The IRA campaign: not left wing but sectarian struggle

There has been a significant amount written about whether or not Sinn Fein is or was a truly left wing political party. In general those within republicanism who have opposed the current policies of SF have accused them of moving away from the political left. The problem is that neither Sinn Fein nor the IRA nor its assorted “left wing” critics have ever espoused a left wing ideology in any coherent fashion. Their analysis has always either ignored or dismissed the existence of the British population in Northern Ireland. Interestingly Sinn Fein now seem to have fractionally more appreciation of the existence of the British majority here whereas those denouncing them for selling out left wing values continue either to ignore unionists or promote some bizarre class consciousness expecting / hoping that some unionists will be receptive.

A different aspect of the republican movement and its supposedly left wing credentials has also been the campaign of terrorism by the IRA. The recent IRA campaign was often held up especially by those on the left outside Northern Ireland as a left wing struggle against imperialist colonial oppressors and the like. Such nonsense was used to justify the murder of predominantly working class young men from GB who had joined the army. Recasting working class young men as imperialist oppressors has always been a favourite of the hard left: that or denouncing their leaders for supposedly duping them into joining the army and, hence helping in the supposed oppression / exploitation. As such, however, inaccurate and dishonest it is some on the left managed to explain away those IRA murders as part of some socialist revolution.

The economic destruction was also proclaimed as a “left wing” cause. Fortunately for the hard left outside Northern Ireland they were able to ignore the fact that most of the shops destroyed tended to be owned by Protestants. They also were able to ignore the fact that things like burning buses predominantly affected working class nationalists and instead forced them to use other forms of public transport which republicans were able to control and extort money from. In actual fact the working class of both sides probably suffered most from this supposedly left wing campaign.

It was in the countryside in parts of South Armagh, South and West Fermanagh and parts of Tyrone where the IRA campaign was most effective in murdering people but again there was absolutely no hint of “class struggle:” rather republicans murdered their neighbours; drove them from their farms and some made vast fortunes from smuggling and illegal activity. All these actions were much more typical of old fashioned ethnic conflict and banditry rather than any “class struggle.” It is worth remembering that the Kingsmills victims were easy targets since, being working class men they had to take a minibus to and from work, rather than private cars as richer people would have done. The INLA, supposedly even more left wing than the IRA, of course were so disinterested in sectarianism that they took to murdering people in churches. The IRA managed to improve on that by murdering people at a religious service to honour those who died fighting fascism: earning themselves in the process the contempt of the then Soviet Union.

When some criticise SF for losing their “left wing” credentials often one wonders if this is actually complaining that the republican movement failed to prosecute some of the more extreme terrorist plans of their most delusional members. In the IRA’s failure so to do one can see the folly of the left wing revolution concept of Irish republicanism and also its failure to acknowledge unionists.

When Jim Lynagh and the Loughgall “martyrs” had breakfast with the SAS this was part of the IRA campaign of attacking isolated rural police stations in order to create “liberated zones” where the IRA would have largely unrestricted freedom of movement and the Army very little such freedom. This was along the lines of the ideas of Mao and the Viet Cong. Unfortunately for Lynagh and his friends, even leaving aside what may well have been informers at various levels, was the fact that the idea was idiotic. Northern Ireland is simply not big enough to create such rural no go areas of any size. An even more serious problem and again one which speaks to the refusal of the IRA when in “left wing mode” to accept the existence of unionists was the RUC station targeted. The Moaist idea was “The people are like water and the army is like fish” which of course made absolutely no sense. IRA members attacking Loughgall would have had absolutely no support from the overwhelmingly unionist population of the village. In most of Northern Ireland Mao’s dictum worked exactly the other way round: the security forces, not the terrorists were able to move at will.

Even madder than the Maoist ideas was the, again supposedly left wing, notion of a “Tet Offensive” in the Clogher Valley. Again simple geography demonstrates that the Colgher Valley is small and enclosed. Had the IRA tried to “liberate” it they would have rapidly found themselves trapped within it. When terrorists try to fight conventional battles they almost always lose, especially against a well trained and disciplined army with good morale: the Army would have been able to respond with overwhelming force, organisation and equipment. The IRA’s Tet offensive would have become their Dien Bien Phu. Again, however, the security argument is not the main failing. Yet again it is the refusal to accept the existence of unionists. The IRA might have been able to bully most nationalists into staying in their homes; they might have been supported by a few. However, Augher is a mixed village and electoral ward, Clogher is predominantly nationalist but the ward is 40% Protestant. Fivemiletown, the largest village in the valley, is over 75% Protestant. As such attempts to “liberate” the Clogher Valley even had they been accepted by nationalists would have been actively opposed by about half the population.

The IRA campaign and the subsequent political campaigns by republicans are frequently proclaimed by them as left wing revolutionary struggles (outside Irish America of course). The reality is that they have always been better understood as sectarian struggles on behalf of the nationalist community: whether or not the nationalist community supported them. They certainly did not in large numbers prior to the end of the IRA’s murder campaign. The IRA campaign can also be understood as the attempts by a small group of murderous, bigoted often psychopathic criminals to gain power, money and prestige for themselves. The difference between the IRA and the likes of the Red Brigades and the Baader-Meinhof gang were a larger though still small amount of support due not to their politics but to sectarian differences in Northern Ireland. Those who try to claim the republican movement have sold out its left wing principles are either extraordinarily naïve or are trying to find a fig leaf to cover their own support of or involvement in a squalid campaign of violence and murder.

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  • HeinzGuderian

    Ladies

    All we need to know is the dirty,little,sectarian skirmish is over.

    It has been reduced to picking over the bones,on an insignificant blog site,and rightly so.

    Munster has been reduced to tears.

    I say move on…………………..the past is a Foreign Country !! 😉

  • Nunoftheabove

    BTB

    I am not disputing the border prods deaths. Not to minimize the awfulness of that for a second but in very crude actuarial terms the killing of border prods (or certainly the killing of unarmed/ununiformed border prods) – was a very tiny percentage of all of the deaths which the ‘Ra were responsibe for (or do you now dispute even that ?) so I return to my point and question. I am not sure I understand your reluctance to address and answer it or why you would feel disinclined from supporting your own thesis ?

  • lamhdearg

    nun, did Brenden say anything about la-mon?.

  • Nunoftheabove

    lamhdearg

    I suspect you’re being characteristically flippant and if so don’t dare come the offended when/if the debate warms up and some extremist nationalist berk tries to say something about it being a regrettable but inevitable action or a tragic acccident blah blah as I’m sure one of them will eventually do.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Mickhall

    “most socialists today, myself included would not claim to be disciples of these men”

    – That’s as interesting a comment as I think I’d read of yours. Could warrant further exploration. What, for example, tenets do you/they adhere to now that you’re dispending – rashly, in my opinion, if so – with those lock stock and barrel ? With what has it been replaced and when did this silent transition occur, would you say ?

