On self-doubt and the verdict of others

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 09.03.25

Picture by Kombizz



We all have moments of self-doubt. You’ve been taking a particular line on a particular subject, or maybe a general line on things in general, and then the worm of doubt starts burrowing in: what if you’re wrong ?  What if the line you’re taking is a load of cobblers and you’ve been galloping east when you should have been galloping west?

Personally, I’ve always found that at moments like this, it’s important to check what other people are saying about you. When you do, you can get fresh heart and your conviction that you’re doing the right thing is  confirmed. Myself, I like to turn in such wavering moments to the words of one of our eminent politicians: Nelson McCausland. Nelson’s verdict on me is that I am “that nasty little man” and “One of the most sectarian journalists I have ever come across”. If that doesn’t quite do the trick, I toss in Willie Frazer’s thoughtful characterisation: “I was struggling to find a term suitable for Jude Collins but I couldn’t, so prat will have to do”.

That’s why I’m sure Jeremy Corbyn is feeling heartened this morning in  his campaign to become leader of the Labour Party.  A week or two ago, he must have experienced a significant boost when Tony Blair made a speech and told people that if their heart was with Jeremy Corbyn, they should get a transplant. To be rejected by the man who led Britain into a disastrous Iraq invasion which cost tens of thousands of lives: that must have felt reassuring. But even the most reassuring signs can wear thin as the days go by, so it’s a safe bet Jeremy is doing little leps in the air this morning and shouting “Alleluia!” and similar. Why? Because now Lord Kinnock, formerly Neil Kinnock, leader of the Labour Party, has also come out against him. Anyone thinking of voting for Corbyn, says the good Lord,  should think again: “In the leadership election, we are not choosing the chair of a discussion group who can preside over two years or more of fascinating debate while the Tories play hell with cuts”. What’s more, there are malign “Trotskyite forces” at work in the Labour Party.  In other words, avoid extremes and dump Corbyn.

No doubt at this very minute Corbyn is remembering how Thatcher used to dismiss Kinnock as a “Welsh windbag”. He may recall how Kinnock couldn’t speak a sentence that was shorter than 100 words. Or maybe he’s remembering the time Kinnock, hand-in-hand with his wife, tripping along a beach line, with the media’s cameras trained on him, fell into the sea. Or maybe he’s remembering when, with the polls speaking optimistically of a Labour Party win and  General Election day looming,  Kinnock attended a mass rally, told the troops that “We’re aaaaaaallll rriiiiiight! We’re aaaaaalll right!”  and by looking and sounding asinine succeeded in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

With the likes of Blair and now Kinnock lined up against him, Corbyn can’t be other than in good heart today.

, , ,

29 Responses to On self-doubt and the verdict of others

  1. Am Ghobsmacht August 3, 2015 at 8:43 am #

    For what it’s worth Dr C I’ve never found anything faintly sectarian in any of your posts, so people can’t tell the difference between having an Irish nationalist point of view and being sectarian, that says more about them than anything else.

    As for Nelson, you at least post my comments no matter how much you might disagree with them, same can’t be said for Hawf.

    • Jude Collins August 3, 2015 at 10:39 am #

      Go raibh maith agat, A M – thank you for those kind words. Help the Aged, that’s what I always say…

  2. Jack Dash August 3, 2015 at 9:58 am #

    And I always take with a pinch of salt the pronouncements on labour movement values of self-styled socialists who jump at the chance of an aristocratic title such as Lord or Baron.

  3. Iolar August 3, 2015 at 10:21 am #

    Tunnel vision

    Messrs Mandelson, Blair and Kinnock, barren of policies that will improve working and living standards for the many as opposed to the few, now strive to maintain all the trappings of wealth, status and privilege. Mr Corbyn was against the war in Iraq while the views of Mr Blair held the day. Mr Corbyn lost the battle. Mr Blair lost the war leaving Mr Cameron to deal with a growing refugee problem.

    Crowds from Liverpool, Luton and Leicester gather to hear Mr Corbyn articulate his labour credentials and opposition to reduced spending on public services as millions of pounds are spent on nuclear arms. People are sick of scandals in the unelected House of Lords while others go homeless and hungry on the streets of London. The electorate in Scotland rejected leaderless Labour and have opted for a party determined to govern without deference to anachronistic political allegiances. The Labour leadership bluffed the Scottish electorate once and suffered a subsequent humiliating rout in Scotland. It would appear that the electorate in England is about to do battle with the real foe, austerity.

