Here is the autobiography of Billy Connolly A Glasgow born Catholic who is famous for his comedy sketches. He was described as Windswept and Interesting by a singer who he knew. He describes people who are “Windswept and Interesting” just have to be it … they don’t care what people say about them, they don’t buy new clothes , they’ll try on a tea cosy when no-one is around and tell their story their own damn way.
“Billy” was born in November 1942 in a Glasgow tenement to a father who was away at War and a young Mother. Their mother abandoned them when he was four years of age and was placed in a children’s home but was taken out by his Aunts on his father’s side, He went to live with his Aunts in a rather cramped house. He got a rather tough upbringing, one of his Aunts used to beat him till he stood up to her years later, he also got a trashing from the nuns which continued when he went to the “big” school. He told his classmates that he wanted to be a comedian and they all laughed !
He was abused by his Aunt and sexually abused by his father who he had to share a bed with when he came back from the War. “Billy” didn’t do well at school, he couldn’t do his homework with the situation at home and was regularly bashed by his teachers.. He apprenticed as a welder at a Glasgow shipyard but his heart wasn’t in it and dossed alot.
He started to play at a folk hall with a banjo and began telling jokes to the audience. He was a “stand by” act if someone didn’t show up. His career in comedy begin to take off and played at larger and larger venues. He experienced his marriage break up but his career kept going, He lived and worked in Los Angeles and New York and starred in a few films.
He is now in his late Seventies and suffers from Parkinson’s, he lives in the Florida keys and says he hasn’t done bad for a welder who got away with it.
Just browsing facebook and came across this post from Irish History and Troubles about Gerry Adams being a Mi5 spy.. This accusation dates from 2014, you can see the article on Belfast Telegraph website here .
The report alleges that Gerry Adams was turned in 1972 during a Police interrogation and worked secretly for Mi5 since then. The RUC/ PSNI made this claim when Mr Adams was arrested in 2014 over the Jean McConville killing, Mr Adams was held by the Ruc/PSNI for four days. Accusations like this are not uncommon in this regard. Rumor has it that at least half of the IRA worked for the security forces. Working for the security forces would make alot of things add up- why all the constant “mistakes” that ended up being a propaganda victory for the Brits.
One wonders if more will come out on Mr Adams, I will keep a ear out for anymore.
Above is gif from Wikipedia Commons showing the signatures on the Anglo Irish treaty which was signed on the December 5th/6th 1921. What can one say about the Anglo Irish treaty ? Absolute disaster is what I would say, the Irish delegation had under pressure signed up to the partition of Ireland, an oath of allegiance to the British King, British army to have garrisons in the 26 counties. Little or no real independence really. The Irish delegation signed the treaty without Dail or cabinet approval which they had told to get before they signed anything.
The result was two very nasty little states being established in Ireland, Both states were economic basket cases . What should be noted was the amount of people that left Ireland for foreign shores … emigration was a fact of life for all Irish people. The resulting civil war and the “troubles” could be laid at the door of those who signed the treaty. Maybe allocating the blame is more appropriate than the “hero” worship of the pro treaty Fine Gael/Fianna fail and Rte.
One fact that has to be made is that a 26 county dominion of the British empire could have be negotiated by a home rule parliament in Dublin . The Irish delegation had gone nothing in the way of concessions from the British. The British had given very little but it was enough to cause a split in the Irish. People who had jumped on the band wagon now jumped off. It was like a battle between the “have’s and the have-nots”.
The decisions made a hundred years ago touch us t0 this day.
This is a book I read (listened to actually) by Willie Carlin who enlisted as British soldier from 1965 to 1974 and on leaving the British army was asked to spy on Sinn fein for the British security service Mi5. He wasn’t asked to spy on the IRA but on the politics of Sinn fein and what they are doing. Being a Derryman he joined the waterside branch of Sinn fein and gradually worked his way in to the organization, becoming branch secretary, working in the Sinn fein advice centres and so on. He was told to get close to Martin McGuiness which he did, he kept Mi5 informed of Sinn fein tactics, electioneering , voter impersonation , membership records and expensives and income. meetings and so on. He had little time for the local IRA who he described as the “fuckup squad”, riddled with informers as they where but also mentions that he met Martin McGuiness coming out of a Mi5 safe house this was in the seventies ! The author waited till 2019 to tell people about this
The author was a rising star in Sinn fein, he was talked about standing as a councilor in the local elections. One mistake he made was ringing the British army barracks from the Sinn fein advice centre, they checked the phone bill ! They saw the unusual phone number, rang it up and found it was the British army. The author had to be very careful for months after this and resolved not to make such a stupid mistake again.
