Autumn Leaves

Here’s this week’s Saturday night film

Set in Scotland on Referendum night

You may remember most older voters in Scotland voted NO


Password for film is: scotland

Note the lower case ‘s’.

This short film  was partially financed by Wings over Scotland



Theobald Wolfe Tone (20 June 1763-19 November 1798)


wolfe tone

Father of Irish Republicanism
Missing the anniversary by a day because I have unexpectedly been away for a bit and have been (still am) a bit sick

Theobald Wolfe Tone died at the age of 35 in Provost’s Prison, Dublin, not far from where he was born.

wt tomb

He is buried in Bodenstown, Co. Kildare , Ireland

wolfe tone's grave


Wolfe Tone  was one of the founding members of the Society of  United Irishmen.

cavehill and castle
At the summit of Cavehill , Belfast, Tone made the famous Cavehill compact with fellow United Irishmen, Russel and McCracken, promising “never to desist in our efforts until we subvert the authority of England over our country and asserted our independence“.
Modern republicans often quote him:
To subvert the tyranny of our execrable government, to break the connection with England, the never failing source of all our political evils, and to assert the independence of my country—these were my objects. To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissentions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman, in the place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic, and Dissenter—these were my means.”
“To unite Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter under the common name of Irishmen in order break the connection with England, the never failing source of all our political evils, that was my aim”.
“If the men of property will not support us, they must fall. Our strength shall come from that great and respectable class, the men of no property”.

Tone was captured by British forces at Lough Swilly in Donegal and taken prisoner. His one request at his trial was to be shot as a soldier, as he was a commissioned officer in the French Revolutionary Army. Instead he was sentenced to be hanged as a traitor.
Before he was to be executed, Wolfe Tone attempted suicide. He subsequently died from mortal wounds eight days afterwards, thus avoiding being hanged as a convicted traitor to the British Crown for his involvement in the 1798 Irish Rebellion.
He took his own life to spite his enemies and deny them the satisfaction of hanging him.

He is our political ancestor, and his message still rings clear and true.

This is the background to the Societies of the United irishmen, the foundation of the Orange Order, Loyalism

the 1916 Uprising, theTreaty,Civil war and Tone’s legacy

This is Tone’s Legacy

And here’s something about his friends William Brennan and William Orr in Belfast and the 1798 rebellion in the north

And finally, just to show you what it’s all about  really, in the final analysis, when you come down to basics


NB: Remember Orr: The Protestant/Loyalist minority have no answer to give   if and when the Catholics/Nationalists/Republicans  of Ireland demand their rights

Shambolic Northern Ireland Talks?

While we’re waiting for the results of the Catalonia Referendum

yes catalonia
(out tomorrow, Monday 1oth)
let’s have a look at what’s happening in NI with the famous 2nd set of talks

gary hart

involving a senior US  Statesman as American Envoy

Who started these talks?
The UK government


Our lovely SOS said

There is a general recognition that we can’t go on as we are.


robinson and mcguinness

Like last year?

No. This year it’s different

Is it really?

Probably not. Unionists who scuppered the Haass talks are quite capable of scuppering these too.

They have a history of doing what they want, not what the UK government wants.

What are the talks for?
Finding a consensus on Orange Order-induced wrangles such as flags, parades and the legacy of the past.
Addressing Orange Order-stalled implementation of the GFA and following treaties.

So what’s happened?
The American Envoy’s gone back home!
dont believe

He spoke to everyone and made non-committal remarks about the USA

not being able to impose a solution to the deadlock.

He suggested he might be back to say

'I've studied the issues, reviewed the facts, considered all the alternatives and decided 'The hell with it'.'


'I'm sorry...what other options are there?'

If things stalemated something like that might be helpful” he said

What do other people think?

naomi long
Alliance MP Ms Naomi Long
the whole business is shambolic”

What’s the problem?

There is no more money for NI but Mr Cameron would look favourably on any proposals

The UK government is worried about several EU developments.


1) Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights insisted the UK Government had a responsibility to pay for effective investigations of killings involving the security forces.

“Failure to do so would be in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR)”.

Under the terms of Article 2 of the ECHR, the UK authorities have a duty to ensure that the investigations of deaths are independent, effective and prompt.

That’s not been happening, has it?
No, and now the Historical Enquiries Team,

which wasn’t a great success anyway, is being shut down

What else are they worried about?
2) Several potential legal challenges from relatives bereaved during the Troubles for allegedly failing to properly investigate historic killings.

3) A major EU report on its funding to Northern Ireland bemoaned Peter Robinson’s U-turn on the Maze peace centre, which has scuppered what senior European officials believed could have become a major EU initiative.

What did our lovely SOS say?
not my problem
These are matters of policing and justice, they are devolved, so the first call for funding any new institutions should be Northern Ireland’s block grant, which continues to be higher per head in Northern Ireland than it is anywhere else in the UK, so it continues to recognise the particular circumstances faced in Northern Ireland,” .

What do the Unionists think?

They’re jetting off to Brussels to whip up support for the Unionist cause

robinson and nesbit

They said that they would brief leaders at the European Parliament on “the state of play in Northern Ireland

and issues which are of concern to unionists.


I look forward to presenting a unionist perspective and engaging with those who have an interest in Northern Ireland.
“There are times when unionists have underestimated the need to spread our message around the world.

