" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."

(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)



IRISH BLOG AWARDS 2017 - we made it to the finalists page last year but never got to the stage :- ( 'cause not enough of ye feckers out there voted for us! So we're gonna give ya a second chance - the blog awards this year will be held on Thursday, October 5th (2017) in The Academy, Middle Abbey Street, in Dublin city centre, and we would appreciate if you could keep an eye here and give us a vote when ya can. Or else we'll get our 'Junior' to put up a pay wall and then ye will be sorry...!


Saturday, July 07, 2007

NOT WELCOME!






"Republicans throughout Ireland are strongly opposed to the impending visit by British Queen Elizabeth, who is also the British head of State, and will protest at this extravagant display of pomp and wealth.

But not alone for these reasons. Queen Elizabeth saw fit to award an OBE to Colonel Derek Wilford, Officer Commanding the Parachute Regiment on Bloody Sunday in Derry when they shot dead 14 unarmed civilians. Not exactly an inspiring role model for women? It matters not a whit that some of those armed forces are leaving Irish soil because their place will be taken by MI5 who are deeply embedded here.

There remains one huge obstacle to reconciliation between us and Britain and that obstacle is Partition. Part of the process of putting the past behind us and moving forward would be the removal of the illegal and unjust border that divides our country and our people. Have the courage Elizabeth Windsor and begin the process of handing back what has never belonged to you - the Six northeastern Counties. That would indeed be called a 'historic event'.

It has nothing to do with maturity on our part that we should welcome the Queen of England to our shores, rather it is the same slavish attitude that has always existed in Ireland. Being an occupied and colonised people for so long can make us willing participants in our own domination.

We reject the fraudulent claims of the English Queen to be 'Queen of Northern Ireland' ".

-statement from Cathleen Knowles McGuirk, Vice-President Republican Sinn Féin
June 26, 2007.

The Dublin Executive of Republican Sinn Fein intends to protest the visit of this English queen by holding a peaceful picket at 5PM on O'Connell Bridge in Dublin on the day of her visit . All welcome!
"There is always more brass than brains in an aristocracy."
- Oscar Wilde.






Friday, July 06, 2007

'TORTURE CHARGES/COMRADES/CRISIS'


'ARE THESE CHARGES TRUE ?'
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

Under the above heading the following editorial appeared in 'The Longford Leader'newspaper on December 14 , 1957 :

' When he addressed Queen's University Literary and Scientific Society in Belfast on Wednesday night , Mr. H. Montgomery M.P., said there is no member of the bench in the North of Ireland today who has ever ordered a man to be flogged .

He then went on to make the signigficant statement that it was understandable that the Six-County Parliament might consider it necessary to keep flogging in reserve , particularly at present . He was hinting , of course , at the present trouble in the North .

Allegations have been made by an organisation in this country that political prisoners in the North are being subjected to torture and inhuman treatment . Can these charges be substantiated ? They certainly call for a full inquiry . In one case it is alleged that four prisoners were pulled out of their cells and squads of three men started questioning them in relays . Cocked revolvers were placed against their stomachs , throats and temples and sticks were pressed into their bodies . Handkerchiefs were twisted around their necks.......'

(MORE LATER).




SOUNDING OFF-COMRADES AND CALCULATORS.......

From 'Gralton' magazine, August/September 1983.
By Gene Kerrigan.

Governments rarely achieve a mandate for anything . In February 1982 Garret Fitzgerald sought a mandate on a 'hairshirt' programme and was rejected . Charlie Haughey, who was still in his boom and bloom phase, was elected . In November 1982 Haughey , with the Estimates published , had to seek a mandate for 'hairshirt' policies - he was rejected .

Garret Fitzgerald , who refused to say what his policies were , won . In November 1982 , neither Fine Gael nor Labour sought a mandate for the policies they are now implementing . They let the party machines gather the vote - the main job of the politicians was not to present policies which would win votes but to avoid saying anything which would lose votes !

The second consequence is that anyone trying to break into the system is playing against the odds . Again , there's no use moaning about it : it's a fact of life .

[END of 'Sounding Off - Comrades And Calculators']
(Next : ' The Prisons Of The Past' - from 2003)


CRISIS - WHICH CRISIS.......?

