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CYNICAL POLITICAL OPPORTUNISM…

By David Vance On April 27th, 2019

Let’s get this right.

We need to get “our politicians” to work extra hard to restore Stormont so that those born AFTER the Belfast Agreement may stop killing people? It is remarkable to see the political class use the murder of Lyra McKee to advance their own virtue signalling idea of “politics’ Maybe we need to sit down and negotiate with her killers, show them politics is the better way, give them amnesty and lavish riches on them. Oh, wait….we’ve tried that, haven’t we?

Here’s a brutal truth. A section of the Northern Ireland community lives and breathes violence. It is transgenerational and it never ever goes away. By institutionalising terrorism, we ensure more will come. But then again, you all know that.

89 Responses to “CYNICAL POLITICAL OPPORTUNISM…”

  1. Stormont should be restored because that’s what elected and taxpayer funded politicians are supposed to be doing not because of any murder or event. If politicians cannot form an administration disband their official positions and their salaries.

  2. “Maybe we need to sit down and negotiate with her killers, ”

    Like Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams?

  3. Colm

    I agree,

  4. Bizarre to hear both the DUP and SF welcome the governments call for talks. Nobody was stopping them talking the past two years.

  5. Lyra McKee’s death was noteworthy because it was also so rare now that the peace process has vastly reduced the level of violence and retaliation that existed before. It was condemned across the political spectrum without equivocation with the exception of the absolute fringe of society.

  6. Absolutely spot on, Colm, Noel & Mahons.
    Talk like this

    Here’s a brutal truth. A section of the Northern Ireland community lives and breathes violence. It is transgenerational and it never ever goes away. By institutionalising terrorism, we ensure more will come. But then again, you all know that.

    is counterproductive and is the rhetoric of old-style, wouldn’t-have-a-Fenian-about-the-place Ulster Unionism, and absolutely is not the mindset of the vast majority of people in NI.
    People are sick to death of this now.
    Instead of condemning us all to some version of Hell with your negative broad-brushing of large sections of the community, why not use your social media platforms to promote something positive, like this?

    https://www.facebook.com/lyraswalk/

    Or will this be condemned to your ‘virtue-signalling’ ‘SJW’ bin?

  7. “Bizarre to hear both the DUP and SF welcome the governments call for talks. Nobody was stopping them talking the past two years.”

    Exactly, Noel. Like bloody children needing Mammy and Daddy to intervene. Embarrassing.

  8. Seimi I have a serious question for you. This statement upset you.

    A section of the Northern Ireland community lives and breathes violence. It is transgenerational and it never ever goes away. By institutionalising terrorism, we ensure more will come. But then again, you all know that.

    Take the politics and emotions out of it. Now is there a violence problem?

    Violence, like alcoholism, drug addiction, sex abuse, and physical abuse are transgenerational issues.

    People are reflections of the homes they grew up in. Children grow into the adults that surround them. If mommy and daddy are addicts the kids become addicts, if daddy beats mommy then the boys grow up thinking they can hit their woman and the girls grow up expecting to be hit by their spouse.

    It’s the same if your parents are involved in crime, terrorism, etc etc

    So I ask as an outsider and as someone not interested in the history, Is there a Violence Problem?

  9. This statement upset you.

    PaTroll – the statement didn’t ‘upset’ me. It frustrates me, because it’s the same lazy, blinkered thinking that I believe has kept us where we are for too long. It’s the same type of thinking that is summed up by the rest of your post:

    Violence, like alcoholism, drug addiction, sex abuse, and physical abuse are transgenerational issues.

    People are reflections of the homes they grew up in. Children grow into the adults that surround them. If mommy and daddy are addicts the kids become addicts, if daddy beats mommy then the boys grow up thinking they can hit their woman and the girls grow up expecting to be hit by their spouse.

    It’s the same if your parents are involved in crime, terrorism, etc etc

    So I ask as an outsider and as someone not interested in the history, Is there a Violence Problem?

    I think that you do have a point, up to a point.

    Your comments, like David’s and like so many others don’t seem to have room for another option – do you believe people can change?

    People here are genuinely sick and tired of the violence. It is a minority who still hark back to those days. Some, like David, seem to hark back to a time when things were ‘better’ – ie when Unionists held the power. Others, and again they really are a tiny minority, hark back to the time when they could send young boys out with guns to shoot people with general impunity.

