Some things for Paddy Barnes MBE to think about

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It’s hard not to like Paddy Barnes. He talks at a speed that surpasses even  Barry McGuigan; he makes no attempt to project a public image other than the person he is; and he’s a tough-as-tungsten fighter who can absorb punishment as well as dish it out. But none of these are reasons why he’s in the news these days. He’s being headlined by such as The Belfast Telegraph for his apparent acceptance of an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List.

So what is or was this British Empire into which Paddy is to be received? Well it was the Empire on which the sun never set. It spread the English language across the globe. It helped India and Pakistan to love cricket.

And on the down side? It invented the concentration camp. In the Boer War at the start of the twentieth century, thousands of children and tens of thousands of women died in these camps. Twenty thousand black Africans were made slaves and worked to death.  In Aden, British soldiers stubbed out their cigarettes on natives and forced others to sit atop a narrow pole until it was forced into their anus by the victim’s weight.

After the First World War the British army fired into a group of protestors in Amritsar, in India. Almost a thousand innocent people were killed. The man who masterminded this slaughter, Brigadier Reginald Dyer, was decorated and declared “the man who saved India”.

In Cyprus during the 1950s, the British army rounded up suspects, whom they held for years without trial.  Many of these were beaten, waterboarded and shot dead. Teenagers had hot peppers rubbed into their eyeballs.

In 1950s Kenya, the British army rounded up one and a half million suspects and put them in concentration camps (again). How many people died in these camps is uncertain but it’s usually estimated in the tens or even hundreds of thousands. Men were raped with knives, women had their breasts cut off, eyes were gouged out, ears cut off. Men were castrated with pliers before being raped by guards. Suspects had mud shoved into their mouths until they passed out or died. People were burned alive.

In the early 1940s, around two million people died from lack of food in the Bengal region of India and Bangladesh. There is a strong belief by many that Churchill kept food supplies from helping these people, blocking American and Canadian ships from delivering aid as well. The country wasn’t allowed to use its own ships to help dying people. When the government of Delhi telegrammed Churchill about the plight of the people, he is alleged to have responded by asking why Gandhi wasn’t dead yet.

And of course we know what British policy was in Ireland during An Gorta Mor.

It is of course Paddy Barnes’s own decision whether he accepts induction into this Empire or not; but let’s hope he knows the nature of the institution which is opening its doors to him.

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74 Responses to Some things for Paddy Barnes MBE to think about

  1. paddykool January 1, 2015 at 10:39 am #

    ….and a Happy New Year to you too , Jude .Surely this “Empire” is now a mythical beast , like the unicorn or a mermaid. Getting a wee medal stating you are a Member of the British Empire is a bit like being given a packet of Rollo, isn’t it? You can’t even eat the bugger….how does the Gram Parsons song go …

    “.He’s got him a medal he won in the war
    It weighs five-hundred pounds and it sleeps on his floor”

    .Perkie will doubtless tidy up that reference. and add his own inimitable take on that one…
    So what is a piece of tin and ribbon from a non -existent “Empire” worth and what does it mean and why would someone want one ? It’s like getting a gold star for winning a childhood egg and spoon race or all those unwanted tins of biscuits that are shuffled about at Christmas…. It’ll hardly matter too much on your CV. People are really too easily pleased with fripperies..

    • Perkin Warbeck January 1, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

      GRMA, Paddykool.

      And also to one’s inner Google Searcher for without him he would not be able to verify the exactness of your quotation.

      Rest easy, it is in no need of tidying up. Gram Parsons is precisely quoted.

      GP , of course, was indelibly associated with the celestial Emmy Lou Harris (no, no relation). One mentions this to illustrate that one can be both a Republican (albeit of the pub variety) and a recalcitrant Royalist (of the club type) both simultaneously, and even, at the same time.

      Though she has many contenders for the diadem, Emmy L is indubitably the Princess of Country Music. (Queen Dolly P occupies the throne). Perkie’s inner hayseed has mixed memories of dragging himself away from the warmth and conviviality of the Dan McGuinness pub on Music Row, Nashville, Tn some Christmasses ago to catch an earful of the candied soprano of La Harris. (still, no relation).

      Swopping a bar for some bars, one might say.

      After skidding and sliding and slipping but not falling butt first on the icy sidewalks one eventually made it down the hill to the local Episcopalian church where the Celestial One was due to give a recital of Christmas carols. Alas, one found the doors bolted. She’d been, transfixed the congregation, and gone – the previous evening. One had gotten one’s dates confused.

      But then it was the Festive Season and the Wild Turkey Bourbon had been a gobbling.

      So, perhaps, all is not lost yet.

      Even as Paddy B is boxing clever backwards, Phil the Greek might get narky (it’s what he does, one hears), resultingin Paddy B getting narky and Perkie being invited by Parkie to do an inter round synopsis.

  2. William Fay January 1, 2015 at 10:40 am #

    Jude, even you have surpassed yourself with this piece of innuendo based on your hatred of all things British. It is really beyond me to understand how someone who was (is) paid by the British government could have such a deep, deep dislike of the mother country. I can understand as a blogger you can write as you wish, but I hope you didn’t teach this puerile nonsense when you were a teacher. Maybe when Paddy rejects his MBE who could also refuse your pension, that would show the Brits, wouldn’t it?

    • Jude Collins January 1, 2015 at 11:05 am #

      Ah William – welcome back and a Happy New Year. I don’t think ‘innuendo’ is the word for the facts I’ve listed. I don’t hate all things British – there are many things about the British I admire and even love. It’s just that I’m not keen on empires and imperialists. Oh, and I don’t think I consider Mother Britain my mother – you do, I’m assuming. Which of the facts I listed were puerile, would you say? But rest easy about my teaching – my subject was English, not History. I get a pension for the contributions I paid over the decades. It’s not a hand-out, from Britain or anyone else.

    • Ryan January 1, 2015 at 8:51 pm #

      William, a pension is something that Jude would have been paying into from his WAGES hes worked for his entire life, its not a hand out from “Mother Britain”.

      And no William, stating facts is not hating another country or people. If it makes uncomfortable reading for you then sorry but you’ll have to put up with it and it wont be sugar coated either, my sympathy lies with the people who were tortured by the British in concentration camps, not with you or your deluded belief that the British Empire was a cradle of goodness and justice William.