This election is not about the 'economy' . It's about the survival of sectional interests , clearly divided in a broader , simpler way than for many a long day . This election is not about the survival of the country (sic) : it's about choosing who will bear the cost of that survival.

From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine, 'Election Special' , 1987.
By David McKenna.

We are good , though , at attracting 'foreign investment' or , to put it another way - what with straight grants and low rates of tax - it's a great little country for the multinationals ! But the multinationals take their profits out of the country . Indeed , when the grants and the low tax rates come to an end , they take their whole operation out of the country !

The trade unions and the trade union parties such as Labour and The Workers'Party take a different slant - they claim that the entrepreneur is dead , finished - a nineteenth-century notion . Planning , they say , is the answer , the creation of properly structured industries producing goods and services for which there is a definite market at home and abroad .

The trade union parties are not being ideological about this : the implication is that 'planning' includes going easy on the wage demands for the time being . The Workers' Party want to see the development of industrial Ireland , creating a workforce which , according to their 'book' , will then vote for them ! And The Labour Party have always been dead pragmatic , and are known to be so . But Fine Gael and The Progressive Democrats aren't that crazy about 'planning' - of the business parties , theirs comes closest to the 'song' sung by Maggie Thatcher over the water : cut public spending , cut taxes and stand well back - the economy will then ignite itself.......
(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, July 04, 2007

'CUSTOMS POST BOMBED/COMRADES/CRISIS....'



'IMPERIAL CUSTOMS BOMBED'
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

On December 6 , 1957 , the Imperial Customs Post at Belleek , County Fermanagh, was demolished by Irish freedom fighters and the occupants removed to safety . An RUC-inspired statement that two young girls were removed from the danger area by the warning shouts of the Customs officials is untrue . The girls were in no danger at any time and were out of the danger-zone completely when the blast took place .

The Havies Bridge , about seven miles from Enniskillen on the Derrylin side , was also destroyed on December 6 , 1957 .

[END of 'Imperial Customs Bombed']
(Next : 'Are These Charges True?' - from the same source)



SOUNDING OFF-COMRADES AND CALCULATORS.......

From 'Gralton' magazine, August/September 1983.
By Gene Kerrigan.

All of the marking of registers and forms that goes on at polling stations and count centres has little to do with the current election - it is being done for the next election and the one after that . It is possible for parties to get a fairly accurate picture of who voted for them , who voted against them , whose vote 'swings' , where these people live and what has to be done to keep or win their vote next time .

That is : a "fairly accurate" picture - in some constituencies the geniuses are so good that they get a precise picture , house by house . A poll a few years ago showed that about half of the electorate make their choice on the basis of constituency service (ie 'clientelism') - things such as policy , the 'talent' on offer (...with apologises to the creature pictured!) or the extent of crookedness of the party leader are subordinate .

The parties have for each constituency a precise profile of their strengths and weaknesses , of favours owed , of problems stroked and promises made . They have the resources of Leinster House , which is routinely used as part of the election machine . The extent to which the major parties are able to manipulate the electorate cannot be overestimated , but it's no good moaning about this - it is a fact of political life everywhere.......
(MORE LATER).




CRISIS - WHICH CRISIS.......?

This election is not about the 'economy' . It's about the survival of sectional interests , clearly divided in a broader , simpler way than for many a long day . This election is not about the survival of the country (sic) : it's about choosing who will bear the cost of that survival.

From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine, 'Election Special' , 1987.
By David McKenna.

But... the entrepreneur is a shy person who will only emerge to multiply if what the business parties refer to as 'the economic climate' is encouraging : in other words if it doesn't cost the entrepreneur a great deal to borrow the money he or she needs , and if there's a good chance of making a lot of money . In short - low interest rates and low taxes .

The government borrows approximately sixty per cent of its requirements at home , so if public spending was cut that money would , in theory , be available for the entrepreneurs . Alas , the business of interest rates is not something over which the government can exercise much control . Still it can lower taxes , which will make the entrepreneur happy , making sure that he or she gets a fair reward for 'courage in the marketplace' . It would also mean that ordinary taxpayers will have more money to spend on the goods produced by these entrepreneurs and their 'grateful workers' - alas , in these days of 'free trade' , it cannot be guaranteed that the taxpayers will spend their money on home-produced goods .

