Supporting criminality

On Friday Moochin Photoman raised the issue of the former member of the TUV (Ann Cooper) who celebrated those who acted in an illegal fashion by underpaying benefits to members of ethnic minorities. Ms. Cooper was not, however, the only politician (not that she is really a politician) to celebrate law breaking last week. Martin McGuinness in his speech at Bellaghy celebrated a series of criminals. McGuinness said of the Hunger Strikers: “They are the people who have set the moral compass for the rest of us to aspire to.” Just to remember that includes people such as Thomas McElwee whose moral compass led him to burn to death Yvonne Dunlop in her shop in Ballymena: something to aspire to? or the act of a traitor to Ireland?

  • percy

    well at least no attempt to disguide the pure whataboutery of this thread.
    poor show turgon

  • Jay

    Whataboutery +1.

  • Surely its not unreasonable to mention that one person is jumped on for saying something outrageous and another is applauded. Agreement with either is not a requirement.

  • Alan Maskey

    I take it you do not vote for Sinn Fein, Turgon.

  • percy

    pippakin
    It’d be more convincing if Turgon had contributed to the Ann Cooper thread. I can’t find a comment there can you?

    What he’s done is set iup Ann Cooper as an opening gambit, and then body-swerved into a comment on hungerstriker, with the usual “criminal tag”.
    It won’t run, and he knows it.

  • edgeoftheunion

    Turgon

    What was the point of this thread? As far as I can see you are equating a failed politician with a MP / MLA / DFM. I do not share MMcG’s politics but I recognise a leader when I see one. Oh and I currently have a lot of time for Ian Duncan Smith.

  • White Horse

    Fair point, Turgon. When are republicans going to realise that glorifying the armed struggle that failed to force unionists into a united Ireland is counterproductive?

  • In general, I’m an admirer of Turgon-the-Wise. He hits the button as often as most of us. He is coming from the opposite polarity to myself, but I recognise a degree of validity in much of what he proposes.

    And yet … those who acted in an illegal fashion? How does one fashion “illegality” (particularly when it has not reached the judicial stage)?

    Nor am I a worshipper at the shrine of those benighted ten hungerstrikers-to-death. One day we may be able to have a balanced discussion of the events of 1981. What would be different had Frank Maguire MP not died, entailing the by-election? If Margaret Thatcher not been at the end of her rope (eventually to be rescued by the Argentinian Junta)? If the PIRA command had not been so desperate for martyrs and fifth-rate pub-ballads? Was it all, then, just the hysteria, the collective nervous breakdown, of a moment in time? One that cannot, in this generation or the next, be properly laid to rest? In which case, Martin McGuinness is merely speaking to a particular eclectic in-group, and can be excused as such. [Aside: When I migrated to London in the ’60s, I found Tories religiously attending the gatherings of the Primrose League, and Labour candidates (like myself) addressing questions on the Groundnut Scheme.]

    Equally, however lamentable individual episodes may be, we should not argue, loosely, from the particular detail to the generality.

    We are not writing cool, considered history here. And we can do with a lot less emotive claptrap.

    Sorry, Turgon. Gamma minus. Must try harder.

  • Mick Fealty

    Nonsense Percy. You only need to be convinced by his argument, you are effectively playing the man!!

  • edgeoftheunion

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primrose_League

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanganyika_groundnut_scheme

    The past is indeed another country. To be fair I knew about the peanuts from O level History.

  • Michael

    I normally enjoy reading your posts Turgon.

  • hodgie

    tom mc elwee’s moral compass sustained him through a long, lonely death of sacrifice.

    the rantings of a failed racist politician hold no moral equivalence to the commitment of those who can endure for what they believe.

  • Alan Maskey

    McElwee was an interesting character from an interesting family. Please note implicit in the post is Turgon’s definition of law and order, the B Special type no doubt.
    A funny thing about the Martyr McElwee is his death and those of the other hunger strike martyrs brought about the masive public endorsement of PSF. Why? Because the Irish people wanted to make it plain that these people are not criminals. The Irish people succeeded in that. Margaret Thatcher lives out her last years in disgrace, mother of a criminal who hires criminals to commit criminal acts. Thomas McElwee sits at the right hand of God and of Our Blesed Mother, Mary, Queen of the Gael.

