Friday, December 31, 2004
United Irelander's Resolution
I have enjoyed running this blog and have enjoyed the debate that has taken place.
From my observations of my first month it is clear what is working and what isn't.
I enjoy running the daily themes and features which I feel bring structure to the place but some of them such as 'Sunday Surprise' and ''What If?'Wednesday' are not good for the blog in my view so they'll be scrapped and replaced by something else.
It's also clear that controversy is king so expect United Irelander to tackle some controversial issues in 2005.
Also,expect more of an emphasis on nationalism for the New Year.
There is always room for improvement so I hope United Irelander will be a blog you'll find interesting and thought-provoking and worth a visit in 2005.
Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh!(A prosperous New year to you all!)
Friday Fun's Fascinating Fact
1. Increase exercise.
2.Be more conscientious about work or school.
3.Develop better eating habits.
4.Stop smoking,drinking,or using drugs(including caffeine).
Commenting on this while wearing a nicotine patch and running on a treadmill,Peter Robinson labelled the claims "exaggerated nonsense" but said he had to dash as he was eager to get back to work.Before leaving he inquired if anyone "knew a good vegetarian place".
Fun Irelander Feature-New Year's Eve
I intend to go out and celebrate with some friends tonight.Hopefully I won't be ripped off but I'm a Dub so I live with that possibility every day.
I intend to have a good time though and I have to say I'm very excited about 2005.
Think of the possibilities!To me the dawn of a new year is an opportunity to revitalize your life in some way.
I already have some resolutions planned for the new year and God willing I'll be able to achieve them.I urge you to make some for yourself and hope you have a great night and a great year!
2005!What a time to be alive!
Friday Fun-News in Brief
Yeah,if you can't do things yourself...have someone else do it for you!That's the Sinn Fein way!
A €10 rise in the charge for attending accident and emergency departments at Irish hospitals is due to come into force at midnight tonight.
Damn right!Why it serves these people right for being hurt.The audacity of them!
Spain coach Luis Aragones has dug himself into a deeper hole by referring to Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes as a "gypsy".
"All I did was to motivate the gypsy by telling him he was better than the black"he said.
See,it was a misunderstanding!What could possibly be racist in these remarks!
5 Things for 2005
- The restoration of the assembly in Ireland's north.
- A visit by the Queen to Ireland.Is this ever going to take place?
- A visit by the Pope to Ireland.It would be great if it took place but the Pope's health must be taken into account.Would be even better if he got to visit the North this time.
- A downturn in Sinn Fein's fortunes.As it celebrates it's 100th anniversary(Wha?)hopefully this recruitment drive they're said to be planning will not be successful.Sinn Fein are a danger to nationalism and I hope this year the SDLP catch up on them.
- Ireland to do well in the qualifying fixtures for the World Cup in 2006.OK this isn't political but the boys in green need to be there!Come on Keano,lead the charge!
Feel free to offer 5 things you would like to see happen in 2005.
Happy New Year!
No doubt there'll be plenty to talk about in '05!
Thursday, December 30, 2004
Hero/Villain of the Day-30.12.04
Dolan,a native from Longford town,agreed to join GOAL's emergency response team in Sri Lanka after receiving one day's notice.
He will act as a logistics co-ordinator with the GOAL team and in the past has worked as a volunteer in Afghanistan and Rwanda.
In a world like ours which seems to get more depressing and depraved by the day I would like to pay tribute to this man for showing that humanity is not a total lost cause.Fair play to him.
Villain: Viktor Yanukovych:His appeal against the result of the presidential election re-run was rejected today by the Central Election Commission after they dismissed his claims that mass violations had occurred.
His campaign manager Taras Chornovyl said Yanukovich will now appeal to the Supreme court.
Can't this guy just accept his defeat gracefully?The other man won Yanukovch,just accept it!
His contempt for the democratic system is extremely disappointing.Just give it up!
And I thought Dana was bad...
For this edition I will look at the single biggest threat to the prospect of Irish unity facing nationalism and my opinion on the best way to stop it.That threat,is of course:Sinn Fein-the partitionist party.And the best way to stop it,in my view,is for Fianna Fail to merge with the SDLP.
I should make it clear right now that I have no affiliation or particular allegiance to any party.With regards to Fianna Fail those of you who read this blog will know I have little time for Ahern and the rest of his motley crew.Despite my feelings for the present Fianna Fail administration,I do have respect for the ideology behind Fianna Fail and former Taoiseachs of the party.I respect the nationalism of the party even though nowadays it seems it's only ever shown in the public light at Bodenstown and General Elections.
However,it is important that we take into consideration the current plight of the SDLP.
The SDLP are a shambles.There's no use denying it.They have been crushed by Adams and co. and have assumed the position of onlookers.Watching the collapse of the SDLP was like watching your favourite football team getting their best player injured and taken off and seeing your team leak goals as disillusioned fans leave the stadium disgusted with the performance!
I have respect for Mark Durkan and feel he is a competent politician and I know from hearing him he's a good orator and is witty but despite this,he's no John Hume.
Hume had the respect of the nationalist community.He was someone that nationalists could look to.Durkan doesn't have such influence on nationalists.
What next for the SDLP?The only way is down it would seem unless Sinn Fein get embroiled in some sort of scandal.Something that would prove costly for Sinn Fein(no pun intended).
Would this be enough though?It might lose SF some moderate supporters but it doesn't fix the problems of the SDLP.Nationalists need an alternative.They haven't got one.Therefore,the question must be asked,who can stand up to Sinn Fein?In my eyes,only one party on this island has a realistic chance:Fianna Fail.
It's been rumoured the SDLP were contemplating merging with a southern party.FF and the Irish Labour Party have been mentioned.A merger with the Labour Party would not stop SF in my opinion.A merger with FF could,I believe.
Whether you like Sinn Fein or not the party's name has a connection to this island.A resonance.Only Fianna Fail can come close to matching that.Ideologically,they are a party that can hold their own against Sinn Fein.
Furthermore,they have successfully made the transition from a party with a violent background.
The SDLP with Fianna Fail could challenge Adams and co.
Let us also not forget the unsettling rumours of a potential merger of Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein,a move in my opinion which would be catastrophic for nationalism.
All in all,I hope a merger between Fianna Fail and the SDLP is something that will take place in the near future.
Sinn Fein threaten the cause of Irish nationalism there's no doubt about that.
I say it's time that threat was put down by Irish nationalists.
I say it's time the Soldiers of Destiny got themselves some new recruits!
The Long Cuban Fellow?
Ortega believes de Valera's father Juan was a penniless sculptor and music teacher who emigrated to Manhattan from Cuba in contrast to the claims his father was a Spanish merchant.
Ortega is researching a film on the subject and it may be commissioned by RTE.
It is an interesting bit of news but the fact remains good old Dev will always be Irish through and through!