So what about producing goods to sell abroad ? Well , for some reason your average Irish entrepreneur doesn't seem to be terribly good at this . Even if he or she is 'cute' , the tendency will be to set up or acquire enterprises abroad rather than developing the buiness at home - like Michael Smurfit, for example.......

(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, July 03, 2007

ULSTER HAS NINE COUNTIES,NOT SIX...


'LOVE ULSTER' TO SEEK SUPREMACY IN DUBLIN AGAIN ?




Willie Frazer of the so-called 'Love Ulster' organisation has stepped-up his campaign to parade through Dublin , accompanied by other Loyalist thugs and Combat 18 members .
These are the same people from , and representing , the same organisation which the Dublin Administration last year tried to assist in their quest to triumphantly parade through the streets of Dublin : the place-seekers in Leinster House authorised the use of force against those who objected to the presence of 'Union Jack'-waving neo-Nazi's in Dublin , resulting in other elements using the occasion for what they deemed to be their own advantage - riots ensued on the streets of Dublin .
If this Loyalist parade goes ahead , Republicans have made their position clear .
Are the 'powers-that-be' in Leinster House listening this time...?






Monday, July 02, 2007

FERMANAGH AMBUSH/COMRADES AND CALCULATORS/CRISIS....?'


'FERMANAGH AMBUSH' .......
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1958 .

In western Fermanagh , children who must cross the border to go to school are searched daily , their schoolbags turned inside out . The same treatment is meted out to workmen - in one case a man's boots were taken off .

In another case , two Franciscan priests were held for some time and closely searched by the RUC- an ordination card would not be taken as proof of identity .

[END of 'FERMANAGH AMBUSH']
(Next : 'Imperial Customs Bombed' - from the same source)



SOUNDING OFF-COMRADES AND CALCULATORS.......

From 'Gralton' magazine, August/September 1983.
By Gene Kerrigan.

Most of this 'clinic and patronage' work is routine by now , well known to the comrades with the calculators and way beyond their resources . And this bad news is only beginning.....

When people vote there are several party supporters sitting near the ballot box with copies of the electoral register - they mark off the name of everyone who votes . Nominally this is to guard against personation- and it does have some minor function in that regard . However , personation is usually just a game to keep the troops happy . They cancel each other out and it's a dying art , anyway . The real purpose of these supporters is to provide the parties with a list of everyone who has voted and the polling boxes in which they have voted .

At the count , the parties provide their supporters with pre-printed forms ; on these they fill in the number of each polling box as it is opened . There is an unwritten understanding that the party workers will be able to see each vote as it is unfolded and stacked . From this they mark in how many first preferences each candidate gets from each box , giving the parties a list of names and addresses - perhaps three or four hundred - of people who have voted in each box . They also have a list of how these votes were cast in that box , along with very detailed lists compiled by canvassers , which give indications of how individual voters lean . Their knowledge is not merely based on one election but is accumulated from several decades of elections.......
(MORE LATER).



CRISIS - WHICH CRISIS.......?

This election is not about the 'economy' . It's about the survival of sectional interests , clearly divided in a broader , simpler way than for many a long day . This election is not about the survival of the country (sic) : it's about choosing who will bear the cost of that survival.

From 'IN DUBLIN' magazine, 'Election Special' , 1987.
By David McKenna.

The price of money is high , these days , and international interest rates have gone up because the United States has been borrowing a lot of money to get its industry going again . So there's less money left to borrow , therefore the price of what's left is high , and if the price of money on the international markets is high then the price rises at home as well and we get high interest rates .

Entrepreneurs don't like high interest rates . Too much of any money they make has to be paid back to the lender . Then there's tax : the government finances its public spending - on health , education , social welfare etc - through taxation . That's the theory and up to about thirty years ago , it was in Ireland the reality : then we started borrowing for capital expenditure for day-to-day costs like social welfare payments etc whilst , at the same time , the government were collecting an ever-increasing proportion of income in tax . And entrepreneurs don't like high tax .

No worker likes high tax , but according to the business parties such as Fine Gael , The Progressive Democrats and Fianna Fail, the entrepreneur is the solution to all our problems , the 'answer' to what it takes to get the system going again . He , or she , thinks up some great idea , borrows the money to set up a factory to turn the idea into reality , creates employment , buys a house in Spain and lives happily ever after . As do the grateful workers . But.......

(MORE LATER).