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Bloody Sunday (30 January 1972, Derry)

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Bloody Sunday (tune is Black &Tans) (13)
BS: Bloody Sunday Report - AT LAST (352)
Video: GWB singing 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' (from U2 (2)
Bloody Sunday - Bloody Disgrace? (63) (closed)
Lyr Req: Bloody Sunday (2)
Lyr Add: Bloody Sunday (we demand civil rights) (2)


Fiolar 30 Jan 01 - 01:23 PM
Clinton Hammond 30 Jan 01 - 01:29 PM
Brendy 31 Jan 01 - 01:00 AM
Dave the Gnome 31 Jan 01 - 05:24 AM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Jan 01 - 08:21 AM
Dave the Gnome 31 Jan 01 - 08:52 AM
InOBU 31 Jan 01 - 08:54 AM
Mikey joe 31 Jan 01 - 08:56 AM
alison 31 Jan 01 - 09:08 AM
Big Mick 31 Jan 01 - 09:13 AM
Dave the Gnome 31 Jan 01 - 09:33 AM
Brendy 31 Jan 01 - 09:36 AM
Mikey joe 31 Jan 01 - 09:47 AM
Dave the Gnome 31 Jan 01 - 09:53 AM
Dave the Gnome 31 Jan 01 - 09:58 AM
Big Mick 31 Jan 01 - 10:41 AM
Dave the Gnome 31 Jan 01 - 10:48 AM
Brendy 31 Jan 01 - 10:52 AM
Grab 31 Jan 01 - 11:14 AM
Big Mick 31 Jan 01 - 11:41 AM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Jan 01 - 12:25 PM
Clinton Hammond 31 Jan 01 - 01:01 PM
Fiolar 31 Jan 01 - 01:25 PM
Lanfranc 31 Jan 01 - 01:26 PM
Brendy 31 Jan 01 - 01:38 PM
Keith A of Hertford 31 Jan 01 - 03:58 PM
Grab 31 Jan 01 - 04:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Jan 01 - 05:15 PM
Greyeyes 31 Jan 01 - 05:28 PM
Big Mick 31 Jan 01 - 08:42 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 31 Jan 01 - 11:35 PM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 31 Jan 01 - 11:45 PM
Big Mick 01 Feb 01 - 12:15 AM
GUEST,surfer passing by in the night 01 Feb 01 - 02:02 AM
Brendy 01 Feb 01 - 02:03 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Feb 01 - 04:37 AM
Brendy 01 Feb 01 - 05:25 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Feb 01 - 06:30 AM
GUEST,JTT 01 Feb 01 - 07:14 AM
mkebenn 01 Feb 01 - 08:03 AM
death by whisky 01 Feb 01 - 08:09 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 01 Feb 01 - 08:44 AM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Feb 01 - 08:49 AM
Big Mick 01 Feb 01 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,JTT 01 Feb 01 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,JTT 01 Feb 01 - 12:06 PM
InOBU 01 Feb 01 - 07:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Feb 01 - 07:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Feb 01 - 07:33 PM
Brendy 02 Feb 01 - 12:23 AM
Big Mick 02 Feb 01 - 01:36 AM
GUEST,JTT 02 Feb 01 - 02:28 AM
Brendy 02 Feb 01 - 02:57 AM
Brendy 02 Feb 01 - 03:00 AM
Brendy 02 Feb 01 - 03:03 AM
Brendy 02 Feb 01 - 03:08 AM
GUEST,JTT 02 Feb 01 - 06:28 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 02 Feb 01 - 06:29 AM
Grab 02 Feb 01 - 07:52 AM
InOBU 02 Feb 01 - 08:11 AM
Fiolar 02 Feb 01 - 09:47 AM
GUEST,Bun 02 Feb 01 - 12:00 PM
Fiolar 02 Feb 01 - 12:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Feb 01 - 01:15 PM
Dave the Gnome 02 Feb 01 - 01:27 PM
Brendy 05 Feb 01 - 03:31 AM
Snuffy 05 Feb 01 - 06:57 PM
Brendy 06 Feb 01 - 06:20 AM
GUEST,Keith at work 06 Feb 01 - 07:25 AM
GUEST 06 Feb 01 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,Fionn (in Co Down) 06 Feb 01 - 08:04 AM
Grab 06 Feb 01 - 08:46 AM
GUEST,Keith at work 06 Feb 01 - 12:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Feb 01 - 01:26 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 06 Feb 01 - 06:56 PM
GUEST,Keith 07 Feb 01 - 03:19 AM
InOBU 07 Feb 01 - 12:02 PM
InOBU 07 Feb 01 - 12:22 PM
Wolfgang 07 Feb 01 - 12:59 PM
InOBU 07 Feb 01 - 01:56 PM
Grab 07 Feb 01 - 05:49 PM
InOBU 07 Feb 01 - 06:02 PM
Brendy 07 Feb 01 - 10:27 PM
Monashee 08 Feb 01 - 04:25 AM
Grab 08 Feb 01 - 08:04 AM
GeorgeH 08 Feb 01 - 08:12 AM
Fiolar 08 Feb 01 - 10:19 AM
Brendy 09 Feb 01 - 06:05 AM
Grab 09 Feb 01 - 06:43 AM
Brendy 09 Feb 01 - 06:57 AM
Brendy 09 Feb 01 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,Keith A at work 09 Feb 01 - 07:42 AM
InOBU 09 Feb 01 - 07:51 AM
GUEST,Keith 09 Feb 01 - 07:54 AM
Fiolar 09 Feb 01 - 08:55 AM
Wolfgang 09 Feb 01 - 09:16 AM
Grab 09 Feb 01 - 09:18 AM
InOBU 09 Feb 01 - 12:20 PM
Grab 09 Feb 01 - 04:23 PM
Shields Folk 09 Feb 01 - 08:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Feb 01 - 07:48 PM
Wolfgang 12 Feb 01 - 03:41 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 12 Feb 01 - 06:48 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Feb 01 - 07:02 AM
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Subject: Bloody Sunday
From: Fiolar
Date: 30 Jan 01 - 01:23 PM

Today, January 30th is the 29th anniversary of the killing of 14 people by the British army in Derry. I shall never forget sitting watching television as the news ufolded on that fateful day. Go nDeana Dia Trocaire Orthu. As an event it was probably more traumatic than the deaths of the Hunger Strikers. Hopefully the present enquiry into the affair may finally clear the whitewash of the Widgery enquiry.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 30 Jan 01 - 01:29 PM

I had the pleasure of performing in Brian Friels play "The Freedom Of The City" a few years ago... now I just agree with Stan Rogers...

"All rights and all wrongs have long since blown away For causes are ashes where children lie slain"

peace, at whatever cost...


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Brendy
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 01:00 AM

The Bloody Sunday Inquiry

Thanks for the thread, Fiolar.

B.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 05:24 AM

Thanks Clinton, we have not seen eye to eye on some issues (Smoking in particular!) but I am in total agreement here. Re-opening old wounds will not move us forward. It will come as no surprise to anyone who has read any of my posts to similar threads that I say this. I cannot say it too often.

The deaths of those people will be commemorated by those who loved them. It will be keenly regretted by all concerned in causing them. What point is served by dredging it up here other than to renew the Irish hatred of the British?

On a 'this day in history page' we see -

1349 Jews of Freilsburg Germany are massacred
1647 Scots agree to sell King Charles I to English Parliament for £400
1894 US flag fired on in Rio; prompt satisfaction exacted by Admiral Benham
1937 2nd of Stalin's purge trials; Pyatakov & 16 others sentenced to death
and far more relevent in the Mudcat---
1969 Beatles perform their last gig together, a free concert on the roof of Apple

Anyone posting reminders of any of these??? Anyone feel the need to stir up any anti-German, Scotish, Brazilian, Russian or Yoko Ono feelings???

Incidentaly, the thought for the day on the same page is -

The less a statesman amounts to, the more he loves the flag.

Pretty apt don't you think???

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 08:21 AM

Wounds don't heal cleanly unless you clean them, that's the point.

Thta's a rich analogy too - real wounds which aren't healed flare up later, and the stuff left inside to fester can even kill people.

What's really needed is a proper truth and reconciliation commission or something along those lines. If that had been done back in the 20s maybe the last generation wouldn't have had to live through an interminable war. It's lies and whitewash and cover-ups and selective memory that breed hatred as much as anything.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 08:52 AM

Cheers Kevin (McG) - very good point, eleqontly made, but debatable. I will certainly conceed it true in many cases, but some wounds are beyond cleaning. When the gangreen has already set in we either remove the limb or loose the patient.

Conversely, when the wound has already begun to heal it is best left alone.

I am not sure which type of wound we have here. It could be one which requires cleaning, one which is already on the mend or one which is beyond hope. It all depends a personal viewpoint.

I like to believe we are on the mend, which is why I do not like to see anyone rake up the 'ashes where children lie slain' as Stan Rogers, via Clinton, poeticaly put it.

I will continue to say so as long as we have threads harking back to past injustice, rather than future harmony. I hope that by doing so I will help prevent the wound becoming re-infected while it is uncovered.

I genuinely hope we do get the reconciliation and truth commision you mention. Until we do however I continue to disbelieve anything that the media tell me and instead hold on to the belief that, left alone, most people will live together in harmony.

Many thanks to all those reading my rant and goodwill to all bringers of peace.

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: InOBU
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 08:54 AM

I had the pleasure of playing one of the reporters in "The Freedom Of The City" a few perfomances with Brian Mallon - who some of you may remember as one of the Generals in the movie "Gettysburg" and others will know a a great sean nos singer, or others as a great singer of Welsh songs, ... Extrodinary play.
I don't personaly like to create lists of hierarchy of suffering, as to comparisons to other painful events, however, the cover up of these murders and the storries from soldiers involved that point to government policy involved in the murder,especially the meddals given to the officer in charge make this England's Mai Lai, Watergate and Kent State, all rolled into one. It is another event that screams for an Irish/English truth and reconcilliation process.. (he said untill he grew blue in the face - and for a blue nose that is a lot to say...)
Speed the day
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Mikey joe
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 08:56 AM

Agreed Like or not and chances are we don't as it's not a pleasant topic. These deeds did happen. We can't ignore them just because they are not pleasant or embarrising to a particular nation. I'm shit sick of people saying "let's just forget about it". Bollocks! Face up to it and as McGrath said heal it. don't sweep it under the carpet. also as an Irishman these things shaped my country over the last number of centuries and played a large part in making Ireland what it is today. Ireland in turn has shaped me in a big way and to ignore and deny these issues is to deny me myself. Open communication and understanding these issues are what will help heal.

Mj


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Subject: Lyr Add: SUNDAY, BLOODY SUNDAY (U2)
From: alison
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 09:08 AM

Dropped in thinking someone might be looking for the words of this... leaving them here anyway

SUNDAY, BLOODY SUNDAY
U2

I can't believe the news today
I can't close my eyes and make it go away
How long, how long must we sing this song?
How long?
Tonight we can be as one, tonight

Broken bottles under children's feet
Bodies strewn across a dead end street
But I won't heed the battle call
It puts my back up,
puts my back up against the wall

Sunday, bloody Sunday
Sunday, bloody Sunday

And the battle's just begun,
There's many lost, but tell me who has won?
Trenches dug within our hearts,
And mothers, children, brothers, sisters torn apart

Sunday, bloody Sunday
Sunday, bloody Sunday

How long, how long must we sing this song?
How long?
Tonight we can be as one
Tonight, tonight

Sunday, bloody Sunday
Sunday, bloody Sunday

Wipe the tears from your eyes
Wipe your tears away
Wipe your blood shot eyes

Sunday, bloody Sunday
Sunday, bloody Sunday

And it's true we are immune
When fact is fiction and T.V. reality
And today the millions cry
We eat and drink while tomorrow they die
The real battle just begun
To claim the victory Jesus won
On a Sunday bloody Sunday
Sunday Bloody Sunday



slainte
alison


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Big Mick
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 09:13 AM

While I applaud your intent, Dave, I disagree on your analysis. Let me explain why.

Much of this has to do with what the Irish are expected to do, as opposed to the British and their loyalist allies. The Irish are expected to just let the deaths of 14 peaceful marchers go "in order to let the healing begin, after all it occurred so long ago". But in the same breath when they object to the marches through their neighborhoods, the damaging of their churches, the disruption of the Holy Mass, and the verbal abuse of their spouses and children, they are told that it is OK for this to happen because it is the commemoration of a "historical event". It is more of the old double standard.

Moving on to the healing...........I can't say it better than McGrath. But I can add to it. All justice begins with the truth being brought out. In modern countries this follows an extensive investigation with the goal of bringing the perpetrators to justice. In the case of state sanctioned murder, finding the truth and then having that same state admit and apologize is the true first step to reconcilliation and peace. To just sweep it under the carpet and expect it to go away causes more frustration and tension. Ultimately this leads people to feel there is no justice, and leads them to act in violent ways to achieve what they come to percieve as "justice". These people in Derry all those years ago were following the teachings of Ghandi and King. They were using peaceful methods to try and achieve an end. They were murdered for their efforts. I am very hopeful that the current commission can finally give a clear, concise, and final report on the matter. Then, it is my hope, the government of Great Britain will accept their responsibility and put the appropriate close to this situation. True peace and reconcilliation can then follow.