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
'What If'?Wednesday-No UVF
- Craig and Carson agree to sign an agreement in 1912 pledging to accept the workings of democracy.
- Ireland becomes closer as a result.The British are heartened at this development.
- Home Rule is introduced and the unionists accept the democratic decision but World War I means the plans are put on hold.
- In 1916 a Rising breaks out but is put down.Home Rulers such as Padraig Pearse condemn the actions.The Rising is portrayed as a bloodthirsty act with no purpose.It doesn't have a big impact.Redmond convinces the British with some help from unionism that the men involved shouldn't be made martyrs.
- The unionists are still displeased with the Rising but things are worked out with Redmond and the Home Rulers.
- After the end of the War,Home Rule is introduced to Ireland.Redmond dies and is succeeded by Dillon as unionism attains a form of Home Rule within Home Rule.
- Tensions begin to mount as the unionists are not happy with the Irish cultural aspects of Home Rule which they see as a threat to the Union.Aspects such as the proposal to introduce the Irish language as compulsory.Dillon does not command respect.
- The British intervene amid unionist threats to boycott the Home Rule parliament.
- Irish plans are scrapped much to the fury of the Irish public and a fresh Rising similar to 1916 takes place with Padraig Pearse one of the leaders.
- It is put down brutally and men like Pearse are killed but emerge as martyrs.
- A civil war breaks out between the UVF and the IRB(later the IRA).
- The British side with the unionists but the IRA by now have mainstream support.
- The Irish are invited to Treaty talks.
Anyone care to comment on this rewriting of history?
Dozens of Irish Unaccounted for...
The Department of Foreign Affairs has said telecommunication problems are affecting efforts to establish the status of the Irish that are missing.
Two Dublin women,who were travelling separately,in the Phi Phi Islands are missing and reportedly the women are 27-year-old Eileesh Finnegan of Ballyfermot and Lucy Coyle.
The Red Cross have speculated the death toll from the earthquake and tsunamis could rise to more than 100,000.
The tragedy that has occurred in Asia has been truly horriffic and the death toll seems to keep rising and rising.Natural disasters like this truly test a person's faith.
I hope that the Irish people that are unaccounted for are found but this goes above and beyond nationality.Hopefully people of all nationalities will be found and hopefully that death toll won't keep rising and rising.
Where did I Leave the Remote?(and my Wallet)
Mr.Dempsey said he made the decision after being pleased with an external review's findings in relation to the strengthening of RTE's output and the meeting of key financial targets.
It's bad enough we now have to PAY EVEN MORE MONEY but what's this nonsense about the "strengthening of RTE's output"?Was this external review watching the same channels as I was?All I see is tripe like 'The Panel' and 'The Dinner Party'.RTE has become a shambles these days!
Probably the only things I watch regularly on it are American shows like The Simpsons.I think the only time I watch homemade shows on RTE would be when I watch the news and when I watch the football with Bill O'Herlihy and the gang.
RTE=Really Terrible Entertainment!
Monday, December 27, 2004
Hero/Villain of the Day-27.12.04
Villain: Viktor Yanukovych:He is refusing to accept the will of the people and is trying to bring the decision into disrepute.It is pathetic.
Monday Madness-The Orange Order
The OO is a sectarian organisation which glorifies a hatred of catholicism.They shove their triumphalism down the throats of catholics.People who are supposed to be treated as compatriots are instead looked upon as outcasts in the sick,perverse attitude of this cult of hate.
One such example of the deplorable actions of this Orange frat-house is their deplorable ban forbidding catholics from joining the organisation.Indeed,you may be familiar with the controversial issue in 1998 when David Trimble attended the funeral of a child murdered in a Real IRA bombing and suffered calls from other OO memebers that he be expelled for attending a "Papist ceremony".
This shows the mindset of this merry band of bigots.
There have been recent issues with this organisation such as at the marches at Drumcree which have shown the ugly side of this cult.One example was the march at Drumcree on 7th of July,2002 where the violence of this loyalist organisation was shown when the members attacked policemen who were stopping the Order from entering a mainly nationalist area of Portadown in Armagh.British PM Tony Blair called the Order's actions "loutish" while Church of Ireland Primate Archbishop Robin Eames called it "deplorable,disgusting and completely unacceptable".
It's worth noting this is an organisation that some unionists have said should be enjoyed by all the communities in the North just like St.Patrick's Day!
The fact is the Orange Order is a sectarian and anti-Irish organisation.Even though it runs on an all-Ireland basis and has parades in parts of the Republic such as Donegal,it also has a history of anti-Irish attitudes such as members who admit to burning the Irish flag on the 12th of July and let's not forget the display of loyalist flags and emblems that is frequently seen at these marches.
So what is the answer?Ban the Orange Order?In an ideal world,yes.I mean the British don't tolerate neo-Nazis marching triumphantly down their roads commemorating the slaughter of Brits by the Luftwaffe so why should the Orange Order be allowed to celebrate and glorify the killing of catholics?They shouldn't.It's odd in this politically correct world we live in that this archaic abomination of an organisation which is the Orange Order,has managed to allude the sensors of the liberal left.If a golf club allows only men be members ,the politically correct cronies get their knickers in a twist;But when a group like the OO decide to ban people due to their religion,nothing is done.For shame.
Then again what do you expect when the British monarchy likewise glorifies the poor treatment of catholics by forbidding a catholic from ever getting to the throne!
Personally,as much as I detest this cult of hate,I don't back those nationalists who rise to the bait of its petty,provocative marches.My advice would be to ignore them.This is what happens in the Republic.Very little violence takes place in the south.As much as the OO irritate and annoy the nationalist community in Ireland's north the answer is to ignore the thugs.
Perhaps one day unionists will one day come to their senses and disband the Orange Order?How about they even declare the ban is over?!
Until then nationalists must wait.Wait until unionists join the rest of us in seeing the Order for what it really is-pathetic penguin-marching prejudice passed off as patriotism!
Saturday, December 25, 2004
What an experience it was for me and my family heading to mass in the car as the snow fell from aloft.
I smiled as I realised I might not see another Christmas like this in my lifetime.Truly it is an experience to savour.
Happy Christmas everyone!
Friday, December 24, 2004
Merry Christmas All!
So,in the immortal words of John Lennon:
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear.
Hero/Villain of the Day-24.12.04
Villain: Tariq Aziz:Aziz has informed his lawyer that he will not be testifying against Iraq's former dictator Saddam Hussein.
"I am not ready to testify against President Saddam Hussein.I will not say anything that contradicts with my conscience and honour" a handwritten statement by Aziz said.
I sincerely hope he is "ready" to testify soon.Conscience and honour demands that men who have perpetrated crimes are punished for them.If Aziz has information that is of value he ought to share it.
Friday Fun-News in Brief
I must say I welcome the move.When I was at school it seemed like for alot of my classes the pupil-teacher ratio was 30 to 0!
