Monday, 22 November 2010

The island of Ireland is fucked.

With Ireland (RoI) negotiating what is essentially a bail out for the banks through the EU and a further direct bilateral loan from the UK I find myself asking what is the future for the island of Ireland?

The Celtic Tiger came roaring into play in 1995 and Ireland was transformed from one of the poorest countries in Western Europe to one of the wealthiest. There was money to be burnt with disposable income at an all time Irish high and unemployment at 4.5% just 3 years ago. Post GFA were the days when the people of Northern Ireland (NI) flocked across the border for cheap shopping and fuel. There was a sense of peace in NI and the Celtic Tiger was undoubtedly benefiting from the weekend invaders looking for a bargain.

The death of the Tiger in 2008 resulted in a reversal of cross border traffic. Newry and Enniskillen have in the past two years become the hottest cross border shopping locations in the world. In 2008 exchange rates led to cross border savings of 30%. Christmas 2008 saw 500m Euros spent by the Republics cross border shopping commuters and ASDA Enniskillen became WalMarts 6th most profitable store and Sainsbury's in Newry was the highest trading store in the company for alcohol, with 30% trade in Euros.

It seems 2010 has condemned both NI and Ireland to economic and social breakdown. The UK government has introduced massive cuts in the NI economy which will affect the nation greatly as the reliance on public sector jobs and funding is greater than the rest of the UK. The UK has been for years propping NI up and now it looks likely that it will do the same for Ireland. Ireland has lost its sovereignty through its greed after joining the EU. It needs 80b Euro to essentially prevent state collapse in the near future and the UK is obliged to offer financial assistance due to its land border with Ireland in NI.

The financials will be sorted and Ireland will ultimately be saved for better or worse but the interesting times lay ahead. The social connotations are much more uncertain. It is my belief that a United Ireland will eventually occur but I cannot see this happen for at least another 20-30 years. No one wants to be a part of a failed state but everyone wants a stable state. A United Ireland may one day become the best option for the people of the island of Ireland however the next ten years are set to prove difficult for everyone on the island. Essentially the entire island is supported by hand-outs from a UK lacking any long term direction and an EU which is simply lacking and doomed as an economic union. Eventually the people of the Emerald Isle will grow tired of a lack of sovereignty and revolution will once again be in the air. Hopefully peaceful revolution...

Monday, 16 August 2010

What's to talk about?

The many factions of the IRA have stepped up attacks in August with the start of the month witnessing yet another car bomb in Londonderry and further attacks on members of the security forces in Bangor, Kilkeel and Cookstown. The most recent attack, which took place 12 years to the day since the Omagh bomb, almost killed three young children.

It is no surprise to me that attacks and alerts have increased. The more attacks that are carried out the more invincible these people feel and the more people join the ranks. These people are cowards and by showing other scum in their communities that they can get away with these attacks recruitment will increase.

What is needed is increased intelligence and arrests to deter would be have-a-go-terrorists. However what we have is the same old incompetent shit for brains politicians interfering and making matters worse. Playing politics with these IRA lunatics is simply not going to work. Martin McGuinness has claimed that the British and Irish governments have entered negotiations with the dissident IRA factions. This has been denied by both governments. Realistically neither the IRA factions or British/Irish governments can offer each other anything. The IRA factions want the "withdrawal of British forces from Ireland". They seem to have put their United Ireland on the back burner and instead want all the police dead (presumably so they can deal their drugs and smuggle diesel in peace). Personally I don't believe there has been meaningful negotiations. There has been attempts to appease Republicans at Maghaberry prison merely to prevent violence at the Apprentice Boy's parade in Londonderry. However there is nothing to be negotiated as regards to a United Ireland. Negotiations ended with the Belfast Agreement. Any attempts to negotiate would mainly be used to gather intelligence and stall attacks. There is nothing that can be offered.

If this is the case then there will be no immediate end to violence. All that can be done is react to attacks by gathering intelligence and making as many arrests as possible. Meanwhile however Margaret Ritchie has suggested that the PSNI gather intelligence on terrorists rather than the much better equipped MI5. The Chief Constable Matt Baggott has already stated that the PSNI cannot end the violence by themselves.

