The Primark Scream – Loyalism today

Another great video song from Loyalists Against Democracy
Well done LAD

With the forthcoming march on Saturday, 30th November

loyalists 30 nov
The US Consulate General in Belfast advises: “Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.

“We recommend that US citizens avoid the areas where such demonstrations are occurring if possible, and, as always, exercise caution in the vicinity of any parades or protests.

“We also advise you to stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of your surroundings at all times.”

Northern Ireland should act in its own best interests, not indulge its obsessions

PS If you enjoyed these posts, you’ll also like last weekend’s music and satire

No Mr Larkin, Never, ever, ever ?

You said yesterday Dr Haass “thought the scale and the intensity of the reaction was instructive”. What happened?
He was confronted by angry Kate Nash, whose brother William was killed by British paratroopers soldiers during the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre.
bloody sunday
She urged him to reject any notion of an amnesty because the main beneficiaries of any amnesty would be those who perpetrated State killings.
what part no
How can there be an amnesty for murder?” she asked.
you get treated this way for almost 42 years by the justice system. There was no police inquiry back then as such, and then they drag you along all those years, all that campaigning, and then at the end of all that they are going to tell us, ‘Let’s draw a line under it all
drawing a lline
What are they trying to do, draw a line under victims, draw a line under my brother? We are not going to let that happen,” she said.
sdlp logo
said victims were “entitled to justice irrespective of the lapse of time“.
“This would amount to a blanket amnesty and the SDLP do not believe that this would be acceptable.”The international view, also held by the United Nations is that general amnesty is not the correct way of proceeding in a post-conflict situation.

what part no

What did the DUP say?
Peter Robinson was resentful.
The Attorney did not make either the Deputy First Minister or myself aware of his comments. The first knowledge of what he had said came to us from the media,”

Ian Paisley,
paisley 4
now Lord (Paranoia) Bannside, suggested the Attorney General’s call for a de facto amnesty for Troubles killers might be a “convenient smokescreen”.
Such an unsought ostentatious outburst of opinion, about which no one claims to have known the slightest thing, and the entire furore it has caused, is perhaps a convenient smokescreen for what really is in the pipeline with the Haass process.”
conspiracy alert
He’s quite right. The idea that the Attorney-General could take this into his head without consulting the First and Deputy First Ministers is stretching credulity to breaking-point. His proposals have to be linked to the Haas talks. Everybody knows that the big issue is how we cope with the past.
Well, Dr Haass did hold discussions with Attorney General John Larkin on the 22nd November, two days after he released his proposals.
dup banner
Mr Robinson saw “no merit” in Mr Larkin’s suggestions. He said he was completely opposed to the proposals.
what part no
In other societies they don’t say ‘we’re not going to go after murderers anymore because the years have passed by
Jeffrey Donaldson
jeffrey donaldson
” would strongly object to the notion of an amnesty, we’re very clear about that.”
TUV leader Jim Allister

jim allister
was “appalled and angered”.
“Mr Larkin is not advocating amnesty for everyone, only for ‘trouble-related’ crimes; thereby endorsing the terrorist propaganda
,” he said.

chucky arlo
Nigel Dodds
dodds orangeman
asked the prime minister about the “very worrying statement.
I can reassure [you] that the government have no plans to legislate for an amnesty for crimes that were committed during the Troubles.”
Now!! What about in the future?
labour logo
Hywel Francis,
hywel francis
Chair of Parliament’s joint human rights committee
house of commons
described Larkin’s remarks as “at best unhelpful and at worst offensive”.
”They seem to have been made without recognition of either the natural rights of victims for justice or the international framework in which the UK and the Northern Ireland Governments have to operate”

“The European Convention on Human Rights and other international treaties bind the UK and its devolved governments to certain rights and duties. Accepting John Larkin’s proposals would go directly against these.”
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny
enda kenny
I think this (Mr Larkin’s proposal) would be in contravention of human rights. People have internationally a right to know. They have a right to find out and where (members of) the state were involved, there must be an investigation. Clearly this is a matter of international human rights… and if the hand of justice points incontrovertibly following court cases to individuals then justice has to take its course.”
John Dalhuisen,
john dalhuisen
Europe and Central Asia Director at Amnesty International agreed the proposal was a blanket amnesty.
It would be an utter betrayal of victims’ fundamental right to justice. Such a move would fly in the face of international human rights standards and perpetuate impunity.Victims are too often already being let down by flawed investigations into past human rights abuses and violations. Today’s proposals from the Attorney General would be a further betrayal for many victims in Northern Ireland.

what part no
Strangely enough our lovely SOS
has already said “The Government does not believe that selecting a further series of cases for public inquiries is the best way to deal with the past in Northern Ireland.”

