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

I've already seen comparisons to Michael Collins and I think they're apt. Both firmly belonged to the old Catholic wing of republicanism and ensured that the left was silenced, despite courting the British left (many of whom are now wringing their hands over a man who happily signed off on Troy welfare reform and bedroom tax plans). Both also did their best to ensure that partition continued as long as they were alright, Jack and in that aim both were highly successful. In the final analysis McGuinness was no more a republican than his great mate Paisley and his major achievement was finishing off Irish republicanism and replacing it with a compliant, fiercely pro-British population in Northern Ireland, one part of which happens to watch silly games with sticks and talk a bit of Goidelic now and then. If the taming of the Taigs and their rebirth as nodding dog soft Unionists are to be celebrated then McGuinness is rightly to be lauded as a hero but a hero of Irish republicanism? About as much as Vidkun Quisling is a hero of Norway.
keresaspa: (Nina looking a tad pertubed)
Back at the tail-end of 2013 I briefly touched on the UDA internal feud in north Belfast but at that point it hadn't really advanced too far beyond "aye, yer ma" and "i'll knack yer ballix in". But on Sunday night shit just got real as veteran racketeer and former UDA brigadier John "Bonzer" Boreland got whacked by one of his own. By my reckoning he is the first loyalist to be killed by his own since the UVF bumped off Bobby Moffet outside the Ballygomartin Tesco (where I had been a few hours earlier) in 2010 and the first UDA man to be killed in an internal dispute since former East Belfast brigadier was lured to his death in 2005 by a gang that apparently included not only several former friends but even his ex-boyfriend. Even in death Doris Day had to be over the top. Either way it could lead to a spell of fun and games involving loyalist paramilitaries killing each other at a level not seen since the days when Johnny Adair was looking a one-man war with the UVF.

So, just who was Boreland? Well his Wikipedia page summarises the main points pretty well (it should do - I wrote about 95% of it and I'm so good at Wikipedia that even the South Side Advertiser has taken to plagiarising me). It should be added that the buzz on the street was Boreland and Shoukri had effectively re-established a puppet regime in the North Belfast Brigade, installing some unidentified loser who had made his name at those moronic flag protests around the same time as this all began. Said loser is apparently now in Scotland having made enemies of both the notorious Mount Vernon UVF* (who have been flexing their muscles of late) and Shankill-based veteran UVF top dog (and long-term British agent) John "Bunter" Graham. I'm sure it's entirely coincidental that after his faction made such powerful enemies Bonzer is now a goner. And pigs will fly.

Unlike some loyalists killed by their own (the aforementioned Jim Gray springs readily to mind) Boreland had friends as well as enemies. It seems unlikely that those friends will just shrug their shoulders at this and a lack of retaliation seems at best unlikely. It may be an isolated incident but the demand for some comeback is bound to be loud and these things have a nasty habit of spiralling once they begin. "Interesting" times ahead for the residents of Ballysillan, Tigers Bay and the Shore Road it seems. I may have to give Seaview a miss for a while.

* During their heyday of violence and drug dealing the Mount Vernon UVF were led by the malevolent Mark Haddock. And, you guessed it, he was a British agent too. Still don't believe the Troubles was being directed from Westminster?
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
In the latest revelation to cast further light on just how dirty the so-called Troubles really were it now seems that the British security forces were forewarned about the 1993 Shankill bombing by a prominent Provo tout but decided to do sod all about it. Another one for the list then, although a rare example of an incident where the victims were those declaring their loyalty to the crown, a loyalty that once again is demonstrated to be one way.

With the proliferation of informers at the top level of the paramilitaries (seriously, there was a time in the 1980s when the heads of the UVF, UFF and IRA were all in the pockets of the security forces) and the realisation that so much of what went on was known in advance to the powers that be it becomes increasingly clear that, far from being the great war of liberation/defence that it was sold to young republicans and loyalists as, it was yet another example of the good old divide-and-rule tactic that has been the British Empire's stock in trade for centuries. How many hundreds, thousands even, died with the foreknowledge of a state that made no attempt whatsoever to save those lives? The Stevens Inquiries may have revealed a fraction of the collusion that went on between the UDA and the British but it was the tip of the iceberg, and a process hamstrung from the start by being instigated by the same British state that was involved in the dodgy deals. Like the supposed investigations into Westminster paedophile rings, can we really expect the establishment to condemn itself? Really the more you hear about the Troubles the gloomier it becomes - all that bloodshed for what? So as a tout can get big money for himself and his cronies by sitting in government, toasting his queen and doing the bidding of the people that have been paying him for decades.

