Irish independence and murky water

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It’s funny the things you hear on our national broadcaster (No, Virginia, I’m talking about RTÉ). On Saturday I was listening to The Marian Finucane Show and she was talking about Scottish independence. I can’t remember the exact words but they amounted to “Well, the Scots have voted down independence and we here in Ireland have it, but what kind of independence is it or have we independence at all at all?”  At this point I sat up in my chaise longue and put away the peeled grapes. This was major: an icon of Irish broadcasting on live radio, about to mention for the first time that we in the north were as Irish as those in the south, and that while 26 counties had won independence almost 100 years ago, 6 northern counties remained attached to London. There was a pause, while Marian took another big breath and I waited, all ears. Then: “I mean with the state of the banks and us at the mercy of the troika and all those tens of billions we have to pay back, you’d wonder what sort of independence we have at all at all! I mean wouldn’t you?”. 

It’s what you call one-eyed vision. The degree to which the south is independent is indeed up for question, given that the Irish people have to pay off billions in debt that they never occurred, and that they have regular visitors from Europe to see that they’re good little boys and girls and stumping up. But no mention of the north in terms of Irish independence or lack of it. We might be Irish but as far as Marian is concerned, we’re no part of Ireland.

Then last night I was watching RTÉ’s Prime Time, where a studio audience was mulling over the conditions of the water charge. You didn’t know they’re all set to charge for water in the south? Oh yes. Meters  have been installed and exemptions announced and all the rest. The studio audience, unlike earlier audiences, had clearly given up on complaining that the life was being squeezed out of them by other taxes, shouldn’t the water be paid for out of that? No, their concern now was reduced to the the fact that it stated, in black and white, that the details about themselves and their bank account which they shared with Bord Uisce/Irish Water could be passed on to people and bodies outside the EU. Wasn’t this an invasion of privacy?  What business had Bord Uisce amassing this information? Or worse still, passing it on?  A blonde little PR cutie from Bord Uisce explained: if there was some glitch in their electronic system, they might well have to call in people in, say, America to fix it. These people could view Irish people’s details – they’d have to, to fix the glitch – but that was a different matter from that data being transferred. Get it?

Well actually no. If I have access to your details, and am entitled to do so by law, what’s to prevent me making a nice little copy of your details. You haven’t transferred it to me, you’ve just let me see it and I’ve just made a little copy. What on earth could be wrong with that?

Outrageous, you say, Virginia? Breath-taking? I’ll tell you what was more breath-taking: nobody in the audience stood up and said “Enough of this arrant poppycock!  You’re charging us for our water at a time when we’re on our financial knees, you say you’re not passing our private details on to others, but if they can see our details  then of course they can make a record of our details. Enough of this evasive, fork-tongued horse-dung!”

So that’s what independence looks like . National wind-pipe in the iron grip of Europe, shops closing and people falling into debt and homelessness, and a refusal to acknowledge the existence of tens of thousands of Irish people living north of the border as being their fellow countrymen and women. Was there ever such a partitionist parcel of rogues in charge of a 26-county state? Answers on a post-card, please. On second thoughts, don’t bother, – I couldn’t cope with the truckloads of angry mail.

24 Responses to Irish independence and murky water

  1. Joe McVeigh September 24, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    I call it the Free State mentality and RTE is full of it from Morning Ireland to Marian Finucane,News at One, Liveline and Drivetime with Mary Wilson.Thank God I do not have to pay a License to that shower.I think you are right to highlight the anti-Irish attitude in the southern establishment. Jude.

  2. neill September 24, 2014 at 10:19 am #

    Perhaps Jude you are finally getting the message eventhough you find it distasteful?

    • Jude Collins September 24, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

      What message ( I nearly said ‘massage’- Freudian slip) would that be, neill?

      • neill September 24, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

        Oh Jude you just a tease really!

        • Jude Collins September 25, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

          I didn’t mean to get you all aroused, neill…

    • Ryan September 24, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

      I think the British Government has been the one sending the most messages over the years Neill. Its not too often you hear of a British PM coming out and calling people (Unionists in the North on this occasion) “spongers of Westminister” on a Live TV address. Clip can still be viewed on youtube of British PM Harold Wilson making that comment.

      Im sure many Unionists found that very distasteful and still do.