    “What you refuse to even consider, is most socialists to day are far more opened minded on economic matters and democratic accountability than any of the western ruling cliques, who find it impossible to think beyond the narrow confines of neo liberal economics”.

    – I have already dealt with my own open-mindedness and I think your own screaming defensiveness speaks volumes. If their economic perspective is not neo-Liberal – if not outright Liberal, or some form of slightly fairer but still fundamentally capitalist society, then what is it ?

    “It is not up to us socialists to offer alternatives”

    – Well I think that rather makes my point for me, probably much better than I could have done myself in fact. Just to restate that, you’re now saying that socialism doesn’t even purport to represent a meaningful whole-cloth alternative to a market economy of any kind, have I got that about right ?

    I’m not being funny but your perspective appears substantially short on genuine internationalism which used to be one of marxism’s trademarks. Has that baby been thrown out with the bathwater now too ? Your policy of no foreign wars is simply fatuous and doesn’t stand a moment’s examination.

    “ none of these are especially left wing but they are progressive”

    – I would agree on the former point, certainly, but again you’ve been admirably forthright in saying that your perspective isn’t traditionally socialist in any recognizable sense.

    And again with the “It is for people like you, who have supported the failed economic policies western government have forced on the world in the recent past to set out your stall” ?! Why would I need to set anything out when you’ve already decided what I believe in without even asking me or without having any substantial basis upon which to base a view ? If you’re going to be quite that presumptuous then is a little consistency in your own criticism of me too much to bloody ask ?

    “all you seem to be interested in is taking pot shots at Stalinists governments which no longer exist bar in the West favourite client state China”

    – Again, straightforwardly untrue and my record shows it. Grow up, son.

  • Alias

    “I suppose when I come back to my computer in a locked room ever so often and find that there is a screen message after coming up warning, ‘unauthorized access have been attempted’, that is the computer or anti-virus software being ‘paranoid’ also ?” – MunsterMitty

    No, but it is a little amusing that you think a domestic firewall is capable of preventing expert access to your computer. That problem would arise because your computer does not use a firewall that responds to random pings from a scouting hacker with either a host unreachable meassage or drops the packets. To find out if that is the problem go to http://www.grc.com and use the ‘Sheilds Up’ test.

    Also, security agencies use trojans, not drive-by visits, so there is no need to access your computer more than once and, ergo, the frequency of the pings rules them out.

  • between the bridges

    Nun…as usual you try to equate matters to suit your own opinion. Do excuse me if my list of legitimate targets differs from yours, prods where shot for been prods if they wore a uniform it gives an excuse for (sick) apologists. The evidence is there for all to see but some are still blind, I wonder why.
    Does your opinion of ‘tiny’ include coleriane, kingsmill, la Mon, enniskillen, shankhill etc? Does it include prods builders shot for been ‘legitimate targets’? Does include the repeated targeting of protestant businesses? Does it include prods shot for been ex-‘legitimate targets’? Does it include the targeting of orange/church halls, intimation of Protestants out of border farms and villages? Does it include the bomb in pettigo designed to kill girl scouts? All done in the name of the ‘non-sectarian cause’.

    now as i have answered you twice, perhaps you can drop the ‘reluctance to address’ crap, and hey perhaps you can support your own thesis…

  • “Grow up, son.”

    None of the above.

    The above just about sums up your mentality, you are a Wind-up merchant who has no argument of your own to make, go pull on someone else chain. You have no wish for open debate, as despite complaining to harry that we on the left refuse to offer any economic alternative, when I do so, you have made no attempt to deal with the economic issues I proposed. Preferring to attempt to provoke me with childish taunts. In your dreams perhaps.

    As to your record, if this thread is anything to go by you are little more than a small minded provocateur unworthy of debate.

    You remind me of the type of american who supported the reactionary Scoop Jackson on the Vietnam war, and genuinely believed they were being progressives. Despite the murder, mayhem and the sprinkling of agent orange by the US military which was happening before their very eyes.

    Have a nice life.

  • lamhdearg

    nun, (do you mind me calling you nun, as i am a lazy *******), if bren gun was so anti sectarian, what did he make of la-mon, did it get a mention,did he forget it?, i have not read the book, so i do not know.

  • lamhdearg

    ps, i wrote my previous before reading mick and between, i dont do gang ups.

  • Alias

    “What you refuse to even consider, is most socialists to day are far more opened minded on economic matters and democratic accountability than any of the western ruling cliques, who find it impossible to think beyond the narrow confines of neo liberal economics”.

    The idea that the capitalism can be controlled through regulation and taxation, with the capitalist class creating the wealth and the ruling class spending it. Which is why the left is in love with the EU – or, rather, was in love with it until it decided that redistribution of wealth should take the form of redistributiing it from ordinary taxpayers to wealthy bondholders.

    Yet another form of idealistic totalitarianism gone sour…

  • Nunoftheabove

    BTB

    I asked – using fairly plain clear language that most school children could understand – a fairly simple and perfectly reasonable – and reasonably phrased – question arising from your remarks. Rather than engaging, you appear to want to content yourself by making the same remark using not dissimilar words in a marginally different order. I think I can probably guess why but continue to invite you to take the floor and support it. The best you’ve managed so far is to say that the uniforms were the provider of an excuse for the killers. That’s it ? That’s your argument ? Can you say why, since in your estimation it wasn’t a very convincing excuse, they needed to bother making any sort of excuse to begin with ? If it’s as obvious as you say, who do you believe they were trying – insultingly amateurishly so, in your eyes – to deceive and why would they have been doing so ? I’m not even asking for evidence for your argument, at least not at this point, but is remote plausibility asking that much of you ?

    In this instance ‘tiny’ does not include those incidents as we were both very clearly and very specifically referring to your reference to border Protestants. Coleraine (sic) didn’t quite make the final shortlist of border towns last time I checked the results, likewise the Shankill (sic) Road doesn’t read on my map as that close to the free state and by my reckoning the La Mon House wasn’t terribly close to it either . We can certainly discuss those issues if you wish but let’s agree that the goalposts stay where they are if we’re going to do so because that’s what the grown-ups normally do.

    By the way I don’t recall referencing the legitimacy of any target, if I have inadvertently done so perhaps you can cite that for me as I’ll be rather curious to discover who I included.

    One of us is projecting here on a sizeable scale and I have a feeling most fair-minded readers can figure out which of us it is.

  • Nunoftheabove

    mickhall

    “The above just about sums up your mentality, you are a Wind-up merchant who has no argument of your own to make, go pull on someone else chain”.