With regard to anti-British sentiments. I agree with you that it serves no purpose, when done in the broad general way I often see it applied here in the states. People who fall for this are generally underinformed, and are being used as pawns. This serves no one, especially the Republican cause. The people that I have met from Great Britain.......be they Scots, Welsh, English, Geordie, or whatever..........have for the most part been wonderful, and friendly folks. Most that I have met have had more in common with the Irish, than they have in disagreement with them. But it is not wrong, in fact it is appropriate, for the children and grandchildren of Ireland to ask that justice be served on this matter. True closure won't come until this happens.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 09:33 AM

You know, that's what I love about this place! We can all behave decently (Honest - no sarcasm). I realy can see other points of view far more clearly than in any other discussion medium. I can be swayed and by good reasoning and in this instance I now feel, far more than ever before, that if all polititians joined the Mudcat we would achieve world peace in days!!!

I realy do love the relevent songs and the reasoned argument.

I am not sure about your use of 'Bollocks' as sound peaceable reasoning, Mickey Joe, but I guess that in the heat of the argument you can be forgiven for using deliberately inflamatory phrases.

I will not reciprocate but instead accept that as the son of a Pole driven out of his country by invaders; as the Grandson of a Russian Orthodox priest who was tortured by the state for his beliefs and as the father of daughters hounded out of their school by bullies for being 'weirdo twins' I know nothing of injustice. I am just an Englishman trying to live my life in peace.

Love to all

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Brendy
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 09:36 AM

1: "The deaths of those people will be commemorated by those who loved them."
2: "It will be keenly regretted by all concerned in causing them."
3: "What point is served by dredging it up here other than to renew the Irish hatred of the British?"

1: And by all fair-minded people across the world....except you, obviously.
2: What makes you say that?
3: Was that the point being served?

"The less a statesman amounts to, the more he loves the flag.

Spoken like a true Brit.

Why don't you start a thread commemorating all those other anniversaries, yourself?

B.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Mikey joe
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 09:47 AM

Dave I too can see your point, I disagree but hey, that's the beauty of the world. My point and it is a very, very sensitive issue is this. Many many many people have been incredibly hurt by this. From what you have said you have experienced a glimpse of this hurt. To wipe the slate clean, forget, ignore (whatever word you wish) is to rub salt in the wounds of these families (I'm not trying to continue the wound analogy). And to those of us (TG) who have not been directly damaged by these actions, we are denied a huge part of our national psyche which makes many of us who we are.

I am NOT anti british (I live in Scotland and really enjoy it here) I am NOT anti english (I have some very very good english friends. (Although ye're soccer team is shite ;)) All I am saying is this - Do not forget the hardship and injustice done to these thousands. Injustices everywhere whould never be forgotten. Last weekend was holocaust memorial weekend remember. Many others all over the world have suffered. Forgetting is not the same as healing, and remembering is not the same as hating.

Beir bua Dtg (take care)

Mj


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 09:53 AM

My last thread was posted at the same time as yours, Brendy so I guess you had no chance to read it. If you feel you know me better having read it and still feel I am true Brit please feel free to say so but also please explain to me if you are using it as a derogatory term and if so - why me?

I have already said on another thread I cannot apologise for all of England. I have already apologised for my bit in the massacre (I voted for the polititians, I did not get out of my chair to stop any bullets). Whatever else you want me to do to atone, within reason I will try my best.

In answer to your specific questions
1. I am as fair minded as anyone. I will not commemorate them because I did not know them. It does not stop me from regretting their deaths. Is that a problem? 3. I believed it was - please prove me wrong

It is only by reasoned argument that we can convince each other of our viewpoints. None of us will ever be truly converted but once we start to see another point of view we are on the right road to reconcilliation.

Peace

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 09:58 AM

Sorry, B, missed #2

2. OK - incorrect phrasing. Should have said, to coin your phrase regretted by 'all fair-minded' folk.

DtG


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Big Mick
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 10:41 AM

Dave, you have been here a long time and I know enough of your heart to know that you are a decent human being, and a very good Mudcatter. I accept that you love peace and that your intentions are the best. I have met many good people, like yourself, in my years of activism. And many times they say things to me like "I agree that racism is evil and must be eliminated............but I didn't do that. I'm not racist". Every time I hear it I am reminded of Paolo Freire's words which indicate that to take no action against the powerful is not to side with the powerless. It is to take the side of the powerful. The same principle, stretched a bit, applies here. I would paraphrase it thus: To take no action against injustice is not the same as taking the side of justice. It is to side with injustice. I know Brendy hits hard..................and I am so very happy he does. I don't think he means to be insulting, and I also don't think he cares if he does insult. He just speaks plainly and that is a valuable commodity. I would ask that all readers of this thread ask the questions he asks and answer them honestly and after much reflection. The way to the end..........peace and justice for the families of those killed and injured.........will become clear.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 10:48 AM

Voice of reason as usual, Mick - you should be flamed on the flame thread for being so fair :-)

Not sure I agree - I take a stand against injustice but feel I am banging my head on a wall at times. Not taking a stand does not always mean siding with injustice but possibly re-grouping for a counter attack???

Anyway - must be off (Open night at the kids school) - hope the thread is still here and I am still reasonably underworked tomorrow.

See yez all soon

DtG


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Brendy
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 10:52 AM

It is not my puprose to prove you wrong...or right, Dave. But I thought it odd in the extreme that the first (sorry, 3rd), thing that you could say about the starting of this thread was to 'dredge up' and 'renew' the 'Irish hatred of the British'.

NEVER in my time here at the Mudcat have I experienced 'Irish hatred of the British' Certain Irish people may not get on well with certain English people, this is true.

But 'hatred'. Sorry Dave, you're chasing dragons with swords made of wood.

I have seen pro-Unionist hatred of the Nationalists on this forum, and scarcasm directed at everything from our music to our hunger strikers.

As one who grew up, and suffered at the hands of the forces of occupation, I may be more entitled to have hatreds and predjudices against the 'British'.

I don't.

Well, not because they are 'British', anyway.

What you did, on the other hand, was to raise an, heretofore, irrelevant point. And you did so like a true Brit.

B.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Grab
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 11:14 AM

I'm genuinely not sure what the inquiry's trying to achieve. I'd certainly agree with finding out the truth, if that's genuinely the aim. The trouble for me is that some ppl are looking for blame to be pinned on individual soldiers. In a time when IRA prisoners are being released, this seems hypocritical, and Dave's point 3 is valid for that.

As a point of interest Brendy, would you back posting threads commemorating the anniversaries of the IRA bombs in Brighton, Manchester, London, Enniskillin and Omagh? And will the IRA hold enquiries to tell the families of the victims what happened?

Incidentally, "Spoken like a true Brit" implies "Brit" as an insult - surely you must understand that this is beneath you. Replace with "Prod", or "Papist" or "black" and see how it sounds, do you get my drift?

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Big Mick
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 11:41 AM

First off, Grab, excellent post. Just as I admire plain talk from Brendy, I also admire plain talk from this perspective. Causes folks to get off the self righteous horseshit and get to dialogue. Thanks for a good contribution.

Let me get to one point that I feel obligated to point out the difference. On your point, The trouble for me is that some ppl are looking for blame to be pinned on individual soldiers. In a time when IRA prisoners are being released, this seems hypocritical, and Dave's point 3 is valid for that., I must point out a very important difference. The difference between the IRA soldiers and the individual British soldiers, is that the IRA soldiers have stood at the bar for their actions and have them exposed for public scrutiny. The individual snipers never have. Having said that, I believe it is more important to get to those that gave the orders to kill innocents. IMHO, there is no difference between them and Nazi's just following orders, Calley at My Lai, Yank soldiers at Wounded Knee, etc. Unless, and this is a big caveat, it is demonstrated that these occurred with the blessing or the orders of British Command officers. Then it is a much larger issue. A fair and representative hearing designed to get to the truth of it all, instead of the Widgery fiasco, will help to end it all. And most importantly, it will demonstrate to all observers that Great Britain truly is the lover of justice that she would have us all believe.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 12:25 PM

A proper truth and reconciliation process would indeed have to include the bombings and the massacres, whoever did them, and seek to find out why they happened the way they did. And I hope that this comes about.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 01:01 PM

InOBU!!!!

That's wild... most of the people I meet don't even know the play at all!!! wicked awsome

I had the pleasure of playing Michael... and won a "Best Actor" award at a festival for him...

Sitting here looking at my beat up copy of the script with my notes in it... Wow...


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Fiolar
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 01:25 PM

In regard to the peaceful marchers being fired on by the British army, the army has had a long history in the aspects of "crowd control" both on their own people and on other nationalities. Peterloo, Manchester August 1819 - eleven killed; Amritsar April 1919 - 380 killed and 1200 wounded; Croke Park, Dublin, November 1920. In all of these very little was done to the perpetrators. General Dyer who ordered the Amritsar massacre resigned from the army.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Lanfranc
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 01:26 PM

I wish someone could invent an inert substance that would extinguish the latent hatreds and prejudices that ignite into flamers on this and other forums (fora?)on the Internet and into murders, genocide and pogroms in the real world.

I cannot add anything to what has been said above, except to quote Tom Paxton.

"Peace will come, let it begin with me."


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Brendy
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 01:38 PM

"I'd certainly agree with finding out the truth, if that's genuinely the aim"
What always gets me about statements like that is the qualifier at the end. What do you think the aim might be, Grab?

If there is genuinely another aim?

As far as objecting to threads commemorating the bombings you mentioned, I have no problem with that. War is a terrible thing, and terrible things happen. I would, though, love to hear the account British Intelligence would give about their scanning the of radio frequencies in the 2 hours leading up to the Enniskillen bombing.
Ever wonder why it took the IRA 2 days to 'admit' the deed?

And as far as the 'true Brit' bit goes. It is a singularly 'British' trait, especially with concern to things Irish to speak first, only to be educated after.
'Prod', 'Papist', or 'Black' is either sectarian or rascist. I am neither.

B.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 03:58 PM

Some things we already know about the tragedy. Almost all the rounds were fired by one soldier. Larry, I don't think this has anything to do with a government plot. More likely a frightened confused young man unprepared by experience or training for the situation he found himself in.
It should have been sorted out at the time, but probably cock up rather than conspiracy. The politicians of the day thought they could calm the situation with a whitewash, and only made it worse. Later events were handled better.
Brendy, I think you are blaming the Brit government for the Enniskillen horror but I don't understand why . Are they also to blame for Bloody Friday? Is someone going to post the body count again? Is any of this helping anyone?


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Grab
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 04:32 PM

Mick - absolutely true. I'd agree that the first enquiry was a bloody disgrace. And yes, if this was the result of some higher-level order instead of just a straight disastrous mistake by one person as per Keith's post, I for one would like to know.

Brendy, the other aim is finding a scapegoat. Inquiries can and do degenerate into that. If the families want to find what really happened, then that's what everyone wants. But if they just want a figurehead to stone publicly, as has happened several times the other way round (the British police arresting the wrong person and/or falsifying evidence), then count me out.

I'm not going to argue on the anti-British point - I'll just cite "3 sides to every story" and leave it.

War's certainly a terrible thing, but I'd draw a comparison between a scared soldier opening fire at random and a bombing campaign targetted cold-bloodedly at civilians. Hmm, guess a decent enquiry would be good, then we can see if it was a single scared soldier. I'll back that then.

Fiolar, as for your history, only one even happened this century! Come on! You may as well say that the Irish have a long history of killing each other after the Troubles of the 30s, or that the entire American army today is fundamentally evil by using No Gun Ri as an example. The fact is that every army is bad at crowd control - they're not trained to respond to aggression by backing away but by reacting with force. Ideally the Army wouldn't have been in NI in the first place, except that the Catholic-Protestant riots got out of control and the police either couldn't or wouldn't (being mainly Protestant) control them.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 05:15 PM

"a bombing campaign targetted cold-bloodedly at civilians."

For example in Belgrade or Baghdad; or at secondhand in Lebanon. All bombing campaigns are horrible, and most of the time they're bungled as well. But the suggestion that there is something about delivering the bombs by air that makes it less horrible than delivering them by hand is something I could never make sense of.

All I've heard on this tells me that what the relatives of the dead, and the survivors of the shooting, want is to have the truth brought into the open. No more lies, no more evasions, no more scapegoating

"A frightened confused young man unprepared by experience or training for the situation he found himself in." Possibly, but I'd need some convincing on that. That'd be a convenient little scapegopat. These were tough experienced troops, who'd been up against civilians before, Arab civilians in Aden.

It still could be true, though I'd say that a much more likely explanation is that they did what they were expected to do, by someone who took a decision to turn them loose. That someone might well have been at a fairly low level, probably not Ted Heath up in Downing Street, who I imagine was very irritated by the whole episode.

But the enquiry could find out the truth about all that, though its task isn't made easier by the fat that a lot of the evidence has gone missing. And maybe, in a way more important, it could identify exactly who was involved in making sure that the Widgery Report was a lying whitewash, and colluded in keeping the lid on twentieth all these years. And whatever may have been the case about the shooting itself, the cover-up was a conspiracy, and a criminal one.

Making scapegoats of the soldiers at the bottom end - that's really a waste of time. But identifying the people higher up who were involved in that conspiracy - that needs to be done. And probably won't be done.

