Friday, April 30

OMG look what just came through the door.

I have just realised that Alliance is standing in west Belfast!!! There are no Alliance bill boards up in west Belfast at least to my knowledge, and the first I've heard of a candidate from that party is this morning when a leaflet from the party fell through the mail slot and on to the mat in the hall.
And who is their candidate Maire Hendron. Who? I mean did she ever visit this constituency. I know that Joe Hendron, who used to be my doctor stood and held the seat for a while and had a great following in this constituency, but he was in the SDLP, not Alliance, so if Maire is hoping to trade on the family name she is going to be severely disappointed. This is one outcome that can safely be predicted. Infact she is so unknown of in this constituency I'm sure people will wonder who she is on their ballot paper!!!

The pros and cons of tatical voting in this election in the north of Ireland.

Jim Gibney has been in the Irish News lately writing about tatical voting. He urges republicans in south Belfast to vote for Alasdair McDonnell of the SDLP saying it is better for nationalism overall to vote for the SDLP candidate rather than not vote and allow in a unionist candidate.

But I fear his predictions are based on very grand hopes that Sinn Fein cannot realise. According to Gibney Republicans should vote for the SDLP candidate as it is better for nationalism in achieving their ideal of a united Ireland to have McDonnell elected rather than a unionist candidate.

Gibney maintains that tatical voting is part of the landscape in the six counties and has been used before by various others with success, and that if done this time round it could result in nationalists holding nine out of the eighteen Westminister seats.
But this thinking of Gibneys and of Sinn Fein in removing Alex Maskey from the race is based on lifting Fermanagh and south Tyrone, and north Belfast seats and one must ask how realistic that goal is. Fermanagh and south Tyrone is much too close to call, the fate of that seat could literally lie with the weather and voter turn out. North Belfast is much more difficult to predict. Gibney claims that if Kelly is elected he will be one of three nationalist MP's out of four constituencies.  
I feel Gibney is much too optimistic and since when was politics here down to making Sinn Fein the biggest party? If Kelly was to become the third of four MP's for Belfast that would mean this city would have next to no representation at Westminister, we'd simply have more MP's doing nothing.
It is a matter of record that Sinn Voters have very little money, they are in the main working class people, people who would have next to no representation at Westminister in the mouth of savage cuts.

Thursday, April 29

In the Waterfront with Nolan.

We went to the Stephen Nolan show special last night hosted in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast. There was an extremely good  cross section of people there from all walks of life, from first time voters to pensioners. After tea and refreshemnts, a fair range of questions was then put to candidates. Most of us got a question in, there was plenty of staff on, and mikes were floating about and everybody got the chance to say their piece. We even got treated to a little too much information on Stephen Nolan's trousers, and how he could not get them zipped up fully so he had some tape holding up the zip as the fat was pushing down on it. Yep its true, and the guy really does need to shed some of it, he is far too heavy.  
The show goes out on Friday morning at the usual time, and whether anyone else finds it enjoyable or not the event was certainly entertaining. The politicians there were Jeffrey Donaldson,Mike Nesbitt, John O'Dowd,Stephen Agnew,Alistair McDonnell, Gerry Lynch and David Vance.

Tuesday, April 27

Hungerstrike march this Sunday May 2nd 2010.

The Irish News is today reporting that trouble could be expected at a march on Sunday in Belfast which is being called by the United Independent Hungerstrike Commeration.
The group United Independent Hungerstrike Commeration are also on facebook, and they say their parade will be entirely peaceful

Let us hope the parade is peaceful and passes of in a dignified manner. This is afterall to remember the Hungerstrike and a peaceful and dignified parade should be the aim of everyone attending, whether marching or assembling at Dunville.

Video below the fold.

Friday, April 23

Election, bits and bobs..

Gerry Adams does a much better interview with Noel Thompson on BBC Hearts and Minds, than with Jim Dougall on last night Northern Ireland leders debate, which was totally boring. Thompson does a more thorough job and less boringly. Also Seamus McKee gets Jim Allister rattled on Evening Extra (about 0.36minutes in. McKee gets Allister rattled on the employment of family members and his position when in the DUP and his position now, which McKee claims is not consistent. Jim bursts at him angrily 'You'll not besmirch my reputation Seamus', but McKee is calm under fire with the TUV leader as he was with Peter Robinson.