    – I must say that you’re noticeably readily wound up – something of a dead giveaway of a contemporary leftist, regrettably. Gone, it seems, are the days when the arguments were at least robust and the debaters had a bit of balls and stamina about them. Sweet that post-Marxist socialists are quite so fluffy and tender though, scarce the bit of wonder the Left is in the state it’s in if you’re not atypical of them i.e. when it can’t even explain what it believes in any more and refuses to engage. Perhaps it’s even more moribund than I had thought.

    “despite complaining to harry that we on the left refuse to offer any economic alternative, when I do so, you have made no attempt to deal with the economic issues I proposed. Preferring to attempt to provoke me with childish taunts. “

    – To the contrary, with the exception of the (uninvited) and inexhaustive but nonetheless illustrative list of unrelated issues you mentioned, I dealt with your post virtually sentence by sentence.

    You’re perfectly entitled to make of my record what you will. What I shan’t be allowing you to do is make my own arguments for me, to lie or accuse me of saying things that I didn’t even imply let alone state – that’s out.

    Perhaps the old left talent for character assassination lingers in the sewer-pipes even yet, it’s actually quite sad that only the more putrid residue remains.

  • Nunoftheabove

    lam

    – Unsurprised about the laziness;

    – Don’t mind being called nun, not even by you;

    – It’s a website not a book and McInt was doing the talking;

    – No LM wasn’t mentioned in the piece.

  • between the bridges

    Nun…do make your mind up, you asked, you got, you asked again, you got again, you complained and had a pop, on no occasion did you support your thesis. One of us is deflecting here on a sizeable scale and I have a feeling most fair-minded readers can figure out which of us it is.

  • NOTA

    What part of go pull on someone else chain did you not understand.

  • Nunoftheabove

    BTB

    I knocked the door and nobody answered. Perhaps your argument is out at the shops or indoors making its tea with the wireless turned up too loudy to hear the knocking.

    You appear to be under the impression that I’m attacking your position. I don’t even know what it bloody is yet so I have nothing to merit getting my gloves off for yet.

    I find myself unable to use simpler language than that tried to date I’m afraid so if that’s the issue – as opposed to your perhaps understandable unwillingness to explain yourself, as my instinct tels me it may well be – then we’re at a linguisic impasse.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Mickhall

    You’re noticeably drawn to this chain-pulling business. Knock yourself out. Sadly, very very noticeably not into free exchange of any description – duly noted comrade., duly noted.

    I’m now much clearer on where you’re coming from and what 21st century ‘kinda-socialism-without-the-actual- socialism’ activism is about so thanks, at least, for that.

    Jolly good luck with the fast broadband campaign.

  • tacapall

    Turgon you just cant accept that its over, no-one held the moral high ground, all those involved in the past conflict maintained a squalid little war for no other purpose than training exercises or profit and privledge. Maybe you haven’t been watching the news, you know the loyalist supergrass trial where all the RUC agents are being being used as patsies for the actions of their RUC special branch handlers who allowed them to murder at will. The PIRA did murder people and and carried out actions that were inexcausable but no different than your fellow countrymen are doing now or have done in Ireland, libya, Iraq, Afganistan in the past few years

  • between the bridges

    Nun, forget knocking, try shining a light through your ears. as for ‘linguisic impasse’ strange how you where able to understand everything…

  • Nunoftheabove

    BTB

    That’s your very best shot, with a lengthy run up ? of course it is.

  • Rory Carr

    I think that the point that Nunoftheabove was making, BTB, is that it is you who was demonstrating a failure in linguistic comprehension. I must say that is certainly the way it seems. You really need to try and read his arguments with a clear mind and try to see what he is saying rather than misread it entirely through some sort of mist of your own preconception (to phrase it politely).

    If he is wrong then it would assist you all the more in being able at least to see where he is wrong. As it stands all you appear to be able to see is the inside of your own head and that, I venture to say, is a most confusing place to be.

  • between the bridges

    nun, touche or as del would say mon stew! i think you got me, with that crushing (yawn) reply. *exit stage left*

    rory, how interesting…you want me to show nun where he is wrong? nun tells us he has yet to give an opinion..remind me who should re-read what?…i’m away outside to play footy with the big boys…

  • Nunoftheabove

    BTB

    Enjoy yourself, I have nothing but pity for whoever gets the job of explaining the offside rule to you. Maybe you’ll simply stick your tongue out and run away from that big boy like a fool too.

  • Nunoftheabove

    MV

    I need to apologize in advance for not having drunk quite as heavily for the bulk of the daylight hours as some others give the appearance of having done. As such, I am unable to understand a bloody word you’re saying. I am unable to bring myself to much care either although don’t intend straining myself much in order to do so. My response can best be summarized thus – two Ibuprofen and a large glass of water, dude.

    “ignorance of matters that are apparently outside your knowledge”

    – I feel certain that that may make as little sense to you when you wake up, dehydrated and conceivably shaking involuntarily, as it does to me.

    David Shayler ?! The Daily bleeding Mail ?! WTF ?! Who’s next on your list of random rabid-anti-republican double-agent conspirators – David Icke perhaps ? Matayoshi Mitsuo ? Getting warm ?

    Big Da Vinci Code enthusiast, I’m guessing. Thanks for the giggle, buddy. Knockout stuff.

    “Nano Nano” from Nun0(07)

  • Limerick

    “This one is very easy sorted ‘Limerick’, simply put your money where your mouth is!
    ‘Limerick’, I challenge you put up a £ 1,000 to Mick Fealty to hold, I will then back up what is say to Mick with actual medical and other proofs. When these are satisfactory to Mick then your ‘K’ is on it’s way to Munster.”

    Munster,

    If I am to understand you correctly then you will be able to access and publish the medical records of your centenarian Mujahadeen friend?

    Let me guess. You are on excellent terms with the Director of the hospital you spent that week in?

    “Meself and Dr …….. were billeted together in a bunker on the Fermanagh border in 1956 when he was taking a year out from his medical studies and I was finishing off my theories on the propulsion mechanism required for a rocket capable of travelling to the moon. But that is another story.”

  • Limerick

    “McIntyre says “[Brendan Hughes] would most strongly oppose the IRA’s campaign of targeting the Protestant community.”

    Nun,

    Ergo such a campaign was taking place.

  • Munsterview

    Limerick : “…If I am to understand you correctly……”

    You have to understand sweet ‘F’ all !

    1) You just have to put £ 1,000 of your money where your sneering mouth is, that is the next stage of the process as set out in my conditions. Until you do there is no process to the next stage or any need for further discussion on the subject.

    2) If Mick accepts,( which we will only find out when your ‘K’ is on the table ) he has the ‘ General John De Chastelain’ role in this dispute and as an experienced journalist he will know what proofs are needed to his satisfaction.

