On Christmas Eve, a flicker of hope. Although it’s only temporary.


And so, as we tremble on the edge of Christmas 2016, all is not gloom. Yes, we’ve had a monumentally stupid Brexit vote in England and Wales (that is, if you define a stupid action as one performed contrary to one’s own interests), we’ve had the gross cartoon figure of Donald Trump elected as President of the United States, we’ve had Russia help liberate Aleppo by killing everyone in sight, we’ve had southern politicians tell us that their attacks on Sinn Féin via the unhappy son of prison officer Brian Stack had nothing to do with politics, we’ve had Carrie Fisher in intensive care after suffering a heart attack on a plane between London and Los Angeles. You could probably add a personal list yourself:  top of mine  would be the loss of my lovely and loved sister Patricia.

But amidst all the shit that 2016 has fired at us, one gleam has emerged, like a Christmas Eve star. The United Nations Security Council has finally found its cojones and has demanded that Israel stop building settlements on Palestinian land. This happened because the US finally abstained on the motion, and if you can’t guess why they did that, think how long President Obama has left in office – nothing can hurt him now.

Needless to say, Israel has expressed itself outraged, Trump has promised things will change when he assumes office in January, various US politicians have denounced the motion, with talk of anti-Jew, anti-semite sentiments at work. In practice it’ll probably make little difference, given that Trump has promised he’ll change everything; and it would have been nice if Obama had declared an end to the $38 billion in arms sales to Israel;  but even this little flicker of sanity, where the vile actions of Israel against the Palestinian people have finally been condemned by the major nations of the world, is cause for rejoicing.

And no, I’m not anti-Jew or anti-Semite. And if you seriously think that being opposed to the actions of the state of Israel means you hate Jews,  you should maybe spend Christmas in a dark room with a piece of moistened flannel on your forehead.

For the rest of you, may Christmas Day bring you happiness and joy, and may it give us all the courage to do the right thing no matter who yells however loudly.



34 Responses to On Christmas Eve, a flicker of hope. Although it’s only temporary.

  1. John Patton December 24, 2016 at 12:14 pm #

    Nodhlag shóna dhuit, a Iuid. Bain sult as an t-am leis an teaghlach go léir.

    • Jude Collins December 24, 2016 at 6:05 pm #

      Agus tú féin, a Sheain (sp??)….

  2. Patrick McDermott December 24, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

    Nollaig Shona duit, Jude agus Ath Bhlian faoimháise daoibh. Go bhfá Dia do shláinte agat.

    • Jude Collins December 24, 2016 at 6:10 pm #

      Grma, Patrick. Agus tú féin…

  3. Jim Lynch December 24, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you Jude and your family.
    Thank you for this blog, it’s gives us all hope.
    Also Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all who post.
    God Bless,
    Jim Lynch.

    • Jude Collins December 24, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

      Grma, Patrick. Agus tú féin…

  4. ceannaire December 24, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

    Nollaig shona agus Athbliain faoi mhaise do Jude agus a chlann agus do achan duine atá ar an blog seo.

  5. bullykiller December 24, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

    Nollaig Shona Duit from a snowless Finland everyone, Climate change has dictated that I will be playing golf on St Stephen´s day instead of Skiing. I kid you not!

  6. Ryan December 24, 2016 at 2:00 pm #

    I lost my grandmother this year, my last living grandparent. If that didn’t happen, 2016 would’ve been quite a good year for me, in general.

    It was a good year for Irish sport, that’s for sure. Euro 2016 was a very good tournament and I think the new system really does work brilliantly. Indeed without the new system the eventual champions, Portugal, would not have won (they came 3rd in their group, in previous tournaments they would’ve been eliminated at that stage). Both the Republic and NI being in the tournament made it a lot more interesting, both reaching the last 16. I hope both make it to Russia 2018. At the present time that actually looks likely….

    It was a shame Ireland did poorly at the 6 Nations this year but we made history by finally beating New Zealand in front of a packed out stadium in Chicago, where the stands were covered in Green. We also became the first Northern Hemisphere nation since 2003 (England done it last) to beat all 3 big Southern Hemisphere teams in 1 single year. Lets hope we become 6 Nations Champions for a 3rd time in 4 years in 2017.

    Conor McGregor, Carl Frampton, Katie Taylor, etc all did brilliantly in boxing/UFC sports. Ireland (and Kazakhstan) was obviously cheated in the Olympics when it came to boxing. Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlon and Katie Taylor gave their opponents boxing lessons but yet judges ruled that they lost. One former Irish World Champion in the RTE studios said “How the hell did Conlon lose? he boxed the Russian guy’s head off!”. Indeed, the Russian guy’s face was bloody and swollen. Conlon was so disgusted by the verdict he give the judges the “finger” and called them “f*ckin’ cheats” on live TV. In fact, all 3 (Barnes, Taylor and Conlon) left amateur boxing because of the corruption.

    A lot of famous people died this year, Actor Alan Rickman, Hollywood Golden era actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, legend David Bowie, Terry Wogan, singer Prince, singer Pete Burns, boxer Muhammad Ali, Actor Gene Wilder, Cuban Leader Fidel Castro, Astronaut John Glenn, former US First Lady Nancy Reagan, singer Leonard Cohen, etc The list goes on. Bishop Edward Daly also passed away this year.

    Lets hope 2017 is a far better

    I wish Jude and everyone on the blog a Happy Christmas (yes, you too MT), don’t over do it on the sprouts!

    PS: something tells me 2017 will be the year Arlene Foster signs on the Dole….

