Trump Becomes A Nazi

Readers might remember a post I wrote a couple of days ago in which I half-jokingly wondered when Donald Trump, currently leading the Republican race for nomination as the party’s presidential candidate, would demand that Muslims wear Yellow Crescents, in imitation of the Yellow Stars the Nazis forced Jews to wear in the 1940’s.

The post was inspired by an interview on Fox News in which Trump suggested mosques might have to be closed down by the federal government to prevent ISIS-style attacks.

Here was the post:

Trump3That was on Tuesday.

Later the same day, he gave an interview to Yahoo News and was asked whether the level of surveillance of Muslims he was advocating included building a database on American Muslims and “giving them a form of special identification that noted their religion.”

Trump’s reply, refusing to rule out the possibility, was: “We’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely…..We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”

How about a Yellow Crescent?

Remember, you read it here first.

By Thursday, incidentally, Trump had hardened up the database idea. Realising that he was on to a winner with America’s hard-right, working class, White population, Muslims, he declared, would ‘absolutely’ have to register.

If I was a leader of ISIS, I think I’d conclude that it has been a pretty good week.

Here is the relevant section of  a piece in The New Yorker by John Cassidy describing Trump’s latest outrage:


RUC/MI5 ‘Culpable’ In Scappaticci Killings, Said North’s Police Ombudsman

When the North’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory announced recently that he had asked the PSNI to investigate security force collusion in the murderous activities of British agent cum IRA chief spycatcher, Freddie Scappaticci, more than one jaw dropped in surprise.

What was Barra doing, opening up this can of worms? From where had this alarming and astonishing display of boldness come from? Did he not realise this meant taking on the real forces of the state, not Billy and Sammy from Craigantlet but the spooky ones who, since Elizabethan times, have presided with arrogant disdain over the secret dealings of the kingdom? What was he taking with his breakfast cereal and can we all have some please?

Now, courtesy of KRW Law, the Belfast legal firm which is representing many of the relatives of Scappaticci’s victims, we now know the real background to Barra’s decision, and surprise, surprise it was not his idea at all.

Barra McGrory - kept a file on a consultation with Gerry Adams but did not disclose it to PSNI or his own prosecution service

‘Who, me? Hey man, no way!’ – North’s DPP, Barra McGrory – taking on MI5 and RUC Special Branch over Scappaticci case was not his idea….

According to KRW, whose clients had mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, husbands  – twenty-four victims in all – allegedly shot dead either by Scap, as he was known, or by other members of the IRA’s Internal Security Unit (ISU)*, aka, the spycatchers, or the nutting squad, the initiative for this move came from elsewhere.

It was, the law firm revealed, actually an investigation by the Police Ombudsman which uncovered the evidence suggesting criminality and collusion on the part of MI5 and the RUC, and possibly the PSNI as well, but because the Ombudsman is not authorised to investigate MI5, he passed his findings onto Barra McGrory, with the implied suggestion that he ask the PSNI to complete the job.

Here is what KRW says:

Last month we were informed by the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (PONI) whose Office has been undertaking an investigation into the activities of the IRA Internal Security Team and the role of the RUC, that an interim report into this linked complex investigation of 24 murders involving Scappaticci that commenced in 2013 and revealed evidence of culpability, complicity and collusion amounting to criminality of both RUC officers and members of the British Security Forces specifically MI5 has been sent to the Director of the Public Prosecutions Service for Northern Ireland (PPS)

Because PONI has no jurisdiction to investigation allegations against state agents other than RUC or PSNI personnel, he referred his interim investigation report to the Director of Public Prosecutions: the DPP has now requested the Chief Constable of the PSNI to conduct an investigation into the activities of Scappaticci and the culpability, complicity and criminality of RUC and MI5 officers.

Dissident groups have little reason to fear a visit from this guy.....

Freddie Scappaticci, with dark moustache, scans a Republican crowd – he headed the IRA’s spycatchers but was a British double agent and is alleged to have killed with the knowledge and approval of his security force handlers. One can only imagine the dirty tricks involved in this, innocents sacrificed to hide the guilty, little touts killed and the big ones spared – and so on.

That all sounds very re-assuring. The DPP has ordered the PSNI to take the probe to its logical conclusion and soon enough we’ll be seeing MI5 men, former RUC Special Branch officers and, doubtless, members of British Military Intelligence in the dock, answering for some of the most cold-blooded and calculated killings of the Troubles.

Except, as KRW points out, the PSNI Legacy Investigations Branch is small, too small for this task. It is also staffed by PSNI members who will have to investigate the wrongdoings of their colleagues – that’s known elsewhere as a conflict of interest – and it also has former RUC members, some of them ex-Special Branch, on their team, which doubles down on the conflict of interest difficulty.

