Rise with your class, not out of your class…

Fascinating take from Danny Morrison in Daily Ireland on a series of historical figures, which throws some light on the current thinking within contemporary Sinn Fein, most particularly the addage (curiously also followed by the DUP) never get too far ahead of your people.By Danny Morrison

Even after Fianna Fail broke away from Sinn Fein in 1926, many republicans, including IRA Volunteers, continued to look up to de Valera, continued to admire and probably supported him – until, when in power, he took a hard line against the IRA and proscribed the organisation. Dev had abandoned – that is, if he had ever subscribed to them in the first place – the values of ‘the Republic’ for the gombeen class within a sectarian, partitioned state, the twenty-six counties.

Many years ago Gerry Fitt was a nationalist hero. He came from working-class stock and was a co-founder of the Republican Labour Party. He took the West Belfast seat from unionist James Kilfedder in 1966, at a time that coincided in league football with a Celtic victory over Rangers. Fitt was being carried shoulder-high along the streets of the Falls when he declared triumphantly: “We beat them in politics, now we’ve beaten them in football!”

1966 was also the fiftieth anniversary of the 1916 Rising and it was the populist Fitt who unveiled a plaque in honour of James Connolly at a house on the Falls Road where Connolly had once lived. Two years later Fitt was injured during an RUC baton charge against civil rights marchers in Duke Street, Derry, and his status as a champion of the people soared.

But within a decade Fitt went on to defend the RUC, to collaborate with Thatcher and to condemn the hunger strikers. When he lost his West Belfast seat to Gerry Adams, he was quickly given a peerage and took his seat in the British House of Lords where he continued his attacks on republicans. Fitt, the ‘republican socialist’, died a British monarchist.

Among my mates at school there was one who was a bit of a rebel. He smoked dope, led a licentious life, recommended good books and gave the Brits lip when he was stopped. We drifted apart and I didn’t see him for a few years but when I was released from internment he approached me and said he wanted to join the IRA. Anyway, he never turned up to a pre-arranged meeting and then he disappeared. I supposed he had changed his mind.

In latter years I have seen him once or twice and though we had clearly gone our separate paths he would nod and I would nod back and smile, acknowledging, I thought, the close affinity there once was between us when we were seventeen: the parties and the girls, the fun we had, the LPs we swapped, the Kafka, Gide and Woolf books we exchanged.

I learnt just a few weeks ago from people whose judgements I trust that this former rebel is one of the most hostile, arrogant and bureaucratic civil servants that community groups in nationalist areas have had to deal with. All of which suggests that he has become a ‘Castle Catholic’, that breed that the colonial Dublin and Stormont Castles always managed to mould as defenders of the status quo.

We can all be victims of a certain naivety, from the simple assumptions we make about people because of whom they are or where they come from, and the hopes we invest in them, particularly heroes/leaders/role models.

At the minor end of the scale, I remember being disappointed when I heard that the lead singer with Hot Chocolate, Errol Brown, supported Margaret Thatcher and sang John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ at a Tory election rally in 1987 – which was pretty sacrilegious given Lennon’s pacifism and Thatcher’s militarism. How could this Jamaican immigrant support a prime minister whose policies had triggered race riots in Britain, especially in Brixton where young black men were targeted by police using the hated ‘SUS’ laws?

And how could Ray Charles – after all that black people had come through -have appeared at the Republican convention in 1984 and sang Ronald Reagan’s favourite song, ‘America the Beautiful’?

How often have we been ashamed to learn of those Irish immigrants in North America who were cruel to the indigenous peoples of that continent or who were racist towards blacks and other ethnic groups? Our shame is especially acute because we would have expected more from them, a natural empathy, a communal solidarity with downtrodden people because of what the Irish and their antecedents had been through. But it doesn’t always translate like that. And certainly not if one’s politics are based on individualism.

Did Thatcher as British prime minister qualitatively change the position or raise the status of women in society? Did she soften the edge of traditional male/macho rule? She most certainly did not.

