Category Archives: DUP

What’s in a name?

… That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

Juliet’s soliloquy, (II, ii, 44-45), of course and now so clichéed as to need an occasional reference for respectability.

And then there’s the vexed question of the Six Counties of Northern Ireland. In English, this is “Northern Ireland”  — though the most northernly part of Ireland is Malin Head, which is in Donegal — and so, in the parlance, paradoxically in the “South”. Nor, of course, is a Northern Irishman exclusively an “Ulsterman” — because Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan are in the ancient province of Ulaidh, but are not in Northern Ireland.

My passport’s green

MorrisonMotionEven among the northern (missing capital deliberately so — see more on this below) Irish there is no agreement on what one is: British? Irish? Northern Irish? Ulster Scots? When Penguin Books included Seamus Heaney with Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Medbh McGuckian and Paul Muldoon, in the The Penguin Book of Contemporary British Poetry, he was the one who famously objected:

Don’t be surprised if I demur, for, be advised
My passport’s green.
No glass of ours was ever raised
To toast The Queen.

He made up for it, though, at Dublin Castle in May 2011.

The People with No Name

k7173That is the title of a fine book by Patrick Griffin, in Malcolm’s view the best account of the Ulster protestant diaspora who occupied and extended the Western frontier of the American colonies. It is subtitled: Ireland’s Ulster Scots, America’s Scots Irish, and the Creation of a British Atlantic World, 1689-1764.

The opening paragraph of that book illustrates the nominal confusions with a variety of names:

BETWEEN 1718 and 1775, more than 100,000 men and women journeyed from the Irish province of Ulster to the American colonies. Their migration represented the single largest movement of any group from the British Isles to British North America during the eighteenth century. In a first wave beginning in 1718 and cresting in 1729, these people outnumbered all others sailing across the Atlantic, with the notable exception of those bound to the New World in slave ships. By sheer force of numbers, this earliest generation of migrants had a profound influence on the great transformations of the age. Even before they left Ulster, they contributed to the triumph of the Protestant cause in Ireland, paving the way for an unprecedented extension of English power into the kingdom. They also figured prominently in the British transatlantic trading system by producing linen, one of the most important commodities exchanged throughout the empire. Sailing when they did, Ulster’s Presbyterian migrants played a formative role in the transition from an English to a British Atlantic. Before their migration, Puritans and adventurers leaving England during the seventeenth century for the North American mainland and the Caribbean dominated the transatlantic world. After men and women from Ulster boarded ships for America, the cultural parameters of the Atlantic broadened, as they and thousands of land-hungry voyagers from the labor-rich peripheries of the British Isles sought their fortunes in a vast, underpopulated New World. In America, Ulster’s men and women again had a hand in a number of defining developments of the period, including the displacement of the continent’s indigenous peoples, the extension of the frontier, the growth of ethnic diversity, and the outbreak of religious revivals. In the abstract, therefore, the group contributed to the forces and processes that dwarfed the individual but yoked together disparate regions into a broad Atlantic system.

The editor of Gaelscéal, Ciarán Dunbar, has picked up Griffin’s essential thesis, inverted it, and now puts up a ruminative thread on Slugger O’Toole:

Whilst working on Gaelscéal on Tuesday last I realized that I did not know the correct Irish term for ‘Northern Irish,’ so I quickly checked focal.ie, the ‘National Terminology Database’ for Irish.

That was a fruitless journey for they had no such term, I requested they provide one.

The term was one I have strangely never needed in Irish and I have never thought about it to date.

On the day, we simply used the English term in single speech marks.

That night I heard two terms used on TG4, ‘Tuaisceart-Éireannaigh’, agus ‘Éireannaigh Thuaisceartacha’, both translating into English as  ‘Northern Irish’ but with a subtle difference in meaning in Irish which the English doesn’t capture.

One implies a mere geographical distinction, the other, perhaps, a clear political distinction.

A meaningless distinction for most but one could argue that constitutional  future of the Northern Ireland state rests on this distinction, whether the Northern Irish are ‘Tuaisceart-Éireannaigh’ or ‘Éireannaigh Thuaisceartacha’ at the end of the day.

Malcolm queries whether English cannot capture precisely the distinction between Tuaisceart-Éireannaigh, and Éireannaigh Thuaisceartacha by doing what he did above: capitalising or not the “n” of “northern”.