This week police in Dorset,England ordered a naked,large-breasted festive garden gnome to cover up after a motorist complained it was indecent.The police received a complaint from a mother who said her children had been upset.
Tut-tut.Gnomes these days,eh?They have no respect for themselves.
I read on BBC the plans by The Irish Academy of Engineers to build a 50 mile link under the sea.What's proposed is a tunnel link connecting Rosslare to Fishguard in Pembrokeshire across St.George's Channel.
Well I must say I'm not too pleased with the diagram on the BBC's website for the plan!It looks like poor Ireland is being taken advantage of,if you know what I mean!See for yourself here.
Led Zeppelin had two other entries in the top 10-Whole Lotta Love was number six and Rock and Roll was 8.
I must say I agree with the outcome as I am a big fan of Stairway to Heaven.I also like Led Zeppelin and I'm surprised Kashmir didn't get into the top 10.Other songs by them I like are Over The Hills And Far Away and When The Levee Breaks.
What really annoys me though is the absence of Voodoo Child from the list!Surely that should have been top 5?What a song!It shows the genius of Jimi Hendrix.
Here's the top 10 list according to the survey:
1.Led Zeppelin-Stairway to Heaven
4.Deep Purple-Smoke on the Water
6.Led Zeppelin-Whole Lotta Love
7.The Eagles-Hotel California
8.Led Zeppelin-Rock and Roll
9.AC/DC-Highway to Hell
10.Jimi Hendrix Experience-All Along The WatchTower
Friday Fun's Fascinating Fact
-The "Partridge in a pear tree" was Christ.
-2 Turtle Doves=The old and New Testaments
-3 French Hens=Faith,Hope and Charity-the Theological Virtues
-4 Calling Birds=The Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
-5 Golden Rings=The first five books of the Old Testament,the "Pentateuch",which relays the history of man's fall from grace.
-6 Geese A-Laying=The 6 days of Creation
-7 Swans A-Swimming=The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit,the seven sacraments
-8 Maids A-Milking=The eight beatitudes
-9 Ladies Dancing=The nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
-10 Lords A-Leaping=The Ten Commandments
-11 Pipers Piping=The eleven faithful apostles
-12 Drummers Druming=The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed
Commenting on this,Dr.Paisley said it was a "Papist plot to take over the world".(Note-may not be true)
Land of the Funk,Home of the Beats
I have to say that when it comes to hip-hop,Bush gets my vote!
Fun Irelander Feature-Christmas Evil
'Twas an icy miserable day today as I made my way into the city centre.As if it wasn't bad enough that the bus I was on was full,when I got off I was greeted by some good old Irish rain.I knew I should have brought an umbrella...Oh well...
As I made my way through the rain I realised just how full town was.The place was packed.Some people will say that I shouldn't complain as I left my shopping too late and that it's my fault for being lazy.Personally,I like to think of myself as motivationally challenged but fair enough I probably shouldn't complain about the amount of people out and about however I am entitled to complain about the bad-mannered,ignorant individuals who inhabit this city!
As I walked along the streets of Dublin,particularly Henry Street,I found various types of people who have as much decency as a herd of donkeys.People like:
- The Cutters: I call these people 'cutters' as when you're walking down the street(in a straight line,naturally)these people will suddenly,without warning,cut right across you leaving you stood there annoyed and angry and questioning the state of humanity!
- The Slowpokes: You know the people I'm talking about.You're eager to get to some place and suddenly you're stopped by people who have the speed and gait of a tortoise.Encountering these people tests your patience to the max!
- The Chargers: These people are the exact opposite of the Slowpokes.They're so eager to get to their destination that nothing,not even you,will stand in their way.Look out if you see one of these people coming at you!If only they'd consider slowing down-that way I could give them a few digs for crashing into my shopping bags!
- Window Browsers: How irritating are thse people?They never watch where they're going.You are walking in a straight line and the person in front of you is instead looking at something in a window.They expect you to notice them despite the fact they won't notice you.One of these days I'm not going to step aside for these types and I'm going to walk right into them!It's the least they deserve!
- Phone people :These people irritate me the most.I'm not talking about people on their mobile phones talking,but people on their mobile phones texting.They walk along with the phone outstretched in front of them like some sort of symbol,like some sort of defiant statement and again expect you to notice them and move out of their way.These people infuriate me.They must think their phone is some sort of magic device akin to Moses' staff which parted the Red Sea.Likewise they expect their phones to part the crowds!One of these days I won't step aside!I won't!
I'm sure there are many more types that I haven't mentioned here.Overall I think what I've learned today is to definitely do your Christmas shopping a week or so in advance and not to leave it too late.Not because of the demand for items but because of the ill-mannered Dubs of this city who will depress you at this festive time!
Thankfully my mood is alot better now.I got some good items and what's more,I don't have to go back to Town for at least a couple of days!
Goodwill to all men!
Thursday, December 23, 2004
Hero/Villain of the Day-23.12.04
I sincerely hope he does.He is very important to Man.Utd and he's the finest Irish footballler around.I am a big fan of the living legend that is Roy Keane and I hope he has alot more years left in the beautiful game.There's only one Keano!(Robbie doesn't count...)
Villains: Dissident Republicans:The dissidents have been launching an arson campaign across the North.These actions must be condemned and are particularly distasteful at this time of year.
Is it too much to ask that they show some respect over Christmas?It seems it is.
Thursday Thoughts:Solution to the Problem
Now I will outline what I would be willing to offer to the unionists and nationalists in Ireland.
I believe it would be an acceptable compromise to both communities and could enjoy support from both communties.I believe it could offer a solution to the problem.
Here's what I believe a United Ireland should be based upon:
- Nationalists would give up on their hope for a republic while unionists would give up on the division of Ireland.
- Britain would enjoy influence in Ireland akin to what the Republic enjoys presently in the North.
- Enshrined into law would be the monarchy's rights.I would favour a situation not unlike Andorra with Ireland having both a President and a Monarch.Since I would expect Ireland to be in the Commonwealth,the Queen could look after Irish interests when it concerns the Commonwealth while the President could look after domestic issues that the Queen could not.
- There would be a new anthem-Inclusive to all.
- The complete removal of the British Army.
- No chance of a return to the UK unless a majority of the island wants it.
- A new flag which enjoys support from both communities.Perhaps the former flag with the harp on a green background would be the most suitable option.
- The united Ireland would run on a federal basis.Power would be devolved to the four provinces if possible but if this is not workable another arrangement would be found, however Ulster will be allowed its own body to look after its affairs.
- Issues that affect the island will be decided by the entire government and decision making will be a fair process.
- All Irish politicans must take an oath to promise to uphold law and order in Ireland and serve all Irish people.
I believe this is a United Ireland that suits both communities and can bring a resolution to the long conflict.
Blackbirds Don't Know How To Relax
Listeners to the BBC Radio 4's Today programme were asked to record which species of bird were first to arrive at feeding stations after dawn.