There has been talk in the USA that Hilary Clinton has been positioning herself to run as the Democratic candidate for the presidency, though ‘the country’, we are told, might not be ready just yet for a woman president. Doubtless, thousands would vote for her on the sole and vacuous basis that she was a woman.

George Bush made history when he appointed Colin Powell as the first black Secretary of State – and what a disappointment, what a lapdog, he turned out to be, undermining any integrity he might have began with, going along with the concocting of evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

Bush also made history when he appointed the first African-American woman, Condoleezza Rice, from Birmingham, Alabama, to the position of National Security Advisor in 2001, and later as his Secretary of State, replacing Colin Powell.

In the USA there is a campaign to have Rice nominated as the republican candidate for the 2008 presidency. It might seem fanciful but think how many blacks would consider voting for her solely because she is “one of our own”.

Condoleezza Rice is a black woman but a white man at heart when it comes to traditional conservative US political values. She once ironically summed up the racist division of spoils, in the telling of a joke, when she said: “My parents had me absolutely convinced that, well, you may not be able to have a hamburger at Woolworth’s but you can be the president of the United States.”

James Connolly had them all sussed out – the de Valeras, the Fitts, the Rices – when he cautioned those with an instinct to lead and with, perhaps, an inclination towards self-aggrandisement: “Rise with your class. Not out of your class.”

Absolutely.

  • circles

    btw Cthulhu, is that your definition of an adult then? The most hostile, arrogant and bureaucratic civil servants that community groups in nationalist areas have had to deal with.
    Congrats on that interpretation anyway – at least you’ve got imagination!

  • Kathy_C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi all,

    Circles, since you stated it was this discussion that made Ms. Rice the topic of converstation instead of the danny morrison article…please note the following quotes from danny’s article.

    1. Bush also made history when he appointed the first African-American woman, CONDELEEZZA RICE

    2. In the USAw there is a campaign to have RICE…

    3. How many blacks would consider voting for HER (CONDELLEEZA RICE)…

    4 because SHE .(CONDELLEEZA RIcE) is “one of our own.

    5. CONDOLEEZZA RICE is a black woman but a white man at heart

    6. SHE(CONDOLEEZA RICE) once ironically summed up the racist division

    7. When SHE (CONDOLEEZA RICE) said

    8. MY (CONDOLEEZA’s) parents

    9. James Connolly had the all sussed out the devalera’s…RICE’S….

    Now, I did read the article and saw that danny made ALLLLLLL these references to Ms. Rice…yet you speak of a yellow card…that gerry adams isn’t immune from the heat….WHAT HEAT did gerry get in this article…he didn’t even get mentioned…. The typical type of rouse by danny…flip it onto others so gerry adams and company…don’t get any flack….

  • Dread Cthulhu

    circles: “btw Cthulhu, is that your definition of an adult then? The most hostile, arrogant and bureaucratic civil servants that community groups in nationalist areas have had to deal with. ”

    We only have Danny’s word for it, circles.

    Frankly, in my experience, anyone who works for the state bureaucracy falls into that mindset. The DMV is a classic example. You need what they have and they could give sod-all about you.

    Regardless of where the bloke ended up, the general principle applies; how many people do you know who have the same interests, concerns and political positions they did in university? About the only folks I can guarantee that stayed the same are the ones who went on to become academics.

  • circles

    Hmmm maybe there was a subtle metaphor that not everybody got.
    If y’ask me this article was by no stretch of the imagination directly about Rice (nor was it about Fitt, de Valera, Errol Brown, Ray Charles, or his old pal who used to read Kafka). Its about people who sell out.
    Now if you don’t see any relevance to Gerry Adams in that I can’t help ye.