  4. ANOTHER JUDE August 3, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    Kinnock was useless in his Irish policy, he was useless when it came to the miners, he was useless….you get my drift. I hope Jeremy Corbyn wins, the reason being he at least is a proper left wing politician not a smarmy failure like Burnham or part of a grotesque double act like Cooper, they are the reason people hate Labour. If the British electorate don`t want to vote Labour, proper Labour, then that`s their loss. If they can be influenced so easily by the Murdoch press then they are probably too thick to vote. As for Nelson and Willie, their politics are so awful it would be better to tear up a ballot paper than give it to them. Being called sectarian by those two clowns is like being called ugly by the elephant man. They don`t do irony.

  5. John Patton August 3, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

    I don’t accept that the Labour defeat in 92 was the result of a few spontaneous actions by Neil Kinnock at the Sheffield Rally. It may well have been a minor contributing factor but Labour, in my view, was defeated because it told the truth. Always an unwise strategy in British elections; John Smith, the Shadow Chancellor, detailed his financial plans and the impact they might have on the purse. The right wing press and the CBI had a field day with them. The economy and racism are prime factors in UK elections as we saw when this current lot got themselves elected again without saying what they proposed to do on benefit changes.Kinnock was given to verbosity – not a cardinal fault in my book but he showed determination and courage when he became leader of a party struggling against Thatcherism and demoralised by 12 years in opposition

  6. neill August 3, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

    I want Jeremy Corbyn to win because the Conservatives will win the next election with a landslide as Jeremy will spilt the labour party from top to bottom.I have no time for Blair Kinnock however in this case they are right Labour will become unelectable and the Conservatives will rule for the next political generation.

    • Jude Collins August 3, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

      Woo hooo! Wunnerful news, neill – congratulations on being first with the scoop…And five years before it happens! My God – talk about prescient…

      • neill August 3, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

        Ah Jude having a tough day at work or have you just been told there wont be a United Ireland in 2016?

        Anyhoo any time you need a hug….

        • Jude Collins August 4, 2015 at 7:38 am #

          Ha haaa – no matter how dull the day, neill, I know I can always get a laff from you. Grma…

    • RJC August 3, 2015 at 10:14 pm #

      Ted Heath now, eh Neill? Gotta love those Tories…

      • neill August 4, 2015 at 8:23 am #

        One bad Tory he wasn’t much of a Tory after all even the unions beat him….

        • RJC August 4, 2015 at 10:49 am #

          What is it about the Conservative party that appeals to you?

          • neill August 4, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

            What is it about SF that appeals to you?

          • RJC August 4, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

            I was asking you a genuine question, Neill. You began this thread by saying ‘I want Jeremy Corbyn to win because the Conservatives will win the next election with a landslide’ and I was interested to know what it was about the Conservative party that appealed to you.

            If you don’t want to answer a question I’ve put to you, that’s fine – don’t answer. Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.

      • ANOTHER JUDE August 4, 2015 at 6:58 pm #

        Child abuse is actually the lesser of the crimes he is alleged to have committed with his paedo pals.

  7. Perkin Warbeck August 3, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

    Nothing like a prat on the back all the same, Esteemed Blogmeister, to boost the old confidence.

    Not least when the booster in q. is none other than the redoubtable Willie Frazer.
    One can easily imagine you dining off such a delicious compliment for at least a month of Sundaes.

    Those yummy scoops of tummy-cajoling ice cream with the one provis, oops, proviso. Topped with sauces or syrups or in some cases other toppings including sprinkles, whipped cream, peanuts, maraschino cherries or assorted fruits. The one proviso (see above) being: provided the ‘assorted fruits’ are oranges.

    Last Saturday marked the launch of the 1916 Centenary Year of 1916 and the reliable Unionist Times was first to fire a fusillade of fulsome praise across the bows of the LE Neamhnite / Irish Ship Unwashed.

    This happened when they headstoned, oops, headlined a piece on O’Donovan Rossa thus: ‘O’Dynamite Rossa: was Fenian leader the first terrorist?’.

    At this moment in t. , going forward, this looks like being the winner of the Nobel Price for Plawmaws though the decision must needs be postponed till the anticipated piece on that blistering agent John Redmond is published under the following lung irritant of a headline:: ‘Mustard Gas Redmond’.

    Of course, as the proto-provo Alfred Nobel invented both dynamite and gelignite it might even be possible to do a Solomon and split the atom, oops, the, award.

    Incidentally, O’Donovan Rossa is in NO way connected with Frank Ross the legendary thrower of parties. Whereas the former took on the agnomen out of romantic notions the latter plumped for plain old ‘Proinisas de Rossa’ (mar is e ata ann !) for more pragmatic and yet no less idealistic reasons:

    -It p for pushes me further up the b for ballot paper.

