Saturday, July 9, 2016

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A Flame Burning In The Hearts and Dark Cells

A speech by the IRPWA's Paul Duffy delivered at Bodenstown.

A Chairde,

It is a great honour to be invited here today to speak at the graveside of the founding father of Irish Republicanism.

We owe a great debt to Wolfe Tone for lighting a torch that successive generations of Irish patriots have ensured has not been extinguished. That flame burns in the hearts of all those gathered here today and it burns in the dark cells of Maghaberry and Portlaoise Gaols where those who continue the vision of Wolfe Tone's Ireland, free from Britain's interference, suffer for those same political ideals.

Following on from our Easter centenary commemorations, Republicans who continue to strive for an Irish socialist republic have found new impetus and drive; the call to build a new revolutionary political party has found fertile ground. Since Easter Republicans across Ireland have been engaged in a wide ranging, proactive process of debate and discussion. The work of building an energetic movement that has sought a grassroots up approach aimed at avoiding the inherent failures of past structures and strategy has begun in earnest. The Easter slogan Unfinished Revolution has (to use a digital phrase) ‘Gone Viral’. It resonates with Irish Republicans. It gives meaning to their aspirations. It shouts out in defiance of the continuing oppression of both failed states and it offers an alternative to the onslaught of imperialism, capitalism and neo-colonialism that keeps the nation envisaged by Tone divided and the Irish People subjugated as modern serfs.

As we build we remain committed to Republican Unity, a fractured base only serves the interest of our enemies. We will look to consult and engage in dialogue and find common ground with those who share the Republican ideology.

We have been handed a unique opportunity with the recent British referendum on the European super state. The so called brexit has put the brakes on the united states of Europe project and shattered the political status quo in the British parliament. For the first time in over one hundred years the glaciers of political power in Britain have begun to melt. The Tories are cutting each other's throats in the quest for Number 10, while the Labour party has seen a grassroots uprising centered round Corbynism and a right wing counter coup that looks set to split the party. Mix these unprecedented circumstances with the rise of UKIP and ‘little englander’ mentality and the call for a second Scottish independence referendum and we could be witnessing a United Kingdom in a cycle of perpetual constitutional turmoil. England’s difficulty is always Ireland’s opportunity.

The Brexit referendum, to the chagrin of Irish Republicanism, raised issues such as Sovereignty, democracy and the right to national self determination. All these rights, that the British complained were being infringed by the European Union, have for centuries been suppressed or denied to the Irish People. Why when the British vote to leave the EU is that seen as a democratic act of self determination, but when in 1918, when the Irish People voted for independence and subsequently formed their own government, the British responded with war and oppression? Why when failing to defeat the IRA in the ensuing war did the British undemocratically partition our country creating a majority from a minority? Let us not forget that those who favour a continued link with Britain hold a majority in just two of Ireland’s thirty two counties. Let us not forget that those who tell us we must gain a partitionist majority in a border poll, that they themselves are happy to administer undemocratic British rule in Ireland. Let us not forget that the British secretary of state who holds the key to this undemocratic poll has herself no democratic mandate in Ireland. We say to the British and her lackeys do not speak to us of democracy as you don’t know the meaning of the word. Ireland has had her democratic vote, Britain usurped this act of national self determination and until this usurpation is ended through the restoration of Irish national sovereignty, there can be no democracy in Ireland.

If the British people thought the EU was infringing on their sovereignty; they should see how it has impacted on the people of the 26 county statelet. For every euro the EU gives the 26 counties it takes two euros in fish! That’s double its contribution before any other tax. Far from being benevolent, the EU effectively rules the south through the gombeen class that has been at the top of free state politics for a century. The current mending of relations between the ‘civil war’ parties of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail was inevitable as both serve the same masters in class and capital. Their interests are far removed from those of the ordinary families who we have seen thrown out of their houses in places like Corofin by masked bullies protected by the guards on behalf of vulture capitalists. We see a land increasingly rich in natural resources forcing its citizens to pay water tax while corporate elites make off with billions in gas and oil. We see in the southern state a lack of health care and a lack of social housing. We see a race to the bottom in cutting taxes for the rich and the corporate elite while all the time squeezing more and more out of the ordinary citizens. While county courts evict hundreds of families those in power in Leinster House refuse to recoup the massive revenues that corporations like Apple owe it. There is something fundamentally wrong with a state whose biggest export is its youth through emigration.