The irony is that, as atrocities go, Bloody Sunday isn't really in the big league. So far as numbers go, or colp-blooded brutality, it hardly compares with Amritsar, or My Lai, of Tienanmen Square. Hell, out in Israel they are on the point of electing a Prime Minister who's guilty of far worse things, to replace another Prime Minister of whom the same is true.

What is special about Bloody Sunday is that it gave rise to decades of continuing war, and until and unless it can be opened up and accepted for what it was, it will continue to fester.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Greyeyes
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 05:28 PM

I've always avoided these threads, but I'm feeling brave tonight.
Big Mick, you say "Much of this has to do with what the Irish are expected to do, as opposed to the British and their loyalist allies. The Irish are expected to just let the deaths of 14 peaceful marchers go "in order to let the healing begin, after all it occurred so long ago".
Firstly as a Brit I resent the implication that we are all allied with the loyalist cause. Many of us strongly support a United Ireland, and if there were a referendum in Britain tomorrow I suspect the majority would vote for complete separation from Northern Ireland.
Secondly, what about all the convicted murderers on both sides who have now been released? Hasn't that begun the healing?
As far as investigating the truth of Bloody Sunday goes, if the politicians responsible could be traced I would happily see them strung up by their testacles, but that won't happen. A bunch of squaddies, trained and briefed for a totally different theatre will be the scapegoats, nothing will be gained.
When I was a student one of my best friends, who I'm still in close touch with, was a lad from Derry called Declan McDaid. When he found out that my Dad was a career officer in the British Army who had done 3 tours in N.Ireland in the 70's, including 2 in Derry, he told me he could remember as a small boy taking the British soldiers mugs of tea when they first came to Derry, so grateful were the Catholics for their presence.
I told him we had a copy of a Derry newspaper at home with my dad on the front page for dispersing a crowd by spraying them with purple dye. "Christ" He said, "My Dad came home one day from a march covered in purple, it must have been your Dad that sprayed him." We collapsed into each others arms laughing, then went out and got falling down drunk together. He's been to my home several times, met my Dad, we've all had a good laugh. I don't know what the moral is, perhaps if more people collapsed laughing into each others arms at the stupidity of their parents, the world would be a better place.
Bloody Sunday shames me, as do many injustices perpetrated by Britain, and the former empire, but I just can't see any good coming of further investigation.
When Trevor MacDonald, the distinguished British TV journalist, was asked to compare the situations in S.Africa and N.Ireland (he had covered both regions extensively) before the release of Mandela in S.Africa, his observation was that there was no noticeable bitterness in S.Africa, and he was confident the issues could be settled without extensive bloodshed. In N.Ireland he felt the bitterness and vitriol between the 2 sides ran so deep there could be no solution without yet more widespread violence. Perhaps we can all strive to prove him wrong.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Big Mick
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 08:42 PM

Great post, Grey Eyes. I hope you will accept my apology for a generalization. If you read the rest of my posts, you will note that I don't lump all "English" or "Brits" in one group. And I completely concur with your assertion about the feelings of most British subjects on the Northern Irish situation, though we might have a spirited discussion as to the motives. I believe that most people in your country have appropriate motives, but I also believe a large number of them are just tired of the armed conflict, and would like their young men out of there. But all in all, I agree. I would direct you, and others reading this, to the last paragraph of the same post that you quoted me from. It seems as though you chose to take me a bit out of context, but I understand nonetheless.

Lanfranc, I hate to say this, but your post bothers the hell out of me. It is the type of post that shows either a lack of desire, or lack of ability to understand the dynamic of this discussion. I have yet to see any flaming in this thread. It has been a vital, and respectful discussion of a controversial issue. In reading your post, it seemed like you didn't get anything written before, and you just don't like discussions of these things. I am sorry if I offend, but I have seen "the powers that be" use this apathy, "look the other way", tendency to advance their own agendas for years. It is only when honorable people of good intention discuss these types of issues that progress can be made. Tired of The Troubles? We all are. Get the answers and the perspectives and understanding will bloom. Agreement isn't necessary on issues, just on solutions.

All the best,

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 11:35 PM

Two part post:

Part 1 - Irish Bias (a rant)

Wise up. Big Mick. The only people who see disrupting Mass, wrecking churches etc as commemorating anything are the tiny minority of morons who actually do those things, and maybe a few brain-dead hangers on. So don't imply that it goes wider than that. And don't claim you don't generalise about Brits, when you've just been caught on, doing just that.

Stick to your (metaphorical) guns, DtG - some folk here have an unhealthily narrow view of the world. You could do like someone said, and start threads on other topics, but you won't get many takers. Thus you'll find plenty of natter about a quake in NY (really!) but mention El Salvador (as Kevin did) or Gujarat, and no-one wants to know. US bullying of Cuba, Zimbabwe plundering of Congo/Zaire,Israeli denial of Palestinians' human rights all count for nothing beside British oppression of Ireland.

Plenty catters will tell you it's crazy (as it surely is) to draw a line on the map of Europe and classify those on one side of it as German Jew-haters. But the same dear folk think nothing of ringfencing Britain and describing Brit national traits in elaborate detail - usually making noble exceptions of the Scots, the Welsh, their best friends, and anyone else they can think of.

Part 2: Pertinent thoughts on Bloody Sunday

DtG and Greyeyes, and maybe some others, are missing a crucial point when they voice unease about an inquiry. (In fairness to them, I don't think it's been well explained so far.) Widgery,in his desperate pains to exonerate the Army, concluded that the victims were armed, and consequently the cause of their own misfortune. That was a disgraceful insult to the memory of peaceful protesters. Who could complain if the record is put right at last?

Until little more than ten years ago, the arrogance of the British judiciary beggared belief, even in the face of monumental injustices.(A retired senior judge, Lord Denning, expressed regret that the Birmingham Six had not been hanged, as that would have reduced the chance of their case being reopened!) Since the late 1980s there has been a growing tendency, when faced with irrefutable argument, to admit these injustices. It is only this that makes Britain any better than police states that openly flaunt their arbitrary justice. Don't fear the inquiry Dave - nothing but good can come of it.

Keith, I'm afraid the inquiry is unlikely to conclude that Bloody Sunday was down to one frightened soldier. Interchanges between officers on the day (some taped) give the lie to that, as do dozens of eye-wwitness accounts (most just dismissed by Widgery).

Most disturbing of all, there is evidence that some of the weapons and ammo issued that day were issued specifically with the intent of "taking out" ringleaders. The present inquiry long-since notified its interest in these weapons and asked that they be kept available - soon after which, the Ministry of Defence saw fit to have all the weapons destroyed.

I might have said this before, but at the Old Bailey, the day the Guildford Four were exonerated,I met a Kurdish refugee from Turkey. I asked her why she was there,and she said that of several countries she had lived in, Britain was the first in which an injustice would ever be publicly admitted. May Britain - and all civilised democracies - go on publicly admitting every ghastly injustice, until there is no more injustice.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 11:45 PM

about the bullying at school: it has to be stopped. I have been a school counselor and I have seen it first hand and it is the duty of the staff to stop it. Probably they don't want to. Force them. mg


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Big Mick
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 12:15 AM

Fionn, I will be happy to wise up. Perhaps you could enlighten me a bit more. So apparently the news clips and reports of the marchers that do the things that I have mentioned are incorrect. Please enlighten me. With regard to your assertion about my view of Brits, I believe that I accepted the criticism, and apologized. But I did point out that to take the one sentence without the rest of the post was to take my position out of context. I believe that is the case.

I find your demeanor in that post to be arrogant and smug. I think that you are trying to bait me. Won't work. This has been a very good discussion and if it is going to descend into something else it won't be because I allow you to change it to something else.

Not sure what your problem is with me, but feel free to pm me to discuss it.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: GUEST,surfer passing by in the night
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 02:02 AM

It was a war, and it is over, thank G_d we can talk about it openly without fear of arrest.

I personaly love all of the British Isles, no political meaning intended here - since for me Britain is Pritany -

I have an old fashioned view of it, Arthur and so on. I think of it as a place of love and kindness, a place where magic has been and will again return. A place where all the pain and bad feeling can and will go away. A place where Sport is more important than war, a place where our ancestors however much they fought among themselves, created an Empire that covered one third of the Globe. It took all the people of Britain to do this 'including' Ireland.

For those who did this horrid thing, I will say this, their own souls will torment them as long as they live. In fact such a person may well yearn for an end to that kind of pain. Let them stew, dear friend, the hangmans noose would be a welcome guest.

Irish-Scot Scoti Abu!


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Brendy
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 02:03 AM

"One frightened squaddie", indeed. Is that how you classify members of the 1st Parachute Regiment?

As for Feonns' problem, Mick...don't mind him. I have met very few Scots, Welsh, Manx, or Cornish people who classify themselves as British.
British is a state of mind, not a nationality. And it's as outdated as 'Bosh', 'The Raj', and 'Rhodesia'

I told him ages ago to go play on the railway lines.

Why isn't he still there, I wonder?

B.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 04:37 AM

Good morning - nice to see you all still here - thank heavens for time differences. Well, what a lot has gone on!

First point I would like to try and address "Chasing dragons with wooden swords" has long been a favourite passtime of mine. And I have managed to kill one or two...

Second, let me show everyone what kind of 'true brit' I am -

Maternal Granfather - British, manual worker, Wounded in WW1 Maternal Grandmother - Born in Lancashire, brought up in Rhuddlan, N. Wales. Fiercly proud of her Welsh ancestry. Paternal Grandfather - Russian. Orthodox priest from the Banks of the Kuban river. Paternal Grandmother - Polish, daughter of a farmer from Bialystok

Let me see, where next, 'It is a singularly 'British' trait, especially with concern to things Irish to speak first, only to be educated after.'. Hmmmm. I guess with my other racial traits that makes me an ignorant, stupid Brit; Rugby playing, sheep-shagging Taff; Sabre-weilding, anti-semetic Cossack; Potato digging, thick Polak???

Or, Brendy, are you simply showng the typicaly Irish trait of starting drunken brawls with purposely antagonistic remarks??? Or is it wrong to make generalisations about anyone but the British???

One point I must now clarify is my earlier phrase coined from the 'on this day' site 'The less a statesman amounts to, the more he loves the flag.' In case anyone had missed the meaning - and it looks like some did - It is the same as Samuel Johnsons famous 1775 quote 'Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel'. It is aimed at both sides who, in a conflict, stand on the patriot bandwagon.

[rant on] I AM NEITHER A BRIT OR A PADDY; A LOYALIST OR UNIONIST; A PROTESTANT OR A CATHOLIC; I AM A PERSON; I AM MYSELF; I AM HUMAN; GIVE ME REASONED ARGUEMENT AND LOGIC AND I WILL RESPOND IN KIND. GIVE ME PERSONAL ABUSE AND RIDICULOUS STEREO-TYPING AND I WILL BE OFFENDED. ALL I ASK IS RESPECT. [rant off]

On a different track - Thanks Greyeyes for both the support and the sensible explanation of the enquiry. I understand more now and can make better judgements.

Finally - not entirely off thread - I went to a school open evening where I read a poem about intollerence, by my daughter, that made me cry. I will post it on a different thread. When I got home I heard on the news that just after I had past (earlier than usual I am glad to say) my route home had been closed due to a bomb threat... Go figure

All the best and still enjoying the discussion

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Brendy
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 05:25 AM

Don't drink, and it wasn't purposely antogonistic, Dave.

You were the on that started the stereotyping in the first place, remember: "...dredging it up here other than to renew the Irish hatred of the British..."

How antagonistic do you think that is?

B.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 06:30 AM

Your quite right, Brendy, I didn't see it, even at second read, but on close inspetion I did stereotype the Irish as haters of the British. I unreservedely apologise to all my Irish friends for that and will re-phrase the points from my first post -

The deaths of those people will be best commemorated by those who loved them most. It will be keenly regretted by any fair minded person. What point is served by dredging it up here other than to give the warmongers the chance to start fighting again?

Better?

Incidentaly, you claim that 'Prod', 'Papist', or 'Black' is either sectarian or rascist. I am neither'. Does this imply that the term 'Brit' is not racist??? Try explaining to someone from Pakistan that 'Paki' is just a term of endearment!

Now, will you accept that I may be 'Brit' (Noun, vulgar) in race but not 'Brit' (Noun, derog.) in demeanor? That I am guilty only of expressing myself poorly in the first place? That I believed that my real message would get through even if my inadequacy in English clouded the issue?

If so I will also accept that you were not being purposely antagonistic but merely suffering from the same malaise as I - Unsound Language Syndrome! Perhaps we can make a fortune explaining this new malady to the medical profession???