The results were taken on the shortest day of the year,December 21st.
Apparently blackbirds arrived for their morning feed 13 minutes after sunrise,with the robin arriving 16 minutes after sunrise.
The poor old blackbird needs to learn to appreciate the joy of sleeping in late.Lord knows I have.
The blackbird should remember this wise quote,"The early bird gets the worm;But in the end the worms get the bird."
God Save Ireland-From These Guys
Similar incidents have occurred in the north in recent weeks.
Just what is the purpose of this campaign?Ireland is to be united thanks to a couple of stores going up in flames?Oh how proud men like Wolfe Tone and Robert Emmet would be to see this brave and noble campaign to free Ireland from the tyranny of Britishness!
Do the people doing these acts honestly think they will gain respect from it?
A century from now are Irish schoolchildren going to open their school books to read about the heroes who burned stores during the holiday season?I think not.
The criminals doing these acts shouldn't be called dissident republicans they should be called criminals.These incidents bring shame on Ireland and bring shame on the history of Irish Republicanism.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Hero/Villain of the Day-22.12.04
They were met by their families and French President Jacques Chirac at the Villacoublay military airport.
Well done to the French government for negotiating the release of the two men.It is great for the men and their families that they can now spend Christmas together.The men must have found the separation from their families very traumatic but at least they are safe and sound now.It's a terrible shame others were not so lucky.
Villain:Yahoo!:I note today that the online giant Yahoo! is refusing parents in Michigan from accessing the e-mail account of their 20-year-old son Justin Ellsworth,who was killed last month while serving his country.Lawyers and even computer-code crackers have been offering to help.Yahoo! said it is standing by its policy of protecting the privacy of its e-mail subscribers.
The cold-hearted attitude of Yahoo! is very disappointing and I'm sure the family of this young man would be very comforted to read what he had to say.I'm sure the young man would've wanted his family to see what he has been writing and they should not be denied access.
'What If'?Wednesday-No Treaty
On December 5th,1921,Lloyd George issues an ultimatum to the delegates-accept or reject the terms by 10pm.Failure to do so would result in "an immediate and terrible war".
Here's what could have happened:
- Collins and the other delegates decide they cannot accept the terms and inform Lloyd George of their decision.
- A furious Lloyd George prepares to increase troop numbers while the British media blasts the Irish delegates.The USA is told that the Irish have ruined the chance for peace.The support for Irish independence in Britain and America drops.
- To the surprise of the British,the IRA collapses in a matter of weeks.The Irish public are angry at Sinn Fein for not finding a resolution.Collins is criticised by some Irish people for not having the guts to sign the Treaty offered.The Irish are also angry as partition remains.
- The British offer fresh Treaty talks after angry protest marches by disgruntled Irish people angry at their situation as well as their concerns for nationalists in the Northern State.The British have been imposing Direct Rule upon Southern Ireland since the collapse of the IRA.They inform the delegates the original offer is no longer available and that they must accept the Southern Ireland government(which can be renamed as Saorstat Eireann) or else face an "indefinite term" of Direct Rule.The British offer the south no more than the North.
- De Valera will not tolerate the South as part of the UK and splits with Sinn Fein to form Fianna Fail.A civil war follows as de Valera seeks the Irish people to push for the Dominion Status originally offered by the British.Dev remarks it would bring the "freedom to achieve freedom".
- Collins gets assasssinated in 1923.
- Irish people annoyed by the treatment by the British and the death of Collins back the IRA and the Southern Ireland government(Free State) falls in 1924 and the British once more introduce Direct Rule.This angers the Irish people and what's more,the angry Northern State takes its fury and paranoia out on the nationalist community.
- The British offer the Irish the terms they did in 1921.De Valera returns to Ireland a hero for getting the Treaty.
Anyone care to comment on this rewriting of history?
As for who committed the crime,police are refusing to rule out republican or loyalist paramilitary involvement.
Involvement by the Provisional IRA has not been ruled out.If it transpires that they did in fact commit this act,that is it for Sinn Fein.Their credibility(what's left of it)will be destroyed.
They have been linked to crimes before.The Independent Monitoring Commission blamed the Provos for a raid on a Makro Cash and Carry store in the south of Belfast last May.
If indeed the Provos did this,perhaps this is just what nationalism needs!Hopefully most nationalists would then turn to the SDLP and Sinn Fein would become marginalised.
However it's still early days and we can only speculate.This is one story to keep an eye on...
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Hero/Villain of the Day-21.12.04
Fair play to him for visiting these places particularly at this time of the year.
Villain: FIFA:I was disgusted to read today what the governing body of fottball believe justice to be.They have gone and given a fine to the Spanish FA for the racist chanting which occurred during the friendlies involving England a month ago.They have been fined 100,000 Swiss francs which is the equivalent of €64,500.
The English FA stated they "must accept" FIFA's decision.Privately,the English FA are said to be dismayed at FIFA's decision.The anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out said the punishment was "simply not good enough".
The racism that went on during the match(and it also took place during the under-21 match)made me sick to my stomach.The morons that engaged in it will not be deterred from doing it in future by this pathetic and paltry fine.The Spanish FA should have at least been forced to play some matches behind closed doors.
It seems to me the governing body of football doesn't have any balls!
United We Stand
President Mary McAleese's husband,Martin,has been lined up to broker talks which would see athletes from Ireland's north no longer competing for the UK but for Ireland instead.
This is fantastic news.Moves to unite Ireland in sport are excellent for nationalism and if one day we see a united Ireland football team I believe it would be great for the people on this island.Sport brings people together and football remains particularly important to the people north and south.
I hope it comes about soon.
Top Ten Tuesday-Taoisigh
I hinted that I might offer this chart so here it is!The Top Ten Taoisigh:
1.Eamon de Valera
Feel free to offer your opinions on my choices.
Belfast Bank Robbery
A senior detective confirmed in a press conference this afternoon that more than £20 million may have been taken.
Two senior members of staff and their families were held hostage at their homes as part of the elaborate plan.It is the biggest heist ever staged in Ireland's north.
Apparently,the gang went to the employee's houses on Sunday.The officials who were both keyholders were told to go to work the following day as usual.The operation got under way at the close of business on Monday.
The idea that this may have been carried out by a paramilitary group has not been ruled out.
Earlier,Minister for Justice Michael McDowell said it would be of huge importance if the robbery was shown to be the work of paramilitaries.
It will be interesting to see how this pans out.Needless to say,hopefully the thieves will be caught and locked up for a long time.
Monday, December 20, 2004
Hero/Villain of the Day-20.12.04
The move was promised last year by Tanaiste,Mary Harney,but reports today said Enterprise Minister Micheal Martin had abandoned the plan due to "legal and practical reasons".
This is yet another example of the dishonesty of this joke of a Government.Deputy Lynch said the Government was showing favouritism towards doctors and dentists."I think they're being treated differently"she said.They sure are.I guess in this Government's eyes all professions are equal,but some professions are more equal than others.
