Tuesday, 15 November 2011
History is right now being made in Palestine. A small number (5) of brave Palestinians have boarded a public bus from which they are barred in Israel.
Avaaz reports: "Lacking their own state, Palestinians are forbidden to use buses and roads reserved for non-Arabs - part of a host of race-based rules that US President Jimmy Carter has called "apartheid"." 50 years ago, blacks in the US challenged these rules by simply and non-violently refusing to follow them."
The Palestinians have just now taken the same approach, and their actions are seen livE at the link below (see comment 1)
As Gandhi did in India and Rose Parks did in the US, these non-violent freedom riders are simply on the bus, quietly making their powerful point to the world.
At last viewing one protestor had ben forcibly removed, the bus had stopped, a soldier and settler got off. The Israeli passengers are having to put up with the delay that Palestinians suffer daily. Soldiers are shouting and bullying people telling them to get off.
They are being forcibly removed
Monday, 7 November 2011
Putting aside the question as to the veracity of the Moriarty report in its every detail and eschewing entirely the controversy it has engendered, I refer to the statement of Minister for Justice Alan Shatter (http://www.justice.ie/) and the more generalised remarks he makes about the criticism of judges.
The Minister said that "Our judiciary play a crucial role in upholding the constitutional rights of individuals, rich or poor, without fear of or favour to any one individual or the State itself."
As a human rights activist, attending court over the past eight years, my experience has been entirely different. Put the State in court against any litigant and it will require all the might of the legal profession to defeat the State - even when the law of the land is patently against the State's position.
So, in the case of the State versus Clancy and Others (2006), three separate judges attempted to prevent the lawful defence of the five defendants being admitted for the consideration of the jury. Two of these judges had to resign from the case and the third had to re-consider, under powerful pressure from three Barristers, and eventually allow the lawful defence. The jury unanimously acquitted all five defendants.
Put the State against a lay litigant in a similar scenario.. There are now no powerful Barristers around, no independent press, and ninety nine times out of a hundred, the judiciary will not "uphold the constitutional rights of the individual without fear or favour to the State". The situation is even more draconian when a lay litigant takes a case against a judge or vice versa.
The "public confidence in our judiciary and in our courts", that Mr Shatter refers to, must be earned. If that confidence is ever restored, if ever we see a full and open transparency about the workings of the courts, the judiciary and the Courts Service, if a Judicial Council, independent of judges, is ever allowed to come into being in order to monitor judges' activities within their courts, or if arrogance on the bench is replaced with a modicum of humility, it will truly mark a new beginning.
Otherwise, Minister Shatter's vision of the Irish judiciary will remain a pleasant fantasy.
Sunday, 16 October 2011
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
Georgia have turned down Troy's last appeal.
An innocent man goes to his death
Contact the Amnesty link to make a last ditch appeal to stop this cruel injustice.
Thursday, 28 July 2011
espionage or treason, and that as he had been so convicted he should be deprived of his citizenship.
Mordechai spent 18 years in prison in Ashkelon, Israel, for blowing the whistle on Israel's nuclear armaments. Since his release he has not been allowed to leave Israel and lives under stringent security.
As of today, Mordechai has not received a reply to his letter.
Because of this delay his lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, went to the High Court in mid July to insist on a response. The Court ruled that Mordechai's petition, now over two months old, must be answered within 30 days, which should be by August 13th.
If you can, please write a letter in support of Mordechai to any local or national paper, media outlet or government member.
And you can email Mordechai at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may not get an answer but be sure all support will be welcome.
Friday, 15 July 2011
As a pacifist opposed to all killing armies and all wars, I find no difficulty whatever with the pardoning of the Irish deserters. Those who left because they believed that killing humans was wrong should be very proud of themselves. Those who joined the Allied war effort should not be punished. Whether they were killing in an Irish or British Army they should have been free to leave, even to leave one for the other.
For whatever reason young people sometimes get themselves involved in joining armies and fighting wars. Governments pay vast sums of money on advertising, recruitment techniques and propaganda to entice them to do so. Once in, many soldiers regret their decision, but find themselves in a Hobson's choice situation where they must either let down comrades by leaving, or act contrary to their lights and consciences by staying. The full moral and legal force of each and every Army makes them fear leaving.
