12 February 2004 Edition
The 5th Column
Red Cross over Paras' red beret
ISN'T ANYONE at the Red Cross even a little bit uneasy about Charles Windsor (aka the Prince of Wales) using the Red Cross as a flag of convenience in the Middle East at the same time as he's banging the war drum while visiting demoralised British occupation troops in Iraq after their illegal invasion?
Windsor last weekend wore his red beret as colonel in chief of the Parachute Regiment, one of the British Army's most ruthless killing machines and still under investigation at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry for the massacre of unarmed civil rights marchers. Then, within hours, and on the same whirlwind tour, he ditched his 'Red Devils' paratrooper camouflage battledress and put on his Red Cross patron's hat before visiting Iran and victims of the Bam earthquake.
Parachute Regiment chief and Red Cross chief at the same time. Some mistake, surely?
UDA desert storm
SIDELINED from meeting the Para boss was former soldier Derek Adgey, a convicted UDA man with Johnny Adair's notorious 'C' Company, but still doing his bit for the occupation forces in Iraq.
Belfast-born Adgey, a one-time Royal Marine, was jailed for four years in 1995 after being found guilty of a total of 22 charges, including soliciting the UDA to kill 'suspected republicans' (ie any nationalist as well as republicans).
Adgey's past didn't prevent him getting a job doing sensitive 'security work' in Iraq but when word of his UDA past got out he was suspended before he did any more public relations damage to the British cause.
Sucker and succour
THE LAST TIME that a British royal visited Iran was in 1971. Then, Charles's daddy, the racist Duke of Edinburgh, and his sister, Princess Anne, enthusiastically joined in the obscenely lavish celebrations to celebrate the 2,500th anniversary of the Peacock Throne and the continued rule of Britain's most excellent ally, the corrupt and hated Shah of Iran.
It's no wonder Charles abandoned his imperialist war garb and hid behind the camouflage of the otherwise respected Red Cross, just in case Iranian revolutionaries remembered that the last time they'd seen a royal in British Army uniform its wearer was sucking up to the Shah.
SDLP bridge game
THE SDLP are in deep water over their bid to hijack the new bridge over the River Bann on the Toome by-pass.
Sinn Féin wants to name the bridge after United Irishmen hero Roddy McCorley, hanged on the original bridge in 1798 and buried on the site. But the SDLP wants to push Roddy McCorley off the bridge and, instead, name the crossing in Antrim after their (still living) Derry ex-leader, John Hume.
But why in Antrim? Why not the Foyle Bridge in Hume's native City of Derry?
Austin's hidden powers
IF EVER EVIDENCE was needed about how far the corrupt Unionist Party regime in the Six Counties was allowed to degenerate by its British masters in Westminster into a cruel parody of some banana republic dictatorship, it was this week's revelation at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry that the RUC Special Branch thought SDLP leaders around John Hume and Ivan Cooper were intelligence officers for the Irish Government.
Among those named by the RUC as an Irish Government intelligence officer was Austin Currie, infamous for betraying the rent and rates strike against internment and earning him the nickname, 'Chicken Currie'.
Austin Currie or Austin Powers?
100 Welsh heroes
WORKERS' PARTY veterans (including those who staged a takeover of the 26-County Labour Party) might be feeling some uncomfortable political shivers up their spines over an online poll, "100 Welsh Heroes".
Westminster's chattering classes are also a bit edgy about one of the high vote-getters who led a guerrilla campaign against the English occupation of Wales. They don't mind the Braveheart-like figure Owain Glyndwr, a nobleman who led a violent guerrilla campaign against the English, because he was a 15th Century 'terrorist' and he died around 1416.
What is upsetting London is the strong showing for the late leader of the Free Wales Army, Cayo Evans.
The Free Wales Army was particularly active in the 1960s and 1970s. The so-called 'Official IRA' (supported by the Workers' Party) is reported to have sold some weapons to the FWA rather than dump them.
Bomb attacks by FWA activists and other militants were carried out against British Establishment targets, including the crowning of England's Charles Windsor as Prince of Wales in Caernafon in 1969, during which two young Welsh activists (not FWA members) died in a premature explosion. Evans and several FWA activists were jailed for public order offences in 1969 in the run-up to the investiture and he died in 1995.
There is a pub in a fashionable area of Cardiff and even an award-winning beer named after the Free Wales Army leader and there is still time to pay even greater tribute to Cayo Evans on the "100 Welsh Heroes" website.
Haughey boat rescue
MILLIONAIRE former Fianna Fáil leader and Taoiseach Charles 'The Boss' Haughey — who also owns the island of Inishvickillane — has been given free berthing for life for his yacht at Dingle Harbour, in Kerry.
The Dingle Harbour Board voted unanimously to give the old sea dog special treatment. They have exempted him from paying anything towards the upkeep of his vessel, Celtic Mist, in Dingle because of the government aid he brought into the harbour when he was in power.
Unfortunately, the rest of the Dingle boat people will have to dig deep and pay not just the existing charges but also increased fees to meet the €200,000 a year it costs to run the port.
Just goes to prove: there's no such thing as a free launch.
An Phoblacht Magazine
AN PHOBLACHT MAGAZINE:
- The first edition of this new magazine will feature a 10 page special on the life and legacy of our leader Martin McGuinness to mark the first anniversary of his untimely passing.
- It will include a personal reminiscence by Gerry Adams and contributions from the McGuinness family.
- There will also be an exclusive interview with our new Uachtarán Mary Lou McDonald.