  • Alan Maskey

    I thought suicide was a sin in the eyes of the church…

  • Comrade Stalin

    Turgon,

    It’s really a bit sad. When someone points out TUV hypocrisy the best you can do is whataboutery.

    The reason why the TUV comes in for special treatment here is that it holds itself up as people who have held on to their principles and faced down the need to compromise. The fact that it attracts support from racists, xenophobies and people who support the release of loyalist terrorists like Torrens Knight gives us an idea of the kind of people it hopes to appeal to.

  • Turgon

    Comrade,
    I have repeatedly condemned the Torrens Knight episode and do so again. The fact that you do not see the parallel between Ms. Cooper’s pretty disgusting remarks and McGuinness’s pretty disgusting remarks says a lot about either yourself or maybe Alliance since David Ford’s U turn to get his snout to the truffles of power.

    Incidentally I will take no lectures from Alliance members least of all you about inappropriate behaviour. I have consistently condemned Trevor Collins (the one who supported Knight). You have consistently lauded Naomi Long who has helped and supported Dawn Purvis when she was still in the UVF’s political wing.

    Jim Allister has very publicly disassociated himself from Cooper and her remarks. No one in Alliance disassociated themselves from Long when she had her solo run to help a member of the UVF’s political wing.

  • Alan Maskey

    Turgon: That seems petty in the extreme. The Good Lord said about people liike Alliance that, as they were neither hot nor cold, He would spit them out. Your problem if I may say so, is you see yourself being deluged in a tide of Green democracy and you see soft ecumenicals like Brian Walker and the Alliance as the thin edge of the wedge. And sofities like that have died in the past when Loyalists have tuned nasty. You belong to a fringe Unionist group and you see them as the true believers, much like you might view your own self interpreted religion. No need to agree or even reply but just do some introspection.
    The Holy Father, Christ’s Vicar on Earth loses no sleep over you or yours so fear not.

    Pippakin: Would you regard the martyrdom of Jesus Christ as suicide? What , if anything, was the difference, between the two? Or, if you think that a bit blasphemous, between say, St Peter and Tomas McElwee? McElwee, at least, never faltered. True to faith and motherland till the end.

  • Alan Maskey

    I never give any of them much thought, mind yout I do think St Peter was a bit, odd, almost certainly a misogynist.

    I feel deep sympathy for the Hunger Strikers, I believe they were lied to and their cause hijacked and abused, but I do not believe in suicide except in case of terminal illness.

  • edgeoftheunion @ 9:55 pm:

    Thank you for that helpful gloss. You pertinently remind me that, outside Ireland, political ephemera are just that, and soon forgotten.

  • My original post was not aimed at a particular party just the bigoted, racist and insidious actions of the sacked workers along with the comments of support from the former TUV candidate and wannabe politician.
    It wasn’t meant to be a swipe at her former party but it seems to have been taken that way.
    Ah well c’est la guerre i suppose but the defensive mindset has come out with what i can only see as a whataboutery thread.

  • Dixie

    How can you say that about Thomas McElwee, he killed/burned to death an innocent woman and your saying he is sitting at the right hand of God, its unbelievable how you but this man on a pedestal because he chose to starve himself to death. I have just finished reading ‘Voices from the Grave’ and it seems that their lives( the hunger strikers) were manipulated by influences from outside the jail.Moreover, what really annoys me is what about the majority of us that has lived through the troubles and seen injustices done on both sides of our community but yet, no-matter how passionate our political views are still never tried to kill anyone or burn or plant bombs. Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but murder is murder and can never be justified to pursue political views. To glorify their (hunger strikers)actions is a bit of a cover up for their masters on allowing this mass suicide to happen.