Judging by the timing of your posts I guess you are on the east side of the atlantic - if so and you ever visit Manchester call in to our club - you will be more than welcome. Especially as you don't drink (you can drive:-))

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 07:14 AM

There's a lot of mouth-foaming going on, without a lot of reference to facts. If anyone's interested, the Irish Times has been running daily reports of the current Bloody Sunday inquiry, and you can read them at:

http://www.ireland.com/special/peace/bloodysunday/


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: mkebenn
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 08:03 AM

Big Mick got to Wounded Knee before me, but still.. Seems to me that as soon as ANY nation becomes more powerfull than either a segment of it's population{Kent State}, a group of vanquished addversaries{Wounded Knee}, or an innocent contingent in a combat situation{Mai Lai} the possibility of tragedy exists. What is important is DEALING with it. I, as an American citizen, am not haunted by these things, shamed to the roots of my soul, but not haunted. Let the inquest go forward, and pray for an honest result. It's the only way to get to true healing. I am Irish on one side and English on the other, and members of my extended family have gone back and forth between the two churchs for generations. And outside of chasing warm gin with stout and an occasional urge to firebomb my own car, I'm at peace with it. Mike Bennett


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: death by whisky
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 08:09 AM

Well,I was seven when it happened.FUCKIN SCARY.Lovely childhood memory that one.Anyway,may I address everyones attention to"Mister,are you a priest" by Edward Daly. He was the priest waving a white handkerchief.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 08:44 AM

Mick, I'm sorry - I realise now that I completely overlooked your own apology and somehow scrolled straight to the following sentence. No excuse. As for the other bit, you saidthey (the Irish) are told that it is OK for this (wrecking of churches etc) to happen because it is the commemoration of a "historical event." My point was that the only people who would think such activity is OK would be the people doing it - a tiny, unrepresentative minority whose behaviour disgusts most loyalists/prods/unionists. Ask Alison. Furthermore, both sides have their extreme and unrepresentative factions.

Anyway, that's another pint of ordinary on me when you get here, which I'm still up for if you are. (Daren't extend the same offer to Brendy in case the rest of him's as big as his mouth.)

Somewhere Larry(InmOBU) said he's waiting for the day the Stalker report is published. Stalker was a lightweight, out of his depth. The Bloody Sunday report will be a massively more significant watershed - and impossible to brush aside, as it will be based on apublic inquiry. Likewise the Stevens report into RUC/Army collusion with loyalist paramilitaries. Hard to push that one under the carpet, with Stevens now the highest-ranking cop in the UK.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 08:49 AM

The sooner we get a proper international war crimes tribunal set up the better, so it can sort out the truth about these kinds of things promptly rather than wait another generation, as with Bloody Sunday, or never get done, as with My Lai, and without leaving it up to judges like Widgery to cover up on behaslf of their employers.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Big Mick
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 10:44 AM

Fionn, to there and no further. I am glad we got that out of the way, because I am going to take you up on those pints. And I understand now the point you were making on the damage to the churches. Thanks for clearing up my misunderstanding.

Kevin, I agree with you entirely. No one should ever be afraid of the truth. The sooner one can sit a fair body to get at it, the closer we will get to it. And then reconcilliation can begin.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 11:39 AM

Incidentally, can anyone remember the name of the detective who headed the original inquiry into the killing of Sam Devenny in the 1960s? Kenneth something? Head of the Flying Squad, I think. Wasn't he discredited and later vindicated, after being thrown off the inquiry?


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 12:06 PM

From the UTV website today:

Soldiers in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday were today descibed by an inquiry witness, lining up behind a low wall and firing live rounds in unison towards a crowd.

The claim was made by Irish Press photographer Colman Doyle, who told the new inquiry into events 29 years ago of two distinct volleys directed towards a rubble barricade across Londonderry's Rossville Street - where up to six of the 13 killed that day were shot.

Giving evidence at the Guildhall in Derry, he said he could not believe what he had witnessed and thought the Paratroopers must be firing over the heads of the people ahead of them.

He also told the tribunal, chaired by Lord Saville of Newdigate, he witnessed no petrol or nail bomb explosions and insisted that the only shots he heard up to that point were soldiers' rubber bullets.

However, when the first ambulance arrived at the scene - generally thought to have been after Paratroopers in the Bogside district stopped firing - he claimed he heard three single rifle shots.

Mr Doyle photographed some of the mayhem when soldiers entered the Bogside - then a no-go area for troops - on what was supposed to be a mission to arrest rioters on the fringes of a big anti-internment demonstration taking place there that day.

(and so on)

Another interesting website is the actual site for the inquiry itself:

http://www.bloody-sunday-inquiry.org.uk


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: InOBU
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 07:08 PM

Gee, there has been a lot of water under the bridge since I droped in on this...
Fionn! You will find that the "Earthquake in New York" post is actualy not about the earthquake, but is about trying to get New Yorkers to get out and hear traditional music... and was posted by a Mudcatter who recieved death threats in lawschool for writing an article about the murder of Victor Hara, which was a denfence of Cuba against the blockade (if Castro droped his guard he'd get what Allende got...) As to the Stalker report, John Stalker may well have been a lightwieght, however, the British government was so frightened of what he had to say that not only did they attempt to personaly discredit him (for Mudcatters who don't know anything about him, I realise many in England will) But they also refused a direct request by an American court in an extradition trial to see the Staulker report.
I don't take away from the importance of the events of Bloody Sunday to say it was one of many outrages in the history of the northern counties of Ireland, such as the day the police in Derry rioted and trashed the Bogside.
Now on a personal note, Brendy and Fionn, let's start the process of truth and reconcilliation by having an on line vertual handshake. In remembering that we can get further down the road to understanding when we dissagree about the most terrible things in a spirit of mutual respect, we can also remember that the Catholic cathedral in Belfast was built with major help from the Protestant community. So, a big virtual round on me...
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 07:32 PM

JTT - it was a fella called John Stalker, who was Deputy Chief Contsbale of Greater Manchester. What a name for a policeman. Anyway, he was getting too close to the truth, obver in Nirthern Irekland, so he got framed by his colleagues for associaiting with someone who was framed and jailed for corruption - and later cleared.

His career as a policeman was wrecked, but he's highly regarded. Here's a page about him, but it doesn't mention much about the Northern Ieland business, because it's meant to get him bookings as an after-dinner speaker, and I suppose a whiff of controversy might get in the way there.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 07:33 PM

JTT - it was a fella called John Stalker, who was Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester. (What a name for a policeman!) Anyway, he was getting too close to the truth, over in Northern Irekland, so he got framed by his colleagues for associating with someone who was himself framed and jailed for corruption - and later cleared.

His career as a policeman was wrecked, but he's highly regarded. Here's a page about him, but it doesn't mention much about the Northern Ieland business, because it's meant to get him bookings as an after-dinner speaker, and I suppose a whiff of controversy might get in the way there.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Brendy
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 12:23 AM

The Unsound Language Syndrome...That's good!
We can use that in another episode, perhaps

No, but, really. The term 'Brit' is not a rascist remark. Well, not as I mean it. As there is no definate nationality being attacked, by definition, it can't be a rascist remark. 'Paddy', 'Paki', and the like, on the other hand do specify a nationality, and I would never utter such irreverences.
Being 'British' is a totally different ball game, altogether, and harks back to more halcyon times when Britannia did indeed rule the waves.

English people are fine. To me a person is a person, no matter where he/she's from.
As they say 'It's not where you're from - it's who you are'.

But it is a singular trait of the 'British', i.e. the harker backers to to the 'Green and Pleasant Land' ethos, to be anti - ...anything that they can't control, whether it be the 'Irish problem', the 'Darkie problem', or simply not reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2000.

That is the 'true brit' spirit that I referred to earlier. I didn't think I needed to explain my usage of it, as I thought it was the most obvious of all stereotypes. I did put the term in bold type, at the start, but since nearly everything else is in bold, also, (forgetting closing brackets, etc - but thankfully not spelling, as I'm sure Fionn would have been quick to point out), I can see where my usage of the term could have caused confusion. I did use parentheses in any other usage. Didn't I Fionn?

Modern Ireland is a product of English foreign policy, which at once was territorial and expansionist. It is from this 'British Empire' that this 'British' pseudo-nationality sprang.

I at least have the cop-on to know the difference between the two.
And it saves me much un-necessary blanket hatred of everyone living within England's borders, relieving the general population, I'm sure, as they acquiesce in the knowledge that there's one less Irishman to worry about.

I don't hate anyone, and I doubt you'll find too many Irish people who un-reservedly hate the English, neither.
But you do get those English people who un-reservedly hate the Irish, and get in our faces about it all the time, and point their little sharp arrows into a few things that some of us hold dear, and provoke that drunken brawl that you so vividly painted for us, Dave.
And they call themselves 'British'

That's 'The Empire Syndrome', Dave, and in a way it is not the fault of your average English person that this state of affairs exists.
Everybody is subject to propaganda, whether it be from what brand of coffee you think you prefer, to what is decided is good for England at any given time.

I find it too simple an argument to say that England started this mess, with the Plantation of Ulster. But to ignore the fact, is to blind yourself to more than half the argument.

Were 'British', or indeed, English people subject to the rule of of a tyrannical master, I doubt they (as a people) would have acted any different from what you would call the 'atrocities' of the IRA.

We would have soon found out if the D-Day landings hadn't had succeeded.

Call us drunken brawlers, if you will, but that's only more of the same propaganda that has been fed into you since you were old enough not to know how public opinion is manipulated. The ones who upturn the empty whiskey glass on the bar counter, are not the Irish, despite what you've been told to believe.

You're a journalist, Fionn (I'm almost certain you are, anyway), you know the score (though you let on, sometimes, that you don't).

When you (as a people) get rid of this 'British' thing; this stereotyping, this dragon-with-wooden-swords-hunting, and this insistence on ultimate superiority, I think everything would just be hunky-dory.

Generally speaking, all this extraneous bullshit set aside, we would be fairly good neighbours, as countries go, I would think.

But the British have to end that war, first.

On a lighter note:

I changed planes at Manchester Airport, recently, on my way to Belfast City, Dave.
I cleared customs there.
After having shown my Irish passport to the official, I wended my merry way to 'The Causeway Lounge'.
Interesting place!

Anyway. There were two Special Branch men at a wee desk, and they sprang to attention when they saw me coming down the stairs.

"Good morning Sir" (I love the way they say that!)
"Detective Constable" I said with a deferential nod
"And what is the purpose of your visit?", he asked
"Purpose?", I said, "Purpose? What purpose do I need? It is my island. And I intend to travel it's length and breadth, and drink once again from its' cultured cup, so long since denied us. And me, only a child when it happened, too!."
"And how do you propose to pay for this piss-up of yours, ven?", he countered.
"Not a drop, Sergeant, not a drop. But I do have the old gold VISA to pay for the Hertz rental, and in case I have to find a decent Radisson in a hurry". I detected a momentary hesitation, there, and so I went on, "Will there be anything else?"
"Eh..eh. No, that's...that's fine." And, then, composure once again intact, he said something like, "Right, then, all the best"

But as I walked on through to the departure lounge, images were flodding my mind of yer man frantically ringing up his superiors wondering if there was such a beast as a Radisson 9mm!

LOL

(I'm an awful bastard, aren't I?)

B.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 01:36 AM

Jazus, Brendy, but didn't I just laugh me ragged old arse off at the tellin' (It's always in the tellin' now, isn't it?) of that wee story? Funny as hell, and I could see the looks on their gobs as you told it.

Larry, as I read back through the posts, I see a pretty good thread, wouldn't you agree. A little aggravation here and there to give it spice, but none of the stupid bullshit that usually jumps in to these discussion. For the most part anyway. All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 02:28 AM

No, no, not Stalker. Different inquiry. This was an inquiry into the death of Sam Devenny - do a websearch on his name if you don't remember the details.

Like the Stalker biz, this cop was also dismissed over some supposed scandal, which was again found later to be quite innocent.

But I can't remember the man's name for the life of me.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Brendy
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 02:57 AM

Is it Sir Arthur Young, by any chance, JTT?

B.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Brendy
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 03:00 AM

A bit about him...and The Hunt Report

B.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Brendy
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 03:03 AM

And last, but not least, The Hunt Report itself. Courtesy of the CAIN website.

Happy reading!

B.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Brendy
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 03:08 AM

Ah, what the heck. Why stop now?

Heeeerrrre's Scarman!!!

B.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 06:28 AM

No, not Arthur Young. This was a cop brought in purely to investigate Devenney's beating to death.

Young was the head of the RUC.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 06:29 AM

Larry, Stalker didn't have enough clout for the task. Hermon ran rings round him. Stalker was also handicapped by a boss back in Manchester who was near as damn it mad, and an unhealthy obsession in the Greater Manchester Police with the moors murders (Brady/Hindley) - an incredibly high-profile case in the UK that stirred up professional jealousies and poisoned working relationships.

And the fact is that Stalker did fraternise with a local businessman who was under police investigation from before Stalker was assigned to the shoot-to-kill inquiry. A bad call by Stalker. I think the businessman was Kevin Taylor - I didn't know he was ever "cleared," Kevin McGrath? The BBC reporter Peter Taylor got as near the truth as anyone, and concluded that the GMP had had legitimate reason to investigate Taylor and that this pre-dated the Stalker inquiry in Belfast. Stalker simply had a skeleton in his cupboard, and it played into the hands of those who wanted to shut him up.

If there were similar skeletons in Stevens' cupboard, I think they'd have been found by now. He has been promoted into the top police job in Britain during the course of his inquiry, and I don't think there's a snowball's chance in hell of him being discredited by those who don't like the report when it comes out. The fact that files in his office (at Carrickfergus RUC barracks) were lost in a mysterious fire would suggest he is getting near the truth. One of his stunts, incidentally, was a dawn raid on Army HQ at Lisburn.