Another dissonant opinion is expressed by Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor, Donal McKeown,
I think what John Larkin has done for us is actually raised the question – how can we get the best possible deal in the very imperfect circumstances that we have, where many people will never tell the truth about the past, because of embarrassment, because of their own inability to cope with what they’ve done themselves.”
He said for Mr Larkin to put his proposal forward during the Haass talks was “very laudable“.

Sir Desmond Rea, who chaired the first Policing Board in 2001,agreed.
He advocated the idea of an amnesty a number of years ago.
Under the Belfast Agreement, the slate should be wiped clean. Our society and policing should look to the future.The release of prisoners under the Belfast Agreement should be extended, we argue, to an amnesty for all. There should be no more inquiries.Our concern as a society should be for the victims at their point of need“.

What are the benefits of this amnesty that isn’t an amnesty?
Moving on from the past, Political stability. Rational use of financial and other resources.The greater good of NI society
Who is set to gain most?
Loyalists and republicans and of course, the British state. It is already refusing to carry out any more inquiries, therefore supporting a de facto amnesty.The Catholic Church seems to agree, as did the Eames-Bradley Report. Bets on the rest will be finessed
Who is set to lose most?
Victims and survivors. They will be left without answers and wrongs will go without redress. They may be offered a Truth Commission but who knows how much “truth” that will uncover.

drawing a lline

Attorney-General John Larkin QC and The Law of Diminishing Returns

Who is John Larkin?
A Belfast man , he was educated at St Mary’s Christian Brothers’ Grammar School, and Queen’s University Belfast
where he read law. In 1989, at the age of 25, he was appointed as Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penal Law at Trinity College, Dublin.
In the 1990s he returned to Northern Ireland to work at the Northern Ireland Bar. He specialised in administrative law, civil liberties and human rights, competition and constitutional law, defamation and judicial review. In May 2010 First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness appointed him

What did he say in his submission to Dr haass?
He called for an end to all prosecutions, inquests and public inquiries other state investigations into the crimes committed during the 30-year conflict known as “ The Troubles”.

Why? On what grounds?
He gave largely pragmatic reasons:
1) With forensic evidence almost non-existent and 40-year-old witness accounts usually unreliable, the prospects of securing convictions look remote at best.
They’re probably going
going nowhere
Any investigation, inquest or inquiry would be a fruitless exercise in opening up old wounds.
no good
More than 15 years have passed since the Belfast agreement, there have been very few prosecutions, and every competent criminal lawyer will tell you the prospects of conviction diminish, perhaps exponentially, with each passing year”
old wounds
so we are in a position now where I think we have to take stock” .
“we should accept that no matter how many more investigations we hold, or how many witnesses we call, or how much money we spend , they are unlikely to achieve anything more of use. That time has come

The contributions of the Historic Enquiries Team, the Police Ombudsman and various community-based inquiries all fuel an impetus
uncover the past
to uncover the truth, to shed light on past deeds, to bring to public attention the past associations and culpabilities of various political actors. To what end? For sure, some of this uncovering is not about the past at all; it is a continuation of war by other means
iwar by any other means
It strikes me that the time has come to think about putting a line,
drawing a lline
set at Good Friday 1998, with respect to prosecutions, inquests and other inquiries.
2) Then there are all the costs
A Criminal Justice Inspection (CJI) estimates that the costs to the criminal justice system of dealing with the past under current arrangements may exceed £187m within five years.
Non-monetary costs of failure to address the past
map belfast
are reduced public confidence in the criminal justice system and its ability to operate in the future. It is not equipped to deal with the past, and it is incapable of providing a comprehensive solution to legacy issues.
3) And finally there are the terms of the Good Friday Agreement which included
*a)the 1997 arms decommissioning statute, which meant any weapons handed over to be put beyond use could not be tested forensically to obtain evidence in criminal prosecutions.
*b)the Sentences Act, provided for vastly reduced jail terms for anyone convicted of a Troubles-related killing – anyone convicted would spend a maximum of two years in prison
*c)the 1999 legislation covering the recovery of the Disappeared states that information that leads to remains being found can be examined only to establish identity, not forensically.That means it cannot be used as evidence for a criminal trial.
*d)The 2011 Weston Park agreement. The British and Irish governments had agreed not to prosecute any paramilitary of an offence prior to 1998.

