my tit-end it is one of those patrician old English Catholics. Typified by the Dukes of Norfolk, these are stuck-up old monarchist boot-lickers who wedge their lips permanently to E2R's arsehole despite the fact that Crown of England is by its very nature an anti-Catholic institution. The sort who spend their Mass praying for the queen and would never dream of sharing a church with the sort of rowdy Irish immigrant Catholics whose very presence has helped to secure the strong reputation of Liverpudlian weddings as the world's most violent.

Well it seems that one of the main exponents of that thankfully decaying stereotype has bit the dust, in the shape of Norman St. John Stevas. For some reason the man of straw that was the fiercely heterosexual Baron Stevas always rubbed me seriously up the wrong way. OK he was of the old English Catholic stock that by its nature vexes and he was a Tory which is a big enough sin but there was something less tangible that pushed to a level of annoyance which at times nagged at me. Leaving aside his racist comment that the Irish are "not known for their cleanliness"1 I can think of no one who so encapsulated that almost paradoxical combination of supreme self-satisfied arrogance with Uriah Heep2 levels of toadying that sums up a snob who is also a staunch monarchist. Gyles Brandreth is perhaps the only one to come close and, surprise surprise, he's an old English Catholic.

I rather suspect that the root of my extreme distaste for the upper class English Catholic set is the fact that, despite enjoying a degree of influence, they were happy to stand by and let their supposed faith brothers in my neck of the woods be denied their civil rights and thus indirectly played their part in causing the Troubles. Either that or it is just that Norman "he loves the ladies" St. John Stevas was just a hateful little bugger in his own right. No tears here, folks.

1 OK, so we're a dirty shower of tinker hillbilly dirtbags but that's not his place to say and there are plenty of English soap dodgers out there too.

2That's Uriah Heep as in David Copperfield not Uriah Heep as in Dreammare. And come to think of it that's David Copperfield as in Betsey Trotwood and Clara Peggotty not David Copperfield as in the plastic-faced, leather-trousered, Claudia Schiffer-bonking thaumaturge.
keresaspa: (Maurice Bishop)
According to some old crap I stumbled across on the internet the distance from London, England to Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands is 7,877.48 miles. So if you get the notion to take a stroll out there someday you might want to pack a change of socks. And extensive deep sea diving equipment, obviously. According to some other old crap I stumbled across on the internet the UK is currently in possession of 14 chunks of land spread all over the world i.e. Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Antarctic Territory, the British Indian Ocean Territory (or the Chagos Islands as they actually were before the British government booted the residents out to make way for an American base), the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, the Pitcairn Islands, the single territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the aforementioned Falklands, to say nothing of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The self-same Britain once held a colonial empire upon which they boasted that the sun never set. The self-same Britain is now led by a man in David Cameron who has the bare-faced cheek to label Argentina colonial over the Falklands. Has the man no shame? There has been no country in the world more guilty of colonialism than Britain (France and Spain did their best but fell somewhat short) and he has the gall to throw that epithet at someone else over a couple of rocks nigh on eight thousand miles away that Britain has no more right to than it does the moon. Some things never change and we can include within that the cliché the fact that hypocrisy and imperialism still beat in the black heart of the Conservative Party. If he's not seeking trouble with overseas countries he's labelling one of the few MPs I have any respect for a dinosaur. What is this idiot's problem? We know he detests pensioners with all his heart, all his soul and all his strength so he should be celebrating the fact that a 79 year old is still working rather than claiming the state pensions that he wants to get rid of. Were there any justice this stuck-up, arrogant, jingoistic, out of touch nonentity would be run out of town on a rail right now but the really sickening thing is that with Ed Miliband going from one goof to the next and Nick Clegg having destroyed his own party for the sake of lining his own pocket this selfish bastard will no doubt win an overall majority next time out. IPLO, you should be alive at this hour!

A-Kim-go

Dec. 19th, 2011 06:01 pm
keresaspa: (Communism)
And then there was one. There was a time when we were stocked from truck to kelson with the sort of crazed "Third World" dictator that hacks love so much because they give them licence to be casually racist but now that Kim Jong-Il has joined Colonel Qaddafi in the big exile mansion in the sky we are left with only Robert Mugabe as a great Ooga Booga that the media can throw their vitriol at when they're struggling to fill column inches. Well, a case might be made for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but he doesn't quite have the flamboyance the classic bonkers dictators whilst Hugo Chavez falls more into the Sandinista category of ones who attract sympathy from the Left. Now I'm no Carson Robison but I'm no Stalinist either so whilst I have professed communism on here it certainly wasn't the extreme etatism of North Korea that I had in mind. As such I'm certainly not mourning the passing of a great revolutionary hero here.