  7. Mary Jo December 24, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

    Happy Christmas, Jude, with bes wishes for the coming year.

    • Jude Collins December 24, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

      And the same to you, Mary Jo

  8. Kieran Maxwell December 24, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

    Merry Christmas Jude. Love your blog!

    Hope you have a great day tomorrow.
    God bless.

    • Jude Collins December 24, 2016 at 6:06 pm #

      Grma Kiearan, and you too.

  9. Wolfe tone December 24, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

    We had Russia put the brakes on NATO terrorism in Syria so there’s a flicker of hope for even non Christians too. Nollaig shona gach duine eile!

  10. Mark December 24, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

    Nollaig sona Jude agus daimh.
    I had heard it mooted many weeks ago that an outgoing President Obama would order such abstention, had Hil won the post, it should have been impossible to do so for fear of upsetting her Zionist base so, the Palestinians can thank Donald Trump for this it seems.
    The bad news though is the illness of the Princess, for me anyway.

    • Jude Collins December 24, 2016 at 6:06 pm #

      Agus tú féin, Mark

  11. Patrick December 24, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

    Merry Christmas Jude and thanks for your efforts in creating a fantastic blog. Best wishes!!

    • Jude Collins December 24, 2016 at 6:08 pm #

      You are too kind, Patrick. Agus tú féin…

  12. giordanobruno December 24, 2016 at 4:43 pm #

    I agree it is good to see this resolution going through even if it will make little difference but…

    Never any criticism of Russian bombing.

    Never any criticism of the Assad regime.

    Never any criticism Castro and his treatment of minorities and opposition groups.

    Never any criticism of China regarding Tibet or other human rights abuses.

    So that is why some might see singling out Israel for criticism as being anti-Semite, although I have no doubt that is not really the case.

    • Jude Collins December 24, 2016 at 6:04 pm #

      I am glad you added that last clause, gio. As to Never Never Never Never, maybe that’s because I haven’t written about them (I thought I’d said Aleppo was set free by killing everyone in sight). Anyway, I have little time for people who tell me I haven’t done this or I haven’t done that. Forget it. I choose what i write about, not someone else.

  13. fiosrach December 24, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

    I don’t know what I would do for entertainment if this blog disappeared. Sometimes I laugh out loud. Hope you get an odd laugh,Jude and a happy xmas to you and all yours. Ath-bhliain Faoi mhaise duit. MT and mr brown too.

    • Jude Collins December 24, 2016 at 6:08 pm #

      Grma, Fiosrach. Nice of you to say that. I must confess, I’m becoming increasingly fed up policing the bloody thing…Nothing personal, of course…

      • fiosrach December 25, 2016 at 7:37 pm #

        Of course.

        • Beachguy December 26, 2016 at 12:38 am #

          We all have to take some time out and smell the roses Jude.

          There’s an old expression about having a tiger by the tail but I think you have more than one.

          We live in an increasingly fraught world and with Information overload , instant access to everything and 24/7 news it all seems very frantic and hopeless at times.

          And despite being a voice of reason you will ALWAYS find someone to disagree with you and who will rile you up.

          So take a deep breath, uncork that good bottle of red , take that collection of Kavanagh down from the shelf and forget for awhile all the tourmoil outside.

          And I would recommend this to all our commentors on this wonderful blog.

  14. ben madigan December 24, 2016 at 10:02 pm #

    merry christmas jude, paddy, joe , donal and all the other contributers and posters.

    hope you all have a great day!!

  15. giordanobruno December 24, 2016 at 10:18 pm #

    Happy Christmas to those that believe in it.
    To all the rest a Happy Festival of the Invincible Sun God.

  16. Cal December 25, 2016 at 12:15 am #

    Merry Christmas, Jude. My prayers for your sister. Thank you for an excellent blog. Whatever 2017 may bring forth, I look forward to reading your views on it.

    • Jude Collins December 25, 2016 at 7:40 pm #

      Thanks Cal . Ditto to you…

  17. Beachguy December 25, 2016 at 1:26 am #

    And from the beach at Amphoe Khlong Yai , Trat, Thailand near the Cambodian border , Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2017 to all . Even MT.
    Maybe 2017 can be a year of respectful discussion between those of differing views which can lead to a better place for all.

    Time for a walk on the beach after I put on some sun screen.

  18. Randall Stephen Hall December 25, 2016 at 10:53 am #

    Here’s to a SPAD free 2017. (In my dreams). But sure i can always dream, in which the heavens fall on those on the hill, who never look to the heavens for anything.

    For me 2016 was full of challenges and some opportunities. so i have a lot to be grateful for. Mainly the simple things, like life, family, food, shelter, movement, friendship, all the five senses. Just in these alone I am a rich and lucky man.

    My pendulum swing between Stephen and Stiofán continues but sure, isn’t that exciting and less complacent than being just one thing. Opening up to the cultural reality of being Northern Irish and part of these islands as a modern collective experience, gathered in from ancient times.

    “All berries from the one bowl.”

    An islander, with all that this bestows upon us. The joy of many things. Rather than the dry bread and water of Victorian Nationalism.

  19. Argenta December 25, 2016 at 5:18 pm #

    Nollaig Shona duit,Jude.We may disagree during the year but time for a temporary truce!!

    • Jude Collins December 25, 2016 at 7:42 pm #

      Grma, A, agus tú féin. Sure it would be a very dull world if we were all the same. And isn’t a verbal wrestling match good for the constitution from time to time? (That said, I find my appetite for same diminishes by the hour…) Bain sult as an lá…