  • mickhall

    “About the only folks I can guarantee that stayed the same are the ones who went on to become academics.
    Posted by Dread Cthulhu”

    LOL, nice one.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Thought this was spot on in a number of ways. The idea of your own turning against you, especially taking the Queens/Kings shilling is not new.
    I reserve the right to despise them all the same.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Circles: “Hmmm maybe there was a subtle metaphor that not everybody got.
    If y’ask me this article was by no stretch of the imagination directly about Rice (nor was it about Fitt, de Valera, Errol Brown, Ray Charles, or his old pal who used to read Kafka). Its about people who sell out.
    Now if you don’t see any relevance to Gerry Adams in that I can’t help ye. ”

    This is the kind of thought that keeps American blacks in ghetto, since education and respectability are “acting white” and “being an oreo.”

    One could argue enforcing cultural norms to prevent “selling out” ultimately holds groups back.

    One doesn’t need to put a lid on a basket of crabs… if one climbs too high, the others just pull them back down again.

  • Mainlander

    Prince Eoghan

    “The idea of your own turning against you, especially taking the Queens/Kings shilling is not new.
    I reserve the right to despise them all the same.”

    Yep.
    You’re continually running.
    Take me on.
    ATW
    Take me on.

  • kensei

    “And yet, pursuing the drug dealers is considered foolish and wasteful by you, per your posts on “the war on drugs.””

    I didn’t say it was foolish. I said it hasn’t work. You can dodge that all you like, but it’s the rather unforunate truth. Forgive me for actually liking things that work,

    There is a clear line between people who wish to abuse themselves and engaging in actions that put others at risk. I though a libertarian would grasp that.

    I don’t actually like drug dealers. The best way to destroy them is to remove their access to cash.

    “sounds to me like you’re the authoritarian.”

    In what sense? Don’t endanger others?

    “No, but make the punishment for drunk driving sufficiently certain and unpleasent. When you have people who have multiple DUI convictions / citation (typically what DWI gets plea-bargained down to) and multiple license suspensions which they have ignored, maybe its time to get serious on prosecuting and punishing violators.”

    I concur. And yet the solution for drugs is different? Why?

    “I respect another’s right to be for legalization and frying your noodle, kensei… but that right comes to a screeching halt when it puts me at risk.”

    So the law should reflect that, rather than locking up every idiot that wants to fry his brains out. You’re terribly inconsistent.

    “Bold words for the guy who proposed to lecture on how the US government worked. ”

    Straw man. I didn’t lecture and I happpily withdrew my statement. Though notm, obviously about the Reps holding sway for most of the 80’s, and hence most of the cupability.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Mainlander.

    What in the bejeezus are you havering about?

  • Mainlander

    Prince Eoghan
    Keep running….

  • Prince Eoghan

    How did you know mainlander? who told you?

  • Mainlander

    ?! You’re easy pal!

  • Prince Eoghan

    ssssh, they’ll all want a shot!!!

  • Mainlander

    Pop!!!

  • Prince Eoghan

    missed V

  • Mainlander

    Next time.
    Give me something decent to aim at.
    That effort today on Andy & Davy’s road show was shite,I could walk through it with my eyes shut.
    You can do much better than that…give me a challenge next time.
    Love & kisses
    P

  • Prince Eoghan

    mainlander.

    Ah now I get it, have you mixed me up with someone else? who do you think I am?, I don’t post there.

  • Mainlander

    Mmmm… OK

    Who do Celtic play in the Champion’s League Prelim rounds, if it’s in the neighbourhood might pop along….

  • Prince Eoghan

    Nobody straight to the groups stage this year.

    Now cut the crap, who did you think I was?

  • Mainlander

    “Now cut the crap, who did you think I was?”
    Prince Eoghan?

    What’s the craic about Rangers, will they be allowed to travel outside Scotland ?

    Having seen the clampdown on religious extremism (dodgy spelling?) throughout Europe how can they possibly be allowed to pollute the highways and byways of our beloved continent?

    Have a wee thing about it,I’m off to bed now, but I await your answer with mmmm… mild interest tomorrow.
    Usual channels.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Kensei: “Straw man. I didn’t lecture and I happpily withdrew my statement. Though notm, obviously about the Reps holding sway for most of the 80’s, and hence most of the cupability. ”

    Your idea of a rebuttal was “I disbelieve,” your entire understanding of how the system worked was wrong (and still is — so long as one party controls one of the two houses, they are a full an equal partner in the legislative process) and, as such, entitled to a full share of the credit / blame — its not as if it were Tip O’Neil’s first trip to the rodeo.