    Nor is the latter in anyway associated with the old music hall songwriter on Liffeyside: Frank O’Donovan. Whereas he was the composer of ‘Sitting on the Bridge Below the Town’, Frank Ross was known to position his morally superior butt on the ditch when the likes of his comrades in charms from the mainland Labour Party, like Blair and Kinnock, were living out their fantasies of Empah from the Bogside to Baghdad.

    As the Dame Dowager was wont to remind Pekie in his younger days: ‘Be very careful about the enemies you choose, Warbeck Minor: a good adversary will last you a lifetime’.

    • Jude Collins August 3, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

      “: ‘Mustard Gas Redmond” +‘Sitting on the Bridge Below the Town’ = joint cigar winners today. I’d forgotten that old ballad but I’ll never forget M G Redmond…

      • Perkin Warbeck August 4, 2015 at 9:14 am #

        GRMA, Esteemeemed Blogmeister.

        Just two points:

        1. Perhaps Willie and Nelson might even be prompted, if not by their joint songwriting abilities, then by their happy confluence of first names, to pen you a paean in the form of a tune. An Ulster Scot take, perchance, on what was at one stage the most played song in American jukeboxes.

        That would be ‘Crazy’ by ole Willie Nelson.

        As there is, of course, no equivalent of that concept to be found among the ubermensch of the Ulster Scots perhaps an approximation might do.

        One understands ‘Gowk’ might vaguely fit the bill.

        2. In fairness, going backward, Mustard Gas Redmond must never be spoken of in the same context as Dynamite Jerry Rossa. And one apologies unreservedly for doing so. He is not, for instance, mentioned in a morally superior snorter of a letter on DJR to The Unionist Times today. Mea mad maxima.

        Whereas the Corkonian was indiscriminate in his targetting, the Wexican, as befitted a native Yellow Bellow from the Sunny South East,, was able to cut the,erm, mustard far better as a humane wager of civilised warfare. It was no coincidence of course that he was also an alumnus of that comfort zone of civilisation, Clongowes Wood College. Not unlike, curiously enough, his great successor, the Bullock-befriending Bruton.

        While WW1 has attracted many monickers, some suitable, some not so, there is one cognomen which has strangely fallen out of use. Perhaps it is time to bring it back into popularity.

        That, of course, would be ‘The Fast Food Feud’ for it was upon the outcome of this four year long War to End all Whatsit that the very future of modern civilisation as we know it, hinged.

        If it had gone the other way, today we would all be eating ‘Frankurters’; instead, TG, we dine on hot dogs. It was a measure of the magnanimity of the Allied Victors and as a gesture of reconciliation that the much loathed term ‘hamburger’ was allowed to stay on our plate. (Not to mention the inherent Civility of the War between two branches of ze same klan).

        This devoutly to be desired outcome would never have been achieved without the use, of course, of Mustard Gas. Unlike dynamite which was inherently volatile and prone to render innocent bystanders supine, Mustard Gas was perfect for the purpose it was designed for: economic targets.

        Those pig farms, in other words, in Prussia (say hi ! to High Germany) where the essential ingredients of the Frankfurter were duly fattened and slaughtered for later consumption by the ubermensch (see above).

        Mustard Gas as Redmond’s inner humaitarian yellow man understood, was not indiscriminate, being only at the mercy of the vagaries of the wind. And if der Wind commt aus dem Osten / if the wind came from the East, it was not the swine of the Huns that suffered but rather the gallant Dublin fusiliers.

        The Joxers and Whackers who answered Mustard Gas Redmond’s call and thus became the J.A. W. bone of the ass in the great Donkey Derby 14-18.

        They embraced this technology in the full knowledge that it could end up, like the Village Schoolmaster of old, hurting themselves more than the intended target.

        We honour them at the going down of the sun and in the morning. And at the changing of the wind.

  8. Argenta August 3, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

    Given the evidence of the recent Westminister election,it’s debatable whether a Labour Party led by Corbyn would be electable as a Government.I suppose for him and his followers,ideological purity is more important than actually achieving power.Whatever the many faults of Tony Blair,Sinn Fein will always be indebted to him for the various concessions and side deals they obtained under his watch!

    • Jude Collins August 3, 2015 at 6:50 pm #

      You have a point, Argenta – well, half a point anyway. Blair did help bring about the GFA – what you clearly know, on good authority, was nothing but concessions and side deals to the Shinners- and he did some good things domestically in Britain. But all that was eclipsed by his appalling foreign policy.

