The Long War and the spies

In recent days memories have resurfaced for many of 'Bloody Friday' when PIRA exploded around twenty bombs in the centre of Belfast on 21 July 1972 killing nine, including five civilians and injuring 130. It had a profound effect on the wider population of Northern Ireland; in fact on the island of Ireland as a … Continue reading The Long War and the spies

The truth – RHI, Brexit and Ireland

Pundits suggest that the British establishment don't know what they are doing with Brexit, they are incompetent and have made many mistakes. All that is based on the assumption that what the British government say in public is a true representation of their real direction of travel ie they are telling us the truth and not concealing their true intentions from us. Is the British government normally this transparent?

Loyalist proposals to end the union

In January 1974, while the institutions of the  Sunningdale Agreement were newly formed, co-founder of the Democratic Unionist Party, close friend of Ian Paisley and leading barrister, Desmond Boal QC, announced his support for an end to the union with Britain and the creation of a federal Ireland. At the time unionism was badly divided … Continue reading Loyalist proposals to end the union

Questions about oil – killing sacred cows

Fifteen to twenty years ago many old hippies like me got very vexed about something called 'Peak Oil'. Many 'oil experts', geologists and environmental pundits were telling us that the planet was rapidly running out of oil and within ten to twenty years our access to the stuff would be greatly restricted, if not non-existent. What happened?

Who and what are the DUP?

  If you accept that we increasingly live in a topsy-turvy world where many things are inverted - injustice is rewarded, might is right, good is bad and incompetence is competence - then you will also understand that we  mistake words for actions. Politicians and spin merchants of all creeds use these twisted illusions of … Continue reading Who and what are the DUP?

Belfast 2018 – the eye of the storm or permanently becalmed

Some might say Belfast is a city in waiting, looking to find its identity in a new and more confusing era. Others would say it is a lost city being discovered by cruise ships, legal firms and location scouts for dystopian films. Henry Joy must be mightily vexed, publicly executed where today shoppers scurry about . Maybe we need to listen to him and his ilk..

Received wisdom

If you accept that the corporate media in these islands is heavily controlled; that this state (UK) routinely lies to its residents, it fought a long war to prevent a united Ireland and went to enormous lengths to achieve a political settlement within the union only 20 years ago, then you must question why the trigger words ‘united Ireland’ have been allowed back into public discourse with such force. What are they up to?

Rebel Prods – forgotten men and women

Contrary to myth, there were many Irish Nationalist Protestants/Dissenters - given their percentage of the overall Irish population. They cannot be dismissed as a tiny handful of eccentrics and misfits, but part of the norm i.e. many Protestants wanted an all-island independent nation and actively worked collaboratively with their Catholic fellow countrymen and women to achieve such an outcome from the late eighteenth century until Partition - then Protestant participation greatly reduced.

Living under an absolute monarchy

What little history I was taught in school during the sixties told me that I lived under a 'constitutional monarchy'. I was told that the exercise of the Divine Right of Kings - an absolute monarch - ended when Cromwell and his supporters beheaded  King Charles I of England in 1649. Ever since the monarchy … Continue reading Living under an absolute monarchy

A Tale of Two Cities

The outworking of all their history is the development of a very toxic culture of despair among much of the Protestant working class - the loyalists. The paternalism of Big House Unionism left many in the Protestant working class lacking the emotional and political skills to deal with their situation positivein, in contrast to the Catholic community whose history is very different. Instead Loyalists now blame everyone around them and turn their bitterness on their Catholic fellow country men and women, rather than taking responsibility for themselves and their actions.

Northern Ireland: The Emperor has no clothes

Northern Ireland - a region of the United Kingdom which it has until now largely been run as a colony - is publicly exposed as highly dysfunctional. Not only is its political class, or at least one half of it, seen to be highly incompetent, negligent and corrupt, abusing the system of devolved government; but more significantly, the local civil service has shown itself to be equally unsound. What do the British Government do?