Final candidate totals for 2019 local elections

With today’s release of nominations for local authority elections in Northern Ireland, H&D can now publish our calculation of the final candidate totals for the UK’s various eurosceptic / nationalist political parties.

Not all of these parties are in any way racial nationalist, and not all racial nationalists are in any way eurosceptic, but we publish this list for our readers’ interest in showing the state of British electoral politics everywhere to the right of the Conservative Party.

Perhaps even “right” is not the correct word, but it is from somewhere within this spectrum that a new force will have to be drawn to rescue the United Kingdom from its multiracial / multicultural chaos of recent decades.

UKIP has eighteen candidates in various parts of Ulster, given them a total of 1,400 candidates across the UK for the scheduled local council elections, plus three mayoral candidates and about twenty in local by-elections that are also being held on May 2nd.

In other words UKIP will be contesting 16% of the available seats this year

Anne Marie Waters’ For Britain Movement has no candidates in Ulster, so their total remains 42.

Democrats & Veterans have three Ulster candidates, giving them 20 nationwide, plus a by-election candidate in the London Borough of Lewisham.

The new party Aontú, on which H&D recently reported, is a socially conservative and eurosceptic split from both Sinn Féin and the SDLP (north of the border) and Fianna Fáil south of the border. Aontú has sixteen candidates in various parts of Northern Ireland: an impressive total for a very new party.

Jolene Bunting, originally elected as a councillor for Traditional Unionist Voice, later became associated with the anti-Islamist group Britain First, which has failed to register as a political party but is supporting two independent candidates for English councils. Ms Bunting is standing as an Independent in the Court area of Belfast. It is not clear to H&D precisely what her present relationship is with Britain First following some internal rows last year.

TUV themselves have 32 local authority candidates this year.

So the updated candidate totals are as follows:

  • UKIP 1,400
  • For Britain 42
  • Traditional Unionist Voice 32
  • Democrats & Veterans 20
  • Aontú 16
  • English Democrats 10
  • Veterans & People’s Party 7
  • Our Nation 5
  • National Front 3
  • Populist 3
  • Britain First (standing as Independents) 3
  • British Democrats 2
  • BNP 2
  • British Resistance 1
  • Patria 1
  • Independents 3

For further details check our earlier articles on election nominations here and here.

H&D will continue to report on the local election campaign, and will include a comprehensive report on the results in our next issue, which as a consequence will appear slightly later than normal in early May.

‘Terrorist’ double standards shame our Disunited Kingdom

INLA godfather Harry Flynn

While media attention focuses on Westminster’s Brexit drama, a far more blatant betrayal of the national interest by Theresa May’s government proceeds unchallenged.

A retired Parachute Regiment soldier is facing prosecution for his role in ‘Bloody Sunday’ almost half a century ago, in yet another naked appeasement of Sinn Fein / IRA. While most actual terrorists in Ulster were given an amnesty for their crimes as part of the now collapsing ‘Good Friday Agreement’, British soldiers are still at risk of being hauled into court and accused of ‘murder’.

The latest victim is known only as ‘Soldier F’: now in his 70s, he faces two murder charges and four of attempted murder. This week a fellow veteran handed back his service medal in protest at this politically motivated prosecution.

Meanwhile a notorious terrorist godfather basks in the sun, even though his gang took no part in the Good Friday Agreement and the amnesty process, so in theory there is nothing to prevent his apprehension.

Harry Flynn runs the Celts Well pub in the Majorcan resort of Santa Ponsa, where his INLA flag proudly flies above the bar and terrorist memorabilia is openly displayed.

The remains of Airey Neave’s car after it was blown apart by Harry Flynn’s INLA murder gang

He was on the run for many years after escaping from jail in 1975 while awaiting trial for a bank robbery carried out to raise funds for INLA, and in 1987 he was jailed in France together with terrorist confederates after taking delivery of an arms shipment including a hundred anti-tank weapons, forty Kalashnikov rifles, three machineguns and two mortars.

At that point British authorities sought his extradition, as he was wanted for questioning as a senior INLA commander in relation to the murder of Conservative MP Airey Neave.

Following in their disreputable tradition of protecting anti-British terrorists (such as Sorbonne philosopher Professor Robert Misrahi, who planted a bomb in London for the Zionist Stern Gang but has never faced justice), French authorities refused to extradite Flynn, and he moved on to Majorca where he has lived for the past thirty years.

H&D readers might be forgiven for wondering why today’s British soldiers should continue to obey the orders of a treacherous government.

Social conservative split rocks Irish republicanism

Peadar Toibin, formerly of Sinn Fein, now leader of a new socially conservative party

The Republic of Ireland has no electorally credible racial nationalist, or even eurosceptic nationalist party. In 2014 the big story here was Sinn Féin’s success in gaining three MEPs with 19.5% of the vote. This year Ireland’s European parliamentary representation will increase from 11 to 13 MEPs, so Sinn Féin (political arm of the terrorist IRA) will almost certainly retain these three seats.

