It wasn't until I read Phil Mac Giolla Bhain and Twitter that I found out about 'Bonefire' Night in Northern Ireland. Apparently these clowns aren't satisfied with a big fire but build huge Towers of Babel, made from pallets and adorned with tyres to give their 'bonefires' an extra kick. These monstrous conflagrations are a danger to surrounding property but, instead of dismantling the bonfires, the police have actually moved local residents out of their own homes in case they catch fire! Obviously, just as in Scotland, nobody is allowed to upset The Peeppul.
I read a rather amazing article on Slugger O'Toole yesterday, written by Mairia Cahill, a woman who claims to have been sexually abused as a child by members of Sinn Fein and the IRA. This, of course, has made her something of a celebrity among the Loyalist community. She was invited along to the Lower Shankill's 'Family Fun Day', all in the spirit of 'hands across the divide' you understand. Ms Cahill took her young daughter along to the 'fun' and described a party atmosphere and a great day out for all the family. Young children were running about playing, the birds were singing and Ms Cahill's agenda seemed to be that it was time for those on the Republican side to put aside their 'prejudices' and go along to these events in order to build bridges.
She says, "The children I met today were not triumphant, but children who were having a great time playing away, and who saw the bonfire as a bit of excitement. Those children live in one of the most underprivileged areas in Belfast." Oh, well, that's okay then, eh? Ms Cahill, however, didn't hang around to see what happened once it got dark. No doubt those 'excited' children would be allowed to stay up specially to see the 'bonefire' being lit. They'll then cheer along with their mums, dads and older siblings as effigies of priests, the Pope, Bobby Sands and basically anybody the Loyalists don't like and see as an enemy are hurled onto the pyre along with flags, posters and other paraphernalia, with the youngsters encouraged to boo and spit at the villains before they're burned. That 'great time' is all about learning to hate and in a few years time those 'children who were having a great time' will be teenagers throwing petrol bombs at anybody that tries to take down their 'fleg'. Either Ms Cahill is the biggest ingénue on the planet or she's deliberately distorting the truth!
Staying with The Peeppul and it looks like their team is going to be even more shite than last year's, judging by all the complaints about the dire quality of the signings to date. It's going to be the usual mix of no-hopers, has-beens and never-weres. They'd better get ready for another couple of years at least in the Championship; assuming, of course, that they're still around. Considering the mess his club's in, McMurdo is remarkably sanguine. He hopes for the best but is realistic about the coming season, with Sevco having to grub about at the bottom of the barrel for rejects from the lower reaches of the English leagues. Maybe he's reached that part of the process of grief called acceptance!
The 'Rangers Supporters Loyal' site is closed for 'upgrading' or some such but, before they went AWOL, they made it plain that they don't support the current board and some of them aren't buying season tickets. No doubt they agonised over how to label themselves; the word 'rebels' would, of course, be discarded out of hand. They decided upon 'Nonconformists'. Unfortunately, they don't seem to be able to use associated terms properly; they talk constantly about 'Nonconformism'. This bastard term has apparently made its way into some dictionaries, like Warren Harding's ridiculous word 'Normalcy'. It looks like we need Monti's favourite phrase again.
It's impossible to study Nineteenth Century politics or society without looking at the influence of Nonconformists, so the word used to come up a lot in my final year at university. Our tutor, Dr Bebbington (he's a Professor now) used to get irritated whenever anybody said 'Nonconformism'; not that he showed it - he would just calmly say, '-ity.' Hopefully he doesn't read any of The Peepul's stuff or he'll be tearing his hair out.
I see the investigations into voting fraud in the Independence Referendum are being as thorough as everybody expected. It seems nobody's bothered about Ruth Davidson's revelations about postal votes, 'YES' votes 'resting on a table', fire alarms going off in the middle of the count or ballot boxes being delivered without seals. No. The biggest danger to democracy was some idiot voting YES in the morning and then voting NO in the afternoon on behalf of his stepson. Somebody should have told him that not voting at all would have had the same result. Still, it's good to see that our authorities are on the case and that our democracy's in safe hands!
And finally, Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: To get the fuck away from all those Orange cunts!
Family Fun Day