It seems strange too, that while so many voted against Fine Gael in the last election that they didn't win, they are a minority, and yet like zombies they continue on governing with the same austerity agenda that is creating a massive inequality gap; that has children living in bed sits; that plunges entire sections of our communities into grinding poverty, and for what? So EU bondholders and bankers can be repaid their lost gamblings out of the taxpayers pocket.

The anti water charges campaign has shown the power of the mass movement, it has shown that the system cannot be changed from the inside so must be challenged from the outside. It has offered a model for a movement where we take to the streets and put down these undemocratic self serving gombeen policies through popular struggle. Our mantra should be ‘don’t emigrate, agitate’! Water may be the rallying issue of today but there are many more; they are part of a neoliberal onslaught and without national sovereignty we will not be able to eradicate these exploitive policies. They are two sides of the one coin; the national struggle and the social revolution. We must spread this analysis among the Irish people we must win them to our side with our analysis and the Republican Movement must always be to the fore in our actions and our deeds.

I take this moment to pay tribute to our Political Prisoners, their dignity while incarcerated for their beliefs should be an inspiration to us all. I also pay tribute to the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association for the amazing work they do week in week out helping the dependents of our political prisoners, easing their burden and raising awareness of the often brutal conditions that they endure. I know first hand your work is much appreciated by both the Prisoners and their families.

I thank you once again for having me and I congratulate the organisers on a fitting tribute to Wolfe Tone.

I will finish now with one of his quotes.

Our freedom must be had at all hazards. If the men of property will not help us they must fall; we will free ourselves by the aid of that large and respectable class of the community - the men of no property.


Go raibh maith agaibh.

40 comments :

David Higgins said...

While I agree with the assessment of the failed states and the support of political prisoners in British jails should be sacrosanct. We're going to have to come out with more than internal rhetoric to become relevant.

larry hughes said...

There needs to be a reality check in modern Ireland. When you harp back to Tone you are placing yourself in a position like the yanks who hold a constitution written by a bunch of Presbyterian Hill Billies in the 1700s as sacred. Simply not relevant any more. There is a need to also take a warts and all look at the Irish People. The smell of a Pound/Punt/Euro is what has driven them the most at all times in our history. During the land war it was the three Fs that mattered, national liberation wasn't even a consideration. That is why corrupt parish pump, cute hoors get elected time after time and why their siblings/spawn are automatically elected after them. It was the same with the Irish big - machine politics in America. Romantic republicanism will not win a final victory in Ireland now today any more than it did in the past, nor will it bring the dead family and friends of its volunteers back who were murdered by loyalists without effective response. The Irish people are not waiting for socialism, they are waiting for the next cycle of boom and bust.

I agree with the analysis of the Westminster and UK political scene after the brexit referendum. It is indeed an interesting time. The most interesting for decades. Without a political vehicle other than SF nationalists should for sure be pressuring them to do more on the unity issue. I would hazard a guess that loyalism (a joke of a term) is most likely NOT in fact a majority in even two of our 32 counties. Belfast and Derry both have RC majorities and for the big 'trouser wearer' Foster on the Hill to be slapping down McGuinness is simply galling. They have some shock coming when Thatcher MK2 gets going shortly also. What we need is a resurgent Irish nationalism that does not pander and beg to those here for no other reason than self interest and to destroy us. It is a rising tide in Europe as a response to the EU diktat, so I see no reason why an assertive unashamed Irish nationalism cannot reassert itself here. The SNP and UKIP are no accidents.

Peter said...

Larry
How many times do you need to be told the RC does not mean nationalist/republican? Many RCs do not want a UI as you well know from past polls, yet you keep mentioning the number of RCs in Northern Ireland. I thought republicanism was supposed to be non sectarian anyway....oh wait.

larry hughes said...

Peter

Republicanism is an out of date vehicle. And you are correct regarding any border poll, many RCs may vote against, unless big Arlene shout off 'his' gob at Stormont. I am putting my case that rather than the dead end fatigued and worn out republican rhetoric that falls on stoney ground among prods, nationalism as across Europe should be promoted. Then people can make up their minds who and what they are.

Peter said...

David and larry
You are both correct about the rhetoric. I have an interest in political rhetoric and you could do a PHD on republican speeches and articles. The IRSP seem to be the worst although the 1916 Societies are a close second. They always preach to the converted and by doing so turn off the rest of the population. This speech like almost every republican speech mentions "Wolfe Tone", "Easter", "revolution", "Brits" and the classic cliche "struggle". Add to this the "optics" of Bodenstown, flags and men in fatigues and what you have is a massive turn off for the wider population. It almost doesn't matter what the speaker says as it will be subsumed in a mountain of cliche and will not be heard by the population at large.

larry hughes said...