The author met his “contacts” in carparks of hospitals, they pull up in a van longside his car and take him to the British army base. He continued to work for Sinn fein whilst all the time being a spy for Mi5/FRU. He carried on till March 1985 when he was pulled out by the British army after a former handler blew him to the provos. His life was saved by none other than Freddie Scapatti of “Stakeknife” fame who told his controllers that Carlin (the author) was to be picked up by the IRA nutting squad the following morning. The author was told by the British he would be dead by morning and whisked him away to a British army base outside Belfast. Margert Thatcher’s ministerial jet was sent to collect him and his family. He was placed initially outside Cardiff in Wales where he lived happily for years, he received relocation expensive, a new name, new driving license and a lump sum. He recounts meeting Margaret Thatcher who tapped him on the arm and told him “What a great thing he was doing for his country !”
He believes that the British Government was successful in drawing Sinn fein away from the armed struggle and into main stream politics. The author has many regrets on his life as a informer principally being that he was unable to attend his son and daughters funerals, his life was marred by personal tragedy.
Today was/is (10 th October )the international Day against the Death penalty. The death penalty is formally abolished in many countries or off the books legally. Some countries retain the Death penalty such as China, USA, Middle Eastern countries and so on.
What does the Death penalty achieve ? Very little, it doesn’t deter anyone from killing so it seems.. Every country would seemed to have killed someone who is innocent. someone who is poor or mentally deranged. The guilty in alot of cases get off scot free, so it is unsafe form of justice.
Under what circumstances does someone deserve to lose their life, I don’t know but someone who killed and later cut up the body with a chainsaw, I would find it hard to defend them even though I am against the Death penalty.
I would support making a life sentence for murder mean life in jail or at least forty years in jail without parole. Another thing that could be done is to switch off all the violence on TV, it encourages the taking of human life and there is too much killing. Much could be done to scale back the gun culture that exists in many countries.
Just watched the “Eircom Shares” saga on RTE 1, it certainly brings me back unpleasant memories of dabbling in stocks and shares.
What can would one say ? like “Ripped off” is what one can say.
Small shareholders who owned most of the company where ripped off by “fat Cats”, the company ended up being bought by Tony O’ Reilly of Heinz and the independent news and media for a billion pounds less that it was worth. Eircom previously had demerged Eircell the jewel in the crown of the business for Vodafone paper.
The “sale” of Eircell proved to make no sense and was the grower in the company. The vultures quickly saw their chance and bid for the remaining Eircom business. O’Reillys Valentia bought Eircom at a discount and subsequently made the business give him over IR£ 700 million . The company racked increasing debts with every change over in owner, there was little or no money to invest in new services .
The company had started off debt free and now owes in the billions
A state commission will propose that the length of social insurance contributions should be up to forty years duration to qualify for a full “state” pension, This is up from the present ten years contributions so it is quiet a hike really,
They also want to raise the pension age to 67 from 65. It must be a pretty nasty bunch this commission, their proposals are anti people, designed to catch the poorest (who have no private pension) and leave them with nothing. It is really work till you die for alot of people, people who will not qualify for the 40 year contributions -stay at home mums, self employed, people with bouts of unemployment, people who studied a lot all will be caught under these proposals.
Maybe they should concentrate on the civil service there pensions cost the most. No fear of that is there ?
It is reported that the Irish Congress of Trade unions has already rejected these proposals. It shows the real nasty side of FF/FG Tories who give tax cuts to the rich and turn the screws on the poor . This commissions report must be sent to the recycle bin as it is meant to increase poverty and worsen conditions for ordinary people. Reject this !
On the news of late is ex minster and ex td Katherine Zappone, firstly she made the news with her party at Merrion Hotel contravening Co vid regulations and next her appointment to the UN as “special envoy”. Apparently no vacancy existed, none was advertised and is a made up post to suit Miss Zappone whims and fancy. Would we all have a cushy number such as this, lots of travel and meetings and no real work really. It seems the job didn’t pay that well according to the irish times it only paid €15,000 and was of 60 days duration, thats the Irish times version of it anyway.
The appointment (now declined) smacks of cronyism and jobs for the boys/girls mentality. We have alot of this mentality in Irish government and have a civil service full of people who have this feeling of entitlement. The Government and Rich people tell ordinary folk that they are entitled to nothing and the “World doesn’t owe anyone a living ” while they plunder and steal. Governments appointing their supporters to state jobs is nothing new and all political parties do it if they get the chance, These practices block suitable people from taking up positions on merit, The Government departments are mismanaged, cost too much and are a burden on ordinary people.