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This historic day….

By ATWadmin On May 8th, 2007 at 12:46 am

Tuesday 8th May sees the return of devolved government in Northern Ireland, and the DUP will "share power" with Sinn Fein. I’m quite sure that David, Andrew and Samuel will have many things to say about this, and I don’t normally get much involved with Northern Ireland politics on ATW. But as Northern Ireland is (at least for the time being) a part of my country,  I guess I have the right to make a few comments.

First, I have to say that I am not particularly pro- or anti-Irish Republicanism in itself, as an ideology. In order to have a clear opinion on this, I would need to get the whole history clear in my mind. But it seems to me that the issue of "who started it, who did what to whom first" is irretrievably complex. Republicans tell me one thing, Unionists tell me another, and I can never seem to get to the bottom of it. No matter how far back one goes, thinking "A-ha! This is where it all started", someone else chimes in with "ah, but before that, the other side did such-and-such". (I’m not referring to debates on ATW by the way).  Of course, this merely means that I have not as yet undertaken the level of serious research required. I’m sure I could get to the bottom of it all if was to do a history degree or something.

But even so, I often think, to what extent does it really even matter to OUR lives, who started a fight with whom a thousand years ago?  It’s we who are alive today, and we who must work out how to govern our countries. In this regard I believe in  the democratic process (flawed as it is), and I accept the right of people to self-determination. Also, nothing ever stays the same politically in human affairs, for all that long a time. Nations will rise and fall, kingdoms will unite and divide, according to the will of either their rulers, or of the population. And if a kingdom must ever be divided, surely it is better in principle for this to be decided on the basis of a democratic vote, rather than, say, through warfare?

So, it would seem that the people of Northern Ireland have voted in favour of a devolved assembly of power-sharing. What’s my problem with that? I have to admit I am faced with contradictory feelings, because in this case, the lines between peace and warfare are not so clear-cut. My problem is that I cannot accept the principle that terrorist groups should be allowed to wage a campaign of violence against innocent civilians, and then be rewarded with access to the political sphere.  It would be difficult enough to accept such a thing, even if the terrorist group had utterly disbanded, renounced violence, completely and verifiably destroyed its arsenal of weapons, and renounced its political cause and now shared the same broad constitutional aims as the other parties, with only political differences of ideas about how to achieve those same aims (socialism v. capitalism, for example). But here, in Sinn Fein, we have a party whose whole constitutional aims are completely at odds with those of the opposition!

In Westminster, in times of national crisis even Labour and the Conservatives will vote together for the good of the country. But how can SF and the DUP truly be said to "share power" and co-govern Northern Ireland, when they do not even agree about what Northern Ireland IS? Furthermore, as the IRA has used terrorism before to achieve its aims, and its website still proudly proclaims those same aims, then how can anyone trust that they will not return once again to terrorist tactics? Because sooner or later, it WILL come to the same crunch again – the constitutional future of NI will become an issue, as it is already becoming a political issue in Scotland and Wales (and now, England).

Getting back to the issue of power-sharing with terrorists, I read an interview with former Conservative minister Lord Norman Tebbit in the Daily Mail on Saturday, and I thought he said it better than I could. (LINK HERE).

This week Norman Tebbit refused to take part in a BBC ‘reunion’ with the IRA bomber who left his wife paralysed. Tebbit was informed that the subject of the Radio 4 programme The Reunion – in which people affected by a particular historical event are brought together – would be the IRA bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton in 1984, which left five of his friends dead and his wife paralysed.

 

He was asked if he would like to take part. The bomber, Patrick Magee, had also been invited.

 

Tebbit was furious. "I wrote telling them the only reunion I’d be happy to attend was the one where Magee was reunited with a bomb," he says. "People do expect you to mellow, but that is not easy when you wake every morning to be reminded about the fact that your wife can’t get out of bed," he admits.

 

He’s aware that his arguments – this far down the peace process – seem dated. He accepts that he is regarded as one of the last old dinosaurs clinging to the belief that terrorists should not be welcomed to the political table, no matter how many weapons they claim to have laid down. He really is a dying breed.

 

"What is comes down to is a principle. There is a principle at stake and it is a very dangerous thing to breach that principle. People who use violence should not profit from it. You must not be allowed to bomb your way to the political table, and yet that is what they have done.

I don’t get angry at Magee personally. He isn’t worth that. I refer to him as a low grade terrorist hitman, and you can pick those up anywhere. What upsets me is that the godfathers have got away with it. Not just the Brighton bomb, but the maimings, the kneecappings, the robberies.
At some stage or another I know I am going to have to ask one or two people in government in Westminster whether they are sure they would be comfortable having a convicted gunman sitting in the Cabinet with them. Where does it stop?
You ask, if that violent guy can be admitted, what is the barrier to the next violent guy?"

