The Wilted Rose

Charting Labour meltdown 2007-2010

++ Police officer murdered in shooting in Craigavon, Northern Ireland ++

After the Massareene atrocity, further disturbing news reaches us that a police officer has been shot dead in Craigavon, near Belfast. Tuesday evening update: Two men, aged 17 and 37, have been arrested in conncection with the murder – much quicker than it used to take to make an arrest …

So far the Real IRA and now, it appears, the Continuity IRA, have attacked the security forces (and tried to kill pizza delivery men), and the worrying aspect for people in Northern Ireland is what are the dissident paramilitaries planning next?

In the last few days, fear has suddenly returned to the streets of Northern Ireland for the first time in over a decade. Tonight’s and Saturday’s murders suggest a return to terrorist violence here. However, although these terrorists  have broken the peace, they will not bring down the Insitutions.

Update: The Continuity IRA has claimed responsibility for this murder of Constable Stephen Paul Carroll, 48, from Banbridge, Co Down. Banbridge, where I used to live, was the scene of a bomb by the Real IRA  on 15 August 1998 which wrecked the town centre but claimed no lives (a trial perhaps for their vicious Omagh bomb later that month) – and, in 1982, when an IRA bomb in the town killed 11-year-old Alan McCrum. Or as has been documented in Lost Lives:

A nine-year-old Derry boy, playing cowboys with his brother in the garden, stumbled over a tripwire and set off a bomb which killed him. 

Do the terrorists wish to return to these dark days when young kids, whether Protestant or Catholic, were “collateral damage” (as the paramilitaries consider them) of such atrocities?

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9 March, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , , , | 3 Comments

The reaction to the Massareene atrocity shows how Northern Ireland has moved on … and yet Labour policy has failed

It used to be when there was a terrorist atrocity in Northern Ireland that there was equivocation from some people, who were not prepared to fully criticise the attack because of fear.

While the “Real IRA” itself has even gone as far as condemning the 2 Catholic pizza deliverers (one of whose mother works in a Catholic school in Antrim, and the other who is a young dad from Poland) as “collaborators” for daring to carry out lawful economic activities and for earning a living, everyone else has condemned the despicable attack.

Cllr Thomas Burns, Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) Assembly Member for Antrim South, has to be credited in particular for his impassioned call hours after the attack for such incidents to stop and for the need for peace.

These soldiers deserve posthumous Victoria Crosses, as Slugger O’Toole quotes:

The Sun is reporting, that one of the pizza delivery boys was ‘saved’ by one of the soldiers, who subsequently died as a gunman shot him whilst laying on top of the pizza boy. The soldiers told the boys to get down and one of them jumped on one of them lying on top of him whilst bullets flew above them. Apparently the gunmen kept on firing as the men lay dead on the ground. A friend of the delivery boy said: “The guy with the gun then just walked over and executed the soldier as he lay on top of Anto.”

People know that if such attacks continue, and retaliation occurs, it could be they or their families who suffer. What must the Irish-Americans, who once donated money to the IRA and yet who lost many of their own number (policemen, firefighters, etc) in the Twin Towers, make of this diabolical act?

Northern Ireland is a better place than when I was a kid, when we had to travel through military check points in our school bus in order to get to school.

People don’t wish to go back to those dark days. The Real IRA atrocity – in which they have done the dirty work of the Taliban, as these soldiers were due to go to Afghanistan – has probably put a stopper on the devolution of justice and policing to the Assembly.

Right now it’s painful for Catholics to look their Protestant neighbours in the eye, and vice versa, but that mutual friendly smile says we won’t go back to the dark old days. The Real IRA is irrelevant when what really matters is the quality of our lives, jobs, security and providing a decent future for our kids.

There are 12-year-olds and younger in Northern Ireland – who must be very puzzled by this attack – who weren’t even born when the last soldier, Lance Bombardier Stephen Restorick, was murdered by a gang who were later released early within 18 months under the most despicable element of Blair’s Belfast Agreement and was a key element in the political annihilation of David Trimble. 