If politicians want to involve themselves now is the time to do it with a cool head and support any means necessary to end these attacks. Now is not the time for passing the buck but for all those with influence to get together and bring an end to these attacks before someone is killed. I'm tired of Unionist politicians calling for the army and Nationalist politicians shit stirring about negotiations and secret British forces. Politicians need to get their act together and fast or their incompetence could indirectly cost lifes.

Monday, 2 August 2010

State Sponsored Psychopaths

I am by no means a psychologist and find it difficult at times to understand myself never mind others. What I have realised about myself in my time in 'exile' is that I have significantly slack morals compared to my peers. Morals are set at personal a level. One person may see abortion as immoral and wrong another person may think the opposite. Both people possess morals but are on a different level of the scale. A person on my 'moral scale' that registers themselves at 10/10 would mourn if they stood on a spider. A person with 0/10 would be by definition a psychopath. A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse.

There is a theory that due to the horrific events experienced by people from Northern Ireland during the Troubles that morals are slightly twisted. This again is not to say that people from Northern Ireland are lacking morals but many would have read the newspapers on a Monday morning and thought thank goodness I was not blown up. There would of course be empathy for those killed during the Troubles who were perceived as 'innocent' (not linked to armed organisations) but death was a common occurrence and people became hardened to it.

What I am interested in however is the seemingly normal people who would ruthlessly murder innocent people. The killings of innocent civilians by men using the disguise of loyalism is shocking and often incomprehensible. Often the reason's given by these men were that the person murdered was a Republican sympathiser but the reality is that these killers were only interested in blood. If an innocent Protestant was mistakenly murdered these men would have shown no real remorse. A statement may be released by their organisation apologising but this would not be a sincere apology from the killer. These men were well known to the security forces and their ability to kill was used as a weapon against state targets. They were fearless and just about untouchable.

These men were unique they thrived off power and killing but they were protected. They were an asset to the state and would never be brought to justice. Unlike other terrorists it is unlikely they believed so strongly in their cause as many enjoyed lavish lifestyles and hid their true nature behind the cloak of the loyalist cause. Of course it is recognised that terrorists are not all psychopaths and very few actually possess the abilities to function as a group within a terrorist organisation. However it seems that these men were able to operate as 'terrorists' due to the influence of the security forces and the relatively early stage at which they entered loyalist gangs. They joined as young men in their teens and quickly gained respect through their newly realised abilities. They lived the life of a psychopath but in a most peculiar setting in which their psychopathic tendencies could be fully unleashed. With their old age and the end of the Troubles many have begun to speak about their past but what is truly chilling is even after all this time the lack of remorse shown. Normally psychopaths start to feel remorse in their 50s but this is not the case with these men.

The creation of these monsters by the state served no good. The men were and still are by some seen as defenders of loyalism. This admiration of violent psychopaths by some in society I find the most worrying.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The Twelfth. What Now?

The Twelfth is over for another year and there has been no change in how events played out. 55 police officers injured, 70 baton rounds fired, blast bombs, petrol bombs, bricks etc thrown and millions of pounds wasted. For what exactly?

The reason given by most Nationalists is the provocative marching of the Orange Order in areas they are not welcome such as Ardoyne. However this does not explain violence in Lurgan and Londonderry where there were no contentious parades. An attempted train hijacking, petrol bombing of homes in Derry and police shot at. I find it difficult to accept that this is all due to the Orange parades. I accept that the Orange Order is insulting to Nationalists and creates sectarian tension but almost all contentious parades have been sorted out in recent years except for a 100metre stretch in front of the Ardoyne shops. The people involved in these riots were in no way provoked. Reports suggest that high ranking dissident figures were in Ardoyne on the Twelfth no doubt with the aim of ensuring civil disorder took hold. The riots were intense but they did not involve thousands of people as seen in past years. The main culprits seem to be teenagers and young men from working class areas. Unintelligent thugs encouraged on by the older Republican/Dissident leaders unwilling to get their hands dirty. Peaceful nationalists condemn these attacks outright but there is little being done to stop this 'recreational rioting'. Whether this is due to the people involved being too thick to understand that rioting in their own communities only causes grief to local residents or due to IRA control of the area is open to debate. Personally I think it is a mixture of both. It is clear that the aim of last night's disturbances was to create civil unrest and injure police officers. However it is difficult to see what this could achieve in the long term Republican aim of a United Ireland. There are only so many scumbags out there and the dissidents are not going to create an army out of them.