    3) As stated, I am fully satisfied to let Mick arbitrate and decide on the matter….”

    Your ‘understanding’ is not of the slightest concern or interest to me at this stage.

    However that of many of the posters and of most of the wider readership of slugger is and just as with another dishonorable peddler of inordinate invective before you, by this temporizing, you too are emerging as just another procrastinating spineless windbag !

    Already most of the slugger fraternity that count with me, probably by now suspect you for what you really are. Every post you do without….. ‘putting your money where your mouth is’…… will but confirm how worthless anything posted from such an unprincipled source is.

    Until you do, please go waste somebody else’s time as you are not going to waste any more of mine!

    ( Full post 6 September 2011 at 11:56 p.m. )

  • Alias

    Excuse me, but did the above Goodyear blimp just call call out “Windbag!” to a passing Tesco carrier bag?

    Remember all those news stories about moving and weeping statues of the Virgin Mary down your way around 1985? You weren’t giving a speech in the vicinity by any chance, boring the poor Lady to tears and causing her to try to discount her plinth and flee the droning?

  • Munsterview

    No Alias not me, got to be very cautious and careful, as I well know about even appearing to cause offense to somebody Jewish while others of Jewish belief such as your good self are ready to yell ‘anti-Semitism’ at the slightest opportunity!

  • Munsterview

    Alias : “…Also, security agencies use trojans, not drive-by visits, so there is no need to access your computer more than once and, ergo, the frequency of the pings rules them out…..”

    I will of course readily concede to your complete insider knowledge as to how security agencies operate !

  • Harry Flashman

    @Mickhall

    “An end to tax havens, placing stiff sanctions on governments and individuals who refuse to comply. Robin Hood tax on certain banking transactions, raise the minimum wage. Cut VAT, and to quote a non socialist, if necessary injecting more cash [CE] into the economy to jump-start the recovery by … etc”

    I see where the confusion has arisen, I genuinely did believe that we were discussing traditional, revolutionary socialism (albeit shorn of the embarrassing Marxist-Leninist stuff, for public consumption anyway). However you seem to be saying that modern socialism is little more than a Liberal-Democrat manifesto.

    That being the case I think we can rest easy, the lunatics of the Left have finally been tamed and what remains is a programme that a Heathite Tory of thirty years ago would have found unobjectionable.

    One question though, who’s going to pay for this programme? You’ll admit yourself that it won’t come cheap and if we, well not exactly hang the bankers (no quibble with that by the way), hound them from their current position in the economy where will the taxes come from?

    Would you consider reopening the coal mines? Presumably British miners will expect their usual wage ie the highest industrial wages in the western world, so who’s going to buy the coal when Indonesia, the world’s biggest coal producer has millions of workers willing to work for a couple of dollars a day?

    Maybe start making steel again or building ships? Have a look at the wage rates in China and India if you think that’s a runner.

    One other thing, I presume you weren’t around when the state owned, national joke, British Rail ran all the trains, trust me, nationalised rail companies are no panacea for anything.

  • Munsterview

    Alias : “…No, but it is a little amusing that you think a domestic firewall is capable of preventing expert access to your computer. That problem would arise because your computer does not use a firewall that responds to random pings from a scouting hacker with either a host unreachable message or drops the packets. To find out if that is the problem go to http://www.grc.com and use the ‘Sheilds Up’ test…..”

    Just a general reminder to readers that in the threads dealing with the burning and looting of the English riots I did say that at an earlier stage of my life, in the late eighties, over twenty years ago, in fact, I did a certain amount of trading with many of the electronic and computer assembly business in some of the riot areas in London where hardware and other components were built to specific to order for me. Likewise I knew where to get my hands on some ‘ interesting’ software over there also.

    For the record and for the general readership, I had managed to get hands in one of the bulky, but never the less hand computers used in the moon landing preparations by the start of the following year. I will skip the next decade and a half and all the bits and pieces I had in between to an early eighties small ten cubic foot computer that came from a bank, which thankfully was sidelined by me in the mid eighties for the very first Apples.

    I had the third laser desktop Apple system sold commercially outside of Dublin. One of my employees that we trained in desktop publishing was taken to London by one of the biggest dealers there to demonstrate the then new pagemaker system as we then had more expertise and hands on experience of actual book and magazine production than any Apple people in these Islands in those first six months.

    All during this time I had dos machines and still have some non Apple machines.

    The general readership can draw their own conclusions from that.

    This is both yet another discrediting attempt by Alias and for those with real computer knowledge, it can be seen for what it is, also a fishing expedition as well, if he could have provoked a ‘mine is bigger than yours’ response.

  • between the bridges

    NUn, its ok you can save the pity, no off side in six a side, and no Mr T, just playing the ball…

    MV…’if he could have provoked a ‘mine is bigger than yours’ response.’ …And here’s me thinking that’s exactly what the reply was…

    Re topic, yes imho the pira campaign was sectarian; the majority of those who disagree are those who wish to re-write the narrative to make themselves feel better about supporting the ‘cause’.

  • Harry

    I am old enough to have travelled on British rail, and having worked in a power stations and gas refineries owned by the state. You seem to me to be looking at this through a neo con prism, in which everything must make a profit and go hang societal gains. Forgive me if I am wrong, but I would guess your judging BR when it was on its last legs, heavily restricted as far as income and borrowing was concerned. In the 1950s when I was at school, (yes I am far from the days when I could be NOTA’s son 😉 workers on British rail were proud to be a railwayman as too where many workers who worked in the State owned industries like power, water, mining, etc.

    Back then, everyone could fine a place of work whatever their educational level, even if they were a square peg. State owned industries like BR, often paid a low wage, as did local councils, but it offered job security and a job to many people who are regarded as being unemployable in today’s private sector world. Thus unemployment was low.

    We know the devil makes work for idle hands, the recent ‘riots’ show this, and that after privatization, many of those who manned these industries were parked on the scrap heap by Thatcher without a backward glance. A crime for which we are still paying for.

    Yes many of the State owned industries were over manned, but so what, these surplus workers were contributing to society, they had work, paid tax, supported themselves and their families and could rightly feel proud in themselves. Which is something YOU CANNOT BUY with benefits alone.

    Thus tax payers coin was not wasted, nor was it poured into an open and pointless drain paying out unemployment benefits,etc continuosly, year in year out with the only outcome countless wasted lives.

    You mention the low wages being paid to workers in China and India, in my younger day we used to say much the same about Japan and in exactly the same arrogant manner as todays media. I would be a rich man if I had been given a pound every time I heard someone say;

    “Those Japs will never build a decent motor bike, let alone a car.”