  3. Norma wilson January 1, 2015 at 10:44 am #

    Jude,

    What the hell has got into you. I could ask you the same questions about YOUR church, the dirty deeds it also committed, I am not referring to sex with children here. More the Inca’s or the Inquisation??
    I have woke up this morning HAPPY counting my blessings that I am still BRITISH. You also should do this, more is the pity you were not born in a Gulag…….then you could yearn to be back here, and how.
    You don’t have to look very far down the road, to remember how the FREE STATE entertained the Nazis, did not allow fleeing JEWS into the country. That dog in a manger De Valera! Who now, I am sure is safely deposited in hell, competing with the devil.
    It’s none of your business what Paddy does, mind your own business you are what is known in my neck of the woods as a shit stirrer, and a good one at that.
    You and all your cronies have lived well up here in, what does PK call it Norneverland, aye and he was glad to take himself of to another great city Leeds. WHY ???
    All of you get on your knees, lift your open palms heavens high, and praise the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, that you were born under the only flag in the world, which stands for anything.
    You never mentioned once the slaughter of my people, by your people not too long ago. We forgave you’s, tried hard to work with you’s, but this country will never see peace ever, we will descend into chaos if you and your like keep shit stirrings.
    I come from a clan in Scotland and our Motto is Gang Warily, so there I am a DRUMMOND, if I am going down, it would be a journey I would not make on my own.take of that that what you will.
    Yesterday I wished you well, today you have brought out in me, my fighting BRITISH spirit.
    Respect me and my kind, and we will reciprocate it back.
    On a closing note, those atrocities you so kindly mentioned, the troops were packed with Irish soldiers, probably glad to get away from this god forsaken black hole.
    If you go to a place called “Irene” just outside Pretoria, there is a concentration camp that you refer to in SA my ancestors lie in it a complete family.
    The Irish are wonderful shit stirrers remember Charlie Haughy voting against Britain on the Faulklands, back then in 1981/82 I had the unfortunate position of working with all Catholics, Mal Vinos Mal Vinos , I could not have been more PROUD my big smile said it all.
    Norma

    • Jude Collins January 1, 2015 at 11:02 am #

      Happy New Year, Norma. Why is it when people point out atrocities of an unspeakable nature perpetrated by the British Empire, imperialists point to other crimes by way of justification? It doesn’t make sense, I’m afraid (see my reply to Neill)

      • Am Ghobsmacht January 1, 2015 at 11:29 am #

        Indeed Dr C, I see the ‘counter accusation’ (or whataboutery as we know it as) as an off the bat admission of guilt and a concession of the original accusation.

        If the British Empire didn’t do what you listed then let the advocates prove otherwise.

        If it did (and it did) do as you accused then let us accept it and move on.

      • Ryan January 1, 2015 at 8:54 pm #

        “What Abouttery” Jude, the final weapon Imperialists/Unionists/Loyalists can use when all else fails in their argument.

        • neill January 2, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

          A bit rich coming from a Republican dont you think?

          • Am Ghobsmacht January 3, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

            What’s your opinion on whataboutery Neill? I despise it regardless of the user, what about you?

    • Callum smith January 2, 2015 at 12:32 am #

      Bitterness flying out of you. Bring the chaos the British army are not going to come back and help like last time you fool. I’m sure they are getting sick of fighting your fights.

      • neill January 2, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

        What a pointless statement the army wont be coming back and the violence wont be coming back the troubles are over finished gone and dusted

    • paul January 2, 2015 at 1:36 pm #

      Ah Norma, don’t let your red white and blue vision of history be obscurred by facts. The british have made a history of “saving people from themselves” even when they don’t want this forced ‘salvation’. What lies in the wake of this… , imprisonment, torture, murder( see amritsar) sand the list goes on. I won’t comment on An gorta Mor etc that happened in Ireland

  4. neill January 1, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    Lets look at the History of the party and movement you support…

    Caused well over a thousand deaths

    Refined car bombs used human bombs.

    Very keen to use punishment beatings

    Organised criminal rackets charged protection fees

    Disappeared and buried people denied it unil finally admitting it.

    Its leader turned a blind eye to rape and child abuse and moved suspected abusers around the Noth and South.

    Campaigned against Tory cuts then buckled

    I could go on and on.

    You supprt and vote for this party and this movement so its only right that i should let you know its true nature

    Just a quick question which Empire was entirely pure and didnt commit crimes was it the Persian Roman French Russian Belgian Amercan Hittite Macedonian etc?

    Happy New Year!

    • Jude Collins January 1, 2015 at 11:00 am #

      Ah Neill – I can see the New Year revels haven’t dimmed your light. At the same time I’m not sure that saying ” But Mrs Murphy up the road beats the shit out of her wains, so why shouldn’t I?” is a particularly sound argument.

      • neill January 1, 2015 at 11:28 am #

        Indirectly that was my point Jude nobody is pure in this world of ours many crimes have been committed in our name and depending on your political position you accept them by default or fight against them this has been the way since the first human beings walked.

        • Ryan January 1, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

          Oh, that makes it all OK then Neill. I’m sure your willing to look at the atrocities carried out by the IRA or the other enemies of Britain in the same way …..sure, no ones perfect and that’s the way its been since human beings first walked……

        • Antonio January 2, 2015 at 7:49 am #

          ”it’s leader moved suspected child abusers around the north and south” you say

          You tell a lie often enough and people start to believe it

          • neill January 2, 2015 at 10:47 am #

            Lie mmm look at case of Mr Adams brother as a good starting point

  5. Mary Jo January 1, 2015 at 11:00 am #

    To hell with history. Today an MBE is a recognition of achievement and Barnes deserves this small recognition of the pride he has inspired in young working class people who are the main followers of his sport. In Ireland, boxing has always been the despised sport of the lower orders, and media coverage of boxing has been pathetic.

    On RTE we get endless hours of golf and tennis (just how many people outside of Dublin play tennis?) while Irish national and international boxing are rarely broadcast and are lucky to be reported in a couple of throwaway remarks at the end of the sports news. Just note how Rory was recently awarded the Irish media sportsperson of the year award in Dublin even though he struggles with identifying as Irish while Olympic gold medallist, boxer Katie Taylor, was only a runner up.

    I am so glad to see anybody anywhere give recognition to a Northern Irish boxer. Fair play to HM and the Conservative government for acknowledging Paddy Barnes’ achievement. Now, how about a knighthood for Barry for his enormous contribution to the sport and his presentation of it in the media?

    • Antonio January 2, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

      ”to hell with history”

      I’m sorry but I think that is a very foolish thing to say – have you heard the phrase ‘those who don’t learn from their history are destined to repeat’.

  6. Mary Jo January 1, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    PS Happy New Year. I look forward to following your blog in 2015. Thank you for the excellent daily news commentary.

