‘An Phobcrapt’ – A Further Thought On Who Wrote It

A further thought or two on the MI5/UDA spoof paper An Phobracpt, these derived from a more forensic examination of the writing style that can be found in the British black propaganda exercise, compared to what was usually on offer from the UDA’s editorial offices.

The first excerpt (see below) is taken from what is believed to be the inaugural edition of An Phobcrapt which appeared around December 1988. The second comes from an editorial that appeared in the UDA magazine, Ulster about a year earlier. Both publications were ostensibly edited by Sammy Duddy, a well known UDA activist and the organisation’s former intelligence officer. He was also believed by some UDA colleagues to be working secretly for the British, presumably MI5.

The second excerpt, from Ulster magazine, contains spelling mistakes and, while not wishing to disparage or belittle the late Sammy Duddy’s writing skills, is not the most elegant piece of prose to grace the English language. Also, notice how, like all Loyalists, Duddy simply refers to the Provos as ‘the IRA’ while An Phobcrapt employs security-speak: ‘PIRA/Sinn Fein’.

Not only that but the An Phobcrapt extract has no less than two references to Marxism or Communism in some 120 words – and Communism was, next to the IRA, MI5‘s big bugaboo. By contrast, as anyone who has had dealings with them can testify, the UDA rarely if ever mentioned the Provos and Marxism in the same sentence. Republicanism or anti-Protestantism, yes, but Communism, no.

It is though the writing style of the An Phobcrapt extract that is perhaps the real give-away. I mean read this sentence from the black propaganda excerpt and ask yourself if Sammy Duddy or any other UDA man you have crossed paths with would pen language like this: “….fictitious, verbose diatribes, ranting editorials, distinguished distortions of the truth, and marvelously malevolent hypocrisy….”, or, “We are proud to be able to inform our readers that the same perverted mixture will continue to be on sale….”

No, my money says that this part of An Phobcrapt at least was composed by some ex-public school, Boris Johnson clone sitting up in that building next to Stormont House and having great fun with his mates enjoying this latest jape. If so, then this would mean that not only did MI5 supply information for An Phobcrapt, but they helped write it.

Here are the two extracts, first from An Phobcrapt:

AP/RN is proud to announce its acceptance of the distinguished Libyan award for inventive and imaginative Marxist journalism. The Semtex Trophy will be presented by Colonel ‘Mad’ Ghaddaffi in Tripoli to our editor Rita O’Haywire, on January 13. The citation states that AP/RN has ‘upheld throughout the past year the high standards of Communist press-reporting with fictitious verbose diatribes, ranting editorials, distinguished distortions of the truth, and marvelously malevolent hypocrisy over the heroic murders by brave PIRA/Sinn Fein of Loyalists, civilians, little old ladies and other enemies of the Libyan-Irish peoples’. We are proud to be able to inform our readers that the same perverted mixture will continue to be on sale every week (except July 12) in 1989.

The Ulster editorial:

Many people sincerely hope that the Enniskillen massacre will be a turning point in the Ulster ‘troubles’, and if hoping were enough it would be – but the reality of the suggestion suggests that it will not. It will fail to be a turning-point because O’ Faich (sic) and Hume (et al) refuse to cease peddling Nationalism the intellectual ‘heroin’ which has always doped the IRA into its murderous acts. Even the recent statement from the Heirachy (sic) – that it was sinful to join or support the IRA – was not only twenty years later it was merely another head of the nationalist hydra.

2 responses to “‘An Phobcrapt’ – A Further Thought On Who Wrote It

  1. Reads like Eoghan Harris aliteration with a dash of Ian Hislop’s sarcasm.

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