Enda Craig slams Irish Water. 

The recent press release from Irish Water is a totally unacceptable misrepresentation of the facts and a smoke screen to cover up Irish Waters gross failings, abuse of power and squandering of public monies.

In their statement they refer to the safety concerns regarding their contractors. This is an absurd and preposterous slur on our local community in Moville and Greencastle and a deliberate attempt to denigrate our legitimate concerns and those of the Lough Foyle Fishermen.

IW through their spin doctors want to divert attention away from their duty of care regarding the introduction of a drilling platform on Lough Foyle. They had consulted with no one and received permission from no one. This cavalier approach is indicative of an attitude that might is right and their way or no way.

Who made this decision, why was it made and at what cost was it made are legitimate questions. Why did they not consult locally and with the local fishermen? Did they consult with the Lough Agency who had received many queries both from fishermen and political representatives? Queries were raised only after there was major concern after the platform was assembled at the end of Carrickarory Pier.

With egg on their face they now play the oldest trick in the book by placing blame elsewhere. The CFCE/ Save the Foyle reject outright Irish Waters malicious slur on our local Community and our Local Fishermen, whose voice must be heard and not shouted down by such insinuations.

Following this debacle we ask someone in Authority in IW to realise that the proposal being pursued is destructive to Lough Foyle, its beaches and fisheries. We repeat that unique terms and conditions apply to Lough Foyle, being a transboundary jurisdictional area. The IW reps agree that the situation is "complicated" but carry on regardless. If they proceed as heretofore they will again run into "unchartered waters" with inevitable consequences for the tax payer. Who will be accountable for this or will they again apportion blame elsewhere?

Enda Craig is spokesperson Community For A Clean Estuary

Drilling Operation On Lough Foyle ... Don't Shoot The Messenger

Paul Kelly has an uncomfortable question for the GAA. 

So, Boris Johnson has finally achieved his lifetime ambition and made it to Number 10. "The end of the beginning" as his hero, Winston Churchill, once said. Or could it possibly be the other way around?

Brexit is now in full-throttle Cronus mode and has clearly demonstrated that the truth is irrelevant when you're chained to an antiquated and highly flawed ideology; the good old days when the sun never set on the British Empire. If devouring its own children in order to maintain the status quo is what it takes, then so be it.

Former US president Bill Clinton summed it up perfectly to RTE's Tommie Gorman in June. Expressing his concerns about those at the vanguard portraying the pursuit of a hard Brexit as a means of "liberating the United Kingdom" Clinton warned they may be:

… consigning one of the world's greatest nations in human history to a smaller role just so that people who have historically been in control can stay there.

As much as we like to tut-tut at Boris, Rees-Mogg, Gove et al pining for a simpler time when Paddy knew his place, with regard to blind devotion to an archaic creed are we really in a position to cast the first stone?

Take, for example, the GAA; arguably the final bastion in Irish society but an organization whose stubborn resistance to change rivals that of the Vatican. If the top table is unwilling to discuss a recent suggestion from Jarlath Burns (touted by many as a potential Uachtaran CLG) in relation to removing anthems and flags from GAA events in an attempt to welcome those of a different persuasion, are they (and thus by default, we) not handcuffed to an equally outdated doctrine also?

What flew in 1884 doesn't necessarily fly in 2019. What was written during a time of war doesn’t necessarily apply during a time of peace. All philosophies have a sell-by date. I believe this is what hurling pundit Donal Og Cusack was driving at with his " … last remnants of British culture on these islands …" comment made during a recent post-match analysis in which he defended coaches criticized for exploring alternative tactics.

For many the GAA is about identity; for others it's simply chasing a ball around a field. I'd suspect the silent majority fall somewhere in between. Of course the GAA takes on different meanings depending on geography and I fully appreciate that carrying a hurley in Ballymena isn't the same as carrying a hurley in Ballyhaunis. Placing less emphasis on historical and cultural aspects may be anathema to some; it was to me until recently. But I believe it's time for what former Crossmaglen Rangers and Armagh footballer John McEntee described in his Irish News column as 'uncomfortable conversations'.

This thinking will no doubt meet with fierce resistance in some quarters but our rich culture, one which transcends burning tyres and pallets, isn't jeopardized one iota by holding such discussions.

One would think this is a more pressing matter for GAA president John Horan than introducing a ridiculous and totally unnecessary back-pass rule.

