History is not the story of strangers..

We haven’t started any campaigns for a while [Have we ever? Ed] so, with it being a Friday and the weekend revelry beckoning, how about honorary Irish Citzenship for the wonderful John Hurt? Bloody furious, indeed.

  • Uatu

    I saw this. Wonderful telly! Makes ya glad to be oirish knowing the currency value of amongst the luvvies.

    I’ll second his nomination. After all, Peter O’Toole got away with pretending to be Irish all his life..

  • Nevin

    A Stephen Fry quote heading a John Hurt ‘puff’?

    “Some of the most highly intelligent people I know have got just the same problems when it comes to sexuality, mistakes and things. They’re brought to their knees by it, you see it in newspapers every day.” … John Hurt in the Barbara Ellen interview

    Is it just a matter of position? 😉

    Perhaps Slugger could organise a ‘knees-up’ for Hurt in a Belfast hostelry …

    How about a Slugger Hall of Fame award for Stephen Fry, citing the ‘History is not the story of strangers’ article?

  • joeCanuck

    Aiming too low.
    I nominate him as citizen of the world.
    He has always been my favourite actor.
    Bloody marvellous.

  • Cormac

    He was outstanding in Krapp’s Last Tape and The Field. I wish your campaign well! (now, just waiting for P&J to turn this into an anti-SF thread 🙂

  • Uata, most sources still list connemara as O’toole’s birthplace.
    John Hurt deserves his citizenship after that awful trick was pulled on him…
    Just goes to show:
    “The past is all deception, the future future-less”
    T.S.Eliot
    certainly was for old John Hurt

    Joe, 1984 and Elephant Man were genuis, but my favourite was Raskolnikov, in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment (BBC 1979).. I can still recall the production vividly.

  • joeCanuck

    Yes indeed Parci.
    I’ve been in Canada for 26 years now so get to see so little of him. Baaaah!

  • smcgiff

    Well, if we can do it for Tony Cascarino!

    Really felt for Hurt when realisation finally dawned.

    Hurt is living in Ireland for Donkey’s and is, at the very least, Irish in an Osmosis kind of way.

  • Hogan from County Tyrone

    I thought his finest role was Lord Percival Graves in the epic King Ralph!

  • URQUHART

    The programme was top class.

  • An Lochlannach

    Whatever about his acting I wouldn’t use the word ‘wonderful’ to describe John Hurt’s record on race and ethnicity. Isn’t this the man who defended Enoch ‘Rivers of Blood’ Powell? See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/3369975.stm

    Nice to see his smug opinions on nationality getting a good jolt.

  • páid

    Well, by no means was it a river.

    But firefighters in London quoted in the guardian said

    ‘There was a sea of bodies and body parts at either end of the carriage. If you looked hard enough, you could see bodies shifting and twitching underneath piles of bodies’

    and..

    ‘The last survivor pulled from the carriage was Garri Holness from Streatham, south London, found lying on the blood-soaked floor among dead passengers. Scarred all over from the blast, Holness already knew he had lost part of his left leg.’

    All this the work of sons of the immigrants Enoch tried to keep out.

    So old Enoch, he wasn’t totally wrong now, was he?

  • The Serpent

    An Lochlannach – That was an interesting link and one I was unaware of. He is a fine actor but faux intellectualism to condone an intelligent racist such as Powell is an opinion I certainly don’t share and one which paints him in a poorer light.

    Páid – Religiously motivated psychopaths do not exist solely in the realm of Islam. Think about Waco and the Camp Davidians. Your childish and inherently racist post really doesn’t bear much comment but using singular incidents to infer the guilt of the collective immigrant population rather than the guilt of those who actually carried out such incidents isn’t the most intellectually rigorous argument i have seen on this site and then compounding it by using it justify the words of Enoch Powell beggars belief.

  • Cormac

    The Serpent: agreed!

  • joeCanuck

    The Serpent:; I agree too.

  • Rory

    I can never quite understand why any sane individual would attempt to establish that they were descended from a lineage that began with an exercise of droit de seigneur or similar rape of the woman of his original maternal ancestry that defined the resulting child as “bastard”, then would choose to seek some sycophantic connection with such a line of degenerate males. If there is a connection he should be thankful that his maternal ancestor escaped it. She shielded her child, and descendants from the shame of the baseness of the aristocratic father.