  • percy

    aye fair enough, my bad
    dunno if the tridentine complexities of “illegality,morality,criminality” are best explored in this fashion.
    the post came across to me as a smiple
    “but themmuns is worse”
    turns out more heat was generated then light as the thread developed.

  • Alias

    We don’t know what the motives of the sacked workers were. They could have been political, being aimed at protecting British taxpayers from those immigrants who seek to live off the welfare state. Since immigration policy within the EU is post-democratic, there is no political means by which British citizens can change the policy.

    That is very similiar to Hunger Strikers, who also held the view that there was no political means available to them to change policy. It could be that both illegal acts were politically motivated. Admittedly, the sacked workers didn’t decapitate anybody so they’re not celebrated as heroes by a section of the community in NI but the point about using illegal means for patriotic purposes is valid…

  • Secret Squirrel

    I was so saddened to discover that Ann’s guestbook page is broken. ( If you’re reading this Ann, try contacting your site administrator for assistance in fixing it.)
    I’m also somewhat depressed to learn that the peanuts venture went belly-up. 🙁

  • USA

    Turgon:
    Your strength seems to be in election analysis. This post is just petty point scoring. Best to move on as Peter Baker has that angle covered every day of the week.

  • percy

    Turgon
    If you had been attempting to show that unionism of the \tuv variety has a higher moral compass, you’ve failed.
    In fact its worse than that.
    McGuinness comes straight out and says the hunger strikers are not criminals.
    Ann couldn’t give a fiddlers about the law anyway. g;eefully holding up two fingers.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Turgon, so I’m hypocritical, and you’re hypocritical. We are therefore the same. Yes ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Your strength seems to be in election analysis.

    Um, no.

  • Rory Carr

    “I do not believe in suicide except in case of terminal illness.” says Pippakin, thus betraying that she does in fact believe in suicide when she wants to. It’s the old, I don’t believe in people getting drunk and rowdy except when I get drunk and rowdy” argument all over again.

    Strangely enough it’s a sort of mirror-image of Turgon’s style of argument here where he shows a reflection of that which he argues is wrong – honouring the hunger strikers in order to distract from that which by association is embarrassing to him – racist cheer-leading from a TUV supporter. Unfortunately it is as crude a cop-out as Pippakin’s denunciation of suicide (not).

  • pippakin

    Rory Carr

    I should have expected you, its Monday…

    A terrible thing to be unable to think beyond the pain, or for a mind to be imprisoned in a helpless body.

    I cannot find it in me to object to anyone in such a situation seeking release.

    The hunger strikers do not come into either category.

    I thought Turgon was entitled to make the comparison between Cooper and McGuinness, after all they are two halves of the same coin.

  • Alan Maskey

    Thomas McElewee and his cousin Francis Hughes were not criminals. With Ian Milne and Dominic McGlinchey (and his redoubtable wife), he was part of the South Derry IRA, noted in the 1950s for being non drinkers, serious, upstanding people. They had enough of the loyalist/B Special shit and they did something about it. They are heroes, as is Kevin Lynch, Croppies who would not be put down.

    Sure the Troubles attracted the nuts, or damaged people who became nuts. NMichael Stone and Torrens Knight are probably good examples. But how many ex PIRA POWs have been back inside for anti social crimes? Now let’s compare that to the reoffending rates for ordinary decent criminals. If there is a marked difference, then Turgon should publicly admit he is talking through his Orange hat/rear end. If not, we should all go down and attack the toddlers at Holy Cross.

  • JimRoche

    Ann Cooper’s position was of interest because of her former association with TUV who were or should be embarrassed by her views. That’s why it was news.

    Martain McGuiness expressed what people in Sinn Fein and many beyond believe so there was nothing controversial about it.

  • Alan Maskey

    Only controversial if you believe him to be the anti Christ. And nothing newsworthy unless he goofs up. It is like the Fine gael commemmoration for arch criminal Michael Collins. Newsworthy because they got a FF guy to speak. They picked a lousy and stupid day for it too, with Cork shining in Croker.