  3. Perkin Warbeck September 24, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    In a funny peculiar way, Esteemed Blogmeister, while reading your blog today one was reminded of a famous couplet, allegedly written by Sir Alfred Austin, the poet laureate of the UK that almost wasn’t. It was inspired (purportedly) by the illness of the Prince of Wales in 1871:
    ‘Flashed from his bed the electric tidings came
    He is no better, he is much the same’.

    Would that Perkie’s inner poet laureate could don the distinguished apparel of Alfred Austin, sir, and transmit a message of similar content from the Free Southern Stateen. Alas:

    ‘Flashed from the Good Ship F.S.Stateen from its purser
    Comes the distressing message: it is in fact much worser’.

    And no better indicator of that the lady who has put the broad back into broadcasting, Dame Marian Finucane. Now that Patronising Kenny has left RTE for even richer pickings she is the unchallenged highest taker (oops! almost wrote earner) of funds from the public purse. One glance at her powerful bulging forearms is suffice to remind one of that fiscal fact. Wheelbarrowing all that Donybrook dosh home on a weekend basis does that to even the most slimline and elegant of female forearms.

    She is a worthy successor to PK, Olive Oyle to his Popeye.. Not for nothing are this famous couplet known as the Spinach Doctors of Shoneenism. Who can ever forget the jokey dialogue which took place between the two endearing communicators as the reins were handed over, to the Sweet Pea of RTE.:

    PK: What are you doing? No childs of mine will be exploiticated for ill-gotten gains !
    OO: It is not ill-gotten. It’s good-gotten gains !!!

    Larf? Poor Perkie larfed almost till he barfed.

    While your take on the FSS’s take on the Watergate scandal transported PW’s inner poet laureate further south of Donnybrook, down to the Garden of Ireland itself: County Wicklow where the Meeting of the Waters were once evocatively commemorated and concelebrated in verse by Thomas Moore, the Big Tom of Bardology..

    After a brief and appropriate pause, Poppy-pushing Perkie continued on his way further south to another meeting of the waters, to wit, where the rivers Arklow, Avoca and the Goldmine Rivers rendezvous at the village of Woodenbridge.

    Or, (thinks): ought that be renamed the Meeting of the Slaughters?

    Where a belated Garden of Remembrance was being opened to recall those local sons (but, alas, no daughters – wait till Dame Marian gets to be debriefed on this oversight) who chose to rise and fall for King and Country against the Kaiser in the World Donkey Derby 14-18. Yes, the same DDerby to end all DDerbys so thoughtfully organized and funded by the Ass-endancy for the local idle yeomanry.

    The symbolism of the coastal Wicklow town of Bray suddenly began to take on a new significance.

    As the old imposter Lord Kitchener so memorably put it in his immortal poster: ‘Yo, bro: yeo is wanted by Big Bro. You go get yo ass ovah heah pronto !’.

    And not before time, Perkie says: for 100 years these Derby-doffing Donkeys (but no Joans) of County Wicklow have been shamelessly forgotten, overlooked, dissed, ignored, relegated to the trash can of contempt in favour of the Darby O’Gills of an illusory Gaeldom. Thankfully, this nonsense is now at an end and indeed, at an Enda.

    During the moving ceremony as Perkie allowed the eloquent Queen’s English of John Redmond the Risen to wash over his attentive ears ”wherever the firing line extends in defence of right of freedom and religion……’, his inner laureate began to be transported once more, this time under the four Corinthian Columns of yes, Graceland, the home of Elvis Aaron Presley.

    The ante-bellum home so gracefully designed by yet another of the same name but different calling, Dr. Thomas Moore (see above). In this instance, the words of Goethe, the German national poet rather than that of the Bard of Erin, came to mind: ‘Architecture is frozen music’.

    And as one passed through the high southern portals of Graceland one’s ears began to be embraced by the sounds of an old Geman folk tune: Wooden Heart.

    ‘Mussi den mussi den
    Zum Stadtele hinaus
    Stadtele hinaus
    Und du, mein schat, bleibst hier’.

    It was as if Elvis Erin Presley had suddenly morphed in the Garden of Ireland into Elvis Aryan Presley.

    And as the strains of Wooden Heart began to waft through Woodenbridge or at least the wooden head of PW, is was then that an anomaly struck slow-witted, fast-talking Perkie: the sort of anomaly that only strikes when one least expects it and in the most vulnerable spot too (apart from one’s wallet).