    Kensei: “I didn’t say it was foolish. I said it hasn’t work. You can dodge that all you like, but it’s the rather unforunate truth. Forgive me for actually liking things that work, ”

    Find me one. If its damned if we do and damned if we don’t, I’d prefer to be damned for trying, rather than sitting back and waiting for it to solve themselves.

    Kensei: “There is a clear line between people who wish to abuse themselves and engaging in actions that put others at risk. I though a libertarian would grasp that. ”

    Not every libertarian is a “free the weed” loon. The whole ^%#^%$#^@ point is that we don’t have to think alike. I also have a deep distrust of the universe’s goodwill and the sense of personal responsibility of others as a whole. I’ve met too many large “L” libertarians who preach a good game, but are walking, talking shambling horror from a “handling their own lives” perspective. Libertarian theory works great on a small scale — I just don’t think it would work on a city or nation-size scale.

    Kensei: “So the law should reflect that, rather than locking up every idiot that wants to fry his brains out. You’re terribly inconsistent. ”

    Hardly. As I said — give me a workable option. The working options are too much or too little enforcement. I’ll take too much rather than too little — the personal risk to myself is less. Besides, any reduction in enforcement would have to wait until the societal dynamic is such that people realize that with additional liberty comes additional responsibility, a process that hasn’t even begun.

  • [i]”Your idea of a rebuttal was “I disbelieve,” your entire understanding of how the system worked was wrong (and still is—so long as one party controls one of the two houses, they are a full an equal partner in the legislative process) and, as such, entitled to a full share of the credit / blame—its not as if it were Tip O’Neil’s first trip to the rodeo.”[/i]

    Hmmm…. Let me point out to both of you that most criminal law is State, not Federal. So, I suggest that, while there is a good bit of punitive anti-drug legislation in the Federal Code, most of the really punitive legislation is State legislation.

    So, the political make-up of the Congress has its place, but the local State legislatures are also major players in the game here.

    So, kensei, the onus falls not only on the Republicans but the Democrats also had a major part to play in putting the legislation you dislike on the books.

  • kensei

    “Your idea of a rebuttal was “I disbelieve,””

    The onus is on you to porve your assertion, not me to disprove it.

    “your entire understanding of how the system worked was wrong (and still is—so long as one party controls one of the two houses, they are a full an equal partner in the legislative process) and, as such, entitled to a full share of the credit / blame—its not as if it were Tip O’Neil’s first trip to the rodeo.”

    I fully understand that control of even one house gives considerable power. But things aren’t as straight as Dems/Reps, as each party emcompasses people that would fit perfectly well in the other. Also, regardless, the Presidency provides the impetus in the system. The president is elected on a platform and therefore has some clout on getting it through. Things can be killed, yes, but with a strong President and the prevailing wind going rightwards, its hard to do everything. That might not be true in the strictest, letter of the law sense, but the in the real world with political parties not wangtuing electoral destruction by being totally negative, it is.

    They do share some of the blame, because if they really hated it they could have killed it. But I think it would not be contentious to say that if the Dems had been in control the solutions would have been different.

    Why do the right wing in the US have such trouble in traking responsibility.

    “Find me one. If its damned if we do and damned if we don’t, I’d prefer to be damned for trying, rather than sitting back and waiting for it to solve themselves.”

    So, given a choice between a new approach that may or may not work, and a solution that has demonstratably failed over at least a 25 year period, you would pick the one that has failed, then? this is the very definition of madness.

    “Not every libertarian is a “free the weed” loon. The whole ^%#^%$#^@ point is that we don’t have to think alike.”

    I thought it encompassed some core beliefs, however.

    “I also have a deep distrust of the universe’s goodwill and the sense of personal responsibility of others as a whole.”