  • Rory Carr

    Pippakin,

    “I cannot find it in me to object to anyone in such a situation seeking release.”

    So you do agree with suicide (when it suits you).

    “The hunger strikers do not come into either category.”

    Well you have only mentioned one category, but we’ll leave that…. The hunger-strikers did not commit suicide. They refused food until their grievances were redressed, the moral onus was on their jailers to recognise their political status. Death was a consequence of the refusal to so do. That those who died were buried with the full rites of their Church which has a strong line on suicide speaks volumes except to those blind to all but the rightness of their own prejudices.

  • pippakin

    Rory Carr

    “The hunger strikers did not commit suicide” = Bollocks

    They were misguided and they were, allegedly, lied to, and no matter how you dress it up – they did commit suicide.

    And no suicide would never ‘suit’ me but I can imagine a last resort. Its what the courts in England have been pondering for years and what, if the truth were told, has been happening all over the world for even longer.

  • Alan Maskey

    To be fair Rory, the stance of the Catholic Church has changed regarding suicide, Masses and consecrated ground. Blessed Terence MacSwiney also got a big send off – in an English cathedral no less.
    With people like Turgon, thre can be no engagement and their “views” harden hearts and lead the wayard to plan ways of removing them from planet earth in non criminal ways.

  • Alan Maskey

    Today, on August 23 1305, Scottish patriot William Wallace (“Braveheart”) was hanged, disemboweled, drawn, and quartered. His head was latr displayed on London Bridge by criminal savages. Was Wallace a common criminal?

  • Skintown Lad

    Turgon’s post may be clumsily arranged but I think he has a point. The failure to pay benefits to those immigrants was against the law. That unlawful act was driven by what looks to have been a political stance against immigration. That political stance may be informed by racist views but it is a political stance nonetheless. So, a political stance behind an unlawful act. The similarities with those lauded by McGuiness are marked. Forget the hunger strike that came later, Thomas McElwee burned a woman to death in pursuit of his political stance and republicans laud him for it. So it seems by that reasoning any action you take in pursuit of your politics can be justified, lawful or unlawful. Except of course, if your politics is not quite greener than green, like that of Ann Cooper.

  • Wallace, a.k.a. Uallas, a.k.a. Waleys (and other variants) murdered at least twice (the son of the Constable of Dundee in 1291-2 and William Heselrig in May 1297). Neither of those seem to be motivated primarily by nationalist fervour. He may also be the common thief identified at Perth (14 June 1296).

    That pre-dates Wallace’s later career which was posthumously burnished by his spin-doctor, Blind Hary, in the late 1400s. Others (Andrew Murray of Petty, Douglas-le-Hardi, Bishop Wishart of Glasgow, James Stewart of Jedburgh, John Comyn-the-Red come to mind) were all effective on the Scottish side. Wallace, in his pomp, controlled by terror: witness the hangings at Aberdeen, the testimony of Michael Miggel.

    In his final phase Wallace was no more, no less than another border reiver. What made Wallace different was Stirling Bridge and that, unlike others who turned coats at will, he never paid homage to Edward.

    “Braveheart”? — phowee! Iconic (especially that Roach monument on Abbey Crag)? — without doubt. A criminal? quite arguably. Relevant in this thread?

  • Big Maggie

    Turgon,

    Like many here I too was waiting for you to give your opinion of Ann Cooper’s remarks when you had the chance on Moochin’s thread.

    You didn’t and I found that very strange for someone who shared a party membership. Now you mention in passing “Ms. Cooper’s pretty disgusting remarks”.

    Is that all you have to say? No wonder you’re being accused of whataboutery.

  • fin

    the revised definitions of suicide on this thread is interesting
    Pearse, Connolly and Co therefore committed sucide in 1916, not to mention all the poor soldiers in WW1 who followed orders to walk across no-mans land into a hail of bullets, which makes rememberance Sunday the largest commeration of suicide in the world. Obviously you can’t blame the soldiers as the army hands out medals to people who basically commit suicide by knowingly exposing themselves to death to achieve a military aim.

