40 Minutes of Untamed Music by Randall Stephen Hall

RANDALL STEPHEN HALL 2019. . Live at the Venetian Concert Room at 5.00 pm. The Clayton Hotel, Belfast (just across from the BBC.) Part of the Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival 2019.  http://www.belfastnashville.com/index.php/19-festival-2019/204-tickets-for-2019-festival First discovered on The Gerry Anderson Radio Show and in recent years a regular contributor to the  Michael Bradley edition of the Friday […]

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TORIES AND TEAGUES AND DRIVERS OF NEGROES by Donal Kennedy

 “I happened indeed by a perfect accident to be born here, my mother being left here from returning to her house in Leicester……and thus I am a Teague ,or an Irishman, or what people please” declared Jonathan Swift, born in Dublin in 1657. In politics Swift rejoiced in the description “Tory” or Toraidhe, an insult […]

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On bad taste and TV

Yesterday, I posted a blog about the accuracy of points on Brexit made on TV by Naomi Long yesterday morning.  A multitude of people have hurried to tell me how obnoxious my (passing) comments on the Alliance Party leader were. I’ve gone back and looked at what I said and I can see that what […]

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“THE BBC DOESN’T DO PROPAGANDA” by Donal Kennedy

A few weeks ago a British TV programme focussed on Venezuela, a country of which I knew little. It showed the late President Hugo Chavez at various stage of his time in power. It showed him with supporters, civilian and military . He had been a paratrooper, not a detail  I’d instinctively warm to. But […]

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Brexit: a case of mounting a donkey or being one?

First, confession time: I didn’t know there was an Alliance Party conference this weekend. And no, Virginia, they didn’t hold it in a telephone booth. But it does say something about the health of the party that, when you’ve said “Naomi Long”  you begin to struggle to think of another big name. Stephen Farry? Mmm, […]

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Venezuela: a suitable case for treatment?

 I wonder what Jeremy Corbyn thinks of  Maduro, the Venezuelan president. Both are about the same age, both sport facial hair and both are being widely and vigorously denounced. Let’s take Maduro. He was an acolyte of Hugo Chavez,  who was viewed with suspicion by the US and the West generally. We can’t be sure […]

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At last: a response exposing the smearing of Jeremy Corbyn by the Tories and their Labour fellow-travellers

The report below is from The Canary: On 28 February, shadow secretary for international trade Barry Gardiner appeared on BBC Question Time and set the record straight: Jeremy Corbyn has a gold standard record on fighting racism. “That was Jeremy Corbyn” Countering the establishment line that Corbyn has been antisemitic, Gardiner said: Can I go back to the 23rd of April 1977 when in Wood Green […]

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EMERGENCIES – AND RUMOURS OF EMERGENCIES by Donal Kennedy

Britain has launched many lethal campaigns on poorly armed people and deemed them Emergencies. This absolved them from abiding by the Geneva Conventions and provided her forces with immunity from trial no matter how they conducted themselves, whether by murder, torture or other human rights violations. Examples include Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus., Ireland, Egypt, and Iraq. […]

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Ahoy there! You’re trespassing

A best-seller in the 1950s was a book called The Mouse That Roared, written as it happens by an Irish-American, Leonard Wibberley. The detail of the plot I’ve long forgotten, but the central action revolved around the notion of a tiny country taking on one of the great superpowers. Hence the title. There was a […]

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BALANCING GUILT WITH THE GINGERBREAD – THE WELFARE STATE AND BRITAIN’S EMERGENCIES by Donal Kennedy

The late Flann O’Brien, a.k.a. “Myles na Gcopaleen,,” ,was a Divil for strong Beverages. But he had no stomach at all for Sir William Beveridge, the British Civil Servant whose 1942 Report largely inspired  Britain’s Welfare State. In one of his less funny Irish Times column he attacked it. I don’t know whether O’Brien’s reactionary […]

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