    I cannot imagine the horrors of a decent man suddenly discovering that he was descended, however unwillingly on the maternal side, from the aristocracy. Most fellows prefer to hide this kind of thing.

  • Siobhan

    John Hurt was probably disappointed that his instinctive positive reaction to visiting Ireland many years ago wasn’t due to fact but just his perception that he was descended from Sligo aristocracy…so what! Many people have had that same connecting feeling. That perception doesn’t mean that instinct didn’t play a part in his reaction 40 years ago or that he isn’t descended from someone irish, he may well be. Many english have irish ancestry and vice versa. His ‘irishness’ may yet be somewhere in there, just not from that particular line. He researched only one great grandmother, he has three others to find (not to mention four great grandfathers) and who knows what lies in those lines of his family, his instincts may prove to be correct after all.
    Perception is a different matter however, and we are all guilty (or at the mercies of) what our parents/family have told us.

  • páid

    Serpent,

    in your response to my “childish” post, you state…
    “Religiously motivated psychopaths do not exist solely in the realm of Islam. Think about Waco and the Camp Davidians”

    I don’t need to think about them. Because I agree with your first assertion. In fact who wouldn’t agree with your first assertion?

    You go on…

    “using singular incidents to infer the guilt of the collective immigrant population rather than the guilt of those who actually carried out such incidents”

    I don’t infer the guilt of the collective immigrant population. The -“collective immigrant population” to my eyes is almost certainly overrepresented in the victims, given the nature of London Public Transport users.

    I agree that the guilt lies with the bombers. You and your supporters may like to believe that the bombers’ ethnic background was a coincidence.

    I don’t.

    So go on, call me a racist again.

  • The Serpent

    Páid – I was hoping to get an early night but will answer!

    OK . you agree that any religious or let me add non-religious grouping is capable of terrible acts of violence against others and/or themselves. OK! I will let that pass as your point specifically dealt with islamiscist terrorists and not with crazies in the general sense!!!

    Not too bothered with most of your response…but have to issue a huge sigh at the following….

    You said to me and I quote you as follows….”You and your supporters may like to believe that the bombers’ ethnic background was a coincidence”

    Where the fuck did that come from?

    Obviously of an evening i have formed some kind of anti-páid terrorist grouping including all my supporters because you said something out of line on slugger…I don’t have supporters!! Some people might agree with me and others i am sure will not!! Get a grip !!

    It’s not that their ethnic background is a coincidence that you should be getting hung up on. As it happens it’s probably no coincidence!! But there are literally hundreds of thousands of other people of a similar ethnic background who are appalled by their actions !!

    Anyway there are probably plenty of IRISH contributors on here who lived in London in the 1970’s who know where i am coming from as regards being suspected as a result of perceived racial tendencies by people coming out with the same shite as you are.

    Grow up !!

    And I didn’t call you a racist…I said your post was racist…there is a subtle difference.

  • sammaguire

    “The Bird” doesn’t need honoury Irish citizenship. As a long time resident he’s entitled to the real thing. Felt sorry for him. His “Irishness” obviously meant something to him. I remember about 20 years ago his smashed up car (in Wexford St area of Dublin)was shown on the front page of one of the Dublin papers. On one of the inside pages an nice picture of him enjoying a glass of wine at a reception in the city that night. Work it out yourselves!

  • sammaguire

    “I’ll second his nomination. After all, Peter O’Toole got away with pretending to be Irish all his life.. ”

    Posted by Uatu on Sep 14, 2007 @ 01:08 PM

    He’s Irish. He has an Irish passport and more importantly has an Irish identity. A few months ago I saw Irish Argentinians on RTE who had never been to Ireland. Their ancestors left Ireland several generations ago and they still feel more Irish than Argentinian. They even amazingly had retained Irish accents. Saw something similar on a progamme about the Irish in Newfoundland.
    Spike Milligan’s way of expressing his Irishness was his support for the Irish rugby team. Wayne Rooney sticks out like a sore thumb when the English anthem is played. Makes no effort with it at all. As his grandmother said “Wayne is English on the outside;Irish on the inside” (interview with David McWilliams). Just because one is born in a stable doesn’t make one a horse…as Prince Charles might say!!

