Hunger Striking To History

Well yesterday Dublin witnessed what could only be classed as a spontaneous reaction to the ridiculous judge Paul Gilmartin’s sentencing of the Dublin Five to prison for coming within 20 metres of a water meter installer.  10,000 or so locals from the Dublin area arose, put on their boots and scarves and walked into town to protest.  No notice given just this spontaneous reaction to protest against a wrong and aiming to put it right.  It has probably pushed another 50,000 to join the protest on the 21st of March, next month when Dublin will once more be brought to a standstill.  As I said in my last post these Five are heroes in the making.

And then came the news that will set sphincters quivering in Leinster House, two of the Five went on hunger strike immediately they were incarcerated.  Derek Byrne and Paul Moore have taken the decisive step and what is more they say that if they are not released by tomorrow they will decline to take liquids.  When Irish men go on hunger strike they undoubtedly mean it.  History tells us that for 70 years in the 20th century when men like Terence McSwiney and Bobby Sands and all those in between refused food, they refused it wholeheartedly and died for their aims and the cause they were fighting for in the end won.  Does Edna Kenny want the blood of these men on his conscience?  Does he want to go down in history linking arms with Margaret Thatcher and Lloyd George.

Why has it come to this?  The intellectual cripples in the Fine Gael/Labour coalition fucked up good and proper in 2013 when they formed Irish Water.  No discussion with the people, no educating them in the deplorable state of water infrastructure caused by 40 or 50 years of wilful neglect by successive Irish governments and worst of all, bringing out this unbelievably stupid programme of water meter installation costing €3.5 billion, €3.5 billion they did not have and which will take many, many years to get back if they ever in fact do.  Their thinking was dire, in fact non-existent.  Water meters will never ever serve the purpose for which they were dubiously intended, their only purpose was to control even further the habits of a populace that was slowly but surely waking up to the shortcomings of these evil men and women in mainstream politics.

Metres are not needed, Britain does not have them and they have many more mouths to satisfy than Ireland.  A standing charge was the way forward, it would cost nothing in terms of investment and that in fact is what Edna’s mob have now retreated to.  But first of all the government had to treat their electors like equals and not like the pack of dogs they have taken us for.

I am sure if Edna had come forward in 2013, held his hands up and said “sorry folks, the last 50 years of government has been a shambles regarding water infrastructure.  Money that should have been set aside from the central tax fund was diverted to other schemes and it has now come to a situation where we cannot guarantee supplying you with potable water which is our duty under the Constitution and unfortunately this problem is only going to get worse because us good and true men in the Dail have fucked up big time”, he might have succeeded.  He should then have explained how much this restoration of infrastructure was going to cost and over how many years and that the government does not have that sort of funding available after years of austerity brought on by the illegal activities of bankers and politicians.  If he was any kind of a man at all and before he started charging the people for water, he should have called a General Election and said that most of the present incumbents of the Dail had “not fit for purpose” tattoed across their foreheads.  He should then have dissolved his Fine Gael party and hoped that Martin would do the same with Fine Fail and implore the country to come up with a new system of politics far and away removed from the present civil war, parish pump system we now have and which is nearly 100 years past its sell by date.

Only then would the electorate acquiesce to these further charges levied but unfortunately now because the people were not treated with the respect due to them, protesting principles will forbid them ever to have good clean water..  I think that eventually they can be persuaded to fork out but only if this present lot of treaty and anti-treaty shite are shovelled out the back door.  Look at Greece, they did it or are doing it, look at Iceland, they have done it.  So people of Ireland understand and realise your power.  You have in your midst people of strength, people who can think lucidly, people who respect their fellow man, people who can cut the crap.  So I advise you to stand up and be counted.  I can see you have already started the process with Clare Daly and Michael Fitzmaurice and others already having their bums on hallowed seats.  I can see chaos for a while but is that any worse than the corrupt, hollow shite-hawks we have previously elected.

However before we run away with ourselves let us not forget the jailed Dublin Five who have been imprisoned because Edna’s bowels are loose.  Let us somehow get them out before they harm themselves permanently, because as I said before when an Irishman goes on hunger strike, it is not a whim, he fucking means it.

Water, Water Everywhere But Not A Drop……..

