Go way , peasants

On 9th October, at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office,  Alister James Hendrie Burt will have to entertain a motley crew. They will be Arab, English , Irish and Northern Irish. Their common bond will be Semtex. That pernicious explosive will have killed their family member, their friend or will have injured them.

Burt, as a junior minister at the FCO has drawn the short straw , meaning that he should entertain this group and tell them once again [how many bloody times must we tell them?] that HMG will not lift a hand to help them.

The peculiarity of this group is that , among all the peoples of the world, they are the only people not to have been compensated for Gadafy’s supply of Semtex to the IRA.

As a member of the Establishment, Head Boy of Bury Grammar School, St John’s College Oxford, degree in Jurisprudence 1977; he will be required by his masters to send the [mostly] Paddies away with some more platitudes.

Burt will have been briefed as to the dangers of this group. To the danger of the history of the UK’s relationship with Gadafy and with the IRA, where HMG ran numerous informers.

So , the outcome of this meeting is pre-ordained. Burt will express sympathy. He will tell the audience of peasants that Libya is a basket case. He will say that we must wait till there is stability. He won’t tell his audience that Libya is producing a million barrels of oil a day or that its  exports to the UK exceed $350 million a year. He won’t reveal how many of his Tory friends want to do business there, including those of Boris, his boss. Remember the joke about clearing the dead bodies so that a casino could be built?

Burt is another of those Tories who believes the rules are for the little people, [over claiming expenses on his flat.] He is just another Tory, on the make, passing through.

Such is the British response to Terrorism. One a  crook and the other a conman. Those of you affected by killings in Tunisia, Manchester or London, don’t believe that the State has any regard for you. The government is in the grip of the Spooks , who drive the agenda. And of chancers, controlled by the spooks.

 

 

 

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Sinister forces at work in Northern Ireland

In his novel  “1984”, George Orwell wrote:

“Hardly a week passed in which the Times did not carry a paragraph describing how some eavesdropping little sneak-‘child hero’ was the phrase generally used-had overheard some compromising remark and denounced its parents to the Thought Police.”

A recent Metropolitan Police anti-terrorism campaign encouraged law-abiding citizens to look through each others’ bins to check for “suspicious items such as chemical bottles and to report any troubling findings to the police” Fake blondes-hide that peroxide bottle! I’ve struggled to find the Troubling Findings Act.

China’s Ministry of Supervision has a discipline watchdog which opened the “unified informant hotline” for the public to report discipline offences of civil servants and officials.

Eavesdropping and informing on each other to the Stasi was a way of life in East Germany.

Stalin’s regime relied on “mutual surveillance” urging families to report on each other about ‘disloyalty’.

So how grateful must we be to live in a liberal democracy.

Not so. This blog is not about the programme of informers during the Troubles. Like Scap, Donaldson , Sean Maguire and Brian Gillen, they got their money and , those still alive are living a comfortable life, protected by the British State.

This blog is about what is happening in our communities  now. It is about democracy, freedom of speech and the ability to protest.

Many Loyalist areas of Belfast have taken the Queen’s Shilling in return for compliance. The Greater Shankill is an example of that. The killing of Bobby Moffett has been swept under the carpet so long as  the locals support the GFA. The Spectrum Centre doles out nearly a million pounds  each year ,to the locals in wages. The UVF and Arlene are at peace.

Other communities are not GFA supporters. The result is that they are subject to harassment by the PSNI, as an arm of the State. Frequent use of the Terrorism Act 2000, in dubious circumstances. Searches of legitimate community facilities for “loyalist paraphernalia”. The stop and search of  individuals on a regular basis, in breach of the codes of practice. Stops by ‘Road Policing’ with bogus allegations of no insurance or road tax.

It’s not a crime, of course, to oppose the GFA.

Or is it?

Lets read a new document. It is entitled:

“THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE (ON BEHALF OF THE TACKLING PARAMILITARISM PROGRAMME BOARD)

Building capacity in communities in Transition Project (2017-2021)

Information Memorandum

Tenders are invited to support the delivery of this project.”

The programme “is committed to promoting the use of peaceful and democratic means and upholding the rule of law across all communities”

So consider this , Dear Reader. In the proposals which tenderers can make , is the requirement that they show an “outline of how information will be shared with police on individuals who do not support transition”

“Transition” is not defined anywhere.

The Board is chaired by the Department of Justice and is comprised of civil servants and the PSNI.

So , if you want to get your community nose  into this particular trough you will have to undertake to snitch on those who are not supporting “transition”.

“Feed your Snout-be a Tout” might be the catch phrase.

Of course , the document is keen to espouse the rule of law.  The rule of law encompasses ‘no punishment without law’.

What law is being broken which requires the citizen to “share information” with the PSNI about an individual who does not support transition?