Villain: Mary Harney:She made a promise last year to force doctors and dentists to publicly display their prices.Like so many Irish politicians she has broken her promise.
This is a woman who has been repeatedly calling on the Irish people to keep a lookout for the cheapest price!
Rip-off Ireland is in safe hands with this woman.Hey better yet how about the Irish people keep a lookout for better politicians at the next election?That way we might get in politicians that actually KEEP THEIR PROMISES.
Monday Madness-Sinn Fein the Partitionist Party
Some nationalists might not like me saying that about them but I'll explain my reasons.
First of all,Sinn Fein,intentionally or unintentionally,is safeguarding the border's existence.
Why?Well even though they claim they back the Good Friday Agreement,the Agreement states that Irish unity will only occur if a majority north and south vote for it.Census results have indicated that the nationalist population will not overtake unionists any time in the future.Therefore it stands to reason that if SF really backed unity they would do their utmost to argue the case for it to the unionist people.Do they?No.Instead,they remain inextrciably linked to a paramilitary group that unionists despise with all their might.Does this sound like a party that backs Irish unity?Not in my book.
Secondly,their rhetoric and ideals are not compatible with the unionist community.They make no efforts to find a compromise for a united Ireland.It is either their way or not at all.What this means is that it will be not at all.I want to see Irish unity occur.It will not under these methods.
Therefore,to me,the Sinn Fein position is one of idiocy.
Let me explain further.Let's suppose a paramilitary group were to form which dedicated itself to world peace by any means necessary.Imagine if this group was prepared to kill and maim and use terrorist techniques to attain world peace.They kill and kill in their quest for peace and their actions only serve to enrage people who respond with hatred and an intention to kill back.Peace suffers.The group resond by telling their members and supporters that they must stick to their ideals no matter what as they are living in a world which is opposed to peace.Sound familiar?
It should.This is not a million miles away from the Sinn Fein position.They are linked to republicans who,in the eyes of the unionist community,want them gone.Sinn Fein's calls for Irish unity will not be heard because they are not willing to respect the unionist identity and respect a different way of doing things.They clutch to their ideals and they will wreck the chance for unity by doing so.
Sinn Fein will not bring Irish unity.Adams and McGuinness will not succeed.They do not comprehend that Irish unity is a marriage of two states and like a marriage of two people requires one thing above all else-compromise.Sinn Fein's worst enemy is not the DUP or Dr.Paisley.It is its own history.It is being consumed by its past.It cannot see the future.
If Sinn Fein were truly a party for reunification they would immediately call for IRA disbandment and they would not be hung up on issues like photographs and "humiliation".
Sinn Fein whether it realises it or not is keeping that border in place.If it succeeds in sending a few British troops home in some deal,don't be fooled by it!The troops may go,but the line on the map stays.Partition stays.
Sinn Fein are without a doubt a partitionist party.A vote for them is a vote wasted.If fresh elections are called soon by the Secretary of State I urge nationalists to vote for the SDLP.They have no guns,are not tied to the past and are practical about issues like Irish unity.If you want a united Ireland one day do not vote for Sinn Fein!
In the words of Indira Gandhi,"You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist".
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Hero/Villain of the Day-19.12.04
He spoke about his experience of being kidnapped by the IRA in 1990 and said that experience has influenced his view that the McCabe killers should not be set free.
Mr.Finucane is absolutely right and I've been impressed by the stance Fine Gael have taken on this issue.The majority of the Irish people don't want those killers to be set free.
Villain: Michael McDowell:Stated today that he would be willing to tolerate the release of the killers of Garda McCabe.
He also said the IRA had ceased all major criminal activity in the Republic.One can't help but wonder why McDowell is pandering to republicans bearing in mind it's not too long ago republicans were found with information on TDs.
I'm disappointed with his views on the McCabe matter especially.
Sunday Surprise-What Do You Think?
For what it's worth,me thinks that 'Sunday Surprise' is a bad idea and perhaps something different should be tried on Sundays.The title alone is a bit ridiculous as it's not like I'm using Sunday to give out prizes!
Time For An Explanation!
Yes the man that is disliked by the majority of Europe and a significant portion of his own people has scooped the award for the second time after winning re-election and "reshaping the rules of politics to fit his 10-gallon-hat leadership style"-referring to his cowboy image.
Bush joins six other US presidents who won the award twice:Truman,Eisenhower,Johnson,Nixon,Reagan and Clinton.
I must say I'm disappointed to see he has won the award.OK he won his election but surely there must have been someone else who deserved the award more?Surely?
I don't think this award will make much difference to his image worldwide however.
Other notable winners of Time magazine's Person of the Year award were people such as Adolf Hitler who got the award in 1938 and Joseph Stalin who,like Bush,scooped the award twice in1938 and again in 1942.
Michael,You Feeling OK?
Michael McDowell also indicated in certain circumstances he would tolerate the release of the killers of Garda McCabe.
According to McDowell the IRA stopped criminal activity in the run up to the latest set of negotiations in the peace process.He also said reported sensitivity of republicans to photographs has been exaggerated.
Is Michael feeling OK?Usually he can't wait to stick the boot into republicans now he's painting a very pretty picture of them.Gerry Adams didn't send him a Christmas card,did he?
Saturday, December 18, 2004
Hero/Villain of the Day-18.12.04
It looked likely from the startling change in Mr.Yushchenko's appearance that he'd been poisoned.This was confirmed last week.Mr.Yushchenko should be praised for demanding justice over the attempt on his life.
Villains: Car Theft Thieves Today:I was disgusted when I learned on A Tangled Web about an incident today in Lisburn,Co. Antrim, where a 16-month-old baby boy was thrown from a stolen car by the thieves.
The car was stolen from the boy's father who had stopped the vehicle after noticing the men attempting to steal another one.
The father was beaten and a man ripped part of his ear off with his teeth.
Thankfully the baby was uninjured although the father required hospital treatment.
I wouldn't have thought many things in the news would shock me these days but this incident was truly shocking.I hope the men who did this are caught soon and punished severely.
Pearse-A Proud Patriot
"Education should foster;this education is meant to repress.Education should inspire this education is meant to tame.Education should harden;this education is meant to enervate.The English are too wise a people to attempt to educate the Irish in any worthy sense.As well expect them to arm us."
"Life springs from death;and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations.The Defenders of this Realm have worked well in secret and in the open.They think they have pacified Ireland.They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half.They think they have forseen everything,think that they provided against everything;but the fools,the fools,the fools!-they have left us our Fenian dead,and while Ireland holds these graves,Ireland unfree shall never be at peace." -O'Donovan Rossa oration at Glasnevin cemetery,August 1,1915.
"We seem to have lost.We have not lost.To refuse to fight would have been to lose;to fight is to win.We have kept faith with the past,and handed on a tradition to the future."