Some Irish soldiers became convinced that it was better to join a force that was fighting a war in Europe than stay in their own Army at home. Maybe this was again due to propaganda but it became their conviction. When they left they acted on their convictions - according to their lights and consciences.
Contrary to the indoctrination instilled by armies, deserters may be the bravest of their soldiers. Threatened with penalties of ostracism, exile, court martial, imprisonment and execution, yet they desert.
While I would prefer if the Irish deserters had never enlisted in any army, I don't believe that they need anyone's forgiveness for acting according to their lights. However if it would set their minds at rest, the honourable and humane thing for the State and the military to do would be to give them the technical pardon they request.
Monday, 23 May 2011
As a human being and therefore a brother I welcome you on your visit to Ireland.
In other circumstances this welcome might have been absolute.
But I object to your appetite for killing other humans. As in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lybia and beyond. I say NO to your acceptance of the torture of other humans, your failure to close down Guantanamo, your U-turn on military tribunals for its inmates, your treatment of whistle-blower Bradley Manning, your proliferation of nuclear weapons and jailing of those who oppose them. It was sickening to watch you in that small room purportedly viewing the killing of Osama bin Laden. Bad enough that you were willing (and promising in your pre-election speeches) to kill him, without trial, evidence, judge or jury, horrible that you gloated over the purported killing itself.
By continuing to use Shannon civilian airport for war you are implicating Ireland and its people in the blood-fest in which you are engaged.
I object too to the lie that your interest in interfering in the Middle East and newly revolutionary countries has anything to do with support for human rights or democracy. Nearly everyone knows it is the oil and wealth of those countries that you covet for the United States. I object to your recently articulated belief that protection of the United States gives you the right to act as you have been acting, to kill as you have been killing, to interfere bloodily in the affairs of other peoples.
Your prevarication with regard to Israel has been pathetic. Talk is cheap and of that you have plenty. You have fiddled with Netanyahu while Palestinians burn.
When you were elected, I hoped that you might be different. I had reservations but I still hoped. You have shattered many dreams by reneging on the good promises you made on the way to the White House.
We need integrity, honesty and humanity in the people who occupy offices such as yours. We do not need orators. Have you not heard that actions speak louder than words.
What I have lost in you is trust .
Still, I wish you and your wife Michelle a safe and happy time in Ireland. Also good wishes to your children.
Tuesday, 12 April 2011
There has been a lot of anti-war activity in Dublin over the past weekend to highlight the continued detention of Bradley Manning in brutish conditions bordering on torture.
As I have not been able to join in person in this activity next best thing is to highlight the case of soldier Bradley Manning here.
Collateral Murder - Wikileaks - Iraq
Bradley is a whistle-blower who revealed this video to Wikileaks. It shows his fellow soldiers indiscriminately killing a number of civilians from the sky.
There is also a petition here that you can sign for Bradley's release. Last time I looked the number of signatures was 460,017. Please help them to make it to half a million.
Monday, 28 March 2011
The following report was first published on Indymedia Ireland
High Court Judge Rejects Medical Certificates For Ill Lay Litigant as Inadequate
SUMMARY: If the State, in the name of the Irish people, prosecutes you wrongfully or maliciously, and the State loses, you can sue for damages. When you are good and ready to go ahead, the State can send you a letter ordering you to appear in another court where they will ask another judge to strike out your case. The reasons given are usually that your case is "vexatious" or "unlikely to succeed". Or if you fall ill and under doctor's orders, the reason could be "for want of prosecution".
Kevin Tracey's six cases were struck out by the President of the High Court on 4 March last. His doctor's and hospital consultant's certificates were deemed by the Judge to be inadequate. He is allowed to "appeal" to the Supreme Court but as a lay litigant who is still under doctor's orders, the odds are stacked against him to carry through or win such an appeal.