 

Interesting to read the comments underneath the interview, which seem to vindicate Lord Tebbit’s position and to undermine any claims that his views are that of a political "dinosaur". Quite the contrary:

"I don’t think he is a dying breed, there are plenty here who would stand with him. When Al Quada is represented in Westminster maybe people will understand how it feels."

 

"What an inspiration Lord Tebbit is! We must NEVER let terrorists win. No one has a right to involve innocent people in their causes – there are many other ways to deal with them. I would never support the causes of terrorists who involve innocent people."

 

"If we only had politicians of Mr Tebbit’s calibre the country wouldn’t be in the mess it is today. We keep being told that we need role models – well read this article and you have them."

 

"what of the sorrow of the families who lost loved ones to the terrorists? To treat those who caused that terror as anything other than criminals is an insult to the dead."

 

I have read many comments on ATW from people who support the current "peace process", and even though, alright, I have never been to Northern Ireland, I can imagine how pleased people are that the dark days of "the troubles" seem to be over. People might ask me "what would you rather see – a return to the troubles (which you know nothing about and have never experienced up-close)? Can’t you bring yourself to be happy for us that the bombs, the checkpoints, the stop-and-searchings, the humiliations have stopped? Don’t you want peace?" – OF COURSE I want peace, and of
course I am happy that life in Northern Ireland has regained a semblance of normality. I want nothing more than for everyone in Northern Ireland to enjoy peace and freedom.

But "peace" must mean real peace. And I hope you will forgive my cynicism but I just think that the "peace" that is being built in Northern Ireland at the moment is not a real peace at all, but a shadow, a spectre, an illusion of peace. Welcoming unrepentant (indeed, proud) terrorists into government, terrorists whose aims are still the same as they always were (and therefore, link those two words together and see where it leads: Unrepentant. Same aims) cannot possibly be a real long-term solution, nor can peace prevail in the long-term. In warfare (which is what the IRA waged against Britain, and indeed the most despicable, inhuman and dishonourable form of warfare: wanton terrorism against innocent civilians), one side must be victorious and the other side must be completely defeated before there can be peace. Before that happens, (unless one side renounces its aims), any meeting, any mutual sitting-down around a table, represents nothing but a temporary regrouping tactic, a breathing space.

So where does Northern Ireland go from here? I don’t know. I wish every person, of whatever political or religious persuasion, a happy and prosperous life, free from the terror of bombs, militia, armies and violence. My only suggestion is this: In the democratic process, in order to secure real peace, you must vote out of power each and every political party associated with any paramilitary organisation. You won’t be free from terror or violence until you do so.

Panoramic View?

By ATWadmin On May 7th, 2007 at 8:29 pm

I’ve just finished watching this week’s Auntie Beeb Panorama programme and the growing divide between Muslims (who else?) and the predominant white community in Blackburn.  If truth be told, the reporter Vivian White could have gone to any number of northern former industrial settlements to see a similar demographic transformation and consequential experiences.

It always amuses me how the BBC manages to portray those who are against this throng of alien, rabbit-breeding, non-integrating, part terrorist-supporting, ‘religiously’-obsessed people as intellectually Philistinal.  I liked the guy interviewed on his doorstep who said he was moving out of the area to be nearer to his daughter’s school (she having been sent there to develop educationally with fellow English pupils).  ‘So you’re part of the phenomenon of white flight?’ said Vivian White.  ‘If you want to put a label on it, so be it’, said the respondent – a man who was obviously educated.

So here’s my penny’orth (as someone with two university degrees).  You don’t have to have thirty minutes of investigative journalism to appreciate what is happening and the reasons behind it.  An increasing number of the indigenous population of this country rightly resent the numbers, the culture, and the desire to lead a separate existence amongst Muslims.  Most probably think (if they were honest enough) that this country would have been a far better place had Muslims never come here.  They also probably think that one day a massive social upheaval will occur if certain events – terrorism and cultural Islamicisation in particular – continue to be met with such insipid responses from those with power.

There you go.  It took me less than a minute to write the italicised above.  Why waste half an hour on it?

MacNasties Go Green

By ATWadmin On May 7th, 2007 at 4:32 pm

Alex Salmond’s outfit is now seeking to form a coalition with the Green Party in Scotland.  Having been turned down by the Liberal Democrats as potential partners due to their insistence on constitutional vandalism, the SNP are now clawing around desperately for some unworthy minority minions to minion in a minor way in their envisaged ‘government’.