Paul Kelly is a Tuam based writer.

GAA & Brexit

A Morning Thought @ 450

Robert Niblock answers thirteen questions in a Booker's Dozen.

TPQ: What are you currently reading? 

RN: This is Memorial Device David Keenan.

TPQ: Best book you have ever read?

RN: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.

TPQ: A must-read before you die? 

RN: Doesn’t apply. If I haven’t attempted to read it by now, it’s not on my radar.

TPQ: A preference for fact or fiction? 

RN: Fiction.

TPQ: Favourite female author? 

RN: Harper Lee.

TPQ: Favourite male author? 

RN: George V Higgins.

TPQ: First book you ever read?

RN: Moonfleet by J Meade Falkner.

TPQ: Favourite childhood author? 

RN: Robert Louis Stephenson.

TPQ: Any book you point blank refuse to read? 

RN: No.

TPQ: Any author you point blank refuse to read? 

RN: No.

TPQ: Pick a book to give to somebody so that they would more fully understand you. 

RN: My next book of poems/prose.

TPQ: Last book you gave as a present? 

RN: Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe.

TPQ: Book you would most like to see turned into a movie? 

RN: For The Good Times David Keenan.

⏭ Beano Niblock lives and works in East Belfast. He writes drama, short stories poetry and prose. 

Booker’s Dozen @ Robert Niblock

Though nobody has claimed the weekend bomb attack on the North’s police, it has all the hallmarks of republicans, says Dieter Reinisch in the Irish Examiner.

While no group has yet claimed the bomb attack on the PSNI and the ATO in Wattle Bridge, Co Fermanagh, the target and the deployed tactics point to militant republicans.

The bomb was the fifth attempt to kill a police officer in Northern Ireland this year.

Fermanagh is known for militant republicans. In 2009, the PSNI warned that villages Donagh and Newtownbutler had become “no-go-areas” due to the high intensity of militant republican activities.

Then, the main threats were the Real IRA (RIRA) and the Continuity IRA (CIRA).

There are now three republican groups involved in paramilitary activities. The New IRA (NIRA) is the biggest and most capable.

The smaller CIRA, however, attempted an attack on the PSNI in Co Armagh in July, and Arm na Poblachta is believed to have a small presence in Fermanagh.

Since January, the NIRA has claimed responsibility for a car bomb outside the Derry courthouse, a series of letter bombs in England and Scotland, the killing of Lyra McKee (during riots in Creggan), and an attempted attack on a PSNI officer in east Belfast.

The organisation formed in 2012, when former Provisional IRA (PIRA) members merged with the Derry/Strabane-based Republican Action Against Drugs and sections of the RIRA.

Its origins, however, stretch back to the decommissioning of the PIRA in 2005 (see Irish Examiner, April 27, 2019).

In late July, the smaller CIRA lured the PSNI to the outskirts of the Drumbeg estate, in Craigavon, Co Armagh. A previously placed mortar device failed to explode.

It was the first notable attack by the CIRA since they detonated a small amount of Semtex just before the Republican Sinn Féin (RSF) Easter commemoration in the Kilwilkee estate of the neighbouring town, Lurgan, on March 30, 2013.

The north Armagh unit is arguably the last pocket of the CIRA; though individual supporters remain active throughout the whole island.

In an attempted show of strength, the CIRA fired a volley of shots during the RSF commemoration in Carrickmore, Co Tyrone, during Easter 2019.

In June 2008, the CIRA injured two police officers via a landmine in Roslea, less than 10 miles from Wattle Bridge, the location of yesterday’s bomb.

Later that year, the Independent Monitoring Commission reported CIRA activity in nearby Lisnaskea and Newtownbutler.

However, CIRA and RSF lost their support in Fermanagh following a devastating split in 2010.

Fermanagh broke from the movement. CIRA has not been active since then, and RSF maintains no active cumann in the area, either. Nonetheless, the CIRA should not be ruled out as the group behind the recent attack.

A previously unknown group, named Arm na Poblachta, has emerged recently. The group has been blamed for a series of smaller attempted attacks in the Greater Belfast area over the past year.

While little is known about this group, it is believed that they have a small core of members in Fermanagh.

Neither the timing, nor the location of the bomb attack should come as a surprise.

The use of hoax devices to lure the PSNI into remote parts along the border is a frequent tactic employed by militant republicans.