"Even a Man on his Death Bed Would be Able to Write an Affidavit", said President of High Court
In Dublin's Four Courts, on Friday 4th March 2011, a lay litigant, Kevin Tracey, had six of the cases he was taking against the State and Courts Service struck out for want of prosecution by him while he was ill and unable to attend court. The cases taken by Kevin Tracey were related to ten prosecutions of himself by the State. The State had lost all cases except for one which it had withdrawn on the morning on which the case was due to be heard after numerous witnesses from the Courts Service had been sub-poenaed. Kevin Tracey contends that all of the prosecutions are malicious.
On foot of the results of these different and separate cases (which the State had lost or withdrawn) Kevin Tracey had been engaged in suing the State and others for malicious prosecution of him. However, he was suddenly struck down by illness in July 2010 after which he was hospitalized for several weeks. He has been attempting to recuperate since then and remains under doctor's medical care and advice.
The sudden illness and its aftermath prevented him from attending court or engaging in the work of prosecuting any of the six cases. He was hoping to have all six cases heard by a Judge and jury. The courts were kept informed by his wife of his inability to attend because of his continuing illness and the fact that he was under doctor's orders. Hospital and GP certificates were provided to the Court.
The GP's first certificate, dated 2 September 2010, stated that Kevin Tracey would not be able to conduct his affairs for a period of six months.
In the Four Courts, on Friday 4th March, 2011, Justin Morahan, a human rights activist, handed Judge Nicholas Kearns the most recent certificate from Kevin Tracey's GP, dated 23 February 2011. This certificate stated, after outlining his medical condition, that Kevin Tracey would be unable to work or attend court for the next six months.
On Friday 4 March 2011, the State and the Courts Service asked that all of the cases be struck out for want of prosecution basing their case on a Motion and an Affidavit written by Niall O'Shea of the State Solicitors office. They said that there had been an inexcusable and inordinate delay and they had suffered prejudice. The Courts Service contended that court clerk Bernard Neary who was among those being sued by Kevin Tracey, had forgotten the incidents about which he was being sued.
Judge Nicholas Kearns allowed Justin Morahan to make a verbal submission. Justin Morahan said that he had come to court only to explain Kevin Tracey's absence and to hand in his doctor's certificate that had been requested by the Judge. He said that he had no legal training and he was up against eminent barristers and solicitors. He asked that the motion of the State and Courts Service be struck out, so that Kevin Tracey could prosecute his cases when he was in better health. These were cases where the State and its agents had engaged in the most serious wrongdoing against Kevin Tracey. Justin Morahan said that Kevin Tracey, even in the words of the State Solicitor's Affidavit, had "advanced the litigation in an expedient and determined manner" until July 2010, - and that was the exact date of Kevin Tracey's sudden illness and hospitalisation.
It would be a very grave and serious miscarriage of justice, Justin Morahan said, if a man's inability to come to court - an inability vouched for by his GP and Hospital Consultant - were to allow the State and Courts Service to have these prosecutions against them for their own serious wrongdoing struck out before they could be heard by a judge and jury.
The Judge remarked that he would not be accepting Kevin Tracey's Doctor's certificate as adequate.
When Judge Kearns then began to give his verbal judgement, Justin Morahan interjected to say that he had an important point of information that he wished to supply to the court before judgement was entered. Some weeks ago, while Kevin Tracey's first certificate was still valid and Kevin Tracey was unable to attend court, Judge Kearns had proceeded, in Kevin Tracey's absence, to deal with two other of his cases, struck out one of them, and removed the second one from the jury to the non-jury list. These decisions of Judge Kearns were now being appealed to the Supreme Court and as a result, on Kevin Tracey's behalf, he was asking Judge Kearns to recuse himself from this case.
Mr Justice Kearns refused this request.
The President of the High Court, Mr Justice Kearns, in his judgement, rejected the GP's medical report. He said that he had heard nothing to convince him that the delay was not inexcusable and inordinate. Some of the defendants had even forgotten the events. Kevin Tracey should have replied to the State Solicitor's (Niall O'Shea's) recent Affidavit. Even a man on his death bed would be able to write an Affidavit, he said.
The Court, he said, had previously made a specific regulation that a detailed medical report from an appropriate expert was needed by the Court if these cases were to be adjourned again and this regulation had not been met in the certificates handed into the court.