    When Lyra McKee was murdered, the immediate response from some here was, ‘Oh it’s terrible, but nobody will be caught for this, because those people don’t give up their terrorists. Those same people were awfully quiet when 2 young men were arrested within 12 hours, and a woman in her 50s was arrested within 24 hours. Now, all 3 were subsequently released, but the community which is supposedly hiding these murderers is disgusted at what happened.

    None of this is written to annoy you or argue with your point Pat (yes, I am that serious as to use your actual name!), but I take your question and answer it with my own – do you or do you not believe that people can change? And if they can, should they not be encouraged in this?

  10. Yes Seimi people can change. They don’t change however until they reach a personal bottom. An event in their life that causes them to say I can no longer live this way. The personal pain living this way is worse than the fear of the unknown (living without).

    Out of 100 people that reach that point less than 30 will seek help, out of that 30 20 will give up, the ten remaining will get help. Only 3 out of them will break the cycle of violence/abuse.

    Those are the ratios of change and a breaking of the cycle.

  11. I think there is a conflation here between the individual personality traits and circumstances that make some people prone to using violence in general, and the more specific circumstances of politicised violence that emerges in particular locations at particular times. The people of Northern Ireland were not more biologically conditioned to violence than the people of the rest of the 2 islands (Britain and Ireland) its just that the circumstances of history created the conditions for organised violence in that area. As a subject it shouldn’t and cannot be compared with ‘ordinary regular’ traits of violence in individuals.

  12. What your saying Colm is that it is not a cycle in the home, but groups in the community.

    If you don’t break it down to the individual home, but to particular locations of organized violence.

    That is called “organized crime” and is very easy to deal with. You hunt the perps and either lock them up or kill them.

  13. “ Very easy “

  14. yeah easy Phantom….. it’s called policing.

  15. it is either a family problem or a policing problem.

    I am of the belief it is a familial issue.

  16. I don’t think that any of the police or other security officials there think that any of this is “ easy “

    If any of them have ever use that word or any words like it I’d like to hear about it

  17. Police work Phantom is never easy, but it is very doable. There are rules and procedures time tested that work with organized crime.

    I believe it is a familial issue. In home conditioning. That is why whatever progress is made is lost because they have not addressed the real problem. Generational animosity, hate and hero worship of killers.

  18. Patrick

    Your analysis of how to solve human violent traits doesn’t work for ‘civil wars’ or ethno/nationalist conflicts.

  19. it’s NOT a national conflict. It is a small amount of people.

    If you don’t isolate it down to the specific people you have no hope in ending it.

  20. If you are talking about the violence that we saw last weekend in Derry, yes you have a point, but not the broader entire history of conflict in Northern Ireland.

  21. Actually it does effect the broader entire conflict.

    After the 6th of December 1921 any violence against the British or between Protestant and Catholics was not sanctioned by any government. For a 100yrs the bile and bitterness has been continued due to familial bitterness and the violence upto and including today starts from what is heard and taught in the home.

  22. Ach PaTroll
    You said you had no interest in the history, but to only be slightly aware of only one side of the story makes it now gh on impossible to understand the entire story.

  23. I don’t I was responding to Colm.

    My response as to regard to your question can people change is where I intend to stay in this conversation. I understand that the British behavior does not fall into what we were talking about.

    The Brits used troops. That’s an institutional problem. They used the power of the state in the wrong manner.

    One thing no one ever gets in these conversations…. I AM ON THE SIDE OF THE IRISH!

    Not the Irish Catholics (which I am one) nor the Irish Protestants, but all the Irish people and Ireland as a whole.

    The Irish people suffer from a cycle of hate and violence that is perpetuated by transgenerational hate and bitterness on both sides of the internal Irish conflict.

    The only hope for a peaceful future and an actual end to this violence needs to be dealt with on a family by family basis to break the cycle.

  24. It is remarkable to see the political class use the murder of Lyra McKee to advance their own virtue signalling idea of “politics’

    How many times did you present yourself for election in a bid to become part of that ‘political class’ David?

    Pat, with all due respect, your bar room pscychology is missplaced here. Ronnie Bunting was a leading member of the INLA, a very militant socialist off shoot of the Official IRA. His father was Major Ronald Bunting of the British Army, electoral candidate of the Protestant Unionist Party and Ian Paisley’s right hand man.

