My life in a Banana Republic -June 2017

Jambo!

I have been very busy and most anxious. As the CEO of the Community Research and Action Programme, I was worried about our income. The Jeremiahs said that we would be forced to close our door, that there would be no forthcoming money. But Hey Presto! money comes from the Great Parliament on the Hill and from the Peaceful Fund , Number Four. Our bacons were saved. All staff were kept on, even Billy, whom I have yet to meet but who performs a valuable security role, I am told.

And what of the Great She Elephant? What an achievement ! It is like the book “From log cabin to White House”. Here is this humble lawyer, from a cottage on the edge of Europe, who had rarely been in Belfast, never mind London, now at the centre of power. This would not happen in my country. You need to be in the right tribe to achieve greatness. I have written to her and invited her to come to CRAP.

Dingle pointed out to me that there are three barristers in the DUP MPs plus Jim Allister in the TUV. This is because,  he says,  the Bar Library is a Cold House for Unionists. This puzzled me. In Africa , lawyers become freedom fighters and leaders of the country. Dingle says that here “the other side” prefer the Lisburn Road, Donegal, great works of art and a judicial appointment. He challenged me to name a Republican MLA/MP lawyer. This bodes unwell for the future.

Now that my income is assured for some time, I have moved from the Biblical lands and purchased a dwelling in East. This means that Emma Aardvaark Little Pengelly is not my MP but it is now Gavin Robinson. I like him. He has the bearing of a great chief. In my country there is no place at the top table for skinny persons. They smack of liberalism, sandals and veganism. Gavin surely eats like a chief and has chiefly bearing. He can also make fearsome speeches, Dingle says. My new home, a modest terrace house is not in a shared space, apparently. This means that the tribesmen erect symbols of their supremacy and challenge the native troops to interfere. They do not , because they are few in number and led by men who eat as much as Gavin.

I wrote to my Uncle, the President , about Brexit. He is a wise man. Now in his eighties, he has seen it all before. Many times in Africa, some strong man wanted to make alliances. Once we got rid of the white man, it was other persons, such as Gadafy. Soon his son will rule Libya again. But I digress. My uncle said that this Brexit thing is just a manifestation of Little Britain. I told him that this programme was funny, especially the fellow in the wheelchair. He was cross that I did not read history. He said that Britain had always tried to keep away from the Foreigner Jonny. “Splendid Isolation” he called it. I thanked him.

He said that “when Arlene visits CRAP, remind her about what Gladstone said about the Irish”.

I have not had time to consider this because I have been researching pallets. This is a puzzle. Dingle says that when he was a boy, bonfires consisted of rubbish. Old sofas, someone’s old shed, a rotten fence, and worse. Boys went out in search of material and dragged it through the streets to the site. Now the bonfire is made up of hundreds of pallets. These are not disposed of . They are perfectly useful. They cost about £10 each. I know not how many are in a bonfire. Someone is complicit in this bonfire thing.

I have gone on for too long. CRAP is  functioning well. We give money to deserving cases. Cookers, washing machines and fridge freezers. There are no tower blocks in our  bailiwick. I went out and checked.

Sometimes it is important that we immigrants look after the natives.

Jambo!

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My life in a banana republic:coup d’etat

Jambo!

I have never before written to you twice in a month but these are extraordinary times.

Here at C.R.A.P we were today having our office party. While some of the boys and girls drank cheap beer and ate  small sausages, I was watching events from your assembly on the hill. The Great She Elephant was in difficulty. Some fellows who are not in government want to remove her. She called it a ‘coup d’etat’.

I and my family have great experience of coups. First we had one against the whites. Then we had one against a prime minister who had been voted for by some people, finally we had one against the rival tribe.

THIS IS NOT A COUP!

If it were there would be tension, martial law, imprisonment without trial,curfew, shootings of civilians and tanks. All these things are familiar to the older persons here but were absent today. This was just some fellows jousting in the chamber. A while ago they were all in government together and were kindly to each other. I’m sure that not one carried a gun or a stick or punched anyone in the great hall. It was a very power-sharing coup.

Which brings me to my other point. When are we going to hear the smack of firm government?

The Great She Elephant has said things about Mr Bell. Why did she not smite down this man at the time? Why did the men of the DUP not come to her aid? Peter is a Red Beret. Jeffrey was in special forces. Emma’s father handled missiles. Could not they have taken Bell to task? Why was he not imprisoned? Beaten with sticks? His lands confiscated and his family humiliated?

My grandfather, the first president of our country had no time for such persons, he ate those who disagreed with him.

So today in my country there are no SpAds, officials, clergy or other such hangers on.

And another thing! Why does she not control the television and radio? Then these things would not have amounted [as my friend Donald says] to a hill of beans. Put that Nolan fellow under house arrest! Let us hear what delicious things Gregory has found out about him. Deport Crawley!

Truly today was remarkable. Your Speaker is a fine fellow. He knows upon what side is his toast buttered. I am suggesting to my Uncle that he is invited to deliver the next annual lecture on the Democratic Process in our parliament.