    History proves this type of robbing Peter to benefit Paul will not last. Already wages are rising in China and they will eventually rise to our levels, (which are far from high) and when that happens, China will have no need to export what it makes as it will have enough consumers of its own with coin in their pockets.

    Germany seems to have no problem paying its industrial workers a decent wage for a decent days work, amongst them miners, and there is absolutely no reason the same could not happen here in the UK, USA and Ireland. Accept that is the greedy and amoral political and business elites who think short term so they can more easily fill their own pockets by exploiting their own and overseas workers.

    So if there is a demand, yes I would open the mines as a State owned industry, the environmental movement will have to learn to live with it, or come up with a better way to provide power and jobs. Is there a better way to put a sizable section of the north of England back to work? For as with all heavy industry when it moves in, a periphery of smaller companies will start up to service the big boys.

    It is ridiculous to claim my suggestions are liberal democratic, maybe some may have been in the lying toads manifesto, perhaps, I have no idea, but in case you have failed to notice it, that party is in government and has brought the austerity crap, lock, stock and barrel. Most of the Orange liberals who govern are to the right of many within the Tory party. There mantra is, hug a gay fine, kick a worker whilst they are down, even better.

    I have been a revolutionary since I became political active in my late teens, early 20s. However, given the murderous events of the 20th century I have concluded today our best chance of building a just society is through using left reformist means. The last general elections in Ireland and the UK show well over half the population is amenable to such a society in which there is a better life-work balance and business and profit is not the only god.

    Our problem is the neo conservative political elites act as if the 20th Century never occurred. They seem oblivious to why the Russian revolution occurred, let alone the rise of the Nazis which resulted in approximately 50 million people worldwide loosing their lives. They see Imperialism as a positive thing, mainly because it enriched people like them and it provided a means to discipline the masses. To say ignorance is bliss amongst these political elites would be an understatement.

    Comrades on the left who believe left reformism is not an option due to capitals sheer viciousness these days have a point, after all it did take the Bolshevik revolution and all that flowed from it, good and bad, to put some manners on the European bourgeoise. Which resulted in most European nations for the first time conducting their political and economic affairs in at least in a half civilized way.

    With the rise of the neo cons much of this has gone, deliberately destroyed, and for what I ask you? The economy is in shit creek, society is more fragmented and unequal than at any time since WW2, and with the victory of the Islamic militias in Libya, Africa’s once most prosperous nation is going to hell in a hand cart to the cry of Allah Akbar.

    Best regards.

    Mick

    http://www.organizedrage.com/

  • Munsterview

    between the… : “…’if he could have provoked a ‘mine is bigger than yours’ response.’ …And here’s me thinking that’s exactly what the reply was…”

    Alias is not an ordinary poster or poser for that matter. For a start he has according to himself, dual citizenship, Irish and Israeli. If this is fact ( few things are as they seem with those who share seruricat mentalities ) then I totally accept that in regard to the former his rights are no different to mine.

    His Israeli credentials are a different matter. Personally I could not care less as to whether he is Jewish or belong to ‘To The Church Of The Militant League Of Atheists’. His politics do matter as he is an unconditional supporter of Israeli Zionist Palestinian policies and the strategy of ‘ Fact on the ground’ of an ever expanding Israeli State gobbling up land and other resources pretty much as Hitler and the Nazis did in their eastward expansion.

    The strategy and intent is the very same, only difference is the Israeli take over is in slow motion, a few houses, a street or a few hectares at the time, but it is every bit as unprincipled, ruthless and indifferent to the rights of the Palestinians as the Nazi dispossession was to the victims of its own State Racism.

    Alias perceives me and rightly so may I add, as implacably opposed to this and therefore an ‘enemy of Israel’. As an Israeli Citizen, which is the capacity of the duality that seems to most engage him, he acts as a ‘Friend of Israel’ by attempting to undermine the credibility and discredit all perceived opponents.

    So between for the benefit of your good self and others, this is the real ‘bite’ between ‘Alias’ and myself, in every post we are fighting Middle East issues by proxy. I am as determined to expose his unconditional support for Israeli Occupation Zionist Policies as he is to raise the ‘anti-Semitic’ smear and every other denigrating tactic at his disposal ( and he is good) to discredit me.

    Hope that explains a few things !

  • Nunoftheabove

    BTB

    ” the pira campaign was sectarian; the majority of those who disagree are those who wish to re-write the narrative to make themselves feel better about supporting the ‘cause’” – you’d better be prepared to say that unambiguously and to face the consequences if you are to accuse me of being one such.

    One decent rule of thumb here is undertaking not to accuse people of that which one wouldn’t dare do face to face in a dark street and/or, if you prefer, are prepared to support under oath on threat of jail for perjury. If either of those prospects induces any discernible perspiration then consider yourself well advised not to proceed to make such statements about anyone without substantial evidence, most particularly about people you neither know, do/would/could understand or whose opinions you don’t show any remote curiosity about and/or who have never provided an opinion about the matter to begin with. I’d suggest to you that the sort of people who might – do, even – engage in that sort of puerile school bus tittle tattle are almost invariably cowards, almost certainly thoroughly stupid and are rarely other than morally cretinous.

  • Harry Flashman

    Actually Mick you do make a reasonable point about it being better to pay men to work on overmanned trains and industrial plants doing a decent day’s work subsidised by government than to have them lying around on their arses all day subsidised by the government.

    I would of course prefer the happy medium where viable businesses employed workers at mutually agreed and fair rates in order that both sides of the economic partnership could see a decent return.

    Like you I, as a capitalist, despair of ever seeing my preferred system being given a proper chance to work.

  • Rory Carr

    I can’t speak for Mick Hall but I was most certainly “around when the state owned, national joke, British Rail ran all the trains” and indeed BR was something of a joke, but it was an affectionate joke on the most part (BR catering and their egg sandwiches mainly in the firing-line) and when it became vicious it was because cruel criticism was being whipped up by the well paid propaganda black-ops brigade of those who sought to profit from its privatisation. The same is happening today in education and health as they are deliberately run down in order to attach opprobrium and to make their sell-off to the private profiteers all the cheaper.

    Like most people who have to suffer the appalling, delays, overcrowding and failure to co-ordinate connections that is such a part of the nightmare ofattempting to travel in Britain using the mayhem that calls itself a rail service today while the prices go up and up and up s that it becomes cheaper in many instances to travel by air rather than by train. In the sventies, working on buliding sites in South Wales on a labourer’s wage, I was able to afford to travel by train to London any weekend I chose. And in the eighties, working as an accountant in London in the charitable sector on a modest salary, before privatisation I travelled by train to Bristol from London on a reserved seat every weekend for private recreation. I certainly would not dream of making similar journeys today with such frequency, the cost would be absolutely crippling. Indeed I would have to budget tightly to make one such journey in a month.