    • Jude Collins January 1, 2015 at 11:06 am #

      Mary Jo – I think I love you. Go raibh cead maith agat.

  7. Am Ghobsmacht January 1, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    Dr C

    I think this one is in the eye of the beholder:
    Many people such as yourself can’t let go of the British Empire’s more unsavoury side and fair enough, your prosecution above is but a snippet of what could be levelled at that institution.

    However, to look at the modern ‘institution’ in such terms is pretty much the same visor used by Paisley when discussing the Hapsburgs

    e.g. when you say to me ‘Hapsburg Empire’ I think of the cultural heavy weight of Europe, the fantastic court society, the incredible achievements of some of its citizenry (Tesla, Einstein, Witgenstein, Mozart) the beautiful cities that it created/tarted-up (e.g. Prague, Ljubljana, L’vov/Lamberg, Chernivtsi/Chernowitz, Budapest, Krakow, Zagreb, Vienna etc,) and its contributions to Europe’s culture in general.

    Yet, when viewed through the eyes of Ian Paisley Snr he saw nothing but the persecution of Protestants, burnings and religious intolerance.

    Both views are of course correct but like many things there are various shades in between the black and white approach that we always seem to employ in the grim north.

    I salute Paddy Barnes for doing this not because it’ll earn him brownie points in the Newsletter (it won’t they’ll bitch about something else) but because he’s refusing to take any ‘traditional’ stance and that really screws with people who love the traditional lines of demarcation.

    Similarly I welcome the decision of McDowell and McIlroy to compete for Ireland after (on occasion) embracing the Ulster flag.

    The more people we have not subscribing to the divisive ‘norms’ then the quicker NI can enjoy a sense of normality (insomuch as it ever could).

    I don’t think it’s fair to attach the entire history of an institution to someone who might be dipping their toe in such waters, for example I enjoy band parades.
    I would like them to wise the bap and change many of their ways but I don’t expect to be branded as a George Chittick or such like.
    If we were to demarcate accordingly then there would be no hope for reform whatsoever.

    Also, young Paddy might see this as a step to establishing Paddy Barnes Plc.
    If so then hats off, boxing is one of the toughest worlds to be successful in and if it can serve merely as a platform from which he can hoist himself into other avenues of employment then so be it and hat’s off.

    • Norma wilson January 1, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

      Well said. Am Ghobsmacht,

      How can we more forward when you get an educated man such as Jude spilling out this bile hate call it what you will.

      I am who I am, you are who you are, if I needed a pint of your green blood would you give it, if you needed a pint of my blue blood would you take it.?
      2015 same old same old, the first day as well. Shame on you Jude.

      • Jude Collins January 1, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

        No, I don’t think so, Norma. Is it shameful to list shameful deeds? I don’t think so. The shame lies in the deeds themselves. I’m glad Paddy Barnes was offered the MBE : it provides us with an opportunity to think about the whole notion of royal honours being bestowed. Somebody put up a clip from Charlie Brooker’s 2014 Wipe the other day – if I find it I’ll put up again. But it made clear how backward-looking and undignified the whole notion of monarchy is. What’s worse, it sets a bad example: I see today where Jeb Bush is seriously considering running for President. Hasn’t the US suffered enough for its sins, without yet another from that particular dynasty? But to get back to the point, Norma: I hope you’re not suggesting we shouldn’t deal with reality. Tell me you’re not

        • Neill January 1, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

          I have had some time to ponder what you wrote and it strikes me that Jude and the people who subscribe themselves to his views have not moved at all down the road to reconciliation and of course people like me who find your comments annoying obviously have not moved down the road of reconciliation perhaps it is the case that we have learned nothing and forgot nothing. I wonder if we can ever move away from History’s deadening touch?

          • Am Ghobsmacht January 3, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

            Like I say to all my critics Neill, prove me wrong and then i’ll start to worry.

      • Am Ghobsmacht January 1, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

        Norma

        I’d say my blood is more ‘turquoise’ than blue or green.

        I was born into an Orange family and was a very hard-line unionist/loyalist right into my early 20’s.

        My unusual view of NI’s politics comes from challenging all the traditional history and tripe that we’ve been fed (small things like the Apprentice boys being Gaelic speakers to King William III disliking Ulster Presbyterians).

        I can understand why Jude doesn’t like the British establishment per se and is certainly scathing of its history but from what little I know of him he would be equally critical of Irish misadventures had they jumped on the colonial band wagon first.

        (FYI, the Irish who found themselves on the ‘lighter’ side of the slave trade were just as greedy and harsh as any other slavers : http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/irish-slave-traders-joe-oshea-murder-mutiny-mayhem-646357-Oct2012/ (though I’d take this article with a pinch of salt, but it does serve as a lazy pointer to an undisputable fact of history)).

        The British Empire has a large list of shame, just like any imperial nation, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Rome, the Greek city states, the Viking homelands….
        And indeed Ireland, Ireland had some of the largest slaving ports in Europe at various points of its history (hence St Patrick’s appearance in Ireland).

        But Britain’s crimes are irrefutable.
        Northern Ireland’s political founders were very supportive (and active) in the Boer War, a war motivated by nothing other than greed.

        I for one accept them and hope that they never happen again but I don’t see this as a burden to be placed on the shoulders of people like Paddy Barnes.

        He’s not Harry Flashman.

      • Sherdy January 1, 2015 at 11:15 pm #

        Norma – Where can you buy this different coloured blood?
        I would like some in a nice delicate pink!

    • Norma wilson January 1, 2015 at 11:58 pm #

      Dear Am Ghobsmacht

      That was indeed very educational and informative. Your pearls of wisdom have been gratefully received.
      Let him without sin cast the first stone.
      I try real hard to be neutral and offend anybody, but I am afraid I have not yet conquered the art of turning the other cheek.
      I am pretty sure not to many amigos here voted for Alliance, not to many of their offices are in Nationalist/Republican areas. They have lost my vote, I went straight into Trevor Lunns office and told him, never again.
      Now after reading this blog/site call it what you will I shall be voting DUP first time ever in my life….. Why, why not. What choice have I got, when I get the true feel of how the people here really feel.
      Things will only change when all people want change. Respect.

      • Sherdy January 2, 2015 at 10:53 am #

        Just after reading about Charlie Flanagan’s playing with words, and when I read your piece Norma describing the blogsite, I thought maybe Charlie might have suggested dropping the ‘l’ and inserting an ‘h’ after the ‘s’!

      • Pointis January 2, 2015 at 11:06 am #

        Respect! Don’t know if George Galloway would be happy about that Norma!

