Monday, 28 September 2009

Vote No to Lisbon 2

I don't usually post other peoples articles here, but I will make an exception for this one.

Euro federalists bully us and buy our vote

Sunday, September 27, 2009 - By Tom McGurk

The run-in to the Lisbon II vote on Friday, which should have been an example of a 2009 modern European democratic exercise at work, has become a depressing and shabby experience.

If anything, it has only heightened concerns about any prospect of a visible and accountable European political entity emerging at the end of it all.

These have been terrible days for Irish democracy.

From the outset, the Euro federalists were outraged that little Ireland had dared to reject Lisbon.

This time, they were determined to roll out their big guns. Having conspired to slip the treaty through the various national parliaments after the democratic rebuff they received on the European Constitution, they were astonished that the Irish had used the people’s sovereignty, guaranteed in the Irish Constitution, to say No.

This time around, they determined that it would be different and, although European money could not be spent on a national referendum, suddenly a wide collection of proLisbon groups seemingly mushroomed out of the zeitgeist.

No doubt the Yes side, having secretly spent large amounts of money to probe scientifically the increasingly anxious public mood in the middle of our escalating financial crisis, came out determined to frighten voters onto the Yes side.

As the electorate has suffered the vista of disappearing jobs, escalating costs and a collapsing economy, selling the message that rejecting Lisbon would make it all worse was a no-brainer.

Quite simply, the subtext of the Yes campaign has been that we are approaching financial disaster so we cannot afford any political luxuries - including having a row over the federalisation of the European Union.

It has been as simple as that - and it has been as effective as it has been bogus. Even in a week in which the EU sanctioned a huge loan from the Polish government to move Dell jobs from Limerick to Lodz, the Yes voters were still brazening out the attractions of the globalisation ambitions of Lisbon.

Astonishingly, even the Irish trade unions don’t seem to have spotted that, for multinationals, Lisbon will signal an increasing race to the bottom in wages and conditions. Indeed, with EU enlargement beyond our ability to veto, if Lisbon comes about, look out for sweat-shop labour conditions to come in Croatia, Turkey and even Ukraine a generation down the road.

The Irish political establishment, too, has been calling in all the favours.

It has been fascinating to watch the huge numbers of those who enjoy massive salaries, courtesy of the taxpayer, as members of our numerous quangos, come out singing for their supper.

They even have the celebrity clowns out, the former sports stars and the second-hand car salesmen and the singers and actors all enjoying their 15 minutes of fame and self-publicity.

But above and beyond this, another development raises serious questions for Irish democracy. Two multinationals - Ryanair and Intel - are spending huge sums on the campaign to encourage a Yes vote. That both contributions have been largely politically illiterate and that both companies are in need of European benevolence hardly diminishes one’s concern.

Since when have multinationals thrown their considerable weight and resources into a matter of international and domestic importance in Irish politics? Have we become a European Honduras - have we really reached a point in European democracy where the bosses can tell the workers how to vote?

Who can keep a straight face while listening to Michael O’Leary extol the virtues of Lisbon’s workers’ rights legislation? Indeed, is there not an implied threat to quit Ireland in Intel’s demand for a Yes vote?

Between them, Ryanair and Intel have contributed €700,000 to the Yes campaign, and huge contributions from Europe are also pouring in. According to the Times in London, one lobbyist, Eamonn Bates, sent e-mails to fellow EU lobbying firms seeking donations of up to €30,000 to help a pro-Lisbon campaign.

Another organisation, established by Irish people working in Brussels who want a Yes result, planned to spend €500,000 on advertisements.

By the end, it will actually be possible to calculate accurately how much it cost to overthrow the sovereignty of the people as expressed in the last referendum.

In these depressing days, we have moved from Europeanisation, to some form of Euro-colonisation as those who dare to reject the Euro federalisation agenda are buried under a vast and expensive campaign that has sought to frighten and undermine the electorate.

We need hardly argue at this stage what Lisbon II is about. We now know in our waters that it’s the key to unleashing a European project that, in less than a generation, will once again make this country a tiny and insignificant appendage to a vast global enterprise. Its ambitions are no less imperial than those of previous European generations and, while the language may have changed, the political objectives have not.

This is ultimately about a United States of Europe emerging, eventually, as a significant world power beside the Chinas and the Indias of the future. Its weapons will be unbridled market forces allied with multiculturalism to ensure cheap labour markets, and its ethos will be secular and neo-liberal.

Above all, as we can now see, it eschews democracy - local or national - seeking to create instead a type of ‘euro-panocracy’ in which, not unlike the old Soviet system, the voters are never limited, just the options they can vote for. In a generation or two, Renaissance Europe and all its genius, which so profoundly shaped our European civilisation, will have been swept away.