Peter

Totally agree. Tone is as relevant today as a horse and cart in the channel tunnel. But republicans will stick to the 'holy grail' because like the Irish TDs in the Dail it is for them the easy way out. Saves anyone having to take a brain-cramp thinking about a relevant solution to today's problems. Just tell yourself some factory owner in Belfast in the 1700s had it sussed politically and presto. Magic. His sister was more practical she ran poor houses and soup kitchens I thinks if my memory of the Belfast bus tour is correct. It is a measure of the futility of it all that they continue to go to Bodenstown and repeat what so many have done before. I have a suspicion they are just getting in line thinking in 10 years time it will be their turn to enter the political system and hop on the gravy train. What else can it be? They insist on peaceful means, call for a broad front socialist agenda and for Prod Taig dissenter to unite while standing in combat fatigues. FFS 'shoot me now'!! SNP if they want a roll model. NOT the OIRA/PIRA/INLA all failures.... doh!!

DaithiD said...

For all the ridicule and dismissal, some poor wretches are doing some very serious sentences for holding these views. Who on here suffers to express their own view? Just a thought.

goot said...

eire nua. why dont u do a phd on it.

larry hughes said...

DaithiD

When people were watching tv and events unfold all around them like the rest of us and actually thought after 30 years of mayhem that shooting an odd peeler per decade was going to make a difference then what's to be done with that kind of mind-set? Those who are persisting in the folly need to look at themselves before anyone else. And that is no disrespect to anyone. A personal opinion. People who ended up in jail during the worst of the troubles took a personal decision at the time and were told to 'do their whack'. Anyone doing so now is beyond logic to me. They should forget the scenic route like Seanna Walsh doing 20 years in jail to become an SDLP man and just cut to the chase and stand in elections.

Goot

Yer always good for a giggle, don't think you'd get an essay outa the Eira Nua theme.

Peter

Matter of interest do you believe every prod to a man/woman would vote to remain in the UK?

Peter said...

Larry
The BBC, Bel Tel and Uni of Ulster have all done surveys on Irish unity in recent years. Google it. One put the numbers for the question: do you want a UI in the next 20 years at about 50% of catholics saying yes along with 5% of prods. I'm sure brexit has changed that a bit and may change it even more.

larry hughes said...

Peter
Well if you really want a revolution in the wee 6 I suggest asking the questions would ye like DLA scrapped and how does £5 a pint sound? Wonder what old 'Wolfie' would make of that!

goot said...

well, excuse me, but there's a good film to be made out of it. it was the first poitical victory for brit intel (via their gimps in army and sf leadership) over the modern republican movement. the shafting of eire nua DID NOT begin internally.these are the guys who said it was 'a sop to unionism' at the time - the lads and lassies sitting in stormont now(anyone remember the smash stormont posters).next was abstentionism and the rest is history. my stand out memory of their utter cynicism, treachery and hypocrisy since then was martin ferris (made his rep on getting guns from libya)shafting gadaffi as his country gets decimated - 50,000 innocent people slaughtered with us 'neutral' irish facilitating. a country with a smaller population than ireland that gadaffi managed to drag from the poorest country in africa to the most prosperous. and what does sf do? loads of people, me included, were convinced that these guys would stand up in dail eireann and speak on behalf of what we always stood for , and could be proud of. Game, set and match to mi5-6 whatever, via their gimp squad. And it all began with the traitors and marxists who for some strange reason all began to think it was a 'sop to unionism'. on a different note, phd's, more often than not, are crap that could be a whole lot better if it was the length of an essay. and finally, the libyans got free water under gadaffi, and they live in a fucking desert. if he was in charge of here wed be some island. hed a got a better price for the fucking oil and gas than ZILCH. so u smartypantses who are all doing phds on how dumb us backwoodsmen are, could u do one for me on the system of local councils that gadaffi had and does that click with anything in eire nua. God bless the colonel, i know he wasnt perfect, but neither is maradona. and one thing that cant be denied. HE DIED FIGHTING. He had loads of options to leave and live a life of luxury but he died fighting. Do you hear me Martin Ferris. He died FIGHTING.

larry hughes said...

