Friday, 26 February 2010

A word

THIS is a word to those that believe blowing a courthouse up is an act of courage. This is a word to those that believe that leaving a mortar bomb in a residential area is an act of courage. This is a word to those that believe that stripping and binding a man before shooting him in the back of the head is an act of courage.

This word is a simple word that even your twisted, distorted and diseased minds might understand.

This word is: ‘leave’.

You assert your right to fight, but don’t have the courage to fight.

You demand unity bathed in blood.

You deny the words and the votes of the vast majority on this island.

You cower in darkened corners believing your own myths.

Remember the word: ‘leave’.

Leave those of us who believe in democracy, even those that came to it belatedly.

Leave the island to those that want to build a future for our children, whether it be a united island or part of the United Kingdom.

Leave your distorted view of history.

Leave your primary school belief systems.

But most of all: just leave.

Here we do not want or need a future dripping in blood; we do not want a future that is an economic wasteland; we do not want a future where children cower.

To quote the words of Belfast punk band Stiff Little Fingers:
“How can you convince yourself that what you do is right”.
In the same song SLF said:
“Each new day a bullet. Each victim someone’s son. And ignorance kills Irishmen.”
Take your ignorance, your casual brutality and your puffed up belief in courage that really is cowardice and just leave.

When you wash off the gunshot residue, or bleach the stains of blood away; or run away from the burning building lie awake at night. Lie awake and dream of what you have taken. Lie awake at night and wonder at the pain you cause. Lie awake and see if you really believe that what you are doing will achieve anything other than misery. Lie awake and curse the darkness for it is a foe more real than the demons that crowd your daylight terrors.

You are nothing, you offer nothing and you take so much in exchange for weeping and despair.

Now, for one last time, just leave.

In the future we’ll all be nice

Wouldn't it be great if it was like this all the time?
NO matter the rows at Stormont, the rest of the population will, very soon, be nice to each other.

You see the First Minister and the deputy (joint?) First Minister have agreed on a cohesion, sharing and integration programme that will help us all shake hands across sectarian divides.

Among the planned initiatives are a welcome back from Orangefest (a.k.a. triumphalist march in July) at the Ardoyne Shops with massed ranks of bodhran players and a squad of slipper fitters for the tired feet of flute band drummers.

Also in the pipeline is an Easter Sunday address to Republicans (a.k.a. ex-terrorists/freedom fighters) by Presbyterian preachers delivering a sermon on the sanctity of rebellion and the theological basis for the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Linfield will adopt a 50/50 player recruitment policy and The Sash will be sung at all Irish rugby international matches.

Meanwhile back in the real world…

Play nice!

OH dear! Maybe it’s about time planning was devolved down to local councils. After this week’s stormy Environment Committee meeting at Stormont, local councils seem havens of calm introspection.

And it was all over a planning application for some homes in a greenbelt area (where have we heard that on before?) that seemed not to meet some esoteric criteria but got the nod anyway.

Cue - indignation, hurled insults and general bad schoolboy behaviour. Whatever the record for interruptions is, committee members seemed to have eyed this as a possibility, so much so that three dots and ‘interruption’ will account for about 50% of the Hansard record, and that’s not counting the debate over waste!

And then there’s Sylvia…

Sylvia could stand
as an independent
LADY Hermon is playing coy about her intentions in the forthcoming election. Will she or won’t she stand as an independent unionist? From her hints this week, it seems almost certain that she will.

Which, one might have thought would cause consternation within the ranks of the Ulster Unionists and their partners, the Conservatives. But as this has been talked about endlessly with the interviews becoming all too predictable.

They usually run along the lines of:

“Sir Reg…what’s the score with Sylvia?”
“2 - 1, but that away goal counts a lot in the second leg”
“No Sir Reg, we meant Sylvia Hermon not CSK Sofia!”
“Oh, that Sylvia! Nice lady!”
“Will she be a UUP candidate”
“Doubt it”
“So you’re prepared to lose an MP, as she will certainly win.”
“So what? We’ve got Mike Nesbitt and Freddie Mercury.”
“Don’t you mean Flash Harry? Freddie is dead?”
“Close enough!”
“So no Lady Hermon in the UUP camp then?”
“Looks that way, but please remember that she can’t sing the entire Queen back catalogue and don’t you know that we in the UUP always back Queen…err I mean The Queen!”
“What about the other constituencies?”
“I’ll get back to you on that one!”

Old stager steps aside

Eddie McGrady not standing
 for Westmninster
THE venerable old stager remaining in the SDLP elected ranks, Eddie McGrady, has sad he will not stand for his Westminster seat in South Down, after 23 years as a MP.

Eddie’s decision opens a political, and dare we say it, an election can of worms.

His heir apparent is one Margaret Ritchie, possessor of the party leadership. And that’s a party that is committed to end double jobbing. So if she grabs the seat then it will be out with the Ministerial post and MLA slot.

But one can always be too quick to assume what way an election will go. After all Eddie McGrady snatched the seat from Enoch Powell. And Ritchie is up against the ever-popular Education Minister Catriona Ruane.

Don’t Panic!

Elections are coming
EMBLAZZONED on the cover of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and uttered by Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army, let’s all say it…Don’t Panic! After all, it’s only an election.

Yes, dust down your ear protectors because our political candidates are warming up the megaphones; ready to blast the airwaves and your sensibilities, leaving most voters to decide which shade of green or orange they want to vote for…or so it has always been.

Of course, Sir Reg wants us all to think that he and his mates in the Conservative Party are offering us access to national politics and a say in the policies of the next government of the UK, which will be orange with a hint of blue…or orange going off in the fruit basket.

And those nice yellow-coloured chappies in the Alliance Party want to remind us all that they offer a middle road, one which leads to David becoming Justice Minister. Or as one wag said…becoming complicit in the Executive’s injustice system.