  9. sherdy August 3, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

    AJ, – Have to disagree with you that Kinnock was totally useless – his wife Glenys was a looker. Can that stand in his favour?
    Jude, if Nelson and Willie had shown any admiration of you, not matter how furtively, I would have seriously worried about my own judgment.
    Somehow I don’t think you’ll need any sleeping pills to overcome their feelings about you.

    • Jude Collins August 3, 2015 at 6:49 pm #

      Well, Sherdy, I feel honoured that either man noticed me. So honoured, you’ll find their words stage front and centre in the ‘About Me’ bit of this blogsite.

    • ANOTHER JUDE August 4, 2015 at 6:56 pm #

      She was a fine looking woman as the late Joe Dolan might have said.

  10. Ryan August 3, 2015 at 5:48 pm #

    Jude, you definitely know your doing something right when you have the likes of Orange men Nelson McCausland and nutty Willie Frazer coming out against you. I don’t have to say much about Nelson other than the words: Red Sky. This is the same Nelson McCausland that demands tolerance for “Orange Culture” but yet calls for the complete opposite for Irish culture and anything Republican. To disagree with anything Nelson believes in is completely unacceptable. Nelson is right, everyone else is wrong. End of. Maybe Nelson and Gregory Campbell were separated at birth?…

    Then we come to nutty Willie Frazer, a man who definitely has potential to do stand up comedy. But on a serious note lets have some facts about Willies past. Willie has spoke out in admiration of LVF psychopath Billy Wright. Willie himself has actively supported and encouraged collusion. On an even more serious note, Willie was once a manager of a club where the UVF stabbed two protestant teenagers to death for insulting a dead UVF commander and was confronted on live radio by one of the victims fathers.

    There is even unanswered questions about Willies father. Willies father was killed by the IRA. His father has been accused multiple times by multiple people, apparently even in a book, of being allegedly part of the “Glenanne Gang” which murdered over 120 innocent Catholics. Certainly Willies father was in the UDR and worked in the barracks many Glenanne gang UDR men worked in as well. Willie and his mother, Margaret, were interviewed in Susan McKays excellent book “Northern Protestants: an unsettled people” (I highly recommend it). The author even noted Margaret Frazer as being “an extremely bitter woman”.

    Willie has also came out numerous times in support of the paras who committed Bloody Sunday and the Ballymurphy massacre and has done so many times on his many videos on his youtube channel (still available on youtube). He has attacked those murdered by the paras by saying they were “rioting” and attacking the paras, even though the evidence clearly shows many of the people murdered were shot running away….Willie (and the media too) likes to portray himself as a “victims campaigner” and yet on his “Victims List” is the man who committed the Dublin/Monaghan bombings and many other people who were UVF/UDA members.

    If I was criticized by Willie Frazer (I spoke to him once on Facebook but he blocked me immediately when I asked him was his father a member of the murderous glenanne gang) and Nelson McCausland, I would certainly take it as a compliment.

  11. neill August 3, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

    So Ryan I take it you don’t like Willie Frazer then?

    If my father had been killed by Republicans there is a good chance I would dislike the Republican movement. In saying that though I have tremendous respect for Gordon Wilson and his ability to forgive a fine man indeed.

    • ANOTHER JUDE August 4, 2015 at 7:02 pm #

      The problem with the likes of Willie is his inability to accept the suffering of his political enemies, he refuses to acknowledges the brutality of the UDR for example.

  12. Séamus Ó Néill August 4, 2015 at 9:13 am #

    Will the Labour party in Britain , in it’s present form , ever be electable again ? Proposed boundary changes , circa 2018 , and the proposal to cut the number of MP’s will certainly limit their ability .Their routing in Scotland was self-inflicted by stupidly declaring against any pact with the SNP and combining that with pseudo left-wing politics and a completely ineffectual leader , they were instrumental in their own demise.. Politics and political arrangements or alliances ,I believe ,will shift dramatically in the coming years ,not only in Britain, but on this Island also….Scotland will achieve independence , Northern England will want more say and clout and Wales certainly will not be voiceless.Here Unionism ,unless they form a pact with their natural allies , ( Fine Gael ) will become increasingly isolated and irrelevant …..their “not an inch” sectarianism and racism has ensured that , so all in all a riveting future of turmoil and mayhem to look forward to !

  13. neill August 4, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

    I was asking you a genuine question, Neill. You began this thread by saying ‘I want Jeremy Corbyn to win because the Conservatives will win the next election with a landslide’ and I was interested to know what it was about the Conservative party that appealed to you.

    If you don’t want to answer a question I’ve put to you, that’s fine – don’t answer. Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.

    I was only being playful its really quite simple I support their core beliefs hard work low taxation social mobility and less government interference.