Goot

At the end of the day he DIED. The USA/UK global menace and murder machine knows no rest. SF are a watery shower of self serving crap. But bottom line is Eire Nua and the wee RA wasn't going to remove the Brits. It could boost morale with spectaculars but it will be politics here not guns that finishes the job in time. Gerry and Marty were NEVER dying for anything bar a political career and $500 a plate dinners in America. Not even that I'd hazard a guess. They must have intimated that to the Brits at an early stage or they'd have been boots up like Qaddafi a very very very ..... very long time ago. The Pat Finucane killing and others involving agents by the dozen convinces me of that. I think Martin Ferris was linked to the Marita Anne from Boston and not Libya, may be wrong of course. It has been known. Don't stress about foreign interventions by the UK. That just keeps their Paralympic and Invictus Games squads overflowing with applicants. Celebrate, Jeremy Corbyn is on the Labour Party ballot in the Parliamentary MPs Judas challenge contest. Could be the end of the Blairites. Now THAT is interesting and RELEVANT. Take the war to England, support Corbyn.

goot said...

eire nua is as relevant now as it ever was. if the o bradaighites cud man up and ditch the 'army' theyed be something. larry, have a read of christin ni elias's story, and you'll see what she went through for sticking up for eire nua. her mistake, if thats the right word, was to make beardy look like a bit of a clown at some meeting. i think she left this island in a hurry shortly after and never came back, i cud be rong. wud luv a chat with her.as for removing the brits, thats a piece of cake compared to the next task of putting manners on the gombeens and sleeveens here. and as for corbyn, i know nothing about him as i mostly ignore the charade of mainstream politics. i do know he's been married three times. i wouldnt vote for a lad who takes half a lifetime to find the right lassie. something rong there. i did see a bit of the greek economist guy a few weeks ago on vincent brown - the guy with the greek name i forget it, u know the fella im talking about, he said that these big eu meetings where the finance ministers from different countries get together and negotiate and thrash things out are a sham. he said everything is sorted before hand. brown, unsurprisingly - considering his boss is a bilderberger, didnt push him on it. he changed tack and went waffling about the greek prime minister, if i remember rightly the greek guy went down that line again but brown just wasnt going there. is corbyn part of this bullcrap - i dunno and not bovered as catherine tate mite say, as everything is going smashingly well here in saordonia. we run the place like gadaffis libya. peace larry.

goot said...

and larry, i dont want to start a row, but gadaffi died fighting for his people who he minded like his own and shud be remembered for that.

SeanSmith said...

Hv to agree with Dathi, men and women doing serious sentences and anti treaty
republicans are irrelevant. The brexit in my view opens up
massive opportunities for republicans, the men who insist on armed actions(most
are caught b4 any action is carried out) have an obligation to set out there strategy
this hasn't being done thus far.I fear republicanism is heading into a dead end.i give
this opinion as someone who has served two prison sentences one for pira activity
and one for so called dissident activity. We should focus on building a republican
based mass social movement an when this is done an we hv youth at the core
weather it's armed struggle, political agitation, or some other from of struggle
that's when a strategy should be set out, because what's being happening so
far to be frank is a fucking joke. (Einstein once said the definition of madness is
doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result) we must
be more cleverer than that.

larry hughes said...

Goot

The bigger problem as you correctly point out as being the cute hoors that swindle right left and centre here is exactly my point. They would be dying for nobody and that is why Adams and Co. have been accepted into the fold. Birds of a feather. Would anyone in their right mind let a child of theirs suffer jail or death for those trash to remain at the top? Life is too short. It is sad and depressing, but it is the reality. Idealism gets blunted eventually and we die of old age... 'ideally'.

David Higgins said...

Well said Sean Smith.

goot said...

nice one Larry. i read recently that Mellows came up with the term - genetically mutilated - or something very close when he was describing the gombeeenmen. the first time i read thatchers comment years ago about the irish being all liars - my blood was boiling. after 45 years here i must confess she was right. there is a culture of bare face lying and two facedness here that sickens me. and she obviously knew what was going on in the rep. movement. but hey, the average paddy thinks the world loves him/her so thats ok.

larry hughes said...

Goot

The Irish conceited condition is a global phenomena. The British benefits street types will roll out the line 'born-to-rule' and the yanks tell themselves and everyone withing ear shot, about a mile, that they hail from the greatest nation on earth. Rarely do they take an objective look at the crap heap they have made of their own turf while bombing the crap outa places that really could do without it.

Steve Ricardos said...

Sean Smith

"We should focus on building a republican
based mass social movement an when this is done an we hv youth at the core
weather it's armed struggle, political agitation, or some other from of struggle
that's when a strategy should be set out"

Surely any halfwit would get a strategy BEFORE setting out on a political movement.