We have a great story to tell”.
I will emphasise that unionism “does not stand as an opponent of progress”.

impossible dream

Mike Nesbitt Spoof pic
Mr Nesbitt

Unionism must go the extra mile to ensure our position is both understood and accepted”

no matter how hopeless

We go with two closely tied objectives:

1)  to make the pro-Union case, in a positive and confident manner;

Comment: We’ll tell the EU themmuns get everything and we gat nahim

“2) to counter the propaganda of Sinn Fein, a party that signed an agreement to respect Northern Ireland’s constitutional status as part of the United Kingdom,  but then cannot even manage to afford the courtesy of using the country’s name”

the horror

What does Sinn Fein want?

i wish

for a  timetable to implement the outstanding issues of the Good Friday Agreement.

 for the British government to become part of the solution rather than part of the problem”


Meanwhile back in NI


Theresa Villiers insisted “the Stormont talks are progressing”.

next week we will be intensifying the process. There was a shared recognition that we should intensify things next week”.


Queries: When the Unionists are all off on a jaunt to Brussels?
                    Is she hoping to sort things out behind their backs?

NO to Burning Effigies

Yesterday, the Scottish people rightly and successfully objected to Lewes, Sussex burning 2 effigies of Mr Salmond, First Minister of Scotland (albeit only for a few more days) during its Bonfire Night celebrations

To their credit, the Lewes Bonfire Society apologised

We are a traditional Sussex family bonfire society and have no political affiliations.

“We can assure that we have no wish or intention to offend and have never found ourselves in a position where we have done so in the past.

“To clarify we do not burn tableaux, they are incorporated into our firework display.

“In the light of the responses received to our tableau idea this year we have made the decision to withdraw it from our celebrations.

Here’s a video of the 2012 bonfire night in Lewes

Note the effigies (Pope and Ms Merkel) to be burnt (or as I understand it to be exploded with fireworks) and the Scottish Pipe Band playing “Scotland The Brave”

Bet they dis-associated themselves pretty damn quick this year!!

Meanwhile in another part of the UK, at another time of year . . .

In the past few years people in Northern Ireland have rightly and unsuccessfully objected to Loyalists burning Irish and Polish flags

and an effigy of Mr Gerry Adams, member of the Dàil, Republic of Ireland

adams effigy


What does effigy burning  signify?

It  is a symbolic act that means you strongly disagree or despise the viewpoint or deeds of the person whose likeness the Effigy represents.

The whole act carries more meaning when a large group of people gather to share the same dislike of the person whose image is being burned.

Burning people in effigy and copying the practices of the KKK is a clear statement of a desire to be able to burn and lynch people.

The fact that they don’t actually go out and do just that is not some kind of justification for their expression of the desire to do it“.

It certainly revives historical memories of past horrors,


And that was Westminster’s intention when it decided to pass an

Act of Parliament  on January 21st 1606 (3 James I, cap 1), to commemorate the unsuccessful Gunpowder Plot

It appointed 5th November in each year as a day of thanksgiving for ‘the joyful day of deliverance’, This was by bell ringing, a service, bonfires etc.

And so we sing God Save ye King!
And give God thanks that we
Who dwell in Merrie England
From Popish bonds are free.

So in England Guy Fawkes has been burnt for 400 years

“I must confess I have always felt faintly queasy over the custom of burning a Guy on a bonfire, in memory of Fawkes of that ilk.

Struck me as unnecessarily grim – or indeed Grimm”. 

Query: What happens if the UK stops effigy burning?

Answer: You limit our freedom of expression

Reply: Not so. Lots of people all over the world enjoy bonfires without effigy burning

Lots of people all over the world create effigies for political satire without burning them.

Take Viareggio in Italy for example

They are famous for their political caricatures.

Here’s Mr Berlusconi

berlusconi in viareggio

And Mr Obama.

omaba-in viareggio

The town hosts parades, gives out prizes for the best floats and effigies and attracts tourists

carnevale museo

Instead of being burned the effigies  are placed in a museum

People pay to go and see them and study how they are made

The town  has even started  making the effigies  all year round, each in a separate hangar to preserve the surprise element,

hangars in viarreggio

with the business employing  a permanent work force .


Suggestion: Maybe  the Bonfire Societies of Lewes, East Sussex and the Loyalists of Ulster could pick up a few tips from Viareggio?

Click to access Carnevale%20di%20Viareggio%202014%20-%20dal%2016%20febbraio%20al%209%20marzo.pdf

Scot2Scot Launch, Catalonia referendum and Curried Yogurt


Here’s the statement of Scot2Scot’s  aims and methods.



Note the link ups with all forms of social media

scot2scot portal map

Sinn Fein already uses all these forms of communication –

Maybe they could be linked closer in the type of network portal  Scot2Scot has set up?

Would it serve to enable cross-talk among cumanns and party leadership , strengthen grass-root activities and deliver maximum votes?


As the Scots regroup after the NO vote in their Referendum and maybe push towards another one,

Catalonia’s voting on its Independence this Sunday 9th November.

Gael Force Art got busy sending a Solidarity Message  from Belfast.



yes catalonia


The rest of us in Northern Ireland are still trying to digest Orange Order member,

campbell orangeman

Westminster MP for the DUP,   Gregory Campbell’s

form of communication

and his disgusting “curried yoghurt”

Yogurt Curry (Thair Curry)

with its floating blobs of bigotry and distorted


bitter orange

bitter  orange world-view and perceptions

Any chance of replacing him in Westminster with a pro-Ireland MP?