    As for criminality, well there’s Cromwell who was dug up so he could be executed, I believe DeGaulle was sentenced to death for treason by the French Government during WW2, Mandella was a criminal, in fact every revoluntionary is/was a criminal, French, Irish, American, Russian, Chinese, Cuban etc. Gandhi was a nazi loving criminal, gosh the list goes on and on, of course Thatcher Og was a criminal, he thought he was investing in a air ambulance *ahem*

  • Alan Maskey

    Mr Redfellow: looks to me like you have read a history book or two. You sort of remind me of these guys on University Challenge. How do they know such an eclectic amount of knoweledge/trivia?
    Your William Wallace answer, stripped of its packaging, is very relevant to this thread not least bcause of the various hues it throws up, hues Orange lenses do not seem capable of percieving. Wallace has now been turned into a martyr. What he actually was, none of us know and most probably neither did Braveheart himself. But you do shine good light where there is darkness.

    Irish Nationalists and Orange Unionists have also lionised their dead. One man’s criminal etc.

    So, let’s discuss Thomas McIlwee, who was martyred for Ireland on 8th August1981 (by which time the cynical PIRA leadrship should have stopped the hunger strikes). For a start, we can all admire his stead fastness and bravery facing death just as we can admire the bravery of any brave warrior. We can all salute this fearless soldier.

    Though McElwee is one of the bravest sons ever to emrge from Ulster, he has his critics (But so too had Beethoveen). So what do the critics say? He was a bad man. He necklaced a woman, Yvonne Dunlop, who was one of God’s own, an Ulster Protestant, at the Alley Katz Boutique.
    Dunlop died for in the notoriously sectarian town of Ballymena when the Irish resistance blitzed it, Bomber Harris style. McIlwee’s bomb blew up prematurely, severely injuring him and some other brave sons of Ulster. Another bomb killed Dunlop and McElwee was convicted of her manslaughter because he was “a bad man”.
    So, he did not necklace her; he did not plant the bomb that killed her. Yes, the Bellaghy IRA unit, centred around the McElwee brothers, Francie Hughes, the McGlincheys, Ian Milne etc took out a lot of Brits and did some considerable collateral damage. What of it?
    See, it gets up the noses of our Loyalist friends that their years of terror led to the emergence of such resistors who would not take their shit and actually hunted down the ruthless criminals of the UDR/B Specials a la “The Tans were got, taken out and shot”. How about some apologies for their decades of terror and compensation to the Catholics of South Derry? Why not condemn these, your neighbours, for the low level thugs that they were?

    As regards Ms Cooper, she is playing to her base. Not all that different from any other wanna be politician. Hanging her on high for it is also opportunism, She is a nothing.

  • Rory Carr

    “And no suicide would never ‘suit’ me…” – Pippakin

    But you have said repeatedly that you find suicide by the terminally ill not only acceptable but even desirable. You continue to ramble on, blithely unaware, time after time, of your self contradictions. Either you sanction a person’s right to take their own life or you don’t – now could you please make up your mind or is that asking too much?

    Your opinions on suicide are important to us all as your strange thought processes and your seeming inability to comprehend what anyone else writes (including what you have often just written yourself) are likely to drive quite a few readers here to attempt suicide before long.

    p.s. “Bollocks” is a vulgar expression and really doesn’t serve as an argument, much less does the use of it render the campaign of the hunger strikers into suicide. You increasingly argue like the Red Queen in Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” – “A word means whatever I say it means and that’s it.”

    Such a style of argument might go down well at the Cat Lovers’ Club but it won’t wash here.

  • Rory Carr

    I can think of one person I would be happy to ‘assist’ in his attempt.

    I do not ramble and the comment/s Ive made on this subject, which by the way is off thread by light years have been consistent and to the point. I do not agree with suicide but only a heartless head case would say they would watch someone die a slow agonising death or lie helpless unable to move a muscle, without feeling a strong understanding if such an unfortunate person wanted to end it on their terms and in their time. In case arithmetic is a problem for you that adds up to a maximum of two groups. I believe I.ve made that clear, politely, in every reply to you.