Surely Barra must have known this as well?

The PSNI is therefore incapable, in terms of resources and the necessary independence, to do the job.

Solution? Get an outsider, a Stalker-type figure to take over the investigation or better still, as KRW suggests, hold a public inquiry into collusion.

Except the recent deal to keep the Stormont ship-of-state afloat and provisioned with enough dosh to keep its over-fed, and overpaid members and their special advisers employed, wasn’t able to craft a deal on NI’s blood-soaked past, or ‘legacy’ as the current euphemism has it.

So, where are the Provos in all of this? I would have thought that getting to the bottom of the Scappaticci affair, and the closely related Brian Nelson scandal, would be a high priority for the former freedom-fighters. But no, that is apparently not the case at all.

Instead, it seems, dealing with the past will be allowed to sink into the slough of indifference while welfare cuts and rollbacks in corporation tax take the spotlight. Austerity and fat cats come first.

It’s enough to make a cynic wonder if there is something in the Scappaticci and Nelson affairs that Sinn Fein, rather like MI5 and the RUC Special Branch, would prefer to consign forever to the dark, unexplored corners of the Troubles’ story.

* (The Internal Security Unit’s job was to unearth British double agents in the IRA but it is now fairly obvious that the ISU itself was possibly the most infiltrated unit in the entire organisation.)

In the meantime here is the full text of the KRW statement:


Gerry Adams, Goldman Sachs And The Latest Stormont Peace Deal

Last March, around the St Patrick’s Day celebrations in New York, I published a blog post noting that during a lunch for Hillary Clinton, hosted by Niall O’Dowd, the editor/publisher of The Irish Voice, Goldman Sach’s CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, sought out Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, one of the honoured guests, for a private chat.

The context was a revolt led by Greece’s Syriza party against the Anglo-German austerity policies in Europe and a presumption on the part of many who knew no better, that a Sinn Fein role in the next Irish government could plunge Europe into an even deeper crisis.

Adding fuel to the fire was an imminent internal Goldman Sachs report predicting that SF would take a radical line opposing austerity in Ireland, hitherto the most amenable EU member vis-a-vis austerity.

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs - was 're-assured' after his chat with Gerry Adams

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs – was ‘re-assured’ after his chat with Gerry Adams

Hence the interest of a worried Blankfein in what was really in Gerry Adams’ mind. Was he going to follow Syriza or the Spanish party Podemos and plunge Europe into an economic maelstrom with alarming implications for Goldman Sach’s profits and Blankfein’s annual bonus? Or not? This is what I wrote:

I understand that on the periphery of the Hillary Clinton lunch in New York hosted on Monday by Niall O’Dowd, the wannabe Irish ambassador for the next Clinton White House, Gerry Adams had a ten-minute tete-a-tete with Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs.

It would be sensible to presume that Blankfein wanted to get his own take on the leader of the political party which was about to be described as the greatest single threat to Ireland’s economic future by his Chief European economist, Kevin Daly.

The report, which warned that Sinn Fein in government could well take the same stance on Ireland’s debt as Podemos does in Spain and Syriza once promised in Greece, was published a day or so later so presumably Blankfein, whose Goldman Sachs empire was once memorably described by journalist Matt Taibbi as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money,” did not have the opportunity to influence Daly’s report.

A pity for Sinn Fein because according to reliable sources Blankfein later told friends that he had been “greatly impressed” by the Sinn Fein leader, and “re-assured” (by what he had heard).


It is in that context that I recommend that you read a statement issued yesterday by Eamonn McCann and the ‘People Before Profit’ party, critiquing the latest peace process deal between Sinn Fein and the DUP. I doubt whether Lloyd Blankfein, reading this, would think that Gerry Adams had misled him much back in March.

Read it here:

Eamonn McCann of People Before Profit:

“Sinn Fein has now joined the ranks of the austerity parties.”

Staying in government with the DUP took precedence over standing by the most vulnerable. The worst-off people in deprived places like Derry will be hardest hit. People Before Profit’s Eamonn McCann: “If the Coalition in the South introduced this sort of package, Sinn Fein would be elbowing its way to the front of street protest.”

Eamonn McCann: “This deal underlines the necessity of a radical alternative to the DUP, SF and other parties of the status quo.

Eamonn McCann - for Sinn Fein 'Staying in government with the DUP took precedence over standing by the most vulnerable'

Eamonn McCann – for Sinn Fein, ‘Staying in government with the DUP took precedence over standing by the most vulnerable’

People Before Profit will be offering this alternative in the forthcoming Assembly election. We need an election asap – and the election of people with different politics.

“It is typical of the deal that new money has been found for a fresh attack on social welfare “fraud”. Welfare fraud is tiny in the North.