    Familial influence?

    Noel Lyttle, shot dead along with Ronnir Bunting by the SAS, was also a member of the INLA and also came from a militant British loyalist family in East Belfast

    Familial influence?

    Sectarian murderer and former British soldier Gusty Spence, widely credited with reforming the loyalist paramilitary UVF murder maching in the late 60s, younger brother Eddie was a member member of the Communist Party of Ireland and his son Ronnie Spence was also a former INLA prisoner

    Familial influence?

    You’ve never been off American soil so I don’t expect you to know any of these names nor facts but rest assured that these aren’t the only examples. I personally know two former IRA prisoners who come from British loyalist families on Belfast’s Shankill Rd.

    The reason that young Lyra McKee was murdered in Derry last week was because some young lad fuelled up on old men’s war stories and whatever else misguidedly thought he was ‘defending his commnunity’ and in act of astonishing recklessness let off a few rounds into a crowd watching a riot.

  25. As I said Paul and you prove it. Each of the examples you provide are examples of dysfunctional families.

    One generation can be for one side, while the generation before or after can be for the other.

    The control factor is not the side that anyone is on, but how they were raised to resolve situations, deal with their anger and deal with their pain.

    You can call it bar room psychology, but that doesn’t make it not true.

    The reason that young Lyra McKee was murdered in Derry last week was because some young lad fuelled up on old men’s war stories and whatever else misguidedly thought he was ‘defending his commnunity’ and in act of astonishing recklessness let off a few rounds into a crowd watching a riot.

    What adult raised that kid to believe it was OK to “defend his community” with Violence?

    That is where the problem lays.

  26. David wrote above: “Here’s a brutal truth. A section of the Northern Ireland community lives and breathes violence. It is transgenerational and it never ever goes away. By institutionalising terrorism, we ensure more will come. But then again, you all know that.” Has terrorism been institutionalized? Is having former terrorists and former supporters of terrorism in government institutionalizing terrorism? If yes, David is correct.

    It is as old as humanity that the young often imitate the older in their family or group. The punks who murdered Lyra McKee may have been imitating former IRA terrorists. They might say to themselves Martin McGuinness perpetrated murder and mayhem, he said he would stop it and the Brits made him a top dog in government. So, they may think why should it be any different for us who are younger?

    Of course, it happens on both sides. Dawn Purvis recently said the UVF are still active. As with the other community, the younger guys may say the older guys got rich by criminality and little if anything happened to them, so why not with us too.

  27. PVR

    “Violence, like alcoholism, drug addiction, sex abuse, and physical abuse are transgenerational issues.” They are transgenerational but violence is different than alcoholism or drug abuse and the solutions are probably very different. There is probably a familial aspect to some of it, but probably more important is the group of people associated with such as clubs, etc.

  28. I don’t see anything dysfunctional about the families at all. What I see is different individuals within families reacting to events around them differently.

    What adult raised that kid to believe it was OK to “defend his community” with Violence?

    I don’t know how that young lad was raised and neither do you. Like the case of Ronnie Bunting who came from a staunch unionist British Army family and went on to lead the INLA, he may have been raised in a loving, nurturing family and reacted to outside influences. From empirical experience the leading cause of young men getting involved in armed Republicanism was being harrassed and abused by British soldiers regardless of family background although that obviously wasn’t the case with this kid.

    There have been thosands of psy studies been done on the causes of conflict in Ireland. I find your suggestion of family influece to be somewhat simplistic and would expect it to be very much in the minority of reasons as to why young men felt they had to lift a gun.

    I’m just finishing a blog here Pat. I’ll send it to you within the next half hour or so.

  29. Ok so there are no problems with the families, Johnny is a good boy from a good family….

    That’s why no progress is being made.

    People who are raised properly, people who are taught how to process their anger, people who are taught how to function like decent human beings don’t go on to join, lead, or participate in acts of violence.

    Until that is understood no progress will ever be made.

  30. ok I’ll look for the piece Paul.

  31. Ok so there are no problems with the families, Johnny is a good boy from a good family….

    No Pat, dysfunctional families exist in every society but a whole society doesn’t erupt in violence just because daddy drinks too much.

    That’s why no progress is being made

    If there’s any comment on these pages which demonstrates your lack of awareness regarding the Irish conflict it’s that one.