I applaud the LDs for not contemplating power sharing with the SNP.  Many in the MSM thought they would buckle and sell their souls for a mess of empowered pottage.  It is good to see the Liberal Democrats realise that you should not share power with separatists as it damages your country (even when the DUP fail to see the obvious).  Alex Salmond said Labour has no ‘moral right’ to govern Scotland after last week’s vote.  What moral authority does the SNP have to pursue separatism when they only achieved 36.5% of the seats on a 50% turn-out?  None whatsoever!!  The SNP may have a minority government at Holyrood; they will fail to satiate their demands for a referendum.  For that we should thank both Labour and the Liberal Democrats – even if both are diametrically opposite to our views on other matters.

A LOVELY SUNSET…

By ATWadmin On May 7th, 2007 at 4:32 pm

Castlerock20Beach.jpgI’ve been away for a few days and had a chance to relax a little in a tranquil environment. Here’s a lovely image of the beach I like to walk along. I watched a radiant sunset last night, with the waves crashing in and the seabirds flying over the breakers looking for an evening meal! Isn’t it sad that in the rush of our daily lives we miss all the wonders of this great big world we live in? 

Viva La France!

By ATWadmin On May 7th, 2007 at 3:56 pm

Isn’t it funny how often political analysts and pundits are wrong? And isn’t it grand that they were wrong about France? Publius Pundit THinks so:

 

“Whodathunk?

 

After all, isn’t France the country that four years ago was branded ‘cheese-eating surrender monkeys’ for its opposition to the U.S. war in Iraq? Wasn’t France solidly socialist to the bone? Weren’t there a lot of analyses out saying that the French abhorred change, couldn’t lift itself from its cafes, hated globalization and definitely didn’t want a wild man like Sarkozy as president out wrecking the country? It’s just amazing how mistaken so many observers were. There’s a whole different country out there that none of them, neither enemy nor familiar, really seemed to know…

…There’s no doubt Sarko wants change. But he wants it for different reasons than leftists often do. Leftists want to create a New Man. Sarko wants to save France so that it can be France, not turn it into another cookie-cutter Berkeley or Ann Arbor, as has been happening. Sarko’s a flag-waver. He’s extremely passionate and energetic, and he will make a difference. His proposed economic programs to keep France powerful and competitive, will do just that, as French voters read it, because that’s a big issue that resonated.”

 

 

and now for the good news!

By ATWadmin On May 7th, 2007 at 3:37 pm

 

Just saw a snip on the Al-Beeb site which gladdened my heart!

Seems as though the leader of the radical German terror crew known as the Baader-Meinhof gang was looking forward to spending some time with his family (LOL!!!!), and was asking for clemency and a pardon!

But Germany’s President Horst Koehler, after reviewing his case, talking with the relatives of some of his victims, and also soiling his nostrils with the stench of the scum while visiting the prison; decided to ‘nix’ the freedom bid by this self-confessed murderous nihilist!

 All I would add to this particular case is the thought that there should be many more besides this smiling killer banged up for the rest of his natural life, but unfortunately there aren’t too many in the justice industry like Herr Koehler!

 

 

Why It Will Fail

By ATWadmin On May 7th, 2007 at 3:16 pm

Tomorrow, the biggest insult to the thousands of Protestant and Catholics murdered by the Provisional IRA goes live: the ‘power sharing’ government begins another attempt to govern this most loyal of United Kingdom corners.  My greatest wish is that it will fail and, to be honest, I don’t think I will be disappointed. It may take a few months; it may take a couple of years.  However, in the end, it will collapse (and we’ll have no codswallop about ‘joint authority’, either. Those who use this term most often are the ones who are the least clued up as to its lack of constitutional legitimacy).

It will collapse because it has something missing that is an essential ingredient in all governments: agreement about the territory and the legitimacy of that same territory.  A government that has no loyalty to the territory over which it governs will only be partially successful.  Alternatively, a government that can’t even agree on the existence of the territory in the first place is one destined to be an unmitigated disaster.

I’ll give you examples of both of the above.  The SNP has no loyalty to the United Kingdom.  But its members do sit in the House of Commons because they recognise that the United Kingdom is a constitutional reality underwritten by various tracts of law.  Thus, they have to play their part.  In stark contrast, the IRA still refuses to even acknowledge that Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom.  No government can survive on that type of mindset.

Look at what the Godfather had to say to the Londonderry Journal.  If any democrat needs to appreciate how utterly pointless it is including Provo scumbags in a legislative body, just look at what McGuinness says on the topic of ‘loyalty’:

‘His (Paisley’s) allegiance is to what he refers to as the United Kingdom and my allegiance is to Ireland..’