Proconsul

Beyond that, the thread provided Malcolm with a bit of further diversion, the Latin version of wikipedia. Yes, indeed: there is one — even if somewhat abbreviated for the present. And here is its definitive statement on the topic:

Hibernia Septentrionalis, quondam (H)ultonia (AngliceNorthern IrelandHiberniceTuaisceart Éireann) est provincia in Hibernia et Regno Britanniarum. Caput est Belfastium et dux gubernationis est Petrus Robinson; ille est dux factionis civilis qui appellatur Factio Unionistarum Democratica. Successit Reverendum Ioannem Paisley, qui abdicavit in Iunio 2008. Proconsul est Martinus McGuinness. Ille est membrum factionis civilis Sinn Fein (Latine: Nos Ipsi), olim dux Exercitus Republicani Hibernici.

Apart from stroking Malcolm’s self-esteem (that even after half-a-century, his TCD Latin, ever so rusty, can still cope), there were several amusements in that.

One was Máirtín Mag Aonghusa transmogrified from the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland into the far more concise, even poetic, ‘proconsul’. Which instantly directed Malcolm’s butterfly mind to Kipling:

Years betweenThe overfaithful sword returns the user
His heart’s desire at price of his heart’s blood.
The clamour of the arrogant accuser
Wastes that one hour we needed to make good
This was foretold of old at our outgoing;
This we accepted who have squandered, knowing,
The strength and glory of our reputations
At the day’s need, as it were dross, to guard
The tender and new-dedicate foundations
Against the sea we fear — not man’s award.

The subject there was originally Sir Alfred Milner, who was the British High Commissioner in South Africa during the Boer War. The “Oh, gosh!” thing is, stripping from one context to the other, the elevation of  Máirtín to ‘proconsul’ almost works.

“Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt”

Moving swiftly on, there is the conceit of Petrus Robinson, dux Factionis Unionistarum Democraticae (3rd declension, feminine: genitive case!). Thus rendering the DUP into Latin gives us the acronym FUD:

generally a strategic attempt to influence perception by disseminating negative and dubious or false information. An individual firm, for example, might use FUD to invite unfavorable opinions and speculation about a competitor’s product; to increase the general estimation of switching costs among current customers; or to maintain leverage over a current business partner who could potentially become a rival.

In the case of the DUP, precisely.

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Filed under DUP, Ireland, Literature, Northern Ireland, Northern Irish politics, Rudyard Kipling, Seamus Heaney, Slugger O'Toole, Trinity College Dublin, Troubles, United States

Trigger hacked-off: help from on high at hand?

“Trigger” Mulcaire may have scored Wimbledon’s first, ever, but more recently it’s been all own goals.

Let us then celebrate that the Supreme Court (it had to go that far!) has told him to cough on who was his News International puppet master.

Mulcaire received as much as £850,000 from the News of the Screws for his dutiful services, hacking upwards of 5,795 people (as of the November 2011 count). We may safely assume it wasn’t out of petty cash. The obvious name in the frame is Greg Miskiw, the News of the Screws Assistant Editor, That’s assistant to Andy Coulson. Now — conveniently  — Miskiw is a resident of Palm Beach, Florida.

A further reasonably assumption is this went all the way to the top, even beyond Miskiw, particularly because Max Clifford waived his claim for compensation after he met with Rebekah Brooks (but before Mulcaire’s conviction) and agreed a fee of a cool million for Clifford’s slimy future services.

The Orange card

Miskiw may have a 28-pounder shell, primed and ready, in his ammunition locker, because nobody, but nobody will be too keen on developing the Northern Irish dimension. Once again we are back to Stakeknife.

Miskiw was buddies with Alex Marunchuk, once the Screws crime reporter, then Irish editor. Marunchuk was a partner with Jonathan Rees in Pure Energy. Miskiw and Rees were partners in Abbeycover, which itself was an adjust of Southern Investigations, which takes us to ex-copper and child-pornographer Sid Fillery. The Rees-Marunchuk link takes us into trojan emails and computer hacking (and so to the police Operation Tuleta). Then there’s Operation Kalmyk, which is focused on Rees hacking Ian Hurst (a.k.a. Martin Ingram) — which is the Stakeknife connection.

As Malcolm was noting a year back, by that stage we are into the viscera of the beast, the notorious Force Research Unit, at Thiepval Barracks, in Lisburn.

_________________________________________

No, no, a thousand times no. This is not paranoia.