However Sinn Féin is now being challenged by social conservatives, who take a leftwing stance on economics and remain committed to taking Ulster into the Irish Republic, but are disgusted by their leaders’ new liberal policies on issues such as abortion.

Co Tyrone councillor Rosemarie Shields is among the new party’s recruits from SDLP

At the start of 2019 a Sinn Féin member of the Irish Parliament, Peadar Toibin defected to set up a new conservative nationalist party called Aontú (which means ‘Unity’ or ‘Consent’). Some see this party as a desperate last stand by a dying Catholic establishment, but it has already attracted a few defections from either side of the Irish border.

Mr Toibin is a business consultant and graduate of University College Dublin, and had been a Sinn Fein activist since his student days. He says that about one-third of the new party’s supporters come from Fianna Fail, Ireland’s second-largest party and successor to the tradition of the country’s first independent leader Eamon de Valera. North of the border recruits have also come from Sinn Fein’s declining rival the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), including a councillor in County Tyrone.

The latest defector to Aontú is Sinn Fein councillor for Central Craigavon, Fergal Lennon, who told the media: “My former party has lost contact with the grassroots and no longer represents the best interest of the electorate, choosing instead to put media sound bites in place of real action.”

Craigavon councillor Fergal Lennon is the latest defector from Sinn Fein to the new party

Arguably the roots of this split date back to the late 1960s when the Provisional IRA was formed. This rejected the old-fashioned Marxism of the ‘Official IRA’: instead of waiting and building towards a proletarian revolution, the Provisionals were determined to escalate a brutal terrorist war against the hated Brits.

Yet on the other hand these same Provisionals increasingly identified themselves with Third World ‘liberation movements’, and eventually with the entire gamut of trendy delusions ranging from feminism, through abortion rights, gay marriage, multiracialism and no doubt now ‘transgender’ rights.

For many years Sinn Fein / IRA disguised these leftist/liberal affiliations from their American donors, since most of the latter were old-fashioned nationalists with a romantic attachment to traditional Irish culture, and in most cases devout Roman Catholics.

Now the chickens have come home to roost. Emboldened by a decade of scandals that have undermined church authority, militant left/liberal secularists have openly taken control of Sinn Fein’s agenda.

The new Aontú party is an effort to reconnect Irish republicanism with its traditional roots: it will be interesting to see whether Sinn Fein’s hegemony (that has been consolidated over the past half century) will now be challenged.

There is also a new party called Irexit campaigning for Ireland to leave the European Union, but it’s not yet clear whether this will be officially registered in time to contest this year’s elections. In Ireland (unlike the UK) at least 300 registered members are required before a party is officially recognised to appear on ballot papers.

Top Tory donor and IRA Godfather’s ‘friend’ in London vice scandal

Who’s laughing now? Controversial tycoon Christopher Moran (far right) enjoys a joke with former Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Titanic Hotel, Belfast in April 2018

Today’s Sunday Times front page exposes a property tycoon with a personal fortune of more than £400m; a man who boasts of his friendships with the Royal Family as well as late IRA godfather Martin McGuinness; a man who has given almost £300,000 to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party; yet a man whose flagship London property is packed with prostitutes and has been described as “Sodom and Gomorrah” and the “infamous 10 floors of whores”.

Christopher Moran likes to describe himself as “Dr Christopher Moran” on the basis of an honorary degree from the University of Ulster, though his formal education ended when he left Owen’s Grammar School in Islington with a few ‘O’ levels in 1964.

Christopher Moran obtaining an honorary doctorate from the University of Ulster in 2014: on this basis he grandly describes himself as ‘Dr Moran’

He is a 70 year old businessman whose family home is Crosby Hall, an historic mansion on Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, that was once the City home of Tudor courtier Sir Thomas More, executed by Henry VIII in 1535, but was moved stone by stone to its present riverside location in 1910. Mr Moran is not short of hubris. As part of his controversial £50m restoration of Crosby Hall he had his own initials ‘CJM’ carved in stone together with his pretentious Latin motto Meritum, Pertinacia, Fortitudo et Fideli (Merit, Determination, Courage & Loyalty).

Moran also has a 48,000 acre estate in the Scottish Highlands.

Just a mile from Moran’s mansion is Chelsea Cloisters, a block of 670 apartments on Sloane Avenue owned by Moran’s company Realreed. In addition to the freehold on the entire block, Moran owns the lease on more than 200 of the apartments. Sunday Times journalists investigating Moran made 40 bookings in recent weeks with prostitutes using 23 apartments in Chelsea Cloisters, 15 of which are rented directly from Moran’s company.