Nor however will I be reacting like our own William Hague, who only seems to appear now when somebody dies in order to gloat about it happening. Has he done anything since the Tories got in apart from smirk at death and that whole business with that guy that never gets mentioned now? Also interesting to note that that bastion of impartiality that is Channel 5 news covered the story in passing, in between promoting failed X Factor contestants and doing a story about Holly Willoughby wearing a jumper (I wish I was kidding about that, but it actually was a news item). Much was made of the money North Korea wasted on vanity projects and nuclear warheads whilst their people battled poverty. Good point well made there Channel 5 - so glad we don't have a government that leaves people in poverty whilst blowing money on rubbish like Trident and the Olympics. And before anybody suggests anything I was passing through a room where somebody else was watching Channel 5 as I haven't looked at it since the axed Football Night a few years ago.

No, Kim Jong-Il was no hero of mine and I will shed no tears for his passing but a few people need to remember Matthew Chapter seven verse five ("Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam in thy own eye, and then shalt thou see to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye") before they start chuckling.

And do you know for years I though his name was Kim Jong the Second as I had only ever seen it written down.
keresaspa: (Arthur Atkinson)
So it seems that Theresa May is at it again, this time handing out a ban to some mob calling itself Muslims Against Crusades. Their only activities seem to have been staging rallies, fighting members of the English Defence League and burning pieces of red plastic that they made themselves but I seem to be in a minority of one on the whole poppy and the disrespecting of the heroes of Bloody Sunday/Springhill/Ballymurphy/New Lodge issue so I'll say no more on that.

The reason I actually mentioned this was not so much to do with the group banned today but rather the slightly unusual list of groups already banned. They certainly have a theme going there, something along the lines of: big beard + no booze + circumcised = illegal. Plus me las in N17, the ETA and the DHKP/C, all of which have a whiff of a Cold War hangover about them. It's all about them darn Islamofascists now, let the past go. I notice on the list that there is no place for Combat 18, not to mention the National Socialist Group, Anti-Communist Commando, Column 88, National Socialist Action Party, National Democratic Freedom Movement, White Wolves, Wolf's Hook White Brotherhood, Racial Volunteer Force or any of the other myriad extreme right terrorist groups that have sprung up down the years. Does the government believe that terrorism can only be based on Islam and communism and that racial hatred and neo-Nazism are perfectly valid reasons for violence? Alan Clark and Enoch Powell may be dead but their spirits remain at the black heart of the Tories apparently.

The Northern Ireland section also makes for an interesting read. There can of course be few bigger threats to our lives and freedom to express our beliefs (as long as that doesn't involve criticising our troops) than a couple of hefty birds from Wicklow wearing berets, knee-length green skirts and sensible walking brogues so obviously the ultra-dangerous Cumann na mBan belongs on the list but Saor Eire and the IPLO? What, seriously? It's nigh on twenty years since the IPLO were blown out of existence by the Provies and as for Saor Eire they robbed a couple of banks in the early seventies, briefly counted Tariq Ali among their supporters and then quietly disappeared after the Sticks killed their leader. Still we can all rest easy in our beds, safe in the knowledge that our government is there to protect us from non-existent terrorist groups.

Does this also mean that the most recent claimant to the Óglaigh na hÉireann name is legal as I don't see them on the list and, as has been covered, translating it as "Irish Republican Army" is not strictly correct? Come to think of it I don't see the long defunct Ulster Resistance on there either but given how much they were controlled by the security forces I suppose that's no big surprise. But their absence changes everything. When I knew that the no members of Saor Eire and the IPLO were being held in check I felt happy but now that I know the assembled no-one of Ulster Resistance are allowed to not operate legally the terror has returned. Theresa if you are reading this I suggest a blanket ban on any and every group not directly connected to the British government or the Conservative Party. After all they might use names like the Jubilee Sailing Trust or Send a Cow but it is obvious to all that these are terrorist fronts operated by Óglaigh na hÉireann and Ulster Resistance. They're under the bed I tell you!
keresaspa: (Robb Wilton)
My opinion of Scottish Conservatives is a matter of public record. From the UVF's biggest fan in Andrew Bonar Law (New Brunswick-born but a Scot by ancestry and inclination), via fascist and Nazi sympathisers like the Duke of Hamilton and his son Malcolm, heartless Thatcherite git and biscuit tin lid model Nicholas Fairbairn, Michael bloody Ancram (who belongs in any list of the worst people for his propensity to sing in public) to the hateful little shit Michael Gove they are the very epitome of the grand old Belfast saying "shower of bastards". As a consequence the downfall of sleaze-riddled warmonger Liam Fox fills me with much schadenfreude. His involvement with Adam Werritty in shadowy Zionist groups like the Atlantic Bridge would be more than enough for him to go in my book but I wonder what else is going on here. Are they a bit you know what?Wouldn't be the first Tory with a double life would he? Mind you that should probably be triple life as, unless I am very much mistaken Liam Fox already enjoyed a previous acting career under the name Jack Smethurst.

Oh and speaking of right-wing nutjobs getting their comeuppance could somebody please fill me in about the reason, if any, for the religious right's poster girl in Ireland Dana Rosemary Scallon's sudden meltdown in front of the TV cameras the other night? I've been out of town for the last few days (ironically in Dublin, where it was all happening anyway) and as a result starved of internet access and so I was unable to check a story that has now disappeared into the internet ether. So do tell if you know. Bloody mad cow!

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