The Smithwick Tribunal in Dublin is looking at the IRA murders of Chief Sup Harry Breen and Super Bob Buchanan of the RUC at Jonesborough in the South Armagh/County Louth border country, apparently returning from a covert meeting with the Irish security service in Dundalk. Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP MP, has alleged that the IRA were tipped off by Garda DS Owen Corrigan. Corrigan’s IRA “handler” is alleged to be the (equally alleged) double-agent Freddie “Stakeknife” Scappaticci. Scappaticci, along with the late John Joe Magee of Dundalk are (even more alleged) to have been the key members of the IRA “nutting squad”. One further “alleged” is that Scappaticci was second only to the OC IRA Northern Command, a certain Máirtín Mag Aonghusa, MP, MLA.

Ian Hurst, after extensive going-and-froing was induced to give evidence to Smithwick: that was redacted for public consumption. The RTÉ reports, especially that of 26th April, should be required reading.

And you thought it was all about Milly Dowler’s phone?

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Filed under crime, DUP, History, Ireland, Irish politics, Metropolitan Police, Murdoch, Northern Ireland, Northern Irish politics, policing, politics, RTE, security, Sinn Fein

The past ever with us?

Malcolm tries to avoid any pre-occupation with stat-porn [© Guido Fawkes], which — with his readership — is just as well. However, this day he did take an interest, and found an antique effort had suddenly received notice.

Indeed, this one is so old it was originally posted to the blogspot site. It dates from 24th July, 2007 — which is positively antediluvian in Clarus the Dogcow years.

Yet there is a lurking frustration here: who, and for what reason, needs Malcolm’s milldewed views on the Orange Arch of Magherafelt — however exquisitely he presented them?

Answers, not on a postcard, please to mredfellow at gmail.

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True! D’Oh! Trudeau!

Sadly, readers in the benighted UK & NI are not able to get their Sunday doses of Doonesbury, except via the net.

So, especially for the benefit of Edwin Poots and such like fundies, here’s today’s offering:

On which uplifting, nay Rapturous note, Malcolm rejoiced in Howard Brenton’s warm-up to his piece, in yesterday’s Guardian, about Anne Boleyn and the theatre of reformation:

My father, who was a Methodist minister, once had a blazing row with a fundamentalist. This good soul – a butcher and fiery lay preacher always with a battered King James Bible tucked under his arm – argued that the miracles of Jesus really happened. Dad was what was then called a “modernist”: he believed that many of the Bible stories, Old and New Testament, were not literally true but “symbolic”; in unguarded moments he would hint that even the resurrection of Jesus did not necessarily happen, what mattered was that the gospel story illustrated a great mystical truth.

The butcher would have none of this. Everything in the Bible was true: the Red Sea literally parted, Lazarus rose from the dead, the disciples saw the resurrected Jesus ascend into heaven. The Bible is the word of God, end of argument. A realisation began to dawn on my father, and he said something like “but it is only a translation, from Hebrew and Greek”. The butcher exploded. Translation? No! He believed Jesus and the disciples actually spoke the words of the King James Bible. The language of biblical Palestine was Jacobean English.


At risk of being repetitive, Gary Trudeau has been this way before, in December 2005. In a way what he propounded then is directly relevant to the present Northern Ireland Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, one Alderman Edwin Poots MLA, eminent alumnus of Greenmount College of Agriculture, and proud Deputy Mayor of the city of Lisburn.

So here’s that pertinent flash-back:


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Royalism: the last resort of some scoundrels

Groucho Marx sent the Friar’s Club of Beverly Hills a telegram:

Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.

Old Jolyon of Galsworthy’s The Man of Property had the same inclination:

He was too old to be a Liberal, had long ceased to believe in the political doctrines of his Club, had even been known to allude to them as ‘wretched stuff,’ and it afforded him pleasure to continue a member in the teeth of principles so opposed to his own. He had always had a contempt for the place, having joined it many years ago when they refused to have him at the ‘Hotch Potch’ owing to his being ‘in trade.’ As if he were not as good as any of them! He naturally despised the Club that did take him. The members were a poor lot, many of them in the City—stockbrokers, solicitors, auctioneers—what not! Like most men of strong character but not too much originality, old Jolyon set small store by the class to which he belonged. Faithfully he followed their customs, social and otherwise, and secretly he thought them ‘a common lot.’

So we come to another ‘wretched stuff’ Liberal and his club.