    So do I. But the state should not be interferinjg in situations where people chose to damage themselves. It should be doing all it can to convincve them otherwise, and it should slap down hard if it hurts other people, bnut if your body is not sovereign, what is?

    “I’ve met too many large “L” libertarians who preach a good game, but are walking, talking shambling horror from a “handling their own lives” perspective. Libertarian theory works great on a small scale—I just don’t think it would work on a city or nation-size scale.”

    So, the answer to people to not being able to “handle their lives” is to do it for them? You are an Authoritarian, then.

    “Hardly. As I said—give me a workable option. The working options are too much or too little enforcement. I’ll take too much rather than too little—the personal risk to myself is less. Besides, any reduction in enforcement would have to wait until the societal dynamic is such that people realize that with additional liberty comes additional responsibility, a process that hasn’t even begun.”

    I do not believe that there should be too little enforcement. I just don’t believe that drug use should be enforced. A battery of other measures should be enforced – like driving under the influence, or giving it to minors, or a lot of other things. I simply believe in changing what is enforced, to make it more effective.

    The only risks there are – people’s lives will be destroyed. But, that’s happenoing at a scary rate already. I simply don’t believe things could be much worse than they are now, provided the right protections are in place.

  • kensei

    “So, kensei, the onus falls not only on the Republicans but the Democrats also had a major part to play in putting the legislation you dislike on the books.”

    I am aware of that, and lots of nastiness goes on with it to ensure the maximum puinitive damage; basically prosecutors can decide sentence by choosing whick law to prosecute under. I hate that but then you might get me ranting on mandatory minimums sentences as foul, foul law.

    I’d be interested in a Red vs Blue State comparison, if anyone has one.

  • Prince Eoghan

    What’s the craic about Rangers, will they be allowed to travel outside Scotland ?

    Having seen the clampdown on religious extremism (dodgy spelling?) throughout Europe how can they possibly be allowed to pollute the highways and byways of our beloved continent?

    Have a wee thing about it,I’m off to bed now, but I await your answer with mmmm… mild interest tomorrow.
    Usual channels.

    Posted by Mainlander on Jul 29, 2006 @ 02:02 AM

    Finally worked out that you may indeed be one of those Unionist intellectuals that we have been crying out for.

    As far as the currant buns go, it is not safe to allow them to pollute our beloved continent as you say. Hopefully they will see the error of their ways and stop giving my country a bad name. If not we should construct a gulag at ibrox and let them sing all the shite they want for the rest of their naturals.

    Ironically it is the poor English that get all the blame on the continent. They see the Union flag bedecked, English strip wearing knuckle-draggers and they assume they are English. There are that many neo-Nazi, xenophobic heterosexually challenged, BNP card carrying loons following them it is an easy mistake to make, mind you these are just the fans from the north of Eire.

    All in all mainlander apart from your aspirations to be a volk intellectual, your post regarding les huns is spot on. Encore mon cherie.

    I will be watching mi amore at les local boozer, so I may not see your witty repartee until late this evening. A steaming Tim, after getting humped aff a diddy team like Killie will take nae prisoners. So beware;¬)

    BTW. Dae ye fancy me? or do you genuinely think I am someone else? pretty please put me oot ae ma misery.

  • [i]”basically prosecutors can decide sentence by choosing whick law to prosecute under.[/i]

    Wrong again. In general, importation and interstate distribution are crimes under Federal law, not State so the prosecutor has no choice.

    By the same token, possession and use are crimes under State law and, again, the prosecutor has no choice.

    Really, kensei, the lines are really pretty clear. But, I suggest that the actual social problems to which you allude are more the result of State rather than of Federal legislation.

    Red and blue States are determined by the vote in the most recent Presidential election, but really is not a very good indicator of which party controls the State government. For example, my State, New York, has a Republican Governer. a Democratic Attorney-General and State Comptroller, a Republican majority in the State Senate and a Democratic majority in the State Assembly, 2 Democratic US Senators and the majority of US Representatives are Democrats. The State was carried by Kerry in 2004 so it’s a blue State. But, is it?