He thinks his proposal is the logical consequence and outworking of all these terms

Is he talking about an amnesty?
what part no
Sometimes the fact of an amnesty can be that that which was a crime ceases to be a crime. That wouldn’t be the position here, it would simply be that no criminal proceedings would be possible with respect to those offences” .

Does his proposal breach article two of the European Convention of Human Rights, which says governments have a duty to investigate suspicious deaths caused by the state?
what part no
I think a decision by the state at the highest level embedded in an act of Parliament or an act of the assembly will find favour with Strasbourg,” .

Are these ideas new?
what part no
Last year, Eamon O’Cuív,
a former Irish government minister and Eamon de Valera’s grandson, said no one should be prosecuted for past politically related crimes between 1969 and the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, including the Bloody Sunday soldiers.
It was time “to draw a line under the past
drawing a lline
over all killings and other violent incidents during the Northern Ireland conflict, including shootings carried out by the security forces.
“This has to apply to everybody. So I do not see any point in following prosecutions against security force members or members of the loyalist paramilitaries or anybody in relation to the Troubles in Northern Ireland. We have to understand that in a peace process there were three sides actively engaged, including the British security forces, and so in a peace process let history judge who was wrong but let’s spare future generations any more mayhem and violence.

Why was the timing interesting?
Attorney-General John Larkin released his proposal a few hours before the BBC broadcast the Panorama programme “Britain’s Secret Terror Force”.

What did Dr haass say?
“ the attorney general’s intervention had served, whether intentionally or unintentionally, to “crystallise” public and political views on issues related to dealing with the past.
“I thought the scale and the intensity of the reaction was instructive,”.

Britain’s Secret Terror Force

For everybody who may have missed the Panorama documentary about the British Army undercover unit that shot unarmed Catholics on the streets of West Belfast

“I’d go back tomorrow and do it all again – absolutely”-member of the undercover British Army Unit

The North’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory has asked the PSNI chief constable Matt Baggott to investigate claims and admissions that a British army undercover unit operated a shoot-to-kill policy in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s.

The British state has failed to acknowledge the gulf between its own official aims and methods and the reality on the ground.The political, military, security and judicial Establishment has never admitted its own recourse to shoot-to-kill policies, collaboration with loyalist paramilitary groups to carry out assassinations of suspected republicans, disregard of the criminal careers of its informer network and politicisation of the legal system.
According to the official history, the conflict in Northern Ireland was about two warring tribes—the Catholics and Protestants, who had to be kept apart for their own sake by British soldiers.
But in reality the British occupation of Northern Ireland was brutal, repressive and murderous.
In 1972, the British Army took overall responsibility for security in Northern Ireland.
army in belfast
In a document prepared by Army General Staff in October 1971, under the heading,
Tougher Military Measures and Their Implications,
mod doc
the following suggestion was included.
More aggressive tactics against gunmen such as the formation of Q squads in special areas, to mystify, mislead and destroy the terrorists.
“The IRA has the initiative and is causing disruption out of all proportion to the relatively small numbers engaged.
“This is not to credit the IRA with any unusual skill; it is the normal pattern of urban guerrilla activity when the guerrillas are not opposed by a ruthless and authoritarian governmental machine
army standards

PS Do also read

Blowin’ In The Wind

Finally back on line!!
Hello again to all!!
Saturday Night favourites!!
This is specially for all of you who remember/love Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and LADS
A new spin on an oldie but goldie

And just to remind you all what actually happened

Here’s Aunt Bernie

and lest we forget last year’s number 1!!

Catholic Ex-Servicemen Don’t Count

In Northern Ireland Unionism/Loyalism is built on the political myths and symbols of Protestantism and Britishness i.e.they are anti-Catholic
map of ni
manchester guardian
realised in the early 1920s that it was an offence simply to be born Catholic in NI.
Summer 1920: Over 8,000 Catholic workers were expelled from the shipyard, nearly all the engineering works, most of the large factories, warehouses, shops and concerns of every kind. Scarcely one of them has since been allowed to return

NB 1,225 of the expelled were ex-service men.

NI was a “cold house” for Catholics with relentless use of the past as a political weapon to browbeat them even more.
In the mind of Ulster Unionists/Loyalists
Catholics are assumed to be hostile to the institutions of the Union (disloyal). All Catholics are suspect, irrespective of their status or achievements. The state’s core values of Protestantism and Britishness defined them as outsiders.
Catholics were ‘the enemy within’ and were seen as posing a security problem. They were offered citizenship in the new state but only on terms which made them second-class citizens.

