‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, January 1958 .

Under the above heading the following editorial appeared in ‘The Longford Leader’newspaper on December 14 , 1957 :

‘ When he addressed Queen’s University Literary and Scientific Society in Belfast on Wednesday night , Mr. H. Montgomery M.P., said there is no member of the bench in the North of Ireland today who has ever ordered a man to be flogged .

He then went on to make the signigficant statement that it was understandable that the Six-County Parliament might consider it necessary to keep flogging in reserve , particularly at present . He was hinting , of course , at the present trouble in the North .

Allegations have been made by an organisation in this country that political prisoners in the North are being subjected to torture and inhuman treatment . Can these charges be substantiated ? They certainly call for a full inquiry . In one case it is alleged that four prisoners were pulled out of their cells and squads of three men started questioning them in relays . Cocked revolvers were placed against their stomachs , throats and temples and sticks were pressed into their bodies . Handkerchiefs were twisted around their necks…….’

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From ‘Gralton’ magazine, August/September 1983.
Gene Kerrigan.

Governments rarely achieve a mandate for anything . In February 1982 Garret Fitzgerald sought a mandate on a ‘hairshirt’ programme and was rejected . Charlie Haughey, who was still in his boom and bloom phase, was elected . In November 1982 Haughey , with the Estimates published , had to seek a mandate for ‘hairshirt’ policies – he was rejected .

Garret Fitzgerald , who refused to say what his policies were , won . In November 1982 , neither Fine Gael nor Labour sought a mandate for the policies they are now implementing . They let the party machines gather the vote – the main job of the politicians was not to present policies which would win votes but to avoid saying anything which would lose votes !

The second consequence is that anyone trying to break into the system is playing against the odds . Again , there’s no use moaning about it : it’s a fact of life .

[END of ‘Sounding Off – Comrades And Calculators’]
(Next : ‘ The Prisons Of The Past’ – from 2003)

<img src="CRISIS – WHICH CRISIS…….?

This election is not about the ‘economy’ . It’s about the survival of sectional interests , clearly divided in a broader , simpler way than for many a long day . This election is not about the survival of the country (sic) : it’s about choosing who will bear the cost of that survival.
‘IN DUBLIN’ magazine, ‘Election Special’ , 1987.
By David McKenna.

We are good , though , at attracting ‘foreign investment’ or , to put it another way – what with straight grants and low rates of tax – it’s a great little country for the multinationals ! But the multinationals take their profits out of the country . Indeed , when the grants and the low tax rates come to an end , they take their whole operation out of the country !

The trade unions and the trade union parties such as Labour and The Workers’Party take a different slant – they claim that the entrepreneur is dead , finished – a nineteenth-century notion . Planning , they say , is the answer , the creation of properly structured industries producing goods and services for which there is a definite market at home and abroad .

The trade union parties are not being ideological about this : the implication is that ‘planning’ includes going easy on the wage demands for the time being . The Workers’ Party want to see the development of industrial Ireland , creating a workforce which , according to their ‘book’ , will then vote for them ! And The Labour Party have always been dead pragmatic , and are known to be so . But Fine Gael and The Progressive Democrats aren’t that crazy about ‘planning’ – of the business parties , theirs comes closest to the ‘song’ sung by Maggie Thatcher over the water : cut public spending , cut taxes and stand well back – the economy will then ignite itself…….


About 11sixtynine

A mother of three and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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