The answer is that this programme , aside from offering monetary bribes, further undermines the rule of law. The PSNI willingly particpates , not only by harassment but by being part of the supervising body. The Stasi would be impressed.

The lesson is that you can be a paramilitary as long as you are a State approved-GFA loving paramilitary. Otherwise you are in big trouble.

It’s unlikely that any mainstream politician will put his/her head over the much funded parapet about this.

Approximately  one third of the workforce depend on the State for their mortgage. In addition, vast swathes of the middle classes , including journalists ,are paid fees by the BBC, the Housing Executive and every other public body for services rendered. The country is in the grip of the Security Service, forget about Brokenshire. Even Stalin would be impressed with such a compliant body, when it is allied to the likes of the Greater Shankill Partnership Soviet.

It’s hard not to conclude that democracy  and freedom of speech died in Northern Ireland years ago.

 

 

The Greater Shankill Scam

The Greater Shankill Partnership [“GSP”] is masterminded from the Spectrum Centre.

The Greater Shankill Neighbourhood Renewal Plan was ‘declared’ in 2007.

[NB. It is always important to apply imposing names to these matters.]

Who and what is the ‘Greater Shankill’?

It’s an area of North Belfast, mostly the Protestant bit, though 12% may be Roman Catholic. Its population is 18,028, at the last census.

In the last year that figures are available, the GSP spent £974,000 on wages.

It has produced an “Action Plan” for 2017-2018. This plan has achieved legitimacy because it was approved by the “Greater Shankill Community Convention” and adopted by “the area’s Neighbourhood Partnership”.

So there! When I think of the Convention I think of Revolutionary France. How those delegates in the Spectrum Centre must have questioned the management!

Before examining the plan , let’s examine some statistics.

The percentage seeking jobseekers allowance has increased from 7% in 2003 to 10.8% in 2014. Much greater than the general populace.

Income support has also increased compared to the outside world.

Education

Those in the area achieving Key Stage 1 level 2 or above in maths fell from 92.2% in 2005/6 to 85.4% in 2011/12. The national figure in 2011/12 was 95.8%.

In English, on the same basis, the GSP figure for 2011/12 was 82.3% ; the national figure was 94.8%.

Not so bad , you might think. But consider the next statistic.

At least 5 GCSE passes at A*-C including English and maths. In 2007/08 the GSP figure was 18.9%. This showed a significant improvement to 36.5% in 2012/13. But the national figure that year was 65.9%, almost double.

The GSP don’t even bother with A level statistics.

How many children are we talking about? It would appear that the figure of those of school age is significantly under 2,000, perhaps 1,700.

So, what’s the plan?

Well, this organisation which employs over fifty people and spends nearly one million pounds a year on wages, doesn’t really have one.

Here’s their action plan for 2017/18.

They are going to “engage in conversations with 100 children and young people”. They are going to “audit ” services. They are going to give “sustained support co-ordinated for 100 children and young people”.
They are going to “Establish a platform for the Zone’s development and implementation”, and continue working with QUB.
At this point in time , Dear Reader, your bullshit detector may be tweeting.
Don’t you love a “platform” “implementation” and the addition of a pretty discredited university?
You are correct. There is not one word as to how this plan will be measured for success or not.
Meantime those fifty plus people, including some who are paid well above the national average, will keep their jobs, slaving away in the Spectrum Centre.
That’s over £500 for every child of school age on the Shankill.
If you desire some acupuncture it’s free but if you want your child to avail of the summer programme for moving to secondary school, it will cost you £10. This must say something about the management.
But there is worse!
Glenwood Primary School is yards from the Spectrum Centre.
The Education and Training Inspectorate report conclusion in January 2013 stated:
“In almost all of the areas inspected, the quality of education provided in this school is inadequate; the areas for improvement outweigh the strengths in the provision. The inspection has identified significant areas for improvement in leadership and management, standards, and learning and teaching which need to be addressed urgently if the school is to meet effectively the needs of the all the children.”
A subsequent report , in May 2104 , concluded:
“In the areas inspected, the quality of education provided by this school is now good. The school has important strengths in most of its educational (and pastoral) provision. The inspection has identified an area for improvement which the school has demonstrated the capacity to address.
There remains the need to:

• continue to raise the standards achieved in literacy and numeracy and embed the good practice which has begun.

The Education and Training Inspectorate will monitor, through district inspection activity, the school’s progress on the area for improvement.”

It is truly astonishing that those who were governors of this school in the relevant years, allowed it to sink to a position where the ETI had to intervene.

So let’s wait a year and see what the Spectrum Centre produces for those 1,700 or so children of the deprived Shankill.

Aside from their own salaries and pensions.

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!

My life in a banana republic. Election edition

Jambo!