    You on the other hand have been aggressive, sarcastic and when that failed down right insulting.

    Get a life – and do try and make sure its your own. As for Bollocks. I matched the word to the ‘man;.

  • Munsterview

    Called damage limitation Old Chap!

  • Big Maggie

    Hmm, interesting situation developing between you “pair”
    :^)

  • Big Maggie

    Interesting??? Developing???? And I have a real problem with ‘Pair’!

  • Munsterview

    I made this same point regarding the possibility of Ex Political prisoners re-offending at a public meeting in Belfast prior to the ceasefire. I then compared a Munster area, Slibh Luachra, the Cross macglen of it’s day and said that these people dumped arms and went home without getting the proverbial parking ticked again.

    I predicted that the same would hold here for the former activists of this campaign.

    I have since frequently challenged here, what are the figures for Republicans returned to prison for criminal activity ?

    What are the figures on the Loyalist side ?

    All the more remarkable when one considers the treatment of somebody like Gerry McGeough that would literally get done for a parking ticket and that of loyalist tugs who seems to have have a free hand to do anything short of murder as long as taigues, poles, pakis or whatever are the target !

    Someone must have those figures and I would sure like to see them!

  • Munsterview

    On a lighter note the late Brendan Behan, a member of the IRA was ordered to report for a court-martial for the alleged offense of taking a revolver from a dump without authorisation, a very serios breach of standing army orders.

    He did not, wisely waiting to see the outcome! He was found guilty and sentenced to death !

    When told of the outcome he was not too phased out…… his comment, ” the bollixes tried me in me absence, they sentenced me in me absence and now they can bleeding execute me in my absence ” !

  • Big Maggie

    LOL :^)

  • Big Maggie

    Thats two of us:)

  • And what would the Bold Brendan have thought, what expletives would he have uttered, were he to realise he would merit an extended entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography?

    Perhaps Famous Seamus, more politely, said it for him (in objecting to Penguin imperialism in including him as a “Contemporary British” poet):

    Be advised, my passport’s green
    No glass of ours was ever raised
    To toast the Queen.

  • socaire

    Is it true that you are a 19 year old male 1st year anatomy student?

  • Socaire!

    Ah little sheep, nineteen was not my best year. I doubt it’s anyones.

  • fin

    “I do not agree with suicide but only a heartless head case would say they would watch someone die a slow agonising death or lie helpless unable to move a muscle, without feeling a strong understanding if such an unfortunate person wanted to end it on their terms and in their time.”

    Yet you call hungerstriking suicide, just where were you in 1981 when the news gave daily updates on the long slow agonising deaths of said hungerstrikers lying helpless unable to move, covered in bedsores and blind.

    Fair to say that lesser people in their situation would probably want to commit suicide in the process or er committing suicide.

  • fin

    I have noticed you are never far behind socaire…

    I have great sympathy for the hunger strikers I believe they were misguided and that their deaths were suicide. I dont doubt their bravery in the face of their own suffering but it was not an incurable disease. It was self inflicted and I regret that, and yes I do remember that time. I remember a nobody called Gerry Adams climbing on corpses to achieve his aims. Tell me, do you think it was worth it?

  • Munsterview

    Pip,
    refresh my memory here…… this Adams fellow was one of the three other ‘Nobodies’ flown to England by the RAF in the on a guaranteed safe passage to negotiate directly with the British Government!

    Not really surprising that the troubles dragged on so long if the Brits were in discussions with nobodies…… someone should have told them !

    Just where were you when you were needed ?

  • MV

    And here was I thinking this one had ‘gone away’!

    As I understand it MV someone should have told the hunger strikers the truth, and are you seriously suggesting GA would be where he is without them?

