Cast a cold eye, on Life, on Death. Horseman, pass by.....W B Yeats headstone inscription
Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite .....Spike Milligan headstone inscription
The 1916 centenary commemorations have all but passed us by. A tumultuous historical occurrence that was either a stab in the back of democracy but more precisely the back of ‘perfidious Albion’ or a shining light that inspired like-minded colonial peoples from all around the globe to replicate the apostates’ actions.
April 24th, being the actual date of the treasonous/noble actions of Pearse and the boys and a few girls as well, is holding up our return to normality. Apparently on that date there is another string of revisionist interpretations of Irish history on the way for the patrons of the Irish Republic to feign reverence over, apologise for and end by expressing regret of their violent past. And quite possibly will include a fly-over by the Irish Airforce in propeller driven planes reminding us of spitfires over the white cliffs of Dover!
No Unionist, inclusive of Alliance, was in attendance on the fateful day’s celebrations as British Unionist’s having committed a similar offence of treason and a stab in the back of democracy a few years before ‘16’ and with German rifles in to the bargain, felt that attending such an event would only give credence to the heirs of ‘16’ and their blood lust throughout the Northern conflict. More pertinent to their attendance, would quite possibly be the reminding of the Irish public to the heirs of the Carsonite UVF and their bloody past in the Northern conflict and thus stripping away the Unionist cloak of democratic victim.
Credence especially to the more recent Republican miscreants whose actions indirectly lead to the death of another prison officer. A death that bears similarities to that of another officer who met his demise indirectly to the actions of those involved in the 1983 Long Kesh Republican prisoner escape. Another event soon to be made in to a film and thus evoking condemnation from the son of another prison officer, a southern one though, Austin Stack. Mr Stack hopes that the film doesn’t glorify those who escaped since they belonged to the organisation who were directly responsible for his own father’s demise. Stack, being a person who is so regularly now wheeled out in front of the media to condemn all things republican that the old proverb of ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ is beginning to ring true. This in turn is adversely affecting the value of the man’s words. Such that his apparent contempt for all things republican is limited to modern republicanism, with the exception being the miscreants forefathers and founding fathers of his State, i.e., the men and women of ‘16’.
DUP leader, Ladyboy Foster, having initially made her stance quite clear on the ‘16’ commemorations went further after the events on Easter Monday to slam dunk Michael D Higgins’ description of the leaders:
advanced thinkers, selfless women and men, who took all the risks to ensure that the children of Ireland would, in the future, live in freedom and access their fair share of Ireland’s prosperity
“...egotists who were doing it to bring glory on themselves”,
And all based on the fact that they had no democratic backing. Which would call in to question the role of the brother of her erstwhile party colleague Jeffrey Donaldson, who drove around Iraq in a multimillion pound vehicle, a tank to be more precise. Tanks were the real weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, blowing up all and sundry who stood in their way. If the Belgrano experience is anything to go by they may even have been blasting those who tried to run away! And all with the democratic backing of Britain’s parliament......who we are now to understand were lied too by Blair et al. So much for democratic backing Arlene!
Foster, ignoring Kenny’s regrets at such a stance, bounded off on the Stormont election trail. A most paramount adventure! Having launched her party’s manifesto which has been the same manifesto since the party’s inception of ‘never having one about the place’, she included the direct action of removing education funding for all Gaelscoileanna and thus giving everyone an equal opportunity in education including the Gibberish Society school which she excluded from her denunciation of wasting public funds in education. A pledge that carries as much weight as Carl Frampton but, like Carl, keeps the brethren happy.
Speaking of the Gibberishers, Nelson McCausland was perplexed at why union Unite would allow a banner carrying their logo to be carried in a Republican commemoration parade in Newry since Unite was a union that was representative of all religions and political persuasions. The answer simply being James Connolly. Think about it Nelson....Connolly.....Labour.....need I go on!
Ford, he of the Unionist Alliance party, also refused to attend such events on the grounds that it would give succour to the heirs of ‘16’ who recently were indirectly responsible for the death of prison officer Adrian Ismay.
Refusing to attend, Ford stated that he will not attend an Easter Rising event commemorating "those who engaged in violence".
"I cannot associate myself with that, as minister of justice..." or "...celebration" of an armed insurrection, or one that did not fully examine the "totality of suffering".
But he would attend other events that mark the event in a more reflective way and understood why the historical event was being reflected upon a century later.....being 100 years old was the dead give-away David!
Mr Ford said he was "uncomfortable" about the state "marking the efforts of those who engaged in violence", and said there were other means of achieving independence. These ‘other means’ having firstly been reneged upon by H.H. Asquith and subsequently by David Lloyd George.