He granted the motion of the State and Courts Service and accordingly struck out all of Kevin Tracey's cases against them
Immediately after the judgement, Justin Morahan asked Mr Justice Kearns as a point of clarification who he (Judge Kearns) would regard as an appropriate medical expert. The Judge replied that he was not used to having the clarity of his judgements questioned but again said that the medical report he had been given did not meet the required standards.
He awarded costs to both the State and the Courts Service. He said that Kevin Tracey had the right of appeal to the Supreme Court.
DIFFERENCE OF OPINION ON CONFIDENTIALITY OF DOCTOR'S CERTIFICATE
Before the case was heard, during the first call, Justin Morahan handed the original copy of the doctor's certificate to Mr Justice Kearns, telling him that, as it was the original copy. Kevin Tracey would need to get it back, as he would need it for other purposes and he (Justin Morahan) would supply the Judge with a copy that he could compare with he original.The detailed information about Kevin Tracey's health that was contained in the certificate was private and confidential. He then gave copies to the representatives of the State and Courts Service after they requested them.
However when Mr Justice Kearns proceeded to read out the contents of the certificate and had succeeded in reading the first ailment mentioned there, Justin Morahan intervened to prevent him from reading the certificate in open court There were press representatives present and Kevin Tracey did not wish his medical condition to become public knowledge, he said.This information was private and confidential. Mr Justice Kearns said that the only reporters present were Court reporters and they could be relied on to keep the information confidential. Justin Morahan said that he thought that he had already pointed out to the Court that the detailed information was private and confidential and Kevin Tracey did not wish to have this information relayed in open court. When Mr Justice Kearns said he had to inform the representatives of the State and Courts Service about the information in the certificate Justin Morahan told him that he had already given them their copies.
In the event, no other part of the medical report was read out by Judge Kearns.
As of today, Kevin Tracey remains ill and under his doctor's orders not to engage in litigation until his health improves.
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
A Case against War
In the present heated debate about Iraq there appear to be three broad schools of opinion. Firstly, there are those who support the war, "regardless". Secondly, there is a school that gives its assent to war, only grudgingly. A third body of opinion opposes all war "regardless". In the massive peace marches of 15 February around the world, the latter two groups were present.
As a pacifist, I belong to the third group. I do not subscribe to the notion that "We all are against war,of course, but it is sometimes necessary or sometimes inevitable". I confess to having a passionate detestation of war. I believe that war is pure and unadulterated evil. And such an evil cannot be deemed "necessary" or "inevitable" - ever.
What Happens in an ArmyFirstly, war is evil in its conception and in its organisation. A young and usually naive person is lured,or sometimes forced, into the camaraderie of a large social group called an army, where he or she is systematically taught to hate and kill any number of other unknown humans who will be called "the enemy".
The reasons given will be "defence in case of an enemy strike", "loyalty to an ally", or "fear of some dictator who seeks world domination". These reasons are seldom explained in depth to the new recruits - they are only thrown out as asides in the barrack square while the more important work of the army goes ahead. That important work is the thorough indoctrination of the recruit. Society, believing that somehow armies are necessary, allows them to work and train in secret, to demand blind obedience from recruits, to acquire whatever weapons of mass destruction they may fancy, to produce professional killers who are able to kill robotically, to create and foster an ethos in which killing other humans is a reasonable and desirable end. No matter that society generally reviles those religious sects who similarly lure and brainwash young people for their own ends, although they may never train them to kill.
To accomplish this aim of getting the worst out of the human nature entrusted to them, and fostering the darkest emotions of the human spirit, armies have created their own Orwellian language where euphemisms abound. On its own side, trained killers are called "soldiers". Its own atrocities are called "operations". Its own mass killings are spoken of as the "infliction of heavy casualties". Its crass and careless murder of non-combatants is called "collateral damage". Killing of its own allies is "friendly fire".
Similar atrocities committed on the part of the enemy will be called by their rightful name. Other atrocities that the enemy have not committed will be invented and repeated as often as possible to make them more hateful.