The attack comes immediately after the 50th anniversaries of the battle of the Bogside, the burning of Bombay Street, and the deployment of the British army to Ireland.

Similarly, the January car bomb by the Derry Brigade of the NIRA came on the centenary of the Soloheadbeg ambush.

The most recent attack in Wattle Bridge provides several important observations for the assessment of today’s militant republicans: First, despite the high-intensity of intelligence activities, republicans are able to continue a low-intensity armed campaign, and have done since 2008.

While observers had hoped for a rethink among militant republicans after the death of Lyra McKee, I argued, in this paper, that the support for groups like the NIRA would be unaffected.

Unfortunately, the attempted killings of PSNI officers in Belfast, Armagh, and Fermanagh, over the summer, have confirmed this.

Second, the most recent campaign, initiated with a car bomb in January, has introduced a range of different tactics, including car bombs, hoax devices, booby-traps, shootings, and letter bombs.

The main activities still focus on Derry and Belfast. The attempted attacks in Armagh and Fermanagh, however, indicate that republican groups are expanding their operational areas.

Hence, this recent regional spread, and the variety of tactics deployed, show that republican militants operate in an increasingly sophisticated way, through a growing network of supporters.

Third, the location of the Fermanagh bomb attack, close to the Irish border, indicates that republicans use the Republic of Ireland as a safe hinterland, as was the case during the Troubles.

While there will be no return to the mass violence of previous decades, a no-deal Brexit, and a subsequently imposed hard border, may provoke similar attacks along the border in the future.

Dieter Reinisch is a historian at the Institute for Social Movements in Bochum, 
and a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Central European University, in Budapest.

No-Deal Brexit May Provoke Further Attacks Along The Border

A Morning Thought @ 449

A Morning Thought @ 448

Christian Churches must devise a workable strategy to eradicate the scourge of judgemental church gossips who have plagued the faith for generations. That’s the gauntlet which controversial religious commentator, Dr John Coulter, throws down to Christendom in his latest Fearless Flying Column today.

In Biblical times, the Pharisees were regarded as the hypocrites of the day and there are many accounts in the New Testament of them taunting Jesus Himself.

But have the Pharisees really gone away, you know, or have they re-emerged to pollute the evangelical work of the Christian Church in the form of judgemental gossips?

In my own Christian spiritual journey thus far in life, I have learned the bitter consequences of the observation that we Christians are notorious for gossiping and back-stabbing.

At first reading, too, it may seem I am the hypocrite in this instance - criticising church gossips when such gossip provide us journalists with so many tip-offs!

Imagine as a journalist if I walked into a place of worship before the service began and started asking questions about allegations of a sex scandal in that church? It would not be long before I was abruptly shown the door and asked to leave.

One of the sad observations I’ve made as a result of my 41 years in journalism is that many people see Christians on the Sunday when it is a case of ‘Praise Jesus, Hallelujah, God bless you brother and sister’, but on Monday mornings these same Christians may well be in journalists’ offices dishing the dirt on their fellow believers!

What is of tremendous concern is that many of these church gossips see themselves as legally and ethically untouchable. As a journalist, it is my personal responsibility to ensure that whatever I publish or broadcast is 100 per cent legal, 100 per cent ethical, and I can stand over ever dot and comma in a court of law if necessary.

If I was to breach the codes and conventions relating to media law and journalism ethics in any way, I could find the police at my door, rapidly appearing in court, with the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) down on me like a ton of bricks.

In short, we journalists would pay a heavy price for getting our stories legally and ethically wrong.

But do the same sanctions apply to church gossips if the rumours they are spreading throughout the congregation, community, parish or fellowship are completely without legal, ethical or factual foundation?

Many church gossips do not seem to believe in the concept of ‘malicious falsehoods’. Indeed, for some church gossips, it is not merely a case of wanting to be first with the latest tittle-tattle in the gathering, but they may have their own agenda at work - namely, to deliberately discredit the person they are gossiping about, even if that person happens to be their fellow believer.

It seems for many church gossips, they have either ignored or completely forgotten the wording of the Ninth Commandment, one of the key foundations of the Christian faith - ‘thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.’

My experience in life, both as a preacher’s kid and as a journalist, has led me to conclude there appears to be one set of rules for us as journalists which we ignore at our peril, and another set of rules for church gossips - namely, there are no rules!