  • Uatu

    Sam

    Wasn’t it Dara O’Briain who said Wayne Rooney must be irish? “He must be – sure he has an oul’ head on him like an Offaly hurler.”

    Peter O’toole wasn’t irish by birth. He had a touch of the John-Hurt’s-ancestors about him in the telling about the place of his birth. Stephen Fry said so & he knows everything.

    Mrs Uatu will never be a natural blonde despite the best efforts of Clairol to make her look like one…

    And, whilst on the subject of cuckoos in the nest, we should take time to send out birthday greetings to young Prince Harry.

  • Fintan, Portlaoise

    I’m all for giving him honorary Irish citizenship even if he hasn’t a drop of Irish blood in him. Being Irish is more a state of mind that anything else.

    John Hurt is not only a great actor, but also, in his heart a good Irishman. And even better, a good Laoisman.

    And none of us forget the great work he did to help the Laois Hospice while he lived in the county.

  • páid

    Serpent,

    sorry if i kept you from your bed.

    I lived in London while the IRA was bombing the place, and had a brother who was caught up in the aftermath of the Manchester bomb so I have an idea about what you are on about.

    But what you seem to be saying is vague, perhaps that certain people attribute ‘racial tendencies’ to certain races. Violence and extremism, perhaps?

    I don’t believe such stuff. I’ve often said to people and on Slugger that Loyalist and Republican violence can be greatly explained by the pressure the communities were under, and, because of that, young men from those communities went on the attack. Attacks by the way I never supported.

    Now you called me childish, told me to ‘grow up’ and referred to my posts as shite.

    And you state that my posts are racist, though that doesn’t mean I am one, and that there is a subtle difference. Too subtle for me, I’m, afraid.

    I didn’t accuse you of forming an anti-Páid group, rather I acknowledged that your response to me got quick support.

    I agree that the vast majority of British-based Muslims disagree with the attacks. There is a but though.

    Fom the Telegraph of 2006…

    “Four out of 10 British Muslims want sharia law introduced into parts of the country, a survey reveals today.

    The ICM opinion poll also indicates that a fifth have sympathy with the “feelings and motives” of the suicide bombers who attacked London last July 7, killing 52 people, although 99 per cent thought the bombers were wrong to carry out the atrocity.”

    If a fifth sympathise with the feelings and motives, that equates to hundreds and thousands of people who may well be disposed to non-cooperation with the forces of law and order. Observers of the NI situation during The Troubles will understand the situation well.

    So, is pointing this ‘shite’ out childish, racist or both?

  • nospinplease

    I agree with páid and Enoch about rivers of blood,just look at the trounle all them immigrants from Scotland caused hereover the years.

  • The Serpent

    páid- It’s all right i am a poor sleeper anyway !!!

    As far as London is concerned the point I was making was that at a certain point in time it was difficult to be an Irish person living in London due to assumptions made as to your potential to cause certain types of trouble both by the authorities and the general public. I was trying to insinuate that it cant be much fun being a law abiding hard working muslim citizen who feels no brotherhood with the crazies who blew themselves up. I know I am incorectly equating a percieved nationality with a religion but i dont think that negates the argument.

    Another point of yours troubles me slightly is that you seem to be saying that its possible for violence and extremism to be a racial characteristic. Personally i don’t buy into the whole race thing in general but if i am going to work on the premise that you are working from that different races exist your point is still a sweeping generalisation.

    I do however apologise for the personal stuff and the linguistic lack of decorum. As far as saying that the particular post I referred to struck me as having racist intent and did not mean i was calling you a racist well that could hardly be clearer.

    Post- RACIST

    Páid the Person – Not enough information yet to say for certain but have my suspicions.

    As far as supporters are concerned well everyone is entitled to their opinion and if a couple of people agreed well and good. At least they weren’t agreeing with you.

    As for opinion polls forgive me for not taking them altogether seriously and they certainly can not be used to neccesarily sustain an argument. Loaded questions,poor analysis and downright dodgy psychometrics would devalue them in my mind.

    Anyway and to conclude, nothing you have said in any way makes me think that you dont define people by race in a way that allows you to make sweeping generalisations as to racial characteristics and that people from an islamic background have a greater propensity for violence than others and that you in particular are singling them out as worse than other percieved races.