Chelsea Cloisters, the apartment block owned by Christopher Moran and described as the “infamous 10 floors of whores”

Realreed Limited is entirely controlled by the Moran family: H&D has established that its three directors are Christopher Moran and his twin sons, 30-year-old Jamie and Charles. The twins’ mother (former Miss Thames Television, Helen Taylor) is not involved – she ran off to the South of France with local flower seller Andrew Maple in 1998 and has since been quoted as describing her former husband thus: “He doesn’t say things in jest – ever. When he wants something he will stop at nothing to get it. He wants people to remember what he has achieved and he’s very persuasive – quite ruthless, really.”

One ‘escort agency’ claims to have 100 prostitutes working at Chelsea Cloisters on any single night. Many seem to have been trafficked to London from Romania, and the Sunday Times has handed a dossier of evidence to the head of Scotland Yard’s anti-trafficking unit. Former anti-slavery commissioner Kevin Hyland confirmed to the newspaper that there had been “previous cases of [suspected] trafficking linked to Chelsea Cloisters”. One such scandal was publicised in 2004 by the London Evening Standard.

Gavin Shuker MP, chairman of a recent parliamentary investigation into the sex trade, said that the Sunday Times findings suggested Chelsea Cloisters could be Britain’s “biggest brothel”. Mr Shuker demanded that the Conservative Party, which has benefited from almost £300,000 in donations from Christopher Moran and his company, should hand the money to “charities that assist victims of human trafficking”.

Christopher Moran’s friend, IRA godfather Martin McGuinness

Last year in an article on his own website Christopher Moran referred to his personal “friend and champion of peace, Martin McGuinness”. Via the charity Moran chairs (Co-operation Ireland) he brokered several meetings between infamous IRA godfather McGuinness and the British establishment. According to the Irish broadcaster RTE, Moran “stage managed” the historic handshake between McGuinness and the Queen in 2012, and in November 2016 hosted an event at Crosby Hall again attended by the Queen and (in one of his final public appearances) McGuinness.

RTE also reported Moran’s claim that former Prime Minister Tony Blair has used Crosby Hall as part of his shadowy business career since leaving Downing St, though the tycoon has always had closer relations with the Tories, including masterminding the £30m sale of Conservative Central Office in Smith Square. According to a report in 2006 by the Independent on Sunday, Moran was one of a group of tycoons who secretly lent a total of £5m to the cash-strapped Tories, who had to pay back the money in 2006 to avoid being forced by the Electoral Commission to publish details.

Moran’s many other high-level establishment connections include his position as Vice-President (and former Vice-Chairman) of the Council of Christians and Jews.

Today’s Sunday Times front page

H&D is aware of numerous previous controversies that marred but failed to halt Christopher Moran’s meteoric rise to business prominence. He began building his empire in the late 1960s, starting as a clerk, then founding insurance brokers Christopher Moran & Co., obtaining approval to conduct business at Lloyd’s of London in the summer of 1972 when Moran was just 24.

A year later Moran paid more than £1m to acquire a Lloyd’s underwriting agency, and in 1976 he obtained a Stock Exchange listing through an £8m ‘reverse takeover’ of existing company Richardson Smith.

In the late 1970s Moran’s company was one of several big names investigated by City of London Police for alleged breaches of exchange control regulations. These ended without charges, but Moran lost a libel suit against the Daily Telegraph in the summer of 1980.

Christopher Moran (right) with Karen Bradley (Secretary of State for Northern Ireland) and Bertie Ahern (former Taoiseach) at the Titanic Hotel, Belfast in April 2018

A few weeks after his failed libel action, Moran’s rapid ascent was stymied on August 1st 1980 when he was arrested and charged with conspiracy to defraud. At a bizarre meeting on October 31st 1980 in a Savoy Hotel function room, the entire board of Moran’s company quit after failing to force his resignation – but in December after a month-long trial an Old Bailey judge instructed a jury to find Moran not guilty.

Nevertheless in September 1982 the Committee of Lloyd’s found him guilty of “acts and defaults discreditable to him in connection with the business of insurance” and he became the first man in the 300-year history of Lloyd’s to be expelled from membership. According to independent arbitrator Andrew Leggatt appointed to assess the case, Moran was a man who “worshipped Mammon”.

Moran never succeeded in winning readmission to Lloyd’s after this life ban, but his fortune continued to expand despite further legal troubles, this time across the Atlantic, in 1992 when he was fined more than £1m by a US Federal court over an insider dealing case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Christopher Moran’s London home Crosby Hall

Will Moran’s teflon coating survive the latest charges by the Sunday Times? The newspaper has been careful to assert that there is “no suggestion that Moran has any involvement with the prostitution” apparently rampant throughout his Chelsea property, and similarly H&D is not aware of any such involvement, but there are bound to be questions not only as to whether the Conservative Party should hold on to his donations, but about (for example) the position of Sir Malcolm McKibbin, recently retired head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, as a board member of Moran’s charity Co-operation Ireland – and for that matter the charity’s joint patrons, HM The Queen and Irish President Michael Higgins.