Even when church gossips are confronted with the fact that their rumours are without any foundation, their reaction is to immediately quote St Matthew Chapter 18 at you.

As part of the parable of the unmerciful servant, Peter asks Jesus a very poignant question in verse 21: “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?"

The real theological bombshell is dropped by Jesus in the following verse 22: “Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’

When church gossips are caught out spreading inaccurate information, their reaction is simple using these two verses - ‘now you have to forgive as Jesus forgave!’ And in many cases, gossips will never apologise for the hurt and harm they have caused to families with their unsubstantiated rumours.

How many Christians or unsaved people have been ‘put off’ believing in the Christian faith because of the uncontrolled actions of church gossips?

If church gossips are resorting to spreading unfounded information about their fellow believers, maybe we journalists should adopt the attitude of investigating the private lives of the church gossips? Is that where we journalists would find the real stories?

Mind you, church gossips also try to justify pointing the accusing finger at someone also using an earlier section of St Matthew Chapter 18 under a section of that chapter known as ‘dealing with sin in the church’.

Verse 15 to 17 states:

If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. (New NIV translation)

Many church gossips seem to ignore the advice in verses 15 and 16, and proceed automatically to verse 17 about telling things to the church!

In trying to defend ‘tip offs’ which church gossips have given me during my journalistic career, they will use expressions to me, such as ‘But I’m a born again believer and I always tell the truth’, ‘What I am telling you is gospel’, and ‘even the dogs in the street know this!’

In journalist training, one of the core textbooks is McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists, now in its 24th edition. It is often referred to as the journalist’s bible. Many other useful handbooks have been published for journalist training over the decades, but I’ve never come across a ‘church gossip’s handbook’! Maybe that’s a project for a budding writer.

Perhaps the way to combat the destructive influence of church gossips in our Christian fellowships and places of worship is to use the law of the land against them?

Would that create an even playing field ethically and legally between journalists and church gossips? If a few church gossips appeared in the dock as a result of their rumours, would this act as a deterrent to others.

It may seem that we, as journalists, are cutting off a supply of information and tip-offs if church gossips were less likely to repeat their rumours.

But at the same time, legal sanctions against church gossips could act as a filtering system to differentiate between genuine tip-offs which can become real legally sound stories, and rumours which are just plainly a waste of time investigating.

Could Direct Rule from Westminster be the solution to this situation? Already, Westminster has legislated that same-sex marriage and more liberal abortion laws will come into effect in Northern Ireland if the collapsed power-sharing Stormont Executive is not restored by 21st October 2019 - only 10 days before the UK is scheduled to leave the European Union on Halloween Night, with or without a deal.

The power-sharing Executive has not operated since it collapsed in January 2017 and if it cannot be restored amid the confusion of Brexit, then Direct Rule from Westminster seems the only likely way forward for government in Northern Ireland.

If Westminster can legislate for same-sex marriage, more liberal abortion laws, and even potentially, a stand alone Irish Language Act, could Westminster pass defamation legislation which could fire a severe legal warning shot across the bows of church gossips?

Defamation law in Northern Ireland and England diverged when Westminster passed the 2013 Defamation Act to reform the law. The then Stormont Executive decided against adopting the legislation automatically. A consultation process happened and although it was completed in 2015, it is still expected to be some time before the law is changed.

This means the 2013 Act has no effect in Northern Ireland, which continues to operate under the Defamation Act (Northern Ireland) 1955 and the relevant parts of the Defamation Act 1996.

If we had these 2013 reforms implemented in Northern Ireland, either by a restored devolved Executive or by Direct Rule Westminster, would we see more people branded as church gossips appearing before the courts?

Could it be if the courts made an example out of a few church gossips, there would be less trouble in places of worships? Would potential church gossips think twice and carefully about spreading rumours about people if they knew they could face court action?

Clerics can preach sermons until they are blue in the face warning of the need to strictly observe the Ninth Commandment, but what is urgently needed is a workable solution to the church gossip toxic issue. 

 Follow Dr John Coulter on Twitter @JohnAHCoulter

Listen to religious commentator Dr John Coulter’s programme, Call In Coulter, every Saturday morning around 9.30 am on Belfast’s Christian radio station, Sunshine 1049 FM. Listen online at www.thisissunshine.com

Church Gossips Bearing False Witness

A Morning Thought @ 447

A possible cure for Christianity.