Meanwhile the SDLP locally have been out on the stump, not canvassing but putting leaflets through the doors.

Click on images to enlarge and read.

Tuesday, April 20

The puzzles of Paisley.

There is to be a talk and film tomorrow night at eight in the Spectrum Centre on the Shankill Road in west Belfast, as part of Queens film festival. Tickets are around £4 pay on line or at the door.  I know that one lecturer at Queens is thinking of doing a profile of Paisley in the autumn, and Ed Moloney wrote an excellent book chronicling the twists and turns of his life. 
A few people I know also went along to a lunch with him at Queens, I think it was Will Crawley who hosted it and I heard some brilliant reports about it.
Theres no doubt he'll go down in our history books, this will definitely be a worthwhile event for anyone to go to.

Election fever grips us.

This morning I heard on the Nolan Show that they are to record an election special on Wednesday, no doubt to co-incide with UTV's election debate live. I haven't seen audience places advertised as they do on the BBC but who ever is there it ought to be a lively debate. Twitter can certainly buzz with comments from various political commentators giving their views and I have seen plenty of party people out on the stump. Including ones that needed their shoe laces tied!
There is also a neat little mural on the Falls Road with a play on the word 'party'.
At least its different. There are of course the usual placards on the usual poles with all the usual faces on them, but Alliance have done a rather neat job of putting out various types of political poster. Driving through South and East Belfast is a voters dream, with Alliance and various shades of unionsim all on offer. Here in the nationalist west we have had blanket coverage of Adams which I was begining to think was a take it or leave it situation for voters but within the last few days the SDLP are poking their nose above the parapet and putting up some posters and I have seen them out on the stump, so maybe variety is looking up. Conservatives too, have been out and about in the west with some comments on twitter telling me they were in Lenadoon!!! And were treated favourably!! Maybe we are moving on. 

Saturday, April 17

Shaun Woodward questions Danny Morrison’s innocence.

Sean Woodward the Northern Ireland secretary of state has ruled that  Danny Morrison and others ‘have still not proved themselves   demonstrably innocent’ and that ‘compensation should be paid where new evidence proves beyond reasonable doubt   a miscarriage of justice’. Shaun Woodward has said that they are unlikely to qualify for compensation in a letter to the solicitors of the acquitted. (scan below fold)

Sunday, April 11

Journalist Anthony McIntyre has death threat says Sunday World.

Click on images to enlarge (image below is scan)
The underwriter for Ed Moloneys book 'Voices from the Grave' Anthony McIntyre has had his life threatened claims the Sunday World.

Saturday, April 10

We always knew it was the IRA....

A nervous Helen McKendry did a very powerful interview on RTE and it is available for a limited time on the RTE player here - it starts around one hour in.
Helen says her mother was a good mother and took the death of her husband badly. He died of cancer at 39, and left behind a family of nine in a flat in Divis. The mother was under a lot of pressure and wasn't coping well, due to a lack of family support. She was a protestant living in the Divis Flats, her family came from east Belfast.
Helen says Divis flats were at the centre of what was going on during the troubles, with a tense atmosphere there.
 At the end of 1972, (on Dec 6th ) Jean went to bingo, a woman friend of hers called to the flat and asked young Helen 'why are you at home Helen,' as someone had went to the bingo and said you'd been knocked down. Then the army called in the early hours and said their mother had been found wandering the streets of the lower Falls area in a distressed state and could the young girl go pick her up Helen went to the police station to fetch her mother who had been badly beaten and asked her to go to her grandmothers house in east Belfast but she refused, saying she had done nothing wrong. Her mother had been taken from the bingo hall and beaten by the IRA, but Jean had not said why this had happened to her.

The next evening Helen left the flat to go to the local shops when the flat door was kicked in by four women and eight men, who dragged her mother from the bathroom, and that was the last her family seen of her. Helen believes her mother was abducted because she was a protestant and who had gone to the aid of a wounded British Army soldier who had been shot.