    I like those who have experienced both public and private services yearn for a return to the comforts, pricing structures and certainties of nationalised railway.

    When the possibility of privatising British Rail was brought up in Cabinet, Margaret Thatcher reportedly was sharply scornful of the idea believing (quite correctly as it turned out) that chaos would result, “The railways must not be privatised at any cost. It would be madness.”.

    Of course she may have had in mind the US experience when, in order to end the chaos of a multitude of competing rail companies which had brought rail travel practically to a halt, it became necessary in 1971 for the U.S. Government to take over and consolidate the whole mess under AMTRAK, the nationalised US nation-wide rail service that actually functions. Not even the most dedicated neo-con administrations under Reagan or Bush even considered re-privatising the national railway, although Nixon tried but was caught out in allowing a deliberate manufactured mismanagement to dvelop within AMTRAK in order to ripen it up for a cheap sell-off. The scheme, which is similar to that which was applied in BR and in steel and can be observed today in UK education and health services was to have management deliberately create inefficency, lower staff morale, in general create an image of their service being shoddy and unecomical, Then whip up public opinion in favour of privatisation following a glossy campaign by the hovering vultures who have already promised directorships or consultancies in their corporations to the responsible politicians and senior civil servants when they left public office.

    Such underhanded means to destroy public services that they might be handed over to private companies in order that profit making becomes their primary function is wrong. It is corrupt, it is rotten and it is totally against the national interest. The only beneficiaries are the private profiteers and the corrupt politicians and civil servants and they at great cost to travellers by rail, the education of the nation’s children and the health of all but the most well-off.

  • between the bridges

    NUn old chap why are you so rattled? If as you have previously stated you haven’t given an opinion on the subject it hardly refers to you? If the shoe fits that’s fine come out and say it, but do make up your mind! As for the rest of your sh it, ‘face the consequences’ I’m shaking here old bean, lmao!! Wind it in and discuss the topic or troll elsewhere…one decent rule of thumb is one is never as smart as one may care to believe…

  • Alias

    “So between for the benefit of your good self and others, this is the real ‘bite’ between ‘Alias’ and myself, in every post we are fighting Middle East issues by proxy.” – MunsterMitty

    Well, it could just be that you descibed a computer problem and another poster helpfully tried to point you in the right direction, but if it comforts or compenstates you in some way to project yourself for a brief interlude to a handful of strangers on the Internet as a dangerous subversive who must be undermined – presumably by Mossad and MI5 – at all costs then go with that rather harmless (and often very charming) fantasy if it works for you.

  • Munsterview

    Alias : “….but if it comforts or compensates you in some way to project yourself for a brief interlude to a handful of strangers on the Internet as a dangerous subversive who must be undermined – presumably by Mossad and MI5 – at all costs then go with that rather harmless (and often very charming) fantasy if it works for you…..”

    Now the relevant section what I actually posted ” MV….Alias perceives me and rightly so may I add, as implacably opposed to this and therefore an ‘enemy of Israel’. As an Israeli Citizen, which is the capacity of the duality that seems to most engage him, he acts as a ‘Friend of Israel’ by attempting to undermine the credibility and discredit all perceived opponents……”

    Alias, I very specifically and singularly referred to your own personal modus operandi and tactics !

    MV : “…So ‘betweentheb’. for the benefit of your good self and others, this is the real ‘bite’ between ‘Alias’ and myself, in every post we are fighting Middle East issues by proxy. I am as determined to expose his unconditional support for Israeli Occupation Zionist Policies as he is to raise the ‘anti-Semitic’ smear and every other denigrating tactic at his disposal ( and he is good) to discredit me…..”

    Again all references here are to you and only to you personally and to your despicable, attempted discrediting tactics including accusations of ‘anti Semiticism’ when ever it can be implied or alledged against a political opponent !

    Ailas you can very easly prove me wrong, just tick off the following…

    1 ) Do you hold or have you held an Isralie Passport ? a Yes, b) No.

    2) Do you support the presense and occuparion of Israel on Palastinian Lands ? a) Yes,b) No

    3) Do you support the Isralie disposession of Palistinians from East Jerusalem ? a) Yes,b) No

    4) Do you support the right of the Palistianian Peoples to immediate, fully recognised International status Stathood within the ‘de facto’ existing Palastine borders ? a) Yes, b) No

    5) Do you believe that Plaistinian people should have unrestricted import facilitisa for basic items needed for infrastructure such medical supplies and cement ? a) Yes, b) No

    When you have given simple answers to what for most decent people in the Western World, are very simple questions, then the slugger community can see for themselves where you stand. I am also fairly sure that Mick would not be adverse to giving you a Thread to explain yourself further.

    No elabourate explainations or weasel words, just five responses of ‘a’ or ‘b’ responses as are appropiate !

    To refresh your memory and provide you with some assistance, you may find this doccument of some help….

    http://israelblog.theisraelforum.org/faq.pdf

  • Munsterview

    Off thread and brief digression !

    For any interested please look up

    http://www.google.ie/#hl=en&sa=X&ei=o0dpTsXdC8bG8QP7l_AR&sqi=2&ved=0CBQQBSgA&q=israeli+army+refusenicks&spell=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=dd8970d27ffd8462&biw=1018&bih=626

    but you will need a bit of time, there are an incredible 371,000,000 references. Google Israeli Army Refusenicks, Sept 2011, for the more recent entries. This is more, a hell of a whole lot more than people such as Alias under his many guises will admit to !

    Abstract from ‘ Young Israeli Army Resisters speak out’….”Last year Jewish Voice for Peace sent over 40,000 letters of support to the Shministim as they were going to prison,” said Sydney Levy of Jewish Voice for Peace. “We must continue to let the world know that for the sake of both Israelis and Palestinians, Israel’s occupation must end, and that a new generation of young people is willing to go to jail to stand up and say NO.”

  • Alias

    MunsterMitty, I wish you’d make up your mind as to whether I am a member of the security services or not.

    “I will of course readily concede to your complete insider knowledge as to how security agencies operate !”

    Now forgive me if I misunderstood your use of plain English a mere few posts above but doesn’t having “insider knowledge” of the “how security agencies operate” imply that I have operated inside said agencies?

    Yet a mere few posts later you appear to have changed your mind and now imply that I am an outsider.

    “…every other denigrating tactic at his disposal ( and he is good) to discredit me…..”

    Now why would I expend any energy making you look ridiculous when you are perfectly capable of doing that without assistance? In a battle of wits between you and your inflatable sheep, my money would be on the sheep.

  • Munsterview

    Alias : MV 8 September 2011 at 11:49 p.m.