Anyway it was pretty obvious the RUC was shooting first, asking questions later, whether Stalker got to say so or not. What Stevens is on to is systematic collusion by police, Army and other intelligence services, with out-and-out thugs of one particular persuasion - which went as far as setting up the cynical murders of entirely innocent people, just to take the heat off one of their agents. I reckon the Stevens report will be as interesting as anything we've seen yet.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Grab
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 07:52 AM

OK Brendy, sorry if I/we took on a bit over the "true Brit" thing. Always the problem in text - you don't get inflection and stuff. Nice story BTW! :-)

There are surely some English ppl who do unreservedly hate the Irish - however, they'll likely be the same who unreservedly hate everyone: blacks, Indians, Pakistanis, Chinese, other football clubs, etc. Luckily those aren't the majority! The worrying thing for those of us over here is that the more militant members of the Protestant and Catholic communities do seem to have political power and are thought of as leaders of their communities - whether this is a misconception, I don't know.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: InOBU
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 08:11 AM

Hi Fionn: I hope folks don't think I mean realease ONLY the Stalker report! I must say that often, even the realise of files and reports so long held by the government ... well I can't say I trust the chain of evidence. The released Kennedy assasination files I don't think, were complete. But, we have to start the process of throwing light on this somewhere. As to the moor murders... I remember them well. My wife, the year before we got together spent the summer, unwittingly hitchhikeing in Manchester, right at the hight of those times. One fellow who picked her up, told her all about the dangers of hitchhiking in light of the unaprehended murderer, so of course, wee Genie is scared to death that the fellow driving her, is the culprit, So, she immediatly takes the next bus to Cornwall.
Yup, Mick, this is our usual in depth conversation, and I wish more folks were on Mudcat, as I am convinced this kind of examination by the people is the process of truth and reconcilliation.
Best to all,
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Fiolar
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 09:47 AM

Just wonder how Frank Black and the Catholics who will be playing at various venues in England later this month would do in the North?


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: GUEST,Bun
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 12:00 PM

the majotiry of my family - both father and mother are irish. Fathers side come from southern Ireland, mothers from the north.
I love the Irish - both north and south...BUT!!!
I have never met a more bigotted people in all my life. Not only do the north hate the south and vice versa, they hate pakistanis, indians "brits" and the people who come from the next village!
I have also been in involved in one of their protests and lost two friends,three relatives and gained several scars, its notBLOODY WORTH IT
bun


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Fiolar
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 12:50 PM

The evidence of the tourist trade to Ireland doesn't seem to bear your comments out. If Irish people are so bigoted, why do many tourists visit year after year. I'll always remember one comedian's favourite phrases was, "I'm not bigoted, I hate everybody."


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 01:15 PM

I have never met a more bigotted people in all my life. Not only do the north hate the south and vice versa, they hate pakistanis, indians "brits" and the people who come from the next village! Myself, I've never in m y life met "a people", and I never expect to. Generalisations like that Bun, are crap and I'm sure you know it.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 01:27 PM

Watch it at airports, Brendy - My mate Martin was stopped on his way into Australia for looking like a hippy and carrying a guitar case

Usual 'purpose of visit', 'what's in the case' type stuff followed by

"Do you have a criminal record?"

"Din't know you still bloody needed one..." countered Martin

2.5 hours and a fll body search later....

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Brendy
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 03:31 AM

"There are surely some English ppl who do unreservedly hate the Irish - however, they'll likely be the same who unreservedly hate everyone: blacks, Indians, Pakistanis, Chinese, other football clubs, etc. Luckily those aren't the majority!"

They may not be in the majority, Grab, but such people have a tendency to actively seek out careers that affords them the opportunity to indulge in their favourite pastime.

And you can take it from me, that the vast majority of the British Army, the UDR, and the RUC, that I came into contact with enjoyed their work immensely.

In every newspaper I pick up, these days, there is always something about the growing rise in Neo-Naziism.

I find nothing new in these stories. My experience of it has been at the hands of organised Government, and its' all too willing foot-soldiers.

They may not be in the majority, but they're there where it matters.

B.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Snuffy
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 06:57 PM

But not just in the UK, Brendy, they're everywhere.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Brendy
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 06:20 AM

Which is precisely why we need this inquiry, and others like it, Snuffy, so as to find out where these people are, and try to ensure that this kind of thing must not be allowed to happen again.

An awakening is needed. Not just to provide the bereaved of the Bloody Sunday massacre with some basic answers, but to document the antics of the 'Dirty Tricks Brigade' in general, which in turn, will knock away any preconceptions one might have about 'frightened soldiers', 'wet triggers', and what one's descision-makers think are acceptable rules of engagement in their "Defence of the Realm".

B.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: GUEST,Keith at work
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 07:25 AM

It's not a misconception that soldiers can be frightened. They really can. And confused. And they make mistakes because soldiers are human too. There really are young inexperienced soldiers even in 1 Para. One of the paras in action in Sierra Leone last year was just out of basic training without even his parachute training.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 08:03 AM

I hear you Keith, but I'd be truly amazed if that has anything to do with what happened on Bloody Sunday. I was there, and my first theory at the time was that some squaddies heard the sound of a low-flying helicopter, wafting between buildings, mistook it for automatic weapons, (which it could cetainly sound like) and consequently opened fire. I just couldn't comprehend that even the paras would open up on an obviously peaceful demo. Everything I have heard since then, including the eye-witness accounts of soldiers that have been broadcast, makes my theory laughably naive.

I think you might have been surprised at how un-fazed soldiers were, even in incredibly tense situations, bearing in mind, as you say, that some were very young. It was as if their training had brainwashed them into responding like automatons when pointed at the enemy, and on Bloody Sunday the demo was the enemy. You have to remember that some on duty that day would have taken part in house searches (the usual retaliation if a soldier got shot - and in Belfast it could be hundreds of searches in one night). Each search trashed a house - typically at four in the morning. Floorboards came up, loos were moved, mattresses torn,and the coup de grace would be to piss on the beds - all done methodically amid a din of hysterical screaming. The occupants would then sign a form listing damage, and several months later they usually got cheques. It may seem a big leap from one situation to the other, but I believe that soldiers who could behave like that in homes full of kids, old folk etc, would be fazed by very little.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: GUEST,Fionn (in Co Down)
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 08:04 AM

That was me - my cookie seems to have gone AWOL.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Grab
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 08:46 AM

And the "Dirty Tricks Brigade" in defence of the Republicans, Brendy? Gunmen giving families an hour to leave their home or be killed. "Punishment beatings". Financing itself through drug-dealing and protection rackets. The IRA is STILL doing these, even after the ceasefire. The ceasefire has just said they'll stop bombing and shooting, not that they'll stop using violence as a tool to further their aims, and criminal activities to finance them.

I'm not saying the British Army is anywhere near perfect, or that their commanders are, or that the politicians are, or trying to justify anything. My point is just that if anyone's going to sit in judgement, we need the same standards applying to all sides: IRA, UVF, RUC and Army. The attitude of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness is that they've given up violence and that's enough. I'm quite prepared to accept that, and I'll respect them for seeing that ppl should be free to choose their leaders in the ballot box, not through intimidation by the gun and bomb (or the Army and police, if it comes to that). But if they then say that the Army's actions during that time demand investigation of the leadership, whilst the IRA under their command killed hundreds over the same period but they are held blameless, then I'd call that hypocrisy.

Basically, the awakening needs to be bilateral. If the British Army accepts that it can't behave that way, will the IRA give up the gun, bomb, baseball bat, drugs and protection rackets for good? I'm not sure it can. If Gerry Adams launches a war on organised crime in the IRA, I'll have a lot more respect for him. Trouble is though Brendy, you did sum it up in saying that ppl who like power get to places of power. That means that the thugs and organised criminals are the ones in positions of power in both paramilitary organisations, so he'd never be able to swing it. Trimble's miniscule attempts at reform got him sat on quite comprehensively, so what chance do you think any more wholesale internal reforms of the paramilitaries have? If the Army left, would both sides stop fighting, or would the 60s Catholic-Protestant thing start all over again as a drugs turf war?

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: GUEST,Keith at work
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 12:03 PM

Thanks Fionn I had missed that you were there.
Did you see soldiers shooting? My understanding was that one Private soldier fired most of the rounds. What was your impression ?


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 01:26 PM

Armies are supposed to behave better than "terrorists". They don't, but that is the theory, and that is the propaganda line that is passed out to the public day-in day-out.

Until, that is, it becomes crystal-clear that an army has in fact itself been involved in terrorism - and at that point the line shifts, and the argument is that it's unreasonable to expect the agents of the state to comply with the law, because their opponents don't.

The thing is, when a state crosses over the line and itself adopts terrorist tactics, it does so with a level of resources that is vastly greater than their opponents. That makes it especially important to identify whether terrorism is the outcome of indiscipline at a relatively low level, or policy at a higher level.

What complicates it is that typically cover-ups are carried out at a relatively high level - and the typical end-story we are expected to believe is that though the cover-up was at a high level, it was to mask a breakdown in discipline at a low level.

In this case we can expect to be left with a finding that it was all down to a few low-level perpetrators, who won't be named, who acted in an indisciplined manner of their own accord, and a dead judge who can't say who gave him his orders to arrange a cover-up.

Meanwhile in Israel a war criminal with direct responsibility for appalling atrocities far worse than Bloody Sunday has probably been elected Prime minister.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 06:56 PM

Good last post Kevin. Armmies will always be as bad as, or worse than, those they're fighting - it's bred into them. If an elected government decides to deploy its army to police a demo, it has a responsibility to hold that army accountable, otherwise we might as well have a police state.

It's not realistic expecting paramilitary factions to uphold similar standards, Grab, which is one reason why I tend to favour lumping them all together as "criminal" rather than "political". (I'm talking about in a democracy, however badly flawed that democracy might be.) The IRA were not there when there was arguably a case that they should have been. And in my view all the subsequent steps towards a fair resolution of the problems would have been achieved without them, through peaceful protest.

Keith, I was with the demo, not the army, that day. I saw no shots fired - just people who had been shot. They and their friends and relatives were obviously neither freedom fighters nor terrorists. Everyone around me said the firing came from the city walls, but the way sounds reflect, and in the real confusion and terror that takes over, I didn't have a clue what was happening - except that the noise definitely didn't all come from one gun. I am equally certain that if I'd been killed, Widgery would have said I had been carrying a gun.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: GUEST,Keith
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 03:19 AM

Fionn, insensitive of me to ask .Sorry. And thanks for your wise words.
Best wishes, Keith.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: InOBU
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 12:02 PM

Hi Kev. Great post. In fact all war is a criminal undertaking, and we get lost in arguing who should ask for peace first. As many know, I have argued for nuetral concepts of human rights and right and wrong to be applied, which often opens me up to charges of being partisan... however, to put some perspecitive on things, the present Provisional IRA would presnetly have much more trouble in American courts if in fact, as has been charged, they are responcible for the death of O'Connor. Some of us, here in New York have been joining with a few voices in Ireland to call for an international inquest, as peace should not come at the cost of human rights. Not that peace should be endangered, but I don't believe it is a trade between one thing or the other. In every one of England's colonies, in the aftermath of wars of independance, there has been terrible bloodshed over the divisions wars create.
I hope that Irish and English citizens and subjects are in the forfront of calling for unilateral peaceful avenues of change. I think that in order to defuse the violence of the situation, there has to be an end to cover up and silence. The AIDS slogan, silence=death is apropriate here. One has to tuen light on all the issues, talk, bang heads together, because if that does not happen, the feeling of dismpowerment leads to violence.
I also don't say this in a vacume. In New York we are trying men who blew up our embassys in Africa. If the United Sates citizenry were more aware and responcive to the hardships we casue around the globe, we would be alot safer. But, we don't talk about the issues and folks die.
Oh my, well, back to singing about it...
All the best to all,
Yours, In One Big Union
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: InOBU
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 12:22 PM

I never miss an opportunity to share the words of my friend Bernadette McAliskey on important issues. With your indulgence, I post her observations on the peace process, which has come into this disscussion...
Bernadette McAliskey spoke at a local Irish Pub, Rocky Sullivan's on May 3, 2000 about the British "peace process".

Bernadette Devlin McAliskey:"A great deal has been written about the peace process and I've not written a lot, but what I've written I think has mattered and you can read it if you like. For where the peace process is, indeed what the peace process is, very much depends on yourselves and where you are.

Some people think the peace process is the successful culmination of the 30-year struggle for self-determination, sovereignty, social justice, equality-nevermind socialism and all the hard bits-and that we are looking within the peace process at the culmination of the success, at the just achievements, won again through hard struggle and sacrifice.

Other people, and here I'm talking about people on our side of the line if you want to put that at its broadest point, other people within the broad civil rights, civil libertarian, progressive democratic movement will say that the peace process is the worst thing that has happened to us since we lost the 1798 Rebellion. Others would say, well not quite, but certainly since we lost the War of Independence; and others would say, well maybe not quite, but certainly since we lost the Civil War.

So where you are in the peace process, as I say, is really a test of where your own politics lies. And that makes it quite different and quite difficult for people to address the whole process, because what ought to be an ideological, a political or even a pragmatic debate becomes very much a personalized debate. And those of us who have right from the outset warned against the dangers of embarking on this particular strategy to bring the war to an end have been on the receiving end of considerable personal animosity-based, I think, on people not being quite sure of themselves about the nature of the political debate. So I'm going to talk about things tonight and I'll be taking some questions and answers later. I would like to exclude as much as possible that kind of approach from the discussion.