Bob Russell, the LibDem MP for Colchester, has engineered his way into the public prints with this:

Obviously Russell is in favour of bread-and-circuses and anything that distracts attention from ConDem incompetence (who provoked those street protests and why?). Russell may well find that more than a few of the “nation” ruefully eye the costs of this little extravagance.

Guilt by association

Then we discover that Russell is a member of a very select club: the Constitutional Monarchy Association. Its very web-address breathes over-inflation: http://www.monarchy.net. So, let’s look in the round and totality at its distinguished patrons:

  • H D Dickie Bird MBE (retired cricket umpire and jobbing “character”);
  • Sir Cliff Richard OBE (say no more);
  • The Viscount Exmouth (otherwise undistinguished scion of the great frigate captain, prototype for Horation Hornblower, Sir Edward Pellew;
  • Lord Jones of Cheltenham (PR man and former LibDem MP);
  • The Baroness Knight of Collingtree DBE (the very right-wing and fruity former Tory MP, Jill Knight);
  • The Viscount & Viscountess Massereene & Ferrard (he is a.k.a. John David Clotworthy Whyte-Melville Foster Skeffington, stockbroker and another Monday Club right-winger, with strong family connections to Ulster Unionism and the Orange Order);
  • The Lord Northbrook (of the Barings Bank dynasty, a Tory spokesman in the House of Lords, and a London clubman);
  • Hon Sir Jonathon Porritt CBE (doesn’t publicise his baronetcy, an ecologist with a hot line to the heir to the throne);
  • The Viscount Simon (a Labour peer, grandson of Sir John Simon, “the slime of hypocrisy” [Lloyd George], “a toad and a worm” [Harold Nicholson] who slithered from being a Liberal to pre-War Tory appeaser);
  • David Atkinson; (car salesman and former Tory MP);
  • Greg Barker MP (fellow Tory husky hugger with David Cameron; a close associate of Russian plutocrats including Boris Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich);
  • Roy Beggs (very right-wing Ulster Unionist and Orangeman, advocate of corporal punishment);
  • Henry Bellingham MP (barrister and farmer; loyalist and reputed nice-but-dim Tory MP and now junior minister);
  • Sir Sydney Chapman RIBA FRTPI (architect and former retreaded MP, “The dullest Tory candidate” [London Evening Standard] in 2001);
  • Sir Patrick Cormack FSA (former Tory MP and about to become a life peer: if one must be a Tory, he is as decent as they come);
  • Nirj Deva DL MEP (Sri Lankan born former Tory MP, Bow Grouper but with links to the Reaganite Heritage Foundation of the Republican Party);
  • Rt Hon Jeffrey Donaldson MP MLA; (former acolyte of Enoch Powell, Orangeman, UUP defector to the DUP, widely despised in Northern Ireland for upward mobility);
  • Peter Duncan (presumably the Scottish Tory, rather than the Blue Peter presenter?);
  • Michael Fabricant MP (another Tory: this one a political joke, mainly for his suspiciously-farmed hair);
  • Cheryl Gillan MP (former Tory Whip, now Welsh Secretary who previously opposed devolution; ran into trouble over her dog-food and second-home expenses claims);
  • Gerald Howarth MP (Tory Monday Clubber, who had to be swiftly shuffled at the Defence Ministry because of his over-close ties to arms-dealers);
  • Edward Leigh MP (about as right-wing and unreconstructed as any Tory can get);
  • Peter Luff MP (was Ted Heath’s officer manager, but has redeemed himself among straight Tories by hard committee work and an interest in fox-hunting);
  • Patrick Mercer OBE MP (a decent Tory back-bencher , ex-soldier, sacked from front bench by Cameron because of “racist” remarks about ethnic minorities in the forces);
  • Andrew Rosindell MP (Romford born-and-bred right-wing hang ’em, Monday Club Tory, expenses diddler);
  • Bob Russell MP (the hero of this post);
  • Lord Spicer, the erstwhile Sir Michael Spicer (former assiduous and knowledgeable economist on the Commons Treasury Select Committee; ran into trouble over expenses for his helipad);
  • Sir Teddy Taylor (former right-wing Thatcherite Tory MP, hanger-and-flogger, Europhobe, and leading light of the Monday Club);
  • Sir Nicholas Winterton DL (and a final right-wing Tory, Monday Clubber, Europhobe, expenses fiddler, bum-pincher and snob).

All of which underlines that Groucho and Galsworthy had it spot on.

