Friday, 7 November 2014

Never a dull moment!

A few observations:

Over the past few months Derry has experienced the occasional upsurge in so called 'dissident attacks.' These attacks could often be seen as timely in that they mostly serve to deflect from important issues and recent announcements such as the millions of pounds being removed from the economy in the form of cuts to front-line services. Now, before I go any further I’m not being dismissive of the danger of such an attack, just that the timing coincided with the announcement that Stormont is going to implement cuts to everything that moves, well except their expense accounts, but that’s another story.

This announcement should have sparked demonstrations similar to those we witnessed in the south of Ireland over the implementation of water charges, yet in Derry the most we witnessed was a dangerous device being launched at a passing police car. I would say to those behind the recent attacks, your actions are negatively impacting on local people and local youth and will no doubt assist with securing more money for the police budget whilst shifting the focus from the total failure of our cowboy politicians.

So for those among you who feel you are on the road to a freeing Ireland my advice is get a grip of yourselves as you are as much of a threat to the British Establishment as the Salvation Army is.

Realistically, there’s no need for dissident republicans to try and bring down Stormont, the 108 cowboys are running it into the ground quicker than you can say ‘gay cake’.

My question is how many cuts to services people will tolerate by the Stormont fat cats before they realise that all those loans and money on tick from the British treasury have to be repaid. If you think we’re in bother now give it a few years, it’s almost like Edward J Smith the captain of the Titanic deciding to play chicken with an iceberg.

Over 24 hours after the attack in Creggan the PSNI in their treatment of residents and young people were considered by some to be acting in a manner worthy of the B Specials. As someone who is not selective with condemnation, I would call on the politicians and moral guardians to condemn these actions which in some cases amounted to child abuse, but then again I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for them to open their chirpers.

Another issue that has captured a lot of attention this week is that of a cake which has become known as the 'gay cake.' The cake which was ordered at an Ashers bakery in Belfast earlier this year caused a lot of controversy when the bakery declined the custom on the basis that the request was "at odds" with their Christian beliefs. The Northern Ireland Equality Commission in their recent correspondence to the bakery last week said that unless the firm acknowledged their breach of equality laws and offered compensation they would begin legal proceedings.

Ironically in the cases at Stormont where some law makers are persistent equality law breakers the equality commission seem to take a more relaxed approach. The Equality Commission took until October 2013 to enter the debate at Stormont requesting that leadership to  shown over issues including gay marriage, gay and unmarried couples having the right to adopt and permitting gay men to donate blood. These issues had previously been the subject of costly legal challenges via the public purse by the then DUP Health Minister Edwin Poots.

With the above issues in mind I would question why the equality commission have never launched a challenge over the breaches of equality legislation at Stormont yet are overly keen to drag a local business through a costly court process over a cake? The critical side of me can't help but wonder if this selectivity around issues of equality is influenced by the fact the Equality Commission is a sponsored department of the Office of the First and deputy First Minister. Surely if those in government were to set a better example in terms of adhering to equality legislation or were at least reprimanded for their failures local businesses would consider reviewing their own policies.

What was laughable today, was the Nolan show this morning, Catriona Ruane from Sinn Fein told a Catholic priest who had disengaged with 'gay groups' over the cake issue that it wasn't for her to tell any church how they should engage with a community, but if the leadership of the catholic church feels it cant do the job then 'somebody else should be doing it'. and I would say to Ms Ruane, please pass on those sentiments to your party and their buddies, because the people North & South are being failed by those elected, it's simple really, you can't have your cake and eat it.

And on the topic of sugary things Nils Muiznieks an EU official announced yesterday that the government needs to conducting, independent and reasonably prompt investigations into troubles related killings by British military and police. Further stating that budget cuts cannot negate the need to uphold the rule of law and how this is currently in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights.

Alas one more to the chorus of Haas and Larkin!!!!! 

In a response from the Northern Ireland Office a spokesperson said the UK government has a "strong track record in upholding human rights, and takes its human rights obligations extremely seriously". At this statement alone I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Britain's strong track record in upholding human rights can be summed up in 3 words, ‘The Hooded Men’.

The NIO spokesperson then went a step further saying "We are working assiduously on a range of processes under way which relate to Northern Ireland's past, including very extensive disclosure exercises.” "The government is currently engaged in intensive talks with Northern Ireland's political leaders and the Irish government on a range of matters including how to approach the legacy of the past. The Secretary of State believes that these talks provide a crucial opportunity to address this pressing issue."

Availing of the Control and F function on my laptop to ensure I hadn't missed anything I found no mention of the word prosecution. This will be case a of all those parties involved in discussions trying to work out how to best cover their asses in terms of avoiding prosecution.

I don’t know what island of equals they’re all on, but I can’t seem to find it on a map maybe it’s five miles west of Hy-Brasil?

Lastly yesterday was a busy day as it was also revealed that British intelligence agencies have policies to allow their staff access to communications between lawyers and their clients. These actions conflict with Lawyer/client confidentiality and as such campaigners fear this will have a troubling impact on the British justice system.

The guidance was disclosed for the first time at a tribunal which examines complaints against MI5, MI6 and GCHQ. It would seem that the idea of big brother is not only confined to channel five. But then again, with the NIO lauding the British Government’s Human Rights record, maybe, just maybe, they’re just accessing these communications to protect the accused human rights!!

So to sum up, over the last few weeks we have had the issue of gay cakes, religious bakers, an unequal Equality Commission, Dissident style Dukes of Hazard, EU officials in harmony with Haas and a goodbye to lawyer and client confidentiality.

Welcome to NORN IRON, please feel free to digest as much processed nonsense as you can possibly stomach.

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