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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
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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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