    As for the Brits, why would I know, or most of the time care who they talk to and I very much doubt GA was/is the only one…

  • slappymcgroundout

    You are missing a rather salient item. The main or primary sin of those paying some others less than the law required was not racism or some other form of discrimination. Their main or primary sin was in failing to obey a law they pledged themselves to obey on becoming public servants. In marked contrast, the hunger strikers never undertook that same obligation to protect and defend the state and its laws.

  • JimRoche

    A soldier dives on a grenade to protect his comrades.Is that suicide? No, because the objective was not the death of the soldier.

    The objective of the hunger strike was to win the five demands of the prisoners and to thwart the British policy of criminalization.

    that is not to denigrate suicide victims in any way but they are a different category.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Maggie, you know what they say, or rather what I and they say, to wit, life imitates science and so opposites attract.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Actually, the best line on suicide is from the film, The Ninth Configuration:

    Killer Kane: The essence of suicide is despair.
    Capt. Cutshaw: The essence of suicide is that you don’t collect the insurance.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The hunger-strikers did not commit suicide. They refused food until their grievances were redressed, the moral onus was on their jailers to recognise their political status.

    Not all of us drink the chuckie kool-aid, but even if they did, it’s still suicide to put yourself in a position where you may die in pursuit of a higher objective.

    I wonder, though, if the Catholic Church regards Mr J. Christ’s death as suicide.

  • Rory Carr

    “…it’s still suicide to put yourself in a position where you may die in pursuit of a higher objective.” – Comrade Stalin

    Of course it’s not. If “you put yourself in a position where you may die” then presumably you may also survive. Racing drivers, jockeys, mountain climbers, matadors, railway maintenance workers, the military and many others do it every day of the week. To take a risk that may involve death is not to invite death but rather to evade it in the course of the risk taking.

    Intention is all. Suicides do not intend to survive. The intention of the racing driver is to finish safely, that of the soldier to survive the “suicidal” charge and that of the hunger-strikers was to force the authorities to concede political status. In all cases death is risked but the intention is to survive that risk and win through.

  • fin

    loving your revisionism of recent history

    The last I heard about this part of the Hungerstrike was the Derry Sentinel using a FoI to get the rest of the details from the Govt and the families of the hungerstrikers telling people to put up or shut up and to stop sniping at the hungerstrikers,

    As to your slur of noticing that I’m never far behind Socaire, I seldom post or read Slugger anymore due to the low standard of posts, a part from a minority of posters Slugger is swamped by those with little knowledge or understanding who are determined to share their opinions with as many people as possible, hence its not really worthwhile to wade thro low grade waffle to read people like Comrade Stalin, Drumlins Rock, and Munsterview to name some but not all of the posters that have an opinion worth reading

  • I’ve tried repeatedly all morning to put up a considered post to this thread.

    So you didn’t want my elevated and elevating thoughts on the nature of history? With references to EHCarr and Polybius (not to mention Joyce)?

    Tough.

    I take them elsewhere.

    And with that, nose to the air, he swep’ out.

  • joeCanuck

    In any case, there is no way that a rational person could describe those men, young boys generally, going over the top of the trenches as committing suicide. It would be more reasonable to consider them as having been murdered by their own Generals sitting comfortably well behind the front lines and getting honours for doing so.

  • joe

    “In any case, there is no way that a rational person could describe those men, young boys generally, going over the top of the trenches as committing suicide.”

    It is worth remembering the alternative for those young boys going over the top if they had had the impudence to refuse. It would have been a court martial, bearing a strong resemblance to kangaroo court, and the inevitable and even more deadly firing squad.

  • Alan Maskey

    And Pippakin, not going over the top and being executed for it would have meant generations of shame for your family.
    The British and American militaries still hand out decorations like Irish dancing medals. Military medals were an invention of Napoleon, who rgarded those who worshipped him as numbskulls. He made this wise witticism about boys and medals: “With a handful of ribbons I can conquer all of Europe”.

    The IRA hand them out now too. I wonder what for.

  • Alan Maskey

    There have been incredible acts of bravery by soldiers defending, protecting and saving their colleagues and civilians, but on the whole I agree with you. Medals are a PR symbol.