With the jailing of five water protesters yesterday in the High Court in Dublin by the idiot judge Paul Gilligan for contempt of a court order forbidding anybody to step into a 20 metre no-go zone round meter installers, it emphasised the governments absolute terror at the situation it has got itself into with regard to water.  They do not seem to realise in this computer driven modern world people are claiming back their power and nobody can stop them unless they are treated with respect and equality.  Giving out 19th century punishment to peaceful protesters is no way of approaching these two qualities.  The bloody judge might just as well have put them up against a wall in Kilmainham and in Maxwell fashion, shot them, because these five names will go down in Irish history and put on the same pedestal as Connolly, Pearce and the others of 99 years ago.

A woman, Bernie Hughes of Finglas, Michael Batty of Raheny and Derek Byrne of Donaghmede were given 28 days and Damien O’Neill of Coolock and Paul Moore of Kilbarrack were given 56 days detention for daring to go inside this 20 metre zone.  And indeed it was Derek Byrne who last month called our President, a parasitic little midget at a gathering in Dublin.  A sobriquet far too distinguished for the little fart whose ascension seems to have uplifted all parts of his homunculus frame.

They were cheered in court by their fellow protesters and protest marches started as soon as the five were led away with the promise of further, bigger and more disruptive marches to come.  It was all a brilliant piece of caricature showing the absolute injustice that exists in present day Ireland and dare I say the world, where bankers, politicians and international commercial types are robbing their countries blind and not even getting a rap over the knuckles whilst peaceful protesters are slung in the slammer for demanding their rights.  However the day is coming and it ain’t far off when the people will make sure these parasites won’t have any knuckles to rap.

A week ago Edna Kenny, our Fuhrer, was saying that he could not understand these protesters because by installing meters he was saving the country massive amounts of water and then a couple of days later Irish Water come out and say they are losing through leaks from an antiquated system 49% of all the water it produces and that it will take 20 years and billions of pounds that it does not have to bring the country’s water infrastructure up to international modern day standards  Tell me Edna how spending 3.5 billion euros on water meters is saving the country’s water when the water pipes of this country are acting as a water sprinkler to encourage the verdancy of this country to presumably keep the Tourist Board happy.  Surely 3.5 billion euros would go a long way to curing Irish Water’s wet dreams.

It is obvious that when orders came from Europe to clear up the water problem Ireland has, the Fine Gael/Labour coalition jumped into a hole it had neatly dug for itself and without thinking, pulled a cover over the whole and created Irish Water with all its ensuing problems.  It grieves me to say it but I feel sorry for the situation Irish Water is in and for all the stupid eejits who left their jobs for life in County Councils to install themselves into jobs that will not shortly exist, because just out of nappies Irish Water is a bankrupt company made even more bankrupt by Mr Minister Kelly’s backdown on water charges, which  half the country will not pay anyway.  There really is going to be some wonderfully imaginative accountancy exercises and what also grieves me is that the €1900 I pay a year on road tax which I hoped was alleviating the pot hole problem on our much neglected Connaught boreens  is now to be spent on the provision of fluoride injected water.  It is a problem I am trying to get my head around and work out ways and means of not letting this get me down too much before I die a cancer induced death brought about by government stupidity.  But I should look nice smiling over the rim of my coffin at a room full of teary relations.

Without doubt after years of absolutely poor government from the Fine Gael, Fine Fail and Labour political machines, Irish Water have now a greater task than Hercules when he was set the task of cleaning out the Augean stables.  Augeas was the king of Elis in Greece who had a great herd of oxen housed in stables that had never been cleaned out.  The crafty Hercules just diverted an handy river through the stables which washed all the excreta of years away.  Irish Water are not able to do this because they have diverted all their water into pipes that are sprinkling the country and keeping the grass growing and covering the accumulated mass of rubbish or corruption, be it physical, moral, religious or legal that is weighing this poor country down.

And as an almost final note to Irish Water, although I do sympathise with your plight, you will get no help from me.  My meter is archaic but working, my water is still “piss”, endowed with cryptospiridium and fluoride and I am not paying a penny until you get your product fit for market.  The road tax is a problem I had not contemplated but like Hercules I can be crafty too.  There are more ways of skinning a cat than killing it first.