Loyal friends of Ulster will no doubt be grateful for the courage of Sunday Times reporters who pursued this investigation, and will surely give their full support by all means necessary if those reporters continue to suffer threats, as reported in today’s newspaper.

 

BREAKING NEWS: MI5 takes over state campaign against ‘far right’

Andy Carmichael – the MI5 mole in the NF – operated long after the party had already gone into decline

According to a report posted this evening on the Guardian website, Britain’s security service MI5 is taking over responsibility for “combating extreme rightwing terrorism amid mounting fears that white supremacists are increasing their efforts to foment violent racial conflict on Britain’s streets”.

Until now, although MI5 maintained a small section monitoring the ‘far right’ from a counter-subversion angle, most state monitoring of such movements has been handled by the police, specifically Special Branch and its successor SO15.

For example the vast majority of operations against the ‘far right’ have involved public order questions surrounding demonstrations and marches by the likes of the English Defence League. ‘Anti-terrorist’ operations in this area have (until now) involved mainly connections between racial nationalists in the NF or BNP and Ulster loyalist paramilitaries.

As distinct from a range of police responsibilities to combat crime and preserve public order, MI5’s responsibility involves serious threats to national security. It is an extraordinary tribute to the failure of the multicultural experiment that racial nationalist groups are now deemed to fall into this category!

Contrary to the Guardian‘s implication, it is not unheard of for MI5 to take an interest in British racial nationalism. H&D has just finished serialising a detailed analysis of MI5’s files on British Movement founder Colin Jordan, dating from the 1940s to the end of the 1960s, while far more recently an MI5 agent operated inside a moribund splinter from the National Front, the late Ian Anderson’s ‘National Democrats’.

Several European countries have long-established sections of their security / counter-subversion services specialising in the ‘far right’. MI5 will hope that they fare better than their colleagues in Germany’s BfV, which has lost two directors in recent years due to scandals surrounding its handling of the ‘far right’.

 

 

Anthony David Jones RIP

The H&D team was very sorry to learn of the death of Dave Jones, an outstanding racial nationalist and loyalist who made a great contribution to our cause since the 1970s. As some readers will know, Dave had been in poor health for some years.

Dave Jones, racial nationalist, loyalist and parliamentary candidate, died on Friday 14th September

During the 1970s and 1980s Dave was a Manchester officer of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), carrying out intelligence work against the terrorist alliance between militant ‘antifascists’ and the IRA, INLA and republican splinter groups. At the same time he was also a National Front activist, remaining loyal to the NF through the difficult years of the late ’70s and early ’80s.

In 1978 he was an NF council candidate for the first time, gaining 136 votes (3.2%) in the Ashton West & Limehurst ward of Tameside Metropolitan Borough, east of Manchester. At the following year’s General Election he was NF parliamentary candidate for Ashton-under-Lyne.

After the multiple NF splits of the mid-1980s Dave found a new political home in the Conservative Party, for whom he twice contested Tameside council elections in the increasingly multiracial Ashton St Peter’s ward, polling 20.1% in 1988 and 15.1% in 1990.

Dave then emigrated to South Africa, where he spent much of the 1990s pursuing his studies. Dave was a mine of information on political and military history and a tenacious researcher. In the age of Google and ‘fake news’ it’s often difficult to rely on information supplied even by fellow nationalists, but with Dave Jones you always knew you could rely on the accuracy and acuity of his observations.

Dave and Bev Jones with members of what was then a very successful Tameside branch of the BNP

While in South Africa, Dave met and married his wife Bev, a fellow racial nationalist activist, and when they returned to England at the turn of the millennium our cause was once again in the ascendant, especially in Oldham – the town adjacent to Dave’s native Ashton.

Dave and Bev began attending Oldham BNP branch meetings, where H&D assistant editor Peter Rushton was at the time a regular speaker. Peter arranged with Nick Griffin for Dave and Bev to revive a Tameside branch of the party. Ironically Tameside BNP was to remain succesful for several years under Dave and Bev’s leadership, even after Oldham BNP had collapsed following Griffin’s treacherous conduct.

From 2004 to 2010 Dave contested five council elections for the BNP, with his best result coming in 2006: 755 votes (24.5%) in his home ward of Ashton Waterloo.