I return to my theme. Be firm, Great She Elephant. Give these fellows their orders, like Lord Wellington. Then send them home.

Then eat your intensively heat reared Christmas Turkey in peace.

Jambo!

The scandal of children’s safety in Northern Ireland

As in the rest of the UK and probably elsewhere, the landscape is littered with organisations , some Quangos, some charities , on the face of it, concerned about children.

In Northern Ireland , to mention a few, there is Barnados, the NSPCC, the NICCY and the Safeguarding Board NI.

You might think, Dear Reader, that one body could protect our children.

Not so. All these bodies and more, receive public money , our pennies, when in the street, with the aim of protecting children from physical violence , emotional violence, sexual abuse and other discrimination.

Since I became aware of this problem, in the early 1980s, I have wondered what the government was doing to protect children.

Sadly, I have come to the view, articulated in the song “I’d like to help you son but you’re too young to vote”.

Some time ago , the government decided that an overarching body should protect children. The clue is in the title of this body…the Safeguarding Board for NI.

It has a chairman, three non executive directors [which means that OFMDFM appoints them] and at least 16 other members.

It has five regional panels , a case management review panel  and other panels.

It has a number of other committees, including a “policies and procedures” committee , an “interfaith sub group” [ god help us] and an “education and training” group.

Alexis Jay’s report [suppressed since February of this year] makes for shocking reading. Essentially it says that nobody has got a grip of the disparate bodies who turn up and say that they are concerned about children.

Essentially, it says that the Safeguarding  Board is fuck all use. That’s not language that is  deployed  but to the parents of affected children that’s what it amounts to.

Children continue to die and children are still abused while this hopeless organisation carries on.

You have probably heard lots of “experts” talk about children on Good Morning Ulster, Nolan and other media. Not one has raised this issue.

It begs the question, common in Northern Ireland, are they slave to the fee , the establishment or to the truth? Perhaps they will let us know, particularly where the safety of children is at stake.

Meanwhile, all these fat ladies and pale men continue to draw their gross salaries and the talking heads ignore the problem.

My life in a banana republic: June

Jambo, Jambo!

My great news is that I will soon be graduating from the Queen’s great university [where her anthem is no longer heard].

The badness is that , because of your tribal wars, I may return to my own peaceful African country.

The Great She Elephant failed to win an OUT vote yet she remains in power. How can her tribe explain that?

The two tribes united to say that they wanted to remain in Ireland and the EU. The Picts across the water voted similarly. So from Cork to Aberdeen the people are of one voice.

Meanwhile one Eton boy is resigning as Prime Minister and another, who might have beaten him or given him lines, wants to take the job.  I seem to remember the BBC casting fun at my country’s rulers.

The leader of the opposition is a strange man who reads many emails and dresses in the dark. Nobody believes that he can be a Head Man, because he is a ganch. This is a word my Sandy Row friends taught me.

There is a vacuum, in my country the generals would by now have parked the tanks on the lawns.

What has happened to the Mother of Parliaments?

Meantime , Ministers from the new assembly are sneaking around burying bad news. The Great She Elephant thinks that her football team, which played 4 , won 1 and scored 2 goals, should be greeted as heroes. Do you remember Winnie Mandela’s football team? Ask the family of Stompi Moeketsi. Politicians should do what they do best, telling lies, not supporting football.

To make it more confusing, Her Gracious Majesty visited the Giant’s Causeway today. I wonder if she thinks it was made 6,000 years ago?

My brother rang me. He has an import/export business in Africa. It does trade from Egypt to Cape Town. He offered me a job. He says I should come home to a stable country where there is a legitimate government, where the tribes worked out a pecking order fifty years ago and where there is a market for goods.

This offer is very tempting.

Jambo jambo!

The Docklands bomb

On 9th February 1996 Slab Murphy’s South Armagh IRA gang bombed the Docklands. The bomb consisted of a fertiliser mix , accelerated by Semtex, supplied by Libya.

Readers of this blog will know of the history of British involvement with Gadafy and the current Parliamentary inquiries.

Victims and survivors of Semtex bombs still await reparation from Libya. Over 150 took legal action in April 2006 and were blocked by the unholy alliance of Bush,  Blair and Gadafy. Over 1,000 others have a moral claim to reparation.

The big issue is ‘from whence will the money come?’

The British Government says that we must await a stable Libyan government. There has been chaos in Libya since 2011. Given that there are currently three rival governments, stability seems a long way off.

Frozen in UK bank accounts is £9.4 billion , most of it the property of Gadafy, his family and  his henchmen. This would provide reparation  to thousands of victims all over the United Kingdom but presently, the government will not legislate to release it.

A campaign has been under way since the middle of 2015 to secure release.

McCue and Co , solicitors in London, have led this campaign and they and a number of other people have given evidence in support , to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee. Further activity is planned for 2016.

Imagine my shock  to find that Diane Dodds MEP, told the European Parliament; “we must see a relative and sustainable peace in Libya in order to further our goal of negotiating a fair financial settlement for those innocent victims”. So the DUP’s MEP agrees with the British Government.