    • Antonio January 2, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

      Am Ghobsmacht

      I agree with much of what you say. However if the British state wants to hand out awards to people why the need to call these awards ‘order of the British empire’ or member of British empire’ ? They should be choosing more neutral, less aggressive titles for these awards.

      We hear a lot how Irish nationalists are obsessed with the past. Well the British state seems awfully keen to rewrite the history of its now dead empire. And that is what these titles are partially about, revising history

      Also, the empire is dead and gone it makes no logical sense to hand out awards called ‘member of British empire’ etc

  8. Alex January 1, 2015 at 11:42 am #

    Well said Jude. I wonder how this young man will feel by this British Empire to blacken his name by association.

  9. William January 1, 2015 at 11:47 am #

    Won’t acknowledge your comments which really are off the wall. Even Roy Greenslade would not go that far off subject.
    Forgive this personal observation that when I read your work the phrase ‘let’s do the time warp again’ always springs to mind. I do believe that the overwhelming majority of your 1,800,000 fellow citizens have moved on since the GFA.

    • Jude Collins January 1, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

      You do realise, William, that you haven’t made a single reasoned point in that post? Simply name-calling to a greater or lesser degree. Disappointing.

      • William January 1, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

        Read it again. And again. And you might get the point. Or maybe not. This advice I would give to any student. In your original article you ran out of cons and failed to mention a single pro.

        • Jude Collins January 1, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

          Specsavers, William. Right now. I said England gave the world English (well, actually, forced it on us), she gave them cricket and …what was the other one? Fair play?….No, can’t have been that. Check it yourself, William

  10. Paul January 1, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    Hi Jude not a fan of new years honours list but don’t feel animosity to paddy Barnes. However what has irked me down the years is the rush of catholic school principals and leaders of CCMS and ex leaders who became leaders of GTCNI to accept baubles from the queen. These are the people I resent. People who should know better or maybe they were closet monarchists all their lives. Anyway happy new year Jude

  11. Freddy Mallins January 1, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    I think every one should show allegiance where they see fit. But I can’t help ask, do those from the North who articulate a slavish support for Britain not see the absurdity of their position. We are all Paddies to the British, from whatever background we come. I for one, am European first and foremost and my allegiance to the Irish state is under constant scrutiny. It variously makes me proud and disgusts me.

  12. Westofthebann January 1, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    Just back from a refreshing New Years day charity walk. Some of the talk amongst my fellow strollers related to the Barnes MBE story and we were all in amazement that a self professed proud Irishman could accept one of those awards. The monarchy, any monarchy, whether British, Spanish, Dutch etc etc are institutions that belong to a bygone era. I firmly believe in the principle of everyone is equal, no matter colour or creed. These institutions are not compatible with that simple belief hence my disdain for them. Now, you can be nice to their members when they visit our country, shake their hands and say cead mile failte. But to bow before them and accept an award stating that you are ” a member of the order of the british empire”. Pathetic, absolutely pathetic, no other words.

  13. RJC January 1, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

    I detect perhaps a hint of deliberate New Year’s Day trolling from our Esteemed Blogmeister, perhaps in an effort to see how certain commentators will react. That said, I think it does raise some interesting notions as regards northern Unionism and its efforts to be more British than the British. Blind adherence to all that is perceived to be ‘British’ seems just as peculiar as a defiantly anti-British stance.

    I think the NHS is one of the greatest achievements of the 20th Century. Concentration camps arguably the worst. I greatly admired Tony Benn, deeply disliked Margaret Thatcher. I love the music of The Beatles, the comedy of Peter Cook, the writing of George Orwell, the films of Lindsay Anderson, the comics of Alan Moore and a whole lot more of the wonderful culture that Britain has given the world, yet see nothing objectionable about what Mr Collins has pointed out above.

    Is there anyone who disputes what he has been written? As Am Ghobsmacht says “If the British Empire didn’t do what you listed then let the advocates prove otherwise. If it did (and it did) do as you accused then let us accept it and move on.”

    Arguably, any notion of a British Empire and an Honours List is utterly anachronistic in 2015. You do not need to be a rabid republican to see this, and I suspect the vast majority of British people feel this way. I think it’s a shame that Paddy Barnes chose to accept his MBE, but then I have never looked to sportsmen and women for guidance on how to live my life. He has his reasons though. Others have their reasons too http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declining_a_British_honour

  14. boondock January 1, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

    I think its very mature and to be honest a non issue for Paddy Barnes to take this award I just think its a bit rich considering all the abuse he gave Rory over the British Irish decision.

    • Jude Collins January 1, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

      Why is it mature to take an admission ticket to the British Empire from a woman who is only where she is because of who her da was? Sound mad rather than mature to me.

      • Chris January 1, 2015 at 11:09 pm #

        This kid can,t win….. accept and be damned …don,t accept and be damned..!!!!!!

  15. Perkin Warbeck January 1, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

    Like yourself, Esteemed Blogmeister, I’d be an afficionado of Paddy Barnes while reserving the right to emit a catcall or three from the safe side of the roped ring at his acceptance of an invitation to backpedal in the Buckingham Palace Emporium.

    I can still recall watching his defeat to Zou Shimming at the Chinese Summer Olympics of 2008 on TV in the Blarney Stone Bar in Shanghai (Shangers to us Old Colonials). Which watering hole was located at the time a straight left from the house of another doughty scrapper Zhou Enlai, hard by Fuxing Park.

    And China, of course, being the location of the Boxer Revolution, there was a peculiar aptness about one’s choice of viewing venue.

    Alas, the chance to hail Barnesy at the Blarney in the expectation of seeing his hand being raised in triumph did not arise as he was well and truly whupped by the local necromancer of a dancer. According to the ringside breithimh, he lost on a score of 15-0 which is just about as comprehenisve a whitewashing as the time Tom Sawyer persuaded the other boys of the neighbourhood of the joys of same where his Aunt Polly’s fence was concerned.

    One felt that might be PB’s last hurrah. Fat chance. The light fly weight came back buzzing in the next Olympics (London) to finish even with the same opponent, this time on a 15-15 scoreline. Only of course to lose on a countback. Which was some comeback, despite the countback. No wonder the surname ‘Barnes’ is derived from the Old English word for ‘warrior’.

    But then, the number 15 seems to play a somewhat mystical role in the Barnstormer’s career. From losing his first 15 fights on the trot to this, the first day of ’15.

    Go mbaine’ tu, PB, ceol as a hAon a Cuig
    Le gach rud on fugue to dti an boogai woog.