He also saved his deposit as a parliamentary candidate at successive general elections with 2,051 votes (5.5%) in Ashton-under-Lyne in 2005, and 2,259 votes (5.5%) in Stalybridge & Hyde in 2010.

Sadly this was to be Dave’s electoral swansong. The BNP collapsed soon after that 2010 election. Although already in very poor health, Dave bravely attended meetings organised by Andrew Brons and others in an effort to salvage something from the wreckage of the party Griffin had destroyed. Shortly before his death, Dave arranged with two longstanding comrades in the North West (who had by now left the BNP for the NF) to inherit his library – so his great store of knowledge about our movement, race and nation will be preserved for the next generation of activists.

Rest in Peace, Dave: Quis Separabit.

Corbyn and the uses of ‘anti-fascism’

The cover of Red Action’s journal boasts of RA/AFA leader Patrick Hayes terrorist role

Since the days of Cable Street in 1936 mainstream British journalists and historians have lionised militant (i.e. violent) ‘anti-fascism’. The true story of Cable Street was that an alliance of Jews and Communists fought police on the streets of East London to disrupt a lawful march by Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists. The fighting was not between ‘anti-fascists’ and the BUF, but between the Judeo-Marxist alliance and the London police.

Half a century after Cable Street the increasingly terrorist tactics of ‘Anti-Fascist Action’ were largely ignored by the media, who preferred to conjure fables of supposed ‘neo-nazi’ terrorism by largely mythical groups such as ‘Combat 18’. The real C18 (as H&D knows only too well) contained several enthusiastic though misguided patriots, but was run for the benefit of the British secret state.

And on into the 21st century the new ‘Antifa’ street gangs (admittedly immature and far less effective than their 1990s counterparts) are given a free pass by journalists on both sides of the Atlantic, who prefer to focus on a new generation of mythical ‘far right terrorists’.

So H&D readers will have been surprised to see an article yesterday by the Sunday Times‘ star reporter Andrew Gilligan, belatedly drawing attention to the real terrorists of ‘Anti-Fascist Action’ and its core group ‘Red Action’.

AFA’s magazine Fighting Talk frequently advertised its violent tactics

None of the information will be news to our readers, since we have reported aspects of this story several times over the years. The best mainstream investigation remains a BBC programme broadcast almost five years ago.

Jeremy Corbyn was a particularly close friend of IRA / Sinn Fein during the 1980s, as was his then-ally Ken Livingstone. As we reported, Livingstone’s ties to the IRA almost led to his assassination by London-based Ulster Loyalists in 1993.

Red Action publications made no secret of the fact that they often met at Corbyn’s constituency office in Islington, and Corbyn himself (as Gilligan reports) addressed at least three Red Action meetings between 1985 and 1992, acting as an official of the Red Action dominated group Anti-Fascist Action.

A leader of AFA / Red Action – Patrick Hayes – and another member, Jan Taylor, were later given 30-year jail sentences for IRA terrorism: they had bombed the Harrods store in Central London and planned at least two other abortive bombings in the heart of the capital, targeting British civilians. Their ‘anti-fascist’ colleague Liam Heffernan was given 23 years for stealing explosives on behalf of an even more militant Irish terrorist group, the INLA, which for several years had particularly close ties to AFA / Red Action. (In 2013 The Times and other newspapers scurried to catch up with our exposé of INLA and ‘anti-fascist’ connections to a bizarre Marxist cult whose leaders were convicted for keeping women as ‘slaves’.)

(left to right) Ken Livingstone, Sinn Fein – IRA godfather Gerry Adams, and Jeremy Corbyn in London, 1983

A senior police officer told Gilligan that Corbyn’s connections to the group were investigated, and that although insufficient evidence was found for prosecution: “He knew they [Red Action] were open supporters of terrorism and he supported them. We had no evidence that he knew they were actually involved in terrorism themselves.”

All this dates back more than 25 years – and the British state itself is now in alliance with the very same IRA godfathers once linked to Corbyn! So why are veteran police officers and eminent journalists now dusting down files on cases and stories they failed to pursue in the 1990s?

The answer of course is that in Orwellian fashion there are ‘good’ anti-fascist terrorists and ‘bad’ ones. Broadly speaking, Jewish militancy on the streets of London is to be welcomed by the Murdoch press and their tame policemen. Irish republican violence on those same streets (while now mostly ignored as these “ex”-terrorists are fêted by government ministers and even royalty), remains a useful instrument for discrediting the real enemy.

And of course for British politicians and newspaper owners, the ‘real enemy’ means the enemy of their paymasters.

Make no mistake – Jeremy Corbyn is an enemy of British nationalists and a dedicated multiracialist. His arrival in Downing Street would be bad news for H&D readers. But it would be even worse news for the State of Israel and its proxies in London. Hence militant ‘anti-fascists’, having been foot-soldiers in the war against the ‘far right’, are now cast aside as collateral damage, just a few more insignificant casualties as the Zionist lobby concentrates its fire on the Labour leader.