A dirty war, dirtier than we could ever imagine, with communities on both sides put to the rack for the supposed forces of order to pursue their own twisted agenda. It's no wonder that any deal on "legacy" has been consistently tossed out as every man-jack of them is up to their necks in filth with their hands soaked in blood. Meanwhile Sinn Fein will continue to use the names of Bobby Sands and the others during their forthcoming election campaign to the collaborationist institution up at Stormont and the useful idiots will tramp out and put them back in to continue cosying up to the same state that oversaw the butchering their relatives. By fuck, this place is disgusting.
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
I cock an eye to the Morning Star every now and then, even though it's hardly perfect. On English issues it's generally on the money with its analysis and it does fairly well with the international scene but when it comes to the Celtic fringe it's usually wanting. The soft unionist stance they took with regards to Scottish independence (the logic seemingly being "why should the Jocks get to escape the Tories when we don't?") seemed at odds with the rest of their rhetoric whilst when it comes to this dump they same to slavishly trot out the Sinn Fein line, regardless of how much that party seems to lurch to the right. Heck, were The Hibernian still around it would probably be available in every SF "advice centre" these days.

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

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

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

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

And of course there's one other major reason why McGuinness has been so prepared to sell out his supposed principles for thirty pieces of silver and why right-thinking people should detest the slimy bastard with every fibre of their being, but were I to get into that this load of old toot would most likely be closed down and my sorry arse hauled off to Maghaberry. Frankly I Should Hope Every Reader Maybe Already kNows.
keresaspa: (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: (Mister Harman (Arthur English))
Bumper day of deaths in the news. Denis Donaldson is hardly a surprise. You become a tout you have to know that some day this is how it will end up. Gene Pitney on the other hand surprised me a bit as I thought he was already gone a long time ago. His finest hour remains his appearance miming on This Morning. Is there anything involving Richard and Judy that goes right?! Martin Gilks on the other hand is a gutter. The current Wonder Stuff that features just Miles Hunt from the original line-up is a bit of a joke but there was always a chance of a reformation until now. Drat!

Well, I hope that has brightened you all up a bit. Back to work I go.
keresaspa: (Lorraine again!)
What a pisser of a day yesterday was. First I hear John Junkin has died, then Ivor Cutler follows him. Cruel indeed to lose two grand old stagers on the one day. Junkin was a decent comedy writer, something of an intellectual figure as a panellist and, like Hywel Bennett during his brief appearance, gave all the slebs an acting lesson during a brief role in Eastenders. Cutler, on the other hand, was almost on a Stanley Unwin level as a story-teller. Life in a Scotch Sitting Room still remains an all-time classic for this little black duck.

Still, at least Chelsea and Rangers got knocked out of the cup, so it wasn't a total loss (and here's a rather nifty site ripping the pish out of the 'Special One'). As usual Jose took defeat with something less than grace, going on about bad luck and sendings-off. Maybe we were watching different matches, but for me Barcelona easily had the measure of Chelsea.

Elsewhere, I noticed today that there are plans for a new police phone number. What a load of tosh. How can people be expected to decide what is and is not an emergency? Surely that's the job of the operators and the emergency services themselves The 10p charge is also unsurprising. Another tax slipped in for people to pay. Plus the whole thing sounds a bit too much like the Confidential Telephone line for touts that they inflicted on Northern Ireland in the 80s. They can shove their 101 as far as I'm concerned. The irony of the number chosen and the move by Britain towards an ever more Orwellian system is presumably lost on the focus group who came up with this daft idea.

All for now. Once again this week is going to be given over to working on the same blasted essay so I'll no doubt be back tomorrow. I'm sure you all can't wait!
keresaspa: (Lorraine again!)
What a pisser of a day yesterday was. First I hear John Junkin has died, then Ivor Cutler follows him. Cruel indeed to lose two grand old stagers on the one day. Junkin was a decent comedy writer, something of an intellectual figure as a panellist and, like Hywel Bennett during his brief appearance, gave all the slebs an acting lesson during a brief role in Eastenders. Cutler, on the other hand, was almost on a Stanley Unwin level as a story-teller. Life in a Scotch Sitting Room still remains an all-time classic for this little black duck.

Still, at least Chelsea and Rangers got knocked out of the cup, so it wasn't a total loss (and here's a rather nifty site ripping the pish out of the 'Special One'). As usual Jose took defeat with something less than grace, going on about bad luck and sendings-off. Maybe we were watching different matches, but for me Barcelona easily had the measure of Chelsea.

Elsewhere, I noticed today that there are plans for a new police phone number. What a load of tosh. How can people be expected to decide what is and is not an emergency? Surely that's the job of the operators and the emergency services themselves The 10p charge is also unsurprising. Another tax slipped in for people to pay. Plus the whole thing sounds a bit too much like the Confidential Telephone line for touts that they inflicted on Northern Ireland in the 80s. They can shove their 101 as far as I'm concerned. The irony of the number chosen and the move by Britain towards an ever more Orwellian system is presumably lost on the focus group who came up with this daft idea.

All for now. Once again this week is going to be given over to working on the same blasted essay so I'll no doubt be back tomorrow. I'm sure you all can't wait!

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