  • circles

    Circles: “Hmmm maybe there was a subtle metaphor that not everybody got.
    If y’ask me this article was by no stretch of the imagination directly about Rice (nor was it about Fitt, de Valera, Errol Brown, Ray Charles, or his old pal who used to read Kafka). Its about people who sell out.
    Now if you don’t see any relevance to Gerry Adams in that I can’t help ye. “

    Dread Cthulhu: This is the kind of thought that keeps American blacks in ghetto, since education and respectability are “acting white” and “being an oreo.”

    I think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick here Dread. The idea is still very much rise WITH your class, not out of it – the idea is not stay downtrodden and poor just because everybody else is. Its about having more a communal view of the situation and not just a self-serving one.
    It is possible, for example, for a black american to have an education and a job and still identify 100% with his background and community, and to become actively engaged in helping that community. How would this be acting white?
    I think you’ve confused the issue somewhat, by interpreting it to mean that you should not “rise above your station” – a dreadful term which implies that people have a station in life allocated to them on the basis of where they were born or who their parents are. In this I think you have missed the point.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Circles: “I think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick here Dread. The idea is still very much rise WITH your class, not out of it – the idea is not stay downtrodden and poor just because everybody else is.”

    When your class is cheerfully wallowing in its own ignorance, how are they going to rise?

    Circles: “It is possible, for example, for a black american to have an education and a job and still identify 100% with his background and community, and to become actively engaged in helping that community. How would this be acting white? ”

    Simple — getting an education and a day job the very essence of “acting white.” Speaking “proper” English is “talking white.” I would refer you to “The Economics of ‘Acting White'” by Roland G. Gryer Jr., a Harvard economist. Students who outperform their peers are targetted, with penalties ranging from being a social outcast to beatings. Education is not valued in large segments of the population. Have you noticed who the “heroes” of the African-American community are, Circles? Basketball players and rap stars. These “professions” are, in essence, tournaments that a favored few win… and very little comes back to the black community.

    Circles: “I think you’ve confused the issue somewhat, by interpreting it to mean that you should not “rise above your station” – a dreadful term which implies that people have a station in life allocated to them on the basis of where they were born or who their parents are. In this I think you have missed the point. ”

    Condescend much, Circles?

    As for “not rising above one’s station,” that is exactly the message that some black children are receiving from their peers. I have tutored and substitute taught my way through graduate school in a black dominated county school. Proper English is denigrated by the students, education is not seen a worthy endeavor and those who do make the effort seen as to “rise above,” if not their station, than their peers. It is, quite literally, like a basket of crabs — one starts to move ahead and the rest try to pull them down.

    What you and Danny fail to acknowledge is that even collective efforts require trailblazers and pathfinders — folks with the courage to go before and chart the way forward. Yes, perhaps Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice are the “blackest” African Americans. I think you and Danny confuse “selling out” for finding a better way.” If nothing else, Colin Powell demonstrated what a black man willing to become educated and take advatage of the opportunities presented can rise far beyond their beginnings. To denigrate them as “abandoning their people” is both unfair and, in the case of Colin Powell.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Kensei: “So, given a choice between a new approach that may or may not work, and a solution that has demonstratably failed over at least a 25 year period, you would pick the one that has failed, then? ”

    You haven’t offered a “choice.” You have professed your disdain for the current body of laws and given hints at what you want to see as outcomes, not a robust plan / scheme that a body can make a useful decision on. Until someone comes up with a *USEFUL* set of ideas, one that looks like it will work, I’ll stick with a flawed system that minimally inconveniences me and does at least some of what it sets out to do in favor do nothing.

    Kensei: “I just don’t believe that drug use should be enforced. A battery of other measures should be enforced – like driving under the influence, or giving it to minors, or a lot of other things. I simply believe in changing what is enforced, to make it more effective. ”

    Its neither cost effect or socially effective. Use will increase. Now, as a libertarian, it is not, in my view, my job to support or ameliorate the poor decisions of others, save when I choose to do so… However, under the current system, that is exactly what would happen. Likewise, the illicit drug trade will continue, albeit at a lower level, a result of the inevitable tax scheme that politicians would levy upon the drugs.