Irishmen in WWI
soldiers in trenches
1914: Irishmen joined the British Army in very large numbers.
206,000 Irishmen served in the British forces during WWI
*58,000 were already enlisted in the British Regular Army or Navy
*24,000 originated from the Redmondite National Volunteers
*80,000 were mostly urban poor, hoping for a pay rise and the chance to learn a trade.
*Some 26,000 recruits came directly from the 1912 Ulster Volunteers – the unionist militia.

1912 uvf
UNIONIST MYTH: Remember! Only the UVF fought in WWI and deserves to be commemorated
red poppy
The poppy has long been the preserve of the unionist/loyalist community and is seen by many as a political symbol and a symbol of Britishness representing support for the British Army.
bullshit detected
After WW1: Unionists/Loyalists and Catholic ex-servicemen
1918: When young Catholic men were demobbed
and sent home to Belfast they found worse enemies than the Germans waiting for them
1921: Catholic ex-servicemen had to leave Craigavon Military Hospital near Belfast and seek treatment elsewhere after they received
anonymous letters
containing threats from Loyalists
Loyalists murdered Malachy Halfpenny,

wounded twice and gassed during the war,
wwi soldier
together with 3 other young Catholic men.
Mr Halfpenny’s multilated body was dumped far from where he lived
catholic Mrs Kerr, widow,

war widow
received a plaque and a letter from King George V commemorating her husband
Some hours later a Loyalist mob attacked
loyalist attack
and wrecked her house in Vere St
1922: Loyalists evicted Patrick O’Hare,
loyalist attack
home on leave from the Connaught Rangers, from his house in Urney St, making his family of young children homeless
Joseph Walshe (39), who had served in the Middle East, was battered to death in bed with a sledgehammer
along with 6 other Catholics in the Arnon St massacre by policemen from Brown Sq Constabulary Barracks
His seven-year-old son Michael was shot and died from his wounds the next day. Another son, Frank (14), was shot in the thigh but survived.
1935: Charles Tierney, a British Army Reservist was beaten up,
loyalist attack
spent 3 months in hospital and had his house wrecked and burnt out
Loyalists rioting in Belfast
1939-45 WW2 and Ulster’s War Effort
school report
Alone in the UK, the British Government decided against conscription in Northern ireland
no conscription
because the Stormont Parliament told them a large minority did not regard themselves as British.
could do better
1940: A senior civil servant from the War Cabinet assessed the contribution Northern Ireland was making or could make to the war effort. He reported a general lack of concern, indifference on the part of the Ni government, technical stagnation in the principal industries particularly shipbuilding, engineering and linen which had remained as they had been in the 19th century
1945: James Magennis VC

magennis and vc
could not get a job because Ulster Loyalists “were reluctant to employ Roman Catholics“.
magennis vc
Mr Magennis moved to Huddersfield where he became an honoured citizen
1999: Long after he had died, and more than 50 years after he won the VC, a monument was finally erected in his honour at Belfast City hall

magennis memorial
Too little, too late
1977: Elderly Canon Hugh Murphy CBE, Chaplin to the Royal Navy Reserve during WWII,
rn chaplin
member of the British Legion, parish priest in Ahoghill, was invited to conduct the Remembrance day service in Ballymena.

The Paisleyite chairman of the Town Council “refused to take part in any service at which a Roman catholic priest was officiating”
1978: Canon Murphy was kidnapped by a Loyalist gang
loyalist attack
and held hostage because the IRA had abducted a member of the RUC
Johnny McNabb,
Not for Photosales
a Catholic serving in the Irish Guards when the Troubles erupted in Northern Ireland, was repeatedly the subject of interrogation for suspected terrorist activity.
On one occasion he was interrogated for seven hours by paratroopers in Bessbrook after he inadvertently ended up in Crossmaglen.
Police officers in London detained him for two days while they questioned him in relation to bombings in the capital in the 1970s.
If Catholics, Republicans and nationalists do not honour our non-Unionist Irish dead who will?
green poppy
Next year if you want to recognize our ancestors who joined the British Army during WW1 or at any other time for whatever reason (poverty, Home Rule, adventure, etc) and who died or were injured,
green poppy
Wear a green poppy

Republicanism and Loyalty in Ireland, Andrew Boyd
Memorial to James Joseph Magennis VC