    As Perkie’s inner speculator on the sock exchange is not privy to the reasons why the Barnstormer chose to accept this bauble of the Empah, one can but sit on the whitewashed fence of Aunt Polly. And speculate.

    One suspects it has something to do – as has been perceptively pointed out in this consciousness raised blog – with the lukewarm coverage both he and his sport receive from the likes of RTE, the broadcasting wing of The Unionist Times. These organs of record have their olfactory hooters so far implanted up the rear ends of the Skywalkers who play 15 cro magnon games involving an ovoid shaped ball that the Barnstormer remains an essentially unsung hero south of the Black Pig’s Dyke. Whatever about the georgian North of same.

    Which is to say that a Barnes called Wayne (as in rugga ref) gets more column inches upfront than the Barnes called Paddy, pugiilist.

    And of course the Dworkin Class has seen to it that the space designated for the dornalaiocht amaiteireach is reduced to the pleasant personage of K. Taylor. Pity about the voice though. She really ought to let her satin evening gloves do her talking for her.

    Perhaps Paddy B might consider changing his name to something more Oirish, like say the name of Connaught rugga stalwart, Rodney Ah You?

    Speaking of names: perhaps it is symmetrical to conclude by dinging a Chinese dong. Mention has been made already of The Unionist Times, of which parish Brigadier K. Myers was once a devout resident and military adviser. Yes, he who singlehandedly made the Great Donkey Derby of 14-18 the most commemorated and celebrated sporting event on the Oirish calender.

    He’s also on record of stating that he will never bow the knee to the bullying Chinese insistence on spelling Peking as Beijing.

    Thus does he re-echo the stirring words of Uncle Sam’s very own Teddy Bear, one President Roosevelt: ‘ See here chinkee Chinaman, desist’.

    Should the Brigadier ever find himself in Beijing he’s be well advised to avoid the P for Peking word.

    Or else, do what the Barnstormer is adept at: duck !

  16. Iolar January 1, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

    Divide and conquer

    “Entrepreneurs” and self –styled “PR Consultants” are delighted to accept public money to promote media circuses and casinos while individuals struggle with the minimum wage and zero hour contracts. We will hear more from the “gentry” in 2015 about the need to develop the private sector but little mention of the champagne and candy crush aficionados who still believe they are born to reign over some of the people.

    Go mbeirimid beo ar an am seo arís.

  17. paddykool January 1, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

    Why is the truth so hard to contend with . Jude states bald truths which might educate someone who didn’t know these otherwise rarely talked about facts.It’s the kind of interesting stuff that is usually redacted{ahem!} from the lovely neat historical record.
    Soldiers always get up to some awful chicanery when they are in a land other than their own .There’s always a bit of rape and pillage when no-one is watching ..so you end up with stuff like the Elgin Marbles coming back to haunt years later . America was in the dock over torture techniques just a short while ago. It’s well known that empires , british or otherwise, are built on the back of theft and oppression…..should that be the roman empire or otherwise. I have no real hatred for many British or Irish things . The best approach is to cherry pick all the good stuff from either country.
    Ireland and the UK can be very good neighbours, if we are dealing with a level playing field, in that respect. Sometimes the playing field is not level. Nobody invited Britain into Ireland in the first place . Everyone of us knows what Britain did in Ireland over the centuries and what the irish response was. They actually did have an empire when this whole mess was first conceived .There is is none now.There were barely vestiges of empire when most of us were growing up in the 1950’s and 1960’s but by then the irish had spread all over britain anyway ,helping to build the infrastructure of the modern britain .
    As Norma mentions ,I went to Leeds in 1972 to attend Art College . the simple facts were that at that moment in time Leeds Art College was seen as the most innovative in Europe…it was chock a block with anti-establishment creators… and I was lucky enough to blag my way in with a folio of drawings. The very same thing was happening in art colleges throughout britain where that whole 1960’s revolution of rock n roll , painting design and new social ideas were spawned…The choice at that moment in time can easily be seen in the new film “’71”. set in Belfast 1971…either fly away to Leeds for a few years and have the best of times in a very radical and mind-expanding situation with a lot of like-minded anti-establishment hippies…. or stay in Norneverland while people were spouting a mad kind of religion while killing each other on the streets and murdering gangs of slashers were cutting up innocent people ….not even to mention all the bombings and shootings and what happened on Bloody Sunday in the year I flew out. It was a madhouse for anyone who was actually there with a functioning brain.
    The fact is that not everyone in the population of either country supports the establishment viewpoint.There are many who feel that it is rotten to the core …that’s in either Ireland or the UK .We’re not all little Oirishmen …catholic , protestant or whatever….some of us are actually mostly removed from those kinds of labels and look at the whole mess dispassionately.Some of us don’t want to suck up to Kings, Queens and empires …no matter who builds them. My feeling is that nothing has really changed since Henry the Eight’s time .He was basically the biggest robbing bastard on the block ,who imagined he was god’s right hand .Well let’s face it , he was also a randy old killer who enjoyed intimidating everyone in his court and using and making “laws” to do whatever he wanted like some spoiled brat . For someone like myself who has no truck with either gods or kings , he was a fantasist…but also a murderous old stoat. Why should i want to respect someone like that in any century? …or his bloody wee medals….?

    • Iolar January 1, 2015 at 5:48 pm #

      “Nobody invited Britain into Ireland in the first place?”

      An cuimhin leat, Diarmait mac murchadha, Ruaidri Ua Conchobair, Derbfogail agus Diarmait na nGall?

  18. Pointis January 1, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

    Happy New Year to you Jude,

    Really hope to continue enjoying your blog in 2015.

    I personally would not get too worked up about Paddy Barnes accepting an OBE or MBE or whatever the Queen’s medal is called.

    Paddy has proved himself to be a dedicated, hard working sportsman who has brought pride to the country and Belfast in particular.

    Apart from being an exceptional sportsman he is just a typical man susceptible to the same pressures as everyone else. Pressures from a wife perhaps, family, work colleagues, friends and social circle.

    In reality there are very few in any society who take and uphold high moral principles because they are often very unpopular among those around us who are influenced by current popular opinion. Of course we all like to think we would do “the right thing” when the time came but Research would suggest that the figure who would fall into the high principled “good citizen, have-a-go-hero” category who would put their head above the parapet or who would swim against the flow and possibly effect change is in reality about 1%. The rest of us are just sheep and will wait to see which side prevails before intervening.