    Frankly, it would take two generations or more of hard work to get the level of personal responsibility back into society to countenance the reduced level of enforcement you are proposing. The only other option would be a grotesque increase in the welfare state. I’ll settle for enforcement, for the nonce.

  • Mainlander

    Prince Eoghan

    Hee! Hee!

    “There are that many neo-Nazi, xenophobic heterosexually challenged, BNP card carrying loons following them it is an easy mistake to make”

    Now where exactly did that little piece pop out from?!

    Also please tell me you’re not homophobic; all those other characteristics you’ve listed are rather negative. A nice liberal, open-minded chap like yourself surely can’t have a problem with people who’re “heterosexually challenged”??

    Also:

    “Finally you may indeed be one of those Unionist intellectuals that we have been crying out for.”

    “Encore mon cherie.”

    “BTW. Dae ye fancy me?”

    You’ve made three wrong assumptions there. See if you can work which three;)

    Till the next time (I’ll admit you’re improving, not quite there yet, though;));

  • Prince Eoghan

    “You’ve made three wrong assumptions there. See if you can work which three;)”

    Actually me auld strumpet. One assumption, one questions, one encouragement.

    “Also please tell me you’re not homophobic; all those other characteristics you’ve listed are rather negative. A nice liberal, open-minded chap like yourself surely can’t have a problem with people who’re “heterosexually challenged”??”

    Certainly not mon cherie, indeed the dear old Orangefest without all the trappings of hatred is just like the Sydney mardi-gras, which I quite enjoyed barring a few obscene bits. The bit about poofs was just to see if you were listening, you know check the level of stupidity. I am pleased to say you have passes with all the flying colours of the rainbow;¬)

    “Till the next time (I’ll admit you’re improving, not quite there yet, though;));”

    Where am I going exactly? Do you want me to come and see your puppies mister?

    Admit it ya mad-man, you have assumed that I am someone else from some fascist blood-thirsty lunatic blog. Shouldn’t you just apologise for breaching the peace and bow out gracefully?

  • Mainlander

    On a point of pedantry

    “mon cherie” *is* an assumption (possibly on two counts)
    Think about it;)

  • Prince Eoghan

    A term of endearment my dear, no more. So don’t be gettin yir hopes up, ya pedantic scrubber ye.

  • Mainlander

    No I think you may have misunderstood my intentions;)

    AFAIK ( if by any small chance there is someone more pedantic than me, please feel free to correct)

    “Mon chéri” is used for referring to men. And “ma chérie” for the ladies

    By saying “Mon cherie”, which I also think may be grammatically incorrect, (and missing the wee acute thingy anyway) although admitedly I’ve seen it used before, you’ve assumed that I was a lady.

    Which I might be of course, but it’s still an assumption on your part.
    See where I was coming from now?
    So, we’ve all learned something this morning.
    Time for lunch now.

  • Prince Eoghan

    All that time googling, and that is the best you can come up with mon cherie. Ach away’n’eat yirsel fur lunch ya numptie.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Sigh…

    corrected text below

    Yes, perhaps Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice are *NOT* the “blackest” African Americans. I think you and Danny confuse “selling out” for finding a better way.” If nothing else, Colin Powell demonstrated what a black man willing to become educated and take advatage of the opportunities presented can rise far beyond their beginnings. To denigrate them as “abandoning their people” is both unfair and, in the case of Colin Powell, inaccurate.

  • kensei

    “You haven’t offered a “choice.” You have professed your disdain for the current body of laws and given hints at what you want to see as outcomes, not a robust plan / scheme that a body can make a useful decision on.”

    No, I have offered a choice – nbetween the status quo and change. It’s like an addict – the first step is to recognise the problem. The question is simple. Do you believe that the law in this area needs to change?