    Does that make you a racist ??

  • páid

    Serpent,

    you write…

    “nothing you have said in any way makes me think that you dont define people by race in a way that allows you to make sweeping generalisations as to racial characteristics and that people from an islamic background have a greater propensity for violence than others and that you in particular are singling them out as worse than other percieved races.”

    Not even when I wrote this…

    “But what you seem to be saying is vague, perhaps that certain people attribute ‘racial tendencies’ to certain races. Violence and extremism, perhaps?

    I don’t believe such stuff”

    or this…

    “I don’t infer the guilt of the collective immigrant population”

    Then you ask the question – Does that make you (meaning me) a racist?

    Well, Serpent, you tell me. I never called you any names. You name-called a plenty, (a childish trait, some might say) including calling my contributions ‘shite’.

    And thanks for your personal opinion on ICM opinion polls. You might furnish us with more accurate information, allowing for cultural factors and whatnot, in your own good time.

    Reputable sources to back up your argument and all that.

    If you cant, no problemo! – just throw out the oul’ ‘you’re a racist’ line, eh?

  • Harry Flashman

    First of all, John Hurt, a bit pathetic, he’s a luvvy so he can’t just have a boring upbringing in a Croydon suburb can he? No of course not, he must be descended from the bastard love child of a wild Irish aristocrat mustn’t he? Basically he’s as sad as the “whigger” character so brilliantly satirized by Ali G, the suburban white boy who’s really a dangerous black rapper at heart.

    Now on to the much more interesting paid/Serpent dispute. Serpent, I worked in London during the IRA bombing campaign and I have to say I never for one millisecond suffered any animosity from my English collegues and neighbours. You know why? Because contrary to the fevered imaginings of Guardianistas, the BBC and several posters here the English are fundamentally decent, tolerant, welcoming people and not the knuckle dragging BNP supporters that they are continually made out to be.

    I mention this by way of pointing up the usual hypocritical reaction to terrorist attacks from people like yourself who immediately pass over the very real victims who lie bleeding and mangled in the wreckage and instead seek out the entirely non-existent victims of the mythical “backlash”.

    In the same way you point out that terrorism is in no way linked to one, well let’s agree it’s not a race, shall we say “culture”? In support of this thoery the Soho nailbomber or the abortion clinic bombings are usually quoted (in fairness in your case you mentioned the incident at Waco, which is bizarre as this was actually a case of the sort of thing you disapprove of; a peaceful if not particularly popular religious grouping being hounded, persecuted, slandered and libelled by the US government before being attacked and slaughtered, ignore the government propaganda and research the incident, I guarantee you’ll be shocked by what you discover).

    The problem with the usually cited cases of non-Islamic terrorism in the past decade is that a) they were not supported or condoned by the wider community and b) they could be counted almost on the fingers of one hand compared to the eight hundred pound gorilla of Islamic terrorism sitting in the corner being egged on and enthusiastically supported by very large sections of the Islamic world.

    One other point, the man who carried out the often cited Soho bombing was heavily influenced by the writings of David Myatt, this man is a long term leader of Britain’s Far Right, he loathes America and what he calls “Jewish” financiers as well as homosexuals. Now imagine a man who hates Americans, Jews and homosexuals and whose teachings encourage his followers to plant bombs, guess what religion such a man might adopt today, methodism? Greek Orthodoxy? Plymouth Brethren?

    I’ll give you a clue; Myatt now goes by the name of Abdul-Aziz ibn Myatt. Google him.

  • The Serpent

    Páid – I don’t have time to give a considered answer but as for the namecalling I have apologised already. As for polling methodology it is possible to get very accurate feedback from quite small samples so long as as much bias is removed from the questions and the questioners and that he who pays the piper isn’t calling the tune….

    Harry..Once again your long response makes for interesting reading and I wouldn’t want to retort with a glib answer. I will certainly google as advised. I will get back to you !!! I do note that my mention of logic and inference that I have used by way of argument myself have been used against me and fair enough actually. It does mean i have to look again at my own arguments. Karl Popper would be proud of you !!!

