Category: Archive

Inside File Hong Kong phooey

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Ray O’Hanlon

Peace Process me . . . Some unionists have launched a plan to cede the west part of Derry City and South Armagh to the Republic, revive the B-Specials, intern all prisoners released under the Good Friday agreement and defeat the IRA. The plan was recently published by the group Friends of the Union.

It’s author, Patrick Crozier, is a former private secretary to Ulster Unionist Party leader, David Trimble, and is the author of another publication, "Ulster for Beginners." Friends of the Union was founded in 1986 to "increase knowledge and understanding" of the "need to maintain the union." The group has powerful friends on both sides of the, dare one say the name, Irish Sea.

In its latest publication, called simply "Plan B," Crozier looks at the present deadlock in the peace process. He calls it the "inclusive strategy," and says failure is likely and an alternative is needed.

Crozier concedes there was no explicit requirement for IRA decommissioning in the Good Friday agreement but says "it is The Issue. It is the only issue. Everything else is window dressing."

Presumably, Crozier views the recent IRA move on weapons as amounting to just a few lace curtains. Anyway, Crozier reckons that there is still a war to be fought and won against the Provos with B-Specials patrolling a revised border and so forth.

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Once the war is won, according to Crozier, power-sharing should be consigned to the dustbin of history and the even more wee North should be ruled by its betters in London. The Irish-minded natives in this brave new north will have to put up or shut up.

But this is only for starters. Once the new North is won, Crozier wants the place opened to a million would-be immigrants previously denied entry into Britain. That would be the "mainland" of course. The million newcomers would alter the demographic balance decisively, "Ulster" would "boom" due to various economic initiatives and the North would become the new Hong Kong.

States Crozier in conclusion: "Cut the state benefits that allow the average terrorist to spend his days polishing his Kalashnikovs and who knows, even hardened terrorists may find work and be co-opted into Ulster’s recovery."

Very cute altogether. A second plantation. But Crozier seems to have forgotten something about Hong Kong. In the end, it was handed back to the natives by the chappies on the mainland. "IF" is sending Mr. Crozier a gift: "The World Beyond Wee Ulster for Beginners."

King abdicates

Well, we’ve been spared the sight of Peter King and Hillary Clinton knocking the stuffing out of one another in the New York Senate race. King was talking of making a bid for the GOP slot if Rudolph Giuliani pulled out, but after that scenario actually came about, the party leadership adopted Rick Lazio so fast you would think he was Little Orphan Annie.

King, of course, is not shy when it comes to speaking his mind and this age of percentage politics there are those at the top of the table who would view him as a loose cannon and a little too prone to independent thinking.

King’s endorsement of John McCain probably didn’t do him much good with the party toffs either.

Rick Lazio has broken the surface on matters of Irish American interest and indeed has been rated by the San Francisco-based watchdog group Northern Ireland Alert as a "Very Active" member of Congress with regard to Irish concerns, the second highest score the group confers after "Dedicated."

Times man

"IF" called it right a while back. Brian Lavery is the new New York Times man in Dublin, where he has replaced James Clarity. It will be interesting to see if Lavery is allowed to mount forays across the border into territory deemed under the control of the Times London office or whether he will have to confine his activities to the Republic. Not that there isn’t a fair bit to write about south of the Rio Crossmaglen these days, what with all the brown bags flying around. A good time indeed for a reporter to be freshly arrived along the Liffey’s banks.

Blessed W.

Politics is a hoot. A few weeks ago, George W. Bush was supposedly on his way to political purgatory in the eyes of many American Catholics after his stopover at Bob Jones University, that haven of haute culture and Christian fellowship in South Carolina. Now, W. is surging in the opinion polls thanks in considerable measure to the sentiments of Catholic voters. Maybe he should head for Bob Jones again and grab another couple of percentage points. If nothing else, it would prompt another exchange of letters between Bob Jones III and Peter King, arguably the most exciting episode in the entire presidential campaign to date.

Commish in waiting?

Dubliner John Timoney, busy doing a Wyatt Earp job on Philadelphia, still has his Irish eyes partly fixed on his old stomping ground, New York. Timoney is profiled in the June issue of Esquire in a story entitled "The Last Cop in Camelot." An intriguing heading indeed. Timoney is Philly’s commish at present but many predict that he will, in time, return in triumph to the Big Apple and take the top job at One Police Plaza.

For now, though, the commish-in-waiting must be content with big profile pieces in glossy magazines and being waited upon in fancy eateries such as Elaine’s, where the Esquire piece was formally unveiled last week. Now there’s an idea. The next "Inside File" is revealed to the world in a nosh-up at the Four Seasons. Who says nobody would turn up? All you need is a decent barman anyway.

Not so obviously obvious

"It’s immensely gratifying, if perhaps a little irritating, when the answer to a puzzle lay under your nose all the time. After an exhaustive search, the International Famine Center is proud to unveil its new logo: an abstract motif of seeds adapted from a Zimbabwean cloth hanging on the wall of our Cork offices." This little gem comes from the University College Cork International Famine Center’s annual report. Hmmm, somebody eventually got fed up scouring the planet and asked what in the name of God was that thing hanging on the wall. ‘Twil do.

A photo of the seed motif is included with this stirring tale and the caption reads: "This abstract motif of seeds from a Zimbabwean cloth in the center represents hope, change and transformation." Not very obviously . . . obviously.

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