    The anomaly being the difference (be it ever so slight) in approach by the Free Southern Stateen to WW ! and the Dirty 30 Year War in the Wee North.

    In the latter case the crucial point-scorer was the ability to rattle off in the manner rat-rat-tat the litany of names belonging to, erm, Republican victims. Not least if they happened to be the mother of a large family. No, not actually, Mrs. Joan Connolly of Ballymurphy. But close. (Check with Rev Mother Marian, she is the great litany reciter in these matters).

    Now, when it comes to the litany of German victims in the World Donkey Derby 14-18 the names of Kraut, Helmut, Gunter, Wolfgang und Fritz may be heard but only vaguely if at all, and in the far, out or hearing distance:

    ‘Treat me nice
    Treat me good
    Treat me like you really should
    Coz I’m not made of wood
    And I don’t have a wooden heart’.

    But then, Ballykissangel was fillumed on location in Wicklow; so, why not Ballykissass in Woodenbridge?

    Speaking of wood, wooden hearts and Woodenbridge, the local nickname for Wicklow folk is the affectionate: ‘Goatsuckers’. As is well known to amateur ornithologists like Perkie a goatsucker is a nocturnal or crepuscular bird who is so called because of his tendency to suck milk from the udders of the local goal population.

    And the not inappropriateness of this sobriquet only hit PW on hearing the oft-repeated references at the emotional ceremony at the weekend in Woodenbridge, to ‘Belgium, poor; Belgium, Catholic; Belgium, defenceless; Belgium, neutral’. Now it is not Perkie’s desire to do a Manikin Pis and urinate on any one’s parade. He was not brought up thus; it is not the Warbeckian.

    But consider the following: Leopold of Belgium, in harvesting the rubber from the plantations in the Congo Basin prior to the World Donkey Derby 14-18, gave his right hand to the task. Well, actually, slight correction, thousands of right hands belonging to the wives and children of lazy, layabout Congolese labourers. As a sort of incentive, or sumat.

    These rubber trees can live to a 100 years of more (some might well have been on the VIP list at last weekend’s touching ceremony). The most familiar feature of the rubber tree is the milk white sap known as latex, which flows freely from the tree when a sliver of bark is removed.

    Gott in himmel !

    (Thinks) Can the saps with their milk white legs from Wicklow aka the goatsuckers, have somehow mistaken the milk white sap from the rubbertrees of the Belgian Congo Basin for something other, such as the milk white mile from the bulging udders of the local coterie of goals?

    Say it ain’t so, Esteemed Blogmeister !

    Daylight needs to be trained on this nocturnal, crepuscular conundrum. Urgently.

    PS Leopold of Belgium, the rubbery necked royal, was a first cousin of Victoria Regina. Did PW forget to mention that? Must do better.

    • paddykool September 24, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

      You’ve outdone yourself Mighty Perk …Did I ever mention I was once madly in love with a young lady called Leopold? I wonder was she related in any way to the aforementioned . I never got around to quizzing her….Aaaahh….

    • Jude Collins September 25, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

      Perkin – how could you do the impossible? Do better?? For Gawd’s sake man – the tears of mirth is thrippin’ me. I cut for pasting at least five passages, one better than the other. So “But then, Ballykissangel was fillumed on location in Wicklow; so, why not Ballykissass in Woodenbridge?” will have to be it. Really, Perkin, we will have to bottle you and store you, as Bob Dylan advised, in a Cool Dry Place…

    • Ruaidri Ua Conchob September 25, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

      Ah, Perkins,
      You’ve made splutter coffee all over my laptop screen 🙂

      • Perkin Warbeck September 26, 2014 at 6:31 am #

        Bron orm faoi sin, Ruaidri.

        Trust no damage done to your laptop screen.

        PS May one interest you in purchasing (at a reduced price) a tube of Warbeckian Wipe?

        It is, of course, a market leader in cleaning laptop screens and specializes in those stained by coffee splutters. Not least those caused by the rich blend of Maxwell House instant coffee granules.

        The Warbeckian Wipe was first developed in 1916 at the time the CEO of the Coffee House, General Maxwell, had set up, erm, house on Liffeyside.