I don't think anybody involved in the struggle over the past 30 years has set about consciously to betray the struggle. I don't think anybody who has been part of the struggle for over 30 years is about to trade in a good set of clothes and annual wage for their principles. I don't think that's where it is at all. I think the real issue is about the process itself. The real issue is to try and analyse and understand what exactly is happening here and whose peace it is we are currently processing. And if you look at it from that point of view, I think some very serious questions have to be asked.

At the minute, within the peace process, we're sort of at a point where the key issues appear to be things like 'decommissioning'. Decommissioning is very interesting because prior to the existence of the peace process, the word itself did not exist. Not even the process, not even the strategy, but the word did not exist. Decommissioning, like a whole lot of words, are themselves the product of the Irish peace process. There used to be commissioning, like you could be a commissioned officer in an army or you could commission services-but you either did or you didn't. So the opposite of commissioning was not to bother. You didn't actually commission and then decommission. If you commissioned something and then decided not to commission, it wasn't decommissioning, it was changing your mind and deciding not to commission after all. So when we talk about the IRA decommissioning, we're really talking about whether other people are changing their minds about whether they will commission the IRA or not. When you see it like that, you say,

'Look what has this got to do with any kind of realism?'

Decommissioning is not a real word; decommissioning is not a real concept; and, decommissioning is not a real issue.

But at the minute, people get bogged down in it because it has been a consistent pattern from the beginning of this whole process to create a situation for the simple purpose of diffusing it.

And many people, if they can move outside the complexities of the Irish situation will understand this better from the concept of their own lives. How many people, for example, have been told in their working lives, that things aren't going well, the workers will have to take a wage cut. And everybody gets ready to seek, and wish they had joined a union, and wonder how they could get into one quick, and start to worry about their wages getting cut. Now at somewhere in their heads they had been just about to ask for a wage rise; but before they got time to ask for it, the employers came along and

announced that it was going to be necessary to have a wage cut. There is a whole battle which ensues. The union leadership gets everybody to join and declares a victory-that in order to maintain the solidarity of the workforce and the recognition of the work that everybody has done, everybody's wages are going to remain static for the next three years. And, everybody thinks they have won because they haven't had their wages cut. And, everybody forgets that the discussion actually started with people being entitled to more money.

If you're merely a consumer and you've gone into the shops to buy things, the same policy works-people will tell you the cost of food is going to rise dramatically. You want to rent an apartment; rents are going to go up dramatically. And, when it doesn't happen, you think you have won something-even though they go up a bit. The whole peace process has worked on the same basis.

The unionists say hell will freeze over before we share power with the republicans. Now I don't recall any fundamental tenet of republicanism ever being that we would assist the unionists in sharing out British controlled power. It was never a part of the discussion, but somehow because the unionists said, they got the first blow in, they said, oh not till hell freezes over will we allow the republicans to assist us to administer British rule. Oh no we wont. Oh never, said Mr Paisley, never never never! And the republicans said, Oh yes you will. And so we had the 'Oh no we wont-Oh yes you will' debate which led to a republican 'victory'.

The republicans won the right to assist the British government in administering British rule and sharing British power with the unionists-or as much as the British would allow either of them to have. And so when we lost, we thought we had won.

And then having got the principle over, and if you go back to the beginning you'll remember it, it was John Major, who with a straight face in Parliament, said talking to Gerry Adams would make his stomach heave. His stomach had been heaving for 6 stricken years, because that's how long he'd been in discussions with the republican movement! But he said publicly that his stomach would heave if he had to talk to Gerry Adams and everybody got upset. Decent American people got upset too, and said how dare you be so rude and so racist and say that you wouldn't talk to Gerry Adams. So the republicans demanded, and the democrats demanded, that John Major talk to Gerry Adams. But of course he'd been doing it for 6 years. Now if that hadn't happened, we may all have taken a different point of view when we discovered that Gerry Adams was talking to John Major. But by the time we discovered it, we were on a whole different debate-we were on the 'right to be talked at'. As part of our human rights now, we have a right to be talked at! We have a right to be sitting at every meeting and allowed to put an opinion on every issue, none of which will be taken into account. But it is our basic human right to be there.

We all have a right-there is not a single party to be held in Washington, not a cupcake to be eaten, not an invitation to be sent out-that we have a fundamental freedom, and human rights under the United Nations Charter of Human Rights, to an invitation. And we have secured victory, because we got those things. And bit by bit, people have convinced themselves that we have won major victories.

Step back a minute and ask ourselves: what this was, what it was all about? I mean, if all we wanted was to help the unionists share power in the Northern Ireland Assembly, why didn't we democratize Ulster when Cathal Goulding asked us to? They were all there, this is not a new idea (and Cathal Goulding had better politics, if you don't mind me saying so, when he was attempting to share power!) But if that's what we wanted to do, why didn't we do it before 30 years of conflict and dying and killing and going to prison all happened? Why didn't we do it then? If that was all that we wanted-was to share power with Fianna Fáil in the South of Ireland, what was the difference between sharing the power now, Fianna Fáil now, and sharing power with Cumann na nGaedheal then? What did we fight the Civil War for, if we were prepared to administer shared power in a partitioned state within the social order imposed upon us by the British government?

So never mind what did we fight this war for, what did we fight the Civil War for? Why didn't we listen to poor old Michael Collins? Because we're not saying anything different than he said then. The freedom to win freedom, the freedom to work for freedom.

And I don't have a difficulty about people saying, 'Time goes on Bernadette, and we get older, and we get wiser, and we realize that maybe that's what we should have done'. I have absolutely no problem with that. I think that's inherent in everybody's right to say if I had it to do again, I might have done it differently. Maybe in retrospect, looking at the way things happened and looking at the forces of power that developed, maybe we should have gone down the 'democratization of Ulster' road in the early '70s. Maybe if we're in a position now, where if we really want to, at any cost, take the SDLP's clothing and be the biggest social democratic and vaguely Catholic party in the North of Ireland. Why didn't we do that in '72? In fact, why didn't everybody just join the SDLP and elbow John Hume aside years ago?

If people want to say to me, that is maybe in retrospect what we should have done, that's fair enough. What worries me is when people say no no, that's not what we're saying, what we are saying is that this is fundamentally different-ideologically, socially, politically and economically different-this is victory, this is victory for republicanism. And I have to say, right, let's go back to that very bottom point because republicanism itself is not a flawless ideology. Republicanism comes of the days of Thomas Paine and republicanism itself is being revised as we go along.

When we were coming in, just as an aside, when we were coming in to JFK, probably those of you who live here don't notice it anymore but the beginning of the American Constitution is written along the wall, and as you're going along the walkway, you can read it you know. And my husband, Michael, was suggesting, since this was his first time in through that airport, he was suggesting that of all the ideas that we get from America these days, we ought to incorporate this one so when people arrive in Northern Ireland, the Special Powers Act should be written along the wall!

So people would know where they were coming. And it would say, 'Welcome to Northern Ireland. Police may enter your house at any time, they may come and take you away. Aye, you can be interned, you will not get a lawyer. You can be shot in the street. We run a shoot-to-kill policy here. Don't send for a lawyer, we shoot them too,' and incorporate that good American idea!

But looking along, as I was looking at it, there are things we forget about flaws in republicanism itself. The words in the American constitution are actually very beautiful about equal rights and the rights of people to secure their person, and the fundamental freedoms, and the right of citizens to bear arms, and all this was written against a background of slavery. All of this was written against the background where key elements of our society got left off the equality equations. And, republicanism as a concept has moved on in it's best form to recognize those weaknesses, and then as far as it can to incorporate equality for all citizens, for all human beings. And that kind of republicanism over the years has become socialist republicanism. And republicanism in crisis has only one of two ways to go. In crisis, republicanism as a democratic ideology will move towards socialism and equality or it will move towards nationalism.

And, when republicanism is forced to move, either left or even right, the reality of our history is that Sinn Féin as an organization has never moved any way but right.

James Connolly was not a member of Sinn Féin, ladies and gentlemen, and Sinn Féin at a crucial point in their existence took their politics back into the constitutional movement. So don't be too hard on Gerry Adams; he's going the way of his forefathers. Every last one of them in the leadership of the organization went that way. And every last one of them, within the leadership of labor movement as well, can have that path laid out in front of them. I can see as clearly as they must be able to see, as anybody who wants to look at it outside of issues like trust and loyalty and pragmatism and personalities, that this is not about good men or bad men or difficult women. This is about politics.

And right through the history of our country at moments of clear crisis, the republican ideology has been submerged. The republican ideology has been abandoned for constitutional, nationalist all-class alliances.

Every single time that this new alliance has been created, the people who have suffered have been the poor in Ireland. The dissidents in Ireland. The radicals in Ireland. The women in Ireland. And at every single point, this kind of politics has been bad for the people who have always mattered to us-bad for the people that mattered to the leadership of Sinn Féin, and bad for republican politics-bad for republicanism.

You would imagine that people would approach this with due caution and care and be very very careful not to fall for any of the tricks of the trade that have been pulled out in the past. And yet that hasn't happened. The people have not staggered, they have virtually stampeded towards pacification.

Everybody knows the war is over. And that's probably the only good thing we have going for us at this point is that the war is over. Nobody likes war and nobody wants war. The war came and the war is now over, but the war is not won. And time will tell, in the fullness of time whether or not the war was actually lost. But the war is over-win, lose or draw.

The struggle continues and the struggle is immeasurably weakened by the peace process. Immeasurably weakened. When the Downing Street Declaration was first written, I wrote a small piece in response to it, and I said the purpose of the Downing Street Declaration and the peace process which it created was to demobilize, demilitarize and demoralize the republican people of Ireland-and it has done all three.

At this point, people will say to you, 'Is the peace process stalling?' No, it is not. The peace process is exactly where it is; it is exactly where those who are controlling it want it to be. It is not stalling. There is no panic here. This is just part of the choreography that has taken place. It will go on whether the IRA part with a single bullet, part with a single Armalite, part with a single ounce of Semtex-wont make any difference, the peace process will go on and Sinn Féin will continue to be drawn further and further into it. And they are now so far into it, it is highly unlikely a) that they can be got out of it and b) that even if they got out of it, its unwavering movement forward to advance the shared power interest of the British and Irish governments, and the class of people they represent, can't in the short or relatively long term, be stopped, or even be slowed down.

How do I know the peace process will continue? It is important to the Irish government that it continue. Not because their heart bleeds for me or you, for the people who went to prison-these are the same class of people who executed Joe McKelvey. This is the same class and government of people that took republicans out during the war and shot them. This is the government, the ideology and the politics that filled New York and Chicago and San Francisco with the political dissidents it wouldn't allow to earn a living at home, and with wave after wave of immigrants it wouldn't share wealth with. And now those who have made their money are invited home to join the wealthy. But let me tell you this, you see if you're not hacking it here folks, don't count on Bertie pulling you out when you get home! It will be up to Darndale, along with the rest, is where you'll be and learn to pull your socks up. These things aren't different.

So why is Bertie stuck to enacting the peace process? It gives him a stable society. It brings all the strands of nationalism back under his leadership. What is the big discussion in the revolutionary leadership of the most consistently fought struggle against British imperialism in the history of Ireland? What is the key internal debate in the organization at the minute? On what terms will they sit in government with Fianna Fáil? I have the simple answer to that for them all: Don't lose any sleep over it boys, it'll be on the terms that Bertie lets you in! That's the terms you'll sit with Bertie-on the terms he lets you in. And the terms he lets you in are that you sit in power in the North first, that you go through the cleansing ritual and be a safe pair of hands for government. And that means, whether you like it or not, there'll be less talk about socialism, unless its me that's doing the talking, there is no talk about socialism anyway. And unless you're buying Fourthwrite (second issue which will be out very shortly) there's nobody writing about socialism.

But what does it mean for the people? What does it mean for the people on the ground, apart from that the fact the war is over and that there are maybe less soldiers on the street that can be brought out. That maybe fewer people are being killed by loyalists because its not politically suitable. But there is nothing in place to stop those things from all coming back again, if and when we need to be threatened. So all that we have at the minute is the absence of war and the existence of large amounts of European money.

So what do the British get out of the peace process? The de-militarization, the de-radicalization, the de-mobilization of the resistance movement in the North. It is demoralized. The most radical thing it can do now is vote to increase the Nationalist agenda by moving 1) Sinn Féin, 2) SDLP-as if we were all mates out of the same stable or 1) SDLP and 2) Sinn Féin because there are no differences, no ideological differences between these people any more, because there's no war.

So what did the British get?

The British got, as I say, stabilizing, demilitarizing, mobilizing and caught in the expenditure of war. That has great feedback in inward American investment, which is what the Americans got as well. They got rid of the annoying and irritating insistence constitutionally by the people of Ireland that the territory didn't belong to them. It's gone.

Now we used to have these debates about whether or not you would go to the United Nations on the basis of the Constitution. That debate is no longer valid because of people of the South of Ireland, while Sinn Féin kept its mouth shut, dropped a right that they didn't even own! And, that was a right to abandon the North-but it's gone.

So if the peace process falls apart and the North's teachta go with it, and the ministerial North-South-East-West Council of something or other goes with it, and we have to go back to the drawing board, by what right is Bertie Ahern at the table? By what right, if this agreement goes by the board, and it's back to the drawing board and start again, and all the interested parties who have a right to determine the future of the North of Ireland are called to another conference? What will be on the invitation to the government of the 26-county Republic of Ireland? What will distinguish them from the French government or the German government or any other member state of the European Union to come in and mind somebody else's business? They have no standing if this agreement falls to play ball in the next round.