  • Harry Flashman

    **Karl Popper would be proud of you !!!**

    Really? Cor, [blush] thanks mate.

    (Pssst, who’s Karl Popper?)

  • The Serpent

    Harry F:

    Karl Popper was one of the leading philosophers of the last century and primarily expounded ideas in and around falsificationism.

    The following isn’t a bad summation of where he was coming from:

    Popper repudiates induction, and rejects the view that it is the characteristic method of scientific investigation and inference, and substitutes falsifiability in its place. It is easy, he argues, to obtain evidence in favour of virtually any theory, and he consequently holds that such ‘corroboration’, as he terms it, should count scientifically only if it is the positive result of a genuinely ‘risky’ prediction, which might conceivably have been false. For Popper, a theory is scientific only if it is refutable by a conceivable event. Every genuine test of a scientific theory, then, is logically an attempt to refute or to falsify it, and one genuine counter-instance falsifies the whole theory. In a critical sense, Popper’s theory of demarcation is based upon his perception of the logical asymmetry which holds between verification and falsification: it is logically impossible to conclusively verify a universal proposition by reference to experience (as Hume saw clearly), but a single counter-instance conclusively falsifies the corresponding universal law. In a word, an exception, far from ‘proving’ a rule, conclusively refutes it.

    A very interesting man and never could work out whether I agreed or disagreed with him which may say something about the differential between my intellect and his!!!

  • Harry Flashman

    Oh right, gotcha, THAT Karl Popper, of course, yeah I was just thinking that’s the bloke you might be talking about, yeah Karl Popper, right, ok now we’re up to speed.

  • Rory

    Wonderful synopsis of Popper’s theory, Serpent. You did however forget to mention his great work in popularising the use of amyl nitrate as a sexual stimulant. Such was his success in this field that vials of this chemical have ever since been named after him in his honour.

  • Harry Flashman

    Ah c’mon now Rory, you’re making this stuff up, next thing you’ll be telling us crappers were named after a bloke called Crapper who made toilets and hookers are named after the girls that hung around General Hooker’s Union Army.

  • kensei

    “First of all, John Hurt, a bit pathetic, he’s a luvvy so he can’t just have a boring upbringing in a Croydon suburb can he? No of course not, he must be descended from the bastard love child of a wild Irish aristocrat mustn’t he? Basically he’s as sad as the “whigger” character so brilliantly satirized by Ali G, the suburban white boy who’s really a dangerous black rapper at heart. ”

    Or you know, he was told this growing up and that gave him an affinity with Ireland. If someone told me I had a grandfather from Albania I’d be curious. The fact there is a certain romanticism to it would appeal to the inner luvvie, I’m sure, but what the hell is wrong with that anyway? Your attitude is sneering, small and nasty.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    I watched this programme about John Hurt and one could see the huge disappointment in the mans’s face regarding what turned out to be his phoney Irish ancestry. He was absolutely devastated. It was quite sad. But he only traced one side of his family, I bet something would crop up on his other granparents side. I’ve often seen John Hurt about in Dublin.

    Jeremy Irons was exactly the same too. He was determined to find a trace of Irish ancestry and one could see the disappointment when some sort of a link was looking non-existant. Irons lives with his Irish wife Sinead Cusack in a Norman Castle in County Cork and like John Hurt has always felt an affiliation with Ireland. In the end he found such a link in a Catherine Franklin from County Cork or Kerry and he was absolutely elated. One could see the absolute joy on his face.

  • Rory

    I had a dim distant memory of my mother telling me that I was a child of God and somehow felt that this must be true but any genealogical searches that I have had done were disappointing. Until I discovered… The Bible! And there it was, right in the first chapter – my first ancestors, Adam and Eve, directly sculpted by God Himself.

    Just to check the authenticity of this startling revelation I checked with some of the most reputable Bible Colleges in the USA (God’s Chosen Land)and they have confirmed that I am indeed a direct descendant of Adam and Eve (providing that I am white, which I certainly appear to be).

    So there. That means that you lot will all have to take me a lot more seriously on Slugger, otherwise…….

  • Juan Kerr

    Maybe Hurt will feel somewhat less deflated about not being able to claim a genuine Irish ancestral link at the end of the pool stages of the World Cup.

    Not that England will give him much to cheer about either…