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and the wheels grind slowly onwards

By Mike Cunningham On October 1st, 2014 at 3:13 pm

My son’s wife works in Local Government here in County Durham, and being reminded of this link to those who, in large and small ways, help govern this Nation, decided to trawl through a couple of postings on the Northern Ireland pages of the BBC News website.

The first item which caught my eye was the news that ‘remains’ had been located in County Meath after  ‘information’ had been received from the murderers via the good graces of SinnFein. The remains, unearthed from a drainage ditch adjacent to a bog  near Kells, are presumed to be the mortal remains of Brendan McGraw.

We are led to believe that a sadness clouded over the visages of SinnFeinIRA’s leaders for approximately fifty-five milliseconds, as the information was handed over to the relevant search teams.

The second item, gleaned again from the BBC pages, was a list of reports emanating from the Historical Institutional Abuse hearings, set in Banbridge Courthouse. Although there are no reports of murders or unexplained deaths from these hearings, I would lay good money on there being a solid core of suicides resultant from the treatments ladled out from these ‘caring and god-fearing’ religious men and women. To read of the treatment dished out to small children: CHILDREN, simply makes my blood run cold. To read, as the report makes abundantly clear, of a small girl being beaten ‘black and blue’, and deliberately not crying or showing any emotion, because the nun enjoyed her tears, says many things of the regime and climate in which these children were supposedly ‘cared for’!

The third item was a detailed explanation of how the ‘Devolved Government’ had failed to implement the Welfare Reforms as required by Whitehall, and how yet another ‘Committee’ was going to explain how this was inexplicable!

Sure, and isn’t Local Government wonderful!


it all depends whose sensitivity it is

By Mike Cunningham On January 1st, 2014 at 11:27 am


As David has commented previously,  the whole document was so bad that even the most incompetent of Unionists felt they could not sign up to the deal.

I do wonder, however, whose was the hand, and mind, which authored the wonderful phrases ‘with sensitivity and rigorous intellectual integrity’ which appears on Page 32, and the equally-beguiling ‘after decades of living quiet lives, their admission could lead their friends and families to dramatically re-evaluate their character’; noticed on Page 34?


By David Vance On September 5th, 2013 at 7:19 am


Oh no! We have lost one of our wonderful MLA’s and I feel such a sense of loss.

“The SDLP South Belfast MLA Conall McDevitt has announced that he is to quit politics with immediate effect. Mr McDevitt says he failed to declare more than £6,000 earned from a public relations company shortly after he was appointed as an MLA.

Poor Conall was almost in tears, his voice creaking, as he bravely stepped down over what he defines as this sole incidence of ..erm..forgetfulness over money. Well, that is not quite ALL he declared to tell us – is it?

He has come under significant public pressure after it emerged his wife, Joanne Murphy, a Queen’s University academic, (tick box) had received more than £30,000 over the last two years for work as a researcher assisting his role on the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

Ms Murphy’s company JM Consulting was also paid more than £14,000 for research and secretarial work from Mr McDevitt’s expenses.

Oh my. What rotten luck for Conall. Of course there is an upside to all of this – it may give him more time to follow my tweets. Remember this?

TUV election candidate David Vance has become embroiled in a row over his strongly-worded support for the Israeli blockade of Gaza.  His comments on Twitter have been denounced by SDLP Assemblyman Conall McDevitt. The South Belfast MLA said the “no messing about” remark “can only be taken as incitement to even tougher military action than that which left nine people dead and 35 injured”.

And then there was this…

I am sure a quango awaits McDevitt with a nice juicy salary care of the UK taxpayer. He will be missed by those of us who enjoy comedy in politics. Tramp the dirt down, Conall?


By David Vance On June 1st, 2013 at 10:33 am


My heart just bleeds for Paul Kavanagh.  

Who is he?

Paul Kavanagh served 14 years in prison for killing three people in an IRA bombing campaign in England in 1981. He currently acts as adviser to Martin McGuinness.

Here is one of his victims.

Thanks to the Legal Bill that Jim Allister has originated and that looks like it will now become law next week, Kavanagh may will be sacked from his VERY lucrative position as Special Adviser to McGuinness. As a point of further interest, Special Advisers earn up to £90,000 a year (Yes, you heard that right)

Kavanagh is married to convicted IRA bomber and Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson.

Given his pedigree of terror and his conviction for mass murder, one wonders what special skills Kavanagh has that attracted the attention of former IRA Commander McGuinness? Either way, such a person should hold NO such office in our government. Indeed the real debate is why other convicted terrorists are permitted to hold political office. But removing the likes of Kavanagh is at least one small step in the right direction.


By David Vance On May 22nd, 2013 at 8:40 am

With a Sinn Fein Education Minister, one of the greatest blights one can imagine on ANY education system, this is not in the least surprising;

The Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt has said he is “appalled” by an English teaching guide dealing with the hunger strikes. The guide, distributed to secondary school children, accompanies the novel Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd. Mr Nesbitt said he was not criticising the novel but objecting to elements of the accompanying teaching guide. He said the guide pointed children to republican writers rather than to historians or journalists. The source materials suggested included Danny Morrison, Richard O’Rawe and Bobby Sands, he said.

Well, UNLIKE Nesbitt, I AM criticising the novel. Why?

The main character in the novel has a brother on hunger strike in prison during the Northern Ireland Troubles. The novel is described by the publishers as “exploring the sacrifices made in the name of peace, and the unflinching strength of the human spirit”.