So armies and the politicians who put them to work foster a great culture of lies and deceipt that begins even before the first shots are fired.
The Soldier - first Victim of WarWithin the army itself, all questioning is taboo, individualism is a sin, rational thinking becomes the greatest crime. You must believe that the other side is evil, and your side is good. No questions asked. Along with the more subtle indoctrination, bullying tactics are used in this closed and oath-bound organisation effectively to produce what one US officer recently described (on a TV Discovery programme) as " a better product"
The indoctrination has become complete - no longer a human being but "a product" castrated of all human emotions except those allowed and nurtured by Big Brother. The more blind and unthinking this "product" the more useful he or she will be as a soldier. "The first duty of a soldier is to obey" - de Gaulle's words have echoed in many a barrack square. Disobedient soldiers, after all, may not be inclined to rip the guts out of a fellow human while roaring in a mad rage (as soldiers are trained to do) or to open their bomb hatches over a densely populated city of sleeping families. In a war situation, a refusal on either score would be regarded as an act of the highest treason demanding a courtmartial and -what else could you expect in this culture of death - execution by a firing squad of more obedient soldiers.
So the soldier becomes the first casualty of war. Carried along on the tide, attributing responsibility to superiors - who in turn attribute it to their heads of State - soldiers carry out heinous acts that are wholly contrary to their better nature. Often too late, and when the damage has been done, they rebel against their indoctrination, throw back their medals of honour, and tell the world that war is wrong. So, recently four veterans of the last Gulf War had this to say to the soldiers who have been passing through Shannon, Ireland:
"We are veterans of the United States armed forces. We stand with the majority of humanity, including millions in our own country, in opposition to the United States' all-out war on Iraq. We span many wars and eras, have many political views, and we all agree that this war is wrong. Many of us believed serving in the military was our duty, and our job was to defend this country. Our experiences in the military caused us to question much of what we were taught. Now we see our REAL duty is to encourage you as members of the U.S. armed forces to find out what you are being sent to fight and die for and what the consequences of your actions will be for humanity. We call upon you, the active duty and reservists, to follow your conscience and do the right thing.
In the last Gulf War, as troops, we were ordered to murder from a safe distance. We destroyed much of Iraq from the air, killing hundreds of thousands, including civilians. We remember the road to Basra - the Highway of Death - where we were ordered to kill fleeing Iraqis. We bulldozed trenches, burying people alive. The use of depleted uranium weapons left the battlefields radioactive. Massive use of pesticides, experimental drugs, burning chemical weapons depots, and oil fires combined to create a toxic cocktail affecting both the Iraqi people and Gulf War veterans. Today, one in four Gulf War veterans is disabled."
The Second Victim of WarThis brings me to my second reason for believing that war is evil, and that is its end product. How many examples other than those mentioned by the US veterans could be adduced! Witness Hiroshima, Nagasaki, London, Dresden, Chechnya, The Congo, Dublin and Monaghan, Bloody Sunday, Bloody Friday, New York's Twin Towers, Omagh,and ten thousand other places where the bodies of the mutilated and the dying groaned from beneath the bodies of the dead because of an "act of war".
In each and every one of these cases, it was soldiers,indoctrinated with the twin mental poisons of hate and robotic killing-ability, who carried out the atrocity. And, as Che Guevarra reminded us in his Diaries, the art and tactics of the "legitimate" army differ not a whit from the art and tactics of the terrorist.
Would any of those who are in favour of the war against Iraq, however "reluctantly", be willing to place their own baby over a fire and roast the baby alive? Yet, this is what will happen to Iraqi babies if war goes ahead. In the Amariya shelter in Iraq, over 400 women and children were incinerated by what the US military called a "smart bomb". The US suffered its own incineration on Sept 11. John Pilger described what he saw had happened to children in Vietnam ater a bombing raid during the war there: "The children's skin had folded back, like parchment,revealing veins and burnt flesh that seeped blood, while the eyes, intact, stared straight ahead. A small leg had been so contorted by the blast that the foot seemed to be growing from a shoulder. I vomited."