    Just five questions answered by you with a simple yes or no and everyone in slugger will all know if my claims regarding you have any merit.

    If those five questions remain unanswered or ignored by you, then your silence is also eloquent for any in slugger with the awareness to see it.

    So..o Alias, just straight answers for now please, smartassed comments can wait for later !

  • Harry Flashman

    Of course like old Tories of a certain age, Rory and Mickhall look back to the fifties and early sixties as an age of sublime perfection, as SuperMac put it we never had it so good.

    Decent hard working, horny handed, salt of the earth types ran super efficient railways, steel plants and car factories producing goods and services that were the envy of the world. Managers were simple, thoroughly decent coves who knew their staff by name, drove jaguars and whose biggest extravagances were a large G&T after golf on Saturday or the occasional dirty weekend in Brighton with the secretary.

    Ah such an innocent age, a veritable Garden of Eden before the serpent Thatcher came along and ruined it all.

    But it wasn’t quite like that was it?

    Massively over manned, under productive plants that were out of date and hopelessly inefficient producing obsolete, unreliable goods the rest of the world didn’t want staffed by bolshy, strike prone workers and managed by men who thought that a first in classics from Oxford was a good grounding on which to run an engineering works. That was after of course every government official in Whitehall who knew better than everyone else told them what their planned production targets should be.

    Even when brand new, state of the art facilities where built such as the Linwood car plant or the Corby steelworks it didn’t take Communist union officials under orders from their bosses in the KGB long to bring production to a halt while management’s sole solution was to traipse down to London to ask for another few million pounds of taxpayers money to keep the plant running, or not.

    Yes it was all Maggie’s fault, she ruined everything.

    I agree with Mickhall’s point that if you have to throw taxpayers’ money at layabouts in industrial cities better they are actually doing something with their time from 9 until 5 but it’s still hardly an ideal solution and you can’t deny that something needed to be done with British industry by 1979.

    But I’ll concede Rory and Mickhall’s point, I’ll turn the clock back to 1960, I’ll reverse all of Maggie’s reforms but in return I’ll have to slaughter a few of your sacred cows along the way.

    So I’ll grant you subsidised, nationalised transport systems, I’ll give you your council houses free for all, I’ll spend fortunes opening shining new hospitals and schools all run by the man from the ministry who inevitably knows best. Electricity, gas and phones will be provided by blokes in caps who wear brown workcoats and who knock off work every couple of hours for a cuppa. It’ll be the very heaven.

    So what will you concede? Well first off no more immigration, it has to stop dead, now. You can’t run those shiny hospitals and schools if they’re going to be regarded as the default welfare state for the Third World. Sorry full up, furthermore skilled and semi-skilled industrial workers can’t earn a decent wage for their families if their incomes are being undercut by bright east Europeans willing to live six to a room and working for the minimum wage. Plumbers have to start being British again.

    That leads us on to the next point. The European Community, want the government to buy British built trains built in Coventry? Well then those pesky European rules which prohibit it have to go, even if French ships are better made or German trains more efficient, if you want British subsidised workers producing British plant and infrastructure then leave the EU.

    Ditto with huge swathes of employment legislation. If you want British men to be once again the proud bread winners that our grandfathers were well the pregnant lassies on six month maternity leave have to stay at home and let the blokes get on with it. Heath and safety procedures have to be strictly that, carried out by the works foreman, not an excuse for an ever expanding army of local government workers on fat, index linked salaries and pensions to tell working men how they can do their jobs.

    What about those coal fired power stations using fine British coal instead of expensive Russian gas? I’m with you one hundred percent, so can we scrap all the ludicrous Climate Change nonsense straight away please. Maybe even build a few more nuclear power plants in which Britain, in the white heat of technology, once led the world.

    I could go on, perhaps about schools actually educating people instead of turning out illiterates ignorant of everything other than sex education and how to assert their rights, but I think you get my point.

    So are you still up for turning back the clock to a pre-lapsian, ante-Thatcherian age?

    Fair enough, I think UKIP or the BNP would love your votes.

  • Nunoftheabove

    BTB

    More trademark flippancy, witlessness and playround name calling. We don’t expect anything else from your corner.

  • between the bridges

    NUn, my dear chap this is becoming tedious and pathetic, do stop digging the hole, anyone who wishes to read back can see who is in the playground ,issuing threats, calling names, trying to be a smartarse and behaving like a child. I will leave it to others to judge, my advice to those who behave in such a manner is don’t give it out if you can’t take it back.

    Now have you anything to add re topic?

  • Harry

    As I am off to one of those NHS hospitals you mention, not so shinny in my case, but still my only and best bet, I do not have time to reply to your last post, maybe later. But what I will say is I never considered the 50 or 60s as a golden age, how could I when I did what little I could to improve it. Indeed being a teenager in the late 50’s early 60’s was pretty bleak. Sunday Bloody Sunday just about sums it up, Or ‘It Always rains on Sundays’ even better.
    (I am not referring to events in Derry.;-)

    My point, which Rory made far more eloquently, was there was much of value back then which was worth defending. instead in her nasty class war, Thatcher threw the baby out with the bath water in a pitiless war on trade unionism and organised labour. Now the Cameronites and orange book liberals have taken up ‘that woman’s’ baton in a far more brutal way determined to destroy all that remains of the societal games made after WW2.

    By the way, it is good to see a small fight back over not raising uni fees in the north. My appointment is at 2pm so must go.

  • Rory Carr

    All very colourful, Harry. I wouldn’t mind betting you had a brawn sandwich in Hovis bread washed down by a pint of Confederation bitter and a cople of Werther’s Originals to follow just to set the mood before you penned that.

    But enjoyable as it was it failed in its purpose of detracting from your failure to defend the woeful, expensive, overcrowded, inefficient, confusing rail service in Britain following upon privatisation ( a move to which your beloved Mrs T was staunchly opposed) nor will you say whether or not you believe the manufactured mismangement of essential services to weaken them for privatisation and the resultant corruption of senior politicians and senior civil servants is harmful to the public good.

    I cannot really believe that anyone who professes any moral code would so blindly point their wagon to a star of naked capitalism as to ignore the harm to the public that must surely follow in its wake.

  • Munsterview

    Alias, just five simple questions requiring a yes or no anwer and all on slugger can make up their own mind on the merits of our respective views. ( full post,8 September 2011 at 11:49 pm )

  • Nunoftheabove

    Rory Carr

    Any moral code ? What moral code are you currently subscribing to please ?

    Mickhall’s point is that an opportunity was missed when the railways were privatised. I don’t necessarily disagree with that at all. My question would be why was it missed and who could be held accountable for it being missed ? The Tories can carry the can for the shambles which resulted however corrupt, self-interested and frankly quite reactionary trade union leaders can most certainly help carry the can for missing the opportunity and for making the decisioning of the Tories about much more likely and certainly much more hasty. It wasn’t inevitable and it shouldn’t have come to that.