Definitely my last thoughts are with the soon to be “Famous Five”, Bernie, Michael, Derek, Damien and Paul.  I hope your disgraceful treatment by the tyrant Gilligan does not impair your future prospects and I hope you bear your holiday at Edna’s hotel with dignity.  You lads and lassy are the heroes in this struggle, which we will win over these dimwitted fools who think they are our masters.  Bring on the elections in 2016, we cannot wait.

 

Friends Of St Bede’s College In Manchester (FOBCIM)

Let me introduce you to a new group, a pressure group if you like, who have resolved not to pressure anybody as long as things are going along the right road.  We are Friends of St Bede’s College in Manchester (FOBCIM) or FOBs for short

I set out in 2011 when Daniel Kearney was made headmaster of St Bede’s College in Manchester to right a wrong.  Having received the trite note and a note was all it was, from Monsignor Michael Quinlan, once head of Governors at the school, to all parents to say that Michael Barber  had gone and Daniel Kearney was in place, I smelt a rat.  I smelt it straight away because of the speed of transition.  Why?  Because in the best run places that is not how things are done.  The end of one headship and the start of another is a careful and predetermined programme of events destined for it to be seamless to the observer.  It can last for a year or even longer whilst discovery of new and adieus of old take place.  But this soft shoe shuffle by Quinlan and Kearney warranted careful inspection, in fact it seemed highly suspect.

More or less immediately my suspicions turned into definite evidence as I started to learn of what was happening at the school under the Kearney/Pike foremanship.  All sorts of people were contacting me telling me of their disquiet with the way things were panning out.  Time honoured methods were being changed for no apparent reason, experienced staff were leaving in droves, parents were no longer treating the place as a “must go to” for their children and those parents with children at the school found themselves caught in a trap.  It not being the place they had signed up to years previously.  They felt they had no say in their children’s destiny, in short they felt their fears were being disregarded, in fact ignored.

Over the years since that Kearney/Pike putsch in 2011 disaffected people have been contacting me, disaffected people very close to the school who could see the wood from the trees and were alerted by this blog.  Concerned old boys, trapped parents and those not so trapped who had the ability to pull their children out of Bede’s and send them elsewhere and dare I say it, abused whistle blowers.  Not of course sexually abused people but those who felt the quality of their professional lives had been downgraded since the new regime emerged.  People within the aegis of the school who thought Kearney’s methods was an abuse of their personal and professional standards.  People who thought they had a right to have their thoughts recognised.

These people did not become a group, they were individuals who saw the value of this blog and the power it gave them to fight back anonymously by reporting verbatim what was going on.  None of them knew another but all had a common cause.  Between us we achieved a fair amount and although we cannot take the whole of the credit for Kearney’s and Quinlan’s demise, our programme of disparagement of the duo’s behaviour must have helped.  I know for a fact that Kearney was rendered dyspeptic by some of our revelations on occasions when if he possessed a cooler head he would have been better displaying it.  No, I have to say they brought most of their bad fortune to the table themselves.

In the last six months since Kearney’s eventual protracted departure we have remained calm, we have discussed where we need to go and we have all decided to give the new head, Mr Richard Robson, a fair crack of the whip.  At least his advent was not the result of a nefarious back-stabbing operation as was Kearney’s, albeit a risky and shabbily managed process that saw the school produce a new head out of a hat within the space of about six weeks instead of the normal lengthy process of discovery to ensure that the new choice is really fit for purpose with no attached baggage.

We, the disaffected individuals of yore are now bound up in a loose Association.  We remain a cellular structure, nobody knows who the next man is, except for myself, they all remain anonymous but there is communication between ourselves using me as the channel.  A little like that scary organisation at the turn of the 20th century in Ireland, the Irish Republican Brotherhood or the IRB as they were known.  The difference is that we are not a bunch of murderers and rebels but just decent people seeking the truth and trying to help the disquieted.

We will over the rest of this school year observe, listen and say nowt, unless of course there is something that absolutely needs saying.  Mr Robson looks a decent enough chap with no particular religious ideology like Kearney brought back from southern Spain with him.  Our only worry is his lack of experience at senior management level at a seven or eight hundred pupil school which has or had a high level of success in public examination.  At this level the head has to keep so many balls in the air, one moment of distraction can mean empty hands and no balls at all.  Certainly however  his early experience at stage school as taught him how to look the part, is early snaps at the College show him to be neatly turned out and fresh looking and in his opening address on the school website he did not appear to have the rabid dog mentality about discipline that Kearney portrayed in his preface in 2011.

