VE Day. Speak, memory…

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 19.08.52

Picture by Neil Gaffney

Where else would you get it? I was on Talkback today, in a discussion about the Nazi flag that was put up in a West Belfast school. A pupil came on and explained it was an end-of-year prank, nothing sinister or Nazi-supporting, which rang pretty true. But it was another caller who remembered  VE Day in the Belfast area who I found most revealing.

He remembered fondly how they’d celebrated that day, put up Union flags everywhere, some bunting made of bits of underwear, ha ha, a lady’s nylons involved, ha ha, where did she get them, ha ha, and then a certain organisation ho ho that celebrates a particular day in July, hee hee, burning tyres and the like but also ha ha they had an effigy of a certain ha ha Italian gentleman so they kindly lent us it and we painted a Hitler moustache on it, ha ha, and it went on the celebratory bonfire. Ah happy days…

That’s not verbatim, of course, but you get the drift. It was all so good-natured and the conversation soon moved on. Only then on the way home I began to think about it. They celebrated because as British people had defeated Hitler. Fair enough. Union flags and bunting, fair enough. But the bit about the good people who lent them their effigy? Was that a bit of a laugh too – planning to burn the effigy of a ‘certain Italian gentleman’.  He might have been the religious leader of Roman Catholics  – but there was no question of them being offended.  It wasn’t as if the VE celebrators had planned to burn the effigy of the Chief Rabbi. Or the leader of Islam. Or the head of the Church of England. No, it was a ‘certain Italian gentleman’. A religious gentleman. But burning said gentleman was part of the tradition so who could get offended at that. Just a laugh, really. Ho ho.

5 Responses to VE Day. Speak, memory…

  1. sherdy May 7, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    It must be one hell of a slow news day!
    Crawley Willie admitted that he accepted it was a schoolboy prank virtually at the start of the piece, but he still spent 40 minutes discussing it.
    I thought he was going to call for the hanging of these miscreants.
    Schoolboy/girl pranks must be a new phenomenon to him, as he brought on a selection of callers who felt mortally wounded by such a treacherous act decrying anyone who could make light of Hitler and the Nazis.
    Sure Hitler was evil, but is he the only one in the world?
    How about Joe Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Atilla the Hun, Genghis Khan, even Bomber Harris who specialised during WWII in terror bombing German cities which were almost totally occupied by women, children and old men?
    Surely the Nazis aren’t the only people in the world worthy or our opprobrium!

    • Francis May 8, 2015 at 12:19 am #

      Verbatim Jude it was more Jolly well pointed as I heard him refer to a,-“A certain Italian “Cleric”!!! Chuckle Chuckle, ha ha ect ect

  2. Iolar May 7, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

    Slow news day?

    A judicial review against the PSNI Chief Constable appears to be low on the list of news priorities. Collusion, murders and inadequate investigations are being examined in court today. Could the fact that a decision was made to halt the work of the Historical Enquiries Team have anything to do with the roles played by members of the RUC, UDR, UVF, UDA and UFF in the Glenanne Gang?

    • sherdy May 7, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

      Iolar, I hope you’re not suggesting that our new whiter-than-white PSNI would engage in collusion as the RUC did.
      And do you think that our NI press terriers would engage in collusion with the PSNI who are colluding with the UDA/UUP, UVF/DUP and the remnants of the Glenanne Gang?
      Sean McPhilemy’s book of some years ago ‘The Committee’ makes interesting reading (whether he was able to prove his allegations or not)!

      • Francis May 8, 2015 at 12:16 am #

        Yes Sherdy, I read it. Although banned from publication now for libel reasons, Nelson Mac causeland, Billy Wright, Robin Jackson, the Very Reverend William Mc Crea, Hugh Ross, Albert Prentice, David Prentice, Trevor Forbes OBE, Charles Moffet, Frazer Agnew, Drew Nelson. Ken Kerr, Alan Clegg, Ian whittle, Sammy Abraham, Will Davidson, James Sands, Graham Long and Philip Black should read it if they are able to do so…A certain Noble, Nobel laureate from some somewhere or another, might be able to give you legal counsels as hence before “Allegedly”. Journeys of self discovery are highly recommended in life, and I’m quite sure these fine Patriots will vindicate their integrity, and are far, far away from the bloodbaths of anyone Murdered. It would be libellous to declare this, so of course there is absolutely no inference here that this group of fine Gentlemen, have any resemblance to anyone on an orchestrated Committee, living or dead, who sent so many innocent people to a bloody, and premature grave. Such an insinuation would be of course, an indictable offence, which could set one up for unwanted attention, perhaps agro of the extreme kind. The Real Committee of course, not these random gents(who rightly cried foul) might want to silence anyone who might be too vocal in highlighting the “real” committee. I say with all composure and sanity to the surviving members of the Committee, taking the liberty to speak briefly on behalf of the Dead who they Mudered,- go fuck yourselves, you can’t silence everyone.