  32. There is not a cat in hell’s chance of these talks succeeding and all parties know it. The DUP and Sinn Fein are miles apart on the issues of Brexit and gay marriage and the Irish language. And then there is the small matter of the DUP propping up the Tory government in Westminster. The Tory Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is not a credible “honest broker” chairwoman of these talks.

    This is nothing more than gesture politics.

  33. your post is up

  34. And you’re wrong on this…..

    If there’s any comment on these pages which demonstrates your lack of awareness regarding the CONTINUATION of the Irish conflict it’s that one.

    It has nothing to do if daddy is a drunk.

    If your Grandfather fought in the Black and Tan War and was bitter at the way it ended he passed his bitterness onto his children and they passed it onto theirs.

    Those Grandchildren people of our age didn’t learn to deal with that anger whether it was justified or not. The Troubles and the violence of that time prove it. No one was taught that violence is not a proper response, and it’s a small group.

    The majority of the Irish People on both sides did NOT participate in the violence.

    Why is that?

    Maybe because they were raised not too.

    According to your train of thought the situation in Ireland is “unique”. It is not. According to your train of thought the Violence is inevitable and if your not from where you are from you can not understand it… Nonsense.

    The People of NI suffer from cycle of trauma that has never been dealt with. The families that are encased in that trauma without seeking help can’t get out of it.

    Addiction is a mental disease. It takes many forms. All Human Beings suffer from addiction. It takes many forms the most obvious being Drugs/Alcohol/Violence, but there are a million other ways it comes out. In your phone use, in your daily patterns of existence. Most people have something they do where it comes out.

    Take Phantom for example he’s addicted to this site, as am I. Everyday several times a day we are here. That’s addiction.

    Addiction is just the name for the patterns/habits that the brain forms. This includes the way we think and every aspect of our lives. These people that participate in the violence have been programed by the addiction to the anger and programming they received at home.

  35. According to your train of thought the situation in Ireland is “unique”. It is not. According to your train of thought the Violence is inevitable and if your not from where you are from you can not understand it… Nonsense.

    I have never claimed any of those things you list above.

    The People of NI suffer from cycle of trauma that has never been dealt with. The families that are encased in that trauma without seeking help can’t get out of it.

    IIRC two of the hundreds of Republican prisoners who were released early from prison under the GFA were returned back to jail. That contradicts your family influence / violent addiction claims.

  36. no it really doesn’t Paul.

    I have never claimed any of those things you list above.

    no but everything you have written imply those exact sentiments.

    Let me ask you a question. You grew up in that area. You are friends with or at least know a lot of the players, and you’ve suffered indignities yourself.

    Why didn’t you take up arms… be honest (not that I doubt you wouldn’t)

  37. I’m going to be completely honest. Over a period of time I was dissuaded by members of my family, most notably my father who suggested that if I wanted to become involved in Republicanism then whatever talents I had would be most suited to Sinn Féin. This also contradicts your ‘family influence / addiction to violence’ claim.

    No but everything you have written imply those exact sentiments

    Well it’s not meant to imply that. As I said, there have been thousands of psyc studies done on the causes of the conflict in Ireland and your theory is very much in the minority.

    No it really doesn’t Paul

    It really does Pat.

  38. PaTroll

    The problem with your analysis is that it appears to focus primarily on one side in the conflict. I know you mention ‘Irish Catholics’and ‘Irish Protestants,’ but really, your issue here has always been what you describe as ‘Irish Cathoilics’ – Republicans. However, this isn’t your biggest mistake.

    Your biggest mistake is to not only ignore the negative, counter-productive, divisive influence of the British government in events here, but to actually laud them as some sort of benign benefactor, someone the Irish should be grateful to.

    The Irish may well be grateful for some of the things the British/English have provided (decent football/soccer teams for one), but for the invasion of their country, division of said country and destruction of their culture, to name but three – not so much.

  39. no both of you put the conflict aside. I do fuck with the Irish Catholics about the IRA the Same exact way I would fuck with the Italian Catholic’s about the Mafia. I am both Irish and Italian Catholic and Police run on both sides of the family.

    What you gentleman are missing is human nature. I am not psych evaling the situation or judging it based on the conflict at all. The conflict and whatever cause, reason, or excuse that exists don’t mean shit.

    In all societies all over the world in every culture every religion every race the only thing that shapes a person is their family.