    Our society does not place a high value on those who uphold a principled stand and as you will know, sometimes taking a principled stand can result in public ridicule and loss of a job or status. You just have to think of the suffragettes, conscientious objectors British mine work strikers. Take whistleblowers for instance what real protection does society offer for them? People who should be celebrated for bringing corruption and lies by the powerful to public knowledge are quietly sacked, transferred or demoted when our interests have moved on, and not a whimper from us. Did society protect Dr Kelly who exposed government lies on Weapons of Mass Destruction. What about John Stalker was he protected?

    Paddy Barnes is an ordinary decent guy and he could possibly suffer long-term repercussions for refusing this MBE perhaps from a promoter, sponsor, media or a venue owner. Who knows we are not in his shoes?

    Some of us have a high regard for those who challenge the system but let’s remember the high price they paid for their principles!

    I see the same old would prefer those uncomfortable truths not be discussed!

  19. Bee Tee 7 January 1, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

    Not a fan of monarchy or awards, but I don’t think the acceptance of an MBE or OBE these days means that you’ve bought into the whole empire thing. One can be a Christian without condoning the crusades, the inquisition or, more recently, the systematic abuse of children. One can even accept papal awards without having your integrity questioned by journalists. I suspect that the real issue for some is the sight of an Irishman accepting any kind of award from the British establishment. It wouldn’t be for me, but if Paddy feels he’s making a contribution to good relations by accepting it, good luck to him.

    • Argenta January 1, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

      Bee Tee 7
      I think you’ve summed up the feelings of most fair- minded people on this subject.Obviously the Sinn Fein posters on this topic have their own agendas.They seem to have been less vocal when Martin Mc Guinness toasted the Queen!! To imply that the Queen is responsible for doling out all these awards is surely an illusion .Is it not the “Sir Humphreys” in the Civil Service who do all the groundwork and weigh up the potential political sensibilities ? I wonder whose office in the Executive is responsible .

  20. Cal January 1, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

    Paddy is not representing all the people in accepting this award. For starters, he’s not representing me ! It’s his choice but I’d urge him to get off the high horse and stop the pontificating about doing it for all the people.

    You’re doing for yourself, Paddy. Leave me outta this !

  21. Joe McVeigh January 1, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

    These royal awards should be abolished and so should boxing.

    • Mary Jo January 1, 2015 at 11:23 pm #

      Joe, how come so many folk want to abolish boxing but not rugby. Boxing is a one on one contest between two sportspersons who can take as will as give blows. Compared to the average rugby tackle, boxing is a gentle sport. Why not call for the abolition of rugby, a sport that thrives on mob violence and promotes violent behaviour among the young elites who play it in Ireland? Maybe we’re talking about social class here, not sport.

    • Argenta January 2, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

      Joe
      Apart from the merits or demerits of the royal awards,what do you hate about boxing?

  22. ANOTHER JUDE January 1, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

    The simple fact of the matter is Paddy or `his people` have decided he would like to have a gong, so he can pretend he is somehow better than the people he grew up with. That is his decision, personally I would not be interested in being a member of the British empire for all the reasons (and more) outlined by Jude. The sad fact is some people accept these things to somehow improve their station in life, as for the political nature of the MBE, hopefully one day being Catholic will not automatically make someone a Republican/Nationalist just as being Protestant will not equate to being Loyalist/Unionist.

  23. Ryan January 1, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

    Have to say I’m pretty disappointed with Paddy Barnes accepting this “Award”. I’m a fan of his but will I stop being a fan now? no but did it put me off Paddy a little bit? Yes. He obviously didn’t think this one through, he knows of the murders and the atrocities committed in Ireland by the British Empire in the distant past but also the very recent past too and the struggles his community/country was put through due to that very same Empire.

    • Norma wilson January 1, 2015 at 11:33 pm #

      Jesus, (God forgive me please, but I am talking their language now! All Catholics like to take the Lords name in vain, another tell tale sign like H ).
      Ryan go and lie down in a dark room, and take a few aspirin. You sure are one sad individual, tell me do you wipe yourself after you’ve had a piss.

  24. Antonio January 1, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

    I am very disappointed In Barnes. I didn’t think grovelling in front of the British Queen would be his way. The worst thing about it is that over the coming weeks in the lead up to the ceremony our local media will go into overdrive about how wonderful Barnes is for accepting this award thereby inferring that any person who dislikes it is somehow wrong or extreme or outdated. Particularly infuriating when the fundamental objection of most people to these strange monarchist ceremonies is positively progressive. It is because we are children of the enlightenment and reject the whole bizarre edifice of monarchy which has no place in the modern world for the intelligent people, only a place for the brain dead and those who enjoy grovelling in front of distinctly average people with a lot of money who are there through chance of birth.

  25. Norma wilson January 1, 2015 at 11:15 pm #

    These Royal awards should be abolished and so should boxing.
    Gregory Campbell does not like IRISH and wants it abolished.
    What is the difference here, you can see were I am coming from.
    PK mentions Henry X111 , what about the PROTESTANTS in Nantes in France, burned at the stake, Heretics on the Popes orders. Even the Vatican is build on dishonest money, we could go on and on….
    So here is my question to you all, WHAT HAS THIS UNITED IRELAND GOT TO OFFER ??

    • paddykool January 2, 2015 at 9:41 am #

      Indeed we can go on and on Norma …and we all do …none of it is right. it’s all about taking and making power.Every one of us is the result of all that misuse of it by kings and churches. in the past, so why shouldn’t we have a go at taking charge of our own destinies for a change. Can we do any worse?

    • Bigred January 2, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

      Ok Norma, you asked the question, you may not like , you may even decide not to read it, but here is your answer……………….

      POBLACHT NA H EIREANN
      ___________________________
      THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT
      OF THE
      IRISH REPUBLIC
      TO THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND

      IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom.

      Having organised and trained her manhood through her secret revolutionary organisation, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and through her open military organisations, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army, having patiently perfected her discipline, having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal itself, she now seizes that moment, and, supported by her exiled children in America and by gallant allies in Europe, but relying in the first on her own strength, she strikes in full confidence of victory.

      We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the last three hundred years they have asserted it to arms. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades-in-arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and of its exaltation among the nations.

      The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.

      Until our arms have brought the opportune moment for the establishment of a permanent National, representative of the whole people of Ireland and elected by the suffrages of all her men and women, the Provisional Government, hereby constituted, will administer the civil and military affairs of the Republic in trust for the people.

      We place the cause of the Irish Republic under the protection of the Most High God. Whose blessing we invoke upon our arms, and we pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by cowardice, in humanity, or rapine. In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valour and discipline and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.

      Signed on Behalf of the Provisional Government.

