Saturday, November 16, 2002

Under the Geneva Convention of 1949,there are 34 categories of war crimes. Article Eight under the Agreement to establish an international war crimes court sets out as a war crime for an occupying power to "transfer,directly or indirectly,parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or to deport or transfer all or parts of the population of the occupied country within or outside this territory " .
The British have ,of course, ignored the rules before, and not only in relation to Ireland- before the end of the first'World War', the Indians were promised political progress in return for participation in the war on Britains side ;Gandhi was one of the leading nationalists who supported the British on this basis. The British later renaged on their promise and introduced the repressive 'ROWLATT ACT' which aimed to stamp out the Indian independence movement-in response, Gandhi brought India to a standstill with mass protests . The British responded on April 13 , 1919 , when Brigadier -General Reginald Dyer shot dead some 500 unarmed demonstrators at Amritsar in the Punjab .
The Czech writer, Milan Kundera, stated-- "The struggle of freedom against tyranny is a struggle of memory against forgetting. The people remember their cause is just while their oppressors try to induce them to forget and turn their backs on the struggle".
In this,the British have succeeded in Ireland many times but,as always,not all Irish people have been willing to "forget". And thats how it should always be!

Friday, November 15, 2002

On the 12th of January 2000, the Stormont Assembly members voted themselves a generous redundancy package of half their annual salary in the event that the Assembly closes down! The vote, under the 'The Office Holders Bill' , was the third stage(ie third discussion) on the issue-- in December 1999 ,the second 'stage' was held, when the Stormont members practically admitted that the whole show was shaky and took financial preparations to ensure that,no matter how things went,they had a cushion for themselves.
However,being career politicians , they later figured that they had sold themselves short : thus the January 12th 2000 'third stage' ,which agreed that "MLA's(ie the politicians themselves)who were not re-elected in future polls or who chose not to stand would be entitled to a "resettlement allowance"of £19,000 Sterling and a "winding-up allowance" of £11,617 Sterling.
Ex-Ministers,junior ministers and other Office holders would each receive an additional payment equal to a certain per-centage of their then salary ,and also decided that said additional payment will still be paid if a minister,junior minister or other Office holder simply lost their position and were demoted to the level of an ordinary member of the Assembly!
Certain members of the Stormont Assembly claimed they were going in to that institution to 'change/challenge the system' - however,a'good' apple placed in a barrel of bad apples will not arrest the decay but will itself be corrupted.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

A poll carried out for the British 'Observer' newspaper late last year(and referred to in 'The Sunday Business Post','Agenda' section,page 2,June 9 last) showed that 57 per cent of the British public wanted the eight and a half million pounds sterling per annum which is presently spent via the 'CIVIL LIST'(the mechanism by which British taxpayers bankroll the extravagances of the Windsor family) reduced to five million pounds sterling or less, while more than a third of those asked thought the payments should be axed completely ! Tony Blair constantly refers to Britain as a "democracy" : here's a test,Tony-- put the so-called 'Royal' family question to the British electorate; after all,its their money.
And speaking of the Windsors... is rumoured that Michael O Kennedy, a one-time high ranking member of the Fianna Fail party(an ex-mimister and cabinet member untill 1992) is in line for an 'Honour' from the English queen in next Januarys 'Honours List' ! Apparently, Mrs. Windsor is of the opinion that (Sir) Michael done a 'splendid' job as Chairperson of the 'British-Irish Parliamentary Body' , a group consisting of Free State and British career politicians which holds meetings to discuss how best to put a gloss on the continuing British claim of jurisdiction over the six north-eastern counties of Ireland. Congratulations, Michael - a sure sign of a job well done....

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

In June this year, the DUP's Willie McCrea became the first Unionist Chairperson of Magherafelt District Council in 20 years-thanks to the votes of Provo Councillors! And one of those same Provo Councillors, John Kelly, was elected as his Deputy...
The Council meeting where the dirty wheelin'-and-a-dealin' was done took place on Tuesday night,June 11 this year . In that same week,the Provos issued a statement to the media in which they described Willie McCrea as " one of the most biliously sectarian politicians in the Six would be hard to find a Unionist politician less well-disposed to nationalists and republicans(see ap/rn 13-6-02) " -- yet, days previously,they voted for him as Chairperson !! What a tangled web we weave....
Quick note- Mayor Maskey laid a laurel wreath at the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall on July 1 last "in memory of and tribute to all the men who made the supreme sacrifice at the Battle of the Somme and during the First World War"(see ap/rn,27-6-02).Can a man serve two masters?

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Unfortunately ,I missed the party in Belfast City Hall on Monday November 4 last , organised and hosted by Provo SF Mayor Alex Maskey-and perhaps it's just as well....
....the reception was held for the 'Royal British Legion' !
Maskey,who did'nt wear a poppy(this time) was praised for holding the event by Brigadier David Strudley of the Legion . For those of you that did'nt know - Pearse and the other men and women of 1916 were in the GPO setting up a branch of the Legion when someone,somewhere,got their wires crossed and...well, you know the rest -all a terrible mishap,you know!
Seriously-The British 'Royal Legion' in Ireland should be tolerated by Republicans , but should not be supported or encouraged by us: tolerance does not mean the acceptance of the other persons point of view ,merely accepting that he/she has the right to hold that point of view.