    “Until someone comes up with a *USEFUL* set of ideas, one that looks like it will work, I’ll stick with a flawed system that minimally inconveniences me and does at least some of what it sets out to do in favor do nothing.”

    Yeah, because ideas come out fully formed luike that all the time. Unless there is pressure for change, thenm nothing will happen. Your position is “Other people’s lives are being destroyed, but I’m all right Jack”. Abhorrent.

    “Its neither cost effect or socially effective. Use will increase.”

    I believe they also predicted disaster for 24 hour drinking.

    “Now, as a libertarian, it is not, in my view, my job to support or ameliorate the poor decisions of others, save when I choose to do so… However, under the current system, that is exactly what would happen. Likewise, the illicit drug trade will continue, albeit at a lower level, a result of the inevitable tax scheme that politicians would levy upon the drugs.”

    I’m not suggesting that. I’m suggesting from an economic prespective for the government to destroy the market price, and then controil the supply. That means a market price of 0 if need be. It would still probably work out cheaper than the current model.

    “Frankly, it would take two generations or more of hard work to get the level of personal responsibility back into society to countenance the reduced level of enforcement you are proposing.”

    How wonderfully condescending. A libertarian that doesn’t actually believe people should take their own responsibility!

    “The only other option would be a grotesque increase in the welfare state. I’ll settle for enforcement, for the nonce.”

    I don’t know where you get welfare from.

  • kensei

    “Wrong again. In general, importation and interstate distribution are crimes under Federal law, not State so the prosecutor has no choice.

    By the same token, possession and use are crimes under State law and, again, the prosecutor has no choice.

    Really, kensei, the lines are really pretty clear. But, I suggest that the actual social problems to which you allude are more the result of State rather than of Federal legislation.”

    Really, no, you’re totally wrong. The examples I was thinking of came fromt eh book “Reefer Madness” by Eric Schlosser, but as I don’t have the book to hand, a 20 second search on the internet came up with an article with an example of the difference:

    http://www.abanet.org/crimjust/cjmag/21-2/federalorstate.pdf.

    The lines are anything but clear. If you really, really want me to, I’ll find the book and give more examples.

    “Red and blue States are determined by the vote in the most recent Presidential election, but really is not a very good indicator of which party controls the State government. For example, my State, New York, has a Republican Governer. a Democratic Attorney-General and State Comptroller, a Republican majority in the State Senate and a Democratic majority in the State Assembly, 2 Democratic US Senators and the majority of US Representatives are Democrats. The State was carried by Kerry in 2004 so it’s a blue State. But, is it?”

    New York Republicans are a hell of a lot bluer than Texan ones. Hell, if we wanted to get picky on it, we could go for the difference between the business end of the party and it’s religious end. But as you’d probably take me generalising a general trend into something that must always be true everywhere.

    Anyway this is just an aside. The reason I dug this up, because there is an interesting article on the drugs war here:

    http://www.motherjones.com/news/update/2006/08/conservatives_against_war_on_drugs.html

  • Pete Baker

    Talking to yourself, kensei?

    Time to stub that roach out…

  • kensei

    “Talking to yourself, kensei?

    Time to stub that roach out… ”

    Found an interesting article, wanted to find a relevant thread with a relevant discussion. Realised I hadn’t corrected Bob McGowan’s wrongness at the time, and found his tone incredibly irritating when I kow I’m right, so corrected that.

    Next time I’ll randomly post it on every thread I possibly can regardless of topic, muttering something about “fair repartition of drugs laws”.

  • Seems odd to be addressed on class consciousness by someone who was a member of and at one time the chief propagandist for an elitist Stalinist organisation who regarded the unionist section of the working class as imperialist dupes and right-wing reactionaries.

    As for castle catholicism, those who wasted their own lives and those of others trying to burn the castle down only to subsequently rebuild and merrily share the same castle with their oppressors really ought to choose their words more carefully.

    Also, which political party (now among the most the most solid defenders of the status quo) would a reference to voting for someone solely because they were “one of our own” remind us of ?