In the certain knowledge that the same will happen again, repeated over and over, in the present war against Iraq or any other country, how can we give our own or our country's assent to such barbaric evil?
No Such thing as a Just WarIt is because war itself is evil that the idea of it being just is out of the question. How can evil ever be just? To speak of a just war, in my opinion, is a contradiction in terms.
If we want to attain what we believe to be a just cause, war is never the answer.
Just causes are as plentiful as blackberries in August, but how can any honourably just cause seriously embark on redressing an injustice by an evil means, war, that is itself unjust?
Of those who point to "successes" as a result of war, I would ask: "Have you condoned the roasting of women and children and other humans to achieve your success?"
Because of the short-term and long-term results that war brings with it, all its "successes" are hollow, and all its "victories" are Pyrrhic.
Friday, 25 February 2011
The original trial was heard in Kilrush and on 4 July 2003 resulted in a hung jury. Subsequently Mary Kelly was tried in Ennis Circuit Court and, on 29 October 2004, she was convicted and sentenced to two years suspended. The appeal against this sentence was heard on 29 July 2008.
It took almost four years for the courts to hear her appeal or facilitate the appeal by producing a full and accurate transcript of her trial.
And it has taken a mere two years and seven months for the three learned judges to deliver their judgement!
What a travesty.
"Justice delayed is justice denied". What excuse is there for this unbelievable delay in giving judgement? For those six and a half years, Mary Kelly has been denied justice .
Yet, having represented herself over all of that time, she sat alone again today to hear the judgement.
That judgement vindicated her. For she has succeeded after a gigantic struggle in forcing the courts to acknowledge that her lone action in Shannon airport on that long night in January 2003 was a good action.
She acted to save lives in Iraq. Our State prosecuted her as a criminal and the State has lost.
Thursday, 24 February 2011
New Government, new ball game.
8. Bring back the Freedom of Information Act in its original form.
It was neutered after we gave Shannon airport to GW Bush. Nothing to hide, no fear of free information
9. No to a European Army
Goes without saying. Armies are for killing. No Irish Army, no European Army
10. No to stag hunting
Keep cruel sports out of Ireland
11. Whistle blower's Charter
To end corruption at every level and in every sphere whistle-blowers should be encouraged and protected
12. Encourage small home industries
So stopping the dependence on capitalist multi-nationals
13. Tax the rich more and the poor less. Start creating an equal society
14. End the party whip system. Let elected representatives be free to vote according to
15. Reform the prison system and then abolish it.
Replace it with a system of restorative justice and probation service
16. Let emigrants vote for first six years of exile
A new emigrant constituency would elect its own quota of TDs depending on the number of emigrants registered in that new constituency.
17. Investigate all psychiatric hospitals and methods used in them and stop all treatments not acceptable to the patients
18. Remove the blasphemy law.
It is a dangerous and ludicrous anachronism
Sunday, 20 February 2011
For years the age at which we were entitled to vote was 21. It is now 18. This means that anyone under 18 has no say whatever in how our country is governed.
Students enter post-primary school at 11 or 12. Who dares to think that the vast majority of those who leave primary school at that age are not mentally capable of a mature decision on how they themselves are governed?
Children's lives are affected by Government decisions. Irish children have been badly served in the past by Irish Governments. Irish children who were abused in institutions had no power to stop the abuse. Irish children have been abused in their own homes. They too had no voice or power. In the words of a glib and dangerous aphorism: Children were supposed to be seen and not heard. Children were battered in State schools by day and night and had no redress. The culture of adults decided and children had no remedy.
Children should be allowed to vote as son as they come to the use of reason.
The sooner the better. There may be difficulties in putting this into practice but no-one better than children themselves to overcome these difficulties.
At the very least the voting age for the next elections, whatever they are, should be reduced to 14. Then to 11. Then to a lower age.
The Irish Elections - What I want from the next Government - No 5 Stop the bullying of children in Irish schools
I have the dubious and onerous privilege of knowing more about the extent of bullying in Irish schools than almost any other person in Ireland.
For four years I worked at the coal face in trying to end bullying in one such Irish school.
Through the Box and Interview method I became aware of the vast amount of often unconscious bullying that plagued the lives of vulnerable children.