Andrew Gilligan, author of yesterday’s Sunday Times exposé of ‘anti-fascist’ terrorism, seen (above right) accepting an award from former Prime Minister David Cameron

Arlene Foster speaks for UK after May’s blunders

As Prime Minister Theresa May blunders through another day of chaotic Brexit negotiations, it has been left to Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, to stand up for the principles once understood by every member of May’s Conservative & Unionist Party.

Mrs Foster today made clear:
“Northern Ireland must leave the EU on the same terms as the rest of the United Kingdom. We will not accept any form of regulatory divergence which separates Northern Ireland economically or politically from the rest of the United Kingdom. The economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom will not be compromised in any way.”

How on earth could a Conservative Prime Minister have allowed herself to be drawn into a position where that “economic and constitutional integrity” could be questioned in the slightest degree?

What part of the words “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” does the Prime Minister fail to comprehend?

Too many Tories have been relying on the complacent assumption that DUP MPs will continue to support the government at Westminster (despite every provocation and betrayal) because they cannot possibly risk a Jeremy Corbyn government.

It’s time for the DUP (and any remaining genuine Tory patriots) to call that bluff.

H&D editor visits Ulster for “the 12th”.

Editor (right) at Loyalist ‘True Blues’ mural in Portadown

[spacer height=”20px”]H&D editor Mark Cotterill made a short trip over to Ulster last week, for the annual Battle of the Boyne Orange celebrations.
 
Leaving Manchester airport on July 11th, Mark arrived at George Best airport in East Belfast around 9pm – the flight being delayed for a massive three hours!
 
After a short bus ride to his hotel in the Queens University Quarter, he met up with a representative of the North West Infidels (NWI) from Blackburn. They ventured out for a quick pint, before watching one of the many bonfires (this one just off Botanic Avenue).
 
On the 12th, they met up with other patriots and loyalists from the mainland and watched – from an excellent vantage point at the top of Sandy Row – the massive Orange parade wind its way through South Belfast. The route is over six miles long. The parade heads back from “the field” around 4pm, and reached Sandy Row after 6pm, where the editor and friends watched it make its way into Belfast city centre.
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The editor visiting the Ulster 36th Division memorial arch in Portadown

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On the 13th the editor and his Blackburn NWI comrade travelled (by train) to the town of Portadown in County Armagh, for an H&D Ulster subscribers meeting, which proved very successful, with a lot of ideas being exchanged. They also had time to walk round and view a number of Loyalist murals and arches on one of Portadown’s Loyalist estates. In the evening the watched the local flute bands and lodges march back through the town, after returning from the Royal Black parade in Scarva, in County Down.
 
On the 14th, before the editor and his NWI comrade flew back to Manchester (thankfully this time the flight was on time!) they visited Windsor Park, the home of both Linfield FC and the Northern Ireland football team. Later that afternoon, Linfield would host Glasgow Celtic in a Champions League qualifier. Sadly they could not be there for the game, but they purchased programmes and other souvenirs from the club shop.[spacer height=”20px”]

The editor visiting the Portadown mural commemorating the sacrifice of the 36th Ulster Division on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916

 
[spacer height=”20px”]After a short drive from Windsor Park in the city centre, Mark  met up with representatives from the Traditional Unionist Voice party – TUV – in the famous Robinson’s Bar opposite the just as famous Europa Hotel (the most bombed hotel in Ulster!). Again, a lot was gained by both sides at the meeting, with ideas being suggested and discussed, on how Loyalism could go forward, now the Tory party and DUP have an alliance at Westminster.

Members of the Portadown chapter of the Royal Blacks marching on their return from the annual Royal Black parade in Scarva, on the border of Co Down and Co Armagh

 
[spacer height=”20px”]So all in all a successful trip, with a number of new subscribers for the magazine.
 

St Patrick – the Patron Saint of the USA

st pats flag on blue background

To mark today’s worldwide St Patrick’s Day celebrations, H&D published two articles on St Patrick which have recently appeared in the magazine.

This first article – “Saint Patrick the Patron Saint of the USA” – was written seven years ago, but the same issues are still being discussed in Loyalist circles today – now mainly on internet forums. So it was fitting that we republished it (in hard copy in issue #77 of H&D) on the run-up to this year’s St Patrick’s Day.

It was America that spawned the St Patrick’s Day parade, not Ireland, and its origins are both Protestant and British…

As March 17th approaches, the annual debate has reignited on whether Unionism should embrace St Patrick and the day set aside for his commemoration. Over the last five years there has been a slow emergence of Protestant participation on the date, though that has been via the creation of new events rather than involvement in existing ones. This article examines the origin of St Patrick’s Day parades, this new emerging trend, its motivation and where it may possibly lead.