When I came to this statelet, my new friends were offended when I described it , after many of your Guinness as a “banana republic without the bananas”.

I thought this too harsh , after I recovered from my three day hangover. Was this not the land of Percy French, Seamus Heaney, Brian Moore and Jimmy Nesbitt?

Did not the citizens of this city  , many years ago, oppose slavery?

Yet something reminded me of home.

Is it politicians blaming civil servants?

Is it civil servants blaming their underlings? Is there a stench of the pork barrel again?

Is it a combination of both?

What goes on in the household of Emma Aardvaak Pengelly Little? What is their conversation at the tea time?

“How are the little people today dear?”

“They are making fun of you and your party, but I have let them have a whiff of grapeshot”

“Good for you dear. They will complain of all sorts of things, never mind death. Why can’t they live on a tenth of what we earn?  My father earns nothing, he toils not, neither does he spin, yet his life is arrayed like a multi coloured St Anne’s robe”

“Oh Emma, I love it when you talk like that”

But I transgress.

Here at CRAP we are in a turmoil. Who will pay our not inconsiderable expenses after March?

Who will rule us?

In moments like this I turn to my friend , Dingle. He has seen it all before.

“Ulster is at the cross roads “, he said .

“Did you make that up?” I asked.

He smiled enigmatically.

Jambo!

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 trouble with god

It is indoors, the immediate scene is dark but in the background there are two spot lights.

A grey haired man is on his knees, his head down. His face is obscured. Two old men, both still wearing overcoats , despite the heat, are arched over him. They have their hands on his shoulders.

The viewer is immediately alarmed. Who are these men, why is one on his knees? What has he done? In the background is a large , heavy man, watching proceedings. Is he a godfather of crime? Are these old men his lieutenants?

Behind the fat man, a fit young man looks on. Is he a minder?

Does someone have a gun?

The man in the big overcoat speaks. His diction is ponderous, like a godfather. Is he going to tell us of the grey haired man’s crime?

No. In a voice heavy with care, he invokes the holy spirit. [for non christians, this is part of the three part god that they believe in, see shamrock for an explanation] and asks that it influence , inter alia, the interviewer.

The grey haired man leaps to his feet. He either takes something from his mouth or wipes it. He is not to be executed.

All becomes clear.This is not a Cosa Nostra punishment hearing.

It’s the Nolan Show!

So began one of the most significant  political interviews in recent times. Essentially the interviewee said that everything he was going to say was  true because his god had okayed it.

Leaving aside the question as to whether or not the BBC should have pemitted such a display [perhaps the management thought it would make good tv] the viewer was invited by the interviewee, to go along with the evidence, because it had been sanctioned by god.

I’ve watched as , over twenty years, the NIO and now the Executive try to tell the people what a great wee country we live in.

The truth is that it is inhabited by a elite ,  a big house class that by and large escaped the troubles and continue to exert huge, unseen influence. Look at the brief clip of Arlene and Bell being spoken to by David Smyth and his wife. David is a retired judge and in the past a failed Unionist candidate. His wife is the daughter of  Colonel Hall Thompson. They haven’t gone away , you know.Below them is the political class, more of that in a moment. Then there is the largely supine and stultified middle class, who are pandered to over education and health care. As long as they can get to Ravenhill on a Friday night and their wives can shop on the Lisburn Road, they are happy.Next is the elite non -working class. They are the recipients of grants, money from community initiatives, and other state sources. This is improved by hacking Sky TV for a small fee , buying stuff at the illegal Crumlin Road market, jointly controlled by the UDA and PIRA and  fiddling the electricity meter.

There is another class. Honest decent people who are aghast at what is happening. They don’t count because of the political class. It has learned that HMG will put up with anything rather than a return to bombs in GB. Accordingly the political class extracts money and concessions from HMG at will. Cameron came and was outraged, as a good Tory Boy, at the attitude of this class. He is gone and May will be more pragmatic. This class , with their bloated expenses, their SpAds , and their misguided belief in their own abilities [fostered by HMG] considers that hardship is for the little people. The big money is for their supporters, in farming and  business.

But where is god in all of this?

Almost every DUP politician likes to tell us about their christian faith. Wee Jeffrey likes to tells us of it while trying to sell arms to a muslim regime that fails to protect Copts.

It’s OK to get  divorced, like Emma Aardvark Little Pengelly, despite biblical teaching, but don’t try the same trick with same sex marriage.

Arlene, in recent days has been filmed at church and at a nativity play [for non-believers this is a story about how a god impregnated a virgin]

The sad fact is that there are still sufficient people who have an imaginary friend that ensures  the DUP or/or  Bell will get away with this mumbo jumbo, which keeps poor people in their place.

So , who is god backing in this one?

I tried to get him to speak to me but without success.

St Peter referred me to Paul Tweed.