One of the country’s leading homosexuals has called for the use of the controversial conversion therapy to try and ‘cure’ those living a Christian lifestyle.

“Christianity is a fundamental danger to the well-being of society,” said Simon Williams, a homosexual anti-Christian campaigner.

To have a group of people so obsessed with what other people do with their genitals is, frankly, just weird.

Now, yes, I accept that their Bible actually has very little to say about sexual behaviour, but Christianity seems to have moved so far away from those teachings that now it’s primary reason to exist is to be angry about what people do with other people’s genitals.

Can you imagine bringing up children in that sort of environment? It simply can’t be healthy.

“No-one is born Christian, so it should be easy to stop being one.”

Mr Williams went on to describe the nature of the conversion therapy.

Continue Reading @ News Thump.

Homosexuals Call For Conversion Therapy To ‘Cure’ Christianity

A Morning Thought @ 446

Paul Ferguson on a waning Western hegemony.

In A.D. 64 the decadent and foolish politician, Nero famously, “fiddled while Rome burned.” The crisis around Brexit reminds me of how our political class have also missed the real issue in focusing on our relationships with the EU.

Some older readers lived to see the collapse of the mighty British Empire. It was followed by the rise and decline of the Soviet Empire, which resulted in America becoming the sole superpower of the world. The EU in recent decades sought to rival the USA but its systemic problems of inefficiency, corruption, protectionist tariffs, chronic low growth, and a demographic aging crisis has left it floundering behind America. For instance, from 1996 until 2018 the GDP Annual Growth Rate in European Union averaged below 2%.

Times are now changing. Western hegemony is waning fast. America’s position at the top of the pile is under threat. Leading the charge is the nation of China. In 1980, the GDP of China was less than $300 billion; by 2015 it had increased to $4 trillion. It has surpassed already the USA as the largest producer of ships, steel, clothing, hand phones, and computers.

China has also become the world’s largest consumer of most products. For instance, Chinese consumers bought 20 million cars in 2015 – three million more than in the USA and Chinese shoppers bought half of the world’s luxury goods sold in 2015. China is the largest market for hand phones, e-commerce, and has the largest number of internet users. It has now built more high-speed train tracks than the rest of the world combined. China graduates each year five times the number of students as the USA; Chinese scientists produce more scientific papers in physical sciences, engineering and maths than any other country and double the number of patents than the USA produces. In 2014, the IMF estimated the size of the USA economy was $17.4 trillion and China’s was $17.6 trillion. China now accounts for roughly 18% of the world GDP, compared to just 2% in 1980.

Students of history will know that the West has not always dominated the East. We tend to forget that until the mid-1880s, China, India and Japan together generated a greater total GDP than the USA, UK, France, Germany and Italy combined. It was only the Protestant Reformation, which resulted in the Industrial and Scientific Revolutions, that enabled the West to pull ahead of the East. Today Asia is shaping the world in all major measurements of progress. They see themselves at the centre of the world and its future.

In Northern Ireland, the political classes are arguing over a hard/soft border, Customs Union, Irish Backstop etc. but few have grasped the real strategic challenges to the future. The EU is, unquestionably, in terminal decline. If it were a patient, it might be recommended Dignitas! The current British and Irish economic models are not much better. The binary choice of deeper integration into the UK or a United Ireland will only worsen our current predicament. There is no long-term future for Northern Ireland aligned to them.

Northern Ireland had a glorious opportunity with the devolved Stormont Executive to try a more radical solution. It has, to date, failed to grasp that chance. We must act to take care of ourselves before it is too late. Henry Kissinger once observed, “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.” He was right.

The future of Northern Ireland must not be sacrificed at the altar of political correctness, sectarian rivalries or ancient prejudices. The enemy is at the gates of Western dominance. There is a radical world realignment that few have noticed, and even fewer care. Economic Imperialism will come from the East if we fail to prepare for a rebalanced world. An Irish Language Act is a costly irrelevancy and repeating banal phrases like “Equality” by social justice warriors is utter futility. The Chinese version of the Golden Rule is: He who has the gold, rules! They already have most of the gold. It is only a matter of time before they have the power to go with it. 

Dr Paul Ferguson was trained as a finance lawyer and has lived in China, Singapore, USA and in the UK. Although born and reared in Northern Ireland, he has lived almost half of his life in Asia.

Brexit - Missing The Real Threat

A Morning Thought @ 445

Christopher Owens revisits heroes from a bygone age. 