All it requires now is for poor Paddy to forget the instinct that ‘all politics is local’ and, come Friday, head for the polling station with the price of his soul (what might once have been called the King’s shilling) in his hand. Of course, it won’t be the first time in our history that we could be bought so easily. But at least this will be the very, very last time it will be required


God Bless

Friday, 25 September 2009

Objection to the DPP Meetings

So I would like to pass an opinion here, that will sit unpopular, esp with supporters and members of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement and the Republican Network for Unity.

The 32CSM deem this protest as a success. I'm not actually sure that is the word I would use. I mean I guess yea, in so much as the protest disrupted the meeting, and I believe that it was called off early, then yes it was a success. However the action and tactics used are, at best, questionable.

It was a public meeting, and I fully recognise the right to stage a protest and I agree with the 32CSM/RNU objection to the DPP and support for the PSNI/RUC. However they were completely undignified in their protest. The use of horns and whistles and man handling of hotel staff, plays right into the hands of the media and the British black propagandha machine. The footage caught on this evening can be used to easily paint the aformentioned groups as rabble, hoods and trouble makers.

This is in stark comparasion to the recent RSF protest at the DPP meeting on the Lower Falls, in the Clonard Youth Hall. This protest was both dignified and could not be painted as anything other than a valid political protest. PSF councillor Marie Cush explained that the protest effectively lasted just over 4 minutes.

"They came in and sat at the front. A woman sang a song, then they left" - Marie Cush

In my opinion this would be more effective than that of the 32CSM/RNU protest, for a few reasons. I know Republicans, who support PSF, but who are weary and still are finding it hard to adjust to PSF's stance on policing. To these people, with Republicanism at their heart, the sing protest of RSF is more likely to make them settle, to agree with the RSF stance, which at heart they probably already believe in, but have not voiced. However the equivlent in Derry will be likely unconvinced as it seemed so unorganised.

Now I will admit to being uncertain in myself about these things. I mean clearly the 32CSM/RNU protest got more media attention, meaning it was brought to the attention of more people than that of the RSF protest. One is brought to question the use of protest, if media attention is not there. Further more RSF left after staging their protest. I guess, imo, I rekon the best way to carry out these protests would be that of RSF, but to not leave. To stand at points throughout the hall staging silent protest with signs/posters/banners like that carried by the 32CSM/RNU.

I'm niave I guess, and at best do not obviously have the anwsers. I merely feel that this tactic supports our right to protest, but allows others their right also. Maybe its a contradiction

Now just to clarify, I do not condemn or disagree with the 32CSM/RNU, merely on this situation I wasn't sure that they acted the best they should have. I support anyone aiming for a 32 County Socialist Republic. I don't agree with the term "dissident". I also don't agree with the Public condemnation of PSF and PSF condemnation of anyone who is not PSF.

God Bless

Friday, 11 September 2009

William Frazer / Alan McBride / Fair

So in recent days I have discussed this with various people and so I thought I’d post my thoughts. I have heard William Frazer talk before and decided to check out his website for the group FAIR, or Families acting for Innocent Relatives. I wasn’t shocked at what I saw which is unfortunate.

William Frazer’s father was a member of the Ulster Defence Regiment, the replacement of the B Specials. They were eventually amalgamated with the RIR. His father died when he was shot by the Provisional Irish Republican Army, the PIRA, on the 30th of August 1975. Over the next ten years four members of William Frazer’s family were shot by the IRA. William Frazer after applying for a firearm was rejected, as he was “known to associate with Loyalist Paramilitaries”.

Having lost family in the war in Ireland, it is understandable that William Frazer is obviously very against the IRA. It is obvious that he would be anti Republican and a little bitter. However William Frazer is a sectarian, bigoted and racist man. He clearly is hateful of all things Catholic, Republican and Irish. William Frazer has said that Loyalist paramilitaries were necessary during the Troubles and defends and congratulates the RUC and the British army for colluding with Loyalist murder gangs. After the signing of the Good Friday Agreement William Frazer stated that the IRA prisoners should not be released and that the Loyalist prisoners should not have been locked up in the first place.

Now at this stage I wish to discuss FAIR. This is William Frazer’s campaign set up to represent victims of the IRA in South Armagh during the Troubles. However he does not provide representation for those who were slaughtered at the hands of the Loyalist gangs, the RUC and the British Army. The website reflects the extent of hatred that William Frazer is engulfed in.

The very top of the page has the very blatant image hyperlink that is titled “Attacks by Catholic Extremists”. This image takes you to a list of articles, with titles such as “…Armed Catholic Extremists on the street” and “Catholic Extremist Orange Hall attack” etc.
There is even an article entitled the “Role and Responsibility of the Roman Catholic Community”, placing responsibility for those that died on the hands of any Catholic in the occupied counties.

Also on this site is a section entitled “The Hunger Strikers, The Truth”. Now the first thing that strikes me here is the complete irrelevance of this section on the site. This is merely a section of his site to paint those who died on hunger strike of being “Criminals, Murderers and thugs”.