So Britain got pacification, got a stable society, got rid of the annoying interference such as it was or potential interference from the South. It doesn't actually have to put up with unionist rule because it may never happen. The British don't care if it doesn't happen. The place is actually cheaper to run the way it is now. Pay the secretary of state, pay the civil service. It would be a bonus if you could get somebody else to take the blame for political and social and economic weaknesses of the country. But it's not necessary. The British can run the country very easily. So it doesn't matter if the peace process doesn't move another inch, it actually doesn't matter-the British are in a better position than they were in before they started it.

Now as I say, the Irish government from our point of view is in a worse position because we don't have the constitutional position on which to push the government into constitutional action, into non-violent, political international action. We don't have it. But they may not want it-the Irish government to be able to get up the next time around and say, 'Look I'm very sorry, it's not our fault. The people voted.' And so they did; it's the people's fault, and ignorance is no defense, and stupidity is less. The people voted to abandon the North, and it remains abandoned. Now the people have to vote in a referendum to change it; but, the government has to hold the referendum first. Do you think that any government in the South of Ireland is going to hold a referendum to ask the people to allow them to get themselves into the mess it taken them all this time to get out of. So they're alright.

But if all falls through, and Sinn Féin stops jumping through hoops, what position will they be in? What of the gains that they have made for themselves or for the people will they be able to hold on to? American visas? Not a chance. They'll not be let into this country if they don't behave themselves. We've all been there, we know what that's like. They'll be no more big dinners courtesy of the Democratic Party because it will not be fashionable any longer to be seen on the arm of shinners. All that they have in this myth of American support can go like that. And of course the good people who fought the good fight to get them the visibility and get the doors opened that were opened will continue that fight. But the door will be shut.

Peter King will always be there doing what Peter King has always done, but Peter also remembers when the door was shut in his face. And that door can be shut again, and voting is a great invention.

There are people in this room and people not in this room, who want to know whoever gave the people the vote anyway, because they do the most ridiculous things with it. And, the people who have gone out in their droves and voted for Sinn Féin, who never lifted their finger for human rights. And there are many hundreds of people, thousands of people, who voted for Sinn Féin when the penalty for it was getting shot. And, there are many decent men and women standing for Sinn Féin in elections now who stood for election when the penalty for standing for election was getting shot. And there were kids and older people who went out and worked and put up posters for republicans when you got crucified for it.

But there is a new breed of voter, who used to vote for the SDLP, now they're voting for Sinn Féin-not because they had a radical change of heart, but because Gerry Adams is younger, smarter and better looking than John Hume. And he's going to be around longer. Now once he cannot deliver, once he cannot deliver, that insulting vote will walk away again-will walk away again to a safer pair of hands, and they'll be back where they started.

And so you say, how did they get in to the peace process and why don't they get out of it? At some point there is a dignity in when you can do nothing else, gathering your dignity and walking away. And even of this era, if they could do that, instead of running off to Westminster demanding that Stormont be put back together again so they can sit in it and play revolutionary politics. Why don't they just send a message to Mr Blair saying, 'look, been there/done it, when yous are serious about resolving, conflict resolving problems, you know where we live,' and then just walk away from it? They can't. They can't because so much energy has been vested in it. They can't because it's a very seductive system and far too many of their own people now like it.

When I came here in whatever it was, '94, and I said at the time where it was all going, nobody believed me. I counseled them not to be blaming Gerry Adams when it went to where it was inevitably going, because it was very clear that that's where it was going and when it would come to this point, he would have very few choices left because it's like a funnel.

There will be people in the four corners of the world in military and political academies studying the absolute genius of this British strategy. And when they get up to draw the diagram, the diagram will be the funnel. How people were got to the lip, and each option they made, and each choice they made, actively limited the number of choices then open to them, and increased the chances of them having to choose the only choice the British wanted them to make the next time around. And each time they did it, the funnel got narrower.

And Sinn Féin are now hanging by their finger nails. You know the wee narrow bit that goes right inside the neck of the bottle? That's where they are. And the slope down has got steeper. They're already inside the bottle but they're still hanging on to the funnel. And it's very very hard for them to start that climb back. If Gerry Adams, I believe, turned now, the majority of his own party wouldn't come with him because for some it's too steep a climb back and for others there's a nice warm breeze, and nice smell, and I don't know what it is in that bottle, but far too many people like it and they're happier to move on in.

The reality, however, is that it has nothing to do with politics as we know it, nothing to do with the things that those of us who are republicans believe in, nothing to do with carrying forward the ideology and the struggle and the capacity to create an independent, sovereign, free and socialist Ireland. Not even an independent, free and democratic Ireland. The game has changed. And as I said at the beginning, every human being is entitled to change their position in life. Everybody is entitled to say, 'Could you stop the bus for a moment? I want to get off here.' But nobody is entitled, and there's a man at the top of O'Connell Street who says it all the time, 'nobody even looks the road he's on.' Charles G. Parnell said, 'nobody has a right to put a halt to the march of a nation.' And Sinn Féin do not have the right, and the peace process does not have the right to say, 'this is where the bus stops, this is the terminal, this is where everybody gets off,' because this has nothing to do with the things we struggled for. This has nothing to do with equality, nothing to do with human rights, nothing with the working class, nothing to do with socialism.

This is how yet again the British buy in to constitutional politics the leadership of the revolutionary movement. Its about nothing more and nothing less. And it is a measure of the length of the struggle, the loyalty of the people and the calibre of the leadership that so many people followed them to their own destruction. Thank you."
And thanks to you all who had a moment to read this... Larry


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 12:59 PM

It is always interesting to read the opinion of a dissenting republican like Bernadette McAliskey. She hasn't in my eyes changed a lot since 1996 when she formulated her position in a nutshell:

I am not intellectually incapable of understanding the peace process. I understand it, and I reject it, because it has ... been a process whose aim is to eradicate republicanism....

I don't want to argue with her opinion. It is clearly stated, a fine piece of rhetoric and everybody can judge for herself. But she clearly errs when she claims that the word 'decommissioning' didn't even exist before the peace process. Look into any old dictionary and you'll find out yourself. I only hope her other statements of fact are better researched.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: InOBU
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 01:56 PM

Hi Wolfgang... I believe she means in terms of Irish history. In the past what became of arms after uprisings was an interesting issue. For example when England left in 1919 they turned their arms over to the pro treaty forces in the then burgoning civil war.
All the best,
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Grab
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 05:49 PM

Interesting Larry. It certainly forms the basis of a whole new discussion! I'm afraid I'm not as restrained as Wolfgang though - I'll steam right in, and damn the torpedoes! :-) Flame city, here we come...

For good or ill, John Major was the leader of the British Parliament, and Gerry Adams was the leader of the IRA. As leaders, each had, not the right, but the _obligation_ to do what he believed was best for the ppl he represented. The result was a peace process, however shaky it may be, and however much the parties mistrust each other.

Bernadette McAlesky's point is quite simply stated - it was better for the IRA to be shooting loyalists and soldiers to keep power than for the civilians they claimed to be representing to be accorded the power to make their own decisions in the ballot box. "Winners" and "losers" is irrelevant - everyone's lost, every side has suffered. Mrs. McAlesky's funnel was not created by the British government, but by the ppl of NI who didn't want any more bombs or shooting, who wanted the soldiers out, who wanted peace. Once ppl have experienced peace, why should they choose to go back to violence? And if the ppl want peace, the leaders can't afford to head back to war, otherwise they'll cease to be leaders PDQ!

How constitutional politics can be a failure, I really don't know. She calls voters "ignorant", "stupid" and "insulting", whilst saying that she's supporting the ppl on the ground. Erm, if the majority vote against you, surely that's the ppl on the ground saying that more ppl are against you than for you? The implication is that she knows what's good for them better than they do, regardless of whether they've told her they don't want what she wants. Fine for handling your 5-year-old children, but not much cop for adults.

On the "rule imposed from above" end, NI will have its own parliament to make its own decisions, the same way parts of the UK like IOM and Jersey do, with more powers than the fairly weedy parliaments for Wales and Scotland. I'm sorry if she thinks she shouldn't be a part of the UK bcos she's Catholic, but there's plenty of Catholics here too, and they're not fighting to become part of France. If NI wishes to secede from the UK, then it'd need to vote to do it, to establish that it's the will of the pppl on the ground. An armed group saying "We want out, and we're representing the ppl on the ground, and we'll shoot you if you disagree with us, and we'll shoot the ppl on the ground if they don't follow us" isn't good.

As for her view of Eire, I'm amazed. She wants a unified Ireland, but says that you can't trust the Irish ppl or the Irish politicians! If the Irish don't want NI in Eire, what's she proposing to do? Bomb Dublin until they let her in?! The mind boggles.

The British CANNOT run NI very easily. The Army's expensive, the police are expensive, the fire brigade are expensive, clean-up operations after bombs are expensive. But most expensive of all is unemployment. Where foreign companies or English companies or Irish companies would normally be investing in manufacturing, no-one's willing to touch NI. Workers get shot or beaten up. The IRA and/or Loyalists demand protection money, and burns places down if they don't pay. Stuff gets torched or blown up anyway, regardless: witness a coach operator last week whose company was trying to show off the beauty of NI to foreign visitors, when all his coaches got torched - what kind of example is that? So unemployment is at amazingly high levels in the North, while the South is finding plenty of foreign investment in IT and electronics.

Larry, she's certainly interesting, and she certainly has very strong views. I can't blame her for her implacable opposition to the British government - if the Army had been complicit in the shooting of myself and my spouse, I can't honestly say what I'd have done. Ian Paisley also has strong views, only he sees the whole scenario as a "Papist plot" instead of a plot by the British government. Both have such strong views that no amount of argument will change their viewpoint. But in between, there's the rest of the world, who'd like the chance to hear both sides of the story and make up our own minds.

I'd agree perfectly with Charles Parnell's words. But equally, no-one has the right to tell a nation, "You're marching in the wrong direction."

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: InOBU
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 06:02 PM

Well Grab: I am fighting some small virus, a real bad headache the past few days, so I will have to be brief (trying to get 100% for the gig on Sat... another plug for my band!) But, as to a nation marching in the wrong direction, we all often say that of our nation, down to calling the people of that nation ignorant etc. Look, this is a bad time to tell a person with a US passport that it is a rehtorical error to say a nation is marching in the wrong direction and the people are ignorant. I would direct you to www.bushorchimp.com to comepletly fill out my point...
I will reread Bernie's comments, but in my experience, I have alwasys heard her say, even before the cease fire, that war is the inevitable conclution of the combination of hard arm government and people being denied basic rights. She gave a wonderful talk at NYU, in fact, I brought her to speak to a standing room only audience at the lawschool, and she said that when she set out on the non-violent peace movement in the 60's the older folks said, "If you do this Brurnadette, there will be war. We said, Oh no, old man, Oh no, old woman, is is a new day and all we have to do is expose the wrong to make it right... and sure enough, our peacemovement led to a war."
It is not that she indorces a return to war. I have heard her again and again, even in the above talk, say that the best thing that is happening now is peace. But, problems left unsolved, can, may, hopefully not will, lead to war.
We are seeing this in Isreal. The fact that both sides keep putting off the hard work of an equitable solution to a divided Juruselum, will lead to a cost in human life, until both sides put all on the table and want to work together for peace.
Well, put though, Grab.
All the best,
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Brendy
Date: 07 Feb 01 - 10:27 PM

Well, Grab, what can I say?
"Spoken like a ......"

I must say, I'm overwhelmed at your 'depth'

B.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Monashee
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 04:25 AM

It is my hopes and prayers that we might find an end to all pain suffering. May peace grow and dwell in all hearts~ *Sláinte ;)


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Grab
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 08:04 AM

I'll take that lightly, Brendy! :-)

Larry, I'd certainly agree with you - there's problems need to be solved. However, those problems can only be solved through talking, not through a return to violence - that goes for all sides: Army, Loyalist and Republican. Violence hasn't won anyone anything. I'd certainly agree with the hard-arm government during the 60s, 70s and 80s - the British mainland had a good number of protests disrupted by violent police response. The question is whether times have changed. I'd say they have - Thatcher would never have talked to Gerry Adams, but John Major was willing to take the chance, to start the peace process. The thing is, Blair's government is highly driven by opinion polls - it makes them lightweights, but does occasionally have some uses - and the opinion over here is that we want this over with. Politically, he'd not get away with restarting hostilities, and even through various bombings and attempted bombings, there's been the will to stick to the peace instead of being provoked by the extremists.

As far as her argument goes, that the peace talks are designed to undermine Republicanism - hmm. Certainly, the very word "Republican" has problems if the Republic won't take them!

The trouble is, the politics of Bernadette McAlesky and of Ian Paisley are the politics of extremism. She believes that if she has to share power with the Unionists, she's lost. He believes that if he has to share power with the Republicans, he's lost. But they're both talking about the same area of land! The battle over the last 30 years has been for who gets absolute control, and the moral to be drawn is that absolute control can't happen - both sides have to compromise. The Israelis and Palestinians have the same problem - both want absolute control over Jerusalem, and aren't prepared to share in it.