    A young black kid in North Philly will be involved in narcotics and violence not because he’s a black kid in north philly. but because of what he learned or more exactly didn’t learn right and wrong being raised by his grandmother where his mother dumped him when she got pregnant by the new man in her life. That’s one scenario

    An italian kid good catholic boy went to all catholic schools his father sells cars, but that’s not enough so he runs numbers and does some mid level heists and occasionally hits his wife. The kid in that house will have a juvenile record, and will have beaten at least one girl by the time they are 18.

    An any race kid grows up in a house where both mom and dad both go to work five days a week the kid is in public school but they made him go to catechism in elementary school. There is ample food some beer and a bottle or two of hard liquor in the house but you’ve seen dad maybe drunk twice in your life. That kid will have a job by the time he is 16 he’ll have a beat up car by 18 and will be living with someone at 21 and by 25 they’ll be married with kid one coming.

    That’s the way life works. The majority of the Irish families in both the ROI and NI fall into category 3.

    The majority of the families in the Western world falls into category 3.

    The first two And all the other categories and variants of categories that you can’t and don’t want to even imagine that are out there all need to be hunted/caged/killed. For the simple reason that they are threats to the majority. Which is category 3.

  40. What on Earth is this comment all about Patrick. It makes no sense. Methinks you are very groggy eyed and need to go to sleep. You’ll be feeling better on the morning 😉

  41. I’ll try again after some sleep

  42. here take an hour it’s a few years old, but this is the real world and why I raised my kids among the Amish.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_p37vx0ocU&t=2550s

  43. Pat, all the examples I have given you above have contradicted your ‘family influence’ theory. Indeed, if your theory is correct then my own children should be somehow ‘addicted to violence’ instead of being the confident, well educated strong young women they are?

    I suspect what you are attempting to do is take the pattern which exists in some Italian American families in becoming involved in organised crime and rather lazily trying to apply it to the Irish conflict but I’m afraid here that your one size fits all theory just isn’t applicable.

    As I said before, the biggest empirical observation I have for young men becoming involved in violence in Ireland was in reaction to being abused, harrassed and assaulted by British soldiers and I defy anoyone here, including yourself, to react differently to the external factor of foreign soldiers abusing and harrassing you on the streets of your own city regardless of family influence.

  44. Good morning/afternoon/evening…… never write comments in your sleep. They don’t sound as good the next day as it sounded when you wrote them.

  45. now Paul NO you still don’t get…..

    You say if what I said was true your kids would be ‘addicted to violence’. Why?

    From our casual friendship this is what I am able to figure out about you. Your married, you have 4 or is it 5 beautiful daughters, and you live and work in Spain or thereabouts. You have a foundation in christianity, but you a falling out with your belief and are a reluctant atheist.

    And in spite of where you grew up and any daliences of your youth you are a good person and a good citizen.

    So lets see mother/father in the house Dad works and TOGETHER you have raised 5 kids.

    You are category 3.

    Your girls are blessed. You have done your job as a man and a father other than lifes nasty curveballs your kids will grow up marry have kids and be productive members of their society.

    Why? because they were raised in a good family.

  46. Patrick

    I think you still don’t get the difference between the tendency in regular society for some people to choose criminality and violence linked to both individual personalities and familial and peer influences and the very different phenomena of violence that occurs during political upheavals which are very little if nothing to do with social/moral / family history reasons.

  47. it’s not a political upheaval if it has lasted 100yrs.

  48. Peter Taylor is one of the leading journalists of the Troubles. He did a series of books a while back exploring the conflict (which were then made into documentaries as well). The first was “Provos: The IRA and Sinn Féin”, the second “Loyalists”, and the third “Brits: The War Against the IRA”. And he asks similar questions in all of them.

    He asks IRA volunteers why did they join the IRA. And the answer was normally “They (loyalists or the British) killed my mate; they killed my Da; they committed an atrocity in my community [Bloody Sunday etc…]”.

    He asks Loyalists why did they join the UVF or the UDA. “They (the IRA) killed my mate; they killed my Da; they committed an atrocity in my community [Bloody Friday etc…]”.

    He then asks RUC officers and UDR soldiers why did they join the RUC or the UDR. “They (the IRA) killed my mate; they killed my Da; they committed an atrocity in my community [Bloody Friday etc…]”.

  49. “it’s not a political upheaval if it has lasted 100yrs.”