Nobody is suggesting the Godfather needs to be loyal to the United Kingdom.  Having said that it is a bit rich to expect any government to survive when its second-in-command doesn’t even acknowledge Northern Ireland is within the United Kingdom.  Those exact words were uttered in an interview the Godfather had with the BBC.  For it is common in the Provisional movement to coin certain phrases which are then repeated ad infinitum by the party hierarchy and the morally foetid animals that pass for its supporters.  Back in the 1990s it was ‘all party talks’.  Since then we have seen ‘spooks’, ‘securocrats’ and ‘Unionist death squads’ doing the rounds – all repeated assiduously word-for-word by party members and voters.  Not only are Provo voters/supporters incapable of any decency whatsoever, they are also incapable of individualistic phraseological expression.

There is no ‘British presence in the Six Counties’ (just in case our UPVC ‘Mick’ from Bay Ridge is reading this).  There is just Northern Ireland as an integral part of the United Kingdom – underwritten in law and accepted as fact by the international community.  What always amazes me is those Americans who are pro-republican are those with the least knowledge as to the truty in Ulster.  They are just fed on a diet of anti-Britishness that usually begins at the mother’s tit.  Northern Ireland has just as much right to remain a part of this country as the lands where Native Americans were usurped – to create what is now the contemporary United States – have in remaining in the American Union.  What the Bay Ridge Idiot thinks is unimportant.  What the Godfather thinks, as a Deputy in a devolved administration is rather more telling.  The only way you can starve a mindset like that is to cut off the flow of blood via a hanging noose.

On This Day…07.05

By ATWadmin On May 7th, 2007 at 3:11 pm

1765 – HMS Victory, the ship which becomes the flagship of British Admiral Horatio Nelson, is launched at Chatham. The ship is now preserved at Portsmouth.

1915 – The Cunard liner Lusitania is torpedoed by a German submarine off the coast of Ireland with the loss of almost 1,200 lives.

1926 – The qualifying age for women voters in Britain is lowered from 30 to 21.

1954 – Dien Bien Phu, a major French stronghold in northwest Vietnam, falls to the Vietnamese Communists after 57 days of siege.

1973 – The Washington Post wins the Pulitzer Prize for the work of its reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in exposing the Watergate scandal during the Presidency of Richard Nixon.

1997 – Glasgow Rangers win their 9th successive Scottish League title.

Happy Meal

By ATWadmin On May 7th, 2007 at 4:32 am

friendshipfiresFrom zombietime:
“Remember "Freedom Fries"?
When France refused to participate in the war against Saddam Hussein in 2003, many Americans were angry with the French, and showed their displeasure by renaming French Fries as "Freedom Fries."

But now with the May 6 election of new French President Nicolas Sarkozy, a leader who is strongly pro-American, the French have once again shown that they are America’s allies, and have reached out their hands to us in friendship.

In that spirit, I recommend that everyone who ever referred to their French Fries as "Freedom Fries" now change the name once again, this time to a more appropriate moniker that shows our appreciation for our long-standing frères the French. Henceforth, I suggest that French Fries be renamed…"

bravo sarko

By ATWadmin On May 6th, 2007 at 6:03 pm

sarko_aux_usa.jpgSarkozy wins. Closer than the polls called it. Doesnt surprise me! Interesting to note that the biggest uptake of voting papers for these elections was in the banlieues. Link to follow. Despite the incredible turnout today, reports so far show very little disturbances or problems so far.  Several voting stations were vandalized in Paris and as i mentioned some 3,000 CRS (hardcore riot police) are on standby to marshall both the celebrations expected in the Champs Elysees (exactly as for the World Cup in truth) and most importantly manning train stations servincing the banlieues- after Segos petulant suggestion they riot if she loses..At the moment though there is a fantastic atmosphere here in France and its been a great day for democracy with a huge turnout. Well done France.

Should point out that the Socialists had everything riding on this so I wonder if Sego will stay – the Socialists are pretty crushed in defeat really so it will be interesting to see what this does to them. She was right in her speech just now to say this is a new page for democracy. Meanwhile the idiot journos are on their mopeds chasing Sarko – and one of them just fell off. Such a great day.

First words out of his mouth in his victory speech? "I love France" – i would LOVE to hear a British politician ever say the same! He goes on to talk about nationality, pride, unity oh and pride again. Heh.

"I would like to say to our American friends that they can count on our friendship, accepting we may not always see eye to eye"

"I want to say to women of the world who live in fear, who live in fear under the burqa – France will not abandon you".

Cartoon from last year: Is he still the President? I thought it was the short one?