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By ATWadmin On December 15th, 2006 at 7:00 am

795151-592129-thumbnail.jpgI was interested to read that health-insurance firm BUPA has announced that it is pulling out of the Irish market.

In a statement on its website, the company says it has no choice but to make the decision and is doing so with great regret. The move is expected to result in the loss of around 300 jobs, most of them in Fermoy, Co Cork. BUPA’s 500,000 customers have been told they will be covered for the duration of their existing contracts, but these contracts will not be renewed once they expire. The company had warned that it would leave the Ireland market after the High Court’s recent decision to uphold the risk-equalisation scheme.

In essence, the Irish High Court ruling meant BUPA would have had to pay compensation to the State-owned VHI because of its younger client base. The company claimed the move would force it to hand over €161m to its rival over three years, even though its profits for the period would be just €64m.

I can understand BUPA’s refusal to fund the State but it is all a very sorry affair. Wonder what ATW’s southern readers reckon????

Talking Point – 14.12.06

By ATWadmin On December 14th, 2006 at 9:50 pm

‘If you want to stem the tide of the far-right on the European political scene, you thwart the threat of Islam on this continent permanently.  It’s that simple.’  Discuss.


By ATWadmin On December 14th, 2006 at 9:49 pm

Did you read that a sharp rise in global temperatures about 50 million years ago may have been responsible for the evolution of bats, Science magazine reports? I wonder who caused that………???? Also, did you read that an American-Argentine research team has recovered the well-preserved fossil skeleton of a juvenile plesiosaur–a marine reptile that swam the waters of the Southern Ocean roughly 70 million years ago. Wow – who caused the ice to melt back then????


By ATWadmin On December 14th, 2006 at 9:21 pm

OK – here we go with my random countdown to what I believe is the top Xmas pop song. This offering is a poignant little melody from Chrissie Hynde…….2000 miles is very far…

Feeney Watch – 14.12.06

By ATWadmin On December 14th, 2006 at 9:19 pm

For my last Feeney Watch of ’06 I want to take another look at Bigoted Bri’s ever-more prominent journey into the IRA’s political knickers.  He says the Provos are right to refuse to endorse the police until a deal satisfactory to their aim of corrupting it from within is in place.  He says:

‘Unionists like to claim, as they have always claimed, that they are the ‘law-abiding community’, as if nationalists are a kind of sub-species who enjoy criminality and endorse lawlessness. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact northern nationalists have always wanted but never enjoyed, proper policing.’

To me the definition of a ‘law-abiding community’ is one which is accepting of the State in which it lives; cooperates and follows the tenets of good community relations; obeys the law of the land; and, most importantly, does not massively endorse the use of illegal militias/terrorists to kill innocent people under the false pastiche of a ‘liberation struggle’.  On these measures Unionists hold all the aces.  As far as I, and thousands of others across this land are concerned, we don’t CLAIM nationalists are a sub-species, nationalists ARE a sub-species.  A people who who can give increasing support to the frontsmen of terrorists who killed nearly 2,000 people are not fit to walk the streets.  Those who were law-abiding were protected by the Royal Ulster Constabulary – simple as!!!

‘Policing in the north was created by and for unionists. Policing always belonged to unionists because they believed the very existence of their northern state depended on a police force created to defend it.’

Balderdash!!!  Policing in Northern Ireland was created on the same basis that every other police force in the western world is created – to defend the integrity of the State in which it serves.  That is no less in the official remit of the PSNI than it was of the RUC; and no less than the Garda is expected to uphold in the Irish Republic; the Carabinieri in Italy; or Deputy Inspector Michael Lau, who supervises the police operations on New York’s Fifth Precinct.  Given that nationalists still think they are entitled to share power in the State just so as they can destroy it, the more rancid analysts in that community continue to see policing through that prism.