We wish him luck because he will surely need it, the fabric of the school is rent with uncertainty and past experiences, with senior management jockeying for position in the new era and with a Board of Governors massively endowed with sacerdotal ineptitude, disgruntled former senior management and a sprinkling of trite nonsense with the likes of Helen West, who supposedly reported me to the English police, the Garda Siochana and Uncle Tom Cobley and threatened to close my blog down.

As an opening introduction we thought we, the loose association known as FOBCIM or FOBs for short would send him an open letter to tell him that we are on his side.

Dear Mr Robson,

Welcome on board the good ship Bede and we mean that sincerely because we know you have your work cut out to make a success of this daunting mission that you have set up for yourself.  In a way your introduction to the school has been helped by the sterling work of Sandra Pike, who without the interference of the dummy chucker Kearney has managed to plug the hole in the keel of the school and steadied the sinking ship and brought it back from its almost terminal list.  It is now limping along at slow ahead from a desultory stand by and its your job to get it full ahead by the end of the year.  Excuse the nautical language but for three years that is what the school reminded me of, a large ship in a wallowing sea without rudder or power.  The power has been returned and is awaiting your dynamic input.  Every thing is in place for you to make a magnificent success of this voyage or fail miserably if your dysfunctional engine room lets you down.

Staff morale is low after a year of uncertainty and three years of inefficient tinkering and that probably is your first objective.  It does not need saying that the College’s Safeguarding issues need to be met head on and the onus is more on good practice than lip-service as Kearney discovered.  One real way of achieving this is by admitting to the historic sexual abuse of pupils of the College, holding up your hands and apologising wholeheartedly to the many hundreds of abused kids that have gone through the maelstrom of past College life.  Reconciliation is the key.  Admittance, acknowledgement and acceptance of the dark deeds allowed in St Bede’s College  to my knowledge, from the late 1940s and up to and probably beyond the turn of the 21st century.  In fact I doubt whether the problem has really left the school but Byrne and Moynihan will fill you in on the nitty gritty, if you do not already know.  If that approach fails you can always come to this blog where we should be able to chat in confidence.

Be careful with your dealings with the Board, having 33% of the board as priests of the Catholic Church is about 24% too much in this day and age and the looming presence of those two erstwhile stalwarts of the College’s glory days, the said B & M, does not help.  They were put there in 2011 by Quinlan to help Kearney in his nursery hour of need.  Little help they gave him for all they did when the pressure mounted was to resign and were then brought back again to give Kearney his coup de grace.  The shadowy and undeserving figure of Coffey as Vice Chair of the Board seems to give him more importance than he intellectually deserves but he is obviously there as an Arabic plant to ensure the Sheikh keeps his foot in the door of College life.

You will have been made aware of the disastrous path that Daniel Kearney trod helped in no small way by the behind scenes tinkering of the Diocese and its acolytes.  So we suggest an arms length relationship with Salford and this new and not so nice and grim successor to the Brainless one, Bishop John Arnold, whose recent history suggests he does not take prisoners.

So the best of luck and we will support you wholeheartedly providing you do the right things and we will certainly give you time to ensure your blueprint becomes reality.  But one final thing before we leave you in peace, or three as it turns out,

1. Why does Fr “Gus” Dearman still give his address as the school when the previous regime told everybody that he no longer resides there.

2. For heaven’s sake get somebody working on the College website, it is a disgrace and needs bringing into the 21st century.

3. Why is that erstwhile guardian and bully boy of the College, Fr Timothy Hopkins, the one time eyes and ears of Quinlan in College propriety, still skulking away in a private house in Crumpsall.  With his past troubles behind him supposedly and his young age for him, would he not be better off performing parochial duties, providing he is allowed and giving the likes of those two honest to goodness servants of the College, Jack Rigby and Kevin O’Connor some respite from their duties, as they are well into their 80s now and deserve a little respect.

We hope you have a fair wind and a following sea.

Members of FOBs

To Be Or Not To Be.