As for the "marching in the wrong direction", I guess I'm wrong. Anyone can say it. But no-one can insist that the ppl change direction - all you can do is let them see the consequences, and change their minds later. As an example, Prohibition in the US was voted in by a large majority, and was voted out later by a large majority! If Bush proves to be as much a nutter as he seems, the US will vote him out in 4 years time, and learn from it. The ppl may make mistakes or change their minds, sure, but that's democracy. One person saying "I know best" is called a dictatorship (unless it's called a monarchy! :-), and whilst it may be a benign dictatorship, it's still dictatorship.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: GeorgeH
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 08:12 AM

As one who postings here have sometimes been seen as anti-Republican, I would observe that Bloody Sunday is possibly the most shameful single incident in the recent British involvement in Northern Ireland; the subsequent cover-up is more shameful still (if only because responsibility goes even higher), and it won't be laid to rest untill there is a completely OPEN enquiry. Which, sadly, there are signs that the present one won't be.

G.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Fiolar
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 10:19 AM

To inOBU - check again. The English did not leave until 1921 after the signing of The Treaty and even then they held on to some Irish ports until about 1938.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Brendy
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 06:05 AM

I wouldn't take it all that lightly, Grab. Ignorance is a dangerous thing. Especially when you start passing on that ignorance to the future generations, and claim it as fact
"...and Gerry Adams was the leader of the IRA"
You need to give proof of this, Grab. "Bernadette McAlesky's point is quite simply stated - it was better for the IRA to be shooting loyalists and soldiers to keep power than for the civilians they claimed to be representing to be accorded the power to make their own decisions in the ballot box."
Nonesense, Grab. You don't get it, do you? Read Larry's post again...and again, if necessary.
And try reading her words, this time, and not what you believe is between the lines.
"..the British mainland had a good number of protests disrupted by violent police response"
Can you tell me what parts of Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall were affected by such protests, Grab?

B.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Grab
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 06:43 AM

Brendy, her assertion is that the peace process is designed to destroy Republicanism, and that they would have been better not to start the peace process. But the options available are either (a) all sides try to work it out (aka a "peace process"), or (b) all sides keep fighting. (b) is the status quo - once everyone's got a damn good grudge against the other side, it doesn't require any effort to keep it going. (a) requires effort and willpower to break the cycle. She believes that option (a) is reducing the power of the Republican movement, which only leaves that option (b) maintains their power.

The message from the British government has been "when _you_ and the Loyalists are serious about resolving your differences, you know where we live". The only thing that the Republicans and Loyalists could agree on was that the other side was getting a better deal from the British government!

Why Scotland, Wales and Cornwall, in particular? Does this affect the fact that strong-arm tactics were a standard feature of British policing for several decades?

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Brendy
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 06:57 AM

So Bernadette's point is not quite simply stated, after all, Grab.

"The only thing that the Republicans and Loyalists could agree on was that the other side was getting a better deal from the British government!"

10% of nothing, is still worse than 100% of everything, Grab. You did take Bernadette's point, didn't you, about all the red herrings that would be thrown into the soup at certain times?

"Why Scotland, Wales and Cornwall, in particular?" Call me an old stickler for convention, if you will, but I assumed that when you referred to The British Mainland, you had these places in mind.

You were talking about England, I take it?

B.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Brendy
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 06:59 AM

In fact, you're always talking about England, when you refer to 'the mainland', aren't you?

B.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: GUEST,Keith A at work
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 07:42 AM

Grab, I find your posts full of insight and knowledge, but I note you tacitly accept that the army was complicit in the shooting of Bernadette. Perhaps, who knows? Can we at least exonerate the patrol of paratroopers whose swift arrival on the scene probably prevented her attackers completing their bloody business, and whose prompt and effective first aid certainly saved her life. She herself expressed her gratitude with crates of beer.
On the subject of unsubstantiated allegations, can anyone give the lie to that outrageous but persistent rumour that Martin Mcguinness, once high profile PIRA(admitted at the time Brendy) and now Minister Of Education for Northern Ireland, has privately admitted instigating the shooting on that black day.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: InOBU
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 07:51 AM

Fiolar a chara:
Historical correction, You are of course right, however, writing off the top of my head, I was refering to the end of the 1919 Anglo Irish War, and subsiquent transfer of arms. The point was not the dates, but the point that Burnadette was refering to the fact that decomisioning of arms as a prerequisit for an end to the hostilities is a non-issue. The presence of Republican guns is not the key to peace when there are thousands of "legal" loyalist arms. The key to peace is talk and equitable societies, good government are responciveness to marginalised voices.
BUT, I agree, it is important to have an accurate time line of history. Having a degree in Political Science and History, I suppose I should write with greater care about such things, but I always concindered this place a chat around the table in the side room of the pub, rather than - say an artical...
All the best
is mise, le meas
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: GUEST,Keith
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 07:54 AM

Black Day meaning Bloody Sunday. Sorry.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Fiolar
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 08:55 AM

I get very tired when people talk and write about the "Mainland of Britain" and the "Mainland of England." The phrase "mainland" apparently was never used before the advent of Thatcher. Ireland is a sovereign state (at least the 26 counties are) and as such is not an island dependent on "Great" Britain. To use the phrase is an indication that the "offshore island of Ireland" is one of Britain's possesions say like the Isle of Wight or the Isle of Man. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised really when a recent survey carried out among children aged up to 18 years of age, found that a fair number were under the impression that Adolph Hitler was the Prime Minister of GB during the second world war.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Wolfgang
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 09:16 AM

Although no proof exists, it is widely believed that Adams rose quickly to a high position in the IRA, proving himself a brilliant tactician and a natural leader.

This citation from Forbes Magazine is in my eyes the best summary of the state of public knowledge on Adams' position in the IRA. Brendy knows well that there is no proof of Grab's assertion possible at the moment.

When in 1972 an IRA delegation went to London to see William Whitelaw for negotiations, it's seven members included Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams (Adams had to be released from prison to be delegate). It stresses imagination to believe that Mr. Adams was only there as a carrier of suitcases.

Sean MacStiofain the leader of the IRA delegation was quite explicit in a later interview with Peter Taylor:

PETER TAYLOR: All were IRA?

SEAN MacSTIOFAIN: Yes, not Sinn Fein but IRA.

PETER TAYLOR: All of them.

SEAN MacSTIOFAIN: Yes.

PETER TAYLOR: Including Martin McGuiness?

SEAN MacSTIOFAIN: Oh, yes.

PETER TAYLOR: Including Gerry Adams?

SEAN MacSTIOFAIN: Well, all. All of them.

Well, even an interview with a former IRA leader is not conclusive proof, but at least a kind of strong indication that Gerry Adams was a (I have good reasons not to use 'is' or 'the') leader of the PIRA.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Grab
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 09:18 AM

Brendy, my point is that NO SIDE can EVER get 100% of everything they want. If NI was signed over to Eire tomorrow, as the Republicans would like, 53% (is that the current figure for the Protestants? certainly the majority) of the population would rise up against it. Compromise means accepting something which gives both sides something good, whilst not being exactly what either side would like. Establishing the terms of the compromise is another matter altogether - I couldn't begin to say whether the terms for either side were adequate - but recognising that a compromise is necessary is the key. Certainly both sides will duck and dive to try and get the best deal they can, but in the end they'll tend towards a single position.

But Bernadette McAlesky's statement in that speech is that compromise is unacceptable - it's her way or no way, and anyone who chooses compromise is selling out. Ian Paisley is equally staunch on the other side. No settlement EVER is going to please both of them. Therefore the peace process involves trying to find a position which DOESN'T satisfy either of them, but pisses them both off equally. Finding this kind of position indicates a decent middle ground, and the majority - that is, the ppl on the ground, who are not the extremists that these two are - then find that they can live with the compromises they have to make, knowing that the other side is having to live with similar compromises.

No riots spring immediately to mind in those places, Brendy - plenty in London, Durham, Yorkshire and Manchester though. There weren't the same levels of protest in Scotland, Wales and Cornwall though. The miners went on strike in Wales too, but I don't think there were the same kind of hostilities as in England (although the police were still out in force against the miners) - anyone in Wales with more info? although that's thread drift. The point is that strong-arm policing was the norm for Britain then - the attitude now is getting on with the locals, and if you do screw it up then you can expect enquiries and severe shitstorms. Incidentally, Cornwall is part of England, and has been for an awfully long time!

KeithA, I'm flattered, but I wouldn't call myself either of those. For the Army's role in her shooting, a recent documentary reported one of the other Army on the scene saying he asked a patrol member, "How did they get past you?" and the patrol member answered with a straight face, "We must have looked the other way for a minute". This is one of those "perhaps, who knows" things. As Brendy says, the Army did a lot of stuff which should never have happened and sicken everyone. Certainly the first aid the soldiers provided saved the lives of both of them though.

I'd guess (hope?) that the differences between me and Brendy aren't that great, despite all this. We're both prepared to discuss it, and we're both reasonable ppl (I hope - if Brendy turns up with a big stick, I'd better start running! only joking ;-) For all that the anti-British sentiment comes up (and I do understand it, given what the Army's done), I'd rather we were talking than not.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: InOBU
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 12:20 PM

Och it is a shame, isn't Fiolar!
Everyone knows that Hitler was PM of Britain in the 1980's! (Sorry... I could help myself... )
remorsefully
Larry


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Grab
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 04:23 PM

Fiolar and Brendy, I didn't mean to offend you. I was talking from a UK perspective, where England, Scotland and Wales are the "mainland", and Northern Ireland, Jersey, etc are not. Since NI is in the UK, and England, Scotland and Wales form the largest part of the UK, it's not too strange for it to be the "mainland". Certainly if you live in Eire, then you're on your "mainland" already! :-) I'll refer to E,S&W as "Britain" instead, if that's better.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Shields Folk
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 08:25 PM

Is it true that Gerry Adams has launched an inquiry into the Omagh bombing! It's obvious that an IRA soldier has never shit himself whilst carrying out an order,the police in the Republic have never fucked up under pressure and Englishmen in Ireland (or North London)have the greatest respect from there Irish cousins.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Feb 01 - 07:48 PM

Everybody knows the war is over. And that's probably the only good thing we have going for us at this point is that the war is over.

Those aren't the words of someone who wanted to keep the war going. As I understand Bernie's position it's that what should have happened would have been a ceasefire declared by the IRA, but not a deal that includes an involvement in a devolved government, acceptance of the Union, and an abandonment of the position that there is one Ireland, and it includes all of Ulster.

I remember an article by Bernie a couple of years before the ceasefire in which she suggested that the best solution for the troubles would be a reunited Ulster, independent of London and Dublin. Such a statelet would have as many Protestants as Catholics, and there would be all, kinds of practical economic advantages in terms of natural links across what has so long been an arbitrary and unnatural border that virtually turns Donegal into a separate island. In fact you could say she's one of the few real Ulster Unionists around (as opposed to that lot who want to keep the rump of Uklster attached to England, and use that name, with no historical or geographical justification.)

I quote that to indicate how you can't sum up her thinking as just kneejerk unthinking traditional Republicanism. Whether one agrees with her or not, it's a lot more complicated than that.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Wolfgang
Date: 12 Feb 01 - 03:41 AM

'British Mainland' (Never: English Mainland) has been in use since ages among cartographers as a name for the largest island in that group of islands west of the European mainland (I hasten to add that the use of 'mainland' for Europe doesn't imply any possession of these isles by any part of Europe). The name for this island before that was 'Great Britain' since the times of the Romans ('Britannia major'), but this name was not considered a good name for there were too many confusions with the political entity 'Great Britain' which consisted of many more islands.

I'm curious: What is the PC name for that island (Britannia major) from the point of view of a North of Ireland nationalist.

By the way: The Isle of Man is not a part of the UK and to say that this island 'belongs' to Britain is considered an insult by some people from there.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 12 Feb 01 - 06:48 AM

"Great Britain," Wolfgang. The sovereign state as recognised in international law and at the UN is the UK - which is the United (or not so united) Kingdom (well queendom to be precise) or Great Britain and Northern Ireland. "England" "Scotland" "Great Britain" are mere geographical entitities.

I don't think many would object to GB being described as the mainland in purely geographical contexts, much as for instance Spain and Portugal may be grouped together as the Iberian countries. But there's been a tendency by the "Protestaant Ascendancy" to use the term politically in a deliberately patronising way, or maybe I'm too sensitive.

I thought we'd got to the end of this thread. If we're nearly there now, I should just say thanks for some great posts from all sides. Yes, including yours Brendy - I've appreciated all those links.


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Subject: RE: Bloody Sunday
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Feb 01 - 07:02 AM

It all gets complicated with the names, Wolfgang. Strictly speaking there is no political entity "Great Britain" or even "Britain" for that matter.

No part of Ireland has ever been part of Great Britain, hence the term "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", or before that "Great Britain and Ireland". I don't think any native of Northern Ireland would describve themselves as a Brit, however Loyalist or Unionist they might be.

The term "Great Britain" refers to the big island, and its various attached smaller islands like the Isle of Wight and Anglesey and the Scottish ones, but never the Isle of Man, nor the Channel Islands, which in theory have no real link with the Westminster government, but only with the Crown, a bit like Canada etc,).

"Great Britain" is essentially a geographical rather than a political term, and means the same as Britain. I've always understood that the Romans just called it Brittania, and that the "Great" bit is to distinguish it from Brittany.


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