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The greit navie of Norlin Airlann

It sprang from a casual tweet by Eamonn Mallie:

A row has broken out over Ag Minister Michelle Gildernew’s decision to name new Fisheries Protection vessel Banrion Uladh. DUP not happy.

Well, Eamonn, as P.G.Wodehouse might have said, were Blandings and Stormont transposed:

It is never difficult to distinguish between a DUPer with a grievance and a ray of sunshine.

And few can hold a grievance quite so unremittingly.

Yet Malcolm’s eyes are now opened.

Northern Ireland has a navy!

It may not be as large as that of Switzerland, which has no fewer than ten vessels to patrol the international borders on Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano. Still, it says here:

We have responsibility for sea fisheries, aquaculture and fish health policy; the enforcement of fisheries legislation; the licensing of aquaculture; fishing vessel licensing; the administering of fisheries grant schemes and supporting the operation of the Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission (FCILC).

We are based in Dundonald House, Belfast with Fisheries Offices in the three main fishing ports of Ardglass, Kilkeel and Portavogie.

We operate a fisheries protection vessel, the Ken Vickers, to assist with the conservation and protection of fish stocks.

Now the good ship Ken Vickers habitually lies at Bangor, generally bothering nobody except a passing photographer, but providing a cosy refuge for resting gulls. As the geograph.ie site caustically captions a 2004 image:

Although the fishery protection launch “Ken Vickers” is based at Bangor marina it is unusual to see it underway. This was only the second time in ten years.

Changes, though, are afloat. In February of this year the FPV Ken Vickers engaged in international manoevres with the Irish LE Orla and the Scottish FPV Norna out of Campbeltown.

Which leaves some unanswered questions:

  • Are Michelle Gildernew, Richard Lochhead (who has four vessels and two aircraft at his behest), and cheesy Brendan Smith (with some real firepower) about to launch a campaign against the English and Welsh littoral, once their forces outnumber the rapidly-reducing “Royal Navy”?
  • With which armada will the Welsh naval force, the FPVs Crangowen and (half of the) Aegis sail?
  • Or, was this merely the rehearsal for the Anglo-French aircraft carriers project?

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Filed under Belfast, Britain, DUP, Ireland, nationalism, Naval history, Sinn Fein, Wales

More devious dubious Cameroonie manoevres in the dark

Another day, another dollar. Still no signs of comprehension from the massed “intellect” of Tory blog-artists.

Overnight, the story gets more complex, thanks to Henry McDonald in the Irish edition of today’s Observer. For some inscrutable reason, it seems this dynamite had to be kept away from the rest of the UK readership.

What we know for certain is that the Tories, the UUP and the DUP inner circle met up at Hatfield House a week back. Already the story enters the realms of surreality: the modern progressive Tory Party doesn’t revert to Edwardian skullduggery in the country house of the Lords Salisbury (hereditary owners of the Tory Party) ? But it did.

Subsequently two totally opposing narratives have emerged:

One is that Owen Paterson, the Tory Shadow for Northern Ireland,  was doing the decent thing, elbowing aside Secretary of State Woodward, and oiling the squealing wheels of Unionist Policing and Justice “policy”. Therein lies another preconception: that Peter Robinson and the DUP leadership want such movement. For reasons nobody has yet explained, all this ultra-altruism needed to be kept from public scrutiny.

The other is that the Hatfield House Cabal was in part or in whole a stitch-up of NI constituencies to benefit the London Tory machine. For very obvious reasons this had to kept away from the public, and indeed most of the UUP and DUP. When this was realised by the poor bloody infantry back in Northern Ireland, three would-be Tory candidates pulled the plug on their potential nominations. What adds spice to the pot is the three candidates were:

  • Peter McCann, a BBC producer for Top Gear, who must on any grounds qualify as one of Cameron’s A-listers, but who happens also to be a West Belfast Roman Catholic;
  • Sheila Davidson, a high-profile businesswoman, another “star” candidate, who happens also to be a Roman Catholic;

and

  • Deirdre Nelson, a Ballymena councillor who defected from the DUP to the Tories last summer.

On the surface, three highly eligible and photogenic potential candidates. Yet, two RCs and two women: not qualities which command respect from your average DUP stalwart.

So we are left wondering: did they jump precipitately, or were they sensing that the wind had changed and they were no longer welcome?

All of which is part, but only one part of a far greater story:

Why are the Tories and their London megaphones ignoring the dark depths of this story?

As if we couldn’t guess.


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