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Wednesday, August 16, 2006



Whilst browsing on Slugger I noticed this post about creating a language ghetto Gaeltacht Quarter in Belfast.

Having spent a large part of the summer in monoglot Cardiff I have some experience of pretend bi-lingualism which is best exemplified by this from BBC Wales (or should that be Cymru?).

"The "cyclists dismount" sign between Penarth and Cardiff became "llid y bledren dymchwelyd" in Welsh - literally "bladder inflammation upset" (or tip or overturn).

The Vale of Glamorgan Council said new signs were being made.

It is possible that an online translation led to confusion between cyclists and cystisis"
Ironically I drove past this very spot with a car load of Welsh in-laws. No one spotted the cyclist/ cystisis mix-up.

Good job none of them are GPs.


Republican bomb attack

The BBC are reporting a failed bomb attack on property belonging to Lord Ballyedmond.
"[Irish]Army bomb experts were called to Lord Ballyedmond's property at Drumgooley [in the Republic], and the device was made safe.

Gardai said it contained 70 pounds of homemade explosive mix packed into a gas cylinder and would have destroyed the house if it had gone off.

Security sources said dissident republicans were behind the attack"
Firstly, all right thinking people must condemn the attack on this industrialist and legislator. Secondly those responsible must be brought to book before any more mayhem is caused. Is there any doubt that the recent bombings in Newry are linked to this nearby incident?

Finally, and most pertinently, just how dissident can a Republican "Active Service Unit" be when operating in the Provo badlands of North Louth/ South Armagh/ Newry? I await a Sinn Fein response - as of 1107 their newsroom remains silent on the issue.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Crime and Punishment

George O'Dowd (aka Boy George) has started his community service in New York. This high visibility sentence has a lot to commend itself- don't we all know any number of anti social little bas***ds who could benefit from some very public punishment? Instead, in Northern Ireland the "name and shame" element of ASBOs has been omitted due to the potential threat posed to those subject to the Orders. Yet the government tells us society is normalising to a point where it feels jurors face no terrorist threat. So let's have some consistency to justice normalisation and publicise the details of those subject to ASBOs in exactly the same way as elsewhere in the UK.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Not a freebie, honest!

I don't like the Labour Party.
I don't like the chippiness of Old Labour.
I don't like the hubris of New Labour.
I am, however, extremely fond of Manchester which causes me something of a dilemma. This autumn the comrades are conferencing in that city and are offering a blogger
the opportunity to blog from within G-Mex. I am prepared to endure the Party in order to enjoy the city. All I have to do is to provide 100 words on why pakman should be the conference blogger. Or rather, dear reader, you do. So if you want "We Perish..." to come from the Labour Conference complete the following:

"pakman should be the conference blogger because ..."

Thanks in advance!

Friday, August 11, 2006


The Dirty Two Dozen

I haven't picked this up on any UK media yet but The Australian is reporting that police have recovered a "martyrdom video" featuring one of the 24 detained Muslim suspects held over the "liquid bombs" conspiracy.

The story also sheds light on two of the would-be killers:
The suspects are mostly of Pakistani origin but two are white converts to Islam. Abdul Waheed, 21, changed his name from Don Stewart-Whyte six months ago after growing up as the son of a Conservative Party official.

Neighbours said Waheed, whose father died when he was 14, had abandoned a life of drugs and alcohol when he became a Muslim, and was working as a salesman at an electrical store.

Another convert, 25-year-old Oliver Savant of east London, had changed his first name to Ibrahim.

Each of the converts grew a beard, shaved his head, began wearing white robes and married an Arabic or south Asian Muslim woman.

This is interesting because on BBC Radio Five Live this morning callers were criticising the use of the adjective "Muslim" to describe the plotters. One contributor even went as far as to demand why their religion was relevant. Well it is relevant because it links terrorists of different ethnic backgrounds (remember the Shoe Bomber?) into a common, oh, let's say, jihad.

I for one am thankful that Islam and not skin colour is the common denominator here. Hopefully the public who are in the sights of these killers will realise their enemy is not identified by his ethnicity but by his religious beliefs- beliefs that can drive a man to contemplate mass murder regardless of his background.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Did you hear the one about the GAA, the Hunger Strikers and the bottle of Bushmills...

The one local story I did follow from my holidays was the overlap between GAA and the various Hunger Strike commemorations. This weekends' event at Casement Park raised an eyebrow because I am a big fan of the primary sponsor of the GAA in County Antrim.

I contacted Bushmills via their website to enquire what their view was on the link between Antrim GAA and a republican celebration. The following has just landed in my inbox:


Thank you for your email regarding our sponsorship of Antrim GAA. Diageo sponsors more than 200 events and festivals that take place throughout Northern Ireland every year. This vital boost to local towns and communities represents involvement in a broad spectrum of activities, ranging from sporting and cultural programmes to the arts.

We have been assured by the County Board of Antrim GAA that it is neither hosting nor involved in the organisation of the event proposed for 13 August at Casement Park. The use of the ground is a matter between the rally organisers and the site owners and is not connected to the GAA Antrim County Board.

I hope this helps answer your query.

Kind regards,

Gordon Donoghue
Supply Director
Bushmills "

Hmm. I have replied thus:

"Mr Donoghue

thank you for your reply.

However, are you sure that this is not "connected to the GAA County Board"?

I understood that the county board had fallen foul of the GAA governing body in Dublin over its' decision to sanction the rally. Indeed the rally organisers appeared on BBC's "Talkback" to support the county boards' interpretation of the rules prohibiting party political activity. If your assertion that "the use of the ground is a matter between the rally organisers and the site owners and is not connected to the GAA Antrim County Board" is correct then why has the GAA centrally become involved?

I am afraid your reply has raised more questions, specifically the nature of the information the Antrim County Board is providing you, their primary sponsor with.


I will keep you posted.

UPDATE 11/08/06 1349 :

"Dear Mr King,

Thank you for you continued correspondence.

We appreciate your interest in our sponsorship commitments and thank you for raising your concerns. As you will appreciate our internal discussions with sponsorship partners are confidential and cannot be discussed with external agencies.

With thanks,

Gordon Donoghue"

Especially if they are misleading you!!!


Service Resumed

Aren't I glad I flew home on Tuesday rather than squeeze an extra few days out of the holidays?

Heavy court commitments at the end of June and a delightful subsequent break from the laptop are responsible for the blogging hiatus.

I thought that the dog days of August would not provide much material but how wrong I was with mass murder being thwarted as we slept. Comment at this stage would be superfluous but when more details emerge about those arrested overnight I will post again. I hope I'm wrong, but I suspect that, as with 7/7, UK born terrorists are key in this current plot. The implications of that on delicate community relations could be with us for generations.

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