      Thomas J. Clarke,
      Sean Mac Diarmada, Thomas MacDonagh,
      P. H. Pearse, Eamonn Ceannt,
      James Connolly, Joseph Plunkett

    • Am Ghobsmacht January 3, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

      Norma

      Not all Catholics are joined together in some sort of Sci-fi hive mind.

      indeed, there is a counter-factual theory that Ireland might have become has as protestant as the Dutch Republics just to piss of the Tudors.

      In my own experience the most bitter anti-Catholics are from Catholic countries e.g. ROI or Croatia.

      They’re not one group. Trying to make a Catholic feel bad about Hapsburg oppression is not a uniform task

      I used to think that my (Catholic) wife would be turned off NI because of loyalism, it turns out that the half-assed approach of Irish Catholicism (e.g. Sat night mass, sex before marriage, 1/2 Sabbath etc) is even more scary to her (and don’t anyone deny it!! You know it’s true) than ‘loyalism’.

      So please, stop using the Catholic church as a ‘counter’ because the Catholic world is as different as the Muslim world.

      The only people who believe otherwise are Northern Irish Protestants.

  26. Norma wilson January 2, 2015 at 12:14 am #

    A chairde,

    Here’s wishing you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year! The past year, 2014, was of course the one during which the British were supposed to have left Ireland. At least that was the on record promise made some time ago by a leading Sinn Féin figure. Oh well, ho-hum!

    Now we must bide our time until 2016 when an even more prominent Sinn Féin figure has publicly promised a British withdrawal from the Six Counties. While one is prepared to give the benefit of the doubt in all instances, it’s probably true to say that very few people seriously believe that the British State will begin to vacate its forces from Ireland in about twelve months from now.

    The real wonder is that supposedly astute politicians would tie themselves to such definite dates in the first place. Sooner or later all those who have placed their faith in these individuals will be disappointed by them.

    Sinn Féin leaders come and go of course, albeit at a glacial pace, and the fate of the Irish Nation is far more important than the ambitions of individual egotists.

    It is to be hoped that 2015 will mark the beginning of a serious debate that will end the cult of leadership and the curse of factionalism within the wider Irish Republican family.

    The cause of Irish freedom remains a noble one and Irish Republicans are a formidable people, forged in the fiery tradition of true Patriotism. Unity is strength. Let’s work towards it in 2015.

    Éirinn go Brach!

    Gerry McGeough

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  27. John January 2, 2015 at 5:34 am #

    Well Jude. You stirred up a bit of a hornets nest there! All the gory details of your intro i was well aware of. I remember in my early teens informing all and sundry at School about the British inventing Concentration Camps and their exploits there and in India etc – and how Churchill wasn’t the ‘hero’ that was being taught. (You missed out the fact that he was a firm believer in Eugenics by the way) – Anyway, a letter from the Headmaster, sealed and addressed to my folks was put in the post. I arrived home one day – via the Newsagent where i had 3 paper-rounds (the record collection that people these days, if given a view and exclaim “f*** me!” – started then, at the dawn of the Punk era). Ma and Pa were looking grim, my face dropped – and they burst out laughing! – rolling up the letter, and throwing it on the fire. To this day, and i’ll never know now, if they were supposed to reply. But nothing was ever mentioned by the Headmaster nor History Teacher. 5 sodding years spent ‘learning’ about Centuries of Monarchs. Then i spent a year at a separate 6th Form College (my best friend’s Mother was Deputy Head there. Amongst other topics – History lessons there managed to pack in the History of America during The War of Independence, Russian History after the overthrow of the Bolsheviks – and The History of China during Mao’s Rule. Ohh, how i enjoyed that year!
    Two other things come to mind. When my Ma moved over, she lived in Blackpool first (on the Lancashire Coast. She used to go to the Cinema once or twice a week. During those times, the National Anthem was played at the end of the Screening. All stood up – including Ma – but she was getting up to dash for the last tram after one long film – as she “excused me” along a row of seats, one woman exclaimed “How dare you leave during…blah blah!” – grabbed hold of Mum’s coat – and ripped a pocket off! – Considering the fact that she’d made it herself – she just had time to land the woman a slap!

    As regards Gandhi. My Mum moved further eastwards into Lancashire upon meeting my Dad, to a town that is only one of the five teams engraved on the Premiership Trophy, and funnily – though not actually, was doing fine till an Indian Company bought it from the Trust in which it had been held. – Anyway, this town in which i grew up, and then had to grow up faster, because Punk had arrived – and people would literally cross the street, abuse you, spit on you – often swing punches at you – because of multi-coloured hair, quite odd outfits i must admit – or even ripped jeans (my folks didn’t believe me way back then, when i said everyone will be spiking their hair up and paying a fortune for ‘designer’ ripped jeans).
    The town has a ‘sister-town’ called Darwen. (I lived in both before i moved over to Ireland – though grew up in the former. I was always going to move over, but some 14 years ago – along with other reasons, decided i just couldn’t live in the UK anymore. Plus i’d spent 19 years very, very actively fighting to get the Tories out, then realised i and many others had been duped and sold out by Bliar – a closet Thatcher and a War Criminal – and the true Labour Party was all but dead, after a Century, by the hands of one man).
    Anyway, back to Darwen….Many years before, it had a very illustrious visitor – on his ‘tour’ of the UK’s poorer regions (I believe he took some of Orwell’s writings – ie: ‘The Road To Wigan Pier’ as a sort of guide)…Gandhi – and apparently almost the whole of Darwen turned out to greet him. Looms (of which there were many) stopped – and he was given the grand tour of the ‘India Mill Company’ – whose absolutely magnificent architectural wonder of a chimney still stands. If you ‘Google Image’ – Darwen, Gandhi – you’ll see many a flat cap and ladies in their ‘Sunday best’. Be sure to get up some photo’s of ‘The India Mill Chimney’ too. The story goes that when the final ‘capping’ was finished at the top, a table and 2 chairs were hoisted up, along with 2 chaps, whose standing in the Community slips my mind – who then proceeded to eat a meal to officially declare the chimney was ‘ready for action’!

    As regards Paddy’s ‘Gong’ – i can take in and understand the varying viewpoints from all the Contributors (well, most of them. Someone either didn’t see the message i left for her the other night – or chose to ignore it).
    There’s some good viewpoints – but at the end of the day, i believe his decision will indeed come down to sponsorship – and with that comes extra earnings. No matter how good a boxer you are – there’s a ‘shelf-life’ (or the risk of permanent brain damage). It still pains me to see the once – amongst the greatest of them all – Ali, and watching his last two fights sat alongside my Dad, who’d always been a boxing fan – and him saying “These 2 fights will finish him. Physically and more importantly, mentally.” – and he was sadly right.
    So Paddy, presuming also that he has Barry advising him, amongst others (and hopefully no hanger’s on) – will accept it – and do best to stash that sponsorship money wisely for his, and his Family’s future. – Call it making the best of a bad thing.
    Tell paddy for me if you will, that he also put it very eloquently.