Higgins himself never managed to duck or avoid any controversy over the period when he declined to attend a dinner invitation from Belfast City Hall commemorating the 1916 Rising as well as the battle of the Somme. An event billed as a cross-community supported event but when reality bites it bites hard and at the last minute was rejected by Unionism through their refusal to attend. Much to the chagrin and angst of Nationalists, at both Unionism’s rejection and Higgins declining of their invite as it was no longer ‘cross-community’ supported. Higgins refusal to attend was a true slap in the face of all Nationalist and Republicans living here in these 6 counties as Higgins is the President of 32 counties and also signalling Unionism’s political class hierarchy here in the North when they can scupper a commemoration of an event in the South.
Kenny, since we are still without a government in the South, is acting Taoiseach and desperate to negotiate with everyone and anyone for a coalition, unveiled a Remembrance Wall to all those who lost their lives in the 1916 Rising. The names, in chronological order of death, included British army dead, RIC dead and civilian dead and was inspired by the International Memorial of Notre Dame de Lorette in France to those who died in Northern France during WW1. A memorial that has caused some to deride it as a sell out to the British while others acclaimed it to be a more reflective and fitting tribute rather than glorifying violence. Ford was in attendance for this one!
On O’Connell street Dublin, specifically in the Ambassador, Sinn Fein responded to the official revised exhibitions of 1916 by having their own revised exhibit of memorabilia and charging €15 in. Well someone had to pay for the removal of Kieran Nugent to be replaced by Carson on the Falls! But one SF Cuman chairman was overheard to say after Coalisland and its myriad of parades in reference to their paltry effort compared to the very strongly supported dissident parade on Easter Monday.
“...that was nothing wait till see what we’ve lined up for the weekend of the 24th!”.....quite possibly Adams in drag as Markievicz!
Across the water Cameron and not Corbyn for a change, is in the spotlight but not for attending any 1916 commemoration event or not forgetting to sing God Save the Queen either, but is having to deal with the unexpected release of the Panama files.
Millions of files that are being digested by an international group of investigative journalists who are unravelling all those who use off-shore accounts to hide money from respective national tax agencies. PR Dave, having drawn a blank in rapid response theory, took too long to respond and thus allowed the public to fully ingest that his papa had hid millions in off-shore accounts to avoid tax payments and that young David profited from these funds. His father having been exposed, not with a pig as that is one trait that doesn’t run in the family, as an off-shore fund manager of sorts and Cameron having held stock in such companies and benefited from it. An accusation that he initially strongly denied due to being a strong advocate that there would be no hiding place for tax dodgers, but only shortly later to reverse his denial in to an acknowledgement. Calls for his resignation are beginning to vibrate loudly around the halls of Westminster.
And so, while Cameron attempts to artfully extract himself from the possibility of resignation by beguiling the British public with his own act of atonement which most likely will involve a snooker ball and a gimp outfit loaned to him by Max Mosley....well he did get away with the genitals in the pigs mouth, he can take solace in the knowledge that the history of Ireland has been so revised now that Britain can play at being the victim of a great wrongdoing.
Higgins can not only publicly apologise for attending non cross party supported events in Dublin since Unionism didn’t support them but also for attending events that glorified violence and didn’t reflect the “totality of suffering.” Something Ford should bear in mind when considering his attendance on Remembrance Sunday especially when he contemplates the violent murders committed by the heirs of Dunkirk and the Somme in Ballymurphy and Derry and the hundreds of thousands of civilians deliberately killed by Bomber Harris in one night and whose names do not adorn his statue that “totality of suffering” is applicable right across the spectrum and not just confined to Ireland.
Foster and McCausland can now get on with appeasing the electorate by ranting on about more sectarian cuts they intend to impose while at the same time espousing the virtues of a clichéd shared future and clichéd cultural respect.
On a positive note for the revisionist guardians of 1916, having won their independence from Britain, apologised for achieving such through violent means, and vowed to atone even more for their past contempt of the empire, can all rest easy knowing that the noble attributes that the men and women of ‘16’ fought and were executed for by Britain have never been achieved nor are they ever likely to either under their tutelage. The fight for independence began in 1916 and was completed in 1922.
Finally, Britain could reciprocate and take a leaf out of Ireland’s book and also build a wall to all those who died in its colonial empires while under its rule and struggling for independence and equality....but then again, Britain as a landmass would be too small for such wall!
To name a few....... Aden, Afghanistan, Angola-Egypt, Bangladesh, Burma, Kenya, Ceylon, China, Cyprus, India, Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Jamaica, Jordan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, South Africa, Sudan, Tibet, USA, West Africa, West Indies, Zimbabwe.............