    It is if the upheaval doesn’t stop. The fact is that many places have had upheaval that have lasted a very long time.

    And forget 100 years. Try 850.

  50. Colm if you have an hour please take the time I believe it’s actually 52 min and watch the show I linked to at 9:14. I would very much like to hear yours and anyone else that will take the time to watch’s opinion of the situation in North Philly.

  51. oh and here is justice finally served.

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8934585/racist-executed-dragging-man-truck-miles-head-ripped-off-hate-crime/

  52. And ultimately most of the years between the end of the civil war in 1923 and the start of the Troubles had comparatively little violence. A minor uptick in the late 30s, early 40s, a relatively low level campaign in the late 50s, early 60s. Other than that there was little activity at all.

    So in one sense the upheaval lasted centuries. In another sense it started, in the main, in the late 60s when Catholics started campaigning for equal rights.

  53. anyone who goes to the link of the video please rewind it starts at the end for some reason.

  54. You say if what I said was true your kids would be ‘addicted to violence’. Why?

    Because, according to your ‘addicted to violence’ theory above it is a generational inheritence passed down through the family. What you have described abpve is pretty accurate apart from me being an agnostic, (I’d never be so arrogant as to definitively state that nothing existed), and me having five girls. However, what you also describe is many of my contempories in Belfast.

    In my experience the vast majority of young men turned to violence because of their treatment at the hands of the British Army and not because of what they were told on their father’s knee. Colm pretty much gets it above.

  55. The murder of James Byrd was particular heinous. However what happened to John King (and his accomplice Lawrence Brewer) was not justice. It was retribution and vengeance and the mark of an uncivilised society.

  56. In my experience the vast majority of young men turned to violence because of their treatment at the hands of the British Army and not because of what they were told on their father’s knee. Colm pretty much gets it above.

    Ok so your sayin that if your what 3/4 daughters… sorry I don’t remember the number I apologize. but if say you were in the Basque region and they supported the basque’s if the government cracked down on them your daughters would resort to violence?

  57. King in particular is a tragic story. He was convicted on a burglary charge and sentenced to 3 years in prison. When King arrived at the prison, a white supremacist gang conspired with the guards to place King in the predominately African-American section of the prison. He was then targeted by one of the black gangs that operated in the prison. He was repeatedly beaten, gang-raped, and degraded.

    He was then easy prey for recruitment by the white supremacist gang. His treatment by the black gang, and his brainwashing by the white power gang, led him to have a pathological hatred of blacks.

    Shawn Berry, Lawrence Brewer and John King murdered James Byrd. But the State of Texas, especially the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, were accomplices. They made John King.

  58. Four girls Pat, no need to apologise

    I live in the Basque Country and my girls are very conscious of their part Basque identity. ETA have followed the IRA’s example and cease fired and disarmed. The Basque Country is now relatively violence free but if serious repression was ever to occur in the Basque Country again I honestly don’t know how any of my girls, or any other younger person for that matter, would react to it. My girls are to differing degrees are very politicaly opinionated any I really don’t know how they’d react.

  59. I see Spain has had a plus ça change moment. An election campaign, and substantial movement in the parties, but the coalitions are going to be largely as you were.

  60. Yep, it looks like much of a muchness.

  61. What is interesting is the advance of the Basque and Catalan nationalist parties. Now not all votes are counted so this is still subject to change but in 2016 the Basque parties won 7 seats in the Basque Community. Unionist parties won 5 and Podemos won 6. In 2016 the Basque parties are currently winning 10, the unionist parties 4 and Podemos 4 as well.

    In 2016 the Catalan parties won 17 seats, the unionist parties 18 seats and Podemos 12. This year the Catalan parties are winning 22 seats, the unionist parties 19 and Podemos 7.

    So the Basque and Catalan nationalist parties are currently going from 24 seats in the previous Cortes to 32 in the next one.

  62. Any word on how Vox are going to get on?

    Are they neo-Francoists or just common garden populists?

  63. They’ll enter the Cortes but aren’t doing as well as the pre election hype. They’ll likely finish with 20-25 seats (where as many of the pre election polls had them on about 40-45 seats).

    In general they don’t advocate or hark back to the days of Franco (at least not explicitly). It isn’t really a Falangist party in the truest sense, and fits in more with the sort of far-right populists springing up all over Europe. So not so much a Franco party, more a Spanish Front National.