    RJC also put a good link up – it reminded me that 2 of my long-term musical heroes – both very clever too (the latter far more than people think) refused ‘baubles’. David Bowie a CBE then a Knighthood – and John Lydon (nee Rotten) an MBE. – I think i posted at one point that there’s a near 3 minute link on YouTube that someone has unearthed from the bowels of the BBC which has a Radio1 interview with Mr.Lydon in 1978 – saying “this bit will probably be cut” (and it was). Short but very interesting – just type in John Lydon – and a string of links will appear. Click on Saville – then a page with a short (and very nice and interesting interview with Jon Snow on Channel 4 News will appear) – and the one in question underneath.

    A couple of last things Jude before i (finally!) go…Do have a look at the link i mentioned in my last post – apart from how i said that Dave, the chap i mentioned deserved it – you’ll see how something very positive can come from a horrible event, you’ll understand when you see it.

    And Thank You So Very Very Much – your message yesterday gave me such a lift, when my Fibromyalgia etc was wreaking havok – and also for your Christmas message that had me smiling for days!

    May Good Karma Always Be With You Jude.

    GRMA and All t’best!

    John.

    • Jude Collins January 2, 2015 at 9:03 am #

      Go raibh maith agat aris, John – a detailed and scrupulous survey/comment. We need more.

      • John January 3, 2015 at 11:03 am #

        ….Go raibh maith agat aris, to your fine self also Jude. The grey matter and the fingers took on a life of their own. Just a short one this morning – a reply from RJC quite made my mouth fall open – in these two islands of a combined population of some 70 million people – and your blog, it turned out, via my comment etc that…Well, you may well have read his reply – so a longish reply has just been finished.
        By the way, thanks to his ‘Wiki’ link – i also discovered that the painter L.S. Lowry, who the ‘Establishment ‘scoffed at’ – for not being a supposed ‘real’ Artist, holds the record for turning down the most baubles/decorations of all. Four in all.

        Not bad for someone who i fuly imagine didn’t leave his bed unmade for months, sell it for STUPID money – but then again, the woman in question is a moronic and vocal Tory supporter.

    • RJC January 2, 2015 at 10:26 am #

      Interesting stuff there John, and you’re absolutely right about John Lydon – a far more clever man than people give him credit for.

      On a slight tangent, but with regards the link you mentioned – Adam Rogers’ brother Dom is a friend of mine, small world it would seem! Like you say, it’s hard to be churlish about an MBE when you consider the dignity and forgiveness exhibited by both Dave and Pat. There are lessons to be learned there for us all. If anyone is feeling generous this New Year, I’m sure a donation would be greatly appreciated – http://www.eahconsequences.com

      • John January 3, 2015 at 10:34 am #

        Thanks very much for the feedback RJC – and Thank You So Much for putting up the cosequences link – very much appreciated, and would / will be no doubt by Pat & Dave, Dom – and Tim (who i obliquely mentioned during my post) – Dom will have no doubt mentioned him, Pat & Dave have had a few tough years, as you can imagine – so Tim took over a good deal of the functioning, fund-raising and giving talks at Schools, Colleges etc. a few months ago, not long after the July Anniversary.
        The fact that Pat & Dave found the strength to not only set up the Charity – but to come up with the whole ‘Consequences’ package – the DVD etc, informing countless young people – and older, the effects of drink, how one single drunken punch can kill a person (and such a gentle young lad like Adam, who never troubled anyone in his far too short life) – still quite amazes me. And indeed, they both deserved some recognition.
        Did Dom ever tell you about Dave’s Prison Visits?…Whereby he would visit – explain what had happened, and discuss ‘Restorative Justice’ – and that on a number of occasions, huge, tattooed ‘lifers’ – in for some (obviously) henious crime of some sort – would stand up, and with sincerity, amongst other inmates – openly weep and in some cases – apologise for their crimes, for the very first time. – Which is indeed, quite something.

        I’m ‘blummin’ amazed you know Dom! – Small world indeed! Sadly, after spending so much time as we did in years past (with quite a few tales of shenanigans along the way! – including me dragging him into the centre of London one strange day years ago – which i still haven’t figured out why even now!), i see him rarely since i moved over here. The last time was Tim’s Wedding just over 2 years or so ago. Much hugging – and the funniest Best Man’s Speech EVER! That had 100+ people in tears of laughter!

        When you next see him, give me my upmost Best Wishes – which i can’t do as Tim eternally forgets to get / exchange mobile numbers and e-mail addresses (Tim needs another prompt. Again.) – And that i hope the kids are doing grand – as he hopefully is himself (and winter on the barge is being kind to him. (Done that myself over here. Crap barge. Even worse landlord/owner).

        It’s been an absolute pleasure and wonderful surprise RJC. – Thanks again greatly for putting up the link (hopefully Jude, upon seeing it, can fit it into the topic of a future blog – for the message behind the Charity itself too. – a single drunken punch can destroy/change so many lives..

        Re: John Lydon – his biography is a mighty fine read – a must read if you haven’t. I’m still chuckling about his quote to a Guardian reader during a Q+A Session… UKIP are just a big empty hole, waiting for stupid people to fall into. – Classic!

        So, at this point, i shall bid you Good Morning / Good Day – All the Very Best, and i hope 2015 is very kind to you and yours.

        John.

        http://www.eahconsequences.com/

    • paddykool January 2, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

      Good post John …I enjoyed the personal details a lot..

      • John January 3, 2015 at 11:49 am #

        My Thanks paddy – And your input was absolutely spot on too!
        Re: the personal details, that’s a fragment. I was told round about ’05, when i’d just turned the corner into my fourth decade (had just ‘exited’ a 5 year relationship that turned into hell in its final year) – and had been put in touch with ‘a very good listener’ shall i put it. (Sadly it was during the final year leading up to her retirement). I’ll always remember her saying that all the Clients she’d had in her long career – she’d never met a person who had done, lived – and gone through so much in half a life-time – and more than many people would do in a full life-time.

        You truly would’t believe how many times i’ve been told to write a book/books. 30 years plus.
        Very hopefully – 2015 will see the start of at least one tome.

        Best Wishes paddy,

        John