For the sake of these kids, let’s hope that it wasn’t prisoners released early who have committed this atrocity.

Update 23.29: Following tonight’s murder of a policeman in Craigavon, the SDLP’s Dolores Kelly, MLA for Upper Bann, and their spokesperson on Equality, Victims, Policing and Parades, has been on the television condemning outright the attack and calling for people to report these “murderers”. Joe O’Dowd, Sinn Féin MLA for Upper Bann, has just called for people to report any information they know to the police. The murderers will not bring down the Institutions.

9 March, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , , , | 1 Comment

++ Child abuse lobbying: Disturbing allegations about Harman’s past ++

First, may I ask, why isn’t this a front page story and why isn’t it leading the BBC News 24 and Sky News?

According to p8 of the Telegraph, a despicable and unforgivable episode from Harman’s past was that she allegedly advocated certain types of child pornography and the reduction of the age of consent to FOURTEEN (14- or 15-year-old boys or girls are kids, are in no way capable of consenting, and should be protected from sexual exploitation). I find the passage below highly disturbing and also I am amazed that Harman is an MP at all and has risen so far in her Party:

The Leader of the House of Commons and Minister for Women and Equality, who is now being touted as a possible successor to Gordon Brown, sits on a Cabinet committee on young people’s welfare.

But her political judgement and ambitions are now in question after The Daily Telegraph obtained documents showing that she called on ministers to make sexually explicit photographs or films of children legal unless there was evidence that the subject had been harmed.

At the time she made the official submission, she was a senior figure in a civil liberties organisation that wanted the age of consent to be lowered to 14 and incest decriminalised. It also defended self-confessed paedophiles in the press and allowed them to attend its meetings.

….

Miss Harman, 58, was a newly qualified solicitor when she became legal officer for the National Council for Civil Liberties, now known as Liberty, in 1978. At the time its general secretary was Patricia Hewitt, who went on to become health secretary under Tony Blair.

Among the groups affiliated to NCCL were the Paedophile Information Exchange and Paedophile Action for Liberation, whose members argued openly for the abolition of the age of consent. NCCL complained to the press watchdog about their treatment by tabloid newspapers and said in one article: “We support any organisation that seeks to campaign for anything it wants within the law. They have that right.”

In NCCL’s official response to the Government’s plans to reform sex laws, dubbed a “Lolita’s Charter”, it suggested reducing the age of consent and argued that “childhood sexual experiences, willingly engaged in, with an adult result in no identifiable damage”. It claimed that children can suffer more from having to retell their experiences in court or the press.

Amid growing public concern about adults preying on children, the Protection of Children Bill was put before Parliament in order to tighten the laws on child pornography by banning indecent images of under-16s.

I was not aware Harman’s alleged past connections with various paedophile lobbying groups but this is all very disturbing, considering the nature of these pro-child-abuse campaigns. The BMLCTA [Battered Moms Lose Children To Abusers] site has commented that:

All citizens need to be aware of what the politicians are promoting. It seems all too common that people get into positions of power and authority in deliberate efforts to undermine the group they are supposed to be advocating for, such as defending women or children’s rights. In this case, there appears to be a serious conflict over the fact that Harriet Harmen appeared to be promoting de-criminalization of child sexual abuse (CSA), pedophilia, incest, and child pornography, and she is the Leader of the House of Commons and Minister for Women and Equality and holds a position on a Cabinet committee on young people’s welfare.

Now that she is a mother, what does she think of her past work for such a campaign and such extreme libertarians that advocated child abuse?

Today, in the UK, child abuse of all kinds is at an epidemic scale  and we do need a new Crimes Against Children Act – and to give child abusers (and those who fuel the demand by viewing abominable web images) life sentences without parole. 

We should support the human rights and liberty of ‘at risk’ and vulnerable kids – and not take the ultra-libertarian view of letting their abusers loose to destroy more kids’ lives – after all, the victims’ genuine human rights are more important than the imagined human rights of paedophiles.

As for Harman, there should be a public inquiry and if these allegations are proven, she should never be forgiven for her alleged collusion with such evil child abusers.

9 March, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments