Author Archive | @brianjohnspencr

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British Irishman, not a Black and Tan

In the Ireland of 2016 the British community (Protestant and unionists) still carry the curse of plantation, Cromwell, the famine, the Black and Tans and one-party rule Stormont. (Read ‘Being a planter‘ here.) The Protestant and unionists are the villains, by birth levied and vilified with historical wrong. Catholic is Erin and virtue, Protestant is more…

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William Walker, Unionism’s James Connolly 

It’s hard to overstate the centrality of Pearse and Connolly to the modern Irish state and Irishness. Yeats wrote in his famous verse wrote: ‘Connolly and Pearse Now and in time to be, Wherever green is worn’ Eamonn McCann wrote: “One learned quite literally at one’s mother’s knee, that Jesus had died for the human race and more…

The exclusion of Ulster, Mark II?

In the shadow of brexit, uncertainty and rancour reign. Whether or not Remain was Project Fear, the brexit lobby is definitely Project Unclear. We’re still in Europe but with a stay of execution of two years, to use a Carsonism (except we don’t know the terms or extent of severance). All sorts of figures and predictions more…

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Cartoon – Life after #brexit

Farage has left the stage. The “most important” and “most successful” politician of the last decade, says Rod Liddle. That’s up for debate.  Christoph Waltz likened his exit to a rat disembarking a sinking ship.  I’m struck by how he said he wants his life back. I’m sure there are a great many million and more…

Loyalist and Irish

Irish and Loyalist

In my first post in this series – looking at what it is to be Irish (as an adjoint to my blog ‘The New Irishman’) – I sought to show that Ian Paisley was 100% Irish. Ian Paisley’s Irishness was stated unequivocally by the man himself; and third party observers have testified to his quintessential Irishness. In my second post more…

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Doesn’t allegiance to the Republic of Easter Week require Brexit?

For all his political career Jeremy Corbyn opposed Europe. He stood against Europe in the 1975 referendum and repeatedly cast his Commons’ vote against EU Treaties. For the Islington North MP and the hard left, the EU was a committedly capitalist project to be smashed.  The Corbyn conversion to the European plan is symbolic of more…

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Unionism’s anglophobia

The slogan used to be ‘Brit’s Out’. It marked a gross misunderstanding of the people of Northern Ireland. As Conor Cruise O’Brien wrote of the Easter Rising: “Irish-Ireland wrote and talked as if it assumed that the battle would be over once Dublin with its garrison of dentists’ wives had surrendered.” The “British” of Northerm more…

planter and the gael, Brian John Spencer

Catholic, Erin and virtue. Protestant, Saxon and guilt.*

    Watch this video, it punched me in the sternum – ‘momondo – The DNA Journey’: We divide people in two. Native or immigrant. Authentic or blow-in. We want certainty, especially in Northern Ireland – Protestant or Catholic, us or them. Catholic is Erin and virtue. Protestant is Saxon and guilt (and “imperialistic blood-suckers” more…

Ian Paisley, Brian John Spencer (1)

Ian Paisley – “We are Irish!”

    Of the DUP membership, 1.4% self-identify as Irish. Yet the founder of the DUP was 100% Irish. This is not speculation or conjecture or troublemaking, this is a statement of fact based upon unequivocal and repeated testimony from Ian Paisley. Ian paisley wrote in 2012 on the centenary of the signing of the more…

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Cartoon – A ‘black spider’ memo for OFMDFM on Justice

Tuesday May 24 had a busy afternoon. Sinn Fein announced its executive team. Prince Charles, known for his letter writing, visited Portadown and the Orange Museum as part of #RoyalVisitNI. Then news broke that the loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson  had written a letter to OFMDFM suggesting he be considered for the position of Justice Minister. Like the Justice portfolio, more…

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Cartoon – ‘Marlene’

It has a satisfying and even harmonious ring, and the people have really taken to it. The portmanteau and new byword for the Executive Office – ‘Marlene’. While Jim Allister bequeathed it to a popular audience on BBC The View on May 19, it’s recognised that Paul Gallagher first coined the sobriquet back in January 2016. The more…

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Cartoon – “The unelected and unelectable…”

The soundbite of the week past probably came from Westminster and from David Cameron at PMQs. Probed repeatedly by the leader of the Opposition on the cost of cuts to tax credits to the ordinary family, the Prime Minister simply said the reform was blocked by an alliance of “the unelected and the unelectable.” Stormont had an eventful week itself, more…

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[Cartoon] #BackToTheExecutiveDay

October 21 2015 was ‘Back To The Future Day‘, the date in ‘Back To The Future II’ that Marty McFly travelled forward to in order to save his children. That date was also the day when Peter Robinson travelled back to Stormont to save the power sharing executive. A nice historical coincidence.

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Cartoon – Don’t mention the…

Whitehall has a clear policy on China. It knows there are human rights abuses, you just don’t talk about them. With the sophistication of technology and leven of government surveillance it’s hard to say that the report into paramilitary groups revealed anything new, it just said what people knew.