Through my website http://antibullyingireland.nfshost.com/ I know that bullying is widespread in Ireland and there is almost nothing effective being done to prevent or end it. I believe too that the incidence of bullying here has almost doubled in the past twelve months.
At the late Tony Gregory's funeral I mentioned the subject to Enda Kenny and he agreed with me that the excellent Department Guidelines (1993) should not remain as mere Guidelines to end bullying but should have the force of law.
Some members of the Oireachtas made valiant efforts to get Minister Mary Hanafin to meet me to make a presentation on the method that had been proven to work. They were; Joe Higgins (Socialist Party), Finian McGrath, (Independent) and Jan O'Sullivan (Labour Party).
The Minister did not meet me. She deputed her private assistant to have a look at a printed copy of my submissions. In the Dáil she granted that the Box and Interview method was one that Boards of Management could use.
I am asking the next Government :
1 to make the Department Guidelines (1993) law
2 to recommend the Box and Interview method to schools
3 to seriously tackle the bullying culture with all their might.
Saturday, 19 February 2011
Irish Elections - What I want from the new Government - No 4 Stop the US or any other military from using any of our airports for war purposes
No army personnel should be allowed to travel through Irish airports for the purposes of making war.
Since the Fianna Fáil Government allowed George Bush's army to use Shannon civilian airport to wage war on Iraq, millions of troops have passed through Shannon to kill people in Iraq and Afghanistan, essentially making Ireland a participant in war.
Up to that point we had not been participants in war. On a day of shame we surrendered our neutrality. Those of us who opposed this madness were told that we needed the United States. If we didn't support Bush's evil and immoral killing in Iraq, we would lose untold jobs in Ireland.
Our masters supported Bush but we also lost jobs. Not only that but we have lost our economic independence. We are in a depression. Hundreds of thousands are forced to emigrate, mortgages are gone through the roof, suicides are sadly far too common. The EU and IMF are the new masters of Ireland.
We chose immorality and immorality has let us down.
Now we should choose to do the right thing for once and say to the United States; "You are engaged in an immoral and useless and unjust war in Afghanistan. We are a neutral nation. We will no longer allow you to use our airports to engage in war."
The Irish Army to its credit does not conscript, it merely entices.
But then it teaches its new young soldier members the art of killing other humans. Male and female are taught how to kill. They are trained to obey an order to kill if it comes from a "superior " officer. They are also trained not to feel compunction about such killing of humans.
All of which is, of course, totally immoral and reprehensible.
Abolish the killing army, stop arms deals, get rid of killing weaponry and use the barracks, the facilities and the personnel to form a non-violent defence force that would be pro-active in keeping people safe in their homes and also taking part in rescue and emergency operations.
Friday, 18 February 2011
The Irish Elections - What I want from the next Government - No 2 Take back our natural resources from Shell
In North West Mayo, Shell are enjoying the protection of the Irish State as they erect and develop a refinery for our offshore gas that has been given to Shell for nothing.
I want the next Government to take back these natural resources from Shell and use the wealth to get us out of our economic crisis.
Is it fair and right that we should do this? Of course it is. The Fianna Fáil Government reversed a law that had been in place to facilitate the giving away of the gas. A Fianna Fáil minister gave it away for nothing . We don't know if he himself was paid a price. Why should the people of any country be deprived of the benefits of the wealth of the country because of the action of one suspect politician? Why should a suspect company like Shell benefit from such a shady deal to the detriment of the nation?
Is it possible to to do this? Yes it is. A new Government can stand up to Shell and take back the ill-gotten goods. They can use the State's human resources - resources which up to now have been used to guarantee Shell's ownership of part of Mayo and its offshore - to take over that area in the name of the State, evict Shell non-violently and compensate them for work done.
Take back our resources in our name. Don't compound and copper-fasten the errors of Fianna Fáil.
Wednesday, 16 February 2011
It has been my fate to have seen some of this corruption taking place in court rooms that I have visited as a human rights activist over the past four years. When this corrupt system gets its stranglehold on a victim it doesn't let go. It chokes the victim mercilessly to death.