The question ‘where is the biggest St Patrick’s Day parade in Northern Ireland?’ at first glance would appear easily answered. Belfast most would say, with a few probably suggesting the Cathedral City of Armagh or even where he was allegedly laid to rest, Downpatrick. What will surprise many is that the largest parade for the last few years by sheer number of participants has been in the small County Armagh village of Killylea. It is here since 2005 the Cormeen Rising Sons of William Flute Band have held their annual band procession and competition. Last year the Cormeen parade saw 42 bands take part (in comparison to the seven that paraded at the Dublin event), amounting to approximately 1800 band members. Thousands of spectators stood along the route, despite it being a bitterly cold evening.

The St Patrick's Day parade in Killylea, led by Cormeen Rising Sons of William Flute Band

The St Patrick’s Day parade in Killylea, led by Cormeen Rising Sons of William Flute Band

Cormeen Rising Sons of William chairman Mark Gibson explains that the bands original motivation for the parade came more out of necessity than anything else. “The band season is very busy, and when trying to find a date for our parade it was difficult to define one that didn’t clash with other bands locally.” Some members suggested March 17 as a solution to the problem, but the band was nervous. “We were concerned about how a St Patrick’s Day parade would go down in our community, the parade in Armagh never was very welcoming, but we made a decision to try it and it has been a success.”

From that initial year where thirteen bands took part, the parade is now among the largest in the Province. It’s not only the number of bands participating that has increased, but also the crowds attending to watch, and the event is increasingly becoming a fixture in the calendar for many Unionists. Another band, the Ulster Protestant Boys Flute Coleraine, have started a similar event on the date that too is growing. The ever increasing scale of both processions indicates clearly that there is certainly a willingness within the PUL (Protestant, Unionist, Loyalist) community to be involved in St Patrick’s Day. Where the schisms emerge are with the issues of why and how.

It is generally acknowledged that in the distant past Patrick was not a controversial figure for Protestants in Ireland or beyond. His ‘sainthood’ was never conferred by the Pope and pre-dates the reformation, so he was never seen as being the possession of ‘Rome’. St Patrick was seen as an evangelical Christian who had made personal sacrifice to spread the gospel in Ireland. The anniversary of his death was observed and commemorated by all Protestant denominations to different degrees, with the Church of Ireland in particular very active.

The shift from an anniversary of religious significance towards an ‘Irish’ event however first took place in the United States in 1737. In Boston that year the Irish Charitable Society, made up of Protestant immigrants (some of whom were British Soldiers), held their first meeting and dinner. The purpose was to both honour Patrick in the context of their Protestant faith and to reach out the hand of friendship to other Irish immigrants. The exercise obviously struck a chord and the practise spread, with the first recorded parade in New York in 1766, with again British Soldiers of Irish blood heavily involved. It was America that spawned the St Patrick’s Day parade, not Ireland, and its origins are both Protestant and British.

During that period in history the vast majority of Irish immigrants were Presbyterian, however from 1830 it was Catholic arrivals who were in the ascendancy. With that change began an emphasis towards anti-British sentiment in the demonstrations. In the aftermath of the American Revolutionary War anything portrayed as anti-colonial was well received, with even the many original Protestant immigrant descendants non-antagonistic of this motivation. Many British ‘Loyalists’ had left for Canada, and effectively the descendants of the original Protestant Irish settlers remaining saw themselves as primarily American in identity, with all that was left for their original ‘homeland’ of Ireland simply folk memory and sentimentality.

Mike Cronin, author of A History of St Patrick’s Day, states that whilst this tradition was developing, back in Ireland the first parades didn’t take place until the 1840s and even then they were organised by Temperance societies. Mike emphasises the lack of public celebration “The only other major events in nineteenth century Ireland was a trooping of the colour ceremony and grand ball held at Dublin Castle.” So even as late as 1911 the largest St Patrick’s Day occasion in Ireland was still rooted in a joint Irish and British expression of identity. Protestant churches and some Orange Lodges throughout the island appear to have held minor functions on the date, but these were very subdued affairs, and essentially even post-partition very little changed. Catholic observance of the day continued to different degrees in different areas, as did the Protestant nod to Patrick.

Right up until the 1960s the primary theme of St Patrick’s Day in both Northern Ireland and the Republic still remained religious observance, with even from 1923 to then public houses and bars in the Republic of Ireland closed by law. A poll conducted in 1968 suggested that 20% of Northern Irish Protestants at this stage still considered themselves Irish. The onset of civil unrest in Northern Ireland coincided however with the importation of the American style to St Patrick’s events in Dublin and elsewhere. Now whilst a violent conflict was being waged in the name of all things Irish, St Patrick’s Day parades were starting to display the features that had developed in the United States. On these parades Irish identity was perceived by Northern Protestants as being defined as aggressively anti-British and anti-Protestant, with the disjointed and casual nature of the parades and the now integral alcohol element alien to PUL parading traditions and customs.