When Jean disappeared no one came to look after the children until Helen went to seek help as she had no money for food, and then the whole family was broken up and farmed out to care.  When asked about Moloneys book Helen says she believes Adams was behind her mothers murder. She tells the story of when Adams came to talk to her about the murder and how his body language was strange and he denied involvement. He did say he'd go to the IRA to speak to them on the familys' behalf, after a fifteen minute meeting she was asked to leave and then taken to a flat in Belfast with four IRA men there who apologised to her for the murder and that the murder was a mistake.

Some points of dispute arose during the interview namely with O'Loans' account and with some but not all of Hughes account. Helen says these are her memories, and doesn't believe all of Hughes events, that the IRA did not come and give a warning but believes that his account of Adams' involvement is correct, even though Adams says he rejects the allegations.

This is an extremely powerful  interview and well worth a listen.

Tuesday, April 6

Demonising the dark.

It seems that all the stops are being pulled out in the Sinn Fein media outlets to demonise Brendan Hughes or the dark as he was known. This is from the Andersonstown news, (click on imaged to enlarge ) The top image of the letter comes from the Andersons town news while the bottom image is from an phoblacht.

Monday, April 5

Gerry Kelly 'I'm proud to have been in the IRA'.

At least he is honest.

This is Gerry Kelly's speech in full at the commeration in north Belfast to remember republican dead from the area at Easter time. In the video he says:
'One of the great advantages and there isn't many from having been in jail and there are many ex prisoners about here, is the ability to say very straightforwardly I'm proud to have been in the IRA. I'm proud to have been an IRA volunteer, and am proud to have done what we did along side many comrades from this area, and through out the north and elsewhere.'
Video below the fold.

Saturday, April 3

Iris Robinson is found by the Sunday World.

The front page states:

This is the dramatic moment Sunday World rumbled Ulster's most hunted and  haunted

woman.  For five months, there were no sightings of 'Scarlet Woman' Iris Robinson.  But now we've caught up with on therun Iris as she strolled the streets of London without her wedding ring.


Wearing scarlet lipstick, hair done up to the nines, and dolled up in skin tight jeans and designer gear - in spite of her 60 years, she still looks sexy, but scared.
The paper also reveals that the cost of the private clinic she is staying at is £1,000 per day!

Easter Sunday in West Belfast?

Easter Sunday is the most important day in the history of Irish Republicanism.  This is the Falls Road in west Belfast earlier this evening.  There are a few buntings put up,  in Beechmount Avenue, and a few on the Falls road as the parade comes out of Beechmount avenue on its way up to Milltown cemetery. Infact one of thefewe buntings on Beechmount avenue has fallen off…

The other buntings that I seen earlier are on the front of the Falls road, just above Beechmount avenue….

Friday, April 2

Sinn Fein will hunker down and wait for this cloud of locusts to move on...

Report here

As usual, Sinn Fein will hunker down and wait for this cloud of locusts to move on to another field, just as they did in the cases of Paul Quinn and Robert McCartney. (so much anger and passion by proxy, so little effect).


Thursday, April 1

Gerry Adams tries to fight back.

The media filling its boots on the allegations in Moloney's book. gets some attention from squinter this week. An example of boot filling below

True they did fill their boots.
I watched nearly all the tv interviews and even bought the Andersonstown news when I saw the headline 'Adams hits back'.  I was expecting a word for word critique or at least a put down of sections  of what Brendan Hughes had said in the book 'Voices from the Grave'.  Instead all there was in the ATN was the reproduction of a pathetic blog post on Adams own blog.  In the utv news , the segment where Adams tells the reporter not to be smart with him,  Adams was asked was Brendan Hughes lying, I noticed he did not say yes, but evaded the question, giving a glib answer. Of course Hughes isn't lying, it's clear to anyone who read the book that the man is lucid and totally in control of what he says.  This Sunday Gerry Adams will give the oration at Milltown cemetery at the Republican plot.    

Writing on the wall promoting Adams speech;

What will Gerry say to those gathered around Ireland's dead? Will he continue to lie and say he was never in the IRA?  Instead Adams will defend his position that the dogs in the street know to be wrong, that he was never in the IRA.