Feeney, by his typical prattling poison, not only insults the hundreds of Catholic RUC officers who served their country down the years, he also pours scorn on those in his erstwhile party who do give their support to the PSNI.  As for the Unionist ‘meedja’, perhaps he can tell me where the Ulster’s British community has the equivalent of An Phoblacht, Andersonstown News, South Belfast News, North Belfast News or the moribund Daily Provo?  And all acting as fly-posters for republican propaganda!!

Those who wish to govern Northern Ireland either give support to the police and, by extension, the State, and exercise power.  Or they withhold that support and forget about ever holding power again.  No ‘ifs’, ‘buts’ or ‘quid pro quos’.  The choice is theirs.

On This Day…14.12

By ATWadmin On December 14th, 2006 at 9:14 pm

1799 – First President of the United States of America, George Washington, dies at Mount Vernon.

1911 – Norwegian Roald Amundsen becomes the first explorer to reach the South Pole, beating his British rival, Robert Falcon Scott.

1913 – Greece formally annexes the island of Crete.

1972 – US spacecraft Apollo 17 blasts off from the Moon after American astronauts have spent three days exploring the lunar surface.

1989 – Opposition leader Patricio Aylwin is elected President in Chile’s first free election since 1970.

1991 – Former East German leader Erich Honecker, facing extradition to Germany and trial on manslaughter charges, is offered asylum in North Korea.


Falklands 25

By ATWadmin On December 14th, 2006 at 2:36 pm


2005 saw tremendous commemorations to honour British and Commonwealth servicemen and women. National Commemoration Day was the centrepiece of the anniversary commemorations and the culmination of Veteran’s Awareness Week.  The then procession from Horse Guards, up the Mall along the to Buckingham palace was attended by tens of thousands (including me and some mates: it was an incredible & emotional spectacle for all of us coming immediately after July 7).

The remarkable day concluded with a flypast by historic World War Two aircraft, with one million poppies dropped on by the RAF’s last remaining Lancaster bomber. HM the Queen, accompanied by other members of the royal family, appeared once again on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, just as she did when the war ended in 1945. 

Such is the level of tribute paid not just in 2005 but with countless commemorations held every year in a similar fashion.  There is much to challenge the government on – with respect to how well our servicemen are armed, treated and in continued efforts to improving awareness.   And our media – hellbent on undermining the troops efforts at every turn. But one thing this country does beyond well is honour its servicemen with true EVENT and with uniquely British style.

When such tributes are made is irrelevant. How well they are attended by private individuals and how well they are held is.45144458.jpg                                   

The UK puts huge efforts into ensuring these events are as spectacular as they are poignant. We can all be proud of this.You need only look to the services held last month in the Royal Albert Hall and the countless hours of TV time given over to reflecting on the Somme as an example. London above all reigns supreme in these events.  

The 25th anniversary of the Falklands Campaign  takes place in 2007. It ‘will be commemorated across 8,000 miles and five time zones, in London and the Falkland Islands on 17 June 2007.  This will be a high impact visual event on Horse Guards Parade and will include a traditional “Drumhead” ceremony.  This will be followed by a parade of veterans and their modern day service counterparts up The Mall to Buckingham Palace to witness a fly past of aircraft from the Falklands era as well as some of those flown by the same squadrons today.  Central to the event will be the personal recollections of veterans and Islanders as they tell their stories in their own words. Senior members of the Royal Family will attend, and as usual it will be covered live by the BBC’. Read about the history here (too long to include here really)

democracy in action!!

By ATWadmin On December 14th, 2006 at 2:06 pm

Picked up on a piece in AlJazeera about the Botswana Bushmen who have been handed a victory in their long-running court battle to be allowed to return to their ancient hunting lands. In a move which reminded many of the old Apartheid South African Government’s attitude towards their indigenous population, the Bushmen were unceremoniously dumped in re-location camps, mainly because the diamond companies suspected there were a lot more precious stones just sitting exactly where the Bushmen used to hunt their game! The Botswana Government states it will appeal, but in one of the very, very, very few Black African States where the Rule of Law still holds firm, it looks as though the Botswana Government will acknowledge that this is one they’ve lost, and move on!  Now that’s Democracy in action!