Before I begin this little but very important blog posting I would just like to register myself as a definite confirmed heterosexual of unambiguously male gender and so can only look at today’s subject with a sympathetic outsider’s eye. I am writing as I feel after my small amount of research, I might have some terms and facts wrong but I am new to this area of life’s rich tapestry.
This train of thought came about with a careful nudge from a transgender friend after the tragic suicide of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender 17 year old from Ohio in America on 28th December 2014. For those of you unaware, a transgender person is one whose brain tells them clearly that they are of the opposite gender to that which they were given at birth and which their physical appearance might suggest. Leelah was born Joshua but through her early teens knew she was actually a girl and dressed and thought accordingly. Her Christian parents believed she was damned if she continued with this perspective and forced her into a course of conversion therapy, a brutal remedy which borders on mental abuse and which ought to be banned.
It was this inhuman conversion therapy and the thoughts of her parents bullying attitude that eventually led to her death. Her parents still considered she was their son and that they could not accept her gender for religious reasons. It is a fact that Christianity and especially the Catholic Church, does not deal fairly with people whose sexuality or gender is not conventionally heterosexual.   They consider that anything else is a perversion not a God given gift whilst the Asian religions of Islam and Buddhism and others tend to be far more welcoming to gender variation. We, after all, are all God’s children and we should all be treated with equanimity and equity.
Faced with this dark force in the western world you can now start to see the absolutely complicated decisions that affect some people’s lives, decisions that we as heterosexuals of conventional gender just take for granted and never have to consider.
This transgender friend of mine grew up as a boy knowing herself to be a girl but with male apparatus. By the age of 20 she was dressing as a woman and became suicidal at the societal pressures put on her by family and others. However she was intelligent and used her common sense and swapped back and forward in gender as the occasion arose. It is a sad fact that 50% of transgender children attempt suicide as a way out of the pressures that society often places on them, but she was older and stronger than Leelah when it really mattered.
There is help out there for people in this difficult position but because of their youth they are often not mature enough to access it. This I think is where sympathetic parents hold the key. A good parent should, when they love their child enough, be able to throw off the shackles of convention brought on by religion and society. Leelah’s parents were not able to take that step which I can imagine is a difficult one to take even though they confess to loving Joshua as much as any parent could. They should have sought out real help and advice not the inhumane conversion therapy with which to treat their daughter.
You might now be asking so what, some dumb cluck teenager topping herself, why should I be interested? But the problem is a serious one and no child should have to tread these waters alone, help should be readily and easily available. It is reasonably estimated that possibly 0.3% of the population is faced with this horrible worry and if you think of the United Kingdom with 60 million of a population, there are 200,000 transgender people around. An awful lot of people with no steer to the early parts of their lives.
How can we help these poor souls, lost in a strange world that gives them no help? Well we can start by not sniggering when transgender is mentioned, we can stop being dismissive when the subject comes up. We can all start to feel sympathetic towards the minefield into which they might be heading. We tend to think of these people as being degenerates and perverts but they are no different than me or the next person. It is just that it is easier for us to rise to a level to suit the typical societal mores. We do not jar, they seem to, all because perverted and deserted Christianity tells us so.
So let us all make another New Year’s resolution. Let us look on our personal sexualities and gender as a gift from our maker. Just as there are many shades in the colour of skins in this world, there are also lots of shades of sexuality and gender and we the majority should not get on our high horse when dealing with, speaking to or even helping out the minorities. We all add flavour to life and we should all be treated with respect.
When I persuaded myself to do this difficult posting I thought of the many years I had spent largely unaware of these matters. I did not think about the lives of even straightforward gays and lesbians of which there are an awful lot. In the UK there are about 1.5 million gay men and about 900 thousand lesbians. It never entered my cognisance of the many, many transgender people and variations in between but this exercise has been therapeutic for me as I hope it will be for you, if you choose to think seriously about this subject. I in the space of a few days have learnt to be magnanimous, sympathetic, appreciative and above all understanding of this rich creed of people that I had not considered before. If there is any kind of positive spirit that has come out of Leelah’s tragic and premature death, it is that she has raised the awareness of her situation in all of us.

If you yourself are transgender or have a family member or friend who is transgender, remember that there are organisations and help lines for you.  Don’t do what Leelah did.  If you e-mail me in confidence on malpas46@eircom.net, I can provide further information.

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