In fact in January 2016, and under her watch, the EU renewed its legislation for the freezing of funds and neither she nor any other unionist politician seemed to notice.

Jeffrey Donaldson is DUP Chief Whip. In the DUP 2015 election manifesto, the DUP  said ” the DUP is not beholden to any national party”. At that point they were in a fever of expectation that they would hold the balance of power. In November 2015 David Cameron appointed Donaldson Britain’s Trade Envoy to Egypt. Jeffrey gushed in the press about his appointment.

In  correspondence with me about Diane Dodds’ statement, where he was abusive and ill tempered, he said that he was elected to represent “ALL innocent victims”. So I thought that I would take a look at both the DUP’s 2015 election manifesto and its grandly entitled “Northern Ireland Plan”. Neither document mentions the securing of compensation or reparations for victims. If he were so elected, it seems to have happened by osmosis.

Jeffrey then referred to me as one of ‘the select few’. I’m not easily offended and I’m a big boy, well bigger that Jeffrey anyway; but I wonder if that is his view of victims and survivors generally, when they take legal action against a dictator?

Stung at my criticism of Diane,  the Egyptian Trade Envoy said;”I will be asking your legal team to reflect on the damage such unwarranted exchanges does [sic] to our combined efforts” An interesting idea. I wonder how often he approaches other lawyers about their clients? Perhaps it’s a DUP thing to try to intimidate victims and survivors. Any views, Arlene?

The fact is that neither he nor any other unionist has made a scrap of difference to the campaign for reparations for me or for the people hideously maimed.

Meanwhile , let’s think about someone more important.  Zaoui Berezag. He was injured in the Docklands bomb. In September 2015 his wife said “My Zaoui is blind , paralysed, brain damaged and has no leg’. He is very disabled and now he is in nappies.” Many other survivors of Libyan Semtex bombs are similarly afflicted.

James McArdle was convicted of conspiracy to cause the Docklands bombing and in June 1998 he was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

On 25 July 2000 the Queen granted McArdle  the Royal Prerogative of Mercy and he was released.

Zaoui remains imprisoned by his injuries and in dire financial straits.

Meanwhile Jeffrey , Her Britannic Majesty’s Trade Envoy, is spending this week in Egypt, where President Sisi has killed 2,500 political opponents and represses gays.

 

 

My life in a Banana Republic: January

 

Jambo Jambo!

I have returned from visiting my family in Africa.

Shortages, queues, poor hospitals, corruption, political instability.

But I think I can cope till my next trip away.

I have been looking for your “Fresh Start”.

Was it when everybody changed their minds and said that Peter was a splendid chap after all?

In Africa, such people retire to a large walled estate with many servants and live off the money they stole from the people. I wonder what Peter will do?

Perhaps the Fresh Start was when everybody said nice things about the Great She Elephant.

Or when men asked her how she would cope with the laundry and cooking and she did not slap them.

Dingle tells me that lawyers are still on strike. I saw one on the television. He mumbled and was sweating. If such a person represented me I would be cross. Perhaps his heart is not in it.

Dingle, who keeps his finger on the pulsing, says that they have been on strike since last May and that Minister Ford, who is by far the most righteous minister in all Ireland, has saved millions of pounds which he will spend on costly legal actions about aborting and same sex marriage.

A Great Justice called Horner has told the politicians that they live in a bygone age and must change the rules on abortion, if they want to live in Europe. In Africa he would be arrested for such interference with the goings on on the Great House on the Hill. Or large tanks would be sent to Chichester Street. Perhaps the Fresh Start has prevented this.

I rejoice that the Pastor had escaped the claws of the state, even though the Judge said that he was offensive and had lost the run of himself. This puzzled me since the Pastor is 78 and does not look like a man who could run. Dingle explained that it meant that he had lost self control when speaking , like when Ian Paisley, Gerry Adams, Bobby Storey and such like say things. Even when Peter said that he would only trust a Muslim to run an errand for him to the local Quikkimart.

“But none of them was prosecuted”, I say. Dingle smiled. I suspect the Small Prosecutor, who is now putting on trial a lady who had medicine for abortion, which I now understand is the Most Heinous of Crimes here in the Northern Part of Ireland.

My puzzlement know no bounds. It could lead to me losing my running.

Invest NI Money before principles

In 2014 Invest NI led a delegation to Libya while that country refused to compensate victims for the harm caused by their supply of Semtex to PIRA.

Of course, it was a delegation approved by the DUP and particularly by Arlene Foster, who should know , more than most , what Gadafy did here.

It raises the question ,posed most remarkably by Jamie Bryson, does this state exist for the aggrandisement of the few at the expense of the many?

What does the DUP really stand for? Corruption, fracking, land grabbing , planning scams, sexual misdemeanours, anti-gay angst, queer sects and more?

Noel Johnston, of Invest NI said “Libya is becoming an important place for our companies.” How interesting for those whose family members are dead, maimed or crippled at their hands.