"Believe that we too love freedom and desire it.To us it is more desirable than anything else in the world.If you strike us down now we shall rise again and renew the fight.You cannot conquer Ireland;you cannot extinguish the Irish passion for freedom.If our deed has not been sufficient to win freedom then our children will win it by a better deed."
Pearse was truly a genius.A flawed one perhaps,but a genius nonetheless.An enigma,a mystery but a patriot.A man who gave his life for the sake of his country.If men from another point in history chose to continue his ideas,this should not count against Pearse.Pearse came from a time when it was honourable to fight for what you believe in.Pearse sought to alter Ireland.
Present day Republicans who advocate Pearse's teachings ignore the alteration the world has underwent.
Pearse loved his country.I find quotes such as the ones above to make me proud of my country,proud of my nationality and proud of the sacrifice men like him made for later generations of Irish people.People like me.
Erin go Bragh.
Hero of the Week: Pope John Paul II:On Thursday it emerged the Pope had dismissedtwo priests of the Ferns Diocese in Co.Wexford.Fr Donal Collins and Fr James Doyle had been convicted by the civil courts of child abuse.On Friday,it emerged that in the Diocese of Kerry one of its priests had been defrocked by the Pope over an alleged sexual assault.
The Pope must be praised for his actions as the image of Ireland and the Catholic Church has been damaged by the shameful actions of such individuals.The Pope's tough line is most welcome and it would be great if,health permitting,he makes another visit to Ireland next year.
Villain of the Week: Bertie Ahern:There were numerous contenders but it has to be Ahern.He dropped the ball in the peace process by declaring the issue of photographs was not workable and that some other way would have to be found.As a result,he enraged Dr.Paisley and had to suffer the indignity of apologising to him.He also took deserved criticism from Enda Kenny on the Garda McCabe issue.
This was also a week where it emerged house prices had risen 8.4% in the last 11 months,a week where the Government was accused of knowing about the illegal charging of pensioners over 70 in nursing homes and a week in which the Dail agreed to the Government's proposal for a Christmas break lasting over a month until the 26th January.
What a great leader we have!
Funniest Moment of the Week: Paisley's tirade against Ahern: 'As far as we are concerned,Mr.Ahern is a man that can't be trusted'.Well Duh,Ian!Many Irish people could've told you that!
Dunce of the Week: Bertie Ahern: I know it seems like I'm picking on him,but does this man have any tact?Besides,Dubya hasn't been too prominent this week.
Celebrity of the Week: James Brown:The Godfather of Soul underwent successful surgery for his recently-diagnosed prostate cancer.
According to his urologist,Dr James Bennett,a full recovery is expected."I feel good"said Brown as he left the clinic.Glad to hear it,James.
Quote of the Week: "We had the issue of photographs,and that's not workable so we have to try to find some other way"- Bertie Ahern.D'oh!
Friday, December 17, 2004
Hero/Villain of the Day-17.12.04
Yesterday two other Irish priests were defrocked by Pope John Paul II.I applaud the Pope over this as the priests who engaged in such despicable acts have brought shame on Ireland as well as their religion.
Villain: Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan who said signing a text extending Turkey's association agreement with the EU to include Cyprus did not mean recognition of its government.His opinions left a sour taste on proceedings.
Friday Fun-News in Brief
Your recollection?Sounds like his memory's gone!I think he ought to be put in a home himself.And he can take plenty of his party colleagues with him,I say!
Yesterday,the European Parliament approved funds of over £60 million to help the NI peace process.
What I'd like to know is,if it fails,do they get their money back?
Complaintsagainst doctors are up 30% in the past five years.
I'm not surprised.It seems like the price of going to the doctor has risen by 30%!
The Taoiseachhas said he does not expect that the issue of the three Irishmen convicted on charges of terrorism in Colombia will have any impact on the NI peace process.
Well that puts my mind at ease!If Bertie says everything's OK it must be true!
Friday Fun's Fascinating Fact
Clubs-Alexander the Great
Commenting on this,Martin McGuinness stated this was a "travesty" and a "deep injustice" to the nationalist community and demanded equal representation by replacing two of the kings with Presidents.(Note-may not be true)
Fun Irelander Feature-D4
Dublin 4 is the affluent part of the city with places such as Donnybrook where you will unfortunately run into individuals made famous by people such as writer/comedian Ross O'Carroll-Kelly.
These people will indeed be heard uttering phrases such as "roysh","totally","like,whatever" and "craic"(this one irritates me especially.Dubs can't pull off using this word.Leave it to the country people,I say.)
D4 types are the people living off Mammy and Daddy and they value the important things in life like popularity and mocking others inferior to them.
D4 ladies will usually be seen holding a beverage which no doubt contains the words,"mocha" and "cappucino".They can be reduced to a nervous breakdown due to Daddy deciding not to let them have the Merc for the weekend.They usually go around with a big dollop of fake tan giving them a healthy yet blinding orange glow.
They model themselves on the characters from Sex and the City.
As for the D4 men(I use the term grudgingly),these people usually can be found sporting several blonde streaks in their hair and delight in keeping a permanent and unsettling smile.
They are the Irish equivalent of America's "jocks".They say the word "roysh" at a rate that will drive you crazy and believe they are God's gift to women.
D4,what's it for?These people are pseudo-Americans with little pride in anything except their wallets.Indeed,in a conversation I had recently,I was told about a D4 girl being paid by her father to attend her lectures in the college she was attending.
If you are not very aware of Dublin,you must beware of D4!Conversation with these people will break you.Or rather,it will "craic" you.You've been warned.
Women ARE Like Buses...
The downside is we're still going to face a 3.5% increase in fares for Iarnrod Eireann,Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann.
Aren't things dear enough as it is in this bloody country?!That old saying about women being like buses is certainly true now.When you want one,you can't get one and when it does come,loads more come too.And they delight in taking your money...
That's a sex machine to all the chicks?
Ya damn right!
Who is the man that would never risk his neck
For his brother man?
Can you dig it?
Who's the cat that always cops out
When there's danger all about?
They say this cat Ahern is a bad politician
SHUT YOUR MOUTH!
I'm talkin 'bout Ahern.
THEN WE CAN DIG IT!
He's a complicated man
But no one understands him 'cos he's inept
Before you jump to the conclusion I've lost my marbles,check out this.Make up your own mind!
The Peace Process(a.k.a.The Jungle Book)
Mowgli-Someone who finds himself in an environment where he's surrounded by lots of strange and bizarre characters?Why it's Paul Murphy,isn't it?!Poor guy.
Bagheera-The strong and cunning creature who often finds he's not appreciated by those around him.Why it's Tony Blair,of course!Hey,in the stories,Bagheera wasn't ever friends with an American ass was he?
Hathi-Ah yes,the elephant who led around his loyal band of fellow elephants.Why it's Bertie Ahern isn't it?!Oh Hathi proudly proclaimed an elephant never forgets and then went and proved this wasn't the case!Kind of like Bertie who frequently forgets to stick to the same story.D'oh!