As your heroes enter their Indian summers, and the recent deaths of the likes of Lemmy still fresh in the memory, there is an urge among some to see said heroes as often as possible. Sadly, it can often be the case that they're a let down nowadays, strolling through numbers that once were a tour de force of sonic warfare.

But that can't be said about Killing Joke. I can't pretend to be impartial when it comes to Killing Joke.

November 1978 is not regarded as a particularly memorable period in history. Peter Sutcliffe's mother died (halting his murder spree for nearly six months), the British Army revealed their belief that the Provisional IRA would not be defeated militarily, and releases from Siouxsie and the Banshees, Tubeway Army and X Ray Spex were helping to usher in post punk to the charts.

Slightly less documented is the first meeting between Jaz Coleman and Paul Ferguson. Coming to London to form a band, Coleman found himself signing on the dole one day. In the queue was an Indian fellow called Carlos, and him and Jaz became acquainted. When Jaz revealed his intent on starting a band, Carlos replied "I know. And I'm going to introduce you to the drummer who lives in my house."

That one encounter would lead to the formation of Killing Joke. Amazing how little moments in time can drastically open or close paths to anyone.

Initially maligned by an uneducated music press, Killing Joke have produced a body of work which stand as the greatest pieces of music recorded by anyone.

Based around the casually apocalyptic sound of Geordie Walker’s guitar, Coleman’s vocals (which alternate between riot inciting, sneering and heartbreaking) as well as a rhythm section dedicated to getting you to dance while they tear out your internal organs through the low end, this band have been a fixture in the musical consciousness for the past forty years.

John Peel once described The Fall as "the band which all others must be measured up against" and that sums up my thoughts on Killing Joke. Mixing dub, disco, punk, post punk, new wave, goth, metal, electronica and industrial into their sound, they produce the greatest music ever written by anyone.

And, since regrouping in 2003, they've released a steady stream of critically acclaimed albums which has seen their standing grow from post punk pariahs to dignified elder statesmen of alternative rock, crossing over into metal.

So, in recognition of their fortieth anniversary, a mini tour was sorted. One night in Wolverhampton, one night in London and one in Dublin.

I've broken this travelogue into differing sections. I'll let you piece it together.

Setlist Highlights

'Tomorrow's World', on the face of it, is a somewhat odd opener. It's spacious, dub influenced landscape is a moody, atmospheric piece but not one that you would imagine would get the blood pumping on the live front. However, it is these precise qualities that make it such a great beginning as it establishes the barren land that Killing Joke often portray in song, and eases the audience in before the mayhem begins.

'Wardance' is a perpetual favourite which never fails to deliver. Tense, staccato and driving, the implications of violence throughout the music compliment the barked vocals, proclaiming a world gone wrong in the most horrendous fashion.

Played live for the first time since 2003, the apocalyptic 'Seeing Red' is utterly mighty live, with Coleman contrasting his every day thoughts with the impending four minute warning. Geordie's riffing compliments the lyrics perfectly, tethering between controlled tension and all out war.

'Autonomous Zone' which has a little hint of 'Exciter' by Judas Priest in the drumming. Listen to how tight the band are with each chug from Geordie, before Youth throws in a bass lick to denote the oncoming onslaught. Lyrically, Coleman touches upon how freedom from modern living and society produces an ecstasy unlike any other. A cleanser.

Same applies with 'In Excelsis.' A stirring, evocative and passionate defence of freedom of speech and liberty, the music soars into anthemic territory and the contrast between the delivery of the verse and chorus discloses an underlying tension between these ideas.

'Exorcism' is a punishing number due to the relentless riffing and Coleman's shamanic, ritualistic persona coming to the fore as he encourages the audience to discover their inner primal self, allow it to rise to conscience level and then wash it away.

The Gigs

KK's Steel Mill, Wolverhampton (09/08/19)

A fairly unremarkable town, the venue is (like it's title says) an old steel mill on an industrial estate that has been converted into a club/gig venue. It's outer appearance belies it's size (4,500 capacity) and a sold out notice on the door indicates that this opening gig was going to be a scorcher.

And it was, kind of.

Despite playing for nearly two hours, sound and monitor issues plagued the band throughout their set. With them being unable to hear themselves, this meant that some songs went in strange directions (Jaz noticeably would come in late, while Geordie and Youth would be all over the place at times). Because of these issues, there was no encore.