The type of St Patrick's Day image most readers will recognise, from one of the many New York parades.

The type of St Patrick’s Day image most readers will recognise, from one of the many New York parades.

As the IRA campaign escalated, many Protestants simply could not divorce the fact that these celebrations displayed an exclusive form of Irish sentiment whilst a campaign was being waged against them in the name of Ireland. As the years progressed, in Northern Ireland in particular it became apparent that the day was being deliberately used in many instances as an extension of the Irish Republican war against Unionism.

Grand Orange Lodge Director of Services Dr David Hume reiterates the view that in the recent past it has been the nature of the parades and commemorative events that turned Protestants away. “The perception among Unionism is without doubt that Irish Republicanism and Irish Nationalism has used St Patrick’s Day parades as a weapon, effectively using the ‘shield’ of Patrick to express obvious militant anti-British and therefore anti-Unionist sentiment.” David believes that the manner and focus of these events is totally at odds with the purported motivation. “St Patrick’s Day should be used as a day of reflection on the religious significance of Patrick, something far removed from the aggressive and confrontational use of symbolism; and the huge emphasis on alcohol consumption that currently seems to be the case.” David bluntly states that the date isn’t an important one on the ‘Orange’ calendar, but recognises that it does have a place in society.

There remains one annual Orange Order parade related to St Patrick’s Day, which is held each year in Ballymena. One of the participating Lodges is The Cross of St Patrick LOL 688 which was founded in 1967. A lodge spokesperson describes the motivation behind its formation as being “to reclaim the heritage of Saint Patrick” explaining that “Brethren were concerned that Patrick’s heritage was being hijacked by Roman Catholicism and Republicanism.” The lodge’s concerns would appear to have been reflecting the growing sense of alienation the PUL community was feeling regarding St Patricks events.

There is no doubt that this alienation effectively forced many Protestants into an automatically negative position regarding St Patrick’s Day. With the advent of the IRA cessations of violence and the ongoing political process however, it has become apparent that many within Unionism have been able to reflect much more on the meaning of St Patrick’s Day for them. The ending of a violent ‘Irish’ physical campaign has given space to examine the date, with many now realising that it once was a date of relevance that they were forced into denying, and there is a willingness to make it relevant again. Nevertheless this reflection and willingness has not as yet manifested itself into significant participation in civic St Patrick’s Day parades.

With a few exceptions, such as the participation of an unashamedly Loyalist Blood and Thunder band in the 2003 Limerick St Patrick’s Band competition, Unionism still does not feel comfortable taking part in the modern version of a St Patrick’s parade. Concerns still exist regarding the involvement of militant Republicanism in such events along with the aggressive use of flags and symbols, but the problem seems to go much deeper.

The Cross of St Patrick Loyal Orange Lodge 688

The Cross of St Patrick Loyal Orange Lodge 688

Iain Carlisle of the Ulster Scots Community Network has a very straightforward and unambiguous answer regarding Unionist involvement in St Patrick’s Day events. Iain states very clearly “I don’t think there has to be ANY justification given for Protestants or Unionists marking Patrick’s day”, but goes on to say that “there is however a fundamental difference of approach to both Patrick as a person and the means of celebration within the Unionist community”. Iain’s comments would appear to reflect not just a general uncomfortable position with the overtly ‘United Ireland’ underlying St Patrick’s Day theme, but the actual motivation and method of celebration.

All historical examinations of Protestant Irish and their approach and relationship with Patrick indicates that for them he has never truly deviated from having a purely theological relevance. On St Patrick’s Day however the majority of Catholics, Irish Nationalists, Republicans, those of Irish descent and indeed anyone who wants a day out, St Patrick’s significance as a religious icon is purely tokenistic. St Patrick is merely a figurehead for overt Irish nationalism and a holiday. In turn the Unionist tradition of parading has developed from a military perspective and the American style parades are an alien concept, being perceived as being undisciplined and overtly casual.

Whilst new events have arisen, it is obvious that Unionism has no desire to abandon its central belief of Patrick’s religious relevance, and in addition is reluctant to embrace what it sees as an alien approach to parades. Even with the emergence of band parades on the date, they in themselves are a much more disciplined and subdued practise than their counterparts on the day. Whatever the future holds, it is clear that the PUL community is going through an ongoing examination of Patrick and his relevance to them. As journalist Chris Ryder recently pointed out “there will be no going back to the view that St Patrick was a Catholic, and a saint only for Catholics.”

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