So where are the cries of protest about a group totalling some six thousand British citizens who have been deported from the land of their birth, and who, despite many years of protest and legal struggle, remain barred from returning! This fact is true, these people do exist, and they were removed from British soil some thirty years ago, so where are the marches? Where are the daily protests on radio and television? Where are the full page adverts against the vicious treatment of six thousand British citizens? These demonstrations just do not exist! There is just a deafening silence!

Dammit! I forgot to include one word from my second paragraph. That word is “Commonwealth”. The six thousand people do exist, and the British soil was the British Commonwealth territory of Diego Garcia. These people were uprooted from their homes at the dictate of the British authorities and literally “dumped” on the dockside of Mauritius. They were given virtually no help whatsoever during their enforced deportation, no housing assistance, no counselling, hardly any money. Part of the Government’s argument for the continued removal was the fact, or rather their version of the fact, that there was virtually no fresh water sources on the island chain, the community was unsustainable from a long-term viewpoint, and the Diego Garcians, or the Chagos Islanders as the Government calls them, were being given a great favour by their removal and re-location!

The islander’s struggle to return, after a decade or more of complete denial, began in failure, but became complete with a ruling from the British High Court that the actions of the British Government, in both the removal and continued exile, of British Commonwealth citizens was both unjust and illegal! So there’s and end to it; the islanders have been told they can return, the Government has been told that their actions were both illegal and indefensible, Well, not exactly! Not really!

Why? Yes, why indeed? Trouble is, there’s another bunch of people sitting on Diego Garcia, part of the Chagos Islands, with the complete approval of the British Government. The Americans are there, along with two B-52 bomber squadrons, four huge military deployment vessels loaded to the gunwales with tanks, guns and artillery; base facilities for a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier battle group; consisting of three cruisers, ten destroyers, three nuclear submarines, eighty-four F-18A fighter-bombers and about four thousand base personnel, apart from the crews of the various ships! The base staff wear tee-shirts saying “Paradise Island” and they mean it! The swimming is safe, the beach facilities are superb, U.S. forces have an enviable life style when on the islands. Oh, and one last thing, there is plenty of fresh water!

So why have the protests and legal actions ceased? Why have the islanders not been returned to their ancestral homes, even if they have to share with nuclear-powered warships? Because the British Government, in the name of the British people, prepared a document called an “Order in Council”, a document from which there is NO APPEAL, which permanently bars the islanders from returning to their homes, and this document was signed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, on the morning of the last General Election during a regular meeting of her Privy Council!. The High Court ruled just recently that the ‘Order’ was irrational, but the islanders still face further battles to gain the simple right to go home!

Now that’s Democracy in action! 




By ATWadmin On December 14th, 2006 at 10:13 am

AttenboroughDavid.jpgI see that Sir David Attenborough (Here he is pictured with his senior climate change adviser) says that driving ‘gas guzzling’ cars should be seen as ‘morally wrong’. The TV naturalist and environmentalist warned the planet was in danger unless there was a dramatic change in public attitudes towards the environment. He welcomed Gordon Brown’s increase in flight and fuel duties – but said the Chancellor should go further in introducing more green taxes.

More taxes? Yes please! P-uke!

I wonder how many tonnes of carbon dioxide Attenborough and his crew have been responsible for pumping up into the atmosphere, over the decades, on his global TV jaunts? I know he talks a lot of hot air, and his pretentiousness regarding what is "morally wrong" as regards what car one drives is only excelled by his environmania! Stick to talking to Gorillas, Sir David, you only make a monkey of yourself when you stand on your carbon-neutral soapbox!


By ATWadmin On December 14th, 2006 at 10:03 am

Not often I see something in The Guardian that I agree with – but I’m happy to make an exception for this wickedly accurate cartoon. Click on the Cameron image on the link and see what happens! Hat-tip to an eagle-eyed AND widely read ATW regular!