I can see why you end up in prison twice.

larry hughes said...

Steve Ricardos

I know I shouldn't but I'm sore laughing at that last comment of yours. That's me definitely in squire Danagher's black book now. Me and YOU both.

David Higgins said...

Steve,
By your logic every guerilla had a strategy before engaging? So no young man every reacted through anger, then later reflected on what future his ideology had, no?

Steve Ricardos said...

David,

I am not talking in past tense. Anger fuels all conflict. But what Sean is implying is to start a violent campaign first THEN work out a strategy.

Not only would this be seen as petty, vindictive, and downright odd considering no 'starting point' of a 'Bloody Sunday' or similar war crime, it would play into the hands those to wish to demonize ALL republicans.

Larry,

I've been away for a bit but I'm still surprised you let that one get by ye.

Pull yer finger out! lol

larry hughes said...

Steve Ricardos

Bloody Sunday a war crime? You have been away too long. Please come home and replace Gregory Campbell ASAP.

Steve Ricardos said...

Fuck sake Larry you know I hate the DUP as much as you!!

SeanSmith said...

Steve Im certainly not implying kicking off an armed
campaign and working out the strategy as we go along.
That would suggest that some republican activist's
can be scarificed while we work out a way forward,
(Is that not What Adams&co did?) I'm saying what
we've done so far has failed and republicanism needs
a different strategy, but that's just my opinion.I like
many others went to prison as a young man having
total faith in the leadership of the movement, I was
wrong! but that's the past,it's my view that armed
actions is not viable ,however I'm sure others might
disagree with me.what I think is important is that the
debate about finding a coherent opposition to sinn fein
needs to happen soon before anti treaty republicans
become a nuisance that can be easily dealt with.

larry hughes said...

Sean Smith

If republicanism is constantly failing maybe it isn't 'republicanism' that needs a different strategy. Maybe republicanism needs parked the fuck up and replaced??

Henry JoY said...

Larry

you're right on the money, republicanism as once practised has largely become virtually irrelevant. At least so to an over-riding majority.
As Mackers has rightly observed previously it could neither overthrow nor could it reform the Northern State.
Looking back right to 1916 and the years immediately prior to the 'Rising' it can, I now believe, be reasonably argued that insofar as Republicanism largely ignored the problem that Unionism presented, be seen as always having been a flawed strategy. With such a shaky foundation it was then, is now and forever will be a dodgy dogma.

Republicanism today many would argue has become nothing more than a loose alliance of misfits and slow learners.

David Higgins said...

Steve,
You and I have different interpretation of what Sean said. For me he was dissuading armed conflict . Larry, right republicanism no longet exists, replace it with what?

Steve Ricardos said...

OK fair enough Sean.

I must have got the wrong end of the stick, but as i've pointed out before the use of violence is the exact wrong thing to do in pursuit of a UI. Larry correctly pointed out before that us 'unionists' would far more willingly accept a united Ireland if it evolved peacefully.

Hell,even i'd vote for it if there was no threat of violent shite. Can't be an Ulsterman without being IRISH. (just for ye larry)

larry hughes said...

David Higgins

I have said previously Irish nationalism could do an awful lot worse than study the rise and development of the SNP. It is a modern relevant and very effective political party which is proud of it's heritage and country. I would add that a professed none violent 'military attired' throw-back like republicanism fails to inspire many on the RC side of the fence never mind the Protestant side of it. Contradictory to be trying to seduce Protestants while dressed as an IRA man in the wee 6 counties. Republicanism is the ;lazy option. An Irish version of the SNP after a sufficient decommissioning of the republican fantasy stuff, may be an option. Europe is taking refuge in nationalism as a potential security against the EU diktat. I was going to also say an Irish SNP would make unionists think seriously about whether they are Irish or a British ex-pat community here on this island. But Steve Ricardos just intercepted me on that one already. BAD MAN!!

David Higgins said...

Larry,
There's already similarities between the S.N.P and the mainstream Irish nationalist parties. The S.N.P are more effective, and maybe lessons can be learned. Having said that when, not if for me, when Scotland becomes independent the S.N.P won't survive. Scottish nationalist are predominantly left wing, all the districts that voted yes, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, Dundee and west Dumbartonshire are all left wing areas, hence the reason why the S.N.P are now masquerading as socialists. Don't be fooled by the S.N.P , they're Murdoch backed corporationists. They biggest threat to Scottish independence is the implosion and unmasking of the S.N.P. They currently back both horses, it's unsustainable.

larry hughes said...