        The General’s mustachioed boast was: ‘Good to the Last Drop’ which may still be read on the side of his coffee pots to this day. This is an abridged version of his roasted boast and Perkie can reveal – handed down by word of m. in the company of the Warbeck family – that the full phrase actually was: ‘Good to the Last Drop of Fenian Blood’.

        The old josser was a dab hand at crushing and grinding those coffee beans with his infamous Silver Hammer.

        The Warbeckian Wipe is not shy in claiming it has adapted some of the General’s, erm, ethnic cleansing methods. Only, it is crafty enough to call it ‘technic cleansing’ at this mo in technological time.

        Fan glan, mon.

  4. YankeePaddy September 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    Thanks Jude.

    We are struggling over here in the 33rd County with a complete lack of control of our government. More wars…more taxes…more corruption…more poverty…more unemployment All things that the average American does not want more of…and yet we seemingly have no power to stop it no matter how many times we vote (lol).

    It sounds as if the same phenomena is present in Ireland. What is it that “We the People” can do to take the power back?

    • Paddy everton September 24, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

      Yankee, the first thing we can do, is remember, we are many they are few. Then maybe we can start to see the possibilities ……

    • Truthrevisionist September 25, 2014 at 10:27 am #


      Unfortunately Paddy you live in a ‘rogue’ state which is prepared to wreak carnage and war on any part of the world, including your own, to satisfy the demands of its criminal masters in Tel Aviv, IsraHell. At the behest of these ‘Ashkenazi’ psychopaths, your government and judiciary, controlled by dual citizenship US/IsraHelli passport holders, concoct a continual diet of fearmongering and dissent into US public life, through their 100% owned ‘media mafia’, in order to deceive, manipulate and lie. The decent American people have been duped into believing that everyone is a ‘terrorist’ whilst these ‘gangsters’ justify this gratuitous bloodletting and insist it is essential to national security.
      Who benefits from this endless warmaking, besides the incomprehensibly rich oil companies, armaments firms, greedy bankers and puffed up politicians, all owned by the same criminal tribe, that continue to ply their trade while millions are starving and unemployed?
      This is the question that Americans must someday ask themselves and until then, we are all condemned to suffer in silence and watch nations genocided as we did, weeks ago in Gaza, in the name of ‘democracy.’

      • Norma wilson September 28, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

        Truth revisionist
        Why don’t you FO to Gaza. My only sadness is they gave it away in the first place, but now that they have, they (Israel) should not leave the untidy mess, and clean it up properly.

        • Jude Collins September 29, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

          Norma – no more abuse, please. Otherwise I’ll have to block your post. Minus the first sentence your post is fine

  5. ANOTHER JUDE September 24, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    The free state mentality would have been a lot different but for a squiggly line here or there on the map of the country, forty years of the RUC/UDA/UDR running amok in Dublin would soon bring home to them just what happened up here.Had they suffered the oppression their fellow Irishmen suffered they would be singing from a different hymn sheet. That`s another reason I want the Protestant/Unionists to join us in a NEW Ireland, goodbye Free State, hello Nationhood.

  6. Ryan September 24, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

    I don’t need the permission from someone south of the magical, imaginary “border” to call myself Irish, im not British, im not Northern Irish, im Irish, plain and simple. Its a different story if you call yourself British here, of course anyone has the right to call themselves British here in the north but reality is you don’t even live (and more likely weren’t born) on the island of Britain, you live on the island of Ireland. Not to mention that anyone who was born on the island of Ireland is commonly referred to by the outside World as “Irish” not British or Northern Irish.

    A piece of paper lying in westminister saying Northern Ireland is apart of the UK doesn’t define me nor the vast majority in my community either. I’m Irish regardless if its British, German, Spanish or Japanese Governments paying the bills and collecting the tax.

    • paddykool September 25, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

      That’s about it really, Ryan….. It’s a bit like an Earthling pretending that he is from Mars, isn’t it?

      • neill September 25, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

        If a man be born in a stable, that does not make him a horse isnt that so paddy?

        • paddykool September 25, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

          No that makes him a man born in a stable…..

        • paddykool September 25, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

          Just as a human born on Mars would naturally be a Martian ….isn’t that so?

    • neill September 25, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

      That is terrible kind of you Ryan giving us the right to be British thanks much appreciated by all unionists!

      • Norma wilson September 28, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

        Hear Hear!

        BRITISH isles