What happened to the McBrearty family and Frank Shortt in the 1990s is happening now in Dublin to other people to my certain knowledge.
Any Government worth its salt must stop it NOW.
I have placed this at the top of my list because it is a hidden and sinister corruption in one of the two most powerful pillars of the State, namely the Judiciary, the judicial system and all its adjuncts.
I want the next Government and every candidate who stands for election to promise that when the State through its agents, the Garda Síochána, is found to have fraudulently prosecuted an innocent citizen, the same State will not use all of its immense power in the courts to further aggravate the damage it has already done to that innocent citizen or twist the knife within the wound it has so unjustly inflicted on that citizen.
That is what is happening in the Irish judicial system at present. The courts, the Courts Service, the Garda Síochána, members of the legal profession have been used to save the face of the perpetrators of the injustice and relentlessly hammer the innocent citizen who would dare to use the same courts to try to get justice or compensation for the criminal wrongdoing which the State has perpetrated.
All of this is carried out in the name of the tax-payers and the Irish people whom the State represents.
The State prosecutors and their helpers within the courts system are getting away with serious wrongdoing. The judges do not prevent the wrongdoing. They did not prevent it in the McBrearty and Frank Shortt cases. Only a brave woman whistleblower stopped the rot. Without her the judicial system would have continued to fail the wronged McBrearty family and the wronged Frank Shortt. They and their families would be carrying the weight of the criminal framing inflicted on them to this day, if they had managed to live.
A Judicial Council with teeth must be set up immediately to monitor the judiciary and prevent corruption. A forum other than the courts must be set up to deal speedily with the wrongdoings of the courts themselves. Judges should not be selected through patronage however well disguised but elected on merit. Before election they should be knowledgeable, not just in law and logic which should be taken for granted, but also and above all in ethics.
At present, the ethics dimension is apparently lacking, big time, within the judicial system.
I would like a change in the Constitution to allow the people to elect the judges from a panel of candidates put forward by a cluster of citizens, say 100 or so, who have nominated them, as election candidates are nominated.
Friday, 11 February 2011
My list will not be the expected one. "Job creation" will not be the top priority because everyone knows this already.
The deep malaise that has blighted our little country had been festering for many years.
There was corruption in almost every level of government, local government, administration, planning, agencies of the State, the Judiciary and its own agencies. There was also gross inefficiency and arrogance. And there were false promises on Europe not just from Fianna Fáil but also from Fine Gael and the Labour party..
All of these have contributed in spades to our present impasse.
I want to see an end to this corruption, inefficiency, arrogance and deceit at the same time as I want to see better conditions of living for all of us.
In the following pages I will outline what I want to say at the door to the canvassers
Thursday, 3 February 2011
It drew its last breath on the first day of February, St Brigid's Day, the first of Spring.
The fear expressed on this site at the beginning of the tenure of the Government in place was not just realised, it was surpassed outlandishly.
The Fianna Fáil/Green Party Government bowed to the Banks' demands, rewarded their corruption by bailing them out, brought in the EU and IMF so handing over the fiscal command of our nation to our new masters in the most abject manner.
We are no longer a sovereign nation.
Brian Cowen resigned as leader of Fianna Fáil under internal pressure. He named a day for the elections for 12 March 2011. But when he tried to make new Ministers in his last days of Government the Green Party were outraged and he had to move the date forward to 25 February 2011. He remains Taoiseach although Micheál Martin is the new leader of the party.
A new Finance Bill has been passed into law putting enormous burdens on the poorer and more vulnerable strands of our society - even the blind have been hammered.
The ultra-rich will remain ultra rich when they have paid what to them is a miserable pittance.
Support in the polls for both Fianna Fáil and the Green Party has shrunk significantly. The pundits as of today are forecasting a Fine Gael/Labour Party coalition with Fine Gael having the most seats.
The same pundits are forecasting that Enda Kenny will be the next Taoisech although for a while they were betting on the Labour leader Eamon Gilmore.
Latest state of the parties:
Fine Gael 33%
Fianna Fáil 15%
Sinn Féin 12%
Green Party 01%