  64. I’m watching the tallies as they’re coming in and thankfully VOX aren’t doing nearly as well as expected. I’d say the forecast of around twenty seats is correct.

    They’re a broad church of the right Reg and certainly have Francoist and neo – Falangists within their ranks but as Seamus says they’re more akin to the acceptable face of far right populism than Francoism, (in public at least).

  65. Interestingly in the enclave of Melilla (which is in North Africa) there is a party standing that represents the rights of the Muslim and Berber population of the city. With 82% of the vote counted they are neck and neck with the conservatives to take the seat. The PP are only 24 votes ahead of them.

  66. They made John King.

    no they didn’t….. his choices and his family made him.

  67. My girls are to differing degrees are very politicaly opinionated any I really don’t know how they’d react.

    I find that hard to believe…

    I truly believe your girls would understand the futility of using violence. I have faith in you as a father if you have doubts.

  68. “no they didn’t….. his choices and his family made him.”

    He choose to be put into a predominately African-American wing of the prison? He choose to be gang-raped by a black gang? He choose to be for lack of a better world groomed by a white supremacist gang? He choose all that?

  69. Paul McMahon, on April 28th, 2019 at 12:28 AM Said:

    I’m going to be completely honest.

    At 12.28am, Paul was completely honest. At all other times, he isn’t. This is a matter of record at ATW

  70. Unlike yourself I’ve never been deliberately dishonest here. Put up or shut up.

  71. Thanks Paul and Seamus.

    I don’t follow it all that regularly anymore but Spanish politics still fascinates me.

  72. Seamus

    Was this proven to be true? I don’t take everything that a murderer or murderer’s liar for hire defender at face value.

    It sounds far-fetched.

    Not saying that it’s not true, certainly not saying that bad prison guards don’t exist or that bad guards/cops / gangs aren’t capable of great evil.

    It is a condemnation of all of society that physical abuse and rape are allowed to exist in the controlled environment that is prison. It is a common thing here for people to joke about it – ie ” wait until Bubba gets to him, hardy har har ”

  73. I don’t know if it has ever been proven to be true. These things tend to not be subject to adequate investigation (which is a scandal in and of itself).

    In what I’ve read no one has suggested that the allegation may not be true. I don’t think it formed part of his defence or appeals. Not least because it doesn’t provide for any defence. What happened to him in no way shape or form changes the legal facts. Most of his appeals have focused on his claim that one of his accomplices, Berry (who gave evidence against the other two and so only got life instead of the death penalty), killed James Byrd.

    Most of the information I’ve found have come from newspaper articles. Most of them were written in the few years after the trial. To be fair most of them don’t focus on the Byrd murder itself, but on the general issue of prison rape. One was written by the late Christopher Hitchens for example.

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2005/09/hitchens200509

    Take the case of John William King, a young white burglar, slight of stature, who was shoved into a Texas penitentiary a few years ago.

    By all accounts, the “white power” gang leadership in the place urged the warders to put King in the “black” part of the system. Since he weighed no more than 140 pounds, King soon found himself being savagely sodomized by packs of black prisoners. He was thus forced to appeal to the white racists for protection, which was their recruitment plan in the first place. Upon release, a somewhat morose and twisted (and indoctrinated) King teamed up with two other characters and fastened the late Mr. James Byrd to the back of a pickup truck before dragging him to death.

    The Texas prison system is said to be the worst in this respect, and grimly goes on churning out victimized psychopaths bent on sharing their concerns with the rest of us.

  74. He choose to be put into a predominately African-American wing of the prison?

    He chose to live a lifestyle that put him in jail…. end of story.

  75. “He chose to live a lifestyle that put him in jail…. end of story.”

    And if that was all that happened the story would have ended there. But it wasn’t all that happened. What happened to him in prison changed him into the brutal monster he became. You can either oppose it or you can be complicit in it. You either support the brutal regimes that are taking ordinary criminals and churning out monsters or you can oppose it.

  76. In my dealings with Paul I’ve found him to be an honest man.

    My dealings with Allan I’ve found him to be a racist follower of questionable sanity. But an honest believer of that insanity.

    I would much rather drink with Paul than Allan.

  77. He chose to live a lifestyle that put him in jail…. end of story.

    Exactly the type of anti Christian attitude that actually leads to the cycle of crime being repeated at a high volume in the US

    US prisons are schools for crime – there is usually not even the pretense of rehabilitation – and very often the guards and management are master professors.