The attacks will continue for the foreseeable future but the police response to these incidents is getting more intelligent. Rather than fighting back the police are collecting intelligence on frequent offenders and it is only a matter of time before these scum are lifted.

The violence of last night has only cemented the determination of the vast majority of Northern Ireland to rid society of these terrorists. By all means campaign for a United Ireland or a United Kingdom, parade your culture where it is wanted and hold firm to your beliefs but the lesson that history has taught us is that nothing will be achieved through violence in this country.

A violent Twelfth but I am optimistic that Northern Ireland will remain relatively peaceful in the future. However I still believe that attacks will continue and deaths seem inevitable but the dissidents are fighting a losing battle. The sooner they realise that and fuck off the better.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Where will it end?

We've had car bombs, hunger strikes, blast bombs, pipe bombs, petrol bombs and bomb factories all in the last few weeks. My name is Alan and I've woke up in 1981 (or so it seems). This undercurrent of violence from the 'dissidents' has been boiling over for the last few years but it seems with the age of the Internet Republican propaganda is in full swing again.

The media has done its best to keep these groups marginalised and out of the public eyes. At the time of writing a Republican prisoner is currently 40 days into hungerstrike in prison. The mainstream media are cautious not to cover this but the online community is buzzing with the news and Republican websites have called for and succeeded in getting relatively large groups out on the streets to protest. We are constantly told that these 'dissidents' are a small group but it seems no one has a clue just how small.

There has always been and always will be (it seems) a hardcore group of Republicans who want to bring Northern Ireland to its knees. Riots in Lurgan are to be expected with a mix of alcohol, spides and Republican ringleaders all involved but the worrying sign is the increase in pipe bomb attacks in recent weeks and the discovery of a bomb making factory in the Republic at the weekend.

These groups have the resources and the knowledge to launch attacks in Northern Ireland and it seems they also have significant support through propaganda websites. The small scale operations and small numbers of active members within the 'dissident' groups means that infiltration will not occur until they grow in size but then again why would they want to so? They have been successful in recent weeks and will be encouraged by the support they are receiving from Republicans. This will surely urge them on to continue attacks. The death of a hunger striker may not be national news but it will grab the attention of more moderate Republicans who will find themselves once more sympathising with the armed Republican cause. Watch out because Northern Ireland is just waiting for a catalyst to ignite further trouble.

The future is uncertain but marching season is sure to ignite old hatreds once again. Interesting times ahead...

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Bombs and WAGS

Reading the front page of BBC News last night I saw the title "Car bomb explodes outside courthouse", my heart sank. Without even clicking the link I knew straight away that this was happening in N Ireland and the 'dissidents' (as they are called these days) had finally produced a bomb that can explode. I don't believe for a minute that the failed bombings lately in Keady or elsewhere were failed bombings. They were clearly practice runs to see how much the PSNI are on top of them. I think last night in Newry just goes to show that the PSNI don't have a fucking clue. Credit to them for evacuating the area but from watching news footage of cars driving past just after the blast I have to wonder how well equiped the police are these days for these events. For me this was another practice run and a successful one. If they wanted to do damage there is no doubt in my mind they can replicate last night and take life next time. The police force need to get on top of these people before they get the balls to cause some serious damage.

As for the media again it seems some D-list celebrity divorce is more important than a bomb in the centre of a UK city. These people will not stop the bombs and no amount of media cover-up is going to stop them. If the media want deaths then they are playing into these terrorists hands. Deaths sell and it's a shame that's all the media is concerned about.

It's about time people open their eyes and realise that nobody has a clue how many people are involved in these 'dissident' groups. They are being condemned from all sides but I can't help but feel that they are slowly gaining support. Let's just hope they fuck up soon and are brought down before they build up any further.