Baloo-"Look for the bare necessities,the simple bare necessities,forget about your worries and your strife."Why it's Gerry Adams,isn't it?!We're always hearing him dismissing talk of the weapons issue and asking us to see the progress made!He's clearly Baloo!Look for the bare necessities,the simple bare necessities,forget about the guns and loss of life...
King Louie-Why it's got to be Nigel Dodds,obviously!The ape who declared in song to Murphy..uh I mean Mowgli,"Now,I'm the king of the swingers,Oh the jungle VIP,I've reached the top and had to stop,And that's what's botherin' me".See he's hungry for power!He wants rid of Paisley!I see what game your playing Dodds!
"Oh oobee do,I wanna be like you,I wanna walk like you,talk like you,too".Look out Murphy,Dodds wants your position!
Kaa-Oh that wily snake with its hypnotic eyes.Why it's Peter Robinson,isn't it?!Those mad eyes on him,don't look at them Murphy!"Trust in me" he sings.Yeah right!You're after power too!
Four vultures-Those four friendly vultures,why it's the UUP isn't it?Let's face it most of them look like vultures!Weren't the vultures based on the Beatles?I don't think there was one based on Yoko though.Shame as I really wanted to include Jeffrey Donaldson.Still,the vultures much like the UUP helped Mowgli from-Shere Khan!
Shere Khan-The self proclaimed rightful lord of the jungle,why it's Dr.Paisley,isn't it?!Murphy,like Mowgi,you have to stand up to this creature!He's tough but you're up to it!
As I said,the peace process-it's just like The Jungle Book!
Here Comes Fun!
So,let's get things under way!
Thursday, December 16, 2004
Hero/Villain of the Day-16.12.04
Villain: Ian Paisley Jr.:Opened his mouth about the three Irishmen today convicted by a Bogota Court.I suppose one shouldn't be surprised at this however the story had barely broken and he was already getting stuck into the issue.
He described the result as 'an early Christmas present by the justice system in Colombia to the people in Northern Ireland'.Please!
Paisley Jr. has always bugged me.Whenever I've seen him on TV he's come across as arrogant and obnoxious.I doubt he got it from his mother's side.The comments of this man are unnecessary at a time when the peace process is at a delicate stage.
The families of the three men I'm sure would be disgusted with these remarks.
Hopefully the future of the DUP will be left in the hands of more sensible people such as Robinson as opposed to idiots like Paisley Jr.
Thursday Thoughts:Ireland's Role
The Republicanism of Sinn Fein and others is doomed to failure as for all its claims about wanting reunification it still markets itself as being as distinguishable from Britishness as possible.The idiocy of the Sinn Fein position is evident in their ties to the IRA while at the same time supporting the GFA.The GFA states for unity to occur,a majority in the North must support it.It is clear from the recent census results that this won't happen through out breeding the unionists(a good thing as it would lead to more heartache).One wonders therefore why Sinn Fein if they truly desire unity remain tied to an organisation that unionists HATE with all their might.In other words,Sinn Fein is a PARTITIONIST PARTY.
For Irish unity to ever occur,nationalists must learn to respect the right of Britishness on this island.Personally,I have no problem with it.We have experienced invasions from Celts,Vikings and Normans.The anti-Britishness that is held in some quarters of natioanlism must be resigned to the past.I favour Irish unity more than anything else.I support a republican style of government over a monarchy however if a united Ireland meant sacrificing a republic,I'd back that.To me,unity matters more.From 1937-1949,Ireland was not officially a republic after all.
So then,how should nationalism hope to pursue reunification?Well,I'll outline the role I think an Irish government ought to pursue to help pave the way for talks on unity.
Firstly,yesterday was a great step forward.Involvement from the north in southern affairs is a great way of ignoring the influence of the border to Irish people.Other methods that should be pursued:
- Involvement from the North in deciding the Irish Presidency.If it is acceptable for someone from Ireland's north to be the President surely people from Ireland's north should be allowed to vote in the election.Again,this shows an ignorance to the border.
- An ambassador should be established for southern unionists.A move such as this helps to dispel accusations of anti-Britishness labelled at the Republic and such an ambassador could set about acknowledging the disgraceful treatment given to unionists in the Irish Free State after partition that is rarely mentioned.
- An Irish Government should entitle anyone born in the Republic to classify themselves as Irish and British.This acknowledges that if unity ever were to occur,unionists and their right to be British would be respected.An ambassador for southern unionists could be involved in such a move.
- I would like to see the links between the two islands strengthened and I feel a fitting time would be during the Rememberance celebrations each year.I find it so sad that the Republic doesn't acknowledge properly those who fought in wars for Britain and an all-Ireland rememberance would go down well north and south I feel.
- Moves should be made by an Irish Government to take all sports on an all-Ireland level.I see this is happening right now in most sports accept football.I think an all-Ireland football team would be a great way to unite the people.
- I think efforts should be made to push for an all-Ireland police force.This has been discussed in the past but rarely with much seriousness.I think it would be a useful move.
- There should be regular meetings with the monarchy.When is the proposed visit from Elizabeth going to take place?I want to see visits from the monarchy every six months at least to show unionists we respect their identity.
- And while this might be the most controversial thing I propose,I am firmly of the opinion that Ireland should rejoin the Commonwealth.When Mandela became President of South Africa one of the first things he did was apply to rejoin.Ireland is the only country to have left the Commonwealth and not gone back.While this might be a source of pride for some nationalists,it shouldn't be.What good did leaving do?Nothing.It brought about the Ireland Act and destroyed the last link between north and south.There are republics in the commonwealth today and there is no reason why Ireland shouldn't apply to rejoin.Ahern at one point expressed an interest in debating the issue more thoroughly but nothing has been heard since.I feel rejoining would be a good move as it again shows unionists we are not intimidated by Britishness and furthermore Ireland could be allowed compete in the Commonwealth games as one team representing the island which would do much good for all-Ireland relations.
In conclusion,it is clear to me that for Irish unity to ever be on the discussion table,nationalists must put aside anti-British hostility and recognise the special relationship of unionists and the British mainland.Nationalists should not hope to try and rip this relationship from the hands of unionism.For Irish reunifcation to be seen as a possibility,nationalists must set aside bitterness and assure unionists that a united Ireland will not see a repeat of the poor treatment dished out to unionists in the Free State.Forget the partitionist nonsense of a united Ireland by 2016 and talk of outbreeding and get down to building an island for the future that we all can enjoy.Collins declared he hoped the Free State would offer "The freedom to achieve freedom".I say it is time the Republic set about doing this and made the Republic the model for a united Ireland.
Sinn Fein's efforts will never work.Nationalism is built on revolution,but it must move forward through evolution.