  • Limerick

    “Limerick : “…If I am to understand you correctly……”

    You have to understand sweet ‘F’ all !

    1) You just have to put £ 1,000 of your money where your sneering mouth is, that is the next stage of the process as set out in my conditions. Until you do there is no process to the next stage or any need for further discussion on the subject.”

    Munster,

    It was exactly this sort of unquestioning process that led to Joe (Mr Magoo) Cahill being caught and jailed whilst carting Gadaffi’s weapons on the Claudia. Though I understand that at the time you were otherwise employed.

    “I should have been on the Claudia, but at the time I was redeployed to Uganda where I was busy negotiating the possibility of setting up IRA training grounds with Idi Amin. I struck up a friendship with Idi after I supplied him, on request, with a recipe for Irish stew.

    This he insisted on serving at his infamous regimental dinners, not a few of which I attended, though his had a peculiar twist. I soon sussed out that this was the use of a peculiar and exotic meat within the stew, but when I asked him what it was he merely laughed and said, “Get it into you Mr Munster. It will put hairs on your chest.””

  • Munsterview

    Limerick (my arse) Game over!

    Just like ‘ I do not bet Turgon’ when it was put up to him, you too are now exposed for what you are. Just like the afore mentioned Turgon, you to may resort to sarcasm, invective or whatever distracting, cloaking devices you may choose but to no avail.

    To those who count here, you gave an unnecessary hostage to fortune when you overplayed your hand ( indicative of limited capacity in addition to lack of judgement ability ) and all the sneering, denigrating, sarcastic, ‘Clever Charlie’ comment you can muster cannot change that fact, or how foolish you now appear to real players or those with the capacity to appreciate what ‘the game’ is.

    As I said, ‘All mouth and no trousers’

    A man of honor either ‘put’s up or shuts up’ You no doubt will not do either! You will either attempt to ‘brass neck’ it out or splutter on like the late and unlamented ‘Maskey’ until when only ‘the usual suspects’ are engaging, you too may have to slink off, tail between legs, in a damage limitation exercise.

    Was not one of the most basic lessons you were taught that the ‘hidden hand’ to be effective must stay concealed ? Not even sloppy professionalism, just amateurish, very amateurish indeed !

    You may continue with your waster activities for as long as you please but you will not waste any more time of mine. So over to you and the ‘useful idiots’ and your ‘game’.

    Incidently in closing as this particular ‘spat’ started with an Afghan matter reference to another poster, things not looking too good for your lot in that neck of the woods, are they?

  • Harry Flashman

    “Thatcher threw the baby out with the bath water in a pitiless war on trade unionism and organised labour.”

    Who declared that war?

    In 1974 the country was almost brought to a standstill for three months in what can only be described as an attempted coup d’etat by mineworkers to overthrow the democratically elected government.

    Jack Jones, TGWU leader, regarded in opinion polls in the 1970’s as a man more powerful than the elected prime minister was a paid agent of a hostile foreign power.

    Arthur Scargill freely admitted that the purpose of his 1984-5 strike was to bring down a government democratically elected in a landslide the year before.

    If private companies or organisations had combined to overthrow a Labour government (as is alleged about Cecil King) the Left would quite rightly throw their arms up in horror and turn their full vengeance on those organisations.

    The unions declared war on the Conservative party even under the arch compromiser Heath. They can’t complain when the Tories turned a rather more formidable opponent on them.

    Be under no illusion, the unions started the war.

  • Limerick

    “Was not one of the most basic lessons you were taught that the ‘hidden hand’ to be effective must stay concealed ?”

    Munster,

    Ah the hidden hand. Something that you have been alert to for all of your adult life.

    “I had always been aware that I was under constant surveillance since shortly after I took my oath in the presence of none other than Sean South. It was however during my forced exile to America (that’s another story) that I came to realise just how dangerous the hidden hand of Perfidious Albion could be.

    I had been socialising with Ted Kennedy and during the proceedings he had picked up two attractive young ladies who claimed to be of Irish extraction. When Ted explained to them exactly who I was they were suitably impressed, but when he invited me to join them at his island retreat I had to decline (this was the pre viagra era), and asked him to drop me off at home.

    People may comment on the bravery of the blanketmen etc, but I humbly submit that anyone who has been driven around a busy city by Ted Kennedy whilst he is slugging from his second bottle of Bourbon need not prove his courage in any other way.

    After he dropped me off, I made a mental note to remind him that, important though he might be, the hand signals that he and his companions directed at me were inappropriate for someone who was representing the true republic in America, I ordered some pizza over the phone.

    When the pizza arrived I noted that it was delivered by a middle aged man dressed in a lounge suit (I now believe it was Michael Oatley) who refused to speak, but simply took my money and left. When I sat down to eat my pizza I was disappointed to find that, rather than the spicy pepperoni that I had ordered, I had received a tuna surprise.

    Being allergic to tuna I gave the pizza to my pet Westie Saoirse (I had wanted an Irish Wolfhound but the bill for petfood was excessive and Saoirse could get by on three tins of Pedigree Chum a week) and made myself some beans on toast. The next morning when I awoke Saoirse was no longer of this world.

    I remain convinced to this day that the Tuna Surprise was an early attempt by MI6 to bring an end to the armed struggle in the occupied six counties. I do not flatter myself when I state that without my influence it is difficult to see how it could have continued for anything more than a few months.”

  • Turgon

    Limerick,
    That was an absolutely brilliant post. I actually had to check you were sending up not quoting Munsterview. Myself I am afraid that after my investiture into the Illuminati or whatever they are called by none other than Lord somebody or other I have not been allowed to blog about my true power and influence.

  • Limerick

    Turgon,

    Keep the faith brother. 😉

  • Munsterview

    Limerick : MV : 10 September 2011 at 12:54 am “You may continue with your waster activities for as long as you please but you will not waste any more time of mine. So over to you and the ‘useful idiots’ and your ‘game’. “

  • Munsterview

    Turgon : Your kind had their answer this weekend when Gerry and Sinn Fein packed that fine hall to the rafters.

    You and The Useless Visage of Unionism could not muster enough bodies to fill the Jacks there !

    I hope you took good stock as that was the future you were looking at!

    However no hard feelings, I will even have some ANC comrades who are now in Government locate a few Afrikaner Ex Minister Tel No’s. for you to call and get some advice as to coping with Party redundancy and utter political irrelevancy. Cheers !

  • Limerick

    Munster,

    How do your ANC friends feel about the efforts made by Irish republicans to help create the Boer state?