A shame, as the sound from where I was standing (barrier, centre front) was enormous. Geordie's guitar overpowered the rest of the band but I wasn't complaining. His sound can be difficult to properly capture on-stage, but tonight it was one of the best I'd heard from him.

Subterania, London (11/08/19)

Located under the infamous Westway (mythologised by The Clash), Subterania is a 600 capacity club located at the top of Portobello Road (not far from the band's original home of Ladbroke Grove). The surrounding area sees a continental food market, an unappealing block of flats (with Grenfell, poignantly, visible in the skyline) and a busy mosque. A metropolitan place at street level.

From walking into the club, I knew it would be a hot one. The air was light on oxygen and heavy on heat. Within two songs, it was obvious that the band were struggling with the heat and Jaz even collapsed halfway through the set. As a result, at least six songs were dropped, but we did get a one song encore with 'Pandemonium.'

Sound and vision wise, the smaller stage brought out a rawer, intimate and human performance. The crowd were very much ready to participate in the ritual, and were they rewarded. Afterwards, whenever I walked out of the venue, my clothes stuck to me and only the fresh, cold air and a long walk to Notting Hill remedied the situation.

The Academy, Dublin (14/08/19)

Off O'Connell St, the Academy can be easy to miss were it not for the marquee style front 'welcoming' whoever is playing on a particular night. Opening in 2008, it has proven to be a welcome addition to Dublin's nightlife culture, especially for us Belfastards who can get the Aircoach back home straight after the gig.

This was the best show of the tour, owing to a few factors:

➧the immense sound.
➧a slightly altered setlist which allowed for two songs in the encore.
➧an enthusiastic Irish crowd who get the band.


Aside from the obvious fact that there isn't a band on earth who can touch Killing Joke on record or in the live arena, what's also obvious is that this incarnation of the band have hit their peak.

Roll on the new album.

⏩  Christopher Owens was a reviewer for Metal Ireland and finds time to study the history and inherent contradictions of Ireland.

Killing Joke - Travelogue

A Morning Thought @ 444

Frankie McKillen writes on the death in prison of Jeffrey Epstein.

I will set my stall out …   I personally believe that some of the people who are creating wars, controlling banks, telling people what is and isn't real news, asking the working class to give money to some Religious institution or some Hollywood star asking them to pay some movie house £5 to watch their latest block buster, are involved in the same nefarious activities involving minors. And I believe they are not separate but all connected. I believe that because time and time again it is nearly always the same names, companies, corporations and institutions that keep cropping up. Ask yourself this question - how many coincidences does it take before it before it becomes mathematically impossible?

On Sunday June 17th 2018 an article appeared on TPQ called Fuck Trump. I made one comment and was told “Frankie it was a piss take.” My comment wasn't pissing taking.

Several day's later on Sunday 24th June another piece appeared on TPQ called Fuck Trump @ Saccone '18 in the comment section I said:

I don't give a fcuk about how much hush money Trump paid to a porn star, what he thinks about Putin or his relationship with his wife ... Fcuk Trump for being friends with Epsttein. There is no way on earth Trump couldn't have heard the rumours and the story involving Trump, Epstein and a 13 yr old girl hasn't gone away....

Several months later I wrote a piece called Fuck you John Podesta about how certain US politicians and lobbyist's covered up child sex trafficking and the rape of minors. I mentioned how the Podesta brothers helped cover up the Acron scandal, how they covered up for Anthony Weiner, how the Clinton's covered up and down played the role Laura Silsby had in trafficking minors in the aftermath of the earthquake that flattened a large part of Haiti. Some Quillers had me down as a tin foiled hat, spliff smoking nut. In the comment section I also mentioned Epstein, his island, part of his flight logs and mentioned some of the names contained in his 'little black book', some of those names are now, due to his death, doing their best to distance themselves from Epstein. Today I am asking myself do the same Quillers believe I am simply a conspiracy theorist or do they think, maybe Frankie is and was closer to the truth than we first thought.

Was Epstein 'Hillary'd' like Barry Seal and Gary Webb were? Was he Arkancided? Was he murdered by an inmate or was it simply suicide? I have no idea at the minute. I have read various accounts of what may or may not have happened. Although one thing for sure is his death raises serious questions as to why a high profile prisoner was allowed to come off suicide watch weeks after either he attempted to take his own life or someone tried to kill him. The MCC was able to watch John Gotti, El Chapo, Ramzi Yousef, Paul Manafort and a host of other high profile prisoners 24/7-365 with out any real concern. Yet Epstein less than 24 hours after over 2,000 sealed documents were released was found dead.

