Written on: 23. 12. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

In part, the Marists of Ireland helped equip the Marxists of North Korea with nuclear weapons

This coming year marks the 120th anniversary of the establishment by Irish Marists of St Anthony’s school in Lahore, in what was then the Punjab Province of the British Raj in India. It’s usually forgotten nowadays — thanks to a republicanised history curriculum — that the Irish were often enthusiastic participants in the empire, as missionaries in particular, but also as soldiers and civil servants. And, of course, all education is thought-imperialism of a kind: thus French missionaries originally founded […]

Written on: 22. 12. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

The 2012 Olympics will be the final calamitous testament to the great obsessions of Tony Blair

There isn’t a single person in Ireland — and I am, most passionately in the general throng — who doesn’t want Fionnuala Britton to win a medal in the London Olympics. Yet, surely, we must all be aware of the con that is going on; there are so many events in the Olympics, that virtually every country gets a medal. And so while Lithuania exults over its silver in ferret-wrestling, and Ugandastan rejoices at its gold in toenail-filing, no one […]

Written on: 21. 12. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

Come back in a year and tell me about Arab Spring

It was clever of Vaclav Havel to die almost on the first anniversary of the self-immolation by Mohamed Bouazizi. The latter’s death was hailed throughout the western liberal media as the dawn of a new age; so let us now celebrate a full year of self-deceit and delusion. That idiotic term “the Arab Spring” in itself defines the historical ignorance that underwrites this myth. After all, the Prague Spring was deeply non-violent: it was crushed by tanks, but even the […]

Written on: 20. 12. 2011 in the category: Featured news | read the full article

Hitchens had charisma and intellect in spades

The best thing about Christopher Hitchens was that he changed his mind whenever the evidence justified it. He started out on the classical English left, rather like his hero, George Orwell, and when he realised that it was an intellectually threadbare gallimaufry of ego-driven career politicians, cynical or witless trades union leaders, and middle-class emoters, he moved to the position of Permanent Sceptic. This is the only respectable position for any journalist of honour, which was easier to maintain in […]

Written on: 16. 12. 2011 in the category: Uncategorized | read the full article

The Miami Showband massacre was one of the most depraved atrocities of the Troubles

THE official confirmation by the Historical Enquiries Team of collusion in the Miami Showband massacre of 1975 should surprise no one. It was widely known that UDR members of the UVF were involved and there was no serious attempt at the time to cleanse the UDR of loyalist terrorists. This was an utter scandal. But it doesn’t stop there. Most of the UVF men responsible for the Miami massacre had probably been involved in the Dublin bombings the year before. […]

Written on: 15. 12. 2011 in the category: Uncategorized | read the full article

Is our membership of the euro simply a rather fraught way of declaring our non-Britishness?

It was a shame that Europe waited until I was away before it fell apart, for I feel sure that my counsel might have been of some use to the German Chancellor, Helmut Merkel, or the French President, Signore Punchinello. For a start, I should certainly advise Herr Merkel to do something about his tailor, for the rascal is giving his suits the strangest cut. Jackets should not normally reveal the bottom (especially one as ample as his) unless one […]

Written on: 13. 12. 2011 in the category: Uncategorized | read the full article

I have been attacked for what I have not said on suicide but here’s why I must revisit the issue

Before I took a week’s leave, I wrote a column on suicide, which I finished: “And since we can, quite rightly, no longer use the crude force of a pagan taboo as a control over people’s lives, then we must extol the positive. . .” The headline-writer duly summarised these words as follows: “Suicide is self-murder and must remain taboo.” Well, we’ve all had bad days at the office, but at least most of us are then held accountable for […]

Written on: 2. 12. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

My response to the tragic death of Garry Speed

Note to readers: this Column was atrociously headlined, “Suicide is self-murder and must be made totally taboo”, or something like that, which is the opposite of what I actually said (see the end of this column). Anyway, taboos are not consciously made; they are the creation of the collective unconscious, and it is because they work at a sub-liminal level that they are so very effective. Either way, here is my response to the tragic death of Garry Speed: NO […]

Written on: 1. 12. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

Until you’ve played rugby with miners’ sons, you can’t understand the term ‘near-death experience’

Memory is a curious thing. I was out walking my dogs in the driving rain and howling wind yesterday, when a spaceship visited me from the distant galaxy of my youth. A panel in the side of the spaceship opened, and I walked aboard. And there, all around me, was a forgotten episode from my early years, unvisited all these decades. I was playing for Ratcliffe under-16s against Coalville Grammar School. Coalville was — is — a small town in […]