  78. Thank you Pat, that’s deeply appreciated. My beliefs can be questioned to the high heavens but my integrity can’t

  79. And very often the guards and management are master professors.

    Wow! that’s some claim. Are you suggesting that guards and management in prisons in the US are widely involved in criminal activity? (genuine question).

  80. Guards are often involved in corrupt activity.

    The system as it structured guarantees corruption.

  81. Can you expand a but Phantom?

    I find the corrections system in the US an international disgrace yet morbidly fascinating.

  82. Expand a bit

  83. https://www.cnn.com/2015/06/25/us/new-york-prison-break-contraband-smuggle/index.html

    https://www.correctionsone.com/american-military-university/articles/478585187-Addressing-corruption-in-corrections/

    https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2018/apr/2/corruption-among-prison-guards-north-carolina-spurred-low-pay/

    There’s a huge amount of information out there.

    It can be the most awful job, with low pay, the system is all corrupting.

  84. Ultimately, without getting into even the truly brutal ones, the sort of who are full on sadists, it all comes down to pretty much most other types of criminality. Motivation, opportunity and rationalisation. If a person has all 3 then they will commit the crime.

    From a motivation point of view these guys tend to be low educated, low wage type people. They often have the sort of difficulties in life that many people in low wage, low education situations have. They often have to make shitty wages stretch in a manner that they aren’t going to. A guy gets into debt and suddenly he has all the motivation in the world to make a little extra money on the side.

    Opportunity comes from the lack of adequate policing of these things. Ultimately the guards are themselves responsible for maintaining order and discipline in a prison. They police themselves. Easy access to prisoners willing to trade quite sizable amounts of money for stuff they aren’t allowed. And often these things can start off small. A guy asks for a pack of cigarettes. He’s willing to pay silly money for them because you can’t buy them in the prison. And that is where the rationalisation thing kicks in as well.

    What is a pack of cigarettes? Maybe they should be allowed them. It isn’t that big a deal. And so smuggling in that pack of cigarettes isn’t a big deal. And they make silly money for doing it. And so smuggling in that mobile phone isn’t a big deal, especially as they make even more money for it. And then. And then. And then. And suddenly, after a short period of time, the idea of smuggling coke or heroin in doesn’t seem all that bad. You’re that far down the rabbit hole already.

  85. The US penal systen stinks and I’m sure that stink infects the guards too.

    One of the things I find strange in the US is that rape seems to be a pretty regular occurance as a weaponised form of jailhouse brutal discipline. While I’m sure it exists in jails in Europe it doesn’t seem to be anywhere near as common.

  86. The system is grossly immoral.

    The US political system and the general public are to blame, truth be told.

    They know what goes on – for the most part they’re fine with it. They like it.

  87. At least our prisons are better than the even more horrific ones in Brazil or Russia

  88. The US system is so problematic that some prison reform advocates have actually suggested that once you include prison rape victims in the general statistics it is the only country on the planet (certainly the only one in the western world) were more men are raped than women.

    The difference between the US and the UK/Europe etc… is complex. Firstly the US incarcerates a far higher proportion of its citizens. Prison is a major part of American culture. If prison was a state it would be 36th in population rankings. Out of every 100,000 people in the United States 655 are incarcerated. In the UK it is 139 per 100,000. Europe wide (including places like Russia and Belarus) is 161 per 100,000.

    Prison gangs also seem to be an almost uniquely American problem. I’m not saying they don’t exist in other countries as I’m sure they do. But they seem to be an almost constant feature of the American prison system of not only wide spread gangs but also racially segregated gangs, almost forcing prisoners who individual races to sign up to ensure they get protected.

    America also seems to incarcerate a disgustingly high number of children. And a large number of them are tried and punished as adults. So 16 year old children are being put into adult prisons where they simply meat for the wolves. Children in adult prisons rarely receive the support they need. They also tend to be frequent targets of sexual assault. And a child in an adult prison is 36 times more likely to try to commit suicide than a child in a juvenile detention.

  89. I was about to suggest that the frequency of prison rape is probably directly linked proportionately to prison population Seamus.

    At least our prisons are better than the even more horrific ones in Brazil or Russia

    Hardly a feather in the cap for the most advanced nation on Earth Phantom?