As I said one can understand William Frazer’s bitterness towards the IRA but his blatant hatred of the Catholic and Irish communities is just so intense that I believe it clouds his ability to fairly represent anyone. The website FAIR blatantly harbours the kind of Sectarian hatred that has been tearing our society apart for years. I believe that it is ridiculous to consider his campaign when it comes to victim support. Not that it should be ignored, but taken lightly.

I am forced to compare his attitude with the commendable attitude of Alan McBride. Here is a man, whose wife, Sharon, lost her life in a Shankill Road fish shop when an IRA bomb exploded killing nine other people, including her father in 1993. This man, as to be expected, has no love for the IRA, but he is not a bigoted man. He has not be left with the same sectarian, racist and bigoted mindset as William Frazer.

Evidence of this can be found, in recent statement by Alan McBride, where he recognises Britain’s role in prolonging the violence; and calls for all governments, including the british, to compensate victims of their terror.

“Questions have to be asked about who was arming the loyalists,” he said. “Other nations, including the British state, were involved in supporting acts of terror and I think that they too should be held to account. I think that if nations were involved in supporting acts of terror, it’s only right that they should compensate the victims of that terror. I wouldn’t want this want this to be piecemeal, I want this to be right across the board, victims of violence on all sides should be compensated”.

This is a strong comparison to the bigoted mindset of William Frazer who never got over the awful events in his life, and let them turn in to anger, which of course leads only to hate. He is clearly so overcome with hatred that he has recently made calls so ridiculous that they could only delve Ireland back into serious day of dark violence.

On the FAIR Youtube page, in recent videos he calls for redeployment of the Army or SAS into South Armagh? It is hard to believe that a man who claims to support the victims of South Armagh is actually calling for the Army to return to its streets, inevitably causing more bloodshed.

I commend people such as Alan McBride, who though suffered terrible loss during the on going Irish Struggle and the War, are able to stand up and recognise the similarities between two communities and the importance of letting them come together, as opposed to William Frazer who is constantly trying to create divisions.

God Bless

Monday, 7 September 2009

Libyan Compensation Controversy...

Gerry Adams discusses Libyan compensation controversy...

Libya Compensation

Since this issue is becoming more regular on the New broadcasting channels across the occupied six counties, I thought it was an issue that maybe I should look into more.

The issue here is that the Libyan Government is accused of supplying weapons to the Irish Republican Army back in the 1980’s. These weapons then went on to be used in the armed campaign in the fight for freedom from British Occupation. During this war many people lost their lives including, regrettably, innocent civilians. The families of those that lost their lives, including the families of the occupying forces, are now trying to claim compensation of the current Libyan government.

Today a woman on UTV news, who’s Father died following a booby trap, was interviewed. I do not have the exact transcription of her words, but she was saying that everyday she has to relive the loss of her father. She spoke of how it hurt that her father was not there for the little things. It really struck a chord with me. When I thought about this I could simply not understand how she felt compensation from the Libyan government would be of any help. Would a pay out from Gaddafi help her to get over her Father? Would it make it easier not having him there, as long as she had more money? The answer to this question is quite simply no. No amount of money will ever help her to get over the loss of her father.

The other argument about needing justice doesn’t really cut it for me. The men who were involved in the death of her father will never face court, jail time or whatever one would deem justice. Furthermore it brings up the controversial issue as to whether an Irish man fighting for freedom in his Country, should have to face an English court, for an action of war.

Furthermore, if Libya pays out and compensates the families of those who lost people to IRA actions, who then will pay out compensation for those who lost family to the British Army, UDA, UVF, UFF, LVF or the RHC? Aidan McAnespie’s family had to fight for years, to receive a statement from the British Government that didn’t even contain an apology never mind compensation. Who will pay out this family? Who will pay out the families of Patrick Doherty, Gerald Donaghy, John Duddy, Hugh Gilmour, Michael Kelly, Michael McDaid, Kevin McElhinney, Bernard McGuigan, Gerald McKinney, William McKinney, William Nash, James Wray or John Young? Who will pay out the families of those slaughtered by Loyalist murder gangs, known to be involved in collusion cases with the British forces, such as Pat Finucaine?

British army agent, Brian Nelson, passed on information to the UFF, regarding Irish Republicans, and 80 of whom were attacked by the UFF and 29 shot dead.

The British state can not create a grade level that determines who is and is not worthy of compensation as a result of war in Ireland

So if the British state insists upon supporting these claims against the Libyan government they can not discriminate against Irish Republicans. They would then have to insist upon compensating the victims of their own War machine.

So my conclusion is one of mixed feelings. I feel that compensation claims from these families, have little to do with justice. They appear to be little more than a way to make money out of the troubled past of Ireland However surely if the Libyan government payout these victims then it opens the gate for Irish Republicans to take up cases against the British state, a result of which would legitimise the Irish struggle after such a long time. The British state could not discriminate against the victims of the British Army and as a result they would have to fully acknowledge their crimes in Ireland