The real scandal lies in the huge tax frauds of the big corporations and the super-rich. The Tories should have been told to sod off and sort that out before coming after people in Derry doing the double.

Under the deal, the Assembly will agree not only to the welfare cuts introduced in 2012 but also to the new cuts currently before Westminster. These will see a benefit cap of just £20,000 per annum for families with children – leaving many unable to meet basic needs. It is overwhelmingly children who will suffer.

The new deal includes cuts to all working age benefits, including Job Seekers Allowance, Housing Benefit and even Employment and Support Allowance – a benefit for people found unfit for work. The already miserly rate for each of these will be frozen for four years, while tenants in social housing will see a one percent year-on-year cut to their Housing Benefit. This is all on top of the cuts to Tax Credits, over which Stormont has no control.

Disabled people will see their incomes slashed, as Disability Living Allowance (DLA) ends and is replaced by the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The Department for Social Development has admitted that a full 25 percent of people currently receiving DLA will not receive anything under PIP, while a further 33 percent will receive a reduced award. Public sector staff numbers are already down by 5,210. A further 2,200 employees are to be pushed out before March 2016. By 2018, some 20,000 public sector jobs will have gone. Just like Labour in the South, Sinn Fein defends itself by saying the job losses are “voluntary”.

But when managements start putting on the squeeze, there can be a thin line between compulsory and voluntary. Moreover, the loss of so many jobs will have a devastating effect on hospitals, schools and wider public services.Eamonn McCann: “No genuinely anti-austerity party would have signed up to this.”

The DUP/SF plan also involves “challenging cost reduction targets for each of the nine new departments’”. That means more austerity. The agreement is full of the sort of coded neo-liberal language found in austerity programmes all over Europe. Take “structural reform” in health education, housing and justice – that’s code for outsourcing and privatisation. Despite the rhetoric about taxing the rich, DUP/SF have signed up to a reduction in Corporation Tax to 12.5 percent from April 2018.

This is a bonanza for big corporations. It means a cut of 7.5 percent in their official tax rate. But even this disguises the reality of enormous tax subsidies to the corporations. In the South, the official rate is 12.5 percent but the actual tax paid by corporations amounts to only 5-6 percent. We can expect similar scams in the North – meaning even less money for public services.

The only issue that SF propagandists can claim a concession on is the bedroom tax, which will not affect current tenants. This measure acted like a lightning rod for anger against the welfare cuts generally. Protecting current (but not future) tenants from the tax helped give DUP/SF political space to endorse the overall welfare cuts package.That might provide cover, but of the fig-leaf variety.Parties should stop talking out of both sides of their mouths.

In the coming weeks, People Before Profit will be challenging Sinn Fein members and supporters to take a different road.

Liverpool-Irish Trauma During 1939 IRA Bombing Campaign A Dark Portent For West’s Muslims

As the post-Paris conversation gets uglier, and anti-Muslim acrimony flourishes, in France itself, in Britain and especially here in the U.S., my mind went back to the anti-Irish hysteria that swept England during the early and mid-1970’s, prompted by an IRA bombing and shooting campaign that for its time, and in its sometimes indiscriminate targeting (no warning pub bombs for instance), was arguably the equivalent of today’s ISIS violence.

So I began a search on the internet for material from that period and to my surprise I could find none, or at least only passing references (perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised as the peace process has made the sensitive areas of British Hibernophobia and Irish Anglophobia off limits).

What I did find however was a fascinating and sharply written article about the unhappy experience of the Liverpool Irish during the IRA’s short-lived but very violent English bombing campaign of 1939, in the months preceding the start of the Second World War.

The work of Liverpool-based academic, Dr Bryce Evans, whose website can be accessed here, ‘Fear and Loathing in Liverpool….’ firstly sheds new light on the extent of the campaign, at least for me. For example, there was an IRA bombing incident in England ‘almost every other day’, according to Dr Evans, during the first nine months of 1939. Although short-lived, the IRA’s England Campaign was clearly a more forceful affair than is usually depicted.

But his work is really important because it chronicles the nightmare visited upon the city’s Irish population as fear and outrage spread in a city already infamous for its sectarian divisions.

In circumstances that Donald Trump might find pleasingly familiar, the Liverpool Irish became targets not just because of their suspected sympathy for the IRA, but because Irish immigrants were ready to work for lower wages than the natives who consequently were losing jobs.

A huge public meeting was held shortly after the first IRA bombings in the city in mid-January, 1939 and angry citizens demanded that an Irish bureau be set up “to monitor the city’s Irish immigrants and expel trouble-makers”.

To a chorus of cheers, a local councillor complained that if the flow of Irish migrants to the city continued, Liverpool would have to be renamed Dublin.