David Higgins

The implosion of the SNP.. really? Who might be about to replace them, Labour or perhaps the Tories? They are certainly pro EU which may mean a reliance on big business and corporations as you say, but also a recognition like the 26 counties, that going it completely alone is unrealistic. The preference being the EU rather than eternal Tory little England abuses. Only embraced in the wee 6 by the DUP on the grounds of Tory preferential treatment over the locals. No one else for sanity sake would entertain an alliance with the Tory Party. But the wee 6 is what it is.

David Higgins said...

Larry. Once the Tories, Labour find a portion of equilibrium The S,N.P won't have such an easy ride, after the Scottish referendum the S.N.P's membership rocketed. Everybody who wanted independence, almost, joined, the S.N.P. Such a broad coalition is a certain to split. S.N.P were called the tartan tories for a reason.

larry hughes said...

David Higgins

Tory Party and Labour finding a portion of equilibrium in Scotland? I see!! said the 'blind-man' where you are coming from on that one and no doubt Lazarus will be leading the charge north of the border over there! The mind cannot boggle sufficiently fast enough to glimpse your logic on this score. Maybe LSD could help, but I'll skip that option.

David Higgins said...

Larry,
The Tories just had their best ever election result in Scotland, they're now the official opposition. Most of the new members of the S.N.P are disenfranchised labour voters. IF Labour go back to their roots, the voters will follow. The Scottish government now have powers over welfare, Glasgow has one of the poorest districts in western Europe, therfore one the highest number of welfare recipients. Any future anger at cuts will be directed at the s.n.p, a masterstroke from the Tories in the devo max negotiations. It isn't that much of a leap

larry hughes said...

David Higgins

"After the creation of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, Scottish Conservatives consistently took third place in its elections, although the party became the second largest in the Scottish Parliament in 2016. They currently control 31 of the 129 seats, with 24 of these seats won through the additional member system. The party has one of the six Scottish seats in the European Parliament"

'Additional member system'. Took pity upon ffs. This is a proportional representational system to give defeated party candidates an opportunity for representation according to their overall vote country wide. So in a Westminster type first past the post system your Tory friends would have gained a possible 7 seats only. The wee softy Scots don't play dirty like the Tory Party lording it over all and sundry from London and surrounding areas.

Aye the Tories are blazing a rite oul trail there. I think when the Tories start crucifying the Scots as they will do, the EU will look even more appealing rather than the Labour Party. SNP are hardly an inactive inefficient political operator either. I was in Glasgow for the first time as a 13 year old for an Old Firm game and was horrified and afraid of the slums on show around Park Head. In more recent visits I never venture from the hotel before and after games the image of that and a visit to a friends cousin in the flats in the Gorbals as a 17 year old left a lasting impression. Imagine my absolute surprise when I saw the social progression in those same areas on TV and the housing built with EU investment in areas that the Tory Party had left worse than Iraq. Age of male mortality in E. Glasgow was stated as lower than in war ravaged Iraq some years ago. So I fail to share your optimism that the Tory Party will turn the Scots against the SNP with their economic fascism. As Rab C would say....dream on pal.

David Higgins said...

Larry, It's certainly not optimism, more dread. This conversation started with you saying a lot could be learned from the S.N.P. Was merely pointing out that the S.N.P are not the juggernaut some may think. While there's a lot to be admired, they have benefited from ineptitude of rivals, and once the powers are transfered will be under immense scrutiny. The abandonment felt by the ex Labour mob could evaporate when the S.N.P natural allegiance to big business comes to the fore. Time will tell, the collapse of oil, the divisions of fracking, finding a fair balance on welfare. If they come out of that principled, i'll doff my cap. Was actually Tony Blair of all people who began the social reconstruction of the slums, east and north Glasgow in particular

larry hughes said...

David Higgins

Just watched a programme about Trump and his Scottish, Croatia and Ireland golf projects and the disregard for the locals. Alec Salmond came out of it all very badly in Scotland in the documentary anyhow. I hadn't seen that side of him. After scrapping course No2 Trump relocated his project to Ireland and Michael Noonan was there with Irish dancers and the whole shebang to greet him. In Croatia an 85% rejection of a golf course on baren rick above Dubrovnik was ignored by local political tyrants. Seems to be the same all over. Blair Salmond Noonan Croatia... Cannot believe we pay a TV license here to be mentally tormented and abused with this crap in our own homes.