Judicial Watch have opened their own investigation into how Epstein's life ended. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton believes that the DOJ can't be fully trusted to carry out an investigation into what happened. One question I am asking myself is who had the most to gain with his death? I know it wasn't any of the many victims he either trafficked or abused.

In March 2003 an article appeared in Vanity Fair by Vicky Ward called The talented Mr Epstein. Ms Ward was doing what all good journalist's do and tried to get behind the smoke and mirrors and tried to find out not only how he made his money, allegations about insider trading, who his circle of friends were and the truth about the rumours about him liking under age girls. When the piece reached her then editor Graydon Carter, he told her to 'tone it down' and the accusations she made about Epstein abusing at least three young girls weren't published.

Ms. Ward said she did not impute bad faith to Mr. Carter.

“I understand there are instances where editors make decisions that reporters disagree with,” she said. “I happen to think this was a wrong decision.”

This was a few months after another magazine quoted The Donald saying this about Epstein..

He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.

The Donald he has come out and explained why he put distance between himself and Epstein 10/15 years ago. Bill Clinton has said something similar and said he was only on Epstein's plane four times but flight logs show he was on the plane at least 20 times......

When Epstein was arrested in June this year, the FBI raided his $77 million mansion and in the safe apart from finding a large quantity of cash and diamonds they came across an old passport with a Saudi address . The picture was of Epstein although the name wasn't. The story goes he was a bounty hunter of sorts who would try and track down money for African war lords.. Was he some sort of intelligence asset for Saudi? I don't know.

The detail came out on Monday in a federal courthouse where federal prosecutors said they had been made aware that a safe in Epstein Upper East Side townhouse contained a passport; the passport had a photo that appeared to be of Epstein, but it had a different name. While it was not initially specified which country issued the passport (it has since been identified as an Austrian passport)

What is also known is Robert Muller of Russiagate fame got Epstein to provide 'information' at the time he was offered his now infamous sweet heart deal and has been probably working for the FBI in some capacity since then.

Since Epstein's death, his one time girl friend and socialite (rich and unemployed), has once again come under the spot light. Today Maxwell is in hiding in Manchester-by-the-sea in Massachusetts, where she lives with her CEO boyfriend Scot Borgerson, who is a member of The Council of Foreign Relations (that's how up and what circles some people live in). Maxwell's father Robert apart from being a thief, was also an agent of sorts for the UK, Us and Israeli intelligence. Do they look after their own? No idea, but I suspect they do. But what can't be disputed is it was Maxwell who first introduced Air miles Andy to Epstein. And after Epstein's first stint in jail, Air miles Andy continued to associate with the known sex offender. As of today things stand like this for Andy… Royal Embarrassment? Prince Andrew’s Ties to Jeffrey Epstein Under the Microscope.

a judge has ruled that documents related to allegations that Epstein forced a 17-year-old woman to have sex with Prince Andrew can be unsealed. The U.S. Appeals Court for the Second Circuit has said that 2,000 pages from Virginia Giuffre‘s 2015 defamation suit, in which she alleged Epstein used her as a sex slave, can be made public.

The Daily Mail reported In newly released court documents In newly released court documents Virginia Giuffe (Roberts) in a May 2016 deposition Maxwell forced her to have sex with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, former US Senator George Mitchell, J Jean Luc Brunel and financier Glenn Dublin. And the same paper asks, why did Jeffrey Epstein have a bizarre painting of Bill Clinton in a dress hanging in his Manhattan mansion. Possibly no connection but I did mention in the Podesta piece about strange artwork. Some reports mention a former Prime Minster, never states the country he was once head of but my money is on the former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak. I am thinking that because apart from being on Epstein's plane a few times he was also photographed going into Epstein's mansion. Camouflaged Israeli Ex-PM Pictured Entering Epstein’s Mansion The Same Day As Hotties Show Up.

All I know is for years I have been trying to piece together a jigsaw about the rulers of this rock are up to behind closed doors. If I am wrong or other I will hold my hands up. But I don't think I am far of the mark and I stand over everything.

What The Rulers Of This Rock Are Up To

A Morning Thought @ 443