A month later as anti-Irish frenzy spread – encouraged by some racially salacious reporting by the local media – the newly formed Liverpool Irish Immigration Bureau began overseeing the forced expulsion of undesirables back to Dublin. Evans writes of poignant scenes at Liverpool docks as tearful relatives saw off expelled family members.

The Prevention of Terrorism Act notwithstanding, the IRA’s campaign of the 1970’s never produced an excess to match this.

Two potent forces, fear of, and anger at IRA violence combined with resentment at job losses blamed on Irish immigration to make life increasingly uncomfortable for Liverpool’s Irish population during 1939 and some in that community adjusted accordingly.

By the time a 19-year old Brendan Behan was arrested in Liverpool, on the day he arrived in the city, in December 1939 at the fag end of the IRA campaign, he was, Evans writes, jeered by a hostile crowd who shouted: ‘String the bastard up’.

Behan, who went to Liverpool on an unauthorised bombing mission and subsequently served time for IRA activity in Ireland, later wrote of the experience: “….some of them were Liverpool-Irish, trying to prove their solidarity with the loyal stock.”

Another IRA activist wrote of a change in the Irish mood as 1939 wore on: the Liverpool Irish, “… met him and his comrades with fear and sometimes outright hostility.

All this, and possibly much worse, is what faces Europe’s and America’s Muslim people.

The Lyrics Of ‘La Marseillaise’, For Your Delectation….

Here are the translated lyrics of the French national anthem, La Marseillaise sung with gusto at Wembley stadium tonight. I thought you’d like to see what they look like. This line might get your attention: ‘Let the impure blood, Water our furrows’.

Or this: ‘Theyre coming right into your arms, To cut the throats of your sons and women!’ Hmmmm. Let’s hope not, but I fear that is exactly what we’ll see.

The Song of Marseillase

Arise, children of the Fatherland,
The day of glory has arrived!
Against us tyranny
Raises its bloody banner
Do you hear, in the countryside,
The roar of those ferocious soldiers?
They’re coming right into your arms
To cut the throats of your sons and women!

To arms, citizens,
Form your battalions,
Let’s march, let’s march!
Let the impure blood
Water our furrows!

What does this horde of slaves,
Of traitors and conjured kings want?
For whom are these vile chains,
These long-prepared irons?
Frenchmen, for us, ah! What outrage!
What fury must it arouse!
It is us they dare plan
To return to the old slavery!

To arms, citizens,
Form your battalions,
Let’s march, let’s march!
Let the impure blood
Water our furrows!

What! Foreign cohorts
Would make the law in our homes!
What! These mercenary phalanxes
Would strike down our proud warriors!
Great God! By chained hands
Our brows would yield under the yoke
Vile despots would have themselves
The masters of our destinies!

To arms, citizens,
Form your battalions,
Let’s march, let’s march!
Let the impure blood
Water our furrows!

Tremble, tyrants and you traitors
The shame of all parties,
Tremble! Your parricidal schemes
Will finally receive their reward!
Everyone is a soldier to fight you
If they fall, our young heroes,
The earth will produce new ones,
Ready to fight against you!

To arms, citizens,
Form your battalions,
Let’s march, let’s march!
Let the impure blood
Water our furrows!

Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors,
Bear or hold back your blows!
You spare those sorry victims,
Who arm against us with regret.
But not these bloodthirsty despots,
These accomplices of Bouillé,
All these tigers who, mercilessly,
Rip their mother’s breast!

To arms, citizens,
Form your battalions,
Let’s march, let’s march!
Let the impure blood
Water our furrows!

Sacred love of the Fatherland,
Lead, support our avenging arms
Liberty, cherished Liberty,
Fight with your defenders!
Under our flags, shall victory
Hurry to thy manly accents,
That your expiring enemies,
See your triumph and our glory!

To arms, citizens,
Form your battalions,
Let’s march, let’s march!
Let the impure blood
Water our furrows!

We shall enter the (military) career
When our elders are no longer there,
There we shall find their dust
And the trace of their virtues
Much less keen to survive them
Than to share their coffins,
We shall have the sublime pride
Of avenging or following them

Children, let Honour and Fatherland
be the object of all our wishes!
Let us always have souls nourished
With fires that might inspire both
Let us be united! Anything is possible;
Our vile enemies will fall,
Then the French will cease
To sing this fierce refrain:

To arms, citizens,
Form your battalions,
Let’s march, let’s march!
Let the impure blood
Water our furrows!


North’s Parties Edge Towards Historic Deal……


How Long Before Trump Demands Muslims Wear Yellow Crescents?


Something like this? On the shoulder or above the heart? Whaddya tink, Donald?