In my opinion this decision is unacceptable and it is time the Irish government pressed for the three men to be brought home to face an Irish court.It is clear the Colombian authorities cannot be trusted to uphold justice judging by the numerous reports of mistreatment of the prisoners.
Indeed I learned on RTE tonight the families of the men do not even know of the whereabouts of the men!
Bring them home.Now.
Gibraltar To Remain British
This is the fairest way to deal with the issue as it seemed like previous Spanish governments had been taking lessons from Sinn Fein in reconciliation.Basically whine and complain until you get your way.Unfortunately this method won't achieve anything constructive.
Furthermore the idea that Gibraltar could have potentially been granted Joint Sovereignty was ridiculous considering more people in Gibraltar want to be British than the people of Ireland's north.Why was it deemed acceptable to grant Joint Sovereignty to Gibraltar and not Ireland's north?Whatever the reason it seems Gibraltar's status is secure beyond doubt-it's British.
God Rest Ye Merry,Gentleman
The Green Party leader,Trevor Sargent,had objected to the length of the holiday.Sargent proposed the Dail would reconvene on the 12th January.However,on a vote,the House backed the Government's proposal.
I find this decision to be shameful but not at all surprising.After all I believe I'm correct in saying that they also take a week off for St.Patrick's Day even though most schoolchildren get a day,two days tops.
Now they are giving themselves a Christmas break of more than a month when most schoolchildren will be back in the first week of January.
Considering that there is much concern over Ireland's north right now I imagine Ahern wanted to steer clear of any more questions on the matter.
Oh well,as you head off to work and the kids head off to school on a cold December day,console yourself with the thought that at least our Government TDs are able to enjoy themselves.
Apparently the price of alcohol in pubs was consistently greater-the average price of a pint of lager in Dublin is 13.2% greater.
As a Dub I have spoken to tourists who have come to visit and the prices of this country were a major issue with them and who can blame them?
I myself not too long ago went into a shop to buy myself a snack bar and was shocked to hear the cashier charge me 90 cents for it!What's worse is that I actually forked over the cash(I was hungry).
I think from now on they should start selling t-shirts saying,"My friend went to Dublin and all he could afford was this lousy t-shirt".
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Hero/Villain of the Day-15.12.04
I found it hard to pick a hero in stark contrast to having to pick a villain.No prizes for guessing who the villain is...
Hero: Enda Kenny:Kenny deserves to be praised for quite rightly criticizing Ahern over his handling of the McCabe issue.
The majority of people in Ireland do not want the men who killed Garda McCabe released and Ahern should listen to the will of the people.
Villain: David Blunkett:Who else?He enraged many members of his party by releasing a book which criticizes several of them.One has to sympathise with him as the Press have been hounding him and one wonders if his resignation will give him some respite from the tabloids.
What You Can Expect
- Monday Madness:On Mondays I will deliver an angry rant on whatever is irritating me in politics.Given that it will be on a Monday,feeling irritated shouldn't be a problem.
- Top Ten Tuesday:As the name suggests on Tuesdays I will give a top ten chart on something political.I intend to be humourous with this so don't be surprised to see charts such as 'Top Ten Taoiseachs'!
- 'What If'?Wednesday:On Wednesday I will ponder on how different our lives might be if different choices and situations had been explored.Again,this could be humourous also.
- Thursday Thoughts:On Thursday I will offer my thoughts on issues such as those affecting nationalism.
- Friday Fun:Friday will se me give a humourous take on this island of ours.Well I don't want to depress anyone before the weekend.
- Saturday Survey:Saturday will see me review the week and offer my opinions on individuals by deciding on the Hero/Villain of the week,Funniest moment of the week and much more.
- Sunday Surprise:There will be no fixed feature for Sunday as I intend to use it to provide something unpredictable.It could be something funny,bitter or both!
I hope the above features will prove enjoyable and I also intend on giving a daily assessment on who I believe was the Hero/Villain of the Day which should provide many contenders for the Hero/Villain of the Week!
I hope these changes will make United Irelander a thought provoking visit,occasionally head wrecking but above all entertaining.
I hope it will become an enjoyable visit.Le cunamh Dia...
IRA Decides To Give?
If this is to be the policy of Sinn Fein and the IRA one wonders whether it will blow up in their faces(no pun intended).
It does leave Paisley in an awkward position if it goes ahead like this as Paisley will likely then snub the deal and as a result will have all the blame left at his feet.
It leaves the British government in an awkward position also as they will feel obliged to praise the development of decommissioning even if it doesn't offer Paisley the "transparency" he craves.
I question though if this is just a bluff by Sinn Fein and the IRA as it seems unlikely they will take actions such as these without knowing they are getting something in return.
Perhaps the IRA have gotten into the Christmas spirit and have discovered the gift of giving?
Homeward bound Secretary
Blunkett has stated he has done nothing wrong as the visa was processed by the "system".
He stated the reason for his resignation was because questions about his integrity were damaging the British Government.
I do have some sympathy for him.However comments about colleagues in his book have given him even more difficulties.I have no sympathy for him in this regard.Why did he feel the need to write a book at this particular time?He should've taken a look at what's happened to people involved in football who came out with books.Roy Keane,David O'Leary et al. have all seen the folly of coming out with books while heavily involved in their particular field.
Still,maybe he can now start work on a sequel...
The More The Merrier....
Ahern intends to have more cross-community representation from Ireland's north.
I support this decision and believe it is a worthwhile move for Irish nationalism.
I have in the past called for more representation from the north in southern affairs.
The fact is the border is designed to put in the minds of the people of this island that the Irish in the north are different from the Irish in the south.Nationalism believes that the island is one and that the border can never alter that.
Therefore,it stands to reason,that to show up the flaws of the border nationalists must set about doing their best to ignore the border.
I have stated before that in order for there one day to be a united Ireland without a border,there must first be a united Ireland with the border.
Moves like this are a good start.More please.
Ahern Backs Photographic Evidence
Ahern also stated that the IRA must clarify ending all its paramilitary activity which includes "all other illegal activity".
While I back this decision one can't help but wonder if Ahern will change his mind once more the next time he talks to Adams and co.
Ahern to me is like Lloyd George but without the craftiness.
At least when Lloyd George told lies there was a purpose to it!
What do you expect?
At the UN Millenium Summit in New York,Ahern had pledged that Ireland would give 0.7% of its national wealth on overseas aid.
Robinson added that the country's reputation had been damaged over the issue.
What does she expect?Ahern fails to keep his promise.What a surprise!
The fact is Bertie will say anything to make people happy as seen with the fiasco earlier this week involving Paisley.
Paisley got it right-Ahern can't be trusted.
What's Your Squirrel Name?
For the record I was Scratchy Furrycheeks which is odd as I have been meaning to shave!
It's only a game...
So there's lots of blood and violence in games?Well there's also an 18 rating on the box.How about parents take a look at that before they bring the game home to innocent little Johnny?
© 2008 United Irelander.