The Obscenity Of The English Premier League

The Grauniad has an interesting piece today about former Northern Ireland international and Aston Villa winger Peter McParland, as a curtain-raiser for the forthcoming FA Cup Final between Aston Villa and The Scum. (The latter term is how a certain other North London team which somehow got displaced from its South London origins in the British Army’s Woolwich arsenal is known by all true Spurs fans)

Peter McParland

Peter McParland

McParland, a Newry man, gained notoriety in the 1957 FA Cup Final by dislocating the jaw of Manchester United goalkeeper, Ray Wood in the opening seven minutes meaning that, in those pre-subs days, one of the other ten Busby Babes had to take his place. McParland went on to score two goals, beating United 2-1 and depriving Man U, a year before Munich, of the double (a feat that was achieved by Bill Nicholson’s Spurs team four years later).

Needless to say United fans of a certain vintage never forgave him.

What caught my attention was McParland’s description of his recruitment from Dundalk by Villa in 1952 and the terms he was offered to join the Midlands’ team:

I began working as an apprentice coppersmith at the rail works in Dundalk and when I was 17 I went to Birmingham with a Newry boys’ club to play a Birmingham side, Shamrock Rovers. In 1952 we visited Villa Park and the Villa manager, George Martin, asked our manager if we had any promising players. I suddenly found myself playing against the Villa first-teamers. Villa signed me. Dundalk wanted £5,000 and Villa paid them £3,800 and I began on £12 a week with a £10 signing-on fee.

Now according to this site, in 1952 £12 is equivalent to £336 in 2015 money, a sum that is probably not far off the average industrial wage nowadays. So, not much to get excited about, even sixty-three years ago, but at least he wouldn’t starve.

But how does £336 compare to what a modern Premier League earns? What would Peter McParland take home every week if he was a winger for Aston Villa in next weekend’s Cup Final? The answer is a staggering, disgusting, unjustifiable £31,000 per week, or just over $1.62 million a year. That’s 92 times more than Peter McParland’s wages for Villa.

Funnily enough The Grauniad man didn’t ask him about that.

Child Victims And Barra McGrory’s Public Prosecution Service

The Broken Elbow:

More on Barra McGrory’s Public Prosecution Service from former prosecuting attorney Peter Sefton. It is worth noting that the date of his complaint follows Barra McGrory’s appointment as DPP by some five months. So there can be no excuse along the lines of: ‘I wasn’t in charge then’. I predict a rough ride as DPP for Barra with a possibly tearful ending.

Incidentally, does Northern Ireland have a functioning media any more? Why are the hacks not digging up this stuff themselves? Why have they become just stenographers and not very good ones at that? Oh sorry, I forgot. Might be unhelpful to the peace process….and that would never do!

Originally posted on seftonblog:

In March 2012 , having unsuccessfully prosecuted a case in respect of a child who, at the time of the alleged offences was under four, I wrote a report to Roger Davison, then Regional prosecutor, PPS Lisburn.

I set out the facts of the case and voiced my concerns for similar cases, in the future. I was concerned , because of the professional advice which I had received ,about extremely young witnesses and their capacity to give evidence.

My report did not rate even an acknowledgement from the Regional Prosecutor, who went on to be involved with the Mairia Cahill case.

The public should recognise and be concerned about the quality of the criminal justice system. It would be a mistake to think that Mairia Cahill , AA and BB are exceptions.

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There Are No Bad Soldiers Only Bad Officers

The Broken Elbow:

Former prosecutor Peter Sefton identifies the real malaise at Barra McGrory’s Public Prosecution Service: people like Barra McGrory!


Originally posted on seftonblog:

Kier Starmer made a number of criticisms of the PPS. Any prosecuting barrister could have told him of the failings if he had cared to ask. The service provided to victims has always been wanting. Frequently the defence is represented by senior and junior counsel attended by a solicitor and frequently the prosecution is in the hands of junior counsel or employed counsel attended by an unqualified clerk.

Worse still is the enormous pressure place on these clerks, who are left to be the conduit between victims, the witnesses, the court, the police, the directing officer and counsel. None of the PPS high command, mentioned by Starmer, has ever had a career prosecuting  in the Crown Court and they are rarely seen there.

The problems suffered by the three complainants are not new. The victim is less well looked after than the accused. For example in Craigavon, the PPS has…

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Prince Charles Denies IRA Membership – Washington Post

Here, courtesy of Gawker, is one claim about never having been in the IRA that is really believable (hat tip to SB):


Go Figure Sinn Fein!

As Gerry Adams was shaking hands with Prince Charles in Galway, in Belfast members of the Ballymurphy Massacre Families, who are campaigning for the truth about the killing by Paratroopers in 1972 of their loved ones, protested Charles’ trip to Ireland at a demo in downtown Belfast.

Prince Charles is the Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute regiment.

In the centre of the group, as can be seen in the photograph below, is Paul Maskey, MP for West Belfast, the seat once held by Gerry Adams, and a prominent member of the Sinn Fein leadership cadre.

So, while one Sinn Fein luminary shook the hand of the Prince of Wales and welcomed him to Ireland, another Sinn Fein luminary protested his presence in Ireland.

I think it would be difficult to find a clearer demonstration of Sinn Fein’s approach to politics.

Ballymurphy Protest Millfield

Paul Maskey, wearing glasses, is fourth from right

Gerry Adams And Charles Windsor: A Photo Caption Contest

Great photo of Gerry Adams and Prince Charles about to shake hands by Brian Lawless of PA.

2000A free lifetime subscription to to the reader who composes the best bubble captions capturing the thoughts going through the heads of the two men as they are about to meet.

Martin McGuinness And Mountbatten

I see the Irish media is now speculating that Martin McGuinness will join Gerry Adams when he meets Prince Charles in Galway at a private encounter some time tomorrow.

How many, I wonder, of our esteemed television and newspaper correspondents will remind their viewers and readers that in August 1979, when Charles’ ‘Uncle Dickie’ was sent to his maker by an IRA bomb, that the man who gave the final order to kill him, the then Chief of Staff of the IRA, was none other than Martin McGuinness.

How much, dear reader, would you pay to be a fly on the wall at that gathering in Galway tomorrow?