The hunger strikers exhibited no strength of human spirit. They were terrorist scum who starved themselves to death, albeit useful pawns in the Sinn Fein game. Smearing their excrement on their prison walls as not about “peace” – it was about the dark degeneracy that lies behind the Republican facade. Young minds should not be exposed to the filth of the Hunger strikers but then again in a State controlled education system, anything goes, no matter how vile it is.


By David Vance On May 17th, 2013 at 7:34 am

Honestly, this sort of nonsense, this sort of gutless indulgence of scum, makes me nauseous;

Senior PSNI officers are meeting with politicians and community representatives for two days of talks. Police insist the talks are not about trying to resolve parades disputes. They said the aim is to reduce tensions in areas where there have been complaints about how the police have responded to such events. Those attending include representatives from all the main political parties. Loyalist community representatives taking part include UDA leader Jackie McDonald and Winston Irvine of the Progressive Unionist Party, the political representatives of the UVF.

So, for the next few days, it’s an all expenses talk-in to Cardiff for a group of ne’er do wells and clowns organised by a Police Service which itself has become such a pale shadow of what it once was that such transparent appeasement seems just natural.


By David Vance On May 9th, 2013 at 7:37 am


One of the events hyped by the Stormont Executive as “must see” this year is the World Fire and Police Games. To be honest I had never heard of this event until it started being talked up  here and I am totally disinterested in it when it does happen. The PR guff from Stormont alleges it will boost the local economy and bring loads of tourists here. We shall see. However, there is one aspect of it which does amuse me. Given that it is the World Fire and Police Games, you might think that Northern Ireland policing would be at it? Wrong!


The PSNI football team is embroiled in a row after the club’s management told players that it would not be entered into this year’s World Police & Fire Games in Belfast.

BBC Sport understands the management had concerns over the squad’s commitment and in the ensuing stand-off, one player has quit the team. This happened despite the PSNI team’s qualification for the final of the British Police tournament on Tuesday. The Games run from 1-10 August. The row followed the PSNI’s 3-1 win over Dorset Police in the semi-finals of the UK police competition on Tuesday which set up a meeting with the Strathclyde Police next month.

Bit of a laugh really. We pay Police to POLICE, not play football. So I think this event is a distraction from the real world and it must by definition consume our cash and take up police time. I wish it was not coming here but the desperation at Stormont to “be seen” to do something is so great that any straw will be grasped.


By David Vance On May 8th, 2013 at 7:45 am

DUP Health Minister Edwin Poots is an unmitigated disaster. He puts the In back into incompetency and his latest wheeze to move childrens heart surgery OUT of Northern Ireland to Dublin seems to have caused quite a stir at Stormont.

Eighty-seven Stormont MLAs have pledged to vote against any move to remove children’s congenital heart surgery from Belfast, it was revealed. Th petition was launched by the Children’s Heartbeat Trust, which is lobbying Northern Ireland Health Minister Edwin Poots to preserve the relatively rare service at the RoyalBelfast Hospital for Sick Children. Recently the health authorities recommended operations for youngsters with birth defects should take place in Dublin using enhanced north/south transport links because of the dwindling number of specialist procedures carried out north of the border. The decision will need to be approved by Stormont Health Minister Mr Poots

87 out of 108. I wonder which MLA’s favour the plan to move services out of the country?


The health minister has apologised “unreservedly” at Stormont for stress felt by residents of care homes earmarked for closure. Edwin Poots also said it was “unacceptable” that families had been upset by the plans.

Erm, yes, HIS plans!!!

Staggering stupidity.


By David Vance On April 6th, 2013 at 11:00 am


The sheep like mindset of people here is beyond parody. At a time of severe economic recession, the Stormont diktat is to raise taxes on people…and hit the poorest hardest.  But hey, they are saving the environment that makes it ok – on and mimicking the Republic, equally important for the Nationalists encamped at Stormont.

THE 5p bag tax comes into force in Northern Ireland stores on Monday, and while some shoppers see it as an inconvenience – and others as “another stealth tax” – most agree that something must be done to clear the Province of the scourge of the unsightly litter caused by 160 million bags every year. In a survey of shops in Portadown, the attitude was: “It’s a bit of a nuisance, but we can live with it, and it has to be said that plastic bags cause untold damage to the environment and are a terrible eyesore everywhere.The levy is 5p per bag, rising to 10p after the first year..”

Let’s leave aside unscientific asinine surveys and just admit that this leftwing social engineering will hit everybody, cost us all extra £££, and at a time when people have less cash than ever before.

The puerile comparisons with what happened in the Irish Republic conveniently ignore the pesky detail that a similar tax was introduced FIVE YEARS before the recession, in boomtime days. Is anyone seriously suggesting that such a consumer tax would be introduced NOW by an Irish Government? The clowns at Stormont are using their powers to punish, it is all they can do. To introduce such a punitive tax in good times when people can perhaps at least afford it is one thing, but here in Northern Ireland we have a VERY stretched economy with record levels of unemployment. Who in their RIGHT mind would decide this is the moment to take cash from consumers?

As for the issue of rubbish, I also find plastic bags lying around abhorrent. I live in the countryside and each morning, on the strip of grass outside my house and parallel to the main road, I have to remove plastic bottles, plastic fast food containers, crisp bags, and other unsavoury things thrown out of cars by the crass unwashed who just don’t care about any form of self responsibility. Will the Minister now move against all these things? What next to BAN, Mr Attwood?

You cannot ban the feckless and inconsiderate. I wish you could. However we could make sure that those who litter PAY for their crimes – but why make the rest of the population also pick up the bill??

Everybody needs….

By Mike Cunningham On April 6th, 2013 at 12:02 am

Good Neighbours…


And it shows how neighbourly her bunch were when her remains were finally uncovered!